South Haven – Motion

Emerging from the successful #NEXTGEN project started by Danish label Prime Collective, South Haven spent almost three years honing their songwriting and sound before unveiling anything to the world. Now with their debut album, Motion, orchestrating our eager bouncing we suggest it has proved a very fertile plan and time.

It is fair to say that Copenhagen hailing South Haven gripped our attention with just the first play of their first full-length. It hosts a collection of songs which entangle the familiar with the boldly fresh to forge a release with distinct character. Maybe the most striking thing about the band is the two pronged vocal temptation at the fore. Nigerian born Angel Jemegbe and Christine Nielsen shine with individuality yet unite for a just as potent and unique proposal; energy and power fuelling both their prowess rich styles. Musically though the band is no fleeting temptation either; the swinging rhythms of drummer Sebastian Stendal and the mercurial growl of Stefan Elbaek’s bass command and manipulate attention whilst the guitar of Mathias Frederiksen is as hook and melody flirtatious as it is sonically invasive. With all aspects tied together the band’s melodic rock and metal forged sound bites and seduces, often simultaneously, and consistently had us enthralled in its roar.

Recorded with a host of Denmark’s finest producers in Jacob Hansen and Martin Pagaard (Volbeat, Amaranthe), Christoffer Stjerne (HERO), Chris Kreutzfeldt (CABAL, Ghost Iris, MØL) and Mirza Radonjica-Bang (Siamese, Helhorse), Motion instantly got under the skin with opener Dancing In Nightmares. One of their first singles, the track sets a lure with a strand of riffs before Stebdal’s beats fly through the air. As quickly the delicious grumble of Elbaek’s hit the spot with Angel’s immediately magnetic tones a calm texture in the more volatile mix. In an instant Christine’s vocals add yet another alluring aspect to the creative canvas, the vocals side by side a riveting proposal while throughout the track springs bait after hook, strike after temptation to strikingly kick things off.

In some ways the following Better struggled to spark the same lustful reception as its predecessor yet with its melodic fire, dark rhythms and again a vocal unity which refuses to be ignored, the song is a fiery serenade on the ears which was keenly devoured. Similarly as within the first and those to follow, the song shares unpredictable twists and invention; aspects as ably woven into the following pair of Crush and Soldier’s Heart. The first proved another particular favourite moment within the release, its snappy stride and matching vocal dexterity alone manna to an instinctive appetite which was only fed further as melodic, harmonic and sonic flames escalated the attraction.

Straightaway its successor springs a juicy groove on ears, its southern tinged drawl the invitation to bold vocal and rhythmic incitement which only harbours an urge to get under the skin. There is certain infectiousness to all tracks but especially virulent here as again the dual grip of both vocalists seeds the rich temptation on offer amidst individuality across all songs as shown again by the ensnaring flame of Torn. Emotively seductive and feverishly volatile, the track is a fruitful body of craft and enterprise matched in success by the agile alternative rock spiced Sweet Suffering and Devotion with its My Chemical Romance kissed dynamics and drama; two tracks which again had us keenly involved, the latter with real greed.

Next up, Winter In June is a portentous flirtation of irritability and aggression which provides a just as agreeable union of emotional intimacy and fervid breath while the balladry of Tomorrow is pure captivation, both voices sirens within the melodic embrace of guitar.

Bringing the album to a close, Stains is a coquette of sound in its own right, a sonic temptress woven in beguiling voice and tantalising enterprise. It is a fine end to a superb first involvement with South Haven and an album which maybe was not always basking in originality, though so often it was, but never wavered from providing fresh, fascinating, and full pleasure.

Surely reason enough to pay South Haven a visit.

Motion is out now through Prime Collective across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/southhavenbanddk/   https://southhaven.dk/

Pete RingMaster 14/05/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Kill The Unicorn – Prism

The final few words on the press release for Prism, the debut album from Swiss metallers Kill The Unicorn declares that they “are a band to get excited about!” Greedily listening to the eleven track web of sound and intrigue yet one more time to continue concentrated attention it really is impossible to disagree.

Launching from a bed of metalcore ferocity, the album is a kaleidoscope of trespass and suggestion embracing everything from hardcore to groove metal and progressive to post metal whilst fusing an array of funky and jazzy bred psychosis with some classic 8-bit sound mischief. The result is a release which devours and seduces with violence and unpredictability like a deranged dervish; one which is a little unhinged, slightly uncontrolled, and persistently sending ears and imagination to lustful places.

Hailing from Lucerne, Kill The Unicorn emerged in 2014 and took little time in stirring up attention through their live presence which has subsequently seen them share stages with the likes of Promethee, Ghost Iris, Vola, Science of Sleep, Walking Dead on Broadway, Voice of Ruin and many more. 2015 saw the release of a three track demo, an encounter laying the seeds and hints of things to come; the joys and intrigues to be now heard and explored within Prism.

Recorded with producer Aljoscha Sieg (Nasty, Eskimo Callboy, Vitja), Prism hits the ground running with opener Motoko Kusanagi. As the guitar joins an initial 8-bit fingering, a tempest gathers behind, swiftly unleashing its voracious force as rhythms fly and riffs bite. Vocalist Pipo Thalmann is quickly there in the midst growling as a delicious hook and similarly tasty grooves entwine the aggression before the already intensive beats of drummer Matteo Leuthold raise their rabidity and pummel the senses. Already a fusion of metal is at fevered play, expectations are taken to the cleaners by the subsequent twists and turns though the band has still yet to dip into their boldest enterprise hindsight revels. The track is pure bait with the guitars of Ziggy Lebon and Raphael Zumstein as predatory as they are creative conjurors.

The vocal dexterity already suggested within the opener is pushed again within its proper successor, Ode To Spot. Unleashed after the Sinclair-esque loading of Dreams In 56k, riffs and rhythms sink their claws and teeth into eager flesh, the track savaging and gnawing the listener before suddenly turning on its head with a funk/progressive shuffle. Thalmann mixes his throat scuffed squalls with clean vocal and similarly off-kilter expression to match the sounds twisting around him; all the time the bass of Marc Sommerhalder grumbling with bestial discord though eventually even it has to join the swing before a death nurtured storm descends. Like Horse The Band in league with Pryapisme and Cryptopsy, the track consumes the senses before Wormhole To Gliese 556c voraciously infests the psyche with extreme metal hunger and corrosive adventure. Though it never truly deviates from its rapacious remit, the track is just as gripping as its predecessor and unafraid to follow where its instincts wander.

F.U.C.K.U.P. equally has a carnal heart but is soon wrapping its core in System Of A Down like mania and Hardcore Anal Hydrogen similar eccentricity, continually twisting and turning sound, imagination, and the listener alike. There is an early Korn like air to the carnivorous moments before primal outbreak too; adding to a tapestry of unpredictability which hits the spot relentlessly before the progressive beauty and stroll of Me And My Velociraptor invades the imagination with its compelling instrumental. Rousingly and hauntingly infectious, the piece has the body and pleasure bouncing ready for the invasive tone and touch of Conquistador and its tide of punk and metal hostility again impressively steered by the guitars and the vocal prowess of Thalmann. Tightening its grip by the second, the track flings the senses around like a rag doll yet seduces them with nuances and bold turns within its inhospitable consumption.

Through the punishing depths of Catacombs with its maze of sinister deviations and the senses stalking blackened incursion of Ausgefuchst, the album simply reinforces its dexterous invention and uncompromising extreme metal voracity though both tracks have to give way to the even more contentious siege of the senses uncaged by Rendesvouz with Cleopatra. Malevolence drips from every note and syllable here yet equally the band’s untethered imagination soaks every trespassing breath if without revealing the hungry boldness of earlier tracks.

The album ends with Pitch Black VR, a rancorous, skilfully woven and delivered savaging compounding the animosity and inventive craft of Prism with might and boisterousness not forgetting imaginative zeal. It is an unforgiving, mouth-watering conclusion to an album which certainly lit our fires and as that press release suggested it might, our excitement.

Prism is out now and available @ https://killtheunicorn.bandcamp.com/album/prism

http://www.killtheunicorn.com/    https://www.facebook.com/killtheunicornband/

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright