Numb – Self Titled

September is proving this year’s most productive month for striking releases and to support the claim allow us to introduce the debut album from British outfit Numb. The self-titled introduction offers up eight slices of rousing multi-flavoured rock littered with imagination spearing hooks and ear thrilling grooves. The band is also no lightweight in casting fiery seductive melodies and a rhythmic incitement which has feet and hips as submissive as the senses to the combined temptation.

Formed in 2015, Numb was the rekindling of an already established long term musical collaboration between guitarist songwriter Darren Caven-Quantrill and multi-instrumentalist composer Barney Byron (The Calling, Audioeinstein) which quickly enlisted lyricist and vocalist Lee Rayner. With its line-up subsequently completed by drummer Damo Falkowski (Deadeye), the Northampton band took their time writing and honing the sound now lighting up their debut like a beacon.

The album instantly has ears seriously attentive with the initial groove of Common Love, the lure a riveting enticement soon supported by rhythmic tenacity and a wave of infectious riffs. Establishing a stirring surge of rock ‘’n roll, the track continues to build its body and alternative nurtured temptation. The vocals of Rayner similarly grab the appetite, his tone and words bouncing on the web of guitars and bass as a great blues spicing lines the grooving and urgency guides riffs and beats but with a control and invention which enhances the instinctive infectiousness of it all.

It is an outstanding start swiftly eclipsed by the following Love Of The Cartel (Part 2). Instantly a Latin melody hugs grooves as the track seduces with a great Breed 77 like air, indeed there is a feel of the band’s frontman, Paul Isola, to Rayner’s tone. Swinging with eager and muscular dexterity, the song is pure temptation grabbing body and spirit with swift success. Not for the last time in a Numb song there is a feel of rockabilly spiced rock ‘n’ roll at work within the tapestry of metal and heavy rock and that catchiness which again simply infests the psyche.

Everyman Deserves The Right To Choose His Own Path To Hell comes next, it too sharing a spicing of the aforementioned Gibraltar band within its more composed gait. Riffs jab as beats stab, melodic flames surrounding the potent vocals of Rayner as it heads to another contagion loaded chorus so easy to get wrapped up in. There is a great theatre to the song which is only enhanced by the Muse-esque venture of the guitar towards its tantalising finale, a spirit sparking climax perfectly setting up the appetite for the compelling enterprise of Time. The stringed temptation of the guitars is instant seduction and only accentuated by the rampaging thick tide of riffs and the tone gurning bass. The song relaxes into a stable energy as vocals enter the affair but eventually everything becomes turned on and hits top gear with mouth-watering imagination. The song is glorious, never settling down into any sense of predictability with each cycle a new and fresh adventure.

There is an industrial hue to certainly the opening bait of The Tears You Cry, its cosmopolitan suggestion aligned to thought teasing melody before it all evolves into a raptorial rock ‘n’ roll prowl led by Rayner’s expressive presence. The bolder invention of its predecessor is more subdued in the track but not absent and it does not stop it grabbing tightly ears and a by now greedy appetite for the release and increasing the pleasure. That extra strain of imagination is saved instead for successor Love Of The Cartel (Part 1). Why part 1 is after 2 we cannot say but the track is a journey of sound and emotion in its own extensive right. Caressing melodies court Rayner’s emotive voice, the bass a melancholic yet vibrant companion as the song reveals its creative and emotional drama. Like a growing battlefield within which sabre like hooks flash and fly as riffs and running grooves entwine and rhythms badger the senses, the track is sheer magnetism. In time volatility hits voice and heart, antagonism fuelling emotional outbursts before it is all pulled back into the surging infection of the thrilling encounter.

The release is concluded by the final pair of War and Burn. The first carries a steely antagonism in its riffs and rhythms, a defiant attitude which shapes the song’s physical and vocal character as well as its melodic reflection, while the second rumbles and grumbles with a Danzig like hue, twisting with irritability and turning with complimenting temptation. Both tracks leave greed for band and sound further intense and with us an already impatient anticipation for what comes next from Numb.

There are numerous times when as a reviewer you feel really blessed to have the opportunity to cover new music and there are other times when you feel truly honoured; this is one of the latter moments.

The Numb album is available now through Attic Records @ http://atticrecordsuk.bigcartel.com/product/numb

https://www.facebook.com/NUMB.co.uk/    https://twitter.com/Numbsters

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bloodclot – Up in Arms

Pic Rick Rodney

Bringing together the highly recognised talent of certain individuals from various acclaimed bands does not always guarantee something special but in the case of Bloodclot, it feels a given such the instinctive union between its collective. The band is the coming together of Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph, former Danzig and Murphy’s Law guitarist Todd Youth, drummer Joey Castillo formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig, and Eagles of Death Metal, and Mondo Generator frontman and ex- Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri. Together they confirm that given with debut album Up in Arms, a physical and lyrical roar of hardcore defiance.

Unleashing twelve ravenous slices of punk rock with more inescapable hooks than found in Leatherface’s pantry, all fuelled by raw irritability at the state of the world today, Up in Arms is a crowd uniting battle cry. It fuses familiar essences with the fresh appetite and invention of a quartet seemingly destined to come together at some point. Everything about it is as organic as it is rabid, as challenging as it is rousing; taking no prisoners but rewarding those who it devours time and time again.

The album’s title track crashes in on the listener first, springing from an invasive sonic mist with a slavery of guitar and rhythmic predation as Joseph pokes and stirs the senses with voice and word. Castillo’s beats are rapier sharp and imposing, Oliveri’s bass carries an infectious brooding whilst Youth’s riffs and hooks ensnare across four eventful minutes.

It is an ear gripping, appetite inflaming beginning which only kicks up a gear with the following Fire, a belligerent brawl of punk ‘n’ roll instantly chaining ears with a  virulent hook as rhythms jab and incite. If the Angelic Upstarts was merged with Sick Of It All, this could be their anthem while Manic infuses an even greater physical psychosis and unforgiving attitude to the torrential gait of its predecessor in its own addictive multi-flavoured rumble.

Through the sonic call to arms scourge of Kill the Beast and the Dead Kennedys scented Prayer, new twists of sound and invention force themselves through ears, each with a virulent strain of spiky hooks and body twisting grooves, while their successor has things bouncing like a dervish. Siva / Rudra is a contagion of enterprise as cantankerous as it is exotically seductive marked, as all three, by Oliveri springing basslines as funky as they are carnal. Alongside, Youth’s riffs and grooves come as primal as they are compelling whilst Joseph squeezes every ounce of uncompromising adventure and emotional incitement out of tone and syllable.

Soldiers of the New Babylon locks metal and punk together in its prickly vent, a testy proposition woven with nagging riffs and a magnetically throbbing bassline before Kali throws all those attributes into an insatiable maelstrom of punk rock temptation, taking best track honours along the way. Barely seeing the one minute mark, the track is irresistible but swiftly rivalled by the crabby assault of Slow Kill Genocide, the catchiness moment within Up in Arms and arguably the most choleric.

Pure punk rock truculence shapes the breath-sapping antics of the following Slipping into Darkness, Oliveri spawning his most addictive moment within the album bound in the searing flames of Youth’s guitar as vocals and beats vent their animosity with Life as One backing up its triumph with its mercurial but always commandingly imposing tapestry of quarrel and imagination.

The album is closed by You’ll Be the Death of Me, a slab of rock ‘n’ roll taking big chunks out of the senses as it excites with its Lard-esque espionage. Addiction has never been more vicious and seductive within three and a half minutes, certainly in recent times, as that spawned by the outstanding finale to one of the year’s biggest treats so far.

Produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Revocation) and mixed by Kyle McAulay at NRG, Up in Arms transcends being just a great release from another so called ‘super group’, it has given hardcore a fresh new breath and snarl which we can only hope is the first of many gales from Bloodclot.

Up in Arms is out now on Metal Blade Records across most stores and @ https://bloodclot.bandcamp.com/album/up-in-arms

https://www.facebook.com/bloodclotofficial/   https://www.instagram.com/Bloodclot2016/

Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Grumpynators – City Of Sin

People talk of “the difficult second album”, especially after a debut which leaves a trail of lustful fans and critical acclaim in its wake, something the first from Danish band Grumpynators certainly did. If it has been a tough period for the Copenhagen quartet it does not show within City Of Sin, their second album a seriously rousing and accomplished slab of muscular rock ‘n’ roll, or as the band calls it motorbilly. As impressive as Wonderland was, its successor outshines it in every way, from songwriting to sound, energy to contagion; it is a mouth-watering and exhilarating incitement leaving a deep and greedy hunger for more.

