Defy The Ocean – Elderflower EP

DTO_RingMasterReview

Ignore the post rock tagging when seems to accompany UK duo Defy The Ocean as their sound is so much more than that. Well not exactly ignore as it is one prevalent texture within a proposition which commands attention but as their new EP Elderflower reveals, the band is as eager to embrace alternative and melodic rock as they are grunge and many fiercer flavours. It results in a sound which captures the imagination across seven intriguing tracks within Elderflower, songs which are a mix of sheer bewitchment and less dramatic adventures but all offering company that only firmly satisfies.

Defy The Ocean consists of vocalist/guitarist Chris Theo and drummer/guitarist Marcos Economides, a pair which met at high school and began jamming together at the respective fifteen and nine. Having gone their separate ways the duo reconnected and musically linked up again in 2009, Defy the Ocean emerging from their songwriting and playing. Their first two singles were released in 2010 with the Myopic EP unveiled late 2012; its well-received release followed by the single Gold & Green the following year.

Working on Elderflower since then, Theo and Economides have pushed their sound to another level, weaving soundscapes of dramatic textures within melancholic atmospheres coloured with matching emotions. Equally they have drawn on more virulent forms of rock to add an inviting catchiness which whether subtle or forthright is another potent draw on ear and imagination.

The EP opens up with Rest, a sombre introduction sharing its shadowed heart through the first melancholy hued strains of guitar. As more creative detail appears, the song comes to life, its emotive intensity as dark and troubled but shaped by melodic suggestion and graced by the excellent vocal harmonics of Theo. Ebbing and flowing with energy and raw emotion, the track grips ears, seizing the imagination as forcibly in less than three minutes of striking enterprise.

elderflowercoverart_RingMasterReviewThe following Veil equally opens in calmer sorrowful waters, wrapping downcast yet vibrant melodic strands around ears as a dirtier bass line walks the shadows bringing a portentous air to the blue but radiant captivation. Along its body, the track continues to grow in layers and ear snatching textures, as with the EP as a whole needing numerous listens to appreciate the levels and nuances making up an ultimately enthralling body with increasing impressiveness following every venture into its riveting downcast landscape.

The EP’s title track comes next, casting a theatre of emotion and sound with essences of bands like Tool, Pelican, and Grenouer in its tempestuous landscape. Both Theo and Economides entangle each other’s enterprise and technical prowess, rhythms a rousing often destructive element as sonic adventure links up with rawer trespasses for one infectious tempting.

Brine follows with its own thick canvas of dramatic sound and emotional turbulence, Theo vocally emptying the song’s heart as the guitars cradle his dejection. Again it is beguiling stuff if at times lacking the last few sparks that lit up its predecessors, though to be fair there are moments it radiates like a creative sun to dynamically pleasure the senses before Vessel soulfully caresses ears with its atmospheric despondence and warm understanding. The most adventurous track so far, it transports thoughts into exotic places over time, always sharing compelling emotion and an understated yet powerful catchiness which just as potently fuels the impressive tones of Theo and his and Economides’ invention.

The piano bred instrumental of Poisoned leads into final track Bones, its brief heavyhearted beauty the appetiser to the woeful and epically shadowed closer. With moments of melodic clarity and stormy intensity, all swept across by the vocal and harmonic elegance of Theo, the last song is emotional turbulence within a musical tempest and quite beguiling with greater command on the passions with every listen.

Within Elderflower, Defy The Ocean merges recognisable essences and textures with their own stirring invention. It makes for a masterfully powerful release becoming more striking with time shared.

The Elderflower EP is out now @ http://music.defytheocean.com/album/elderflower

https://www.facebook.com/defytheocean/

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Incendiary Arousals: Twenty one Metal/Noise/Rock releases which lit up The RingMaster Review in 2015

2015 was a year of creative savagery and rousing, anthemic glories within metal, rock, and noise driven genres. The RingMaster Review picks out those EPs/albums covered by the site which especially sparked ears and passions.

 

OMNISCIENT_FC_RingMaster Review

Desert Storm – Omniscient
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/01/22/desert-storm-omniscient/

Skindred – Volume
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/10/29/skindred-volume/

William English – Basic Human Error
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/william-english-basic-human-error/

Arcade Messiah – II
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/23/arcade-messiah-ii/

Arcade-Messiah-II-Cover_RingMaster Review

Tirades – Lifetime of Wars
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/01/08/tirades-lifetime-of-wars/

Raketkanon – Rktkn#2
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/15/raketkanon-rktkn2/

Show of Bedlam – Roont
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/show-of-bedlam-roont/

XII Boar – Pitworthy
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/03/10/xii-boar-pitworthy/

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Jess & The Ancient Ones – Second Psychedelic Coming: The Aquarius Tapes
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/jess-the-ancient-ones-second-psychedelic-coming-the-aquarius-tapes/

