Defeat – You Know What You Are EP

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And so it continues, the emotion twisting sounds of Defeat have returned to voraciously crawl through ears and into the psyche. The UK duo have already increasingly trespassed into and seduced the senses through their previous encounters, each bringing evolution to their music and breaching new creative plateaus whilst suggesting there is more to come. The band’s new EP, You Know What You Are, is the realisation of much of this promise yet in turn it gives the feeling that they have still come nowhere to exhausting their potential, even though it sets the loftiest marker yet for the band in sound and invention.

Hertfordshire hailing union consists of vocalist Anthony Matthews and the master of synthetics Gary Walker, two school friends who have continually played together through previous guises from those days onwards. Each exploit has been a stepping stone to Defeat, and the breeding of a sound inspired by the likes of Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, NIN, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy. As Defeat, the pair swiftly lit attention with the release of their Outbursts! EP in 2012. Its emergence around a year after Matthews and Walker were truly able to concentrate on Defeat, lured an increasingly number of eager ears and appetites, backed by a subsequent remix EP entitled simply Defeat Remixed. It was debut album [Seek Help] in 2013 that pushed the band most forcibly onto the European EBM/ electro-industrial map though with its raw and magnetic atmospheres around angst soaked explorations. It was challenging and infectious, a fusion of dark climates and virulent electro pop digging now taken to even more experimental and striking depths with You Know What You Are. There is still that expected and inescapable catchiness, each track whipping up vivacious energies and anthemic temptation but equally they devour the most imposing and darkest corners of emotion and life.

YKWYA_cover     The EP opens with Want and instantly has ears intrigued and hungry as pulsating bassy electronics rap on the senses before being joined by a fiery melodic coaxing, It is a restrained but pungent start, rhythms quickly building up a head of intent and steam leading to a purposeful stride where the always expressive tones of Matthews invite and provoke. His delivery is part monotone, part dour, and all thick persuasion, the perfect temper and compliment to the bubbling electronic tenacity and haunting shadows respectively. As with previous encounters, the band’s sound stirs up welcome thoughts of Fad Gadget, the fusion of light and dark, invasive tempting and compelling contagion similar as Defeat sculpt their own unique incitement of dark pop.

The following Twist is just as dynamically gripping and texture entwining. Theatrical, gothic kissed keys spark the imagination first, the lure never relinquishing attention as a more caustic electro breeze joins the play. In no time the song is sauntering along with thickly jabbing beats, fizzy electronic tempting, and the narrative shaping delivery of Matthews. Things only blossom further as Walker infuses a great blistering of guitar, its presence adding to the sinister ambience evoked and fuelling the encounter. As its predecessor, there are moments of clear pop within the hazy almost portentous embrace of the track, those enticements boldly seeded in the eighties electro/synth pop which has also been a ripe influence on the band’s sound and songwriting.

Resist comes next and dares you to comply with its title, but to no avail as a Numan-esque smog wraps ears first before volatile electro sounds and rhythms rigorously simmer in an expanding provocative landscape of sour melodic tension and vocal prowling. There is always drama to the sound and narratives of Defeat, but possibly this song is their most incendiary on ears and imagination yet, thoughts especially running with its rich persuasion to create their own dark exploits alongside that of the song. It is a transfixing proposition matched by the outstanding Attention Seeker. This is a predator of a track, every beat carrying menace and each syllable a spiteful leer whilst synths cast a web of diverse colour and enterprise; even its addictive swing and spicy melodies seem to have a carnivorous grin to their tenacity.

The song is an invigorating and intoxicating anthem contrasted impressively by the next up Care For Me, a track uniquely individual but a match in magnetism and invention. Whereas Attention Seeker was open in its antagonistic charm, its successor embroils itself in another intriguing imposing caress of sound and reflective exploration. Spatial melodies seep from keys whilst guitars bring a raw fiery texture to the immersive croon, and within it all Matthews slowly releases deep rooted angst and emotional torment in the dark intimate tale.

The industrial air of Goodbye is an early hook which only thickens its bait as the song and vocals create an aural dystopia within an increasingly more rugged and inflammatory infection soaked stomp. It forces its dance upon feet and emotions, chaining their submissive enlistment into its ferocious staging of riveting sound and menacing intent. The track is a pulsating gem, at its heart pure slice of rock ‘n’ roll and in its increasingly psychotic character, pure inventive, belligerent devilry.

You Know What You Are is completed by a quartet of mixes, Ruinizer bringing the Bye Motherfucker Bye Mix of Goodbye, Paresis offering the Blackened Mix of Want, and Cease2Xist casting their Self Loathing Mix of How Pathetic, a track from the band’s Outbursts! EP. The cream of an enjoyable quartet though is the Shaken Not Stirred Mix by X-KiN of Twist, which features the exceptional vocals of Veronick. It is a gloriously fresh slant on the song with the lady’s voice enthralling as it takes centre stage.

Defeat have returned with yet another impressive step in their songwriting and sound whilst, as suggested earlier, implying that there is plenty more still to be unearthed in their imaginations and creativity. So whilst enjoyment boils over with You Know What You Are, anticipation is already on the rise again.

The You Know What You Are EP is available now digitally and on CD @ https://defeatmusic.bandcamp.com/album/you-know-what-you-are

https://www.facebook.com/Defeatmusic     http://www.defeatmusic.com/

RingMaster 23/05/2015

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Grandchaos – We Suffer When The World Changes

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Though We Suffer When The World Changes is our first real confrontation with Belgium based Grandchaos, it did not take long to show that the praise of others was deserved as the thoroughly addictive lure began stealing the passions. For fans and on the musical reputation of its creator Russian composer/musician Tcheleskov Ivanovitch who has been setting inspirations and templates within EBM for over three decades, its weight and quality was maybe unsurprising but it is still provided a fresh and impacting encounter once directly in the ears. So consisting of sixteen tracks, including a clutch of remixes, the album showed itself to be a riveting dance for body and imagination cast from a tapestry of sounds which as Ivanovitch’s career, spans the years of electronic temptation.

Tcheleskov moved to Brussels in 1982 with brother Trevosky, where the pair formed Ivanovitch Dans L’Ombre and were soon heading towards cult status for their irrepressible creative sounds and releases. The early nineties saw the duo bring the band to an end to focus on their professional careers but after time Tcheleskov had the itch to pursue a solo musical adventure and founded Grandchaos. Exploring a minimal electro sound, the artist quickly found attention and support which led to the release of the acclaimed debut album Open Source in 2007. The following time saw him link up with and play live in Jacky Meurisse’s EBM band Signal Aout 42, release second album Rumours of My Life and earn further acclaim for his inspiring sounds. We Suffer When The World Changes has, just a few weeks after its unveiling, already made the biggest impact yet for Tcheleskov, its weave of eighties electronic melodies alongside new beat and techno vivacity under dark but alluring shadows, a primal calling for ears and emotions.

The album opens with The Light and features Meurisse helping shape its shady character and swiftly riveting presence. A slightly desperate vocal breath aligns to the heavy pulse of the track from the start, toying with the imagination nicely before finally settling into a transfixing mesh of sound. It is a vibrant tempting but elevated by the instantly compelling baritone bred vocals of Tcheleskov. Menacing and inviting, the song continues to sonically flicker in ears, lighting their hunger before making way for the similarly drama cloaked Man On Fire. The shadows are darker and heavier on the second song but it counters by offering a busy scene of electro revelry and virulent catchiness. At times slithers of Rammstein antagonism seep into the enthralling electronic narrative but also the edge of a Cynical Existence and most of all the flirtatious tenacity of Yello.

     Love And Hate moves down a different avenue with its eighties synth rock and progressive electro gait, though it’s spatial soundscape and low key festivity is wonderfully tempered by the ever pleasing and bordering on morose vocals. Like a wallflower in a dance hall, the song is siren-esque in its voice and reserved in its energy but another seriously engrossing encounter sharing its charm before the sonic and expressive palpitations of The Death Of You And Me embraces feet and senses. With new diversity to the vocals as Meurisse again adds his skills to its masterful flight, the track sparks a wave of warmth ready for the spicy static taunting of The Tempest. The Swiss electronic genius of Dieter Meier and Boris Blank return as a spice and comparison in the first of these two but even more so in the fuzzy and dazzling dark waltz of its successor.

The anthemic dance of both incitements is replicated in the haunting and intimidating Pulse (909 version). It has an industrial rawness which aligns itself to a melodic radiance, a merger bringing rich life to the danger washed body of the track. As in most songs, there is plenty for ears to interpret but more for the imagination to run with and set about casting their own noir bred adventures with the music as their soundtrack.

The inescapable virulence of We Suffer is next, its body sparking bait infusing eighties electro pop into another addictive flirtation with the dance-floor. A song which could even bring the residents of a cemetery to life it is the obvious lead lure into the release and if not already should be a single. Just as contagion soaked is the following and also outstanding Memory Is A Poison. Unafraid to bring a vein of post punk, Tcheleskov finding an Ian Curtis lilt to his monotone voice, into another eighties inspired hypnotism, the song ultimately steals top track honours from the throat of its predecessor and the earlier peak of The Tempest.

Both Tell Me You Love Me, with its angst rubbed croon and energetic skittishness, and the melodically syrupy Pulse (808 version) keeps satisfaction and feet fully involved whilst End Of Transmission is a potent if less gripping relaxed tango for the senses. Though not the end, it makes for a fine conclusion to the main body of the release leaving some decent remixes from VV303, #366 : A Live Lifed, Parade Ground, and a couple of thumping alternative views of songs on the album from Ethan Fawkes and Atropine to complete the impressive encounter.

The album is a masterful instigator of bodies and unbridled enjoyment. Grandchaos has injected fresh blood into the already flavoursome world of EBM but more so it has the potential to open the scene up to a new audience. We suggest everyone should seriously contemplate plunging into We Suffer When The World Changes if only to make their feet happy.

We Suffer When The World Changes is available now via EK Product @ http://www.ekproduct.com/artists/grandchaos

http://www.grandchaos.be

RingMaster 09/01/2015

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Nine Seconds – Nothing To Confess

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Nothing To Confess is the second electro stomp from the collaboration of vocalist Oliver Spring of Sleepwalk / tEaR!dOwN / Nerve Conflict ) with No Comment keyboardists René Ebner and Thomas Kowalzik which goes under the name Nine Seconds. The successor to their successful and well received debut Poladroids of 2013, the project’s new album is an insatiable march of synth pop driven EBM. It is bursting with electro anthems which simply declare defiance from feet and enjoyment as unacceptable. That is a strong weapon for any album to have and a potent essence to Nothing To Confess but to temper its success, it is not always backed up by songs which forge a lingering grip or leave expectations challenged. To be honest though with the infectious tenacity and magnetism the album holds it is a missed opportunity easy to forgive.

Flickering electro sounds open up first track Attractive Lies, their one dimensional coaxing leading to a more flavoursome web of synth spawned enterprise and harsher rock energy. Vocally Spring brings raw texture to the song too, his coarse melodic roar cradled in a tantalising blend of causticity kissed endeavour and hook lined virulence. In no time the song is a contagious antagonist dragging body and emotions into its aggressive devilry and setting up listener and album for the following adventures, starting with Antistar Machinery. The second song has an even darker character and ferocity to its hypnotic enticing which with a similar trait to the vocals, is swiftly dominating attention and imagination. Holding a nice strain of harsh industrial belligerence in its infection fuelled persuasion too, the song continues the strong and impressive start of the release.

To be fair no track ever lets that stature drop too far but some lack the same stirring spark, such as Borderland (2nd Attempt) with its pungent intimidating atmosphere over a rebellious smile of sound, though this lurks more than unleashes its inhibitions. It is intriguing and again easy bait for dance-floors with a healthy spice of bands like Depeche Mode and early Ultravox to its sinew sculpted provocation. The lack of that particular addictive essence which ignited its predecessors is the key to its inability to stay with the listener long term, especially once Pompeii energetically bubbles in ears next and quickly takes all thoughts and focus in its arms. Exhausting in its sonic persistence and vigorous movement, the track is an irresistible lure turning Nothing To Confess back into an epidemic of sound and temptation.

As Waiting For The Last Kiss plays next, the vocals reveal one of the limitations of the release. Though Spring is a potent presence and vocal agitator, there is at times no daring in the Nine Seconds - Nothing to confessdelivery and diversity of his attack. This admittedly is more a flavouring of the scene rather than something specific to the band itself but it is telling that the better moments on the album see him and the band stretching that aspect more. The song itself is an enjoyable if familiar design and another soon put aside as firstly the sinister instrumental Malfunction 09 encourages the imagination and The Forgotten Man provokes the appetite with its eighties post punk/electro punk spiced challenge.

   No Shut Eye (Fight Back mix) ferments nicely in the ears next; it’s fiery heart and similarly inflamed creativity an evocative proposal which suggests sonic anarchy more than it actually realises. The song makes for a tempestuous enticing though No Shuffle soon puts it in its place with a tapestry of robotic beats, android like vocals, and an engrossing weave of effervesce electro invention prone to psychotic eruptions. It is a thrilling and dynamic slice of electro revelry stealing top honours from those earlier successes.

The album’s last unique track is Planet On Fire, a journey through a sultry ambience by portentous vocals and a fiercely smouldering intensity. It is another excellent canvas for the imagination to play, though for once feet are left to amuse themselves by the thought provoking exploration. The track shows another side to the band’s exploration in songwriting and makes for an intriguing conclusion to the album.

Nothing To Confess actually ends with the obligatory genre remixes; here Waiting For The Last Kiss being given a Nine Seconds vs Cryo Club Mix and Attractive Lies a Nine Seconds vs Mind.In.A.Box reworking whilst Antistar Machinery is treated to a Nine Seconds vs Leaether Strip interpretation. It is the main body of the album which impresses though. Yes it feels like there is a classic lurking within the release which the band could not quite find but when it sounds this enjoyable and provides an hour of body inciting tempting it is hard to imagine too many worrying.

Nothing To Confess is available now via Space Race Records @ http://spaceracerecords.com/releases/nothing-to-confess/

https://www.facebook.com/nineseconds

RingMaster 09/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Tactical Module – Before Crisis

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You can never tire of being impressed by the growth and almost visual evolution of certain artists and one who seems to inspire increasingly potent acclaim is Tactical Module, the one man project of Michael Davis. Across his last trio of incitements alone, the British musician/composer has magnetically enthralled and excited with his fusion of industrial metal, digital hardcore, and EBM. Each encounter has shown new and often dramatic steps in the growth of the band’s sound and songwriting and new EP Before Crisis is no exception. Arguably it is not a big step forward from the last album Into Exile but certainly there is an even greater balance and fluidity between the raw and confrontational side of the vocal and sonic ferocity and the melodic and infectiously vivacious elements which so contagiously mark out songs. Increasing maturity and experience comes with every release of an artist and certainly Before Crisis is embracing an impressing wave of it through Davis.

Forming Tactical Module in 2010 to unleash a creative freedom restrained by being in bands and to explore darker and more aggressive electronic music, the Poole hailing Davis was soon sculpting a handful of digital EPs and remixes to increasing attention. Inspired by bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM, Godflesh, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, and Depeche Mode, Davis made a potent breakthrough with the Dead Zone EP in 2012. It swiftly gripped appetites and a more serious spotlight upon release, marking out Tactical Module as an emerging force and talent. Both the feverishly grasped single Where Angels Rise and first album World Through My Sight in 2013 reinforced his growing reputation whilst the Resurrection EP that same year and its successor Into Exile early 2014, found Davis breaching new plateaus with striking experimentation and emotional voracity. Released as 2014 closed its eyes and evolved into the New Year, Before Crisis cements the stature of Tactical Module in Britain’s electronic underground scene whilst as mentioning earlier showing an even more honed and masterful resourcefulness to Davis’ creativity.

The instrumental Awaken sparks the imagination first, its slow dawning of rhythmic enticement an intrigue loaded lure before synths spin their emotive sonic web. There is a portentous air to10261995_786876598003130_5830102883858603546_n the opener and a prowl of dark shadows which bring a stark and threatening edge to the melodic charm of the piece. It is a magnetic lead into the EP and the following equally intimidating presence of Poison Within. Growing within a synth woven cage of gentler persuasion, the song eventually steps forward as an electro punk provocateur but an antagonist unafraid to employ the flavoursome melodies and sonic expression which coaxed in ears and appetite initially. As stormy in its disturbing quieter moments as in its open musical and vocal rages, the track ebbs and flows masterfully, waves of hostility feeding the appetite again and again within the equally imposing charm of the song.

Next the EP’s title track steps forward offering an immediate infectious shuffle of agitated rhythms under another brooding electronic sky. Davis as expected unleashes a cutting narrative with pleasing abrasing tones soon after whilst around him guitars add a caustic spice to the brighter revelry of the keys. It is a light to the song which as across all tracks, is held in check by the thick smog of angst and heavy shadows which fuel vocals and sounds alike. Here though it is given a longer leash which allows a diversity and tempting aural colour to have their just as potent say on the imagination, as repeated in the excellent To the Skies of Oblivion straight after. A song first found on the Resurrection EP, its bounds through ears and into the passions with a devilish tenacity and energy. It has an inescapable infectiousness which even aligned to the almost rabid furies in voice and menacing rewarding lulls which stalk the song never misses a step in its thrilling march.

The raw atmospheric opening of Assemble is an immediate temper to the previous devilry, its great stark and cold opening spreading an oppressive ambience which in turn courts an abrasion of hip hop spiced electro rock. Vocally too Davis briefly toys with a slither of rap enterprise to match the eventful adventure flirting within the invasive climate of the track’s electronic landscape. It is a slow burner in comparison to other tracks upon Before Crisis but emerges just as striking and enjoyable.

The final new song on the release is What Lies Beneath, another coming in from a distant pasture to embrace ears in drama and a blend of creative antagonism and melodic grandeur. Also a slower persuasion, the song is a compelling narrative of sound and emotion but just lacks the indefinable spark of earlier tracks and misses igniting the passions as successfully.

The EP is completed by a trio of remixes, the song Before Crisis being redefined by Ruinizer and Assemble receiving creative treatments from Cease2Xist and Dali, the latter of the three working the psyche with particular deftness and all offering captivating dimensions to the originals.

Tactical Module has again shown itself to be a bright and imposing spark in the UK electronic scene through Before Crisis. It is a release little to find an issue with, though just as an experiment we would like to see Davis being more adventure into his vocals ahead, and a tempest of invention fans will devour greedily.

Before Crisis is available now @ http://tacticalmodule.bandcamp.com/album/before-crisis

https://www.facebook.com/TacticalModule

RingMaster 07/01/2015

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When Cities Sleep – What Lies Lay Between Us

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Unleashing a striking mix of metalcore and post hardcore with a volatile infusion of EDM, US band When Cities Sleep uncage their new album What Lies Lay Between Us this week and a tempestuous roar of sound and enterprise it is too. Coming with fierce hunger and intensity, as well as its own sonic wind chill, the band’s sound and release is a biting bluster of confrontation and intimidation spiced with a melodic endeavour which ignites the imagination. It is an encounter which is unpredictable and uncompromising but equally a proposition unafraid to seduce and enthral with hostility tempering elegance and beauty. It has flaws and at times is less convincing than in other moments, but given time it emerges as a rigorously appetising and riveting incitement.

Released through Indianola Records, the Maryland hailing band and What Lies Lay Between Us straight away impose themselves on ears and thoughts with opening track Dead Tires. From the first taunt of electro coaxing intrigue sets in to be swiftly joined by full attention as ferocious riffs and jabbing rhythms collide with the raw vocal squalls of Mike Garrow and the rest of the band. Instantly it is a voracious incitement lying somewhere between August Burns Red and The Browning but already with a whisper of contrasting endeavour as varied vocals and spicy grooves start littering the sonic tempest. This lure is fully realised with the appearance of excellent clean vocals, Garrow revealing his wide vocal prowess as the song twists and flirts with ravenous ingenuity. Who provides the electronic infestation we cannot say but with the searing creative rabidity of Justin Hein and Dario Eusantos’ guitars scorching the predatory rhythmic threat of bassist Robbie King and drummer Johnathan Melton, it all adds up to one hellacious and exciting trespass of the senses.

The exhausting start is continued by Two Faced and So Here’s To This, the first an antagonistic fury coursing with savage riffs and violent rhythms but bringing forth an exploration of rich melodies and binding elegance. It is a Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetsimultaneously combative and seductive union, rivals which seamlessly entwine around each other for an impressive portrait of craft and passion. In some bands’ hands it would be a clunky union but When Cities Sleep handle the contrasting elements with invention and technical understanding. The third song on the album initially dances with ears through a mellower electronic tempting but is soon smothered by the thick assault and animosity of riffs and rhythms, their combined malice oppressive smog. Within that though, the electro beckoning continues to ebb and flow, colouring the storm with its expressive textures to match the same diversity of vocals.

As Life And Lies ravages senses and air with startling maliciousness and resourceful enterprise, one of the album’s issues is reinforced. It is not exactly a major problem to be fair, but a similarity between tracks in sound and structure does often require a greater concentration and focus to escape. That time and attention given certainly brings potent rewards as every song offers its own identity of imagination and united individual prowess from the band but you wonder if enough people will offer that effort to give the release the spotlight it deserves. It would be their loss, as proven by the cantankerous intent and fierce examination of Six Zero Two, a barbarous violation with some of the best intensive and gripping riffery, not forgetting acutely thrilling grooves, on the release. Aligned to another healthy variety of vocal attack and tantalising electronic hues, the song is a memorable landmark on the landscape of the album, something else which is a little rare. Certain moments within the album, many twists in its adventure linger long past departure but far fewer whole songs achieve the same success.

It is something which does not detract from its impressive company though, a presence richly satisfying again through the album’s title track which features Shawn Spann of I The Breather. With melodies and harmonies as gripping and fiery as the stormy sounds around them, the song is an enthralling and vehemently steamy encounter, raising more hunger in the appetite which is fed by the excellent Daydreamer. The song is a tangy tapestry of sonic and melodically fuelled turbulence leaving ears and imagination ablaze and passions at their greediest and most blissful. It is the pinnacle of the album, edging out the first couple for top honours.

Concluded by the accomplished and mellow melodic croon of Letters For You, a track which does little wrong but just does not spark the passions without the same lethal persuasion of previous tracks, What Lies Lay Between Us is an impressing marker for When Cities Sleep. It is soaked in raw and thrilling potential ensuring it is an album leaving a want for more which is only a positive as the band continues its striking emergence.

What Lies Lay Between Us is available now through Indianola Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/what-lies-lay-between-us/id934466242

https://www.facebook.com/WhenCitiesSleep

RingMaster 19/11/2014

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RxGF – Any Other Way

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Not exactly an album of two halves but one with a certain shift in its manner well into its body, Any Other Way from US electronic explorers RxGF, is an exhilarating and transfixing adventure for ears and imagination. Consisting of thirteen tracks which bind the listener in flirtatious and provocative dark wave intrigue, the album is a creative emprise of rhythmic and electronic ingenuity honed into individual provocations which ignite thoughts and emotions as forcibly as they seduce ears. The third album from the band and the first with vocalist Angeline Schaaf, Any Other Way is one of those glorious inventive blazes you unknowingly hanker all year for.

The Seattle bred RxGF is the brainchild of and driven by multi-instrumentalist John Morgan Reilly who linked up in 2005 with producer Jonathan Plum who had worked with one of Reilly’s previous bands, to experiment on fresh songs and sounds. Under the name Radioactive X Girlfriend, this revamped in reflection of the band’s new twist of sound for the new album, the pair uncaged the albums, The Art of Splitting in 2011 and the following year All Blade No Handle. Enlisting contributions from the likes of Daniel Bedingfield, Dave Rosser (Twilight Singers, Afghan Whigs), Matthew Burgess, and Davey Brozowski (Cathaters), the acclaimed releases explored guitar-heavy indie rock and electro-folk respectively, each offering a dramatic departure in sound to the other, a diverse shift which is again emulated by Any Other Way.

The new album thrusts the listener into a dark wave terrain bulging with rhythmic incitement and electronic tenacity. Equally there are thick essences of techno, trip hop, and industrial trespasses which infuse and colour the shadows with greater experimentation and expression. It all makes for a wonderfully imposing and unpredictable proposition, one given even greater drama and imaginative espionage by the gorgeous sultry tones of Schaaf. There is a futuristic bordering on dystopian edge to many songs and with the broody noir lit beauty and tonal majesty of her voice, as instantly evidenced on the first two songs, it makes for dark times presented with compelling seduction.

