Owl Company – Iris

Courting the richest essences of metal and heavy rock for a roar which resonates like an invigorating air clearing storm, Brazilian rockers Owl Company have just released their new album. A thirteen track anthemic holler, Iris has an eye on the intimate and worldly explored through sounds which are equally as broad as they are inwardly nurtured; it all resulting in a record which simply thrilled and impressed at every turn.

From São Paulo, the foundations for Owl Company began when vocalist Enrico Minelli and guitarist Felipe Ruiz began writing together, the pair soon bringing in drummer Thiago Biasoli. 2017 saw the release of debut album, Horizon, and the recruitment of guitarist Bruno Solera and bassist Fabio Yamamoto. A flame of attention upon the band was soon burning bright, Owl Company touring the US, and only intensified by the release of their single Pieces which led to them signing with Eclipse Records earlier this year. Now the band is poised to strike internationally with the release of the Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Faith No More) mixed and Paul Logus (Stone Sour, Pop Evil) mastered Iris.

It opens up with the breath-taking One Last Time. Instantly the great bearish growl of Minelli is melodically snarling in the hug of voracious riffs and tenacious rhythms. A break in its trespass brings spicy grooves and a magnetic swagger bred in a collusion of melodic metal and heavy hard rock. As each song proves, there is an array of flavours entangled in the band’s rousing sound, each spicing united in open craft and hearty endeavour.

It is a thumping start to the album more than backed by the following Boogie Man, the track unleashing its groove from the first second and never relinquishing its lusty grip thereon in. From the earthy grumble of the bass to the voracious enterprise of the guitars, the song is a masterfully animated incitement; Minelli’s tones the ringleader to its anthemic prowess as it grabbed best track honours.

Next up, Rise brings a calmer proposition but one just as earnest in its heart and captivating in its layered dynamics building small crescendos which erupt in emotive intensity. As with all tracks, there is drama in every note and syllable which compels attention, its successor, Antagonist, just one echo in that respect. The band’s new single, it initially badgers and harries the senses before twisting into a flirtatious trespass full of unpredictability turns and stirring imagination. In a clutch of seconds it can stalk and prey on ears and within another few hug its victim with melodic caresses as it proves itself another major peak within the album.

The previous and lead single from Iris is the next,  Shattered Dreams igniting ears and appetite with its own tapestry of styles and textures in an inviting web bordering battlefield of enterprise while Dawn of Days in turn provides a mellower but still fiery offering with Minelli imperial, in a Rasputin way, within the enthralling wiry net of grooves and melody cast by Ruiz and Solera. The big swinging beats of Biasoli as ever provide an imposingly arousing incitement as Yamamoto’s bass springs a sweet spot hitting groove to complete the track’s manipulative persuasion.

Through the big boned, contagious southern rock lined enticement of Broken Paradigm and the predacious emotionally strained lures of Disconnected, the album’s hand only tightens on praise and enjoyment while Forbidden Ground stirs another eddy of full pleasure with its deviously grooved, Clutch-esque bellow. All three hit the spot with the third another pinnacle in an encounter proving an addictive encounter.

The Other Side soon shows that Owl Company are just as adept at emotion woven balladry, the song a tantalising croon with a great mercurial character to its volatile landscape; one especially blossoming on the craft of bass and voice.  Maybe not as immediately striking as those before it, the track only grows by the listen rising to be another big moment within Iris.

The final trio of Shades, with its enlivening dynamics, the intimately reflecting Doors, and the impassioned Angel bring the release to a powerful and stirring close, the final track especially bewitching. Each adds a new shade to the creative palette of Iris and all as rousing in their singularly individual ways as the earlier vociferous anthems.

Among a host of truly impressive and more importantly thrilling encounters to escape 2018, Iris ranks with the very best and Owl Company will soon have to deal with being under the biggest spotlights. Something you can only see them grabbing with eager hands.

Iris is out now through Eclipse Records across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/owlcoband/

Pete RingMaster 16/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Naberus – Hollow

Around seven years after emerging upon the Australian Metal scene, Naberus released their debut album, The Lost Reveries. It was a well-received offering earning critical praise and confirming the Melbourne outfit’s potent presence within their national metal landscape. Now the quintet has unleashed its successor in the shape of the ravenously resourceful and compelling Hollow and it is fair to say the band has hit a whole new level.

The Lost Reveries was the band’s sound at the time at a pinnacle, one which was heavily influenced by melodic death and thrash metal, a mix honed over previous tracks and EPs since day one. Whilst Hollow also revels in those hues it reveals an embracing of a far broader template including essences of groove, nu, and technical metal. Everything about the new album is a growth from its predecessor, one which maybe will be a step too far for some original fans but will surely recruit a whole new tide of fresh appetites. At fourteen tracks it is a bulky proposal for sure which flirts with overstaying its time but one which pretty much constantly holds its strength and lure throughout before leaving with a bang.

Mixed by Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Architects, A Breach of Silence) and mastered by Ermin Hamidovic (Architects, Periphery, Devin Townsend), Hollow launches at the listener with the outstanding Slaves. Immediately the guitars of Dan Ralph and Dante Thompson entangle ears with their sonic wires as the vocal snarl of James Ash harries ears. Djent spices infest the intensive blaze as other flavours collude in its rapacious web around the scything beats of Chris Sheppard and the predatory growl of Jordan Mitchell’s bass. Familiarity and individuality merge in its intensive roar, they all going to make a savagely raucous yet skilfully woven captivation.

The following Space To Breathe is just as swiftly imposing but inviting, taking a less invasive stance initially as its elements settle before uniting in its own ferocious trespass. Ash’s vocals again impress with their not vast but strong diversity within the emerging rich tapestry of sound. There are essences of bands like Spineshank and Static X to the track at times but equally it lusts after death and extreme metal textures with the same fervour and invention before the superb Split In Two uncages its own similarly but individually woven tempest. Harsh and melodic strains in both vocals and music make an easy union as the imagination in songwriting incites their drama, the track continuing the explosive success of the first pair ensuring that Hollow is already a riveting proposal.

Both Shadows and Webs nag the senses whilst seducing attention; the first a sonic harassment as adventurous as it is predatory with its successor, deceitfully calm at its start, a subsequent cauldron of fiercely simmering intensity with scalding eruptions and a persistently bubbling enterprise. True uniqueness could be said to be less potent within the two yet everything about them and all songs is as fresh and inventive as you could wish, the album’s title track further evidence. Its enmity is a harsh fury from the start, searing trespass and rhythmic lashing entangled in the sonic imagination of the guitars and the collage of vocal incitement. It makes for a dramatic and dynamic assault which just hits the spot like a sledge hammer.

Through the likes of the belligerently tenacious I Disappear, the corrosive reflection of The End and Seas Of Red with its almost feral tides and melodic fire, the album continues to delve into malice, aggression, and different degrees of variety in their individual characters. It is fair to say that the latter two of the three did not ignite the same energy of passion and acclaim as those previously within Hollow yet all easily enticed and pleasured before The Maze had ears lost to its creative course. Living up to its name, the thrilling song is a tangle of grooves and melodic vines within a formidable confrontation, each tunnelling through song and psyche alike.

My Favorite Memory similarly springs a spiralling union of endeavour within its dark catacomb but its mercurial exploration of emotion and sound quickly develops its own individual presence while Fading with far more savage jaws challenges and erupts upon the senses with enterprise and inventive dexterity, every member of the band creating a simultaneous threat and temptation within the track.

The album is closed up by firstly The Burrow and finally The Depths, both tracks leaving thick enticements in their wake for a swift return with the closing incitement within Hollow a labyrinth of irrepressible grooves and sonic wires through a lusty trespass of vocal and rhythmic animation. The track is another major moment within the release possibly its greatest following so many lofty peaks.

As a whole Hollow is a refreshing and rousing offering from a band deserving thick attention hereon in. Yes with so many tracks it might be a stretch in one go; a couple of times songs almost merging into each other in certain ways but each is an imagination and pleasure sparking assault in their own right and proving Naberus one exciting proposition.

Hollow is out now through Eclipse Records.

https://www.facebook.com/naberusband   https://twitter.com/NaberusOfficial

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cold Snap – World War 3

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It roars, it bellows, and it rages with all the spite found in a pit of venomous snakes, but most of all World War 3 provides a seriously mouth-watering treat to open up 2015’s metal offerings in blistering style. The explosive confrontation of Croatian band Cold Snap, the album is an imagination sparking tempest of groove metal infused with a very healthy dose of nu-metal and various other spicy strains of extreme provocations. It comes with slithers of familiar and recognisable moments and sounds which only add to the drama and pleasure found in its maelstrom of inventive and adventurous enterprise. If you are looking for your first bold purchase of 2015, then World War 3 is a major contender which will not disappoint.

Coming out of Varazdin, Cold Snap formed in 2003 and was quickly into their stride with increasingly impressing live shows which subsequently saw them play with the likes of Disturbed, Suicide Silence, Pro-Pain, Dead By April, Ektomorf and Unearth as well as playing festivals such as Metal Camp, Metal Fest, and Wacken Open Air. There has also been well-received releases increasingly pushing the band’s presence into broader attention, debut EP Mea Culpa of 3005 the forerunner of their albums Empty Promises and Perfection of 2008 and 2010 respectively. Following the departure of guitarist Vlado Soldatek last October, the foursome of vocalist Jan Kerekes, guitarist Leo Friscic, bassist Zoran Ernoic, and drummer Denis Roskaric has driven on with the release of the Tue Madsen produced World War 3 through Eclipse Records. It is an attention grabber from start to finish with the weaponry and ingenuity to awaken the attention and passions of metal fans around the world.

From the first breath of Straight to Hell, song and band are rampaging through ears and brewing up a keen appetite for what is on offer. Rhythms barge and riffs snarl over the senses, only stepping back slightly as the impressive vocals of Kerekes vent with narrative and eventful ferocity. Guitars and drums are soon back to throwing their muscles around though as the song flirts with essences of Mudvayne and Slipknot embroiled with those of American Head Charge. It is a formidable and addictively flavoursome mix given originality by the unpredictable invention and enterprise of Cold Snap. Raging and accusing as it opens up the album’s premise of looking at the ‘end of days’ we live in through every form of our lives, the song is a tremendous start swiftly emulated by the psyche revelry of Carnival. Exploring a (Hed) PE like fusion of groove and punk rap, the song smoulders with intimidating character, expelling furies of waspish grooves and sonic predation. It is a stunning encounter, stalking ears and thoughts with compelling craft and threatening intensity under the rhythmic slavery of Ernoic and Roskaric.

Friscic’s guitar is equally imposing and sonically inflammatory but even more skilled and adventurous within the following Rise Again and its Disturbed meets One Minute Silence stampede CLDS - 9038 cover - 1500of sound and enterprise. As in most songs, every passage and indeed moment comes with a subsequent twist in the flow and imagination of the incitement, here a sultry and tangy croon of guitar the respite in the tempestuous majesty of the aural protest.

The brief and warped rabidity of Unleash Me comes next to intrigue and excite as it leads the listener into the destructive heart of Monster, the unveiling of the danger portentously suggested in the first of the pair. The second track sways and challenges like a heady mix of Skindred, Devildriver, and Limp Bizkit, filtering their strengths into another uniquely gripping and seriously contagious storm of aggression and sound. Every second and aspect of the song ravages and seduces ears; stirring up even greedier appetite for the album, though that is something which applies to every track it is fair to say.

