Hollow Leg – Murder EP

hollow-leg_RingMasterReview

With a new drummer on board, John Stewart (Bloodlet/Caribou King) replacing departed founding member Tim Creter, Florida doomsters Hollow Leg unveil a their two track trespass this March. An individual grumbling fusion of the doom/sludge fuelled metal the band has already been the subject of acclaim for, the Murder EP reveals a new fresh roar and growth in that proposition and, as suggested by its press release, emerges “the band’s strongest material to date”.

murder-final-cover_RingMasterReviewMixed by Sanford Parker and mastered by Collin Jordan, Hollow Leg starts its proposal with Raven. The initial volley of firm beats almost stalks the listener as the song makes its first move. A momentary breath then follows, opening the way for dirty riffs and scowling vocals to lay their hand on the senses as rhythms bring their heavily sinew bound incitement to bear on the blues scented, sludge fuelled consumption of ears. Shifting through the gears back and forth in attack, the track quickly becomes a grumbling treat; essences of the likes of Eyehategod, Weedeater, and Crowbar making tempting hues in the band’s provocative web of sound and texture.

The following title track is just as generously flavoured but veering towards the more stoner-esque side of their sludge/ doom collusion. Tangy grooves are swiftly entwining rapacious rhythms and eager ears, riffs a bed of controlled antagonism beneath them as vocals carry a more open snarl to their character. Though generally a more energetic proposal, the song does slip into moments of  lumbering doom threat only increasing its intensity and bait as melodies gather in the shadows waiting to provocatively dance on a subsequent passage of lighter flirtation before things return to the predatory incitement it all began on.

Both tracks bring a fresh wind to an already in place appetite for Hollow Leg and their compelling sound found through debut album Instinct a fair while back, and a keener anticipation for what is to follow.

The Murder EP is released March 3rd through Argonauta Records on all digital formats with a physical release to follow later in the year.

 

https://www.facebook.com/hollowlegfl/

Pete RingMaster 03/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Curse of the North – Curse of the North: I

COTN8_RingMaster Review

There are some releases where it is difficult to imagine anyone not being gripped by their proposals and such a triumph is the new self-titled album from US metallers Curse of the North. It is a beast of instinctive and addictive virulence that blends the ripest essences of heavy and classic metal with the muscular invention of modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is an encounter which seems to hone in on personal tastes, taps into the psyche to discover its deepest pleasures and then unleashes them across eight rigorously rousing encounters. Quite simply it is one of the most invigorating albums this year to set ears and passions alight.

Born in Seattle, Curse of the North currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Christiaan Morris, former 3 Inches of Blood member Nick Cates on bass, and Burke Thomas of McKagan’s Loaded and Vendetta Red on drums. Formed in 2010, the band has toured and shared stages with the likes of Red Fang, The Sword, Eyehategod, Destruction, Death Angel, Lord Dying, Valient Thorr, Kadavar, The Shrine, and Gypsyhawk whilst 2011 saw the release of their Matt Bayles (Mastodon, The Sword, Botch) produced first EP Revelations. A few line-up shuffles have also been part of the band’s growth which now unleashes Curse of the North: I. Produced by Morris and mixed by Kurt Ballou (Converge, High on Fire, Toxic Holocaust), with mastering undertaken by Ed Brooke, the album leaps on the listener from its first moment, the opening and every subsequent breath a roar of thick temptation.

Sleep While You Can is the first slab of persuasion, its start alone pure magnetism as Thomas creates a web of rhythmic arousal to set things in motion. Flames of guitar cross the compelling drum bait as the vocals of Morris spring their own enticing, a Glenn Danzig flavouring lining his tones and equally the shadows within the emerging tenacious metal canter of the track. Classic metal hues dance on ears too as a modern fusion of riffs and hook laded enterprise courts the imagination, the result being one terrific groove veined stomp.

COTN cover_RingMaster Review   It is a mighty start taken another level by Wheel of Swords, another track with an irresistible start to its creative alchemy. A great nagging from riffs as rhythms tumble vivaciously coaxes ears first, their lure replicated in varying tones as sterner grooves and muscular predation swiftly looms up with the again potent vocals of Morris at their helm. Like Black Tusk meets Baroness with a spicing of Sabbath and Clutch to it, the song has energy and pleasure in its hands with quick ease, handing over an exhausted and rapturous body to the following Into The Trees and its mellow climate around melodic prowess. Keys emotively caress as the guitars strokes the senses with elegant suggestiveness to match the melancholic voice of Morris. The first half of the song is wrapped in this mesmeric beauty, its second a rugged landscape of again incendiary rhythms amidst tangy classic metal/rock endeavour and striking vocals.

As good as everything is to this point, the best song on the album in The Tower eclipses it. Building up its intensity and hunger through early scythes of sound, the track quickly releases its handbrake and charges through ears like Therapy? on steroids. Its torrent of riffs and ravenous hooks storms the barricades like a transatlantic cousin to anything on Troublegum from the Northern Ireland trio, its contagiousness and vocal furor similar whilst creating its own uniquely irresistible tempest. The song is breath-taking, seemingly knowing where the personal sweet spot is and hitting it relentlessly, even when slipping into a dark theatre of sinister gothic intrigue.

Thomas is rhythmically imperious on the track, as everywhere to be fair, continuing his enslaving web of craft in The Electric Wall and especially the outstanding Blessed Burning. Morris and Cates are an equal incendiary match though as the first of the two tracks sees the band creating a High on Fire/Kyuss like mountain of creative tenacity and heavy rock ‘n’ roll seduction whilst its successor, from another hypnotic rampant rhythmic trap, strolls across Queens Of The Stone Age/ Mastodon toned terrain of sonic and vocal passion. The references given across all songs are mere colours in something distinctly Curse of the North, especially emphasized when as here the guitars spin a bluesy imagination as an intimate atmosphere soaks the song.

Oceans Rise lowers the intensity if not the emotive temperature next, well certainly for its opening moments as soon it too is a cauldron of thickly jabbing beats and sonic ferocity. Along its riveting length, the assaults and aggression ebbs and flows to fluid and powerful effect, the song an undulating roller coaster of a confrontation which, as the album, just gets richer and more imposingly enjoyable over time.

The album comes to an end through the sultry blues/surf rock seducing of Faceless Killers, a sonic and melodic bewitchment which too only blossoms to greater heights with every partaking of its sweltering, increasingly volcanic landscape. It is a stunning end to simply one of the major treats of 2015; a leviathan of rock ‘n’ roll to get seriously lustful over.

Curse of the North: I is out October 23rd via Static Tension Recordings.

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

Pete RingMaster 22/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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William English – Basic Human Error

w.english_RingMaster Review

The most intimidating and thrilling cauldrons of hostility are those which spit and burn even before you get dirty and scorched within their blistering ferocity, and so it is with Basic Human Error, the debut album from UK noise violators William English. It is a release which singes flesh from ears and boils the senses from its first breath alone, only impacting and thrilling with harsher and richer intensity once you actually delve into the depths of the seven ravishments. The Norfolk quintet lit a fuse in the passions with their first single from the album Bud Vessel a couple of months ago, but hindsight shows its triumph barely scratched the surface of the wonderfully hellacious Basic Human Error

The William English sound is a prowling rabidity of doom enriched, tar thick sludge which is just as open and voracious with heavy strains of hardcore, noise, and dark metal. It makes for a menacing and uncompromising proposition yet one with an array of virulent toxic grooves and rapier like rhythms aligned to slithers of invention embroiled in anything from punk to noise to post punk. It is an invigorating and punishingly exhausting consumption of body and psyche, which only gets fiercer and more scintillating with every listen.

Cover_RingMaster Review   It is Bud Vessel which lights the touch paper to the album, its two minutes plus of vicious addictiveness an instant onslaught of barbed hooks and spicy grooves encased in fuzz soaked, snarling causticity. With mercilessly stabbing beats from drummer Joe Woodbury in the driver’s seat, the track careers through ears with the squalling hardcore tones of vocalist Shane Miller an acidic burn in the hostile and contagious smog of the song. Stoner seeded grooves spring their bait throughout too, everything colluding to ignite ears and emotions in a blaze of cancerous temptation.

The opener is as much a punk roar as anything else and quickly contrasted yet emulated in many ways by Life Of A Fisherman. The song is a slowly invading protagonist, a crawling and persistently expanding threat initially which once settled kicks up a gear and unveils a masterful swagger rich with ravenous and inviting grooves around a volatile nest of barbarous rhythms. Spilling sonic ire and addictive lures with every passing minute of the track’s weighty length, guitarists Ryan Carter and Dave Vickers sear and ignite the senses and imagination respectively, their hostile invention, as across the whole band, forceful and riveting whether slowly trespassing through or raging with tsunami effect at the listener.

The epic assault finally makes way for a just as intensive examination from Seaweed, a track venomously lapping ears with steady persistence, and as the last, creating moments of sheer violence. The bass of Callum Gibb is a predatory stalker within the crushing weight and intensity of the song whilst vocally Miller uncages his full punk spite and expression, especially devouring the air with an effect covered might when the song slips into a cavernous, post punk spiced, doom soaked passage of insidious calm. The torrent of rugged riffs and rhythms provide a constantly evolving and nagging proposal but as other aspects around them are regularly unafraid to switch gait and hostility as the ever gripping drama of the grooves persist in their addictive tenacity.

     Captain Tugboat unleashes its own distinct violation next, bringing extra tang and ingenious unpredictability to a fury of hooks and toxic grooves in a presence which embroils torment and rage in one corrosive and once again irresistible animus of sound and emotion. As the album, at times the track sparks thoughts of bands like Eyehategod and Buzzov*en but equally of others like Coilguns, KEN mode, and Neurosis; raw whiffs just as suggestive in the following Grandpa Sorrow Pt. 1, another taking such elements and sculpting them into something solitary and predacious to William English. The track stalks the senses with a laboured but hungry intent from start to finish, eventually dissipating for A Monger to cast its individual sonic coaxing and bracing creative hostility. There is no escaping its slow encroachment and the subsequent raptorial explosions breeding mouth-watering savagery, nor the spellbinding effect of its unbridled barbarity in tone and sonic enterprise. Bass and the song’s truculent atmosphere provide a bestial embrace, the vocals an ever shifting in delivery and belligerence throughout whilst the guitars emerge carnivorous in invention and enthralling in craft for another viscous treat.

The album closes with the eleven minute sonic opus of Grandpa Sorrow Pt. 2, a full journey in its own right exploring every flavour and inventive corner within the William English invention, ability, and sound. It is as dramatically appealing and darkly ruinous as the world we live in, every passing second and twist a creative cacophony of raw seduction and jaundiced attitude shaped by fearsome tapestries of viscid sludge spawned ingenuity.

The track is a tremendous end to a thrilling first album from William English. Basic Human Error is sure to be an encounter seeing many fleeing for the hills in fear but similarly one to breed plenty of lustful hunger and stalker like attention for its creators. We are the latter and suspect we will be heftily joined in that club over the coming weeks.

Basic Human Error is available now via Grandad Records @ https://williamenglishband.bandcamp.com/

and http://grandadrecords.bigcartel.com/product/basic-human-error-william-english

https://www.facebook.com/WilliamEnglishBand/

RingMaster 01/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Mortals/Repellers – Split 7”

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Offering the year another rather tasty split, Broken Limbs Recordings have brought together Brooklyn’s Mortals and Philadelphia’s Repellers for a four track explosion of fresh breathed metal. It is an encounter with reinforces the potent stature of one band and inflames the emerging presence of the other, both beginning what potentially can be a massive year for them in fine style.

The first offering comes from Mortals, a band formed in 2009 but with its seeds possibly growing well before then when drummer Caryn Havlik and bassist/vocalist Lesley Wolf met and played together in all-female Slayer cover band Slaywhore. At the same time Havlik and guitarist Elizabeth Cline were playing in a math-rock project. After the eventual demise of both bands, the three musicians regrouped as Mortals and by late 2010 had set about making a potent mark on the local metal scene and further afield. A tour with Mutilation Rites was the prelude to the band sharing stages with the likes of Eyehategod, The Body, False, Samothrace, Black Anvil, Toxic Holocaust, Howl and Lord Dying over the years, whilst the release of their Death Ritual EP in 2012 led the band to signing with Relapse Records and the release of their acclaimed Cursed to See the Future album last year. Ahead of a European tour with Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore, Mortals now fire up the imagination and EP with their lone but thrilling track 10 Years of Filth.

Possibly a statement on their stirring musical career to date, the song swiftly brews and smoulders with the intensive and darkly seductive blackened sludgy sound which Mortals are already Mortals_bandshotmarked for. Within as many seconds, the bass is roaming ears and psyche like an apocalypse gracing charger, striding with predatory intent as grooves and riffs combine for a nest of viperish intent. Similarly lively rhythms from the drums prowl and stroll across this already bewitching landscape, the seductive and melodically dynamic adventure one scene in a rich drama clad tapestry of dark intent and compelling intimidation. For all its predacious craft and hunger, there is an infectious charm to the track too, light and dark challenging each other whilst colluding in the creation of even more provocative hues in the tempestuous narrative. The dark side is driven by the guttural scowls and gothic animosity of the vocals whilst the guitar’s enterprise escorts lighter defiant elements which persist in their persistence until the ferociously boiling and venomous climax of the song. It is an enthralling and ruggedly enjoyable nine minutes easily confirming the impressive qualities and sound of Mortals.

Repellers bring three tracks from their creative arsenal of punk and crust infused metal, swiftly showing why there is a growing broader interest in the 2012 forming band. The two years or so since their arrival has seen the trio release The Coming Storm EP, partake in a split 7” with Georgia-based Dead Hand, and the drawing of multitudes of new fans through tours along the east coast and a constant source of impressive energetic shows. They are a growing force it seems and on the evidence of this release an exciting one.

Repellers   Descend is their first offering, a track which from a melancholic and darkly lit melodic embrace erupts in a predatory and thunderous stalking of the senses. The intensive rhythms of drummer Tony Secreto are vindictive in nature whilst the equally primal basslines of Rob Petraitis growl and leer intimidatingly within the doom drenched atmosphere of the imposing encounter. The guitar of Jon Rifenburg brings various shades of intimidation and temptation to the volatile but controlled tempest too, his enterprise equally sculpting a web of magnetic lures around the malevolently toned vocals. It is a captivating proposition which awakens intrigue and interest in the band before their second song From Jerico to Ai lays a more fascinating and thrilling invitation down. Bass hooks are aligned to acidic guitar grooves, it a mesh of enticement which continues to spear the increasingly ravenous atmosphere and character of the track. Heading only to a turbulent and hostile climax, the track is a riveting persuasion showing more of the depth and imagination in the band’s song writing and sound.

   False Solace is the same, its heavy melodic lures an initial tantalising coaxing which only seeds a subsequent hellacious hardcore bred brawl with the senses. The blackened, almost insidious tones of the vocals unleashes the dark heart of the song whilst the sonic grooves and bass predation provides infectious bait which seduces ears as the track’s lyrical and vocal trespass avail their toxicity.

The two bands make for a pleasing and exciting union with their quartet of thickly satisfying propositions, each confirming their impressive potency and potential. Both have only enhanced their reputation and relative statures whilst already sparking 2015 into being an attention grabbing year for them.

The Mortals/ Repellers Split is available through Broken Limbs Recordings and limited to 500 10″ copies (300 black and 200 red with black smoke).

https://www.facebook.com/mortalstheband   https://www.facebook.com/repellers

Mortals’ Upcoming tour dates:

April 4 – May 2 European tour w/ Skeletonwitch and Goatwhore

04.04.15 Sweden Motala @ Kulturakademin

06.04.15 Denmark Copenhagen @ Pumpehuset

07.04.15 Germany Hamburg @ Hafenklang

08.04.15 Germany Osnabrück @ Bastard Club

09.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn

10.04.15 Holland Tilburg @ Roadburn

11.04.15 UK Manchester @ Sound Control

12.04.15 Ireland Dublin @ Voodoo Lounge

13.04.15 UK Glasgow @ Ivory Blacks

14.04.15 UK Birmingham @ The Oobleck

15.04.15 UK Sheffield @ Corporation

16.04.15 UK London @ Underworld

17.04.15 Belgium Brussels @ Magasin 4

18.04.15 Germany Köln @ Underground

19.04.15 France Eragny/Paris @ Covent Garden

20.04.15 France Angouleme @ La Nef

21.04.15 Spain Madrid @ Sala Lemon

22.04.15 Spain Barcelona @ Sala Razz 3

23.04.15 France Lyon @ MJC O Totem

24.04.15 Switzerland Zürich @ Dynamo / Werk 21

25.04.15 Italy Milan @ Lo Fi

26.04.15 Italy Rome @ Traffic Live

27.04.15 Austria Innsbruck @ p.m.k.

28.04.15 Germany München @ Backstage

29.04.15 Germany Leipzig @ Conne Island

30.04.15 Germany Berlin @ Magnet

01.05.15 Austria Wien @ Arena

02.05.15 Czech Rep Prague @ Exit-us

RingMaster 11/03/3015

Shitkill – The New Breed EP

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The bigger the expanse of sounds and bands we all hear, the more we go looking for that something extra to get excited about. It might not be a big twist which sparks a fire in personal tastes, but something which certainly ignites the imagination and shows that there is still varying degrees of originality within modern music. American metallers Shitkill is a band which with new EP, The New Breed, has plenty of those little differences and definitely teases a burst of enthused attention to ears and thoughts. Hailing out of New York, the quartet cast a sound which draws on a diverse flavouring of sounds; they more often than not seemingly are tagged as groove metal but as the EP shows it is just one shade of many creative colours ripe in their music.

Formed in 2009, Shitkill has continually nurtured a potent reputation for their live presence and sound, not only locally but into broader attention. Their stage impact has been one reason, the band increasingly strengthening their stock as they played with bands like Twelve Foot Ninja, the Cro-Mags, Eyehategod, and D.R.I., but also through their releases. 2010 saw the Asylum EP released but it is fair to say that their self-titled album a year later made the first real mark. Its well-received success was followed by two live albums in 2012 and 2014 respectively, but The New Breed EP is where it is easy to imagine the band soon luring a more global attention.

The EPs title track is first to persuade ears, and does so with swift success thanks to the opening rhythmic dance cast by drummer Damien Moffitt. It is inescapable bait aided by the sonic glances playing around the beats and taken to new heights by the deliciously carnivorous tones of Karina Rykman’s bass. It is animalistic in voice, every flick of a string bringing a predatory edge which simply grips an already awoken appetite. Things only get more compelling as the opening grooves and riffs cast by guitarists Danny Chpatchev and Josh Musto add to the tantalising proposition. The track swings and leaps round with devilment in its heart and creativity, but also an ever increasing unpredictability and imagination. The vocals of Musto scowl and rage, a a0653763495_2gravelly delivery somewhere in the ball park of Phil Anselmo. The song itself can be best described as a mix of System Of A Down, Bloodsimple and indeed Pantera, yet there is plenty more hinting and teasing within the provocation, and showing stronger glimpses as the release proceeds.

It is a potent and highly enticing start, but in some ways just the appetiser as things get more inventive and flavoursome. The next up Vultures instantly brings a new tempest of intrigue and aggressive flavouring, its hardcore essences a buffeting ire against metallic grooving and tangy melodic enterprise. From its initial stomp, the song slips into a compelling noise rock infused stomp, riffs and hooks shuffling with rhythms in a psychopathic yet fluid tango before returning to the stormy onslaught it began with.

Death Giver pushes the adventure of the EP to further riveting heights straight after, the track making a tenaciously imposing entrance with a torrent of riffs pierced by powerfully swung beats. Bass and subsequently vocals only add to the dark drama and intimidation though it is only the lead to greater irresistible temptation. A rugged proposal at first it suddenly throws off its severe manner and goes on an escapade of creative mania. There might be better ways to describe the sudden burst of ingenuity but with deranged grooves and hooks which feel bedlam bred, there is a delicious insanity to the track. The grooving reminds of The Cardiacs whilst around them the roars of vocals and rhythmic predation is as much punk as it is metal. The track is quite brilliant and those insidious grooves, a lingering serpentine infestation.

An even greater punk ferocity fuels Faceless, the song from its first breath a raging brawl unafraid to bring addictive hooks and spicy grooves into its hostile armoury. Though it cannot quite match the brilliance of its predecessor, the turbulent treat has pleasure full and hunger for more, greedier by the second. Punk metal at its best, the song makes way for the closing excellence of Underworld. It is another almost bestial in presence and tone, riffs and rhythms prowling the listener with persistent hostility whilst adding distractions like sudden agitated beats and vocal causticity. Those demonic grooves make their return again, nestling seductively into the different but no less enthralling landscape of the song. Embracing the metal side of the band’s sound with potent whispers of more classical breeding, the encounter has body and emotions engrossed and complicit in its dark deeds, especially through the closing stretch of heavy footed and superbly lumbering beats from Moffitt courted by the cavernous basslines of Rykman and the equally uncompromising enticements of the guitars.

It is a scintillating end to an impressive and thoroughly thrilling release. Probably like a great many, The New Breed is our introduction to Shitkill, another succumbing to their not majorly original sound but certainly a strikingly inventive and most of all fiercely enjoyable one.

The New Breed EP is available now digitally @ https://shitkill.bandcamp.com/

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

RingMaster 03/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Weight of The Tide – Epilogue

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The debut album from US heavy hard rockers Weight of the Tide is a seven track foray into a landscape of mountainous rhythms, thunderous riffs, and thick emotive intensity; an encounter which bristles with inventive songwriting and openly impressive craft. There is so much to recommend about Epilogue and its powerful contents but despite that it just does not light a fire in thoughts or emotions with its presence. It is certain to be different for individual ears and tastes yet you cannot help feeling that there is a beast of an incitement lurking inside an album lacking the incendiary spark to bring it to life and grab the attention plenty of its qualities deserve.

The Nevada quartet is the creation of vocalist/guitarist Mark Moots and drummer Jason Thomas, two musicians whose history together embraces the success and impressive sounds of December and individually The Swamp Donkey and Cranium respectively. Formed in 2012, Weight Of The Tide is completed by former Knightfall/Beard The Lion guitarist Jestin Phipps and ex-Red Cel bassist Marcus Mayhall. The band has already sparked strong ripples of attention through their live shows, where they have shared stages with the likes of Eyehategod, Diamond Head, A Pale Horse Named Death, Raven, Volture, Skinlab, 36 Crazyfists, and Gypsyhawk since emerging. Now the band is poised to awaken broader climes with their SpiralArms vocalist Tim Narducci and Drag Me Under guitarist Jeromy Ainsworth recorded and mixed album. As the band’s name suggests, Epilogue and its sound is an imposing and heavy immersive proposition which leaves a healthy appetite for the band ahead in its wake, just not the lustful excitement it could have.

With tracks bred in an exploration of “Love, loss, betrayal and, hopefully, perseverance”, in the words of Moots, Epilogue descends on ears and thoughts firstly with the crushing energy and 4PAN1Tcreative intrigue of Ireland. Its sonic opening is soon drawn into a web of mightily swung beats and sonic resourcefulness, subsequently relaxing into a formidable and inventive examination of the senses. The guitars chug and flame with their varied resourcefulness whilst bass and drums create a barrage of bait and provocation, this around the strong tones of Moots. It is heavily enticing bait which manages to loosen its grip and adventure in places as potent melodies act as a temper to the riveting roar of the song. It is not a big deflation and only satisfaction and praise comes to the persistence of rich ideas and imaginative enterprise still tempting within the song, but it is enough for it to simply smoulder rather than blaze in personal tastes.

The open craft and skills of band and songs, as well as their adventure, is undeniable and just as prominent in the more gripping Proper Goodbye. A tapestry of guitar endeavour and great vocals embraces the listener first, its attraction an emotive enticing within sinew driven rhythms and a rawer provocation of riffs. There is also a sludgy atmosphere to the song which blossoms when the song slips into the dark shadows of increasingly intensive and predatory sounds. Without doubt the song and album is at its best and most inspiring when the band explores these ravenous twists and passages, welcome intrusions only enhanced by the spicy colour of solos and the sonic enterprise with the similarly sculpted yet individual Elder the immediate proof. Its heavy challenging entrance is an inescapable lure but hindered by stepping back in aggression for the Scott Weiland like vocals of Moots, who is at his weakest here and sounding like a fish out of the threatening waters around him.

Things take an unexpected turn next as Turning Point steps forward and the band reveals a pop punk/melodic rock adventure. It in many ways feels totally out of place on the album but is such a thumping and enjoyable fire of melodic energy and beaming enterprise it shines standing like a lighthouse in the dark landscape of Epilogue. Cynically you might say it is the band simply trying to place an open sure fire single of a doorway into the release but as it is one of the tracks which did have body and emotions fully involved there are no issues for us.

Both Stillwater and La Puerta grasp the previous heavy and at times exhausting oppressive sounds of earlier tracks, the first veining its lumbering intensity with a fine sonic toxicity whilst the second has a compelling argument to its aggression and sure swagger to its contagious stride. Each again though evades truly thrilling these maybe demanding ears, though both have varying ingredients, especially the latter, which means again we can only recommend people find out for themselves what these seriously accomplished songs offer.

Ending with the enthralling creative theatre and emotional Crowbar like turbulence of Fear And The Flame, the album leaves a potent impression and definite want to explore Weight Of The Tide closely in the future. Yes it did not get us rushing around exalting its praises but for a great many it is easy to suggest it will.

Epilogue is available now via Undergroove Records @ http://undergroove.bigcartel.com/product/epilogue

https://www.facebook.com/WeightOfTheTide

RingMaster 14/01/2015

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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ssSHEENSss – Strapping Stallions

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It might be hard to be convinced by the band name but there is no such issue with the new album from Finnish heavy rockers ssSHEENSss. The band’s second full-length, Strapping Stallions is a compelling beast of a proposition, riffs and rhythms as cantankerous as they are aggressive yet there is an eclectic devilry across the release which aligns itself to a gripping inventive craft, it all resulting in an album which is resourcefully unpredictable, mischievous, and most of all great fun.

Formed in 2011, the Hamina sextet set to work on their self-titled but album at the tail end of 2012 with producer Billy Anderson (Eyehategod, Mr. Bungle, Melvins, Neurosis), before unleashing it on the world to eager reception in the February of last year on guitarist Harri Pikka’s own label Stabbing Records. It was an attention grabbing stomp and sound but one which between albums has evolved into an even more muscular and ferocious tempest of stoner bred sinew sculpted rock ‘n’ roll. Early this year the line-up of vocalist Mikko Kiri, bassist Edu Lethal, drummer Juho Harjula, and the triple strike of guitarists made up of Pikka, Porkka and Muhli, hit the studio with a new horde of songs. Mixed by Tomas Skogsberg (The Hellacopters, Dismember) and mastered by Brad Boatright (Sleep, Corrosion of Conformity, Beastmilk), what emerged was the riveting and virulently contagious Strapping Stallions.

The accompanying press release announces that the album and its sound is something fans of Turbonegro, The Hellacopters, and ZZ Top will want to devour, something easy to agree with though that is only one shade of the diverse flavouring of the encounter. Opening track Adios, Fucker! for example pungently reminds of Troublegum era Therapy?, and as the nine tracks come and flirt with ears and imagination plenty other references come to mind, though they cannot defuse the potency of originality also spewing from ssSHEENSss. The opener is an instant wall of thumping rhythms and predacious riffs, all sides of the song converging on ears with an irritable tenacity. Employing essences of punk and metal to its keen and voracious, the stormy treat as mentioned easily reminds of the aforementioned Northern Ireland trio but also with its melodic sultry swagger hints at the likes of Mondo Generator. It is a riveting and thrilling start to the release, honest rock ‘n’ roll with little need to add over the top flourishes but allowing guitars and rhythms to craft a compelling web of highly infectious baiting.

The excellent opening is not matched by a cover of ZZ Top track Concrete And Steel, though to be fair ssSHEENSss twist it into an individual incitement of their own with resourceful imagination. It is a more than decent encounter but ssSHEENSss_strappingstallions_800x800px_weblacks the spark and in the face potency of its predecessor, something the next up You And Your Daughters is more capable of. Bluesy grooves entwine ears straight away as beats jab powerfully across their fiery coaxing. With vocals and riffs joining the swift temptation on feet and emotions, it is a rigorously inviting opening accentuated by sonic flames searing the magnetic spine of the song. There is also a seventies hard rock breath to the caustic sound fuelling the proposition, a lure which easily secures full attention and appetite but it is the mid-way twist into a bordering on bedlamic post punk/garage rock venture reminding of The Three Johns, where a great track becomes an outstanding one.

The equally stunning Voice Distortion Call with its heady and weighty intimidation of air and power sparks another lustful wave of hunger for the release, its Queens Of The Stone Age like devilry a sonic toxicity impossible to resist. With grooves and a sonic colouring you can almost physically taste such its spicy twang, the song is a gripping slab of stoner bred ferocity; a track as volatile as it is creatively composed. Another lofty highlight of the release, it is followed by the more classic metal toned Wolf Street Blues where that earlier Turbonegro comparison comes in handy. It is an easy going and undemanding proposition but keenly contagious and enjoyable providing another flavoursome turn in the diversity of Strapping Stallions.

Shadow Animals with its anthemic rhythmic thumping and corrosive riffery sets the fires in the passions burning bright again, its virulent hooks and Kiri’s vocal prowess irresistible amongst nothing but inescapable enticements. Imagine Mastodon meets again QOTSA and you get a sense of the adventurous climate and canvas of the song explored and set ablaze by the band. Its successor Let’s Explode does not quite match its triumph but still provides a lively smoulder of stalking riffs and classic rock soaked sonic endeavour to eagerly embrace. With at times a southern lilt to chords and heated harmonies from vocals, it is an enthralling offering, though it and its predecessor come nowhere close to the brilliance of the next track.

It is rare to call a cover the best track in a seriously impressive release but the band’s version of Love Will Tear Us Apart is sensational. Easily the best version of the track since Joy Division’s own unleashing, the band turns it into a new depressive seduction giving riffs a more carnivorous growl and beats antagonistic agility which lies perfectly with the pulsating throat of the bass and the melodic toxins which seep from every chord and twist of guitar. Even the vocals make a dramatic statement, Kiri managing to hold onto the cold emotion of Ian Curtis’ unique delivery whilst adding further expressive twists. It is pure dark majesty leaving Saigon the unenviable task of following and closing up the album, which it does successfully with its own anthemic rhythmic lures and melodic rabidity creating a song which whispers Eagles of Death Metal and Kyuss meets Melvins.

It is a great end to an exciting release which in some ways might even have missed a trick or two to become a modern classic. Nevertheless Strapping Stallions is another firm treat for the year and ssSHEENSss a band with a dodgy name and a natural ability to create exceptional rock ‘n’ roll.

Strapping Stallions is available via Soulseller Records on 3rd October

www.sssheensss.com

RingMaster 03/10/2014

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