The Silverblack – The Grand Turmoil

TheSilverblack_RingMaster Review

Starting with a core blaze of industrial metal and twisting and stretching it thereon in by infusing a horde of rampant flavours, styles, and waves of imagination into its roar, Italian rockers The Silverblack have come up with one thoroughly enjoyable trespass of the senses in The Grand Turmoil. The band’s new album is a physical and creative holler of sounds, new and familiar, that captures the imagination and exhausts the breath across a volatile landscape, and though it might be pushing it to say that The Grand Turmoil is the best industrial metal incitement this year, it is firmly amongst the leaders in pure enjoyment.

The Torino hailing band is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and producer Alessio Nero Argento (NeroArgento, The Stranded) and vocalist Claudio Ravinale (Disarmonia Mundi, The Stranded, 5 Star Grave), the pair forming The Silverblack in the opening weeks of 2014. Live the band becomes a quintet with the addition of bassist Ivan King, drummer Rob Gaia, and keyboardist Nisha Sara, but for the album it is the founding duo exploring ears and their own invention alone with just a couple of guest solos for extra spice.

It opens with its title track, a stomping beast of a proposal with a sonically fetid atmosphere and pulsating electronic scenery crowding a stalking gait. It is immediately intensive and busy on the senses as the band springs a trap of agitated rhythms and great fiery and openly varied vocals, the raw emotive roars of Ravinale balanced skilfully by cleaner tones courting their confrontation from the background. With keys and guitars jostling for attention, each getting equal share as the track casts its maelstrom of adventure, the song makes a dramatic and heftily alluring start to The Grand Turmoil, though bigger and bolder things are on the horizon.

cover_RingMaster Review   The following Anymore with its vibrantly lighter breath and shadowy presence follows and if not one of the bolder tracks certainly whips up ears and appetite with its Dope meets Celldweller parade of electronic enterprise and vocal magnetism. It is not a song stretching the imagination or finding major originality but it does leave an energetic satisfaction and hunger behind which the outstanding King-Size Vandalism pounces on with virulent and ravenous prowess. Bursting in with robust rhythms and a joyfully warm melody, the song becomes a boisterous romp sizzling with the energetic tenacity of a Pendulum and grouchier lilt of a Combichrist, whilst vocally variety reaps a slight scent of Marilyn Mansion at times. The track quickly infects feet and emotions; it’s an electro rock anthem soon having the body bouncing as high as its own.

Retaliation comes next, its immediate heavy predacious gait a thick intent that defies the effort of the keys to lighten the ambience and mood. Nevertheless they shimmer and tempt engagingly as the song prowls through an early Rammstein leering towards an electro pop chorus. The band’s eagerness to venture into unpredictable turns and styles is a stirring quality in the album but for personal tastes not as potently impacting here with the track’s ‘nice’ pop essences, though it does not stop ears being more than content overall and ready to leap on the kaleidoscope of sound and light that is Make It Worth The Grime. Dirty and melodically glowing, the song is a great fusion of dark and light that loosely comes over like a meet up of Hanzel und Gretyl and KMFDM yet sculpts its own identity along its compelling length.

The fiercer tempest of As Good As Dead raises the levels of addictiveness next; its blended contrasts of emotive rapacity and antagonistic sounds with vocal harmonies and warm infection a perfectly crafted union whilst Attic Hime straight after quickly eclipses it. With a great vocal weave within a climate which at times is like a still warm melodic day and in other moments a blustery sonic wind that ebbs and flows to distort and enhance the drama of the song, it provides an ever evolving and constantly gripping parade of diverse sound. The track leaves ears on a lofty high; a plateau extended by the blistering examination of Pyromanservant, a track drawing on as broad a canvas of metal as it does electronic invention. Like Die Krupps, Powerman 5000, and Skinny Puppy blended, the song incites and engrosses as it takes top song honours within The Grand Turmoil.

The initial gentle shimmer of Great Expectations allows a catching of breath before it too uncages a dark and contagious theatre of emotion and enterprise, an angrier and bitter version of Gravity Kills coming to mind as yet another excellent and lingering encounter within the album exciting ears.

The release is brought to an end by firstly the pleasingly sonically thick and physically volatile Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better, a song brawling with the senses as it lays down its ultimately successful persuasion, and lastly Fragmentary Blue, the darkest, most melancholic offering on The Grand Turmoil and one of the most forcibly compelling even as its departure leaves a sense of unfinished business. It is a fine end to a richly enjoyable offering which as suggested has all the invention and adventure to be, for a great many, deeply entrenched amongst their favourite 2015 industrial releases.

The Grand Turmoil is out now via Sliptrick Records.

Pete RingMaster 29/10/2105

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Hell Puppets – Theatre of Sin

Hell Puppets_RingMaster Review

Picture the scene, after one flawed but certain success Victor Frankenstein’s ambitions go full out to feed his appetite for rabid music. So with bodies embalmed with the raw irreverence of Frankenstein Drag Queens From Planet 13, the ravenous metallic animus of Morgue Orgy, the virulent contagion of Dope, and the punk mischief of Dirt Box Disco, he created EviL-P, BeLiaL, GRavES, BeeLzEBeN, and SaTurNiST to spread the red and devour the soul. Or it might simply have been the Devil which dragged Hell Puppets from their English graves to conjure and release the lustful addiction that is Theatre of Sin.

The debut album from the Sussex bred quintet is a carnivorous vaudeville of horror and creative drama cast across a dozen songs which just thrust a knife of contagion through the heart and continually twist it with a bounty of punk ferocity, metal predation, and rock ‘n’ roll devilry. It drew a big grin on the first listen and a lustful stalking from the second, and fair to say since its release a couple of weeks or so back, we are not alone in adding the release to our cellar of favourites.

With members hailing from London, Brighton, Chichester and Lucifer’s right hand, Hell Puppets emerged in 2011 infusing inspirations from the likes of White Zombie, Pantera, Sex Pistols, Slayer, and Misfits into their swift attention grabbing fusion of punk and metal draped in horror, the occult, and Demonism. The first year saw the band solely concentrate on creating and honing their sonic infestation before setting out on their live scourge of the UK. A live session for a local radio station marked the growing emergence of the band during the next year before in 2013 they began recording debut EP No Strings Attached which was released in the following January. An increasing number of acclaim garnering shows surrounding its well-received introduction to the band and since with a support slot with The Hell later in 2014 another highlight. It was a successful year certainly eclipsed by this, as fresh from playing Bloodstock and touring with Meta-Stasis in support of their debut album, we simply have Theatre of Sin.

Theatre of Sin_RingMaster Review   From the opening carnage of Bow Bells, band and album has ears and imagination gripped. The brief track is a visceral scene setter for the following …From Hell, a blood dripping, flesh ripping introduction to the murderous streets of Victorian Whitechapel and the lust of Jack The Ripper which its successor impressively runs with. The second track to a concussive ring of bells rolls out an epidemic of inciting rhythms and growling vocals within a horde of punk riffs and tenacious hooks. All those bands initially mentioned come to thoughts as the track throws its sinew loaded attitude and mischievous insanity across the senses, yet as good as a hint that they are, the track is something demonically distinct to Hell Puppets, as too it emerges, the album. The band certainly cuts straight to the chase with the best track on Theatre Of Sin but there is no downward slope to follow, even if tracks can only closely sniff at the brilliance of the full opener.

Hung, Drawn and Slaughtered is one which runs it close, its blackened soul and horror punk fury colluding in another quick slavery of infectious hooks, grooves, and unpredictability. As many songs within the album there is a familiarity to it which seduces with the charm classic evil always has, a broad smile which captivates as djent kissed riffs and death instilled voracity works away at the senses and psyche narrated by the varied squalls of vocal animus.

From that metallic tempest another in the caustic shape of Born To Die steps forward, its body a maelstrom of glam and hard rock with punk ‘n’ roll tendencies aligned to metal ferocity. It is a stomp which seizes neck muscles and vocal chords to do its bidding before Project Mayhem uncages its primal anthemic roar laying somewhere between Black Dahlia Murder and Therapy?, and Political Diarrhoea taps into the punk beds of The Damned, The Vibrators, and Misfits for its rapacious stroll and lyrical agenda which gets the job done without fuss or wastage.

From an imposing shadow cast by the classic shark attack sound, complete with nasal secretions, the deranged hardcore fuelled roar of Drugged Up Shark excites and disorientates leaving ears prey to the clutches of Halloween, the band’s Christmas song. Only kidding, but it is a track which just keeps giving from its Carpenter inspired theme and melodic coaxing through to its grungy death infused sonic rancor. The track is glorious, another revealing new nuances and defiling attributes with very listen, much as We Are The Enemy and its whirlpool of insidious death metal, bracing rock ‘n’ roll, and juicy grooving. Imagine The Sex Pistols, Turbonegro, and Venom severely shaken until their juices merge and you get a glimpse of another big highlight amongst many within Theatre of Sin.

Morbid Mirror twists and turns like a clawed seductress next, its lithe grooves and rasping vocals bringing a mix of Grumpynators and Murderdolls whilst slipping into richer blackened spite throughout, especially vocally. Once more ears and emotions are lost to Hell Puppets and kept by firstly the bestial, mordant sound of The Decunted and finally the mouth-watering discord and sonic antipathy of Face the Reaper. The track is a bad-blooded smog of noise and sonic pollution which just brings the bedlamic acts of Theatre of Sin to a fitting ravenous climax.

The album is a wonderful desecration of body and soul and if any of those bands we mentioned as hints appeal, as well as something new and dirty to the touch, and the fact the Hell Puppets is our new favourite trespass, then hopefully we have incited you to be brave and enter the Theatre of Sin.

Theatre of Sin is available now via Hell Puppets’ Bandcamp.

Pete Ringmaster 15/09/2015

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V For Violence – The Book of V

VFORVIOLENCE-band_RingMaster Review

Finnish metallers V For Violence first made an attention nudging statement with up their debut album The Cult Of V in 2009, now after a fair time in the making they unleash its successor The Book of V. Vocalist Jarkko Lähderanta said of the band’s new offering, ”The Book Of V took years to get its shape and sound. We wanted to take the next step in songwriting and paid more attention on details.” It is an intent finding success as the eleven tracks contagion frisks ears and sparks the imagination, and though it easily lures references to other protagonists in the industrial/alternative metal scene and styles around it, the album is simply one rousing and thoroughly enjoyable ferocious stomp.

Formed in 2007 by Lähderanta, drummer Miikki Kunttu, and guitarist Janne Salo, V For Violence was soon luring ears with their first demo in 2008. Its track/video Boy Called Fucker was a swift spark in the band being eagerly devoured by fans and media too, helping lead to their signing with Osasto-A Records soon after for the release of the 2-track single Constant Of Death in the summer of 2009. It was a strong teaser to their impending debut album The Cult Of V released in the November of that same year. The full-length was a well-received proposal pushing the band towards stronger spotlights backed by a live presence which by this point had already seen V For Violence support Hardcore Superstar and in turn going on to the sharing of stages with the likes of Die So Fluid, Cold Cold Ground, Amorphis, Hypocrisy, Underoath, and Architects at shows and festivals. Now with bassist Jani Rahkonen and guitarist Riku Vuorio alongside Lähderanta, Salo, and Kunttu, V For Violence have the long awaited The Book of V poised and ready to stir up the metal scene.

And that it pretty much does even if its originality is locked in the arms of open familiarity to a few heavyweights. Like a fusion of Fear Factory and Marilyn Manson in league with Dope and Powerman 5000, the album and opening track, The Halted Saint explode on the senses with anthemic ferocity. For some you suspect that recognisable air might not work as well as for others, but V For Violence bring their own raw and aggressive twist on things too ensuring that each track has something fresh and extra to say and certainly grip a demanding appetite and imagination by. The band’s new single clouds ears with thick industrial smog but swiftly sends sinewy tendrils of guitar and scything rhythms through it as the climate begins to clear on a corrosive and quickly addictive stalking. Those previously mentioned references straight away work on thoughts as too Society 1 in regard to the caustic and impassioned, bordering on sexual, intensity driving the encounter. Grooves and hooks just spark whilst the strong vocals of Lähderanta roar with expression and incitement for an outstanding start to the album’s fury.

V-For-Violence-TheBookOfV-cover__RingMaster Review     The potent beginning continues with the predatory prowl of The Downfall Pt. I: To Feel Alive. Initially it smoulders within imposing walls with mellow melodies and vocal coaxing but is soon building a volatile atmosphere and intimidating lining of textures, though still dipping into its elegant reflective heart throughout. Once more Manson is an obvious comparison to a song which at times has you drooling and in other moments simply fascinated by its adventurous nature and spicing.

Never Enough uncages the darkest bestial bass riffs and salacious grooves next, splintering them with vocal bellows and psyche gripping hooks to get very greedy over whilst Like It Like That and I Need You spew inescapable virulence in their individual characters. As most songs, choruses conjured are like infection dosed traps, impossible not to be fully involved in whilst around them creative snarls and in the latter of this trio, sinisterly dramatic nuances toy with the imagination. It is fair to say that a few songs share a closely seeded template but many, as here, create from that something strikingly inventive and captivating.

Band and album continues to hit the spot as tracks like the carnivorous A Place To Fill with its electronic festivity and guitar led twists, and the wonderful sonic groan and intimate melodies of God On Trial just ignite the senses. The second of these two is another major pinnacle in the album, every minute a cauldron of emotion and flirtatiously venomous enterprise equipped with unpredictability before it has to make way for Sodomedia which rivals it with its own hellacious and irritable industrial grooving. Once more limbs and thick involvement in the tempest is unavoidable, the breath taken too in the exhausting pleasure consuming the senses

The following Not A Word with its more hard rock seeded swagger lacks the spark and triggers of its predecessors yet again has a keenly persuasive impact on ears and satisfaction whilst What The Fuck! throws its attitude out with zeal, rhythmic and vocal relish fuelling the Five Finger Death Punch/ American Head Charge spiced confrontation.

The Book of V closes with the sweltering croon of The Downfall Pt. II: Amourageddon, its initial acoustic and emotive smoulder again as in Part 1, rising to dense intensity and melancholic ire whilst this time embracing classical and symphonic hues alongside an evocative industrial climate. A relative slow burner compared to other tracks within the album, it constantly evolves and reveals new treats to bring the release to a fine conclusion.

Fair to say we greedily devoured The Book of V and continue to, each track a tasty slice of invigorating fire and hostility. If any of those previously mentioned comparisons do not work for you than possibly V For Violence will struggle to persuade too but for the rest, this is one easy to recommend incitement.

The Book of V is available now via Inverse Records.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

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Raised Emotionally Dead – Memo


     When we say that the sounds you hear on Memo are nothing you have not really heard before do not take this as a slight or criticism as the debut from Canadian hard rockers Raised Emotionally Dead is one of the most enjoyable releases to come along this year. It is pure metallic rioting, with songs and music to turn any occasion or hour into an adrenaline soaked, sonically sculpted thrilling storm. There is also a distinctive breath and tone to the album which does go against our opening line but simply if you are already seduced by the sounds of say early Marilyn Mansion, Murderdolls, Rob Zombie, and Dope you are going to have a ball with this Toronto quintet.

    Raised Emotionally Dead was born from the earlier project of vocalist Jezla and guitarist ZeeDee called The Hellz Kitchen Show. 2011 saw the pair build their own recording studio and start Red Channel Records as they sought to discover and perfect their own unique sound. Now you could happily argue that uniqueness is one of the less immediate attributes of Memo but to be fair it is hard to think of anyone who presents the familiarity in the same breath-taking way that these gentlemen do. With a line-up completed by ex-Zeroscape guitarist Specializt, ex- Papa’s Delicate Condition bassist Nibz, and drummer Naz, the band has opened for the likes of Marilyn Manson, L.A.Guns, John Corabi, Vince Neil, Gilby Clark, The Birthday Massacre, DOPE, Faster Pussycat, Dog Fashion Disco, Trash Light Vision, Carnival Diablo, Nash the Slash and many more. Memo is the next major step and one with luck which will open them up to the hunger of the metal/rock world.

     The release opens with one of the most contagious songs heard in a long time. Channel Radio stomps all over the senses the moment it leaps from the initial sample, drums thumping with antagonistic provocation whilst the guitars eagerly grind through the ear with compelling riffs and vigorously seductive grooves. With the throaty bass adding its devilry to the mix and the vocals of Jezla scowling over it all like an expressive tempest,  the track takes mere seconds to tempt thoughts and passions into joining its bruising cause. Every second and atom of the song is pure contagion, a wicked device to have the limbs, voice, and energy of its recipients expelling their enthused participation. Ok it has that call of recognition to it but the likes of Dope, Mansion, and Wednesday 13, whom the song reminds most of, have not had this effect and persuasiveness about them in a long time, if at all for some.

   The outstanding start is soon complemented by the equally hungry and tempting sounds of Shed It, guitars carving up the air with muscle clad riffs alongside an infectious rhythmic menace. The hard rock voice of the song is a clear call which suggest elements of G ‘N’ R whilst vocally again that confrontational squalling tone of Jezla assisted by great group calls, rides the torrent of aggressive energy like a sinewy surfer, syllables and words caught in the appealing wake. As the song and its successor Selfish Inc. rampage with varied intent and enterprise it is hard not to be wrapped up in the fun and energy of it all, whilst that openness of resources just makes it easier to engage and participate with the lure of each track.

     Whilst the previous two songs slip slightly below the immense opener both Resistance and Code Red have little trouble in staking their claim for top honours on the release. The first of the pair has a slight industrial lilt to its enticement which makes for a NIN/Pitchshifter like incitement with an extra unintended nod to Italian band Houston! which only adds to the imaginative craft and adventure of the song. The track also continues to push the diversity within the album beneath that surface recognition, something the second of the two equally reinforces with creative ease. There is a feel of Gruntruck at times here as the guitars shape the body of the song and rhythms cast their cage over the senses to appease further the greedy appetite slavering now over every song.

     The underlying mystique of Faceless makes an enthralling temptress next, even if the song falls short of the pinnacles set, whilst the likes of Out Of Control with its Jane’s Addiction like groove and the slow burning Messenger captivate with a virulent toxin that leaves nothing less than rich satisfaction.

   Closing on the fiery and reflective Applaud, a song which arguably is the weakest on the album yet still enlists full union with its badgering rock sounds, Memo is an album that leaves you exhausted but enriched in pleasure. Yes the band probably need to explore for a distinct voice ahead but right now they have delivered one undeniable treat.


RingMaster 24/03/2013

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Faster Pussycat: The Power & The Glory Hole


    The Power & The Glory Hole is the first release of new material from Hollywood sleaze rockers Faster Pussycat since its return in 2001, and a release which despite its flaws just leads to mischievous satisfaction. The band is one which for many is a love or hate relationship whilst for others like us their earlier presence largely was ignored due to a lack of connection with their glam/sleaze flavoured hard rock. The new album though finds the band evolved into a heavily spiced industrial rock n roll which points to the likes of Dope and Marilyn Manson, and on certain points on the album, Jane’s Addiction.

Formed in 1985 and taking its name from the Russ Meyer cult film Faster Pussycat! Kill! Kill!, the quintet of Taime Downe (vocals), Greg Steele, (guitar), Brent Muscat (guitar), Kelly Nickels (bass), and Mark Michaels (drums), soon grabbed attention with their self-titled album of 1987 and two years later gold album, Wake Me When It’s Over. The band subsequently split in 1992 with Downe forming the Newlydeads. In 2001 though he resurrected Faster Pussycat with a more rock driven sound and the band soon released Between The Valley Of The Ultra Pussy, a collection of industrial remixes of the  early songs produced by Downe, and spent the next years touring and thrilling audiences. With a line-up now of Downe, Xristian Simon (guitar), Ace Von Johnson (guitar), and ex- L.A. Guns members Danny Nordahl (bass) and Chad Stewart (drums, percussion), the band has stepped forward with further evolved material and sound and it has to be said it is quite a blast.

Released via Full Effect Records in the US and City Of Lights Records in Europe, The Power & The Glory Hole takes no time in FasterPussycat_cover20making a convincing persuasion with opener Number 1 with a Bullet. The track introduces itself with bulging rhythms and scything sonics from the guitars which immediately lures an interest in its offering. Settling into a sinewy gait and fiery energy, the vocals of Downe dance over the ear with a gruff devilment whilst riffs and basslines tease and incite boisterous responses. Wholly infectious with its acidic groove and undemanding chorus, the song is easy meat for the ear to revel in, recognisable rascality which is irresistible. That also about sums up the album, there is nothing new or adventurous to it just sounds and ideas plenty of others have exploited but Faster Pussycat make it an aural shenanigan you do not want to avoid.

From the terrific start the equally addictive Gotta Love It with its repetitive pawing riffs and cyclonic grooves continues to excite the senses, the tempting chorus and unbound flurry of hooks virulent and again impossible to resist adding voice and agitated limbs to. Two songs in and there is not much more convincing needed to make the album one which will make many returns before the ear and even though it does ebb and flow in success across its twelve tracks, there are no actual disasters waiting to loom into view. The following slowly strolling Useless is one of the moments though where things hit a lull, the admittedly easily assessable and enjoyable track failing to hold or ignite any fire with its presence. It is arguably the most industrial toned track on the album and wins on variety and intent but just does not spark like some of the other tracks.

Something the songs Sex Drugs & Rock ‘n’ Roll and Hey You do not have a problem with achieving.  The first is one which brings rich essences of Jane’s Addiction to a hard rock swagger for another transmittable aural contagion whilst the second rampages with a grinding abrasion and snarl to its energy, riffs, and baselines whilst the drums create a frame of jabs and crisp uppercuts any middleweight would be proud of. The guitar flames add extra heat and transfixing persuasion to the song and again it is hard to tear oneself away from its eager and easily satisfying clutches. Splitting the pair Disintegrate and a cover of These Boots Were Made for Walking play nice without again raising any temperatures but are still decent enough songs to catch a lingering stay.

Completed by the wanton blistered seduction of Porn Star, the biting title track, a fiery cover of the Betty Blowtorch song Shut Up & Fuck, and a closing tribute to the late Bianca Butthole, a close friend of Downe, called Bye Bye Bianca, the album makes for a dirty brawl of a party, a sonic binge you are welcome and will want to gate-crash. For sure The Power & The Glory Hole takes easy familiar routes in songs for the main and lacks uniqueness but it still makes a more than appetising encounter which gives voice, feet, and mischief an excuse to riot.


Ringmaster 26/02/2013

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KLANK: Urban Warfare

Bridge Crop alt

    With a new release waiting on every click of a button each and every day, it is easy for some impressive music to slip by the attention of far too many unsuspecting ears. Urban Warfare from US metallers KLANK is one prime example, a mighty incendiary album which has yet to surface on the radar of a great many though it was unleashed last year. Consisting of fourteen slabs of irresistible industrial metal veined by magnetic electronic lures and even more seductive delicious grooves, the release stops you dead in your tracks and recruits the passions in a brawling riot of enterprise and intensive energy.

Since forming in 1995, the band has earned a rich position within the metal underground constantly breaking into wider recognition and acclaim through their immense live performances and vigorously compelling releases. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Daren KLANK Diolosa (ex-Circle Of Dust), guitarist Danny Owsley, bassist Charlie Parker, drummer Eric Wilkins, and Pat Servedio on guitar, keys, programming and production, KLANK first smacked music in the face with debut album Still Suffering via Tooth & Nail Records in 1997. It brought muscular groove metal, industrial, and dance music together with a vengeance and brought plenty of intrigued and enthused ears their way as well as strong radio play. Its successor Numb two years later elevated the band further especially with its immense and successful single Blind, and its re-issue the following year only added to the brewing rise of the band. KLANK also made plenty of compilation appearances over this period but arguably their real dawn of recognition came through the In Memory Of… EP in 2007 and the fifteen track release Numb…Reborn three years later which included guest appearances by Jim Chaffin, Larry Farkas and Mike Phillips. Urban Warfare though is the band at its finest moment yet and the album to place them in the higher echelons of grooved/industrial metal.

The best way to describe the album is a fusion of the previously mentioned musical spicery in a richer and more potent flavour.Urban Warfare Cover Imagine an aggressive offspring of Pitchshifter and Pitbull Daycare incited to further devilment by Dope and Powerman 5000 and you get wind of the tremendous energy and invention going on. Opening on the intro A Call To Arms with its infectious beckoning and full incitement the album takes no time in offering the fullest persuasion with Unamused. Its initial caress is an electronic sway which is soon ruptured by towering riffs and thumping rhythms whilst still delivering its own warm dazzle. Into its stride the track rampages with real hunger from the bass and guitar riffs to consume the senses whilst the drums of Wilkins prey on the ear like a middleweight boxer. The vocals of Diolosa are a stirring blend of clean with enough growl to intimidate which match the stance of the song, its combative gait entwined with the melodic heat of the keys.

The title track has a Toxic Grind Machine feel to its darker shadowed intensity and malice whilst still unleashing a contagious melodic inducement to bring feet and passions to energetic life. Its sturdiness and suggested violence makes a great contrast and variation to its predecessor and the following Bigger Man, though neither of these songs lacks feistiness or a burning passion to bruise. Bigger Man is a tempest of tumultuous riffs and rhythms tempered by a virally contagious chorus and the mesmeric sultry dance of the keys. Certainly one of the biggest highlights in an album which is one big pinnacle, the song is the final piece of suasion to ignite a real ardour for the release.

Songs like the squalling and impressively abrasive Alive in Me, the quarrelsome Built to Survive with its wonderful avalanche of explosive rhythms and prowling riffs within an equally intensive and raptorial atmosphere, and the excellent Stomp You Out, continue to drive the album deeper into the heart with accomplished invention and even headier passion. The third of the trio is another disputatious encounter with a thicker industrial metal oppression and heat playing like a mix of The Browning and Ghost In The Static.

As further tracks such as the less intense but greedily imposing Blow It All Away and the malevolent Disdain with its outstanding primal predatory caustic breath work on the passions, Urban Warfare stands without any notable flaws or deficencies…that is until the final pair of songs. Now to put this into context if Eraser and Something About You was on another release they would earn strong applause for their straight forward metal and raw ‘live’ state, they certainly stand as strong songs but against what has come before they feel out of place in time and situation, simply they are pale against the rest of the album.

Despite that minor niggle, Urban Warfare is outstanding, an album all metal fans should take time to immerse themselves within. KLANK stand on the edge of the widest recognition and deserve every ounce they get.


RingMaster 15/02/2013

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Velvet Star: All Or Nothing

If All Or Nothing the new EP from UK rockers Velvet Star is like for us your first introduction to the band then hold tight for one high energy heart bursting ride of pure rock n roll. It is an adrenaline rush to leave one breathless and exhilarated. Whether the release offers anything openly new is arguable but it really does not matter when the songs making up the EP are so deeply satisfying and invigorating.

The quartet from Yorkshire began in 2007 with brothers Danny (vocals) and Corey(bass) Jones. The following years saw plenty of line-up changes as well as their well received debut album In The Face Of Vanity through Rocksector Records. Featuring on the cover CD of Classic Rock as well as playing across the UK alongside the likes of Faster Pussycat, The Treatment, Star Rats, GUN, and Vains of Jenna to name a few, has also marked the rise of the band to date, something the new release will surely take to greater places.

Spring of this year saw another change with the addition of guitarists Mewsy (Ex SilverJet) and Robbie G (Ex Slash Vegas) to the band alongside the brothers and drummer Ginna, as Velvet Star set in motion the beginning of All or Nothing. Recorded alongside Matt Elliss (Black Spiders), the EP finds the band returning bigger, mightier, and with an increased determination and passion, the songs themselves the open proof.

The release opens the riotous fun with Bring It On, a thumping attitude driven feast of snarling bass riffs and scything guitar strikes. An immediate bruising friend to take on all comers, the track has the pulse racing and militancy flaring from its combative energy and fiery melodic guitar streaks of sound. With muscles bulging and chest fully extended, the infectious rampage just ignites the passions in a storm of insatiable and rewarding pure rock n roll, something the very best releases always manage to do.

From such an impressive and triumphant start things actually get even better, the release finding elevated plateaus track after track. The following Crash & Burn is a greedy heavy footed gem, a blistering stomp sounding like a mix of Buckcherry, Dope, and Marilyn Mansion wrapped in a healthy piece of Trucker Diablo aggressive energy.  It has a slower swagger than the opener but a scorching groove which captivates the imagination with wanton ease. If listening to the time bomb of contagion your toes, feet, limbs, and heart are not in motion with its stroll… then call the paramedics, you may be at deaths door, such its irresistible lure.

It is hard to find any flaw with the songs or release, nor the inventive songwriting and skilled delivery, other than there is only four songs, greed taking over as the EP boils the senses persistently. Glad You’ve Gone is a great blues soaked slab of rock majesty, the over catchy chorus and magnificent guitar work from Mewsy and Robbie G manna from rock heaven whilst the vocals just glow and the rhythms seize and lift passions higher .

The closing Overrated without doubt takes top honours, the punk n roll rampage an unstoppable juggernaut of feisty intent and breathtaking energy. Impossibly infectious, the track takes full control of voice and body let alone passion as it refuses to leave until you are joining in with its unbridled enthusiasm and siren heart. Midway through a totally unexpected break into a quite quirky moment which one would expect from a Faith No More, bursts free. It appears from nowhere and departs just as simply but works wonderfully as the mischief of the band leaves a final wink.

All Or Nothing is simply brilliant and Velvet Star one of the great new pleasures for The RingMaster Review this year, make them one of yours too is our only advice.

RingMaster 25/10/2012

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