Shevils – The White Sea
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/11/04/shevils-the-white-sea/

Shattered Skies – The World We Used To Know
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/shattered-skies-the-world-we-used-to-know/

Possessor – Stay Dead
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/possessor-stay-dead/

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Grumpynators – Wonderland
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/05/21/grumpynators-wonderland/

Shaving The Werewolf – The Pissing Link
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/12/09/shaving-the-werewolf-the-pissing-link/

Sofy Major – Waste
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/10/14/sofy-major-waste/

6:33 – Deadly Scenes
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/01/12/633-deadly-scenes/

art6:33_RingMaster Review

Murdock – Dead Lung
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/murdock-dead-lung/

Grenouer – Unwanted Today
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/grenouer-unwanted-today/

Markradonn – The Serpentine Deception
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/12/15/markradonn-the-serpentine-deception/

We’ll Go Machete – Smile Club
https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/08/27/well-go-machete-smile-club/

 

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TesseracT – Polaris

https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/tesseract-polaris/

The RingMaster Review 01/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Grenouer – Unwanted Today

GrenouerBand1

Russian metallers Grenouer are one of those bands which has been seemingly around for decades, two in fact, and increasingly been looking like they were about to break from relative obscurity into intensive spotlights within world metal through their recent releases. Certainly the Saint Petersburg quartet has been drawing stronger and broader attention over the past few years but still they have yet to make that big step; maybe though that moment has come with the release of new album Unwanted Today. A release bulging with melodic expression, grooved tenacity, and sharp hooks, it also carries a hungry snarl bred in the early days of the band, a combination which goes to make one rather impressive offering from a band surely poised to leap into the wider consciousness of the metal world.

Formed in 1992 by vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor, Grenouer has released seven albums to date with the last, Blood on the Face, a thrilling and gripping enticement confirming the creative invention and musical weight of the band for those in the know whilst luring a great flood of new appetites. Again released via Mausoleum Records, Unwanted Today takes its potency into new explorations of imagination and sound. It is not a big departure from or massive leap forward in their already established sound yet there is something fresh and unique at the new album’s heart which gives the release a new voice. Emerging twenty plus years ago, the band was a raw and uncompromising extreme metal proposition, but over time and records, a melodic and alternative metal exploration has evolved and now shows its finest blooms within Unwanted Today.

With its line-up completed by bassist Al Bolo and drummer Danny D, Grenouer works on the imagination right away with brief opener Awake, a cinematic and provocatively atmospheric piece with industrial clangs and suggestiveness courted by floating harmonic vocals. It is an imposingly picturesque lead into the album’s title track, a proposal instantly pouncing on ears with punchy rhythms and growling riffs. This in turn slips into an inviting embrace of gentle melodies within a warm ambience, though even this is courted by the early predacious shadows and sounds which take their turn leading the tempting ears. It is an excellent start to the album, the vocals of Ind as alluring and potent as ever whilst musically the song radiates attitude and seduction.

Things only grow in strength and contagion with the following pair of A Little Too Obsessed and Something Really Bad. The first of the two immediately has attention and appetite GrenouerUnwantedTodayenslaved, bounding in with a heavy stride and an addiction forging groove. It is a hook lingering even in the mellower twists of the song, just waiting to unleash its swagger and tenacious tempting, and always with increasing effect. Embracing essences of groove and nu metal as eagerly as the swing which infests song and listener, the track is modern metal with a nod to a diversity of styles and time, and quite brilliant. It also has a great, almost muggy air to its presence, and a bedlamic edge to its invention which shows its magnetism again in its successor, though maybe not as openly. This is another song which bewitches from its first sonic and vocal caress, and another unafraid to merge abrasing snarls of sound and grouchy basslines into a colourful and fascinating tapestry.

That dark bass toning and attitude also opens up On A Rainy Day next but in the arms of an electronic wrapping and melodic caress; voice, guitar, and keys a seducing contrast to the track’s equally flavoursome dark side. Their union is soaked in an increasing tempestuous air and intensity, one never overpowering what lies within but certainly and enjoyably giving it all a stormy and imposing landscape to colour. It is a similar blend of textures which lights up the rock/pop virulence of Blossoms In The Dust, a riveting croon of a song built on rising crescendos of sound and emotional energies. There is no escaping the mesmeric and creative romance of the song though it is soon eclipsed by the outstanding I Can’t Stand It. Everything about the song gets under the skin. From another bestial bass sound and accompanying stabbing beats to spicy melodies and soaring vocals, but especially in the unpredictable imagination and ingenuity which infects especially the latter two of aspects, the song is a compelling fascination and impossibly infectious.

   Daily Miracles is another primarily instrumental flight through evocative scenery, similar to how the album began and feeding thoughts further before Going To Stay immerses ears in its own individual melodic and emotional emprise of dark and light textures embroiled in a weave of electro rock spicing and ravenous Meshuggah like voracity. Its melodic side reminds of UAE Absolace but, as all tracks, the resulting entwining of flavours only results in an encounter with the familiarity of Grenouer alone.

Album and pleasures only continue to grow and excite as the fiercely enticing Point Of No Return unveils an invigorating maze of melodic and nu-metal equipped with the alternative flair of a Linkin Park, the inventive antagonism of a Mudvayne, and the intensive roar of a Prong. Escape from its claws is impossible as another peak is set in course of the release whilst the next up gentle balladry of Artificial Tears brings a moment to take a breath but not a slip of attentive focus on Unwanted Today. It is fair to say that it did not impact as powerfully as other songs on personal tastes, but reveals yet another side to the songwriting and charm of band sound to further feed a greedy appetite.

The same applies to Don’t Let Them Get You Down in many ways, the song missing a spark found in its predecessors but still adding its own thick slice of modern metal before the closing Clearway provides a short and delicious volatile come seductive proposal for ears and thoughts to sink within. A fine end to a great release, the track sums up Unwanted Today perfectly with its heavy and light, raw and elegant unions; creating another hypnotic adventure.

There are moments where some songs maybe have too similar a surface to others which without a deliberate concentration sees them losing some of their clear identity, but alone all show modern metal with its strongest diversity and imagination whilst together they ensure Unwanted Today is a seriously enjoyable encounter. Grenouer is knocking even harder on the fullest recognition of the metal scene now, how long they can refuse entry we will see.

Unwanted Today is available from March 20th via Mausoleum Records

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

RingMaster 20/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Grenouer – Blood On The Face

251139 - Grenouer - Photo 1

Russian metallers Grenouer have been regularly featured and devoured on our podcast The Bone Orchard at www.audioburger.com over the past couple of years so the news and chance to review their new album offered a rapacious hunger to the excitement. The band has left a striking presence with their evolving sound across the years and Blood On The Face continues that accomplished course with ease whilst opening up further suggestions of distinct explorations ahead. The sound is familiar to their fans, their melodic potency and sonic sculpting at its pinnacle, but equally it is a continuation of their now established intent and tempting with an invention and imagination which blends varied flavours and adventure for a deeply impressive encounter.

Released through Mausoleum Records, Blood On The Face combines the five tracks which made up previous acclaimed EP 251139 - Grenouer - CoverComputer Crimes with six new songs and a cover. Initial thoughts were that filling almost half the release with a previous one will disappoint fans but such the strength of those tracks with their new ‘revisited’ arrangements and more so the new compositions, it will be surely merely a passing niggle for most and for newcomers makes the perfect introduction. Produced by the team of Dualized & Eddy Cavazza (Mnemic), Anssi Kippo (Children Of Bodom), and Joonas Koto, the album is an absorbing and enthralling landscape of distinctive melodic metal. At times thoughts of other bands as inspirations make suggestions but Grenouer have a sound which is theirs alone and Blood On The Face a thrilling vehicle to share it through. Formed in 1992 by vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor, the Saint Petersburg based quintet have moved far on from their extreme metal origins, the years and releases since then drawing in and embracing a rich and passionate melodic heart to the precisely and inventively crafted songs. This their seventh album, has the opportunity to make a full declaration to the world of their might thanks to the new link up with Mausoleum, and one suspects their rewards will be just as plentiful.

A brooding intro opens up the release, Thunder Phase a dawning of a warm and provocative ambience filled with drifting vocal calls, before merging into the waiting title track. Thick riffs and sonic flames immediately erupt around the ear whilst the rhythms of drummer Michael Coroner cage it all with punch and strength. The ever impressive vocals of Ind unveil their distinct and impressive flames, his unique melodic and at times soaring range just as pleasingly supported by the backing tones of Motor and fellow guitarist Igor Buzzy. It is an intriguing and riveting blend which envelopes senses and thoughts whilst the throaty bass of Dmitry Daemon persistently adds the shadows and menacing depths which lurk and prowl the hot climate crafted elsewhere. The track is a restrained yet imposing start which opens up the album perfectly if without, in hindsight, reaching the subsequent plateaus breached later.

Both Sands of Silence and Midday Show induce greater involvement from the passions, the first with its plaintive yet seductive breath and vocals wrapped in fiery arms of melodic adventure and atmospheric emotion and the second of the two through vigorous and snarling riffs from bass and guitar which stalk and incite the ear around the again intense and emotive call of the song. It is like its predecessor a masterful expanse of imagination and enterprise with only the rapping insert later on into its persuasion taking a while to convince, the excellent song emerging as a mix of Absolace and Clawfinger.

The impressive quality and enjoyment continues and grows with each temptation masked as songs, the compelling Golden Years and the explosive Rejected igniting further lustful obedience before their creative and adventurous lures, whilst Fix Your Life/A Few Miles from Paradise finds a mix of the familiar and new which is honed into a fascination that is lingering and provocative, the keys exploring deeper invention and textured ambiences.

The most thrilling highlights in nothing but, come with firstly the predatory Brain Fever, one of those truly dangerous hunters which deceitfully lay out a welcome of melodic beauty and seduction before gnawing on senses and thoughts with corrosive riffs and crisp splintering rhythms. It is an outstanding song instantly matched by See No Sun and Last Stop. The first of the pair is a smouldering caress of a song, hazy atmospheres veined by a melodic beauty and sculpting which sways and kisses with every second of its sirenesque grandeur though it holds a carnivorous surprise too whilst the second is a reserved but forceful riot of rippling sinews and ferocious enterprise, simply an irresistible contagion.

Completed by a cover of the Stone Temple Pilots song All in the Suit That You Wear, this should be the album to bring Grenouer the recognition long deserved. Blood On The Face is an outstanding album full of refreshing invention, time for the world to wake up to the band.

http://www.grenouer.com/

9/10

RingMaster 28/05/2013

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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Grenouer: Computer Crime

When a band appear out of nowhere with a sound and release that makes one stop and pour full attention on its fresh and stirring body it simply lifts and re-energises the enthusiasm to continually search and listen to each and every new band that comes into view. Russians Grenouer is such a band though they are not really as such only fresh to these ears. The band itself has been a force in their country for many years but have yet to obviously make a truly striking mark outside of their homeland borders. With their excellent new mini album Computer Crime released via UK label Copro Records, they could turn the current interest from the rest of Europe into a much more powerful energy towards them.

Formed in 1992 the history of the band seems to be one of continual change or evolution going by their bio, not only in people but sound, and not a slight change either. Initially the St. Petersburg band was an underground/death metal band and with a sound which found a definition and maturity by the time of their debut album Border of Misty Times in 1996. Three more albums followed in the shape of Gravehead, The Order O’Folly and Presence with War between 1999 and 2003 to establish the band with fans and the underground media.

2006 saw the release of Try and a new sound for the band as they moved from within their death metal sound into a more experimental sound combined with industrial and polyrhythmic invention. The album took them to the attention of the likes of Hard Rock, Rock Sound and Metal Hammer and into a full album release with Casket Music. Next came Lifelong Days in 2008 through Locomotive Records and a busy time of festival and touring to share stages with bands such as Anathema, Cradle Of Filth, Soilwork, Pro Pain, Neurosis, Entombed, Tiamat, Testament, Textures, and Tesseract. Another rethinking of direction and sound emerged from this point with the discussions and differing opinions causing the band to go through a line-up change as it split in half. Vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor brought in second guitarist Igor Arbue and drummer Michael Coroner to replace the departed members of Grenouer, and worked on new songs to add to three recorded before the split. The new hard rock and post grunge lined sound took inspiration from the likes of Alice In Chains, Filter, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. With a quintet of tracks renewed, produced and mixed at ‘Astia’ Studio in Finland with Anssi Kippo, who played bass and keys on the songs, and Jonas Kooto, the band created Computer Crime.

The release opens with Last Stop, a track which immediately announces its arrival with muscular riffs, intimidating rhythms and a predatory prowl around the ear. Sharp melodies cut through the intensity with a sure and satisfying craft whilst the growling intensity of the song is never far away, eager and ready to pounce from behind the inventive play and strong smooth vocals of Ind. The song offers up a mix of Gruntruck, Prong, and The Sun Explodes with more than a Meshuggah flavour to the rhythms and riffs.

The following Rejected is an equally impressive and welcome invasion of the ear, placing its creative melodic enterprise and blood pumping darkened energy upon the senses with craft. The bass of Kippo is a brooding stalking beast which adds a glorious sturdy and threatening vein to the openly appealing song.

One highlight of a very impressive album is See No Sun. Opening on an emotive atmospheric melodic weave with an ethnic lining the song entrances and entices immediately. It reminds of Motherjane as it sways and lights up the emotions, the controlled and passion fuelled path a compulsive and touching experience. Then the track unleashes a surprising inner blackness in an intense and venomous expulsion mid way in before returning to the captivating grace before.

The powerful and equal best track on Computer Crimes is Fix Your Life and with Golden Years completes the release. The first is a blend of towering riffs and spiky melodic intrusions whilst the latter a warm and vibrant track which without the harder edge of the other songs is still as rewarding and an infectious song that soon has one involved.

    Grenouer maybe new to a great many but with Computer Crimes that is sure to change, and the recommendation is to just go find it before it finds you.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Grenouer/89279191818

RingMaster 01/04/2012

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