Bear – Propaganda

Having discovered Bear through their senses ravening second album back in 2013, every new moment with the Belgian outfit has been a momentous moment in our musical year and there is nothing different in 2020 with the unleashing of Propaganda, their most striking trespass of the senses yet.

There has always been an open uniqueness about the Antwerp quartet’s sound but again it has evolved into a whole new beast of fascination within their fourth full length. Described as a fusion of progressive metal and hardcore, the reality is that it is a far richer and diversely woven proposition. Within Propaganda groove and tech metal embroils in death and noise rock, a mixture only further twisted as rapacious imagination cast its weaves. The feral likes of Noumenon and successor /// have blossomed in that creative environment but Propaganda though has simply found a whole new discharge of temptation.

With its heart and breath a roar against the spins which manipulates all our lives, Bear’s new onslaught immediately descended on ears with opener Dissolve Dissipate. Rhythms immediately assault as acerbic grooves entwine the listener, a hungry contagiousness swarming the senses as the track violently devours. The thick growl of vocalist Maarten Albrechts erupts straight into the barrage, spilling further malice and tempting in a fusion only increasing in enslavement; even more so as a contrast of clean vocals rises within the sonic persistence and growing enterprise.  As the track again twists and escalates its lure, all the time soon adding greater lust to our appreciation, it is a superb start to the album and a scene setter of the invention within its body and ravenous dexterity in its realisation.

The rhythms of drummer Serch Carriere and bassist Dries Verhaert perpetually make for a magnetic invitation even as more restraint wraps their baiting of ears as the release’s title track follows. Nevertheless it instantly held attention tight as further aspects add the inescapable beckoning into a waiting deluge of sound and venom. Even that though is aligned to melodic and compelling enterprise, the track a mercurial incitement as savage as it is seductive on body and thoughts. Winding, Guitarist James Falck again weaves vines of sound and threads of grooves around the song’s transfixing length, tendrils which threaten as they lure; the track itself epitomising that feat within its predacious presence.

Obey barely allows a breath to be taken before uncaging its own predatory instincts and sounds, ferocity again interlaced with progressive and grooved imagination which not so much tempers the assail as encourages it and an already well grown addictiveness to the encounter. It is a trait we found with previous releases, a quickly formed and unshakeable hunger for their wares which is soon fertile within Propaganda and only intensified with the following pair of Apollo’s Heist and Red Throne. The first teases ears first, nagging on attention before rewarding such focus with a menacing crawl which was soon burrowing deep; the sinister temptation only accentuated by the harmonics of varied vocals and synth caresses within the ursine confrontation. It provided full enthralment from start to finish which its successor quickly devoured with its far more volatile and grievous exploits. As those before and to come, the track is as unpredictable as it is compelling, leaping with bruising dynamics yet never hinting on its subsequent moments of greedy aggression or dramatic restraints; it all delivered with devious craft and manipulative imagination.

Through the similarly ominous and disturbing intimation of the increasingly carnal Mite and the viscous animosity of Gutter Love the album only gripped tighter, the latter a virulent slab of primeval rock ‘n’ roll while the following Stigmata left its deep sonic mark with rhythmic lashings and dark raptorial fingering of the psyche and fair to say that each track is bound in capricious adventure and skilfully erratic enterprise inventively and imaginatively bred.

The calm dark beauty of The Ram brings a moment to find stability for the senses and suggestion for thoughts though the listener is soon consumed in the cataclysmic invasion of Flares which erupts with Bear’s trademark brutality and imagination gripping resourcefulness as again expectations are never allowed to seed and appetite to lose its greed for the band’s ingenuity.

Engine and Kuma bring the album to a close, the first an infection of sound and intimidation which is as masterfully radiant at times as it is persistently intrusive and truculent throughout and the second an infestation of quarrel and hostility around a groove woven web of harmonic and melodic splendour; both providing a rousing end to the album with the last another particular peak in its lofty landscape.

Propaganda only becomes more potent and magnificent by the listen and imposingly stimulating as its lyrical side stands tall in the instantaneous glory of its sounds. Not for the first time Bear has crafted one of the year’s major and richly enjoyable moments; the continuing welcome ringing in our senses proof.

Propaganda is out now via Pelagic Records.

https://www.facebook.com/bearpropaganda   https://twitter.com/bearpropaganda

RingMaster Review 16/06/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Old Bones – Sleepwalker

They call it ”powerslop deathrock”, we call it rapaciously virulent rock ‘n’ roll but however you wish to tag the sound of Old Bones, it makes for one very satisfying and rousing time within their debut EP, Sleepwalker.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Old Bones is a trio consisting of guitarists/vocalists Anthony Dallolio and Johnny Dadabo, and bassist/vocalist Dan Walsh. Emerging from two decades plus of friendship and finding the last incentive to finally be serious about the project after watching a Mastodon/Opeth show, the band has spent the past two and a half years “writing, rewriting, revising, scrapping, starting over and writing songs until our fingers bled and our throats were shot. These five songs represent our literal blood, sweat, and tears to tell stories ranging from extra-terrestrials to loneliness and grief, and every note is a piece of our soul screaming to be heard.” It is a suggestion that nothing was left at the table by the time the EP was borne and listening to its stomping quintet of tracks that physical intensity alone is unmistakable.

