Bear Bone Company – Self Titled

BBC_RingMaster Review

We are always up for an artist letting their music do all the talking compared to others which spew suggestions of being the next best thing then bringing disappointment with a formula or uneventful sound, but there are some who go too far the other way and do themselves no favours by being as secretive about themselves as an orgy in a vicarage. One such band is Swedish rockers Bear Bone Company, an outfit with a sound which takes ears and body on an invigorating ride but keeps pretty much silent when it comes to self-promotion. With a stonking self-titled debut album recently unleashed via Sliptrick Records making a rich roar though things hopefully will become livelier for and with the band, a result the powerhouse of tenacious rock ‘n’ roll certainly deserves.

What we can tell you about Bear Bone Company is that they come from the Örebro area of their homeland, were formed in 2012, and now have a line-up of guitarist/vocalist B.K., bassist/backing vocalist J.Martin, and drummer Knauz. Their sound is a healthy blend of classic and modern heavy rock with spices of metal, and their first album is produced by Ronny Milianowicz (Dionysus, Sinergy, Saint Demon). More we cannot say but that is fine as the album is worthy of all the attention anyway.

bearbone-_RingMaster Review     It opens with Fade and instantly has ears entangled in a tasty groove within firmly probing rhythms. Bass and guitar only increase their individual lures as the song expands to embrace the impressive tones of B.K. and the rousing air of the song. As to be heard across the album, there is something familiar to the band’s sound, the likes of Theory Of A Deadman and Black Stone Cherry amongst a few brought to mind, yet as the song shows there is a fresh and rich edge which is distinctive Bear Bone Company, the outstanding Kiss N Tell swift confirmation. The second song enters on a grouchy rhythmic and spicily sonic stride, relaxing into a more recognisable prowl soon after whilst still retaining its initial irritated nature. The band crooned chorus offers additional Poison meets Velvet Revolver like revelry but it is the antagonistic side of the mighty song and its searing flames of guitar which stirs the imagination most.

Both the excellent Don’t Belong and the rigorously enticing Burkitt Lymphoma hold ears and attention tight, the first with a more controlled and even tempered hard rock character wrapped in fiery textures and enterprise and its successor through a steamy wash of guitar and again fearsome riffs. The latter though also slips into a more comfortable melodic prowess and catchy endeavour to keep its body unpredictable and fascinating. Once more major surprises are scarce but there is no escaping the sound is gripping and all Bear Bone Company.

The anthemic blaze of Down In Flames provides a stirring incitement next, B.K. as vocally strong and impressive as ever as the song stalks the senses and treats the ears with its bluesy intoxication whilst Bear Bone rocks like a predator in heat, grooves and riffs casting a primal rock ‘n’ roll swing as the bass venomously snarls. Both tracks hit the sweet spot before the predacious allure and presence of Way Back Home casts its sonic web over the imagination and by now a fully eager appetite for the release. Every track upon the album is in some ay a fire of anthemic tendencies, this one more of a smouldering pyre of enterprise which burns its way into the memory and a lingering appreciation.

Drinkin’ Time stomps with zeal loaded rock ‘n’ roll next, its easy presence not living up to what has come before yet still leaving satisfaction keen whilst Hangin’, another maybe promising more than delivering for personal tastes, strolls along with an infectious nature and accomplished body to easily please. Neither quite catches the imagination, though it again is just individual tastes involved, and both overshadowed by the emotive weight and call of Fallin’ Down. Its tangy grooves and persistent riffery is simply flavoursome bait alongside a similarly weighty lure of vocals, all spun around the potent rhythms of Knauz to strong success.

The final pair of songs upon the album add further tinder to its fire, Life’s About engagingly tangling classic rock and metal with soaring vocals and prowling rhythms whilst Suicide canters through ears with attitude soaking its intent and an inner fire fuelling its punk/heavy rock ‘n’ roll predation. It is a tremendous close to a rather potent and thoroughly agreeable encounter, an album easy to keep returning to and roaring along with to the neglect of others.

