Obey – Swallow The Sun

Obey have not exactly been hidden in the shadows of the UK metal scene in recent years, finding acclaim and success with increasing intensity but now the Midlands outfit is surely poised to really demand and receive major attention with the release of their new album, Swallow The Sun. Offering nine tracks of the band’s firmly individual fusion of heavy rock, groove metal, and doom bred intensity, though that only hints at the flavours involved and it all wrapped in progressive metal individuality, the band’s fourth full-length takes the listener on a creative and emotional journey shaped by fascinating imagination and potent craft.

Formed in 2008, Obey has established themselves with increasing success within the British metal scene live and across a trio of previous albums starting with their debut, New Day Rising in 2009. If that first release for the Staffordshire trio tickled strong attention, Doom Laden in 2012 and Maelstrom four years later gave it a bigger jab to reinforce a redoubtable reputation earned by their live prowess and successes. As suggested though Swallow The Sun is a proposition which swings a mighty dextrous hook at ears, swiftly revealing itself not only the band’s finest moment yet but a release which easily grabs attention away from the majority of releases to grace the year so far.

With ex- Generations and Molly Leigh drummer Ryan Gillespie completing the band’s current line-up alongside guitarist/vocalist Steve Pickin and guitarist/bassist Dan Ryder last year, Obey joined up with producer Sam Bloor at Lower Lane Studios to record Swallow the Sun and immediately the album takes a robust hand on ears with opener Back Home. Riffs straight away nag at the senses, they soon entangled in the sonic intimation of a solar thread of guitar. The band describe the album as a “sonic journey dealing with the cruelty of Dementia and the devastation it leaves, melding that together with themes of fantasy and folklore” and from its first few seconds there is a haunting dark hue to sound and atmosphere even as the track quickly collects its attributes to create tides of rhythmic and sonic enticement. Like the band’s sound is a blend of open styles skilfully united, the song is a web of textures as voracious and often predatory as they are melodic and frequently seductive; an encounter as unpredictable as it is captivating for a simply superb start to the album.

Drive follows and it too simply seizes ears from its first wiry throes before opening up its kaleidoscopic landscape, one tempestuous and as unsettled as it is creatively magnetic but a maelstrom of enterprise fluidly consuming and exciting ears. Classic hues join modern and progressive essences as the song blossoms by the twist and turn, Pickin’s vocals a strong and emotionally disturbed match for the cauldron of sounds around him. Both the opening pair of tracks has an inherent catchiness to them which is just as instinctive within next up Call Of The Judderman. Initially there is a common wiring between the third song and its predecessor, a core asylum of sonic endeavour but it soon unveils its own unique character and presence across three minutes of compelling confrontation.

Star Crusher takes the imagination on a swift heavy doom laden cruise across celestial space, its fuel imposing intensity before landing ears and appetite at the siren presence of Esmeralda And The Doom Blues. Instantly seductive verging on the salacious, the track soon reveals its medusa-esque heart in sound, endeavour, and threat whilst simply ambushing any possible resistance to its melodic bewitchment before the album’s title track romps across the senses and instincts with its flirtatious rock ‘n’ roll. Defiance to its bounce and swing was futile; submission to its virulent scheme unsurprisingly inevitable as the song rivalled and at times eclipsed the already thrilling escapade of the album so far.

A calmer air embraces ears next as The Mountain looms up, the song soon ensnaring them in its own commandingly creative lattice of guitar as rhythms manipulatively infest. Even so it is a less volatile proposition though it carries certain tempestuousness in its outstanding body of sound and imagination while snarls and wonderfully harasses the senses with its technical mastery and physical agility. Both tracks keep the lofty heights of the album in place with ease leaving Emerald Eyes to bring Swallow The Sun to a similarly fine close if it took a touch longer to elevate to the stature of other tracks.

It does though simply epitomise the band’s craft and imagination and the wonderful unpredictability of every essence making up one addictive album; Swallow The Sun announcing Obey as one seriously striking proposition.

Swallow The Sun is out now @ https://obeyuk.bandcamp.com/album/swallow-the-sun

https://www.facebook.com/Obeyuk/   https://twitter.com/obeyuk

Pete RingMaster 11/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Desert Clouds – Nothing Beyond The Cage

It is probably fair to say that we did not make an immediate connection with the new album from UK based rockers Desert Clouds yet there was a certain lure which took us back to its atmospheric embrace with intrigue and enthusiasm. It was an essence which grew richer as band and release, Nothing Beyond The Cage, blossomed by the listen into a fascinating and increasingly persuasive proposition.

Formed in 2008 in Naples, Italy, Desert Clouds relocated to London two years later. It was a time which saw instability in the band’s line-up though things were far more settled by the time 2017 EP, Time Distortions, was released; an encounter which drew strong attention the way of the band, praise carrying interest which was only built upon by subsequent singles in Speed of Light and Under Tons, both unveiled last year. It is easy to imagine that Nothing Beyond The Cage will only increase the reputation and stature of the quartet within the UK rock scene with its multi-flavoured and atmospherically provocative adventure.

Nurtured in a mix of grunge, stoner, doom, psych and alternative rock, the band’s sound is a seductive trespass as forceful and mercurial as it is plaintively intimate and brooding. Often it comes over within Nothing Beyond The Cage like a raw Doors meets a predacious Kyuss aligned to the emotive howls of early Coldplay amidst the soulful winds of Soundgarden but emerging if not boldly unique certainly clearly individual to Desert Clouds.

The album opens up with The Outcast Trail (See you Chris), a sullenly thoughtful ballad built on a web of melodic imagination and vocal emotion which roars like a funeral pyre in fiery crescendos. Unsurprisingly there are thick Soundgarden hues to the outstanding track, a tribute to Chris Cornell, with its sonic and emotive heat evocative and invasive, its enterprise seriously magnetic led by the inescapably compelling vocals.

The following Speed Of Light opens with a just as dark air, the bass of Julius Caesar a portentous throb within the wiry web and earthier riffs of guitarists/vocalists David Land and Val L. Wallace. With every passing note and vocal lure, the song’s intensity and drama increases, brewing up into a controlled yet feral blaze spiked by the predacious beats of Andrea Orabona. Though it lacked the spark of its outstanding predecessor for our appetite, the song enticed and lingered behind its wake before next up Take Off harassed the senses with its moody almost irritable melodic roar. Grooved tendrils vine the track with increasing captivation, their incandescent lures lava-esque within the song’s muggy climate.

The calmer but mercurial balladry of Under Tons tempts next, its tenacious croon as untamed as it is intimately restrained with every moment contrasted within another twist courtesy of craft and imagination before Overmore springs its desert/psych rock exploits on ears. A certain QOTSA lining adds to a swift appeal while its successor The Judgement carries a Coldplay/Muse like spicing which grew more flavoursome by the listen. All three tracks flourished over time whilst equally sharing the, at times understated but certainly not hidden, broad palette of sound the band creates with.

Final track is Whistling In The Rain, an almost bestial encounter in its prowling gait and ursine-esque growl but lava-like in its sonic climate and scorching winds. From vocals to guitar, rhythms to atmospheric conjuring, the song is another mighty highlight to Nothing Beyond The Cage, a release which we might have needed time to take to but have with real eagerness once we clicked.

Nothing Beyond The Cage is released January 18th.

https://www.desertclouds.net/   https://www.facebook.com/desertclouds/   https://twitter.com/TheDesertClouds

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Register – Captive

It is two years since Atlanta outfit Dead Register not only thrilled but truly captivated us with debut album Fiber. It was a collection of tracks bred in the rich essences of doom, gothic, and post rock but equally embraced many more flavours to create something as unique as you could imagine or wish. Twenty four or so months on we still cannot truly define their sound or want to as that would be to sterilise its originality and fertility, both as rampant and captivating in the band’s new offering, Captive.

Every word in praise of Fiber by us and so many others can be echoed with zeal in regard to the Captive EP, but not only repeated but escalated as its five tracks venture to mouth-watering new heights in the imaginative craft and inventive prowess of Dead Register. The new EP sees percussionist/drummer Danny Ryann (ex-Gigan) alongside vocalist/bassist M. Chvasta and his wife, Avril Che on bass synth, keys, and backing vocals; Dan Dixon (Whores, The Life and Times, PLS PLS, Biters) recording, mixing, and mastering their now proposition.

Captive opens up with its title track, a dark mist springing the lumbering gait of the song but a funereal step soon wrapped in romancing melodies as a shadow bred atmosphere descends. Magnetic rhythms are swiftly courted by the ever potent and alluring tones of Chvasta, both in turn hugged by the heavy emotive doom gaze breath of the track. Haunting and mesmeric, the song continues to seduce and impose, drama soaking very brooding note and harmonic utterance trespassing and seducing the senses.

It is a highly tantalising and increasingly captivating beginning to the release and one as powerfully continued by next up Ender. A song exploring love and loss and “a reminder to savor even the most mundane idiosyncrasies that “make” our loved ones who they are”, a premise easy to relate to, it rousingly smoulders in ears and thoughts but a thick simmer with volatility which only enriches its emotional incitement and a sound with Type O Negative/Nine Inch Nails hues. There is also a breath to the track and its successors which reminds of eighties band, The Sound; an instinctively downbeat almost depressive yet rousing dark essence which is especially apparent in the fiercely infectious Heresy. From its predacious nagging bassline to the sonic tendrils and Chvasta’s transfixing vocals, the track is pure temptation as virulently catchy as it is melancholically consuming.

A riveting cover of the Dead and Gone track Blood from a Ghost follows, Dead Register infusing it with a voraciously dark elegance without defusing its raw heart and anguish. Few covers in our experience improve on the original but the threesome certainly flirts with that success before Monochrome completes the aural mastery of Captive with its own tenebrific majesty soaked in emotive dissonance. A breath-taking and arousing yet corrosive romance, the track is a maelstrom of destruction and tenderness and quite irresistible.

It is a spellbinding prowess which devours the whole of Captives and feeds the infatuation we have already found for the band. If in our words Fiber was “dark magic, emotional trespassing, and quite wonderful”, Captive is pure aural alchemy and one of the year’s essential encounters.

Captive is released November 2nd; available @ https://deadregister.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deadregister

 Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Parasitic Twins – All That’s Left To Do Now Is Sleep With Each Other

A charnel house of sonic destruction and corruption, All That’s Left To Do Now Is Sleep With Each Other is the debut EP from British hardcore duo Parasitic Twins. Offering three tracks of raw noise infested dissonance, the release is an inhospitable animus of sound and intent which as it charred the senses had them keenly captivated.

Hailing from Hull, Parasitic Twins is the union of guitarist/vocalist Max Watt (Rotting Monarchs) and drummer Dom Smith (Mary and The Ram). Having previously worked together as part of Seep Away, the pair bred their new project within a “desire to create the most abrasive sound they could.” Caustically lo-fi and mercilessly intrusive, an encounter recorded live and raw, All That’s Left To Do Now Is Sleep With Each Other is the first result of that intent,.

It opens with Massive and instantly challenges ears with gnarly rabid riffs soaked in doom bred venom. The track uncages a predacious doom nurtured stroll upon the imposing rhythms of Smith, desolation and toxicity oozing from every psyche ravishing note as pestilential animosity coats every syllable out of Watt’s scarred throat. Yet there is an instinctive swing to the track which easily gets under the skin.

It is a template of sorts which breeds all tracks even with their true and open individuality as shown by Flipswitch. Its hardcore breeding ravages the senses from its first breath, riffs snarling as they abrase while the dual attack of vocals is similarly a fierce grazing to challenge and incite.

Final track, End, is a consumptive plague of noise but again springing an infectious noise punk incurred sway which soon settled within ears and body. Barely exposing a minute and a half to its carnivorous dealings, the track is feral pleasure; the EP the same times three.

All That’s Left To Do Now Is Sleep With Each Other will be a scourge too far for many and erosive manna for others as it announces the outbreak of one striking aural trespass going by the name of Parasitic Twins.

All That’s Left To Do Now Is Sleep With Each Other is released October 26th.

https://www.facebook.com/ParasiticTwinsBand   https://twitter.com/TwinsParasitic

Pete RingMaster 17/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Skullcrush – Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse

Sure to leave you feeling tainted by its visceral scourge of noise, Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse is the debut EP from death metallers Skullcrush, a band we believe hails from Phoenix, Arizona. There is little more we can tell you about the outfit but plenty to share about their four track offering released through Glasgow based metal label Camo Pants Records.

Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse unleashes sounds which more than lives up to the band’s name. Death metal with a foraging element at times of doom to its character, the EP is an invasively corrosive animus of filth laden debilitating sound whether going for the jugular or wearing the psyche down over time. It opens with Spectacle of Suffering, a ruinous ear blasting, senses ravishing onslaught bursting from a sonic dissonance with an invasive groove which swiftly got under the skin. Around it riffs savage and rhythms bludgeon; vocals a dirt clad infestation of malevolence accentuating the decayed enterprise assaulting the listener. Embracing shifts in its attack and venomous contagion, the track is a pestilential treat of an introduction to the band; alone ensuring a want to keep a close ear upon its creators.

The following Mists of Blood quickly backs up the potent start with its own death metal pillaging of the senses. As its predecessor, it too has a swing to its creative antipathy which ebbs and flows in its central lead but never relinquishes its impact as the track’s black heart and toxic air blossoms. As its own sonic dissonances brews and overwhelms, darker and heavier rancor fuels new twists and shades of the gall spewing feud; each bringing open enterprise within the suffocating smog of noise.

Entrails Ablaze similarly yet uniquely springs a spiteful contagion from its voracious loathing, the track a brief but memorable slab of virulent ferocity which is almost punk like in its feral savagery before the, in comparison, epic grudge of Hellwater takes over the infernal trespass. This is where that collusion of death and doom really comes together, the track a bestial malignancy which emerges with a relatively lively stroll to its violation but as the minutes pass slips into a defence sapping lumber consuming the senses and spirit with every increasingly exhausting and despoiling step.

It is fair to say that Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse is an attention grabbing and increasingly impressing first listen to Skullcrush with the potential within its four hostilities as intriguing and exciting as the tracks themselves. It is not for the weak hearted or for those with a nervous disposition, in fact it is a toxicity all should fear but eagerly embrace.

Visions of the Firestorm Eclipse is available now on cassette and as a digital download through Camo Pants Records @ https://camopantsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/visions-of-the-firestorm-eclipse

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Owl – Orion Fenix

There are places and experiences you fear engaging in but still feel compelled to immerse in; dark and imposing yet inescapably seductive propositions which lure and ensnare despite their ravenous shadows.  Orion Fenix is one of those propositions or rather one which takes you and your imagination into such a shadow thick emotionally dark landscape so beguiling the only real option is to lose yourself in its tenebrific majesty.

Orion Fenix is the new EP from Owl, the solo project of Valborg guitarist/vocalist Christian Kolf. A single track, 22 minutes in length, the song is the creation of instinct and emotion, a piece which Kolf said in regard to its birth, ”There was no big thinking behind it, I just wrote it and that’s it. Let my feelings go.” It is an organic affair with flows over and envelops the senses like a tempest bearing lover; engaging and inflaming the imagination with every new twist and turn. Its epic length is like a slowly revolving kaleidoscope, bringing new emotive scenery and shades of light and shadow in an exploration which never truly repeats any of its fascinating moments or bewitching trespasses.

Emerging from sonic mists with a throaty resonance, immediately there is an alluring invitation from Orion Fenix but one with a portentous edge to its smouldering beauty. Graceful yet with a threat in its tone, the track rises until its tempestuousness sparks a heavy doomy gait. Its corrosive suggestiveness though is instantly tempered by the harmonic tones of Kolf, his voice similarly pure enticement and menace laced melancholy.

That early mellow air is in time a burning pyre of emotional and physical dissonance but just one passage in the journey as ill-boding lines a new relative calm from which melodic charm blossoms within the bleak climate; it in turn evolving into a desolate yet magnetic consumption.

And so the song continues, every minute a fresh suggestion, each turn a harbinger of new instinctive exploration either reassuring or unsettling; usually simultaneously both and always enthralling.

Quite simply Orion Fenix is stunning; invasively glorious and hauntingly torturous. It is also a riveting appetiser for Owl’s forthcoming full-length album Nights In Distortion; an experience which now just cannot come soon enough.

Orion Fenix is available now via Zeitgeister Music.

https://www.facebook.com/owlmetal

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright