Hail the Hatter – Discovering Light

Being suckers for anything with a hint of insanity, lunacy, and mayhem we had a certain appetite to check out the debut EP from Trinidad outfit Hail the Hatter when offered the opportunity all because of its great suggestive cover. The Mad Hatter image on its cover sparked that eagerness and once inside we can certainly say the release more than satisfied on all three aspects. More so it revealed a band with a dab hand at creating infectious hard rock ‘n’ roll with a penchant for metal bred revelry.

Hail The Hatter was formed by guitarist Dax Cartar and vocalist Jonathan Boos, the pair swiftly enlisting drummer Nicholai Assam on drums, and Devin Harry Paul on bass. As the band began thinking about recording a clutch of songs they had written, personal reasons meant the bassist had to leave the outfit but was soon replaced by Aaron Lowchewtung. Produced by Maarten Manmohan and Nicholas Marsan, Discovering Light introduces the band’s fun infested sound to the world through six tracks, a sextet of varying but constant captivation lying in wait behind the opening doom laden introduction of The Coming of the Hatter.

From that dark threat and its storm coaxed shadows, the rapacious Bone Grin strolls, bass and beats lining the way as Cartar’s guitar teases and subsequently flames across the song’s swiftly installed swagger. Boos is soon in the mix with his vocal mischief and roar, hooks and grooves following as hard rock meets raw rock ‘n’ roll in the seriously catchy opener. Classic and glam rock traits add to the web of sound while metal nurtured invention brings devious aggression and predacious virulence to the mix; it all making for an easy to devour first stomp with Hail the Hatter.

It’s almost bedlamic prowess is followed by the devilish exploits of God Bless The Beast, the track like a punk infested fusion of Mötley Crüe and Converge. It needed little time to tempt and persuade, scythes of guitar and swinging rhythmic trespasses instantly igniting the senses even before Boos and Cartar uncage their creative appetites. The track is swiftly matched in success and enterprise by the groove woven A.O.A.U. Straight away its Caribbean toned rhythms had the imagination hooked, those subsequent spice flushed grooves adding to its inescapable lure. As with other tracks, the song’s sound is maybe not particularly unique but as its imagination, every twist and turn of sound brings a freshness which demanded keen attention.

The sinister psychosis of White Walls is accompanied by a prowling sound, its psychotic air and voice contagious rock ‘n’ roll as rich and loco as you could wish. Throughout its unhinged antics, riffs inflame rhythms swing, and grooves incite, vocal unity an anthemic icing to its predacious lunacy before Akasha releases its own shadow brewed shuffle and mystique coated melodic dance n the imagination. Middle Eastern hues hint and intimate throughout even as the flirtatious calm of the song erupts into just as addictive tempests. Everything is skilfully woven and passionately delivered with Lowchewtung uncaging one glorious dirt encrusted snarl of a bassline to cap the inescapable temptation.

Song by song the EP just gets bigger, bolder, and more impressive; continuing the trend with its final and best moment, its title track. From the opening dark groan of cello, Discovering Light just enthrals; its continuing stroll thick in suggestion and beauty as guitar and bass join its evolving drama. Equally a hint of mental instability flickers in its dance before the track unveils its full rapacious and increasingly frenzied rock ‘n’ roll. The track is immense, the show stopper even within a handful of similarly striking encounters.

Though Discovering Light had ears and attention in its hands pretty swiftly, it is with subsequent ventures into its creative dementia that its truly got under the skin, so much so that it has barely allowed anything else to grab a place on the just for pleasure turntable in our offices. The EP is not perfect if such a thing exists but gives rich pleasure from start to finish, never a bad thing in our book, and ripples with the potential of greater dark deeds ahead with Hail The Hatter.

Discovering Light is available now @ https://www.hailthehatter.com/media-get-album and for a limited time as a free download.

https://www.hailthehatter.com/      https://www.facebook.com/hailthehatter

Pete RingMaster 09/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

There is an increasingly mighty roar coming out of California and it goes by the name of Swirl. This is a band really beginning to make a vocal name for themselves with their multi-flavoured, hard rock fuelled fusion of rock and metal. Welcomingly given the opportunity to get to the heart of the band with Swirl creator and guitarist Duane “DT” Jones, we talked beginnings, songwriting, successes and plenty more….

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

Hello to you too. This is ‘DT” guitarist and founder of the band Swirl out of Southern California. Thank you for your interest in Swirl! We are always grateful to anyone taking an interest in what we do.

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

I started the band in the Pacific Northwest in a town called Mukilteo, Washington. I had 3 other members than the current line-up; we rehearsed, wrote songs and made plans to record our debut in Santa Monica, CA. About a week before we were to leave I got a call from the drummer saying he wasn`t going to make the trip. I called my brother, Brian “Bam Bam” Jones who was playing in a band in Arizona at the time and asked him to come out to California, learn the songs and track drums to which he was all too happy to help out. That version of Swirl toured the US and Japan on a full length release titled Out Of Nowhere that was produced by former Quiet Riot and now RATT guitarist, Carlos Cavazo with former Rough Cutt bassist Matt Thorr engineering or producing tracks as well.

After those tour dates finished the band parted ways with the original singer and touring bassist. By then Brian had moved to California so I joined him there. I was introduced to current Swirl singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell who was looking to produce a demo for a band they had, however they had parted ways with their guitar player and Claude asked me to write with them so he and I could get into a studio together. After a few writing sessions we decided to go play the songs live and it was there that a friend pointed out to me that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I asked him to go into a studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and I. The end result of those sessions were the two songs Mad Disease and Time To Fly with the latter being particularly well received so tour offers followed. The natural choice was then Shane Carlson and we have been together ever since. 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of this line-up for Swirl.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

My only involvement with other bands was the above mentioned writing project that introduced me to Alfred and Shane as well as one other band in California that hired me as one of their touring guitarist for a self-produced disc. That was actually my first ever “bus tour”. Actually it was a converted mobile home, but still I got the rock star treatment on that tour. It was fun, but the band broke up. As that band had already recorded their disc when I joined and there were no writing opportunities I can`t say it had any influence on my writing direction, but it was a great series of lessons on things to not do when running a band.

What inspired the band name?

Usually one look at a picture of the band is all it takes to answer that question, but it goes deeper in that we all have different nationalities and personalities that come to together to create the Swirl music.

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

No particular theme to starting the band. I just wanted to play in a rock band that wrote songs good enough to share stages with my idols. Some of those goals have been accomplished!

And that same intent drives the band?

Absolutely! At the end of the day we enjoy what we are doing and are hell bent on capitalizing on the success Swirl has had to date. We are not where we want to be, but clearly we are on our way. The crowds are getting bigger, the stages are getting bigger and the bands we have opportunities to work with are larger, more well know bands as well.

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

While I am an 80s metal head guitarist at heart I have adapted my playing to a more modern approach when it comes to writing and guitar tones. I guess the best way to think of it is “what if you took a band like Shinedown, Seether, or FFDP and put a guitarist like Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini or George Lynch in it.

As for the reason for the evolving sound?…The credit for that goes to Brian who wanted to push the music in a more modern direction, but knew I was still going to be me on guitar and have those moments. Our first attempts at this proved very successful with a self- produced EP titled SWIRL that wound up with 3 songs being featured in a full length, 2 time award winning film called Ditch Day. Those songs are Rise Up, Spell, and We Are Alive. That movie is now out in 6 countries with more to follow. Another indicator that Swirl made a smart move in terms of musical direction is the incredible social media success we have enjoyed while being an independent band. We have a very strong online presence.

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

The change was very deliberate and I had to do my homework in listening to bands that normally I would not have given the time of day to, just to get a feel for what was going on with the guitar playing and production. I fought it at first, but in the end decided it couldn`t hurt to try. I am so glad I was open to the idea.

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 approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Well I already touched on my 3 biggest influences on guitar and yes all four of us have very different influences that we bring to Swirl. Shane is the most “metal” of us all with his influences being bands like Korn and Metallica while Alfred cites David Bowie or Billy Idol as biggest influences for him. For Brian and I we started off as KISS fans, but he went in the direction of Rush and various jazz drummers.

For myself when producing Swirl music I lean a lot on Shinedown or Seether for production and “ear candy” ideas, but since I am not the only one working to produce/ mix the songs I am sure the other guys have their influences well represented in the final product that you hear from Swirl.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Normally we start with a guitar idea that is almost a complete song then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement before presenting it to Shane and Alfred who then add their influences to the arrangement and of course the vocals. Alfred creates them almost exclusively.

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

I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they choose.”- Alfred Ramirez

Give us some background to your latest release.

The Lift is a departure in some ways from the typical writing pattern for Swirl songs and given the new heights of success we are having with it this may become the way we do things going forward. Again I had the basic structure and worked on the arrangement with Brian, before bringing it to Alfred and Shane. However Alfred and I had a separate writing session to make changes to the verse and bounce other ideas off each other. Then we got back together as a band and went from there.

During the final mix sessions Shane Carlson made some more brilliant suggestions to improve the song to let it become what you hear from us now.

Here is the lyric video for The Lifthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBMGg0ACYo

As Alfred is the songwriter he sets the tone for the theme of the songs. If there is one constant I have noticed when I look at the reviews we get it is that the bands “message” is a positive one. A lot of life affirming, motivational and inspirational themes go into his work and I am very happy about that. I am pretty positive person most days!

Here are some samples of reviews we have received whether they are for The Lift single…

“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life”- Skope Magazine

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

“After listening to Swirl in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!”- Metal Temple

“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars”- The Examiner

Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

What The Lift means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.

My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! “Your words will always stay with me “. – Alfred Ramirez

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?

We like to have the song pretty much done by the time we go into the studio so we can be more efficient with the recording process, but of course we leave room for those “happy accidents” that happen when tracking that are unique to a session.

One of the unique things about the sessions for The Lift is the process we used to get into the studio. We were introduced to producer Emad Alaeddin at Granted Records by Ditch Day producer Megan Waters. He suggested the band use “crowd funding” to cover the cost of the sessions. This was a first for the band and it was very successful. As an unsigned band who happens to be self- managed as well as our own booking agents we wear many hats to make Swirl the known name that is it becoming. Our fans are our record label and they decide how often we make new music and release videos or tour. We weren`t sure what to expect, but with this first attempt and the success of the campaign (we had enough money donated to book our first session in just 48 hours of activating the page at https://www.gofundme.com/launch-new-music-by-swirl-the-band ). The page will remain active. To be clear we are not opposed to record labels, management or booking agencies….we just refuse to wait on one to discover the band when we can get our music and band out to the people who support us!

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

We are a band that thrives on stage! We love being out there. Swirl is a high energy show with emphasis on the word “show”. There is always “someone doing something”. It`s actually the only way the band “fights”….we fight for the attention of the audience and are quick to let the others know who won the night after our set. It`s all in good fun and ultimately the audience is the winner.. We have been able to tour with established bands like RATT, Cinderella, Extreme, Red Dragon Cartel, LA Guns, Lynch Mob, and Slaughter just to name a few. We also headline shows in Southern California. In fact the first stop on “The Lift” tour will be in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky A Go Go on Saturday February 3, 2018.

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?

We firmly believe that you create your own luck so yes you can make your mark. The real question is how bad do you want it? We are, have been and remain hungry to succeed! We were recently listed by Gerry Gittleson, a writer for Metal Sludge in Los Angeles as one of three local bands that actually draw a crowd when we play.

Another way Swirl has separated itself to a degree is getting involved in licensing our music into movies and television. For example Swirl has 3 songs in the 2 time award winning Ditch Day movie that stars Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are Spell, We Are Alive and Rise Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RhbgL5Cv0&t=11s ).  So far that film is available in 6 counties. We are working on more licensing deals for our music from the SWIRL EP as well as The Lift.

 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?

I have no complaints about social media! Swirl is doing very well with it. We also spend quite a bit of time and effort marketing our band globally. Again it`s a how bad do you want it situation. We didn`t wake up knowing what we know and have made mistakes along the way, but we learn, we grow and we apply lessons to the next venture for the band whether its online, in the studio or on stage.

We have been able to reach people that would otherwise have had very little chance of discovering our music so we are very grateful for social media. It is a big part of the music business now and I don`t see that changing any time soon.

See for yourself here-

SWIRL website- http://www.swirltheband.com/

SWIRL Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/swirltheband/

SWIRL Twitter- https://twitter.com/Swirltheband

SWIRL Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/swirltheband

SWIRL Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/swirl-dt

SWIRL YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/swirlgtr

SWIRL Reverbnation- http://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl

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

Thank you for your time and interest in Swirl. Look for the band to be on tour in and out of the United States in every country where the music making an impact on radio or through movies released that feature Swirl music.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Outfit – Self Titled

Like the band’s name, the sound of US rockers The Outfit borders on the unassuming while embracing an array of familiar flavours. Yet, with its devious hooks and rousing dynamics, it equally reveals itself as one bold, tenacious, and stirring affair; traits all going towards making the Chicago band’s self-titled debut album one thickly enjoyable slab of rousing rock ‘n’ roll. It is a great contradiction which it has to be said hits the spot from track one to song nine, a stirring proposition declaring The Outfit ready to welcome world attention.

Consisting of musicians who have plenty of well-earned experiences, The Outfit was formed in 2016 by brothers Mark (drums) and Matt Nawara (guitar), Mike Gorman (bass) once of  Pezband and Off Broadway, and Andy Mitchell (vocals/guitar) who lists the likes of Dish, Verona, and 9 Volt on his CV. Their first album is a major nudge on widespread spotlights, the band looking to build on their reputation and success in their home city’s rock scene and it is not hard to expect it to stir up such widespread reactions.

As its opener coaxes ears, riffs and rhythms instantly collude in a feisty lure, spicy grooves emerging from their bait with the excellent vocals of Mitchell. Wire just as rapidly shares recognisable hues, hints of bands such as Seether, Breaking Benjamin, and Saliva adding to its own stylish enterprise. Inescapably infectious and increasingly addictive, the track gets the album off to a strikingly potent start which continues with Lucky One. It too grabs ears with real eagerness, richly enticing vocals and lively hooks joining the joyous stroll of the rhythms. In little time the song had the body bouncing and vocal chords boisterous as an electronic undercurrent and band harmonies got the imagination crowing. As with the first and many other tracks, there are no real surprises yet the song is insistently fresh and rousing.

A calmer air is brought by TKO, its Three Days Grace meets Chevelle breath and emotive heart nothing less than captivating while latest single, Soldier Boy, whips up an earnest rock ‘n’ roll saunter with energy in its spirit and vitality in its craft. Vibrant melodies unite with warm harmonies, flying beats with an earthy bass rumble, all bursting through ears alongside creative resourcefulness which is as anthemic as it is intimate.

A definite Sick Puppies hue colours next up Unfolds, the track an irresistible bold croon with power in its touch and heart in its call, all capped by one delicious hook within another enslaving chorus. It is the album’s pinnacle though closely rivalled throughout the album and especially by the rock pop romp of Just as One and the melancholically graced imposing balladry of Miracle, a track also showing essences of the aforementioned Australian rockers to fine effect.

No Lights On with a similar colour creates a web of steely lures soon after, guitars and vocals leading the song’s dexterous way driven by the lithe swings of drum sticks and the brooding amble of the bass. Nagging ears and imagination second by second with moments of further fevered harrying, the song is superb, another highlight setting up the raucous rock ’n’ roll finale of Hot Love. A slice of hard rock with classic instincts, it is a riotous charge of contagion bringing one spirit sparking release to a fitting and fine conclusion.

As suggested earlier, The Outfit in sound and album are not breaking out into brand new pastures but we suggest you will find few better bursts of virulent and exhilarating rock ‘n’ roll this year.

The Outfit album is out now through Pavement Entertainment on iTunes and other stores.

http://theoutfit.rocks/    https://www.facebook.com/TheOutfitrock/    https://twitter.com/theoutfitrock

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Saint Tragedy – Prolonging The Agony

Formed in 2008, Saint Tragedy is a hard rock outfit from Kenosha, Wisconsin and they have just released a rather flavoursome new EP in the shape of Prolonging The Agony. They have a sound which is not dramatically unique but as the six tracks within their latest release reveals, it is a fresh and thoroughly enjoyable proposition.

Consisting of vocalist Wayne Wiginton, guitarist Matt Brudniewicz, bassist Eric Serbedzija, and drummer Jason Scuffham, Saint Tragedy has honed their sound over the years into a boisterous and enterprisingly crafted rock ‘n’ roll roar and it all comes together within Prolonging The Agony. It might not be an encounter which startles yet from start to finish, especially at its departure we only wanted to have more of its goods to rock out with.

As the EP opens up with Make Believe where familiarity and individualism collude to tempt and grab ears, straight away the band’s music with its muscular lures and melodic fire begins working its way under the skin. Like a fusion of Poets Of The Fall and the sadly demised US outfit Resin, sound and song stomp across the senses, rhythms adding their heavy thump alongside the rapacious tenacity of riffs. Wiginton’s vocals swiftly appeal too, adding further dexterity and tone to a track which continues to blossom with melodic enterprise and infectious craft by the second.

It is an impressive start which only continues with Ties That Bind. From maybe a less striking start though its early hook is pure infection alongside potent vocals, the song brews its own highly catchy and persuasive rumble with a chorus so easy to get involved with. Guitarist Brudniewicz once more firmly entices with his sonic enterprise, the rhythmic half of the band providing a formidable yet equally infectious lure before No More Religion takes over. The third track opens with the simple alignment of Wiginton’s croon and the melodic suggestion of guitar, a rich union which ignites into another rousing rock ‘n’ roll incitement equipped with tasty hooks and scorched melodies. Major surprises are few but skilfully nurtured enticements plentiful.

Move On has an old school feel to its confident stroll, classic rock hues and a sultry twinge to its melodic voice adding to its smouldering presence. Though it did not quite grab as forcibly as its predecessors, the song only pleases with its sultry air and emotive touch before being followed by the robust shuffle of Would I Lie. It too maybe lacked the spark of those earlier tracks for personal tastes but more than added to the strength and attraction of the EP with its melodic flames and steely undercurrent.

Closing with an alluring acoustic version of their song, Jumpin’ the Gun, Saint Tragedy prove themselves to be one highly enjoyable and accomplished proposition. They may be something of a secret to a great many right now but Prolonging The Agony could just change that. As mentioned surprises are not thick in coming forward but persistent enjoyment is far more eager.

Prolonging The Agony is available now via Pavement Entertainment.

 

https://www.facebook.com/SaintTragedyMusic/

Pete RingMaster 31/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mammüth – Outlander

An epic journey in time at almost an hour and a half and a rich exploit in sound, Outlander the new album from Norwegian rockers Mammüth is one unforgettable proposition already easy to suggest will make regular appearances on end of year best of lists. The band’s sound is a thick and flavoursome not forgetting imposingly heavy invasion of stoner metal and quite addictive within the walls of their striking new album.

Hailing from Drammen, Mammüth emerged in 2007 forged in its members love for stoner, space rock, metal, doom, drone, and hard rock. They are flavours which entangled to make the quintet’s debut album of 2012, Gone with the Wolves, a well-received and praised encounter. Since then the band has honed their writing and sound while breeding open maturity in all aspects, all fuel to the instantly and increasingly impressive Outlander.

Produced by the band and mixed and mastered by Martin Skar at Skar Productions and Norsk Lydstudio, Outlander instantly draws and grips attention with the opening strains of Circling Vultures, its initial wired grooves and senses rapping rhythms nothing less than predacious. With just as hungry riffs in tow, the potent bait only strengthens with the earnest vocals shared by rhythm guitarist Stian Svorkmo and synth player Steffen Overaa. Their union is superb, magnetism in its own right and matched by the rabidly writhing yet controlled sounds around them. Like a fusion of Mastodon, High on Fire, and Down yet not such its and indeed the whole album’s individual character, the track is manna to an appetite for heavy, voracious rock ‘n’ roll and a great tease for what is to come.

The compelling dynamic beats of David Hjellum lead in next up Dead Man’s Trail, a track swiftly as addictive as its predecessor and unveiling a web of varied flavours in its bold trespass. The bass of Stig Johansen growls with almost bestial temptation, its dark lures contrasted but matched in salacious intent by the gripping enterprise of lead guitarist Christian Schei. Drama soaks every twist and turn, accentuating each inventive note and atmospheric breeze blowing across the track’s serpentine landscape whether melodically calm or tempestuously intense.

That mellower air blows through the following Fields of Bones in voice and music though there is always a certain volatility waiting to catch which it does with a dirtier, grouchier eruption. Virulently catchy and manipulatively fascinating, the song is quite superb and if the album collapsed in on itself thereon in, with its two companions, would make Outlander a notable recommendation.

Of course the album does not slip from its heights, Fortuneteller and God Eater just as beguiling as they devour the senses. The first, and one of the candidates for best song, is a relentlessly nagging irritancy on ears, riffs and rhythms alone harassing quick submission for its proposal with vocals again pure raw seduction in the midst of the guitars tenaciously resourceful webbing. Its successor has a more concussive touch tempered by grooves which crawl under the skin with primal desire, again everything offered as predacious as it is irresistible.

Through the early atmospheric suggestiveness of Hadrin’s Wall, a lure which grows more invasive and portentous as the band bears its gladiatorial dexterity, and the even more confrontational, certainly cranky, Heirophant, the real world is an even more distant reality, band and album consuming all attention soon gripped even tighter by the senses enveloping, discord blessed Lightyears. With grooves which worm into the psyche with ease and a tempestuousness that roars upon the senses from within a mercurial sonic cyclone, the song is just majestic yet still eclipsed by the mighty Monstrosity. With waspish grooves swarming the senses from the first second and vocals buffeting ears with their emotive holler, the track soon steals best moment upon Outlander in our ears, its voluminous rock ‘n roll manna.

The album’s title track finds a somewhat moderate attack in comparison to the previous track but as expected with a threat of a brutal eruption at any time. It is a peril which remains lurking around as melodies and harmonies radiate though it does have a say on the growing energy and flurry of the encounter before the extensive creative theatre of Space Ghost unfolds. With an eager lilt towards thrash metal at times across its sinuously textured evocation, preying on body and imagination at every turn and there are plenty across its nine minutes plus, immersion into the song’s crafty tale is easy.

Uncharted Waters completes the exceptional adventure of Outlander, its thick shadows and dark depths as transfixing as the sound as they colour. An array of flavours twisted into a coiled spring, nothing predictable escaping as it tenses and discharges its enterprise, the track is an enthralling finale to one remarkable album to which we can give numerous references to others for certain moments but really only embraces its own uniqueness.

There will be many important propositions across 2018, encounters which will guide its musical direction and Mammüth with Outlander has come up with the first.

Outlander is available now through Negative Vibe Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/MammuthMetal

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flaw – United We Stand

With their acclaimed last album, Divided We Fall, still raising high praise and attention, US rockers Flaw release a companion piece in the shape of new EP United We Stand. Offering four new tracks and a pair of live cuts of songs first appearing on the highly successful 2001 debut album Through The Eyes, the EP is a prime slice of Flaw’s melodically rich and enticingly muscular rock ‘n’ roll.

Released through Pavement Entertainment, United We Stand is a fiery often irritable fusion of nu and melodic metal with hard rock driven by similarly fired emotion and intensity. As soon as opener I’ll Carry You envelops ears it is easy to see why the release is described as a companion and continuation of Divided We Fall though it soon shows it has plenty of its own character and imagination to be a fresh and potent step on. The first track coaxes ears with a suggestive melody, Jason Daunt’s guitar a swiftly captivating lure soon joined by the potent and distinctive tones of vocalist Chris Volz as bold rhythms stir. As in turn sonic flames escape that melodic enticement a similar urge hits the throat of Volz, his initial smoulder becoming an emotive roar before the crescendo of sound settles once again. The magnetic cycle repeats with increasing appeal, the track a crackling fire of sound and heart further stoked by the enterprising swings of drummer Dan Johnson and Tommy Gibbons’ brooding bass.

It is a striking song quickly backed up by the darker air of Fall Into This. Bass stirs the senses with melancholic prowess initially before the wiry heat of the guitar cradles the melodic expression of Volz. It is a captivating mix of dark and light, emotional and aural shadows colluding with again fire bred textures as the song croons with infectious dexterity. At times imposingly heavy and frequently seductively inviting, it is a fascinating incitement before My Style uncages its volatile adventure, submerging ears in a Staind meets One Minute Silence like drama. It too has tempestuousness to its heart which infests the sounds shaping its proposal and it too leaves ears and appetite thickly satisfied.

The live tracks are Only The Strong and Payback; two rousing encounters showing why Flaw is such a powerful and skilful draw on stage which leaves Such Is Life to bring United We Stand to its conclusion. There is a raw edge and air to the whole of the EP but is especially vocal in the final track, feeling like it was recorded live in one take to pull the listener right onto a face to face union. With each passing second it becomes more ferocious and turbulent but without losing its melodic craft as the EP come to a fine close.

In some ways there are no new surprises within United We Stand, the release Flaw as you know and fans embrace them, but rarely do you feel like old waters are being stirred only fresh pleasure.

United We Stand is out now digitally and physically via Pavement Entertainment.

https://flawband.com    https://www.facebook.com/FLAWBAND/    https://twitter.com/officialflaw

Pete RingMaster 05/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Puppet Kings – Very Cool & Groovy

With its title pretty much summing up its contents, the Very Cool & Groovy EP is the new offering from UK rockers Puppet Kings. Enticing ears with four tracks of beefy riff loaded rock ‘n’ roll, the release easily has attention in its hands rewarding it with a thoroughly enjoyable time.

Formed around 2011/12, Puppet Kings emerged from the ever potent Brighton music scene though the trio is now based in the Surrey/West Sussex/South London area. A self-titled debut EP was well-received in 2012; a strong introduction subsequently followed with increasing success by the single The Gift That Keeps Giving of the following year and the Timebomb EP in 2015. Those encounters coincided with a growing reputation gaining live presence which has seen Puppet Kings share stages with the likes of Skindred, Therapy?, Kobra & The Lotus, Sons Of Icarus and We Are The Ocean, Black Peaks, and Heck a ross the UK over the years. Fusing hard and classic rock with metal bred strains for their eventful sound, the threesome of guitarist/vocalist Tom Cochrane, bassist/vocalist Neil Sawyer, and drummer/vocalist Harry Lehane are now hungry to provoke bigger attention with Very Cool & Groovy.

It opens up with the swiftly captivating Wanderlust, riffs and melodic enticement soon colluding in their persuasion of the listener. Probing rhythms court the sultry grooves emerging within the heated and quickly infectious proposal; strong and similarly alluring vocals completing the tempting scene. There is a swing to the song’s gait and magnetic enterprise in its melodic and sonic interplay while the chorus is one where it would simply be rude not to join in with.

The excellent start is followed by the similarly spicy and tenacious Taurus. It too has a tempting range of jagged hooks and nagging riffs to get caught up on whilst the band’s potent vocals spark as magnetically as the inventive web cast by Cochrane’s guitar. As with the first track, there is something familiar to the song though nothing easy to pin down, just an overall feel to its otherwise individual hard rock nurtured rock ‘n’ roll.

Latest single Rich N White comes next with blues lined grooves teasing and taunting the senses as bass and drums stroll. Though maybe not the song we might have chosen for its lead single, there is no escaping its instinctive catchiness and the accomplished craft shaping its increasing persuasion, the song simply growing in pleasure listen by listen. Equally it shows the lyrical presence of the band is no lightweight proposal either as the song looks at the current state of the world before Other Side brings the release to a close. Straight away it is swinging with juicy grooves as riffs press and rhythms jab, the bass carrying an inviting swagger alongside more of the band’s enticing vocals. The chorus does not quite live up to the build-up, its moment a touch predictable compared to the inventive enterprise and imagination leading up to it but again listener involvement is easy as Very Cool & Groovy proves its name is as apt here as anywhere within its appealing body.

Whether Very Cool & Groovy is the break through moment for Puppet Kings time will tell but if not its potential suggests that the moment is on the cards while giving ears a rather pleasing time.

Very Cool & Groovy is out now @ https://puppetkings.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 04/09/2017

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