The House Of Capricorn – Morning Star Rise

Photo Credit Cerulean Empire

If the horned one has a house warming party the day he moves in and consumes the world, there are plenty of candidates to provide the musical incitement; a list sure to have The House Of Capricorn near the top. The New Zealand devil rock trio release their new album Morning Star Rise this week and it is a proposition which wears the apocalypse as a smouldering seduction, a tantalising glaze to the band’s rock ‘n’ roll tapestry of doom, gothic and stoner rock. The release is a masterful protagonist for dark deeds and blackened hearts, a bewitching evocative hex sounding like the son of a satanic union between Type O Negative, Dommin, Babylon Whores, and Sisters Of Mercy. Even that description does not touch the black hearted toxicity which coats every note and syllable but it does suggest the melodic and deceptive satanic alchemy fuelling the outstanding encounter, the album radiantly inviting as its sound and intent feeds on the soul.

Formed in 2001 and hailing from Auckland, The House of Capricorn set free the self-released The Rivers And The Rain EP in 2006 as their first temptation, but it was with first album Sign Of The Cloven Hoof four years later that the band stirred real attention within a wider spotlight. It was followed the next year by In The Devil’s Days, the album reinforcing the increasingly darker explorations began with its predecessor. Now the threesome of vocalist Marko Pavlovic, guitarist Scott Blomfield, and drummer Michael Rothwell have cast their most riveting collection of satanic hymns yet for one of the most thrilling possessions of the year.

The Road to Hell is Marked makes the first enticement of ears and psyche, the track bounding in on swinging beats and a carnivorously snarling bassline entwined with an instantly engaging if acidic groove. It is a magnet for the imagination, the opening intimidation swiftly bursting into a creative punk like brawl as Pavlovic roars from within a tenaciously aggressive sonic confrontation. An element of Volbeat plays with thoughts but only as whispers behind the outstanding Pete Steele like dark harmonies the vocals grace the lyrical infestation with. Anthemic and contagious, the opener is a salacious but controlled stomp teasing with a scorching solo and that ever grumbling bass sound which enslaves appetite and emotion.

The brilliant start is matched swiftly by the fire and brimstone of In Light of Lucifer, the track stepping down a gear in attack but increasing the dosage of toxic grooves and vocal tempting. The 143228track prowls and taunts with its gait and hypnotic sounds, an imposing resonance leaking from every pore whilst the guitars cast a web of virulent hooks and grooves within the thick doom loaded smog. As the previous songs and those to follow, there is a diversity of sound and textures making up the offering but whatever the spices the song, as the album, is simply rock ‘n’ roll at its voracious best.

Our Shrouded King is another bellow of sound and demonic intent, riffs and rhythms an uncompromising confrontation tempered by the sultry temptation of grooves and expressive vocals. Hints of Misfits/Samhain flirt with thoughts as do more loudly those of Type O Negative but there is no escaping the rich and imposing tones of seventies classic metal kicking up a storm within the swamp of enterprise and incendiary emotion squalling within the track. Its invitingly corrosive maelstrom makes way for the slower predation of Ashlands, it an initially agitated intimidation which emerges as a broad and funereal examination of imagination and emotions. The track is a glorious dark seducing, a drone kissed croon in sound and voice which consumes the senses with a post punk haunting and gothic rock elegance before making its way to angst soaked expulsions of raw vocals and blacker sonic depths. The song is as meditative as it is emotionally toxic, and quite riveting.

Both The Only Star in the Sky and Ivory Crown continue the exhilarating infestation, the album remaining on its lofty plateau of persuasion with consummate ease. The first of the two has an essence of The Mission to its melodic tempting whilst rhythmically and in the growling bass lures, a tinge of early Killing Joke. Again they are mere whispers in the fascinating creative embrace of an inescapable contagion. If this is an infectious suasion its successor is primal seducing with its Sisters of Mercy like chorus and blackened glamour, though overall as the song blossoms and tempts with melodic and female harmonies inflaming ears and passions, it enthrals more like a distant cousin of The Mission’s track Severina, a plus in anyone’s book.

The hazier climate and sonic colour of Watching Angels Fall comes next, the song as magnetic strolling relentlessly or welling up with tsunami like energy for impassioned dark crescendos. Its adventurous instinct leads the listener into a noir lit plane of sonic enterprise and provocative ruffled calm at one point, an almost wrong-footing turn before re-establishing its authority with the returning tide of torrential tiffs and rhythms. A slow burner compared to others on the album but soon another peak, it is followed by the atmospheric instrumental Covenants Ark, an intriguing and thought provoking piece of stark wasteland bred ambience leading to final epic emprise Dragon of Revelations. Over nine minutes long, the track is a cavernous journey into a dark unknown and destructive malevolence but lit with the transfixing smouldering tones of Pavlovic and a reflective streaming of sonic colour from Blomfield. It is a doom drenched exploration, oppressive and enchanting simultaneously and a sublime end to an exceptional release.

Morning Star Rise is majestic, colossally gloomy and fearsome but equally captivatingly infectious and spellbinding. When the apocalypse comes The House of Capricorn will have no fears, they will riding to the fore with wide grins and instruments sound-tracking the end of days.

Morning Star Rise is available now via Svart Records on vinyl @, on CD @ or digitally @

RingMaster 02/12/2014

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Mallory – 2

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Mallory leaves the man she just married and hits the road, alone, without knowing her life’s about to change dramatically… Across the USA and as far as the Mexican border, starts her initiatory journey where love gets mixed with violence and death. That’s how Mallory learns the tragic cost of freedom… Just as turning forty-seven, she meets four French musicians in a shady bar in Paris: Phil the singer, Mat the bassist, Jé the guitarist and Twist the drummer. As they make friends with each other, they decide to write a musical biography recounting her life…

Hailing from France, Mallory is a blues rock fuelled band which this week unleashes their second album 2. To be honest there is little background we can share about the Parisian band and only by its title assume the release is the band’s second full-length, but what is easy to reveal is that their new encounter is an increasingly gripping and invigorating proposition. The passage above is the premise of the release, the tale of “A girl on the road with a gun in her hand and music in her ears…” The narrative behind and within tracks definitely make for a vivid and cinematic spark for the imagination which the fully flavoured blues and melodic rock invention of the band soundtracks and colours just as potently. It was a slow persuasion initially, though an instantly enjoyable one but over time it is fair to say that 2 provides one richly satisfying and increasingly impressive proposition, maybe not one that lingers long after departure but in its company only pleases without reservation.

Opener Awake emerges from a stormy atmosphere around words from the tale’s protagonists, an intro soon bound in spicily enticing grooves and punchy beats. The song is swiftly strolling with a shadowed rock ‘n’ roll air around a rhythmic swagger, the track bringing hints of Dommin to bear on thoughts as it ignites a hungry appetite for the release. The guitars continue to cast a web of riveting grooves and sonic enterprise whilst bass and drums prowl with skilled temptation alongside the great gravelly vocals. The track is the perfect incitement to start things off; a magnetic lure to grip attention which the following Big Nails twists tighter with its own muscular stomp. Rawer in breath and passion, the track is bred from similar seeds to its predecessor but with gnarly riffs and basslines colluding with the heavy swings from Twist for a caustic tempest, the song is soon sculpting its own individual infestation of ears. The guitar of is a constant tangy baiting alongside the throbbing tones of Mat’s bass, the pair forging an imposing and fiery union matched by the just as feverish vocals of Phil.

The darker presence of Ready steps up next, its first stroking of the imagination somewhere between Volbeat and Misfits in sound but with a subsequent seventies heavy rock flame to its enterprise and a raw blues toning to its ravenous Covercaress, again becomes its own smouldering fire of craft and sonic expression. Its psychedelic air is only a lure for the imagination and senses to devour the song’s suggestiveness, setting up the listener for the even more incendiary success of Bad Monkeys. The breath of The Doors in its predecessor is a clearer spice to the opening of the third track, vocals and guitar uniting for a sultry stroking of thoughts which in turn sparks a slowly broadening melodic intrigue and rhythmic drama in the track. As the previous song, neither quite equals the might and riotous tempting of the first pair but both easily and swiftly leaves ears and appetite greedy for more

The short melodically fuelled instrumental Somewhere, the piece like ray of warmth within a climactic atmosphere, leads into the pulsating swing of Summer Rain. Rhythms are straight away swaying with devilry and seductive funk seeded vivacity whilst around them guitars and vocals shimmer with evocatively gentle resonance. They are soon breaking into their own feisty and fiery suasion of bracing riffs and sonic grooving though, to match the constant lively prowl of the beats and another pulsating bassline. A definite familiarity walks the song, as all tracks in many ways, but it is from an indefinable source which only adds to the increasing appeal of song and release.

The sizzling blues fired enterprise of the guitars is a constant spark in songs, a tempting as inescapable as the anthemic rhythms and bass coaxing, not forgetting the impressive vocals, and virulent bait in the striking presence of Heavy which comes next. Vocal roars, devilish bass seduction, and incendiary flames of sonic acidity combine to make a fascinating weave of musical adventure and drama, the song embracing ears and imagination with something which is best described as Pearl Jam meets The Birthday Party with Down for good company.

The album is completed by firstly the rugged terrain of Runnin’, rhythms again as anthemic as they are skilfully unpredictable whilst sonic enterprise is arguably at its most riveting and searing yet on the release. Once more there is a sense of recognising what you are hearing but it only inflames the success and potency of the irresistible song, especially against the dramatic texture of vocals. Its triumph is followed by the acoustic elegance and emotion of Something, a more than ok melodic blues hug on ears bringing it all to a charming end.

   2 though making a strong first impression, is an album which grows and thrills more potently over time musically and lyrically. Its potential suggests that Mallory is a name we might be hearing much more of and through acclaim coated breaths.

2 is available now @

RingMaster 24/11/2014 and

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Viathyn – Cynosure

Viathyn Press Photo 2

With a sound which revolves within a web of progressive, folk, power, and melodic metal, drawing on varying degrees of each essence with every twist of their imagination and invention, Canadian metallers Viathyn present another contagious and gripping proposition with new album Cynosure. Nine individual musical and creative emprises thick, the album presents a fruitful and colourful journey for ears and imagination. Every track is an intriguing and at times demanding proposition with more going on than can be taken in on initial unions. It is an attention wanting enticement though which roars with a melodic tenacity and strolls with muscular flirtation to give the richest rewards.

Formed in 2006, initially as the trio of guitarist Tomislav Crnkovic, guitarist Jacob Wright, and drummer Dave Crnkovic, Viathyn released the instrumental Demagogue EP in 2008. From there the band expanded with bassist Alex Kot coming in, whilst Tomislav added vocals to his duties. Debut album The Peregrine Way was unveiled in 2010 to enthused reactions from fans and media alike. It marked the band out for their songwriting, instrumentation, and equally the storytelling which on the album told the journey of an unnamed wandering man, through the highs and lows of his life. Cynosure is bred from the same creative template, in many ways an obvious continuation of its predecessor rather than providing a startling evolution in sound and intent, but still pushing the limits and enterprise of the band to new riveting and pleasing levels.

The album starts with Ageless Stranger, a track with an epic leaning tone and resourceful melodic scenery from the off. Guitars, keys, and vocal harmonies instantly spawn a radiant yet portentous atmosphere which the jabbing beats of Dave guides with a firm hand, leading it all into a rugged terrain of rampant riffs and concussive rhythms. The song is still swarmed over by the melodic appetite of the keys and guitars though, everything coming together for a maelstrom like tempest of enticement. The strong vocals of Tomislav bring another tempting texture to the mix whilst the fluid craft of Jacob bewitches from within the aggressive stride of the song. It is a pungent and invigorating start which as its successor, as much brings thoughts of a Dommin or Volbeat as it does of bands like Wuthering Heights and KingBathmat. The song is a constantly twisting and unpredictable yet flowing proposition matched by The Coachman.

The second song takes little time to explore a richer folk enterprise to its emerging stride of rock ‘n’ roll, before weaving in just as potent essences of heavy metal and melodic rock. It is impossible not to be drawn right into its vigorous revelry, Album Cover - Viathyn  - Cynosure - 2014every turn and new idea a lure to devour with ease and greed. The brief expulsion of raw growls does not quite work but is a mere instant in a song which vocally and musically simply infects ears and imagination for a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable encounter. There is also a theatrical mischief to the song which is given full clarity at the song’s end before Edward Mordrake thunders in on a storm of rhythmic agitation and fiery sonic temptation. Though not as immediately gripping as its predecessors, the song, with its seamless movement through varied gaits and imaginative endeavours, binds senses and thoughts in its successfully exploratory and surprising expression to keep them hungry and enthralled. The track also raises up slight comparisons to fellow Canadians New Jacobin Club at times, the drama in the skilled invention of the band’s individuals a similar and inescapable persuasion.

As mentioned there is plenty going on to reflect with mere words, this track a prime example as are both the following Shadows In Our Wake and Countess of Discordia, but that richness of depth and often tempestuously unleashed ideation ensures each partaking of a song reveals new aspects and adventures. The first of this pair of songs encloses ears with a heavy aggressive breath though it is soon aligned to an evocative wash of keys and the melodic narrative of the guitars. A thick gothic ambience also coats the song, lingering across the sinew toughened canvas and subsequent dramatic turns within the track whilst the second of the two leads by a great bass coaxing into a heavy and power metal blaze. Whether storming the senses with nostrils flared or seducing with mellower bordering on sinister melodies, the song is a glorious sonic waltz which gets better and bolder with every passing second.

Time Will Take Us All struggles to emulate the success of the previous song but still has ears and thoughts seriously engaged with its opening melancholic caress of keys and guitar, a potency matched by the emotive delivery of Tomislav. It is a song which as all on the album, builds and develops into a different proposition as it proceeds, its gentle climate discovering an imposing turbulence and emotive beauty along the way. It is not a track which lingers as others but provides another gripping tale to immerse within before the excellent folk/power metal escapade of Three Sheets To The Wind steals the passions. With a touch of Alestorm and Tyr to its Celtic folk stomp, the track swiftly recruits unbridled attention. As anthemic as all good power metal triumphs should be, the track soon has body and voice in tandem before exploring a progressive crafted landscape of mystery and invention, to keep ears and thoughts on their toes.

Completed by the dark atmospheric menace of Albedo, an outstanding track which is as predatory as it is sonically radiant and infectiously irresistible, and the closing title track, Cynosure is a peach of an encounter. The last song sums up release and band perfectly, an encounter built on a riotous elegance and creative bedlam honed into something sublime and intricately structured, not forgetting gloriously presented. The album is fun, at times unafraid to let its serious side have a rest, but most of all Cynosure is one of the most enjoyable and enterprising progressive metal releases this year.

The self-released Cynosure is available now @

RingMaster 09/10/2014

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Tribune – Tales


Rich in diversity and imaginative enterprise, Tales the new album from Canadian metallers Tribune is an encounter which acts like a magnet for the passions and a vibrant instigator of thoughts. Merging extreme and melodic metal into a fiery compulsion which is never less than contagious and more often than not potently riveting, the Vancouver quintet in their third album have created an encounter to eagerly prey upon and devour greedily. It is not one equipped to set the metal world on fire but in keeping it simmering and thoroughly engaging it is an undeniable success.

The seeds of the band began in 2004 with guitarist Terry Anderson and drummer Jason Brown deciding to form a band together. Already friends the pair soon recruited bassist Jess Garner into their heavy metal based project as well as vocalist Bryan Baker, the quartet emerging as Blacklist. The departure before the end of the year of Garner saw Ryan O’Shea brought into the line-up whilst 2005 saw the band firstly rename themselves as Tribune and release debut album Home Sweet Hell. Guitarist Shawn Culley expanded the band’s line-up soon after as Tribune continued to write and hone their sound. The Rotting Core EP emerged in 2009 showing the continuing evolution of the band’s sound with second album Elder Lore / The Dark Arts drawing good acclaim and eager responses last year. With a fine reputation earned for their live performances which have seen Tribune alongside the likes of 3 Inches of Blood, Titans Eve, Archspire, Unleash and many more, Tales looks set to lift the profile and stature of the five piece to greater strength and awareness  as well as leaving plenty of appetites fulfilled if not bloated.

A nine chapter concept album taking inspiration from the works of some of the world’s most renowned authors, including H.P. Lovecraft,T00963_Digipak_FrontCover H.G. Wells and Homer, the Corpse Corrosion Music released Tales opens with its instantly impressive title track. The movement of paper and pages makes an initial impression before the track erupts into an adrenaline honed blaze of firm rhythms, stirring riffs, and great vocals. Predominantly clean with bursts of aggressive scowls, the vocals of Baker draw thoughts of Volbeat singer/guitarist Michael Poulsen whilst musically the resourceful mix of death and melodic metal strides around him with a confident and contagious swagger. The song does not burn new avenues of metal but certainly ignites an enthusiastic appetite for the superbly crafted sonic adventure and vocal persuasion on offer. Rife with addictive hooks and melodic flames which singe the imagination the song is a formidable lure into the release, a vibrant enticement which also inspires flickers of Dommin meets Lamb Of God in thoughts.

Both Insectoid and The Butterfly Effect provide further intensive persuasion for ears and thoughts even if neither manages to reach the same pinnacle as their predecessor. The first unleashes a savage assault from the off, rhythms and riffs an unbridled predation but equally the gateway into infectious melodic climes which emerge within and wrap around the persistently voracious intensity and carnally rapacious sounds. Its successor with the bass of O’Shea simultaneously enthralling whilst enjoyably almost at odds with the rest of the song, is a less destructive venture but does not short change on senses barracking riffs and bone splitting rhythms. There is also a familiarity to the songs which does them no harm as it is an undefined source and makes them easily accessible if lacking the wow factor.

From Funeral to Funeral coats the ear in intrigue and mesmeric sonic craft from the start, the guitars placing an incendiary narrative upon the crisp rhythmic canvas while its premise is explored and elevated by the again impressive vocals paraded across the imaginative tempest. It makes for an attention holding storm which intensifies through the following Horror, another lofty highlight of the album. A melodramatic piano sculpted ambience teases the imagination first before the song charges through a ravaging expanse of insatiable vengeful invention. Every aspect of it is unpredictable and rigorously enterprising, the explosive endeavour seemingly pulling elements of the likes of Disturbed, The Black Dahlia Murder, Clutch and more into its scintillating proposition.

The fiery King of Ithaca, where that earlier Volbeat reference also reaches the music, and the sadistically stalking and heavily bestial Vengeance both keep the engagement secure and intensive, whilst Red Crescent is a serpentine temptation which as in all songs fuses its nastiest darkest elements with its most acidically enflamed to create an absorbing attraction and subsequent slavery of the passions. Leaving That Bleakest Shore to finish things off with another major highlight of inventive exploration, Tribune has forged one exciting and deeply satisfying album. Tales will not take you down unknown paths or into dangerous unchartered corners of melodic death metal but undoubtedly provides a torrent of impacting and pleasing exploits which fulfils from start to finish and leaves you wanting more.


RingMaster 29/10/2013

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Dead End Finland – Season Of Withering


Parading an enterprising expanse of melodic metal with an undeniably infectious essence of pop to its body, Season Of Withering the new album from Finnish metallers Dead End Finland is a deceptively addictive slice of work. Equally ripe with symphonic and carnivorous traits, the release makes an appealing and satisfying encounter but all the time works away at breeding an addiction which lingers and makes both band and album a very easy to return to proposition. The ten track release could not be classed as ground-breaking and at times offers songs which arguably should be bigger than they are, but all the time its charm and craft makes a rich persuasion which convinces and holds attention throughout.

The Helsinki band follows up their self-released debut album Stain of Disgrace, with a release which takes the power and qualities of its predecessor into a more vibrant, rounded, and certainly rapacious confrontation.  The Inverse Records released Season Of Withering engages the ears with a sound which is like a blend of Dommin and The Kovenant with a spillage of Livarkahil and Die En Grey to it. It is an intriguing and constantly provocative challenge which awakens a very healthy appetite for its dramatic textures and soaring melodic voice even if at occasional moments it borders on sappy.

The release opens with the title track, a blaze of industrial coaxed metal explored by keys which soar through the air whilst beneath riffs def_seasonofwithering_coverand rhythms cage the senses in a predacious and spiteful caustic temptation. The vocals of Mikko Virtanen equally offer a raw scowling delivery at first but as the intensity and melodic flames of the track grow and consume, their presence takes on a more harmonic and generously rewarding suasion which accelerates along with the sounds into an infectious lure which especially grips during the chorus. Dramatic and potently alluring, the track is a powerful introduction which may not forge new avenues but triggers a keen hunger for what is on offer with Season Of Withering.

The following An Unfair Order opens similarly to its predecessor, Jarno Hänninen’s keys making an initial pleasing beckoning before a clean vocal delivery opens up the narrative. With snatches of intensity and vocal growling adding their shadows, the song is a melodic canvas of evocative craft and accomplished enterprise which makes a convincing palate of sound and endeavour to work with, if falling below the heights of the excellent opener. Its successor Paranoia launches its attempt to emulate the early pinnacle with a snarling near on malicious start which is soon sharing space with further magnetic melodic suasion. It also fails to reach its target but with impressive vocals and a savage bass tone prowling its flank, the track is certainly another contagious hook for the album.

Zero Hour creates a web of industrial and death coated metal which is soon wrapped in an excellent melodic and pop caress, the warmer element making a keen and tempering companion to the exhaustive corrosive heart of the track. With the drums of Miska Rajasuo framing the intense mix with commanding skill and the bass/guitar invention of Santtu Rosén sculpting expressive textures beneath the vast tapestry of synth imagination, another pinnacle of the album is crafted and enjoyed. Season Of Withering is a release which definitely needs numerous entries to explore its depths and nuances, and this song is a prime example as below the at times overbearing presence of the keys there is a wealth of imagination and thrilling adventure being played out by Rosén.

Through the likes of the antagonistically consuming Hypocrite Declaim and the intensive Silent Passage with its tempestuous rhythmic assault and fiery sonic ravaging, Dead End Finland continue to recruit attention and emotional engagement with ease whilst Sinister Dream unloads an aggressive  and voracious rage of metallic fury which has the appetite licking its lips. As in all songs, the merger of savagery and melodic elegance is impressively crafted and brought to bear on the imagination, the track ensuring that it’s and the album’s company is thoroughly appreciated and enjoyed.

The album closes with firstly the excellent Shape Of The Mind, its opening orchestral seeded welcome a sultry beckon into the jaws of the track, its aural lips in a constant snarl and waiting to pounce even when the deep melodic hues and the melancholic piano led haunting ambience has centre stage. It is followed by Dreamlike Silence, a final expansive and chilling yet poetic fire of imaginative and thought provoking emotive excellence. It is an impressive closure to a release which makes a stirring job at igniting an enthusiasm and hunger for its tantalising sounds. Season Of Withering does not bring anything truly new to the table but undoubtedly leaves a lasting and predominantly satisfying impression which is well worth exploring.


RingMaster 24/10/2013

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End Of Green – The Painstream


There is a familiarity to The Painstream, the new album from German metallers End Of Green, which for anyone else would more than likely go down as a negative but such the at times anthemic and certainly generally infectious charm of the release this only adds to the pleasure offered. Though inconsistent across its eleven track journey through emotive shadows and gothic flames, the Napalm Records released album is simply a satisfying encounter.

The seventh album from the Stuttgart and Göppingen hailing quintet, The Painstream continues the earlier bred success and invention found on previous albums  Dead End Dreaming, The Sick’s Sense, and High Hopes in Low Places whilst finding a stronger dare one say poppier aspect to their fusion of heavy and gothic rock with doom and alternative metal tendencies. The release is a provocative and heady venture of light and dark with the latter coating emotions and reflective depths more often than not. As mentioned there is something recognisable about the songs within the release, a breath and essence which calls forth numerous thoughts of other bands but equally this recognition comes with a twist and contagious imagination borne solely of End Of Green. A description in numerous permutations of Dommin and Type O Negative meets The Mission and Three Days Grace with a splash of Paradise Lost and Deathstars for good measure, is a more than decent comment on the album but it comes with little extras which leaves it a refreshing companion.

The album opens on an immediate high with Hangman’s Joke, its initial melodic tempting attached to sonic drama leading into a 498_endofgreen_CMYKcharging ride of contagious riffs and thumping rhythms ridden by the strong vocals. Its moments of cantering energy and hunger ignite the passions with ease whilst the entwining slower emotive caresses only make stronger persuasion before the triumphant darkly compelling chorus. Accomplished and irresistible, the track is a formidable and delicious introduction to the album sparking strong anticipation for what is ahead.

Both Holidays In Hell and Standalone continue the immense start, the first through an intensive and oppressive doom breathing expanse of melodic imagination and stirring rhythmic provocation. A thrilling mix of dark and light, with a lumbering and energetic gait matching the song’s mood, its riveting web of intrigue and evocative grandeur holding essences of Bush around the Pete Steele like vocal delivery and Danzig/Dommin lit weighty sound. It successor opens with a heavy metal muscular antagonism, riffs and beats giving no inch in their demanding lure whilst the again impressive vocals almost slow dance over the sinew clad surface. The fiery guitar play and solo add a burn of blues to the encounter which only enhances the pull and depth of the easily engaging and deeply anthemic slice of enterprise.

The first half of the album is completed by Final Resistance and the exceptionally virulent De(ad)generation. We say half as from the end of the second of this pair The Painstreet becomes fails to retain the passions to the same extent as the first five songs. The first of these two though is another crawling fire of imaginative enticements wrapped in suggestive and emotionally drenched shadows which simultaneously smother and invite thoughts and passions to delve into their own cloudy corners. Its successor is for the want of a better term a pop rock storm of inventive beguilement with stomping rhythms and anthem driven sound. Impossibly addictive and thoroughly charismatic with a hint of Rammstein to its spiritual call, the track is the pinnacle of the album and the obvious lead into the release for newcomers.

Home On Fire steps up next to provide a satisfying if underwhelming proposition, especially against the previous joy, its sound again with a familiar presence which makes it an easy if less inspired friend. It is followed by the smartly textured ballad Death Of The Weakender and the impacting Chasing Ghosts, two stylish and well sculpted songs which do little wrong and are strong in all their aspects but are unable to recreate the spark to send the appetite into overload, though between them Don’t Stop Killing Me after its gentle emotive start climbs into an intensive blaze of rewarding and exciting fervent passion with plenty of invention and smart thoughtfulness to light a few flames inside.

Completed by the again hard to reproach but less potent than others, Miss Misery and The Painstreet, a Poets Of The Fall like satisfying finale, The Painstream is an enjoyable and absorbing album. With the track order it certainly feels like a release in two halves in regard to pleasure but there is never a point where thoughts and a hunger for other things are allowed to appear. The album is definitely well worth a listen and End Of Green a band hard to ignore.


RingMaster 13/09/2013

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Isolated Atoms – Sex War

Isolated Atoms promo

Ladies and Gentlemen we might just have your single of the year, definitely a very serious and potent contender at the very least.  UK rockers Isolated Atoms has arguably been in the background for a great many whilst going about their creative purpose, evolving and honing a sound which manages to be familiar and distinctively new. Live performances and releases have ‘chronicled’ a band exploring and evolving its sound and presence whilst building a loyal and passionate fan-base. Acclaim has been no stranger to the Black Country quartet but you sense as their new single Sex Wars teases and coaxes the largest fires yet out of the passions that their time for full awareness and recognition has come. The single is delicious, a fiery anthemic entrapment which can only be devoured wholeheartedly and without restraint such its bait and lure.

Hailing from Dudley, the foursome of vocalist Grant Leon Ashman, guitarist Mark Neat, bassist David Davies, and drummer Yang first gripped attention with their debut single Tell Me What I Want of 2009 which drew enthusiastic notice from the likes of Derek Forbes (Simple Minds) and Peter Hook (Joy Division, New Order). Last year the Illuminate EP expanded their stature with its collection of songs seemingly inspired by the likes of Joy Division and New Order within its rock imagination whilst also whispering bands like Editors and Dommin. It was a potent encounter matched earlier this year by the excellent Hold On single. Though maybe not their finest song at that point it still left thoughts and emotions awash with creative flavour and unmissable promise. Its sound had moved into a more ‘stadium’ rock type expression with flavours which could be compared to a Big Country or Doves in many ways, though still retaining the distinct voice of the band. Now Sex Wars leaves everything before behind and in its shade.

With a lone guitar teasing the air initially the song is soon standing tall with bulging rhythms, surly guitar taunts and exciting vocal harmonies. It is a blaze of a start which settles slightly as the distinctive expressive tones of Ashman take control of the narrative, with an inviting bass swagger and seductive keys skirting his every word. It soon forges a magnetic tempestuous and anthemic stomp through the ear with a seductive blues taste throughout and a chorus which holds a wanton freedom with a more than a hint of glam rock to its mischievous devilry. There is rawness to the track at times which only accelerates the passions whilst its virulent contagion ensures that rapture is bred by its climactic conclusion. Whispers of Simple Minds and Associates at the start move to those of The Black Crowes and The Black Keys by the end of the triumph, but really that is just a loose description of their unique and irrepressible sound.

Sex Wars is easily the finest moment to date in the history of Isolated Atoms and sees them finally out of the shadows and standing as one of the UK’s most impressive and exciting rock bands.


RingMaster 07/09/2013


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