Mr. Strange – WTF

As the world, whilst strolling along the path to self-destruction, becomes more and more fuelled by chaos, dissonance and bigotry, so rises up dissenting voices and alternative fractions in all walks of life.  UK hailing outfit Mr. Strange is one such proposition, a band which vaunts the alternative and freak show of life with a sound just as bold, brazen, and bare-faced celebratory and in full and irresistible chorus within new album WTF.

A 3-piece electro-rock outfit from the Isle of Wight, Mr. Strange began in 2006, a creative offshoot to the criminally unrecognised but glorious cult circus/steampunk-rock band, The Shanklin Freak Show which was led by vocalist/songwriter Mr. (Saul) Strange. With a handful of studio albums under the belt bookending TSFS, Mr. Strange became a rousing live proposition out of the former’s demise. We find ourselves among a vast flock already hooked and compelled by the creative parade escaping the talents of all members over the years so as a best of album WTF was only going to have the body bouncing and spirit racing. Featuring 20 “fan favourites and live staples” including many updated and revamped, the album is a summing up of past glories and the doorway to a trepid new adventure; quite simply the perfect introduction and invitation to the multi-styled electro rock escapades of Saul Strange, bassist/guitarist Ant Strange, and live drummer Damian Strange.

For existing fans of the band there will be a strong tinge of sadness listening to WTF as so many of its tracks feature the work of Gary ‘Stench’ Mason, an accomplished and creatively potent guitarist as well as a true gentleman and friend sadly no longer with us. The album is as much a legacy and celebration of his craft as the band’s voracious sound and Saul’s manipulatively skilled songwriting and it sets out a massive lure from the off with Wonderful World of Weird. It is a truly magnetic summoning, getting under the skin from its initial hum before leading the body on a rousing swing thereon in as it marches into the hectic imagination and prowl of the band’s kaleidoscopic musical.

It’s quirky flirtation and bidding is matched by that of the following Carousel, a track bridging the antics of The Shanklin Freak Show and Mr. Strange with nagging boisterousness. Its dark circus is the obverse shade to the mischievous tone of its predecessor, a like-minded but heavier, caliginous counter-part just as devious in its lure of body and vocal chords before the same kind of full captivation is repeated through the electro sizzle of Disco Bitch.

As Brain Dead Boogie greedily infests limbs with its skilfully frantic rock ‘n’ roll and Clockwork Man lays its own haunting bait and grip on ears and imagination, it is already hard to imagine many resisting the album’s devilish cure; even more so as the latter’s sinister metronomic crawl shares a subservient body with the shameless declaration and electro dance of I Like Girls…, it yet another inescapable musical voluptuary.

Twisted Family brings the freaks all together in its Tartarean gathering next, again sharing a celebration of the aberrance in man swiftly prowled by the predacious Lizard Man 3.0 which immediately sets about weeding out the wonder rich anomalous from the corrupted inflexible. Both tracks are bred in the circus rock of TSFS but evolved to greater calls with the ever exploratory prowess of the Mr. Strange sound, the second especially blossoming into a fresh thrilling beast.

From album to album Mr. Strange has explored individual directions and distinct flavours, each unique to another but as proven across WTF any song sit easily amongst each other no matter their breeding as shown by the seamless way the disco pop of Addiction nestles against the ravening exploits of the previous pair and the surf ‘n’ roll of the exceptional Psycho Surfing a Go-Go,. One of our all-time Strange anthems, the track is pure addiction, a compulsive stomp woven on the purest essences of rock ‘n roll and all its deviancies.

In turn the rapaciously creeping psychotic saunter of Anti-Light lends its tenebrific lures to the coquettish shadows and reflection of the band’s cover of the Pet Shop Boy’s It’s A Sin which then lies comfortably against the untamed serenade of Music Box. All three feed the diversity and untypical prowess of the release, the middle track, which its creators never quite had us hooked with, finding a whole new level of persuasion.

Deviant Ritual is another song which became a major infestation within the Electric Pornography album and stands a major incitement within WTF, its mutant electro waltz pure slavery not too distantly matched through the iniquitous ramble of Sodom Nights featuring the vocal charms of Bridget Gray and immediately after courtesy of the eerily atmospheric, Stygian beauty clad Playground Twist, this another essential offering from the Mr. Strange songbook. It is one of four songs which are exclusive to the download version of the album and as much as a physical copy is forcibly recommended you do not want to miss out of any of the quartet either.

Through the body using swing of Exile and the similar electronic exploitation uncaged by Villain, participation and pleasure drips lust and even more profusely for the album’s previously unreleased track, an insatiably rousing merger of Dead Or Alive’s Spin Me Round and the band’s own just as tenaciously vampy Do It Like Pete Burns.

The glorious celebration of Mr. Strange concludes with the duskily wistful and radiantly mesmeric There’s Consequences, a final slice of instinctive temptation. WTF provides all the evidence needed to declare songwriter and band one of the truly fresh and exciting trespasses on the senses and imagination around. It does breed slight disappointment as other tracks like the truly wonderful Jonathan and the seriously anthemic Fire were not included but that is just down to personal favourites of which we will all have plenty we could easily add to all the deserving proposals within WTF.

There are some bands which are almost guaranteed to enthral and recruit just given the chance, Mr. Strange is one and here to provide the perfect doorway to their unique spectacle of unquenchable goodness is WTF, you just have to enter through its threshold.

WTF is available now across most stores. For more info and Mr. Strange check out…

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com   https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange   https://twitter.com/MrStrangeTweets   https://www.youtube.com/user/MrStrangeMedia https://www.instagram.com/_mr_strange_/

Pete RingMaster 02/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Electro waltzes and deviancy: the Mr. Strange Interview.

 

Mr. Strange 2015 _RingMaster Review

Some know Mr. Strange as the former frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks The Shanklin Freak Show, others more some from their solo exploits and especially outstanding 2014 album Wonderful World Of Weird. What is beginning to be recognised is that the sound conjuror of musical deviancy from the Isle of Wight is one of the UK’s most imaginative and unique songwriters. Proof to that has come with their fiercely tremendous new album The Bible of Electric Pornography, the first offering since the rebirth of the persona and sound of Mr. Strange over past months. The just released album is a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth”; a thrilling incitement of electronic and rock ‘n’ roll alchemy with the unique Mr. Strange imagination. A certain album of the year contender for a great many, we grab time with its creator and took a look onto the defiant invention of The Bible of Electric Pornography.

Hello Mr. Strange, thanks for letting us peer into the heart of your new album.

Before we do though, you are already known for your tapestry of sound and flavours. What are the major inspirations which have most coloured your ideas, songwriting, and approach to making music?

Historically, the culprits in the inspiration department are; Marilyn Manson, Insane Clown Posse, Dr. Steel, Alice Cooper, Gary Numan, etc., anything theatrical, weird, and dark that I can “escape” into. Musical ability has never been that important to me, the atmosphere and/or uniqueness in music has always been more appealing, personally.

I’ve always wanted to create “worlds” for listeners to get lost in; you can see this in each Mr. Strange album, no matter what changes musically the escapism is always there.

Inspirations for this new album are a little different though; Krizz Kaliko, Prince, Peaches, Nine Inch Nails, Lady Gaga, Perturbator, Die Antwoord, The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson’s Mechanical Animals, Dead Or Alive, Dirty Sanchez (the electroclash band), Electric Six and Gary Numan have all played a part. Anton LaVey’s ‘Satanic Bible’ has been an influence, also.

Being primarily an electronic composer I’ve always worked using software, so no Mr. Strange song (or earlier Shanklin Freak Show) song have ever come from a traditional “jam” – all songs are created in a methodical, multi-layered, jigsaw-like way. I imagine this approach, while not in any way unique, has had an effect creating the Mr. Strange “sound” over the years.

As with any artist, everything influences me in some way or another, a lot of it subconsciously. The quirkiness of video game music has always been a large influence, especially pre-2001, before games started trying to ape films so much.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

You have just released your new album The Bible of Electric Pornography. Can you give us some idea to the evolution of your craft and music shown in previous propositions and has culminated in the new incitement of ears and emotions?

This album’s been on the cards since about 2005. Originally it was just an idea to make a sleazy electro-rock album called ‘Sleaze Pit’; a few demo songs were written, only one of which survived and made the album. The ‘Sleaze Pit’ idea has always been there, all this time, but there has always been something else I wanted to try when it came to the “next record”. That was until Wonderful World Of Weird came out, then it was a toss-up between doing a metal album or this Sleaze Pit album. My guitar amp broke so I went with Sleaze Pit’!

It was only supposed to take 6 months but took 2 years… It evolved in to a monster.

Ideas kept coming, both musically and thematically. It tied in with a pivotal moment in my life, so I could pour a lot more of myself into it without it feeling at odds with the albums themes; I am the albums themes. There’s a sincerity and “realness” behind the theatricality now which may not have been there before. I hope it comes across to people listening to the record.

In my opinion, this is easily the best album I’ve worked on. I’ve never been very confident or overly pleased with any albums up until now. There’s always been time constraints forcing me to rush to completion, or a loss of interest in the project that has hampered its potential. This is the most personal, well-realised and accessible album I’ve ever done. I’ll be happy if this is the last album I ever do.

Some may mourn the loss of the old Mr. Strange quirky goofiness, but I needed to try something else for this album. I’m sure it’ll be back, though.

Mr. Strange EP album cover _RingMaster Review

You mentioned the time it has taken The Bible of Electric Pornography to grow and emerge etc., can you give us more insight into its writing and recording; also were there any collaborations also involved thus time around?

It was a bit more of a solo effort than Wonderful World of Weird, which was a very collaborative effort between me and Mr. Stench (guitarist). This is mainly due to how electronic the music is, so there wasn’t as much for a guitarist or live drummer to do. It was only meant to take 6 months; I didn’t mean to leave my band mates twiddling their thumbs for so long! But we have written a lot of music together though, it’s just not on this record…

The collaboration with Global Citizen (on the track D/s) came about very naturally. I co-produce their music, so have access to their track “stems” and decided to play about with one of their songs one day. I did a remix/remake, of sorts. It sounded great and fitted with the new album perfectly, so I asked Global Citizen if I could use it on the record, they said yes! I thought it’d be cool to have them sing on it too, their brand of lyrical filth seemed a natural fit.

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 3_RingMaster Review

 

Tell us about the lyrical themes and sparks for some of the tracks within The Bible of Electric Pornography.

There are two main themes running throughout Electric Pornography; Satanism and sexuality. For hundreds of years, religions have led people to believe the two are as one. This has led to an extremely repressed society, ashamed by default, born sinners. Christianity has had such a huge impact on the mentality of the western world over its 2000-odd years; its grip is loosening, but very slowly. The ingrained shame still exists in the western subconscious; some can overcome it easily, for others it can emotionally cripple.

I wanted to make a liberating album; I’m tired of hearing and feeling that I should be ashamed. I want to be the antithesis of that kind of thinking, the adversary of it. Seeing as so much repression, shaming, and bigotry stems from religion, I thought I’d side with one of their classic adversaries, metaphorically. If I’m a deviant abomination in their eyes, so be it, I’ll just embrace it. It’s a middle finger, really. Calling the album a ‘Bible’ is a cheeky slap in the face to the Jesus freaks; it also holds just as much relevance as their Bible, which is none. That’s a positive statement I wanted to make for people who might find this album and who may have to deal with religious bigotry on a daily basis. If it helps just one person feel a little better about themselves, then I’ll call that mission accomplished.

The sexuality in this album is very over-the-top, dark and nasty. This isn’t so much how I view sex and sexuality, but more of a symbolic revelling in the so-called “sinful” debauchery of it all. If I feel a certain way about something, I always take that to the extreme in my music – I blow it up so it’s ten times bigger and more exaggerated than it really is. People who already know my music and “get” it see past the pomp of it all and appreciated the real sentiments behind the overblown way I present them, but I can imagine that to the uninitiated I may seem like a self-obsessed sociopath or something!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 4_RingMaster Review

Is there one core message within all those aspects it looks at and explores, and specifically that within the album’s finale, The Last Song?

It’s unapologetic and unashamed, and hopefully it will make people feel that way when listening to it.

The finale has two meanings.

The first: the end of a beautiful relationship. A mutual parting of ways that is sometimes necessary and unavoidable.

The second: a farewell to people who may not wish to follow me anymore. I look different and I sound different, I AM different, and that doesn’t always go down well with music fans. The first line sums it up perfectly for me:

 

“I know this isn’t what you wanted,

You wanted more of the same,

But that’s a game I cannot play”

The future for Mr Strange

The future is electric!

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 6_RingMaster Review

Read our review of The Bible of Electric Pornography @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/mr-strange-the-bible-of-electric-pornography/

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Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Mr. Strange – The Bible of Electric Pornography

Mr. Strange 2015 pic 5_RingMaster Review

For a long time Mr. Strange has been one of the British music scene’s most imaginative and unique songwriters and artists, and one of its biggest unrecognised talents. Whether as the frontman of the brilliant circus rock steampunks, The Shanklin Freak Show or in solo adventures, he has teased and stoked the imagination whilst exciting ears with perpetual regularity. Potent spotlights have always seemed to fall elsewhere though, but that might be about to change, in fact expectations are sure it will as new album The Bible of Electric Pornography spreads its electronic seeded sermon.

