Andreas S Jensen – Disturbed

To this point in time, Danish born, London based Andreas S Jensen has made a notable name for himself for being a guitarist in Dub Pistols, as a writer/producer whose co-writes with the likes of Kevin Lyttle, Armand Van Helden, and Nate James have sold close to a million copies, and in collaborations as remixer, producer, session player, and engineer with artists such as Dido, Rizzle Kicks, Vybz Kartel, Sam And The Womp, Beenie Man, Nerina Pallot and more. This month though sees the singer songwriter/musician make his own individual impact, expectantly what will be his biggest one yet, with the release of a debut solo album. Disturbed is an ear pleasing, imagination stroking collection of songs combining lyrical intimacy with an alluringly broad brushstroke of sound. It is a release which makes the most seductive company note to ear and then haunts the memory once departed; that in anyone’s book the sign of something special.

Jensen has already enticed praise carrying attention with his first EP Disconnected which was released at the beginning of 2014. Embracing inspirations ranging from David Bowie, Tom Petty, and Elliot Smith to Soundgarden and The Zombies, the encounter was the first step towards the lofty heights now awaiting the senses within Disturbed. For the album Jensen drew on the talent of a group of London session players he has met through his producer and session work including drummer Adam Falkner (Babyshambles/Dido), guitarist Garo Nahoulakian (Nadine Shah), cellist Ben Trigg (Arctic Monkeys, Unkle, Jamie Collum), and Antonia Pagulatos (Gorillaz, Blur) on violin and viola as well as Jesper Lind (Jack Savoretti), Nikolai Bjerre (Lamb), Jack Cowens (Dub Pistols/Bondax) and many others. The result of this union of craft and invention is a record as rampantly catchy as it is emotionally open; each song like a big brother knowingly understanding those moments in life, love, and longing we have all hugged or endured.

Disturbed opens with its new single released a week before the album and fair to say Only Die Once instantly has attention gripped. Jensen’s voice is the first enticement, his warm slightly sandy tones soon joined by a theatre of rhythms and keys as a guitar weaves its own suggestive bait. There is drama in piano and bass too whilst instinctive infectiousness fuels vocals and the melodic coaxing hooking the senses whether in a controlled smoulder or a fiery blaze. As a sign of things to come across the album, the track simply blossoms and grows with every passing second; a crowd of instruments and sounds uniting in a fanfare of imagination and enterprise.

The outstanding start is matched by next up Trust Is My Anchor, a single released earlier this year which had us on board with real anticipation right then for what Disturbed would subsequently bring. Like the first, the song makes a gentle start, acoustic guitar aligning with Jensen’s ever appealing voice and like its predecessor a proposal which just opens up its sound and invention with every breath. Soon it roars with a robust rock pop temptation which sublimely ebbs and flows in intensity whilst increasing its hold on ears and appetite second by second. There is something of Billy Momo to the subdued moments of the track and a hint of R.E.M. in its bolder expulsions; both deliveries as compelling as the other as another pinnacle within the album is exposed.

Take My Heart and Go needs barely a breath to seize ears as a glorious gnarly tendril of sound winds around the senses, a flirtatious bassline and the caress of acoustic magnetism swiftly stepping up alongside. Mixing country flavoured rock and eagerly strolling indie pop, the track has the body bouncing and hips swaying in no time with the imagination employed by word and another rich tapestry of textures and invention. For personal tastes it is probably fair to say that the track just misses the heights of the pair before it but the pleasure loaded grin our faces during its presence each and every time reveals all and alone why with every listen Disturbed  becomes more essential.

Through the electric shimmer of Another Way Of Leaving, a proposition merging sixties psych and eighties pop in its tantalising soulful croon, and the Baroque kissed Unchanged captivation is intense and greedy. The second of the two especially bewitches with its shadowy reflection and perpetually rising crescendo of sound and endeavour, the strings which magnetically colour most tracks voraciously manipulative and rousing before And She’s There calms things a touch with its vibrant canter. It too is a tenaciously catchy enticement all the same though which imagining The Everlys and Walker Brothers born as one and breaking out today gives a sense of this superb slice of contagious pop.

Thought gets the focus over body with the balladry of next up Looking Back For Something New, though it is hard not to sway to its melancholy lined tone and melodically intimate presence, while Run with at first a similar gait brews a contagion which has body and spirit rocking as again eighties funk/pop collude with electronic and creative drama. Both of the songs have a firm hand on ears and lustful attention though each is eclipsed by the bold exploits of Dangerzone, a theatre of rock pop which surely has to be the next single. Some tracks make you greedy for more, this is one for Jensen though one among quite a few to be honest but the show stealer of Disturbed for these ears.

The album concludes with I Carry My Cross, a beguiling dark folk/ country spectacle weaving in strands of gypsy, carnival and Latin rock which with its hypnotic funereal march is reason alone to take a chance on exploring one rousing release.

To be honest as much as we loved the single Trust Is My Anchor a few months back we were maybe expecting Disturbed to just back up its striking presence rather than take things to a whole new level. Boy, were we off the mark, the album a BIG must for all rock, pop, indie fans well everyone who loves boisterously catchy and emotionally honest music.

Disturbed is released September 15th with the single Only Die Once out September 8th.

http://www.andreassjensen.com/    https://www.facebook.com/AndreasJensenMusic    https://twitter.com/andreassjensen

Pete RingMaster 04/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Temple Of Lies – The Serial Killer Suite

From its predatory nature alone, The Serial Killer Suite ensures ears and an appetite for imposing metal are aroused; add potent individual craft and an instinctively woven web of grooves and rhythmic threat and you have a release which stalks attention. The third album from UK metallers Temple Of Lies, it is a rapacious contagion of sound and intensity living up to its theme and untamed protagonist.

With its first pair of singles making persuasive hints of things to come, The Serial Killer Suite swiftly shows each were accurate clues to, if still slithers of, the adventurous character of the album. The successor to the well-received From Sand, it also sees the Temple Of Lies exploring heavier and darker corners of their sound and imagination; areas as dirty and bloodthirsty as they are groove nurtured infectious and hungrily energetic. Since emerging in 2010, the Leicester hailing outfit has shown an imposing growth in their sound, an evolution now having its head within their third full-length whilst still suggesting the exploration is far from over.

The Serial Killer Suite opens up with Epic Doom and instantly prowls ears with its groove lined swagger and growling riffs and bass line. Like a ringmaster vocalist Si Shaw steps into the middle, sowing the seeds to the psychotic devil in the album’s midst. Equally from the song’s initial breath, Jon Scranney’s guitar spins a web of enticing yet rapacious hooks and grooves, bait matched by the tenacious swings of drummer Alex Gamble and Jags’ similarly grouchy bass. It is an irresistible welcome into the waiting emotional carnage and ill-intent and swiftly backed by the just as gripping exploits of Broken Mind. Again band and sound court the senses with a threatening stealth, the bass pressing intimidatingly as Shaw’s gravelly tones join its trespass. As thrusting beats and harrying riffs add their lures, the song surrounds ears with hungry enterprise, the wiry tendrils of Scranney’s guitar rich spicing.

Illusion of Choice draws on the grungier side of the Temple of Lies sound, fusing it with their ever ferocious and enticing blend of metal. Instantly the track is on the boisterous balls of its feet, rhythms scything and riffs snarling as vocals and hooks collude in a virulent temptation with a touch of Disturbed meets Spineshank to its short but fiercely persuasive body before Modus Operandi lays down its individual creative intent. Often tempting like a fusion of Monster Magnet and Suicidal Tendencies, the track has ears and imagination hooked in no time, every twist a captivating moment, each turn a fresh treat merging the familiar with the unpredictable; an essence which applies to the whole of The Serial Killer Suite.

Latest single Skin is next, the track starting with a great bass grumble and proceeding to place layer upon layer of growling dexterity whilst creating another seriously catchy proposal. Shaw again prowls it all with vocal character and quality, every syllable spawned from the psychotic menace of the album’s heart. It is inescapably magnetic stuff pretty much matched in the irritable presence of I Cut You Bleed, though the song for personal tastes just misses finding the final persuasive ingredients of its predecessors. In saying that, there are also times when the song has ears and pleasure truly in the palms of its venomous hands.

Through the calmer though still instinctively volatile Sleep and the tenebrous tone and heart of its initial single, Dark Energy, the album has ears firmly gripped and enjoyment full. The first is a mellow proposal compared to those around it but deviously dark and tantalising with Scranney again showing his melodic craft and invention. Its successor also offers a less imposing proposition initially but there is a tempestuousness and emotional toxicity which brews and catches throughout the track’s poisonous embrace.

Both are tracks which also do not quite reach the heights of earlier roars yet leave the listener wanting for nothing before being eclipsed by the crabby rock ‘n’ roll of Teeth, another song with a great whiff of the crossover thrash of the previously mentioned Mike Muir led Californians in its snarl. Gamble’s beats leave the senses bruised from within the compelling encounter, the grievously addictive tone of Jags’ bass mutually greedy as Shaw and Scranney again enthral.

In turn Face of Grey hits the spot with its almost carnally toned intent and nature though it too is overshadowed by the following Symbiotic Parasite. As soon as church bells and senses intruding beats rise, there is an air of something special brewing, a suggestion only added to by the nagging riffs and controlled but fiery net of fleeting grooves. Subsequently things erupt in a voracious stomp, a swarm of infection and energy though still on a ferocity rein sparking a gripping tapestry of adventurous enterprise.

Nihilist Dreams brings things to a fine conclusion, the song an epilogue of emotional admission and creative resourcefulness which grows more tempestuous and imposing with every passing second. It is a great end to one of the year’s most enjoyable moments so far. Certainly being picky, it would have been interesting to see Temple Of Lies push the majorly adventurous and unpredictable moments of the album with an even bolder intent, to see it become truly distinctive, but there is nothing about The Serial Killer Suite that leaves disappointment or a lack of rich enjoyment. Temple of Lies is ready for global recognition; whether the world is ready for them time will tell.

The Serial Killer Suite is out now through Attic Records on iTunes and @ https://templeoflies.bandcamp.com/album/the-serial-killer-suite

http://templeoflies.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/templeoflies/   https://twitter.com/lies_of

Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

le-3-11-16_RingMasterReview

It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, BuckCherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Micheals, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The beating of shadowed wings and inflamed hearts: introducing Darkstone Crows

Darkstone Crows_RingMasterReview

Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Darkstone Crows is a fresh metal bred fire on the Toronto music scene with a sound which simply demands attention. Now as they prepare their debut album for release later in the year, the quintet is beginning to poke at ears and spotlights further afield. With thanks to the band, we take a look into the heart and creative passion of alternative metallers…

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

Chanel Martins-lead vocals, Nick Sawicki and Jiv Marshall-guitars, Russ Shipman-bass and backing vocals, Matt Skypas-drums.

Jiv and Elle started the band back in 2014 and went through a bunch of line-up shuffles. Russ joined in July 2014, Matt was February 2015. Nick replaced our last guitarist in January 2016. We’re just a group of friends making metal music, we want to do it the best we can and not cut corners, really make a work that we can be proud of, that means something.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Russ, Matt and Nick have been involved with bands before, and Chanel has been singing since she was four years old. We all bring something from our experiences to the table but we’re learning a lot as well so our personal style has evolved with the music we’re making.

Russ: I’ve been in a ton of bands before Darkstone Crows, but I would have to say that my first real band (Get!Wise punk-metal, 2008-2013) was very influential on my ethics and approach to songwriting. I learned to jam and to listen to the other players in the band, to build and to lock into groove. I wouldn’t say that any other band I’ve played in before had any direct impact on what I’m doing now.

Elle: No bands, but I’ve been heavily involved with a lot of contemporary music and lessons since I was four years old. Discovering metal definitely made my previous training and experience have an impact on my current endeavours, in a backwards way.

Jiv: Nothing really.

Nick: Prior to the band I was just working out in the gym and studying hard in school. I write and produce a lot of my own music as well, so I was into that before this.

Matt: I was involved in a small band before, nothing too serious, but it set my mind on where I wanted to go and led to where I am now.

Any particular story or inspiration behind the band’s name?

The shared inability to utter a complete sentence without stumbling over our swollen tongues…The name was discovered by accident. Jiv stumbled over her words while saying the original idea “Dark Storm Crows” and said “Darkstone Crows” and we all liked it.

Photo by Carey Costa

Photo by Carey Costa

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

As the initial birth of the band was Jiv’s brainchild, her original concept follows:

Jiv: Initially we were called “Pariah”, and the meaning behind the name was to represent a band that wrote songs for people who felt like social outcasts. Even though Darkstone Crows still speaks of injustices lyrically, we identify with a broader collection of movements and issues with many varying opinions. For me, I was very engrossed by the female punk movement of the 1970’s, so I wanted to create an all-girl punk band. My musical approach was very raw and simplistic. But obviously, as musicians grow and change the music changes with them, especially when all the different members offer their own influences. As we grew together, our exposure to different music exploded, even as our vision, direction and music did too.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

The same things still drive us and many more things as well, we’re constantly finding inspiration around us, and there’s a real drive to succeed and explore, to push boundaries that keeps driving us forward.

[Equally, things have] definitely evolved, but not to the point that we lost sight of what the end goal was. We want to travel the world, bring our music to as many people as we can, make our mark too, and have fun doing it.

How would you say your sound has evolved since starting out?

Our sound was very raw and stripped down, influenced by a lot of older rock and metal; from bluesy rock/metal in the early days to the pseudo-progressive alt-metal it is now, though we haven’t removed many elements of our early sound, but sculpted around them and experienced different types of rock and metal and how they can meld together tastefully.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both inherent in the evolutionary process; we’ve become better musicians and writers so that was a very organic growth and a natural evolution. We naturally started writing differently as we expanded our playing, but there was a definite wish to push in different directions that we acted on. The better we got, the more comfortable we got, the more our music grew in complexity. Of late, since our initial guitarist left and Nick joined, we have been deliberately shaping our sound. He’s especially good at listening to ideas and improvising, so that has been a big step forward.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approaches and ideas to creating and playing music?

Lamb of God, Disturbed, and Periphery definitely cap the list, to a lesser extent Halestorm, Slipknot, System of a Down, and Tool have been big influences on our sound.

Definitely Halestorm, Slipknot, and Periphery, all those bands are wild performers and incredible musicians as well, truly inspirational.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?

Just try not to think too hard, and keep our minds open and concentrated simultaneously. Gold nuggets of music could come from the strangest things and at the weirdest moment. It could be an elbow knocking the strings a certain way that produces unique feedback that kicks off a whole song, you never know.

Usually we start with a riff and build around it, adding other parts that fit nicely and connecting the different parts afterwards. Once we establish parts and the vocal melody is written lyrics are drafted and we start fine-tuning.

Where are inspirations to the lyrical side of your predominantly songs drawn?

 Photo by Rachel Carys Gosling

Photo by Rachel Carys Gosling

Anything around us, in our world, any thought, any emotion, cause and effect, pertinent global issues like the environment, war, famine, and poverty. Personal struggles with alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness, ire, rage, depression, euphoria, and victory. Our songs are very dark in mood, however not necessarily darkly worded (although more often than not darkly worded).

Predominantly Jiv, and Russ write lyrics, Jiv takes ideas from injustices she see in the world around her, the media, while Russ’ lyrics hit closer to home and tend to be more metaphoric in content.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our newest release, our first full length album, is going to be available later this year (we’re aiming to release it in October). We’re currently recording and producing the album ourselves and it’s going to be massive. This album is very different from our debut EP (Darkstone Crows, June 2015), it’s much sleeker, the songs are more complex, and we’re incorporating far more instruments, as well as some feature performances. You’ll experience a more broad sonic adventure that delves into many facets of rock and metal. Our first EP, which was recorded and mixed by Dr. Sean at TRH Studios in Scarborough, CA, is much more raw; recorded stripped down and very loud. There is a punk aesthetic to this EP, hiding behind the pounding rock beats and shredding guitar solos. Definitely an honest, solid debut, perfectly illustrating the drive and hunger we were feeling at the time.

Would you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

The album’s themes are directed at injustices around the globe, from the environment to civil rights, as well as a couple that delve into the human mind and touch on addiction or mental illness.

[In regard to the first EP] Hell To Pay was written in opposition to police brutality (this was written back in 2014, before any major organizations like BLM were even founded). Easily the darkest song on the record, and still one we play today. Sidewinder, so named after the missile and the desert snake. An apt title, as this song was written near the conclusion of the coalition occupation of Afghanistan that began with the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, loosely referencing 9/11 conspiracy theories but more importantly expressing outrage at a protracted military occupation. Deadhead is an ode to street kids and the homeless struggling to scrape a living and fight their demons every day. Fathoms is our salute to the men and woman who come out to our shows, who we’ve met and befriended, partied and laughed with. It’s about the feeling of hitting the stage and having really awesome people love what you’re doing, and scream the words back at you over the PA system.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

For the most part we write before the studio. Only recently, with a home studio being acquired, were we able to implement recording into the writing process. It has many benefits, not the least of which is it’s now almost impossible to forget parts! It’s worked both ways for this record, plenty of trial and error, but with such high costs to record in studio we like to be prepared to nail those takes.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Our live shows are full of energy, we try to project our excitement onto the crowd, even joining them in the pit occasionally. We’re constantly in motion and want to turn up and just go for it. If you come to our shows, expect to meet at least one of us in the crowd. We aren’t afraid to get close to our audience, mosh with our guitars, whatever it takes to get everyone having a good time. We try to put on a bombastic show, something memorable and huge. Showmanship isn’t out-dated yet, right?

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Every scene has an opportunity for a band, the trick is making your mark and being able to leave for a bit, tour around, and come back to find your mark still there. You have to make an impression on people, really work the excitement out of your audience.

Toronto has exploded recently, not on the metal front, but in the general vein of music, so that’s generated a kind of Mecca for producers and label reps. That being said, these guys aren’t necessarily looking for a metal band, which is cool because we have more to offer than just grinding riffage and double bass. We definitely have our foot in the door, but we’re still growing as a unit and brighter horizons await.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

It can definitely be a tedious task, continuously having to type updates and promote shows, mail out merch, upload photos/songs, the list goes on. But, if you love something, you’ll deal with the boring and the crap times because it will come back to you in the end. Social media is definitely helping us at the moment, not only are we diligent about it but we have the right people for the job. Matt is a brilliant graphic artist and designer and Elle is a promoter and Event Management student. All things good must come to an end, but global reach on social media hasn’t gone bad just yet. Bands these days should definitely invest the time into learning how to mould social media, it is invaluable. Anything has the possibility to become negative if overused or utilised improperly, the trick is the learn all you can about using social media and keep your content professional.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We’ve had it under wraps for a couple months now, but we are featuring the amazing Lindsay Schoolcraft, keyboardist/vocalist of UK metal band Cradle of Filth, on two tracks from our upcoming release. So we’re pretty excited about that. Beyond that just more music and we’re beginning to shoot more videos as well, so following our YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiJ2zCXgHfsnUurrge-UyoQ ) and Instagram (@darkstonecrows) will keep you up to date on that stuff.

http://darkstonecrows.wixsite.com/darkstone-crows   https://twitter.com/darkstonecrows   https://www.facebook.com/darkstonecrows

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Adelitas Way – Getaway

AW_RingMasterReview

Adelitas Way has persistently shown themselves capable of writing and creating anthemic roars that instinctively ignite the spirit and adrenaline. From their self-titled debut album and tracks like Invincible, the US band has early on uncaged impassioned and dynamically persuasive proposals. With new album Getaway though, they have hit a new peak. From start to finish, it is a conveyor belt of rousing proposals, as sturdy and aggressive as they are melodically contagious. It is probably fair to say that the Adelitas Way sound has never been one close to re-inventing the wheel, but they and certainly these ears have no issue when body and spirit is relentlessly given a shot of the band’s fresh and anthemic virulence.

Getaway is the fourth album from the 2006 band, and as suggested another in a line of highly persuasive and captivating releases. Whether they have hit the personal sweet spot or not, all have gone to establish the Las Vegas quartet as one eagerly devoured proposition on record and indeed live where they have shared stages with the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Shinedown, Creed, Alter Bridge, Three Days Grace, Chevelle, Theory of a Deadman, Breaking Benjamin, The Pretty Reckless, Godsmack, Staind, Flyleaf and many more.

The successor to Stuck of 2013, the Johnny K (Disturbed, Staind) produced Getaway sees the foursome of Rick DeJesus, Tre Stafford, Robert Zakaryan, and Andrew Cushing in no mood to hold back on their emotive intensity and sonic dexterity. The evidence is immediate as the band’s new single Bad Reputation, and first taken from the album, launches at ears with infectious bait. Choppy riffs and similarly tempting rhythms immediately press suggestively upon the senses as the always welcome tones of vocalist DeJesus step forward. Inspired by his own feelings about a reputation he has earned over the past few years, his reflections come entangled in a web of spicy melodies and snapping hooks within a climate of sound which builds small but effective crescendos of energy and intensity.

COVER_RingMasterReviewIt is a great start which barely waivers over the next stretch of songs starting with the album’s title track. The band’s hard rock bred sound is in feisty mood from its first breath, almost irritable in its sonic jangle backed by attitude lined rhythms. Increasingly fiery yet equally catchy, especially around its sizzling chorus, the track has feet and emotions quickly involved and in time exhausted, though they get a chance to relax with the sultry smoulder of Good Die Young. The fiercely energetic tracks always emerge as personal favourites across an Adelitas Way encounter but as proven here, the band is very accomplished at creating emotively and sonically incisive balladry. Expectantly it does come with a raw edge and dramatic intensity which only helps it make a potent impact as enjoyment flies high.

Low brings a great grouchiness to its riffs and nature next, guitars almost carnivorous in tone as a Sick Puppies like flame of melodic and harmonic energy emerges from within the song’s growl. As many tracks, ears feel like they are meeting up with an old friend, being enveloped in a recognisable infectiousness which adds colour to the band’s blaze of heavily pleasing and fresh enterprise. By the end of the first minute, vocal participation is inevitable, a temptation most tracks are equipped with as shown by the volatile roar of Put You in Place with its web of spidery steely grooves and the mercilessly contagious I Get Around. A resonating bassline invitingly groans from the heart of the second of the pair, its dark hues a gripping tempering and spark to the tempestuous and boisterous roar around it. Not alone in showering the senses in serious infectiousness, the song epitomises the power, attitude, and rousing ferocity of the band’s sound, and equally its rock pop prowess.

Across the tenaciously excitable Filthy Heart with its blues spiced sonic winery and the mellower coaxing of Harbor the Fugitive, band and album, maybe without matching earlier heights, has ears and firmly attentive whilst Sometimes You’re Meant to Get Used really stirs things up again with its tantalising blend of rapaciously snarling textures and melodic revelry bound in emphatically infectious imagination.

The album concludes with firstly the blues rock flavoured Shame, an enticing flame of enterprise which again might not create the same lustful reactions as others but with a whiff of Bowie-esque toning to parts of the vocals, only holds attention firm before Deserve This twists and turns with robust rhythms and crunchy riffery leading its fractious yet anthemically layered tapestry of striking sound and endeavour.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release where major surprises are low but invigorating rock ‘n’ roll is nonstop incitement. Getaway is the most rounded and fertile release from Adelitas Way, and for us, the most fiercely enjoyable so far.

Getaway is out now via most online stores and @ http://adelitaswayshop.bigcartel.com/category/cd

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

Pete RingMaster 07/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Heel – The Parts We Save

Heel_RingMasterReview

Amongst many eagerly anticipated offerings this year has to be the debut album from UK alternative rock quartet Heel. Having impressed with their first EP and even more so with subsequent releases as well as a striking stage presence, Heel has been one of the bands enveloped by increasing acclaim over recent times. It has put some strong expectations of The Parts We Save upon them which the London band has appeased with ease. Maybe at times the album does not quite fulfil all the potential within it but for rousing, imagination sculpted rock/pop contagiousness, the album persistently hits the spot with adventure and charm.

Formed in the winter of 2011 from guitarist Daniel and vocalist Margarita’s songwriting sessions, Heel quickly began working on their first EP once its line-up was completed by bassist Fred and drummer Nick. Produced by Justin Hill (Sikth), their opening release quickly grabbed attention and praise. Its success was subsequently pushed further by its successor Stranger Just The Same in 2014, an encounter also recorded with Hill. With video/singles luring play on the likes of Scuzz TV and Kerrang, the band set about working on an album, flying out to Japan`s legendary Geimori studio in Sapporo to record The Parts We Save with Daniel and Margarita producing.

Mixed by Ben Grosse and Paul Pavao (Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Depeche Mode, Ben Folds, Thirty Seconds to Mars, etc.) and mastered by Tom Baker (Beastie Boys, Deftones, David Bowie, B.B. King), the album swiftly shows the growth in the band’s magnetic sound and its maturity in songwriting as opener An Apology sets to work stirring up ears. The first single from the release when uncaged last December, the song immediately consumes the senses in a sonic lure from which a bass led swagger within sultry caresses of guitar bounds. Its catchiness is instant and only strengthened by Margarita’s alluring vocals. Carrying thick drama to its rhythmic design and exotically seductive grooves, the track also develops an infectious No Doubt like charm which lies agreeably upon Heel’s own web of melody and imagination fuelled tenacity.

'The Parts We Save' Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent opening to the album continues with Selfish Burn which again has that Gwen Stefani and co spicing to its feisty pop ‘n’ roll. Throaty funk infused bait from Fred’s bass provides a potent spine to the song, an agitated smoulder of sonic and melodic resourcefulness laying upon it whilst Margarita’s tones again add a lusty freshness with a tinge of mischief to the temptation. Though seemingly crafted from the same template as the first and next up Yellow & Bliss, each song reveals its own individual and forcibly enticing character. The third track, and the band’s brand new video/single, is a lively shuffle with skittish rhythms and an animated gallop of chords and hooks beneath a breeze of warm harmonies and psych rock tinged enterprise, and quite irresistible.

Nothing New strolls in next with a melodic smile on its face and a devilish bassline at its heart for another inviting slice of impassioned pop rock whilst Shatter is a tender flirtation initially, which brews up into a spirited canter of jangling guitar and animated vocals aligned to mesmeric harmonies. By its close, the gentleness of the song is a near on surge of energy and passion, and increasingly bewitching.

The mellow croon of Cool allows body and emotions to settle; well at first as soon it also raises its enthusiastic agility and creative zeal to lead feet and hips on a merry dance egged on by virulent rhythms. A vibrant and catchy mix of textures and energies, the song has pleasure flowing, running right into the path of the outstanding Keep Running Back To Me. A tapestry of dynamic rock ‘n’ roll as punkish as it is bluesy, as feverishly tenacious as it is rapaciously heavy; the track is like a mix of My Baby and Spinnerette with a touch of Throwing Muses to it and quickly ignites appetite and emotions.

The dark drama of Live This Forever takes over, the track also a heavier proposal with a punk/grunge breeding to its invention and a fiery attitude to its emotive heart. It prowls, almost stalks ears as it unveils its shadow rich theatre, again grabbing eager involvement in its proposal before Fake Love twists and turns with its pop punk infused 4 Non Blondes like rock ‘n’ roll to great success.

Finishing with the tantalising melodic breeze of Streets Full Of You, a final harmonic and emotive kiss on ears with its own line in imaginative shadows, The Parts We Save is an encounter with plenty of eagerly lingering moments. Some songs are a more instant and imposing arousal than others, but each only provides rich enjoyment and an appetite for more from a band still growing into its skin of originality but establishing itself as one of Britain’s brightest propositions.

The Parts We Save is released March 4th via iTunes and Amazon.

http://www.heelband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Heellondon   https://twitter.com/heellondon

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Haster – The Current Sea

Photo Courtesy of David Trejo Photography

Photo Courtesy of David Trejo Photography

As explosive and dynamically striking as it is creatively imaginative, the new album from Californian metallers Haster is one of those offerings that bring the day, body and emotions alive. The Current Sea is anthemically huge and inventively bold yet weaves in to it a host of familiar styles and flavours which only go to enhance its virulently imposing and contagious roar. The result is a slab of defiant and emotive rock ‘n’ roll as intimidating and cantankerous as it is one mighty feel good incitement.

Formed in 2010, the Huntington Beach quintet seemingly and unsurprisingly going by their latest offering, took little time stirring up attention and support, especially once releasing their debut album Searching in 2011. Its successor Let It Go cemented the band’s stature on the Orange County music scene with its unveiling in 2014 and now it is The Current Sea gearing up to push the band to new spotlights not only at home but within the broadest landscape of metal and rock.

Fusing dark and alternative metal with heavy rock ‘n’ roll; Haster creates a sound which will have something for most with a taste for metal and heavy rock. As proof The Current Sea offers a perpetual wave of familiar and unique essences bred from inspirations that range from Korn and Deftones, Chevelle and Tool, to Breaking Benjamin and System Of A Down, and as soon as opener Your Silence hits ears with its sonic coaxing, attention is on alert and swiftly gripped. Emerging on a looming almost foreboding energy and tone, the track aggressively and purposefully bounds towards the senses, then once up close as a growl of aggressiveness passes, it slips into a rugged stroll with melodic scenery wrapped in the fine clean tones of vocalist Jarret Stockmar. It is a delivery carrying a great persistent snarl though which is matched by the irritable riffs and punchy beats of drummer Brian Tew. Quickly those Chevelle/Breaking Benjamin references are understandable but there is plenty more to the character and air of the catchy encounter and as quickly realised, the album.

The-Current-Sea_RingMaster ReviewAs good as it is the song is soon overshadowed by the bands outstanding latest single, The Unscene. As keys caress whilst riffs grumble and burrow into ears, the bass of Mondo Salazar prowls like a predator skirting the similarly snarly tones of Stockmar holding a mutual attitude to its presence. In no time the track is an addiction, a Disturbed meets American Head Charge like contagion with a chorus you will only find yourselves involved in after it leaps into ears just the once. Elevated further by the tenacious and inventive weave of guitarists Patrick Nolan and David Heida, the track is prime anthemic bait and unavoidably irresistible.

Haunt Me has a slightly mellower air to its confrontation but still carries an emotive intensity that flows readily through the great blend of Stockmar’s lead and Nolan’s backing vocals. Becoming more agitated and antagonistic minute by minute, the track explores a Korn like enterprise lined with melodic toxins carrying a scent of Life Of Agony to them before making way for the grumbling emotion and rhythmically gripping prowess of Substance Low. It too mixes infectious and unpredictable resourcefulness with more abrasive textures, a merger simply igniting ears and appetite into a greed quickly fed by The Resistance and its fiercely enticing collusion of wiry and sultry grooves with rapier like beats and vocal dexterity; again it all coming with a touch of Korn at times.

Potent bait and rich satisfaction continue to come together as Asfixiate and The Artist’s Life share their creative narratives and individual dramas. The first initially sounds like a close relation to its predecessor though soon it explores its own emotive Drowning Pool/A Perfect Circle spiced journey whilst the second brings back that grouchier provocative nature of the band’s music to merge into a potent tempest of sound that at times plays like Linkin Park crossed with Bring Me the Horizon. As shown by next up Consumed though, there is a constantly shifting and evolving nature to the tracks which only excites and impresses. The new track is similarly volatile in temperament to those before, fluidly moving from aggressively rapacious to sonically calming with vocal invention to match.

Connection Error is a cranky protagonist next; a choleric encounter gnawing on the senses as it fires up ears and pleasure with an irritable rousing roar easy to get hooked up on, much as the album is as a whole to be fair. Its confrontational body is contrasted by the reflectively emotive and calmer Shoved Aside, though the album’s closer has plenty of creative and impassioned sparks to create a blaze able to erupt with heart driven anger. Though for no particular reason, it fails to make the same kind of impact as other tracks, the song brings The Current Sea to a powerful and richly enjoyable conclusion.

To date it is probably fair to say that Haster is a name predominantly lent to US awareness but we suggest not for much longer thanks to their stirring new album.

The Current Sea is available from January 29th via Musicarchy Media through iTunes and more.

http://www.hastermusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Hasterband/

Pete RingMaster 28/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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