Voyager – Ghost Mile

There is no denying the eager grin which broke upon faces here when the new Voyager album was sent through, having been seriously tempted by the band since their second album uniVers in 2007 and lustfully hooked through their fourth and fifth in the acclaimed shapes of The Meaning of I and V. The later in 2014 set a plateau it was easy to wonder if the Australian band could eclipse thereon in. Hopes and a quiet confidence have just been realised with the release of Ghost Mile, an album which brings a truly fresh breath to progressive metal as instinctively catchy and virulent as it is technically and inventively imaginative.

The success of the Perth quintet’s last album saw the band invited to perform at major festivals such as ProgPower USA, Euroblast Festival in Germany, and the ProgPower Europe Festival in The Netherlands as well as sharing stages with the likes of Deftones, Opeth, Leprous, Protest The Hero, Nightwish, Epica, Oceans of Slumber, and Coheed and Cambria. Voyager ended last year touring Australia with Deftones and Karnivool and being further invitations to play Euroblast and Progpower EU this year, the latter as headliners. Now with Ghost Mile driving things, it is hard to imagine 2017 being anything other than a really busy adventure, one no doubt littered with praise lured by their stunning new album alone.

Mixed by Matthew Templeman and mastered by Simon Strutters, Ghost Mile opens up with Ascension. A golden melody kisses ears first with the warmth and intrigue of a dawn sun, its suggestive air tempting the imagination before bolder rhythms add their bait. Djent teased enterprise is soon joining the blossoming affair, their steely tenacity paving the way for another caress of elegance around the radiant tones of Danny Estrin. As magnetic as ever, his presence is swiftly joined by sturdier textures whilst being the ringleader to an irresistible infectiousness soon fuelling the chorus and body of the evolving encounter. With the suggestive heat of his keytar matched in craft and magnetism by the guitars of Scott Kay and Simone Dow, the song is pure captivation, only increasing its potency as breaks of predacious intent and aggression escape.

The quite stunning start is quickly continued by the equally outstanding Misery Is Only Company. From the off, it has a harder core to its presence, a latent but open intensity which lines jagged riffs and the brooding air of Alex Canion’s bass. There is no containing the instinctive catchiness within songwriting and imagination though, the swinging beats of Ashley Doodkorte inciting similar boisterousness in the resourceful and technical enterprise across the band. Deftones’ Chino Moreno recently likened Estrin’s voice to Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon, something at times easy to agree with and indeed at times the song has something of the British outfit to its pop sensibilities, infectiousness aligning with more predatory essences to masterful effect.

Next up Lifeline initially lays another sunny shimmer on the senses, its progressive aptitude soon courting metallic rapacity though as melodies radiate and vocals warmly croon. Relaxing into a gentle stroll, there is still a constant snarl to the guitars and bass which breeds alluring unpredictability and waiting volatility, the latter never truly having its moment but keeping the calm honest whilst giving the progressive/ pop rock adventuring a threat. As with its predecessors, physically involving the listener is a quick given and with increasingly lust.

The provocative nature of Fragile Serene seduces next, its climate a mix of melancholy and joy with one addictive hook at the heart of a fusion of rich temptations which almost swarm over the senses into the imagination before To The Riverside carries the same fantasy off in its evocative piano led flight towards the waiting more capricious embrace of the album’s title track. From the first second, Ghost Mile has an agitated eagerness which infects body and spirit, the carnivorously laced bass growling beautifully within the fiery but composed roar of the track. Like sonic and melodic alchemy, the song turns four minutes or so into a cauldron of heavy and light, dark and luminous adventure; contrasts uniting rather than battling for the album’s pinnacle.

What A Wonderful Day pretty much sums up the feeling during its three minutes plus, its pop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll as contagious, additive, and arresting as anything heard this year so far. Its warm dance though does have predacious overtones lurking in its shadows, their semi-vocal presence more realised in the tenebrous texture of the following Disconnected, though it is never devoid of the light and vibrancy instinctive to the Voyager imagination. With industrial breath seeping into the track’s progressively nurtured and invasive metal challenge, there is nothing to deter a quick and full submission to its rousing and often caustic incitement.

The enchanting fascinating of This Gentle Earth simply beguiles next, the union of piano and vocals alone sheer seduction and only escalated as rhythms probe and drama floods every rising texture and tendril of contagion sharing sound; an infectiousness belying the emotional reflection of disconnection.

The album finishes with the fiercely charismatic As The City Takes The Night, a track growing from an absorbing tango into a blaze of heart and intensity which smoulders, simmers, and boils across its eventful reflection without ever seemingly taking the same route twice. As the album, the song is a fascination giving more and more with every listen, rewards including pure pleasure.

Expectations of Voyager are always high because of previous triumphs but again left short by an album which will take some shifting from being one major contender for this year’s greatest moment.

Ghost Mile is out now via Nova Distribution across most stores.

http://voyager-australia.com/   https://www.facebook.com/voyageraustralia   https://twitter.com/voyagerau

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Figures – Self Titled EP

Figures_RingMasterReview

Melbourne is one of those cities persistently producing exciting new musical proposals and another to strongly add to the long list is Figures. Firmly established and acclaimed in the Australian rock scene, the quintet now have their sights on much broader attention with their self-titled debut EP leading the way. Offering four tracks of melodic/alternative metal with numerous other strains of rock involved, the release is a striking and seriously accomplished encounter with a sound very easy to find a healthy appetite for.

Formed in 2014, Figures has shared stages with the likes of Caligula’s Horse, Twelve Foot Ninja, Superheist and many others since then, luring heavy praise along the way. Their first single Filter equally courted acclaim and attention the way of the band, it taking them across to the US to perform at MUSEXPO’s Global Rock Summit in Los Angeles. Taken from the EP it made for an attention poking lead and gets the release off to a mighty start.

The song’s first touch is a gentle melodic caress, Filter coaxing ears as the guitars of Paul Callow and Simon Edgell wind up their energy and enterprise for the subsequent fire of riffs and grooves. Quickly the swiftly impressive vocals of Mark Tronson shine in their midst as the similarly enticing groan of Jen Fletcher’s bass and the swinging prowess of drummer Josh Sforzin add darker depth and texture to the already compelling blaze. The band has been compared to the likes of Incubus and Karnivool and in some ways you can suggest Circles, Voyager, and to a lesser extent Shattered Skies too though Figures quickly establish their own character in song and release.

cover_RingMasterReviewEqually fiercely robust and enticingly elegant, the song is a formidable introduction strongly backed by its companions starting with Desolate. Quickly the second song sounds very familiar though we cannot remember hearing it prior to the EP yet it cannot stop the fiery serenade of the track seducing ears and passions. Its melodies and harmonies caress the senses, its snarling riffs and boisterous rhythms raising the spirit and though it takes a touch longer to tempt as its predecessor, it blossoms into its equal.

Again making initial contact with a warm lure, Vice soon looms over ears with a web of wiry grooves and intrusive hooks as raw riffs and rapacious rhythms court the ever impressing mix of vocals and harmonies. There is aggression fuelled attitude at the heart of the song, giving it great underlying irritability as its mellower textures spread their charm, a blend sublimely igniting all four songs in varying ways with the closing Emoticonic no exception.

It gets straight down to offering growling confrontation though it is quickly interrupted and thereon in interspersed by washes of melodically inflamed imagination. The spiral of metallic tendrils really hits the spot though from start to finish, the whole song only feeds an already hungry appetite bred by the EP for what Figures have on offer right now and anticipation for their continuing growth.

Already 2017 is proving to be an exciting and impressive surge of emerging bands tempting bigger spotlights with Figures right there on the frontline.

The Figures EP is out now and available @ https://figuresbandofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

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Pete RingMaster 01/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Target Renegades – Gallows Humour EP

tr-band_RingMasterReview

With their previous acclaim luring Dark Sounds EP pushing the band’s sound to another level, UK rockers Target:Renegades ended 2016 with another proposition revelling in new growth in their fiery mix of alternative and hard rock loaded with punk belligerence. The Gallows Humour EP provides a quartet of songs which roar and command attention whilst showing new variety in the Warrington outfit’s writing and sound. Compared to its predecessor and its immediate explosive grip of ears and imagination, Gallows Humour is more of a smouldering tempting but one working its way to the same kind of success and persuasion .

