Chasing Sanity – Anathema

Chasing Sanity is the new solo project from Erik Martin, formerly of Erik Dismembered and one half of Skin Drone; a new creative adventure born from the ashes of the first of those two when Martin decided to “start over and rebrand” himself and his music having felt “uninspired to write anything under the Erik D moniker”. In many ways, Chasing Sanity is closer in style to his work with Otto Kinzel as Skin Drone but as swiftly revealed within debut album Anathema, creating its own unique and fascinating world of imagination and sound.

Though you might primarily tag Anathema as Avant Industrial Metal, it is equally a kaleidoscope of atmospheric and cinematic textures drawn from the darkest corners and depths of the imagination. Every track is a challenge and canvas for the imagination to conjure upon and a place where intimate horrors collude with broader nightmares. Themed by “anxious depression and anger” bred in Martin’s own experienced emotional turmoil, the album opens with You Fiend. Primarily an instrumental release, the first track features the vocal prowess of Nate Exx Gradowski from Isolated Antagonist, AutomatoN, and Quo. Straight away the raw snarl of guitar stalks the senses, inserting their toxic magnetism as Gradowski adds his multi-textured presence within a similarly diverse lure of synths. Every second of the song leads to a fresh turn and unpredictable twist, Gradowski’s switches between harsh and clean vocals matched very second of the way by invasive yet captivating sound.

In many ways, the opener is a straight forward proposal to embrace compared to its successors where the imagination is as active as ears.  Cursed is next up, gliding in on the infectious throb of bass as an increasing web of sound and noise insert their suggestive glimpses into the track’s brewing landscape. Drama fuels every second, metal nurtured riffs and trespasses gripping bait but persistently interrupted by haunting atmospherics and sombre shadows to catch ears and thoughts off guard time and time again. As with all pieces, interpretation will be unique to the individual but unavoidable as the track provokes and inspires before Depths Of Euphoria immerses ears in its own disarming quiet suggestiveness. Even more cinematic than its predecessor, the song is like a flight through night clad scenery with sinister shadows and dark traps waiting to spring.

The industrial intimidation of Haunted Walls quickly has thoughts and emotions involved next; danger and innocence entangling within its guitar veined gothic body. It is a dark place though with the invasive intent of a Hostel found cell, every step within its fascination wrought with tension and ill-intent before Dismembered Thoughts brings some light to the release with its infectious waltz. Yet it too is a tenebrous dance with treachery and menacing asides, keeping ears and thoughts again wary and busy throughout its passage through to the steely net of sonic intimation cast by Orange Bottle. A blend of textures and styles unite for its metal nurtured shuffle, the track prowling the senses as it commandingly ignites physical and mental involvement.

Pills, Pain And An Autopsy creates its own travelogue through the dark tunnels and layers of psyche and suggestion where caliginous beauty and thought infesting angst breed their own unique connection. The track continues to grow and blossom, never escaping its haunting shadows but nurturing a myriad of melodic hues and evocative textures within its atmospheric immersion.

The final pair of tracks upon the EP sees Martin linking up with firstly Rockwater Pictures for Red Death and its percussive and inhuman infestation of the psyche and lastly with Chris Bollinger of Kill Point Protocol and Varicella in Salem, 1666. The final track only needs Vincent Price’s distinctive growl to be the complete cinematic nightmare, one offering extreme and industrial metal surges seemingly glimpsed through a damaged canvas slashed by the claws of the horned one. As the album, it needs numerous plays to settle on a final interpretation, if you ever can, with thick enjoyment flowing through every attempt.

There is no doubt that Anathema is a challenge, one only venturing within its dark realms will reveal whether you  will embrace or flee from it,  but as is the theme with Erik Martin’s work, it is a testing which leaves you mentally and physically alive and indeed welcomingly exhausted. Chasing Sanity pretty much sums up the sound and experience of Anathema, something we all do in varying ways through life.

Anathema is out now across most stores and @ https://chasingsanity.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mean Messiah – Hell

mm_RingMasterReview

As January shared its last days, Hell was unleashed in the form of the debut Mean Messiah album. It was the re-release of an invasion of the senses which left only one question in its furious wake. Just how did we like so many others, miss it first time around.

The release is an ear withering, pleasure igniting storm of industrial death/thrash metal with much more to its irritable heart and searing blaze of sound. To simplify things it is a tempest resembling a raging tapestry of Revocation, Strapping Young Lad, and Fear Factory woven with strands of the likes of Cryptopsy, Blood Simple, and Static X yet stands as something distinctly individual to the imagination and roar of Mean Messiah.

The Czech Republic hailing band started out as the one man project of multi-instrumentalist and producer Dan Friml, formerly of Sebastian, Apostasy and many other projects. The winter of 2005 saw him begin work on his first album, its release intended for the following year but delayed and delayed by numerous problems and complications before being completed in 2013. Since then its line-up has expanded, bassist Veronika Smetanová and drummer Honza Šebek joining Friml as he took Mean Messiah live, proceeding to play the biggest festivals in the Czech Republic such as Masters Of Rock, Czech Death Fest, Agressive Fest, Basinfirefest, and Gothoom.

With the band working on a second album for release later this year to follow 2016 EP Let Us Pray, Mean Messiah and Via Nocturna has uncaged Hell again for a formidable and compelling reminder and wake up call for fans and newcomers alike. With its concept themed by people´s varied complicated journeys and destinies inevitably leading to hell, the album makes a calm, welcoming entrance though dark clouds and portentous sounds are soon looming over and invading the imagination as opener Temple of Hell grows in ears. Melodies are enticing yet sinister, rhythms predatory but restrained until throwing off their deceit and storming the barricades. From there grooves and hooks seduce as riffs and beats persist in their invasive intent as Friml’s potent tones snarl. That earlier descriptive comparison is in full swing as the track shares its dangerous and captivating virulence.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe track is superb, using familiar textures in a new and fresh design before being matched in might and success by King Pathetic. The strong unpredictability underlining its predecessor is potent again, and across the whole album to be fair, prowling the vicious rhythmic tenacity and intoxicatingly venomous melodic and sonic web covering the song. Bracing and intrusive, things are punishingly catchy as thrash and death metal enterprise roar with angry rapacity as industrial essences beckon further involvement in the progressively toned fury.

As the second built on and eclipsed the first, Spiritual Resolution breaches a new plateau of persuasion next, scavenging and thrilling the senses with its nagging choleric character while The Death Song with matching toxic dispute stalks and savages the listener with raw infectious enterprise. The first of the two weaves progressively honed melodic suggestiveness while the second lets its bestial ferocity drive the thrilling show.

Hell is the perfect name for sound and theme within the album, the first echoing and fuelling the latter as found in The Last Ride which follows. In many ways the outstanding song is the least corrosive on the album, its swinging rhythms and magnetic grooves rousing infection but there is no escaping its instinctive animosity and barb littered acrimony. With orchestral beauty and atmospheric harmonies colluding with warm melodies, it is sheer magnetism, only intriguing and griping tighter as its growing imagination borders schizophrenic.

The Game gnaws on the senses next, its riffs and beats an enjoyably persistent abrasion colluding with lust igniting electronics. Its irresistible stomp provides another appetite inflaming highlight within Hell, one more to the growing list joined by the dark instrumental climate and dance of Saltatio Mortis and the fiercely catchy caustic devouring of ears and soul cast by The End. Folk bred hues unite with extreme and groove spawn endeavour in the first with its successor a brawl of truculent rock ‘n’ roll, both as imaginative and expectations defeating as they are, certainly in the case of the second, emotionally primal.

Completed by bonus track Remedy, another ridiculously tempting slab of thrash nurtured, creatively evocative music which needs no vocal side to excite and inspire the imagination, Hell grabs the listener by the throat and takes them on one brutally thrilling ride from start to finish. It also lays down a mighty benchmark its successor will be judged by but it is hard to imagine Mean Messiah failing to live up to the challenge with their now keenly anticipated second full-length.

Hell is out now through Via Nocturna across most online stores digitally and on CD.

http://www.meanmessiah.com   http://www.facebook.com/meanmessiah   http://twitter.com/MeanMessiah

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sonny Lanegan – Coma

cover_RingMasterReview

The Coma EP is the first offering from the solo, self-titled project from Sonny Lanegan, a release offering six rousing slices of alternative/industrial post rock which command attention and spark the imagination with drama and craft. All offer an adventure bringing a familiar and distinct invention to the ear which does not always surprise as it might but any moments when expectations are offered a recognisable but still tasty morsel, the individual character of Lanegan’s sound ensures there is plenty of fresh imagination on offer

Lanegan is an Italian born singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist better known so far for his former band White Pulp and as one half of the duo The Dead Good with vocalist Isabella Knight. Through his many projects, the now Los Angeles based Lanegan has played hundreds of live shows and been part of numerous international album releases. Now it is his solo project beginning to stir up eager attention, it providing a new vehicle for his renowned creative and stage presence to blossom into new areas of sound and adventure.

Released worldwide at the beginning of May and to be backed by numerous live shows across the summer, they to be followed by a national tour, Coma seizes ears and appetite straight away with opener And No One Ever Gave A Fuck. Its dark atmospheric beginning swiftly has the imagination intrigued, the quickly following predation of hungry riffs and spiky beats taking care of ears with the attitude soaked tones of Lanegan leading the way. Quickly a tribal, shamanic like tempting and tenacity infiltrates sound and vocals, its contagion an inescapable lure alongside similarly potent electronic and industrial metal enterprise helping shape the rousingly infectious and increasingly volatile tempest.

It is a tremendous start to the release quickly revealing the variety and diversity to be found in EP and sounds ahead, its suggestion confirmed by the following Down and Dirty. More whispers in its predecessor, Marilyn Manson meets Society 1 like hues make a thicker colouring to the fiery and dynamic body of the second track. It has certain irritability and almost predatory aggression to its tone and incitement too but it is an intimidation tempered by the great electronic exploits and their listener involving catchiness.

A broader rock landscape accompanies the electronic revelry of Loaded and Crooked next, the song an eagerly catchy proposal almost dancing in ears even with a feisty nature to its creative cavorting. It is not the best track within Coma but it has to be said that the spirit raising encounter has single written all over it before making way for the more carnivorous tone and challenge of Love Will Never Die If You Spice It Up With Narcotics. With a touch of glam and grunge to its industrial booty, the song rumbles and blisters on the senses as vocals and sounds create a fascinating and invigorating clamour. At times it is a muggy maelstrom and in other moments a provocative slimline rock ‘n’ roll roar, and persistently an encounter which keeps ears and thoughts enjoyably busy.

The salacious tempting of Foreplay comes next, its pulsating rhythmic resonance and electronic flirtation a bold seduction egged on by the ever inviting tones of Lanegan. The repetitive nature of its beats and the stalker like enticement of its grooves acts like an excitable drone, leading the listener towards some explosive climax, every beat and sonic nag like a countdown. That kind of a finale never arises but its absence just caps the drama of the song off perfectly.

The EP is closed by the sultry smoulder of What If, though it is a lively simmering which electronically and sonically bubbles and froths over its brief length, subsequently immersing the senses in a lava-esque wash of body rousing temptation. Its infectiousness brings the EP to a memorable and richly pleasing conclusion, adding the final potent bait to a release which, as suggested, might not be the most unique in some ways but leaves little more of it to be desired. If this is a sign of things to come, Lanegan’s solo adventure might be his most fruitful yet.

The Coma EP is out now @ https://sonnylanegan.bandcamp.com/releases

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Pete RingMaster 18/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Skin Drone – Evocation

Skin Drone - Evocation _RingMasterReview

Evocation is the eagerly awaited debut album from US duo Skin Drone, a web based project consisting of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Erik Martin (Critical Dismemberment) and multi-instrumentalist/producer Otto Kinzel (Chemical Distance/Bluntface Records). Both have released and been part of many striking and praise luring proposals but it is as Skin Drone that the pair arguably creates their most un-conventionally inventive and imposingly experimental adventures as evidenced by Evocation.

The album is a collection of emotionally and lyrically dark tales fuelled by insanity and torment encased in a hard to pin down tapestry reaping the raw and caustic might as well as beauty of certainly extreme, industrial, and avant-garde metal. Each track is a tempestuous journey through ravenous shadows, hellacious landscapes, and emotive turmoil but songs which equally at times share melancholic beauty and intimate psychosis. All grab keen attention on the first listen, each enslaving ears and thoughts, but it is through the journey of numerous plays that their layers, depths, and full compelling characters compellingly truly come alive.

With one half of the band in Hot Springs, Arkansas and the other in Boston, Massachusetts, it is hard not to  be quickly impressed by the skilful and coherent weave of almost kaleidoscopic textures and ideas, an organic unity which has blossomed through assumingly a torrent of ideas and files being passed back and forth between the duo. Admittedly though, as opener Scarlet Road consumes the senses, Evocation has thoughts swiftly engaged in other creative dramas and intrigue too. The first track envelops ears with a rousing roar of vocal squalls amidst technical and death metal animosity. It has a swagger and toxic virulence which needs little time to infest appetite and imagination, with the latter also persistently gripped by the glimmer of unpredictable incitement which rises from the track’s mellow and provocative slips into emotional dissonance. The track is pure fascination, a challenge and poetic tempting leaving a lingering imprint on the psyche whether washing solemnly over the senses or nagging them with torrential antagonistic discord.

Erik & Otto album_RingMasterReviewIts emotional turbulence is matched by that of the following God Complex, another ravenous proposal of extreme and venomously grooved metal entangled with sinister disharmony and emotional dissension. The raw vocals squalls create a great rapacious texture in the tempest and the haunting ambience sharing the song’s air, adding great discord and heart bred turmoil again in an offering inflamed with raging ire or sharing sombre caresses. The track continues to envelop and involve across its ever evolving body, sharing its discordancy with its outstanding successor, Death Sentence. It is a carnivorous piece of music and invention, but equally a thrilling adventurous dive through a wealth of avant-garde/progressive experimentation amidst a toxically grooved and rabidly irritable incitement; it all colluding for one breath-taking and emotionally pestilential offering.

Shepherd of the Damned is an inharmonious crawl over the senses next, organ and vocal menace a caliginous calling aided by pained clean vocals before a ravaging expulsion of intensity and sounds spills their animosity. The track continues to weave in and out of vicious and elegant melancholy without escaping the emotional hell at its heart before making way for the nature-esque soundscape and again haunting charm of Ghost Reflection. As always though, even in its warmest melodic seducing, shadows lurk, biding their time as strings and keys skilfully serenade and seed the imagination. They are never allowed a real grip here though, instead a tribalistic rhythmic shuffle emerging to surprise and draw the listener closer as similarly bred vocals dance on their beats.

That darkness does get its moment though in the infectious rock ‘n’ roll of City Lights; a track which seems to stalk the senses even as it launches tenacious roars and bruising tides of rhythmic temptation. Even in that predacious intent, guitars create veins of sonic enticement subsequently leading to seductive noir lit physical and emotional scenery. The track is another pinnacle of Evocation, a fiercely memorable and greed sparking moment backed up just as dynamically and imaginatively by Witching Hour. Evil lines every beat and savage riff, Martin’s scarring vocal trespasses too but again the band creates infectious grooves and a raw catchiness which simply pulls you into the fire of the track. An addictive throaty bassline only adds to the irresistible bait of the track’s quarrel and creative rancor too, a lure equalled by the song’s industrial fizz and melodic oasis further in.

Classical keys coax ears and thoughts into the dark conflict within Darkness Within next; the track a heavy resonating smoulder of emotional and sonic disunity growing from a calm reflective charm into intrusive discordance. As with all tracks within Evocation, every moment is in flux and evolving into a new shade of turbulence and anguish brewed intimacy with matching character of sound to enthral and thrill.

Closing up with Salvation, a similar but individual tapestry woven from varying shades of darkness aligned to emotional greys, Skin Drone leave ears and emotions numb and enjoyment rampant. As suggested, Evocation should be embraced over numerous listens, every one bringing something new to explore while casting fresh twists on ideas already nurtured by previous ventures into its impressive depths. This often viscerally impacting album will not be for everyone but for those with bold imagination and a taste for a band pushing its and metal’s boundaries, Evocation and Skin Drone are worth a heavy slice of attention.

Evocation is released June 14th via Bluntface Records with pre-ordering available @ http://skindrone.bandcamp.com/album/evocation

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Pete RingMaster 10/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Plutonium – Born Again Misanthrope

Plutonium_RingMasterReview

Born Again Misanthrope is one of those great releases which maybe initially leaves ears and thoughts unsure but with deserved attention works its way deep into the psyche whilst proving to be one highly magnetic proposition. The nine-track engagement, with a tone and character living up to its name, is the recently released third album from Plutonium, a one man project from Sweden and an encounter which crafts and in turn captivates with a voracious theatre of raw and dramatic shadows.

Carlsson, more often known as Mr J,. is the creator of Plutonium and a sound which imaginatively merges extreme industrial and black metal, though that over simplifies the sonic adventure within certainly Born Again Misanthrope. Hailing from Karlskoga, the project emerged in 2003 with an early demo appearing the following year. Three years on and debut album One Size Fits All was unveiled with successor Devilmentertainment appearing four years on. With hindsight investigation of those releases, it is easy to assume Plutonium has drawn potent attention and support over the years, even if yet to find itself breaking into the broader spotlights beyond its homeland. Born Again Misanthrope though, might be the key; certainly it is the most imaginatively accomplished and unique proposal from Plutonium yet and given the time a sizeable magnet for ears and eager attention.

The album opens with its title track and a militarist nagging of beats which subsequently sparks a similarly toned parade of riffs. From there blackened toxic grooves spring upon ears and appetite as the dark rasping tones of Mr J. almost crawl through the enveloping muggy landscape. It is a ravenous confrontation unafraid to allow a seduction of melodic calm to join its persuasive trespass of ears and imagination. The collusion of industrial and extreme metal is a hellacious tempting with post punk and progressive twists icing on the pestilential cake. As suggested earlier, it provides a thick challenge initially, taking body and thoughts aback with its unconventional design and aggravation but over plays the song really blossoms into one dramatically compelling affair.

It is a journey and achievement which pretty much applies speaks for the album too, and second song Cortex Vortex whose intrusive invasion is at first a boldly unsettling incitement. Taking time to acclimatise to its creative animus of rabid intensity and a ravenously tantalising sonic undercurrent though, the song emerges as another captivating protagonist of the senses. Its unpredictability is as enjoyably ripe as the diverse strains of styles woven into the corrosive theatre of sound and intent; a soundscape as prone to melodic and avant-garde intrigue as it is emotive despair.

For personal tastes it is when tracks venture into that wrong-footing and seriously diverse scenery that they truly come alive and remove themselves from more recognisable black metal dilemmas. The Inverted Panopticon Experience is such an offering; though instantly taking a hold of the appetite with its death march of debilitating rhythms and corrosively wiry riffs and grooves, it is the industrial and sonic imagination that elevates its stature and lure even though its dominant incessant stalking of the senses never abates.

Casque Strength has that same nagging quality too though this time with a warmer melodic hue to its worrisome nature. Straight away it is working the senses though it holds it back somewhat as a great industrially coloured atmospheric mist descends before returning to its unbridled niggle soon after as the vocals offer venomous predation through it all. Already a virulent strain of persuasion, the track only grows in potency as an enthralling, almost indie rock bred melody and accompanying hooks perpetually vein the venture whilst sparking a bold swing to the torrent of sonic tempting.

One of the clear pinnacles of the album it is followed by the shadow rich drama of The Masque of The Green Demon. A sweltering reflective ambience envelops ears as guitars slowly spread their sultry lures whilst drawing on stoner and sludge bred qualities as the song bracingly shimmers on the senses. Vocally Mr J. never veers from his black metal inspired delivery yet it works perfectly with the heavy rock ‘n’ roll of the fiercely enjoyable track for arguably the most unique moment on the album.

The harsh cold landscape of Renuntiationem comes next; the track a wasteland of warmth and hope that spawns a dark and sombre hued drone laced with just as melancholy rich elegant melodies. It is a provocative and mesmeric flight of sound and emotion that, as many, flourishes with every listen, though time the outstanding Electric Barbwire Crown of Thorns has no need of. From its first electronic/metal seeded assault, the song has ears and appetite enthralled with a web of sonic enterprise within an industrial tirade of noise. Swiftly though, the song twists and turns through inventive detours and imagination fuelled escapades as addictive and infectious as hey comes. Along with Casque Strength and The Masque of The Green Demon, it is reason enough to check out Born Again Misanthrope and Plutonium.

The short instrumental of Alice in Plutoniumland (Two Minute Hate Part III) sparks the imagination next, playing like the haunted soundtrack to a psychedelic kid’s tale set in dystopian X-Files spawned surroundings. It is an ever giving piece for the listener to play with before Confessions Of A Suicidal Cryptologist aggressively leaps on ears and emotions with its furious smog of intensity and cancerous animosity. Fair to say though, the album closer has its own enthralling moments of boisterous catchiness and brazen rock ‘n’ roll endeavour, not forgetting atmospheric synth woven incitement.

The track provides a formidable and potent end to a thoroughly enjoyable adventure which simply becomes more impressive over time. With certain moments of majestic ingenuity backed by further creatively rousing craft, Born Again Misanthrope is a proposal that extreme and industrial metal fans especially should definitely explore.

Born Again Misanthrope is out now @ http://thetrueplutonium.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 13/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Anti-Clone – The Root Of Man

Anti-Clone_RingMasterReview

If asked at the start of the year which was the one release we were most anticipating in 2016 there would have been no pause of thought involved in saying the debut album from UK metallers Anti-Clone. They had us addictively hooked into their own distinct nu-metal bred, psyche twisting sound from the outstanding Hands Sewn Together EP, which had its highly successful national release back in 2014. Its tracks were a regular part of our podcasts too, finding the same eagerness across a horde of other shows and stations with the mainstream media soon waking up to the band’s emergence in turn. Now two years on and quickly following reputation cementing and pushing performances supporting Mushroomhead and Sanguine on certain dates of their recent UK tour, the Boston hailing quintet are poised to unleash The Root Of Man.

The question was never going to be would the album live up to expectations seeded in the last EP and the hefty fuss around the band, that just seemed to be a given in thoughts, but would their music have grown and evolved enough to make them a real contender to stir up the metal scene beyond the UK as earlier songs suggested. Well, the answer is found within the first few tracks of the eleven song incitement alone. Together they give a rousing confirmation with their creative roar, only being forcibly backed by the rest of an album which in some ways continues where the Hands Sewn Together EP left off but immediately shows a craftier and imaginatively more exhilarating, not forgetting broader, weave of styles and flavours in its boldly sculpted songs. The Root Of Man is Anti-Clone on a new mature imagination drenched plateau from songwriting to sound to presentation. There is inventive confidence and fierce adventure at every turn as the scent of inspirations from the forefathers of the nu-metal scene are again embraced, twisted, and honed into openly fresh textures within the band’s own fascinating experimentation.

art_RingMasterReviewFormed in 2011 but really finding its creative mojo once the current line-up was in place a couple or so years later, the Lincolnshire band soon sparked a hungry and swiftly growing fan base for their dramatically addictive sound which reached its first pinnacle in the Hands Sewn Together EP. Live too, the band has grown to be one of Britain’s prime incitements, sharing stages with the likes of American Head Charge, Kindred, ESO, Breed 77, Sworn Amongst, Maplerun, Evil Scarecrow, and Bloodshot Dawn amongst many along the way. Linking up with EP producer Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Trivium, Fightstar, As I Lay Dying and Slipknot) again for The Root Of Man, the quintet of brothers Drew (drums/ programming) and Peter ‘Mr Clone’ Moore (vocals), Conor (guitar) and Liam Richardson (guitar), and Mike Bradbury (bass) are seemingly poised to set their place at the head table of the UK and indeed European metal scene.

Dually looking at “the beginning of the human race, starting with Eve committing original sin which resulted in us being cast out of Eden” and symbolising the band’s beginning as a band; “These are the roots that we are planting to fully establish ourselves as our own entity, to establish ourselves as Anti-Clone“, the pledge music funded The Root of Man immediately grips ears and imagination with its title track. It is a brief but inescapable lure into the album, an as expected apocalyptically ambience clouded scene setter which is soon crawling portentously over the senses as steely bass and toxic grooves wrap the enjoyably familiar tones of Mr Clone. Its dark tempest rolls straight in to Deracinated which seamlessly draws ears into its own animus of intent and creative rapacity. Straight away an industrial toning merges with the schizophrenic nu-metal prowess which flows from the band, Society 1 meets Mudvayne like essences adding to the imposing character and trespass of the fearsome magnetism on offer. Ebbing and flowing in raw confrontation, the track bewitches ears and stirs up the appetite, setting them in an unfamiliar and disorientating yet welcoming blend of old school aired modern imagination for a seriously rousing slab of predacious incitement.

SwitchBlade growls at and brawls with the senses next, vocals from Mr Clone and the Richardson brothers almost pestilential in their psyche invading animosity as the sounds around them rise and fall with constant inhospitable adventure. Melodic calms and percussive invention are just as potent lures in the agitated imagination and landscape of the song; all colluding to savage and spellbind before A Sight For Sewn Eyes prowls ears with Fear Factory/Spineshank tinged ingenuity. As replicated across the whole of the album, every moment of the song brings greed breeding drama to the listener, Mr Clone showing his clean melodic tones are as fiercely agreeable as the rawer psychosis fuelled side of his vocal character. The song persistently twists and turns from the start before reaching a bedlamic crescendo that never truly departs once erupting as the song leaves on a groove bound web of suggestiveness.

With a constant range of peaks across its landscape as momentous and memorable as the Alps, B9 adds another with its Manson-esque textured slice of predatory heavy metal whilst Twisted Neck entangles ears in the intoxicating vines of toxic grooves which wrap a calmer melody hued serenade beneath a thickly tempestuous and predatory climate of sound and personality. Both tracks present a tapestry of styles and textures, the first also flirting with steampunk like elements where, not for the last time, Anti-Clone have a touch of the now sadly demised Shanklin Freak Show to them. Its successor flirts with a colouring which is more 6:33 meets Dog Fashion Disco though as always, it is hard to pin down a flavour such the Anti-clone ingenuity as they align spices to their own enthralling ideation.

A great punk metal hue seeps into the riveting and mercurial soundscape of Mechanical Heart, the track as welcoming as it is fearsome with sinister keys and avant-garde devilry lining another almost rabid mix of nu and industrial metal carrying at times more than a whisper of death metal to it. Compelling to the extreme, the track simply wants an apocalypse based Hellraiser movie to grace to see its majesty totally fulfilled, though fair to say there is no time to linger in thought with any song during the album as here Feed The Machine steals attention instantly with its vocally anthemic and physically bracing proposal. Repetition in word and sound within the track is a glorious igniting of instincts; that simplicity employed in another rich weave of roving grooves and a cantankerous rhythms skilfully sewn into an irresistibly unpredictable but dramatically galvanic onslaught. Like early Korn in some ways and Slipknot in others, the track still stands distinctively tall as another unique Anti-Clone ravaging of the senses and passions.

ComaSpace brings a moment of relative calm and the chance to catch breath next though unsurprisingly it too has irritability to its tone and dark imposing edge to its atmosphere. Vocally Mr Clone entices ears with a clean delivery as melodies merge acoustic and more aggravated hues into the Deftones spiced offering. Again the band has ears and appetite enthralled, though even being another impressive moment within The Root Of Man, it gets overshadowed a little by Astaroth. The band’s new upcoming single, the song is sonic slavery; the reason mosh pits and lustful reactions were bred into life. As barbarous as anything on the release and the most virulently contagious assault too, the track has everything you need to know about Anti-Clone and whether they are the tonic to your personal musical passions.

Completed by the grisly presence and voice of Sentinel, a sonic inferno of psyche burrowing riffs and grooves amidst an insatiable and concussive tempest of sound and attitude, The Root Of Man is the declaration of a new major force in UK and undoubtedly European metal. Anti-Clone is set to be one of those guiding their journeys over the following years whilst with this superb release, the band has placed themselves right there in stature alongside a great many of those who have inspired their adventure to date.

The Root Of Man is released 29th April  via PHD (Plastic Head Distribution) with more information @ http://www.anticlonehq.com

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Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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American Head Charge – Tango Umbrella

AHC_RingMasterReview

Like many others we are sure, there was a surge of excited anticipation when the new American Head Charge album was announced. It was the first since 2005 full-length The Feeding and the band disbanding two years later. Their return after six years subsequently brought the excellent Shoot EP, a release bristling with hints of a new bigger and even bolder adventure to the AHC sound. Now those clues are realised and reinforced with Tango Umbrella; a maelstrom of prime AHC moments, new imaginative adventures, and exploits seemingly inspired by some of their companions in the nu-metal/melodic metal scene first time around. The result is a riveting and galvanic tempest of sound and imagination which for the main hits the spot dead centre.

From the first breath of their first album for Napalm Records, AHC go straight for the senses and imagination with opener Let All The World Believe. Its entrance is calm and coaxing, electronic pulses and beats gathering within an increasingly sinister ambience before the doors burst open and predatory riffs and rhythms eagerly crowd and trespass ears. It is a forcibly enticing start only blossoming again as the band unleashes inventive industrial metal rabidity. The keys of Justin Fowler sizzle and incite with devilish enterprise whilst the intrusive beats of Chris Emery descend with uncompromising intent. All the while Cameron Heacock vocally prowls like an apocalyptic ringmaster; his expression and words scathing and confrontational and just as alluring as the thick mesh of sound around him. With touches of Fear Factory and Static X to it, the track is a glorious start; an anthemic death dance bursting with the dramatic sonic devilment of guitarists Karma Cheema and Ted Hallows.

Drowning Under Everything quickly follows with another industrial sculpted invitation, its initial clang soon immersed in a robust tide of riffs and grooves. The growling bass of Chad Hanks quickly steals a chunk of the attention, backed by the matching potent bait of guitars and vocal laced with a Manson-esque hue soon evolving into a richer melodic flame bred with the familiar AHC dexterity and invention. It too is a swiftly shifting and changing passage within the tantalising track, a moment soon becoming entangled with all the other textures in a muggy creative maze. Inescapably the track ignites ears and again an already awoken appetite before the more thunderous assault of Perfectionist flares up to place its virulent grip on attention too. Atmospherically suggestive and vocally provocative, the song merges grunge and nu-metal traits and flavours to infectious effect as essences of Korn, Mudvayne, and Alice In Chains spice its enthralling proposal. Epitomising the whole album though, for all spices and influences openly shown, the track is unmistakably American Head Charge through and through.

art_RingMasterReviewThe latter of those three references nudges thoughts again as the thick mesmeric and emotive embrace of Sacred takes over, the track crawling seductively over the senses as vocals, guitars, and keys charm and tantalise ears. With the bass grumbling and beats swinging in tandem, the track beguiles from its first second, before being followed and overshadowed by the quite irresistible I Will Have My Day, a fiercely rousing and relentless White Zombie incitement with again great AIC sounding harmonies and melodic caresses.

The emotion loaded A King Among Men comes next; the ballad a requiem of piano, voice, and harmonies likely inspired by the loss of previous band guitarist Bryan Ottoson in 2005 and more recently friends like Wayne Static but equally a sentiment for anyone losing someone. It is a potent piece leaving a lingering touch much like, but in whole different way, Suffer Elegantly. The call of the wild springs a charging, invasive surge of riffs and grooves driven by hellacious rhythms. There is no escaping a Ministry incited dynamic to the track or its savagely tenacious energy and sound but again AHC twist it into their own ravenous ideation and aggressive imagination. Many major favourites emerge from within Tango Umbrella, this right there on the frontline.

The twisting rapacious tone and grooves of Antidote enslaves ears and thoughts next, its flirtatious melodies and off-kilter slithers of sound rich pickings for the imagination whilst the Down like hostility which seeps from the track’s uncaging of raw intensity has the spirit as inflamed as the rest of the song has ears gripped. Increasingly more impressive and addictive with every listen, the song entices and snarls like a beast in heat much as the Trent Reznor like Prolific Catastrophe which sidles in with a devilish glint in its creative eye and a rousing fire in its sonic belly.

Completing the album is firstly the musically and lyrically antagonistic Down And Depraved, a grouchy and mercurial blaze of voice and sound, and finally the atmospherically cast When The Time Is Never Right. It is another which needed time to convince as heartily as previous tracks within Tango Umbrella but persistently has satisfaction and involvement fully engaged whilst bringing the album to a magnetic end.

It is fair to say that Tango Umbrella lives up to the promise of the band’s last EP and more. It is like a kaleidoscope of their highlights to date and inspirations picked up along the way, in turn almost like trip through the listener’s own nu/industrial metal inspired soundtrack but most of all, the album is one thoroughly thrilling, inventively fresh and varied slab of American Head Charge imagination re-establishing the sextet as one of our prize assets.

Tango Umbrella is released via Napalm Records on March 25th through most online stores.

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

Remaining dates on the AHC/Mushroomhead UK tour

26.03.16 UK – Bristol / The Marble Factory

27.03.16 UK – Plymouth / The Hub

29.03.16 UK – Cardiff / The Globe

30.03.16 UK – London / Electric Ballroom

31.03.16 UK – Brighton / Concorde 2

01.04.16 UK – Southampton / Engine Rooms

02.04.16 UK – Norwich / Waterfront

03.04.16 UK – Reading / Sub89

Pete RingMaster 24/03/2016

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