Joakem – Mind Matter

Mind Matter is the striking debut album from Cyprus-based singer songwriter, composer, keyboardist Joakem; a release which just blossoms and further impresses play by play. Woven in a magnetic blend of progressive rock and metal it shares tapestries of craft and imagination, they all created with an instinct to tempt.

Joakem (Stelios Ioakim), from his beginnings as a classical pianist, has formed and played in a host of bands including alternative rock outfit Slightly Offensive and melodic death metallers Tørment. Musically, as in rich evidence within Mind Matter, he embraces various threads of styles and flavours in his atmospheric and progressively nurtured sound and as proven by his first full length, it makes for one seriously enjoyable proposition.

The album instantly began to keenly lure ears and attention as opener A Peaceful Place teased with rapaciously edged guitar, its full entrance joined by an equally enticing coaxing from keys. Already what proves to be a distinctive flavouring to the latter is working away on a swiftly found appetite before just as potently Joakem’s vocals add to the temptation. Immediately too, there is an infectious touch and tenacity to the song, one which as the track evolves and reveals a wealth of imaginative twists and turns only intensifies while across its irresistible length, various metal bred colours from extreme to melodic ignite progressive rock instincts to create one fascinating and thrilling start to Mind Matter.

The following Resurgence makes a just as persuasive first impression; Joakem’s almost carnival-esque keys dancing with ears and imagination as riffs reveal a similar creative bent. Lively rhythms soon add to the swiftly captivating incitement before an atmospheric calm if one carrying crepuscular shadows, emerges. This in turn breeds a new wave of tenacious enterprise with keys, vocals, and guitar colluding in the casting of a richly compelling aural painting within which its creator’s classical breeding is a perpetual lure as too the Dave Greenfield (The Stranglers) scented those keys.

One of the album’s early singles is next up, Generation Z a fiery fusion of rock and metal with a snarl in its breath and irritability in its body yet equally a song sharing a reflective calm and spirited animation in its respective tempting and rousing roar. Maybe not as immediately gripping as its predecessors, the track only needed one round of its chorus to banish doubts, that carousing bred on the ever alluring presence of Joakem’s voice and keys before Illusory stepped forward to share its own intrigue lined exploits. It too has a dark edge and tone to its bold exploration of a shady world in sound and word but as potently a melodic radiance which only adds to the thick intimation.

Through the constantly tantalising journey of The Path, another previous single which awoke plenty of attention the way of Joakem, and the mercurial trespass of Terra captivation tightened. The superb first of the two is a blend of aggressive disposition and melodic elegance, though charm fuelled by fire bearing melody while its successor shares an instinctive earthiness with almost psychotic inclinations, twisting and turning with almost bedlamic mastery. A track which took a touch longer to persuade in comparison to others, it emerges as another big highlight as Joakem makes use of his obvious vast palette of sound and imagination.

Treacherous is a far less tempestuous affair though it too erupts in a cyclone of composed melodic and metallic fury led by the driven winds of keys. As with all tracks, it fluidly surges and slips through an array of contrasts and contradictions, impressing with its unpredictability and bold imagination before Departure brings it all to a great close. From an evocative caress of piano, the final song serenades and arouses the senses before rising up in virulent coercion of vocal chords and ardour providing a glorious end to an equally magnificent release.

Wrapped in the stirring artwork of Alexandros Papantoniou, at times Mind Matter is simply sublime and in other moments ridiculously captivating, throughout casting a web of easily addictive enterprise which only leads to our recommendation that you go treat yourselves.

Mind Matter is available now for download/streaming on all digital platforms with physical copies available @

http://www.joakem.com/   https://www.facebook.com/joakemmusic   https://twitter.com/joakemmusic

Pete RingMaster 12/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Infected Syren – Self Titled

Nudging broad attention virtually since they emerged in 2011 and certainly since the release of a demo the following year, Infected Syren are now demanding it with their self-titled debut album. With eleven tracks of rapacious metal infested punk ‘n’ roll, the Cyprus bred outfit grab body and appetite with mischievous intent, rousing energy, and a craft honed in the heart of rock ‘n’ roll.

Nicosia bred and now sharing their time between their country’s capital and London, Infected Syren is said to have come to “finally consider a more serious and dedicated approach towards writing their own material and developing their sound while doing what they love most – performing heavy alternative music!” Certainly you can hear the passion at its heart and the imagination in its character; a proposition which roars with the invasive funkiness of Infected Grooves, the uncompromising punk attitude of The Exploited, the thrash devilry of early Anthrax, and the psychobilly predation of a blend of Grumpynators and Batmobile. It is a stomping incitement embracing familiar traits but all twisted into the fiercely enjoyable individual antics of Infected Syren.

The album opens with the sinister, increasingly intimidating carnival of Infected Circus, a hook woven instrumental easily getting under the skin as guitars suggestively dance and rhythms devilishly swing. It sets the mood and rascality of the release perfectly, the following romp of The B.B.P. similarly manipulative with its hook lined grooves and teasing metal spawn riffs. Guitarists Constantinos Lyras and Louis Syrimis cast a net of infectious exploits within the song’s boisterous body; the latter’s vocals as bold and devious as the addictive textures making up the track.

Already, the release is a swagger of thrash and alternative metal hued rock ‘n’ roll, the band’s punk instincts brewing nicely and erupting more forcibly within UnNormal. From a southern nurtured hook, the track breaks into an inescapably catchy stroll, wiry grooves swiftly entwining the animated beats of Constantinos Syrimis and the lithe canter of Miguel Trapezaris’ bass. With devilment in song and the charismatic vocal deliver of Louis, the track bounds along with the listener taking in calm and volatile scenery with equal ease whilst taking over hips and body like a puppeteer.

It is fair to say that every track within the album is rich in virulent bait and scheming manoeuvres, next up Sick springing its dirty rock ‘n’ roll with frisky buoyancy, bobbing along with attitude and playfulness as punk irritability meets heavy rock intensity, both imposingly irresistible sides entangled in riotous high spirit. The album’s best track is closely rivalled by the punk ‘n’ roll discord coated virulence of Unwanted, the track poking the listener in the chest with its bad attitude whilst toying with them as if a marionette. Heavy metal spices add to thrash instincts within the temptation though again it is the psyche enslaving hooks and grooves which seal the slavery.

Through the psychobilly lined Boogie Stick and the devious ingenuity of The Torture Brothers, the album only tightens its grip on ears and appetite, the first with fevered energy as it stalks the senses spreading aural narcotics laced with Constantinos striking enterprise. Its successor with a similar gait and admittedly flavouring brings its own individual addiction, those hues evolving into an infestation of rock ‘n’ roll which is as toxic as it is a tonic for the spirit, the song laying its hands on a share of best track honours.

Both Divide and Rule and Death After the Melody pretty much match the leading pair, as all tracks come close to in all honesty, their respective defiant groove wired stomp and hungrily swinging trespass each melding metal, punk, and rockabilly textures into one unique carnival of sound and infectiousness. They snarl and tease the imagination, taunt and spark the body into zealous involvement with every note and twist but Infected Syren show themselves just as effective in grabbing the listener’s subservience with unbridled muscle clad, animosity fuelled punk ‘n’ roll, Toothless Tigers the unassailable evidence.

The album closes with Syrens in The Opera, another insatiable imagination stoking instrumental to bask in. It is a fine end to an album we truly cannot get enough of. If Infected Syren cannot stir up real attention and praise their way with this gem of a release something is seriously wrong.

The Infected Syren album is out now on CD and Digitally through most digital music stores and @ https://infectedsyren.bandcamp.com/album/infected-syren

http://infectedsyren.com/    https://www.facebook.com/infectedsyren

Pete RingMaster 16/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright