Suicidal Tendencies – World Gone Mad

 

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Many elements make up the success of legendary punk/thrashers Suicidal Tendencies, an array of qualities which has gripped and thrilled across three and a half decades and eleven previous studio albums. One potent trait is, within a sound which roars Suicidal Tendencies from its first breath, unpredictability; an essence which in varying degrees has made all of the band’s offerings memorable and easy to devour. New proposal World Gone Mad is no exception; a seriously rousing and thunderous affair of crossover ferocity inescapably Suicidal Tendencies which twists through new adventures while flirting with the imagination.

The successor to the well-received 13 of three years ago, World Gone Mad is a tempest of infectiously aggressive and creatively imaginative escapades equally drawing on the kind of punk fuelled exploits which marked out the band from its early days as one of metal and punks most vital propositions.  The new album also sees the band’s newest line-up in place with founder and vocalist Mike Muir and guitarist Dean Pleasants (ex-Infectious Grooves) linking up with guitarist Jeff Pogan, bassist Ra Diaz, and master drummer Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Phantomas, GripInc, Dead Cross). It is a unit which across the board has forged a new aspect to the Suicidal Tendencies personality without losing its prime character and appeal. Produced by Muir alongside Paul Northfield (Rush, Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, Ozzy Osbourne, Hole, Marilyn Manson) who also engineered and mixed the record, World Gone Mad snarls and stomps, providing an incitement as bruising and confrontational as it is a riotous funk grooved infestation of ears and body.

Latest single Clap Like Ozzy sets things off; its fuse and explosion prime Suicidal Tendencies. Lombardo’s catchy beats first catch ears, a grumbling bassline quickly adding to the thick coaxing as guitars send sonic scythes across the lure. Swiftly the song uncages a venomous yet ridiculously catchy assault, wiry grooves and rhythmic tenacity an anthemic roar of punk ‘n’ thrash virulence ridden by the unmistakable presence and tones of Muir. As hooks collude with the flirtatious antics of the bass, Pleasants winds trails of melodic lava around it all, his strings a heated siren within an already irresistible calling.

The New Degeneration takes over finding even more irritability in its tone and individual elements. Riffs and rhythms almost stalk the senses as Muir leads the defiance; group calls a great backing to his instigation. An undercurrent of animosity brews throughout the attack, eventually igniting as Lombardo flicks the switch to a full-out ravaging of ears with his magnetic swipes. Again the track is ‘typical’ Suicidal Tendencies but rippling with fresh twists and turns to leave satisfaction rich and full before Living For Life appears to eclipse its success. Unsurprisingly moments of Infectious Grooves like juiciness appear within World Gone Mad, the third track unapologetically embracing their funk metal swing for its initial flirtation before crashing ferociously upon the senses with its punk scented epidemic of ravenous riffs and on rushing rhythms again led by the twisted beat alchemy of Lombardo. The track is glorious everything you could wish from a Suicidal Tendencies encounter and more as it seduces and inspires body and spirit

suicidal_tendencies_-_world_gone_madSuicidal Tendencies - World Gone MadThe gentle melodic opening of Get Your Fight On! is a suggestive pull next which intrigues more than ignites the imagination but soon leads into the waiting rhythmic prowess of Lombardo and the sonic enterprise of Pleasants and Pogan. It too works its way from a relatively calm tempting to an incendiary blaze where it really grabs the appetite and passions as heavy metal flames unite with punk and thrash dexterity for an anthem which might not hold all the sparks of its predecessors but leaves only an eager want to delve into its cauldron all over again.

The album’s title track is another which takes its time to convince to the same level as the opening tracks, showing itself a slow burner which by the fifth or sixth lessons is one of the moments of the album which lingers the longest. A perpetual prowl which ignites onto a consuming fire of sound and aggression, the song has a touch of Insane Clown Posse to its most intense fire and Red Hot Chili Peppers to its relentless groove but as expected roars with nothing other than the voice of its creators.

The excellent Happy Never After fingers lustful reactions next, its gait also a prowling incitement crossed with sonic tendrils and pushed by steely riffs courting militant beats. Muir is the ringmaster to its determined intent and nature, whipping up the heart and imagination of track and listener alike as the rest of the band spins a riveting and increasingly addictive web.

From one major highlight to another as One Finger Salute stands bold and aggressive with punk rock insatiability and thrash driven intensity straight after to create a deliciously imposing and hungry proposal. Diaz’s bass is a treat of a bestial lure, its resonating flirtation aligned to the jumping beats of Lombardo, both enslaving attention soon bound in the sonic potency of the guitars.

Straight after Damage Control is a threatening infestation of wonderfully toxic and gripping grooves as rhythms again take on a preying animalistic potency whilst Muir and riffs stir with their punk ‘n’ roll cattiness. The outstanding track keeps the album’s pinnacle point going in feverish style, bass and drums especially irresistible though all parts of the incitement leaves a new hunger installed in ears and appetite for the release.

The sonic metal tapestry of The Struggle Is Real equally sparks a zeal for song and album, its punk call and rhythmic swagger a captivating irritant on peace and clam while successor Still Dying To Live sees the quintet embarking on a smouldering melodic venture equipped with alluring throaty bass tempting and psych rock shimmers around the warm coaxing of a kaleidoscope of magnetic hooks and surprises. At over seven minutes, the track is a masterfully invasive seduction romancing ears and imagination and a compelling finale to World Gone Mad capped by the stripped down magnificence of This World and its evolution and continuation of the closing track of the same name upon 13.

The track is a fine end epitomising the growth and riveting blossoming of sound and imagination between the two albums seeing World Gone Mad a powerful and thrilling new turn in the band’s history.  Whether it will be considered the band’s best release will down to the individual but without doubt the album is destined to be right there as a true favourite.

World Gone Mad is out now across most online stores through Suicidal Records.

http://www.suicidaltendencies.eu/   https://www.facebook.com/suicidaltendencies   https://twitter.com/OFFICIALSTIG

Pete RingMaster 15/11/2106

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Boundless lifescapes; exploring the realm of Lucid AfterLife Interview

lucid-afterlife-pic_RingMasterReview

With a sound as eclectic as the themes within its imagination driven walls, Vancouver hailing Lucid AfterLife has earned loyal attention and support at home and across a global landscape. Renowned as one of Canada’s more impressive and memorable live propositions, the progressive groove rockers are luring bigger spotlights their way with their new EP, the successor to their well-received debut album I Am, expected to spring a new wave of invention hungry fans the way of the quartet. We recently had the pleasure to find out more about the band, that upcoming EP, and the creative heart of Lucid AfterLife with guitarist Thom Turner

Hello and thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

Hello, Thom from Lucid AfterLife here.  Thank you so much for having us!

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

In the beginning our vocalist Nat Jack was floating through the aether contemplating the purpose and form of existence.  He then came upon our drummer Matt.  The two of them forged a great alliance. From this union a great universe was born. It was one of never ending inspiration and possibilities. To round out this vision myself, Thom, and our bassist Miles were sought. Together we are take these rough shapes and turn them into the most honest and kick ass songs that we can.

Have you been or are any of you involved in other bands? If so have they had any impact on what you are doing now, inspiring a change of style or direction maybe?

I am a current member of the band Freya as well as being a professional musician for the last 15 years.  I have played in numerous groups.  The work ethic and attention to artistry that I got from that band is immense.  Sonically they are very different.  Miles is a member of Riftwalker and Hallux. Matt has played with many groups as well.  As for Nat Jack…He simply is.  All of us take our experience and add it to everything we do. That is one of the best things about LAL. Genre does not factor in. Whatever mood serves the lyric or vibe is what it needs to be.

What inspired the band name?

As a group we feel that reality is in an illusion…More than that it is malleable. Life, death they are merely shades on a continuum.  So through our music we transcend.  To be able to visualize and experience multiple levels of existence is.  We can experience multiple worlds through our songs and live shows.  That is what Lucid Afterlife means to me.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

There are always stories that come to us…things that may be inspired by every day.  Some come from deeper more existential places.  All of them are important to us.  As we have toured we have been lucky to see that these topics hit home with so many people.  So we continue to write them.  As for the sound it is meant to be inclusive.  To be the heaviest thing ever when the emotion is deep and powerful then, turn around and be very clean and melodic to represent another story or character is as honest as we can be.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Constant evolution…we are all about that.  That said though most of the same principles are the corner stones of what LAL is.  Relatable honest music that is served with all the energy we have live.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Since I was brought on I would say that the sound has evo-loved.  We still love Sabbath and Monster Magnet.  On top of that we explore our mutual love of progressive music.  Things like Kansas and Yes and Porcupine Tree and Kings X.  It adds a broader pallet to the stories we can tell. Really though it all comes down to the live show for us.  Nat Jack is a wild man on stage and we push out the sound track for the listener’s experience.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Extremely organic I believe.  We work to service the songs that come out.  Our sound is extremely diverse.  Yet, when you hear it you know it is LAL.  It all comes from that point of honesty in the lyric and music.

You mentioned some already but presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any others in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach to creating and playing music? As I said before Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Monster Magnet, Yes, Kansas, Porcupine Tree.  Also Ministry, Cream, Dream Theater, Kings X, Hendrix, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu Tang Clan, Body Count, MF Doom.  Soooo much music goes into what we do.  From rock to jazz to metal to Hip-Hop, it all moves us.

Does the band have a particular method to its songwriting?

We work in very brotherly way.  I will write some things, pass them to Nat and a lyrical idea will usually pop out.  From there Matt and I go to work on fleshing out an arrangement and Miles lays down the bass.  So far it has been all hands on deck movement.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not come from?

Everyday life through the lens of existential global truths…A lot of our songs have to do with relationships.  Not really with people per se, more archetypes.  If we do a song that is very obviously about sex then you can bet it isn’t at all about sex.  We like to lead people, through the parlance of our time to deeper truths.

lucid-afterlife_RingMasterReviewCan you give us some background to your latest release?

Our new EP Occult Mafia Mistress is an opening salvo into what is coming next for LAL.  With this line-up we have 4 great singers so we wanted to put that to use.  Most songs really take advantage of all of us.

How about an insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

This record focuses on themes of transcendence.   Be it through love, sex, meditation or sheer elation.  They are explained in somewhat adversarial roles.  Some characters and ideas want to hold you down from your potential.  Others are the inner explorers rupturing out into being against that oppressive force.  We are able to do this through the use of many styles and genres, from hip hop on a song like Time Killaz (feat. Merkulese) to the pure rock and roll of Retarded Owl, the voice of the song blends seamlessly with the lyric.

Are you a band entering the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

The frame of a song is all done by the time we get in there.  Because we play the crap out of the songs live and see what goodness comes out. So when we get into the studio what happens is we add all the touches; layering and vocals.  A record should be a piece of art unto itself.  Music is ephemeral.  It changes depending on your mood; where you listen to it, even through the course of the song.  Then it is over.  That time has passed.  So when we are in there recording and mixing everything is fluid.  What comes out is even more magical then what went in.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Live we are a completely different band depending on Nat Jack.  His mood and character shape our live performance…never the same thing twice.  We reach out to the audience and invite them in…literally.  They play with us.  We feel that the live stage is a conversation so we go all out.  We breakdown our bodies and minds while we are up there and show the people they can too.  We do a lot of improv along with our normal songs as well.  We ask the audience for suggestions on style and lyrical content.  And we go at it…all within the confines of a normal set.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

With the internet EVERYTHING IS REGIONAL; we have many devoted fans and neighbors in BC.  They are amazing and we love them.  But, we also have some amazing fans all over the world just looking for the same stuff we are.  The impact is right there.  The days of $500,000 an album contracts are gone.  We are out there just to make these connections…One person at a time.  Art drives life; even if only one person listens to us and passes it onto one friend.  That is growth and the conversation continues.  As long as you are creating you are growing.

Do you see the internet and social media impact you mentioned destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or when or if it happens it is more that those bands have struggled to use it in the right way?

The internet is reality for many people.  So ignorance on how to use it to your advantage doesn’t seem to make very much sense.  Every tool is right there for you.  It can be no different from handing a demo to a person on the street.  As long as that person passes it on you are good.  I really think it is a matter of perspective size.  Many musicians hold themselves in light of Metallica and Sabbath and Kanye and Adele or whoever Enormous star.  These standards can be so daunting that you quit creating.  This is an atrocity.  Look, did you know that Platinum albums are now 500,000 albums instead of 1,000,000?  That proves that the old system is dying.  That level of “success” is meaningless without a real connection with people.  That is what the internet affords you…The ability to connect with THE WORLD.  We all want to be able to make a living off what we love to do.  But, that can’t be the end goal.  We all have a world of art inside us and we owe it to ourselves and humanity to get it out there.  So go into it with the goal of making great honest art, whatever that is and, people will take notice.

Once again Thom, a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Myself (Thom) and all of LAL want to tell you and your readers that we are so thankful for you to be participating in all this with us.  We are looking forward to meeting all of you.  Remember to keep your head up and your mind open.

Occult Mafia Mistress is released digitally and on CD December 9th @ http://lucidafterlife1.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lucidafterlife/   http://lucidafterlife.ca/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/11/2106

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Beauty and the thorn: exploring Scorching Winter

raf_RingMasterReview

Formed in 2012, Scorching Winter is a female-fronted quintet hailing from Melbourne, Australia. With a hard rock based sound which weaves in an array of flavours, Scorching Winter is beginning to lure proper attention beyond their borders. Ahead of their new album Victim, we were excited to have the chance find out more about the band and that upcoming proposition with guitarist Rafael Katigbak. Subsequently exploring the band’s background, heart, and more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

My pleasure… Thanks for having me.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you came together?

The band started in 2012 when I got together with Nick (drummer) to jam on a few songs I have written. We liked the way it sounded so we decided to put a band together. The band has gone through a few line-up changes since but we’ve had our current line-up for almost two years now and the chemistry is the best it has ever been.

scorching-winter_RingMasterReviewHave you all been involved in other bands before?

We have all been in other bands and music groups previously but nothing serious. I was in an old school heavy metal band before this and there are a couple of songs I had written in while I was on that band that I carried over to Scorching Winter. Although we sound very different now, my time with that band will always have an effect on my playing and writing.

What inspired the band name?

We wanted a name that is ironic because our music and our artworks are somewhat like that. It is heavy music with melodic female vocals, beautiful and evil, brutal and elegant. It also has a bit of medieval / gothic sound to it which we really liked.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

I am a fan of prog metal. I really like the technicality and the freedom to incorporate different styles of music. I think it is important that the music is first and foremost interesting to the musician playing it. But I also love melodic and catchy vocals which are characteristic to mainstream rock and metal bands. So basically the aim is to make music that is both interesting to play but also fun to sing.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Yes. Making music is still the reason we do what we do. We keep it fresh by constantly pushing ourselves to take things further. Our last EP was a big step up from the single before that, and this album is a step above the EP again. There is a consensus within the band that unless it’s something we haven’t done before, we’re not interested in doing it.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Our earlier works are probably a bit more hard rock / old school metal. As with a lot of musicians, there will be songs that will always be part of our set list and some songs which we’ll probably never play again. Our new album is heavier, darker, more progressive. When we first heard it we thought that this is the sound we’ve always been going for but we’ll probably say that with the next one as well when we change sound again. Haha.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or has the band deliberately set out to try new things?

Several factors affected the evolution of the music. There is the change in line-ups, maturity as a song writer, exposure to new music and just personal development as musicians. But there is also a conscious decision to change the style a bit to challenge ourselves and keep things interesting.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

While we all have our different subgenres of metal that we are in to, there are bands that are common favorites such as Metallica, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden.

How does the songwriting work within the band?art_RingMasterReview

Our songs normally start out as instrumentals. I write a song and send a demo out to the other guys who then add their bits to it. The singer then writes the lyrics and vocal melody for it.

Where are the lyrical inspirations generally drawn from?

With our previous songs, the lyrics are based on the singers’ own personal experiences. Although the songs start out as instrumentals, the singer interprets what the song sounds like and relates that to her own personal experiences.

Give us some background to your latest release.

The new album is called Victim and it’s an 8-track concept album. The story is about a girl who is raped and beaten by a group of men but was saved by a demon who gives her powers to get revenge. However, nothing ever comes for free as she would later find out.

The album started out with the story line. It was then divided into different chapters which correspond to each song. The music was then written then the lyrics. While it is a concept album, we also made sure that each song is strong on its own so any of them can be listened to as a single.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Yes. We really like to be sure we are 100% happy with the songs before we book recording time. In saying that, there are still some minor things that you find doesn’t quite work when you get there so you have to make some adjustments.

Tell us about the live side of the band?

I know that the other members love the performing part the most. I personally enjoy the writing part more. Anyway, with regards to our live shows, our set-list is always dynamic. We arrange the songs so we take our audience on a journey from start to finish instead of staying at one level throughout. We like to start with something a bit soft and eerie to get the mood going and then come in loud and heavy to let everyone know this is the start of a rock show. It then goes through different levels throughout the show.

SW_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How was it for Scorching Winter?

Unfortunately, it is not an easy path with no certainty of reward. It is a big commitment financially and on your personal life. We’ve all heard of internationally known bands whose members live below minimum wage, or who lose tens of thousands of dollars on tours. If you really love making music and performing, you will keep doing it regardless. If you’re in it because you have ambitions of fame and fortune, you may need to be realistic about your expectations.

How about the internet and social media, what impact has it had on the band to date?

I think it is very positive. Most of the following we have built are overseas and we haven’t even toured there. It provides you an opportunity to reach people in places you wouldn’t normally get to. I remember the first fan mail we received from overseas, I think it was from Canada, that’s when we thought, this is getting real!

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks for having me and please check out our new album Victim which is available for pre-order now through bandcamp. Official release date is on the 29th of October. You will not be sorry.

https://www.facebook.com/ScorchingWinter   http://www.scorchingwinter.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Age Of Menace – Venom EP

 

art_RingMasterReview

It has been around three years since Australian metallers Age Of Menace enticed and aroused ears their All Seeing Lie EP, a release which saw the band expanding their sound whilst finding a new creative ferocity to match it. Now the busy band has returned with its successor, the Venom EP; a release with the bite of a cobra and the nagging persistent of a rattler bound up in the band’s richest array of fiercely flavoursome incitement yet.

Formed in 2010, the Sydney quartet quickly whipped up local attention with their sound and live presence. A self-titled debut EP backed up their potent emergence the following year with its tracks soon catching ears and support of online radio shows and stations around the globe. All Seeing Lie turned the heat up further on the band’s growing reputation as their metal based sound revealed even bolder essences of heavy and varied rock ‘n’ roll in its character and imagination. Again fans and media at home and afar quickly caught on to its release and qualities whilst the band continued to forge a potent reputation with their explosive live shows. Now it seems it is time for the band to broadly whip things up again; something easy to imagine the band’s most varied and mature offering succeeding with in quick time.

Venom opens up with its title track, and the band’s new video/single. Immediately a spicy groove entangles ears, being quickly joined by jabbing beats and the dusty tones of vocalist Rob Smith. With a great spiky hook soon added, the song has ears and appetite swiftly involved; proceeding to weave a heavy rock hued metallic incitement with an essence of Perfect Circle meets Stone Temple Pilots to it. Smith’s voice and expression continues to lure the heart of the song and imagination of the listener out as the guitar of Pete Ross almost dances on the rhythmic frame around fiery melodic enterprise and ever alluring grooves. A great melodic calm adds to the unpredictable and eventful landscape of the song too, another twist to surprise and enthral within the excellent start to the EP.

The following Waiting To Strike shows an edge and volatility in its initial riffs alone, carrying an air of intimidation which then fuels the thicker wall of the same as an acidic veining of grooves grows. The bass of Adam Barns borders on carnivorous as it grumbles and prowls an already contagious encounter whilst the scything and tenacious beats of Adam Breakspear are as anthemic as they are disorientating. As impressive as its predecessor was, the track needs little time to eclipse it as heavy metal spicing breathes further invention into guitar imagination as a raw punk attitude and energy drives everything else.

With next single written all over it, the track takes best song honours upon Venom, though it is quickly rivalled by the rhythmically irritable and sonically adventurous Around The Sun. Lying somewhere between Korn and Dream Theater, the song springs from a spidery groove into a web of melodic and sonic invention, all crossing each other lattice style to fascinate as bold rhythms and a more aggressive virulence grabs body and spirit. It grumbles and seduces, trespasses and invites, from every angle and second in the course of creating another highly addictive and memorable proposition.

Where Are You brings the EP to a close; solemn keys laying down its first tempting as again a darker element lines their elegance before the band as one erupts in a tempest of hungry riffs, sturdy rhythms, and hearty vocal roars. With a progressive air to its thunderous climate and a reflective intimacy to its melodic and vocal melancholy, the track is arguably the EP’s boldest venture into new pastures but never compromises the renowned Age Of Menace snarl and raw power.

To be fair, every song within Venom casts a new direction and as suggested earlier, shows fresh maturity in sound through its array of striking proposals. Like so many others, we are always overjoyed to find something new from the boys from down under, Venom epitomising why whilst suggesting it is time that Age Of Menace was thrust into the biggest spotlights.

The Venom EP is out now via iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/ageofmenace    http://www.ageofmenace.com/

Pete RingMaster 10/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.c

Symphonies in sound and imagination: exploring Sahona with Charly Sahona

Charly Sahona_RingMasterReview

2016 received one of its early treats just a few weeks back with the release of the self-titled Sahona album. It was the debut release from the new melodic rock project of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Charly Sahona of progressive metallers Venturia. It is a release which is, in our own words “a rousing drama of sound and imagination.” Offered the chance to find out more with Charly, we grabbed a hefty chunk of his time to explore the creation of the band and its first album, and simply the creative heart of the man…

Hi Charly, many thanks for sharing time with us. How are things in the Sahona area of the world?

Hello, thanks for the invitation. Well, things are fine here. The album is out and so far, reviews have been very positive about it . We’re about to release a new music video and shoot a new one. I’m working like crazy in order to perform these songs live as soon as possible . So, I can say I have a good life .

Before we look at your excellent debut album, would you tell us about the first days of Sahona. It was originally meant as a solo project for you?

Oh thanks, I’m glad you like it !!! Sure, you’re right , at first, the album was meant to be a solo project and more precisely, the follow-up of Naked thoughts from a silent chaos released in 2010 but the songs are quite different and so are the musical arrangements and the line-up. So, the first days of Sahona as a full band are recent but the writing of the songs began in 2013. Oh It actually took a lot of time before we recorded and released it .

What sparked the creation of the project; what was it you wanted to explore different to your music in progressive metallers Venturia

I really wanted to do something different with this one. I like my musical-making to be in a constant motion. At the same time It’s necessary to stand back with the last thing you released and start something new with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. For this project, I wanted to write something without any heavy riff played on a 7-string and focus on different musical textures, guitar sounds and new grooves.

You touched on it earlier, so you had a collection of ideas and songs already in the works before you invited fellow musicians to help out?

Yes, after I finished the first 4 demo-songs, things were clear in my mind and I knew who I wanted to work with. I like to make music with talented people of course but it’s always better when you do it with your friends. So I first asked drummer Stéphane Cavanez to join me , I’ve known him for a long time, he’s a brilliant musician, very enthusiastic about things. After hearing the demo version of On this winter night , he said he would agree to play on all the songs . Same thing with my long-time friends Fabien Paraillac and Cédric Artaxet; I don’t remember exactly if I sent them the first four demos before asking them to join me but anyway, both of them agreed. I was very glad and happy they all said yes to join me for this project. I knew they would sound great together and that my songs would have been transcended thanks to them .

sahona_RingMasterReviewSo what was the catalyst to changing the idea of guest musicians to a full band?

It was something I had in mind for a while , as the songs have a different sound compared to the things I did before. As we were recording, there was an obvious musical chemistry going on and it reinforced me to think about having a band name for this project. So I talked about it with Chris from Dooweet agency and to my buddies. We all thought that the idea of the band was obvious and as the name Sahona sounds cool for a band too, the choice was done, easy to make and I didn’t have to scratch my head during days in order to find a new name . The other thing is: as the musicians are my friends, the idea of having a band together was something natural. More, I really like to immortalize music with talented friends.

Was it an easy to decision to ‘share’ your songs with I am guessing musicians with their own adventurous ideas when creating music?

Sure, it was very easy as we’re all professional musicians . There was no ego thing that could have been hard to deal with . I wanted a more organic sound and a sophisticated modern rock approach and I knew what my band mates were able to do .

For example, the drums I programmed were done in a prog-metal style and Stéphane brought a more refined  rock groove, I let him do his stuff as everything was matching .

As I’m the lead singer and as there are many guitar layers on these songs it was obvious to ask for help and some back-up . I couldn’t imagine another guy than Fabien to play the guitar with me on this album.  We have the same guitar approach but he’s more rock than me.

We recorded a lot of different guitar takes and during the mix, we chose what was best for the song no matter if it was him or me playing….

He did an amazing job on the mix too. Just like his guitar sound, all the songs sound powerful and organic.

Regarding the bass, there was a couple of things I asked Cédric to play the exact same way I did on the demos. But as my bass programming was voluntary basic most of the time, he added his own personality and groove that matched perfectly Stéphane’s drumming . He even changed some root notes that at first surprised me, and the more I listened to it, the more I liked it.

In the end, everything felt easy and natural.

Did their input mean your songs changed or evolved from their original characters once the band was a full involvement of all?

No, not really but I guess things will evolve when we’ll perform live. It’s a natural process and it’s important for us to make slightly different things when we play the same songs over and over.

When writing songs, do you come at them from different angles or have a general way of bringing them to life from idea to sound?Album cover_RingMasterReview

I usually have a precise idea of how the album or a song will sound like even though the root of all songs is based on a guitar or keyboard chords progression and a simple hummed melody . Then, I’ll program a midi file of what I just did. If the melody sounds good with a bad flute midi sound and a midi bass line, I keep the idea and will have a clearer vision of how it will sound like with all the instruments. Then I’m thinking about what kind of drum beat, bass line, guitar riff, and keyboards texture would fit with the idea of the song and at this moment, the creative process is growing fast. Or, not that fast actually because getting the right keyboard sounds or guitar effects takes me a while very often. When I’m programming , I have in mind how my band mates would play it and that’s the reason why I’m never really surprised (although I’m always amazed) when they bring the songs to life with their style and their sound. It sounds obvious to my ears and at the same time I’m so excited to hear what they bring to a song and to discover how it takes the song to a higher level.

Tell us about the lyrical themes behind the album.

Sure ! I decided to do something I never really done in the past.  I wrote about the most widely expected subject in the world: Love !!! But not the way girls like it though (no offence intended girls, I’m just kidding !!!) .

Reading and writing romantic and soppy stuff are not my thing at all as I’m a cynical and rational guy . So the majority of these lyrics are about love and its frustrations and turbulences . It’s way more interesting, true and realistic in my opinion. But when I say “love”, It doesn’t only mean the feelings you have for your girlfriend or your boyfriend,  I use it for the passion you have for your art or whatever that excites you too, it can be painting, sport, your beliefs and then we’re slightly get into the spiritual aspect and themes I like to write about as well.

Most of my lyrics are not explicit, this way people can identify with them and make their own story.

I usually prefer to describe impressions than reality.

What about the recording of your self-titled debut? How long was it in the making?

It’s funny because it took a long time to finish it (something like two years !!!) but the writing and the recording were actually very fast and easy to do. As we’re used to record in studio, we know how it works and we’re getting more and more efficient and good at it. But as we didn’t have any deadline or expectations,  we took our time to record it. The rule was to get together when we were able to do it only. It was: job, touring with cover bands, tasks and family priorities first. This way, we were in a very relaxed state of mind and every time we forgathered, it was for fun.

Ok, the album was supposed to be released in late 2015 but for commercial and administrative reasons it got more delayed .

Did you approach its recording differently to creating releases with your other projects?

Yes and no … As it’s the 5th album I’m producing , I’ve learned through the years with amazing people and  I’ve also learned from my mistakes. Today, I know the importance for everybody of being prepared and how to record the best way possible taking into consideration the people you work with as every musician has his own preferences and personality. And that’s how a recording session can be different from the ones you experienced in the past: it depends on your line-up as well. So I asked my band mates about the way they wanted to record and I just let them do it their way as it’s extremely important for artists to work the more relaxed and efficient way possible.

But the thing that changed a lot for me was to share the guitar parts with Fabien but it was so exciting to hear him play with a different strumming and sound than mine and then mixing our guitar tracks together. I really enjoyed it .

Oh, and there was another great thing : My vocal takes were recorded home with a very cool equipment a friend of mine lend me.

This way, I took my time…I was recording one full song a day and the day after, if something was not exactly the way I wanted to be, I just had to press the « rec » button again and it was done. I don’t like the feeling of recording in a studio with time passing, all the money you know you’ll have to spend, the people around you even if it’s your friends. I did it many times in the past and I can tell you how relieved I am to work and to record alone at home, it gives me so more freedom and offers you more possibilities.

sahona_RingMasterReviewHave you found there has been an instinctive urge to do things with Sahona and the album differently to your other ventures elsewhere, just out of the want to try different things?

Yes, as I told you, I wanted to have a different musical approach, a different sound, a different line-up. But on the top of that I really wanted to express myself to another level, and the best way possible as a singer and I’ve been working hard to achieve that. Maybe, being the singer of your own songs reinforces the introspection aspect of the creation. This is not to say that this album sounds more like “me” than the previous ones I did with another lead singer, it’s just different . But as you give more of yourself as a performer, it makes the thing more introspective and maybe more intense and that’s what I wanted to achieve too.

I always imagine a debut album breeds new ideas and opportunities to try and explore further in its successors. Elements not imagined and expected when composing that first encounter. Were there any which arose for you in the making of Sahona’s debut?

I’m always excited to explore new territories, new sounds, new chords progression, new ways of making music. Having a more or less precise idea will always push you to go further in order to create something new and interesting. Listening to different music, going to the theatres, reading books, talking with people, playing with musicians…All this things are inspiring and maybe it if it’s not always a conscious thing, it will incite you to evolve as a human being and inexorably in your art and in your life indeed. This is something I like to be aware of and thankful to.

What comes next for Sahona and its individuals?

We have to play live as soon as possible and we have to work hard for that. We intend to begin a tour in our country in September. Then we will focus on the next album as we’re all really happy about this debut one.

My thanks again Charly for talking with us; Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having me !!! Congrats to the readers for reading this interview so far and thank you Pete for spreading the word about the music you like whether it’s mainstream or underground .

And finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own life and creativity.

Oh my god, they are so many . But let’s try to do it fast. I’ve always been a fan of classical music but the one from the early 1900 with composers like Ravel, Bartok, Debussy, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff. As a guitar player I’m a huge fan of guitar heroes like Steve Vaï, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, John Petrucci. I’ve always been into progressive music with bands like Genesis, Rush, Yes, Dream Theater, Frost, Opeth and I’m really into their contemporaries with the young prog underground scene like Destiny Potato, Disperse and especially with the metal djent scenes with bands like Periphery, Tesseract, Monuments who took progressive music to a new level. I like rock and pop music too with bands like Muse, Radiohead, Keane, Dead Letter Circus.

All these bands and musicians have inspired me in many ways indeed.

Check out our review of the Sahona album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/sahona-self-titled/

https://www.facebook.com/sahonamusic/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

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Sahona – Self Titled

sahona_RingMasterReview

Some things are meant to be and seem to navigate to that outcome whatever the initial intent. French melodic rock band Sahona is one of those propositions. Originally, it was intended as a solo project but as musicians were brought in to help its creator, the dynamics and creativity of a band took over. Now they make their introduction with a self-titled debut album; a rousing drama of sound and imagination that simply grabs attention.

Emerging from the South of France, Sahona was formed in 2013 by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Charly Sahona of progressive metallers Venturia. As mentioned, the project was set up as a solo venture with friend and drummer Stéphane Cavanez brought in to help out. Having produced some songs for the duo, guitarist Fabien Paraillac soon joined the pair, to be joined later by bassist Cédric Artaxet. As everything and everyone gelled, Charly proposed to turn the project into a full band venture with this their first album recorded in the spring of 2015. Now it is unveiled and ready to tempt and entice with its adventurous blend of melodic and progressive metal with electronic imagination.

The album makes a potent impression first time around but from a strong start and across a host of additional plays, it emerges as an even richer tapestry of sound and ideation which simply fascinates and enthrals. Opener Light of Day, Sense Of Life epitomises the increasingly magnetic journey; a song which draws ears into its melodic charms quite quickly but truly blossoms as each play allows a deeper exploration of its celestial aired depths. From an atmospheric entrance with dramatic keys soon adding additional drama, the song brews up into a busier and more energetic proposal veined by richly enticing guitar and the similarly potent tones of Charly’s vocals. Its melody rich epically throated yet intimate sound has a feel of Dream Theater meets Muse meets Absolace to it, a description which suits most of the release. Individual craft is as pungent and enjoyable as the united enterprise on show in the song, the band creating calm and reflective, raw and aggressive twists and turns which only increase in potency with every listen.

Album cover_RingMasterReviewThe same applies to the album’s outstanding second song, Fires of Passion. Straight away ears and thoughts feel they know the song, like it is a familiar friend returning to arouse the spirit, which it does from its opening web of grooves and flowing, expressive keys. That familiarity comes from again the Muse scent which is at its most fragrant in the song, but it only adds to the drama and tenacious roar of something ultimately distinct to Sahona. Riffs have a great niggle to their tempting whilst rhythms show a firm hand with every throbbing bassline and swinging drumstick as melodies and vocals caress as they seduce. It is the steely grooves and flaming tendrils of guitar enterprise which provide the icing on the flavoursome cake though, a feast which from its first play simply has the ears and emotions in rapture.

On This Winter Night brings an electronic coldness and shadowing into play next, its electro prowling the lining and introduction to further sonic resourcefulness and impressing vocals around a darkly alluring bassline. As its predecessor, it carries a recognisable hue to its creative attractiveness but it only colours something fresh and imaginative, a success echoed within the mellower emotive reflection of Under My Skin. Even with it’s a calmer climate it too shows great volatility to its intensity and heart, but equally equipped with the same infectious nature and sound which lit its predecessors

The electrified air and touch of the increasingly sonically exotic Words of Wisdom grips attention next whilst Little Jack spreads some bluesy tempting into its feverish mix of anthemic intensity and a predatory yet warm coaxing of the imagination. The pair continues the great variation in sound between tracks and offers more of the mouth-watering collusion and at times almost duelling guitar skills of Charly and Fabien. They are incendiary moments which never derailed or distract from the virulence of the song though, another skill shown by the band.

The haunting theatre of A Modern Sleeping Beauty follows the pair; its initial melodic romance leading into a fiery incitement complete with intoxicating grooves and a sinister air before Caught in Heaven descends on ears with glorious guitar jangles and sonic expulsions which in turn spark a boisterous and explosive devouring of ears. The track is glorious, part beast, part charmer, and a nonstop slice of merciless irresistibility. Again the band manages to spawn a predacious tone to their blaze of melodic and harmonic adventure in a track which, as the second, needs little time to ignite a lustful appetite for its presence.

Both Where’s The Path and I’m Alive keep enjoyment strong, if without reaching the heights of the last track. The first initially lays a lively simmer of energy and emotion on ears which, as in so many songs, grows into something bolder and more dramatic with every passing minute whilst its successor is an emotive croon which hugs the senses as Charly spills his lyrical heart.

Closing the album is the cosmic shimmer that is Book Of Life, a song which resonates and pulsates as it seduces body and mind. Sinew spun elements collude with candescent melodies and crystalline textures within it, helping colour a landscape as potent whether casting a mellow lure or a tempestuous agitation. With Cédric and Stéphane creating a sonic canvas which alone is easy to get tangled up in, the track is a superb end to a similarly impressing album.

For most Sahona will have been a new name; after their thoroughly enjoyable first album works its majesty, soon a highly recognisable one.

The Sahona album is out now through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/sahonamusic/

Pete RingMaster 02/03/2016

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For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Hedfuzy – Self-Titled

Catching up on another release appearing towards the rear of 2015, we offer up the self-titled album from Hedfuzy as a proposition to seriously consider investigating, especially if progressive rock gets the juices flowing.

Hedfuzy is the solo project of Irish multi-instrumentalist Pat Byrne and its debut album a captivating progressive adventure of melody thick and magnetically tenacious rock ‘n’ roll with a rousing contagion to it. The musical history of the Limerick musician includes touring at the age of 17 with Celtic Fusion, followed by experience building exploits touring and recording with bands such as rockers Kraven and reggae outfit Jeffonesta as well as playing bass on some of Delorean Suite’s current release Two Lives. Now Byrne is ready to ignite attention and ears with his own solo proposal, recruiting additional talent from Shardborne’s Ben Wanders, Delorean Suite keyboardist Graham Conway, guitarist Graham Keane of The Vicious Head Society, and guitarists Mike Moriarty and Cameron Allen to bring his seriously engaging songs to life.

Mixed and mastered by Chris Collier (Prong, Lynch Mob, KXM), the Byrne produced album opens with Sing which quickly coaxes ears with an enticing lure of guitar. Settling into an energetic stroll as Byrne’s potent vocals sit invitingly upon his blend of melody fuelled guitar and keys, the song soon begins to swing with a gripping catchiness aligned to a darker shade of similarly lively and eager bass led rhythms. With eighties seeded air reminding nostalgically of Modern English and currently David J Caron veined by fiery progressive enterprise, the track is a rousing start to the album quickly backed by the muscular persuasion of Snakes. Melancholic keys offer the first suggestive caress, Byrne’s vocals swiftly adding to the alluring start and in turn followed by a thicker smothering of riffs and rhythmic theatre. It is a potent collusion of textures which again has infectiousness running through it as heavier and darker shadows envelop the senses.

Hedfuzy - Self-Titled_RingMaster ReviewThe creative and physical skills of the artist persistently ignites ears in the song and album but always without offering any indulgence to temper their strength or the organic creativity impresses in the likes of How To Tear Your World From My Head. As the third song begins to flows through ears, initially bass pulses the lone dark protagonist in a misty glaze of harmonic and melodic tempting, things quickly come to boil as rugged rhythms and gravelly riffs collude with wistful keys, provocative guitar, and jazzy bass. The result is an eventful and at times volatile landscape of stirring invention and compelling craft keeping the imagination as busy as ears whilst pushing the already impressing stature of the album to new heights.

Mine brightly shimmers with melodic and vocal expression next, it an alluring serenade of melodic rock with the flavoursome essence of UK band The Inner Road to it as it settles enjoyable between the more raucous and dynamic exploits of the previous roar and The Death which follows. Not as dark as expected, the new track is another beacon of resourceful composing and boisterous musicianship lined with a craft and imagination which has body and emotions eagerly engaged.

The emotive croon of When I Come Back Down is open evidence of that core prowess in songwriting and emotion, and diversity as with This Broken Throne, a grouchy but again wholly virulent roar of aggressive rhythms and sonic adventure laced with the impressing vocal tones of Byrne. A thrilling and fluid mix of Squidhead like cantankerous metal soaked in a warmly reflective exploration of melody and voice, the track is as absorbing as it is anthemic before a mellower proposition in Name comes in. With winy melodies and atmospheric drama within again an intensive proposal of bass and rhythmic confrontation, the song carries a touch of Johnny Wore Black to it, captivating and stirring the senses from start to finish before leaving the album’s outstanding title track to bring things to a ferociously dynamic close. The instrumental is glorious, a brawling seducing collage of sound and textures woven into an anthemically fiery and exhaustingly exhilarating tempest as virulently incendiary as it is dramatically provocative.

Hedfuzy is an album to light up any day and the band a project which, even with Byrne seemingly perpetually in demand, the man soon appearing on the debut album from Irish progressive metal band The Vicious Head Society alongside keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Black Country Communion) and drummer Kevin Talley (Chimaira, Suffocation), we can only hope to hear a lot more from.

The self-released Hedfuzy is out now via Amazon.

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Pete RingMaster 13/01/2016

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