The much calmer atmosphere and thick provocative depths of Dead Guardian continues the diverse nature of the album, its sublime dark caress a gentle coaxing which increases in intensity and anger as the song proceeds to release its controlled but bile loaded roar. It relaxes again but only to start the compelling process all over again. With Kerekes increasingly impressive and extending the variety and adventure of his vocals, the track is a brew of enthralling emotions and antagonism leaving ears and thoughts engrossed and easy prey for the sensational brawl of Doomsday. Opening in a similar vein to how the previous song crooned the senses, it is soon a boiling vat of emotional hostility and raging sounds but psychotic enough to fluidly drop into deranged calm before a great bedlamic mix of various caustic styles. Another major highlight of the album it is matched by the might of Silent Killer, but only after the bewitching cyber haunting of instrumental Freedom has its moment to prey on the psyche and challenge the imagination. Silent Killer opens with riveting guitar bait before launching a Mudvayne seeded challenge vocally and sonically which in turn courts a rhythmic threat and anthemic tenacity spiced with Korn colouring. Again it has to be stated that for all the comparisons what emerges is something fresh, adventurous, and virulently infectious.

The final trio of songs all add to the increasingly impressive stature of the album, Court is Corrupted stepping up first with its venomously pungent bluster and creative rabidity. It is a growling provocateur, intent on enslaving the listener with bruising and vicious craft, something it definitely has no problem succeeding with. Chameleon seizes its chance next to rage across senses already softened elsewhere on the album. Juggling rhythms and rancorous vocals under a mesmeric sonic climate, it is soon throwing off its shackles to stomp belligerently and contagiously whilst establishing another pinnacle in the mountainous range of songs.

The closing My Emptiness unveils a final new twist in the album, its Palms whispered peace the calm before the storm of Machine Head hostility tempered by melodic metal tenacity. The song continues to shift and evolve across its eight minutes leaving ears blissful and thoughts captivated.

Wrapped in just as impressive artwork, World War 3 is a real treat from a band looking ready to stand boldly and confidently in the biggest spotlight of global metal.

World War 3 is available now via Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/brands/Cold-Snap.html

http://www.cold-snap.com/

RingMaster 13/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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A Breach of Silence – The Darkest Road

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Though the tightness of its grip fluctuates across its fourteen roars, The Darkest Road is a creative fury easy to breed a greedy appetite for. Unleashed by Australian metallers A Breach of Silence, it is a tempestuous slab of varied styles and flavours which has been labelled as “powercore”. Melding the potent flavours of metalcore through to post hardcore, heavy metal on to melodic death metal, and we are missing out many more spices, it is a compelling proposition which never gives ears and imagination time to settle or spawn expectations.

The Darkest Road follows the successful and acclaimed debut album Dead or Alive which was released a year ago. With having Australia’s prestigious Q Music Award in the Best Heavy Song category (2012) under their belt, which helped lead the band to signing with Eclipse Records, their first full-length pushed A Breach Of Silence into a new intensive and global spotlight, backed potently by the band’s live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Born of Osiris, Adept, The Amity Affliction, and Upon a Burning Body. Earlier this year the band released their controversial Night Rider ‘first-person shooter’ music video which took inspiration from their obsession with FPS video games and 1960’s classic westerns such as Hang ‘em High and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Now The Darkest Road is upon us to stir up ears and thoughts whilst making another impressive step in the ascent of the Brisbane quintet.

Recorded with producers Fredrik Nordstrom and Henrik Udd (Bring Me the Horizon, Arch Enemy, In Flames), The Darkest Road as suggested ebbs and follows in the strength of its certainly unrelenting captivation, sometimes throwing a spanner in the works of getting a handle on songs and the release, but it only adds to the welcome and inventive unpredictability and constantly intriguing nature of the encounter. The album certainly starts with furious gusto and anthemic irresistibility, opener T.P.N.E shoving group shouts through ears before wiry grooves and heavy rumbling rhythms join the emerging storm. The raw and caustic vocal squalls of Rhys Flannery swiftly more in with antagonistic and skilled intent which in turn seems to light a fire in the creative swings of drummer Andrew Cotterell and the similarly vivacious motion of the grooves conjured up by Mat Cosgrove and Kerrod Dabelstein. It is a gripping and incendiary blend which is capped off by the throaty lure of bassist Blair Layt and more so by his outstanding clean vocal delivery. The song offers richly flavoursome and agitated metal of the highest order and an inescapable lure into the creative lair of A Breach of Silence, an entrance backed powerfully by the following title track.

The second song caresses ears with the impressive tones of Layt right away, evocative keys coaxing the invitation before riffs and acidic grooves erupt to trap and steal the passions all over again. As its predecessor, the track is a formidable Printencounter which is unafraid to bewitch and bewilder, seduce and rile, with a unique character seeded in the likes of All That Remains and In Flames. Its stature and temptation is matched by Vultures which strides confidently in next. Another certain anthem with its group calls and raging rhythmic confrontation, the song blazes sonically and vocally from the start, the extremes of voices a perfect union within the similarly blended canvas of predatory and melodically smouldering sounds.

Through the intensive yet warming examination of Silhouette, as the others songs upon The Darkest Road, a hope rich and potent roar against life’s obstacles, the band reveals more of their technical and imagination driven resourcefulness. A scent of Bullet For My Valentine hints throughout the evolving and inventive offering before Hang ‘em High sets its own individual fire within the release. Riffs and rhythms spew anger with their intensive and physical intent whilst Flannery almost brawls with ears through his uncompromising and pleasing vocal antagonism. It is a potent and engrossing song if without the spark of those before it, a comment which can be placed before In Reality We Trust also, though as always with the album it is mostly down to personal taste. The song storms and bleeds spite over the senses with skill and enterprise but it is mainly the vocals from both men which steal the plaudits.

From here the album does not have an identity crisis but definitely wrong-foots with persistence. Though all the tracks so far employed a diverse and varied spicing, they were bred from a fierce extreme metal canvas. The excellent Lost at Sea brings a new bloom of sound, immediately expelling a ‘folkish’ tinge to its air as well as a glorious melodic croon across its potent harmonies and sonic narrative. It is a loud whisper of something different in some ways but helps seed a new hostile and captivating breath to the album, and makes for an enthrallingly textured and majestic slice of persuasion.

   This is the End comes next and instantly spins an engaging sonic and rhythmic web around ears. It is a contagiously compelling weave, guitars and bass a simultaneously welcoming and menacing enticement over which the vocals merge hostile and catchy elements with a classic metal spiced attack. Every chord and rhythmic swipe brings a surprise and unexpected twist, the song emerging as another pinnacle and treat for the album, something Immortal is not. To be fair again it is just a personal thing but its heavy/power metal balladry complete with the genre’s trademark vocals warbles and squeals, just does not find a welcome in these ears though it is easy to hear its qualities and know it will be a favourite with classic metal fans. The song is another unique identity within the character of the album, though to call The Darkest Road schizophrenic would be going too far.

The excellent Hannibal is more from the template of earlier songs, its metalcore voracity and melodic tenacity an infectious and voracious treat which parts for the even heavier and harsher A Place I Know. The song also expels fiery melodic endeavour, again with a more classic spicing, before exploring slimmer post hardcore scenery punctuated with probably the most intensive beats and riffs on the album. It is a song which sets a fire in the belly at times but also lowers its temperature in others, but for intrigue and bold invention it is another notable moment.

Dead and Destroyed is simply brutal, a wall of angst and viciousness which still makes room for vocal croons whilst Krazy Bitch seems to pull in all the things which excites and personally frustrates in the album for a still rather pleasing encounter. The pair leaves the piano and voice sculpted ballad Time Still Remains to close the album, the song a more than decent piece of melodic metal but easy to skip by to get back to the pungent heights the album started on all over again.

The Darkest Road is a striking release, with to be honest any issues found coming from just the individual likes and dislikes we all have in our metal. It is easy to see A Breach of Silence becoming a big player in world metal if this thrilling tempest is anything to go by.

