Oceanic – City Of Glass

Oceanic PR 2

Not sure exactly why but the depth and quality to the Israeli metal/rock scene always surprises, even despite covering numerous releases and artists from its creative well. You have the likes of Orphaned Land, Ferium, and Desert amongst a great many stirring up the world scene with their varied sounds, and from within the underground bands like Walkways making their mark. To the latter you can now add Oceanic, a band beginning to draw and earn potent responses to their presence and debut album, City Of Glass. Formed in 2009, the Tel Aviv quartet has inspired strong and increasing attention, especially over the past couple of years, and now with their first album nudging greater awareness, Oceanic has the potential to be another breaking into broader spotlights well beyond their homeland.

The band’s sound is melodic/alternative rock but with an appetite to throw in unique twists of progressive exploration and feisty imagination. As shown upon City Of Glass it makes for a fascinating and unpredictable proposition which can offer familiar essences in a fresh and often offbeat design. There are moments where things just confuse and miss their target but for the main, album and sound are one captivating tempting. The band itself has grown its stature and reputation in the Israel underground scene through appearances at events like Progstage 2012 and in supporting the likes of Pain of Salvation. Band experiences are not restricted to Oceanic alone either, bassist Or Lubianiker having toured as part of bands for Marty Friedman and Gus G whilst playing on Yossi Sassi’s album Desert Butterflies. The ex-Orphaned Land guitarist is now returning the favour by producing City Of Glass, and providing guest guitar, vocal, and bouzoukitar enterprise within certain songs on the release.

A Scanner Darkly starts things off and swiftly has ears and attention intrigued; it’s atmospheric opening inviting but also oppressively hazy. It is a tantalising mix veined by gentle melodic Oceanic - City of Glass - Front (sRGB)coaxing and soon joined by the gentle husky vocal reflections of guitarist Idan Liberman. The song gently immerses senses and imagination, broadening its intensity and provocative textures with smooth and warm persuasion. Before long its passion and energy breaks through the calm though, crisp beats and a dark bassline uniting with fiery enterprise from the guitars of Amir Manbar and Liberman, whilst the latter’s vocal tones also elevate in emotion and roaring vivacity. The song by now offers a mix of Palms, Bush, and in some ways System Of A Down, melodies and harmonies blooming in a fiercer cage of beats from Gal Shochet and throaty bass suggestiveness from Lubianiker. The song continues to ebb and flow in its intensity, increasingly impressing and exciting ears and imagination.

The following Wind Up In Barrel (Tribute To Walter) continues the strong start, raising the album’s game straight away with its rolling rhythmic start. A sudden drop into an emotive calm catches ears by surprise, losing that potent start quickly and dramatically wrong-footing, especially first time around, but it is soon embroiled in a brewing climatic of creative voracity and sonic agitation. Vocally too, Liberman seems to find a left field approach to his delivery which only adds to the riveting drama of the song. It takes time but the track eventually emerges as an inescapable seduction whetting the appetite further for album and the sultry embrace of South Of Heaven which follows. Its smouldering lures and charm is just the lead into more tempestuous but restrained musical and emotional progressive bred turbulence. It is a compelling encounter, essences of bands like Shinedown and Seether making glimpses in the magnetic presence of the song.

Both Enter and Clouds keep attention and enjoyment high, each again a mix of aggressive energies and reflecting tranquillity, never lingering in either too long and uniting them with craft and invention. Neither song creates new templates for rock ‘n’ roll it is fair to say, but both provide refreshing and thoroughly satisfying proposals, the first a melodic bellow with tangy sonic endeavour from the guitars and another rhythmic enticement to equally intimidate and excite. It only grows in pungent appeal and strength over time whilst its successor almost stalks ears with its heavy rhythmic resonance and predatory riffing, though again it is tempered by the strong vocal and guitar sculpted enterprise bringing warmth and light to the darker tones.

The brief and harmonically elegant Fish You Shouldn’t Eat (Part 1) slips in next, its musty warmth and sonic shimmer, a pleasing appetiser for the impact of These Countless Hours. This is a song which left ears and thoughts undecided and still does even though it is also a compelling puzzle. It starts off in impressive style, rugged beats and caustic tone a swiftly enthralling protagonist aided by similarly robust vocals. It continues to light ears until something strange happens, an exploration of invention emerges which sees music and vocals going in different directions. Both continue to work just not together for personal tastes, and we devour anything with a warped twist or avant-garde approach. It is almost as if singer and instruments have their own individual songs and are trying to unite them as one. The fact that it keeps luring ears back to try to make sense of it is a testament to what is going on in ideation just not its success.

We are back on an even keel with HMS Beagle, an intensive ballad of power and emotion with more roaring senses licking flames than a bushfire, and straight after through the melodic smooch of Eva The Cat Doesn’t Sleep, a song with a Poets Of the Fall whisper to its melodic and creative beauty. Vocally Liberman shows his full and strong range, occasionally showing an Andy Partridge like lilt, whilst guitars and rhythms combine in a graceful romance of accompanying sound.

The track Oceanic brings City Of Glass to an epic end, its meaty length and imaginative textures a rich croon of soaring vocals and provocative melodies wrapped in thick bass shadows and gripping beats. It has a latent aggression and underlying anger to it too, which only seems to intensify the emotion and sonic tempest smothering ears. It is a fine end to a great album. There are certainly moments which do not work as well as others but ultimately, City Of Glass is a dramatic and enthralling storm of melodic and alternative rock very easy to recommend all at least should check out.

City Of Glass is available now @ http://oceanicband.com/album/city-of-glass-full-album

https://www.facebook.com/OceanicBand

RingMaster 18/03/2015

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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/

Vile Regression – Empires

Vile Regression Promo 2014

Irish metallers Vile Regression are no strangers to acclaim, their debut release coming under eager praise but you can only feel that it was fore play for a much stronger and fevered attention once new EP Empires consumes ears. The release is a stunning onslaught of sonic voracity forged in the imagination of technical metal and ferocity of extreme metal in its broadest diversity. The band has inspired comparisons to the likes of Death, Opeth, and Gojira, and listening to Empires it is understandable but whereas at times other technically fired bands bewitch with their skills before falling into indulgences, Vile Regression sculpt real slabs of brutal invention. Their tracks are built on riffs and grooves which come with lethal hooks and melodic tempting, all aspects treated with the same love and attention as the technical alchemy at work. This is openly evident in Empires, a clutch of songs which leave ears gloating and passions bulging.

The seeds of the Dublin band began back in 2007 when brothers Barry (guitar) and Kenn Christie (bass) formed a band which went under a few names for early demos until settling as Visitor Q and releasing a debut EP to strong responses. 2010 saw the addition of drummer Robb Behan and the band name changing to Vile Regression. The Pattern Evolves EP was unveiled the following year to, as mentioned, keen critical praise, its success leading to the band landing support slots with bands such as Dyscarnate and Fleshgod Apocalypse. A line-up change saw vocalist Padraig Croke and guitarist Brian Brady joining the brothers and Behan in 2013, which was followed by a support slot with Unearth and subsequently the recording of Empires. It has been a strong rise for the band over the years but with the new release it would be hard to be surprised if the band now found itself to the fore of extreme metal such its triumph.

Ears are immediately challenged as opener Tides confronts their anticipation, thumping rhythms grabbing instant attention to which swirling sonic endeavour sparks the imagination. It is a potent lure which evolves into a fiercely front_coverrousing tempest as the swipes of Behan trigger a maelstrom of bass intimidation, raging vocals, and senses binding sonic causticity. It is a dramatic and feverish incitement which never loses its irresistible lure even under the cascading, creatively carnivorous technical exploration of the band. It is a seamless union, one as mentioned which feels united in every intent rather than elements trying to outshine others. Between the Buried and Me comes to mind during the track but only as a spice to something scintillatingly original.

The following Raze the Complexity similarly needs little time to inflame the senses, guitars dancing seductively and with agitated endeavour across ears as the grouchy growls of Croke spill hope linked animosity. It is increasingly magnetic bait which only increases its toxicity as the guitars flirt with the imagination through ingenious designs and craft. Just as masterfully contagious though are the merciless and adventurous rhythmic incitement of Behan and the corrosively riveting riffs of bass and guitar. Not one note or twist in the song comes without scintillating creative tenacity but it never dips into the realms of excess either, every alignment of savagery and technical enthralment a gripping and easily accessible drama.

The brief instrumental Dream of the Red Chamber allows a breath to be swallowed, though its melodic beauty then takes away the next before moving into the outstanding predacious storm of Thought Replication. The new track lurches with a sonic tempting which swiftly enslaves appetite and emotions. Sinew driven riffs add ravenous shadows to ever grizzled and compelling vocals, whilst the emerging creative emprise spreads elegant and mouth-watering tendrils. Not as intensively aggression as the first pair of tracks, the song bellows at and charms the senses in equal measure, their fluid union a through captivation from ear to passions.

It is hard to relay the skills at play and the even more impressive merger of that brilliance into the grooving almost bestial rapacious heart of this and other songs, that ridiculously thrilling success repeated and enhanced with The Abstract. For all the references which flirt with thought across the release, this song also imposes a veining of inhospitality which could be Ferium or Killswitch Engage bred , this again showing the broadness and depth of the band’s sound. The track continues to gnaw on and subdue the senses, its ferocity coming with a rabidity which is flirtatious and speared with staggered and jagged unpredictability and ear teasing sonic fascination.

Another mesmeric instrumental sooths next, Down to a Sunless Sea as radiant as the previous piece, before final track raises its rhythmic ire and sonic fire to sear and assault with glorious invention. The Empyrean Divide explores thoughts and soul with a rich Opeth/Death spiced, heavily shadowed breath. There is an even more menacing darkness and imposing grudge to the proposition but again it’s devouring only leads to brighter prospects echoed by lyrics and the melodic maze of invention veining and entwining the raw onslaught.

The final track is a thunderous close to an exceptional encounter, one which puts Vile Regression firmly on the frontline of progressive/technical extreme metal releases this year. Empires declares the band a new emerging leading light, a proposition the metal world has unknowingly been eagerly waiting for.

The Empires EP is available now!

http://vileregression.bandcamp.com/album/empires

www.facebook.com/vileregression

10/10

RingMaster 21/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Exploring shadows and dark adventures: an interview with Tiran Ezra of Ferium

Tiran

Entwining groove, technical, and extreme metal into their own vicious and highly persuasive confrontation, Israeli death metallers Ferium have unleashed one of the most potent and thrilling albums so far this year with their debut Reflections. A release which roars, challenges, and rigorously seizes the imagination, the album thrusts Ferium into a deserved new world wide spotlight. Eager to find out more we took the opportunity to talk with vocalist Tiran Ezra, investigating the past of the band, Israeli metal, the new attention upon Ferium and much more…

Hi Tiran and thank you for agreeing to talk with us.

It is probably fair to say that Ferium is still a bit of a secret in world metal but that now seems to be changing especially over the past year or so. Does it feel like things are now happening for the band to you guys?

We feel very fortunate to be getting any type of recognition from people outside of Israel, we’ve worked and are still working very hard just to get a sense of fulfilment and only now we are finally getting a taste of that attention to our music that we needed in order to feed us with a drive to create more buzz around ourselves.

It certainly feels that way.

2013 was a busy and successful year for the band; looking back on it what are your reflections of it and how it impacted on your reputation as a band?

We are happy we did everything we have.

But there is always that bug inside our head that says that we should’ve done more; unfortunately it’s not that easy getting out of Israel every couple of months for a tour, it’s quite like hell on earth to be completely honest.

Before we look at your new debut album, can you tell us about the beginnings of Ferium and the driving force bringing the band into reality?ferium 2

Ever since our major line-up change, bringing Yoni Biton and Ron Amar into the band’s rhythm section, everything seemed a lot more real, providing a fresh sense of understanding towards the music business as a functioning band; I think THAT is the beginning for Ferium.

The past couple of years has made us realised there is quite potent metal scene in Israel but how is the death metal presence in the country?

The scene here is really active when it comes to bands forming or doing any kind of effort to get out of here; the death metal scene is fairly small here since the “core” scene really took the world by the balls, not that it’s a bad thing, but it’s become more than a fashion than a lifestyle. It’s kind of sad to watch from a side if you are a sworn metal fan, because it created this whole new line of people not liking metalheads, for being metalheads, just because they like core, I think that is narrow minded and redundant.

Has it become easier would you say for Israeli metal bands to be noticed and accepted at home and further afield over recent years though?

Absolutely not, no matter where you are from you have to put the same amount of effort to be any kind of a self-respecting band.

Israel is one of the worst places to be on earth when it comes to trying to get out of if you are wishing yourself to be a touring musician.

You recently released your excellent debut album Reflections; did you have any particular hopes for it in regard to attracting attention with a wider audience?

Again, we feel very thankful to get any source of recognition, this is usually not something that you come across, a debut album from Israel getting a worldwide distribution deal, I do believe that the people who catch our theme will be hardcore fans of the material to come in the not so far future.

Reflections CoverHow would you say your sound has evolved and grown between the album and your first release, The New Law EP of 2009?

A lot more organic and dynamic, and all together completely different in terms of approach and in the way we imagine the finalized product.

The album is a brutal and demanding release which on first few plays certainly impresses thoroughly but it is through further plays that the enthralling web of adventurously skilled enterprise and imagination within the dark depths of songs truly reveal their strengths. Do you deliberately sculpt songs that way or it just their organic growth as they come to life?

Very flattered first of all, it really is a bit of both, the true talent is the lyrics and the whole atmosphere of the songs being portrayed by being open for interpretation and not really pushing anything, down anyone’s throat.

How does the songwriting work within the band generally?

Elram and myself at the Studio work first, with pre-recorded riffs, after that going to the rest of the band for confirmation on input and insight.

How has lyrically and musically the band and its music been affected or indirectly found inspiration in the conflicts around your country and home town Haifa?

I believe that the air in Israel really has done something to our brains, every citizen of this place can just feel the atmosphere here, if it’s the honking in the streets by every person, the news on TV saying practically “hey, there’s going to be war n’ stoof” yeah, it sure isn’t nice.

Lyrically & musically it has done nothing to affect, but it has contributed to what all of us are today as intelligent human beings.

Reflections feels like it is part of something bigger rather than an individual encounter, though to be honest I am not sure why it makes me feel that? Am I imagining it or is there a wider aspect yet to be explored to the theme of the album?

Actually it’ll probably be the 1st part of a trilogy of albums that shows a darker side in mine & Elram’s mind.

..And that side is?

Elram’s side of the story is more of a hands on experience with the lyrics we write, and I usually link in to the whole atmosphere and imagine myself in a kind of world where these stories can actually take place.

How was the recording experience with the album, any unexpected obstacles or good surprises rise up in its creation?

Nothing in particular, except being a really long process of mixing and production so we could get that atmosphere we eventually scored.

Did you learn anything in particular which you can take forward into your future releases?

pic: Guy First Video & Photography

pic: Guy First Video & Photography

Mostly Elram did, because he really is the mastermind behind the vision which is Ferium, sound wise.

But when it comes to the actual performance and tightness of the tracks, this is something we all became a lot more professional in.

Can you tell us about the excellent art work wrapping the album?

We actually had a very early demo of the album that had an even more raw approach to the mix, once Eliran Kantor heard that, he decided that the drums will actually portray the Rhino on the cover, but the overall concept of the little man trying to pull down the huge rhino is the epitome of the concept put in a metaphor of a man facing his greatest fears.

Not having had the pleasure yet, the word is that Ferium is a mighty proposition live. Is that aspect the most satisfying of being in a band for you?

It most certainly is; I think that the fact we chose such a direct approach to our sound is to be able to perform them live, perfectly, if not better than the recording.

And talking of live shows, what is next for Ferium in that department?

We have a few autumn dates that we are looking at, but definitely will have a couple of tours until the end of this year all over EU.

Thanks once more for sharing time with us.

Any last thought you would like to leave readers considering?

Thank you for taking in interest in us, we are very grateful for this, buy our album 😉

http://www.feriumband.com/

Read the review of Reflections @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/04/07/ferium-reflections/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/05/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Ferium – Reflections

Ferium1.lo

Parading a roaring muscular sound built from numerous metallic essences around a death metal spine, Israeli metallers Ferium more than lives up to the brewing buzz around them with debut album Reflections. Twelve slabs of creative brutality and imaginatively skilled endeavour, the release is a formidable and striking big step into the wider metal world, one which hits hard and impressively initially but only truly reveals its depths and strengths and those of the band across numerous exploits with its intrusive presence. The quintet delves into the rich wells of groove, technical, general extreme metal and more to enhance their core viciousness and persuasion, a fusion as proven by their first full-length which is something not exactly unique but definitely seizing attention and a hungry appetite as it starts setting its own path now and for the future.

Ferium was formed in 2006 taking initial inspirations of Pantera and Lamb Of God into their intent though that expanded over the years with influences from the likes of Textures, Gojira, and Death adding to the fuel driving their invention. Equally growing up in Haifa and the situation in their country has added depth to the lyrical and musical side of their emergence. The band does not directly or openly explore any aspect of the conflict and climate they grew within and felt personally but it is scenery which has brought a raw and uncompromising breath to their sound and presence. Their first release, The New Law EP in 2009 took the band into a strong spotlight at home and further afield, helping to lead Ferium to appearances at big home events such as Summer Carnage and Hallejujahas well as those abroad like Wacken 2009. Last year saw a more intensive time for the band, tours supporting The Agonist, Threat Signal, Mors Principium Est, and Dawn Heist around Europe and the UK following a show opening for Gojira in Israel. The end of 2013 was marked by the band signing a deal with Transcend Music and the worldwide distribution for the 2012 recorded Reflections, a release you sense could open up a highly receptive hunger for their presence.

Opening track By The Book lays an initial abrasive guitar coaxing upon the ears, a sonic wind brewing alongside it before being punctured Reflections Coverby the heavy probing rhythms of drummer Ron Amar. It is an intriguing start, one offering various options of where the song and album might go without revealing anything too soon. It is not long though before the drums increase their pressure, the bass of Yoni Biton closes in with dark intensive shadows, and the guitars of Elram Boxer and Guy Goldenberg sculpt a weave of tight grooves and searing riffs to transfix thoughts and emotions. With the harsh yet welcoming vocal abrasion of Tiran Ezra unleashing the first narrative, the track wakes up eager attention early, leading it into a magnetic fascination which in turn ignites the imagination. The thrilling song does not really explode at any point but is a constant blaze of invention and technical prowess which is stretched to more dramatic adventures across the album, in fact right away with DownHill From Nothing.

The second song entwines the ears in an infection fuelled groove from its first breath, the guitars seducing with full potency as bass and drums badger the senses into another swift submission. Again the vocals graze and roar with an unbridled causticity but only to accentuate the virulent lure of the song. The bass of Biton prowls and growls with understated but open ingenuity throughout the tempestuous offering yet it is the work of Boxer and Goldenberg which more often than not steals the focus upon the song, the melodies and emotive designs from their strings richly colouring song and imagination. Like the first it has an inescapable contagion to its enterprise and especially its grooved bait, and like its successor draws a greedy appetite for its invention.

Both The Very Existence and Mirror exploit an already eager attention with their individual persuasions, the first creating a weave of djent seeded technical manipulation with an almost thrash spawned antagonistic fury of death metal with metalcore bred essences. It is heavier and more intense than its predecessors without dismissing any of the melodically nurtured sonic exploration which marked their success. With a strong evocative ambience also washing the canvas of the song it is a thought provoking and longer to convince encounter, as is its successor though both refuse to relinquish the grip already seized by the release. The second of these two squall over and ravage the senses with again a stronger rabidity; vocally and rhythmically the track an abusive suasion whilst sonically it sears air and flesh, the combination another offering to feed the hunger inside.

The entrance of Side Effects is exceptional, an intimidating but irresistible gentle tempting from the guitars and the perfect lure into the spiteful aggression to follow. Its gait is almost stalking the ears whilst the outstanding bass hook and acidic guitar toxicity steals the passions below an unreserved rhythmic provocation. Its masterful adventure is replaced by the instrumental The Black Eyes, a piece ripe with classical keys elegance and scuzz surfaced energy. It is music which builds its size and intensity across its skilful narrative, inviting the imagination to cast its own tale though it is less successful with the passions especially with the bestial Lust Fool bursting in right away. It is a bear of a song, muscles holding sway within the black density and throat of the onslaught whilst the guitars lash and rhythms pummel the senses around the ever malicious vocals. It is a drama fuelled, adrenaline driven monstrosity of an encounter and thoroughly scintillating.

After the similarly predacious Caustic Value, an intrusion which easily feeds wants without lighting fires, the album takes another upturn with the brilliant Change Of Winds soon matched by Business On Demand. The first of the two romps with and dancing over ears and senses with grooves and jagged riffery from its first second, the track gnawing, jarring, and disorientating senses magnificently whilst Ezra riles syllables and tones for an equally malevolently textured assault, his variety in delivery a constant pleasure. The track twists and lurches wonderfully, all the time depleting energy and scything slices from the synapses until an exhausted pleasure lies in its wake, one soon re-energised by its successor. An open and familiar groove leads the way under the persistent cosh of rhythms and barracking riffs, the temptation recruiting full allegiance for the subsequent savagery vocally and musically which envelops the still dominant groove cast toxins.  Both tracks provide the pinnacle of the album and the band’s songwriting in brutality and epidemic seduction.

The album is concluded by Blood and its title track, the pair insatiable trespasses bringing an outstanding release to a mighty end, the first of the two an insidiously nasty demonic capture of ears and beyond whilst the last song simply churns up and suffocates emotions with mouthwatering invention and crippling intensity respectively. Wrapped in excellent artwork from Eliran Kantor (Hatebreed, Sodom, Atheist), Reflections is extreme metal of the highest order and shows Ferium as having the potential of forging truly major horizons ahead whilst giving a rather breath-taking treat for the now.

http://www.feriumband.com/

9/10

RingMaster 07/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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