The persona and sound of Mr. Strange has undergone a rebirth, a major evolution in all aspects in the time between acclaimed previous album Wonderful World Of Weird and the new slab of alchemy from his deviant creativity. Embracing fresh industrial and electronic temptation whilst weaving in numerous other rich flavours, Mr. Strange has opened up all sides of psyche and imagination whilst wrapping new songs in the so-called deviancy that others claim is pestilence. Thematically The Bible of Electric Pornography is defiance and a middle thing to the oppressive ‘normal’, an anthem for the supposedly grotesque, for the freaks and the like-minded unique; an encounter which also happens to rock like a thousand orgies to stand in the words surrounding the album, as a “sacrilegious assault of electro-influenced filth!”

Mr. Strange EP album cover NEW_RingMaster Review   The album opens with Born Again, and the birth of they, of Mr. Strange. Upon arrival electro pulses and shimmering melodies crowd around the creative cot, his vocals providing the commentary as synths strengthen their drama and the atmosphere becomes shadowy. There is a portentous air to the track but one breaking into the dawning of climactic sounds and the heralding of Mr. Strange’s new realm of invention, which in turn sparks the stomp of Deviant Ritual. Making a sort of bridge between past triumphs, the song sharing open essences of The Shanklin Freak Show and previous solo album, keys swing and vocals entice as beats grip with potent temptation. In no time the track has the body acting like its puppet, limbs and energies flung around to the wicked swagger and infectious seduction of the outstanding protagonist.

Disco Bitch is on an immediate prowl next, though its gait has a more boisterous than predatory energy and design to it. Quickly into its robust stroll with compelling walls of electronic tenacity and enterprise, the track resonates with Being Boiled era Human League potency and colouring, a scent dirtied and fuzzed up by the craft of Mr. Strange as electro squirts lure and bassy rhythms dance with the passions. As its predecessor, the track is a blaze of dance-floor devilment and raucous sonic eroticism, incitements to get the defiant and proud party started before the album begins setting its sights on prosecutors, Electric Pornography continuing the festivity whilst flirting with the devil and its breed like a seductive pout of devilment. Amongst inspirations for the album, Mr. Strange offered Electric Six recently and definitely the track shares their kind of dance/rock devilry.

A thicker air of intensive energy soaks the following Tension, its emotive breath crafted and accentuated by darkly enticing rubs of guitar and moody bass tones as synths cradle the warmer hues of voice and melodies. It all unites in provocative electro rock persuasion which again has ears, hips, and thoughts emotionally and psychically involved.

A tirade of sample pieces spouting religious and social bigotry fattens God Hates Me next, keys initially a misting of melancholic elegance eventually brewing into more dramatic smog, though still with despair rather than outrage as its hue. The piece leads into the remarkable Jonathan, easily one of the pinnacles amongst a constant range of peaks within The Bible of Electric Pornography. It is a narrative for and growing support of the track’s oppressed champion which as the character, grows into its mesmeric creative skin as simple melodies align to weaves of electronic and industrial resourcefulness. Ebbing and flowing in intensity as the voice of Mr. Strange reveals all, the song is simply glorious, as lyrically impacting in its croon as it is invigorating musically, and easily one of the best things heard this year.

Do It Like… is another exhilarating whipping up of body and soul, a song inspired by Pete Burns and his life/attitude whilst musically drawing on the contagious invention of Dead Or Alive and indeed Nightmares In Wax which evolved into the former, and merging it with Celldweller like steeliness . Every element of the song has the body, inside and out, bouncing and swinging whilst again nudging thoughts with its lyrical potency.

The bubbly punch of I Like Girls & Boys is the next to take over, sculpting rousing crescendos of skittish beats and scuzzy electronics along its magnetic body, expulsions conducted by the ever Mr. Strange 2015 pic 7_RingMaster Reviewalluring tones of its creator. Though not in an obvious way, there is a definite feel of Fad Gadget to the song, to its theatre and emotive richness whilst My Addiction gets down and funky offering up hints of a Heaven 17 and Blancmange in varying degrees. By now it is not unusual to leave a song without a smile on the face and appetite, this of course no exception with its warmly stimulating hug.