Formed in 2011, Grumpynators’ ever escalating reputation and rock ‘n’ roll prowess has been unmissable from day one, the band tearing up venues at a rate of knots while their first two EPs were no slouches in waking up ears beyond their already eagerly receptive homeland. It was Wonderland which truly caught broad attention though, something City Of Sin can and will only open the floodgates for. Grumpynators’ sound sits somewhere between metal and hard rock, psycho/rockabilly and punk; distinctive from day one it has only honed a uniqueness which fuels the beauty and triumph of City Of Sin today. Quite simply rock ‘n’ roll is the best way to describe it; the most arousing, devilishly aggressive, and irresistible kind making their new album essential stomping.

Produced by the renowned Jacob Hansen and featuring Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano, City Of Sin has ears and admittedly an already eager appetite because of past successes reeling from its first breath as opener Tears Of Whiskey bursts upon the senses. Straight away the driving beats of Per Fisker whip up hungry energy, the slapping incitement of Jakob Oelund’s double bass just as insatiable and matched by riffs and inflamed grooves. Feet and spirit are a quick submission to the bait; Grumpynators continuing to grip both with their Motorhead meets Volbeat scented charge led by the inciting vocal growl of Emil Oelund.

It is an outstanding start still managing to be eclipsed by the following pair of roars. First up is Hotel 2nd Age which needs barely seconds to hook allegiance with its initial melodic line. Christian Noergaard is a master at spinning the most addictive hook lined lures and webs, they often seemingly simple but always honed to instinctive temptation as here. As the initial tendril continues to wind around ears, a just as potent rally from Per joins in, riffs gathering behind before initiating one boisterous canter. If that was not enough to tempt the devil, Jakob uncages a deliciously throbbing bassline, raw seduction which is unrelenting from hereon in to add to the virulent and bold tango. With each hook seeming to intensify in taunting the passions as exotic hues tease from within Christian’s enterprise as Emil’s vocals and riffs further stir things up, the track is just glorious and quickly matched by its successor.

New praise gathering single Take The Last Dance With Me launches at ears with a zeal and energy again impossible not to be caught up in, riffs and rhythms colluding in tenacity as they lead to a chorus which simply demands participation. A song to ensure blossoming romances within any mosh pit it stomps and pumps its sinews like The Pirates meeting Misfits in many ways, but as all stands as something uniquely Grumpynators while preying on the weakness for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll.

Things relax a touch as the swinging throes of Then We Cried takes over, sharing its regrets and wishes borne from lost love. Jakob alone has the body bouncing, the heart yearning with the melancholic melody as Emil’s words which court self-reflection. As inherently and persuasively catchy as anything on the release; it’s tempting is full and multi-faceted ensuring thick involvement of the listener though that last lure applies to all songs as proven straight after again by Pretty Little Devil. Musically as tempting and darkly seductive as the temptress at its heart, the song croons and roars with that bass again instant slavery from within nothing but addictive temptation.

Through the heavy metal toned Far Away with its exhausting sonic gasoline and the rockabilly swinging Now I Know, the album shows even more of the diversity and adventure flowing through the Grumpynators release and imagination. The irresistible sing-a-long potency of the latter is just as persuasive in the psychobilly hued Fame, a spellbinding proposal with something of The Peacocks and Danzig about it, and indeed within St. Elvis Day after that; a song which you would expect is pure rock ‘n’ roll, a multi-flavoured romping stomping celebration.

The album’s title track sets another vertigo inducing peak in the lofty landscape of City Of Sin, the track managing to be the dirtiest most insatiably infectious slice of rock possible, almost poppy in its vocal chords stoking chorus. With rhythms relentlessly probing and sparking movement as Emil roars, the track is a bone shaking, spirit infesting uproar.

The album concludes with firstly the punk ‘n’ roll stand of We Are The Outcasts, anthemic defiance to hook and unite personal grievances with, and lastly the horror punk lit, blood strewn warning of Werewolf; together a thrilling end to an exceptional creative howl.

After Wonderland we will admit we wondered if Grumpynators could better it. Little did we know; better it? They have smashed it.

City Of Sin is released March 24th through Mighty Music.

Upcoming Live shows

24/3 Drafthouse, Hamburg (DE)

25/3 High Voltage, Copenhagen (DK).

