Tactical Module – Before Crisis


You can never tire of being impressed by the growth and almost visual evolution of certain artists and one who seems to inspire increasingly potent acclaim is Tactical Module, the one man project of Michael Davis. Across his last trio of incitements alone, the British musician/composer has magnetically enthralled and excited with his fusion of industrial metal, digital hardcore, and EBM. Each encounter has shown new and often dramatic steps in the growth of the band’s sound and songwriting and new EP Before Crisis is no exception. Arguably it is not a big step forward from the last album Into Exile but certainly there is an even greater balance and fluidity between the raw and confrontational side of the vocal and sonic ferocity and the melodic and infectiously vivacious elements which so contagiously mark out songs. Increasing maturity and experience comes with every release of an artist and certainly Before Crisis is embracing an impressing wave of it through Davis.

Forming Tactical Module in 2010 to unleash a creative freedom restrained by being in bands and to explore darker and more aggressive electronic music, the Poole hailing Davis was soon sculpting a handful of digital EPs and remixes to increasing attention. Inspired by bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM, Godflesh, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, and Depeche Mode, Davis made a potent breakthrough with the Dead Zone EP in 2012. It swiftly gripped appetites and a more serious spotlight upon release, marking out Tactical Module as an emerging force and talent. Both the feverishly grasped single Where Angels Rise and first album World Through My Sight in 2013 reinforced his growing reputation whilst the Resurrection EP that same year and its successor Into Exile early 2014, found Davis breaching new plateaus with striking experimentation and emotional voracity. Released as 2014 closed its eyes and evolved into the New Year, Before Crisis cements the stature of Tactical Module in Britain’s electronic underground scene whilst as mentioning earlier showing an even more honed and masterful resourcefulness to Davis’ creativity.

The instrumental Awaken sparks the imagination first, its slow dawning of rhythmic enticement an intrigue loaded lure before synths spin their emotive sonic web. There is a portentous air to10261995_786876598003130_5830102883858603546_n the opener and a prowl of dark shadows which bring a stark and threatening edge to the melodic charm of the piece. It is a magnetic lead into the EP and the following equally intimidating presence of Poison Within. Growing within a synth woven cage of gentler persuasion, the song eventually steps forward as an electro punk provocateur but an antagonist unafraid to employ the flavoursome melodies and sonic expression which coaxed in ears and appetite initially. As stormy in its disturbing quieter moments as in its open musical and vocal rages, the track ebbs and flows masterfully, waves of hostility feeding the appetite again and again within the equally imposing charm of the song.

Next the EP’s title track steps forward offering an immediate infectious shuffle of agitated rhythms under another brooding electronic sky. Davis as expected unleashes a cutting narrative with pleasing abrasing tones soon after whilst around him guitars add a caustic spice to the brighter revelry of the keys. It is a light to the song which as across all tracks, is held in check by the thick smog of angst and heavy shadows which fuel vocals and sounds alike. Here though it is given a longer leash which allows a diversity and tempting aural colour to have their just as potent say on the imagination, as repeated in the excellent To the Skies of Oblivion straight after. A song first found on the Resurrection EP, its bounds through ears and into the passions with a devilish tenacity and energy. It has an inescapable infectiousness which even aligned to the almost rabid furies in voice and menacing rewarding lulls which stalk the song never misses a step in its thrilling march.

The raw atmospheric opening of Assemble is an immediate temper to the previous devilry, its great stark and cold opening spreading an oppressive ambience which in turn courts an abrasion of hip hop spiced electro rock. Vocally too Davis briefly toys with a slither of rap enterprise to match the eventful adventure flirting within the invasive climate of the track’s electronic landscape. It is a slow burner in comparison to other tracks upon Before Crisis but emerges just as striking and enjoyable.

The final new song on the release is What Lies Beneath, another coming in from a distant pasture to embrace ears in drama and a blend of creative antagonism and melodic grandeur. Also a slower persuasion, the song is a compelling narrative of sound and emotion but just lacks the indefinable spark of earlier tracks and misses igniting the passions as successfully.

The EP is completed by a trio of remixes, the song Before Crisis being redefined by Ruinizer and Assemble receiving creative treatments from Cease2Xist and Dali, the latter of the three working the psyche with particular deftness and all offering captivating dimensions to the originals.

Tactical Module has again shown itself to be a bright and imposing spark in the UK electronic scene through Before Crisis. It is a release little to find an issue with, though just as an experiment we would like to see Davis being more adventure into his vocals ahead, and a tempest of invention fans will devour greedily.

Before Crisis is available now @ http://tacticalmodule.bandcamp.com/album/before-crisis


RingMaster 07/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Spookshow Inc. – Visions of the blinded world (pt.1)



A furiously agitated entrapment of industrial, metal, and electro rock, Visions of the blinded world (pt.1) is a fiery embrace to colour the way to an impending apocalypse. Its contagion is bred from the darkest corners of arcane themes taking in elements such as ‘time travel, dreams, out of body experiences and death’, but also there is a rich expression of human failings and frailties, all sculpted with striking imagination and clad in virulently varied sounds cast by Norwegian band Spookshow Inc. Imagine the world cast in imposing ravenous shadows feeding on the psyche and emotional turmoil to a soundtrack bred from a merger of Nine Inch Nails, Apollo 440, The Prodigy, and Skinny Puppy, though this is still a slim-line representation of the adventure abounding the release, and you have the rigorously compelling Visions of the blinded world (pt.1).

Just as enthrallingly veined with middle-eastern sounds too, the album is the result of a journey taking around seven years. The origins of Spookshow Inc. though go back to 2003 when Lucky Spook (guitar, programming, songwriting, producer) and Soltex (vocals) united and began honing a sound described as a mixture of Pink Floyd, Prodigy and Paradise Lost and increasingly influenced by bands such as Rob Zombie, KMFDM, Die Krupps, Skinny Puppy, NIN, Chemical Brothers, and those middle east sounds. Initially a duo hiring in additional musicians for their live shows, the band garnered strong praise as they played numerous festivals and supported The Legendary Pink Dots in 2005 on a leg of their European tour. The pair began working on Visions Of The Blinded World (pt.1) in 2006, being joined by instrumentalist Sharaz on bass and synth for the last songs recorded. Released on the bands own label Thunder Of The Distant World, the album makes a riveting introduction with a gripping invention and originality which is simply an inescapable temptation. Having grown in size with the inclusion of Seba to the line-up, Spookshow Inc. is poised to make a striking mark on electro/industrial rock; that is if anyone is brave enough to share their aural dystopian visions.

A simple resonating clang of twanging guitar is the potent coaxing bringing the imagination and album together, opener Games Of Delusion (art and religion) setting the exploration in motion. Its tone is soon swallowed by portentous caresses of haunting synths and percussive stalking, everything under a heavy air and slowly invasive atmosphere. This in turn is permeated with vocal samples and a warm and patiently waiting blaze of techno revelry. Its fire is given further freedom though still with a rein on its energy as jazz sparks flirt with ears and raw dance rapacity entwines the sturdy spine and enticingly rumbling belly of the song. It is a potent and gripping start, not one which ever explodes as it constantly hints it might but a track setting up a hungry appetite for more, a greed soon fed by New World Crash.

The second song instantly has a darker and more aggressive countenance, sinews driving beats whilst Soltex’s vocals carry a menacing snarl to his melodic persuasion. The sounds conjured by Lucky equally growl and sizzle with hostile coverpredation and electro static, yet as the first track they never quite escape their binds to go for the jugular. It is a hold which works a treat, especially with the Trent Reznor like exploration which searches the darkest corners and elegance of the track. Provocative Middle Eastern spicery adds to the drama and invention of the outstanding proposition before it makes way for the even greater temptation of Scary Dream. Like a collision between KMFDM, Ghost In the Static, and The Prodigy, yet discovering its own identity ultimately, the track is an exhausting and ravenous tempest of energy and imagination, its electro rock tenacity and enslaving infectiousness the making of addictions.

Female hailing whispers and harmonious wails within another Eastern flavoured breeze opens up Falling Down pt.2, darker tones from Soltex swiftly adding encroaching shadows to the mesmeric tempting. It is not long before he turns them into passionate roars to compliment the increasingly evolving and portentous yet radiant landscape of the song. It is a fascinating track, one which has you fully involved and immersed in its spicy energy and adventure but then drifts away to make you feel there is unfinished business. Again it is a twist which actually elevates the song rather than defuses its potency, it seemingly revelling in the adage of ‘leave them wanting more’.

Things taking a chilling turn with Requiem For a Vision, where sinister air colludes with menacing vocal variety for another creative twist to the album. A progressively fuelled slice of intrigue and sonic unpredictability, the song is a slow burning prowl, a thick and sultry seduction which takes longer to get a grip on than other songs but emerges as a web of imagination and sonic trespass before the muscular stomp of Dead Shot Baby unveils its rugged charm and intensive rock ‘n’ roll. As much industrial as it is funky, equally as electronically powered as it is ferociously antagonistic, the track is a swift grudge of a treat before the psychedelically seeded beauty of My Secret Plan. Featuring Matangi Shakti, the song is a feisty shuffle of melodic elegance, Middle Eastern magnetism, and shadowed noir kissed enterprise. It is an imagination firing adventure where drama and bracing emotional espionage flirts relentlessly from every second of the album’s best moment.

The similarly thought exploring Cyberage keeps the creative theatre and engrossing bait of the album at its most incendiary, the song a caustically abrasing and infectiously binding suasion, whilst the next up Map Of The World glides through dank caverns and stark climates in its provocative crawl across the senses. The track is a croon from the darkest nightmares, reminding strongly of Fad Gadget with the gothic predation of Paradise Lost.

The album closes with the evocatively and sonically picturesque Other Side Of Time (Vision Of The Blinded World), flavours and sounds from a global tapestry merging for a tantalising sinister waltz. It is a menacing and thrilling conclusion to an album which gets better and reveals more with every listen. Visions of the blinded world (pt.1) is a labour of love from the band and an increasingly rewarding adventure for the listener, whilst Spookshow Inc. is a potential clad protagonist ready to help see out the end of the world with the embrace of their inimitable invention, an apocalypse sure to get only more colourful with the band’s second instalment of their journey due next year.

Visions of the blinded world (pt.1) is available now digitally and as a Limited edition cd digipak via http://www.spookshowinc.com/music and http://spookshowinc.bandcamp.com/releases


RingMaster 07/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Machine Rox – Next Level


British industrial metallers Machine Rox has never been a slouch in stirring up ears and emotions with its fiery and rapacious energy and imagination, but the London quartet has found a new covetous creative tenacity to consume the senses with new album Next Level. As its title declares, the eleven track adventure sees the band rise to a new plateau in songwriting, sound, and sheer contagious enterprise. Not exactly a game changer but an encounter to set a fierce new blaze within the landscape of industrial and electro rock, Next Level is a gripping and feistily enjoyable rampage.

Originally formed by musician/songwriter Richard K as a solo project in 2007, Machine Rox has evolved into a full line-up consisting of guitarist Val Oproiu, drummer Nuj Farrow, and Aga on keys and vocals alongside vocalist/bassist/ programmer Richard K. Employing his experiences in bands like industrial metallers Meat Machine and Global Noise Attack, and in the sharing of stages with the likes of Rammstein, Napalm Death, and Covenant, Richard after some time away from music began exploring a merger of metal and electro rock in his band’s emerging sound. It is a journey which has intensified and grown with accompanying acclaim through releases such as the Activate Your Anger EP and debut album Shout, both in 2013. Last year also saw the release of the more metal infused Intox EP, a tasty hint of the exploits to be found on Next Level, though to be fair the band’s electro and industrial side is as vocal and potently evolved on the album.

The album flirts with ears straight away through the opening crystalline electro coaxing of Lost My Mind. The first track takes little time to flex its muscles and intensity though, sinew packed riffs and rhythmic teasing combining to challenge and ignite the senses as the vocals of Richard K similarly work on thoughts with his raw expression. The electronic lure of the track provides a contagious enterprise whilst the muscular strength of the song and the vocal bait adds anthemic essences, it all adding up to a riveting and impressive start.

The melodic Front Line Assembly meets Ghost In the Static feel of the song is replaced by the more caustic breath and ferocity of Love Explosion, KMFDM and Godflesh coming to mind though as with all songs the finished recipe is all a2738925395_2Machine Rox. The second track also unleashes an insatiable energy and charge to its pulsating persuasion, synths swirling feistily around the senses whilst guitars and beats cast a heavier and darker confrontation in the relentlessly infectious endeavour. With a glorious solo adding to the proposition, the song continues the outstanding start to the release and is immediately emulated by the heavy and catchy swing of Losers In Your Game. A Marilyn Manson-esque swagger fuels carnivorous riffs and eager rhythms whilst vocally Richard K prowls ears with a provocative narrative cast by his distinctive tones, the mix another slab of inescapable virulence.

Next Level is an album which holds a greater diversity than any Machine Rox release to date, the following warm mellow embrace of Electric Sun one example of the different sides to the character of the album. It is a melodic and seductive smouldering reminding of fellow Brits MiXE1, but also a song unafraid to spread a rawer climate across its sultry canvas; keys and guitars merging extremes for a heat wave of evocative and imaginative adventure.

Both Illusion and Cycle Complete keep body and emotions aflame, the first a bubbling yet bordering on corrosive devilry gaining swift enslavement of feet and imagination, whilst the second has a sinister edge to its imposing presence and electronic fascination. A throaty bass flavouring adds to the song’s drama, its weave of noir kissed shadows soaking the otherwise magnetically fiery track driven by vibrant electronics, heavy metallic riffery, and enticing vocals of Richard and Aga. Though neither song quite finds the plateau of their predecessors, both leave an already hungry appetite greedier before making way for the bewitching instrumental Last Kamikaze. Keys and guitars entwine with melodic beauty whilst the electronic atmosphere of the track provides a mesmeric soundscape for thoughts to drift into their own adventure through. There is also a sterner intimidation offered by slow but voracious riffery, again a blend which results in a stunning incitement for ears and emotions.

The aggressive yet welcoming presence of Breathe Again comes next, its striking metal seeded attack and rabid toxicity instantly contagious as a spice reminding of Gravity Kills and Die Krupps shows itself. Another scorching solo from Val Oproiu lights the exciting and scintillating tempest, its impressive offering contrasted and matched by My Own Religion as a resonating electro temptation swallows the senses to breed a similar weighty enticement as its predecessor. Only nailed to the floor feet could resist its enthralling call whilst the raw glaze to the vocals and the scything guitar invention gives the rest of the body a welcome work over. The two songs show another twist in the nature of the album but each slightly pales against the might of Mind Game. It is a thunderous provocation, rhythms and riffs the heaviest on the album and melodies the most acidic as it evolves into an irresistible almost savage stomp which leaves thoughts and lungs breathless.

The album closes with You Belong To Me, itself another slab of industrial metal loaded with creative voracity and uncompromising attitude within heavyweight infectiousness. It is a thrilling end to an enthralling and rigorously compelling album. Next Level is without doubt Machine Rox at their most potent and thrilling yet, the start of a new adventure which should push the band into a new and greedy industrial /electronic spotlight.

Next Level is available now @ http://machinerox.bandcamp.com/album/next-level

Be sure to catch Machine Rox at the DARK7 festival at The Electrowerkz, London on October 11th


RingMaster 19/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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New Jacobin Club – Soldiers of The Mark


Photo credit: Kathryn Trembach

It has been four long years since the release of the attention gripping and highly enjoyable shock rock opera This Treason but at last Canadian gothic rockers New Jacobin Club return with its successor, the equally thrilling Soldiers of The Mark. A leaner and more creatively aggressive encounter which leans arguably more to the horror punk side of the band than the band’s previous releases, it still voraciously embraces the theatrical drama and gothic elegance which is the trademark of the band and what sets them apart from the crowd. Soldiers of The Mark is overall though rock ‘n’ roll at its best, the band employing a wide range of flavours and styles in the body and musical narrative of a concept album which is sure to leave fans and newcomers even hungrier for the band’s inventive contagion.

The brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Xerxes Praetorius Horde (aka The Horde), the Saskatoon band emerged in 1995 as a trio but had expanded in sound and size to a ten-legged tempest of unique incitement and expression by the time of their self-titled debut album in 2001. Fourth full-length, This Treason saw the band as a seven-piece unit pushing their sounds to new depths and heights whilst live, and often accompanied by the performance artists known as the Angry Teeth Freakshow, New Jacobin Club became renowned as not only one of Canada’s but metal’s most startling and exhilarating live acts. Across the years their reputation has continued to grow as the band shared stages with the likes of KMFDM, Voltaire, The Groovie Ghoulies, Nashville Pussy, and The Nekromantix amongst many. As mentioned it has been a fair gap between albums but Soldiers of The Mark shows the band has lost none of its potent visual and musical temptation but with a new line-up honed it into a more diverse and seductively predatory proposition.

Themed by the riveting premise that “a Turn-of-the-Century Gentleman’s Hellfire Club holds meetings and conducts depraved rituals to help bring about the end of the world as described in the Book of Revelations”, the album opens with The Mark. Instantly intrigue drapes over firm beats and a hazy glaze of guitar and keys which themselves hang over the imagination, coaxing thoughts to swiftly play with their tempting. It is a slow and strangely intimidating atmosphere initially but soon stirred up and twisted into a hungry charge of raw riffs and thumping rhythms led by the distinctive snarling vocal charm of The Horde. There is no escaping the tracks infectious primal bait or the emotive elegance of cello from The Luminous which strokes thoughts from within the striding persuasion of the song. Not for the last time on the album, a Misfits like breath flirts with ears but as a passing whisper immersed in the exotic imagination of the band, its hints pale against the bewitching theremin skills of Poison Candi and the dark emotive shadows cast by the cello. Driven by the stomping beats of drummer Rat King and further coloured by a punk tenacity bred by the guitar, the track is a compelling start to the album and immediate declaration that New Jacobin Club are back better than ever.

A classical stroke of guitar strings brings the following Parade of Innocents potently into ears and imagination, it’s slightly Latin hue evolving into a magnetic mesh of sinew sculpted beats and reflective melodies which are soon PromoImageabsorbed in the drama laid by the keys of Mistress Nagini and the throaty bass lures of The Ruin. It is an enthralling start which expands into a mix of Type O Negative and The Damned to give some idea of the delicious presence of the song. As with any NJC track though every moment is just an individual turn in its journey and narrative, a fresh twist coming here through the vocal temptation of Poison Candi which seizes the centre stage. Musically the song turns and swings with sonic ingenuity and invention from all sides yet that slimmer feel and texture to the song talked of earlier is evident showing that the band’s songwriting has again remarkably matured between releases.

Champagne Ivy brings fifties seeds to its gothic punk presence, its bass and cello croon casting shadows which are simultaneously lit by the swagger of the guitar and the band’s vocals. Again it is just one aspect as heavy metal riffing teases ears within a theremin swoon and darkly stringed seduction, producing a Volbeat meets Mötley Crüe incitement but different again. Its masterful enticement is soon left in the shade by Angel MMXIV and even more so A Grey Day to Die. The first of the pair is led vocally by Poison Candi and also parades heavy metal flames this time on a short but pungent gothic horror punk canvas. It is raw and unfussy, pure rock ‘n’ roll to greedily devour before the bigger meal of its successor. The second of the two roars and threatens in one breath and then unleashes some of the catchiest gothic pop enticing you could wish for. King Rat punishes the senses with his venomous swings whilst riffs growl with every note as the bass prowls the senses but it is only matched and enhanced by the virulent chorus and its anthemic contagion musically and vocally. Imagine Calabrese and March Violets in league with The Creepshow and you get an idea of the addictive majesty.

From one pinnacle to another as Into the Fire steps up next, a gentle provocative caress of chords and the melancholic beauty of the cello warming thoughts straight away. It is a transfixing entrance which only grows as romantic melodies and expressive shadows grip the song and ears. Like a bridge to This Treason, the song of all upon Soldiers of The Mark draws on the resourceful gothic rock invention of previous albums whilst exploring a fascinating rock pop and progressive ideation.

The fiery sonic mystery of Garthim makes for the next compelling endeavour. Bringing a texture rather than narrative, vocals talk from a distance, submerged in the gripping and haunting instrumentation which spills menace and apocalyptic beauty. It is a track for the imagination to run with for varied exploits, every swerve of its almost hostile causticity and its persistent melodic intrigue setting up the appetite for the outstanding romp of My Smile. Folkish in its infectious charm and rockabilly like in its tenacious enterprise, the track bounces around like an offspring of The Horrorpops but tempers its revelry with the mesmeric emotional drama of the strings and gothic keys alongside the sheer inescapable seduction of the theremin.

The album ends as strikingly as it starts with firstly the exceptional Seal of Metatron igniting the passions. With sonic washes lapping senses from time to time, the song is an aggressive yet controlled storm of heavy rock and gothic passion which takes every opportunity to wrong foot and surprise ears and thoughts with its innovative exploration. Its scintillating proposition is backed up by the irresistible rock ‘n’ pop of Return to Eden. With the cello melodically sighing around the pop vocal delivery of Poison Candi, the song instantly seduces before firing up feet and emotions with its unstoppable contagion. The track is gloriously mischievous in tone and vivacity, reminding easily of The Rezillos, yet has a psychobilly edge which only pushes its drama to richer success.

Soldiers of The Mark is New Jacobin Club at a whole new level. The band is still one of gothic rock’s finest protagonists but the band has now set down firm marks in rock ‘n’ roll a whole with rewarding recognition surely set to follow.

Soldiers of The Mark is available now digitally, on CD, and as on 12″ Vinyl with a hardcover companion book @ http://www.newjacobinclub.com/webstore



RingMaster 03/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Tactical Module – Into Exile


Having been seduced by previous album World Through My Sight from UK industrial band Tactical Module, there was a definite anticipation and expectation upon its successor Into Exile. The new release’s predecessor was a slow burner of a persuasion but one which made the securest potent convert of the passions for its aggressive symphony of electro enterprise, punk attitude, and industrial intensity. Into Exile is no different except that it makes a more immediate impact and its core ingredients and invention comes with a greater intensive snarl and uncompromising confrontation. It is an enthralling and challenging release which has reaped the impressive seeds of earlier releases and sounds to hungrily explore their sonic blossoming with greater craft and imagination.

Hailing from Poole, Tactical Module is the solo project of Michael Davis, a musician who since creating the band to unleash his creative imagination within has earned and garnered strong constantly deepening praise and acclaim through his releases. Using inspirations from the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, KMFDM, Godflesh, Gary Numan, Skinny Puppy, Killing Joke, and Depeche Mode in his invention, Davis after numerous EPs and remixes made his first strong wide mark with the Dead Zone EP of 2012. The release triggered greater awareness and appetite for his sounds which were soon feasting greedily upon the single Where Angels Rise and earlier this year the impressive expanse of World Through My Sight and the Resurrection EP. Receiving its first CD release with Into Exile, Tactical Module has sculpted an album which is more diverse and adventurous than the previous releases, and they were no slouches in experimentation, and an encounter which employs decades of industrial/electronic whispers into one invigorating magnetic incitement.

Released via Juggernaut Media, Into Exile takes little time in bringing attention and imagination to bear on opener Awaken, its emergence through a sizzling sonic haze chilling yet thoroughly tempting. Brewing up a greater menace to its climate, the song has complete control of thoughts and senses, especially when the predacious guitar tone unveils its metal spawned restrained yet voracious causticity, matched by the confronting vocals of Davis. A definite Gary Numan spice glazes the invention whilst organic beats cage the fired up passions further, herding them into the fierce electro embrace. It is an excellent gripping start not quite matched by the following title track. The song is certainly alluring; its ebm breath stalked by a great electro twang which spears the evocative ambience but there is a spark missing compared to the first which debatably might be down to the track evading the metal bred antagonism. Nevertheless it is a pleasing continuation of the strong start and evidence of the variety of ideas and sound upon the release.

Outer City Limits soon picks up the earlier baton of strength with its instrumentally stalking flight of coarse textures and electro beauty, both combining for a voracious journey through dramatic and suggestive climes. From providing the imagination with a sinew clad impacting plaything, Into Exile then reveals more of its emotive heart with Breathless. The song is a fizzing electro plaintive with angst drawn vocals cursing agony over the acidic sounds. Like the second song it takes a firm hand on ear and thoughts without challenging other tracks on the album for the passions but all the time deceptively it is working away and though face to face impact is less startling it is a moment which returns at will even away from the release.

Both Cypher 2.0 and Downpour urge limbs and emotions to take part in their electro waltz, the first with a pulsating veining of jabbing rhythms. A real plus for the song and album is the use of live drums which brings an organic pulse and frame to the album setting it apart from most others instantly, and with the crystalline fire spawned electronic pulses and stabs from around the ever satisfying and shifting vocal delivery here an irresistible instigator. Its companion is a rhythmic raptor, beats prowling and stomping with ever switching rabidity whilst the electronic teases and kisses come with their own sense of menace and salaciousness. There is a punk essence too which is a mere hint, as on other songs, but there waiting and probing vocally and musically alongside a Pitchshifter like primal suasion. The thrilling duo are backed up by the more than decent Hellfire, a cantankerous fire which merges moments of slightly underwhelming electronic bait with addictively thrilling aggressive almost corrosive metal and guitar voracity. That punk element is back here, a Spizzenergi nag pleasing thoughts whilst, and not for the first time, the electro calls bring Fad Gadget into the mind, and in even greater potency upon Unbreakable. With a post punk/metal esurience and attitude to its presence, the song is another pinnacle upon what ultimately is one exciting and inventive release.

    Into Exile comes in digital and CD format, both with unique remixes. The former format finds the Back to Hell, Back to Reality Mix of the title track by D.E.P, which gives the track the flame arguably missing in the original, the Destructed mix of Downpour by Detuned Destruction, and Corroded Master’s Harlot Mix of Breathless, both inventive takes without matching the originals. The CD offers the G-Mix look at the title track which certainly takes it into a new adventure, the Knife Fight remix of Breathless, and another by Defeat, with both formats seeing the Ruinizer Remix of Awaken, the track becoming a nastier predation and antagonist to the album version.

     Into Exile is an exciting and richly rewarding provocateur, a release showing the ever evolving and increasing strength of Davis’ songwriting and its striking realisation through Tactical Module.



RingMaster 05/10/2013


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Type V Blood – Beastkiller


As virulently contagious and destructively merciless as you could wish for, Beastkiller the new album from Russian industrial metallers Type V Blood is a confrontation which ignites and accelerates the heart of the dancefloor before turning it into an apocalyptic wasteland of sonically drenched carnage and delicious rhythmic mayhem. The release is an insatiable thumping on the heart of industrial seeded imagination, its power thrusting a fresh pulse and life into a greedy expectant genre. At times unique and in other moments wearing well used electronic armour, the album is a feast which is impossible to resist, a provocateur that leaves a breathless and rapturous satisfaction in its feisty wake.

Formed in 1999, the Konigsberg duo of Star (vocals) and Smith (guitar, programming, backing vocals) merged a core of industrial metal with black and death essences whilst infusing that with a flush of varied electronic incitement. Their sound took little time in awakening local support and ardour whilst debut album Dead Generation 77 successfully built upon the strong responses from earlier tracks and demos. Second album V.E.G.A. World Top 8 followed in 2004 but soon after the band came to an end, or as it turns out with its return four years later a hiatus of sorts. A trio of albums in Astra (2009), Warld (2011), and Penta (2012) followed as the band came back in strength and began evolving their intent and sound across the releases. The new, like its predecessor, Artificial Sun released Beastkiller sees the band moving away from the electronic core of previous records to explore and bring to the fore their metal flavoured roots. The result is an album which churns up and gnaws on the senses whilst leading the passions and imagination on a strength sapping dance of cantankerous electro animosity and seduction.

The deceptive opening teases of Eber Zzombie starts things off gently, cascades of electronic kisses sprinkling across the ear. It is a deceit as behind them lays in wait the carnivorous jaws of the guitars and a rhythmic lashing, all with a patience and predaciousness which is as intimidating as it is compelling. A mellow shift tempers the attack midway and even in its brief presence it almost throws things off balance but once the predatory instinct and intent is back the track again resumes its impressive introduction. After falling beneath the potent assault of the whole album the song in hindsight is a strong start but soon left in the shade of the rest of the release.

Rock The Dancefloor does exactly what it says on the tin though the title does not reveal the infectious brutality of rhythms used nor the hunger dripping from every enterprising note and thrust of sound. The track merges infectious melodic taunts and electro hooks into its swamp like thick atmosphere and overwhelming intensity which leads to the senses not knowing which way to turn but loving the hunt as explorer and prey. Its glory is soon lost in the haze as Shocksong marches militantly into view, its big heavy rhythmic boots stomping submission from the senses alone whilst the snarling vocal squalls and mutually venomous guitar riffs bring already awakened passions to their feet. Bestial at heart, the track pounds its beat across imagination and thoughts on the way to fully seducing the heart.

Both From The Heart To The Sun and Resistance tear off their chunk of the emotions next, the first with a voracious snarl to guitar and assault which is like being ravaged by 300 Spartans with sonic spears and industrially honed malevolence. Like its predecessor it stomps and prowls rather than going for the jugular but with the sapping aggrotech energy and intensive invention the result is the same, full submission. Its successor arguably has a lighter touch though it feels just as smothering and commanding whilst standing in front of its extremely busy and greedy presence. Like a maniacal puppeteer the track has limbs and passions indefensible before what is electro metal alchemy.

There is no let up from the album as first Awake storms the barricades with a tide of electro temptation split by blackened vitriol provided by shadow clasped sounds and serpentine vocals. Once again Type V Blood fuse extremes, light and dark forged into an epidemic of irresistibility which chews on the ear whilst stroking it into orgasmic bliss. Veined by catchy guitar hooks and melodic bait the song like so many on the release is the master of body and heart. Its triumph is thrust aside instantly by the rapacious Zero Tolerance, another song which twists and deceives throughout, its opening carnally wanting sonic narrative diving into a jazz funk swagger and enterprise with ease and then back again to continue the ravenous feasting upon the senses.

The diversity of the album continues in the brilliant wanton waltz of Sexyberia, a song with sultry flames and lascivious melodies which wrap tantalisingly around the listener as a blackened folk metal tasting romp runs up and down the temptation with eager rabidity and magnetic repetition. Like the album which leaves its strongest suasion to the second half of its bulk, the track is scintillating and breath stealing, open proof of the ever increasing strength of the release soon backed up by the final two songs. Right To Anger is a crunching weighty expanse of metal spawned corrosion whilst the outstanding closer New Nuclear World is electro punk at its most adversarial and inhospitable, a brilliant finale to a glorious tsunami of industrial metal and electro provocation.

Certain to please fans of the likes of Combichrist, KMFDM, Pitchshifter, Fear Factory, and Godflesh whilst simultaneously offering something unlike them all, Type V Blood and Beastkiller give industrial metal and music an addictive shot to the balls.



RingMaster 03/10/2013

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Obsessive Compulsive – Seculo Seculorum


There has been a good buzz about Seculo Seculorum, the second album from UK punksters Obsessive Compulsive, since its release a couple of months ago but now having allowed its thrilling exploits to tease and excite our senses the record far outweighs the plenty of good responses draped upon it so far. It is an outstanding release, a collection of songs that stand toe to toe with the ears intimidating and coaxing them and all beyond into its riotous and provocative charge. Rife with feisty riffs, probing rhythms, and more hooks than to be found in an angling store, as well as the excellent spitefully seductive tones of vocalist Kelii, the album is an irrepressible temptation declaring the rock and punk fused presence of the band as one of the most exciting in the UK.

The Manchester quartet first drew attention with a couple of EPs but fired up a stronger awareness with debut album Dreams of Death and the Death of Dreams in 2010. Released on their own Vociferous Records and produced by Russ Russell (The Wildhearts/Evile/Napalm Death), the album triggered strong and eager responses as well as a wealth of underground media acclaim. Renowned for their live performances, which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Goldblade, GBH, Anthrax, The Damned Things, KMFDM, Wolfsbane, and The Japanese Voyeurs as well as igniting festivals such as Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, and Download Festival, Obsessive Compulsive are now poised to raise their stature to a much loftier level with the James Loughrey (Skindred/Bjork/Page & Plant) recorded Seculo Seculorum (meaning ‘forever and ever’).

As immediately evident on the album, Obsessive Compulsive reaps the finest essences of punk, alternative rock, and a multi-flavoured OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERArock rawness which combines to create a confrontation which leaves you breathless and gripped by a hunger for more. Imagine The Distillers and The Duel tied down and milked for their antagonistic charms whilst Karn8 stands astride adding their wantonness and you get a sniff of what the album offers. There is also a melodic fire and bite which harkens back to the late seventies with both The Photos and Penetration coming to mind at times. The moment opener Sick Sick Sick bursts into a blaze of hypnotic riffs laced with a contagious groove and commanding rhythms, there is a cage around the passions sparking them into life especially as Kelii brawls into the ear with sexy intimidation. There is a sense of US rockers Mongrel about the song too when it flares up in pissed off crescendos around its virulent infectious call. It is a scintillating start that lingers around for a long time inside though it is soon matched by the brilliant Regurgitate.

The second song on the album initiates the strongest lure just by the instant firm stroking of guitar and vocals, the combination a temptation which seems to know there is no escaping its toxicity. Into its stride once again the suasion is immense and impossible to resist, the roguish roam of the riffs framed by crisp beats seemingly seeded in old school punk rock whilst Kelii provides a Pauline Murray like snarl and melodic craft to her delivery. It is another instant pinnacle which alongside its predecessor puts the rest of the album under pressure.

Both the inventively unpredictable Stamp Your Own Path and the smouldering Jardim Gramacho put up massively satisfying efforts to grip the same heights whilst Nail In My Coffin stands shoulder to shoulder with the openers with its scything riffs and barracking rhythms egged on by the continuing to impress vocals. The track engages full thrusters in the energetic chorus to rampage as melodic flames hang on to its wind, though they are later allowed to settle and bewitch the listener with skilled and inventive narratives either side of the storm. The track again shows the variety in sound and imagination already on the album, the diversity brought with invention and an array of ingenious barbs which are never too much or allowed to get too complicated.

Float idles up next with bass and deep toned guitar edging the sultry tones of Kelii as the track unveils a slightly chilling and menacing beauty to its expansive breath, keys bringing an enveloping atmosphere which almost haunts the ear whilst shards of hot guitar coals light the skies. Drawing up its sinews and malevolent passion the song builds into a rapacious fire before settling down again into the initial smoulder. It is another slice of brilliance helping to propel the album into classic areas, the evidence of that status cemented further by the twin glories of Soul Sucker and Things Clean And Unclean, the first very much a Karn8 type inducement with elements of Hole and Hitchcock Blonde to it and its successor a gritty slice of dirty punk with L7 whispers to its stunning suasion, the steely bass bait a greedy temptress. It should be noted though for all the references mentioned the Obsessive Compulsive sound is still as distinct as you would hope.

After the metallically honed triumph Fight Or Flight the album unleashes its finest moment in the punk fury of No Logo. The track is pure venom and belligerence, a blistering X-Ray Spex like piece of contentious savagery which squalls and scowls with no mercy shown or considered. It is a bruising fight which accentuates the beauty of closing song Swallow The Sound all the more, the song a compelling rock ballad with a melodic heat that frames the vocals perfectly.

Obsessive Compulsive is a band which leaves only the richest appetite and urgency for their creativity in play, and Seculo Seculorum an album which seriously threatens the best UK rock album claims for the year. A must listen release.



RingMaster 23/08/2013


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