Bootlegs – Ekki fyrir viðkvæma


With the band recently inking a worldwide management deal with GlobMetal Promotions, we thought a look at Bootlegs’ recent album, Ekki fyrir viðkvæma, was in order.  Formed in 1986 and soon becoming one of the bigger names in Icelandic metal history over the next five years or so, Bootlegs released two highly praised albums in that period before disbanding in 1991. Since then the band has come and gone through a couple of brief comebacks before returning more permanently in 2012. Released last year, Ekki fyrir viðkvæma is the Reykjavik quartet’s latest incitement of raw and ferocious thrash metal, a release metal fans will not want to be missing out on.

WC Monster and their self-titled second album, released 1989 and 1990 respectively, certainly pushed Bootlegs from national success towards recognition upon the broader metal map as too appearances on compilation albums over the next couple of years and a live presence which saw the band break into the likes of Denmark. After coming to an end, the band did come back together for a big reunion concert which was recorded and subsequently released as a live album a few years later in 2006. Before its release though, Bootlegs were already active again, returning in 2004 for a two to three year presence.  Then in 2010, they arose again with original members back; the fresh return followed by releases of the band’s first two albums in 2014 via Minotauro Records. Last year saw Bootlegs enter the studio for their first recordings in over two decades, and emerging with the rather impressive and rousing Ekki fyrir viðkvæma.

With the vocal roars of guitarists Jón ‘Junior’ Símonarsson and Jón Örn ‘Nonni ‘ Sigurðsson to the fore and its energy and intensity driven by the rhythmic predation of bassist Ingimundur ‘Elli’ Ellert Þorkellsson and drummer Kristján ‘Stjuni’ Ásvaldsson, album and sound is old school, thrash in its irritable prime. It is unafraid to offer some punk attitude too, at times songs breaching a Suicidal Tendencies like punkiness, but for the main and in its individual style, Ekki Fyrir Viðkvæma is the perfect fit for tastes bred on the likes of Voivod, Exodus, Metallica, Slayer, and Subhumans.

Front_RingMasterReviewFrom the hungrily abrasive and riotous punk ‘n’ roll of Gervigleði er ógleði, the album has ears and appetite in league with its ferocious intent. It is a great opener quickly matched in success and persuasion by the thrash prowl of Fullur á Facebook. Grooves and hooks collude with rapier like swings from Stjuni in the second song, luring in the listener before uncaging a ravenous assault and devilment reminding of the crossover thrash sounds of the previously mentioned California hailing band.

As the likes of the senses nagging KúkurPissOgÆl and the glorious exploits of Bootlegs fyrir börnin come and go, it is fair to say that major surprises are few yet fierce temptation and unbridled enjoyment unmistakable and inescapable. Within the second of the two, there is also something very familiar about certain melodies and flavoursome hooks yet all escape comparison to anyone in particular as the track steals ears and passions with ease. There is an occasional sense of early Stam1na, passing essences fleetingly bringing the Finnish band to mind as the track provides the first major pinnacle within the album.

Tribute to Thrash is one of the few English sung tracks and more than lives up to its title, swinging along with a snarl and swagger while being as multi-flavoured as its predecessor. With some great guitar interplay involved it is followed by Eitur naðra which explores a darker and heavier canvas of textures and character as sonic flames vein its intimidating posture and tone. The track is just one more highly memorable proposal, whether stalking the listener or in a rampage of niggling riffs and the snakiest of toxic grooves, and swiftly irresistible as too the in the face predation and roar of the excellent Gjallarhorn.

By this point it is fair to say that Ekki fyrir viðkvæma had us hooked, sharing physical and vocal, where we could language wise, involvement with instinctive eagerness. The pair of Fórnarlamb tískunnar and Kjörkassasvín only add to the album’s temptation and uncompromising thrills; both tracks providing an immediate and merciless trespass as anthemic as they are grouchy. They are highly addictive proposals carrying an array of imagination pleasing twists and turns backed by the band’s individual craft; the latter especially intriguing and devilish in shape and resources.

Making less of a dramatic and lingering impression is Poser though fair to say that its antagonistic attack leaves only satisfaction in its wake before Haleluja adds its own creative incitement and SOD III uncages the album’s shortest and most hostile offering yet. Again both leave pleasure full without matching earlier triumphs with the closing Ó Reykjavík providing a final spirit arousing galvanic punk ‘n’ roll stomp to greedily devour.

It is a great end to an excellent release. Ekki fyrir viðkvæma might not be the best thrash album you will have heard this past year or so, though it is in with a real shout, but it is undoubtedly on the frontline of the most enjoyable and ridiculously easy to return to propositions you will come across.

Ekki fyrir viðkvæma is available @

Pete RingMaster 11/05/2016

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In Fall – Delete

In Fall_RingMaster Review

From Ekaterinburg, Russia, In Fall is a gothic rock duo consisting of Shade (vocals, bass, programming) and Eric (guitar). Recently they released third album Delete, a collection of dark yet hope filled, melancholy soaked tracks that simply capture the imagination. Aligning contrasts within a blend of creative intricacies which themselves are paired with simplicity of tone and emotional openness, the release is a fascinating and increasingly enjoyable offering suggesting the band are ready to prompt broad attention.

The background to the band and its members are not openly offered in profiles and press release, but 2012 saw the first In Fall release in the shape of the Coffin shores EP whilst a year later debut album Charm appeared with its successor How can you fall in love? coming in 2014. Recently linking up with GlobMetal Promotions, In Fall now has Delete to entice and inspire the imagination, a success in motion from its first touch.

