Idlewar – Impulse

idlewar tour_RingMasterReview

Managing to make a strong and firmly enjoyable impression on the first listen and blossoming into an even more striking proposition thereon in is Impulse, the debut album from American rockers Idlewar. The trio from Orange County caught attention and plaudits with their first EP, Dig In last year; its sound and success though was just an appetiser for the rousing prowess of Impulse and its suspected zeal loaded critical and fan reception.

Consisting of vocalist/bassist James Blake, guitarist Rick Graham, and drummer Peter Pagonis, Idlewar have quickly shown a knack for creating boisterously infectious and creatively dramatic proposals bred on an expansive range of rock ‘n’ roll from hard and classic rock to stoner and even grungier essences. It is an ability certainly fuelling Impulse and its diverse collection of songs.

Mastered by Brian Lucey (Ghost ‘Meliora’, Black Keys ‘El Camino’, Arctic Monkeys ‘AM’) Impulse quickly grips attention and imagination with opener Stone in My Heel. The twangy riffs which touch ears first instantly have an endearing swagger to them, their invitation soon joined by the just as appetising groan and lure of Blake’s bass; both in turn courted by the swinging beats of Pagonis. Choppy riffs and sweaty grooves escape and entangle an already keen appetite for things as Blake’s gravelly roar of a voice adds a more classic rock hue to a song also twisting within the throes of noise, alternative, and darker strains of rock ‘n’ roll.

impulse-cover_RingMasterReview16The track is superb, the perfect introduction and quickly backed up by the stoner/blues sultriness of Soul. Like Stone Temple Pilots engaged in psych rock flavoured escapades, the song croons and prowls the senses; the grooves of Graham especially flavoursome before it all makes way for the lighter infectious stroll of Criminal. Again grooves and hooks create a web easy to get caught up in, the heavier rhythmic enterprise an additional cage keeping ears and enjoyment in close attendance.

All That I Got is a slow burner in comparison. Starting with a slow emotive cloud of melody and vocal which certainly intrigues but lacks the potency of earlier tracks, the track grows in heavy emotion and intensity, finding a richer presence though it never quite hooks personal tastes as firmly as the songs around it. The variety and range of songwriting it brings does add to the powerful character of the album, as too does Innocent with its rhythmic enterprise, Pagonis laying down a captivating bed of feisty and resourceful beats over which Blake’s bass snarls, and in turn the classic rock revelry of Glory. With a great line in R&B to its body, the track is another which really grows over listens.

Band and album are back in seriously engaging gear with the rhythmically carnivorous Apathy next, it a track predatory in riffs and spidery grooves as Blake leads with his potent tones. The bass is at its most bestial in tone on the album, an infectious threat cleverly tempered by the fiery craft of Graham. Providing a certain highlight of the album, it is eclipsed by another in the catchy hip swinging devilry of Damage. With hooks to incite bad habits and a growing blaze of stoner seeded roars, the song is the cause of addiction in four minutes of mouth-watering rock ‘n’ roll.

Impulse is completed by first of all Burn All This, another song which almost stalks the listener as rapacious rhythms align to sinister riffs with the strength of catchiness which shapes the whole of the album. Grungy yet lined with a great dark blues tone and moments as heavy as they are seductively mellow, the excellent encounter is followed and album closed by On Our Knees and its feverish rock ‘n’ roll. Incessant and rousing, it is a fine end to a great debut full-length from Idlewar. It has a raw edge with mixes well with the open craft of the band members and their lively imagination plus a suggestion that the band is still developing and has plenty more to creatively discover within themselves, something to eagerly look forward to whilst enjoying Impulse.

Impulse is released September 30th via PHD.

http://www.idlewar.com/   https://www.facebook.com/idlewartheband/   https://idlewar.bandcamp.com/releases   http://www.twitter.com/idlewar

Pete RingMaster 30/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

King Goat – Conduit

KG_RingMasterReview

Two years ago, UK progressive doomsters King Goat more than impressed with a self-titled EP; a release awakening a new horde of eager ears and appetites to their dark and invasively invigorating metal exploits. Now two years on, give or take a week or two, the Brighton quintet unleash its successor in the compelling shape of Conduit. The five track album is an imposing pyre of atmospheric drama and psychedelic intrigue for ears and imagination, a dark mystery wrapped in a thickly immersive doom bred challenge and seduction which quickly leaves its impressive predecessor deep in the shade.

Formed in 2012, the band first made their mark beyond a swiftly eager local scene with the Atom EP in 2013. Its success was followed by a slight change in personnel and eclipsed by the band’s aforementioned eponymous EP. The time between old and new release has only seen King Goat build a stronger and broader reputation as they successfully went on to play festivals such as Bloodstock Open Air, Mammothfest, and Doom Over London over the past couple of years and shared stages with the likes of Enslaved, Grand Magus, Witchsorrow, Alunah and many others.

As suggested, Conduit is King Goat at a new plateau of songwriting, imagination, and raw captivation of ears with Flight of the Deviants opening up the swiftly impressing collection of tales breeding unseen spirits, enslaved worlds, and death and rebirth. A spoken sample lays the seeds to the quickly engaging and provocative embrace of the first song, its immediate captivating bait led by the impressive tones of vocalist Trim. Almost like a carnival barker he shares the track’s dark narrative and mysterious nature, his tones a great blend of clean and grizzled textures within an emerging sonic web of melodic suggestiveness cast by guitarists Petros Sklias and Joe Parson. Increasingly sultry and macabre bordering on occultist lit, the track rumbles and infests ears and imagination with increasing potency and success. It is not hard to offer Candlemass and Ghost as clues to the heavily shadowed and thrilling track, and indeed across the album, though the individuality of King Goat dominates as found here; originality only being replicated song by song.

Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe outstanding start leads to the just as gripping and enthralling Feral King where almost toxic grooves bind the passions as chimes deal a portentous air around them. If the bass of Reza G was predatory within the first, it is almost gloriously primal in the second song while the rapier swings of drummer Jon Wingrove leave a lingering mark and persuasion to match the again immense vocal presence of Trim. The track’s dark story winds around the listener as masterfully as the sounds colouring it; King Goat showing them as alluring lyrically as they are in conjuring adventurous doom spawned incitements.

The album’s title track comes next and quickly sets about eclipsing its predecessors with ultimate success if by small margins such the impressive and dramatic might of all. Again Trim is as impressing in his clean cut enticing as his squalls of raw throated ferocity whilst the bestial predation of bass and riffs provide a stalking of the senses which only adds greater intensity and resourcefulness to the perpetually evolving drama and progressive ingenuity of the track.

Through the epic and climactic landscape of Revenants and the beguiling intimidation of Sanguine Path, the release comes to an absorbing and memorable close to match all before with unique ventures of their own. There is a touch of KingBathmat to the first of the pair, a track sculpting a host of crescendos and intensity soaked pinnacles within another persistently changing canvas of suggestiveness and absorbing enterprise, whilst the closer is simply as salaciously ravenous in invention as it is apocalyptically bewitching in temptation.

As much as it mightily impresses initially, Conduit just gets bigger, more striking, and inspirational with every listen. The King Goat craft and songwriting has come of age with Conduit, and in turn so has their sound though it still suggests we have yet to get below the first few layers of the band’s creative depths. That potential can surely only mean even bolder creative times to come, though whatever comes next will have to go some to eclipse this gem of an encounter.

The self-released Conduit is out now @ https://kinggoat.bandcamp.com/album/conduit

https://www.facebook.com/kinggoatbri

Pete Ringmaster 29/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

SPInnERS – Ghost

cover_RingMasterReview

SPInnERS are no strangers to the Greek underground scene but probably, as for us, an unknown quantity and indeed name further afield. With a push and an introduction here and there, that might change in the near future especially as more and more catch on to the band’s new album, Ghost. The nine track proposition is a ripe tapestry of flavours; from punk to grunge, post punk to indie rock, and plenty more, it is all infused into a raw and compelling, uncompromising and fascinating trespass on ears and imagination.

The Athens based band actually started back in 2008, making a swift impact with only their third live show coming as support to Dinosaur Jr in their home city. A three year hiatus swiftly followed though, before they returned and released debut album Everybody needs a lie in 2011. A self-titled successor lured greater attention with its release two years later, leading to a mini Balkan tour across Greece, Serbia, and the Macedonian city of Skopje. Now with the recently released Ghost sparking broader attention, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Panos, drummer Chris, and bassist Tommy O who joined the band following the departure of Vad who played on the latest album, are poised to become an eagerly talked of name on a broader expanse of lips.

First track upon Ghost is Unspoken Words and fair to say that within seconds its twisted lure of hooks and spiky grooves has ears attentive as tenacious rhythms drop agitated yet anthemic bait around them. With the plaintive nature of the vocals and indeed the melodic acidity which veins the encounter on top, the track quickly grows into a heftily alluring slice of sonic and emotive discord. It is bracing, leaning on the side of concussive and virulently gripping stuff sparking the album to a great start.

The following Same keeps ears and emotions similarly enthused; its abrasive but inviting body again speared by a potent line in imposing beats around a grouchily magnetic bassline. The vocals of Panos emotively and harmonically match the tempestuous sounds around it, flavours which unite in a post hardcore meets noise infused punk rock exploration of the senses.

The album’s title track steps forward next, its dissonant bellow carrying a more heavy rock/ grunge essence to its character whilst colluding with post punk/noise rock imagination. In many ways there is a great feel of seventies bands like Artery and The Membranes to the track, magnetic essences which continue to emerge as the likes of My dreams are dead and Mental Detox crawl over the senses. The first, from a yawning scraping of guitar string, slips into captivating sonic smog of thorny aggravation littered with addictive hooks and an almost barbarously persuasive swing whilst the second colours its matching rapacity in sound and attitude with warmer flowing melodies and group vocal roars. It too, is a song that is more an aggressor than seducer but the latter is what it emerges as for ears with its web of spicy grooves, throatily coaxing basslines, and fiercely involving rhythms.

Ghost hits its pinnacle over the next pair of songs, starting with Sick of You. A blend of old school punk and garage/noise rock, the track is irresistible as it plunders the passions with jangling lures and searing hooks, not forgetting more impossible to resist rhythmic tempting. Its triumph is emulated in Additional Expectations, another seemingly inspired by the post punk imagination of a Joy Division or Clock DVA but, as its predecessor, also sharing the infectious prowess of bands like fellow Greeks, Three Way Plane.

(The Apparition) provides a haunting breeze of melancholic sound around a poem performed by Julian Glover next, a track wrong-footing the listener but enticing the imagination before Wish me Well brings the album to a potent close with its thick tapestry of numerous styles and flavours previously mentioned in its own fresh and pleasing narrative. Arguably the most involved and unpredictable track on Ghost, and all songs defy the satisfying of expectations, the Bauhaus-esque song leaves a lingering impression and rich enjoyment as well as a want to explore the album all over again.

SPInnERS are nudging on greater and increasing attention outside of their homeland; a success if not now they will surely earn at some point with offerings like Ghost.

For more info on SPInnERS and Ghost check out https://www.facebook.com/SPInnERS-athensgr-180374258675694 and  https://spinnersathens.bandcamp.com/

SPInnERS Ghost Tour Dates;

Friday 18/3 Salonica (ypogeio) GREECE

Saturday 19/3 Kumanovo (cafe agora) F.Y.R.O.M

Sunday 20/3 Kraljevo SERBIA

Tuesday 22/3 Smederevska Palanka (Balkan rock club) SERBIA

Wednesday 23/3 Niksic (nk club) MONTENEGRO

Thursday 24/3 Podgorica (Montenegro pub) MONTENEGRO

Friday 25/3 Kosovska Mitrovica (Soho)

Saturday 26/3 Krusevac (club zamajac) SERBIA

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Nexilva – Eschatologies

Promo2

If Eschatologies is the portent or soundtrack to mankind’s ultimate destination as a species it is hard to know whether to be engulfed in bliss or unbridled fear. The new album from UK progressive death metallers Nexilva is a maelstrom of brutal invention and exhaustive experimentation, a tsunami of sound and vindictive intensity which is as excitingly unpredictable as it is frighteningly intrusive. It is an encounter which is almost too involved and adventurous for its own good, smothering the senses with so much imaginative mayhem and creative exploration that even after a dozen or so rampages through its hellacious depths new corners and facets are still emerging. The accompanying promo suggests the release is for fans of bands such as Born of Osiris, The Faceless, and Fleshgod Apocalypse, something you cannot disagree with and certainly it will not sit easy with every metal bred heart because of its vast experimentation but if technical violence and an unrelenting examination of senses, psyche, and imagination ignites fires for you than Eschatologies is a scintillating must.

Hailing from Sunderland and formed in 2009, Nexilva released their first demo The Viral Annihilation that same year before more dramatically stirring up attention with debut album The Trials of Mankind a year later. Followed by the Defile the Flesh of Innocence EP in 2011, the releases showed a band with not only massive potential but also the ability and bravery to cross pollinate numerous extremes of metal into one threatening yet compelling fascination. Their live presence was no less potent and exhausting either, the band gaining strong recognition as they shared stages and tours with the likes of Exist Immortal, Aliases, and The Algorithm as well as their own shows and festival appearances over time. Eighteen months in the making and mixed/produced by guitarist Andy Mallaby, Eschatologies is the next mighty step for Nexilva. It is a journey through scenery draped in technical, death, progressive, and black metal to simplify the landscape; climates of the fantastic, realistic, and portentous investigating the end/rebirth of man.

Released via Ghost, Eschatologies opens the first chapter with I: Teste Humanitatem Mori, a short piece which unveils an initial dark nexilva-coverand welcoming ambience soon lit by a wonderful caress of guitar, its classical melodic touch soothing and inviting. All the while shadows are converging adding their menace to the rising vocal harmonies and warm melodies. They eventually break through with roaring caustic growls and stabbing riffs though they still court the elegance which voiced the start. It is a respectfully dramatic piece bringing clouds and uncertainty into view ready for The Misdirection of God to erupt with seemingly insidious intent. Immediately the vocals impress; the diverse ever shifting style and delivery from Gary King, very ably backed by that of bassist Ryan Banks, magnetic within the equally revolving and evolving tempest around them. The rhythms of drummer Connor Jobes rampage with crippling sinews and ferocious agitation from their every beat whilst the guitars of Simon Atkinson, Rownan Tennet, and Mallaby cast a simultaneously vitriolic and enticing web of sound around ears and thoughts. As mentioned previously there is so much accosting and intriguing senses that you cannot at first take it all in over one song let alone the album, but as traverses of and time exploring the song unveils irresistible bait like the classically honed keys with at times stand to the fore and in others flirt from a hollowed distance, the adventure just gets stronger and more spellbinding.

Both Our Progenitor and This Is Humanity, distinct in their characters and offerings are bred from the same almost bedlamic onslaught, though it is all controlled and precisely sculpted. The first of the two again concocts a lethal and enchanted storm for the beleaguered senses to immerse within, its predacious intent as rabid as it is contagious. The keys again seduce from within the uncompromising voracity and not for the last time whilst slipping easily aside the malevolent raging they provide a wonderful discord fuelled friction which just lights the imagination and pleasure further. Its successor takes a more premeditated preying of its recipient, grooves and keys seducing whilst riffs and rhythms cause havoc within the irresistible caressing. Twisting and turning not only itself but the psyche, the song adds hardcore vocals and progressive flights to its savagery, like the album making expectations redundant.

The melancholic II: Scientaia Tenebris opens up the next movement of the album to provide a respite before the venomous Necromancer seizes control whilst still employing the emotive melodies of its predecessor within its serpentine toxicity and rapacious enslaving of ears and emotions. Like all tracks, the song leaves you gasping for breath in body and thought, every turn a new extensive exploration to be taken within its whole endeavour. The Collapse immediately proves to be the same and with equal potency and success before the outstanding title track raises a new pinnacle for the release. The track spews malice and hostility from its first vocal and rhythmic touch, aligning them to punishing sonic and rhythmic frenzies. As all tracks to describe everything within would need a page per song but needless to say Eschatologies is a nonstop bordering pestilential rampage.

Cybernetic Lucidity disorientates and lacerates the senses next, its flailing rhythms and riffs a welcome distraction to the intensive suffocating invention broiling synapses from within their cage whilst after the dark and wildly simmering peace of III: СКЕЛЕТ, the band unleash the classically walled, viciously vehement Premonitions which features a guest appearance from Ricky Lee Roper. The track parades riffs and rhythms with a horde like mentality and appetite upon ears whilst its successor Invasion, lashes and chews on the wounds with sonic invention and a combined riff and rhythmic rabidity.

The album closes with first the tremendous Evil Will Prevail featuring Exist Immortal vocalist Meyrick De La Fuente, the song a ferocious blaze of spite, antagonism, and creative imagination. The track bewitches as powerfully as it annihilates, the expressive clean vocals and melody crafted passage towards its end a seduction within the masterful turmoil that lingers long into the final instrumental IV: Non Magis Adrogantiam.

Eschatologies is a thoroughly demanding and intensive proposition which only expands and broadens its hold and depths with every listen. As said there is a multitude of inventive exploits within every twist and turn which at times makes it a difficult listen in regard to taking it all in but unrelentingly thrills and invigorates as it bewilders and exhausts. It is a glorious maze of sound and invention from Nexilva, simply a ravenous fascinating aural kaleidoscope.

https://www.facebook.com/nexilva

9/10

RingMaster 08/04/2014

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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Doom’s Day – The Devil’s Eyes

 Photo: Phil Rousseau photographe

Photo: Phil Rousseau photographe

    The release of their debut album The Unholy just over a year ago brought Canadian occult metal/horror punk band Doom’s Day into a closely inspected view and though in many ways the release was more promise than substance it was a thoroughly enjoyable encounter sparking intrigue and anticipation of greater things ahead. Their second full-length The Devil’s Eyes, easily justifies those expectations and hopes with its eight gothically atmospheric striking songs. With a maturer sound and better production than its predecessor, the release unveils a band with still plenty more surprises and potency to come you suspect but in the midst of an impressive evolution.

     Hailing from Quebec , Doom’s Day has been on a steady and recently rapid ascendency in grabbing attention, locally through their live shows and more widely with The Unholy. Originally released as a hand numbered CDR consisting of just 50 copies, the album drew the attention and enjoyment of PRC Music owner Remi Cote who proceeded to give the record a wider re-release. Certainly no stranger to strong and positive responses, the album made a good base for the band to move on from which their new album, again out via PRC, has explored to impressive success. Continuing with a sound seemingly seeded in the likes of Mercyful Fate, Venom, Ghost, and at times early Misfits, The Devil’s Eyes brings a stronger unique voice to the band, one arguably more heavy metal spawned and a big pleasing step on from their introduction.

     The Offering sets the listener off on the occultish stomp of the album, strikes of drums and guitars cutting through the wash of doom'sday_devilseyesthe atmosphere casting keys. Immediately ears and imagination are led into a shadow clad mausoleum of blackened intent and demonic provocation, an evocative and expressive caress darkening the soul. Into its steady gait the track expands with strong vocals, singular and as a dual persuasion, and a sonically hued guitar enterprise ripe with acidic colour, all adding greater adventurous intrigue to the narrative. It is a magnetic start, an infectious lure setting up album and appetite impressively.

    The following Cathedral Of Lies provides a warmer enticement to its temptation, mellow vocals and harmonies almost chant like in their beckoning within the spiralling web of guitar endeavour and forcibly grabbing rhythmic frame. Like the album, it is a song easy to immerse within and feed thoughts and visions off of, haunting keys and chilled melodies the strongest bait to sculpt adventures with. Also offering an emerging throaty bass sound as appealing as the riffs and invention of the guitars, the track makes way for The Outsider. Sinister from its first breath, and certainly the initial caustic stroke of vocals, the song stalks the senses with a predatory gait and enveloping gothic keys. It constantly probes and provokes the imagination, again with dark scenery and noir lit enterprise. The best song on the album it pushes it and band to a new plateau with irresistible invention.

     The release continues to stir up the passions with firstly the title track which rattles cages with its antagonistic almost violent rhythmic agitation and flowing keys, a vault of malevolence and anguish unleashed to embrace and taunt the listener. Its bordering on insidious tempting is matched and surpassed by Watery Grave, a song which takes longer than some to seduce but emerges as another highlight. Slow in its taking of the imagination, laboured in its preying of the ears, the track is a deceptively contagious submission from the release. It seems to evolve before the ears turning from a strong emotive menace into a highly seductive consuming of heart and soul. Those earlier mentioned influences seep through across the album but equally here you feel a stronger psychedelic essence which flickers up whispers of The Doors.

    The additive lure of The Devil’s Eyes never waivers as the final trio of songs set up home in ears and thoughts. The first Lost Soul is maybe less dramatically gripping as previous songs but is rich in stimulating riffs, commanding rhythms, and expressive keys. The vocals equally impress, and across the album to be fair, like the music and invention, standing much stronger than on the band’s first album. Offering an excellent solo, the song is followed by the dark ‘hymn’ Ave Satanas, a predominantly instrumental psalm of melodic excellence and evocative ambience. It is an outstanding piece of composing and craft which is ousted and contrasted by the closing track, Crush The Cross. In quality and excitement the song is easily the equal of its predecessors but whereas the previous song was an enveloping of melodies, this is an all-out charge of harsh riffery and rhythms, an almost thrash honed blaze of sonic corruption to end things on a high.

     As stated earlier Doom’s Days’ debut pointed at a strong chance of greater things to come from the band but The Devil’s Eyes easily outshines any expectations and hopes. There is still improvement to come you feel but there is little to defuse the pleasure from and praise for the release. Doom’s Day is now a band you can confidently say is going places.

https://www.facebook.com/dooms666day

http://prcmusic.bandcamp.com/album/dooms-day-the-devils-eyes

8/10

RingMaster 26/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Doom’s Day: The Unholy

Doom's Day

Though arguably offering more promise for the future than major satisfaction in the now, The Unholy the debut album from Canadian  occult metal/horror punk band Doom’s Day is still a recommended investigation if the likes of Mercyful Fate, Venom, Ghost, and early Misfits grab the imagination. There is also an eighties essence to the sound which pervades the eight songs which make up the release bringing spicery from the likes of Joy Division, Sex Gang Children, and Fields of The Nephilim into the mix. It is a far from flawless release but given time makes a more than decent persuasion that this is a band to keep an eye on.

The Québec based band has been making big waves in their surrounding area since forming earlier this year, soon moving from a small project into a full band for shows around their province. The Unholy was originally released as a hand numbered CDR consisting of just 50 copies, but soon came to the attention of PRC Music owner Remi Cote. Impressed by what he heard and no doubt the promise ahead, his label has re-released the album on CD and digitally. It is a release proudly steeped in the musical past but with the intent to embroil things with a freshness of modern imagination and opinion, it is debatable how successful it is in that but certainly engages enough to incite returns to its sounds and inspire intrigue ahead.

From the opening track Overture, a gothic cathedral instrumental breath within an oppressive storm, the album enters fully with dooms_day_lowresthe title track. Dark heavy riffs and Hammond organ like keys merge for a heated embrace upon the ear which holds many similarities to fellow Canadians, the excellent New Jacobin Club. The gruff unpolished vocals stand aside from the strong guitar play and scorched melodic  touches to add an abrasive bite to the track. It is quite a compelling song despite the weak production, a trait for the whole release which manages to leave the strong aspects of the album rather lifeless and the raw unrewarding parts accentuated. It is a more than decent start though inspiring good expectations for the rest of the release.

The following trio of songs She’s Possessed, Necronomicon Ex-Mortis, and Sabbath Deadly Sabbath do not exactly live up to the hopes though most again offer things which suggest the possibility of good things coming from the band on the future horizon. The first of the three has a great female vocal alongside the restrained and tempered delivery of vocalist Doom, it makes for a magnetic encounter lined with hypnotic rhythms and a snarling bass  within the sonic wash of guitar. A short and crisp track it is certainly one of the better efforts on the album to ensure continued investigation. The metallic groove of the second song makes an enticing additive to another strong enough song whilst the latter is a bland formulaic song but one fans of classic metal will find something to latch onto.

The best moments of the album are kept to the end with The Sorceress and its great Bauhaus like opening, the muscular Your Last Breath, and the closing Ghost Of Fate. The smoother vocals of the first pair of the songs are a definite plus to the sound of the band and used within a sinewy and formidable intensity works a treat. The last track Ghost of Fate is a great tease of what one senses hopefully will be ahead with Doom’s Day, the song a rampaging well thought out merge of riling energy and melodic craft.

The Unholy is overall enjoyable with its strengths managing to outshine its negatives but it does lack the spark to ignite any real passion for its contents. Placed in a studio with a top producer who can breathe life into their certain creativity and the band itself discovering a unique heart to their invention, it is not too hard to imagine Doom’s Day turning into a more notable ingredient within occult metal.

https://www.facebook.com/dooms666day

RingMaster 03/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Interview with Mem V. Stein of Exumer

This year has seen the very welcome return of German thrashers Exumer with a brand new album in Fire & Damnation. Their first release since reforming fully in 2008 and a gap of 25 years to its predecessor Exumer show they are not just another band simply reforming but return as a band fuelled up with energy, intensity, great songs, and most of all bone crushing rock n roll. We had the chance and pleasure to ask one of the band founders, vocalist and bassist Mem V. Stein about the album, the band, and their return.

Welcome Mem and thank you for taking time to talk with us here at The RingMaster Review.

Firstly how does it feel being back with a new album in Fire & Damnation?

Feels most awesome! It feels right to have a working band AGAIN and to be active since 2008. We have been through a lot in our career and people who follow the band know that. However, we are grateful always to include our fans in our decision making, meaning that it is all geared toward making them happy, whether with killer live shows or great records. The idea was not to have a reunion type of format but a working band. That means going on tour, writing new material, recording new albums and getting signed to a label. The main objective was to come back and record the best third album a band can possibly record after putting out their last album 25 years ago. The same goes with the live shows, we only want to play the most furious shows that you can imagine. There are so many fans who were either born in the 1980s or after, and who have never seen the band play live. Just go on you tube or some other medium and you will find a lot of people wondering if they could ever see EXUMER live.

It must feel a long time since you were in this position, well it has been haha.

25 years to be precise!

Is there an extra excitement and drive surrounding Fire & Damnation because it has been so long that maybe there was not with your first two albums back in the mid eighties?

Of course there is the thing that you have to live up to everyone’s expectations but we set a pretty high bar for ourselves and are aware that the fans want to hear a certain amount of energy so we kind of had to rise to the occasion. In a pretty serious and no BS fashion that is…

The new album is impressive, sheer unadulterated thrash rock n roll, how easy was it to write new songs with the Exumer sound but bring them up to date.

We just wanted to record the best possible album that we could, with the band’s traits that you and so many of our fans are familiar with. The mission was to create a worthwhile follow up to our records from the 1980s, incorporating the aggression and energy of our youth with the musicianship that we have acquired over the past decades. It is the most honest and passion filled effort of our career and we hope that the fans hear this approach in the music. The process of writing this album went in steps; we started getting ideas as early as 2008, continued to write through 2009/10, while we were touring and finally took off from playing live in 2011, to complete writing and rehearsing/recording in 2011. We scheduled a 3-week rehearsal session in spring of this year, prior to entering the studio for recording, in order to play and finish writing the new songs in the rehearsal room. This way we sounded like a cohesive unit when went on to record the tracks in the studio and the material got a total “band/rehearsal room” vibe. We then recorded the album in Germany, around the area of Dortmund. The tracking was fairly quick but mixing took 3 months and  in phases and with a lot of A/B the material. The end result is what counts and we were all in agreement that we will mix the record until all parties are happy with the end result. It just took a while to incorporate all the elements and everyone’s wishes.

You have been writing and making music between the first and second periods in the life of Exumer?

After leaving EXUMER in late 1986, I moved to the U.S. for the first time and played in a band in New York but we broke up the project, due to financial problems. Then I formed Phobic Instinct in 1988, which broke up in 1990. I formed Of Rytes and then played in Humungous Fungus with Ray and Bernie of EXUMER. I formed Sun Descends after my 2nd move to New York in 2000, and then finally reformed EXUMER with Ray and Paul. Bernie and Ray played in a rock band for a few years in the 2000s, which Ray left and Bernie is still involved in.

We loved the album but thought it was too short, what have you to say in your defence haha?

We wanted to record an album that is short, precise, focused and to the point. An album that we wanted to hear and knew the fans would enjoy as well. We recorded 10 songs for the new album and I would say that it is by far the best effort in regards to the level and quality of musicianship that this band has ever recorded. You have to remember that we were quite young when we our first two albums dropped and now all our experiences or technical gains have been poured into this record.

Having said that, I think we were able to maintain the spirit of our sound from the 80s with the force of our expertise of today.

You have reworked a couple of songs from your earlier albums on Fire & Damnation which we will ask about shortly, so were the other songs written since the band returned in 2008?

It’s all new material except two songs from our records from the 1980s. We thought it be a special surprise for all the old school EXUMER fans to hear me sing on a track from our second album (Rising From The Sea, 1987), and Paul Arkaki singing on a track from our first album (Possessed By Fire, 1986). So we switched vocals on those two cuts and I think all our old fans will appreciate these versions of: “Fallen Saint” and “I Dare You”. The rest of the songs are all brand new other than Waking the Fire, which we had put out in a demo version in 2009. So, people will have 8 new cuts and two old songs in brand new versions. We wanted to showcase our old material with today’s sound and prove to us that it still hold up and it doesn’t sound dated.

Why the choice of Fallen Saint and I Dare You over all of your other great older material?

Those two felt right and those were the ones that Paul and I picked to re-work

What was the major difference recording Fire & Damnation compared to its predecessor Rising From The Sea?

The main differences I would say can be found in the maturity of the live shows, new album material and the overall presentation. Meaning the proficiency of how everyone plays their instrument. The basic formula of energy and aggression is maintained and not much different than from our earlier work from the 1980s. We were all 17/18 years old when we recorded our first album, obviously we are not the same exact people mentally or physically but the passion for the music remained and that’s the most important thing of all.

From being  involved in music on the recording side since the band dissolved originally there were no surprises in the studio for you technology wise after the long gap for the band?

Yea, it was not a shock and we felt at home rather quickly.

How would you say your music has actually changed between the albums?

Like I mentioned above, it is the same in some regards like passion and energy or aggression but we definitely evolved as musicians and are a lot more focused than we were in the 1980s.

Was there any particular point on the album, or whilst recording it where you had that ‘yeah we are back with both barrels blazing’ feeling inside?

That was when we started putting together the songs in the rehearsal room and felt that the energy and brazenness of the new material was all there.

Can we touch on the early days of the band and ask what first inspired you to start the band?

I wanted to start a band that would incorporate the stuff I was listening to, bands like Slayer, Exodus and all the great other metal, punk/HC of the 1980s, to be quite honest.

You had a widespread appeal far beyond Germany which today with the internet is almost a given in some ways, but in the eighties that was a formidable accomplishment. How did the likes of Poland, other parts of Europe of course and countries like Brazil take to your music that maybe other places like the UK failed to grasp as much?

All the places you mentioned were hot spots for in the 80s and still are.  It’s all a matter of time, we think we can reach a U.K. audience now and it doesn’t matter if you have more people in some countries than others because it’s all about the fans. That means playing in front of a small or big audience, as long as the fans want to hear and see you we will try to come through for them.

After your two albums of Possessed by Fire and Rising from the Sea, which received strong acclaim and your live shows and tours taking you to stronger attention etc the band split, may we ask the main reason for that?

The band just ran out of ideas and it was just too much with the personnel changes, especially having had 3 different singers throughout the band’s lifespan.

Was this a moment you saw coming so you could look ahead or was it a sudden stop in your musical worlds?

No, that was in the making and the line-up changes didn’t help.

You returned for a gig in 2001 and then returned fully as a band in 2008, What was firstly the persuasion that worked for the first event and the inspiration and drive that led to a full comeback 7 years later?

The Wacken Open Air was like a “Thank you”, to all our fans who didn’t have the chance to see Exumer with Ray and myself in the line-up. We were getting so much mail over the years and it really did not stop after we played the reunion show at Wacken in 2001. I was playing with the idea of putting the band back together for a while but then in 2007, Paul Arakaki (2nd EXUMER singer/bassist), came to stay with me in NYC over Halloween. We connected in such a profound way that it brought back my initial thoughts about reforming the band. Ray got onboard almost immediately after I had introduced the idea but all this was only possible because the timing was right this around and the idea was not to have a reunion type of format but a working band. That means going on tour, writing new material, recording new albums and getting signed to a label.

As you have with the two covers of your older tunes on Fire & Damnation did you rework the older material for your live shows to bridge the eighteen years between them and the current sound and fan taste at the time of reforming?

Not really that much, it’s all pretty much in its original state. We trimmed the “fat” here and there but nothing crazy and kept it all to its original content.

There is the whole new generation of younger fans who know us as a cult band from the 1980s but we hope we can reach a whole lot more people with the new album who never heard of the band as well.

You brought in Waldemar Sorychta (Grip Inc., Therion, Sodom, Moonspell, etc.) to produce the album, why did you choose him?

We liked his work on the latest SODOM album, to be as honest as possible with you but of course we knew his previous work as well and knew that he would be able to bring out the best EXUMER out of us, without losing the band’s spirit/vibe. And he did, at least we think so. He definitely brought out good performances out of all of us and was very helpful in the tracking process overall. It’s just really reassuring to have someone with a lot of experience behind the board, who knows how important this next record in the band’s future really is. That was just a good feeling to know about the level of Waldemar’s commitment to the project and likewise his engineer’s commitment.

How do you feel about current thrash bands or more how the genre is compared to when you started out? 

I think the advent of the internet and the connectivity of fans and bands played a huge role in how Metal has evolved since the 1980s. A lot more people are involved in playing in bands, blogging or in any form one could imagine. I think that is a good thing, it resembles a little the DIY spirit of the 1980s tape trader and fanzine days. However, I also think a lot of the mystique is also gone. I didn’t know what kind of ordinary lives my heroes from back in the day were leading. Especially bands like Venom or Mercyful Fate. So, having said all of this, metal or thrash metal bands are still growing strong! Just listen to Fueled by Fire or Toxic Holocaust.

Are there any newer bands that light up your fires and give you food for thought?

I like all kind of bands, Ghost, High on Fire the list goes on. However, I light my own fire most of the time!

What has Exumer in mind for the rest of 2012?

There will be a lot of touring, starting with a few warm up shows in Mexico and Europe, followed by a South American tour and then hopefully a few dates in the U.S. in the fall. We will keep busy after taking an entire year off from touring last year.

Once more big thanks for talking with us and good luck with Fire & Damnation.

Thanks for having us and we sure will be back whenever you like us back!

Would you like to leave us with some final words Exumer style?

Thanks for your support over the past 27 years… SPREAD THE FUCKI’ FIRE!

Read the review of Fire & Damnation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/exumer-fire-damnation/

The RingMaster Review 13/04/2012

Copyright Pete RingMaster 13/04/2011 (My Free Copyright)

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