The noir jazziness of Sodom Nights brings yet another eclectic shade to the album, its melodic waltz and electronic seduction a sultry fondling of the senses and inciter of lusty contemplations, that dark romance followed by the rapacious sinister sizzle of D/s, a fuzzball of temptation featuring Global Citizen. The crawling magnetism of the track is just sonic addiction matched by the bold lure of Stormtrooper In Drag, a striking cover of a solo song released in the eighties by Tubeway Army guitarist Paul Gardiner and featuring Gary Numan who co-composed, sang lead vocals, and played on it. It is one of those ‘lost’ gems now given new life, re-vitalised by Mr. Strange’s innovative touch.

Closing up the album is firstly Fag, a leviathan of rhythmic tempting with a Manson-esque snarl providing the most irritable proposal upon The Bible of Electric Pornography and in turn one of its numerous slices of ear slavery and lastly The Last Song. Providing a bewitching serenade with a message for those who hate change, and might argue about the new direction Mr. Strange has taken, its defiance to any complaints openly and mischievously argued by the strong and highly enjoyable Kraftwerk influence, the track is pure captivation bringing the album to a thrilling close.

Familiarity and uniqueness collude within The Bible of Electric Pornography, with the latter the overriding substance, the album leading the second coming of Mr. Strange and easily eclipsing previous solo offerings, as impressive and they were and still are. We are looking at a release boldly challenging offerings from the supposed electronic big boys and girls, challenging and surpassing.

Mr. Strange is dead. Long live Mr. Strange!” Time for all to join the resurrection.

The Bible of Electric Pornography will be released November 16th, pre-ordering available now @ http://mrstrange.bigcartel.com/product/electric-pornography-cd-album-pre-order

http://www.mrstrangemedia.com https://www.facebook.com/Official.Mr.Strange https://twitter.com/MrStrangeMedia

Pete RingMaster 05/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Wayne Hussey – Songs Of Candlelight And Razorblades

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Since coming across Wayne Hussey with Dead Or Alive, it is fair to say his musical journey has persistently left impacting and lingering marks on our personal musical travelogue, and of rock music itself. Whether it has been the dark compelling beginning through to the pop agitated revelry of the Pete Burns led band, the caustically elegant gothic drama of Sisters Of Mercy, or the melodic adventure and emotive beauty of The Mission, he has been there inciting and inspiring, like for so many, our passions. His adventures have not worked for all, drawing mixed responses at times towards his creativity, but it is fair to say that for us, especially with the last of those bands, he has been a distinctive musical presence with his various band-mates to find constant joy in.

So is was with relish and intrigue that we approached his new solo album Songs Of Candlelight And Razorblades, thirty years plus after first striking a bond with his creative presence. To be fair it is hard to go into a Wayne Hussey involved release without some expectations, and maybe hopes of hearing essences of former glories. It was the same with the new album and those wishes were pleasingly fed, much because of the unique vocals of the man, but what also emerged was an album which unveiled a glorious landscape of diverse melodic and emotive adventure with an intimacy, which as so many of the songs in his past, found a personal connection. Already covered in acclaim for The Mission’s last album The Brightest Light of last year, Mr Hussey is due another heavy dose of eager praise and recognition for what is an album of the year contender.

The successor to his previous album Bare, a release seeing Hussey present various Mission songs and other covers, Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades is the personal creative craft and heart of the Sao Paulo based musician on display alone for arguably the first time. It makes for a riveting proposition, one merging impassioned folk, resonating melodic rock, and emotional shadows into a startling and thrilling portrait of an artist still discovering and exploring new corners and depths. Released on his own Eyes Wide Shut Recordings, the crowd funded album opens with Madam G, a noir kissed slice of melancholic yet radiant melodic moodiness. The gentle caress of its sultry embrace is a weave of 71XaDXdPBKL._SL1500_expression soaked strings and poetic piano around the welcomingly familiar tones of Hussey. It is a bold way to open the release, not a punchy and openly infectious lure as most albums would begin with, but a jazz kissed smouldering which slowly and successfully draws the imagination right into the album.

