CRNKSHFT – Self Titled EP

Photo Credit – Alex Barredo

We surely have a soft spot for things carrying real punch and that is exactly what the new self-titled EP from Canadian outfit CRNKSHFT has in sound and presence. The four track offering is an imposing roar of hungry and varied metal but equally shows a blaze of hard and melodic rock ‘n’ roll, a trait even more compelling in the successor to their previous well-received debut EP helping stir up a very healthy appetite for the band’s fierce and rousing attack.

Hailing from Vancouver, CRNKSHFT (pronounced crankshaft) have begun waking attention far beyond the local scene they have already been devoured by. Support slots for the likes of Lordi, Prong, Grim Reaper, and The Veer Union have capped a powerful live presence and reputation to date, one like their releases beginning to stir broader spotlights. Providing the evidence, their recent single Systematic won an award from the Academia Awards Academy in Los Angeles and there seems little to stop the Daren Grahn (Metallica, Hedley, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi) produced EP nudging greater focus their way.

That single opens up the EP, Systematic instantly stroking ears with grouchy riffs before a wave of tenaciously swung beats and wiry grooves join the initial wave of snarling guitar and the mutually striking tones of vocalist Shane Jolie. With equally rapacious melodic strands breaking through the aggressive trespass driven by Josh Lauze’s potent beats, the song develops a Nonpoint meets Five Finger Death Punch like incitement loaded with the band’s own fresh and inventive attributes. The infectious growl and stride of the song is inescapable, guitarists Geoff Way and Sebastian Mark Pulse casting a web of voracious enterprise as intrusive as it is flirtatious; a union the song embraces as a whole.

The following Tears Me Apart bursts into life with its own antagonistic yet welcoming blaze next, riffs and rhythms ravishing the senses but equally content to pause for melody warm breaths. The calmer moments still have a shadowy air as the bass of Trevor Miles courts the peace while Jolie springs his own diversity of magnetic attack throughout. With unpredictable essences emerging, occasionally with a Korn like nature, the song leaves pleasure full before Old Habits has its go at exciting ears. Another of the singles tempting anticipation the way of the EP, the song assertively simmers and boils; its robust imagination lined body a raw fire of Three Days Grace/ Bring Me The Horizon like dexterity and adventure.

Again, it is a song with something individual to CRNKSHFT in its dynamics, a welcome trait even bolder in the dark prowl of Breaking The Silence; a track virtually stalking ears from its start before its emotive and volcanic heart erupts, a cycle then repeated with fluid craft and invention. The most unpredictable moment on the release, it is as cantankerous as it is melodically reflective in tone. Fierce and venomous whilst contagiously engaging in touch, the song ensures the EP ends on the same major high it started with, heights closely nudged in between.

With familiar textures and essences in its design, the CRNKSHFT’s sound and EP do not quite find major originality but the signs are there, as strongly proven by its closer, whilst enjoyment is already a done deal. Things are looking good for band and ears.

The CRNKSHFT EP is out now across most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Nigromante – Black Magic Night

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Initially breeding uncertainty about its presence, Black Magic Night the debut album from Spanish metallers Nigromante emerges as a rather captivating confrontation. It has flaws and at times struggles to make the fullest persuasion but equally it earns an appetite from the emotions which means it will be no stranger to regular attention. Unapologetically standing in the midst of N.W.O.B.H.M. and eighties US metal, band and album create a proposition which holds no surprises for fans of that era but plenty for them to get their teeth and neck muscles into.

Hailing from Madrid, Nigromante began in 2003 and over the years has become a sizeable proposition in Spanish metal if not yet breaking into a wider arena. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Angel Muñoz and drummer Jorge Serrano and taking influences from the likes of Black Sabbath, Megadeth, Witchfinder General, Anvil, Motorhead, Venom, and Barón Rojo into their invention, Nigromante has bred a strong live reputation since forming and shared stages with bands such as Grim Reaper, Paradox, Midnight Priest, and Virus. Now after a trio of demos between 2004 and 2006, the band finally unleash a full-length encounter courtesy of Shadow Kingdom Records and though it is not exactly going to blow you away or set a new marker for old school heavy metal, it taunts and lingers long enough after the event to stand out and tempt a regular rampage with its accomplished rabidity.

It is fair to say that Black Magic Night does not start off with a bang, the first couple of tracks getting the job done and setting a2300647838_10the scene without raising any sparks in the imagination or emotions, though as it progresses the album addresses that with contagious enterprise. Nevertheless both the opener Heavy Metal Age and the following title track trigger and grab enough interest to allow the release to expand its presence. The first of the pair slaps the ears with heavy duty rhythms and charged riffs from the start, and though arguably forges a formula engagement satisfies as sinews ripple and sonic craft whips around the ears. The vocals of Muñoz also take a little time to adapt too, his grizzled tones strong but wandering with notes at times but again like the album they seem to blossom as the record progresses. The second track stomps in with nostrils flaring and riffs lashing the air whilst the rhythms of Serrano firmly steer the song. Like its predecessor it satisfies without leaving a lasting impression but it is impossible to deny its presence as again it does the job needed to ensure the listener stays on course with the album.

Things move up a level with In Nomine Pater, the initial melodic coaxing instantly soaked in strong potency whilst the familiar but infectious groove teasing behind the coarse vocals soon has the imagination and feet playing with its lure. That familiarity covers the whole song eventually but to a positive effect with comparisons to Anvil a definite overriding but not displeasing thought. The track twists and tempts with the guitar and bass almost wanton in their appetite to thrill and seduce the imagination. Muñoz is a skilful musician and though he like Serrano never gets or takes the song into intricate areas it is easy to see the craft and potential at work.