Following their 2012 released debut EP Corruption For Beginners, Target:Renegades really courted awareness with first album [Press Start] two years later. Its impressive collection of songs eagerly pleased ears yet suggested that there was plenty left in the creative tank for the band to discover and explore. With an explosive live presence earning them further praise and support and seeing the band sharing stages with the likes of The Vibrators, Sumo Cyco, and I Am Giant among many over time, Target:Renegades realised much of that potential with Dark Sounds and have tapped into even more imagination and variety with Gallows Humour, an encounter ready to ignite a new flood of plaudits and followers.

The EP opens with the instantly compelling Jump Overboard, its initial nagging groove alone enough to grip ears and appetite as the lures of Dan Fido’s guitar squirrel themselves into the psyche. With the beats of Matt Reid just as eager as the bass of Jack Hamnett magnetically groans, the song soon hits a controlled yet fiery stride with vocalist Adam Hulse commanding further attention. Its chorus is simple but as catchy as anything the band has sculpted while its surrounding saunter is muscle and menace bound in a composed groove layered air. With hooks which drive the song further under the skin, it is a masterful and addictive start to the release.

tr_RingMasterReviewA heavy bass groan opens up the following A Curse Ensues, melodic strands from Fido soon wrapping the senses as the track grows and blossoms into a proposal distinct to the band. The second track reinforces the thought that the band has discovered a sound which roars only Target:Renegades though inspirations from the likes of Deftones and Karnivool are additional hues in its canvas of imagination. Hulse excels as he shares the song’s landscape with earnest prowls and emotional roars, both backed by Fido’s potent tones and inventive guitar spun enterprise.

I Concede steps up next, coaxing ears with a melodic caress as rhythms gather in the background before shaping the track’s subsequent melancholic stroll. Its low key gait and touch is a suggestive proposition as vocals potently share an emotion bred heart; an alluring offering ignited further by ferocious bursts of fiery sound and raw intensity. Whether guttural vocal growls work as well as they could have can be argued but the song only reinforces the potency of the release so far with strength and invention.

The EP is concluded by This Isn’t Revenge, another instantly recognisable to the band which backs the suggestion of real distinctiveness in their writing and music breached by Target:Renegades. The song maybe lacks some of the sparks of its predecessors but hones a melodic prowess and beauty which leads it to be as tempting as anything else within Gallows Humour.

The new EP is a different beast to Dark Sounds but an equal in adventure and energy with a new blossoming of maturity breeding the most rounded songs from Target:Renegades yet and inescapable evidence of a band ready to embrace bigger and more imposing spotlights.

Gallows Humour is out now across most online stores.

http://www.targetrenegades.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/TR.UKMusic   https://twitter.com/TargetRenegades

Pete RingMaster 24/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Finding Kate – If I Fall

finding-kate-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

With eager praise surrounding debut EP Inside Out, British melodic rockers Finding Kate are now pushing for wider recognition with their first album and fair to say that If I Fall is twelve tracks of melancholy soaked and emotionally powerful rock which just demands attention.

The brainchild and creative outlet of alt-rock vocalist/lyricist Kate Pavli, her London hailing project has earned a potent reputation for its live presence to match that earned by that first EP. Linking up with pianist Chris Charalambides who wrote all the music for the album and a host of additional contributors to If I Fall, Kate is ready to tap into bigger spotlights with a release which ripples with skilful songwriting and strongly enterprising sounds.

Influences listed include Deftones, Flyleaf, Avril Lavigne, Karnivool, The Pretty Reckless, and Evanescence and there is no escaping a comparison to certainly the latter for the Finding Kate sound though you can add Forever Still like essences also helping shape the band’s potent first full-length. If I Fall opens up with the swiftly impressive Drowning, a track soon luring ears and appetite into its imaginative landscape. Little time is needed either to embrace the emotional fuelled voice of Kate, her presence and qualities catching eager attention  within seconds of her opening melodic cries. As often common to the album’s character, the song is a fiery simmering of intensity, an emotional cauldron which ignites from time to time but seduces rather than blazes within ears as guitars and keys especially echo the drama of Kate’s vocals.

White Lies follows the strong start, opening up with a rhythmically feistier coaxing which shapes its subsequent infectious character and energy. As with the first, there is something familiar about the song drawing those comparisons earlier mentioned yet both tracks develop a personality of sound and invention built on the potential of uniqueness.

finding-kate-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewNew single, Forever is next, its sombre breath and emotional intimacy bred from the alluring voice of Kate and the plaintively shadowed melodies of Chris’ piano alone; their potency backed by the expansive suggestiveness of guitars and strings as rhythms court a darker climate. It is equally a template behind the emotive theatre of next up Don’t Let Go which is taken to even more intimate depths as Kate’s voice flames across another enticing tapestry of flavours and textures. As strong as its predecessor was, the track easily eclipses it.

Both Get Over You and Inside Out leave ears richly satisfied, the first creating another fiery landscape of sound and heart felt declaration matched by the second in its imagination seducing web of sounds and invention. Strings again add a sublime texture and presence to both songs, especially the former while its successor enthrals through that unpredictable and mouth-watering array of invention. It makes a great claim for best song honours within the album though quickly rivalled by Did It Again with its cinematic stringed beauty and the melancholic union of keys and voice.

Through the album’s dynamic yet tender title track and the magnetically sorrowful yet hope lit I’ll Save You, band and release only cement their hold on attention while Semper Fi explores arguably the album’s most adventurous creative scenery in its impassioned roar. It is fair to say there is a bit of a surface similarity which wraps many of the songs within If I Fall, though digging deeper frequently reveals a kaleidoscope of real individual imagination, but this track is an openly unique proposal to stir ears and enjoyment.

The dark vocal/piano romance building It’s Over captivates from its first breath and note straight after; a beguiling ballad hard to be anything but taken with before Gone brings the album to a fine and memorable close with its emotion soaked roar which pleasures with ease.

If I Fall shows that Finding Kate may have yet to find a truly distinct voice in their sound but the potential is a loud promise within their first album and its enjoyment rather easy to find.

If You Fall is released November 18th with pre-orders now taken @ https://findingkate.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.findingkatemusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/FindingKate    https://twitter.com/FindingKate_

Pete RingMaster 16/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lithium Dawn – Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension

LithiumDawn1_RingMaster Review

Whether people describe Lithium Dawn as progressive rock or progressive metal, the Californian band’s sound somewhere in between, neither suitably describes the sonic kaleidoscope that turns new album Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension into one of the year’s major treats. Creating an emprise of aural imagination built upon a vast array of styles and flavours, band and album fascinate and enthral throughout their second full-length. The album’s canvas is certainly seeded in progressive adventure but from there it blossoms into an evolving adventure sure to excite fans of anyone from Karnivool and Tool to TesseracT and Opeth to Circles and Voyager, and that still barely covers all of the lures laid by the outstanding Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension.

The successor to debut album AION of 2012, Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension is the result of new growth and bolder invention fuelling the Lithium Dawn sound. Formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ondrej Tvarozek and drummer/programmer Matt Benoit, a pair who first met way back in 2004 on an online message board, the band released their first album to eager praise, it recorded with the help of new member bassist/guitarist Jens Marcelis. It was a potent start from which the band has impressively blossomed further, all the thick evidence there within their stunning new release.

The album opens with the track Tearing Back the Veil and instantly wraps ears in djent inspired predation aligned to flowing and suggestive keys spun by Aaron Gage. There is immediate drama to the start which never abates even as the track’s atmosphere becomes mellower yet cloudier and its air more sultry and exotic around the impressing tones of Tvarozek. That theatre also comes with a classic rock toning, a scent colluding with Porcupine Tree like elegance and Periphery like technical ferocity as the track evolves within the ears.

LD DIGI COVER FULL_RingMaster Review   It is an enthralling and gripping opening to the album matched by the tantalising majesty of Ascension. Emerging straight out of the alluring breath of its predecessor, the song is quickly weaving into its creative agenda reggae spiced melodic and rhythmic temptation with pulsating echoes of dub ingenuity. Potently backed by the voice of Gage, Tvarozek quickly has ears bending the way of his inviting delivery whilst the senses become enveloped by the intimately haunting yet celestial ambience of keys and guitars. The track is an engrossing endeavour with creative snarls making another seriously enticing aspect to the crystalline character of the track.

The individual craft of the band is as stirring and impressive as the sonic poetry they cast and welcoming to additional enterprise like that of guest guitarist Sithu Aye who brings a gripping solo to Point of No Return. The song twists and turns as it seduces ears and imagination, the great volatility of its jagged scenery and imposing attitude perfectly merged with its harmonic heart and melodic tempting. Confrontational and seductively immersive in equal measure, the track is a tapestry of creative imagination and emotive exploration spun in a web of diverse flavours and tones. At times it is jazzy, in other moments an emotive croon, and at times even an aggressively imposing incitement, but from start to finish it simply beguiles.

An already happy appetite for the release is made greedier still by the following Decimator, a primal but majestic involvement of the senses which flows seamlessly through again contrasts in texture and sonic attitude to entice and thrill. Throughout it can be as bestial as a Meshuggah offering and as warmly seductive as an instrumental flight with Heights, and with another guest in Plini providing a potent solo, it powerfully intrigues and pleases before making way for the darker shadows and emotion of Selfcollapse. Immediately a hue of turbulence lines its opening tempting, gaining thicker persuasion as guitars and bass sculpt a tempestuous canvas for vocal flames and the mesmeric lure of keys to share the track’s evocative narrative upon. Again there is the sense of a predator to the nature and tone of the outstanding track, prowling and urging with invasive bait as a melodic haunting permeates thoughts and emotions.

The pair of Synchronicity, with its otherworldly serenade, and the lively lapping of the senses that is Tidal keep ears and pleasure full with their unique natures and imaginative portraits in sound whilst Spires cradles the listener in melodic arms and inviting melancholic strings within another multi-coloured immersion of sound and ethereal temptation. All three absorb and transfix, successes matched by the mazy entangling of contrasting yet fluidly aligning textures and sonic colours that is Labyrinthian and after that by the mystique charged, sonically fiery B’ak’tun, which is set up firstly by the shamanic coaxing of short piece Incantation. As proven here and time and time again across the album, words only give a glimpse of the richness in sound and invention making up the tracks within Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension, and as shown by B’ak’tun too, just when you think you have it all, another listen unveils a little more to the alchemy conjuring such intensively immersive incitements.

The album is brought to a close by the gentle romance on ears of Horizon and finally the brief atmospheric grumble of Edge of the Earth, confrontation and beauty merged for a closing instrumental exploration. It sums up the whole album, contrasting tones and layers wrapped in evocative expression to spark mind and body into full involvement.

To simplify it all, Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is a gorgeous album; one demanding of your time and concentration but rewarding with one of the year’s biggest triumphs.

Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is out now @ http://lithiumdawn.bandcamp.com

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Pete RingMaster 09/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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V/ VEGA – Leaving Lyra

V Vega Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Leaving Lyra is like a newly discovered dish which lies on the tongue very nicely on the first mouthful, but it is in the after taste and subsequent eager snacking that its full range of flavours escape to thrill and seduce the taste buds into having another bite, and then another. So it is with the new EP from British progressive metallers V/ VEGA, a release which pleased on the initial listen but continues to reveal new creative spices and textures to simultaneously and increasingly impress at the same time. Elegant and warm, fierce and volatile, the EP’s quartet of songs challenge as they entice and enthral, each a tempest of sound and emotion which only leaves an appetite for more.

Hailing from the eastern county of Bedfordshire, V/ VEGA emerged in 2014 with a sound which we earlier stated as progressive metal but in truth it is a tapestry of styles and flavours across metal and rock. Band inspirations include the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dance Gavin Dance, Karnivool, and Periphery amongst others, they alone a clue to the diversity involved within the sound and now EP from the quartet. Making their live debut in the June of last year, V/ VEGA have hit the live scene with hunger, sharing stages with bands such as Shields, Giants, Canvas, and Create to Inspire whilst earning acclaim and potent reputation for their craft and explosive performances. The well-received release of debut EP Nostalgia, also out mid-2014, whipped up further attention, including that of Crooked Noise Records who now nationally release Leaving Lyra. It is easy to expect bigger spotlights and reactions to follow in the wake of the new EP’s unleashing, an assumption quickly in place after that initial listen and only cemented thereon in.

V Vega Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe song Lyra starts things off, it’s opening ambience of brewing intrigue sparking the imagination with ears swiftly involved as atmospheric melodies and invitingly agitated rhythms unveil their suggestive prowess. The vocals of Jim Dummer firmly engage and impress just as quickly, his soaring tones backed well by Tom Williams whose guitar enterprise alongside that of Edd Durcan, similarly spins a web of emotive and at times tempestuous persuasion. Outbreaks of heavy and voracious crescendos only add to the drama and lure of the track, raw antagonistic growls emerging from either Dummer or Durcan to drive the ferocity which manages to potently align with and be entangled in the melodic charm colouring the warm landscape of the encounter.

It is a thickly enjoyable opening to Leaving Lyra which continues with Grand Declaration. Straight away the track is badgering ears with the hefty swings of whoever is at the drums and the carnivorous tones of Josh Levy’s bass. Simultaneously melodic flames and clean vocal prowess wrap the twisting grooves and sonic tendrils that vein and spear the keys spun ambience which, as in the opener, adds an ethereal breath and climate around the stormy heart of the song. Even more than its predecessor, the track is a maelstrom of ideas and textures which may need time to reveal its depths but only with increasing rewards for the time offered in return.

Wanderer follows and swiftly flirts with djent seeded technical adventure within another ferocious expulsion of dark metalcore like antagonism. After another mournful yet inflamed breath, the band slips into a melancholy washed calm which subsequently embraces fearsome volatility, an progressive wind, and corrosive malevolence, in time all fusing into one rich confrontation. It is a mouth-watering proposition which again needs time to be explored before announcing itself as the best track, if only by a slither or two such the quality throughout Leaving Lyra.

The EP comes to a fine close with Reaching Eden, a song instantly gripping ears with its opening bait of riffs. Featuring the potent tones of Glass Cloud front man Jerry Roush, the song is a rousing and fierce blustery wind of sound and emotion, but also unafraid to drift into ambience clouded calm spun by technical tempting, flowing harmonies, and emotional reflection. Everything is seamlessly involved; what came before and is to follow fluid with the now within the track, uniting for a constantly contagious and raucous cacophony of vocal and emotive animus driven magnetically by the rhythms. Like Karnivool meets Periphery meets Bring Me The Horizon, with a healthy wash of Between the Buried and Me too, the song is a dynamic and wonderfully testing finale to a continually impressing offering from V/ VEGA.

With the band still barely into its second year, it is easy to think this is only the start of bigger and bolder things for and from V/ VEGA. A smile is breaking out at that thought.

Leaving Lyra is available from October 2nd digitally and on CD via Crooked Noise Records.

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Pete RingMaster 02/10/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Parallax Method – The Owl

Pic Ewan Mathers_www.ewanmathersphotographer.com

Pic Ewan Mathers_www.ewanmathersphotographer.com

There are so many things about The Owl EP to wax lyrical over; from its intricate yet free flowing fusion of flavours to its smiling warmth of character even when offering a more volatile twist or passage to contemplate. Most though it is the fact that each of its instrumental adventures provides a brand new escapade with every listen. The music hints, at times openly suggests, but all the time the imagination is given the sonic and melodic palette to paint its own inspired landscape and exploits, and that is pure fun and pleasure.

The release comes courtesy of UK progressive rockers The Parallax Method, their debut introduction to the UK rock scene. Formed last year, the seeds of the band began with guitarist Danny Beardsley, drummer Dave Wright, and bassist Daniel Hayes’ time together in hard rock band Isolysis back in 2011. With a collective experience of almost thirty years, the Derbyshire trio re-united last year as The Parallax Method, drawing on their mutual love of bands such as TesseracT, Karnivool, and Periphery to spice a sound, as mentioned earlier, tagged as progressive rock but entwining the broadest array of styles and essences into a fascinating tapestry. It is all in evidence within their first incitement Owl, the trio conjuring a web of creative intrigue and glorious aural adventure. Since its recording, Hayes has left the band to be replaced by Ben Edis (Spirytus/Breed 77), but left as his legacy a gripping part in a potent start to the bands easy to assume rise to the fore of the progressive scene.

Parallax cdep1._RingMaster Review    To quote their press release, “The Parallax Method leans on the themes of space and a perpetual battle between the owl and the squid to convey their unique sub-genre of modern prog. Space signifies the vast and epic nature of each track. The owl, wise and powerful, manifests itself in the music in its’ confident and strategic build ups. The squid, sneaky and sly, embodies itself in the ever-present surprising twists and turns. And the battle between them often ends in a violent stalemate which serves to betray the band’s humble standard tuning.” That is the premise to and suggestive nature of the release but to be honest as soon as second track Honey I Shrunk The Squid steps forward, after the cosy yet stark intro of the brief Welcome One and Owl, the imagination is off and running with its own narrative too.

Evolving straight out of its predecessor, as all pieces do, the track is soon writhing with juicy grooves and darkly toned rhythms which in turn breed a just as swift virulence in their increasingly inventive enterprise. You can easily confirm the spicery of those previously mentioned influences but also as the track, and indeed EP, develops thoughts are reminded of Belgian solo project Squidhead. The song continues to take ears on a busy and eventful dance, the guitar a jumble of coherent hooks and bewitching melodies framed and punctuated by the almost morose tone of the bass and the swinging beats of Wright. There is an industrial feel to the visual incitement it sparks, an intensive parade of activity and life which is often seduced by shards of melodic beauty and melancholic warmth.

The following Can Mango Take Me Higher is blossomed from those seeds too, exploring them with the sombre yet flirtatious lures of Hayes’ bass and the resourceful craft and imagination of Beardsley’s fingers of guitar strings. As in the previous piece, the music perpetually evolves, at times brewing up tempestuous climates and avenues as potent and captivating as the mellow seductions aligning them. The spatial ambience of the track has thoughts soaring into the dark and dangerous unknown but always there is an earth bound intimacy which also has the imagination and emotions working overtime, the latter especially when the bass throws off its shadows to wonderfully cluck, for want of a better word, at the senses.

Though individual tracks definitely work alone, The Owl should be listened to and is most enjoyed as a whole. Each song is a natural progression and chapter in a singular scintillating tale, whether with the band’s premise or in one’s own thoughts; flowing masterfully from the other as Radagash The Brown does from Can Mango Take Me Higher. The new encounter is a cosmopolitan shuffle which from its jazz kissed and sultry opening scenery travels rugged terrain and gentler seas towards a classical seduction bred on Latin influences and mystique sowing climes. Ultimately the track is a cauldron of technical prowess and even more so mischievous imagination, there no escaping the underlying grin to the release.

Closing on a techno agitation against emotively spun keys, the song flips into Owlgarhythm, the only time you could say the join is less than organic. It matters little as the immediate haze of funk lined agitation and devilry sides with blues electricity, the trio again whipping up a tenaciously sculpted shuffle with a whisper of bedlam to its heart and energy. Continuing to spin a revolving soundscape of sound and descriptive textures which are more travelogue like for the imagination than echoing the conflict maybe suggested by the EP’s theme, the track is superb. As the whole of The Owl, it is a spellbinding creative emprise which you might never get a clear handle on but just devour more greedily with every listen trying.

Another great thing about the EP is that it never has a whiff of indulgence or showing off which can and often does afflict many progressive spawned offerings, meaning that The Parallax Method is definitely a band to pay attention to and The Owl, a release you really should let your imagination play with.

The Owl is released on Friday 11th September through all stores.

Pete RingMaster 10/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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