The following Nothing Left Between Us opens on a bloom of folk tinged guitar melodies and the gravelled tones of Hussey. It is a warm and inviting beginning soon broadening with backing harmonies and a deliciously throaty bassline, light and dark essences entwining for a riveting and reserved but keen stroll which increases in passion and intensity the deeper into the song’s vibrant croon it goes. Its catchy potency is matched by the more exotic breath of JK Angel of Death (1928-2011), electro jabs linking up with sonic enterprise for its own individual evocative call of sound and expression. As its predecessor, the track washes the senses in a provocative climate of melodic colour enriched with emotive hues, further confirming that in writing and vocal strength alone Hussey has lost none of his compelling strengths.

Both Swan Song (Lament) and You Are Not Alone keep the album’s fine persuasion soaring, the first another slice of impassioned balladry aligned to a gentle catchiness brought by creative hooks and vocal prowess, whilst its successor explores the kind of melodic twang and tenacious imagination which has never been far from the pinnacles within the perpetual success of The Mission. It is not a song which fully erupts into areas hinted at across its bewitching presence, but certainly leaves plenty for thoughts and emotions to feed greedily upon before Wasting Away [Reprise] braces ears. With Hussey finding an almost Bowie like tone initially to his vocals within a tender caress of the music, it is a track which does not seize the imagination like those before but worms under the skin for a just as lingering enjoyment.

The album hits its most impressive peak at this point, the pungent charm and emotional elegance of The Bouquets and the Bows making the first roaring temptation. From another warm and reserved stroking of ears and imagination, the track increasingly grows and brews up a climactic passion and energy to cast a finale which simultaneously burns and seduces the senses, bass and keys especially potent in the latter of the two sides alongside the vocals. Its success is soon surpassed by the scintillating Wither on the Vine, the best track on the album. Straight away it shimmers with a melodic rock resonance which in turn is veined with a quite delicious sonic hook coursing with irresistible melodic blood. Again it is hard to ignore strong flavouring of The Mission but also there are elements sparking thoughts of Modern English, both rich spices accentuating the ridiculously infectious smile and magnetic invention of the track. It is prime Wayne Hussey songwriting and ingenuity, and quite outstanding.

   No Earthly Cure is not backward in igniting the passions either, the song a summery canvas which blooms and flourishes in voice and enticing harmonies to increasingly involve and spark the imagination. Its melodic scenery is enthralling, an electronic shimmering radiating through the expansive colour of melodic and harmonic beauty. The song again walks the highest plateau of the album, a level not quite emulated by ‘Til the End of Time but matched by Devil’s Kind. The first almost marches with folk bred festivity and endearing melodic invocation whilst the second brings caustic country rock breath to its captivating and raw again folk seeded persuasion. With thumping beats poking throughout the contagious devilry, the track is rock ‘n’ roll in its barest dressing and rigorously thrilling.

From the orchestral croon and lure of When I Drift Too Far from Shore, a song which soothes and seduces ears with a relatively subdued yet open theatrical appetite, the album begins its conclusion by provocatively exploring classical and dramatic textures through the gentle tempest of Next Station before ending on the challenging intrigue of Aporia. The first two of the trio only confirm the still impressing strength and heart bred expression of Hussey’s voice, as well as his stirring songwriting, whilst the closer sees him providing a spoken narrative across a haunting and engrossing flight of sonic exploration. Though the slower suasion of all three songs cannot rival what came before them, they still combine to ensure The Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades ends with a memorable and invigorating conclusion.

It is probably right to assume that fans of Hussey and The Mission will find a swifter and easier impassioned connection with the album, but that does not detract from the fact that The Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades is a breath-taking and stunning release. Listening to it you also feel that Wayne Hussey has only scratched the surface of his individual adventure which only increases the hunger for more.

The Songs Of Candlelight & Razorblades is available via Eyes Wide Shut Recordings now.

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RingMaster 20/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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A Breach of Silence – The Darkest Road

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Though the tightness of its grip fluctuates across its fourteen roars, The Darkest Road is a creative fury easy to breed a greedy appetite for. Unleashed by Australian metallers A Breach of Silence, it is a tempestuous slab of varied styles and flavours which has been labelled as “powercore”. Melding the potent flavours of metalcore through to post hardcore, heavy metal on to melodic death metal, and we are missing out many more spices, it is a compelling proposition which never gives ears and imagination time to settle or spawn expectations.