Delete cover_RingMaster Review   Sometimes starts things off, a lone piano casting a classical air as thicker sounds brew around it, guitars and rhythms a shadowy tempting courted by an even darker bass lure. The voice of Shade has a mellow but emotive intensity which lies separate to the melodic beauty and metallic intimidation around it, but links all with its potent plainer hue. For ears, the song and subsequent album provokes thoughts of bands like Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, and Gene Loves Jezebel, though equally as the likes of the album’s title track takes over, thoughts of Type O Negative and more so an emotionally detached version of Black are also nurtured. For the main though as keys seduce and shadows encroach, vocal croon and melodies caressing within a muscular climate, In Fall create something specific to themselves becoming more impressive and enticing with every listen.

Through tracks like the climatically smouldering You say and the more tenacious rock ‘n’ roll of Wednesday ears are pulled deeper into the release and its romantic lure around ironic and openly reflective lyrics. Both songs offer individual proposals in sound and design which again only increase in persuasion as their theatre of emotion and rich textures is increasingly revealed before the post punk shaped Brainbox bewitches an already happy appetite with niggly riffs and a bestial bassline around elegant keys and subsequently seducing strings. Vocally Shade deviates little from his prime emotionally cold delivery, which at times is a temper to the flames of beauty aside him, but always he stretches it to rise and fall with the heart and intensity of a track, and as here always to great effect.

Could be similarly weaves a fusion of post punk and gothic/melodic metal resourcefulness into a haunting embrace whilst from a warm dance becoming emotively darker and physically irritable, Beautiful day crawls into the psyche and passions to take best song honours. It is a relentless prowl of ears, a magnetic spark for the imagination, and lingering sinister hug for the senses, and quite superb.

That great post punk breeding lines the melodic call of synths across More, the song a transfixing siren of sound reminding of eighties band Leitmotiv. The feel of that era is a recurring and welcome spice across certainly the post punk and gothic colouring within Delete, its provocative melancholic scent again flowing through Dust even as a carnivorous bassline seeds a volatile atmosphere which, though it never quite erupts, is a constant intensity to the enthralling drama.

The album concludes with firstly From above, a lighter and catchier affair on ears, and finally the raw emotive intensity and sonic fire of Over. Each song leaves ears and pleasure full and the impressiveness of Delete enhanced even if not quite matching up to the potency of tracks before them. They certainly add to an album which just gets stronger and more engrossing though, not forgetting one more enjoyable with every encounter.

In Fall, as previously for us, is likely to be an unknown outside of their homeland for most but that deserves to change from Delete alone, a release you seriously should be checking out.

Delete is out now.

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2015

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Absorb – Vision Apart

Absorb_RingMaster Review

There are a few metal bands around the globe with the name Absorb, but certainly standing out in sound alone are the German death metallers carrying the title. Emerging back in 1989, the Bavarian quartet released a pair of demos before splitting up in 1994 but thirteen years later, founders Pfisty and Jochen reformed the band with new and fresh ideas bubbling up to take a sound already unafraid to twist and evolve its death metal seeding, to new potent places.

With a new line-up in place around the original pair, Absorb released Dealing with Pain in 2010 to strongly welcoming reactions from media and fans alike. As their live presence embraced shows with the likes of Obscura, Cannibal Corpse, Pestilence, One Man Army, Sodom, Vader, Hatesphere, The Black Daliah Murder, Morbid Angel, and Arch Enemy amongst a great many over recent years, more personnel changes were gone through, eventually leading to the current line-up of vocalist Volker and bassist Daniel alongside guitarist Pfisty and drummer Jochen who now the unleash the band’s new EP Vision Apart. A gnarly tempest of four diversely flavoured extreme metal furies, the release is a ravenous and rabid confrontation suggesting that Absorb, who recently signed with GlobMetal Promotions, have tapped into a vein of creative venom that could awaken broad attention.

Vision Apart Cover Final_RingMaster Review    The EP starts with a predatory gripping of ears through Perfect Whore, nagging riffs a perpetual tempting as vocals and drums descend greedily on the senses. With the bass a more reserved but no less potent protagonist in the mix, grabbing its moment to grumble within breaks with toxic prowess, the track climbs over the senses and imagination like a serpent. The sonic tendrils of the guitar are as seductive as they are venomous, still flirting with virulence as hostile eruptions unite in a bruising tempest. The track is a superb start to the EP, death metal infused with slithers of other varied metal and noise induced invention.

The following Los Muertos de Hambre is just as flavoursome within its carnal turbulence, again acidic grooves and alluring riffs veining the smog of sonic intensity. Clean vocals bring another enjoyable colour to the forceful prowl, their delivery adding a scent of heavy metal to the creative savagery. Though not quite matching the plateau of its predecessor, the song is a fascinating tapestry of styles and fluid ideas, something definitely fresh and appetising to the more formula genre releases escaping this past year.

The song Undead springs with a similar breeding to the previous track, but quickly revealing its own insidious character in presence and imagination with an impressing mix of vocal enterprise again adding weight and texture to the track. With the bestial sounds at its core and Volker’s great guttural delivery a glorious violation as addictive as the whirling sonic lacing of guitar, the track opener fires up the ears and passions with instinctive ease before making way for closing incitement World Stops Turning.

The final track stalks to the thrash seeded backdrop of driving riffs and rhythmic barbarism interspersed with slower meanders, creating the most destructive and cancerous moment on the release, and another seriously riveting trespass to get involved with. Like Vision Apart as a whole, it is hard to say major originality is being cultivated but the freshness to it all, and the blending of contrasting flavours creates something highly enjoyable and different to contemplate.

Their name might be relatively common but certainly Absorb’s sound has a personality of its own which is very easy to suggest trying out.

The Vision Apart EP is out now.

Pete RingMaster 03/11/2015

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Seneron – Parasites And Poets



A year and a half ago, the potential ridden Order Restored EP roared and confronted whilst thrusting Northern Ireland rockers Seneron into the keen gaze of attention. It was not an explosion to ignite the world of heavy melodic rock but one richly satisfying and enticing invitation into the appetising emergence of the band. Now the Derry trio return with debut album Parasites And Poets and show not only that their early promise has been realised but they have opened up another vat of intriguing and exciting possibilities.

Fusing aggressive essences of alternative and punk rock with grunge, Seneron from its founding in 2011 swiftly sparked the local underground scene live and with their first release, the Well Driven EP a year later. Its raw and rugged presence made for a strong and alluring entrance which last year’s Order Restored reinforced and pushed on, just as the new album does again. Signing with GlobMetal Promotions the same year for a worldwide management, the band through the EP found themselves catching the attention of US radio as well as at home, its successful release supported by numerous shows, tours, and festival appearances. It was a potent year for Seneron and one easy to imagine being eclipsed over upcoming months as Parasites And Poets infests more and more ears and passions.

As soon as the opening song of the album hits there is a more rounded and flavoursome presence and texture to the band’s sound which has evolved between releases. The accustomed fire and snarl of tracks are still there but honed into a more contagious and adventurous charge. First track and new single Don’t Cave In sets things off and instantly grabs ears and appetite with a wall of hungry rhythms and tenacious riffs. Grooves are swiftly employed too, the mix voracious bait which grips the imagination as feet straight away offer their support. It is a powerful start which once into its muscular and forceful stride, expels an anthemic call which is part Foo Fighters, part Turbonegro, and all fun. It is fair to say song and album has an agreeable familiarity about it but also a pleasing freshness in character and enterprise which combines for a healthy stomp. The track continues to rage and flirt across its length, the strong stony vocals of guitarist John Shields backed by those of bassist Ivor Ferris, stirring up senses and pleasure as potently as their sounds and the heavy thumping beats of drummer John Hamilton.

The feisty start is continued with Talk the Walk, a song with an initial Queens Of the Stone Age air to its appearance before striding with a heavy rock swagger and punkish attitude. As its predecessor, the song is immediately infectious with thick riffs and imposing rhythms bound by fiery melodies and spicy grooves. That recognisable essence talked of before, ensures this and subsequent songs have the feel of an old friend but as shown by the following lively smoulder of Breath, there is plenty to fuel each with unpredictable and intrigue fuelled drama. The third song is a mellower but still feisty proposition with a bounce which perfectly conflicts with and compliments the great grizzled tones of bass as beats swing with less intensity but equal animosity to their intent on the first pair of tracks.

Riches and thrills within the album keep coming as the inescapably Foo Fighters influenced Dig Deep steps in next, though those open energetic and melody soaked flavours are also aligned to a more caustic growl which brings greater depth and expectations avoiding substance to the song and its invention. Equally there is a slight Metallica seeding to its even paced stroll and rigorous terrain of rhythms and rugged riffery, a bled which makes a great appetiser for the impressive What a Way to Go. The song is a growl from start to finish, bass and guitars an intimidating provocation of heavy rock ‘n’ roll courted by the punchy swipes of Hamilton and the again great vocals. A slight sniff of Therapy? adds to the intensive incitement of the track, melodic flames caressing the predacious intent and enterprise as it grips ears and thoughts with ease.

Both the more even tempered persuasion of It All Ends Here and the riveting and incendiary imagination of Freakshow keep ears and emotions tightly embraced, the first an unspectacular yet captivating creative croon whilst its successor with a similar core intent, latches onto more imposing and striking hook littered scenery within a melodic fire of catchy temptation. Their easy to digest lures are followed by the grittier blaze of final track Outbound, a song which has raw rabidity to its vocal and heavily boned roar but also a contrasting melodic seduction which simply mesmerises with Soundgarden/Gruntruck like vivacity. It is with little problem an outstanding close to a great release.

Parasites and Poets shows that Seneron has not only found a new plateau for their invigorating sound and creativity but untapped another source of potential. The album is not a major ground breaking provocation it is fair to say but has a spark and invention to its assault which ears and emotions can only embrace and find full pleasure in, an enjoyment which puts a vast amount of heavy rock releases this year in the shade.

The self-released Parasites And Poets is available now @

RingMaster 10/11/2014

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Gramar – Oskolki Veri


Weaving a blend of alternative and progressive metal with numerous flavoursome additives, Russian band Gramar provide a very healthy invitation to explore their depths with new EP Oskolki Veri. Translating as Pieces of faith, the four track release is a fascinating and skilled expanse of sound and enterprise. It is not an encounter to set a fire in the belly but certainly one to spark a keen appetite to explore more.

The Chelyabinsk hailing Gramar was formed in 2010 by guitarist and songwriter arranger Ilya Sokolov. Soon joined by drummer Ivan Salo, the pair making the spine of the band since, the band released the well-received Existential quantifier EP in 2013. A change in line-up occurred between the last and new release, the latter now unleashed following the band signing with GlobMetal Promotions earlier this year. It is an attention asking and receiving proposition which captures the imagination from its opening minute.

Нет прощения (No forgiveness) embraces ears first, electronic coaxing with crystalline radiance gliding around the firmer rhythms and provocative melodic textures. It is potent start which only increases its impressive presence as riffs and grooves aligned themselves to symphonic breezes from the keys and strong vocals. It is a captivating offering which even with the narrative sung in Russian hints resourcefully at the lyrical and emotional intent of the song, though it is frustrating to not know more admittedly. More a kaleidoscope of sound than a maelstrom, the track swirls around senses and imagination with a fluid blaze of inventive and gripping ideation.

The impressive start is followed by Время потерь (Time of losses) which again instantly brings a symphonic metal whisper to its otherwise rugged entrance. It is soon rolling out an anthemic rhythmic bait which itself is quickly joined by equally evocative melodies from the guitars and expressive vocals, both adding enticing hues to the emerging landscape of sound and creativity flowing through the song. The track continues to spark with twists of melodic and progressive rock whilst entwining industrial and electronic intrigue in its fully coloured enticement for body and thoughts.

The melancholic drama of Крылья печали (Wings of sadness) comes next, its shimmering sonic climate an intriguing breath over the fiery scenery of aggressive riffery and similarly imposing rhythms. Gramar again show they are well equipped to merge dark and light, fierce and mellow textures to great and persuasive effect to cast a bewitching encounter. Like the release it does not set a fire raging but firmly grips an awakened appetite urging another strain of hunger for its presence to escape.

The release closes with Ложь (Lies), it like its predecessor a slower prowl initially before firing up an intensive web of riffs and rhythmic incitement, the bass especially vocal and compelling within the song. The most predatory track on the EP, it proceeds to intimidate ears with antagonistic riffs and bass voracity whilst seducing them with melodic ideation and sonic adventure. As the whole release, it is an enthralling protagonist which is maybe missing a spark or two to set the passions ablaze but has plenty to keep imagination and eager interest firmly latched on to the band.

Russia has unveiled some striking and potential drenched bands over the past couple of years, its underground ripe with potent emerging bands, and to that list you can firmly add Gramar.

The Oskolki Veri EP is available now


RingMaster Review 12/09/2014

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Bleeding hopes and stark wastelands: an interview with Morok from Bog[~]Morok

Bog_Morok_pic.2 jpg    

It is fair to say that Russian metal is still pretty much in the shadows for the rest of the world despite the success of bands such as Arkona and…well that is arguably it despite the wealth of impressive and inventive bands creating thrilling sounds and releases within the country’s varied rock and metal realms. It needs an intent and exploration on the part of the listener to generally discover these shadowed treasures one of which is the excellent industrial/nu metal band Bog[~]Morok. The latter part of 2013 saw the band release their new album Industrialypse, an incitement drawing on numerous and unpredictable flavours and invention for a unique industrial metal bred creation. It is an exciting and stirring collection of tracks which deserve the widest attention. To find out more about the band we had the pleasure of asking its founder Morok about the origins of Bog[~]Morok, the impact of its home city, the striking band name and much more…

Hi Morok and welcome to The Ringmaster Review, thank you for sharing time with us.

Firstly can you give us some background to Bog[~]Morok at the very beginning, the spark and intention of the band at its start?

Hello and thank you!

Ok, I started Bog-Morok back in 1997. I just wanted to make fast, loud and aggressive music. Nothing special :). I think many people start to play music thinking that they are able to create something outstanding, something better than what they were listening to. I am not an exception. For a long time it was one-man-band. As a band B-M exists since 2003 when we released our first CD Azoic. Since then we have recorded six albums released on a different Russian labels, played a lots of shows, recorded many remixes for other bands, etc. The band’s style can be described as industrial/nu-metal. The new album Industrialypse released on 21 October on More Hate Productions for Russia and CIS. For the rest of the world it will be sold by Israeli label A&M Releases with support of GlobMetal Promotions.

As you said the band eventually expanded to a full line-up, was this a natural progression or a deliberate direction to expand on what you could do as a solo project?

I always wanted to play live shows. At first this was the reason to find musicians, but then I found that the writing process is much more interesting and effective together with other members. I am an ordinary bassist and very bad drummer, that’s why I cannot make qualitative music alone. So, I think this was a natural progression to expand the possibility to make music. Besides, we are very good friends and it’s a pleasure for me to spent time with these guys :).

Your sound has evolved over the years and your five albums, how do you see its change and evolution over the time? Bog_Morok_pic

You see, I always wanted to find special and unique sound for Bog-Morok. I wanted to make my band sound different from others bands. Not better, not worse, but different. Our first album is not typical for further creativity, but then we started to use low-tuned guitars, distorted bass, synthesizers, electronic sounds, etc. and now we feel that we are very close to what can be named “our own sound” :). Anyway, this process was natural. I never tried to make my band sounding like someone. It’s so boring…

How would you describe your sound right now for newcomers to the band?

Well, it’s some kind of mix of dirty and groovy guitars and bass, mechanistic rhythms and cold electronic sounds and backgrounds. This is just like a sound of machine or tool, but machine with a soul and furious emotions.

What is the story behind the band name?

It was many years ago, when I read the book called Sword and Rainbow or something like that. It’s fantasy, as far as I remember. There was a strange character. A troll or may be orc who lived in the bog. In Russian he was named Morok Bolotny (Morok from bog). Quite stupid character I have to say. But I liked him, besides I wanted to play fast and scary black-metal at that time. I decided that it will be great nickname for me and name for the band. But you see, this book was translated into Russian and I didn’t know how his name sounds in English properly. I used my own translation. Morok means ghost or spectre. Bog is bog (by the way, in Russian “Bog” means “God” that’s why some people thought I’ve got megalomania, haha!). So the band’s name means Ghost from bog. Time passed, we started to play different music, but the name is still the same. Maybe ‘cause it is quite unique and strange. I hope so :).

You recently released the excellent Industrialypse as you said earlier, an album of twelve inventive and explosive slabs of industrial/nu metal with plenty more flavouring to seduce the imagination. It is one of our favourite introductions to a band, it the first time we came across Bog[~]Morok, in a long time; how long has the album been in the making?

Too long! I started to write songs for this album a couple of years ago. Then approximately a year ago we started the record sessions at our studio, but in the middle of recording process I understood that the results did not satisfy me. I don’t how to explain it, but you see, the songs did not sound the way I wanted them to sound. Something was wrong and I didn’t know how to fix it. Then I started absolutely new side-project named Shexna, a strange mix of nu-metal, folk and sludge, together with Bog-Morok’s drummer and guitar-player and singer from well-known Russian band Temnozor. In a week I composed 9 tracks, in the next week we recorded all instruments and two more weeks I spent mixing and mastering these songs. The self-titled album was released by Russian label Sound Age in the beginning of 2013 and received a lot of rave reviews. Only after that we continued to record our distressful Industrialypse and finished it in August 2013.

Frontcover 1Have you like your sound, evolved and changed how you approach recording your music and working in the studio which made a big difference and help in creating Industrialypse.

You know, I am the maximalist and that’s why I never satisfied with the result. But I know how to find a compromise with myself. Otherwise, you can go crazy trying to achieve a perfect result :).

The title is a provocative word sparking the imagination to sculpt thoughts of an apocalyptic expanse bred from an industrial toxicity; what was your thoughts behind the name and does it represent a theme for the album as a whole?

It is a combination of two words: industrial and apocalypse. You see, we live in quite a big industrial city, Rybinsk, where there are a lot of factories and most of the people work there. Every day I see crowds moving to their working place and back. They are just like zombies: no hope, no future and no past. Eat, work, sleep, die… I think that industrial apocalypse is already happened for them. That’s why there weren’t any doubts it will be the title of the album when I wrote this song. But I can’t say that it’s refers to the album as a whole. You see, there are so many things to sing about. I think I’ll never be able to write a conceptual album :).

You just described Rybinsk with its factories and industrial plants etc., has this setting made a specific impact on not only the lyrical content of the album but your music in general?

My parents are teachers, I am a lawyer, but when I was a child I always drew factories and smokestacks and dreamt to work on a plant :). Thank God my dream has not come true, but when I grew older I started visiting different abandoned factories and other industrial objects (there are a lot of them after the notorious Perestroyka). I still love it and when I started to listen to music I was so happy to discover such bands as Die Krupps, FLA, VAC, Fear Factory, Steril etc. Their music was like a soundtrack of my dreams and visions. So there’s no surprising that I started to make industrial metal :).

How does the song writing process work within Bog[~]Morok and has that changed in a large way since those early days of the band?

The main part of music and lyrics is written by me. It has not changed since early days. But you see I play music with very good musicians. When I bring a new song they can change whatever they want. I trust them. In most difficult cases we work all together on a song looking for best option or may be compromise. Really, I am the lucky one these people are play music together with me :).

Do you enter the studio with songs completed or allow them to evolve further as you start to record them?

We’re recording songs in our own studio and there’s no need for the long training before record session and rush while recording music. May be that’s why we work so slow :). Anyway, we may write song, record it completely and then throw away ‘cause it doesn’t suit us. We can afford it.

Is there a particular part or aspect of Industrialypse which gives you the strongest intensity of pleasure?

I love this album entirely, but today my favourite one is Bloodsucker J. This song is outstanding ‘cause it consists of only one note A, it’s true, there are no any other notes except A :). The guitarist and bassist can drink beer while playing this song, ‘cause the left hand is free. I love this song today. May be because I’m in a good mood, you see, I always listen to most heavy songs when I’m in a good mood:).

I am sure like us you feel it is time for the world to wake up to Bog[~]Morok, what have you done his time around and put behind the album to try and make that happen?

We signed a contract with GlobMetal Promotion. They do their job very well spreading our music all over the world. As for us, we are playing live shows, answering the questions, communicating with people and many other things to please our old fans and to find new ones.

Are you planning to promote the album in live shows or tours? Band Photo 2

Yes, we’ll do our best to play as much shows as possible, but don’t forget that we live in Russia, the country where life is like a survival, the country where all your plans can be destroyed in a few seconds…

What comes next for Bog[~]Morok?

I think it will be live shows, some videos and writing of new songs. Yes, we will start to write new songs rather soon. I have some ideas but nothing definite still. All I know the next album will be more insane and outside borders and genres.

 How about the band member’s other projects outside of the band, anything we should be watching out for?

Oh yeah. Our drummer plays in very interesting black/death metal band Iconoclast. Also all members of Bog-Morok involved in our side project Shexna. And of course, I’d like to present our new band Morguenstern. This is the band where I play the guitar and the vocalist is my sister Morgana. We play old school gothic metal, sometimes horror punk. The music is similar to soundtracks from horror movies of the 80’s J. The debut album Sepulchral Burden will be released by Israeli label A&M on 15th January 2014. Check it out!

Thank you again for talking with us, would you like to leave any final words for the readers?

Take care of yourselves and don’t forget to listen to Bog-Morok! Thank you for your interest in our music!

Read the Industrialypse  review @

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 01/01/2014

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From Angels to Bazaars: an interview with Alexey Markov of Starsoup

Alexey Markov.

Starsoup is a band emerging from within Russian which is beginning to stir up a healthy appetite outside of its homeland through debut album Bazaar of Wonders. Creating an enticing weave of heavy and progressive metal invention fed and inspired by a wealth of additional flavours, the album is a compelling adventure which coaxes emotions and imagination with evocative narratives and excellently crafted and skilfully invented enticing songs. To find out more about this awakening creative presence within world metal we had the pleasure to talk with band creator vocalist/guitarist Alexey Markov. Looking at the project’s origins, its first album, opportunities for Russian metal and more, this is what Alexey unveiled…

Hello Alexey and thanks for talking with us.

First of all please give us some background to Starsoup, its origins and the history of its core members.

Well it’s basically a one-man band, but this man (me) doesn’t compose all the music. A big part of Bazaar of Wonders was composed by Andrew Gryaznov – our fellow keyboardist and composer, and there are two songs by my good friends Lex Plotnikoff (Mechanical Poet) and Dan Mescher (Nazgul band). I wrote most of the lyrics and I was the one who financed and produced the record, because in fact I was the only one who really needed it. A significant part of the album was recorded by session musicians.

How did you and Andrew meet and what was the spark to working together?

I met Andrew in a band called Crime of Passion where he played the keyboards and wrote music, and I was invited to sing there. A few times we split and re-appeared, but then the band ceased to exist and I decided I wanted to record our material (because I felt it was good). The spark… well I loved Andrew’s tunes and probably my ideas somehow supplemented his.

Did you have any prime idea or direction when forming Starsoup?

No, totally not. After all we only had 4 songs which we wanted to record. And we just did 🙂 The album is basically something that happened in the process. Maybe it turned out unusually ballad-esque and slow-paced to my taste.

The band is a studio project, was this always the aim of the band or just how it has worked out to this point?

That’s a tough question. I think every musician wants to perform live at some point. Frankly speaking, I’m a bit scared I won’t be able to play (and sing!) the material live as accurately as I did in the studio. I’d say the studio project wasn’t the aim, but right now I don’t have a serious desire to make it a touring band.

What are the inspirations which have most impacted on your ideas for the band and sound?

I think it’s the feelings. When I read a book or watch a movie, or meet somebody, I get new emotions and sometimes I remember them; if they’re strong enough. I wanted the songs to be emotional, not technical.

You have just released your debut album Bazaar of Wonders on Sublimity Records; I believe it was a long time in the making coverso it must be a relief to finally have it out there for public consumption?

Yes, definitely. I feel much better now as this is a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. Time to enjoy life for a few days and then start doing something else 🙂

Was there anything in particular which held up the album’s creation?

I was waiting for the cover art for a very long time, then I had to find another artist, but fortunately Mr. Smerdulak did an amazing job and I’m happy I chose him after all. The artwork turned out to be wonderful.

How has responses for Bazaar of Wonders been so far in your homeland and further afield?

Strangely enough the response in Russia is very moderate. Some people only hear the accent, some don’t enjoy that it’s not in Russian (why should it?!), some don’t like the musicianship or the songs and it’s kind of customary to get this awkward message through – to the author (me). It’s totally different abroad. We got some very nice reviews from the US, Italy, Greece, Israel and other countries.  I really enjoy reading them.

Is it hard for Russian bands to get attention outside of its borders or with the internet have you found it a relatively painless thing to be noticed?

I think it’s harder for the Russian rock and metal bands because no one sees them as serious contenders on the international stage. But now we have ARKONA with their immense success abroad so they kind of opened the road for the rest of us. Internet helps too, as this interview was organized by our friends at GlobMetal Promotions – and this is so cool we’re doing this.

The album at times brings to mind the likes of Dream Theater and Fates Warning as well as other bands like Stone Sour and Avenged Sevenfold; you are musicians who are unafraid to explore numerous styles to create your melodic landscapes?

Yes, Starsoup won’t stick to any one style. It’s my field for experiments. I start thinking that probably standing next to Dream Theater is a bad positioning for Starsoup. After all it’s just another league – 5 best musicians from the best music school in the world with half-a-million $$ recordings next to my $10k record produced in the middle of nowhere by a guy with very little musical education. I mean I’m flattered standing next to them but this comparison is just a predefined loss on all fronts.

The album sees several guest musicians involved in its making; are they playing your sounds or is it a proper collaboration with these artists and they are fully involved in developing their parts?

I never told anybody what to play. In fact a few times I was surprised how it turned out. I’ll stick to this in the future 🙂 After all I can play almost everything myself. Why call anybody else to do that if they don’t put a piece of their soul in? I let them do whatever they wish.

How do songs generally emerge from first seeds in your songwriting?

Sometimes I just play the guitar and some melody appears – or just a chord progression. I play it a few times (even for a few weeks) and try to imagine things. Sometimes the inspiration comes, sometimes it doesn’t. Or I might have a melody in my head which I try to arrange in some interesting way. Sometimes it’s a guitar riff or a rhythm figure that gives me a feeling of flow. I don’t have a universal recipe.

Alexey Markov and Андрей Грязнов.Reading the information around the band and album, I get the impression that you went into the studio to record a quartet of songs including your debut single Angels which drew great responses upon its release, but ended up with a lot more ideas and potential songs which led to an album instead, is that how Bazaar of Wonders came about?

Yes, the songs were emerging themselves in the process of the album recording. I know they usually don’t record the albums like that – usually the band has all songs ready, books the studio and then records the drums, the guitars, the bass, the solos and then the vocals. But we didn’t have this option – this way the album would never have appeared. But I will surely do the 2nd album the “traditional” way.

Is there anything specific upon the album which gives you the greatest satisfaction?

I like how the cd turned out. It’s a finished and self-contained product from the songwriting to recording and production, to art and design. I love to hold the disc in my hand, putting it into a cd player and listening to it from the beginning to the very end. It sounds different when you look at it as a whole; much better than one song at a time 🙂

You mentioned that the project has not played live yet, is that something you are hoping to do in the near future?

Not in the near future, although I’ll be probably giving some acoustic concerts in 2014. So I’ll be definitely playing a pair of Starsoup ballads – Rumors of Better Life and The City and the Stars.

What is next for Starsoup?

We look forward to releasing a pair of new singles in 2014 – and of course one or two videos.  Unfortunately I don’t think we’ll manage to create another album next year 🙂

Once again thank you for talking to us, have you any last words or thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Stay metal! Don’t stay silent: write about the music you like, share it with your friends and don’t miss the gigs!

Read the Bazaar of Wonders review @

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 30/12/2013

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Casting Riffs Afar: an interview with Seneron

seneron 2

From Northern Ireland Seneron is a band starting to make strong marks worldwide, especially with the release of their new EP Order Restored. Consisting of four songs which provoke the listener with a riot of big rhythms, caustic riffing, and melodic flaming, the compelling release follows the recent signing of the band to GlobMetal Promotions for a worldwide management deal. Things are moving for this Derry quartet so we grabbed the opportunity to find out more about the band, their music, and metal in their homeland.

Hi and a big thank you for sparing time to talk with us.

Hello, and thank you very much for asking us to complete this interview we are extremely humbled.

For those not yet introduced to Seneron can you do the honours and also give some background to the band?

We all met through the local cover band circuit here in Ireland and instantly became friends with our passion for rock music and the local band scene. From that we talked about creating some original material and all agreed to give it six months to see what would happen. Two years later and two records completed we have had success but aim to reach new fans all over the world in the very near future.

Seneron is not the first band for its members then, is there a richer history to you all musically?

All of us have played in many different bands over the years, some has created success and others have not. At this moment in time all of us are a part of Seneron and we have been graced with some success. We can all see the potential that the band can have on a worldwide stage and are very excited about that.

From the outside there seems to be a strong rock and metal scene in Northern Ireland right now how do you see it on the inside?

Yeah there’s a big wealth of really good bands here especially in the rock and metal genre. There certainly is no shortage of them and we’re kind of spoilt for choice here if you’re looking to go out and rock out on a night out which is really cool. Also having a lot of bands locally will help the music and ethos of the metal message reach more people, so that is always a good thing!

Is there a community spirit/unity between bands there too?

There certainly is a very good community spirit between bands here as they are willing to co-headline gigs and support other bands which have supported them on another nights and help each other out with equipment etc. to make the show happen, but you can’t let that fool you either because music is music and bands trying to make an impression will try and outdo the other bands performing on the night so competition is rife which is healthy too!

Are there certain inspirations which have driven your musical intent and the band’s sound?

Well we all grew up with the grunge scene and have been influenced from early punk bands from the seventies like the Sex Pistols etc. plus the early thrash scene, all combined have pretty much influenced us as performers and especially as songwriters. Also the whole DIY scene has influenced the way that we book tours, release records and promote ourselves over the world.

artworks-000037125684-j76vvd-cropYour recent EP Order Restored, our introduction to you, has earned strong interest outside of your homeland including radio play in the US, has this surprised you in any way?

Short answer – YES!!! We are amazed that a lot of countries have opened their arms to us and our fan base keeps growing each day. We hope to continue promoting the band all over the world and perhaps get to visit in 2014.

How has your sound evolved since forming to the latest release or is it still pretty much the same beast as on day one?

In a band like ours your sound has to evolve in order to become unique and not sound like anyone else. There are so many bands around the world that you have to do something different each night you perform in order to stand out. For us we experiment in creating new sounds, different riffs, arrangements and trying to stretch our musical boundaries. We feel that we have created a well-rounded sound but there is always room for improvement.

Tell us about the writing process within the band. 

Most of the time John (singer) would come to rehearsal’s with a general idea of a riff, melody or a selection of words. We would jam out those ideas to see what sticks and all of us would have a creative input. From that we would listen back to see if we actually like it and try to add various ideas to see if we can get a good sounding song.  It’s quite a lengthy process at times but it’s all worth the hard work when we finally take it to the stage!

What do you find is the spark that songs then generally spring from, riffs or more melodic ideas?

Generally we would come up with the riff first then the melodies would progress after that. A typical day in our rehearsal space is that we would jam countless ideas until a few would see potential. Then we would all take that idea away and try to come back with a progression of that idea.

Do you write songs to demo stage before entering the studio or are you band which likes to takes ideas, seeds of songs into that situation and evolve them there?

We demo everything that we write and play it live for a few months before we record the final version. The reason for this is that in song writing you can always improve on a good idea. So for us we like to get feedback from our fans at the live shows and see which song gets the best reaction. For example the track Dead Stare on our new record nearly did not make the final cut as we didn’t really like the version, but when we played it live we always got people asking us where they can buy it and how good the song is! So we have learned to listen to our fans!

Many bands say and feel their home towns/cities influence their sound and imagination quite potently, has Derry had that impact on you?

I think for us personally it’s pretty much music that we have heard on radio and television through media coverage that has influenced the band. Although watching rock bands perform in local pubs and clubs when we were young gave us all the burning ambition to get on that stage and rock out, but you could say that the lyrics are basically stories about experiences of everyday life in general which is easy to write.

You have also have a great reputation for your live shows, this is an area we suspect you revel in and maybe even have your greatest personal moments?seneron

With being on the road for the last two years we have seen a lot of things but every night would be classed as the greatest as we a grateful for the chance to perform on any stage over the country. We are excited when we meet new fans, get a tweet from someone across the world and hear our music on different world wide stations. For us that’s the greatest and appreciate everyone who interacts with us!

Any particularly memorable gigs either for positive or negative reasons which have impacted on the band?

We always remind ourselves what the gigs were like when we first started and look to where we are now. Like every band we paid our dues by playing to a few fans in a quiet venue and we appreciate it a lot more when we see our crowds increase on every show. Those early days shapes a band and makes you realise it’s not an easy business to crack but with hard work and dedication success can be obtained as we are the proof!

What is ahead for Seneron across the rest of 2013?

The plan for us is to continue promote Order restored and our new single Dead Stare for the rest of the year. We will have a tour of Ireland and the UK in Sept/Oct and plan to go back into the studio to record another record and hopefully get to visit Europe in 2014.

Once again big thanks for chatting with us…

So finally listening to the excellent Order Restored EP we know why people should go watch you live and grab the release but would you like to end with a sales pitch as to why people should come out and catch you live at the very least?

As well as having really good energetic tunes slapped in your face and a high impact live show we promise to deliver a fun event which will have the audience interact with the band in friendly banter and craic as we say here in Ireland. We don’t take ourselves too seriously but we promise to make it a real fun show and to leave the audience taking about it for days, weeks! So catch us while you can because you never know when we can get back to your home town!

Read the Order Restored EP review @

Dead Stare the new Seneron single is released on Monday 15th July


Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 11/07/2013


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Steik – War With You EP


Formed in 2008, Russian band Steik has honed their sound into one which is engagingly melodic but framed and cored by sinews which ensure a full and richly satisfying encounter. Initially called Ierikhon, the band created old school heavy metal sounds with strong additional female vocals which left an eager appetite in place. It was in 2012 and the joining of vocalist Michael Koldirev to the band that Steik then turned to an even heavier and aggressive stance for their songs, a move on the evidence of their debut EP War With You (Война с самим Собой), that gives the band an even stronger platform to make the a wide impression.

Recently signed with GlobMetal Promotions and working on their debut album for a release later this year, Steik make their introduction with a trio of songs that in varied guises shows the strength and rich promise of a band with all the elements to claim that larger recognition. It also fires up sure intrigue for their forthcoming full-length release which you can only suspect will make another strong step in the evolving presence of the band.

The Wings (Крылья) is a gentle stroking of the ear and emotions, melodic carvings from the guitar and vocal harmonies between Koldirev and the backing voices, female and male, an emotive invitation that without lighting any fires inside holds attention from start to finish and grips tighter as energy and passion raise their heads across the song.  There is a sense of shadow from the bass and subsequent elevated tones which ensures further intrigue has a part in the skilfully crafted encounter for pleasing results and overall it is a track which provides a worthwhile use of time more than anything else.

The other two songs on the EP though are another matter, both muscular and hungry tracks which show the real might of the band.  Choosing on My Own (Выбираю Cам) opens on a deliciously throaty mix of bass resonance and heavy guitar, which instantly shifts into artillery bred riffs and rapping beats. It is a demanding and commanding start soon built upon by excellent keys and the grooved enterprise of the guitars. With again vocals impressing and the song merging classic rock and metal into an infectious and captivating persuasion, the track finds a firm connection and impact on thoughts and emotions, especially when it seduces some symphonic elements and fiery metallic strikes to add their voice.

If not already convinced the title track ensures that the release and band are to be taken as an emerging force. A great enticing guitar tease opens up the appetite before things turn into an industrial flamed welcome, but as already evident things will not take one simple path and the song moves through a stretch of heavy metal and melodic rock filtered through a gripping blaze of groove metal aggression. It is an excellent fascination of a song that reinforces the band as one to keep a close eye upon, especially when their album comes out. Best track on the release, it alone sparks that hunger and the thought that there is also still much more within for the band to explore.

Though lyrically, due to songs being sung in Russian, things are a mystery it makes little difference to the pull and appeal of War With Yourself. It is a release which makes a strong and impressive introduction to the band and an appetising taster for their album. To leap into the wider fields of awareness it might be the album which is the trigger rather than this EP but you sense that the band is on course for that success at some point.


RingMaster 20/06/2013

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Seneron – Order Restored EP


Northern Ireland band Seneron is a confrontation which brawls with the ear, their attack loaded with honest and raw rock ‘n’ roll that only goes to make for a richly satisfying and energetic encounter. Their new EP Order Restored consists of four songs which stand face to face with the listener and treat them to a riot of big rhythms, caustic riffing, and melodic flaming. Though not without flaws, it is a release which marks the card for a band which is ripe with promise and accomplished enterprise.

From Derry, the quartet made a strong impact on the local underground scene with debut EP Well Driven, the release helping to ignite an eager and, though small, potent fan base for the band. Order Restored has the armoury and feisty charm to take that awareness to greater levels and already the release has caught the attention of US radio in Cleveland and Ohio. Recently signed to GlobMetal Promotions for a worldwide management deal, Seneron is poised to take their fusion of metal, rock, and punk to stronger recognition across 2013 as the release and tours around the UK and Ireland, as well as festivals, provokes more to succumb to their eventful fury.

Opening song Please Me is a deceptive beast initially, a teasing riff and bass probing wrapped in a rhythmic ticking leaving a sense artworks-000037125684-j76vvd-cropof confident safety before the massive beats and hungry riffs open up their rampage and put the record straight. It is a fire coursing riot, punk hooks and barbs lining the contagious hooks whilst the vocals of John Shields assisted by bassist Ivor Ferris rile up the senses along with the rapacious riffs. It is a song soaked in virulent infectiousness and inventive enterprise which whilst holding no surprises leaves appetite and passions exhausted with big grins on their greedy faces.

The following Stand Your Ground opens up with the vocals of Shields against a lone guitar, their union luring in the ear with a distinct if not for personal tastes a potent invitation. Vocally the guitarist takes a little getting used to and never really persuades though as on the opener in the height of an octane driven confrontation he has the perfect gruff abrasiveness for that style of attack. Here though his range and craft is limiting though as the song with exceptional guitar play from he and Chris Towe opens up a further furnace of energetic passion, his vocals find a healthier and rewarding home later into the track. The song itself musically is a riveting slice of grunge tinged metal, a hard rock ease adding to the appeal of the offering.

    Dead Stare offers a similar start to its predecessor but is soon elevating its energy and intensity to gripping levels with crisp rhythms from drummer John Hamilton guiding the again impressive guitars and prowling bass into a formidable venture. The vocals again are fluctuating in their success but never scar or deflate the power of the song, its harsh and vigorous meld of rock and metal impossible to avoid finding great satisfaction in.

The closing Just A Kid is another which comes with strong familiarity and though it is fair to say there is nothing on the EP which has not been unearthed before, like the EP it is an insatiable storm of impressive craft and contagious enterprise. Across the release there is also a similarity to the songs and their construction though all equally have enough to be distinct in each other’s company whilst lighting up the ear with strong songwriting and subsequent stylish realisation.

The Order Restored EP is not going to set the rock world ablaze but should take Seneron to a stronger deserved recognition and hopefully opportunities to expand their promising sound even further.


RingMaster 28/05/2013

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