Martyr Art – FearFaith Machines

Self-Dubbed as digital metal, the Martyr Art sound is a voracious mix of varied metal and industrial/electronic textures with more besides from an artist which embraces technology as eagerly as the cauldron of flavours woven into his bold recipe of enterprise. FearFaith Machines is the new and fifth album from the band, a release which for fans and newcomers can only make for one compelling adventure.

Martyr Art is the one man project of Joe Gagliardi III, an Orange County musician whose skills on the guitar are as captivating as the songwriting, vocal prowess, and imagination which equally escape his invention. The band is truly a solo project with Gagliardi playing every instrument before recording, mixing and mastering every second of adventure making up FearFaith Machines. Since emerging in 2004, Martyr Art has shared stages with the likes of Corey Glover, Doyle, KMFDM, Drowning Pool, Saul Williams, Full Devil Jacket, Brick By Brick, Dead Empires, and Moon Tooth whilst releasing a host of well-received singles and EPs as well as those previous four full-lengths. Up to this point Martyr Art had evaded our radar but FearFaith Machines has corrected that and will for a whole new tide of fans such its striking offerings.

The album starts with Motion, metallic electronic pulses and temptations luring ears before raw steely smog brings a rousing scourge of groove and alternative metal awash with industrial espionage. Quickly Gagliardi shows his vocal diversity as throat scarred and clean tones intermingle with the former heading the virulent contagion. Equally his craft on the guitar further ignites the tempest, shredding and picking multi-cultural sonic temptations.

The following cyclone of The Pleasure of Pain is just as invasively magnetic, its industrial inclinations steering the listener towards the waiting metal bred uproar. The cycle repeats with even greater heat and intensity, vocals again a great blend of attack and enterprise matching the adventurous emprise of sound. Like a maelstrom of Rabbit Junk, Squidhead, and Cynical Existence, the track is a captivating fury more than matched by next up Who Are You. The third song scowls as it plunders the senses, raging with punk dissonance as again a web of styles and flavours unite with voracity and imagination on the way to forging another major highlight within the release.

Across the sinister almost psychotic Just and the superb Constrict, the album simply expands its landscape of sound and captivation, the second of the two almost primal in its breath yet precise in its layers of boldly varied texture and spicing while their successor, Thundering, is a dark seduction with hues of bands like Type O Negative and Sisters Of Mercy to its irresistible gothic rock/post punk serenade.

Final track is Binary Slavery, a carnivorous slice of industrial metal gnawing at the senses yet soothing the wounds with melodic caresses though they too come with an edge of trespass to their infectious exploits. It is a rousing end to the album highlighting the craft, imagination, and bold fusions making up the heart of FearFaith Machines.

Gagliardi creates something that is nothing less than unique from the familiar styles and sounds he weaves with, indisputable evidence coming with one of the most fascinatingly individual and simply enjoyable encounters this year.

FearFaith Machines is out now; available @ https://martyrart.bandcamp.com/album/fearfaith-machines

http://martyrart.com/   https://www.facebook.com/martyrartofficial

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spookshow Inc. – Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II

 

Four years after Part I unleashed its “furiously agitated entrapment of industrial, metal, and electro rock”, a rousing accompaniment to an impending apocalypse, Part II of Visions Of The Blinded World is here to not only continue the arcane adventure but take it into a whole new level of dark deeds and senses trespassing contagion. The project is from Norwegian trio Spookshow Inc., a band which has been curiously ignored by bigger attention so far, a blind eye which if continuing after the full release of Visions Of The Blinded World will be criminal.

The beginning of Spookshow Inc. goes all the way back to 2003 when Lucky Spook (guitar, programming, songwriting, producer) and Soltex (vocals) came together and began creating and nurturing their individual fusion of industrial and heavy metal with electro rock. As proven by the 2014 released Visions Of The Blinded World pt I, there are plenty of other rich flavours to the band’s asylum of sound, Middle Eastern hues alone an inescapably alluring ingredient. With the band’s line-up completed by bassist/keyboardist Sharaz who featured on the final few songs recorded for its predecessor, the second part of Visions Of The Blinded World is an even richer affair of sound and styles, a bolder adventure in an already eager collusion of essences sure to appeal to any appetites for the likes of Pink Floyd, Prodigy, Rob Zombie, KMFDM, NIN, and Pitchshifter.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II has been released as a complete package and should be listened as one to grasp its full dark majesty though each part firmly captivates alone too. It makes for a journey which leaves ears, body and imagination as aroused as they are disturbed, as inspired and animated as they are haunted. As we have covered part I previously, which you can read here, we will explore the second part of the creative emprise, a canter through the haunting shadows and ravenous dissonance of a dystopian landscape lost in extinction luring bedlam. Note though that the first ‘side’ of the album contains two brand new tracks in the shapes of the Seven Trumpets, a track sparked by the biblical legend of the same name but an echo of a split personality, and the horror movie like Lizard Eyes.

Pt II opens up with Virtual Insanity, electronic sparkling the gateway to an infernal surge of electro rock predation as ravenously hungry as it is virulently catchy. Even so, its instinctive urgency has an underlying premeditation of devious intent, melodies and calmer but darker twists adding to the track’s inescapable invasion. Something akin to Rabbit Junk meets Fear Factory, the track instantly has the project’s second part off to a flyer but also connects seamlessly to the nature and presence of the first part of Visions Of The Blinded World.

Already breathless from the superb thickly rousing start, the band show no mercy as Devil’s Triangle surges in with similarly uproarious energy and intent, Spook’s guitar gnawing away at ears as beats swipe at the senses,  Soltex’s vocals in turn matching their boisterous appetites with eagerness and attitude. Again momentary detours bring darker trespass rather than a chance to take a breath, it all adding up to another galvanic assault.

Next up Mindgame does bring calm, its melodic caresses courted by demonic tones of voice and intimation, a sonic Garden of Eden oasis in some ways. Featuring XRC, the track smoulders with toxic beauty; those Eastern hues enticing with siren-esque seduction as darkness await new arrivals. Enthralling and haunting in its distraction, the song slips away for the advancing savage addiction and voracious heavy swing of Little Pill. Eating away at thoughts and senses from its initial original cinematic drama to its esurient stalking, evil soaking every note and castigating syllable, the track with Subliminal Mentality guesting equally got under the skin and nagged away thereon in.

Blackbird From Karachi with D.Tschirner involved is a deceptive creature; evolving from its initial serenade into another predatory confrontation courting chaos and corrosion with almost pernicious incitement, every moment unpredictable and disturbing before the outstanding Prison Planet casts its specific trap. A galactic tango which had the body bouncing and imagination conjuring as intrigue and espionage fuel every contagious touch, it in turn departs to encourage the emotionally harmful but physically infectious dance of Falling Down Pt. I. All three tracks simply hit the spot, repetition occurring across the whole of the album as proven yet again by the dark carnival of Cold Frantic Boy, this another track mixing flirtation and catchy harassment with cinematic intimation as cold vocals bring their own toxic fascination pretty meaning submission to its dark glamour was inevitable.

Across the likes of Match Of The Century / A. Crowley Vs. A. Einstein with its increasingly volatile and ominous disquiet around a hypothetical chess game between the two protagonists and Kissing In Graveyards featuring Underworld, another slice of aural insidiousness, the album continued taking ears and pleasure into new dark corners, the release magnetically broadening its maze of sound and creative villainy before stretching it again with the glorious Midnight Tango, a mesmeric psych surf piece with a caress of The Doors and Calling All Astronauts to its dark rock ‘n’ roll.

The final pair of Follow Me, a carnal trespass of pestilence-laden temptation, and Battle For Babylon with R. Carey (an English- New Zealand based artist better known as Fiery Jack (The Teapot Goblins)) a guest in its stark yet rousing smouldering epilogue, provide a compelling conclusion to the relentlessly enthralling release. In some ways they lack the rousing bait of their predecessors but in just as many are cast in mutually potent lures of dark emotive suggestion.

As suggested the biggest rewards come from listening to Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II as one but certainly not essential as proven by the individual galvanic prowess of each track. Spookshow Inc. has created a landscape bred in the world’s turbulence and destruction; Part I made us want to know more, the stunning Part II sparked the desire to be lost in its impeding tempest with the band’s sounds for company.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II is available now @ https://spookshowinc.bandcamp.com/album/spookshow-inc-visions-of-the-blinded-world-pt-i-ii

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Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lords Of Acid – Pretty In Kink

We cannot say that techno and acid house are genres we have an instinctive appetite for here but we certainly have a hunger for electro adventure with plenty of confrontation; something you certainly and persistently get with Lords Of Acid. Their new album Pretty In Kink is a riot of electronic eclecticism, twelve tracks infesting body and imagination with creative deviancy and virulent contagion and a collection which salaciously arouse the senses.

Lords Of Acid is the brainchild of Belgian musician Praga Khan, an artist releasing his first single back in 1988. The project apparently evolved from his “extensive experimentation with drugs, Crowley-ian sex magic, and esoteric paths of self-deprivation and mutilation known only to himself”, the band the vehicle for him to “further encapsulate the seductive messages and raw sex of his ever-evolving musical vision.” The new album sees Khan link up again with long-time collaborator Erhan Kurkun and the entrance of new vocalist Marieke Bresseleers.

Praga Khan

Pretty In Kink opens with Break Me, the track emerging from celestial mists with a dulled but imposing throb around which electronics flirt. The immediately striking voice of Bresseleers soon rises from its midst, her vocals openly powerful but equally devilish in their character and delivery. The track continues to pulsate and almost menacingly entice, its electronic simmer simultaneous threat and captivation with infection spilling from every note and syllable.

The compelling start continues with Ma Fille De Joie, it too laden with appealing shadows and electro temptation this time from an industrial seeding. There is a touch of Kraftwerk to the song; its seductive prowl almost predacious at times but persistently darkly flirtatious before Sex Cam Girl opens its creative legs for ears to devour its dark electro juices. With swaying grooves and raw melodic swerves to its gait, the track entices as it fingers the senses and like its predecessors left intrigue and hips consumed with eagerness.

The following EBM spiced trip hop lined Flow Juice took things and attention up another level, the track electro addiction in the making. Bresseleers is the perfect tease amongst the similarly tempting antics of the synths and beats, all getting under the skin with viral ease. As potent a start to the release that the first trio of songs make, the album really came alive for us at this point, next up Like Pablo Escobar escalating the new gear in persuasion. Pure drama from its initial shimmer and bass bred hook, the track rises up into a rousing slice of electro rock again one as imposing as it is manipulatively catchy with guitars and synths colluding in their cinematic theatre.

Neither Before the Night is Over or Androgyny leapt on the passions as instantly as those around them yet with their respective melodic Heaven 17-esque smoulder with underlying volatility and sinister synth pop seduction, each blossomed in captivation by the play as too did Goldfinger, a track borrowing from the classic Bond theme but using the essence to wrap its own techno espionage.

They were soon firmly eclipsed though by the electro punk of What the Fuck! a track with a great Senser-esque feel to its vocal attitude and electronic belligerence. It is superb; a wonderful sonic irritant always commanding an eager scratch while So Goddamn Good straight after is a song which seduces as it croons. Pop and hip hop spawned vocals unite across the track, melodic caresses and sonic blistering teasing together alongside as again Lords Of Acid simply steal attention.

My Demons Are Inside from an underwhelming start for personal tastes was another which eventually wormed into the psyche, its KMFDM like instincts and breeding nagging its way into the passions though it is soon over shadowed by the album’s best track for us. Closing up the release, We Are The Freaks was quite simply irresistible from its first breath. Drama oozes every pore as industrial confrontation rises to its deviant feet to subsequently embrace a minatory Latino taunting. It is a glorious end to an album which not for the first time sees Lords Of Acid enjoyably tainting the music scene with their rivetingly unique electronic disease.

Pretty In Kink is out now via Metropolis Records; available @ https://lordsofacidofficial.bandcamp.com/album/pretty-in-kink

http://www.lordsofacid.com   https://www.facebook.com/lordsofacid/    https://twitter.com/RealLordsOfAcid

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pig – Prey & Obey

If there is a more potent manipulator of body, imagination, and spirit than Raymond Watts it is hard to think of them especially as the latest <PÎG> EP is infesting the psyche with virulent ease. The mastermind behind <PÎG> and a founding member of KMFDM, Watts has infested the senses and passions with frequent regularity since the eighties whether in his projects or in collusion with numerous others, a long list we will leave you to explore, the Prey & Obey EP now adding to that tide of irresistible industrial rock bred temptations and trespasses.

Consisting of three new psyche trespassing incitements with drama fuelled remixes of each backing them up, Prey & Obey embeds itself in ears and appetite straight away with its title track. Guitars instantly rub themselves upon the senses, their raw intensive strokes almost flirtatious as thicker brooding textures come with rhythms and vocals. With Marc Heal and Phil Barry of Cubanate in league with Watts, the track prowls and preys on the senses, Watts like a dark conjuror as hooks and grooves crowd and litter washes of industrial toxicity. It is a glorious web of intrigue and danger, subservience coaxed and demanded by the track’s rampant rhythmic muscle as well as its virulent sonic and electronic dexterity.

The robustly stirring encounter is followed by The Revelation, an even more imposingly catchy enticement body and vocal chords alone fall before in swift time. Co-written with Ben Christo, long-serving guitarist with The Sisters of Mercy, the track roams with a predacious intent, its creative indoctrination built on waves of persistence honed into thought provoking, body twisting primal seduction. With an additional Ministry-esque nagging around glimpses of cinematic theatre, the song is pure devil spawn scheming, Watts the insidious engineer.

The Cult of Chaos ventures across a calmer landscape of persuasion though the song written with former Combichrist member Z.Marr shares its own individual and challenging shadows. Their dark edges court the mellower presence of vocals and melodic suggestion, the song’s infection carrying eighties industrial flavourings merging with harsher textures reflecting the world today. Transfixing in its throbbing repetition, magnetic in its harmonic and melodic tapestry, the track beguiles and intrudes with equal ingenuity; addiction the guaranteed response.

Completing the release is firstly a psychotic remix of the track Prey & Obey by Leaether Strip, the track given a make-over resembling the bastard result of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers meeting Celldweller. Its inescapable stomp is followed by the Z.Marr Revelectrix Mix of The Revelation; a version which simultaneously feel heroic and serial killer like in its tone and physical intent.

Completed by the En Esch Remix of the opener, a subdued but enticing take, the Prey & Obey EP is pure industrial corruption bred with the finest creative toxins. Each of its three tracks is a rabidly tempting and resonating anthem backed by highly evocative alternative aspects; what more would you want?

Prey & Obey is out now through Metropolis Records @ https://metropolisrecords.bandcamp.com/album/prey-obey

https://pigindustries.com/    https://www.facebook.com/pigindustries/    https://twitter.com/raymondwatts

Pete RingMaster 18/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sinnergod – Self Titled

sinnergod-online-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

For quite a while now and across a handful of releases, British alternative/gothic rockers Sinnergod has suggested they are in line to seize the British rock scene with their dramatic and ever growing sound. With their new self-titled offering the Manchester hailing outfit has come to that day, their second album a compelling and increasingly irresistible theatre of dark rock and metal announcing the band ready to help lead British rock.

Formed by twin brothers Mark and Chris Hampson in 2007, Sinnergod quickly grabbed attention and plaudits. Within months of hitting their stride live, the quintet earned a slot playing Bloodstock Open Air Festival. A trio of EPs followed, Two Thousand and Never in 2009, A World in Grey three years later with Behind Every Corner uncaged the following year. Each provided an ear and imagination pleasing proposal, each showing fresh evolution and adventure in the band’s sound leading up to the well-received and impressive debut album Seven Deadly Sinphonies in 2014, a release featuring special guests Bill Moseley (Devil’s Rejects, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Tobias Keast (Esoterica). Live too, the band has continued to establish themselves as one of Britain’s finest propositions, sharing stages with the likes of Misfits, Deathstars, Orgy, KMFDM, Sarah Jezebel Deva, Voodoo Six, and Blaze Bayley along the way.

This has now all been eclipsed by their self-titled offering. The new album is a monster of an adventure; a collection of songs which roar and resonate in ears and imagination. Sinnergod draw on the catchiest of eighties hooks and electronic seducing to light the darkest portrayals of emotion amidst an enjoyably invasive sound. It is music which at first appears familiar in some way but needs mere moments to reveal its own distinct and magnetic character.

It opens up with Dead Of The Night, its intro a shadowy and suggestive symphony drawing the listener into the subsequent and swiftly addictive mix of choppy riffs and melodic reflection. As the swiping beats of Chris Hampson land the guitars of Mark Hampson and Sam Saint collude with the keys of Paul Swindells to cast a transfixing weave of emotive sound. Mark’s impressive vocals soon share their heart; lying melancholically upon the blossoming landscape of enterprise as a dark edge is provided by James Dunn’s bass, its shadows in turn prowling the infectiousness of the track’s rousing chorus.

The impressive start is quickly outshone by Burn. The track is glorious, slipping in on the mist of keys as slightly deranged vocals tempt. Once in full heavy motion, riffs and rhythms march masterfully across the senses, vocals and steely melodies combining to further trap the listener. The song is a creative predator, challenging and seducing with every imaginative stride growing into something akin to Nine Inch Nails meets Poets Of The Fall but unique in its own skin.

As the last track is different to the first, The Endless with its symphonic hues offers yet another shade of adventure to the album. As unapologetically catchy as it is muscularly voracious, the song ebbs and flows like a sonic storm, moments of relative emotion packed calm instantly hit by surges of tempestuous energy and sound for another plateau of craft and enjoyment within the release, a success matched by the electronic stomp of I Never Had a Gun. Creating a tapestry of essences found in the likes of Abandon All Ships, Fear Factory, and Silent Descent, the track simmers and bubbles over as it strides relentlessly through ears and into the psyche before making way for the crystalline opening of 1000 Sins. Pretty soon though, its sinew swung rhythms and pulsating theatre of sounds swamps ears; eighties electronic flavouring hinting at bands such as Depeche Mode and Gene Loves Jezebel in tandem with Sinnergod’s own creative might. Addictive and fiercely persuasive, the listener will find themselves quickly emotionally and physically involved, certainly going by the effect song and album had on the office here.

sinnergod_album_cover_artwork-jpg_RingMasterReview There is also an element of early synthpop fuelled Ministry to the track, before Al Jourgensen dived head first into metal, and a flavouring which soaks the next up serenade of The Watched. Another which sonically simmers but with a liveliness which infects hips and feet, the song is a hug of melodic and harmonic expression and beauty.

Across the gothic electronic and keys shaped dance of Joshua’s Day and the engrossing darklight of Supernatural, a seducing with the open scent of Dave Gahan and co to it, band and album simply flow over the senses, like poetic fog laying heavy but welcomingly before We’ve Been Expecting You rises from a single evocative melody with gothic and orchestral majesty to stand god like over ears while casting its magnanimous musings. As with many songs, it feels like something you may already know yet every note and twist is a new and fresh exploration to album and the dark rock world Sinnergod are poised to take in their creative palms.

The thickly satisfying Johnny Sits Perfectly Still is arguably the least adventurous track upon the album yet needs little time to have ears and participation secured before We Don’t Have Anything looms from portentous shadows and erupts into a Korn/Machine Head spiced foray into ears and passions. The song epitomises the Sinnergod sound; meaty and dark, heavy and melodically aflame with an unrelenting intensity and energy to tempt and lift the spirit. It is an explosive and thrilling end to the album, though the minute long desolate and forlorn soundscape of instrumental XII actually brings the album to a close but it is its predecessor which leaves the last lingering imprint.

Sinnergod is a band on the march and heading to the frontline of British rock/metal, though to be honest their new album suggests they are already there.

The self-titled Sinnergod album is out now through all platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/sinnergod/  http://www.sinnergod.com/  https://twitter.com/sinnergodUK

Pete RingMaster 15/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The silent roar of darkness; talking Evocation with Skin Drone

SD_RingMasterReview

Within the metal underground, it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album from US band Skin Drone has been increasingly eager in many quarters. The web based project is the creative union of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Erik Martin of Critical Dismemberment and multi-instrumentalist/producer Otto Kinzel from Chemical Distance and the founder of Bluntface Records. Next month sees the release of debut album Evocation; a proposition offering emotionally and lyrically dark tales as raw and caustic as they are seductive and elegantly evocative. The album pulls the listener into ravenous experimental landscapes of imposing shadows and emotional turmoil shaped by a fusion of extreme, industrial, and avant-garde metal with provocative ambiences, to simplify it all. It is powerful and invigorating, and the source of a hunger to dig deeper into its heart. So with big thanks to Erik and Otto, that is what we have done as we explore the world of Skin Drone…

Hi Guys and thank you for sharing your time with us.

Can you first tell us how you both met?

Erik: We met through Operation: Underground [a compilation album on Blutface Records]. Critical Dismemberment was on that release and Otto mixed/mastered the song for us. From there, we became good friends throughout the months and when Otto approached me about Skin Drone, there was no way to say no.

Otto: After Operation: Underground, which my label Bluntface Records released, I started working with Critical Dismemberment much more and they eventually joined the label. So by that point I had already been talking with both Erik and Chase Fincher (who did all the mixing & mastering on Evocation) for some time. I was always impressed by both of them and we all became really good friends. Erik and I have a lot in common so I think we naturally connected on a musical and personal level. When I asked Erik if he’d be able to help me out with vocals on some songs he jumped at the chance. That first song was what ended up becoming Witching Hour, and Erik hit a home run with it! I was so blown away by what he wrote and performed that I knew we had to pursue this more. Long story short, here we are. And it’s funny because even though Chase isn’t a “member” per say of Skin Drone, he played a huge role in the final product because he’s the one that brought the tracks to life when he mixed the album.

As you have already touched on, you are both heavily involved in other projects, solo and with others, and Otto you with running Bluntface Records too; so when did the seeds to the actual project of Skin Drone first arise?

Otto

Otto

Otto: I had been trying to get a variation of Skin Drone off the ground for probably a year or so prior to hooking up with Erik. And I had basically no luck whatsoever. So when I started working with Critical Dismemberment, and subsequently got to know Erik and Chase better I knew that there was special talent there. As I mentioned, Witching Hour was the first song we collaborated on together. I had a rough demo with just guitar and drums recorded when I sent it to Erik to try his hand at it. I never had a serious vocalist attached to this project and the whole thing was basically dormant in my efforts to get it off the ground. Erik came back with a very impressive performance and lyrics, and I was blown away. I specifically remember thinking “damn, if we can make this work, even with 1,000 miles between us, we might be onto something really special”. And the momentum kept building with each song afterwards as both of us got more comfortable working & writing with each other. The chemistry was very natural; I don’t remember ever really having to “force” anything in the creative process.

What was the initial spark and indeed the moment where you knew it was going to work?

Erik: For me it was hearing the final mix of Witching Hour when we first started. It just felt right and when we really started to venture out into the experimental with Shepherd Of The Damned, we ran with it and embraced the sound we were crafting, that for me cemented that we were a force to be reckoned with.

Otto: Shepherd of the Damned was the first song we did where there were multiple changes in the timing, and in the overall feeling of the song. The levels of dynamics in that were tricky to start but once we had the final version, I think we both knew we had stepped our game up a notch.

Did you set out with a particular intent and direction for Skin Drone or let things organically arise?

Otto: Everything that happened was organic. Sure, we tried to push in a particular direction. At first I think we just wanted to pursue the technical death metal type of sound. But funny enough, the more we “tried” to push for one specific style, the more things spun out of control and took on a life of their own. It was fairly early on that we realized that we needed to just “run with it” so to speak, and however the songs came out is how they came out. It’s hard to explain because so much of it was done by “feel”; but everything was organic.

As you mentioned you live hundreds of miles apart and more. So I am assuming a physical coming together for the project is near to impossible, so how does the writing and creating process work between you online?

Erik: Usually it starts off with a demo that we toss back and forth a few times until we have something that we feel out did what we accomplished with the last song. Some take longer than others but for the most part it is no different than writing in the same room; the only difference being that when we are communicating our ideas to each other, we have to be very clear as to what we are trying to achieve sonically. There is always the potential if we are having an off day that it could derail the entire song, but we always catch ourselves before that happens.

Is this a time consuming process in the creation of songs and do you work on them one at a time or work away on numerous tracks at the same time?

Otto: I’d say no more or less of a time consuming process that what a “regular” band goes through. Some songs naturally take longer than others to complete but as a whole we work at a very efficient pace. That’s because both Erik and I each do a lot of work on our own time to develop our parts and work thing out, before presenting them to the other person. And yes we’ll typically have a few songs continuously in the works. For me it helps because if I’m stuck on a certain song or just not having any luck then I can go work on something else, and still make progress without holding the whole project up.

Erik_RingMasterReview

Erik

You have just released your striking and enjoyably often disturbing debut album, Evocation. How long has it been in the making?

Erik: If memory serves me correctly, we wrote the first song in autumn of 2014 and finished the last one in the beginning of summer in 2015. It was then gone back over and mixed/mastered in the winter of 2015. We have the luxury of being able to take our time and not have to a label or pay for studio time, I feel like that lack of pressure really shows in the music.

Is it a project which has had to grow around other commitments or were you able to create it in a period of no other musical distractions?

Erik: For me, I had just finished my parts on the Critical D debut, so for 99% of this, I was musically not distracted.

Otto: I had no distractions musically. I always try to make sure I can give 100% focus and energy to the material when I’m in writing /recording mode.

Can you give some idea to its themes?

Erik: The themes are mostly centred in occultism, rituals, witchcraft, paganism and even some calling out thieves in organized religion. There are also certain personal elements hidden in plain sight, but we leave those to the listener to decide what is fiction and what is real life. It adds a level of mysticism that we build upon musically.

I was going to ask about that; as much as it trespasses the senses and psyche, there are just as evocative moments of melancholic beauty and intimate psychosis to songs. So to push for more insight, how much of their inspiration and exploration comes from the emotionally personal side and experiences of you two, lyrically and musically?

Erik: Lyrically during the writing process I was in a very dark place. Dealing with vices and very confused on what life even meant; that included the people in it. You could liken it to just doing what I had to do in order to keep breathing. All that translated to some of the darkest and angriest lyrics I had ever written. The best example of this is Salvation. That song is about a spirit that drives his killer insane and ultimately kills him and makes it all look like a ritualistic suicide. If you really pay attention to the lyrics, you start to see a very personal story of being consumed by something and the only way out is death it seems.  There are examples of this spread out through the entire album; it is all just up to everyone’s individual interpretation of the lyrics.

For us Evocation is the darkest most invasive nightmare, yet equally at times, a shadowed but understanding emotional affair between listener and song. How much was this deliberately sculpted and again how much an organic evolution?

Otto: From my perspective, watching how Erik was so methodical; in his approach to writing the lyrics and developing the themes, I would say it was deliberate. He did a wonderful job orchestrating how it all went together, like an architect. For the music and the basic song structures, all of that was organic and natural. But when it came time to add the lyrics and really focus in on shifting the songs into their “final” state, Erik was the guy commanding the ship. I know how personal and painful a lot of these lyrics are to him and I’m so impressed with his commitment to the art.

There is also a real cinematically ambient feel to some parts. This is a style in your composing which you might explore more, or already may have?

Erik: The cinematic effects (I hope) remain a staple of our sound. Already in writing some rough ideas for record two, those ambient parts will go along with the heavy parts and we will throw in some curveballs when it comes to the time changes and the melancholic parts of the music. I think we are hungrier to really explore the depths of what we can do sonically and evolve as a band.

Skin Drone - Evocation _RingMasterReviewAs we mentioned earlier, you both have other projects which between them I can say have given some of our favourite releases in recent times. When you get an idea for one, is there now an element of stepping back and looking to see if it might fit better with say Skin Drone or vice versa?

Erik: 100% of what I write in my solo project is open for us to try and make a Skin Drone song. You just never know when you put something together that you think will not work actually turns into something that makes the record. Sometimes stepping back from the craziness for a day or two can yield some badass results.

Otto: I had some random riffs and drum patterns kicking around here and there, that for one reason or another just never got used. It was fun to go back and rediscover some of that stuff. I record tons of music, almost every day. So I have a huge catalogue of material that runs the gamut from metal and industrial to dark ambient and more instrumental/score type of compositions. Most of this I just do to capture an idea so almost everything is unfinished and in a “demo” type of state. But I like being able to capture an idea and then have it saved, so someday later on if I find a place for it I can go back and see if it works.

There is no escaping the raw and bold kaleidoscope of styles within Evocation either. What are the artists or flavours which have most inspired your own inventions would you say?

Erik: For me it was a lot of Deconstruction era Devin Townsend Project. Another I was reminded just recently was the Declaration album from Bleeding Through; most notably the song Sister Charlatan. The heaviness along with orchestral parts was really my first taste of the two blended together and since then has always been something I’ve wanted to incorporate into music. Lastly, Landon Tewers who uses a lot of ambience and really dark imagery with his lyrics was a huge influence. He was my introduction onto whispering vocals and I absolutely loved it.

Otto: Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Mike Patton and almost all of his various bands, Ministry, KMFDM, Obscura, Gorguts, Nirvana, Kyuss…those are a just a few. If you give me long enough I can come up with a ton of stuff haha.

What comes next for Skin Drone and yourselves individually?

Erik: For Skin Drone, it’s riding the album cycle until there is no more gas in the tank and then some. After that we probably take a short break and get back into writing the next record with our foot mashed on the gas. With Critical D on hiatus, Skin Drone is my one and only focus.

Otto: Like Erik said, we’re going to promote the hell out of Evocation until there is literally nothing left to promote. We’re prepared to work as hard as we’ve ever had to work in our lives to get the music out there and make sure people hear it.

After that? I think we’ll take a short rest so we can recharge our creative batteries and then jump right back into writing the next album. We already have some rough ideas kicking around for themes.

Once again many thanks for chatting with us. Anything you would like to add?

Otto: Evocation drops June 14. Please pre-order your copy at http://skindrone.bandcamp.com/releases!

Check out our review of Evocation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/skin-drone-evocation/

https://www.facebook.com/skindrone   https://twitter.com/SkinDrone   http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Open Eyed Dreamer – Free Your Own Mind

free your own mind_RingMasterReview

The Open Eyed Dreamer is the solo project of Bracknell hailing Steve Fearon, the former frontman of the strongly missed British industrial rockers Ghost In the Static. The Free Your Own Mind is the debut EP from that project which was in many ways an idea and presence predating Fearon’s previous band. In the words of the man himself though, “For a long time, The Open Eyed Dreamer was nothing more than a persona, a mask worn on stage, someone sung about in Ghost In the Static Songs.” With the striking Free Your Own Mind the first ‘words’, The Open Eyed Dreamer is now Fearon’s voice against a world where “power is misused and misappropriated by those who hold all the card.”, and a release for his inner anger.

Fusing electronic incitements with raw rock and melodic pop textures, Fearon’s sound and EP is an attention grabbing blend of extremes and differing textures. It roars in defiance, snarls with antagonism, both lyrically and musically, but equally seduces while inflaming body and imagination with vibrant melodies and tenaciously infectious hooks. The heart and thoughts of Fearon and songs are unmistakable, their bite and contempt at the injustices running and ruining the world forceful but bound in music and imagination which forcibly but contagiously suggests and highlights without ever breaking into the realms of preaching.

Free Your Own Mind opens up with Press Enter To Continue and the line, “This is a bed time story but not for the innocent; you know what you’ve done and what it meant.” As big portentous beats accentuate the moment and the gentle but open inescapable challenge of that simple line, synths begin to rise and bring their intimidating sizzle to the brewing provocative drama of the brief opener.

The attention and imagination seizing start leads to the magnetic lures of Simple People where instantly it too is wrapped in dark shadows and an oppressively evocative ambience. Simultaneously Fearon’s vocals unveil the track’s narrative and emotion with rich expression and the enjoyably familiar style that helped make his previous band a potent proposition. Warm flowing melodies align to catchy beats as hooks just as magnetically blossom within the darker climate of the song, all seducing and igniting body and spirit as firmly as its tone and words spark the imagination and emotions.

Inspirations drawn upon by Fearon include, among many, the likes of The Prodigy, Gary Numan, NIN, Cease2exist, KMFDM, Infected Mushroom, and Combichrist. They are essences which in varying degrees you can sense across Free Your Own Mind. Third track Waiting though, has a hint of fellow UK band MiXE1 to it, something after investigation unsurprising when learning the song, the only one not solely written by Fearon, was created with Michael Evans of MiXE1 and Defeat’s Gary Walker. The pair also physically feature in the song; Evans’ vocals easy to spot within moments as they provide an excellent companion and foil to the equally impressing and darker tones of Fearon. The song is superb, a swiftly captivating persuasion with also a touch of the Walker Brothers to its melodic and emotional atmosphere. Synths paint a just as potent and dramatic picture as the vocals and lyrics, a combination which infests and lingers in appetite and memory.

It surely has to be the lead track to draw newcomers into the project, though The Last Revolution provides a just as commanding and gripping proposal next. Its shadows are far darker than its predecessor and in some way, especially rhythmically, its drama even bigger and bolder as the song envelopes ears and thoughts. There is also a great predacious nature to a track which at times feels like it is stalking the senses; nudging and imposing on them as an instinctive volatility inspires scything strikes of beats and keys for another resonating incitement.

The EP is brought to a close by The Final Photograph, a smouldering electronic caress with sonically blistered skin veined by melodic and vocal coaxing. The gentler wash of synths and sonic suggestiveness also has an inbred irritability which subsequently erupts and fuels the track’s volcanic and galvanic climax.

It is a fine end to a great, I guess, introduction to The Open Eyed Dreamer. Fearon calls Free Your Own Mind his “call to arms” and indeed it is an arousing of the listener in many irresistible ways.

The Free Your Own Mind is out now @ https://theopeneyeddreamer.bandcamp.com/album/free-your-own-mind

https://www.facebook.com/TheOpenEyedDreamer/

Pete RingMaster 12/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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