Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters – Bad Habit

Gaining an increasing reputation and support for their hard rock nurtured sound, South Wales hailing Beth Blade & The Beautiful Disasters raise the ante with the release of debut album Bad Habit. It offers a lively and tenacious roar, already drawing comparisons to artists such as Halestorm, Joan Jett, and Heart, which swiftly has the body and appetite eagerly involved in its instinctive rock ‘n’ roll.

From Cardiff, Beth Blade And The Beautiful Disasters have quickly recruited and built upon an eager and loyal local following since emerging. The time since has seen them stomping across the UK with their own tours and with the likes of Marco Mendoza (Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake, The Dead Daisies) as well as sharing stages with others such as Ricky Warwick and Damon Johnson of Black Star Riders. Recorded with Nick Brine (Thunder, The Darkness, Bruce Springsteen) at the legendary Rockfield studios and Leeders Vale, and mastered by Pete Maher (The Rolling Stones), the crowd funded Bad Habit is a hefty poke at bigger national attention with success an easy to assume expectation.

Opener Hell Yeah swiftly has ears grabbed, its opening lure of riffs accompanied by the moody tone of the bass; instinctive attention inviting by them well before the fiery flames springing from Chris Gould’s guitar ignite with classic rock spicing. As rhythm guitarist Beth Blade brings just as tasty riffs into play, her vocals command even greater focus while giving richer strength to the song. Like a mix of Suzi Quatro and Cherie Currie, she stands bold with a tenacity matched in the infectious sound hollering around her.

It is a great start quickly matched by the album’s title track; a slice of foot stomping, chest beating heavy rock led by the swinging beats of drummer Sam Brain. Its forceful attitude is epitomised by the brooding tone of Nicko Goodwin’s bass, its menace tempered skilfully by the wiry melodic tendrils of guitar similarly coming at ears with a touch of discontent. Its rousing qualities are swift incitement to physical and vocal participation before Beautiful Disease offers its own potent blend of catchiness and predacious threat. Muscle and melody unite across the menacing prowl of a song which shows the band as adept at creating more composed and moody proposals as they are at flying at the jugular in spirit rousing charges.

Down And Dirty lives up to its name next, its bluesy grooves tonic for hips as rhythms and riffs surround the increasingly impressing tones of Blade with their grungy antagonism while Poster Girl For Pain reveals another aspect to the Blade’s songwriting and the band’s sound with its power driven balladry and emotive intensity. It is a slowly burning encounter compared to the hungry exploits of its predecessors but a temptation becoming more potent and irresistible with every passing minute and listen.

The heart bred snarl of This Bitch Bites fuels both vocals and music, Blade a spiky treat within the track’s quarrelsome nature. Again attitude soaks every strain of sound and intent escaping the excellent song, its defiance and combative contagion equally lining successor Hell In High Heels though its blues rock inflamed body has a ‘lighter’ and more keenly catchy nature which might not impress as addictively as the antics of the previous track but leaves pleasure in another lofty place soon reinforced by the classic rock ‘n’ roll nurtured romp of If You’re Ready To Rock. Carrying no real surprises, the song lacks the spark of its companions for personal tastes yet easily keeps enjoyment and feet firmly involved.

The album is brought to an end by firstly the heated beauty of Angel With A Dirty Face, Blade sharing a croon as magnetic and captivating as her rebel rousing deliveries elsewhere, melodies simmering and boiling up with equal elegance, and lastly through the ballsy, swagger loaded rock ‘n’ roll of Legends Never Die. It encapsulates all the galvanic and creatively vociferous qualities of the Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters sound and indeed Bad Habit itself in its bones, leaving instincts aroused and a hunger for more leading fingers keenly back to the start button.

Beth Blade and The Beautiful Disasters might not be the most unique proposition around right now in sound but for a fiercely enjoyable and raucous holler easy to get off on, they set a mighty example.

Bad Habit is out now @ https://bethbladeandthebeautifuldisasters.com/store

https://bethbladeandthebeautifuldisasters.com    https://www.facebook.com/BBATBDofficial    https://twitter.com/BBATBDofficial

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The sparks of change: exploring the adventure that is Nocean

Last year saw a change of line-up spark a new evolution in the sound of emerging and exciting rockers Nocean. It was as if everything fell into place for the Swedish quartet, evidence coming with their subsequent single. Time to find out more we thought when the chance to talk with Nocean arose. So with thanks to vocalist Hanna, we peer into the origins of Nocean, those changes and a new direction in sound and much more…

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you all together?

Nocean is a rock band from Sweden (Stockholm) that plays alternative rock with metal influences and electronic elements. We are four members: Hanna (vocals), Patrick (drums), Ozzy (guitar), and Sara (bass). The band started back in 2013 as a classic hard rock band, but has switched some members and developed the sound towards alternative rock. Me (Hanna) and Ozzy has brought the band forward since some members quit last summer and so we found Patrick through a Swedish site called “band finder”. We knew Sara a bit from before and she joined the band last fall. They both saved us back then, and we started something fresh and great.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on that change of style or direction within the band?

We have all been in other bands before, in different genres from hard rock to extreme metal. It can of course have an impact on what we are writing now, we blend our references together. It’s important for us to have the same musical taste in rock/metal.

What inspired the band name?

Nocean is a play with words – Notion – Nocean!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

When I first started a band called Lobos Libre (before Nocean), I was very inspired by The Runaways and the spirit of pure rock n roll. But that has changed over time; when we wrote our debut album we played around a bit in the rock/metal genre and we found out more about which direction we wanted to go – more towards a modern, alternative rock sound in the style of Thirty Seconds To Mars, Muse, and Paramore.

Are you still driven by those same core aims or have broadened them as Nocean has grown?

We have come to a new level and with each level you get your motivations from different things of course. In the beginning our main goal was to play as much live as possible, in any venues. Now our goal is to focus on the recordings, social media and to play at larger stages. This summer we are playing at Sweden Rock Festival!

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

It started as a classic hard rock band, blending in some metal and our debut album is a mix of different kind of rock/metal styles. So during this past year we have developed and streamlined our sound to alternative, modern rock and we also added some backing tracks/synthesizers and electronic elements to create a heavier, more massive sound.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

I would say both. Since some members quit and left me and Ozzy alone with this ship last summer, our new sound is now based on me and Ozzy’s personal musical taste of course. And it’s based on what we like nowadays of course, since I was more of a classic hard rock girl before and Ozzy was only listening to metal core for some years ago. As Patrick and Sara joined the band, they were all in for this sound and we even found out that we have a heavier reference as well in common – Devin Townsend. And so Sara and Patrick also add their influences to our new sound and that becomes what Nocean is today.

As you have suggested there is a wide range of inspirations across the band; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

In the start it was The Runaways/Joan Jett (for me) and Halestorm. Halestorm is still there as I found Lizzy Hale being a great inspiration and their music is also still quite similar to ours. Then a year ago me and Ozzy found Thirty Seconds To Mars and smaller bands in the same genre and got amazed. Muse has always been one of my favorite band, but it wasn’t obvious to have a band inspired by them because I wasn’t sure of what I could or could not sing. Straight forward hard rock is for me an “easier” genre; both in the writing sometimes and with the vocals since it suits me well and I know how to master it. What we are doing now is more challenging in some ways and for me that is awesome.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

We put together the songs in the rehearsal room. But me and Ozzy often write some foundations to the songs that we bring to our rehearsal. Patrick adds his cool rhythms and details to the songs and Sara adds her dynamic thinking. I write the lyrics and Ozzy produces and writes the songs at home in his home studio.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

I write what is true for me right now and I often describe my lyrics as letters to people who need to hear them. It’s very often about change and going in a positive direction with yourself.

Can you give us some background to your latest release?

We have released two songs since the new line up was formed and with our new sound. The first one – The Change – was released in October last year along with Sweden’s first rock video filmed in 360 degrees. It went viral and we gained many new followers from Mexico and Brazil, where we think our music is much appreciated. In March this year we released a second single – This Must Be – with a music video which included some live clips from a great big venue outside Stockholm.

How about some insight to the themes and premise behind them?

I try to always be positive and encouraging in my lyrics. I want it to be somehow poetic more than straight in your face, and I want it to be subtle, in that way a song about love can as well mean something else for someone else. Feelings are the same sometimes, like whether it’s about losing someone to death or separating from someone you have a strong relationship to.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Since Ozzy is the master of the sound (recording for us), he likes to build a song step by step. So it’s a constant process!

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

We have a lot of energy on stage and we love to interact with our audience, and to be on stage together! You can see clearly that we all love to be on stage. We want to tour abroad as often as we can, it makes us stoked and it’s so great to combine your passion for music with traveling around the world, meeting different kind of people.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

Yes of course. Our answer is quite obvious: social media. Using Facebook ads and targeting the right audience, knowing your audience, posting the right content on the right time, making YouTube covers to let new people find your music… the list goes on. There are lots of opportunities for bands to go on their own today.

So the internet and social media has positively impacted on the band to date?

Yes, I think that I’ve found a way to make it a positive way for success and that other bands should discover this and have a lot of patience too. It takes much time to learn all about it, to find your target audience and how to reach them. But it’s all worth it when you see results.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us Hanna; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We are coming to England on tour again in May! Playing in London, Tamworth and Birmingham… It’s gonna be a blast, we came last year for the first time and played with the London based metal band Evyltyde. Thanks to them we found some contacts and are now able to go on our headline mini tour. To smaller bands that want to tour abroad: make gig swaps. Let a band come to your home town and book them on some gigs and let them do the same for you. Share lodging, transport costs and voila! You’re on tour abroad without any expensive booking agency. Don’t be afraid to Do It Yourself! Big thank you for reading all of this and thanks for the interview!

http://www.noceantheband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/noceantheband/   https://twitter.com/noceantheband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sertraline – Guilty

Sertraline

Sertraline

March sees the release of a new EP from British melodic metallers Sertraline, an encounter earning a fair amount of anticipation due to its well-received predecessor and the band’s increasing reputation. The Guilty EP offers five potent slices of rock and metal fronted by the quickly engaging tones of Lizzie, tracks which revel in the new growth of sound and imagination spawning them from within the band.

Formed in the Autumn of 2014, the Stoke-on-Trent hailing band quickly stirred up a loyal local fan base and close attention, their first single a couple of months in, Set The World Alight, luring strong radio play and support from BBC Introducing. Their well-received debut EP Bury The Ghosts pushed the band into national spotlights in 2015, its success more than backed by Sertraline’s dynamic live presence which has seen them shared stages with the likes of Butcher Babies, Toseland, Kobra and the Lotus, Skarlett Riot, and Normandie along the way. Last year saw a new line-up in place and the further honing of the band’s sound, Guilty showing the enjoyable results from the evolution.

The EP title track is first up, ears consumed by a wall of carnivorous riffs and intrusive rhythms. It is a striking appetite raising start soon relinquishing its threat as a wiry melody escapes the guitar. Any disappointment from losing that raw trespass dissipates as Lizzie’s tones dance on the emerging web of riffs and grooves from Mike and Wilson. With beats still swiping with fierce intent as the bass of Hendo enticingly grumbles, the song takes a firm grip of ears and imagination. Throat raw growls intermittently join the adventure, contrasting with the harmonic beauty of Lizzie but for personal tastes lacking the bite to be as successful as their certainly welcomed addition could have been. Nevertheless it only adds to the strong character and increasing potency of the excellent track.

sertraline-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewSuccessor Snakes opens with a melodic coaxing, atmospherics gently kissing a lone melody before a weave of Periphery scented enterprise sparks song and imagination. As the first, the individual prowess of the band is a captivation, their combined adventure just as compelling if lacking the imposing impact of the first track. It is the subtlety of its twists and turns which predominantly make that difference resulting in the song taking longer to reach the same heights though with listens it surely does.

New video/single Change Of Heart is next, an even mellower proposal with a poppier catchiness to a harmonic stroll courted by cantankerous riffs, rhythmic punches, and that coarser expulsion of voice. It is obvious single material, melodies and Lizzie tantalising but does not quite live up to those around it for personal tastes though still adding to the EP’s success.

Nyeevise gets the appetite keenly back on track, its opening brooding presence carrying a whiff of Breed 77 to it before bolder sinews spin a glorious web of steely riffs and rapacious senses twisting grooves. Like a mix of Halestorm and Forever Still, the song growls and seduces; vocals and guitars providing an alluring blend of contrasting textures and creative drama.

Bringing the release to a highly satisfying close is I Admit The Blame, an emotive serenade with fire in its heart and melancholic beauty in its roar as well as creative attitude in its body. Another which grows with every listen rather than making a swift impact, it is a fine end to a thoroughly pleasing encounter. We are still not sure about the harsh side of the vocals, they missing the ‘savagery’ desired, but still an inventive part of the fresh blaze fuelling the Sertraline sound which will only take the band to higher plateaus.

The Guilty EP is out March 3rd @ http://www.wearesertraline.bigcartel.com/

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 Pete RingMaster 02/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

le-3-11-16_RingMasterReview

It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, BuckCherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Micheals, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The beating of shadowed wings and inflamed hearts: introducing Darkstone Crows

Darkstone Crows_RingMasterReview

Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Darkstone Crows is a fresh metal bred fire on the Toronto music scene with a sound which simply demands attention. Now as they prepare their debut album for release later in the year, the quintet is beginning to poke at ears and spotlights further afield. With thanks to the band, we take a look into the heart and creative passion of alternative metallers…

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

Chanel Martins-lead vocals, Nick Sawicki and Jiv Marshall-guitars, Russ Shipman-bass and backing vocals, Matt Skypas-drums.

Jiv and Elle started the band back in 2014 and went through a bunch of line-up shuffles. Russ joined in July 2014, Matt was February 2015. Nick replaced our last guitarist in January 2016. We’re just a group of friends making metal music, we want to do it the best we can and not cut corners, really make a work that we can be proud of, that means something.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Russ, Matt and Nick have been involved with bands before, and Chanel has been singing since she was four years old. We all bring something from our experiences to the table but we’re learning a lot as well so our personal style has evolved with the music we’re making.

Russ: I’ve been in a ton of bands before Darkstone Crows, but I would have to say that my first real band (Get!Wise punk-metal, 2008-2013) was very influential on my ethics and approach to songwriting. I learned to jam and to listen to the other players in the band, to build and to lock into groove. I wouldn’t say that any other band I’ve played in before had any direct impact on what I’m doing now.

Elle: No bands, but I’ve been heavily involved with a lot of contemporary music and lessons since I was four years old. Discovering metal definitely made my previous training and experience have an impact on my current endeavours, in a backwards way.

Jiv: Nothing really.

Nick: Prior to the band I was just working out in the gym and studying hard in school. I write and produce a lot of my own music as well, so I was into that before this.

Matt: I was involved in a small band before, nothing too serious, but it set my mind on where I wanted to go and led to where I am now.

Any particular story or inspiration behind the band’s name?

The shared inability to utter a complete sentence without stumbling over our swollen tongues…The name was discovered by accident. Jiv stumbled over her words while saying the original idea “Dark Storm Crows” and said “Darkstone Crows” and we all liked it.

Photo by Carey Costa

Photo by Carey Costa

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

As the initial birth of the band was Jiv’s brainchild, her original concept follows:

Jiv: Initially we were called “Pariah”, and the meaning behind the name was to represent a band that wrote songs for people who felt like social outcasts. Even though Darkstone Crows still speaks of injustices lyrically, we identify with a broader collection of movements and issues with many varying opinions. For me, I was very engrossed by the female punk movement of the 1970’s, so I wanted to create an all-girl punk band. My musical approach was very raw and simplistic. But obviously, as musicians grow and change the music changes with them, especially when all the different members offer their own influences. As we grew together, our exposure to different music exploded, even as our vision, direction and music did too.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

The same things still drive us and many more things as well, we’re constantly finding inspiration around us, and there’s a real drive to succeed and explore, to push boundaries that keeps driving us forward.

[Equally, things have] definitely evolved, but not to the point that we lost sight of what the end goal was. We want to travel the world, bring our music to as many people as we can, make our mark too, and have fun doing it.

How would you say your sound has evolved since starting out?

Our sound was very raw and stripped down, influenced by a lot of older rock and metal; from bluesy rock/metal in the early days to the pseudo-progressive alt-metal it is now, though we haven’t removed many elements of our early sound, but sculpted around them and experienced different types of rock and metal and how they can meld together tastefully.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both inherent in the evolutionary process; we’ve become better musicians and writers so that was a very organic growth and a natural evolution. We naturally started writing differently as we expanded our playing, but there was a definite wish to push in different directions that we acted on. The better we got, the more comfortable we got, the more our music grew in complexity. Of late, since our initial guitarist left and Nick joined, we have been deliberately shaping our sound. He’s especially good at listening to ideas and improvising, so that has been a big step forward.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approaches and ideas to creating and playing music?

Lamb of God, Disturbed, and Periphery definitely cap the list, to a lesser extent Halestorm, Slipknot, System of a Down, and Tool have been big influences on our sound.

Definitely Halestorm, Slipknot, and Periphery, all those bands are wild performers and incredible musicians as well, truly inspirational.

Is there a process to the songwriting which generally guides the writing of songs?

Just try not to think too hard, and keep our minds open and concentrated simultaneously. Gold nuggets of music could come from the strangest things and at the weirdest moment. It could be an elbow knocking the strings a certain way that produces unique feedback that kicks off a whole song, you never know.

Usually we start with a riff and build around it, adding other parts that fit nicely and connecting the different parts afterwards. Once we establish parts and the vocal melody is written lyrics are drafted and we start fine-tuning.

Where are inspirations to the lyrical side of your predominantly songs drawn?

 Photo by Rachel Carys Gosling

Photo by Rachel Carys Gosling

Anything around us, in our world, any thought, any emotion, cause and effect, pertinent global issues like the environment, war, famine, and poverty. Personal struggles with alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness, ire, rage, depression, euphoria, and victory. Our songs are very dark in mood, however not necessarily darkly worded (although more often than not darkly worded).

Predominantly Jiv, and Russ write lyrics, Jiv takes ideas from injustices she see in the world around her, the media, while Russ’ lyrics hit closer to home and tend to be more metaphoric in content.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our newest release, our first full length album, is going to be available later this year (we’re aiming to release it in October). We’re currently recording and producing the album ourselves and it’s going to be massive. This album is very different from our debut EP (Darkstone Crows, June 2015), it’s much sleeker, the songs are more complex, and we’re incorporating far more instruments, as well as some feature performances. You’ll experience a more broad sonic adventure that delves into many facets of rock and metal. Our first EP, which was recorded and mixed by Dr. Sean at TRH Studios in Scarborough, CA, is much more raw; recorded stripped down and very loud. There is a punk aesthetic to this EP, hiding behind the pounding rock beats and shredding guitar solos. Definitely an honest, solid debut, perfectly illustrating the drive and hunger we were feeling at the time.

Would you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

The album’s themes are directed at injustices around the globe, from the environment to civil rights, as well as a couple that delve into the human mind and touch on addiction or mental illness.

[In regard to the first EP] Hell To Pay was written in opposition to police brutality (this was written back in 2014, before any major organizations like BLM were even founded). Easily the darkest song on the record, and still one we play today. Sidewinder, so named after the missile and the desert snake. An apt title, as this song was written near the conclusion of the coalition occupation of Afghanistan that began with the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, loosely referencing 9/11 conspiracy theories but more importantly expressing outrage at a protracted military occupation. Deadhead is an ode to street kids and the homeless struggling to scrape a living and fight their demons every day. Fathoms is our salute to the men and woman who come out to our shows, who we’ve met and befriended, partied and laughed with. It’s about the feeling of hitting the stage and having really awesome people love what you’re doing, and scream the words back at you over the PA system.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

For the most part we write before the studio. Only recently, with a home studio being acquired, were we able to implement recording into the writing process. It has many benefits, not the least of which is it’s now almost impossible to forget parts! It’s worked both ways for this record, plenty of trial and error, but with such high costs to record in studio we like to be prepared to nail those takes.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Our live shows are full of energy, we try to project our excitement onto the crowd, even joining them in the pit occasionally. We’re constantly in motion and want to turn up and just go for it. If you come to our shows, expect to meet at least one of us in the crowd. We aren’t afraid to get close to our audience, mosh with our guitars, whatever it takes to get everyone having a good time. We try to put on a bombastic show, something memorable and huge. Showmanship isn’t out-dated yet, right?

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Every scene has an opportunity for a band, the trick is making your mark and being able to leave for a bit, tour around, and come back to find your mark still there. You have to make an impression on people, really work the excitement out of your audience.

Toronto has exploded recently, not on the metal front, but in the general vein of music, so that’s generated a kind of Mecca for producers and label reps. That being said, these guys aren’t necessarily looking for a metal band, which is cool because we have more to offer than just grinding riffage and double bass. We definitely have our foot in the door, but we’re still growing as a unit and brighter horizons await.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

It can definitely be a tedious task, continuously having to type updates and promote shows, mail out merch, upload photos/songs, the list goes on. But, if you love something, you’ll deal with the boring and the crap times because it will come back to you in the end. Social media is definitely helping us at the moment, not only are we diligent about it but we have the right people for the job. Matt is a brilliant graphic artist and designer and Elle is a promoter and Event Management student. All things good must come to an end, but global reach on social media hasn’t gone bad just yet. Bands these days should definitely invest the time into learning how to mould social media, it is invaluable. Anything has the possibility to become negative if overused or utilised improperly, the trick is the learn all you can about using social media and keep your content professional.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

We’ve had it under wraps for a couple months now, but we are featuring the amazing Lindsay Schoolcraft, keyboardist/vocalist of UK metal band Cradle of Filth, on two tracks from our upcoming release. So we’re pretty excited about that. Beyond that just more music and we’re beginning to shoot more videos as well, so following our YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiJ2zCXgHfsnUurrge-UyoQ ) and Instagram (@darkstonecrows) will keep you up to date on that stuff.

http://darkstonecrows.wixsite.com/darkstone-crows   https://twitter.com/darkstonecrows   https://www.facebook.com/darkstonecrows

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Twenty Second Dimension – Self-Titled EP

Twenty-Second Dimension

Twenty Second Dimension is a trio from Columbus, Ohio who have just released their self-titled debut EP, a release quickly grabbing attention. It offers five magnetic portions of the band’s melodic rock, a quintet of songs which bring a swift involvement of ears and feet. Theirs is a sound which nestles easily within a style many others are making successful use of too and in that respect it is not the most unique proposal you may come across with few big surprises involved yet there is no questioning the accomplished body and character of the tracks or the enjoyment each provides.

The band is made up of Eliot Hosenfeld (vocals and bass), Matthew Bowden (guitar and vocals, and Jeremiah Ross (drums), a threesome with CVs which include the sharing of stages with the likes of Limp Bizkit, Rob Zombie, Papa Roach, Sevendust, Theory of a Deadman, Incubus, Shinedown, Marilyn Manson, Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, Volbeat and many more before Twenty Second Dimension. It is a background easy to suggest has helped hone the skills and invention of individual members and the band as a whole; the growing of a craft which certainly makes their first release something to find strong rewards in.

Twenty-Second Dimension_RingMasterReviewReleased through Pavement Entertainment, the EP opens up with Afterlife. Making a low key entrance it soon hits a catchy stroll with simmering keys surrounding a great blend of vocals and am equally inviting and throaty bassline. Guitars add their own specific tempting to the swiftly infectious encounter too, especially as the tenacious chorus erupts, though it is the blend of Hosenfeld and Bowden’s vocal harmonies which grab biggest attention. Continuing to unveil inventive twists and turns through the stylish hooks and riffs of guitar, the track provides a potent start, one soon backed with similar potency by the feisty croon of Without You. Whereas there was a more unpredictable edge to its predecessor, the second track shares a more rounded melodic rock persuasion with again vocals and harmonies commanding as melodies take their share of the imagination involved.

An infectious character and tenacity fuels Dreamless next, the track a vibrantly strolling slice of rock ‘n’ roll springing catchy hooks and riffs like confetti around the throbbing bassline cast by Hosenfeld and the magnetically jabbing beats of Ross. As suggested earlier, big surprises are rare but with the track easily whipping up physical and vocal involvement, there is little more to want from the excellent encounter.

Blindside steps up next, its initial guitar enterprise carrying a slight blues tone and subsequent melodies a classic rock feel before the track slips into a prowling gait with dark intimidating shadows. That in turn is followed by a flaming roar of evocative melody and harmony before the sequence is repeated to increasing effect.  That earlier unpredictability is in full swing here too, the song subsequently taking best track honours before Good Enough fires up its imagination to bring the EP to an impressive close. It too takes unexpected turns with a seamless flow, feistily seducing ears and great satisfaction with each breath and lure of invention.

The Twenty Second Dimension EP is a thoroughly enjoyable and striking introduction to the band and a great base for them to search out greater originality from. Such the quality and rousing success of its contents though, another offering from Twenty Second Dimension like this would certainly go down very nicely too.

The Twenty Second Dimension EP is out now via Pavement Entertainment.

https://www.facebook.com/twentyseconddimension   https://twitter.com/22ndDimension   https://instagram.com/twenty.second.dimension/

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Chasing Dragons – Faction:Prologue

CD_RingMasterReview

Almost two years on from their forcibly impressive Checkmate EP, UK alt-metal quartet Chasing Dragons unleash its equally striking and rousing successor, the Faction:Prologue EP. The three track roar is a teaser to a forthcoming album from the Yorkshire hailing band and an incendiary confirmation that their contagious sound is one of the really fresh and dramatic proposals within the British metal scene.

Formed in 2011, the Leeds bred outfit has earned a powerful reputation for their dynamic live shows which over the years has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skindred, Pendulum, InMe, Death Angel, Betraying The Martyrs, Fearless Vampire Killers, Attack!Attack!, Skarlett Riot, and The Dead Lay Waiting among many. Early releases in the Take Flight For A Firefight EP of 2012 and the single Hindsight’s A Bitch the following year, marked the band out for attention though it is probably fair to say that Checkmate sparked the biggest acclaim loaded reactions until now. Faction:Prologue in many ways carries on where its predecessor left off with rhythmically imposing and melodically fiery proposals but equally the new trio of songs reveal a fresh richness in tone and intensity aligned to tenacious attention grabbing craft and emotive energy.

Faction-Prologue-Album-Art_RingMasterReviewwork-WebResFrom opener Devil In Her Eyes, band and release firmly seize ears and a swiftly nurtured appetite for their enjoyably imposing temptations. Straight away, the first track casts a web of melodic enterprise and bullish rhythms with matching riffs upon the senses. It is a forceful entrance as intimidating as it is inviting, especially once the recognisable and ever potent vocals of Tank spring into action. Her presence adds further drama and harmonic tempting to an already fiery mix driven by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Kate and bassist Murf. The track continues to infect ears and imagination with its swinging gait and sonic hooks; seemingly drawing on inspirations from bands such as Halestorm and Avenged Sevenfold but in its great unpredictable twists and creative turns sparking thoughts of bands like Spinnerette  and Flyleaf also, a foursome which probably most often comes close to giving a clue to the Chasing Dragons sound and individuality.

The outstanding start is matched in compelling kind by The Mutiny. As in the first, guitarist Mitch spins a spidery web of melodic imagination and intrigue which enticingly wraps the more volatile character of the rhythms and the rich flame of Tank’s commanding presence and voice. With backing vocals and siren-esque harmonies colluding with the raw snarl of the track and its lead vocal attack, the song beguiles as it sets ears and instincts alight with grouchy riffs and anthemic prowess, ultimately taking favourite song honours in the process.

Whitehorse closes off the EP, unveiling another side to the band’s maturing sound and of course the upcoming album. An electronic coaxing brings the track into view, its lure quickly joined by the hearty tones of Tank and subsequently a predacious prowl of stabbing riffs, antagonistic hooks, and rhythmic irritability. Harmonies and melodies soon temper the intimidation of the assault but without defusing the intrusive intent fuelling every note and beat.

Another tapestry of inventive endeavour and virulently catchy aggression, the song is a fine end to an excellent ‘return’ by Chasing Dragons to ears and speakers. There is no escaping that the band has got creatively bigger, bolder, and even more captivating; so roll on that album…

The Faction:Prologue EP is released March 29th @ http://chasingdragons.bigcartel.com/

http://www.chasingdragons.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/musicchasingdragons/   https://twitter.com/xChasingDragons

Pete RingMaster 29/03/3016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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