Hopefully the release and assumes success of the album will inspire Bear Bone Company to reveal more of themselves and even more so push their presence into the faces of potential fans as there are surely plenty of unaware heavy rock appetites waiting to be fired up by the Swedish trio.

The Bear Bone Company album is out now through most online stores via Sliptrick Records.

https://www.facebook.com/BearBoneCompany/

Pete RingMaster 12/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Evil Conspiracy – Prime Evil

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It might not be an encounter with even an inkling of tearing up the metal ‘rule book’ in its makeup but Prime Evil from Swedish heavy metallers Evil Conspiracy is one seriously enjoyable proposition to revitalise weary ears. A feisty mix of flavours from classic and power metal to thrash and melodic escapades, the band’s sound makes for a magnetic and inventive incitement in a debut album which hits all the right notes in its thoroughly rewarding stomp.

Hailing from the Kumla/Örebro areas of Sweden, Evil Conspiracy emerged in 2002, evolving from a band called Legions which had just lost some of its members. A quartet of demos were released between 2003 and 2006 to strong responses, whilst live the band were soon earning a good reputation for their performances. Their first show saw the band support Lost Horizon but in no time they were drawing strong and eager crowds and support, resulting in Evil Conspiracy being one of the headline acts at the Wretstock festival whilst in early 2004 they supported Dionysus at the release party for Anima Mundi in Örebro. A few personnel changes have come with the years, especially vocally, but with the line-up of vocalist Fredrik Eriksson, guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Andreas Mäkelä, guitarist Patrik Mäkelä, bassist Martin Giaever, and drummer Veikko Heikkinen, Evil Conspiracy set about creating their first album with its release recently coming through Sliptrick Records to whom the band signed last year.

Prime Evil is an immediate incitement for ears and appetite, the opening Intro a short but atmospherically engaging proposal. The guitars spread suggestive melodies as around them brooding ambience brews, this in turn inviting dramatic rhythms and intensity to step forth until it all winds down leaving the listener ready for the fiery contagion of Rule the Ruins. Thrash seeded riffs rigorously roam as gripping hooks leave their mark whilst along the lure the excellent and grouchy tones of Eriksson entice and impress. Group harmonies add to a mellower but no less anthemic chorus whilst the spicy enterprise of the guitars are courted by the ever presence temptation of addictive hooks and spiky grooves. The track is an excellent proper start to the album and quickly backed up by its title track with its own unique collection of tangy grooving and virulent persuasion. A rich essence of Bay Area thrash lines the rampancy and snarl of the track but equally its sonic endeavour and imagination has a power/heavy metal adventure as the track twists and lurches from landmark to landmark with a creative infectiousness which is Anthrax like.

There is no letting up in energy and enjoyment as the prowling predator that is Scars with Pride takes over. The vocals simply draw full attention as does the roaming throaty bass enterprise of Giaever, whilst the guitars spin an evolving web of voracious and in turn seductive invention as the song explores a mellower landscape, though its walls still snarl and grab at the senses from time to time. It is a captivating encounter setting up the broader metal tapestry of Fallen From the Sky, another song with a growling, inhospitable nature at its core but engaged in an exploration of melodic beauty and eighties harmonic resourcefulness. It does not quite find the same levels of persuasion as its predecessors but still makes a compelling and rewarding proposition before being outshone by The Plague. Jagged, carnivorous riffs saw away at ears initially, their intimidation matched by the menace of the rhythms before it relaxes a touch for a melodic saunter. All the time though glimpses of the predation it opened with flirt with the passions before emerging in a raucously addictive and anthemic chorus. Simply it is a lithe beast of a song with raptorial imagination and a malevolent heart.

7-2 provides a slab of enticing power balladry with rugged exploits next whilst The Beast of Flesh and Blood and Tools of Evil uncage their individual contagions of multi-flavoured and skilfully crafted old school infused metal. All three, without igniting the fires as the first half of Prime Evil achieved with personal tastes, have easy control of body and satisfaction with their individual catchy anthems. The third especially has the knack of deceptively involving the listener at certain points, if not quite maintaining that potency for its whole length, but enjoyment is only topped up by each and the following Father of Lies.

The penultimate song is the most diverse on the album in many ways, its melodic and progressive enterprise a fascinating enticement which if anything does not go far enough in its boldness, ultimately preferring to embrace a more classic heavy metal croon. Nevertheless again you can only say that satisfaction is thick as the final encounter takes to ears. Earth and Flames is similar in make-up if not presence to the previous song, aggressive and seductive in simultaneous persuasion and a thrilling end to a thoroughly enjoyable offering from a band you can expect to be talked about in much broader circles from hereon in.

Evil Conspiracy might not want to re-invent the metal wheel but they certainly have the intent to give it a colourful coat of voracious rock ‘n’ roll paint, a success found in the heartily recommended Prime Evil.

Prime Evil is available now via Sliptrick Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/prime-evil/id974680961

https://www.facebook.com/evilconspiracy

RingMaster 28/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Carnal Agony – Preludes & Nocturnes

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Preludes & Nocturnes is an album which manages to impress, excite, and disappoint in one go, though admittedly the latter is a mere fraction of the enjoyment had from the Carnal Agony release. There are just times though where it feels like it missed the opportunity to make an even greater impact on ears and subsequently the metal scene, evaded the chance to pungently push this highly accomplished band towards the brighter spotlights which admittedly it still might awaken.

Hailing from Umeå in Sweden, Carnal Agony began in 2011 and swiftly began luring attention for their diversely flavoured style of metal around lyrical themes inspired by the classic literature from the likes of HP Lovecraft, John Milton, and Edgar Allan Poe. Musically the band, on the evidence of their latest album, weaves in everything from heavy and classic to power and melodic metal to a thrash seeded sound, revealing inspirations from artists such as Iron Maiden, earlier Metallica, In Flames, Mercyful Fate, and Testament along the way. Early demos sparked interest whilst the band’s live presence has brought them attention and acclaim, especially through a tour with Six Feet Under last year. Carnal Agony has been called the latest sensation in the Scandinavian metal scene, a big claim not majorly contradicted by their debut album.

Produced by Ronny Milianowicz (ex-Sinergy, Dionysus, and Saint Deamon) and featuring former Helloween/Masterplan drummer Uli Kusch (also Gamma Ray, Holy Moses), the album gets off to a rousing start through War Prayer. Straight away heavy duty riffs and matching rhythms stand toe to toe with ears, setting down a sturdy thrash bred stride. Unpredictability shows itself to be a ripe essence within Preludes & Nocturnes and within just a few moments the first song has expectations wrong footed by slipping into a calmer melodic passage. This enticing invention is quickly surrounded by brewing essences of epic metal and stronger drama clad textures which in turn lead into another muscular onslaught. The gruff raw vocals of David Johagen join the mix now, his rugged, raw tones admittedly taking a little time to acclimatise to against the flowing tide of sound but an increasingly strong ingredient through subsequent listens of the release. Folkish elements tease alongside classic and power metal elements, already the band’s sound defying any precise tagging. The song continues to stampede and potently relax across its engaging length, a tasty appetite raising start to the encounter provided.

carnalagony-cover   The opening vocal lure of next up The Frozen Throne is excellent, mass clean vocals like a band of brothers crooning air and ears and an element not used enough as the voices are spot on. A guttural roar from Johagen brings the air born invitation down to earth, his warlike call the spark for a web of sonic enterprise from guitarists Mathias Wallin and Pär-Olof Persson, buffeted by the thumping skills of Kusch. Hooks and melodies colour the chest thumping proposition too as again a clutch of different flavours align impressively in the track which by its end you will surely be raising a fist and vocal chords with.

Rebel’s Lament is a less forceful proposition next, though still a muscular persuasion. Inventive endeavour from the guitars bound the rally of beats and riffs whilst the dark tones of bass from Roger Andersson add rich shadows which nicely temper the skilled craft flaming from the fingers of Wallin and Persson, especially in a bewitching solo. The track though does not match up to its predecessors but still has ears engrossed and satisfaction bubbling as does the next up Rebellion. A power ballad of sorts, Johagen reveals more of his slightly cleaner and stronger qualities, and if I am being honest it is when he lets those free that he and songs find a new quality. To be fair, it is personal taste more than anything but nudged by the fact that when he does ‘sing’ he often ignites already gripping songs further. The track grows in weight, intensity, and anthemic energy so that by its close you feel like you are astride a stallion going into battle.

As good as those two songs are Carnal Agony overshadows immediately after. It is a beast of a song, a stalking intimidation of stabbing riffs and scarring beats from its first breath and a carnivorous charge of sound and energy from there on. But that is only part of the confrontation, the guitars sparking within the core rampage with slithers and spears of sonic imagination and melodic toxicity, it all ridden by the commanding ‘follow me into battle’ tones of Johagen. The track is outstanding but too damn short at barely over two minutes.

Next up is the heavy/classic metal spiced Night of the Werewolf, a track with gothic overtones. This is one of those moments where personally an opportunity was lost, the earlier mentioned clean vocals feeling like they would have been a better fit whilst musically apart from a fiercely enticing bassline, the band feels like they kept a check on the imagination which had already lit up earlier songs.

Fire Walk with Me has ears and emotions feeling feisty again next, its fluid travel through a landscape of stormy energy and reflective melodies fascinating whilst once more guitars and bass reveals striking exploits bursting with magnetism and individual skill. Backed by voice and drum swipes, the track leaves a breathless listener in its wake, ready for Sleep Waker to please with its spicy heavy metal enterprise and Crystal Lake to turn into a head nodding enthusiast with its contagious and sinister imagination. The first of the two is another which, like the album, is a blend of full captivation and less successful elements or choices, but does get stronger and more enthralling with every listen. Its successor is a glorious stomp of horror bred devilry, everything from hooks to grooves, riffs to rhythms, an emotion inflaming festival of aggression and temptation.

The opening grisly bassline of Secrets Within the Shrine next sets the tone and scene of the triumph to come. Its thick bait is swiftly joined and enhanced by prowling riffs and venom swing grooves whilst beats are more predatory than vicious at this point. There is no escaping a Metallica whiff to the song but equally a scent of Misfits and the grouchy air of Mastodon helps bring alluring flavour of the song, whilst the constantly evolving ingenuity of the guitars takes it all to another level.

The track is excellent leaving Together We’re Lost the task with closing up the album, which it does in potent style. Familiar yet fresh, the track is an infectious and highly enjoyable end and another song which finds Johagen running the range of his delivery and yes he needs to ‘sing’ more because that is where he excels.

Definitely Preludes & Nocturnes is a release to take time with because it just grows with every recruitment of its bold and flavoursome adventure. Bottom-line is that it is a strong and enjoyable introduction to Carnal Agony who carry the promise of even greater exploits ahead.

Preludes & Nocturnes is available now via Sliptrick Records @ http://www.carnalagony.com/?audio=preludes-nocturnes

https://www.facebook.com/CarnalAgony  https://twitter.com/carnalagony

RingMaster 09/05/2015

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

 

Nachtreich/Spectral Lore Split: The Quivering Lights

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Like a compelling painting which draws eyes into vivid adventures and sparks thoughts to conjure complimentary background stories, The Quivering Lights, the split release from Nachtreich and Spectral Lore, takes ears and imagination on an equivalent exploration. Taking inspiration from the metaphorical struggle between Dionysus and Apollo whilst also investigating spiritual decay, the six-track release is a journey, at times a fall, through the darkest emotions and coldest climates whilst expressing a beauty which simply bewitches.

It is a split which offers much more than a trio of tracks from two bands; the proposition seeing Germany’s Nachtreich and Greek ambient black metallers Spectral Lore collaborating and entwining their individual explorations in one soul searching flight of blackened neo-classical drama. Challenging at times, bewitching in other moments, the album aligns the darkest corners of the soul to an emotionally startling landscape in an experience metal, progressive, and classical fans alike can immerse within.

Hailing from Koblenz /Nürnberg, Nachtreich was an instrumental band formed by the musicians P.H. and U.K. in 2003. Fusing dark metal with haunting harmonies and classical seeded orchestration, the band drew acclaiming attention with their intrusive dark romance of sound before splitting in 2010, though the two members continue to work together in different genres. Their companion on The Quivering Lights is the one man project of Ayloss which began in 2005. Spectral Lore is also no stranger to potent praise having released a quartet of intriguing and enthralling albums in I, II, Sentinel, and III. Now the two projects have united in arguably one of their most inspiring and gripping exploits yet. Released via the creative union of Bindrune and Eihwaz Recordings, The Quivering Lights is a perpetually shifting beauty, a soundscape of emotive and provocative imagination which not only evolves from moment to moment and track to track, but from each individual listen to listen.

Nachtreich begin the creative theatre with Lights, an instant seduction of piano and strings which whilst soaked in melancholic seduction also express radiant charm and soulful elegance. The instrumental piece is sheer mesmerism and equally adept at provoking thoughts as well as transfixing them with its potent shadowed expression and haunting touch. Climbing in weight and emotional intensity as raw air washing over the inventive poetry of sound, the track eventually simmers down again and drifts away to allow Spectral Lore’s Quivering to step forward, also on a piano sculpted embrace. Similarly there is a melodic beauty caressing ears but also an underlying coldness which shares a starker scenery further into its length; a chill become subsequently frostier and harsher as vocal squalls and doom laden terrains loom on ears and emotions. The track continually ebbs and flows with its imposing climate, exploring quieter darker corners as well as uncaging squalls of intensity.

Greyness and Ghost Lights from Nachtreich come next. The first ‘sings’ like a lone soul in a mournful field of reflections and doubts with a viola seducing for comfort. Its successor retains the grace and melodic classiness of the band’s other pair of tracks but takes it into a more sinister and predatory climate, epitomised by the low vocal growls which rub with torment against the evocative narrative of the keys. Both tracks are captivating and emotionally inciting, gloriously haunting and impressive shadows from the imagination.

Spectral Lore bring the album to a close with firstly the eleven minute of Vanishing, which opens with its own intriguing web of guitar imagination within an enticing yet slightly tempestuous calm. It is an atmosphere which is increasing in turbulence all the time, eventfully twisting into a broader and more hostile canvas of vocal sorrow and atmospheric causticity sculpted by heavy rhythms and corrosive riffs. There is a veining of sonic adventure and light though which pierces the revolving tortuous landscape of the song and adds stronger descriptive ambience.

Final track Reflection is musically as its name suggests, a sombre and thoughtful self-investigation brought by a sultry dance of fingers on guitar strings. It leaves the listener engrossed and equally as involved in their own thoughts as much as those proposed by the album. Making an immersive and dramatic proposition, the track brings the impressive release to a similarly potent close.

The Quivering Lights is something different from the usual few tracks from one artist and a few from another styled split release. It is a stunning travelogue of emotion and sound from bands combining and merging their individual investigations in one fluid and seriously rewarding journey. This is one album all black, ambient, neo-classical, and progressive metal fans should investigate.

The Quivering Lights is available now digitally @ http://nachtreich.bandcamp.com/ and on limited edition 12”vinyl @ http://eihwazrecordings.com/distro/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2&products_id=1534

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Nachtreich-Official/134636053320790

https://www.facebook.com/spectral.lorebm

RingMaster 20/01/2015

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