Pigeon Lake – Barriers Fall

Three years after the release of their striking and quickly acclaimed debut album, Tales of a Madman, Norwegian quartet Pigeon Lake return with its successor in Barriers Fall. The time between has seen changes within the band and a reassessment of the way forward; a shift sparking an evolution in sound too which is actually hard to pin down but openly inflaming the Oslo outfit’s new offering and release which like its predecessor at the time, will make a definite rival to those around it for one of the most essential investigations of the year.

Since emerging in the opening smiles of 2012, Pigeon Lake has grown to be one of the most compelling propositions on the melodic rock/metal landscape. Founded by vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt and completed by childhood friend and drummer Andreas Prestby and bassist Kenneth Stiansen, the band instantly sparked attention and praise with the I: Mindrape EP later in that first year. Its themes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health were as striking as the raw sounds inciting ears. The three became four with the addition of lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen soon after while the following year saw Stiansen replaced by Anders Børresen. As their sound moved towards a flavouring more akin to the likes of Katatonia, Stone Sour, and The Ocean, the band’s live presence escalated before they got down to work creating Tales of a Madman, its release coming in the Autumn of 2014 and followed by the band heavily hitting the road again including taking their first steps touring Europe.

Linking up with Wormholedeath Records in recent times provided the spark for that previously mentioned re-assessment and the resulting highly amicable departure of Børresen and Prestby which was soon followed by the joining of bassist Håkon Bechholm and drummer Jonas Rønningen. Now the new line-up has unveiled Barriers Fall, an encounter feeling darker and rawer than that first album yet their most melodically seductive and inventively mature adventure yet.

The album opens with Ragnarok, grooves instantly wrapping ears with shadow lined radiance. There is a portentous edge to them though, nothing imposing but clearly there as rhythms jab and riffs collude around them. Magnetic straight away, the track settles down into a heavy prowl where all those imposing elements erupt for a few rapacious seconds before Schackt’s cleaner tones steer the tempest into kinder waters. Abrasive growls remain alongside him though as the song merges predatory and seductive sides, luring the imagination into a provocative squall of emotion and intensity.

It is a striking start soon eclipsed by the just as tempestuous roar of Lyra. Nagging riffs align with Schackt’s distinctive tones initially, the bass prowling around them before the incendiary heart of the track erupts with fiery melodies and antagonistic tendencies. Harmonies and melodic tempting bewitch as the song subsequently shares its evolving soundscape, contrasting textures blending their potencies in one beguiling encounter. There is definitely something of the aforementioned Katatonia to the song and indeed album but equally the likes of Opeth and Swallow The Sun come to mind though in all honesty Pigeon Lake here and across Barriers Fall only reveal their own character of sound and imagination.

The album’s title track is next, seducing with a mesmerising poetic melody and calm vocal reflection before Rønningen’s beats add increasing threat. In time, as things increasingly simmer with greater intensity, everything comes to a head, vocals spilling their psychosis as a sonic causticity descends. A relative relief in the storm comes with the closing breaths of the excellent track before the more mercurial presence of The Futility of You takes the listener into a controlled yet seemingly unstable emotional embrace. Again the music is a web of trespass and radiance, vocals matching the changeable mood with suggestive prowess as wiry hooks and almost toxic melodies tempt and trap the imagination. Epitomising the album as a whole, the track only reveals new layers and textures with every listen, each time within it seeing growing attraction and the blossoming of image painting thoughts.

Hide and Seek runs a fine line of control and lawlessness, its cauldron of corrosive energy restrained and held back by the harmonic and melodic beauty hugging the senses though it is never more than a breath from breaking free while within Sunder it shapes the predatory nature of a track which equally is as much an oasis of elegance and gentle repose as a turbulent tempest; a beauty and beast of inner and worldly turmoil.

Senses harrying riffs brings A Familiar Problem to bear on ears next, delicious bait opening up into a just as enticing fusion of roaming grooves and brooding rhythms around feral toned vocals. That previously mentioned raw element of the release has its head with the harsh throated presence of Schackt adding to the psychotic edge of the track with clean and melody woven radiancy just as powerful before Perfect Place casts its variable cyclone on the passions. Irresistible within its first moments and only stealing greater lust thereon in, the track breeds an addiction as rich as its unpredictability to provide if not the pinnacle, one of many.

Closing track Let’s Pretend takes the listener into one final embrace of emotional restlessness and creative anxiety, the song as the album whilst being intricately woven and layered is almost anarchic in its nature and heart. It is a fine end to another encounter with Pigeon Lake which simply blossoms and further impresses with every listen.  To be fussy, personal tastes would see Schackt’s throat scarring vocal side reduced to allow his excellent clean and emotionally suggestive tones to have an even larger say but it is a mere passing thought in a release which stirs every part of body and mind.

Barriers Fall is available now through Wormholedeath Records across most online stores.

http://www.pigeonlake.no/    https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic/   https://twitter.com/PigeonLakeMusic

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pigeon Lake – Tales of a Madman

  Linn Wold Design

Linn Wold Design

A couple of months back Norwegian band Pigeon Lake unleashed the single Confrontation as a teaser and awakening to their debut album Tales of a Madman. It was a track which held all the already impressing essences and invention of the band as shown on their first release, the I: Mindrape EP, but hinted at a new individuality of sound and even greater emotional and textural explorations. The track was riveting as it thrilled ears and imagination but now showing as just an appetiser for the might and creative weight of the new album. Tales of a Madman is a beast of an encounter, a stirring and invigorating incitement which shows that Pigeon Lake has come of age and is ready to embrace the strongest intensive spotlight.

Formed in 2011 and hailing from Oslo, Pigeon Lake consists of vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt, lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen, bassist Anders Børresen, and drummer Andreas Prestby. The quartet has from day one created a web of intrigue and attention grabbing sound from merging a melodic and imposing blend of rock with a predatory metal confrontation. The result is a proposition which demands senses and thoughts pay attention before taking them on an enthralling and breath-taking, at times uncompromising, creative journey. The I: Mindrape EP of 2012 brought the band’s first rich mark on the psyche and passions; its success not the trigger to wide spread recognition but certainly an awakening of an awareness of the band which the new album we suspect will ignite.

Whereas the EP had irrepressible songs built on swinging grooves which could be referenced to the likes of Pantera and Volbeat in many ways, Tales of a Madman sees the band diving into the darkest corners and depths of emotions and imagination. Shadows smother the senses across the release, emotions soaking thoughts with strains of despair, fear, and predominantly melancholic evocation, yet rather than breed a depressed atmosphere which only devours the listener, the band sculpt and vein songs with an incendiary and sometimes deranged bait of hooks, grooves, and rhythmic contagion. It is a compelling and ingenious mixture which compliments its theme with intensive dramas and aggressive twists.

The album opens with the instrumental Event Horizon, a melodically elegant and captivating piece of composing which instantly draws in the imagination. Around the magnetic coaxing a dark ambience busies itself, offering a lure which is as inescapable and ominous as its title suggests. With rhythms adding their heavier enticement aided by a growing intensity of the guitars, a foreboding joins the flight of the track as it heads into the impending narrative of Epiphany. The second song also casts a caress of sonic temptation initially, though this time there is an instant edge to its charm which is soon aligned to firm beats and abrasing riffs. Antagonistic grooves break out quickly after, their lure courted by more pungent rhythms from Prestby and a throaty malevolent tone from the bass of Børresen. It is a swiftly gripping proposition which takes another lift with the distinct vocal expression of Schackt. As with the sounds the band crafts, there is an adventure and uniqueness to the voice of the man which is unafraid to test its limits whilst bringing open diversity to his delivery as it reveals every ounce of the passion and pain within the heart of lyrics and songs. The track itself writhes and twists creatively across its body with an almost maniacal intent, every swing of rhythms and lacing of sonic persuasion intimidatingly restless but rigorously seductive. It is a stunning step into the thick imposing realm of the release which is instantly matched by the current single.

Confrontation strides in on a voracious rhythmic enterprise which is ridden firmly by the fine vocals of Schackt. An anthemic baiting is right away in command of ears and emotions which the guitars colour and expand with their resourceful and ever shifting tempestuous invention. Angst fuelled harmonies bring their rich hues to the emerging maelstrom of emotion and agitated sound too, anger and despondency entangled with a romantic rage vocally to match the turbulent and thoroughly absorbing storm of sound around them. As impressive as their first release was, this song alone reveals in a short breath just how much the band has grown in their songwriting, creative maturity, and simply ravenous invention.

The smouldering emotive landscape of Doubt comes next, its scenery a melodic wash of shimmering passion and turmoil which erupts with soaring flames of vocal melancholia and sonic causticity. It is a glorious provocation for thoughts and feelings, essences of Katatonia and Tool spicing up the uniqueness of sound and imagination. The song is impossibly mesmeric and immersive but equally menacing through its tar like sludge bred intensity, a union of extremes which you wonder whether many bands could unite as sensationally and potently as Pigeon Lake.

Both Vengeance and Discrepency take their weighty share of the passions with distinctly different investigations, the first from a seducing if also imposing entrance, sending ears down a passage of forcefully jabbing rhythms and snarling riffery courted by raw vocals. It is a song which reeks of danger and destructive intent. The album is into the core of the mental disintegration of its protagonist you feel at this point, every melodic hug accompanied by a bestial savagery and every exotic twist of invention aligned to a malevolent stalking. It is impossible to pick out a pinnacle on the album but the exceptional track is certainly the most vocal re-emerging incitement in thoughts and memory with an unhinged air to every flirtatious and inhospitable turn it takes. Its successor also employs that height of unpredictability and emotive differences throughout its energetically driven swagger and corrosive touch. With a hostile edge to riffs and entrancing magnetism to its melodic beauty, the song is sheer emotional turmoil brought to sonic life and quite brilliant.

The album is completed by the two parts of Absolution. Pt 1. is a sultry escape through a calmer emotional climate but still ripe with blazes of sonic and vocal passion which are in no mood to create a smooth ride for senses and thoughts whilst Pt 2. feels not like a conclusion to the torment of the central character, but a clearer horizon even if one still littered with struggles and conflicts as painted by the roar of guitars and an intensive rhythmic intrigue to the impacting heat of the song.

Rather than a journey for the ‘Madman, the album feels like episodes from an on-going agony and leaves the imagination just as hungrily aflame as the passions. It is an exceptional release which has all the qualities and inventive beauty to push Pigeon Lake deservedly to the frontline of progressive rock and melodic metal. Tales Of A Madman is a release with a sound merging numerous styles and appetites for a mouth-watering presence, one without any reservations which is an album of the year contender.

Tales Of A Madman is self-released on August 15th @ https://pigeonlake.bandcamp.com/



Upcoming Pigeon Lake Gigs:

15.08 – Gamla, Oslo – Release party

22.08 – Inside, Bergen

23.08 – Fru Lundgreen, Trondheim

30.08 – Union Scene, Drammen

06.09 – Downbeat, Hønefoss

03.10 – Sebs Hotel, Hamar

RingMaster 10/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Pigeon Lake – Confrontation


Ahead of debut album Tales of a Madman, set to be unleashed on August 15th, Norwegian band Pigeon Lake unleash their new single Confrontation, a track which takes little time in raising a greedy anticipation for its full-length source. To be honest we like so many have a constant state of hunger for the band and its incendiary sound since the release of the I: Mindrape EP of 2012, but thanks to the new incitement there is greater appetite involved ahead of what promises to be a powerful encounter.

Formed in 2011, Pigeon Lake has drawn strong acclaim for their fusion of hard rock and rapacious metal with just as flavoursome essences of pop and blues rock. It is a dramatic combination which from their live performances and the EP alone makes a lingering and richly contagious proposition. Playing over forty shows in two years, the Oslo quartet is a force on the march which on the evidence of Confrontation is ready to raise the ante.

Massive bold rhythms set things off, their weight and hypnotic coaxing instantly bracing and anthemic. It is not long before the thumping beats of Andreas Prestby are courted by a sonic whisper which in turn spreads into an intriguing web of guitar instigated by Magnus Engemoen and Christopher Schackt, the latter’s vocals just as swiftly entering the brewing maelstrom of persuasion. There is a portentous air to the sinewed driven incitement too, one which breeds a more aggressive rapaciousness which flows as the song expands its narrative and presence. Having sculpted walls and intent, melodies seduce from the fingers of Engemoen, their elegant lure matching the constantly expressive and potent vocals of Schackt. It is a union which makes an evocative painting within the formidable rhythmically framed sonic canvas pushed to new threat by bassist Anders Børresen. Emotions continue to croon and rage across the body of the track, the music equally adventurous and unsettled in its predation and beauty. The song also sparks the imagination to suggest that the song is one moment in a challenging and rigorously provocative concept or theme raging through the upcoming Tales of a Madman, another exciting thought.

Band and song continue to push and seduce senses and thoughts across its intensive landscape, a distinct invention and rabidity peculiar to Pigeon Lake raising further the power and riveting captivation of the single. Though just one song to go by, there also feels like a darker intensity and voracity is soaking the band’s evolving sound yet not enough to defuse the virulence of the grooves and the infectious magnetism the band so skilfully conjure. Pigeon Lake is growing into a real force within metal/rock bred exploration whilst Confrontation is an enthralling bruising and seducing which just makes the impending Tales of a Madman an even more highly anticipated prospect. In a few weeks will see if it lives up to these new expectations, it is already hard to doubt its success though.

Confrontation is available on Friday 20th June



RingMaster 18/06/2014

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Pigeon Lake : I: Mindrape EP


    The I: Mindrape EP from Norwegian band Pigeon Lake is one of those releases which you instantly take a shine to, its initial persuasion rich and strong enough to declare a lasting friendship with, its impressive sounds a given temptation. This immediacy also generally means a brooding greater passion the more time spent in the company of the instigator and this release is certainly no exception.

The quartet from Oslo brew up a textured sound which continually evolves through hard rock and metal, mixing the two and further open flavouring for an equally bruising and alluring encounter with strong magnetism and open passion. Made up of seven tracks, the EP is a thoughtful and superbly crafted with a mutual involvement of aggression and seduction in its intent. The line-up of Christopher Schackt, Magnus Engemoen, Andreas Prestby, and Anders Børresen, are not arguably forging new horizons on their debut but for an introduction it is undoubtedly compelling and deeply promising whilst leaving a level of satisfaction some bands can only dream of.

The Intro to the release is a heavy thrust of doom soaked resonance with a snarl and hunger to it which is transferred through its 18313_493180107372016_1317142159_nsavage rhythms and rabid riffs, not to mention the exhausting ravenous voice the band employs. It is a tremendous start which deceives in many ways as despite some brief melodic veining the instrumental holds a primal intensity to the fore. The following Unnamed though immediately caresses the ear with strong melodic guitar invitation whilst a mellow ambience stirs its head before launching into a sturdy gait of energy and sound. Into its stride the track steps into a mesmeric charm of soft vocals, a whispered sonic blistering, and continually thumping rhythms, and soon is a delicious ride of diversity, its stance at any moment fuelled from stoner, melodic rock, grunge, and nu metal. It is an exceptional piece of creativity with a welcome familiarity but all new freshness which leaves one enthralled.

D-Day is a feast of impossibly infectious grooves and finely sculpted melodic enterprise which again is like an old friend taking you on a boisterous and invigorating ride. It is revelry of rock n roll where limbs and voice take their own decision to join in the fun whilst the band still keeps you slightly guarded with predatory riffs and prowling intimidation from the ever broody bass. With an air of Life Of Agony meets Soundgarden to it, the song offers variety and expanse to sound and heart with each song on the release to date individual in presence and character.

This continuing twist of invention and imagination continues through the blues rock I’m Pulsive and Hunter. The first is an emotive encounter with teasing flaming grooves and expressive melodic spirals of guitar within muscular walls and energy. Once more the bass has a gnarly side which is irresistible and offers compelling shadows to the brighter sounds surrounding it. The second is a cover song though apologies for not being able to tell you whose. It is a strong and satisfying song but like its companion fails to match the earlier heights and the song itself the weakest on the EP which shows the strength of the songwriting of the band.

The release is completed by the hard rock antagonism of Wifebeater and the outstanding Sacred (feat. Einar Grønbekk).  Whilst the first slaps the senses with striking sinews and great melodic fury it is the other which leaves one of the lasting impressions from the EP. Opening with a smouldering rub of guitar and gentle coaxing vocals the song tenderly engages thoughts and emotions whilst adding an edge of chilled shadows from the bass. As it evolves its heart and length, the song is a splendour of progressive rock with psychedelic blues heat and intensive groove metal aggression scoring its edges. It is a song impossible to truly express its stature here, something only the ear can appreciate, but the song is an exploration which reveals the band has much more to investigate and offer ahead.

I: Mindrape EP is an enthralling and rewarding release which declares Pigeon Lake as a band with a strong future and even greater vision. If melodic invention in either rock or metal tempts than this band is ripe for your investigation.



RingMaster 01/03/2013

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