Magnetic reflections: looking into Black Mirrors

We were aware of the buzz building up around Belgian band Black Mirrors so eagerly anticipated checking out their new EP release with Napalm Records. Fair to say that Funky Queen more than lived up to the praise gathering around its release, revelling in the myriad of flavours behind its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Offered the chance to find out more about band and release we fired questions at vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur.

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Firstly can you give us the background to Black Mirrors; its beginnings and how you all met?

, c Nanna Dis 2016

Marcella: During summer 2013, I wanted to create a female band. I found a drummer and a bass player but found it difficult to find a female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre the actual guitar player. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to work harder and to start to write our own songs but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we forgot the idea to have an (almost) female band and invite two old friends, Gino and Edouard to join the band as bass player and drummer. We used to play with them in other bands before Black Mirrors.

We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013.

What inspired the band name?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up with the TV show Black Mirror, a really cool English series which shows how technology is progressively changing our world. People are more distant to one another by being connected to the virtual world. We do not want to judge anybody, it’s just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us.

You sound is seemingly bred in garage rock but, as your new EP Funky Queen shows, flames with much broader rock ‘n’ roll diversity. What are the kinds of inspirations which have lit your musical imaginations most prominently?

Marcella: All the bands we are listening to were influenced prominently by blues masters such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, BB King, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson… So I would say the blues.

Pierre: Apart from the blues, we have a lot of different influences like the stoner scene, the late 60’s and early 70’s rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin and even the early Pink Floyd, the revival scene like The White stripes, Rival Sons and The Black Keys, some elements of soul/funk music and a bit of desert-blues like Tinariwen.

The Funky Queen EP has just been released through Napalm Records; how did that link-up come about?

Marcella: During summer 2015, we were invited to play in Germany at «Out and Loud» festival. Napalm was there as they opened the festival with a Napalm label night. Some of Napalm’s bands played there and they found us a slot to play. That was our first contact. We stayed in touch with them for a year and last summer we sent them our new songs. They liked it and Napalm offered us a deal.

It is being described as the band’s debut EP but am I right in thinking it has a self-titled predecessor released in 2014 which new fans to the band will want to know about?

Marcella: Yes, you’re completely right! Three years ago, we released our very first EP. We recorded it a couple of months after having started the band because we wanted to play live shows as soon as possible. This first EP is now sold out.

How would you say the Black Mirrors’ sound has evolved over its first handful of years?

Pierre: The basic sound didn’t change that much. Since the beginning, we wanted to create a music which will be a mix of all our influences. In 2013, our songs were already a mix of blues/rock, stoner and a bit of psychedelic music with a vintage approach.

But if we speak of the sound more specifically, the guitar sound became wilder with the years and our first drummer left the band. He was replaced by another one who came with his sensibility, approach and specific sound. So these two elements influenced a bit the final result.

With all artists, there is a specific intent fuelling their first steps. What was the driving force for Black Mirrors?

Pierre: Nothing more than being happy and thankful to play together. We are friends for such a long time and we’ve started the band to enjoy creating music together. We never had a big statement like « We want to play this kind of music, like very pure blues or a specific kind of stoner. » It was always about playing anything we had in mind without thinking too much. Maybe it’s the reason why there’re a lot of different influences in our music.

Listening to the EP there feels like there is a strong collaboration between the band in its songs birth and character. How does the band’s songwriting generally work?

c, c Nanna Dis 2016

Pierre: Most of the time I create basic ideas like a riff or two and show it to Marcella. We work together on a first version of the song, she composes her vocal part and we work on a basic structure. We show this draft to the band. With them we give the tune his final form. We often create new parts, remove others; jamming around the sound. Because of all this process, the song’s final version is sometimes totally different than the first idea.

Can you give the readers some insight to the background and themes to Funky Queen?

Funky Queen, which opens our EP, is about addiction. Funky Queen is the queen that confronts everyone with one’s own demons.

The second song is Kick Out The Jams, a MC5 cover. We wanted to put it on our first EP as it’s represent very well the general energy of our music.

The Mess is a song about messy feelings you get after you broke up a very bad love relationship. Sometimes, you’d rather not see things than to be destroyed for your entire life.

And finally, Canard Vengeur Masqué to end up…It is a song who talks about the missing of one of your parents after a divorce, the way you can feel forsaken in this situation as a child.

Funky Queen has a great cover to match its sounds. Who is behind the artwork and indeed the band’s excellent logo?

Pierre: It’s Sebastian Jerke, a German artist who worked with My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze to name a few. We really like his job. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork.

Apart from the likes of Front 242, dEUS, Soulwax, Enthroned, Triggerfinger, Steak Number Eight, and the excellent King Hiss, I cannot say we know too much about the Belgian rock scene. It is a healthy place right now, especially in its underground?

Well, it depends if it is in the French speaking part of Belgium or the Flemish part. We think Flanders gives more chance to underground music. Just by seeing bands you named, most of them are from Flanders. We are coming from Wallonia where the rock scene is a bit shy. Unfortunately, you barely see a rock band as highlight on a festival poster in Wallonia.

What is next in the immediate future of Black Mirrors?

Going on tour with Horizont and ’77 and record our full length album.

Once again our big thanks for sharing your time with us.

Check out our review of Funky Queen @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/black-mirrors-funky-queen/

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

King Hiss – Mastosaurus

Pic:  christophe brysse

Pic: christophe brysse

Severely hooked by their debut release, the epic 2013 Snakeskin EP and fully wrapped up in the creative confines of debut album Sadlands the following year, it is fair to say that anticipation for the second full-length from King Hiss was as eager as for anything else offered this year. Mastosaurus does not disappoint either, quickly confirming existing thoughts that this is a band not only going places but on the point of major recognition while revealing a new creative plateau to their rousing songwriting and sound.

Formed in 2011, with a line-up seeing guitarist Joost Noyelle, vocalist Jan Coudron, and the rhythmic might of bassist Dominiek ‘Visioene’ Hoet and drummer Jason Bernard linking up, Belgium hailing King Hiss quickly began making a strong impression with their striking mix of rapacious riffs and murderous rhythms. As shown by the previously mentioned releases, it was a proposal helping the band earn a powerful reputation and acclaiming attention, for their live presence and sound and records. Mastosaurus is bound for greater success and spotlights as King Hiss reveal a new imagination and craft in songwriting and its rousing results. A concept album portraying the epic adventures of a doomed antihero, it storms ears from its first breath with songs which are as fearsomely meaty as they are imaginatively infectious and beguiling. Throughout grooves entangle the body and infiltrate the psyche as rhythms and riffs devour; fiery melodic interplay a lava-esque hue to the anthemic roar on offer track after track.

The album opens up with Homeland, the creaking wood of a ship luring prowling riffs which in turn align to a sonic fuzziness around a heavy portentous bassline. It is an intriguing start, a muggy opening coming further alight as Coudron’s impressive delivery enters the quickly set affair. Heated grooves bring an Alice In Chains like essence to the dark tempest brewing within ears, a thick smog of emotion and intensity as catchy as it is threatening. Eventually it ignites in a volcanic assault that simply blisters and captivates before making way for the even more impressive attack of Tourniquet. Straight away intoxicating wiry grooves are gripping and seducing the imagination, their exploits matched by the great harmonies and growling bassline surrounding Coudron’s ever compelling presence. There is no escaping another AIC/Queens Of The Stone Age flavouring in a track which is almost bestial as it makes its infectious and formidable King Hiss distinct presence.

kinghiss_mastosaurus_artwork_RingMasterReviewThe outstanding Black Sea, Slow Death comes next, part shanty part stoner infused rock ‘n’ roll, it takes the contagious elements of its predecessors turning them virulent around a vocally driven, melodically suggestive drama. There is something familiar to the song, something which often occurs across Mastosaurus, and is soon realised as being the inventive juice of the band which previously made their earlier encounters stand out, just in a more enterprisingly imposing and striking form now.

The rhythmic thunder of Bernard brings We Live in Shadows to life and to glory next, his swinging tenacity matched in temptation by the sonic flames of Noyelle as Coudron roars with evocative expression while the album’s title track similarly sees the drummer unleash the most anthemic prowess as danger and tempestuous suggestion surrounds him. The track is soon a blaze of vocal and sonic fire as a stormy barrage of riffs and those rousing beats descend; the song just as venomous in its calmer trespasses through eager ears. Mastosaurus is pure creative drama which even if it does not have the body throwing itself around has the imagination and passions twisted around its little finger.

The initial acoustic coaxing of Stuck in a Hole leads into another swarm of melodic incitement, they in turn slipping into gentle seduction before their captivating kindling erupts into an incendiary roar; proceeding to smoulder and ignite again and again across the mighty track. The song is further confirmation of the new diversity and invention in the textures and ideation making up the album’s songs, that essence just as ripe within successor Egomaniac; two and a half minutes of ferocious breath-taking sinew driven rock ‘n’ roll with its own style of voracious contagiousness.

Both Renegade with its rich bluesy atmosphere and ridiculously persuasive chorus and the antagonistic nature of Killer Hand further ignite hungry ears and an already greedy appetite for Mastosaurus, the second of the two especially momentous in the soundscape of the perpetually riveting and galvanic release. As all tracks, each invites and receives bold participation before Requiem for the Lost brings the mighty encounter to a startling close. With a grouchy resonance to keys and an emotionally raw melodic touch which at times with no word of a lie reminds of Wings, the instrumental is a melodramatic and melancholic epilogue to the tale and triumph before it.

Mastosaurus is exceptional and increasingly so with every listen as it reveals fresh textures and layers to its turbulent, often rabid, and constantly explosive body. King Hiss is ready to challenge to the frontline of European metal/rock with an album many bands there will only wish they had in their arsenal.

Mastosaurus is out now digitally @ https://kinghiss.bandcamp.com/album/mastosaurus and physically @ http://bit.ly/1PhHbS1

http://www.king-hiss.com   http://www.facebook.com/kinghissband    http://www.twitter.com/kinghissband

 Pete RingMaster 08/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shotgun Rodeo – The New Standard

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You might suggest there are more unique proposals coming forth this year but there will be very few encounters which ignite and incite the passions as The New Standard. The six track roar from Norwegian metallers Shotgun Rodeo is as infectiously virulent as the common cold and as instinctively anthemic as any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can be.

Hailing from Trondheim, Shotgun Rodeo have been weaving riotous incidents from contagious strands of groove, thrash, and heavy metal  since 2008 which each subsequent release becoming more focused, potent, and as proven by their latest escapade irresistible. Previous EPs, Dead End Massacre (2012) and Guilty as Charged (2013) drew strong awareness of the quartet with debut album World Wide Genocide especially whipping up enthused attention. That time has seen their multi-flavoured sound become even more adventurous and diverse which The New Standard takes to a new compelling level.

From its first breath the EP sees predacious riffs and imagination enslaving grooves almost battling for attention, each earning their equal share alongside robustly eager rhythms and an overall contagiousness as opener Batshit Crazy leaps at and consumes ears. An enticing groove lined riff opens up the assault, it swiftly joined by heavy beats and broader wave of riffery amidst increasing spicy grooving. The great dirty tones of vocalist Nino Escopeta are soon there inciting involvement too as the song strolls with an aggressive almost arrogant swagger. The swinging rhythms of drummer Doomfang and bassist J.Buvarp trap attention virtually on their own, chaining an eager attention for the tapestry of grouchy riffs and sonic seduction from the strings of guitarist Don Shrediablo to further flirt with the listener within. With its chorus icing on the infectious cake, the track is the first of six which can make anyone lose all inhibitions in public view which is some feat when if like us you are someone hiding a voice which has rats fleeing towards a sinking ship.

shotgun-rodeo-the-new-standard-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start is taken up another gear with the outstanding temptings of Uncontainable. It too is a brawling stomp of cantankerous riffs and soliciting grooves lorded over by boisterous vocals while being driven by surging rhythms. Once more the band casts a chorus impossible to escape, the blend of heavy and feverish rock ‘n’ roll fuelling a kaleidoscope of spices from hard rock and classic metal to old school rock with plenty of other darker ravenous textures involved. Giving a seriously and gloriously anthemic battering to the senses, the track takes best track honours though it is persistently challenged throughout The New Standard and songs like its successor Around The Bend.

A heavier and darker proposal, the third track stalks ears while easily entangling them in more melody rich grooving, subsequently luring them into a chorus that is as raptorial as it is sublimely catchy. Shotgun Rodeo is unafraid to bring some death metal seeded shadows to their sound either, and it is that lurking hue which unites all the varying elements of the song perfectly, marked by the bestial growling of the bass in turn tempered by the broad enterprise of Shrediablo in a song which is a bit like King Hiss meeting Lamb Of God.

From one compelling moment to another as Drawing Blood From Stone takes over, it too a predatory proposition with twists into contagion loaded inciting of ears and involvement. Merging old school and modern hungry metal in one fiercely imposing captivation, the thrilling trespass of the imagination makes way for the EP’s title track. Once more grooves wrap around ears and appetite as rhythms hunt and attitude loaded vocals challenge, a combination which soon crafts its own individually surly engagement to further hook and ignite the passions.

The EP ends with the groove infected rock ‘n’ roll of Scatterbrain where the guitar spreads some southern goodness in its endeavours while rhythms provide a more fractious but no less alluring invitation. It is a rousing and exhilarating close to the EP, a slightly psychotic proposal all raw sweetness and deceitful animosity which just lights the fires all over again.

The New Standard might not be the most original thing you might come across but few bands involve familiar essences and textures in such a masterfully magnetic and seriously rousing fashion. As the release grips ears once again to say Shotgun Rodeo and The New Standard EP is a must is more than easy.

The New Standard EP is out now across most online stores.

http://www.shotgunrodeo.com/   http://www.facebook.com/ShotgunRodeo  http://www.twitter.com/shotgun_rodeo

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raptor King – Dinocracy

PROMO BAND RAPTOR KING _RingMaster Review

     Raptor King is a French band which going by their backstory, and tale within their new release, consists of Raptor V, a dino king from the cretaceous era which ended up in 2015 via a temporal gate, becoming trapped in the western suburbs of Paris within Boulogne-Billancourt. Determined to conquer this new world, he enlists two acolytes in guitarist Nightsmoke and drummer Don Coco. Removing the story from the facts we are left with little more to say on Raptor King except, and the most important thing to add, that they create one forcibly stirring and compelling sludge metal roar with plenty more to its voracious and thrilling incitement. There are raw expulsions from hardcore to thrash, heavy rock to well any kind of predatory sound you wish to think of involved in the hellacious Raptor King confrontation too and as proven by debut EP Dinocracy, it sets ears and emotions ablaze.

The band’s music is a bruising and rousing mix of familiarity and fresh creative emprise, all rolled into a sonic animus which chews on the senses whilst treating the passions to metal seeded punk ‘n’ roll anthems easy to get swiftly and fully involved with. The proof is right there with the EP’s opening track Da Fuck Where I Just Lend, and only becomes a stronger convincing and ferocious evidence with each passing encounter. The first track instantly entangles ears in a web of sonic enticement with a warped nature, the guitar wrapping the senses in spidery grooves as skittish as the rhythms around them. Raptor V just as swiftly reveals his thick range of delivery styles, his core tone gruff and ravenous but adept at taking it to rawer extremes or in spreading some unpolished but melodic enticing too. Across the song and indeed release, thoughts grab hints of the bands ranging from Motorhead to Face Down, White Zombie to King Hiss, Black Tusk to Pigs and more, but perpetually the tempest emerges as its own distinctive beast.

FRONT COVER RAPTOR KING DINOCRACY_RingMaster Review   The excellent start is straight away eclipsed by The Campaign, the track crawling over the listener from its breath, carrying an intimidation soon realised in vocals and the thumping roll of beats too. They are in turn aligned to a predacious intent in the bass and guitars, all continuing to stalk until building to a rabid onslaught led by again a great vocal variety acting as one. Track and band are unrelenting in their infesting and bullying of the senses, creating a virulent energy and infectiousness within a barbarous badgering of sound that simply stirs one’s own energy and appetite. There is a definite Killing Joke feel to the song also but again a colour in the rabid tapestry spawned by the band.

Jugular steps up next, launching from a sonic lancing of the senses with a rugged swagger and great entanglement of swinging beats and carnivorous bass predation. Once more that Jaz Coleman and co scent makes a potent and gripping additive in the mix of classic metal tenacity, heavily boned rock ‘n’ roll adventure, and the blackened invasiveness which courts some of the vocals and shadows of the outstanding encounter. Many of those flavours emerge again in the abrasive hostility of Acolytes (Nightsmoke – Don Coco), traits woven perfectly into the ridiculously captivating and enslaving primal stomp. Again you can argue that many aspects of the track are recognisable textures and temptations but with grooves a salacious web as both Nightsmoke and Coco weave a trap of addiction stoking rhythms and Raptor V’s at times reptilian vocals as magnetic as his growling prowess, the track as the EP, provides easily one of most enjoyable and invigorating riots this year.

Dinocracy is brought to a close by In Your Face, a storm of heavy metal and heftily imposing rock ‘n’ roll built on a frame of bone shuddering beats and grumpy antagonism. It is the least impacting song on the EP but due to the carnal and imaginative brilliance of its companions more than anything it might lack. Fair to say with another great blend of vocals, cutting rhythms, and instinctively enslaving grooves, all wrapped in the constant unpredictability that Raptor King work with, the song only excites, impresses, and grows more controlling over time.

A smile is never far from the face across Dinocracy, the lyrical fun as ripe as the invention and resourcefulness of their mighty sound. As suggested it might not be your choice of original release of 2015 but as the most thrilling and creatively anthemic it is in with a mighty shout.

The Dinocracy EP is available now via http://raptorking.bigcartel.com/product/dinocracy-ep

http://www.raptorkingrocks.com/   https://www.facebook.com/raptorkingrocks   https://twitter.com/raptorkingrocks

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Carneia – All Tongues Of Babel

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With a snarl to every breath and an intensive predation to every note, All Tongues Of Babel is a sonic carnivore of the most ridiculously compelling kind. The second full-length from Belgian metallers Carneia, the album is a commanding, bordering on brutal, tempest of progressive rock adventure and metal fury reaping the essences of numerous other styles and flavours to forge a sound which prowls and subjugates the senses and imagination. It is a masterful and towering confrontation from a band which you suspect now stands on the lip of truly major things.

The new album is the successor to 2008 debut White Coma Light, the Offerandum Records released album a focus of widespread acclaim from fans and media alike which though it is our introduction to the band you can only expect it to build upon and take to new heights the reception for its impressive offering. Between albums the band has equally impressed live, sharing stages with the likes of Amenra, Cloon, Maudlin, Sardonis, Bulls on Parade, and Black Heart Rebellion, before settling down to create their new formidable juggernaut of aural exploration. Now consisting of guitarists Thomas Combes and Jille Vandromme (also of No more Faith), bassist Olivier Leerg, vocalist Jan Coudron (King Hiss, ex-Fenndango), and drummer Tom Vansteenkiste (Vermilion, No More Faith), the drums for the album though provided by Terence Gevaert, the band is poised to be on the end of some extensive and deserving attention, a just reward for an outstanding album.

All Tongues of Babel opens on an instant badgering of the ear as La Mala Hora approaches the listener by heavyweights riffs, a3333242331_2thick malevolent intensity, and a crisp rhythmic provocation which intimidates and seduces from its first breath. That lure only increases as a guitar taunts the ears with jagged cuts of sonic endeavour, its lone moment metallic bait ensuring the listener is heading into the predatory stalking of thoughts as Coudron opens up the narrative and his impressive pipes. The frontman has already shown his extensive strengths through the King Hiss EP Snakeskin earlier this year, and upon All Tongues Of Babel he only stretches his boundaries and potency to greater depths and heights. This track has a lot of common elements to the more rock based King Hiss but equally stands alone from most with its irresistible and anthemic blend of hard and grunge rock with groove and heavy metal, a progressive invention washing the slab of imagination to keep intrigue and surprises a torrential enticement. It is a stunning starter which continues to wrong foot and thrill across its eight minutes of evolving and bruising yet tender adventure.

The following Jerk is equally as contagious, another anthem bred storm of ingenuity sculpted by savage riffs and dramatic rhythms whilst again Coudron brings his grizzled and magnetic tones to bear with a squalling breath and unbridled passion, the man one of the very best vocalists in metal one would suggest right now. The track itself at times lurches between intent, sometimes lumbering with an oppressive weight and in other moments offering a more direct and antagonistic spite, but both sprung from the jaws of a predator which the song surely is.

Both The Box and The Alchemist ignite new waves of hunger for the album with their individual designs, the first a smouldering slowly dawning fire of a song, the throaty grinding prowl of the bass matched by the menacing heavy riffing which enslaves the senses for the sonic spirals of melodic imagination to sear their imprint across the sky of the song. Lifting its feet to a slightly more aggressive gait without losing the hypnotic repetitive bait of that bass persistence and similarly niggling riffing, the song winds its way deeper into thoughts and the passions with a breath-taking weave of sonic causticity and primal rock infection. Its successor is a raw bruising of a provocation, certainly vocally initially, whilst guitars and bass once more craft slavery out of incisive and underplayed riffing to which there is no escape. There is simplicity to many elements of the Carneia sound which seamlessly merges with their technical and inventive experimentation, both complimenting and driving the other side on, this track the perfect example; and especially appealing through that thoroughly irresistible bass sound.

Naked steers through stronger rock spawned waters, the emotive heart and pressure of the track not too far from the expressive passion of a Stone Temple Pilots or Gruntruck, though there is no lacking of that metallic rapaciousness either, the combination scintillating across its almost nine minutes of invention and expert temptation before making way for the brilliant Walk. An artillery of rhythms and riffs rifle through the ears and barrack the senses from start to finish here, again repetition a lethally addictive weapon in the mouthwatering premeditated and skilfully laid fury. It is hard to pick a best song on the album, all powder kegs of absorbing intrusive, but this certainly stakes a major claim but then so does the following title track and the closing Indifferent, as indeed all songs to be honest. The first of the two takes its time to ignite, the track seemingly sizing up its victim before launching an intensive yet respectful incendiary cloud of fiery rhythmic dynamics with matching riffs, both playing off each other organically as the song casts its spellbinding and intense exploration. Indifferent makes a creatively robust and emboldened finish to the release, though it is followed after a few breaths by a near on fifteen minute evolving ambient soundscape which just did not work or connect with thoughts.

Carneia is a band all should be veering rapidly over to for an investigation which will only reward, and though arguably a few of the tracks are overlong on All Tongues Of Babel, it is without doubt one of the year’s very best offerings.

https://www.facebook.com/carneiaband

9.5/10

RingMaster 05/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King Hiss: Snakeskin

King Hiss

With nostrils flaring and muscles flexing to their limits Snakeskin, the debut album from Belgium rockers King Hiss, is a mountainous terrain of thunderous rhythms, voracious riffs, and exhausting energy.  It is  a powerhouse of a release which draws the potent essences of melodic metal, hard rock, and stoner rock, not forgetting at times a caustic breath of hardcore, into a confrontation which leaves the senses ignited and passions soaring. Consisting of seven tracks feeding off  inspirations from the likes of Red Fang, Black Tusk, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, and Clutch, Snakeskin is a powerhouse of an album, one injecting new blood and predatory strength into rock music.

As soon as it emerges from a sonic mist and finds its feet, the opening title track launches into a tirade of contagious riffing and a4123523464_2rhythmic barracking, a tight beckoning groove winding the passions around its call within moments of its appearance. The vocals of Jan Coudron begin their impressive narrative next, his voice having an excellent grizzled tone and a melodic power which sends every syllable to its target with purpose and appeal. It is an instantly enthralling encounter rising to greater temptation with the ridiculously catchy chorus and further seductive grooves amidst a tempest of rhythmic provocation from drummer Jason Bernard and bassist Dominiek Hoet. Such its immense presence there is a slight suspicion the rest of the alum will struggle to match its heights but its successor soon dispels any doubts.

    Into The Mountains opens with a carnivorous bass groan and rolling drums, their jabbing persistence hypnotic and persuasive alongside the predatory lines of Hoet. It is another irresistible start taken to greater heights when guitarist Josh Fury unleashes sizzling melodic flames and air carving craft. It is an absorbing blaze soon taking on an intensity and raw almost muggy encroachment which sears flesh and soars across the senses raining down sonic adventure alongside further vocals persuasion. The track easily matches the opener and though across the chorus there is something familiar, though impossible to pin down, it is another refreshing and impacting treat, especially the blues lined solo leading to a riotous climax.

Both D&F and Endorphine swagger and stroll through the ear to equally impressive effect, the southern rock whispers in the sound heated and sinewy, especially in the towering hard rock embrace of the first of this pair whilst the second reveals sturdier textures and dramatic fires within its Mastodon meets Kyuss like invention. Again grooves dangle pure irresistible temptation from their lures whilst vocally the group harmonies find an emotive heart not lacking in previous songs but given a clearer canvas to lay out their rich feelings here. Though both tracks just miss grabbing the plateau set by their predecessors they still capture the imagination and compel the passions to greedily accept them.

    Rollergirl though is not happy to accept second best and from her opening crescendos of fire bred sonics and tsunami tall rhythms rampages with high octane energy and virulently compelling infection loaded riffs and hungry drum enticement, the bass groaning with primal rabidity whilst acidic melodic fascination from the guitar scorches ear and beyond with skill and imagination. It is another bruising triumph which colours the passions until full but still lustfully wanting more.

The final pair of tracks ensures there is not one ounce of dissatisfaction or unfulfilled appetite, The Greater Good an ear burning, senses tearing juggernaut of hard rock and classic metal spicery wrapped in the passionate muscle bound vitality that is King Hiss whilst the closing Word Made Flesh, from its opening bass devouring of the ear, is a scintillating rapacious consumption from a delicious and insatiable rhythmic ravaging and sonic scalding. Like Crowbar meets The Sword it is an epic and towering conclusion to a staggering album.

Whether Snakeskin offers anything new can be debated but you know when something sounds this good and raises passions and energy to such heights, who really cares. King Hiss is a force of the future, hell they have already made a deep branding am mark with this, one of the albums of the year.

http://www.king-hiss.com/

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

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