Koshiro – Crown Of Venom

Koshiro Promo Picture_RingMaster Review

Starting off well and just getting creatively bigger and bolder over its six tempestuous tracks, the Crown Of Venom EP from metalcore quintet Koshiro, pretty much reflects the emergence of the British band. Making a good and potent impression with the first release, the band has continued to grow into a formidable proposition on the underground metal scene. Whether their new EP is enough to push them into the thicker glare of the broader metal scene time will tell, as it still suggests there is plenty more from the band to come in greater originality and ingenuity, but it will forcibly remind that the Bristol fury is around and getting stronger and more sonically vocal.

Formed in 2010, Koshiro quickly drew attention and loyal local support with their fierce yet melodically fiery sound. Their self-titled EP of 2012 and a handful of singles around and since it have nudged wider attention with plaudits increasing in turn, whilst live the band’s reputation has similarly only grown, shows with the likes of Feed the Rhino, TRC, Lower Than Atlantis, The Safety Fire, Blessthefall, Malefice, I, The Breather, and LIFERUINER part of their emergence over the years. Crown Of Venom though, is a new big step for the band; in songwriting and imagination it easily outshines all before and musically reveals the band as mentioned earlier, bigger, bolder, and creatively busier. In the words of vocalist Ben Errington, “These new songs are both the most chaotic and the most heartfelt we’ve ever put together. There are tracks on this record that I never thought we’d be capable of; we really wanted these songs to capture our live sound perfectly but take it to the next level, really expand upon our grand ideas which have progressed from our past singles ‘Malevolent’ and ‘Guts Guilt Greed”.

Koshiro Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP was recorded with long-time collaborator Kevin Peters and opens with the thickly atmospheric, slightly portentous air of Green and Gold. Strings seep elegance and melancholy in equal measure whilst the ever strong tones of Errington share the emotive heart of the track as haunting keys cup his expressive voice with cinematic resonance. It is a potent coaxing into the release and the following King Of Snakes, if a start which does not light any particular fires outside of intrigue despite the prowess of all. Its successor quickly provides a bigger temptation, its initial breath Tricore like with again Errington providing rich bait as around him the guitars of Ben Bone and Thomas Clark begin sculpting a provocative and spiky weave of riffs, grooves, and sonic confrontation. The expected storm does not materialise despite ire and aggression lining all aspects, with the swiping beats of Craig Rudman especially intimidating and again the song does not hold the spark to get the blood raging through veins but with inventive enterprise and fine fluidity to its subtle and bigger twists of gait and ferocity, the song keeps ears and appetite easily on side, especially with its rousing anthemic calls, before being eclipsed by Necromancer.

As suggested, the EP improves and gets more fascinating with each subsequent track, and so as the first pair pleased, Necromancer stirs the senses like a landslide. From a dying heartbeat, the song erupts in barbarous rhythms and crushing riffs but amongst them a delicious scythe of violin ignites air and imagination, its wonderful touch just the first of ingenious hues and ideation within the carnivorous beast posing as a song. It would be hard to say it brings major originality but remembering others mixing up recognisable flavours as cleverly and tenaciously as Koshiro do is hard. The track continues to snarl and brawl with creative zeal but equally aligns the hostility with a striking melodic and vocal croon. In a way Crown Of Venom and indeed Koshiro seem to come of age at this point, a maturity continuing to impress hereon in.

Sleeper Cell steps up next with a rhythmic shuffle from Rudman which resonates through bone as it bewitches with infectiousness whilst bassist Rich Miller lures the darkest predacious tone from his strings as the guitars cast a tapestry of rancor and sonic romance. The ever riveting strings continue to spark adventure too whilst vocally Errington is as compelling, whether with raw squalls or clean persuasion, as the volatile furnace of sound and the musically driven bellow of emotion. The track is a climatic storm of temptation, and as its predecessor also ripe with the shoots of real originality which are definitely blooming within the band’s sound now, Creation Theory swift confirmation as between two vocal samples, which sound like they are voiced by Michael Caine, it sculpts a hellacious emprise of sound as physically carnal as it is evocatively suggestive. Like a war cry in many ways, the track has body and thoughts enflamed and ready to unleash their emotive strengths, a powerful success from a gladiatorial merger of devouring intensity and incendiary invention.

It is the pinnacle of the release, only relenting in its animosity as it departs for closing track Catharsis to begin spreading its melodic warmth with a slightly mercurial and antagonistic underbelly. It was up against it to match the previous trio of songs but still leaves the EP on a high whilst relishing the chance to reveal more of the depth and new diversity in the band’s sound and composing.

Actually there is one more offering upon Crown Of Venom, the bonus of a cover of Sia’s Chandelier. Though Koshiro easily improve the song it does nothing for the EP and quickly found itself ignored in our numerous listens of one increasingly impressive and enjoyable release.

Koshiro are again proving themselves to have the potential to make a big impact on the UK and European metal frontline, even more so this time around. They are probably still a couple of rungs short but with more progress as shown here, watch out world here they come.

The Crown Of Venom is available from September 25th through all stores.

Pete Ringmaster 24/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Digits – Footprints And Embers EP



Having caught ears and attention with promise soaked debut EP Acquiesce To Violence in 2013, UK alternative rockers Digits return with its successor Footprints And Embers. All the thoughts bred by its predecessor remain with the new EP, the potential of the band growing into a really striking proposition ahead as persuasive as before. The new four song encounter also shows a solid growth and freshness to the last release but equally carries a rawness at times which occasionally numbs the creative ideation and potency being shown. Despite that, Digits remains a band to keep under close view with the imagination of big things in their future.

The time between releases has been a trying time for the band it is fair to say. Acquiesce to Violence found itself earning plenty of praise and support as well as having tracks gracing cover CDs of Rocksound and Big Cheese Magazines whilst the band shared stages with the likes of Margera, Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, and played the Make A Scene Festival with the likes of Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout and Hacktivist. Since then though injuries have accosted the band; vocalist/guitarist Chris Bradley damaging ligaments in his ankles, guitarist Craig Strawbridge managing to cut off half his thumb, bassist Stu Latham damaging his back, and drummer Dan Cooper having to leave the band due to persistent problems with his wrists. The Newcastle quartet has endured and overcome though, and with Matt Hickman now swinging the sticks and equipped with a host of new songs, Digits are forging on as they unleash Footprints And Embers to pick up from where they were before being temporarily derailed last year.

Embers starts things off, emerging from a distant wash of sound and prowling forward with pungent rhythms, caustic riffs, and a spiralling lure of strong melodic enterprise. It is a strong start Digits coverbut turned into a less successful moment by the blazing roar of raw vocals from Bradley, his tones bullish and clad in a post hardcore texturing which in turn permeates the song and mutes its initial potency. It is something ears soon acclimatise to though, especially when the song grows again by relaxing into a mellow passage with similarly delivered vocals. Courted by a great bass tempting, alluring guitar endeavour seems to light the touch paper to another explosion of intensity and passion. The song ebbs and flows like this throughout its presence, not always winning its persuasion entirely but with wicked grooves and an irresistible anthemic rhythmic baiting from Hickman, the song wins its argument, and becoming stronger and more potent with every listen.

As mentioned the opener has a post hardcore like nature compared to the alternative rock aggression of the following Dysphoria, a song which as some on the last EP, finds a Reuben like essence to its contagious lure of riffs and hooks. There is another drift into an emotive calm in the song which works but maybe not quite as powerfully as it might against the otherwise tenacious and confrontational qualities of the track. Nevertheless, it is a pleasing and compelling lure which overcomes a slight wavering of vocal quality with ease.

The next up Parachutes is of similar breeding, its sinews flexing with every forceful beat and abrasing riff as vocals unite to push the just as fiery narrative of the song through ears. There is a rage to the song which is cleverly tempered yet enhanced by the marauding rhythms and sonic enterprise, they in turn seeming to encourage a spicier vocal ferocity and control. It and its predecessor take the honours on the EP, reminding and pushing forward the reason why the last EP suggested Digits was a brewing storm to watch.

The calmer skies of Eros concludes the album; the song a melodic hug within brooding bass shadows. Bradley proves his vocal strength on the song, bringing Paul Heaton like tone to his delivery, and at times the melodic breath of the song does have a Housemartins like croon before it erupts into a final blaze of roaring intensity speared by a quite inescapable hook. Again it gives thoughts a nudge to the depths and potential of the band whilst providing ears with another highly satisfying offering.

Digits still feel like they are still looking for their own specific sound and have yet to fully tap into the certain potential within them, but with releases like Footprints And Embers it is no hardship to carry on waiting and enjoying the band’s growth.

The Footprints And Embers EP is available digitally from February 2nd via iTunes.


RingMaster 02/02/0215

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Digits are back with their new EP ‘Footprints & Embers’, on 2nd Feb

Digits Online Promo Shot

Newcastle skewed alt-rock crew Digits nationally unveil their sophomore EP ‘Footprints And Embers’ on Monday 2nd February 2015. Coming at you with a sound that muses the edgy dexterity of Glassjaw with the hook-laden know-how of Reuben, ‘Digits’ are a band that you need to hear.

Having completely brushed off the ashes of their former incarnation, Cut Glass Accent, Digits continue to deliver bold, proggy alt-rock that’s as intricate as it is heavy. In 2013, Digits dropped their explosive debut EP ‘Acquiesce to Violence’ and it racked up widespread critical acclaim from all quarters. Tracks from the record graced the cover CDs of Rocksound and Big Cheese Magazines and the quartet secured a host of support slots sharing stages with Bam Margera, Feed The Rhino and Marmozets. The band also made a successful appearance at the Make A Scene Festival, featuring the likes of Funeral For A Friend, The Blackout and Hacktivist.

However, the past year has been a difficult one for the Northern riff slingers. The band have been nursing a string of injuries due to heavy gigging; Chris Bradley (Vocals & Guitar) pulled ligaments in his ankles, Craig Strawbridge (Guitar) cut off half of his thumb, Stu Latham (Bass) badly pulled his back and original drummer, Dan Cooper, has had to leave the band due to persistent problems with his wrists. Nevertheless, the irrepressible four piece are now back with a new drummer, Matt Hickman, and a fresh set that includes material from the spanking new EP ‘Footprints And Embers’, and there are a string of shows penned for the early part of 2015 to support the record.

‘Footprints And Embers’ is released this February and the record starts in blistering fashion with the dynamic and twisty ‘Embers’, before the vigour and infectious groove of ‘Dysphoria’ grabs you by the scruff of the neck. The driving venom and up-tempo beatings of ‘Parachutes’ moves the record up a gear and the majestically emotive ‘Eros’ closes the record in supreme style. This record is sure to see the band go places; just watch them rise.

Digits cover


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A Room Swept White – No Love Lost

A Room Swept White Online Promo Shot

As much as we all hope the next new thing we listen to will be an inflamed love affair for ears and the passions, sometimes a just as enjoyable contemplation is a proposition which manages to leave thoughts and emotions balanced between high praise and dissatisfaction. The new No Love Lost EP from UK post hardcore band A Room Swept White is such an encounter. Consisting of five tracks which at times with their raw persuasion ignite a lusty appetite for the band’s imagination and attempt to stand out from the crowd, the release is a potential soaked and ultimately promising first look for us to a band beginning to brew up a buzz. Tempering its success though, those same songs also provide a senses smarting abrasiveness in certain moments which rub personal tastes the wrong way. It all results in a sizeable confrontation which as it twists and tries to find its feet, provides a presence that ensures A Room Swept White will not be simply a passing interest.

Hailing from Crawley and Horsham, A Room Swept White formed in 2011 with the intent “to create a sound that inspires and attacks the senses.” From the first few seconds of the new EP it is fair to say that the quintet has that angle covered quite potently. They create a persuasion which live has impressed forcibly, as shown by gigs alongside the likes of Heart In Hand, Hacktivist, Bury Tomorrow, Feed The Rhino, Bleed From Within, Soulfly, POLAR, and many more persistently drawing strong praise. They have a stage power and intensity which you can suggest has not quite been discovered on No Love Lost, but as implied earlier, their promise is all there to be heard on the band’s new release.

It opens with the evocative melody fuelled Recollection, a brief caress of emotive guitar and cleanly delivered vocal angst over rugged rhythmic scenery. It is an inviting lure taking the listener A Room ...PromoImagestraight into the hoarsely throated This Life. The second track immediately assaults with heftily swung beats from drummer James Farrant against just as antagonistic riffs. Twists in the already inventive designs of guitarists Alex Kirrage and Michael Flood catch the imagination before the coarse vocal rage of Ryan Elliott adds to the antagonistic intent. It is a strong start which finds greater energy as the frontman expels his angry breath, an increase in intensity matched by the guitars great enterprise and the darker moodier basslines of James Nicoll. A further enticing colour comes with the clean vocals of Kirrage, firstly as a backing aligned to the calls of the band. It is a great mix and the track is soon winning over thoughts and appetite, especially as it slips into something melodically and atmospherically more comfortable at one point.

The song flows into the EP’s title track and it too is soon badgering and energetically squalling over the senses. Bulging with uncompromising rhythms and vocal predation courted by coarse riffery, the song is a maelstrom of fresh ideas and at times genre familiarity. It works well but is missing something compared to its predecessor, though the clean vocals and imaginative endeavour of the guitars is a tasty extra.

Vocally is where the EP seems to be raising most debatable points with people, though most seem to praise the hostility of Elliott over the warmer tempting of Kirrage. Personally it is the other way round where the band on this encounter flourishes; the latter providing great and impressive contrast to the less adventurous assault of his band mate. It is all down to taste of course but it would be good to see Elliott mixing up his venomous stance in the future to break the almost overwhelming causticity which at times defuses the success of the creativity elsewhere. Songs like the next up Time Heals especially blossoms from the angst soaked ire dripping from Elliott’s fine attack though, and just as pleasingly from the sonic adventure and melodic flames which wrap around the impressive bait set down by Nicoll and Farrant.

From the best track on the release, No Love Lost ends with the more than decent if slightly underwhelming Better Days. Like the third song on the EP, despite highly agreeable ideas and skilled enterprise, the song is missing the fire of certainly the previous incitement of ears. As No Love Lost as a whole, there is still plenty to get strong satisfaction from and things to be unsure about with the final outcome being that A Room Swept White is a prospect needing more keen attention. Both band and release provide pleasing and enjoyable company but are accompanied by a feeling it is still early days and there will be stronger and more exciting things to judge ahead.

The No Love Lost EP is available from January 12th through all digital platforms.


RingMaster 12/01/2015

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The Spanking New EP From A Room Swept White Hits The UK This January!

 A Room Swept White Online Promo Shot

Southern Melodic Hardcorers ‘A Room Swept White’ unleash their jaw dropping new EP ‘No Love Lost’ on Monday 12th January 2015. Taking from the edginess and potency of While She Sleeps and The Ghost Inside, and by adding their own absorbing dynamics and alluring melodies, the quintet have produced a forceful fusion of Post-Hardcore.

A Room Swept White were originally born at the tail-end of 2011 in the South East of England. The fiery five-piece wanted to create a sound that inspires and attacks the senses, and they have certainly more than fulfilled their objective. With a keen ear for hearty riffs and pummelling hooks, A Room Swept White have etched out a sound that is hard-hitting, yet still inventive; and that’s no easy task given the present over-saturation within the metalcore genre. ARSW have sparked glowing comparisons to The Ghost Inside, The Amity Affliction and Of Mice & Men; and although they’ve pulled from their influences, they’ve still managed to create a sound uniquely their own.

The five-some hit the ground running on the live circuit, and after a series of sweat-drenched UK shows throughout the south, sharing stages with Heart In Hand, Hacktivist, Bury Tomorrow, Feed The Rhino, Bleed From Within, Soulfly, Demoraliser, Palm Reader, POLAR, Continents and Bleed From Within, and with recent performances at the Redfest and Guilfest festivals, the band’s stock is on the rise.

The band are now set to kick on even further with their latest offering and new record, ‘No Love Lost’. The EP takes shape with the brooding and poignantly phrased ‘Recollection’. However, ‘This Life’ soon turns up the velocity with its breakneck riffage and full vocal assault. The record’s namesake and new single ‘No Love Lost’ twists and contorts itself around your ears to pleasing effect, while ‘Time Heals’ is additional evidence that these Southern metalcorers really have something different to offer. Lastly, ‘Better Days’ showcases the band’s growing stature and utilises dynamics to stunning effect. With five potent cuts, the EP is sure to thrust the band to the vanguard of the UK scene.

A Room ...PromoImage