Tribune – Tales

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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.

www.TribuneMetal.com

8/10

RingMaster 29/10/2013

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Dead End Finland – Season Of Withering

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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.

www.deadendfinland.com

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7/10

RingMaster 24/10/2013

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End Of Green – The Painstream

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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.

https://www.facebook.com/endofgreenofficial

8,10

RingMaster 13/09/2013

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Isolated Atoms – Sex War

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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.

https://www.facebook.com/isolatedatoms

10/10

RingMaster 07/09/2013

 

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Johnny Get The Gun – Never Far From What We Know EP

Recently Essex rock/pop punk band Johnny Get The Gun released their new single containing two tracks that came from their Never Far From What We Know EP released earlier in the year. Because of the quality and overwhelming infectiousness of all songs concerned we are going to look at the EP to kill both birds with one review. In a year that has seen the glorious rise of rock lined pop punk infused with additive melodies, incessant riffs, mesmeric hooks, and sing-a-long choruses with the likes of Top Buzzer, Innercity Pirates and Max Raptor, the quartet of Johnny Get The Gun stand to the fore with music that gives something extra not only to the ear but the day, their sounds igniting impulses and the heart.

The band started in 2007 instantly gathering eager support and acclaim for their energetic and impressive live shows and even greater attention once their 2010 self-titled mini album and this EP unveiled their charms to a wider array of ears. With an album in the pipeline it is only a matter of time before the band explodes in to a bigger arena and further infatuation from a swelling mass of new fans.

The EP starts as it means to go on, revealing songs of anthemic ease, beckoning hooks, and compulsive melodies all wrapped in an eagerness and originality that cleverly is fresh and at the same time recognisable, like unknown friends turning up to brighten the day. Good As It Gets strolls in on a confident beat and throbbing bassline backing the instantly magnetic vocals of Wayne Lightowler  before exploding into a furnace of passionate riffs and emotive energy. As he proves throughout the release Lightowler is a stunning vocalist that employs and delivers all the emotion of the lyrics and energy of the music with stunning effect. The song is pop punk at its finest, a track that pulls one in eagerly to become part of and join in with the addictive chorus.

Hills & Knives takes over with a less instantaneous pull but as equal in quality and engagement. The guitar of Jack Lawson less crazed but more soulful and sensitively creative lies well amongst more great basslines from Joe Williams and the ever strong and powerful drums of Jamie Abela, the drummer able to play with unbridled aggression or a more delicate attack with equal skill and ability. The song is an impressively structured piece of songwriting with again Lightowler and his vocals taking a great track up a level, his voice finishing off a fine song with a glorious topping of emotive attachment.

Third track Lead Hearts follows on with more passion preferred over a direct punk attack though with driven riffs and enthusiastic energy it rumbles with a deliberate intent to excite the ear. The change of pace within it is smooth and as touching as the vocals, both switching seamlessly from stoked energy and back again to end on a stirring climax.

The final two tracks are the ones that make up their glorious recent single. In The Middle is a deceiving track, it reels the listener in with more infectious hooks and sweet sounding melodies that accumulate in another greedy siren like coaxing of the senses. What it does not make clear despite its delicious sound is how it will stay and linger long after it finishes, days in fact, the chorus and melodies repeatedly playing in the head to open the day and end its light. With a mix of Jimmy Eat World and Dommin sound wise the song is a triumph, a success similarly attained by closing song Take It.

Dynamic and consuming the track is not afraid to openly show its intentions to tease and entertain. With a voracious appetite the crashing and frenetic guitars uncork their pumped urgency as each member leaves nothing in their creative tank. The song is a non-stop burst of energy that leaves one spent by its end though the band do help out with a melodic respite for the listener to take a deep breath before the explosive ending.

Johnny Get The Gun makes music that flaunts its addictive melodic wares wantonly whilst inviting investigation of its deeper creative veins, the band melodic puppeteers of the finest nature. With their album planned for release early 2012 now is the time to sample their contagious pop punk sounds.

RingMaster 17/10/2011

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Chainfist – Black Out Sunday

With the recent signing of Danish groove metal band Chainfist in a worldwide management deal with Rock N Growl, the band’s debut album came back into view so we thought it was time to dive into it and get a taste of things to come. The band has just finished recording a 3 track promo with producer Søren Jensen with the results to be mixed by the legendary Jacob Hansen and from the evidence of their album Black Out Sunday there is nothing short of eager anticipation and high expectations building for its release later this year.

Consisting of Jackie Petersen (vocals), Michael Kopietz (guitar), Jesper Heidelbach (drums) and Braca Pedersen (bass) Chainfist recorded Black Out Sunday in 2010 and gathered some good acclaim upon its release. Since then the band has been joined by the skilled guitarist Thomas Hvisel recently, to take over lead guitar and there is a sense that the band now a quintet, is only going to be more powerful and creative.

Chainfist has strong pedigree with members previously in the likes of Infernal Death, Epicenter, Panzerchrist and Frozen Sun. Their individual ability and accomplished songwriting is evident from the opening track to the last lingering note of Black Out Sunday. Chainfist’s sound is a heady mix of metal, heavy metal and hard rock, the band seamlessly blending the flavours into an intriguing and thrilling beast of a sound that offers something captivating and powerful at every turn. First listen brought an appreciative nod and full enjoyment but upon subsequent plays as more and more qualities emerged within songs the album simply worked itself deeper and deeper to become one of the more rewarding and satisfying rock releases heard in a while.

The infectious rampant ‘Free Me’ opens up the onslaught of Black Out Sunday. Driving riffs, dominating rhythms and a swinging groove from start to finish make the song a vibrant exhausting party. The vocals of Petersen are clean, crisp and expressive yet hard and aggressive in the right spots. The track does not offer too much new but to introduce a release and band it is an insatiable pleasuring of the ear. If you are looking for an explosive straight forward rock song this is it.

The songs from here on in are nicely varied and creative whether more melodically led as in ‘Edge Of The World’ or on a thunderous charge as in ‘Be A Man’. The latter of the two is an aggressive little fiend of a track, defiant and carrying a stunning senses twisting teasing groove. It recalls elements of the likes of Society 1 as does the brilliant ‘Have You Ever’. This song is a gloriously dark pulsating brute winding within the head and heart with sinister riffs, grouchy basslines and a hungry waspish groove that consumes relentlessly.

It has to be said when the Chainfist go for the heavy and intensely direct route they really light up the senses though their ‘mellower’ melodic flows are just as gratifying. In the excellent ‘Stay’ the band begin the song with an emotive voice and feel before the song lifts off into a forceful but controlled rock song. On the less aggressive songs such as ‘Show Me’ the band has a sound that reminds of bands like Volbeat and Dommin with a touch of Danzig which pleases just as much as the heavier more intense tracks.

Throughout the album feeds the senses wonderfully with the chugging riff fest of ‘In Your Face’, the rampaging mischievous and venomous chaos of ‘Clown’, and the chunky guitar loaded ‘Blackout’ as striking and thoroughly as stirring as those previously mentioned. Black Out Sunday is simply a great rock album from a band that has yet to find one feels its full potential. Guitarist Michael Kopietz has said “The new material is stronger, heavier and even more melodic than the songs we made on our debut CD Black Out Sunday.” We say bring it on!

RingMaster 25/01/2012

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Chainfist – Have You Ever

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