Seconds Alive – Bitter Moments

Seconds Alive Press Shots.

Seconds Alive Press Shots.

With a sound laying somewhere between metalcore and post hardcore, UK hailing Seconds Alive provide us with one interesting and firmly enjoyable confrontation with new EP Bitter Moments. Consisting of six tracks pouring out emotional torment and ire within technical scenery that is never less than captivating, the release makes a solid case to take the Exeter quartet’s under attention’s wing, though not the reason to get over excited for their open potential quite yet.

Formed in 2014, Seconds Alive have spent the past eighteen months brewing up a potent reputation across the South West of England, spreading outwards through an intensive live presence which has seen them play with the likes of with Idiom, I Divide, and Heck (formerly Baby Godzilla), and release a small clutch of singles. Now it is the turn of Bitter Moments to try and awaken stronger attention, success easy to see happening though maybe not to the extent that it is easy to feel was within the band’s grasp.

Seconds Alive Artwork_RingMaster Review     One of the prime reasons for that missed opportunity feeling is that despite the obvious talent and craft on show within the band, the EP lacks a certain spark to immediately elevate it out of the writhing throng of similarly sounding, genre bred bands. Close focus reveals they do have the imagination but in a time where attention in music is at best a fleeting breath in so many, Seconds Alive have not yet discovered, certainly here, that swift ‘hook’ to standout right away. The other element we would suggest the band might gain by looking into is the vocals. We have read many landing blows of displeasure upon the delivery of Robert Doran, something we cannot align to, the frontman has a good presence and attack but does, with great raw expression and emotion, only and repetitively offer exactly what is assumedly wanted in their raw style of music. The issue is again that his delivery easily slips into the crowd at the moment, another with an attack which never ventures too far from the caustic roar that as a style is becoming expectation feeding and thus frustratingly predictable for personal tastes. Hopefully though, the fact that Bitter Moments truly comes alive and steps out of the shadows when a diversity of vocals is released to match the busy sounds around them will not escape him and the band and spark adventure in that area ahead.

As said, it is always down to personal tastes though and there is no denying that EP opener Red Blood has ears on alert from its first sonic breath in all departments, especially once the guitar of James Hosgood begins his web of melodic and enterprising endeavour contrasting perfectly with the ruggedly aggressive rhythmic and vocal tempest quickly brewed. The bass of Rich Earle is especially carnivorous in tone whilst the beats of Rach Adams resonate with every impact without disrupting the contagious energy and craft fuelling the track. The fingers of Hosgood are as nimble as they are busy, and as elegant in touch as they are grouchy in craft to match and encourage the song’s growth in character.

It is a potent start taken up by Where Are You Going With This, another where musically the band is unafraid to twist and turn in their interpretation and use of familiar metal hues, though maybe again not bold enough at times. Vocally Doran again hits the mark in his angst driven, anger soaked delivery; never turning away from that singular attack but in a song swift in time more than playing his part in a potently satisfying incitement.

It is fair to say that the elements mentioned earlier which are lacking only really come to impacting light through latest single Drawing The Line, and because it does offer the essences to create something singularly potent. Opening on a more classic metal seeded lure aided by a great bestial tone from the bass, the track leaps into a regular metalcore proposal though again Hosgood is weaving tasty designs. It is the unexpected turn into a punk infused passage of virulent rock ’n’ roll guided by great clean vocals and hungry rhythms that things explode. An atmospheric aside shows adventure, if seeming a little out of place, but also reveals an experimentation and boldness of ideation that outshines the plainer metalcore causticity around it and of other songs on the release.

Upon Yourself steps up next and also impresses most dramatically when it employs cleaner vocals within an imaginative hug of sound, though also to be fair, the track is a tempest of craft and enterprise that might not lift the band’s too far away from a host of like sounding bands, but has ears keenly gripped throughout .

The slow emotive instrumental of Speechless engages the imagination next, its post rock lit coaxing a captivating suggestiveness reinforcing the evidence that this is band whose individuals can compose and play to the highest level. It haunting ambience leads into the ferocious throat of closer Jenna, a wind of squirming guitar imagination and emotive turmoil that easily invites if not overly excites ears, it again missing that indefinable element to prevent it quite reaching its potential.

A release for fans of bands such as While She Sleeps, August Burns Red, and Architects, Bitter Moments is a strong step in the growth of Seconds Alive that definitely courts attention and support. With personal hopes that they will get even bolder in composition and diverse in voice to forge their own unique identity, our expectations are that this quartet has a rather healthy future ahead of them.

The Bitter Moments EP is released October 30th through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/SecondsAliveOfficial https://secondsaliveofficial.bandcamp.com/

Pete Ringmaster 29/10/2015

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Elasea – Where I Belong EP

Elasea-Common-3_RingMaster Review

Creating a rousing proposal with their new EP Where I Belong, UK quartet Elasea quickly show themselves to be a band with all the attributes to become a potently impacting proposition on the British rock scene, now and far more so ahead. The attention grabbing encounter brings five compelling tracks of inventive and impassioned alternative rock for ears and imagination to feast upon. The fact that you can still hear areas where the band is only just discovering depths and unique invention, whilst impressing throughout, it only increases anticipation that the potential shown here has all the possibilities of leading to major things for the band.

Hailing from Hungerford in Berkshire, Elasea initially emerged as a cover band and under the name Highly Personal. The band’s first EP was released in 2013 after which a subsequent line-up change and last year the switch to new moniker Elasea occurred. With that change in the band came a shift in sound too and a reputation earning live presence which has seen the band play with the likes of WeCaughtTheCastle, Funeral For A Friend, and Idiom over time. Now the foursome is primed to nudge upon national awareness with Where I Belong; vocalist/rhythm guitarist Andy Bradford, lead guitarist Calum Radmore, bassist Olivia Jones, and drummer Jevon Smith, who recently announced his departure from the band, following up a clutch of successful videos with a roar of a tempting.

Elasea - Where I Belong (Artwork)_RingMaster Review     The EP opens up with Glass Heart, rhythms and heavy resonating riffs instantly engulfing ears as the just as swift magnetic tones of Bradford uncage the song’s evocative narrative. The thumping beats of Smith shudder on impact, alongside the bass snarl tempering the more fiery exploits of guitar and captivating vocals from Bradford and across the band. Drama constantly stalks the song, hooks and riffs frequently twisting into imaginative incitement before re-igniting the initial and potent creative persuasion brewing the song.

It is a superb start backed just as strongly by the EP’s contagious title track. Immediately it has a breezier energy and flirtation to its pop fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, all the attributes of its predecessor returning to great but lighter and catchier effect. With a touch of bands like Mallory Knox and Lower Than Atlantis to it, the track arguably feeds expectations a touch but such its punkish ferocity and virulent adventure, it barely matters as ears again are fed a healthy temptation.

Lost In The Dark which features Simon Jackman steps up next, cradling ears in a melodic caress straight away before expanding into a reflective croon of sonic enterprise and again tenaciously delivered rhythms. The song constantly expands its body of sound and imagination throughout, though for personal tastes it is missing the particular spark of its predecessors. It is fair to say that it revels in accomplished songwriting and thoughtful invention nevertheless to provide a thickly enjoyable proposal with the mellow twist with great backing harmonies from Jones and an atmospheric weaving from Radmore’s guitar especially riveting deep into the song.

A harsher growl is offered by Time Is Against Us, vocally and musically the song feeding off an aggressive nature to create a mix of rich contrasts and intensive emotions. The bass of Jones is almost bestial in tone at times whilst Smith creates a tsunami like rumble across the ever shifting landscape of the enthralling proposition. Increasingly impressing and growing in strength with every listen, the song sets up the EP’s finale masterfully, its heavyweight presence the gripping shadow to the acoustically lit On The Line. The closing song is sultry radiance but with an earthy texture cast through the persistently impressive voice of Bradford. Alongside him guest vocalist Alex Gale of the band Paper Houses, which Bradford also plays in, lays down absorbing melodic beauty, the two shades of their voices an alluring union which only ignites further when entwining as the song erupts into a flaming crescendo of sound and energy.

The song is an engrossing end to a thoroughly enjoyable introduction to Elasea. This is a band at the start of its ascent and yet to find it’s truly original presence and voice. In saying that Where I Belong shows they already have the invention and craft to command attention, and songs which leave an appetite for more the lasting reaction.

The Where I Belong EP is available from 3rd August 2015

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

RingMaster 02/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King Canute – Drive EP

King Canute Online Promo Shot

When UK rockers Ghost of the Highway came to an end two years ago fans were definitely left with a hole to fill in their enjoyment. Rising from the ashes, band member Johnny Lett (bass/vocals) has alongside Chris Woollams (drums/vocals), easily brought a new provocation to thrill over and bridge that gap in the compelling shape of King Canute. Fusing heavy rock and punk in a much more ferocious and raw yet voraciously imaginative brew than previous exploits, the duo made an immediate impression when emerging last year and its continues in the potent brawl of new EP Drive. Four tracks which roar and incite with unfussy and magnetic tenacity, the release is a storm not exactly setting out into new scenery for UK rock but undoubtedly giving it and fans a compelling adventure to keenly embrace.

Hailing from Guildford and Harlow, since forming King Canute has taken little time in raising support and attention with their at times uncompromising sound. They have lit up stages alongside the likes of Slaves to Gravity, Zico Chain, Idiom, Bad for Lazarus amongst a great many, as well as drawn acclaim with debut EP Cutting Teeth, it receiving equally strong media attention. The release which featured Jamie Lenman (formerly of Reuben), set down a feisty first marker for the band which Drive now pushes deeper with a richer persuasion, the Gavin Monaghan produced EP leaving ears and appetite with a new hunger for the band.

Cocaine Skank is the first encounter on the EP and instantly entwines ears in a mesh of vibrant rhythms and tempting bass, both increasing their coaxing in urgency and persuasion as the song evolves into a punchy incitement. Hooks King Canute Cover Artworkand short grooves add to the appealing and raw texture of the song whilst the vocals offer a potent expression and raw honesty to the proposition. A healthy punk antagonism crowds ears and riffs too whilst there is an alternative rock invention to the twists and turns the song seamlessly strides through.

The title track comes next and takes a more considered gait into its just as swiftly appealing presence. With scythes of chords and sonic temptation sweeping behind the strong vocals of both men, and a thumping rhythmic prowl inviting the fullest engagement, the song is a simmering hostile and openly anthemic enticement. Essences of Queens Of the Stone Age colour the impressive song but it, and the others making up the EP, most of all spark thoughts of nineties British rock band Skyscraper. Its captivating impact is matched by the following Trash Talk. Primarily electro punk but with aggressive abrasing and mildly corrosive melodies, the song is a mix of OurFamous Dead and Hundred Reasons with a touch of Alkaline Trio yet unique King Canute all the same.

An electro coaxing swiftly leads into the caustic arms of bass as Hellmates begins bringing the release to a close, jabbing rhythms and the similarly honest and expressive vocals of the pair soon joining the contagious bait. The song’s swagger is an instantly successful lure whilst the slipping into slower evocative moments, without gripping as potently still leaves thoughts and emotions enthralled. The song is again punk rock at its heart but the electronic veining, which equally pushes the potency of the song, and the exceptional intimidation of bass with its gnarly flavouring, all go to create a fresh and inventive proposition.

Drive confirms and reinforces the impressive emergence of King Canute whilst suggesting of greater things and more dramatic sounds ahead. That may come in the shape of the band’s debut album which they are currently working on for a 2015 release. Time will tell but it is hard not to have a healthy anticipation for its arrival thanks to the richly satisfying Drive EP.

The Drive EP is released 1st September and available through all good digital outlets.

www.KingCanuteOfficial.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 31/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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KING CANUTE go on a ‘Drive’ from 1st September‏

King Canute Online Promo Shot

EXPLOSIVE DEBUT EP FROM KING CANUTE SET FOR LAUNCH FROM SEPTEMBER.

Irrepressible Brit Rock punkers ‘King Canute’ continue their tempestuous assault on the UK, unveiling their brand new EP ‘Drive’, out on 1st September and available through all good digital outlets.

King Canute were born in the backstreets of Essex and Guildford with Johnny “JC” Lett on bass & vocals and Chris Woollams on drums & vocals. Both members stamp their individual taste all over their craft; Johnny’s background is based in dissident punk music and Chris’s hard-hitting metal influences help to create a truly unique electronic-heavy rock sound.

Ever since 2013, the band have extensively played throughout the country wowing audiences in the process with their highly energetic and explosive live shows. Support shows with Slaves to Gravity, Zico Chain, Idiom, Bad for Lazarus, and many others, have further added to their cause and so too has the release of their debut EP “Cutting Teeth”, which featured Jamie Lenman from Reuben. The record was unleashed last year to huge acclaim and achieved substantial national radio play and magazine coverage, with Big Cheese Magazine declaring that the record is “…an infectious blend of bass driven rock anthems with sing-along hooky choruses” and Raw Ramp Magazine touting that the band have “heavy riffs that blade into your skull like an ice pick”.

The relentless rocksters hit the road again in the Spring of 2014 and once more attacked venues throughout the whole of the country. Word and momentum are now rapidly starting to spread about the dynamic duo, and rightly so. After a hefty live schedule, the two-some decided to go into the studio with esteemed producer Gavin Monaghan to lay down cuts for their next EP. Entitled ‘Drive’, the record perfectly encapsulates the band’s live sound and vigour. From the opening onslaught of ‘Cocaine Skank’, which brims and spits out kinetic energy to the buzzsaw groove of ‘Drive’ and the anthemic ‘Trash Talk’, the record is sure to set the band ahead of the pack. ‘Hellmates’ closes the EP with a pounding piece of upbeat rock that is perfectly offset by the duo’s cunning use of electronics.

With another UK Tour planned for the Autumn, and with an array of live appearances penned for wider plains, including India, along with their debut album scheduled for 2015, the sky is the limit of this inspired rock unit.

King Canute Cover Artwork

http://www.KingCanuteOfficial.com    http://www.Facebook.com/KingCanuteOfficial

ZOLTAR SPEAKS UNVEIL NEW VIDEO SINGLE!‏

Zoltar Speaks Online Promo Shot

ZOLTAR SPEAKS lift new video single from their debut album.

 

Rising female-fronted Brit metal crew ‘Zoltar Speaks’ have just released their explosive debut album ‘Save As I Save’ and now the melodic metallers set loose their new video single ‘Nothing In The World’ on Monday 12th May.

Pulling from everyone from the likes of Avenged Sevenfold and Iron Maiden to Coheed and Cambria, Zoltar Speaks are here to shake your world with a sound that merges both fiery and majestic vocals with hearty riffs and elephantine choruses.

Formed in 2009 and bursting out of the rural plains of Somerset, Zoltar Speaks are fronted by enigmatic vocalist Louise Body, with Ben Dean hammering at the drums, Simon Roocroft providing the backbone on bass, and Daniel Pratt and Jason Coles shredding it up on the guitars. The unstoppable five-piece have built up an army of dedicated followers fuelled by extensive touring throughout Southern England and Wales where they notched up supports with Idiom and Malefice. The release of the band’s debut EP ‘Treatment’ further increased their national profile, and now with the launch of their new full length album ‘Save As I Save’, the ascending metal crew are set to soar.

The south west melodic metal crew’s debut album ‘Save As I Save’ features twelve stunning slabs of cutting metal and has already racked up critical acclaim from Big Cheese, Metal Hammer, Rocksound and Powerplay. Metal Hammer in particular have been very supportive of the band by placing a track from the record on their cover CD. The band now surge forward with the release of the video single ‘Nothing In The World’, out this May and the cut is destined to grace TV screens.

 

CHECK OUT THE ZOLTAR SPEAKS’ ‘NOTHING IN THE WORLD’  VIDEO  HERE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKuimZxl5gk ++

 

www.facebook.com/zoltarspeaks

Heaven Asunder – Among The Damned

  Heaven Asunder Online Promo Shot

    From their explosive live performances and previous Dead Man’s Waltz  EP, UK metallers Heaven Asunder has bred a very healthy anticipation for their debut album Among The Damned. Now with its unleashing the ten track blaze of melodic passionate metal gives potent evidence as to why there has been such an awaiting appetite. The release may be does not set new markers to fully challenge originality but impressively accomplished and rigorously engaging, the album is soaked in a captivating promise and invigorating strength which marks out the Bristol band as a proposition to eagerly indulge in.

     Formed in 2009 by five guys at University sharing the same flat, the quintet of vocalist Matt Boyd, guitarists Lewis Blake and Ally Roberts, bassist Lewys Ball, and drummer James Whitlock took little time in creating a live presence which seeded the reputation firing up the hunger for their album. Heaven Asunder has ignited stages alongside the likes of 36 Crazyfists, Idiom, Fearless Vampire Killers, When We Were Wolves, Odessa, Shining (Nor), The Smoking Hearts, The Dead Lay Waiting, Crown the Empire, and Issues since forming whilst Dead Man’s Waltz only added to their brewing stature. Thoroughly enjoyable and a powerfully satisfying encounter, Among The Damned expands the rising presence of the band whilst paving the way for stronger expectations of major things ahead from the band.

      The album hits hard right away with opening track Shallow Graves and though in hindsight the song is not the most Heaven Asunder - Cover Artworkgrabbing and gripping on the release it sets things off with hunger and energy. Immediately riffs are greedily stroking the ears whilst the rhythms of Whitlock slap the same from pillar to post. With a great melodically seeded breath wrapping the senses after the aggressive start to allow things to settle, the track is soon back to a keen rampage, the guitars casting well-crafted and alluring sonic patterns which entice and tease whilst the bass of Ball prowls within their bait with menace and depth. The vocals of Boyd backed ably by Roberts are equally as appealing as the sounds and though there is better to come from the release the track is a formidable and appealing blaze of melodic metal.

     Of Coat And Arms keeps up the momentum and potency of the start, the initial melodic coaxing similar to its predecessor but soon expanding with greater growl to the riffs and expressive adventure to vocals and melodies. Admittedly there is little strikingly new going on but there are no doubts about the imagination and skill employed in the use of the previously trodden spicery as the song wraps the listener in something richly appetising and thoroughly accomplished. This is right away built upon by the thumping presence of the excellent Nothing More, the track the most carnivorous and belligerent on the album yet again bringing an impressive and perfectly sculpted merger of violent passion and intent with equally powerful melodic and inventive exploration. Keys add another texture and evocative persuasion to the absorbing encounter whilst the bass, as all aspects, digs into a deeper corner of enticement to help forge the first major pinnacle of the album. The accompanying promo to the release mentions 36 Crazyfists as a reference, and it is hard to disagreed, but to that you can add the better moments of Avenged Sevenfold and the power of Killswitch Engage as well as other essences, all brought into a wholly enjoyable and exciting proposition.

      The likes of the fiery Reviver, a track which flares up and bites at various moments within another pleasing provocative meeting between band and thoughts, and the confrontational Another Broken Soul ensure the album continues to ignite the senses even if both fall slightly before the height set by Nothing More. That plateau is soon seriously challenged though by the next up The Silencer, the track a bruising and challenging treat soaked in rhythmic rabidity and vocal spite whilst driven hard by predacious enterprise and voracious guitar creativity. Its successor, the ravenous Last Rites, is no slouch in seizing and tossing around the senses and passions either. With nagging riffs and a great mixed vocal attack from Boyd laying down irresistible temptation from within the emerging dramatic and merciless aggression, the song is another commanding peak of the album.

     Both Lest We Be Scattered and Stranded provide an appealing closing stretch to Among The Damned, even if neither quite lives up to the previous duo. Despite that it is impossible to pull yourself away from their strong suasions before they make way for the outstanding conclusion to the release, State Of Things To Come. Sinews ripple viciously across the enthralling provocation whilst riffs and hooks saunter and prey upon the senses with rapacious intent and imagination. It is a stirring intensive end to an equally blistering and exhaustive release. Among The Damned is a great full introduction to a band you can only see going from strength to strength. The album does not carve out new adventures but certainly provides a tempestuous and thrilling storm of enjoyment to make Heaven Asunder a band to embrace fully in 2014.

www.facebook.com/heavenasunder

8/10

RingMaster 06/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Circle Of Reason: A Favour For A Stranger EP

Circle Of Reason Promo shot

From just the initial listens of A Favour For A Stranger, the new EP from alternative rockers Circle Of Reason you can feel this is a band with all the promise and ingredients to be a big force certainly in the UK rock scene ahead. The three track release is a compulsive slice of well-crafted melodic rock and boisterous energy honed with a fine progressive intent. The band has been compared to the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Silverchair, Muse, and Queens of The Stone Age, in varying ways to which you can easily add Biffy Clyro and Inme. Circle Of Reason have their own template of sound though which sets them apart from the majority of similarly gaited bands and leaves a sense of excitement for their future whilst giving plenty of pleasure in the now.

The Southampton band was formed in 2009 and has made a steady progress building a strong presence in the South West of England also reaching further afield. Renowned for their live shows which has seen them alongside bands such as Girlschool, Fighting with Wire, Freeze the Atlantic, Landscapes, Idiom, Rumer, and The Smoking Hearts across the UK, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Simon Osman, guitarist Gary Slade, bassist Sam Cogher, and drummer Andy Milwain, have now set down a marker with the new release which has to be the platform for them to go forth and seize major recognition. It is an impressive aural base camp to venture forward with further invention from, exploration of headier heights in their own evolving creative hands.

The release consists of two previous video singles, which have garnered good play and attention from the likes of Kerrang! TV, Circle Of Reason Cover ArtworkScuzz, and Lava TV, and a third track which is their new video single released to coincide with the EP. Chasing the Sun starts things off with big riffs and dazzling guitar play, a major feature of all three songs. Into its stride the song relaxes into a slightly reserved air as vocalist Osman joins the already intriguing song. He is a strong vocalist who especially excels when raising his vocal energies, though less striking when keeping it low key. He was also the cause of ignoring the majority of the song and release during the first couple of plays, as concentration could only be focused on who he sounded like. It is one of those frustrations which have to be alleviated with an answer before moving on, and thankfully, eventually it revealed itself. I have read him compared to Kurt Cobain (?) but actually he is a dead ringer for Paul Marsh from eighties band The Mighty Lemon Drops; of course that will mean nothing to most but just had to bring relief and closure to the ‘problem’. The song fires up throughout into strong melodic flames musically and in mass harmonies which leave the senses smouldering with contentment and glowing from the outstanding and precise guitar invention. Arguably still the weakness track on the release the excellent song is a deeply engaging piece of enterprise.

     Sea Of Voices is a feistier proposition, striking sinewy riffs grabbing eager attention whilst Osman sweeps through the song vocally nicely backed up by the rest of the band with group harmonies. The song is a thumping stomp with the rhythms of Milwain forming a formidable frame for the basslines of Cogher to badger and guitars of Osman and Slade to incite and dazzle. The progressive intent of the band is at its creative fullness on the track with a wonderful though brief magnetically whispering aside of peaceful melodic grandeur stepping forward before the fiery climax. Everything is in perfect proportion in the songs, the riotous riffs, impacting rhythms, and emotive melodic beauty finding a seamless place in the overall impressive energetic contagion without bleeding into or overwhelming their companions, this song the thrilling example.

The release is completed by the latest single Silver Scene, a track which alone shows why the band is being talked so highly of. Again blending the sturdiest rock and metal riffs with a bruising intensity and infectious melodic invention all brought with unmistakable skill, the song is an irresistible weave of imagination and thoughtful songwriting. From first note to last it is an inventive lure for the passions and inciter of emotions, a mischievous conveyor of barbed hooks and impossible to refuse rock n roll. Other than an opening few seconds where the levels feel smothered compared to the rest of the song, it is a near perfect treat and like the other songs the basis for great anticipation of big things ahead for the band.

A Favour For A Stranger is an excellent EP which just gets better and better with every listen whilst raising hopes that Circle Of Reason has an album in the works for the near future. This is a band you should treat yourselves too very soon.

https://www.facebook.com/circleofreason

RingMaster 01/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright