Mortdelamer – Words Within The Wires EP

In a recent review we commented that many of the emerging female fronted alternative rock bands as impressive as many of them are have a similarity and familiarity which locks them together. Occasionally there are exceptions and one band which certainly stands out from the crowd is UK rock trio Mortdelamer. It is a band which sizzles with invention and imagination as proven by their outstanding new EP Words Within The Wires. The release marks them as one of the most exciting bands to have arrived on the scene in recent years, its five delicious melodic yet feisty tracks a thrilling and inspiring pleasure.

From Swindon, Wiltshire and formed in 2008, the combined talent and invention of childhood friends Joe Bishop (Bass Guitar), Sean Ivens (Drums), and Claire Sutton (Guitar, Vocals, and Keyboards) has earned a strong respect and following. The band has toured relentlessly since beginning, their dynamic live shows alongside previous releases, The Man With Two Heads in 2010 and the Leech EP of last year, pulling in a continually growing eager attention. The band has shared the stages with the likes of with InMe and Supergrass already with recent months seeing them take their impressive sounds into Europe. With the release of the Jonny Renshaw (DevilSoldHisSoul, Evita, Deaf Havana) produced new EP on October 1st the last piece of ammunition to trigger wide recognition is surely in place, the release set to fully ignite the passions of melodic rock fans nationwide and further afield.

Mortdelamer top and tail the release with their two weak songs…though when we say weak we mean powerful, dramatic, and senses spoiling. It is just the towering presence and invention of what explodes out in between which leaves them a little in the shade, though they still leave most other tracks to be unleashed elsewhere this year floundering in awe.

The opener Pieces And Reasons steps out from behind a soundbite to stand tall with feisty bulging riffs and demanding rhythms. It is a restrained assault with the vocals of Sutton mesmerising whilst the glorious harmonies which frame her voice leave one smouldering in contentment. As it opens up to its full height the song offers blistering sonics to dazzle the senses and an intensity to weaken knees, all this though through a still controlled and even paced energy. The song is a great start if arguably unadventurous; though that realisation comes in hindsight after the following songs captivate ear, senses and thoughts into an addiction.

The following I’ve Got My Backbone lifts one to the feet within seconds, its vibrant breath and beckoning hooks a hypnotic tease to light plenty of fires within. The riffs and melodic strikes of Sutton have a weight and intimidation which is rare in the genre these days but never challenge in the harshest way to leave the wonderfully melodic presence fighting for survival or effect. The bass of Bishop is a muscular companion whilst Ivens raps the ear with skilled precision and not to be denied intent. The track is excellent, a keen riot to fall in league with.

Things step up yet another level with the stunning song Fade. The track is sheer contagion, its quizzical hook simply magnetic whilst Sutton oozes emotive class with her vocals within the evolving evocative sounds. The fluid change of breath is impressive and only adds further depth to the ingenuity in place, without doubt the best song on the release.

The Hide though makes a strong challenge for that claim with its haunting aural whispers around the enveloping shadows and brooding energy. There is a strong Deftones lilt to the song, its slightly progressive nature an intrusive pleasure and provocative taunt. The snarling bass is an excellent contrast to more golden vocal harmonies whilst the beats keep one caged within the expressive dark caresses of the song. It is magnificent and again shows the diversity of Mortdelamer and why they are so exciting.

The closing Searching For Safety returns to a more standard rock structure and sound though it still offers plenty to intrigue and entice nothing but respect its way, even if it pales against the previous three towering creations.

Mortdelamer is a band all should pay close attention to and Words Within The Wires one of the most thrilling releases this year. This band will make great strides in 2013, the sparks start here.

www.facebook.com/mortdelamer

RingMaster 28/09/2012

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Wolves: Cycles EP

If you were fortunate to have been assaulted by previous EP Alpha Beta Omega from UK band Wolves, then steel yourself or run for cover as they unleash the destruction that is new EP Cycles. Whereas before they tested and brought down the senses with an aggression borne of their namesakes this times Wolves go on to gnaw and corrupt the carcass with even greater and imaginative violent eagerness.

The quartet from North Wales are no strangers to acclaim, their appearances during their still relatively short life alongside the likes of The Blackout, William Control, Fei Comodo, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Polar, Evita and Blitz Kids let alone their previous release bringing strong and positive responses their way. Wolves are a band you do not forget in a hurry or want to. They do not make it an easy experience at times to share their company but always it is a fully intriguing and ultimately rewarding one. Releasing the Alpha Beta Omega EP in February the band took no time in writing and working on its successor Cycles. With four songs in the words of drummer Tom Williams which are ‘…based on the concept of human issues and struggles’, the band entered Orange Sound Studios in Penmaenmawr at the end of May to record in just two days the EP in its entirety. That drive is openly found on not only this release but the previous one too, the band determined yet controlled in forging their intent whether in ideas, sound, or its realisation for us.

The track Divide opens up the fury and is instantly a wonderful collision of crushing riffs, antagonistic rhythms, and vocals steeped in an even deeper well of venom, spite, and angst than seen before from the band. The song has a sheer hardcore punk attack which offers something different straight away from the band, the song rampaging like an aural rioter fuelled by rage and despair upon the senses. The track in mid torrent suddenly moves into a crawl of thick emotive energy which not quite doom or sludge sounds offers some of their tendencies before once more returning a storm of intensity through the ear. Ad Robinson is as uncompromising as ever but with the added diversity to his vocal attack through the unexpected aside brings something as agreeable and inventive as the coarse assault around him.

As second song Courage Breaker draws up on an excellent heavy steeled bassline from Ben Peers one is drawn like a magnet headlong into the following gale of corrupting riffs and electrified gashes of sound from guitarist Dan Hallows. It is glorious and leaves one breathless within moments allowing the song to permeate every atom with its rape of withering sonic manipulations and relentlessly jabbing beats. By this point one realises the band has sent the melodic side of their sound to its room like a naughty school boy. It is there toning the atmosphere of the songs but in a more inspiring than direct way, the tracks almost bruising the still defined emotive and evocative side of their music into realisation. It is an outstanding new approach and shows that whether their sound works for you or not, Wolves is extremely adept in their songwriting and for a band so young that only inspires greater anticipation for where they can evolve to.

Third song has the very apt title of Linger, its crawling venom and intense black breath remaining within past the song departure. Opening on a pulsating bassline accompanied at times by drums coming to the boil it is a haunting and ominous beginning. As the near desperate vocals of Robinson scour the ears with unbridled passion in a corruptive and clean delivery, the song winds its way through the ear igniting thoughts and feelings before its emotional collapse and heart given nightmare. A song to challenge deeper than ever and one to reawaken shadows within each and every individual it is a masterful violation and malignant intrusion which rewards more and more with each play.

Cycles ends on the equally senses staggering Dead Weight, its initial serpentine stalking a scarring and dehabilitating pleasure which explodes into another punk outrage of violence given birth from the blackest resentment and energy. The evolving air to the song is again like Linger, fully immersive, venomous and just as irresistibly dangerous to sanity.

As much as the last EP left only acclaim on the breath Cycles almost makes it look lightweight in quality and power, it is that good. Wolves are still a secret to most but surely now the country will awake to their monstrous quality.

Cycles is released July 9th and will be available for free on http://wolvesuk.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/wolvesuk

RingMaster 06/07/2012

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Blood Of The Spectre: Self Titled EP

If you are looking for a new metal force with an extreme breath to their sound than you could do far worse than taking a listen to UK band Blood Of The Spectre. With their debut self titled EP they do more than enough to convince they could be one of the most formidable weapons in British metal. The release is not perfect but leaves one convinced of their future and promise, both unmistakeably mighty.

Released June 25th, the EP is the first step in a wider annihilation of the masses by the band. Since their beginning in 2009, Blood Of The Spectre has earned a well deserved recognition for their live shows, the quintet leaving depleted husks and deeply contented victims from their stage power across the length and width of England alone and in support of bands like Evita, Touché Amore, Monuments, Malefice, You Me At Six and The Blackout. The Hampshire band take no prisoners nor show any mercy but are not just about destructive tendencies, combining unbridled mountainous aggression with concise technical invention, intrusive scorched melodic play, and dehabilitating breakdowns they create songs which spark the senses as equally as they crumble the walls surrounding them. The EP arguably fails to bring the full force of their live show to its contents but still shows enough balls and focused aggression to leave others in the shade.

The release opens with an excellent instrumental called simply Introduction and that is what it is. A welcoming declaration of what is to come, an invite to stand before a brewing force. With an appealing grooved lure and thumping rhythms to compliment the punchy riffs the track is near mesmeric even if maybe lacks anything remarkable. The following Darkened Majesty is an immediate proof of the intent suggested by its predecessor. The track licks at the ear initially before opening up in to a surge of addictive riffs and hungry rhythms whilst vocalist Nick Brooks drips venom and grizzled energy from every syllable. His delivery is not the most original but makes a bruising companion to the manipulative melodic teasing of guitarists Richard Jacobs and Dominic Pool. Switching pace and intensity throughout the band do not spare a second for reflection or breath and it is an impressive start continued by the following Defeatist.

Initially the track is much like its previous companion and without a concentrated attention they can simply merge. Focus though shows a varied sonic display from the guitarists within the thunderous intensity and a great brooding bass presence from Tom Farrington who eventually by the EP end probably impressed the most, though all on the release show great quality and intent. The track is another fine example of the well crafted blend the band achieve of thoughtful and carefully structured technical enterprise and an uncomplicated oppressive aggression. The mix is balanced and mutually generous even if that possibly depletes the full live intensity of the band upon the EP, and gives a fresh feel with every visit.

The consuming storm that is Lexical Grip and Dystopia The first is a ravenous brew of confrontational riffs and rhythms with drummer Laurence Ash taking pot shots at the ear like a primed boxer within his eager precise attack. Again the song seamlessly moves through the knee buckling bombardments into melodically driven slices of absorbing guitar invention back again. The second of the two with the bass as rabid as you could wish, pulls a violating fury and spiteful presence out of its depths to entangle the senses in a willing submission. The band has had comparisons to the likes of TesseracT, Sylosis, Killswitch Engage and Black Dahlia Murder often placed upon them and this song gives reasons why with its feverish mesh of sounds.

Splitting these two songs is the outstanding instrumental called….Interlude, yep no mincing words with these boys. The piece is wonderful, just guitar and atmosphere in union for one and a half blissful minutes as the band highlight their melodic skill and imagination perfectly.

Ending with the creative and ever evolving End Era, the EP is a thoroughly satisfying and powerful release giving evidence to why Blood Of The Spectre have carved such promise for themselves ahead. Being critical a variation on the vocals with more group contribution and at times a better distinction between songs, though the way they flow as one breath is quite impressive, would possibly have helped ignite bigger flames than the release did overall but it is nevertheless a great collection of tracks from an outstanding band.

https://www.facebook.com/bloodofthespectre

RingMaster 19/06/2012

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Interview with Tom Williams and Ben Peers of Wolves

In what has been an impressive wave of young extreme metal bands emerging recently one has stood out over most others. Welsh band Wolves since forming two years ago have lit up stages supporting some notable names as well as announcing themselves to a wider audience with an impressive two track release  and their excellent brand new EP Alpha Beta Omega. Wanting to know more about the band we had the pleasure of having drummer Tom Williams aided by bassist/vocalist Ben Peers answer some questions about Wolves and their new EP.

Hi Guys many thanks for talking to us.

Firstly can you tell our readers about Wolves and its members?

Wolves are Ad Robinson (vocals), Ben Peers (bass, vocals), Dan Hallows (guitar) and Tom Williams (drums)

How and when did the band begin?

Tom: I met the guys at the end of 2009 through knowing the same people, but really we got the ball rolling last year.

Is Wolves your first band or is there a musical history for you before this?

Tom: We’d all been in local bands before, but nothing that had really taken off. Wolves is pretty much the first thing any of us have done that’s actually moved from just playing at home to our mates

Coming from North Wales there is a strong pedigree before you to contend with, is this as much a negative as a positive with people making assumptions about you and your sound before hearing you?

Tom: There’s tons of great music around here, but it doesn’t really feel like we’re contending with anyone. We tend to get on with most bands we play with actually. I’m not sure what people assume before they see us, but we’ve had such a positive reaction away from home.

You sit in the post hardcore camp musically but have a definite depth and power plus an invention that leaves you spanning other genres too, what are the influences that have made the most impact on your music?

Tom: We all have different tastes, so I think there’s probably the old cliché of a “melting pot” of influences. I’m still not really sure if we’re “post-hardcore”, to be honest. We do love bands like Alexisonfire, Underoath and Thrice though. They’ve definitely worked their way into our sound.

There has been an abundance of similar veined bands appearing in the UK over the past 12 months or so, what is it in your music that makes you stand out do you believe over most others?

Tom: I think we’re probably the least equipped to answer that, haha! I’d like to think we keep enough distance from trends; there are quite a few standards which I think we don’t really fit in. Our aim is still the same though – we just want to write noisy emotive music.

You have just released your excellent Alpha Beta Omega EP; a release we said was not an easy ride for the senses and emotions but a deeply rewarding and satisfying violation at the same time. What is the initial thought when writing a song, to annihilate and make us suffer or to leave us whimpering down on our knees haha?

Tom: Thanks for your support! The aim, really, is to make ears bleed. We want to be responsible for more A+E visits. The NHS hates us.

Seriously though what fuels your songwriting initially?

There isn’t really an initial thought or plan, everything just comes together as we jam. The only preparation we make is coming up with a loose theme or concept. That normally leads to the songs being able to connect better, so hopefully it stands as a body of work.

How does the songwriting work within the band generally?

Tom: We’re very collaborative. Nobody really comes in with any ideas ready or preconceptions; we just play, and things develop from there.

Your formidable lyrics are on the whole angry, combative and provocative, what is the main spark and inspiration for them.

Tom: I think people mistake us sometimes for being political; we’re really not. We’re just trying to write about human struggles, things we’re going through as well as things we’re engaged in on a larger scale. There’s definitely some fury directed, but it’s still kinda vague.

You have shared stages with the likes of The Blackout, William Control, Fei Comodo, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Polar, Evita and Blitz Kids since forming. What has been the highlight gig wise so far and how much does watching other bands like this impact on your stage and song craft?

Tom: For me it’s playing at venues like The Roadhouse in Manchester and The Sugarmill in Stoke, to appreciative audiences. I always see watching other bands as a bonus. We’ve made some amazing friends and been massively inspired along the way.

Any shows that have not gone to plan for you i.e. disasters haha, as these can equally benefits a band in so many ways in the future.

Tom: They happen now and then. No matter how much you prepare, when things go wrong, you’re never ready. Some of our most chaotic gigs have been the messy ones though, so it’s not always a bad thing…

Ben: For me it was the last show at Retro Bar. My bass cut out continuously and by the time we got half way through the set I gave up completely, picked up a mic and screamed my lungs out along with Ad for the remainder.

Tom: It was actually really cool

Back to the EP, is there a moment on it that gives you the biggest pride or glow?

Tom: I can’t even listen to it. I really hope people like it, and I’m happy with the response, but I struggle being enthusiastic about it. The other guys are much better at that. It’s not that I don’t like it; I just think it’s difficult to have a decent perspective on something you’ve been so involved in.

Alpha Beta Omega is the follow-up to AdrienneLynn / Tongue Tied of last year and both releases bring your live power and intensity to the fore. How have you managed to do that so successfully where other bands seem to lose that quality?

Tom: I’m still not really convinced we have, to be honest. That’s always the goal though.

On the new EP the vocals of Ad are a wonderfully mighty growling and at times gruelling venomous attack on the senses which is a perfect companion to your sounds but on the song Collapse you add clean vocals too, is this aspect one you are looking at bringing in more often in the future?

Tom: I don’t think so. If there’s a place for it then we’ll definitely add it in, but we wouldn’t make a conscious decision to include more. So we may as well wave goodbye to radio.

On a great many similar genre releases the aggression and intensity over powers the individual  spice and skill of band members coming through but Alpha Beta Omega is openly generous and effective in that department. Who is behind the mix and production side of the release and how much input as a band did you have in the final sound?

Tom: Thank you. A guy called Gavin Brady recorded and mixed it for us. We had a say on the sound – there were lots of things he would’ve preferred to do differently, I think. But, to be fair, he followed everything we asked. Can’t ask for more than that.

What is next in the planned domination of the UK by Wolves?

Tom: We’re going to become MPs. Failing that, we’ll start the next riot.

Really though, we’re working on our second EP at the minute, then we’ll be back playing as many shows as possible again.

Thanks so much for sharing time to answer our questions and good luck with the EP.

Would you like to end with some words for your fans and all of those sure to become such after listening to Alpha Beta Omega?

Tom: Thanks for listening, we really appreciate it and hope you get something out of it.

And finally give us a song or band that you have a keenness for which one would not expect from listening to you music.

Tom: We’re all massive Celine Dion fans.

Ben: Imogen Heap. No joke…

 

Read the  Alpha Beta Omega EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/wolves-alpha-beta-omega/

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2012

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Wolves: Alpha Beta Omega

The new EP from UK post hardcore band Wolves smacks one right between the eyes with a devilment and aggression that is to be admired if not feared. They hold nothing back in their determination to leave senses buckling and gasping for life beneath their intensive testing and blistering aural manipulations. Alpha Beta Omega is no easy ride, it gives or shows no mercy in its thunderous violation but stand tall before its might and look within the coarse intensity and the rewards are very satisfying.

Formed in 2010, the quartet from North Wales have shared stages with the likes of The Blackout, William Control, Fei Comodo, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Polar, Evita and Blitz Kids, impressing along the way with their far reaching intrusive sounds. So far our words give the impression it is all destructive intent but within their obliterating creations the band infuse some equally stirring acidic melodic invention, catchy grooves, and thoughtful composing that lies beneath the initial thunderous assault on the ear eagerly waiting to be discovered. Alpha Beta Omega is the follow-up to the 2011 two track release AdrienneLynn / Tongue Tied and with the luck all bands need could and should see Wolves becoming the name of the lips of a great many more.

The band are sneaky little tykes, the opening instrumental We Are The 99 % mesmerising the ear with nicely crafted emotive melodies and a subdued power that even with its building crescendo leaves one unprepared for the full onslaught of the following Buried. The song throws clawed riffs at the ear scarring flesh as the rhythms of drummer Tom Williams penetrate around them. The coarse shouts and growls of Ad Robinson fly with venom and great effect adding to the uncomfortable yet compelling consumption. The bass of Ben Peers comes at the listener with meaty paws swiping out with muscular pummelling riffs and belligerence. At its close a quick breath is grabbed before the EP continues the corruption.

Feral dominates just as fully as its predecessor, its tight cutting groove flipping the bird as it twists and stretches its prey with glee. Slowing to a stalking pace the song is as predatory as the band name and soon leaps upon its victim with further high energy and finely crafted unrelenting sounds.

Surviving that leaves one feeling bolder but the best song on the release soon leaves you in no doubt who is in charge. The title track is immense, from its ravenous bass riffs which rub the senses up the wrong way through to the guitars of Dan Hallows and their scorched provocative grooves and acidic melodies which leap like salt onto the open wounds, the song is majestic. The bass is the highlight, a malignant foe for the ear but everything clicks perfectly on the song and it is worth investigation of the release on its own.

When Money Speaks, The Truth Remains Silent offers a formidable challenge for top honours, the song persistently niggling and thrilling. Veering from rampage to simple torrential rage it is a pleasure to fall beneath the maliciously stomping charge of the song.

Alpha Beta Omega closes with Collapse, an emotive part ballad part expulsion of bottled up angst. The song is fine but shows the only less effective part of the release and in a way the band. Robinson is an excellent coarse delivery aggressor and decent semi smooth vocalist but he has yet to find a way to bring a clean vocal that is to the standard of the rest of his and the bands skills. It is a small aspect of what is an excellent release but it is noticeable though one can feel and hear it is something that is being worked on.

Wolves are a band on a quick rise something the impressive Alpha Beta Omega will only accelerate. The time to join the ride is now before there is a queue for the attentions of what could be one of the mightiest post hardcore bands to come out of the UK yet.

http://www.facebook.com/wolvesuk

RingMaster 29/03/2012

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In Place Of Hope – Self Titled EP

If of a sensitive disposition than stay clear of the new self titled EP from hardcore/metalcore band In Place Of Hope. Though it does not neglect the melodic and cleaner side of metal it first with no compulsion to be nice obliterates defences and stretches the ear to extremes. It does at times with an out stretched hand offer to pick one up again but only to allow it to knock ten bells out of its victim all over again. The release is a formidable trio of songs which whilst not turning over new rocks for the genre kicks them around the place with impressive skill.

Formed in 2010 down  in Southampton, the quartet of Matt Dennison (Vocals), Russ Barnes (Lead Guitar), Rob Arthur (Vocals/Guitar), Dave Sands (Bass), and Mike Hill (Drums) took an inspiration influenced by the likes of Parkway Drive, Bring Me the Horizon Alexisonfire, and Killswitch Engage and twisted it into their own aggressive and impressive sound. 2011 saw the band matching and upstaging the likes of Evita, Giants, Odessa, Despite My Deepest Fear, and Brotherhood of the Lake in gigs across the South of England, all the while accumulating strong respect and notice further afield. With the release of their EP it is hard to imagine they will not be taking larger and swifter steps up the metal ladder as more fall beneath its thunderous might.

Obviously not a band with an ounce of mercy or desire to take it easy on people within them, In Place of Hope attacks the senses like a tornado from the off with the brilliant Lifelines. The song instantly became a favourite for song of the year with the barrage of violent drums and monstrous riffs that leaves one shell shocked. Many songs do this but once the sinister infectious groove begins to wind itself around the heart, the satanic growls spray venom with every syllable and the clean vocals swarm eagerly all over the debris, the song rises to majestic and impervious to complaint. The drums stomp all over the senses with obvious delight whilst the guitars play with the damaged goods left and it is so satisfying. The song has everything to make it a permanent fixture in all metal hard hearts and sets the band alone ahead of the plethora of emerging metalcore bands.

After such an impressive start there had to be a drop in levels or even intensity. Maybe there is but it is hardly note worthy, the remaining explosions of Bridges and Dark Roads & White Knuckles more than capable of holding their own. The first opens with just clean vocals and guitar to bring a frown but within a few breaths the song erupts into more splintered intense riffs and captivating melodies. The mix of growls and clean vocals favour the latter more in contrast to the opener but the band brings them both together in a defined and seamless mix which many bands struggle to understand or do. The song as does the latter of the two shows the expansive sound and ability within the songwriting and vision of the band and though no song offers anything brand new to leave one awe struck you know it will come, that In Place Of Hope have all the armoury and creativity.

As Bridges closes with sparkling melodic guitars winding down, Dark Roads & White Knuckles muscles its way in with stirring riffs and commanding rhythms. The show is less brutal than the opener despite the bitterly harsh growls, well that is until the band cannot hold back any longer and unleash a thunderous assault bombarding the ear with heavy artillery that breaks knees ability to stand. Once out of their system the band resumes the original intent the song started with, again it is seamless and the switching back and forth exhilarating.

      Lifelines may lead the way and set the pace on the EP but overall it is an impressively solid and deeply satisfying release that ensures In Place of Hope have the attention of everyone.

RingMaster 06/03/2012

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