Devildriver – Trust No One

pic by ben hoffmann

pic by ben hoffmann

There is no mistaking Trust No One as a Devildriver incitement. From the recognisable throat scarring vocals squalls of Dez Fafara to the anthemic rhythmic antagonism of bassist Diego Ibarra and drummer Austin D’Amond, through the grooved and sonically caustic imagination of guitarists Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann to the pure carnivorous roar of the groove metaller’s sound, the Californian’s seventh album is familiar Devildriver animosity. Yet there is something different to the beast; its body slimmer, almost stripped back to the core elements of the band’s sound whilst its contagion of venomous grooves has become even more creatively vocal and more virulently compelling. Whether Trust No One in this state is the band’s best proposal to date is under debate but it is fair to say that the album might just be the most physically and emotionally enjoyable encounter with Devildriver yet.

Linking up with producer Mark Lewis again at the Audio Hammer Studios, Devildriver show their intent from the first seconds of opener Testimony Of Truth, the want to savage the senses with hellacious rock ‘n’ roll. An inviting groove winds around the initial hefty jabs of D’Amond first with already the climate of the song a fiery challenge which only imposes further as the song evolves and Fafara’s raw tones further fire up the spirit of the song. It is prime Devildriver incitement but already devilish designs of melody and grooving is gripping the imagination, bringing individual character to each twist and turn here and in due course, to each subsequent proposal within Trust No One.

The thick and potent start is quickly surpassed by the barbarous exploits of Bad Deeds. The torrential assault of the invasive beats and the ear accosting rapping nature of the vocals aligns perfectly with a sultry melodic weave spun by the guitars within their own corrosive tide of predacious riffs. It is gripping stuff, irresistible hostility fuelled by a drama and imagination individual to that of the band’s previous outings. The track’s impressive success is soon matched by that of the even more grievous My Night Sky, though its own animus of emotion and intensity is tempered by the equally potent magnetism colouring the web of sonic invention and suggestiveness.

Devildriver_CMYK_RingMasterReviewThree tracks in and already the senses are numbing and energies breathless such the force and creative weight of the tempests. No respite is given though as This Deception, from a waspish coaxing round melancholic keys, tears into the listener with nostrils flared over a rabid rhythmically jagged ire spewing jaw and in turn, Above It All crawls all over the senses and into the psyche with what can be best described as a swarming surge of ravenous belligerence and aural irritability. Both tracks are not short on their own array of expectations defusing and imagination sparking essences either, the first through seductively flirtatious grooves and the latter with exotically hued strings and melodies which entice and bewitch even within the raging storm of the outstanding ravishment.

Daybreak spins some bluesy grooves into its maelstrom next, they colluding with addictively heavier cousins as riffs and vocals unite for some savaging with the backing of infectiously mercurial rhythms. Spreitzer and Tiemann simply shine throughout Trust No One, here especially as they conjure a landscape as unpredictable and fascinating as it is blistering, while in the album’s title track, they help shape a tempest as sonically elegant as it is uncomfortably threatening.

Arguably the nastiest and most uncomfortable track on the release is Feeling Ungodly, though it too is unafraid to spring some of the catchiest grooves and hooks across the whole of Trust No One while devouring the senses in body and emotion. Again, it is hard not to be swept up by the spiteful air and invasively infectious nature of the excellent track before Retribution grows from a melodically alluring proposal into one which nags and growls like a rabid dog infested with the inescapable irritancy of niggly grooves and the biting incessancy of beats and riffs. It is an irresistible incursion followed with equal ferocity and compelling adventure by For What Its Worth and an adversarial and merciless sonic malefaction which might not quite live up to many of its predecessors but leaves only a craving for more.

As we said at the start, whether Trust No One is Devildriver’s final hour we cannot say yet, even after a dozen listens, but it is hard to remember many encounters with them bringing as much raw enjoyment and the same kind of urge to go straight back into the turbulence as their new album.

Trust No One is out now via Napalm Records on CD @ http://devildrivertrustnoone.com/  and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/trust-no-one/id1091651702?app=music&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

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

Pete Ringmaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Moth’s Circle Flight – My Entropy

mcf_RingMasterReview

They may have a name which intrigues and lures a look, but it is their sound which ensures Moth’s Circle Flight really grabs attention, especially upon latest album My Entropy. Merging fiery groove metal with the hellacious predation of various extreme metal flavours, the Italian metallers show themselves a formidable and aggressively magnetic proposal. Their music is a rousing incitement which warrants attention and now with My Entropy to the fore, it demands it.

Hailing from Parma, Moth’s Circle Flight began in 2003 though it is probably fair to say that the band hit its stride and now firmly established potency when the line-up of vocalists Gabriele “Gabbo” Rosi and Simone “Pancio” Panciroli, rhythm guitarist Francesco “Baldo” Baldi, and lead guitarist Luca “Pellach” Alzapiedi linked up with bassist “Giupy” and drummer “Simo” around 2012. Since forming though, the band has certainly been a potent live proposition and have played with the likes of Sepultura, Extrema, Exilia, and Goddass over time while releasing an early EP before their well-received debut album Born to Burn in 2009. Recently with bassist Marco “Satir” Reggiani and drummer Fabio “Bersa” Bersani making up the rhythm section, Moth’s Circle Flight released My Entropy, a ravenous assault which sees the band hit a new plateau which could and should put the band on the global metal map.

It erupts into life with Man On The Peak, a distant sonic wind bringing the track towards ears as antagonistic vocals roar. Upon arrival it uncages a host of ear entwining grooves which alone ignite the appetite such their irresistible bait backed by thumping rhythms and the already impressing and enjoyable dual vocal assault. The song relaxes a little as it slips into its accomplished stride, jabbing and confronting the senses with an array of spiky twists and subsequently barbarous turns.   It is a fiercely rousing start to the album, like a seductive fury built on the animosity of Sepultura, the ire of DevilDriver, and the swing of Five Finger Death Punch.

Art_RingMasterReviewThings only get more compelling and furious with the following Ends Of A Shadow, its initial riffs a thickly alluring bait of invasive resonance. Swiftly southern hues seep from the track’s rabid pores too, a Pantera/Down like flavouring spicing up an already greedy appetite for the encounter. The great mix of vocal delivery from Gabbo and Pancio is a magnetic pull on its own; their tones embracing every shade of clean, guttural, and psychotic even occasionally encroaching on a Burton C. Bell toning. There is a touch of Fear Factory to the music at times too within, with both guitarists weaving a masterful challenge and seduction, a more melodic/nu metal-esque hue.

Raise Your Head rouses ears and emotions next; its body a bruising turbulence of craft and sonic dispute bound in melodic tempting. Again the pair of vocalists capture the imagination, backed as resourcefully in voice by the band and their musical web of unpredictability and multi-flavoured invention. The track is another simply whipping up more greed for the band’s proposal and quickly matched in success by the outstanding Late Promises and its tide of carnivorous riffs and rhythms. Bass groans and sonic whines accentuate the fiery character and intent of the song, though again, it all comes perfectly tempered by melodic and harmonic vocal imagination as well as some great off-kilter twists and turns.

The embrace of melody and clean vocal charm opening up An Old Chant takes mere seconds to seduce and impress before its brutality and creative trespass is unleashed to harry and prey upon the senses. As its predecessor, the track is glorious, a busily resourceful and adventurous invasion built on the keenest grooves and sonic scythes aligned to another great drama of voice and sound. It is a web of persuasion soon emulated in its individual way by Write My Name. The song is almost carnal in its inventive assault and irresistible, though it does lose its potency just a touch when it slips into more melodic passages throughout its otherwise gripping prowl. Managing to weave in some hardcore, blues, and glam metal too, the track still feeds a by now seriously hungry want for more, a need equally satisfied by both With Love, With Flames and Bursting Into Existence. The first of the pair is a relentless fusion of diverse flavours and styles, all honed into a bullish involvement and enslavement of ears and emotions whilst its successor is another instinctive predator. Its thrash and death metal scented infestation of ears is inescapable slavery whilst the net of melodic and sonic mystique which colours the songs’ scenery at times, is the inviting lead to some more richly satisfying vocal and guitar crafted enterprise.

My Entropy closes as powerfully and dynamically as it began; Madball making the first voracious assault to whip up spirit and energies, with plenty of that already established unpredictable imagination involved, before Ray Of Ira brings things to a volcanic fusion of nu, alternative, and death metal with the band’s instinctive groove sculpted emprise of sound.

Though there is plenty about My Entropy which is somewhat familiar, everything is either boldly fresh or twisted into an adventure distinct to Moth’s Circle Flight; a band as suggested earlier, worthy of the closest attention.

My Entropy is out now via Logic(il)Logic Records via most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Mothscircleflight/

Pete RingMaster 04/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bailer – Shaped By The Landscape

BAILER_RingMasterReview

There is a new bruiser in town, a creative bully as at ease turning the senses and ears to mush as it is breeding a dervish like reactions in the body. That uncompromising assailant is Irish quartet Bailer and its choice of irresistible weapon, debut EP, Shaped By The Landscape. The band’s striking introduction is a fiercely irritable groove fest of demands and rewards; a caustic fusion of groove metal and hardcore which leaves body and soul wasted and spirit and emotions ignited.

Formed in the January of 2015, Bailer has been a welcome scourge through its local and Irish underground scene, sharing stages with the likes of Red Enemy, Novelists, The Colour Line, Shields and more as well as playing main support to Murdock on tour. Aidan Cunningham from that fellow Irish band recorded, mixed, and mastered the Shaped By The Landscape, and fair to say if describing the distinct Bailer sound, Murdock would be used as a kind of reference as well as maybe Gacys Threads and The Dillinger Escape Plan. There is no escaping the sonic and vocal, let alone emotional, animosity fuelling and shaping the band’s first poke at the broadest attention, or that it is one of the most punishingly thrilling debuts in the hardcore scene for quite a while.

Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens with Failsafe and immediately has ears enticed with its spicy guitar coaxing and then under siege by a wall of hungry riffs and barbarous rhythms. It is all conducted by the ferocious tones of vocalist Alex O’Leary, his searing squalls almost visibly scarring his throat as they enjoyably abrase ears. There is equally a swing to his delivery, a devilish catchiness which is even stronger in the web of fiery grooves that entangle ears and appetite amidst the rampant aggression of Paul Cashman’s rhythmic swings. The carnivorous growl of David Cleere’s bass is simply delicious in the mix as too the wonderfully nagging tapestry of metal and punk grooves and riffs cast by guitarist Chris Harte. The track is a glorious start to the release, and maybe the most virulently infectious slab of abuse heard in a long time.

It is not a one off though, being swiftly matched by The Binding. It starts off in the same vein as its predecessor but soon reveals its own nefarious twists and turns as O’Leary again shares rancor with the air. Everything about the song is also ridiculously catchy; the body and imagination is soon caught up in its hostile groove almost unaware of being battered and bruised, sonically and emotionally tossed around. Its sensational onslaught is followed by Anti-Venom and its own animus of spite and infectiousness. Grooves squirm with the tempest of noise and irritability, the snarling lure of the bass as seductive as ever whilst vocals rage and almost gloat over the victim, in the shape of the senses, crippled by the rhythmic battering alone. Not that the listener realises when being manipulated by an infestation of grooves and stirring hooks shared with similar zeal and power.

The Benefit Of Doubt is an even darker and more predatory proposal; venom toning every rhythmic strike and scything flash of guitar while all the time the bass adds a grouchy nag linking it all up. Maybe the least openly catchy song on the EP, though not by much, the track is as bold and majestic in craft and invention as it is in highly persuasive animosity. It is a formidable and stirring end to what is simply a killer and monumental debut from Bailer.

The CD version of Shaped By The Landscape actually comes with bonus tracks Call Of The Unknown and Animosity, and the cause of the only issue with the release; the fact that we were not sent those songs to cover too, though it is easy to assume they will live up to the other quartet. Already we are greedy for the Bailer incitement and it is hard to imagine we will be on our own once it is out there playing havoc with ears and the passions.

The self-released Shaped By The Landscape EP is released 29th April digitally and on CD @ https://bailerofficial.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 27/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cleanse The Hive – From The Depths EP

Photo Credit - A D Zyne

Photo Credit – A D Zyne

If you have not head the buzz around Scottish metallers Cleanse The Hive yet, there is a pretty good chance you soon will as the band’s debut EP explodes in more and more ears. An irritable and dynamic fusion of death and groove metal with ravenous metalcore, the band’s sound shows all the qualities of a someone taking their time to evolve and hone their craft and imagination; a intent which here ensures the From The Depths EP is an introduction which not only grabs attention, it demands it!

Formed in 2011, the Aberdeen hailing Cleanse The Hive, as mentioned at the start, have not rushed to the moment to broadly unleash their inventive exploits though live the quintet has been a hungry incitement soon becoming eagerly followed and praised. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, and Whitechapel to Periphery, Pantera, and Cancer Bats, Cleanse The Hive has earned a potent reputation for their explosive live shows and reputation building tours alongside bands such as Heart of a Coward, Nexilva, Carcer City, Exist Immortal and many more. Now they are ready to wake up a national, if not larger, spotlight upon themselves, a success already expected with the immense roar and persuasion of From The Depths alone.

The EP hits ears straight away with a wall of intimidating and prowling sound; riffs and rhythms colluding in predatory relish as a vocal growl erupts from the throat of Callum Hutchinson.  Taking a further moment to compose itself, Eviscerate then springs with greater zeal at ears, the guitars of Jordan Pacitti and Glen McMillan casting surges of ravenous riffs and sonic dexterity as Hutchinson’s vocals share varying shades of hostile and venomous squalling. In no time ears and imagination are gripped, further enthused by the broadening enterprise of the guitarists amongst the brutal swings of drummer Greig Hadden and alongside the pestilential encroachment of John Campbell’s bass riffs. Lamb of God is easy to offer, Cryptopsy too, as a hint to the maelstrom of craft and sound assaulting and exciting ears yet already something individual to the band is emerging and continuing in its successor.

cleansethehive large_RingMasterReviewCities Of Gold is arguably even more primal and inhospitable than its predecessor; vocals spewing malice with every syllable and the instantly captivating grooves spreading toxicity with very swing of their body within another tempest of emotional and aural animosity. To that though, a perpetually virulent infectiousness flows and in time, a melodic seduction from keys and guitar which is as bracing and invigorating as the animus of confrontation surrounding it. The opener grabbed ears and appetite, its successor trapped both, and by The Reign Of Tyrants, it is fair to say that band and EP had these ears enslaved. Thrash metal is never too far from the textures of death and extreme metal, and drives the third track with open eagerness, though things soon become a part of A thick tapestry of flavours and rabid intent as unpredictable as it is enthralling. Compared to the previous pair, it also has less urgency to its devouring; a more reserved violence to its assault that only makes it more dangerous and captivating.

The EP’s title track descends on the listener next, it too a less vicious attack initially, preferring to build its intensity and savagery over time as grooves and melodic acidity vein its evocatively volatile landscape. As the previous song also, it does not quite make the same impact as the more boldly eventful trio of tracks starting things off though its adventurous nature, as melodic mystique coats guitar imagination, only leaves a want and appetite for more in place.

The dramatic dance and intimidating theatre of Terror Rising brings the release to an impressive close. Again a siren-esque hue wraps melodies; their middle eastern scent a masterful temper to the cantankerous invention and resourcefulness soon driving riffs and rhythms. Emerging as the most imaginative and diversely sculpted track on the EP as even more metal bred styles are included in its emprise of sound and invention, Terror Rising alone provides plenty to use as a reason to get excited about Cleanse The Hive and for the UK metal scene ahead with them in it.

It is hard in modern metal to make a mark on your debut powerful enough to pull attention away from all the other emerging bands do the same thing, but take it from us, Cleanse The Hive have done so and how.

The From The Depths is out now @ https://cleansethehive.bandcamp.com/releases and across other online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/CleansetheHive/    https://twitter.com/CleansetheHive

Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Searching the creative dance of warfare with Chris Emery of American Head Charge

ahc chris_RingMasterReview

We have not been alone in declaring Tango Umbrella, the new album from American Head Charge, as not only one of the band’s most thrilling and potent offerings but one of metal’s most exhilarating incitements in recent times. Following the successful Shoot EP, the album confirmed after a hiatus that the band has returned creatively bigger and bolder than ever. With the offer to find out more laid before us, we quickly seized the opportunity to quiz drummer Chris Emery about not only Tango Umbrella but also on that six year absence, the kinship within the band, and much more…

Hello Chris and great thanks for sharing some of your time with us.

I think most metal fans know something about the beginning of American Head Charge and certainly your albums, The War Of Art and The Feeding. But the reasons for the hiatus we realised we were definitely in the dark. Before looking at the mighty treat that is Tango Umbrella, can you explain why the break and more so what sparked the band’s return?

Certainly Pete, I wouldn’t mind shining some light on that spot of AHC history for you. Basically the hiatus was Chad Hanks, co-founder and man with the plan, closing up the A.H.C. shop. Continually not being able to make contact with Cameron (Heacock) for song collaboration purposes and anything band related, he naturally called it quits. He tried to get in touch with him but they weren’t able to get together. As far as we knew at the time the break was permanent. Then one day, out of the clear blue, Cameron emails Chad new demos. No “hi, how you /this is what’s going on.” After Chad heard Cameron’s voice he knew that he was healthy and writing amazing work. I received the same demos. Some of them were songs that Justin and Chad were working on in addition to the brilliant work coming from Cameron. We were all just so happy to know that he was alright and in a happy creative frame of mind.

And the songs were exciting to boot so that was a plus and the spark that supplied all the energy this collaborative shared dream needed to gain lift and begin to take shape. The whole year leading up to Chad sending me songs and asking if I was down to play again; I was setting off sparks every day in my own mind. I would sit and daydream about playing with them again. Mentally preparing myself for the day that spark caught fire and set in motion the series of events leading us here. The spark was the music. As soon as I heard the demos for Let All The World Believe and Perfectionist, I just knew in my heart that these songs were a pre-production process away from being an incredible record. We knew it was going to take every ounce of energy and clout we could gather to make it happen. The fans were a huge spark. When we did the indigo campaign and it was a huge success it became real. We began pinching each other on a daily basis.

ahc4_RingMasterReviewI often wonder when a band stops or goes on a hiatus and then returns sometimes years later, how much is feeling like there is unfinished business, how much is working through issues and then members coming to a mutual kinship again, and how much is simply as a music fan being inspired by other’s great releases to go again or to show some how it should be done…any apply to AHC?

All of it applies. There were loads of new songs to work on together as a band. There was much work to be done and everyone was eager to get started. The mutual kinship came naturally. You get us together, and no matter what we’ve endured in the past, we squash it and move forward. We grew while apart, and I witnessed grown men with love in their hearts say and do everything needed to honestly come together. As we got sincere, the music grew tight. You could see it in our eyes and in our actions and behavior. We were on a mission to make an honest comeback that contained all the essential ingredients; overcoming hurdles, timeless music, support from fans, excitement from a record label, and the entire group giving 100%. Even when we had to overcome obstacles, we supported each other and never lost sight of why we decided to do this in the first place. Nothing great comes easy.

As we mentioned, you have just released the excellent Tango Umbrella, an album which for us is as much a kaleidoscope of your creative highlights to date and indeed inspirations as it is a wholly fresh and stirring AHC proposal. Did you have any particular intention in the writing of the album and the character of its sound to re-connect with the past or was it something which organically emerged?

It emerged and evolved organically. A lot of our tried and true methods of writing become helpful when working with new songs. Remember, this is coming from a self-taught drummer that doesn’t write lyrics or music. When we got together and played what they originally wrote it evolved into the finished songs. Sometimes changing a little, other times remaining much closer to the original song idea. On this and past records I contributed a few ideas. Mostly from what I witness and hear when watching my brother’s work, some kind of magical muse takes over. We do our best to get our egos out of the way and let it guide us. Sometimes it’s as simple as doing the part that was written and let the original attraction of the music have its voice heard through the live recording process. I would complicate simple parts at times. It would take direction from everyone to keep me focused. And sometimes it flowed naturally with less effort. We just did our best to create the structure for the song that fit the music perfectly. Sometimes on the spot creativity and experimentation guided the production along. Those were exciting moments.

I can assume the songs within the album are all new propositions or were there older thoughts and previously unused ideas also brought back into the open?

There were a few songs in pre-production that didn’t make the record. Because there was such a large selection of songs and ideas, it was a mixed bag for a while. It had to be carefully sifted through to come up with the perfect selection of tunes, a process helped by having Dave Fortman use his production expertise to help guide us. Most of the songs were new. I did hear a few ideas that were reshaped into ground-breaking AHC effort.

How in general do you hear your sound’s evolution over especially your albums to this point?

I hear more dynamics in the music and lyrically. Cameron is stretching out, coming up with mind blowing ideas. Justin’s involvement in song writing and growth has been amazing. I’m just trying to keep up with all of it and get better as their songwriting evolves.

How did the band approach the creation of Tango Umbrella in the writing and its recording? Was it majorly different to how you went into making The Feeding for example?

I wouldn’t say majorly different in music writing and lyrics. Justin wrote lyrics. That was different. The fans paid for it. That was a major difference art_RingMasterReviewand help. It was recorded in beautiful Richmond, Kentucky. The backdrop of lush green pasture with miles of fences was much softer than the LA concrete. Especially when walking the dog. When we did pre-production for The Feeding we were at Cole Rehearsal studios. LA had more distractions but the studio was bigger. I was fresh out of treatment during The Feeding; recorded it stone sober.

You have touched on this in regard to the new album but generally how do songs come together within the band? Is there a specific method or more regular way by which tracks come about?

Most of the time, Chad and Cameron write songs then bring them to us. The regular is we learn the tunes then we all pre-produce them. There are so many ways they can come together. Starting with riffs, lyrics, samples, loops triggered manually keeping time.

How long had Tango Umbrella been in the making?

From when we started recording it took longer than originally planned. But we had to pay as we went; the way I see it, since The Feeding was finished.

Were its seeds and direction already planted in thoughts in the early moments of the band’s return and the Shoot EP, which I would say in hindsight, gives a definite hint or two about what was to come ?

Yes that is a fairly accurate statement. Shoot was more of a snapshot of where we were musically at the time. It was tracked quickly while on tour. With Tango Umbrella we had more of an opportunity to let songs evolve more before recording.

As you touched on earlier, the band went down the crowd funding route for Tango Umbrella. Do you think this is the way for bands to go now; the future of being able to make music once a band hits a certain fan base level?

It worked well for us. You can do a lot with several thousand dollars. You can also do much these days with less. So depending on how much the band could raise. It does look like a great option for bands today.

ahc3Can you tell us about the themes running through Tango Umbrella and certain songs?

I could but right now Christopher is going to pass. It’s a great question.

How about the emotion loaded A King Among Men? We got the feeling it was inspired by the loss of AHC guitarist Bryan Ottoson in 2005 but also may be by more recent losses like Wayne Static and of course Lemmy. What are its origins?

Not sure exactly, but it makes me think of Bryan and my brother Tim. The song gives me cold chills.

Who came up with the excellent art work and photography for Tango Umbrella?

Forgot sorry, I’d have to ask Chad; it’s getting super early I’m so sleepy

Once more many thanks for chatting with us. Anything you would like to add?

I could use a nap😉

Check out our review of Tango Umbrella @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/03/24/american-head-charge-tango-umbrella/

http://www.headcharge.com/     https://www.facebook.com/AmericanHeadCharge    https://twitter.com/AHC_Official

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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OTEP – Generation Doom

photo credit: Paul Brown

photo credit: Paul Brown

There have been few furnaces in word, sound, and defiance as potent and irresistible to our ears over the past decade than Otep Shamaya and her band Otep. Across six albums she and co have crafted and crafted provocation, incitement, and incendiary metal invention like an artist with a palette of unquenchable suggestiveness. Now to ensure and show that the fires of art, imagination, and discontent burn as imposingly bright as ever, her band uncage Generation Doom. The seventh album from the LA hailing protagonists of noise and thought, body and spirit, is an inescapable predator within a kaleidoscope of metal fury woven from nu and industrial through to groove and poetic alchemy.

In the world we live today and the breed of bigotry and injustices that comes with it, there is an endless supply of fuel to the lyrical ire and challenges that escapes Otep Shamaya’s mind and pen. Fair to say though, that every inventive twist and emotional flame shaping Generation Doom has arguably the band’s fiercest venom and greatest animosity yet, but intimidation and rage aligning with some of the band’s most imaginative ideas and exploits. Certainly the album has everything you expect from an Otep proposition, a rare time when expectations are wonderfully fed to no displeasure, but every track, each moment of adventure, comes with new ingenuity and fearsomely imaginative craft to drool over. You do not have to know who created Generation Doom, ears can tell within the opening minutes. Otep is perpetually a proposition and artist out on their own which with their new album has unleashed a fresh pinnacle in their inspirational presence within music.

Generation Doom opens up its virulent warfare with Zero; global and intimate apathy as much in its sights as the ears and imagination of the listener. Within its first few breaths, the song is an uncompromising assault of barbarous rhythms and rapacious riffs ridden by the distinctive vocal presence and prowess of Shamaya. Grooves are soon dancing and flirting with tenacious enterprise alongside; throaty harmonics in turn regaling the air as her ever diverse and gripping tones spring vocal and lyrical traps as easy to get caught by as the maze of unpredictable sound igniting the senses.

The track is the sign of things to come, of the unexpected and ferociously striking explorations that infest release and appetite as in Feeding Frenzy. The second track is almost bull like in its initial steely pawing of the ground before prowling and grinding its punk metal hued rock ‘n’ roll into the greedily welcoming psyche. As the first, the track is swift addiction feeding an already Otep seeded appetite whilst weaving a voracious tapestry of diversely baited textures and confrontational trespasses that devour as a whole new creative scourge. The track is superb, an irresistible intrusion which drops out for one of the cinematic/ emotively visceral samples/pieces that Otep are and have been so great at conjuring over the years.

art_RingMasterReviewLords Of War follows with its haunting voice and descriptively evocative mystique. The sounds of invasive force and subjugation litter the disturbed ambience of the track, its portentous inevitability exploding in a tirade of riffs and merciless rhythms as vocals flirt with and dance on the assaultive intent. Gripping body and thoughts, the song epitomises the Otep ability to reflect the object of their lyrical attack in tone and sound whilst simultaneously placing it under attack by the same.

Already the variety of the album is a clear quality across early songs and broadened to enthralling success by Royals. A striking cover of the Lorde song, the band embraces the pop theatre of the original and weaves it in an aggressive growl and raw metal escapade drenched in Otep distinctiveness. Floating harmonies lurk in the background as melodies kiss and go across the emerging tempest of shadowed emotion and creative drama. Not for the first or last time, Shamaya confirms her stature and agility as a vocalist; clean and throat scarring tones as easy from her body and on the ear as the rap bred delivery which steers this compelling proposal. The vocalist has a voice which can charm the birds or spark the darkest demons, the former a bewitching flame across the melodic rock of In Cold Blood and its pyre of honest reflection brewing up into an almost animus like roar of noise and emotion, Throughout keys court the sonic rancor with poetic elegance, the track ruffling the feathers and stirring the imagination before the eastern hued Down intimidatingly seduces and hungrily bristles with its industrial infused kaleidoscopic and fractious emprise.

Religion and its source feels the full creative force of God Is A Gun next, the track an unbridled face melting gladiatorial challenge of volcanic metal and intensity, whilst the hip hop/electro scented Equal Rights, Equal Lefts has its eyes and aim on intolerance and bigotry easy to assume being as intimately as observationally inspired. Both tracks grip ears and thoughts with sublime efficiency and creative alchemy in sound and syllable, swiftly matched by the invasively infectious and forcibly fascinatingly melancholic No Color. That seductive sombreness also continues in Lie, a hypnotic blending of light and dark textures casting a snarl in its beauty and mesmerism in its tempestuousness across an ever evolving creative landscape reigned over by Shamaya’s expansive vocal presence and adventure.

The album’s title track goes for the jugular next, its irritable maelstrom of toxic grooves and cancerous riffs entwined in choleric industrial volatility and rhythmic antagonism. It is all bound together by another fluid bedlam of galvanic and corrosive vocal dexterity creating a savaging as delicious as it is destructive. The track leaves ears ringing and senses numb with pleasure in turn thick and set to overflow over the closing beauty of On The Shore. A rhythmic catchiness is matched in gait and vocal swing with Shamaya kissing ears with sunlit melodies and warm caresses as darker, angrier shadows lurk and subsequently crowd her dominant presence.

The track is a glorious end to a stunning album which, even with a definitely biased outset because of previous encounters, simply blew our expectations and hopes away.  For Otep fans, Generation Doom is new manna for the ears and for newcomers and those maybe yet to be convinced by the band’s sound, something to seriously consider exposing their intrigue to; the rewards are relentless.

Generation Doom is released via Napalm Records April 15th on iTunes and other stores.

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Pete RingMaster 14/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Bendal Interlude – Reign of the Unblinking Eye

bendalInterlude_RingMasterReview

Attempting to build on the reputation and acclaim earned through their previous clutch of EPs, British metallers The Bendal Interlude unleash their debut album; a cauldron of sludge, stoner, and blues with psych and thrash metal to sear and ignite the senses. The release is a beast of a proposition; an attention grabber reinforcing and pushing the already firm stature of the Liverpool quartet but maybe one not quite seeing the band going far enough with the new bold elements of flavour and imagination to steer them away from similarly designed offerings over recent times. Nevertheless Reign of the Unblinking Eye is a fiercely enticing and enjoyably rousing slab of predacious riffs, salacious grooves, and thumping rhythmic aggression.

Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Melvins, Crowbar, and Cathedral, The Bendal Interlude have increasingly drawn fans and attention through a quartet of releases, starting with an early Demo followed by the Foal Recordings EP in 2010, a Self-Titled EP the following year, and the Odourama EP in 2013, as well as a ferocious live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Sunn O))), Earth, Orange Goblin, COC, Church of Misery, Red Fang and more. They have also made highly successful appearances at festivals like Hammerfest, Sonisphere, and Desertfest to persistently lure keen spotlights to their emergence.

For Reign of the Unblinking Eye, The Bendal Interlude took a new tact in its creation; guitarist Stu Taylor explaining recently, “We took a shift in direction when writing for the album Reign of The Unblinking Eye. The songs are much more elaborate and have a lot more going on sound-wise than previous releases. We played with time signatures, guitar harmonies, key changes, even laying down a 10-part resonator guitar part. It is by far the heaviest but also most dynamic thing we’ve written to date.” His words are quickly backed up by the album and a collection of songs which in contrast to the “abstract collection of ideas and imagery based around loose themes” which coloured previous releases, lyrically carry a more “autobiographical approach”.

art_RingMasterReviewBuckfast For Breakfast opens the album, an easily relatable repetitive vocal sample the spark to a wall of cantankerous riffs and rapier like rhythms. It is a senses trespassing confrontation, swiftly bound and veined by wiry grooves with richly engaging toxicity to their wandering sonic hands. The raw vocal squalling of Nat Gavin adds to the intrusive hostility tempering the melodic flirtation and the instinctive swing to the track’s stalking gait. It is an ear gripping start firmly backed by the blues intoxication and fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Losing Things. With Gavin’s caustic delivery, tracks are inevitably going to challenge with attitude loaded animosity yet as proven here, The Bendal Interlude merge it skilfully with a melodic/stoner prowess and addictive sonic contagion which gives every assault a captivating and inviting personality.

Next up is The Unblinking Eye and its initial electronically atmospheric suggestiveness which the track evolves into its own individual stomp of classic/groove metal fuelled ferociousness. It recruits body and imagination with consummate ease, the virulence of the grooves and infectious swing and lead hook of the track swiftly installing it as a major highlight within the album. The Bendal Interlude are rocking like a beast on heat in song and album, sparking similar reactions in the instincts and spirit of the listener.

Efram’s Hands provides a brooding groove entangled landscape of ravenous shadows and barbarous energy straight after whilst Pint of Bodies grumbles and rumbles with sonic and rhythmic rabidity whilst infusing a scent of enterprise not too removed from glam rock. Subsequently descending on the senses with a Down meets Cathedral like animosity before shifting again into an evocative melodic calm, it and its predecessor both whip up more greed for the album’s trespass before Creeks Gigantic prowls in with a thunderous rhythmic swagger led by the bass groove of Tommy Lloyd quickly matched by the resourceful craft and adventure of Taylors’ invention on guitar strings. Given further incendiary bite by the spiky beats of Dave Archer, the track is an imposingly catchy and intrusive weave of contrasting and dynamic textures finding kinship in the tracks’ vocal irritability and tempestuous air.

Anthemic and tenaciously delivered rhythms again lead an addictive and predictably groove infested persuasion as Triumph of Fortitudo steps in with bruising intensity and Cancer Bats like punk lined antagonism before stepping aside for the more merciful but equally commanding rock ‘n roll of The Block. Drama fuels every crawling riff and the doom coated breath which soaks a track layered with acidic grooving and vocal rancor. Maybe not as striking on personal tastes as other tracks within Reign of the Unblinking Eye, it still leaves satisfaction full; success sought and easily found by the closing emotional and creative animus of R.I.P.  An at times corrosive venture through varied styles and flavours within a core heavy rock storm, the song is a fascinating and increasingly impressing end to a similarly impacting release.

As suggested earlier, The Bendal Interlude could have dared to push their imagination even further but every play of Reign of the Unblinking Eye certainly reveals new twists within the all-consuming invasion of sound. Time and attention only benefits an appreciation of an instantly pleasing album which has the psyche and passions enslaved by crucial grooves in no time; a success no one can avoid or dismiss.

Reign of the Unblinking Eye is out now via Black Bow Records @ http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/the-bendal-interlude-the-reign-of-the-unblinking-eye

https://www.facebook.com/THEBENDALINTERLUDE   http://thebendalinterlude.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 01/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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