Aren Drift Interview

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

Radka Nemcova – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

Matt Plumley – Lead Guitar

Dominic Cahillane – Drums

Theo Corcoran – Bass

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

RN: Progressive rock, international vibes, heavy melodic riffs, contralto vocals, cinematic sound.

DC: Vibrations

MP: Female fronted prog rock

TC: I’d say our sound is best described as heavy progressive rock with international influences, I’ve heard the word melodic chucked around a bit as well.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

RN: It’s hard to name just three bands as there are many bands we love but I would definitely mention Perfect Circle, In This Moment, Queen of the Damned soundtracks. (The first choice I would choose for the technical side and second two choices I love for the production side.)

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

RN: AREN is made of my initials (‘RN’ = phonetically ‘aren’) I used Aren D. as my artistic / musical pseudonym as no one was able to remember or pronounce my name haha. I chose the second word ‘drift’ because I like to drift and our music should make you drift too.

We came up with lots of different names but everyone liked Aren Drift so we kept it as a band name.

How did you approach our latest release in terms of writing and recording?

RN: Writing is my favourite part so it was just a fun bit for me. I love it. Recording was good but mixing was the difficult part of the whole process.

I am very creative person and I have very strong visions in music and art and I imagine things how they look and sound before they are actually written or filmed. Mixing itself is very creative process and we struggled to get the sound we wanted. However, it was a great learning curve and I’m already excited to apply everything we learnt into our next recordings.

MP: In terms of the recording, we were on a budget, four days in total for five songs, some unreleased at this moment in time. We pretty much had the parts written before we recorded, but somehow ended up re-recording most of the guitar parts at my home studio. When you are on the clock you don’t have time to mull that sound over and try different amps, settings, different guitars, you literally stick a mic in front of your amp and off you go. So that meant we weren’t quite happy with the sound we had. It was a big learning curve for us; we have plans to do things differently next time.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

RN: Snow Queen. I think the song determines Aren Drift’s unique style.

DC: Light Hole

MP: Sun Goes Down for me.

TC: I’d say my favourite song of the new EP is light hole, it’s one of my favourites to play live as well, but I do also really like “snow queen”.

Explain the meaning behind the album title.

RN: ‘Beneath The Surface’ – We want the listener to go deeper at all the levels while listening our music. Some of the reviews we received say that you need to listen the songs a few times until it fully reveals their potential. I was actually very glad to read that because that’s what I love about music.

The artwork represents what’s beneath your skin, inside of the Earth’s core, inside of you.

Tell us about the video for Snow Queen and its concept.

RN: Snow Queen music video was partly filmed in Czech mountains and partly in England. I wanted to produce something powerful and arty. A music video which captures a story as well as the feelings.

Sun Goes Down music video is solely my arty outlet.

I don’t want to say anything else. Just watch it J

Do they tie in with the themes around the song? If yes, why? If not, why not?

RN: It does. I don’t want to reveal everything. Let’s say you need to listen to the lyrics and watch the video.

Were they fun to shoot or proved to be quite a challenge?

RN: When we were shooting Snow Queen, I was two days in the mountains in -20°C wearing a dress. It was snowing and I thought my hands and nose will fall off so yeah… it was fun haha.

I believe everyone enjoys shooting the music videos. But post production is proper hard work. I believe the devil is in the details and I have very strong visions so I usually spend long time working on the post productions. I produced both videos myself in co-production with Ollie Dolling. It was great working with him. I’m already excited to work on our future videos.

MP: Definitely one of my bands highlights and the results were way beyond what I expected.

Do you have any live shows lined up at present?

RN: Follow us on Facebook. We are planning 2020 UK tour! All the dates will be there.

We were also booked at Concorde 2 in Brighton in June 2020 which will be an epic show.

In regards to the closer dates I would recommend you a gig at Black Heart in Camden, London on 20th September. We are supporting Esoterica. But if you want a ticket, be quick as the show might be sold out soon 😉

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

MP: Our new song Sirens, I love it and the response we had to it at the EP launch which was the first time we played it live, was very moving, loved it.

RN: I really enjoy playing Sirens. It is our new song and by my opinion it is musically the best piece which I’m very proud of. At the moment I’m playing with a thought to write trilogy for Sirens. I have whole concept in my head + the ideas for the video so let’s see if we can do something about that.

DC: Porcelain Dolls has a nice few changes where I can bring a few different styles in the song. For all out energy, Passion Kills is always the track I’m scanning the set list for.

TC: As I said, light hole is one of my favourite songs to play live, as well as one of our new songs called Delirious.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

DC: I think it varies for each of us; I’ll leave it down to the fans

TC: I’d say the worst show I’ve played with Aren Drift was my first one with the band, I was slightly nervous, which is odd for me, and I just didn’t quite gel with the music! But our best show in my opinion was our EP release, the sound was great, the crowd was amazing and we were all playing at the top of our game!

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

DC: Tool would be immense

RN: Deftones, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Perfect Circle, Alice in Chains, In This Moment

MP: Wolf Alice, lead singer is a girl and they rock, great live band from what I can tell on YouTube, I’d then get a chance to watch them in the flesh every night J

Oh yeah and Faith No More, they are still rocking, check out SuperHero from the Radio 1 sessions on YouTube.

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

DC: Now that would be telling, shame on you. 🙂

Any closing comments?

Thank you for your support. We appreciate every single person who goes to the live gigs and support the local music in general. Thank you.

Check Aren Drift out further @…

https://www.arendrift.com/    https://www.facebook.com/arendrift/    https://www.instagram.com/aren_drift/

RingMaster Review 06/11/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Transport League – A Million Volt Scream

The fifteen years since first leaving Lucifer’s fires has not dampened the roar in the heart and throat of Transport League or the voracious swing in their feral enterprise, nor indeed the ravenous virulence of a sound which is always preying on new hellish flavours. The proof is all there in the viscera of their new album, A Million Volt Scream: a release which lures, embraces, and devours the senses with the greatest ravening intent yet from the Swedish outfit so that never has the well-established term upon the band’s music, Boogie From Hell, been more apt.

Emerging in 1994 Transport League embraced the sound of early Clutch with as they say “some hints of Cathedral and Corrosion of Conformity.” Swiftly it established its own ever evolving character and by the 2013 release of fifth album, Boogie From Hell, was the fuel to that enduring moniker. Even as the band has continued to explore new shades and avenues it has remained fitting to that declaration as shown by A Million Volt Scream. It is an encounter bred from a ferocious cauldron of mutually heavy metal and rock with just as healthy and hungry essences of punk, sludge, and alternative trespasses; infernal rock ‘n’ roll if you would.

A Million Volt Scream wasted no time with subtle persuasion, warning sirens allowing a moment to run away before its title track opener stalks with eager rhythmic instincts. That alone proves gripping bait but once the band’s renowned rapacious grooves uncage their swing, entanglement is inescapable. The track hits its stride with a devilish swagger, the vocals of guitarist Tony Jelencovich a masterful scowl within the unappeasable contagion. Rich imagination only adds to the temptation, the track’s Pantera meets Rob Zombie like breath twisted and ignited with industrial lined apocalyptic proclamation.

1200 Goddamned follows, the rhythms of drummer Mattias Starander again a potent and insatiable coaxing before the song uncages its full belly of riffs and grooves, the exploits of Jelencovich  and lead guitarist Peter Hunyadi mercilessly infectious and invasive just as is the former’s great grungy tones. Even with its eager swing, there is a riveting predatory edge to the bass of Dennis Österdal, his lines threat and temptation together much as song and sound around them across the release.

Fair to say with ears and appetite already hooked both only found a lustier attention as next up Monster Human leered in and began stalking their ground. Its menacing bounce and mischievous sonic glints swiftly stole subservience, another Rob Zombie-esque swing this time merged with a Rammstein scented industrial intimidation only adding to the captivation before relief at the departure of its fiendishness is swiftly stolen by the dark deeds and drama of Dawn Of Lucifer. The band’s already multi-flavoured sound is stretched again as the track’s alternative metal breeding reveals the seed of bands similar to Faith No More, Dog Fashion Disco, and Mushroomhead though emerging as inimitable Transport League alchemy. Simply put though, as to be honest applying to all tracks within the album, it is inventively yet instinctively bred rabid rock ‘n’ roll and proved unapologetically irresistible.

Vultures is next up, the song immediately wrapping grooved sonic wires around the senses then manipulating them like a puppeteer to its own carnal swing. Carnivorous in every essence, viral with just as forceful a zeal, the track is another esurient stalking and a major contender for best track honours while Vanished Empire brings its own creative enmity to bear with dissonance carrying craft and again a strain of rabidity to offer its own imposing challenge.

Facedown Bondage might not quite have ignited the same heights of delirium but with its southern rock irritancy and contagion aligned to groove metal embroiled contention it too proved thick pleasure to breed greed for as too Slave In Orbit with its low slung stoner grooves and funk metal intimation. As with all tracks though, it is the perpetual current of imagination which adds the unpredictability and individuality that seals already done deals.

The final pair of Creature Grunts and Rabid Horizon leaves nothing to be desired as A Million Volt Scream departs as impressively as it began. The first is another song which sparks thoughts of Mike Patton and co at certain moments as it hungrily strolls, its severe catchiness spun with intoxicating grooves and rhythms which manage to simultaneously punish and seduce. The final track is basically a slab of untamed rock ‘n’ roll, a beast of intensity and motion which even the dearly departed could not prevent swinging their bones to.

Their sound is indeed boogie from the inferno below though such it’s and specifically the inescapable temptation of A Million Volt Scream it is hard to tell if Transport League work for the Devil or he dances to their tune.

A Million Volt Scream is out now via Mighty Music; available @ http://targetshop.dk/transport-league and https://targetgroup.bandcamp.com/album/a-million-volt-scream-2

 https://www.facebook.com/transportleague/

Pete RingMaster 090/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Halshug – Drøm

Temptation can come in a broad and varied landscape of enticement; it can be a warm seduction or a nagging teasing among numerous other incitements. In the hands of Danish band Halshug it is a challengingly fearsome proposal and as their new album proves one irresistible proposition.

Hailing from Copenhagen, the trio of bassist/vocalist Jakob Johnsen, guitarist Mathias Schønberg, and drummer Mads Folmer Richter create a voracious trespass of hardcore and noise punk but as their third full-length Drøm quickly establishes it is a sound which has evolved across previous releases to embrace industrial, post punk, and numerous other darkly bred sounds. Its title translated as ‘Dream’, Drøm is bred on the theme that dreams are “a succession of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind. And also sort of a vision or a wanting of something more than just what is.” With even richer depths and variations to that exploration, the album never leaves ears and imagination alone in thought. Whether nagging on the psyche, intruding on the senses, or manipulating body and imagination, a degree of emotive frustration almost lining it’s every moment, it harasses from start to finish and it has to be admitted, few moments shared here this year have been more rousingly thrilling.

From the moment album opener, Kæmper Imod, with its first breath begins clipping at ears, attention and appetite were stirred; Richter’s magnetic percussion almost teasing as it lured. Seemingly knowing when the listener should be hooked beats hold a momentary pause from which a punk scourge of sound and voice explodes. The band’s hardcore instincts fuel the eruption as the song continues to grip and captivate, its proposal just taking on a whole new character to its beginnings and escalating both by each raucous senses baiting second.

It is an outstanding introduction to Drøm yet quickly and continually eclipsed or certainly matched across the release with next up Dø Igen raising the ante in craft and temptation. Richter’s beats again make for an animated and compelling coaxing and more than equalled in enticement by the visceral growl of Johnsen’s bass. If the first song teased with a whiff of post punk amidst darker sonic deeds, the second track exploits their tenebrific coercion to ravish and inflame the senses. From within its voracious noise clad insurgency, essences of bands like Faith No More, Sex Gang Children, and The Three Johns tease which only adds to its inescapable seduction of ears.

Schønberg’s filth soaked guitar brings Fantasi to ears next; Johnsen’s similarly polluted vocal attack standing eyeball to ear on the tide of antagonistic punk riffs and rhythms. Devious twists and diversity only add to the excellent track’s evolving body and increasing prowess before Giv Alting Op swings in with matching animosity and discord. As with all tracks, there is a kind of psychosis which shapes its tone and invasion; one never allowing a moment for album or listener to relax within the infernal kaleidoscope of illusory or maybe real provocation.

Spejl hounds and disturbs next, riffs and rhythms chaffing on the senses as melodic toxins and scorched grooves seduce across a volatile gait which launches itself with nostrils flared and at times prowls with equally venomous intent. Once more there was no defence to the at times almost drone like quality of its urging as neither was there any barrier to prevent the industrial compulsion and intimation of the dystopia flooded 02.42. The track’s cold intense threat is as claustrophobic as it is galvanic; a web of intrigue and ravening malevolence greedily devoured, rapacious hunger just as forceful and rabid for its successor Tænk På Dig Selv. Again Richter had rhythmic claws in psyche and instincts from the off before all three musicians unleashed their enterprisingly tortured throes of sound and emotion. If that was not enough to embroil the passions, an X Ray Spex meets Essential Logic flavoured sax incursion only sparked lustier reactions.

Through the feral yet imaginatively crafted transgression of Ingen Kontrol and the virulent sonic appropriation of the senses by Et Andet Sted resistance was thread bare to the album’s continuing indeed increasing domination, not that defiance was actually contemplated or offered, a fact the closing majestic post punk incitement of Illusion seized with rhythmic and sonic devilment. The simply glorious instrumental is part nightmare part psyche haunting escape from reality and simply cathartic suggestion to, as we found, increasingly greedy ears and animated imagination.

It is an avidity flooded appetite which is just as ravenous for the album as a whole especially as every play revealed further aspects to its devious body. With a presence and sound which ultimately defies being truly pinned down Drøm has declared itself as one of the year’s essential moments.

Drøm is available now via Southern Lord @ https://halshugsl.bandcamp.com/releases

Upcoming Live dates:

7 Sep – Oslo, NO – Vaterland

12 Sep – Aalborg, DK – 1000Fryd

13 Sep – Aarhus, DK – Radar

14 Sep – KBH, DK Stengade

20 Sep – Gøteborg, SWE – Kulturhuset

27 Sep – Malmø, SWE – Plan B

28 Sep – Stockholm, SWE – Hus 7

http://halshug.blogspot.com   https://halshug.bandcamp.com   http://www.facebook.com/halshugcph

Pete RingMaster 24/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

SuperBlood WolfMoon – Eternal Disco Damnation

How to describe the debut EP from UK outfit SuperBlood WolfMoon? An infernal kaleidoscope of temptation or a toxic trespass of intimation or indeed an eight-legged groove machine intent on undiluted corruption? All apply to a release which consumed and devoured as well as seduced our senses and attention. Eternal Disco Damnation is like a sonic equivalent of the fantastic and nightmarish narratives within a triptych altarpieces of Hieronymus Bosch; a ravening examination which simply became more compelling by the confrontation.

Hailing from Birmingham and containing former members of another of the city’s previous mighty trespasses in Bishop, SuperBlood WolfMoon create a sound as schizophrenic as it is physically feral and imaginatively beguiling. Certainly their groove metal woven incitement will be an engagement and tempest too ruinous for some but for those with an appetite for a fusion of Meshuggah at their most rabid, Faith No More in their most primal state, and a savagely irritable Unsane though that still skates the surface of the SuperBlood WolfMoon cyclone, the band’s first EP will be nothing less than fascination.

Eternal Disco Damnation opens up with Hexed Houses and instantly descends on the senses like a collapsing towering wall; barbarous rhythms and sonic pestilence a merciless onslaught yet sharing an immediately enticing catchiness which soon springs infectiously wiry grooves around the breaking malignancy of Jon Baker ‘s throat shredding tones. The track continues to twist and turn, its pernicious shifts and unpredictable moves fuelled by adventure and enterprise whether they are brought with brutality or calm temptation. Throughout the track the riffs and grooves of Steve Styles examine and entice whilst the bass growls cast by Slam and the unconstrained swings of Pete Shortman’s beats are as mercurial as they are violently tenacious. It all makes for a song which surprises as it assaults, never going where expectations assume and never leaving the imagination barren.

You & He Were Buddies follows and similarly just collapses on ears with its first breath, swallowing up the senses whilst inhaling greater schizophrenic fumes by the note, rhythm, and release of vocal chagrin. It too comes with a rich character in captivation and contagion if both as fearsome as they are tempting, a fusion as prevalent within Where the Dead Went straight after. Its initial foray upon the listener is a staggered venomous lure but as vicious as anything before it and only more compelling and lethal by every subsequent enthrallingly psychotic second going to make up the EP’s most irresistible moment.

The EP concludes with Cape, a song looming in like a portentous sea mist before spreading its noxious sonic climate with melodic and toxic craft. Compared to its predecessors, the track is a calmer invasion and incitement but equally the most menacing and unnerving interrupted by moments of grooved mania the body just had to respond to.

As beguiling as it is hellacious, the track provided an absorbing end to an engrossing and increasingly striking release. Eternal Disco Damnation is as much drenched in potential as it is invention and imagination. It will frighten some and seduce many but mainly only intrigue all as a new Super Blood Wolf Moon rises.

Eternal Disco Damnation is out now available through iTunes and Spotify.

https://www.facebook.com/superbloodwolfmoon   https://www.instagram.com/super_blood_wolf_moon_0/   YouTube

Pete RingMaster 13/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

All the means TO AN END

With a persistent taste for Australian metal in any guise we recently had the pleasure to check out Melbourne outfit To An End, talking with guitarist Matt Turner and vocalist Al Gammie about the band’s origins, their current album, opportunities and much more…

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

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to the beginnings of the band?

(Matt)To An End comprises Al on vocals, myself on guitar, Yiorgs on bass and Shane on drums. The band initially began as a project where myself (Matt) and Al wrote all of the songs and completed a full album studio recording. Then, it was easier to find band members once the album was completed and we could show people exactly what we were all about.

Were you involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Each member has been in various bands over the years but we really feel like this is the band we have been waiting for. We can’t wait to get our songs out as far and wide as possible! This band has elements familiar to each member, but is quite different if compared to our previous bands side by side.

What inspired the band name?

The name was one of many for consideration at the time. It was quite difficult to find something that firstly, wasn’t already taken and secondly, sounded good and was decent as a logo. We think ‘To An End’ ticks the boxes!

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

As the band started out as a project it was really a matter of just starting the recording process and seeing where it would all end up. There was room for genre jumping and just having fun with it. Once the album was done, we were absolutely certain we needed to be an active band playing frequently…and here we are!

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

Given we all have a history of playing in other bands and we aren’t too ‘fresh-faced’ anymore ha-ha, the band is definitely serving our passions and we are driven to make sure it’s fun for us and our fans. Anyone who comes to see us live will see all of that translate on stage!

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

We just released our debut album in November 2018 so we are still promoting that. In the background we are writing and doing demos for another album which we are excited about. There will be evolution and only time will tell to see where it all ends up.

It is an organic exploration within the band sound wise or you setting out to try new ideas etc.?

We are flexible musicians, so I think we’ll always have a mix of melody/heavy and soft/loud over the course of an album. There will definitely be some more evolution and experimentation for the next album.

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

Our individual music tastes range from Journey, Pantera, Glassjaw, Faith No More, Tool, Slayer, Meshuggah to 80’s rock to death/black metal. As a band, we feel we’ve been influenced by heavy music with melody so there are elements of Metallica, Killswitch Engage, Stone Sour, Sevendust and Disturbed. Personally, I’ve always gravitated towards song writers and great riffs so my heroes are Metallica, Pantera, Lamb of God, Alice In Chains, Tool. Way too many to mention though!

Do you have a particular process to your songwriting?

The songs will usually start as a completed demo and then we let the song evolve naturally in the rehearsal room with all of the individual personalities and play styles shining through.

Please give us some background to your first album?

We think we have a great collection of songs on the debut album Redefine and there is certainly something there for everyone whether you are into rock and/or metal. We have some heavy songs like our single Wasteland, plus Hear No Evil which features a killer guitar solo from Christopher Amott (formerly of Arch Enemy) to more rocking songs like Fracture and Left Untold. There is also a piano/acoustic song as well that closes out the album.

…And an insight to its themes?

(Al) The instrumentation and feel of the song really dictates to me where I need to go lyrically and I feel we covered a lot of different ground on the album. There are songs like Fracture and Wasteland – the world is becoming more and more confusing, turbulent and extreme – I wanted to remind people that they have a voice and need not conform. There’s the horror film-inspired Out Of My Hands which touches on violent imagery, although is tongue-in-cheek also. Of course there’s plenty of pent up aggression to express throughout, and the personal moments like From Grace Until Demise and Collide are where I can get deeper and more sombre rather than just yelling in key!

You talked about demos in the songwriting process, so you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty with their character set or prefer to let it develop as you record?

(Matt) We’ll go into the studio fully prepared and ready to go. I think being well rehearsed is key, given studio time is costly. Plus the more efficient you are in the studio, the more chance you have trying a few ideas on the fly.

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

With our live show, we aim to be tight and on point musically but not at the expense being too clinical in our playing and not enjoying ourselves. We hope that the crowd enjoys our music as much as we love playing it. That back and forth energy is contagious.

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

Whilst the heavy music scene in Australia would be considered to be small in relation to the US and Europe, there are super dedicated fans who are enthusiastic about the scene and music in general. I think it is hard for a new band to make a mark no matter what, but we are fortunate to be located in Melbourne where there is a thriving live music scene and plenty of opportunities to play in front of new people. We also love playing regionally and interstate where there are always people willing to come out and support local music. Every band was local at one point, so we are more than happy to get out as much as possible and we are fortunate to team up with other amazing bands to put on local shows.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date also? Do you see it as something negative or positive overall?

The internet and social media has allowed a low barrier to entry to get music out to people however, the challenge is navigating through such a crowded space. It is difficult to break through it all however I think the positives outweigh the negatives. As a new band we are able to share our videos, live clips, our album, photos, interviews, reviews etc. at the click of a button which allows us to connect with fans really easily. I would say determining a bands worth through how many Likes they have and dismissing a band just based on a particular number next to a thumbs up icon is unfair….but it is a reality. We think that the connection to the fans is the most important thing and we’ll just concentrate on being the best band we can be within our control. Hopefully when people hear our music we’ll get inundated with all those Likes ha-ha!

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

We just want to say thanks for the support and opportunity for chatting with us and hope your readers will check us out on all digital platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google etc.) just search To An End Redefine. Also, you can check out the video to our debut single here: https://youtu.be/KodUFu2shKw

More details available at our Facebook page and https://toanend.com/

Questions Pete RingMaster 04/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Bad Llama – Apocrypha

UK band Bad Llama emerged early last year and swiftly poked eager attention with the release of first EP Shedding Skin and its lead single The Wolf You Feed from fans and media alike. Now ahead of their upcoming follow-up EP, Crooked Empire, the Burton upon Trent quintet ups the ante with the release’s first track, Apocrypha.

It is a powerful and rousing encounter which demands attention whilst revealing a new maturity and intensity in the band’s multi-flavoured sound. A list of Bad Llama’s inspirations reveals an eclectic mix ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, and Tool to Korn, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine and Bring Me the Horizon; a mix equalled in the metal and heavy rock bred enterprise of a sound also bearing the spices of progressive and industrial nurturing. As previous releases suggested, what emerges is a sound distinct and becoming more unique to the band; Apocrypha another definite potent step towards that originality.

Recorded with producer Gavin Monaghan, Apocrypha moves in on ears with an almost predacious atmosphere and similarly swinging beats, its threat dissipating slightly as Kyle Jordan’s expressive tones step into the web of suggestion cast by the guitars of Dan Houlbrooke and Sam Wyatt. The gnarly snarling bass of Lewis Hutchings though keeps the intimidation flowing; a delicious texture prowling the sonic temptation continuing to entangle the imagination of song and listener as Gaz Waddell’s beats bite.

It is a captivating mix in a song which grows and blossoms in thought and enterprise with every passing second. Apocrypha is a masterful proposition, skilfully crafted and emotionally intense which it is hard to see not stoking up attention for Bad llama and anticipation for that forthcoming EP.

Apocrypha is self-released November 10th.

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Pete RingMaster 04/11/2017

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