Arcaeon – Balance EP

Sometimes a debut comes along which sets you back on your heels and forcibly drags a declaration of “something special and its creators heading towards making a major impact”. British metallers Arcaeon has unveiled one of those moments with the Balance EP. It presents five tracks of the band’s striking sound, a fusion of melodic metalcore with groove, progressive, and technical metal. It is an equal mix of all living up to the EP’s title with even more to captivate ears and imagination with. Quite simply it is superb and from a band still to complete its first year which only adds to the excitement and anticipation of things ahead.

Hailing from Reading, the quintet has already earned keen plaudits from sharing stages with the likes of Devil Sold His Soul, The Voynich Code, and The Arusha Accord, and can expect a tide of more with the release of Balance which they are planning to support with a UK tour.

It opens with Endeavour, slipping in on a melodic shimmer flickering with crystalline melodies. Rhythms occasionally break the calm, laying intent for the following web of grooves and vocals growls to emulate. Already a nest of progressive and technical metal rapacity, the track envelops the raw throated throes of vocalist William Alex Young though in quick time he shows his dexterity in warm and melodic expression potently backed by the vocal harmonies of guitarist Sam Machin. In turn his and the enterprise of fellow guitarist Rhys Thomas weaves even greater drama and technical adventure, the track evolving by the twist and turn into a mouth-watering unpredictable treat.

It is an ear and imagination stirring start which still gets eclipsed by the following Fade. With predacious beats from Joe Farrell stalking an electric tease, the song is soon a jungle of grooves, melodic tendrils, and invasive rhythms led by the compelling groan of Eifion Sweet’s bass. The song’s initial growl mellows out as Young swings from his raw attack to warm emotions, melodic radiance twinkling within the heavier grooved netting. As with its predecessor, things barely settle for more than a few breaths before fresh turns are made, the individual craft of the band as gripping as their united mastery and exploration of their sound and songwriting. It is less of an examination than the previous track but still nurturing some moments of almost primal creative hunger before Mind’s Eye takes over twisting the senses.

The third track arrives on sonic mist, but soon enveloping ears in a web of thick wiry grooves as melodic crystals glitter. The beguiling landscape soon welcomes Young’s mellow touch which almost as quickly breeds grouchier textures; a move echoed in the ever mercurial flight of sound. With jazzier hues and caustic ferocity blossoming across its fascinating landscape, the track is a relentless temptation on its way towards the EP’s pinnacle, Dysaxis. The outstanding track leaps upon the senses from an industrial scented lead, vocals and riffs digging in their aggressive claws as grooves invades and rhythms badger. It is a metalcore bred insurgency which effortlessly dips into a siren-esque progressive detour, the track returning to its predatory intent with greater groove and alternative metal enterprise to the fore. Each following cycle brings a fresh shade of flavour and invention, and all nagging the senses and passion with an insatiable appetite.

Legacies completes the line-up, its melodic beauty a swift wash of endeavour matched by the warmth of vocals. Though less tempestuous than its companions and especially its predecessor, the track has a fire in its belly and a lingering rage on its lips which erupts to break the gossamer hued climate. Ensuring the EP ends on a matching high to its beginnings, the song epitomises the skilled almost majestic weave Arcaeon casts in each and every track.

Balance is a magnet for ears and pleasure, and quite easy to suggest the first outstanding steps of a band already walking the lips of special.

The Balance EP is released January 26th @ https://arcaeon.bandcamp.com/album/balance

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

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

First Signs Of Frost – The Shape Of Things To Come

Pic Ben Ashton

The Shape Of Things To Come is the first EP since British rock band First Signs Of Frost emerged from a hiatus a couple of years back; its title as much a declaration of the fresh blossoming sound and creative chapter within the band as the themes it explores across five absorbing tracks.

Formed in 2004, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Owen Hughes-Holland, guitarist Adam Mason, drummer Will Gates, and bassist Dan Oehlman grabbed keen attention with their debut EP, In Our Final Chapter. 2007 saw Daniel Tompkins join up as lead vocalist before the acclaimed release of first album Atlantic and a period see the band play alongside the likes of Deaf Havana, Enter Shikari, Architects, You Me At Six, We Are The Ocean, Senses Fail, Devil Sold His Soul and many more. Before the fuss had settled around the release, Tompkins left to join TesseracT. His departure left a gap the band struggled to fill; thus their hiatus until Hughes-Holland resurrected the band in 2015. Linking up with Mason again as well as bassist Andy C Saxton (ex-Cry For Silence), vocalist Daniel Lawrence (ex-Kenai / All Forgotten), and drummer Alex Harford, the London quintet immediately sought to explore and push their sound to new imaginative heights with The Shape Of Things To Come the first glimpse of their success.

Immersing inspirations from the likes of Deftones, Tool, Further Seems Forever, and Glassjaw into their invention, First Signs Of Frost swiftly lures ears with opener Meat Week. Its atmospheric calm is a quick enticement, the gentle caress of guitar a matching lure before the brooding air also there sparks a bolder expulsion of sound. Lawrence’s vocals immediately impress, his melodic expression matched by the colluding warm and wiry textures of the sounds around him. An infectious energy is equally as persuasive within the song, every element bold without being forceful but making a strongly emotive and technically alluring temptation on ears and imagination.

The following White Flag potently backs up the great start; its enterprise similarly resourceful and ear catching without making over aggressive trespasses upon the senses. There is elegance to the First Signs Of Frost sound which charms as the craft of the individuals captivates; again making for a gentle almost smouldering seduction carried in a contagious and skilfully conjured proposal.

Latest single Look Alive Sunshine is next up with its own individual melodic rock venture veined by djent scented progressive metal intricacies. There is jaggedness which bites as the vocals and melodies hug the senses; a union which grips and lingers even if the song just fails to touch the plateau of its predecessors before the evocative climate and atmospheric ambience of Atlantis drifts in with the superb vocals of Lawrence and keys to the fore. An instinctive emotional intensity rises within the song, simmering down again before repeating its cycle within the graceful serenade.

The EP closes with Sharks; it too an initially serene coaxing but one soon revealing its djent nurtured teeth and creative volatility within a subsequent sea of melodic and technical but emotionally inflamed tranquillity. It is a fine end to a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable release. The Shape Of Things To Come feels like the first step towards something bigger and bolder but is a full pleasure in its own right; a mix which makes First Signs Of Frost a band which just has to be followed closely.

The Shape Of Things To Come is out now via Basick Records and available @ https://basick.supplies/collections/first-signs-of-frost or http://music.basickrecords.com/album/the-shape-of-things-to-come

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Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cardinal Bay – Answers EP

CARDINAL BAY_RingMasterReview

Making a potent introduction with their debut EP last year, UK post hardcore band Cardinal Bay have upped their game with its successor Answers. It is a five track proposal which growls as it dances on the ear, all of its tracks being as seriously catchy as they are emotively and aggressively forceful.

The strength of the band’s 2015 debut EP Way Back Home, released in their second year together, suggested that the Bridgwater quintet had the potential to make some big musical statements ahead and Answers certainly lives up to that promise in many ways. It comes after a year, since that first release, where the band undertook many UK tours, playing around the country alongside Amaryllis, Lost Atlanta, Chasing Cadence, and Breathe in the Silence and supported Funeral for a Friend before playing main stage at the UK’s biggest youth music festival, Butserfest. The early months of 2016 have been no different in business and success, the five-piece having made a recently acclaimed appearance on the main stage at Teddy Rocks. Now it is time for the Jonny Renshaw (Devil Sold His Soul) recorded Answers to lay down a marker for what many are calling the most exciting band to recently emerge in the post hardcore scene.

art_RingMasterReviewFrom its first moments, the Answers EP certainly does little to dismiss that type of claim, its title track slipping into ears with a melodic jangle as feisty sounds flirt with its background. Pretty soon rhythms and riffs are jostling for attention too as the strong harmonic cries of Josh Rogers colour the song’s air. It is not an over striking start but the song easily has attention held, especially once Roger’s strong vocals stroll with a throaty bassline from Jonny Dibble for company as beats jab and skirt their tempting. As the guitars of George Hill and Dave Small cast a web of melodic suggestiveness, the song simmers nicely with the occasion eruption of raw vocal growls matched by an increase in energy led by the lively beats of Matt Ward.

A strong start to the EP, the song is a sign of things to come with bigger and bolder things waiting to really spark the imagination starting with Out Of Sight. The second track has a far more imposing air to it straight away, swinging beats hitting with a heavier hand as again raw vocal squalls court the impressing melodic tones of Rogers. The band does have a flare with creating infectious pop seeded enterprise too and that also blossoms within the tenacious encounter, almost so well that its make the rawest hues of the track seem unnecessary.

Its feisty presence is matched and eclipsed by the outstanding roar of the following #Shotgun. Instantly it has a virulence and fiery edge which seduces and ignites the imagination and appetite to their strongest reactions yet. There is something familiar to the song, an indefinable essence which only adds to its drama and magnetism built on shadowy rhythms, melodic adventure, and a rampant catchiness more than conducted by Roger’s powerful delivery.

Masquerade makes a more tempered impact next though from its initial grouchy attack amidst a spiral of sonic enterprise, the track easily engages and increasingly pleases ears. It lacks the spark of its predecessors musically, the ear grabbing bite which chains attention but certainly makes up for it with the now expected great vocal quality of the band.

The EP comes to a close with There Are No Flames In Hell, a track which slowly burned itself into the passions. By its end though, and helped by round after round of its infection loaded chorus, it emerged as another strong and lingering favourite. The track contains every impressive element of the band and its sound, giving plenty more reasons why so many are waxing lyrical about Cardinal Bay. With the Answers EP to the fore, 2016 is looking like being a big year for the Somerset band.

The Answers EP is out now @ https://cardinalbay.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CardinalBay   http://cardinalbayuk.tumblr.com/   https://twitter.com/CardinalBayUK

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Death Kindly Waits For Me – Wire Iron Blood

death kindly

Let us cut to the chase right away and suggest that Wire Iron Blood might just be the best and certainly one of the most exciting post hardcore debut in recent times. An introduction to UK quartet Death Kindly Waits For Me, the three track release is a striking and dramatically captivating protagonist for ears and imagination, and the fact that it suggests there is plenty more in the creative tank of the band yet to be explored and developed only increases its impact. Expressively provocative with a sound coming from the At The Drive In/Fall Of Troy end of an ever broadening genre, Death Kindly Waits For Me is a dramatic fresh breath in the British post hardcore scene.

Northamptonshire bred, Death Kindly Waits For Me began towards the beginning of 2014, taking inspirations from the likes of Thursday, Being As An Ocean, Finch, and Taking Back Sunday into their emerging invention. Their melody rich and aggressive sound was soon drawing potent attention locally and even further afield as their increasing live presence saw the foursome sharing stages with bands such as Decade, Light You Up, Devil Sold His Soul, Terraform, Emp!re, Our Hollow Our Home, Hey Vanity, Attention Thieves and Flood Of Red. Now a national attention is on the radar as Wire Iron Blood is uncaged, and it is fair to say that expectations are already confident in the band’s success in luring a wider spotlight.

The EP opens with the outstanding Cutting Room Floor, a sonic lure swiftly thrusting ears into the impassioned vocals of Adam Fitch, his clean and earnest tones instantly magnetic. Alongside him the guitar of Max Freeston slowly spreads a coarsely melodic lure whilst the heavy bass tones of Adam Cator, just as quickly adds dark haunting shadows. Pierced by the controlled and reserved but rapier like strikes of drummer Josh Miller, it is not a dramatic start yet thoroughly intriguing and awakening an appetite to hear more. Soon into a steady stride and still employing the creative weave which set things off, the song increasingly impresses as it expands its presence musically and vocally, Fitch superb with his distinctive angst fuelled tones whilst the DEath KIndly...more punkish offering of Freeston is a potent backing and the raw roars of Cator nicely caustic. An additional anthemic strength emerges in the song and though musically maybe it does not blaze with startling originality there is nothing but freshness and adventure to the opener.

The same strengths flows though the following Best Friends. It character is shadowed and emotionally dark yet it flames with a contagious energy and a rigorously exciting imagination. Vocally once more the track shines whilst riffs and melodies create an infectious proposal which, as the EP, becomes more addictively enjoyable over time. That Fall Of Troy feel is a bright whisper across the song, whilst other elements hint at the more experimental adventure of The Mai Shi at times, but as the song evolves from a raging stomp into a melancholic croon in its finale, the track is thrillingly individual to Death Kindly Waits For Me.

The closing Decade Of War continues the excellent temptation, its emotionally sober but energetically impassioned heart a canvas for great rhythmic enterprise and colourful guitar endeavour to wrap with craft and tenacity. Vocally of course the song continues a weighty persuasion amidst impressive sonic imagination and by its end it is hard not to sigh in disappointment that there is no more and to swiftly go back to the beginning again and ensure there is.

As mentioned at the beginning, Wire Iron Blood is a starting point for the band which shows that they have plenty to discover and push within themselves. There is little nothing to shade the potency of the release though, with no reflection on Cator, personal tastes would like to see a diminishing or loss of the aggressive vocal squalls as they often feel at odds with the rest of the vocal delivery and at times songs. It is a very minor thing of course in a potential drenched start by Death Kindly Waits For Me, a band hard not to get rather excited over.

Wire Iron Blood will be available from 2nd March through all digital stores.

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RingMaster 02/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The NX – Night Heaver

Photo Credit_ Robbie Shakeshaft Radcliffe Studios

Hitting the listener like a venomously swung sledgehammer in its first breath and proceeding to increase in hostility and brilliance from thereon in, Night Heaver simply blows thoughts and emotions away. The debut EP from British hard rock/metallers The NX, the four track onslaught is a dramatic and breath-taking introduction to a band sure to make a major impact on the UK music scene if their first trespass of the senses is any evidence.

Possibly the strength and quality of Night Heaver could be expected as The NX features former members of The Casino Brawl in its line-up; nothing is ever guaranteed though and the band swiftly show they are a unique and potential drenched proposition in their own right with the EP. Formed a few years ago in the north east of England, The NX soon bred a potent reputation and following as they proceeded to ignite venues with their live presence, which over the years has seen them play with the likes of The Chariot, This Is Hell, Enter Shikari, Bring Me The Horizon, Penknife Lovelife, Heights, Yashin, Job for A Cowboy, The Casino Brawl, Deaf Havana, Devil Sold His Soul amongst many more. Returning from a prolonged hiatus, the band unleashed their creative fury again from the end of 2013, a new line up and appetite to create more contagiously aggressive shows and sounds driving the band’s return, which has included so far successful tours with Funeral For A Friend, Hacktivist, and The Blackout. It has all added to a growing anticipation for the band’s debut EP, and there is no doubt that Night Heaver feeds all hopes and wants with ease whilst providing much more.

Lonnie Johnson’s Greatest Hit is an immediate raging bellow in the ears but equally a compelling web of heavy rock grooves and spicy hooks with a tempestuous rhythmic incitement. Quite swiftly like a blend of Every Time I Die, Turbonegro, and Cancer Bats with its own distinctive roar, the track takes no prisoners. The venomous vocal squalls of Warby Warburton intrude and entice with rasping causticity whilst the spicy hooks and scorching grooves of Mark Thirtle seduce and scar with equal tenacity. There is also great unpredictability to the track which shines out, PromoImagethe sudden twists and dips into intriguing and at times sinister invention, mouth-watering and ear catching.

It is a potent start but personally just an appetiser for bigger and better things to come, starting with The Great Unwashed. The second track immediately has a dirty air to its breath and opening riffs, an antagonistic nature which is urged in by the great bassline cast by Glen Holmes and spread with intensity through the swiftly following blaze of guitar punctured by the viciously swung beats of drummer Luke Walker. Every syllable spat from Warburton comes with a soaking of malice, a rancor matched by the rest of the track though it too is unafraid to offer catchy hooks and anthemic vocal calls against the clanging steely tone of the guitars and an overall merciless ferocity.

Yet another plateau is breached with the following The Day It Rained Forever, the opening grouchy coaxing of another irresistible bassline aligning to thumping beats for the first potent bait from the song. Soon though it is prowling and seducing as great cantankerous vocals, which initially hold a sobering air, add their interest in proceedings before they are venting with rich malevolence amidst a web of tangy grooves and psychotic rhythmic enterprise. As hardcore punk as it is metallically infused, the song is a glorious maelstrom which twists and turns as if it has the creative mania of St. Vitus Dance. Equipped with a closing noise fostered chorus which is impossible to leave alone, the track is one big reason for suspecting The NX will take their history to new major climes.

It is a suspicion done no harm by the other songs and especially the raging Let Sleeping Dogs Lie which brings the EP to an immense close. In a way opening in similar fashion to how its predecessor parted, the track brawls and violates the senses with another hardcore bred ferocity and corrosive inventiveness. Every riff scowl and hostile vocal expression exhausts and smothers the senses which in turn are invigorated by an incitement of hard rock melodies and spiky hooks which erupt and surge from time to time across the ever evolving provocation.

The song is an outstanding end to a tremendous release, the kind of debut fans were hoping and delivering a startling and thrilling adventure which declares The NX as a new inescapable force in British rock ‘n’ roll.

The Night Heaver EP is available from February 23rd on EP and digitally via Footloose Records and all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/thenxofficial

RingMaster 23/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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