Blinding Sparks – Brutal Awakening

It has been a fair while coming but French metallers Blinding Sparks recently unleashed their debut album, Brutal Awakening, and it is a jewel of a proposition; a flawed one maybe but a real treasure nonetheless.

Sarreguemines hailing Blinding Sparks came together in 2009, producing a clutch of demos before unveiling the Renaissance insipide EP in 2014 or 15; as with other moments in their early days, the date seemingly varying. Nevertheless, its post rock adventure lured strong attention and provided a spring board from which Blinding Sparks really took off in sound, reputation, and presence. As Brutal Awakening swiftly shows, the band’s sound has evolved into a rapacious alternative metal fuelled proposition but one embracing an array of flavours with an imagination which is as unpredictable as the album’s character.

Brutal Awakening opens up with Don’t Need A Name, a track instantly prowling the senses as keys shimmer. The muscular rhythms of drummer Nicolas Kieffer and the imposing snarl of the four strings cast by bassist/guitarist Claude Hilpert are as predacious as they are infectious, vocalist Jeremy Conrad joining their trespass with his gravelly tones, again part threat part invitation. The song mellows a touch before returning to its invasive temptation, the song, featuring French singer/actor Laurent Bàn, revealing mercurial enterprise twist by turn.

It is an adventure which fuels the whole of the album, next up Arch springing a web of grooves and vocal irritability across rhythmic predation. As Conrad’s vocals match his and Hilpert’s guitar in contrasting fierce and melodic textures with clean prowess, Johanna Flauder adds her warm tones, she impresses immediately and within every track shows she is much more of a presence and important hue than simply a backing singer. Vocals return to their raw state as the cycle begins again, nurturing thoughts that though Conrad is potent with each, personal tastes hope his ventures into his far stronger cleaner delivery are more concentrated ahead, a thought the album continues to nurture.

The punk infested My Dog Will Piss On You follows, its metal ferocity rabid and addictive with its death, alternative, and groove metal collusion matched in nature by the varying and richly enjoyable vocals, singular and united. The track is superb, a glorious nagging on the senses arousing attitude and spirit with every raucous exploit before Deathbeds calms things with its melodic, slight Latin spiced croon. Anthemic beats and melancholic strings respectively drive and wrap the song’s emotive stroll, Conrad and Flauder vocally magnetic as Hilpert and Kieffer lay down their own virulent bait. Both tracks are magnificent, instinctive bait to ears and quickly matched by the catchy seduction of A Trois, a song which arouses involvement like a puppeteer.

Not for the first time within Brutal Awakening, ears are reminded of Russian band Biting Elbows, this time by the melodically fired In Front Of My Mirrors. Its caustic touch and acidic melodies are perfectly tempered and complemented by the searing tendrils of guitar and invasive beats, the song tantalising at every turn with a quality more than exploited by the tenacious and increasingly volatile This Useless Fate straight after for another particularly stirring moment within the album.

The cantankerous often choleric For An Eternal Rest as good as bullies ears into submission next, its thoroughly enjoyably trespass escalated within successor I Fuck It, a track in breath and attitude more than living up to its declaration. Each leaves real greed for more, both with great vocal contrasts and the latter with its ravenous grooves and evolving maniacal drama.

That earlier mentioned diversity in the band’s sound is relentlessly in full charge but each track has a character unique to Blinding Sparks; the dark hearted, noir lit psychosis of A Tough Road For The Heart emphasizing the point. It might not quite match up to the heights of other tracks within the album but has to be the most compelling and fascinating moment within Brutal Awakenings, its nightmare simply beguiling.

Make You Happy sees Bàn guesting once more, the song another which is so easy to fall into if without inciting the lust others may have teased while the mighty assault of The Straight Line welcomes the voraciously scarring throat ripping tones of Océane Thomas. The track steals the show, Thomas and Conrad instinctively dynamic together; add the more composed yet as potent presence of Flauder and the rabid sounds of the trio and you have aural manna for certainly these ears.

The album closes with the brief serenade of The Last Song, a melodic seducing to drool over as band and release leaves as captivatingly as they entered. Brutal Awakening is a masterpiece, as suggested one with aspects which are not so much issues as potential to be realised, but simply one of the most enjoyable assaults heard in a long delivered in a roar living up to its title.

Brutal Awakening is out now.

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

Pete RingMaster 23/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fuzzy Vox – Ba-Da-Boom

With one of our favourite escapades last year being the No Landing Plan album from French rockers Fuzzy Vox you can be sure that news of its successor got us rather excited, a lusty reaction which only got more exuberant upon hearing its quartet of boisterous escapades. Ba-Da-Boom is a romp of the band’s feverish rock ‘n’ roll taken to a new pasture of imagination and fun, the year between releases seeing an evolution in sound and flavours, confirming the band as one exciting and creatively excitable proposition.

With new drummer Jeremy Norris alongside vocalist/guitarist Hugo Fabbri and drummer Nico Maïa, Joinville le Pont hailing Fuzzy Vox are continuing to stir up attention with their rousing, mischievous sound through Ba-Da-Boom. It is a success first poked with debut EP Technicolor in 2012 and accelerated by the band’s first album, On Heat two years later and subsequently reaching a peak through its successor No Landing Plan. Now their fusion of garage rock, power pop and instinctive rock ‘n’ roll is ready to spark another burst of acclaim and revelry through Ba-Da-Boom and as it stomps around in ears it is hard to see anything getting in its way.

It opens with I Fell In Love With The World, a track which saunters in on a spicy groove and rapacious rhythms which as they leap are just waiting to unleash their full energy which they do a touch in the subsequent flirtatious stroll of the track. Loaded with tasty hooks, eager vocals, and swinging harmonies, the song blossoms into a seductive roar of sixties teased garage rock and pop rock devilment with a chorus which is inescapable creative bait. Providing hips and the spirit one anthemic vehicle to lose composure with, the track is irresistible.

A potency swiftly matched and pushed further by the pop ‘n’ roll fuelled Eyes On You. Again beats thump as they tempt with chords and riffs alongside, all colluding in almost salacious incitement as vocals command the tenacity of it all. With a great punk boisterousness to its stomp and psych rock tendencies in its melodic explorations, the song is superb, reason alone to check out the EP.

Cold Justice follows and quickly shares more of the new broader flavoured sound of the band. Sixties pop and seventies power pop fused with pub rock shenanigans, the song swaggers along with mischief in its antics and charm in its melodic glaze. It is a truly magnetic affair becoming more physically involving by the minute and thickly compelling by the listen.

The EP ends with I Want Drums, a ‘showcase’, if any further proof was needed to his prowess, of Norris’ rhythmic dexterity. His skittish beats come with poise and a rousing agility which is equally matched in the revelry of his companions in voice and sound. With sixties garage rock again fuelling the fire, the track is like an illegitimate offspring from a union between The Monks and Jon Spencer Blues Explosion but bred on its own imaginative mischief.

It is an outstanding end to another delicious endeavour with Fuzzy Vox, a release which may not eclipse that brilliant last album but stands right by its side whilst revealing a fresh new venture in the hunger of the band’s insatiable sound.

Ba-Da-Boom is out now and available @ https://fuzzyvox.bandcamp.com/album/ba-da-boom-2

http://fuzzyvox.com/     https://www.facebook.com/fuzzyvox    https://twitter.com/fuzzyvox

Pete RingMaster 05/12/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Caesaria – Come on & Dance

The title track from their latest EP, Come on & Dance is the new single from French outfit Caesaria. As with the band’s previous releases the song sees the band’s fusion of electronic rock, pop, and dance music tease and tempt with ear grabbing enterprise, and like those encounters adds greater stock to the building reputation of the quartet.

Emerging in 2013, the foursome of Théo Chaumard, Ced Machi, Thomas Fariney, and Louis Arcens whipped up broader attention last year with the Bring My Ears Back EP. It was an ear grabbing introduction to a wider audience of the band’s magnetic electronic rock pop first heard in debut EP Sparks of Visions and since further explored in the singles Wavin’ Goodbye and now Come on & Dance. As its source EP, the track pushes the band’s songwriting and sound into a new adventure just as easy to dance to as anything before while offering even richer incitement for the imagination.

