XII Boar – Pitworthy

XII Boar - Photo Landscape 2

Trampled under the heavy booted sounds of their excellent self-titled debut EP four years ago, UK heavy rockers XII Boar have just got sonically fiercer and more virulently compelling over time. Subsequent releases have continued the ignition of a hungry appetite in the British underground rock/metal scene for their rampantly aggressive and virulently grooved sounds, though nothing before matches up to the thrilling Southern fried might of debut album Pitworthy. Bulked up with ten tracks of muscular temptation with a mischievous glint in their eyes, the album is a thunderous stomp of virulently primal and dirty rock ‘n’ roll.

XII Boar hail from Aldershot and first came to light in 2010. It was not long before their blend of voracious metal and heavily slung rock ‘n’ roll was breeding a potent and loyal local following around Hampshire and the South East of the UK. Growing increasingly more distinct and individual to the band over time, their sound takes the richest and most aggressive strains of stoner, doom, blues, and southern metal and turns it into one incendiary blaze of sound, imagine Black Sabbath and Corrosion of Conformity colluding with Motorhead and Black Tusk for an inkling. It is probably fair to say that their early days which included that first EP, the band musically was offering a familiar if exciting proposal but as the Split Tongue, Cloven Hoof EP of 2012 and especially the single Truck Stop Baby last year came and went, XII Boar showed they were breeding their own musical identity, a presence now grabbing the passions in Pitworthy. It still has an instantly recognisable flavouring but now from the band’s own open sound rather than having a thick feel of others, though ripe hints are still a welcome spicing.

Live XII Boar has continued to impress and lure acclaim too, shows over the years with Corrosion of Conformity, Crowbar, ASG, and Karma To Burn as well as appearances at Bloodstock, Desert Fest, and Hard Rock Hell adding to their rising stature. It is a live feel which also seems to vein the new album, its tracks rampaging with that edge generally stages only inspire and immediately adding extra potency to the creativity and energy of album opener Sharpshooter. The song is introduced by a wrestling/boxing match like ring barker, and its entrance lit by a flame of sonic coaxing from the guitar of Tommy Hardrocks. That initial expulsion is swiftly left behind though as grooves flirt with and immediately entice ears as the thumping beats of Dave Wilbraham begin the incessant and invigorating battering which charges up the whole album. With the great heavy throated lure of Adam Thomas’ bass snarling with bestial temptation within it all, the trio has attention and imagination gripped. Hardrocks vocally roars and growls as the music around him, but already there are unpredictable twists and adventures crawling through the song. With older tracks in many ways once established you knew where they were creatively going but in the first song alone, Pitworthy reveals a fascinating depth and exciting tenacity to pull Coverout the middle finger on expectations. Bottomline though is that the track is one commanding irresistible stomp, with all guns blazing and nostrils flared.

It is the same with the following Young Man, and to be honest the rest of the album too. The second song has a stronger blues spice to its fiery blood, toxic melodies and tantalising grooves providing the intoxicating liquor veining and flowing through the Down meets Desert Storm like shuffle. Rhythmically the track is a strongly enthralling and agitated groan whilst vocally it bellows and melodically it flames within a sultry climate embracing ears and emotions. It is compelling stuff igniting the air before the bruising weight of Crushing the P lumbers in and proceeds to press its own intensive and imposing bulk on the senses. Again though, grooves temper the rugged nature of the proposition, whilst inescapable infectiousness wraps the swing of rhythms and riffs. The song is an on-going predation too; every aspect increasing in magnetism until by its conclusion the crawling posture of the song is pure addiction.

The outstanding flirtation of The Schaeffer Boogie emerges out of those final throes of intensity, the track swiftly breaking into a robust and contagious slab of heavy temptation. Grooves swing with inescapable persuasion, casting an irresistible invitation for all to join their devilry, though we warn that their weighty movement will even worry young hips getting involved over long term exposure. Never taking a breath or allowing one, the song is sheer heavy rock majesty; not demanding, except on the body, and seriously exhilarating.

The grouchy tones of the album’s title track comes next, Hardrocks’ vocals a grizzly web of confrontation and attitude, and backed strongly by Thomas whose bass simply oozes cantankerous sounds and ferocity within the thick tapestry of temperamental and predatory sounds. The track is a tempest of drama and shadowed intrigue too, again every subsequent unexpected detour or twist in the nature and journey of the climactic offering surrounded by a rhythmic and riff sculpted catchiness which has feet and neck muscles exhausted.

The short Cajun aired instrumental Crawdaddy Blues is an ok interlude for the first couple of listens but to be honest ignored as appetite wants to dive back into the punk fury of Chicken Hawk again and again thereon in. The track is a brute of a companion, that punk seeded hostility and urgency a ripe tempting against the pungent heavy metal and ravenous rock ‘n’ roll it is aligned to. Pantera meets Converge yet different again, it is another major pinnacle of the already impressive release, a peak matched by Battle Boar. The rumbling rhythmic heart of the track is an anthemic call in its own right, and the fuse and detonator to a turbulent and hellacious conflict of intensive and insatiable energy. Riffs and rhythms collide with hostile intent, ridden by the equally abrasing and assertive vocals, whilst grooves are venomous and flailing in their scything enterprise. The track is a glorious sonic conflagration but too damn short at less than three minutes.

   Rock City is smoky and at times like sonic vapour on the taste buds, a fine musical whisky which slips across the senses with smooth ease before unveiling its bite and spicy tang. As you would expect grooves and riffs make a tapestry of tart and colourful temptation whilst vocals and the deliciously imposing basslines help spark the old school predation fuelling all classic slabs of uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll. Compelling and rousing, the song is another towering anthem setting emotions up for the closing Quint, an eleven minute savaging unafraid to explore every avenue of heavy rock and ferocious metal whilst painting it all with a sludgy stoner hue. Arguably over long for some, every minute of the track is a new scene to run with and imaginative corner to dive down.

XII Boar has had little difficulty impressing and exciting since their first release but have creatively and musically come of age with Pitworthy. It thrusts the band to the frontline of British rock ‘n’ roll with even broader spotlights potentially awaiting as their excellent album surely begins to lure in the world.

Pitworthy is available now digitally and on CD via http://xiiboar.bandcamp.com/

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

RingMaster 10/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Them County Bastardz – Sick Daze

TCB Press Photo

Sick Daze is an album which reminds us that just maybe we all can slip into the mistake of taking our metal and heavy rock too seriously and that dirty rock ‘n’ roll which is just out to have brawling fun, is as potent and enjoyable as any technically and inventively driven proposition. That is not to say that the new album from Canadian stompers Them County Bastardz is lacking skill and open enterprise, but the seven track romp is all about the heavy riot and thumping devilment of old school metal crossed with voracious country bred rock ‘n’ roll.

Hailing out of Leamington in Ontario, Them County Bastardz rouses up the energies and emotions with a sound taking the southern ferocity of a Pantera and Black Label Society and the grooved predation and attitude of a Bloodsimple and Crowbar, and adding it to the roars of a Hellyeah and Volbeat. It is a brew which does not hold many surprises but relentlessly hits the sweet spot if those kinds of flavours ignite the appetite. It is a head-banger’s heaven with all the spicy grooves and toxic attitude you could wish in a mercilessly bruising and contagious encounter. Sick Daze will probably not top many best of lists come December but in favourites line-ups expect the album to be a persistent regular.

Things are instantly careering into riotous behaviour as opening Drive By spins its sonic wheels and unleashes its unbridled energy in a wall of thumping beats from drummer Jim Kay and the grouchy riffery of guitarists Brien Alexander and Mike Rennie. The song hits its intimidating stride within seconds, the dusty tones of vocalist Andrew Watson stirring up air and mischief as bassist Tyler Wickham adds darker predation to the anthemic belligerence. Neck muscles and voice are just as swiftly enlisted as the track continues to raise controlled but insatiable hell, sirens swarming in the background as band and song begin the album’s mayhem.TCB Cover - Sick Daze

The great start is straight away eclipsed by the excellent In The Country. Opening with police despatch checking out the identity of the band which leads to a panicked alert, the track simultaneously builds up its rhythmic and sonic defiance, an impending attitude led by the thick vocals of Watson who in turn is backed the band’s equally infectious calls. Its full gait and assault still has a somewhat restrained aggression but is merciless in its stalking of ears and inciting of pleasure, especially with things like cow bell mischief adding to spicy blazes of guitar to further ignite the addictively cantankerous persuasion of the song.

Buzz Kill keeps body and emotions locked and loaded on the album’s weighty temptation; the aggressor providing a rowdy but again controlled stroll with abrasing riffs and vocal attitude speared by a groove which is as virulent as it is predatory. Littered with the scorching scythes of Alexander’s guitar, the track is another formidable antagonist upon Sick Daze but matched and surpassed by the bestial treat Metal For Mark which follows after the skit intro of It’s Not Metal which lies between the two tracks. Volatile and viciously captivating, the ravenous Metal For Mark slips into its fury the raw infectiousness of Rob Zombie with the corrosive essences of Prong. Each spicing up the bootleg brewed rock ‘n’ roll snarling from the Canadian rednecks southern ‘breeding’, with extra irresistible tang.

The best track on the album leaves the closing pair of The Bastard and Rise Up some height to match and truthfully they miss its plateau but with a melodically catchy and anthemic magnetism to the first of the two and the final song offering a grizzly growl of southern rock, satisfaction and enjoyment are overflowing in response to their brawly hell-raising.

Sick Daze is rugged rock/metal which relishes a musical and physical quarrel, and only has the appetite to kick up a storm and lead the listener into salacious devilry. Ok it might not be setting down new adventures as such but there is a time to be reminded what rock ‘n’ roll is all about, and this year’s comes with Them County Bastardz.

Sick Daze is available now via Smokehouse Records digitally and on CD @ http://themcountybastardz.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.themcountybastardz.com/   https://www.facebook.com/ThemCountyBastardz

RingMaster 26/02/2015

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Weight of The Tide – Epilogue

WOTT1

The debut album from US heavy hard rockers Weight of the Tide is a seven track foray into a landscape of mountainous rhythms, thunderous riffs, and thick emotive intensity; an encounter which bristles with inventive songwriting and openly impressive craft. There is so much to recommend about Epilogue and its powerful contents but despite that it just does not light a fire in thoughts or emotions with its presence. It is certain to be different for individual ears and tastes yet you cannot help feeling that there is a beast of an incitement lurking inside an album lacking the incendiary spark to bring it to life and grab the attention plenty of its qualities deserve.

The Nevada quartet is the creation of vocalist/guitarist Mark Moots and drummer Jason Thomas, two musicians whose history together embraces the success and impressive sounds of December and individually The Swamp Donkey and Cranium respectively. Formed in 2012, Weight Of The Tide is completed by former Knightfall/Beard The Lion guitarist Jestin Phipps and ex-Red Cel bassist Marcus Mayhall. The band has already sparked strong ripples of attention through their live shows, where they have shared stages with the likes of Eyehategod, Diamond Head, A Pale Horse Named Death, Raven, Volture, Skinlab, 36 Crazyfists, and Gypsyhawk since emerging. Now the band is poised to awaken broader climes with their SpiralArms vocalist Tim Narducci and Drag Me Under guitarist Jeromy Ainsworth recorded and mixed album. As the band’s name suggests, Epilogue and its sound is an imposing and heavy immersive proposition which leaves a healthy appetite for the band ahead in its wake, just not the lustful excitement it could have.

With tracks bred in an exploration of “Love, loss, betrayal and, hopefully, perseverance”, in the words of Moots, Epilogue descends on ears and thoughts firstly with the crushing energy and 4PAN1Tcreative intrigue of Ireland. Its sonic opening is soon drawn into a web of mightily swung beats and sonic resourcefulness, subsequently relaxing into a formidable and inventive examination of the senses. The guitars chug and flame with their varied resourcefulness whilst bass and drums create a barrage of bait and provocation, this around the strong tones of Moots. It is heavily enticing bait which manages to loosen its grip and adventure in places as potent melodies act as a temper to the riveting roar of the song. It is not a big deflation and only satisfaction and praise comes to the persistence of rich ideas and imaginative enterprise still tempting within the song, but it is enough for it to simply smoulder rather than blaze in personal tastes.

