New Keepers of the Water Tower – Infernal Machine

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Infernal Machine, the new encounter from Swedish “cosmic rock” band New Keepers of the Water Tower is a concept album based on the classic Joe Haldeman written sci-fi novel The Forever War, a story of an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. Equally, it is a compelling incitement enabling the listener to invent their own dark and highly involved escapades within a musical soundscape which simply stirs the imagination and enslaves ears. It is enjoyably impossible to pin down the Stockholm band’s sound but very easy to suggest that Infernal Machine will become one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed in 2006 as New Keepers, extending the name three years later, the band creates a proposition entwining a tapestry of varied and contrasting flavours with an epic canvas predominantly progressive and space rock bred. As shown by fourth album, Infernal Machine, even that description is a scratch on the surface. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Rasmus Booberg, guitarist Victor Berg, bassist Björn Andersson, keyboardist Adam Forsgren, and drummer Tor Sjödén, New Keepers Of The Water Towers has the ability to transport the imagination into the focus and heart of its theme with its music alone; Infernal Machine their most devilish and sublime success yet.

The album opens with The Forever War, a track luring the listener into the centre of dark times and persistent dangers from its opening sonic pulse. Keys quickly unveil a portentous invitation, rhythms adding an intimidating drama soon after as guitars dangle evocative bait before ears. Then Booberg’s immediately impressing vocals swiftly begin unfurling the track’s rich narrative, his tones mellow and mesmeric whilst the sounds around him are predatory. It is a superbly designed blend of contrasting incitement which simply enthrals as it manipulates the psyche and imagination. At times the track is like a grungy XTC, in other moments a sonically bracing and fascinating merger of King Crimson and KingBathmat like essences, and all the time an absorbing and irresistible entrance into album.

art_RingMasterReviewIts dramatic presence and mighty temptation is matched and pushed further by the gripping adventure of Tracks Over Carcosa next. Initially, it is an echo of a cold and desolate place, a lonely place within whose shadows a pulse beats with increasing relish, emerging to pull the song into a contagious stroll lined with swinging surf rock grooves. Around it a sultry and tantalising atmosphere descends, stirring up even more infectious tenacity in rhythms and melodic enterprise. Hypnotic does not do the track justice; its instrumental air has a cinematic lure and intrigue which you can akin to sixties cold war/spy thrillers and only adding to an impossible to resist alchemy of persuasion.

Towards its departure, the track slips into a solemn noir tinged calm which continues in different form into the following and as thrilling Tachyon Deep. With the returning vocals casting a mist of seducing harmonies as rhythms reveal an almost shamanic nature to their shuffle, the song glides exotically over the senses. Thoughts run through its poetic glade of melodies and vocal caresses, immersing in the scenic expression and spellbinding landscape of the track. That deceptive calm and peace also has hidden dangers, progressively unveiling them with every twist and turn within eventfully its imposing jungle.

Misantropin Kallarv is a brief, relative to the tracks around it, respite to the intensive adventures before and after; like shelter in a soulless building or moment but one which holds secrets behind the turbulence and unrelenting pressure found in the likes of next up Escape Aleph Minor. Its successor also has a less incendiary and demanding nature to its sound and energy but certainly does not lack thick drama in sound and air or the collage of hooks and sonic seduction which incite body and thoughts. From the melodic seduction and discord of guitars and keys to the tribalistic potency of bass and drums, the song is a carousel of suggestiveness.

A slow piano sculpted gait with classical melancholy to its touch ends the track, wistfully floating away into the waiting melodic smoulder of Jorden and a lumbering, emotionally heavy engulfing of ears. More sludge than doom, the track is a rapacious and darkly poetic suffocation of the senses which may not match the impact of others within Infernal Machine but undoubtedly has the imagination conjuring away as eagerly as anywhere upon the album.

The Infernal Machine completes the release; the track with every passing minute growing and evolving whilst providing a kaleidoscope of cosmopolitan and tribalistic incitement. Its repetitious strands and drone like nagging is simply delicious, around them the craft of guitars and lure of sonic imagination mouth-watering as the album ends as majestically and thrillingly as it started. A bass led passage midway of post punk seeded virulence, the cream on the cake of the song.

Infernal Machine has so much for fans of every kind of rock and melodic/progressive metal. Those with the appetite for bands ranging from Pink Floyd and King Crimson to Goblin and The Ocean to Arcade Messiah, to hint at its diverse appeal, will find plenty to devour, though by the middle of its opener the only name on their mind will be New Keepers of the Water Tower.

Infernal Machine is released on 4th March via Listenable Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/NewKeepers

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Revelation – Inner Harbor

    69 

    Revelation is a band many have acclaimed as providing the seeds and spark for progressive doom metal and over the years since forming in the mid-eighties, the Baltimore band has richly earned and garnered the respect of fans and bands alike for their doom clothed progressive imagination. Admittedly it is a band which has eluded our focus at The RR more often than not over that time, though occasionally we have dipped into their melancholic familiar yet distinct sound without finding the spark to spending an intensive time with them. The release of new album Inner Harbor via Shadow Kingdom, with a vinyl version through Pariah Child, has changed that. The enthralling six track release is not destined to worry end of year best of selections nor send us diving into their back catalogue more intensively but it has a charm and intrigue which makes it hard to leave it alone.

The trio of guitarist/vocalist John Brenner, bassist Bert Hall Jr., and drummer Steve Branagan, have stepped forth with a new, for arguments sake direction for their songwriting and aural presence, Inner Harbor a mellower and warmer seductive persuasion compared to their expected heavier stance. It still carries heavy enveloping shadows and crawling alluring atmospheres rife with intensity but there is an air of light and playful energy which arguably has not featured in their creativity before. It is a relaxed and laid-back encounter with weaves and calming washes of progressive temptation taking the lead before their darker absorbing doom intent. The presence of seventies Italian progressive rock as an influence to the release has been cited and certainly across the tracks thoughts of Goblin were playing upon the surface of thoughts, but the release has many textures and flavours at work and is wonderfully hard to pin down. It is also a little inconsistent and even after multiple intensive plays the final opinion of it is undecided. It is definitely an enjoyable and as mentioned wholly intriguing album which refuses to let go but it never really lights any fires within for a long enough or truly lasting impact but there is still something which calls one back.

The album opens with the fiery breath of the title track, its stoner blues introduction a cautious but inviting welcome especially with the flame of sonic fire from the guitar. As the vocals join the song drops into a reserved stance and loses that initially grip, though the track still holds a healthy attention. The vocals are fine without inspiring any real reaction, their expressionless style lacking against the sounds and almost pulling them into a similarly less than dynamic voice, and in many ways the track epitomises the album. It does not leave flushes of thrills but there is something to it which magnetises and persistently invites an inquisitive appetite. The climax of the song with its teasing groove and lead laden prowl leaves thoughts in question and emotions feeling equally short-changed but equally hungry for more.

The following Terribilita with its abrasive tone and sonic blaze of craft and invention again opens up a depth of interest like the first and with the following sway of the keys instantly offers something new and compelling. Also like its predecessor the song almost taunts and teases the passions into life but lacks the weaponry to seal the deal, the melodic caresses and vocal arms around the shoulder mellowness verging on soporific. It is a deceptive lure though as again the band save the best moments of the track for its electrifying conclusion, the charged groove and elevated pace still veined by the electro brilliance, a rousing crescendo.

Rebecca at the Well opens with an excellent almost vintage punk groove and intensity, the guitars and bass holding a snarl to their intent which is lacking in the previous songs. The heavily gaited breath of the sound has a L7/Damned like spice whilst the drop into the dark slowly consuming bowels of the track for a moment is a predatory menace soon dispelled by the bright hypnotic groove and mutually lit synths which ushers it away. With more than a post punk whisper to it the track is an enticing piece of invention and the highlight of the album though soon challenged by Eve Separated and the outstanding Jones Falls. The first of the pair offers its own addictive hook and groove combination whilst the vocals again without taking a firm grip bring a strong and eager melodic embrace, especially in the adjoining harmonies. Though finding the same problem as the earlier songs in that it has moments where it brings real excitement in between others which only leave a respectful satisfaction, the track undoubtedly beckons with enough to want to share its presence again. The second of the pair starts off with a feel of The Stranglers soon merging with Sabbath like imposing riffs and a sonic growl. Into its stride the track unveils eighties electro shimmering, its acidic touch an unexpected and exciting contagious co-conspirator with the best vocal performance on the album. The song is a bewitching journey through a landscape of ideas and colourful aural scenery, bright yet as across the album not quite finding the clarity to explosively dazzle. It is a great track though and adds to the allure of Inner Harbor even if not able to force a full adoration for the whole release.

Ending with An Allegory Of Want, an enveloping heady want of oppressive air and lumbering emotive, Inner Harbor is a release that will possibly open up a wider presence for Revelation. It does not leave a burning hunger in its wake but plants seeds of that irresistible intrigue which makes persistent entry into its almost puzzling realm a given.

7.5/10

RingMaster 03/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Huata: Atavist Of Mann

If witchcraft ever needed a suitable soundtrack for its presence than it should look no further than Atavist Of Mann from Huata. A mightily formidable consumption of the senses, the debut album from the French band is a concussive mixture of stoner, sludge, and Doom metal brought with a blackened Occult breath. Not an easy or comfortable listen but the album is persistently rewarding and is without doubt one of the best releases of its ilk this year.

From the old Celtic part of France, Brittany, Huata first drew attention with their first EP Open The Gates Of Shambhala of 2010. Their creativity finds inspiration in music and films of the sixties and seventies and deals with things as the accompanying promo says like ‘the initiation and hidden workings of secret societies, Luciferian pacts, extra terrestrial forces, inner earth mysteries, the quests for the holy power of mighty relics, Vril power and the ancient knowledge from dead kingdoms.’ Lyrically, musically, and in its overall presence their sound is intense and merciless bringing an oppressive unstoppable weight upon the senses. Taking and creating sounds which remind of the likes of Electric Wizard, Goatsnake, Church Of Misery, Black Widow, Black Sabbath, and Goblin, their music and album leaves one gasping for air under the power but completely mesmerised by the accompanying drone laced absorption.

Released through Mordgrimm, the album is just six songs but is not short in any other way, its overall length, mass, and intent a sonic swamp of angry muscle and predatory instinct. From the opening Lords Of The Flame, the release ruptures synapses and scrapes nerves without` mercy. This album has to be listened to at full volume to fully feel its might but of course that makes the destruction of the senses even more acute. The song is a crushing mass with blistering melodic imagination and burrowing energy. From its initial assault the track tempers the damage with glorious Hammond organ melodic weaves and a growling rippling bass but it is not long before the aggressive claws return to overcome the atmospheric climate that had evolved and leave one again crawling breathlessly under the assault.

The excellent following Operation Mistletoe is an even coarser grizzled obliteration of nerve endings. Dirtier, caustically vicious, and with a stoner flavour brewing underneath the bristling surface, the song is quite simply aural abrasion, a sonic enema for the senses. As in the previous song the vocals are a mesmeric contrast to the noise ripping through every pore. They are immersed within the heavy claustrophobic tones but add a soulful melodic light, thought that is not to say they are submissive as they offer a gruff delivery to pierce the doom swamp more often.

Atavist Of Mann is unrelenting with the likes of Thee Imperial Wizard and Fall of the 4th leaving the emotions pulsating from their intrusion. To say the album leaves the ears ringing after its departure is just touching the surface of the effect of the album. Inside and out every inch of the body, nervous system, and thoughts are left reeling but wholly satisfied. Huata have no mercy or wish to relinquish their hold of the listener whilst it overwhelms their bodies. They have also created one of the best and most exhilarating releases in their genre heard this year so there are no complaints here.

RingMaster 12/06/2012

MyFreeCopyright.com Registered & Protected

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.