The album’s title track opens up the theatre of creative operations, the encounter an immediate wall of sonic and electro baiting lit by the voice of Schaaf. It is not long before punchy and gripping rhythms are knocking on the door of the passions, their insatiable baiting potent within the expanding warmth and melodic expression of the synths. As lively and electronically radiant as the track is there is an intimidating shadow to its presence, a dark breath which also lies on the syllables flowing from the throat of Schaaf, the lady from track one revealing the depth and rich expression of her tones. It is a striking flame to start things off but soon surpassed by the brilliant How To Make It. With the opening intimidating rumble of rhythms and subsequent designs which emerge, the band shares a comparable skill and imagination to The Creatures, Schaaf herself finding that gothic elegance and exploration which makes Siouxsie Sioux so distinct and revered. The track from its hypnotic start continues to prowl the dark corners of its depths and the senses, its honest appraisal of music a defiance to the doom laded climate presented.

From one pinnacle another is soon caressing ears, the melodic guitar crafted entrance of We Will Not Be Denied the gateway into fiery and caustic scenery. Again Siouxsie comes to mind butRxGF - Any Other Way cover with more Banshees bred essences merging with the lighter melodic revelry of a Morningwood this time though the song is soon establishing its own identity and unique persuasion as it ebbs and flows in voracious enterprise, a trait raging in all songs as shown by the funkier electro dance of Flesh And Bone. Breathtakingly vivacious in energy and bubbling sounds, the track is a smouldering riot which almost explodes when it breaks from the dance floor for a punkish challenge led by the vocal challenge of Reilly. It soon returns into its hot summer of festivity though, leaving feet and emotions exhausted.

Antidote looks back into the shadows next, from its first second the song soaked in a menacing sizzle of sound amidst sinister colouring. This is tempered by the increasingly impressive vocal hues of Schaaf and again eagerly simmering melodies as another dark tale for the imagination is cast before the outstanding Tombstone Soirée takes over. A rhythmic and vocal swagger lurks from the first beat and mischievous syllable cast, fiery electronics again the lead protagonist before Schaaf unveils a compelling temptress posing as her voice. She flirts and seduces with every dramatic note, matched along the way by the maelstrom of adventure around her where sounds are as salaciously predatory as they are diversely magnetic. The track is an inescapable tempting providing another major peak which is matched by the ridiculously tantalising Never Felt So Good. As celestial as it is darkly beckoning, song and climate is another which intrigues and hints without revealing its full intent, dark and light colluding for a delicious mystery for thoughts and ears to immerse in.

It is at this point where the album seems to make another shift of direction, The Dying Grace Of Machines diving into a heavy industrial landscape with Reilly taking lead vocals where every word and tone expelled seems to have an axe to grind. It is an unexpected twist but one which soon grips with compelling weight and drama, its EBM lures pungent suggestiveness to match the potency of the weave of samples and creative enterprise fuelling the track. The following provocation of The Hit is spawned from the same mix, its dark but less threatening body equally enthralling and unexpected and warmly welcomed before making way for the False Flag Mix of Things That Go Bang, the fall of liberty and the beckoning of 1984 in one unrelenting and mouth-watering slab of electro/industrial predation. As the two before it, the track is exceptional but whether they fit with the previous fiery romance of the earlier songs is a still running mental debate. The following ears and thoughts stalking of Kontrollier Die Kontrollierenden is another which slips into that uncertainly, though the song with a great Bowie-esque lilt to Reilly’s vocals certainly continues the immense pleasure gained from the album.

The album closes with firstly Flow, an electro shuffle which delights and has feet subservient but lacks the spark of other songs and lastly the Verax Mix of Belladonna Dream which sees Schaaf returning to seduce the senses. The song is a delicious croon to leave a lingering kiss on ears and emotions and bring Any Other Way to a mystique coated and bewitching end.

     Any Other Way is an engrossing and virulently thrilling encounter which teases, seduces, and challenges throughout for all the right reasons. It rivals all other electronic releases this year for the right to be called the best whilst RxGF shows again their extraordinary ability to explore new realms with every release.

Any Other Way is available now @ https://rxgf.bandcamp.com/album/any-other-way

http://www.rxgf.co.uk/

RingMaster 16/11/2014

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Phal:Angst – Black Country

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A raw erosion of senses and psyche, Black Country the new album from Austrian noise sculptors Phal:Angst is a vociferously compelling provocation built upon soundscapes which suggest that the apocalypse is already upon us. Consisting of five intrusive and fierce sonic explorations themed by oppressive manipulation and bigotry, the release is a demanding and uncomfortable proposition to listen to but a welcomingly incendiary confrontation for imagination and emotions to embrace. Forging a caustic industrial, post rock and doom clad fusion of noise, the release is a haunting immersion into ravenous sounds and stark atmospheres from a provocateur bred from the same corrosive intent as a Swans or Nurse With Wound.

Phal:Angst emerged in 2006 as collaboration between the projects Phal and Projekt Angst. The years since then has seen two well-received albums, a soundtrack, and hosts of successful shows unleashed, all adding up to ensure there was certain anticipation for their third album Black Country. Recorded with Alexandr Vatagin and mastered by Patrick Pulsinger, the album is an invasive and riveting consumption which draws on thick essences of EBM and gothic rock alongside those elements of sound mentioned. It makes for an unpredictable and often voraciously abrasive encounter but one which leaves thoughts and emotions aflame and contemplating the incitement unleashed.

Hardwire is the first examination of the senses, a fifteen minute portrait of a world in turmoil and emotionally twisted. From a glorious opening female vocal caress soon wrapped in similarly elegant keys, the track slips into a heavy industrial climate. Beats and electronic designs aligned to war inspired samples emerge within the still warm melodic embrace of the song, the encroaching portentous invasion of the beauty slow and unrelenting as guitars begin their rawer sonic narrative. The track continues to smoulder between melodic grace and caustic hostility whilst melancholic breezes wash the climate of the song and the band’s vocals upon their subsequent appearance. It is a gripping track, a corruption of sound which smothers the beauty within itself in order to provoke and spark ears and thoughts.

The album’s title track is next where again a warm and gentle entrance is made. This time electronic seduction coaxes the senses though around them sonic shadows are swiftly brewing up their intent and menace. They are held at bay though as a funereal rhythmic strides court the radiant and haunted shimmer of synths and guitar. Monotone fuelled vocals add their colour to the emerging song next, though again it is a slow expansion prowled by other continually darkening tones. The repetitious nature within this and all tracks is an inescapable seducing which only adds to the persuasion if not always the accessibility of the song’s temptation. This and its successor The Old Has To Die and the New Must Not Be Born reminds of Young Gods across their maudlin soaked landscapes, the album’s third song especially sparking thoughts of the Swiss band as opening hoarse vocals and intimidating riffs sets the tone and character of the blackened suffocation of the senses to come. Again that repetitive essence and the return of those breath-taking female soaring vocals provide a rich temper to the bestial heart of the track.

It is an enthralling and bewitchingly unpredictable trespass of the emotions providing the album with its pinnacle though that is almost matched by the warped sonic flirtation of Black Milk of Morning. A track which takes its time worming under the skin, despite persistently offering slim and potent melodies across chilled rhythmic scenery soaked in abrasing sonic ambience, it almost sneaks up on the passions especially with the persistence of unpolished reiterative vocals which imprint their presence and pressure within the climactic sonic smog. There is a beauty to the open and merciless aural causticity of the song which will certainly not be for all but as the album, will provide a remarkably rewarding experience for many more.

Black Country closes with the industrial drama and dystopian presence of Theta, a track which feels like an infestation bred from the union of Kraftwerk, Einstürzende Neubauten, and Neurosis. It crawls across the senses, leaving doom bred bait in its wake whilst igniting the imagination with its creative smothering and fiery tenacity. The song is a fine end to a great album, one which at times you wonder what specifically you are enjoying about it but always by the end of its persuasion only want more.

Black Country is available digitally, on double vinyl and CD via Bloodshed 666 Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/black-country-revisited/id932871714

The album is followed on Nov 28th by digital remix album Black Country Revisited featuring remixes by: Tronstoner/NSA, Swallow Red Rain, Chra, David Pfister, Electric Indigo, Rokko Anal, and Adaevarath/Bastard Sun.

http://www.facebook.com/phalangst

RingMaster 14/11/2014

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