Orestea – Elements

Already embracing a fair wash of attention and acclaim through previous EP This is An Overture and a spirit sparking live presence, UK outfit Orestea have pushed their creative bar on again with their striking new album Elements.  Bringing rich essences of melodic rock and alternative metal together in collusion with what can only be described as pop virility, the Guildford hailing band weave a seriously infectious proposition which boils time and time again within an album which has body and imagination bouncing.

Cored around the energy and craft of guitarist Lloyd Wilson, bassist Mike Quinn, and the vocal magnetism of Lisa Avon, a line-up completed by guitarist Johno Madgwick since recording the album, Orestea irrepressibly build on a potent reputation earned through songs and performances alongside the likes of alongside Ashestoangels, Forever Never, ESO, and Wednesday 13 as well as plaudit drawing sets at festivals such as Bloodstock, Download and Guildfest, in swift time upon Elements. As soon as opener Welcome to Surviville comes forth, there is a sense of fresh adventure and assured maturity in songwriting and sound at work. Drama accompanies the approaching sound just as harmony soaks the vocal invitation of Avon whilst imagination instantly infests every twist and turn as the song settles into its rock pop temptation. Driven by the rhythmic web cast by drummer Jack Slade across the release, the song simultaneously rumbles upon and serenades the senses, that adventurousness continuing to fuel guitars, keys, and the heart of an excellent opener setting the creative template and heart of things to come.

The following Here’s The Plan immediately saunters in with a vibrant air, melodies and metallic riffs uniting around Avon’s increasingly potent tones. Her voice is an instinctive roar, as much a seductive flame as it is a steely incitement and as virulent as the sounds around her. Though maybe not quite finding the boldness of its predecessor, the track keeps attention and pleasure burning bright before the album’s title track sizzles on ears. The dancing enterprise of the guitars brings its own raw edge to match the biting and dark temptations of drums and bass, the latter’s grumble especially magnetic in the heated contagious blaze of the song.

References to the likes of Paramore and Don Broco seem to crop up more often than not and it is easy to hear why but as fourth track Ghost of Letting Go steps forward, Orestea only establish their own individual character upon thought and sound. The song is a fiery ballad built on the metallic strains of Quinn’s bass; a song with irritability in its roar and harmonic grace in its calm which only captivates before Alive or Just Existing shows the band is just as adept at kicking up a storm though that attack is unsurprisingly bound in an infectiousness which has the body bouncing and energies rising. It is pure pop rock ‘n’ metal mastery and another pinnacle upon the already praise stamped proposition.

Through the reflective beauty of Getaway, Avon sheer radiance within its warm atmospheric contemplation, and the rowdier stroll of Eggshells, ears are treated to further invention and an enjoyably inescapable persuasion which The Wreckage continues as it burns in ears with emotion and sonic flames like a drama woven sunset. All three leave pleasure and thoughts enamoured before Got Your Back echoes their persuasions with its own enticement if one not quite matching their heights of those but only due to personal preference.

The album is completed by the emotive sigh of Burning Bridges, Avon and music a release of emotive intensity which caps a fine album with a melodic passion hard to not get wrapped up in. It is a fine conclusion to a release which confirms Orestea as one stirring proposition with still the potential of even greater adventures ahead. If being over fussy, there are times within Elements when the band might have pursued its imagination and invention with even braver boldness but it is just a greedy quibble upon something which excites from beginning to end.

Elements is out now @ http://shop.orestea.com/product/elements-album

https://www.facebook.com/oresteaband/    https://twitter.com/orestea

Pete RingMaster 26/09/2017

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To The Lions: Self Titled EP

If you want your musical balls given a real beating whilst being caressed with melodic enterprise to sooth the damage, then time to meet UK metal band To The Lions and their tremendous new self titled EP. Four tracks of raging brutality and impressive melodic invention, it is a fresh and imaginative addition to what has been a year of promising and strong emerging extreme and metalcore fuelled UK bands. The Cambridge quartet do not quite fit in any exact category which is the first good thing about them but certainly they can be as aggressive and angry as any and just as inspired with their inventive ideas and smoother passions too.

Formed in the last weeks of 2008, the foursome of vocalist and guitarist Tony Stead, guitarist James Croft, bassist Nigel Ferguson, and drummer Mark Richards, have spent the last year and a half on a blur of gigs as they promoted and shared their well received debut EP Spent Shells. Shows with the likes of Forever Never, Orestea, RSJ, Sworn Amongst, and Kobra and the Lotus, have gone to help spread their presence and sounds across the South of England and with the new EP it would be surprising if the next time they appear on the radar we are not noting them as being at the fore of emerging British metal.

From the moment There’s A Reason winds its scorched notes around the ear and bursts into stiff muscular assaults of riffs and barbed rhythms, there is a feel that something mighty is about to let loose on the senses. The band does not disappoint as the venomous tones of Stead rage over what has become slightly subdued yet intrusive sounds. It then shifts into an unexpected but skilfully brought melodic breath before merging the extremes of intensity, entwining them with invention and passion. This makes for a shifting varied track which arguably without lighting undiscovered beacons is fully intriguing and in its latter progressive air, wholly beguiling.

From a strong start the ride gains greater heights of excellence and addiction. The following Oceans Away bawls like a storm from the off, its surging riffs and challenging intensity a crush on the senses. Beneath it all though there is a melodic presence waiting and soon it explores the track in unison with the abrasive drive of the song. With great harmonies and group shouts tempering the vocal menace and impressive fiery guitar play keeping the tempest of shuffling barbaric rhythms honest, it is a tempest to devour eagerly and deeply. As the guitars burns with an acidic groove and the anthemic chorus returns for its climax, the track leaves one breathless and grinning.

The other pair of tracks carry no intentions of easing up on the intense rampage, to only further pleasure. Wolves And Lions is a metallic scream, an inferno of bruising riffs and bitter soaked vocals upon serpentine grooves and thrash tinted expulsions of noise and sonic vindictiveness. It twists and blisters the senses whilst taking pot shots at the ear with an armoury of destructive malice from the violent creativity of the band.

The closing Fourth like the opener does not stand right out from the crowd like the second and third track do, but still open up a maelstrom of satisfaction, pleasure, and anticipation for more from the band. It is a powerful and thunderous track which again show To The Lions as a band with a flair and skill at melding light, dark, anger, intricacy, violence and composure, into one boiling onslaught of quality.

Remember the name To The Lions, if they continue to progress as they are they will be a big force and name in future years.

http://www.tothelions.co.uk

Ringmaster 31/08/2012

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The Self Titled: Defaced

With the greatly impressive song Mr Nobody a constant presence on the daily playlist here and recently featured on The Bone Orchard podcast from The Reputation Radio Show, the anticipation for the debut album from UK rock band The Self Titled was an eagerly growing itch which only the release could alleviate. Sometimes such eagerness ends in disappointment such the expectations placed upon something but with Defaced, the band not only matched but easily surpassed those hopes. The album is a bruising slab of rock power brought with quality craft and invention. It has no pretence towards or delusions of breaking down boundaries but if there has been a better and more exhilarating collection of pure rock n roll tracks it is hard to bring them to mind over the past year with only the Trucker Diablo album able to match what The Self Titled have unleashed.

From Kent the quintet of vocalist Mark Campbell, guitarists Darren Towner and Dan Wright, bassist Steve Hobbs, and Paul Brander on drums, has become one of the most prolific and sought after bands across the UK, their dynamic stage performances leading them to supporting the likes of Kobra and the Lotus, Forever never and Jezabel Deva and thrilling festivals alongside bands such as Status Quo, The Damned, and Gun. Defaced was due to be recorded in April of 2011 but such the demand for them on the live circuit the band had to be put it back due to lack of time to give it the attention it deserved. Now they have been able to find that space and have unveiled an album which is deeply rewarding and pleasing. One doubts the band would ever put out something rushed or substandard but the album is of such might it proved the decision to wait was correct. Last year also saw the band lined up to sign with Blaze Bayley Recordings, the label set up by the man himself and would have been one of his first signings but things as happens did not quite work out and the band decided not to follow that link up.

The Self Titled has a sound which ignites all the best elements of rock and metal to combine them into a feisty force of infectious and compulsive sounds. There is at times a trash tendency which reminds of latter day Metallica but the Americans for all their good songs have never excited as much on their recent albums as the Brits easily do on Defaced. The album is not only impressive in its sound and songwriting but in the extremely high consistency from the opening triumph Soul Control through to the closing piece of might The Silence. The opener emerges on a sonic scraping of the ear to immediately explode in to a riotous surge of busy and hungry riffs and eager rhythms. The guitars flash and thrust with dramatic energy and the bass of Hobbs is a prowling brew of delicious contempt, whilst the vocals of Campbell with admittedly a more than slight Hetfield tone rasp and draw the lyrics perfectly. The song is an immense and undeniable start.

From here on in its simply impressive track after track, the likes of the following Twisted with its incisive rhythms from Brander alongside the mesmeric guitar play and the insatiable Stomp leaving one breathless and eager for more without reservation. The second of these two is a blistering storm of imaginative melodic rock and greedy riffs which is irresistible. If infectiousness could be bottled this track would be its advertising soundtrack, a nonstop exercise in perfect rock n roll.

Evert track is a highlight on Defaced but there is always a soft spot for My Nobody. The song within seconds lights up the ear with guitar and bass beckoning as irresistible as the vocals are brooding. It is another rampaging riot upon the senses with everything about it instinctively siren like, though the most muscular one you are likely to meet. With jabbing beats, bustling riffs, and brewing atmosphere building up to incendiary and wonderfully concussive crescendos it is one of the best songs unveiled this year.

The rest of the album though does not ever pale against the song with those previously mentioned and songs like the inventive Warped and the final song The Silence a quality match. The first is a clever blend of teasing grooves and again irrepressibly infectious riffs with intelligent provocative atmospheres and ingenuity, especially in the unexpected aside mid song. The last track is brings an outstanding close to the album to rival the outstanding start. The song bustles and presses the ear with an inciting air and power to leave one drained yet desperate to dive back in to the album right away.

    Defaced is truly outstanding and though there was a belief it would be good it swept those aside with something far more impressive in stature and quality. UK rock and metal has never been healthier with The Self Titled leading the way.

http://www.theselftitled.com

Tune into The Bone Orchard as it brings choice cuts from Defaced over the weeks ahead

RingMaster 26/06/2012

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The Bone Orchard Show 34

The Reputation Radio Show has a well established recognition and notoriety for finding, championing and promoting the best of the independent artists and sounds around the globe. Unrelenting and tenacious the promotions company/radio show is acknowledged as the prime source for finding the best talent of all genres with the introduction of the same followed closely. The intense and heavier world of sound is discovered and unleashed through The Bone Orchard, a show where anything with muscle and a riotous tendency is eagerly presented. From all forms of metal and industrial/harsh electro through punk and psychobilly on to noise and psyche with all in between, The Bone Orchard bears their individual shadowed fruits eagerly.

This past week saw the latest episode bringing six of the most impressive and exciting bands around as well as bringing a debate on some aspects of music. Hosted by the blue hued Pete Ringmaster and Reputation Radio Show CEO and mastermind Johnny Summers, the show cleared the sinuses and lit up the ears of all those with urges to match and compliment the great sounds played.

Opening with the traditional opening intro provided by Mr Strange of The Shanklin Freak Show, a band the hosts would talk about at length within the show giving the audience the latest developments from their carnival, the show immediately treated the eager crowd to a track from the debut album Defaced from UK rock band The Self Titled to be released June 18th. Mr Nobody is a stunning track, a metal and rock fusion with stirring vocals from frontman Mark Campbell over a brew of inventive and powerful sounds. With an insatiable thirst for gigging and an equal demand wanting them for shows, The Self Titled are one of the best bands in the country right now, their sharing of stages with the likes of Forever Never and Sarah Jezebel Deva as well as acclaimed festival appearances, leaving nothing but devoted fans in their wake.

Next there was a burst of real punk rock from another band from the UK in the mischievous bruising shape of Dirt Box Disco. With self declared influences ranging from Kerbdog, The Damned  and the Ramones to The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band and Showaddywaddy, the quintet from Burton on Trent make music which is honest, feisty, and insatiably infectious. The contagious track played, I Am Rock n Roll, was an exclusive from Legend another album to be released June 18th. The song played and the album the song comes from is one which revives the true 1977 spirit of punk meshing it with rock sounds as anthemic and voracious as you could wish for.

Before a lively debate about bands including cover songs in their live sets which saw the hosts at opposing lecterns but ultimately ended in the blue man being right, so he claims, things became intensified with the devastating aggressive sound of Amongst Carrion. From South Wales the five piece metallers woke up the airwaves with their track The Fear In Her Eyes taken from their latest EP We That Should Not Be. With a melodic groove recalling In Flames and the brutal riffage of an August Burns Red, the track easily declares the band as an emerging force in UK extreme metal. They have definitely moved on fully from their early days as a cover band, the point which inspired the following discussion.

Continuing the UK theme Leeds band Ourfamous Dead provided the next outstanding track with their forth coming single Claws At The Door. A rampant brew of hardcore, punk, and electro the song is the latest step in the vision of band founder and song writer AJ Reeves. Fresh off a UK tour with another Bone Orchard favourite The Sun Explodes, the quintet are a band on an accelerated rise pulling in acclaim and fans with each show and release persistently. Having supported the likes of The Blackout, Funeral For a Friend and Gallows, the band is fast approaching the point where others are eager to share stages with them.

As the final featured band of the night, US melodic metal band Vajra stunned and thrilled the listeners with their epic masterpiece Inside The Flame. Taken from their forthcoming album Pleroma, to be released in July, the song is a hypnotic and powerful example of the darkly melodic progressive rock fused with Eastern Indian influences which they inventively create. Led by the glorious voice of founder/producer/keyboardist/songwriter Annamaria Pinna, the band is one with a craft and imagination which is sure to find a feverish demand over the months ahead.

Closing out with Irish metallers iBURN, a band which is frequently requested since the debut of their song Where It Begins taken from their new EP of the same name, and another band which leaves you wanting more, The Bone Orchard dished up another formidable dose of new and impressive music. If anyone tells you there is nothing good or new coming out, place them in front of the podcast of the show, and they will soon be put right by this group of bands alone.

With the show primed to unveil more outstanding artists and sounds across the weeks ahead you can catch this, previous and future shows over at The Bone Orchard page at The Reputation Radio Show site as well as watching a selection of videos from a host of the bands featured on the show.

Get in touch with the show via  boneorchard@reputationintroduces.com

RingMaster 16/06/2012

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Skarlett Riot: Villain

If you have not come across UK rock band Skarlett Riot yet that will soon change with the release of their new EP Villain on March 19th. Bristling with formidable sounds, confrontational attitude, and a bearing of its fangs, the release is mighty; a deeply gratifying feast of heavy and explosive riffs fuelled by instinctive melodies and barely controlled energy. Villain stomps all over the senses and then goes back to give them another kicking after reviving them with its invigorating charm and infectious sounds.

Formed in 2010 Skarlett Riot has already garnered fine praise and acclaim for their live shows and debut EP. Their sharing of stages with the likes of Taking Dawn, Crashdiet, Glamour of the Kill, Black Spiders, Forever Never, Deaf Havana, and Francesqa and recent successful appearance at the Tramlines Festival set them as a band to watch something Villain strongly confirms. With a sound that takes the essences of the likes of Paramore and Halestorm and twists them into a stylish rod of melodic prowess to fuse with the bands aggressive and intense rock n roll, the band are about to make a powerful statement with the EP, an affirmation and declaration of intent and power from one of the best emerging UK bands.

The release goes for the jugular from the off, the opener doing exactly what its title says Party Hard. The song walks into rather than storms the ear, its nicely crafted and free flowing guitars from Danny and Skarlett stroking and badgering the senses eagerly. The vocals of Skarlett are impressive, her commanding and quarrelsome delivery perfectly riding the tremendous pummelling of Lukes drums and the belligerent bass lines of Tom. The song gains momentum as it progresses to set a strong start to the release.

Read My Lips soon takes things further though, with pulsating riffs that dazzle as the bass plunders the ear with menace. The song is an easy infection for the ear, an defiant anthemic muscular track that marks the band down for much greater things ahead. The songs hooks are irrepressible and its heart captivating, a great song that sets a high bench mark for the rest of the EP.

Luckily it is up to it with You’re The Enemy and Villain more than capable of keeping the wave of intensity and irresistible engagement going. The first is a guitar delight; a darker and more venomous track the riffs are challenging and the solo creates sparks from its wonderful scorching of the ear as it explodes. Villain rivals Read My Lips for best track on the release with the grumbling bass from Tom prowling around the striking drums and incisive guitars deliciously. As on every song Skarletts vocals rage with a passion and controlled attitude that takes the music into other complimentary avenues to its mighty intensity. If there was a dispute you would put your money on her, she steers the thunderous sound the band creates skilfully, the quartet as a whole masterful in merging the brawly sound to their melodic artistry.

Villain is a great release that all rock fans need to check out. Skarlett Riot are as mentioned emerging as one of the finest new rock ‘n’ roll bands in the UK, this EP suggests maybe the best.

www.facebook.com/skarlettriotuk

Ringmaster 13/03/2012

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Interview with Adam McKee of Dead ‘Til Friday

The moment the video for The Longest Year from Belfast band Dead ‘Til Friday grabbed our attention with its unbridled fun and enthused aggression further investigation of the band was a no brainer. Their current EP Water further impressed and set the band as one to watch closely over the year ahead with their stirring blend of rap metal and inventive rock sounds igniting a strong anticipation for future sounds from the quintet. Wanting to know more about Dead ‘Til Friday we had the pleasure of getting vocalist Adam McKee to answer our questions about the band and their music.

Hello and welcome to The RingMaster Review

Firstly would you introduce the band and members?

I’m Adam I sing, we’ve also got Conhuir and Steve who play guitar, Jonny on bass and Colin on Drums.

How and when did the band begin?

The band began in around 2007/2008 but there’s been a few line-up changes since then and the band has only really been this formation for the past year or so.

Is Dead ‘Til Friday the first band for you all?

Not at all, we’ve all been in previous bands before, myself and Conhuir we’re in a band called Acidtone, Steve played alongside us in other local bands for a few years, also Colin and Jonny have been in a few local bands before too.

What was the influence for the band name?

The band name came from a random conversation on a night out between Colin and our previous vocalist/guitarist, they joked a bit about it and said it would make a great band name, and hey, it stuck!

Your sound is a feisty blend of rap metal, muscular riffs and infectious melodic choruses what are the influences that have added shape to your music?

Feisty? Haha, cool! Yea, I myself have been singing and rapping like this for years now. We listen to a VERY large spectrum of music between us all. The metal side of things isn’t normally what I would listen to myself in my free time. All in all it’s a great thing because when it comes to writing we’re never stuck for ideas, melodies or riffs.

You and another great metal band Gacy’s Thread come from Belfast so what is the metal and rock scene like there for bands and fans?

The metal scene at the moment is great! We’ve also recently proved it by heading a short distance outside of Belfast and the amount of bands looking to play Belfast is exciting. The bands and band members look out for each other, which is awesome; we definitely all help each other and do our best for the scene.

Is there a bond between the bands in Belfast that bands in other cities especially in the rest of the UK do not have with each other?

Yes and no, haha, we would definitely be more tight knit being on an island with other bands compared to the likes of America or Europe where everyone is so much further apart. We can also relate to the same struggles you go through trying to get touring and travelling overseas as much as possible. If we don’t all help each other out then we all kind of lose out at the end of the day.

As you mentioned you formed around 2008, how has the band evolved over the subsequent four years or so?

Our sound is one of the big things that has definitely evolved, especially through the line-up changes I mentioned earlier. A different vocalist and song writer definitely changed things up a lot, but this line-up and sound is very solid now, it takes any band a little time to find this and we’re excited! 🙂

The last two years appear to have been the biggest to date for the band, touring alongside bands Your Demise and Lower Than Atlantis, sharing the stage with the likes of Skindred, And So I Watch You From Afar and Forever Never, plus a prestigious slot at the Tennent’s Vital Festival to name a few notable moments. Has this time felt like a sudden intense elevation for you as a band in the same way that it appears to us on the outside?

Definitely, it’s a whole world of emotions all at once, fear, excitement, joy etc… but the key thing it has given us all is the hunger for it, every one of the opportunities and shows you mentioned gave great clarity to why we’re doing what we’re doing.

Tell us more about the Tennent’s Vital Festival; I believe you played to 50,000 with a slot between Jimmy Eat World and The Kaiser Chiefs?

Yea, we were nervous, but I think we certainly held our own. It was both surreal and exciting all at once, it’s a little hard to put into words almost! We got an amazing response to our heavier sound we have was great! We’d do it all again in heart beat! Haha!

Last year saw the release of your excellent EP Water, but I am led to believe there was an earlier release before that?

Thank you! Yeah there was a few EPs previous, but they were from a previous line-up or formation of the band, it certainly doesn’t represent us now.

Water grabs the attention with its great hard hitting insatiable sounds; did it exceed your expectations response wise?

Every time new ears hear it with touring we’re overwhelmed by the response! We love all our fans and it’s amazing to see it mean so much to people we don’t even know. Even simple things like people taking off work to come to one of our shows just blows our minds.

The Longest Year is the song from the EP which really grabs the listener by the throat and wonderfully demands attention; it must be a big crowd favourite at your live shows?

It definitely gets a sing along that’s for sure. We found the video release helped immensely for people to identify with it live.

Can you tell us about that video of the same song?

Sure. We shot the video with the very talented Darren Lee of Maverick Renegade Productions in an old abandoned warehouse in Downpatrick. We spent a day of filming close up, slow-motion and all the band shots, then to top it all off we even brought down some of our mates for the crowd shots and made them go mental.  We must have heard the same song 200 times, haha, but it was a lot of fun.

Turning back to the Water EP, you usually seem tagged as a rap metal band but the release shows a much more diversity to your sound. Do you feel frustrated at the more limiting tag you seem to be generally given?

Not at all, we find people need to give a name or tag to something these days so we just tend to go along, we’ve seen it called many different things, which is great cause it shows us people are taking an interest at least.

How does the songwriting process work within Dead ‘Til Friday?

Our guitarist Conhuir usually starts the ball rolling with a good riff and initial structure then ideas flow from there. We all then help out with structure, lyrics and other wee ideas usually.

With the band having a strong reputation and following across both sides of the border in Ireland it seems, is the UK the next centre of attention for you or are you looking further afield for 2012?

Definitely! We travelled to the UK last year and done a few days and met some new friends on the way, we could only hope we can keep going back and making strong connections and see some interest grow.

You are known for a firm DIY approach as with the EP release, is this something you always intended or simply the only option available to you right now?

A whole lot more of the first, we are lucky to have such a talented producer (Conhuir) in the band already we didn’t really feel the need to splash out on studio time etc.

I believe you are working on your debut album? How is that going and when are we likely to feel its pleasures?

We are indeed! It’s going great and we’re spending a lot of focused time on it at the moment. You can feel some of its pleasures now in our live show, but for the actual release we’ll be aiming for sometime mid to late 2012 after our over the top quality control gets a look at it, haha!

What is next for Dead ‘Til Friday as we move further into 2012 apart from the album?

The album is our main focus at the moment, but we have a few other things planned for around that time too.

Have you given yourselves any aims or objectives as a band for the coming year?

Haha, other than knuckling down and keeping doing what we’re doing not really. We’re going all out on the new album and focusing all our attention to it to try and make it the best it can possibly be!

Thanks so much for talking to us.

Would you like to finish by telling people who find you in a venue near them why they MUST come watch you?

It’s a no brainer! We’ll wreck the place and let them join in on the action! 😉

The Ringmaster Review 29/02/2012

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Allerjen – Equilibrium

Equilibrium the new album from UK metalers Allerjen may not have the brute force to bring down nations but it will leave plenty of casualties with numbed senses and weakened knees. Already renowned for their ferocious sound and instinctive grooves the Manchester quartet has hoisted up their intensity and aural intimidation with Equilibrium, bringing ten mighty tracks to accost and abuse the ear and beyond.

Formed in 1999 as Sphere, it was after their evolution into Allerjen in 2002 that things started to pick up for the band including a relatively settled period line-up wise, their earlier years seeing much instability. Through sharing stages with the likes of Sepultura, Amen, Man Must Die, Biomechanical, Skindred, Khanate and Forever Never, festival appearances such as the Damnation Festival and the Godless Festival the band brought strong support, acclaim and marked themselves as a rising formidable band in UK metal. Their recordings have further accentuated the band’s reputation, the early EP’s Lies, Allerjen, Progression Of Direction, and Resurrection grabbing attention and debut album No Guts, No Glory of 2008 proving the band was on a constant and strong rise despite at times a stop start journey. Over the years the band’s sound has hardened to become even more abrasive and rugged until this point when with Equilibrium, Allerjen have unleashed a bestial album of deathcore, metal and technical intrigue and more to take one down a heavy and brutal road graced with insistent grooves and fine creativity.

Released February 20th via Brutal Elite Records, Equilibrium slams fast and hard into the ear from the opening note of first track ‘Destroyer Of Worlds’. Commanding rhythms back up the striking guitar play. It turns out not to be the most powerful track on the album but with muscular riffs determined to occupy the ear and razor sharp melodies permeating the senses it is an excellent track. It comes with a diversity and thoughtful creation, the edgy melodic side matching the strength of the bruising power. As the whole album proves the guitars of Paul Wilkinson and Audie Harrison are not content with straight forward yet impressive displays but they stretch themselves and the songs with unpredictable changes, directions and refined creativity.

The brilliant ‘Treachery Be Thy Name‘ takes over next to rile up the pulse and excite the heart. Drummer Paul Tarbuck guides the track firmly as bassist John Dower solidly completes the formidable rhythms attack. Again though it is the guitars forming and providing instinctive grooves and insatiable riffs that make the track irresistible. Shifts in pace, time signatures and some delicious discordant guitar play give options to the unrelenting riffs and commanding beats. Dower’s vocals spew bile and malevolence all over the track, again something every song offers. His harsh growls like having one’s ear caressed vigorously with gravel mercilessly to overwhelm.

It is consistently the grooves and intelligent play that makes the band shine. Within the likes of ‘The Process To Being’ with a partial hard rock feel, the predatory threat of ‘Hunter’, and the best track on the album ‘Achieving Equilibrium’ the band offer so much more than other like genre bands, Allerjen provoking themselves and us with thoughtful and inventive songwriting and performance. The third of these tracks is a merciless searing attack intent on grounding one into the dust whilst feeding acidic and appeasing melodic intercourse. Unrelenting it grinds the senses into submission to revitalise with their melodic and inventive flair.

The album is deeply impressive but it does carry one negative that restrains it from greater heights. The vocals of Dower as mentioned are uncompromising and severe which is fine, and they are great at times. The problem is his delivery across the whole album is one pace, and unvaried. Often this works but in others the songs creativity is crying out for a disruption and ingenuity within his delivery.

Truth is though Allerjen have returned with an album that reinstates them as a definite force within UK’s metal scene. Equilibrium is a fine release with an ingenuity and thrust that hits the sweet spot whilst bludgeoning the ear. Simply just check out Allerjen.

RingMaster 09/02/2012

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