Fusing various metal and heavy rock essences with a mischievous imagination, Old Bones spring a sound which demands attention. Familiarity aligns with individuality throughout, the latter the freshest and most captivating aspect of a sound which is as contagious a trespass as you would wish for. There are at times moments which feel like they organically burst free even catching the band unawares but only add to the great unpredictability and enterprise striking ears.

Enlisting drummer Griffin McCarthy (Letter of Marque) for its recording at Vudu Studios, with Walsh a later addition to the mix, Sleepwalker immediately set about the senses with opener Elegy. Its thick melodic opener carries temptation and threat, its amble through ears as menacing as it is inviting. Raw throated vocals ride the grooved lines soon sparking a keen appetite while the following clean vocals make for an equally potent aspect, the mix of feral and warmly catchy swiftly captivating and addictive. There is plenty more going on though; virulent hooks and skilled melodic trails rising up as keenly as predacious riffs and punchy rhythms.

The impressive start continues with INVADERS which straightaway has ears in the palms of its hands as grunge and punk essences infest alternative rock bred agility. Again the untamed instincts of the band are bold and gripping, the song unapologetically infectious and just as pungently aggressive while taking favourite track honours before the EP’s title track muscularly ambles in. McCarthy’s rhythms gripped ears and appetite from its first breath, equally carnal riffs a welcome treat before melody rich imagination weaves another enterprising tapestry of temptation and surprise while extreme and progressive metal traits only add to the drama and incitement.

Colossus and Sights & Sounds / Electric Frankenstein bring even greater flavour and variety to the release; the first wild and ferocious rock ‘n’ roll at its core engaging with a host of just as voracious flavours and skilfully nurtured sonic flirtation. It too emerged a major favourite moment within Sleepwalker while close behind, the latter of the pair strolls the heaviest landscapes of rock and grooviest plateaus of metal to spring a Black Tusk meets Mastodon meets Tool like incitement.

Both provide ears, as the EP overall, with a tide of aspects to greedily dine on and as great a bundle of reasons to eagerly recommend Old Bones and their Sleepwalker.

Sleepwalker is out now; available @ https://oldbonesny.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/OldBonesNY

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Dead Register – Fiber

pic Joe Sands

pic Joe Sands

The inability to pin down the Dead Register sound is almost as enjoyable as the music itself and the expansive web of flavours making it up. The Atlanta trio weave a tapestry which seems simultaneously made up of essences from gothic and death rock, post punk and dark pop, doom and post rock and more. As shown by debut album Fiber, the richness of those textures is a genre crossing emprise of craft and imagination. Yet there is something easily accessible to its busy body of imagination igniting invention and atmospheric drama too, an almost familiar presence which still defies recognition. The result of it all is a release which has a uniqueness few can emulate and a fascination which simply seduces ears and emotions.

Formed in 2013, Dead Register began as the creative union of vocalist/bassist M. Chvasta (ex-Palaces; ex-Light Pupil Dilate) and his wife Avril Che (bass synth, textures, keys, backing vocals). The programmed rhythmic side of the project was replaced the following year by Chad Williams (ex-Magnapop) with a wave of writing and subsequently the live honing of songs live following. Bringing six of their favourite tracks together, Dead Register now release Fiber; an introduction which bewitches and challenges in equally compelling manner.

From its first moments, Fiber is a leviathan of monolithic, doom infused temptation sparking and feeding off the imagination. It manages to be imposing, bordering portentous, but with an infectious virulence and emotively melodic character of sound which does not so much temper its dark side but blossoms in its embrace. It all starts with Alone and a lone and slim melancholic melody. It is the spark for a doom loaded awakening of raw riffs and a deliciously gravelly bass groan. A suggestive ambience lays in its shadows too before the instantly impressing tones of Chvasta’s croon and the rhythmic shuffle of Williams help unveil new depths in the outstanding encounter’s increasing emotion and drama.  Che’s harmonies float like gossamer in that air whilst the track takes on a Southern Death Cult meets Modern English meets Swans presence across almost ten minutes of sonic and vocal bliss.

Dead Register Fiber Cover Art_RingMasterReviewIt’s impressive and gripping presence is matched in might by the album’s title track next. From its initial grouchy growl in metallic riffs and bass lures, the song has ears and thoughts thickly involved with an intimidating creative theatre and emotive exploration. It gently nags and openly immerses the senses in a slightly corrosive but engaging proposal, everything about it a skilful and imaginative merger of contrasts. Rhythms are irritable yet rousing, melodies poetic against almost ravenous sonic atmospherics, and Chvasta’s beguiling voice the descriptive haven within a tempestuous climate and raw wind.

A mouth-watering post punk incitement opens up the rhythmically irresistible Drawing Down next; it continuing to make ripe appearances within the evocative landscape and post rock/ gloom-gaze heart of the third track. At times there are spices sparking thoughts of bands like Echo and The Bunnymen and The Birthday Party, other times a surge of invention hinting at a Godflesh or Palms, but all strands within the band’s captivating ingenuity linked by the ever impressing vocals and the tenaciously seducing rhythms.

Grave offers the darkest, dankest climate of the album so far, its atmosphere almost clinging to the senses as guitars and bass cast emotively picturesque lures serenaded by the rich expressive tones of Chvasta. As all tracks, it has thoughts off on their own creative tangent whilst embracing the narrative offered by voice and melodic intimation; a craft and success unsurprisingly found in the following Entwined too. Even with the riveting throaty grizzle of the bass, a flavour hard to get enough of within Fiber, the song has a warmer tone to its predecessors. It has an almost mystical air, especially through its sonic and melodic design, though again raw and erosive shadows lurk and crowd their magnetic insinuations for great volatility in another lingeringly memorable moment on the album.

Closing up with the heavy seductive oppression of Incendiary, a track rivalling Grave for strength of suffocating emotive intensity, Dead Register transfix and thrill with every twist and turn of Fiber. Though maybe not quite matching those before it for personal tastes, the final track epitomises the qualities and craft of the band whilst exciting the senses and imagination. Again contrasting textures and elements collude through a kaleidoscope of styles and sounds to create something unlike any other proposal heard in a long time and likely to be found again this year outside of the trio. Fiber is dark magic, emotional trespassing, and quite wonderful.

Fiber is released May 6th via AVR Records digitally and on CD and cassette @ https://deadregister.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deadregister

Pete RingMaster 06/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

We Are Hex – W.D.M.R.S/Tongues 7”

Photo  Gregthemayor

Photo Gregthemayor

Providing two tracks which would soundtrack any occultist or pagan ritualistic dance with a toxicity even the exponents of those dark arts would fear, Indianapolis quartet We Are Hex unleash their new 7” single W.D.M.R.S./Tongues. The release is a glorious ravaging of the psyche and calling of the primal predator in us all, and one of the most virulently addictive and seductive releases in a long time.

We Are Hex has never been slow in ripping up the rulebook and infiltrating the senses with an infestation of their sonic irreverence and rhythmic antagonism, as shown by the likes of Gloom Bloom (2009), Hail The Goer (2010), and the Jon Spencer produced single Lewd Nudie Animals / Real Waco Lot Lizard of last year; just three of their uncompromising manipulative adventures. The band creates a gothic drenched death rock which just seems to get darker and thicker in its causticity and brilliance, but the new pair of songs has found a depth and plateau which leaves everything before it in varying degrees of shade. Both tracks are simple glorious, rapacious stalking of senses and emotions which leave the longest lingering and most deeply entrenched alchemy from the band yet. Ahead of a new full-length and continuing the striking legacy of their 7” unleashes, which includes the Jack White recorded Twist the Witch’s Titty, the new single is pure salacious joy and the reason the devil loves rock music.

W.D.M.R.S leads the persuasion, emerging from a sinister sonic mist of intrigue and menace as a portentous declaration marks our We Are Hex - W.D.M.R.S covercards. Named after sixties band Coven’s Witchcraft Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls, and featuring the guest tones of Jinx Dawson from the band, the song entangles ears and senses in a web of guitar temptation aligned to calls of torturous souls. It is intimidating bait which the rich throaty voice of the bass and a percussive flirting only accentuates before the body of the song leaps from the tempest to immediately grip the passions. Rhythms unleash their heaviest thumping suasion right then too as guitars entwine and score ears with minimalistic but resourcefully precise melodic toxicity. It is a gorgeous swamp of sound, a Siouxsie Sioux element touching the vocals of Jill whilst moonshine like whiffs of The Slits soaks beats and their imposing agitation. The song transports the imagination into the heart of sultry satanic scenery, a sonic clawing and rhythm driven hypnotism inescapable bonds holding thoughts and emotions, not forgetting swiftly ardour wrapped passions tight. With seventies bred garage pop and psychedelic whispers also adding their coating to the recipe, the song is pure aural venom and quite delicious.

Its success and immense seduction is swiftly thrown up another level or three with Tongues, the track two minutes of addiction causing ingenuity driven by rhythmic irritation and sonic nagging. It is simply brilliant, a carnivorous tsunami of tenacious melodic scorching and sonic animosity strapped to a rhythmic hostility and persistence which draws the deepest insatiable lust in return for its rampant enticement. Imagine Alien Sex Fiend and the Sex Gang Children in an illicit union with Stolen Babies and Morning Wood and you get an idea of the sheer ingenuity and virulent compulsion that is Tongues. Arguably the best song heard this year and last, it is a musical bitch with all the charm and voracity of a rabid burlesque dancer, something which applies to the sound of We Are Hex full stop really.

Sometimes you come across a band which consistently sculpts templates for others which in turn subsequently breed new depths of subservient allegiance towards them; We Are Hex is one of the most masterful and deviously riveting bands and if you have doubts we give the W.D.M.R.S/Tongues 7” as our proof and recommendation to go be infected.

W.D.M.R.S/Tongues is available via Latest Flame Records now @ http://wearehex.bandcamp.com/album/w-d-m-r-s-tongues

https://www.facebook.com/wearehex

10/10

RingMaster 17/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

http://www.audioburger.com