The Darkest Road is available now on Eclipse Records @ http://www.eclipserecords.biz/a-breach-of-silence-the-darkest-road-cd/

https://www.facebook.com/abreachofsilenceband

RingMaster 10/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Sapiency – Tomorrow

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Having already been released on CD this past march, Tomorrow the latest album from German metallers Sapiency gets a deserved digital release and distribution through Eclipse Records this month, and thankful we should all be as it is a rather flavoursome and contagious little gem which may have escaped attention otherwise. Not exactly stretching boundaries but having that little indefinable something which sets it apart from the crowd, the eleven track storm of accomplished and passion soaked invention leaves hunger for more and fat satisfaction mutually potent responses to its voracious enterprise and energy.

Hailing from Frankfurt and formed in 2008, Sapiency was soon drawing attention locally and further afield. Their acclaimed debut album Fate’s End in 2010 was just the start of a growing stature and reputation, their own tours as well as support slots to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, W.A.S.P., Dead By April, Tito & Tarantula, Deathstars, Vader, Engel, Onkel Tom (Angelripper), Power Quest, Pathfinder, and many more earning the band greater recognition as has successful performances at festivals such as 70.000 Tons Of Metal 2012 and Metalfest Open Air 2012. It is hard not to develop an eager appetite for the sextet’s sound as shown by second album Tomorrow, and with a wider network for it to spring from you suspect that Sapiency is on a rapid ascendency.

The band is tagged as melodic death metal yet that is only a fraction of the picture, or sound with the band employing a wealth of sapiency_tomorrow_cover_72dpi_rgb_900pixinspirations across the metal spectrum so that within the new album they can bring essences of In Flames or Lamb Of God to bear and at other times Bloodsimple or Livarkahil. It makes for a strikingly resourceful and thrilling encounter which from the opener Prayer For The Pain captures the imagination. From its first breath the track careers through the ear with riffs and grooves carving out their insistent presence whilst the bone splintering rhythms of drummer Kai Voss-Fels cage the tempest raging within their framework. It is a mouth-watering confrontation which never relinquishes its grip on the awoken passions right through to its final strike. The outstanding dual vocal attack of the cleaner grouchy delivery of Lars Bittner and the bestial scowls of Krsto Balic is a forceful magnetism across the whole album and strapped to the carnivorous craft of guitarists René Ritzmann and Holger Wenck, as well as the predacious bass prowl of Sebastian Fix, makes for an exhausting, riveting introduction.

Hungry Again keeps the rapacious intent and rabidity at full throttle whilst interspersing it with a seductive coaxing from the keys and a classic metal orientated temptation from the melodic casting of the guitars. The merger of bordering vindictive riffs and virulent groove metal lures to the expansive melodic adventure is impressively crafted and wholly infectious, leaving ears and emotions basking in demanding and rewarding metal at its best. Arguably there is little strikingly new on show but equally Sapiency present it in a unique and compelling way that it is as fresh and invigorating as you could wish and sets the band apart from most.

Through the likes of Free Within with its electronic tantalising seemingly fuelling an even greater aggressive fervour from band and sound as Avenged Sevenfold like sonic sculpting spears the air, and the enslaving mix of melodic enticing and strenuously robust intensity of the title track, Tomorrow continues to seize the imagination and feisty passions whilst tracks such as the crushing Weight Of The World and the slower smouldering Fight On explore deeper appealing avenues and creative corners within the songwriting and its invention.

To be honest there is not a weak moment upon the album, each track a formidable and impacting persuasion and though occasionally a surface similarity rears its attractive head it is a fleeting wrap soon punctuated and lost with keener focus. Further peaks on Tomorrow are provided by firstly the industrialised irresistible might of Turn The Tide, guitars and vocals once again weaving a rapaciously stalking narrative which is pure addiction, and by the towering presence of Torn Apart. The track is another ferocious antagonist but one just as content to let a melodic acidity and harmonic temper vein its furore.

Completed by the absorbing Dying Illusions, a final raging skilled and esurient assault, Tomorrow is a richly satisfying and exciting confrontation which does not carve out new ventures to contemplate but employs existing invention in its own unique and wholly exhilarating way. Sapiency is a band we are destined to hear much more of ahead and undoubtedly enjoy at even greater heights as the promise also burning brightly across the album suggests.

www.facebook.com/sapiency

8/10

RingMaster 26/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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