7/4 Tante Olga, Randers (DK)

8/4 Paletten, Viborg (DK)

22/4 Sønderborghus, Sønderborg (DK)

http://www.grumpynators.dk/   https://www.facebook.com/grumpynators

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Thirteen Shots – Self Titled

13 Shots_RingMasterReview

Though the band is no longer active, the hunger and want for Thirteen Shots continues to be vocal. The new release of a self-titled compilation album is a dose of their raw and voracious horror punk sure to be devoured and earn many more belated fans as it treats ears to the best of the band as a free proposal. Bringing together fifteen tracks spanning the band’s releases, one previously unreleased track, and an irresistible live take of the band’s mighty track Graveyard Stomp, the album is an offer no fan or horror punk loving newcomer to the British outfit should and will be able to resist.

Formed by the now Hamburg, Germany residing Johnny Rose and featuring Lewis Manchip, George Chick, Joe Dempster, Chelsea McCammon, and Tom Fenn in its line-ups, the Birmingham hailing Thirteen Shots unleashed a distinct and rousing form of rock ‘n’ roll as seeded in sixties garage rock and blues as horror punk itself. From debut album Vaudeville of 2012, through subsequent releases such as Tales That Start With A Whisper the following year, the 2014 White Noise EP, and their final outing through second album Black Smiles last year Thirteen Shots pushed their boundaries and expanded their sound without losing the incisive rough diamond roar which marked them out from day one. The new compilation brings it all into one thrilling place; all together for one final stomp.

First track is the fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Cobradeer, an encounter which flies from the traps, drops into a predacious prowl before bursting into a rush of fiercely slapping rhythms and ferocious riffs led by the distinct vocals of Rose. It provided a rousing introduction to Black Smiles originally and makes the same attention grabbing impact here before passing ears over to the flesh dropping infections of band classic Zombies From The USSR. Cored by a delicious Caped Crusader like hook, the track expels raptorial grooves and vocal incitement in a battle cry/warning rising up against undead hordes which just gets under the skin and into the psyche.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe variety in the band’s sound has been an open book and illustrated in the garage blues blaze of Nekrosexual and the following drama of Bewitched as well as across the album. The first is a scuzzy roar while the second again uncovering a hook which just fits an eager appetite, uncages predatory basslines and irritable riffs as Rose scowls in the colourful horror punk confines of the excellent encounter.

Within the Thirteen Shots catalogue numerous tracks were like beacons to their presence and sound, arguably the most tempting being Danzig. A tribute to the obvious, the song is a swinging punk brawl wearing its influence clearly but casting is own horror punk ‘n’ roll character with more hooks and temptations than a stripper at a fishing convention.

Punk rock in varying degrees is also an ever present in the band’s sound, Get In My Crypt for example simply fuelled by it in its virulent charge wrapped in metallic flames while other songs like Night Of Sin infuses it into their own individual imaginations, it a liquor soaked blues rock proposal with searing grooves and restrained but heavy rhythms. The outstanding Dead Girls Don’t Scream takes the vital essence into a psychobilly spiced romp, like Misfits meets Resurex while wearing a New York Dolls t-shirt. It is also another of those songs which the band is particularly memorable and noted for, a rock ‘n’ roll stomp to get lustful over.

Through the writhing blues grooved Padded Cell Blues, the scuzzy heavy metal Sabbath-esque riff loaded crawl of Doom, and the severely infectious rockabilly lined stroll of First American Sweetheart, the album does what all good compilations should do; reveal and celebrate the depth and invention of its focus. The last of the trio especially whips up the spirit with its hard rock grooves and garage punk contagion offering something akin to Turbonegro meets The Heartbreakers.

Grooves are equally a major tempting within next up Tales That Start With A Whisper, twisting within ears with salacious intent as the track shares classic/glam rock misbehaviour equipped with the spiciest hooks before Black Eyed Girl enters with a flirtatious and slightly sinister prowl like a dark dusted feline seductress swinging melodic hips to blues bred flames.

There have been a few songs from the band too which have blossomed to greater heights over listens rather than with an instantaneous convincing; the raw shuffle of Black Smiles being one which proves its point perfectly amongst its companions on the album though gaining its first ever outing here, Creak’n The Coffin needs little time to grab ears and the passions. A contagious punk driven slab of rock ‘n’ roll, it stomps and roars with all the flavours the band has consistently shown itself so adept at weaving into their raucous proposals.

The album is completed by the sultry blood red romance of Lost Soul with its mariachi laced smoulder and finally that stomping live roar of Graveyard Stomp, which while drawing eager participation, reminds us what we are all missing from the band at each and every venue they graced.

There are certainly tracks we would have added to the album, This Looks Like A Job For Batman for one, but Thirteen Shots is undoubtedly the life and creative voice of the band to a tee and a certain must for all punk ‘n’ roll fans. Go check it out and grab a rare and free treat @ http://thirteenshots.bandcamp.com/ with a possible very ltd edition CD possible if demand is high and similarly a final UK tour from the band if they are wanted; so go tell them @ https://www.facebook.com/thirteenshotsband

Thirteen Shots is also available for FREE from Google Play and available to stream from Spotify and Deezer from Undead Artists.

Pete RingMaster 09/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I

COTN8_RingMaster Review

There are some releases where it is difficult to imagine anyone not being gripped by their proposals and such a triumph is the new self-titled album from US metallers Curse of the North. It is a beast of instinctive and addictive virulence that blends the ripest essences of heavy and classic metal with the muscular invention of modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which seems to hone in on personal tastes, taps into the psyche to discover its deepest pleasures and then unleashes them across eight rigorously rousing encounters. Quite simply it is one of the most invigorating albums this year to set ears and passions alight.

Born in Seattle, Curse of the North currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Christiaan Morris, former 3 Inches of Blood member Nick Cates on bass, and Burke Thomas of McKagan’s Loaded and Vendetta Red on drums. Formed in 2010, the band has toured and shared stages with the likes of Red Fang, The Sword, Eyehategod, Destruction, Death Angel, Lord Dying, Valient Thorr, Kadavar, The Shrine, and Gypsyhawk whilst 2011 saw the release of their Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword, Botch) produced first EP Revelations. A few line-up shuffles have also been part of the band’s growth which now unleashes Curse of the North: I. Produced by Morris and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Toxic Holocaust), with mastering undertaken by Ed Brooke, the album leaps on the listener from its first moment, the opening and every subsequent breath a roar of thick temptation.

Sleep While You Can is the first slab of persuasion, its start alone pure magnetism as Thomas creates a web of rhythmic arousal to set things in motion. Flames of guitar cross the compelling drum bait as the vocals of Morris spring their own enticing, a Glenn Danzig flavouring lining his tones and equally the shadows within the emerging tenacious metal canter of the track. Classic metal hues dance on ears too as a modern fusion of riffs and hook laded enterprise courts the imagination, the result being one terrific groove veined stomp.

COTN cover_RingMaster Review   It is a mighty start taken another level by Wheel of Swords, another track with an irresistible start to its creative alchemy. A great nagging from riffs as rhythms tumble vivaciously coaxes ears first, their lure replicated in varying tones as sterner grooves and muscular predation swiftly looms up with the again potent vocals of Morris at their helm. Like Black Tusk meets Baroness with a spicing of Sabbath and Clutch to it, the song has energy and pleasure in its hands with quick ease, handing over an exhausted and rapturous body to the following Into The Trees and its mellow climate around melodic prowess. Keys emotively caress as the guitars strokes the senses with elegant suggestiveness to match the melancholic voice of Morris. The first half of the song is wrapped in this mesmeric beauty, its second a rugged landscape of again incendiary rhythms amidst tangy classic metal/rock endeavour and striking vocals.

As good as everything is to this point, the best song on the album in The Tower eclipses it. Building up its intensity and hunger through early scythes of sound, the track quickly releases its handbrake and charges through ears like Therapy? on steroids. Its torrent of riffs and ravenous hooks storms the barricades like a transatlantic cousin to anything on Troublegum from the Northern Ireland trio, its contagiousness and vocal furor similar whilst creating its own uniquely irresistible tempest. The song is breath-taking, seemingly knowing where the personal sweet spot is and hitting it relentlessly, even when slipping into a dark theatre of sinister gothic intrigue.

Thomas is rhythmically imperious on the track, as everywhere to be fair, continuing his enslaving web of craft in The Electric Wall and especially the outstanding Blessed Burning. Morris and Cates are an equal incendiary match though as the first of the two tracks sees the band creating a High on Fire/Kyuss like mountain of creative tenacity and heavy rock ‘n’ roll seduction whilst its successor, from another hypnotic rampant rhythmic trap, strolls across Queens Of The Stone Age/ Mastodon toned terrain of sonic and vocal passion. The references given across all songs are mere colours in something distinctly Curse of the North, especially emphasized when as here the guitars spin a bluesy imagination as an intimate atmosphere soaks the song.

Oceans Rise lowers the intensity if not the emotive temperature next, well certainly for its opening moments as soon it too is a cauldron of thickly jabbing beats and sonic ferocity. Along its riveting length, the assaults and aggression ebbs and flows to fluid and powerful effect, the song an undulating roller coaster of a confrontation which, as the album, just gets richer and more imposingly enjoyable over time.

The album comes to an end through the sultry blues/surf rock seducing of Faceless Killers, a sonic and melodic bewitchment which too only blossoms to greater heights with every partaking of its sweltering, increasingly volcanic landscape. It is a stunning end to simply one of the major treats of 2015; a leviathan of rock ‘n’ roll to get seriously lustful over.

Curse of the North: I is out October 23rd via Static Tension Recordings.

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

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Thirteen Shots – Black Smiles

Thirteen Shots - Promo Picture_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

With every release since they emerged in 2011 and unleashed the instantly captivating track Danzig, UK rockers Thirteen Shots has evolved their sound, each encounter seeing the Birmingham quartet infuse richer and broader flavours and styles into their core tempest of horror bred rock ‘n’ roll. Each step has also come with an increasing amount of acclaim but fair to say that Thirteen Shots have easily outdone themselves with new album Black Smiles. It is a dramatically eclectic mix of songs and genres honed into one increasingly captivating and addictive proposition, and what it might lack a touch in consistency it more than makes up in riotous contagion.

Since whipping up attention with the horror punk sculpted Danzig, Thirteen Shots has been on a creative and attention grabbing roll. Shows with the likes of Demented are Go, The Peacocks, Rezurex, Howling Wolfmen, and Graveyard Johnnys helped establish the band as one of the UK’s most exciting horror/garage punk newcomers and now a band whose shows and releases are constantly highly anticipated. Previous albums Vaudeville and Tales That Start With A Whisper certainly pushed the band’s sound and presence forward but it was last year’s White Noise which made the biggest step in bold adventure and diversity. Hindsight though shows its potent success and contents were just an early hint for bigger and more ambitious things now ripening within Black Smiles.

Recorded with Paul Hughes, Black Smiles is based on the old school movie experience of double features with each song playing part in a cinematic experience. It all starts with Cobradeer, which acts like a promotional trailer to the other tracks which are like serial episodes within the main feature of the album. The opener is an immediate rush of fiercely slapping rhythms and ferocious riffs, the song blasting ears into keen attention before relaxing into a more tempered stroll as the distinct vocals of Johnny Rose open up the narrative. The chorus kicks the adrenaline switch again with the song swinging between both attacks as it provides an increasingly spicy musical/lyrical introduction to the album.

Thirteen Shots - Black Smiles- Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review   It is a strong and enjoyable beginning quickly surpassed by the following Run and Hide. From the great initial throaty bassline cast by George Chick and the quickly joining equally predatory beats of drummer Tom Fenn, the track has imagination and appetite hooked. The surf shimmer of guitar and controlled tones of Rose only increase the potency as drama and sinister seduction blossom their tempting too. Subsequently a more hard rock enterprise is spun by guitarist Lewis Machip as the encounter’s chorus roars, contrasts swapping moments in the lengthening landscape of the excellent song. With its weave also knitted with garage and melodic rock as well as punk and blues tenacity, it is a swift unveiling of the variety and diversity destined to continue through sound and album.

Next Cupid´s Dead romps through fresh scenery too, its punk/garage rock devilry seemingly bred from a mix of The Clash and Blitzkid. At not much more than a brain munch past a minute in length, the track is a punk stomp to breed an addiction for and quickly matched in its individual way by the dirty rock ‘n’ roll revelry of Warewolf Party. A spicy groove is the first infection with the song’s raw air and fiery sound the second, it all united in a riveting and easy persuasion lorded over by the honest tones of Rose before it then makes way for the anthemic rampage of Garage Crew. Chick once again is the kindling to a feisty blaze with his opening dark bass prowl, every note a resonating treat leading ears into the brawling surge of riffs and rabid rhythms fuelling the song. That bass becomes even more bestial in tone as the song lurches from one explosive assault to another premeditated predatory stroll and back; punk, horror, and subsequently blues rock entwining in its anthemic contagion.

