Down To The Bunker – Misery

A growling, snarling beast of a release, Misery is the debut album from Swiss quintet Down To The Bunker and an encounter which marks them out as one richly promising, indeed already impressive proposition. Offering up nine tracks of alt metal predation merged with heavy rock contagion and hardcore dissonance it all delivered with potent technical prowess and an uncaged heart, the release is one wake-up call to and declaration of intent from one rather exciting outfit.

Formed in 2012, the Genève hailing band has worked through years of line-up instability as it searched for the right personnel. It is a time though the band equally used to explore and hone a sound which is as unpredictable as it is varied and adventurous. A self-titled EP in 2015 drew keen attention though its support live was a struggle with again a changing line-up trespassing the next steps for Down To The Bunker. Now though things seem to have settled and with the band’s strongest line-up to date, the stability relishing result being the striking Misery.

Embracing a sound which sees the likes of Tool, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Meshuggah, Gojira, Promethee, and Code Orange amongst its inspirations, Misery is an album which arouses as it challenges. Almost every moment has attention glued to its lures, the thrill of the unexpected rearing its head throughout an encounter which twists the familiar into its own pattern of fresh imagination and invention. Certainly there are moments where it ebbs and flows in the intensity of its temptation but there are few if any moments where it allows the listener to impulsively drift off elsewhere.

From the opening bait of first track Mother, the album was burrowing under the skin; sonic lures straining against the speakers urgently wanting out. The guitars of Matt and Jerem continue to bait the senses as heavier and darker strands join them, the bass of Arnaud a predatory taunt alongside the considered but imposing swings of drummer Léo. Completed by the fine tones of vocalist Jo, the track swiftly grows into a formidable and compelling incitement, imagination and unpredictability increasingly fuelling its enterprise and inescapable persuasion.

The increasingly magnetic and impressive start is easily continued by the album’s title track. It too springs from a seductive sonic lure if one which lances the senses rather than caresses them. The emerging web of guitars ensnared ears with swiftly nagging and devious intent; a strength of coercion matched in voice and rhythm. There is a touch of Mudvayne to the track at times which does it no harm or indeed the atmospheric winds which bring haunting melodies amid seemingly calm but dark aural intimation.

With the twisted canvas of The Asylum a refreshing bedlam of sound and individual craft shaped into another tantalising captivation come threat and the, at times, even more creatively unhinged and similarly fascinating Chrysalis, there is no let up on attention and enjoyment. Each track lured and trapped both with a creative greed which alone marks Down To The Bunker out, a dexterity in thought, songwriting and adventure which equally infests next up Ethics. As with all songs, it is a writhing collusion of sonic vines and metallic dissonance matched in vocal and lyrical dispute, and like each a blend of the barbarous and seductive as a cast of styles and flavours join up to ignite the band’s imagination and sound. There are moments of deceptive and corrupted calm which maybe disrupt the flow and impact of the track but it is that unexpected ideation which also makes it as potent as anything within Misery.

Through the intimately reflective and melodically evocative Waves, a quest with its own underlying snarl, and the sonically invasive and haunting Lost In The Desert, there was no let up on bold enterprise and striking intimation. The latter is like a senses suffocating limbo which slowly but surely reveals it’s waiting demons and distortions resulting in an experience which gloriously tests and provokes.

a final pair of bonus tracks in Machine and Alive brings the album to a dramatic and imposing close. The first and another major highlight of the release openly wears familiarity in its holler yet it would be hard to say it is anything other than a Down To The Bunker creative clamour while its successor prowls, pretty much crawls through ears with a great mix of heavy grunge and rapacious metal bound in melodic volatility.

It is a great end to an album which just pleasures and grows more impressive over time. In their seventh year Down To The Bunker will be making their first introduction to a great many with Misery but it is easy to believe they will be no strangers to them and major spotlights hereon in.

Misery is released February 22nd via Tenacity Music; available @ https://tenacity-music.bandcamp.com/album/misery

https://www.facebook.com/DownToTheBunker

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Parasitic Twins Interview

Having been more than taken with their the debut EP, ‘All That’s Left To Do Now Is Sleep With Each Other’, it is with pleasure we bring you a recent interview between its creators, British hardcore duo Parasitic Twins, and our guest and friend Elliot Leaver.

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

Dom Smith (drums): I’m Dom. Max (guitars, vocals) is the other one. He’s the talented. He’s too busy, and important. You can’t sit with him.

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

DOOM.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

Bongripper. Death. Generic Questions

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

It’s a Dillinger Escape Plan song, and an accurate reflection on our relationship.

How did you approach this release (All That’s Left To Do Now, Is Sleep With Each Other EP) in terms of writing and recording?

We went in to Melrose Yard Studios in York, worked with another dude with exactly the same name as me. He’s way more talented than me also. It was a pleasure. We wanted a live feel, and that’s what we got. We put ourselves under pressure to come up with three songs, it was tough but if you like it, then we’re happy. Do you like it? If you want to know what the songs are about, do check out the lyrics on Bandcamp: https://theparasitictwins.bandcamp.com/

Max is influenced by people he meets, sees and despises, mostly.

Did you try anything differently this time around than with previous efforts?

We both loved being in Seep Away, but we realised that we have to much respect for each other’s completely pointless misery to separate when that band died a tragic, horrible, fiery death. We’re stuck together now, and there’s nothing we can do about it. So, the only thing we did differently this time was work with each other instead of two or three other musicians. It’s been DELIGHTFUL.

What was it like to record the EP?

We recorded it live, and that’s the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) we like it, for now.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

I like them all. I hope you do too! Wouldn’t it be weird if you published an interview with me saying I hated everything I’ve ever put drums on?

Explain the meaning behind the album title.

Those that know, know. But basically, me and Max have done everything else but sleep with each other, so that’s that. I mean, we’ve never done anything sexual, just to clarify. But, there’s still time, I suppose. He’s so miserable, but I do love him. He has nice pectoral muscles, FYI.

Do you have any dates lined up at present?

Not right now, I’m in a new relationship, not with Max though. Other than that, we play Oldham, Ashton-Under-Lyne, York, Hull and Stockport with our mates in The Carnival Rejects – it’s our first “tour”, and I say it like that, because it isn’t really a tour, but it’s a series of dates, and that’ll be lovely.

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

Massive’ and a bunch of new ones that we’ve not released yet. I’m excited to do those. There’s one called ‘Autopsy’, and it’s very cheery, as you might imagine.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

Seep Away played a couple of shows with Hands Off Gretel, they were great. BUT, with this band, we’re looking forward to shows with Pat Butcher, and Carnival Rejects.

Worst shows? Our first band, not (Seep Away), played with a terrible goth band beginning with R and ending in hombus. One of that band’s members was a dick to my friend, and that’s not okay. Aside from that, it wasn’t our most triumphant show. Maybe because there was too much smoke. Goths love smoke.

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

Code Orange, or Turnstile.

What’s the plan for the rest of 2018?

Celebrating the fact that this interview happened. Thank you for your attention.

https://www.facebook.com/ParasiticTwinsBand

Check out our review of ‘All That’s Left To Do Now Is Sleep With Each Other’ @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/parasitic-twins-all-thats-left-to-do-now-is-sleep-with-each-other/

Questions by Elliot Leaver

RingMaster Review 07/12/2018