The song instantly wraps ears in an atmospheric electronic cloud, its touch gentle yet shadowed. From within the band’s already impressive enticement a harmony of vocals serenade, their varied textures matched by the blossoming sound and its flirtatious stroll. An unexpected passage of invention provided by Irish rapper Sheridan subsequently steps forward, adding further magnetism as potent as the dance of the rhythms dance and the eighties spiced temptation cast by the synths.

The track’s captivation is full from start to finish even if it never erupts into the vigorous celebration its energies suggest; in fact that restraint adds to its depth and character ensuring that expectations are left lonely in its adventurous and virulently haunting escapade.

Caesaria is a band beginning to make a potent mark on the European rock scene, something Come on & Dance will only assist.

Come on & Dance is released November 24th

http://www.caesaria.fr/    https://www.facebook.com/wearecaesaria/     https://twitter.com/WEARECAESARIA    https://www.instagram.com/wearecaesaria/

Pete RingMaster 21/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sweet Gum Tree – The Gift

To reinforce the already successful release and temptation of latest album Sustain The Illusion, French project Sweet Gum Tree have another magnetic slice of melodic seduction poised in the shape of new single The Gift. We first became captivated by Sweet Gum Tree through debut album The Snakes You Charm & The Wolves You Tame three years ago and the latest offering and other tracks heard since then shows that the qualities and potential of that impressive introduction have grown and blossomed.

Sweet Gum Tree is the creation and solo project of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Arno Sojo, a musician who has been part of various rock and electro bands over the past fifteen years including another of his creations in Sojo Glider. The first album saw Sojo draw on the talent of guests such as Isobel Campbell, Tindersticks drummer Earl Harvin, and Marty Willson-Piper from The Church. With Sustain The Illusion, he has recorded everything on his own with only Irish producer David Odlum who also worked on The Snakes You Charm & The Wolves You Tame helping out.

Within its melodic beauty that first album was a heart of melancholic elegance, an enticing blend which is just as ripe within The Gift. Its gentle caress of melody instantly has attention alert, guitars weaving a disarming proposal backed by the emotive tones of Sojo. A catchy air is just as swiftly invasive, luring ears within the low key but vibrant stroll of the song where every passing second seems to welcome a fresh ingredient of enterprise; strings and keys two elements rising up to add colour and depth to the heart sharing proposal.

The Gift is a serenade for the imagination, a shadowed but open kiss for the ear much as many of the tracks within that first album alone but with a new richness in enterprise and songwriting which can only see Sweet Gum Tree become the centre of bigger spotlights. It is not a lone offering within Sustain The Illusion though as songs like Guilt Trip and Twinkle show. The first of the two is a compelling mix of eighties synth pop and post punk nurtured rock playing like a fusion of The The and The Pineapple Thief while the second, again merging electronic minimalism with melodic rock tenacity, simply rouses the senses like a fusion of Slug Comparison, XTC, and Sigur Rós; both outstanding tracks though emerging unique to Sweet Gum Tree.

All songs are must check out proposals with The Gift, for ears, more than living up to its title.

The Gift is available to download from September 15th with Sustain The Illusion out now across most online stores.

http://sweetgumtree.tv   http://facebook.com/sweetgumtree   http://twitter.com/SweetGumTree

Pete RingMaster 12/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Worselder – Paradigms Lost

As French metal continues to prove itself a hot bed for adventurous new bands and voraciously tempting sounds, quintet Worselder add their stock to the brew with new album Paradigms Lost. A web of flavours and styles fused into ear pleasing, imagination catching encounters, the ten track release is a quick and easy to devour proposition revelling in additional time offered to blossom into something even more impressive.

Hailing from the foothills of the Pyrénées mountains, Worselder emerged in 2008. Quickly they tempted local and in turn national attention with a sound drawing on each individual member’s influences and experiences in previous outfits alongside nineties inspired thrash and power metal; an instantly rich mix only blossoming in depth and adventure across the years and releases. Debut album Where we come from was released in 2010 to strong responses though it was the MMXIV EP four years later which especially sparked critical acclaim and led to the band sharing stages with the likes of Firewind, Dagoba, Black Bomb A, and Huntress among many. Recorded across 2016 with Elise Aranguren and mixed and mastered by Bruno Varea (Dagoba, Satyricon, Lenny Kravitz), Paradigms Lost sees the Worselder sound and invention at a new level of maturity and imagination. It is a release which as suggested makes a potent impact straight away but shows greater strength upon subsequent listens as its layers and less open complexities are increasingly revealed.

Infighting gets things going, the opener luring ears with a brooding bassline before rapacious riffs and bone rattling rhythms courted by toxic grooves erupt. Equally rapacious vocals from Guillaume Granier and the band soon join the surge before things settle down a touch with the vocalist quickly showing his potent range and dexterity. There is a whiff of industrial metal to the track initially, Society 1 coming to mind as the track jabs with spiky discontent, but soon its melodic and grooved instincts are entangling and stretching its thrash fuelled charge.

It is a great start hinting at the wealth of flavours ready to embrace ears across Paradigms Lost and its next up title track. From the crackle of fire and portentous rhythms within a similar atmosphere, the song strides forth with melodic vocals and harmonies lying keenly on more rapacious and aggressive sounds. The guitars of Yoric Oliveras and Jérémie Delattre cast another instinctive incitement, a mix of predacious trespass and sonic imagination to be hooked on whilst the scything beats of drummer Michel Marcq rousingly pierce the heavy prowl of Yannick Fernandez’s bass. The track’s twists and turns are as fluid as the array of sounds woven together within the excellent proposal but carry an unpredictability which has the imagination firmly enthralled within the first listen.

The instinctive rock ‘n’ roll prowess of next up Seeds of Rebellion has ears won just as quickly; the similarly striking and irresistible song proceeding to instil that core with anthemic dexterity and spicy grooves. All is delivered with lust but control amidst expectations spoiling imagination loaded with a bold unpredictability before Idols unveils its classic/heavy metal attributes within an aggressively tenacious air. Though the track does not quite ignite personal tastes as forcibly as its formidable predecessors, it only grows and pleases more and more with every listen.

Through the melodically calmer waters of The Sickening and the old school spiced Severed, the album has total attention. The first is a tantalising mix of warm melodic temptation and more bullish volatility as vocal and lyrical insight explores ears and thoughts. At times sultry and exotic, in other moments a more rapacious challenge, the track captivates from start to finish, giving neck muscles and hips a workout with its emerging thrash inspired grooving. Its successor similarly casts a net of ear entwining grooves this time fuelled and coloured by that power/classic metal essence with Granier’s croons and roars on melodic fire.

My Consuming Grief has a darker edge and deceitful volatility to its heart; a shadowy emotive power skirting and courting the drama and adventure of the melodic power metal seeded exploits. It too has ears and imagination swiftly gripped before Home of the Grave dances on the senses with its opening melodic flirtation. It is a glorious enticement only increasing its invitation as darker heavier hues from guitar and rhythms join in. Managing to become more primal and charming with each passing minute, the track provides another addictive highlight to the release.

Worselder toy with the imagination through The Haven next, a song exploring dark hues more akin to the likes of Dommin and Rise To Remain though its instinctive classic metal attributes shape the excellent encounter before the album closes with the shadow clouded, atmospherically apocalyptic Land of Plenty. In its imposing darkness there is hope and elegant melodies bring that light as the song rises from its solemn beginnings to challenge and inflame the senses. More of a slow burner than other tracks within Paradigms Lost, it almost festers in ears and imagination as it makes a potent impact and striking moment to eagerly point out.

Inspirations to the band apparently include the likes of Coroner, Testament, and Pantera; a trio which across the whole of an album but especially in the final song alone you can appreciate in a release which simply draws attention back time and time again as we can attest to. Paradigms Lost has all the qualities and impressiveness to push Worselder into global attention, now it is up to the world to embrace them.

Paradigms Lost is available now through Sliptrick Records on Amazon and other stores.

http://www.worselder.com/    https://www.facebook.com/worselder/    http://worselder.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 20/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

OMRÅDE – Nåde

2015 saw the release of an album which deserved far more attention than it got and warranted every syllable of praise offered its “visual and aural telescope.” Edari was the invention of French duo OMRÅDE who now return with its equally startling successor Nåde. That first full-length made ears and imagination pay attention, the second simply demands it and repays with what will surely be classed as one of the major adventures of the year.

OMRÅDE consists of vocalist/guitarist Bargnatt Xix, known elsewhere as Christophe Denhez of Nerv and previously Mur and In The Guise Of Men, and drummer/keyboardist/programmer Arsenic, christened Jean-Philippe Ouamer and the skin hitter of Idensity and formerly of Nerv. Together they weave a collection of avant-garde soundscapes nurtured from everything around the ambience hued climates of post rock, industrial, electronica, and avant-garde metal, and that is simplifying their fascinating explorations of sound and emotion. It is a mix which created a compelling proposal in the cinematic adventure of Edari and now the even more aurally haunting and stirring Nåde.

Whereas the first album felt like looking across a broad canvas of universes there is much stronger intimacy fuelling Nåde, like ears and thoughts are peering in on the tempestuous fortunes and emotions of a single soul representing the surroundings and lives within a noir lit and suffocating climate. That is not to say it does not venture through worldly landscapes too, just they all feel cored by the same instinctive melancholy and depressive clad spirit. Influences upon the project include the likes of Ulver, Manes, and God Is An Astronaut, essences certainly seeping across the new album along with an equal infusion of Nine Inch Nails/Palms scented shadows and suggestiveness.

Nåde opens up with Malum and swiftly has electronic beats and guitar coaxing ears as Denhez’ vocals share the song’s heart and beleaguered emotions. Pretty much haunting thoughts and psyche from its first breath, its inner psychosis is just as swift in stirring the imagination as vocals hint at a soul trapped yet seemingly revelling in the inevitability of inescapable turmoil. Strings and brass soon after bring their seductive shadows and flames respectively to the blossoming atmosphere and body of the song, a cinematic wash in tow yet that personal dispute continues to voice things. It is a stunning piece of music and vocal insight, instantly surpassing anything on that impressive first album and just the start of a uniquely stirring journey.

The following XII has a gentler touch, its hazy atmosphere jazzy and sombre yet with a warm glow which only attracts like a night’s final brandy. Keys tease as Leo Sors’ guesting sax woozily blows with suggestive prowess, each flame embracing reflective vocals and in turn a hotly simmering funk shuffle. With Bernard-Yves Querel adding his guitar, the track at times is something akin to 6:33 certainly with the emerging depths and mercurial intensity of the track; ears and imagination enthralled and sucked into its unpredictable enterprise and dark instrumental theatre. Whereas the first was physically provocative, the second is emotionally inciting with just as rich results before the outstanding Enter beckons the listener into its melodically woven, progressively shaped, and increasingly virulent proposal. With a snarling brooding within the guitars and an unstoppable catchiness lining its brewing rapacity, the song is a lively cauldron of infectiousness and trespassing anxiety, each conflicting with and accentuating the other.

Hänelle is pure heart ruptured melancholy, another track which builds in intensity and intimate drama on every level from an initial smoulder nurtured as much by Jonathan Maronnier ‘s clarinet as emotional shadows while Styrking Leið is a haunted croon; a siren like lure of vocals and keys and if slower to tempt as its predecessors simply growing into another lingering highlight especially with its increasing visual potency and emotional desperation. The song sees Edgard Chevallier guesting on guitar while next up The Same For The Worst features additional vocals from L. Chuck D in its jazzy intoxication with Julien Gebenholtz’s bass a captivating pleasure all on its own. Becoming more fevered and intense with emotion as sounds share a volatile almost bedlamic restlessness, the track has ears and thoughts gripped. Certainly it is not the easiest listen within Nåde but boy is it one of the most rewarding and impacting.

The final pair of tracks ensure captivation and pleasure is as burning as ever. Baldar Jainko is as similarly intensive as the previous track, its heart and scenery a sharing and conflict of peace and faith with emotions and suggestiveness working on personal and worldly levels. Closing track, Falaich, is almost apocalyptic in tone and touch; an epilogue or portent of our emotional and physical destructions and apathy to it which is seriously gripping from start to finish and only increasing the vice as it provokes the darkest thoughts and richest enjoyment.

It is easy to suggest that if Edari impressed and impacted on you previously, Nåde will blow you away and for newcomers to OMRÅDE, the moment when music might just become much more than ear pleasing.

Nåde  is released May 26th via My Kingdom Music.

https://www.facebook.com/Omradetheband    http://omradetheband.wix.com/omrade

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mate’s Fate – A Home For All EP

As the French metal scene continues to impress with the quality of bands and releases coming forth in recent times, metalcore quintet Mate’s Fate join the expanding list of goodness with their debut release. The A Home For All EP is a ferocious and eventful slab of tenacious metal, five hungry slices of sound and aggression catching the imagination with a blend of fresh and familiar resourcefulness. Loaded to the brim with just as potent potential, it is an introduction already pushing the band beyond local borders towards European and broader spotlights.

Formed at the end of 2015, Lyon hailing Mate’s Fate instantly tempt attention with a reflective melody as the EP, crowd-funded with fierce success, opens up with its title track. With beats for company , that first enticement draws ears into a waiting wall of rapacious yet controlled riffs, that the plateau for an opening web of wiry grooves.  Guitarists Quentin Reberat and Yoan Larme continue to spin their respective lures and designs as vocalist Matthieu Delage roars with great and potent variety backed by other members of the band. There is no escaping a Bring Me The Horizon influence at play with the track not dropping many big surprises yet such the craft and passion involved with Mate’s Fate’s own invention, the song leaps boldly from the speakers to ignite thick pleasure and enjoyment; its melodic and calmer flames along with a want to stretch the track’s creative landscape especially pleasing.

The following Souvenirs had ears hooked from its first Korn like breath, a sonic spiral and breathless vocal bait the seed to an antagonistic stalking of the senses swiftly accelerating into a predatory tempest again mixing a great blend of varied vocal assaults and guitar spun adventure fuelled by hostility. There is a touch of now sadly expired Irish band iBurn about the track but it soon boils up its own creative and invasive character as the swinging beats of Nicolas Ammollo incite and punish alongside the equally carnivorous groan of Thibault Chemineau’s bass.

Closing on a swirl of suggestive melodic toxicity, the song is instantly followed by the opening mists of Hopeway, the crystalline glimmer remains a persistent glaze even once accompanied by an ever enjoyable span of vocals it is interrupted and inflamed by ferocious strikes of sound and intensity. There is a rawness and volatility to the song which potently tempers the melancholy and unsettled calm, eventually sparking even more tempestuous traits across the excellent encounter. The captivation of its creative enterprise is matched within the more primal but no less resourceful Undercover. Featuring additional vocals from Florent Salfati, who also mixed and mastered the EP, it’s every taut sinew, savage riff, and venomous syllable is a magnetic trespass and only equalled in strength and appeal by each citric melody and hope lined harmony that surfaces. Once more, it is probably fair to say that uniqueness is not as forceful but it matters little in, as the EP overall, a proposition as unpredictable and imaginative as it is irresistibly compelling.

Prison Of Silence brings the release to a close, its voice sharing many attributes of its predecessors like a linked story yet sharing individual twists and turns to ensure just as eager and persistent attention; every steely tendril of guitar and rapier thrust of rhythm an incitement to vocal and sonic dexterity.

It is no surprise that A Home For All is waking up the metalcore scene, for a debut it pretty much wipes the floor with anything out there right now but with the potential also in its ranks and the band’s future imagination, it is easy to suspect that we have seen and heard nothing yet.

A Home For All is available now @ https://matesfate.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/matesfate    https://twitter.com/MATESFATE

Pete RingMaster 30/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright