The Bendal Interlude – Reign of the Unblinking Eye

bendalInterlude_RingMasterReview

Attempting to build on the reputation and acclaim earned through their previous clutch of EPs, British metallers The Bendal Interlude unleash their debut album; a cauldron of sludge, stoner, and blues with psych and thrash metal to sear and ignite the senses. The release is a beast of a proposition; an attention grabber reinforcing and pushing the already firm stature of the Liverpool quartet but maybe one not quite seeing the band going far enough with the new bold elements of flavour and imagination to steer them away from similarly designed offerings over recent times. Nevertheless Reign of the Unblinking Eye is a fiercely enticing and enjoyably rousing slab of predacious riffs, salacious grooves, and thumping rhythmic aggression.

Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Melvins, Crowbar, and Cathedral, The Bendal Interlude have increasingly drawn fans and attention through a quartet of releases, starting with an early Demo followed by the Foal Recordings EP in 2010, a Self-Titled EP the following year, and the Odourama EP in 2013, as well as a ferocious live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Sunn O))), Earth, Orange Goblin, COC, Church of Misery, Red Fang and more. They have also made highly successful appearances at festivals like Hammerfest, Sonisphere, and Desertfest to persistently lure keen spotlights to their emergence.

For Reign of the Unblinking Eye, The Bendal Interlude took a new tact in its creation; guitarist Stu Taylor explaining recently, “We took a shift in direction when writing for the album Reign of The Unblinking Eye. The songs are much more elaborate and have a lot more going on sound-wise than previous releases. We played with time signatures, guitar harmonies, key changes, even laying down a 10-part resonator guitar part. It is by far the heaviest but also most dynamic thing we’ve written to date.” His words are quickly backed up by the album and a collection of songs which in contrast to the “abstract collection of ideas and imagery based around loose themes” which coloured previous releases, lyrically carry a more “autobiographical approach”.

art_RingMasterReviewBuckfast For Breakfast opens the album, an easily relatable repetitive vocal sample the spark to a wall of cantankerous riffs and rapier like rhythms. It is a senses trespassing confrontation, swiftly bound and veined by wiry grooves with richly engaging toxicity to their wandering sonic hands. The raw vocal squalling of Nat Gavin adds to the intrusive hostility tempering the melodic flirtation and the instinctive swing to the track’s stalking gait. It is an ear gripping start firmly backed by the blues intoxication and fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Losing Things. With Gavin’s caustic delivery, tracks are inevitably going to challenge with attitude loaded animosity yet as proven here, The Bendal Interlude merge it skilfully with a melodic/stoner prowess and addictive sonic contagion which gives every assault a captivating and inviting personality.

Next up is The Unblinking Eye and its initial electronically atmospheric suggestiveness which the track evolves into its own individual stomp of classic/groove metal fuelled ferociousness. It recruits body and imagination with consummate ease, the virulence of the grooves and infectious swing and lead hook of the track swiftly installing it as a major highlight within the album. The Bendal Interlude are rocking like a beast on heat in song and album, sparking similar reactions in the instincts and spirit of the listener.

Efram’s Hands provides a brooding groove entangled landscape of ravenous shadows and barbarous energy straight after whilst Pint of Bodies grumbles and rumbles with sonic and rhythmic rabidity whilst infusing a scent of enterprise not too removed from glam rock. Subsequently descending on the senses with a Down meets Cathedral like animosity before shifting again into an evocative melodic calm, it and its predecessor both whip up more greed for the album’s trespass before Creeks Gigantic prowls in with a thunderous rhythmic swagger led by the bass groove of Tommy Lloyd quickly matched by the resourceful craft and adventure of Taylors’ invention on guitar strings. Given further incendiary bite by the spiky beats of Dave Archer, the track is an imposingly catchy and intrusive weave of contrasting and dynamic textures finding kinship in the tracks’ vocal irritability and tempestuous air.

Anthemic and tenaciously delivered rhythms again lead an addictive and predictably groove infested persuasion as Triumph of Fortitudo steps in with bruising intensity and Cancer Bats like punk lined antagonism before stepping aside for the more merciful but equally commanding rock ‘n roll of The Block. Drama fuels every crawling riff and the doom coated breath which soaks a track layered with acidic grooving and vocal rancor. Maybe not as striking on personal tastes as other tracks within Reign of the Unblinking Eye, it still leaves satisfaction full; success sought and easily found by the closing emotional and creative animus of R.I.P.  An at times corrosive venture through varied styles and flavours within a core heavy rock storm, the song is a fascinating and increasingly impressing end to a similarly impacting release.

As suggested earlier, The Bendal Interlude could have dared to push their imagination even further but every play of Reign of the Unblinking Eye certainly reveals new twists within the all-consuming invasion of sound. Time and attention only benefits an appreciation of an instantly pleasing album which has the psyche and passions enslaved by crucial grooves in no time; a success no one can avoid or dismiss.

Reign of the Unblinking Eye is out now via Black Bow Records @ http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/the-bendal-interlude-the-reign-of-the-unblinking-eye

https://www.facebook.com/THEBENDALINTERLUDE   http://thebendalinterlude.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 01/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Buffalo Theory MTL – Skeptic Knight

photo - Benoit Nantel

photo – Benoit Nantel

Creating a bruising and boozy riot of rapacious rock ‘n’ roll, Canadian quintet Buffalo Theory MTL are releasing their latest uproar of sound and attitude this month in the boisterously muscular shape of Skeptic Knight. The five-track EP is a roar of debaucherous intent amidst heavy cantankerous sound which, without any major surprises, simply gets you in the mood to feverishly brawl and party.

Hailing from Montreal MTL consists of guitarists Pat Gordon and Yannick Pilon of Vantablack Warship, bassist Gary Lyons, drummer Brian Craig, and vocalist veteran Anton Parr. Between them, they have been part of very well-known Quebec groups such as the Ghoulunatics, Les Ékorchés, and Arseniq 33 whilst Parr’s history includes playing in thrash bands in Brazil. Together they brew a thick and predatory breed of stoner metal infused with thrash fury; a sound which, since the band formed in 2009, has fuelled an early demo followed by debut album Heavy Ride in 2012 and two years later, the Murder Trilogy EP. Both have been well-received proposals backed by a live hunger which has seen the band share stages with the likes of The Atomic Bitchwax, The Naked High, Diamond Head, Skull Fist, Thor, Misery Index, BARF, Insurrection, Iron Giant, Tunguska Mammoth, and many more.

Mastered and mixed by Peter Edwards, Skeptic Knight is Buffalo Theory MTL in full adrenaline pumped, rock ‘n’ roll embracing, voraciousness which Lyons describes as “…our best material to date and it’s damn heavy as usual”, adding “ It has a different sounding production that we like a lot. We completed 5 songs for the release. There were lots of riffs just waiting to be completed and it was hard to choose which ones to release first as we are already prepared to unleash another EP by next year to follow it. We always prefer to gather a few good songs and go into the studio being ready to release something new more often, rather than waiting too long for a LP type of setup with 10+ songs.

BTMTL-Skeptic-Knight_RingMaster ReviewOf course proof of word and success is always in the eating of the pudding and there is no doubting that opener Conspiracy in Paranoland alone is one tasty incitement of new yet prime Buffalo Theory MTL rampaging for ears and appetite to devour. A track knocking around since the band’s early days, it comes built on ravenous riffs, scything rhythms, and a prowling growling bassline to get lustful over. The song initially appears as a proposal just to have a rousing time with but it is soon showing itself a predator. The guitars offer a predacious flirtation led by the boisterous raw tone and vocal delivery of Parr but tempered with spicy grooves and a great guitar and bass nagging which simply helps whip up lustful enjoyment.

The following Punishment is an equally invasive character but centred round an even more bruising thrash seeded ferociousness, a fury bound in acidic grooves and vocal hostility with Pilon potently backing the roar of Parr. With a Pantera/Down like causticity and virulence to grooves and vocals alone, the song romps and stomps with the passions before Get On It swings its sinew sculpted hips as rebellious attitude colludes with bad-blooded rhythms entangled in psyche trespassing grooves. In contrast though, vocals and hooks breed their own more merciful strong anthemic persuasion, adding to devilry to get eagerly involved in whilst being battered around the senses.

The EP’s title track comes next, instantly showing the heaviest presence and thickest web of invasive textures heard yet on the release. It makes a slow, almost lumbering, bestial entrance, relaxes then breaks into a groove infested canter which has body and imagination on board within a mere handful of seconds. That instinctive enticing is helped by the spiciness coating grooves and the arousing impact of the riff driven rabidity which consumes the senses. It is a sonic war machine in hungry motion, the kind of inescapable protagonist which refuses anything less than full involvement in its roar, much like Psychic Enclosure. Like Rage Against The Machine meets Black Sabbath meets Sleep, the closing track riles up and rages against the senses whilst uncaging an imposing contagion of flesh searing grooves and corrosive riffery stalking by merciless rhythms.

It is a fine end to a thunderous encounter leaving ears and pleasure full. Skeptic Knight is heavy duty rock ‘n’ roll to be intimidated by and greedily feast upon. Uniqueness is maybe rare but enjoyment is unrestrained; a proposal few can turn down.

The Skeptic Knight EP is available via Stand Records from February 26th @ https://buffalotheorymtl.bandcamp.com/album/skeptic-knight

https://www.facebook.com/pages/BUFFALO-THEORY-MTL/243777113598

Pete RingMaster 26/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Nine Miles South – Self Titled EP

Nine Miles South promo_RingMaster Review

It is proving to be a rather exciting year for UK rockers Nine Miles South which is coming to a thrilling head with the release of their self-titled debut EP and a couple of big shows, all sure to confirm that their groove loaded southern rock ‘n’ roll is ready to awaken the broadest attention. Their three track release is an invigorating and exciting slab of resourcefully varied hard rock; heavy and contagious, creatively aggressive and addictive, it has body and appetite on red alert by track one, seduced by the third and though it weaves plenty of familiar sounds and textures into its persuasion, the EP just hits the sweet spot that lies within all rock fans.

Nine Miles South was founded by Danish bred Seb Mikkelsen, the band forming after the vocalist/guitarist had moved to the UK from his homeland. Based in Guildford and with a line-up completed by guitarist Jon Antony, bassist Andy Sleigh, and drummer David Wilson, Nine Miles South took little time in awakening strong support and awareness through their tenacious live presence. Shows with bands such as Kobra And The Lotus as well as their own gigs and strong festival appearances have marked the band out leading to good radio play. After a couple of recently highly successful London shows and ahead of the band playing Hard Rock Hell in Wales on November 13th with amongst many, Black Label Society, UFO, Helloween, Pat Travers, and Gun, and also supporting Skinny Molly at the North Devon Arena in Ilfracombe on November 18th, Nine Miles South release their first EP, an easy to suspect spark to increasing and eager attention.

NMS FRONT COVER EPP_RingMaster Review   Produced by Samuel Burden, the EP opens with The Reckoning, a mighty anthem for ears and emotions. A slightly reserved beginning cups ears first, a sultry climate of guitar and melody backed by the vocal twang of Mikkelsen swift enticement which only grows more gripping as thick fisted rhythms join the increasing energy and roar of the song. It is still not in top gear but casting an inescapable anthem for body and voice which only blossoms into virulence as grooves twist and entwine the psyche and hooks lurk in very corner and evolution of the outstanding song. As suggested the overall sound has a recognisable air but it only adds to the drama and potency of the tempting, especially which sixth gear is finally unleashed for a boisterous finale.

The excellent start is backed well by Leave Me Be, another making its entrance on a gentle melody from the guitar whilst quietly brewing a more intensive character which erupts soon after. A more emotively coloured and controlled stroll, the bluesy track spins a weave of melodic and vocal expression wrapped in low key but pungent grooves, these further punctured by firm rhythms. The bass of Sleigh has a great growl whilst the guitars of Antony and Mikkelsen create a croon of enterprise to match the resourceful vocal tones of the latter, backed well by Antony and Sleigh. Without quite matching the heights and irresistibility of its predecessor, the song has ears and attention riveted before Fingernails brings the release to a rousing close.

The third track has the imagination drifting off to dusty, country blues rock lands within seconds, grooves and riffs instantly sculpting a southern seeded canvas to lose oneself in, before shadowed rhythms lined with spiky beats and grooved invention build tantalising scenery. Imagine a mix of Bad Company, Down, and The Bastard Sons and you get a whiff of the excellent climax to one thickly enjoyable encounter.

The last few months has seen a new wind of attention and buzz around Nine Miles South which can only get bolder and louder with the release of their first EP. It is rock ‘n’ roll with a twang and very easy to suggest you go get some.

The Nine Miles South EP is available from September 7th

Pete Ringmaster 07/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Bastard Sons – Smoke

The Bastard Sons _RingMaster Review

There is no escaping the buzz which has powerfully brewed around The Bastard Sons since emerging in 2011 and especially over the past couple of years, and no evading the reason why, once losing yourself in the riotous depths of the band’s debut album Smoke. It is a bulging sack of pure rock ‘n’ roll cast in a maelstrom of flavours showing exactly why the broad term rock ‘n’ roll is the best way to describe the band’s tenacious sounds. At times it is southern rock led, in other moments hardcore driven, and very often metal sparked; to be honest it is constantly all of those and far more, a beast of a stomp sure to incite the passions of fans to everyone from Down to Cancer Bats, Ghost of a Thousand to Black Tusk, Bloodsimple to Hellyeah, and Stone Temple Pilots to Stone Sour.

Around and since the release of their second EP Roads in the March of 2014, the British quintet has been a blur of activity drawing increasing success at the same time. A US tour with Throw The Goat pushed the band’s growing reputation stateside whilst praised appearances at Hammerfest VI and Bloodstock, a tour supporting hardcore punks Snot, and shows alongside ’68, the new project of Josh Scogin from The Chariot, and also Cavorts amongst many others has taken care of the appetites of British fans and media. Earlier this year the York hailing five-piece dropped a potent and quickly devoured teaser for Smoke in the shape of the single Release The Hounds, a dynamic hint realised and taken to greater plateaus by the album itself.

The Bastard starts things off, southern fried chords the initial lure, though for barely a squeeze of seconds as quickly the band with sinew loaded riffs and rhythms bursting set up a riotous stomp of energy and sound. Vocals, as the music, come in varied styles, hardcore and cleaner rock ‘n’ roll tones colluding in a tempestuous incitement with anthem tattooed to its gripping walls. There is a touch of Pantera, Motorhead, and Every Time I Die to the storm, but as repeated song by song, it is just flavouring honed into something unique to The Bastard Sons.

TheBastardSonsSmokeFrontCover_RingMaster Review  The earlier single comes next, and quickly Release The Hounds shows why it had so many feisty for the album, its opening grooves and vocal scowling within a rugged landscape enough to get ears smiling and appetite drooling alone. The heart of the track is unfussy rock ‘n’ roll, a balls to the wall roar coloured and constantly reshaped by flirtatious sonic enterprise and sudden compelling twists of unpredictability, musically and vocally. It is the seed design to all tracks within Smoke in many ways, but persistently twisted and taken down new and individual avenues as swiftly shown by Sobre La Muer… and before it A Lie Is A Lie. The third track rages and croons with incendiary textures and addiction forming grooves whilst its successor casts a sultry air more in Seether/Shinedown territory than anything else, yet with a predatory dark bassline and a steely touch to the guitars, it carries a constant intimidation which strongly expels its fury from time to time. Nevertheless it and the previous song are inescapable anthemic traps; the lure somewhere between Them County Bastardz and The BossHoss, and fiercely contagious.

Bottom Of The Ladder growls and sonically grizzles with scuzzy magnetism next, guitars and vocals a dirty incitement stirring up ears and soul whilst the group calls work, along with the thumping rhythms, on the body and primal instincts. As anthemic in intensity and roar as it is, the track also unleashes an agitated and gripping web of aggressive twists and belligerence toned creativity, its presence ready to brawl at the drop of a hook or scything beat.

The southern drawl of guitars brings I’m Only A Call Away alive next, the song once standing tall writhing like a barroom temptress with inescapable grooves amidst a volatile fistfight of rhythms and the ever fiery and impressive mesh of vocals. As already shown by their live history, The Bastard Sons has a sound which works with, and appeals to, a vast expanse of rock and metal styles, that diversity in no finer and pungent shape than on this fascinating riot.

Through the brief and hellacious, as well as uncompromisingly emotive landscape of the fiercely angry U.S Against Them and the classic metal lined rock ‘n’ roll of Listen Here, band and album keep the thrilling storm blazing whilst Cardboard Walls saunters in on a rhythmic confrontation bound in more of the sludgy southern wrapping the band breeds so invitingly. A suggestive hint of Crowbar appears at times within the fire of sizzling grooves and snarling riffing, but as you may assume the track, whilst being one of the more restrained adventures on the album, it simply layers more flavours and varied textures into one enthralling mix.

Like a sandstorm, vocals shower and scar Scene(ic) Root(s) next to thick success, but equally they slip into cleaner gaits with ease and power to match the similarly volcanic and pleasingly exacting sounds. The track burns on the senses, simultaneously exciting and bruising before Stay True spreads its warmer balm. Featuring Glamour Of The Kill vocalist Davey Richmond, the track is a shadow brewed serenade as atmospherically and vocally haunting as it is emotionally and physically mercurial, and quite mesmeric.

Smoke finishes with the equally potent but far more capricious and intrusive Exist-Distance, a track which kind of sums up band and album with its constant weaving of different flavours and creative twists within a perfectly coherently cultured body, and another song which stands individual in the cast list of easy to recognise Bastard Sons songs.

We gave a list of bands at the start which sort of gives a hint at who might find thick pleasure from exploring one of the year’s real treats so far. To simplify it though, if raw and passionate, imaginative and ravenous rock ‘n’ roll hits the spot than Smoke is a must.

Smoke’ is available from 7th August 2015 via Kaiju Records @ https://thebastardsons.bandcamp.com/

http://www.thebastardsons.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thebastardsonsuk

RingMaster 05/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

False Flag – Nest of Vipers EP

Promo photo - false flag_RingMaster Review

As Nest of Vipers, the new EP from Canadian metallers False Flag ravages air and ears you can almost feel the body’s sinews being stretched to their limited and the psyche being devoured by the fierce enterprise fuelling the incitement. The release is an attention grabber, a confrontation unleashing a mix of sonic invention and fearsome physical confrontation, and ultimately one thoroughly satisfying adventure.

False Flag was formed in 2012 by vocalist/guitarist Russ Gauthier (Lordosis, Meggido, We Found The Body) and drummer Nick Purdy (Meggido) as a side project to their other projects. Bassist Garrett McElroy (AfterEarth) soon joined the band with first EP Orobas being recorded not long after. Once Dan Ishak (Meggido, Stinger) subsequently linked up with the band on bass, McElroy leaving to concentrate on AfterEarth , the band set about recording their eventually well-received debut album Suffer In Silence in 2014. Alongside all this, the band live has equally been earning a rich reputation for their hellacious assault on the senses and stirring stage craft, a potency which seemingly has been translated into their new release, such its live like fury. With a line-up of guitarist Mike Harach and drummer John Byskal now alongside Gauthier and Ishak, False Flag are setting a new benchmark for themselves with their four-track incitement, the Garrett recorded and Sacha Alan Laskow (Every Hour Kills) mastered Nest Of Vipers, a thick poke at broader spotlights.

FRONT_RingMaster Review     False Flag is frequently compared to Meshuggah and in the past that was probably a more relevant comparison but as opener Sacrifice Of Solitude shows alone, any likeness is a mere passing spice in a recipe which entwines varied flavours of extreme and groove lit metal. The first song emerges from a stark landscape blown over by a desolate sonic wind. It is an evocative entrance which is quickly immersed in rabid riffs, vicious rhythms, and already toxic grooving. With the rapacious vocal scowling of Gauthier spewing antagonism with every raw syllable, the track is soon a venomous trespass of the senses but in turn speared by melodic tendrils of searing guitar and a bruising but inescapable swing sculpted by those ever inviting grooves and the throaty bass of Ishak. It is simply a predator and one compelling and thrilling start to the release.

The sonic tapestry of Perfidious squeals and leers over the senses next, its initial acidity swiftly joined by infectiously groaning grooves and vocal antagonism. There is a definite Pantera grizzle to the song, the half clean/half raw tones of Gauthier a bear hug in the tempest of sound and becoming even more impressive when exploring an almost completely clean delivery later on to add further captivating texture. All the time riffs and rhythms constantly gnaw away at ears whilst the guitars spin an intoxicating liquor of melodic imagination to capture that of the listener.

Another venture into an imposing ambience brings Reversion Of Sin into view, this time a cavernous immersion of heavy shadows which subsequently give birth to a bestial stroll of malevolent riffs and piercing beats. Vocals also bring a savage intent with their guttural intimidation whilst the brutal body of the track savages whilst wrapped in classic/heavy metal and progressive seeded endeavour. The mercilessly heavy corruption from the song is delicious but personal tastes failed to find the same appetite for its melodic side and its fusion into the barbarous body of the still enjoyable track. It really is just taste dictating reactions as once again there is no escaping that band and song spew craft and adventure.

Nest Of Vipers has body and emotions back rocking with its title track, a mighty closer with crushing rhythms, insatiable riffs, and grooves which simply flirt with primal instincts. The best track on the EP, it is a maelstrom of physical predation, and sonic bedlam cultured into something superbly designed and as virulently enticing as the great varied vocals frequenting the song. A mixture of Bloodsimple and Lamb of God, Down to The Faceless rear their suggestions across the song but as in all tracks within Nest Of Vipers, what emerges is something not solely original but far more False Flag than anything else.

False Flag is a band knocking on metal’s global door with Nest Of Vipers it is fair to say; if it succeeds in unlocking that door time will tell but if not it is one enjoyable step towards that easy to suspect destiny.

The self-released Nest Of Vipers EP is available from August 4th @ http://falseflagmusic.bandcamp.com/album/nest-of-vipers

https://www.facebook.com/falseflagmusic

Ringmaster 02/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Southern Badass – Raised In Blood

Raised In Blood cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Over two years ago, French rock band Southern Badass impressed with debut album Born In Mud, a warts and all release revealing a rich sound and potential which lit ears and a keen anticipation for the band’s evolution. Now it returns with second full-length Raised In Blood, a dirtier, grittier proposal infusing an even broader array of styles and flavours to its core southern rock/stoner bred sound with the same pleasing success.

Southern Badass is the solo project of Perpignan hailing multi-instrumentalist Arno Bechet, who seemingly draws on the likes of Black Label Society, Down, Black Sabbath, and Corrosion Of Conformity amongst many for his blend of heavy metal, stoner, sludge, and southern rock. Debut album Born In Mud certainly awoke potent attention with is release in 2013, a focus sure to replicated and surpassed by the tighter, more mature and fiery Raised In Blood. Again it is a proposition unafraid to be raw whilst embracing any small issues it may carry, but is openly a sparkling step forward from its accomplished predecessor.

The album opens with its title track, Raised in Blood quickly spilling a mist of sonic incitement led by bulging rhythms and abrasive riffs. Grooves are never retired in the music of Bechet, and straight away a juicy one is encircling and enticing ears before the song settles into a thick and steady stride. The vocals are as raw and at times as strained as on the first album, sometimes pushing their limits too much and in other moments providing the perfect roar to the brewing intensity and persuasion of sound. Fair to say, Bechet may not be the best and most natural vocalist but his musicianship is a gripping affair, more grooves and wiry riffs in the song potent proof alone.

The enjoyable swaggering start to the album continues with Burn into Eternity as resonating rhythms and electronic beats provide the spark to flames of guitar and vocal expression, Bechet finding a stronger more consistent delivery on the quickly persuasive encounter. The track has an earthy dark groove as its temptress, its thick lure embracing the more volatile and imaginative elements of the song and only stepping back for a low key and captivating melodic passage just after midway. Ending on a pungent blaze of a finale, the track is followed by the sharp southern rock tang of When I’m Dead. A mix of heavy and hard rock, it begins the strong variety of sound also emerging across the album, though it still has that inbred stoner core to its strong stroll.

Both Under the Red Sun and Last One Standing keep things interesting and satisfying, the first of the two slowly growing from a shadow rich reflective croon of Guns N’ Roses coloured, blues kissed rock into a full and impassioned rock ‘n’ roll bellow. It still holds a reserved gait for the main though, the guitar craft and enterprise of Bechet again the attention grabber before its successor gets down and dirty with aggressive riffs and grouchy vocals. It too holds court on ears; grooves and rhythms especially dominate in the pleasing engagement, though both songs are outshone by the sultry tempting of La Marche des Morts. French sung, the song has the atmospheric heat of a Morricone composed landscape and the muscular threat of a Mastodon bred proposal, and is thoroughly riveting.

As good as the first half of the album is, from this excellent track on Raised In Blood seems to hit another level. House of the Swolen Goat is next and with Black Tusk like grooves and a new direction in vocals within a smouldering sonic glow, instantly stands above earlier songs, even its impressive predecessor. A rich and heated tapestry of rock tenacity, the track makes way for the dark country enticing of Down by the River. There is a haunting air to its dark shimmer and an incendiary impact to its subsequent volcanic expulsions of guitar and vocals, the song shadowed wrapped balladry to get greedy over.

   The Lesson is just as thrilling; its opening rhythmic bait and cantankerous bass moan anthemic might escalated by the driving charge of riffs which quickly bring feisty energy and magnetism to the excellent encounter. The track eventually spreads into a more controlled and expansively laid southern tinged rock ‘n’ roll, its potency and lure evolving rather than diminishing as Bechet lets his guitar craft also run a creative riot over ears and appetite.

Completed by Sphere of Io, a song which makes a messy start but turns into another sinew driven rampancy of heavy riffery and grooved slavery, Raised In Blood is another very enjoyable and accomplished slab of ravenous rock ‘n’ roll from Southern Badass. It has issues and as mentioned has a second half which leaves the first in the shade but if looking for some honest and organic heavy rock/metal this is definitely well worth a good hard listen.

Raised In Blood is out now digitally and as a double disc vinyl @ https://southernbadass.bandcamp.com/album/raised-in-blood

https://www.facebook.com/official.southernbadass

RingMaster 19/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Potergeist – Crocodile Teeth

Potergeist 1

The lure of a southern blues swamp is unleashed once again by Greek band Potergeist through new album Crocodile Teeth, and once more ears are treated to a contagion of dirty uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll which is as unique as it is familiar. The band has a sound which even with constant evolution across releases has a recognisable presence but comes as something undeniably individual to the Athens quintet. As the new album shows it is fresh and it is invigorating, and one thoroughly enjoyable stomp.

When forming in 2004, Potergeist had a more straight forward Kylesa /Down like southern metal sound as evidenced on debut album Southwards two years later. By the time of its successor Muddy Mermaids in 2012, the band’s sound had got harder and more aggressive whilst delving into the darkest depths of blues. Tagged as swamp metal by the media, the Potergeist sound was matched in progression by the attention given them and a live presence seeing the band share stages with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Monster Magnet, Pro Pain, The Haunted, The Shrine, Kylesa, and Paradise Lost. The outstanding Swampires unleashed its swamp toxicity in 2013, Potergeist’s third album darker and more voracious in sound and presence again. Though not outgunned in attack and ferocity, fair to say Crocodile Teeth takes the Potergeist sound to yet another depth of quality and invention.

Feeling as intense and intimidating at times as the last release the Peter Rutcho (Falling in Reverse, Revocation, Bury Your Dead, Havok, Seemless, The Ghost Inside) produced and mixed Crocodile Teeth reveals the band’s fullest and rounded sound yet, settings its stall out in the brief intro Swamp Muse Summoning before going for the throat straight after with its title track. Riffs and rhythms are an immediate barrage and temptation backed by a quickly emerging tangy groove. It is the first bait to the sturdy stride of the song quickly accompanied by the grizzled tones of vocalist Alex S Wamp. He is soon showing the great prowess of his grouchy and clean tones as guitars and bass cast their own intimidating and dynamic enterprise. There are no major surprises in song, or indeed album, yet as suggested earlier there is freshness and distinctive essence which ensures this is no run of the mill metal or Potergeist offering.

Crocodile Tears Artwork   The following Visit From A Swampire canters in on an infectious swing, riffs as rampant as the energetically skilled swings of drummer Tolis Toleas whilst grooves are as fiery as the melodies and solos which breed throughout. The track easily has body and emotions involved in its anthem as does What Then which comes next. The song is a touch more restrained in aggression and energy initially, but soon a bracing canter of raw riffs and rapier like rhythms entwined in the spicy grooves and bluesy melodic hooks of guitarists Nick XP and Stratal. Complete with an irresistible swagger, the song keeps things boiling over before in turn making way for the southern metal drawl and heavy rock brew of Truth. The track begins with the same groove the previous song left on but is soon sculpting its own tenacious and aggression roar. There is a touch of Crowbar in some ways to the song as the bass of Kostis Vihos brings a predatory proposal against the as dramatic but more welcoming vocals and sonic adventure cast elsewhere.

Atonement takes over next and is soon spreading a weave of southern rock inspired melodic spicing around the ever formidable and engaging rhythmic strength of the Potergeist sound. Featuring guest backing vocals from Anna Stephanou, the song is a warm slice of blues rock ‘n’ roll equipped with a dark edged groove and a blaze of imagination around the constant lure of Wamp’s vocals.

Roaming ears with a thick stance of sinew swung beats and bestial riffs The Preacher And The Witch stalks the appetite next with its magnetic web of sound. Both Fotis Benardo and Penelope Anastasopoulou add additional vocals to the tapestry of sonic and melodic craft. It is a fine song if without the spark of certainly the early songs, though much is down to a big personal appetite for when Potergeist go hell for leather in their rock ‘n’ roll, and quickly over shadowed by the excellent Eve. It too is more reserved in its gait and coveting a more classic metal whisper to its body but moulds everything and more of the band’s potent enterprise into a pungent slab of anthemic persuasion.

The album closes with Last Punk Standing, a compelling bellow of a song aligning mellower melodic tempting with a rigorous snarl resulting in a dramatic and impressive end to another mighty offering from Potergeist. We will admit that the previous Swampires still has the steal on the passions but there is no denying that Crocodile Tears is the band’s most accomplished proposition yet and one of the most enjoyable and satisfying slabs of metal driven rock ‘n’ roll you will hear this year.

Crocodile Tears is available digitally now and on CD and Vinyl via G.O.D. Records

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RingMaster 08/06/2015

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