The open craft and skills of band and songs, as well as their adventure, is undeniable and just as prominent in the more gripping Proper Goodbye. A tapestry of guitar endeavour and great vocals embraces the listener first, its attraction an emotive enticing within sinew driven rhythms and a rawer provocation of riffs. There is also a sludgy atmosphere to the song which blossoms when the song slips into the dark shadows of increasingly intensive and predatory sounds. Without doubt the song and album is at its best and most inspiring when the band explores these ravenous twists and passages, welcome intrusions only enhanced by the spicy colour of solos and the sonic enterprise with the similarly sculpted yet individual Elder the immediate proof. Its heavy challenging entrance is an inescapable lure but hindered by stepping back in aggression for the Scott Weiland like vocals of Moots, who is at his weakest here and sounding like a fish out of the threatening waters around him.

Things take an unexpected turn next as Turning Point steps forward and the band reveals a pop punk/melodic rock adventure. It in many ways feels totally out of place on the album but is such a thumping and enjoyable fire of melodic energy and beaming enterprise it shines standing like a lighthouse in the dark landscape of Epilogue. Cynically you might say it is the band simply trying to place an open sure fire single of a doorway into the release but as it is one of the tracks which did have body and emotions fully involved there are no issues for us.

Both Stillwater and La Puerta grasp the previous heavy and at times exhausting oppressive sounds of earlier tracks, the first veining its lumbering intensity with a fine sonic toxicity whilst the second has a compelling argument to its aggression and sure swagger to its contagious stride. Each again though evades truly thrilling these maybe demanding ears, though both have varying ingredients, especially the latter, which means again we can only recommend people find out for themselves what these seriously accomplished songs offer.

Ending with the enthralling creative theatre and emotional Crowbar like turbulence of Fear And The Flame, the album leaves a potent impression and definite want to explore Weight Of The Tide closely in the future. Yes it did not get us rushing around exalting its praises but for a great many it is easy to suggest it will.

Epilogue is available now via Undergroove Records @ http://undergroove.bigcartel.com/product/epilogue

https://www.facebook.com/WeightOfTheTide

RingMaster 14/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Raw colours and unsettling hues: an interview with Jérémie Ruiz of Drawers

drawers bassist

Jérémie Ruiz

The new self-titled album from French band Drawers is an encounter dripping testosterone riff and rhythm, a dirt encrusted slab of sludge rock voracity which overwhelms the senses with a metal bred intensity and ferociousness. The band’s second album, it is a raw attention gripping adrenaline fuelled encounter with irresistibly barbed hooks and lingering grooves to feverishly hunger for. We did not need to be asked twice to take up the opportunity to find out more about the band and album with bassist Jérémie Ruiz, with whom we talk band history, sound evolution, live prospects and more…

Hello Jérémie and thanks for joining us at The Ringmaster Review

First up please tell us about the beginnings of Drawers and its members backgrounds.

Drawers started in a garage in 2006 with Olivier (drums) and Alex (guitars) and I (Jérémie / bass). Each of us already had a band and our goal was to play slow, loud and low-tuning metal. We were friends since college and we wanted to play together for a long time. It was supposed to be a side project for us, nothing serious, just playing together and write some heavy riffs.

Then our first singer and Laurent (guitar) joined the band and we started to play live and think about recording an EP.

What was the core thought and intention in the initial direction and presence of the band?

The idea to write spontaneous and heavy music is the main direction since the beginning but the band has grown and some parameters have changed. Drawers is now our main music project and we have to take some things more seriously. We rehearse more than before as we planned to tour and to write some new stuff, beside taking care of merchandizing or searching for a van to tour…

You have just released your excellent and dramatic self-titled second album, how has early receptions been?

Reviews are very good so far. We were very curious about how it would be reviewed because many things have changed since the previous record. We are now very satisfied and we hope this album will help us to tour a lot.

As mentioned it is self-titled and comes with a seeming shift in your sound or its intent, is this so and is the title suggesting the start of a newdrawers chapter for the band or are we reading too much into it?

I think this is more and evolution than a shift. I imagine it can be brutal from the outside and obviously many things have changed since our last recording (on the split with Hangman’s chair, the track Tears never come alone). But our influences did not change that much. We just tried to find a different colour and to use different side of these influences. We have not started to write new songs yet but I think the next ones will be more like Drawers than All Is One. Some elements will always be here, like guitar sound, some drums patterns or Niko’s voice but the next album could be totally different again. We’ll see…

Your first release, the This is Oil EP came out in 2008 to strong responses which were certainly increased with your debut album you just mentioned, All is One three years later. How do you see those releases in relation to what the new album unleashes?

In fact, when we started Drawers, the band was a side project and it was a really good way to play the music we like in a totally brain-free way : we played what we liked and we didn’t think about how it was good or not. That’s why the EP is a big melting-pot of a lot of different kinds of metal. And a lot of friends of us came to make a vocal featuring, despite there being only four tracks! Things became more serious after this EP and a few shows; then we started to write All Is One which is a lot more coherent as an album. After that, I think we can say that our new album Drawers is the result of the same will. We try to do one thing as good as we can, a compact album, right to the point, short and fast!

Right there in the inside of your creativity how do you see your sound has actually changed over the past five years?

Well, seriously our sound didn’t change at all. We use exactly the same gear as our beginning, and we didn’t add or remove a single thing of that! This sound is part of Drawers, we build the band on it so it would be strange to change it now.

Drawers the album, has a power and almost predatory breath which roars at the listener as if there in the room with its physical form. How did you achieve this intensity, was it just down to recording the album live in the studio?

We wrote some short songs, within a short and compact album. Recording live was the logical choice to make to keep this rough and tense atmosphere. This way we kept all the groove and anger from guitars and drum (only guitars and drum were recorded live). Then bass was recorded separately to have a clean, loud shape among all the instruments.

What inspired the shift to this ‘attack’ for the recording process?

We worked with Luc Ferré on the split’s recording (2012) and we wanted him on the new record. We like his way of working but we wanted to try something new especially on the drum. We were after something much more groovy and colored. So Luc asked our friend Amaury Sauvé if he wanted to participate as a “drum recording specialist”. We had known him for his live recording and we were seduced by this process. We are fully satisfied of this method and I think our next studio session will be live.

Is there a specific theme or connection between the songs upon the album and what inspires the lyrical aspect of the band predominantly?a2694686389_2

Lyric topics are very different from a song to another, no obvious links between tracks, except us and our experiences. Niko’s life remains the main inspiration for the lyrics.

We tried to make All Is One a kind of a concept album. Tracks were related to each other and a whole story was told along the lyrics.

Here, there is no such thing. We wanted this album to look like us, we wanted something simple and efficient. The lyrics are about our lives, about what we wanted to say.

How does the writing process work within the band?

We usually write songs together, live, during rehearsals. Sometimes someone comes with an idea or a riff and we build a song from this idea together, adding instruments, one at the time. Then we add the voice and modify the structure if needed. It is pretty simple but it can take weeks for us to write a single song.

For us the new album brings a distinctive presence and sound to you the band whereas previous releases maybe showed your influences more, is that how you see it now you can look back at the finished results?

Yes definitely, we tried to do something more personal. We know that our previous album is showing our influences, at least the ones of the time, and this is something we really wanted to fix. I don’t know if it worked for the new one, but for us it’s a lot more original than before… Only time will tell us if we’re right. Or maybe the next album!

What have been your biggest inspirations as a band and personally?

When we started we tried to make a kind of metal that almost no band in Europe played, even today. A kind of fat sludge southern metal like Crowbar, Eyehategod, and Down. In France there was a sludge band in Paris called Es La Guerilla, and it was the first band we tried to sound like. This band was and remains the only Sludge band in Europe… Well in France there is a lot more Stoner-like music, but not so much dirty fat Sludge…In fact there is nothing at all. Anyway, that’s why we wanted to play this music : nobody plays it here. Besides this, we listen to a lot of different music: old black metal, synth-kraut music, death metal, post-hardcore, almost everything in fact.

It is hard to settle on a favourite track upon the album, it changing with every listen, but Detour always leaves a major persuasion. Can you tell us about the track and its breeding?

We wrote this one in the middle of our writing process, I think it crystallized all we wanted to put in a song : heavy riffing, a bit of blast beat for the aggressiveness, a lot of low chords, and a catchy chorus. Rock music.

Is there anything in particular on the album, a song or just a moment, which gives you a bigger tingle of pleasure?

Mourning has something special for me. All the songs are about some important part of our lives but this one corresponds to a sad moment of Niko’s.  Recording this one was a tough moment for him and I got goose bumps every time I listen to it.

drawers2You are renowned for your live performances, the energy unleashed, and simply your hunger to play shows; we can assume 2014 will be a non-stop torrent of gigs in support of the album and beyond?

We wish it would be a non-stop torrent of gigs, but unfortunately it is not that simple to tour a lot yet. Our goal is to play a lot, especially outside France and we are still looking for contacts and gigs.

We will start with a French tour for the album’s release, then we will play in a few festivals and we may be touring again around September/October.

Any specific plans or prospective shows you can reveal here?

We start a tour in France tomorrow (3/16) for a few gigs, one in Paris with Corrosion Of Conformity. After that we’re going to play with Crowbar in Toulouse! We’re very excited about those gigs! We play as much as we can, and we’re always looking for shows.

Thanks again for sharing your time with us.

Thanks a lot to you Ringmaster!

Any thought you would like to leave us to consider?

Louder is better.

Read the review of Drawers @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/drawers-self-titled/

http://www.facebook.com/drawerskvlt

Pete Ringmaster

The Ringmaster Review 28/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Lumberjack Feedback – Hand of Glory

The Lumberjack Feedback 2013 - © Mathieu Drouet

Dramatic and compelling, the Hand of Glory EP from French instrumental metallers The Lumberjack Feedback is a masterful journey through cavernous shadows and depths, a tension packed encounter of doom and sludge metal. Consisting of two tracks lasting seventeen minutes between them, the EP is a stunning debut from the Lille based quintet, a provocative apocalyptic soundscape exploring its own darkness and that of the listener.

Consisting of the twin dual attacks of guitarists Simon Herbaut and Arnaud Silvert plus drummers Nicolas Tarridec and Christopher Poirier, with bassist Sebastien Tarridec adding his terrific presence into the mix, The Lumberjack Feedback has earned strong praise for their live performances which has seen them alongside bands such as Crowbar, Gojira, Kylesa, The Oxbow, Wolf Eyes, Spacemen 3, Grey Daturas, Acid King, and Hangman’s Chair. It will be their first release though which will undoubtedly set them as a potent fixture in the acclaim and vision of the widest audience such the power and creative might of the Kaotoxin Records released and Billy Anderson (Neurosis, Cathedral, EyeHateGod, Cattle Decapitation) produced EP.

Opening track A Whisper to the Thunder takes mere seconds to entice the ear with a guitar beckoning soon joined by that 760137002529_TOX025_The-Lumberjack-Feedback_Artwork_600x600-72hypnotic twin drum assault, their craft and temptation measured yet instantly enslaving. There is an energy and hunger to the beginning of the song which makes for a contagious sludge drenched call, riffs carving out a virulent persuasion whilst rhythms and bass define their own enthralling menace to combine for a primal seduction wrapped in a fluid evolution of imaginative and evocative melodic and sonic narrative. Thoughts of bands such as Neurosis and Sunn O))) come to mind but as the piece moves through a piercing sonic tunnel into a heavily weighted and rapaciously intensive dark doom landscape the sound takes on something distinctly unique to the band and visually provocative. The skies have a villainous hue over the track at this point as it lumbers purposefully with a predatory stalking and proceeds to claim any thoughts of escape as it climaxes with a simple but intrusive and lingering sonic breath.

It is an immense start soon matched and evolved further by second track The Dreamcatcher.  Again riveting rhythms from the drums make an earlier invitation which is instinctively impossible to resist, their sinews pacing along the developing wash of guitar brewed sonic mist and the continually thrilling bass provocation. As with its predecessor there is not theatrical invention or awe inspiring technical wizardry going on but the atmospheres and imagery spawning textures as well as melodic emotional painting being created by every skilful and clear but connecting aspect given clarity by each member is scintillating and impossibly powerful. The mesmeric stroll of the first third of the song comes to a point where the brewing climate entices an unleashing of intensive sonic flames and mutually fierce rhythms before flexing even further muscle in an even paced and exhausting investigation of its deepest corners and those of the listener too. The climatic conclusion to the piece towers over the senses, first marked by a flurry of striking punches before closing on one last enriching fire of intensity and sound, and leaves thoughts and passions suddenly alone within their own stark dark world.

Hand of Glory is an outstanding debut and release, but one which in some ways even at its length does not offer enough to really get the teeth into. This is because you only feel you are getting part of a much larger and incredible story or journey. Whether these are teasers to a full length time will tell but as impressive as it is the hunger and expectations on an album will be excited and demanding. The EP is a daunting adventure which inspires without ever using demanding intimidation and as such makes itself a must investigate introduction to a band we will be hearing much more of and one suspects fawning over in the future.

http://www.thelumberjackfeedback.com/

9/10

RingMaster 04/07/2013

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King Hiss: Snakeskin

King Hiss

With nostrils flaring and muscles flexing to their limits Snakeskin, the debut album from Belgium rockers King Hiss, is a mountainous terrain of thunderous rhythms, voracious riffs, and exhausting energy.  It is  a powerhouse of a release which draws the potent essences of melodic metal, hard rock, and stoner rock, not forgetting at times a caustic breath of hardcore, into a confrontation which leaves the senses ignited and passions soaring. Consisting of seven tracks feeding off  inspirations from the likes of Red Fang, Black Tusk, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, and Clutch, Snakeskin is a powerhouse of an album, one injecting new blood and predatory strength into rock music.

As soon as it emerges from a sonic mist and finds its feet, the opening title track launches into a tirade of contagious riffing and a4123523464_2rhythmic barracking, a tight beckoning groove winding the passions around its call within moments of its appearance. The vocals of Jan Coudron begin their impressive narrative next, his voice having an excellent grizzled tone and a melodic power which sends every syllable to its target with purpose and appeal. It is an instantly enthralling encounter rising to greater temptation with the ridiculously catchy chorus and further seductive grooves amidst a tempest of rhythmic provocation from drummer Jason Bernard and bassist Dominiek Hoet. Such its immense presence there is a slight suspicion the rest of the alum will struggle to match its heights but its successor soon dispels any doubts.

    Into The Mountains opens with a carnivorous bass groan and rolling drums, their jabbing persistence hypnotic and persuasive alongside the predatory lines of Hoet. It is another irresistible start taken to greater heights when guitarist Josh Fury unleashes sizzling melodic flames and air carving craft. It is an absorbing blaze soon taking on an intensity and raw almost muggy encroachment which sears flesh and soars across the senses raining down sonic adventure alongside further vocals persuasion. The track easily matches the opener and though across the chorus there is something familiar, though impossible to pin down, it is another refreshing and impacting treat, especially the blues lined solo leading to a riotous climax.

Both D&F and Endorphine swagger and stroll through the ear to equally impressive effect, the southern rock whispers in the sound heated and sinewy, especially in the towering hard rock embrace of the first of this pair whilst the second reveals sturdier textures and dramatic fires within its Mastodon meets Kyuss like invention. Again grooves dangle pure irresistible temptation from their lures whilst vocally the group harmonies find an emotive heart not lacking in previous songs but given a clearer canvas to lay out their rich feelings here. Though both tracks just miss grabbing the plateau set by their predecessors they still capture the imagination and compel the passions to greedily accept them.

    Rollergirl though is not happy to accept second best and from her opening crescendos of fire bred sonics and tsunami tall rhythms rampages with high octane energy and virulently compelling infection loaded riffs and hungry drum enticement, the bass groaning with primal rabidity whilst acidic melodic fascination from the guitar scorches ear and beyond with skill and imagination. It is another bruising triumph which colours the passions until full but still lustfully wanting more.

The final pair of tracks ensures there is not one ounce of dissatisfaction or unfulfilled appetite, The Greater Good an ear burning, senses tearing juggernaut of hard rock and classic metal spicery wrapped in the passionate muscle bound vitality that is King Hiss whilst the closing Word Made Flesh, from its opening bass devouring of the ear, is a scintillating rapacious consumption from a delicious and insatiable rhythmic ravaging and sonic scalding. Like Crowbar meets The Sword it is an epic and towering conclusion to a staggering album.

Whether Snakeskin offers anything new can be debated but you know when something sounds this good and raises passions and energy to such heights, who really cares. King Hiss is a force of the future, hell they have already made a deep branding am mark with this, one of the albums of the year.

http://www.king-hiss.com/

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Howl – Bloodlines

pic Andrew Fladeboe

pic Andrew Fladeboe

 

Following their for the main impressive debut album Full Of Hell of 2010, anticipation for the follow-up release from US metallers Howl as they hopefully built on the promise ignited with the first record was certainly fuelled by a level of eagerness. This was a band which showed a sludge/stoner/doom mentality and strength which suggested major things from them ahead. The release of Bloodlines via Relapse Records, certainly shows the Providence, Rhode Island band as having evolved and expanded their sound though maybe to the detriment of real clarity of their direction but then predictability has no place in music so there is no problem with the stance of the new album in that respect. It does though leave a sense of missing its target. Bloodlines ravages the ear with accomplished potently sculpted aggressive sounds and an undoubted passion but it fails to ignite the passions and fervour their earlier promise suggested possible,  it is simply a release which just has not anything truly new to say.

It should be said right away that Bloodlines is a thoroughly enjoyable and commanding confrontation, the release showing the band evolving and honing their immense power through their relentless touring ethic which has seen the band alongside the likes of Saint Vitus, Kylesa, Pentagram and numerous others. Recorded with producer Zeus (Hatebreed, Crowbar, Terror), the album is a muscle bound predator with intimidating rhythms, malevolent riffs, and devious sonic acid combining to be an undeniably satisfying aggressor. It has hooks which carve lingering moments and a prowling snarl that has the measure of the defences and appetite yet at no moment does the album light a fire, something its predecessor was more successful at.

Opening track Attrition makes a rich and attention grabbing entrance, the early flames of guitar a sonic beckoning upon chewing 4pnl_folderurgent riffs and firm rhythms. Into its stride the track prowls and stomps with sinews pressing the ear and vocals scowling like a bear in heat, Mastodon and even more so Black Tusk references rearing their head quite soon on. Bass and drums provide a sturdy cage around the enterprising guitar teases and sonic cuts, and by its departure the song has lit a definite appetite for the release which the following Midnight Eyes with its rampaging drums and scything melodic blades alongside persistently niggling riffs has the fight for. A carnivorous death metal breath marks its charging metal gait whilst the song twists and turns on its feet, a thick stoner persuasion emerging from the savage intensity before changing into a doom lined finale.

The Devildriver like Demonic leaves an exhausting and enterprising if familiar onslaught upon the ear with a sonic wind from the guitar spiralling within the brewed raptorial intensity, whilst the likes of the excellent Down So Low and the equally impressive With A Blade reach higher pinnacles for the album. The first of the two emerges from a chilling sinister ambience, a heavy malevolence in vocals and energy wrapping its leering presence around the ear with devilish intent within a mesmeric yet muscular stoner embrace. The track soon brings thrash elements in to press thoughts and emotions to their limits before returning to the almost crawling insidious invidiousness. The second of the two again finds a compelling union of nastily aggressive intensity and a melodic touch which sears with acidic might and craft. The tracks standout with their inventive intent and ready to shuffle up their pace, energy, and directions, though again neither dramatically or effectively unveil anything new of enough potency to open up ardour or feisty passion. Of War is one song though which is close to doing both things, and though it like the others is delivering recognisable weaponry, the track is an anthemic and contagious storm from which its Lamb Of God toned voice makes a familiar but tempting call.

The Mouth of Madness with its vindictive bass sound and the closing rapacious Embrace Your Nerve complete the album with strength and notable craft if failing to find the lure of the bigger triumphs on Bloodlines. Maybe it is being unfair to expect the band to immediately fulfil the promise previously suggested and without doubt the album is one which gets the job done and makes for a pleasing hour or so but the feeling of a lost opportunity and a tinge of disappointment does accompany the release. With emerging bands such as XII Boar and especially Desert Storm finding original and far more heady heights with their new album, Howl have some evolving still to do to persuade ears and passions to go their way.

https://www.facebook.com/HowlHeavyMetal

7.5/10

RingMaster 30/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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