The Darkest Road follows the successful and acclaimed debut album Dead or Alive which was released a year ago. With having Australia’s prestigious Q Music Award in the Best Heavy Song category (2012) under their belt, which helped lead the band to signing with Eclipse Records, their first full-length pushed A Breach Of Silence into a new intensive and global spotlight, backed potently by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Born of Osiris, Adept, The Amity Affliction, and Upon a Burning Body. Earlier this year the band released their controversial Night Rider ‘first-person shooter’ music video which took inspiration from their obsession with FPS video games and 1960’s classic westerns such as Hang ‘em High and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now The Darkest Road is upon us to stir up ears and thoughts whilst making another impressive step in the ascent of the Brisbane quintet.

Recorded with producers Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames), The Darkest Road as suggested ebbs and follows in the strength of its certainly unrelenting captivation, sometimes throwing a spanner in the works of getting a handle on songs and the release, but it only adds to the welcome and inventive unpredictability and constantly intriguing nature of the encounter. The album certainly starts with furious gusto and anthemic irresistibility, opener T.P.N.E shoving group shouts through ears before wiry grooves and heavy rumbling rhythms join the emerging storm. The raw and caustic vocal squalls of Rhys Flannery swiftly more in with antagonistic and skilled intent which in turn seems to light a fire in the creative swings of drummer Andrew Cotterell and the similarly vivacious motion of the grooves conjured up by Mat Cosgrove and Kerrod Dabelstein. It is a gripping and incendiary blend which is capped off by the throaty lure of bassist Blair Layt and more so by his outstanding clean vocal delivery. The song offers richly flavoursome and agitated metal of the highest order and an inescapable lure into the creative lair of A Breach of Silence, an entrance backed powerfully by the following title track.

The second song caresses ears with the impressive tones of Layt right away, evocative keys coaxing the invitation before riffs and acidic grooves erupt to trap and steal the passions all over again. As its predecessor, the track is a formidable Printencounter which is unafraid to bewitch and bewilder, seduce and rile, with a unique character seeded in the likes of All That Remains and In Flames. Its stature and temptation is matched by Vultures which strides confidently in next. Another certain anthem with its group calls and raging rhythmic confrontation, the song blazes sonically and vocally from the start, the extremes of voices a perfect union within the similarly blended canvas of predatory and melodically smouldering sounds.

Through the intensive yet warming examination of Silhouette, as the others songs upon The Darkest Road, a hope rich and potent roar against life’s obstacles, the band reveals more of their technical and imagination driven resourcefulness. A scent of Bullet For My Valentine hints throughout the evolving and inventive offering before Hang ‘em High sets its own individual fire within the release. Riffs and rhythms spew anger with their intensive and physical intent whilst Flannery almost brawls with ears through his uncompromising and pleasing vocal antagonism. It is a potent and engrossing song if without the spark of those before it, a comment which can be placed before In Reality We Trust also, though as always with the album it is mostly down to personal taste. The song storms and bleeds spite over the senses with skill and enterprise but it is mainly the vocals from both men which steal the plaudits.

From here the album does not have an identity crisis but definitely wrong-foots with persistence. Though all the tracks so far employed a diverse and varied spicing, they were bred from a fierce extreme metal canvas. The excellent Lost at Sea brings a new bloom of sound, immediately expelling a ‘folkish’ tinge to its air as well as a glorious melodic croon across its potent harmonies and sonic narrative. It is a loud whisper of something different in some ways but helps seed a new hostile and captivating breath to the album, and makes for an enthrallingly textured and majestic slice of persuasion.

   This is the End comes next and instantly spins an engaging sonic and rhythmic web around ears. It is a contagiously compelling weave, guitars and bass a simultaneously welcoming and menacing enticement over which the vocals merge hostile and catchy elements with a classic metal spiced attack. Every chord and rhythmic swipe brings a surprise and unexpected twist, the song emerging as another pinnacle and treat for the album, something Immortal is not. To be fair again it is just a personal thing but its heavy/power metal balladry complete with the genre’s trademark vocals warbles and squeals, just does not find a welcome in these ears though it is easy to hear its qualities and know it will be a favourite with classic metal fans. The song is another unique identity within the character of the album, though to call The Darkest Road schizophrenic would be going too far.

The excellent Hannibal is more from the template of earlier songs, its metalcore voracity and melodic tenacity an infectious and voracious treat which parts for the even heavier and harsher A Place I Know. The song also expels fiery melodic endeavour, again with a more classic spicing, before exploring slimmer post hardcore scenery punctuated with probably the most intensive beats and riffs on the album. It is a song which sets a fire in the belly at times but also lowers its temperature in others, but for intrigue and bold invention it is another notable moment.

Dead and Destroyed is simply brutal, a wall of angst and viciousness which still makes room for vocal croons whilst Krazy Bitch seems to pull in all the things which excites and personally frustrates in the album for a still rather pleasing encounter. The pair leaves the piano and voice sculpted ballad Time Still Remains to close the album, the song a more than decent piece of melodic metal but easy to skip by to get back to the pungent heights the album started on all over again.

The Darkest Road is a striking release, with to be honest any issues found coming from just the individual likes and dislikes we all have in our metal. It is easy to see A Breach of Silence becoming a big player in world metal if this thrilling tempest is anything to go by.

The Darkest Road is available now on Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/a-breach-of-silence-the-darkest-road-cd/

https://www.facebook.com/abreachofsilenceband

RingMaster 10/10/2014

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Machine Rox – Activate Your Anger

Machine Rox

© Alex Cooke Photography

After struggling to catch a breath after the riotous, energetic and overwhelmingly exhausting Activate Your Anger EP from UK industrial/electro band Machine Rox, you can only sit back with a satiated hungry appetite and contemplate basking immediately again in the feast of satisfying sounds. Like that favourite meal you may constantly choose in a restaurant, the release is a familiar and arguably unadventurous encounter for the palate, but one which brings the deepest and fullest senses ravaging pleasure.

Machine Rox began in 2007 as the solo project of Richard Kaltenhauser (aka Richard K), a member of industrial bands Meat Machine and Global Noise Attack (who supported the likes of Rammstein, Napalm Death, and Covenant). His ideas and sounds blended the potent essences of electro, industrial, and ebm with a corrosive metallic guitar bred attack for as subsequent releases show an impacting and incendiary brawl of a magnetic encounter. The arrival of Aga in 2010 on backing vocals and keyboards brought the project into a band stance with two years later joining Aga and Richard (electronics, vocals, guitars), drummer Nuj Farrow and guitarist Valerian Oproiu added their presence for the live aspect of the band. Since then Machine Rox has supported bands such as Leaetherstrip, V2A, and Deviant UK, and played numerous successful and acclaimed shows and festivals. Activate Your Anger follows a quartet of well received EPs which has increased their stature rapidly but with the new Static Distortion Label EP and its increased aggression, intensity, and contagious energy, expectations are of this being a trigger point to even greater awareness.

The London based band immediately coats the ear in a static cursed electro rub instantly joined by heavy caustic riffs, predatory 175430660-1beats, and burning sonics as opener Move Your Body (Until You Die) winds up its lethal dance. A thumping pulse driven rampage with devilment and rhythmic belligerence in tow is an easy persuasion especially with the dual vocals of Richard and Aga offering a devil and angel seduction. Whether from the acidic melodic venom of the guitar or the bewitching wantonness of the electro spotlights and their spearing shafts of warmth, the track is an unrelenting tempest which incites a full engagement and compliance to its irresistible call.

The following Night Riots is not just content to follow in the wake of its compelling predecessor without making its own contagious declaration on the ear which it does by initially provoking and caging the senses in commanding and synapse resonating throaty beats. Hitting the primal target which leads again to capitulation before the forceful and greedy energy as well as the infectious temptation beckoning and grinning from every note and corner of the track, the band without quite matching the potency of the first track holds the passions in its grasp and takes them on an invigorating irresistible ride.

Next Nothing steps up to offer a snarl to the release which reminds of Ghost In The Static, its bruising and scuzzy sound and intensive sinews the most imposing and threatening part of the EP. It like all the songs has hooks which deep root themselves in the listener for the most potent contagion though up against the following Where You Are still looks like a novice in that department. Taking centre stage with an instantaneous swagger and impossibly catchy lure, the new song is an intoxicating hypnotist with sparking crystalline seduction and an authoritative cogent rhythmic web which enslaves the senses and passions. Virulently infectious with a presence which is like Dead Or Alive meets Hanzel und Gretyl with Marilyn Manson and Angelspit in close attention, the track is electro manna for which there is no defence.

Bringing the release to an equally riveting and explosive conclusion is firstly Time To Survive, the track bringing back a thicker muscular wall of sound to further tease and exploit the now brewed ardour towards it with insidiously entrancing sonic enticement and ravenous heavy duty rapaciousness, and finally a remixed version of Next Nothing. Though Activate Your Anger does not offer anything dramatically new, it and Machine Rox unleash a tempestuous energy exploding experience which few recently have rivalled.

http://www.machinerox.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 28/04/2013

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