Night of Sin doses itself up with a big shot of blues guitar and rock ‘n’ roll next, Machips’s enterprise tangy liquor in the heavy intimidating embrace of the rhythms. The ever unpolished punk delivery of Rose ensures an alluring earthy feel is always present o the album, even here where strings reveal their most accomplished and intoxicating beauty. It is a constantly rewarding mix again in evidence, after the tantalising refreshment of the melodic and acoustic croon that is Interlude, in the psychotic Skitzo. A delta blues tang coats the guitar’s endeavour bringing the incoming stomp into view, the flavouring a persistent tempting as the song erupts and blazes with persistent blues punk tenacity.

A enticing swagger comes with Black Eyed Girl next, the song like a moonlit seductress swinging its melodic hips as the more restrained and continually impressive voice of Rose introduces the moment’s protagonist. It is a gripping danger and intrigue which retains its potency as the song expels another bluesy flame of raw energy and sound. The entwining continues until the song can contain itself no more and reveals itself as a dirty raucous rocker for a bellow of a persuasion.

The swinging hips of Punk Betty flirts in a similar vein to its predecessor, its saunter a punk infused hard rock bait but with the same catchy resourcefulness. It does not admittedly have the same spark as previous songs, that inescapable lure but with one delicious bassline and the anthemic mischief of the vocals, it only keeps appetite and satisfaction eager before passing attention over to the album’s title track. It too is missing something to set, as earlier tracks, personal tastes ablaze, a particular uniqueness to spark their lust but once more its dark hearted rock ‘n roll and lyrical enterprise, not forgetting predation bass and sonic veining, is nothing less than rousing.

Lost Soul is soon a full seduction though. Its surf and horror rock romance is a sultry incitement of ears and imagination, undiluted persuasion caressed by a garage rock smoulder and flirted with by a ska seeded tempting. To be honest there is an even richer tapestry of flavours in easily the best song on the album, plenty to be discovered as the track alone sparks real excitement and anticipation for the continual and increasing potential and growth of Thirteen Shots.

There is a final raw explosion of punk and garage hostility in the shape of Friday 13, a bracing and unpolished finale to another thoroughly enjoyable and riveting adventure with Thirteen Shots. As always with a record from the band there is a dramatic potential of even bigger and major things ahead, the foursome getting closer to their pinnacle each time but equally raising that bar with every offering too. They have a classic within them for sure and it will have its day but right now we all have the opportunity to go on a rigorously enjoyable romp in great exploits like Black Smiles.

Black Smiles is released on June 29th and can be pre-ordered via https://thirteenshots.bandcamp.com/ and https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/black-smiles/id994668019 in various options.

Http://www.thirteenshots.co.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/thirteenshotsband

RingMaster 10/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

Channel Zero – Kill All Kings

Channel Zero - Band Photo 2014 #3 - Photo Credit Tim Tronckoe

The first release since the untimely death of drummer Phil Baheux, Kill All Kings from Belgian thrashers Channel Zero is a worthy tribute to their friend and one of metal’s rigorously stylish stickmen. The loss of one of the Brussels quartet’s founders understandably almost brought the band to an end but honouring him by not giving in to the obvious temptation to call it a day for the second time, Channel Zero has unleashed an album which simply sees the band draw on all its undoubted craft and invention to create a captivating and thrilling encounter. It is not an album to set new templates or plateaus for thrash metal but like a safe and rewarding friend hits the sweet spot of wants and satisfaction for a thoroughly enterprising engagement.

Formed in 1990, Channel Zero pushed themselves into world recognition across the next seven years through their potent groove infested thrash sound. The period saw four well-received albums with Unsafe of 1994 and Black Fuel two years later especially acclaimed, whilst in between those particular releases and amidst a clutch of successful EPs, the band played around the world, touring with the likes of with Megadeth, Danzig, and Biohazard as well as playing numerous major European festivals. 1997 though saw the band call it a day but fevered support for the band from fans continued, eventually going some way to persuading the band to get together and return with a one off live performance at the Ancienne Belgique in Brussels. That was the plan but with the show sold out in a minute, the further five added devoured in less than two hours, and the shows all a major success, the band in many ways had no choice but to unite for a full return. Fellow founders, bassist Tino Olivier de Martino and vocalist Franky De Smet Van Damme alongside Baheux and newcomer guitarist Mikey Doling (ex-Soulfly), who replaced original Xavier Carion, after a series of singles created and unleashed their fifth album. The 2011 Logan Mader (ex-Machine Head, Soulfly, Devildriver) produced Feed ‘Em with a Brick was wrapped in praise by fans and media alike, putting the band back on the front foot though the sad passing of Baheux from a rupture of an artery in 2010, made the band contemplate stopping again.

Thankfully Channel Zero decided to carry on in honour of their brother and last year set about working on Kill All Kings with again Channel Zero - Kill All KingsMader. With Roy Mayorga (Stone Sour, Soulfly) providing the drums for the recording, the album is a fitting tribute to the memory of Baheux and a new chapter in the sound and future of the band. From the opening Dark Passenger, band and release ignite ears and imagination, with feet and neck muscles in close order. Guitars rustle up a sonic mist and a portentous atmosphere before erupting in tandem with crisp punchy beats and jagged riffs, into a transfixing heavy stride. Bass and guitars carve out a magnetic lure, the first especially gripping with its throaty predation, whilst the rhythms swing with sinewed urgency as the excellent voice and delivery of Van Damme roars with an appealing growl and melodic enticement. There is nothing dramatically new about the song in respect to its seeding genre but still makes a compelling and anthemic introduction to light ears and emotions easily.

There is also an immediate and understandable emotive passion to the track, especially vocally, which just as potently spices up the following Electronic Cocaine. The initial winding embrace of acidic grooves and meandering basslines leads a ready appetite into a slower but no less captivating stroll of rapacious riffs and vocal coaxing. It is riveting bait which lays down the perfect terrain for the contagious and gloriously alluring chorus to break out from. The exceptional song continues to stomp and sway, entwining both within its inventive melodic casting and rhythmic incitement to prove an imaginative and imagination sparking treat which is swiftly matched by the more voracious Burn The Nation. Beats and riffs are antagonistically besieging ears from the start, vocals soon employing their own animosity lined encouragement to thoughts and emotions. As its predecessor, the track embraces a melodic toxicity which is as drawing and gripping as the insistent rhythms alongside a great bass sculpted lure.

Both Digital Warfare and Ego keep the album in the heart of eager attention and greedy hunger, the first fuelled by an old school thrash rapaciousness bringing thoughts of Exodus to the fore whilst its flirtation of grooves and drama clad invention creates a rich incendiary hue for the core of the song to charge masterfully through to seduce the passions. It is another scintillating proposition which is matched by the emotive prowl of its successor with its Metallica like gait and fiery resourcefulness in melodies and rhythmic agitation. As with all of the major peaks across the album, it is the impossibly contagious and invigorating anthemic potency of the track which turns excited embers into flaming ardour, a vibrant bed stoked further by the strong guitar craft and imagination aligned to intriguing inventive adventure.

Across Crimson Collider and the title track, the album seems to settle into a more emotionally driven but less openly exploratory premise. The pair of tracks certainly retaining the album’s grip on thoughts and emotions with ease whilst treating ears to powerful and creatively magnetic propositions but the spark of adventure is lessened by a more expectations feeding aspect to the songs, that safe feeling mentioned previously washing over keen hopes. To be fair both tracks do have body and mind caged within their infectious designs ensuring pleasure and involvement is still leading reactions, though even that meanders a little with the imaginative but ineffective balladry of Brother’s Keeper.

Things move in the right direction again with the predatory stalking of Army Of Bugs if without sparking a riotous hunger, the bass and scything riffs especially alluring alongside the great malevolent growl crawl of Van Damme’s delivery. It is a compelling and enticing track which triggers an expulsion of and return to the gripping unpredictability and instinctive adventure which started the album off. Mind Over Mechanics bristles with muscular confrontation and rhythmic demands to enslave ears and thoughts whilst a sonic web from the guitars courted by melodic flames, colour song and emotions with a rich fascination and enjoyment. It is a formidable provocateur with addiction forging properties just as the following tempest Duisternis. Sung in his own dialect, Van Damme seduces and cages ears in a blistering weave of vocal temptation wrapped in a similarly enslaving bass taunting and riff nagging. With rhythms a concentrated swing of primal rabidity, the track is raw voracious metal at its.

The closing Heart Stop brings the album to an ear capturing conclusion if again not quite matching some of its fellow storms on the album. Like Kill All Kings as a whole though, there is an underlying potency which refuses to let attention and rich satisfaction waiver and look elsewhere, its emotive drama as pungent as the creative skills at work. It is a fine end to an excellent album, not a release to set new standards but an encounter to place Channel Zero back to the fore of European thrash and more importantly to provide one of the most enjoyable metal albums this year so far.

Kill All Kings is available via Metal Blade Records now!

www.channel-zero.be

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/06/2014

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