     Saturnalia of Blood with its predatory riffs and preying basslines provides an appetising moment similar in appeal to the opening pair before making way for the moments the album excels, starting with False Idol. The track is a masterful prowl of ears and imagination; guitar and bass stalking from the start whilst the drums punctuate their goading with forceful probing. It is a mighty start which explodes into greater heights as ridiculously addictive grooves and rapacious energy swarms all over the senses. Again there is something recognisable to the song, if indefinable, but with not for the first time a great breath of thrash urging on the intent and a magnetic cast of melodies and hooks lining up to incite the passions, the song is a scintillating provocation. It is immediately matched by the following pair of Syndicate of Crime and Soy Un Macarra, the first equipped with a Cape Crusader like toxicity and antagonistic predation plus a more than punkish snarl whilst its successor takes those same elements in a different guise and to greater infectious intensity to create a punk/metal track which would not feel completely out of place in a playlist from Fuckshovel or the Ruts. The songs steer the album to much greater heights whilst showing that the band has the capability to fuse plenty of elements into their classic metal assault.

     Satan Death Squad is another to walk the release’s highest plateau, the song a more standard old school metal slab of muscle but one with riffs and sonic intrigue which continues the hold on the imagination and emotions forged by the previous encounters. Definitely the quartet of songs takes the album from being an ok release into a beast which demands continued attention. Closing on Summoning Spell an underwhelming short instrumental, Black Magic Night from a shaky start turns into an album you just want a little bit more of again and again. It is not a classic or likely to threaten your favourite aural tipples but its pleases and entertains at times as if it reads your every want from a metal release and that is always well-worth checking out.

www.facebook.com/nigromante.heavymetal

8/10

RingMaster 07/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Empires Of Eden: Channelling The Infinite

Up front it has to be said I am not the right person to be reviewing Channelling The Infinite from Empires Of Eden with power metal and the vocal style each and every track employs leaving more urges of irritation than tingles of pleasure. This should be remembered as you read ahead and gauge the comments by your own levels of joy found in the genre. Despite this immediate personal emotion before the album had a chance to prove itself there were times the release simply blew great big satisfying holes in the preconceived feelings though admittedly there were times it concreted them totally. For anyone taking deep pleasure from the genre and eighties classic metal Channelling The Infinite is simply an essential release, from the impressive music and the array of some of the finest power metal vocalists within it is an immense feast of quality and skill.

The album is the third from Empires Of Eden and follows previous ideas in its structure. Created and orchestrated by Australian shredding maestro Stu Marshall (ex-Dungeon), the album once more features songs where he has carefully crafted their music and heart specifically to suit the chosen vocalist involved. He has tailored the songs to compliment and best fit the individual ranges and styles and no matter the personal appreciation of the sounds it cannot be denied how perfectly and precisely he has achieved his aim.

Musically the album invariably hits the mark each and every time bringing a majestic blend of shredding expertise and melodic metal in diverse and appetising shapes. Whether thrashing the senses with an intense energy or scorching them with finely conjured melodic sparks the skill and passion is unmissable. The concept behind the album ensures it is never predictable and intrigues from one track to the next, the variety of sounds and vocalists making the album a continually evolving beast. That diversity also makes it a little inconsistent too though again it depends on individual tastes more than the imaginative sounds.

The album opens with immediately epic sounding Cry Out featuring Rob Rock (Impellitteri, Driver). The track is a driving slice of feisty melodic metal, its energy as persuasive to the ear as the excellent guitar play surging throughout. It is a mighty start which led to hopes of more of the same throughout. Musically it does pretty much deliver but vocally it shuffles the senses and emotions between impressed to real uncertainty as with second song Hammer Down. The track flexes its muscles and stares down the ear with menace and indisputable power but the ear scraping vocals of Udo Dirkschneider just left the heart cold. Yes he is a god to many but they just did not do justice to the music and excellent solo beside him.

The album has some true peaks but also less lofty but still enjoyable tracks as in the likes of This Time  Steve Grimmett (Grim Reaper, Lionsheart), Cyborg with Carlos Zema (Outworld, Vougan), and World on Fire featuring Louie Gorgievksi of Crimsonfire. None of the tracks on the album can be weak and most will be blistering treasures for real fans of the genre each an expanse of multi flavoured creativity and imagination.

The major highlights of the album come in a triple dose of simply astounding ingenuity. Firstly the best and title track on the album simply sets the heart aflame. It begins with an emotive coarse symphonic beckoning come disturbance for the ear. Its intensity is ominous enveloping the senses in a thick passion before twisting into a rampaging scourge of melodic invention and irresistible spiteful riffage. With equally immense vocals from Sean Peck of Cage the track leaves one breathless and riled up.

It is instantly followed by Lions For Lambs, a warm and pulsating song which lights up the corners darkened by its predecessor. Marshall is stunning in his play, his guitar licking at the senses like flames whilst vocalist Alessandro Del Vecchio of Edge of Forever brings every emotion he can muster to soak each and every word. The third of the striking songs is Born A King. From a truly dramatic opening it soon turns into an insatiable and rampant flood of eager riffs and thoughtful melodic insertions. With arguably the best vocal contribution on the album from Danny Cecati (Eyefear, Pegazus), the track is a sensational pleasure.

Though from personal preference Channelling The Infinite will not find a regular home here there are certain songs which will find a regular reprise. With vocals offerings also from Mike Dimeo (Masterplan, Riot), Vo Simpson (Darker Half), and Ronny Munroe (TSO, Metal Church) the album though is something power metal enthusiasts will truly lap up. With the new album Stu Marshall and Empires Of Eden continue from previous releases just he has made it bigger, grander, and even more impressive.

www.empiresofeden.com

RingMaster 01/06/2012

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