Bleeding Raven Interview

BLEEDING RAVEN is the aggrotech/dark tek project from Dean Mason of Gnostic Gorilla. Recently he released its debut album via Cleopatra Records. We had the pleasure to chat with Dean about the album, his latest project, a career and life changing set back and much more…  

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

The pleasure is all mine man.

Can you first introduce the ‘project’ and give us some background to how it all started?

In a land…far far away…hahahahaha…Ok, but seriously… I first got the ‘itch’ to record music when I was a teen-ager in high school. Some buddies and I went into a little studio and recorded two songs for a single release. (Dark Hallway/Golgotha) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05YqqTOS_M  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047Pk2GhPnY

Thanks to my lovely parents I released a vinyl 45 rpm as just “Dean Mason” with “Lonely Ghost Productions” as the name of the makeshift indie label. I got ‘itchy’ again in 2001 and began looking at music again, but did very little. In 2012, I got right into recording electronic music of a dark bent and scent and thus was born “Gnostic Gorilla” eventually. (I released stuff as The Lonely Ghost Project initially but changed the name to “Gnostic Gorilla”) In 2018, Cleopatra Records released “St. Basil’s Asylum”. (Gnostic Gorilla) In May of this past year, after releasing quite a few albums on different labels (KL Dark Records, Nowhere Now Records, Throne of Bael Records and LGP-ONE) I wanted to pursue something more ‘aggrotech’ in style. That’s when I initiated the “Bleeding Raven” project. Cleopatra released “Darkness Consumed” in October of this year.

How have those earlier impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

As I mentioned earlier, I started off as just “Dean Mason” as a lad. In 2012, the Lonely Ghost Project was launched (so to speak) and then “Gnostic Gorilla” and from that evolved what we are talking about today…that is…the Bleeding Raven Project. My early music in these other projects was a mix of ‘Goth/Dark Wave/Dark Tek/Industrial’. I really wanted to do something more bizarre and almost literally more noisy and that’s when I initiated “Bleeding Raven”. It’s more aggrotech, but I also call it… “dungeon trash”…hahahahahahahahahaha I even have a shirt with that on it.   https://www.dizzyjam.com/products/157830/ 

The image or character of the ‘raven’ is common in First Nations lore and even spirituality. The raven can either be a trickster or mischievous little critter or it can be sort of a symbol of the soul preparing for death of being taken back to the Great Creator. Different nations/tribes have different ideas and stories about the raven. The ‘bleeding’ part more or less speaks of suffering, of hurt etc. So, like my lyrics however, even with the image, I allow people to have their own interpretations. That said, I think always…DAILY…of my many sisters and brothers in the First Nations communities who suffer immensely because of a racist attitude towards them. There are many…MANY young Native women/girls who have gone missing and the effort to find them hasn’t always been fervent. As well, the suicide rate among First Nation teens is extremely high.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of Bleeding Raven and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Well, in the Spring of 2019, I had to be on the road a bit and for some long drives, I acquired on my iTunes a few albums of a more industrial bent. That includes a couple of compilations of various bands. I discovered acts like Die Sektor and Psyclon Nine and I felt very inspired to go in this direction. I sort of started to go in that direction as “Gnostic Gorilla” but I wanted a new project that was mostly aggrotech in style. I came up with the ‘dungeon trash’ (LOL) I released in October and I am very proud of it!

Do the same things still drive you when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Definitely evolved over time. So, when I first started off, I was more into a Gothic sound or industrial. And I still love a lot of that stuff. Always will. St. Basil’s Asylum is a classic and I’m just so sad that it’s still not discovered by many yet. But anyway, yeah…things do evolve. That said, I don’t like the idea of being in a ‘genre house arrest’ and being narrow minded in your approach to music. But either way, it’s all over for me in music anyway so…I’ve done what I could.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Well, from the really early days, that is from the days of the Dark Hallway release, things really evolved dramatically. First of all, that 45 was like a mish mash of metal/punk pre-grunge I guess. I was heavily influenced by Gary Numan and yet, try as I did my vocal style was markedly different than his. It’s later that I appreciated that. But, see…I love ALL sorts of music. I mean, sometimes I’m just knee deep  into The Doors and more psychedelic shit and other days I’m into Dio and Sabbath and Type O Negative and Ministry and Rammstein. Other days it’s The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins or of course, classic Numan and Japan or Bauhaus. So, a lot of what I do depends on where I’m at and I guess when it comes to music, I’m moody as hell. hahahahahaha

Do you find the changes have been more of an organic movement of sound or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

I’d say the latter, yeah.

Presumably , and you have touched on them already, there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

So, I make a distinction between that which has inspired and that which has influenced more directly my own style. The artists/bands that have been inspirations are many. Gary Numan, KISS, Type O Negative, Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Japan (David Sylvian) Ozzy, Manson, Korn, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Bauhaus, Zardonic, Fear Incorporated, Frost Like Ashes, CRIX IIX and the list is endless. As for those who have been influences, while they include some of the names listed already, I’d say Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor. As I always do in any interview, the band that will forever be my absolute favourite is The Doors. The Doors and Gary Numan are both at the top of my own personal ‘chart’.

I also want to give a shout out to Tim Muddiman and NOT because of his connection to Gary Numan. Tim has ventured into more graphic arts in recent years and he is doing some amazing work. THAT very much inspires me…or better yet…I honour the man as an artist in every sense of the word…as a true artist.

Is there a process to your songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

Yeah, mostly I start off with a vague idea of want kind of song I want to do, Then I begin with beats and drum patterns and bass lines or even synth lines. (it depends) I get a general idea of the direction I want to go in before going far into the track. So, I begin to choose the different sounds and samples/loops that I want as well to give it a mood. More often than not, I manipulate these and distort or whatever to make them unique. Then as the song evolves, there’s the question of whether or not I want a traditional chorus (often not because that’s too pop) and I allow the track to sort of dictate to me where it’s going. Sort of like a First Nations wood carver who allows the ‘wood’ to speak to them as they say. Then when I have a rough demo, I begin writing lyrics and then record vocals. That’s the tough part for many reasons. Lots of hit and miss with that process. I’ve written an entire set of lyrics for a song only to discover that something else would work better and I have to (at times) chop out some of the lyrics. Hard to explain.  Also, sometimes I record the vocals and it sounds like shit. I mean, there is a need for a different ‘style’ all together. After all the vocals are recorded, I go back and add more …sometimes a sample here or an FX noise there or whatever. I’m quite ADD so if there are any sort of ‘blank stare’ moments in a song…that’s unacceptable. It has to be busy. I’m told my music is VERY busy. Then there is the final mix which is a real pain in the ass. Sometimes even at that stage you decide… “nah…this is total shit”! It’s a bit of a drag when that happens though man because you’ve come all the way to a full song and you realize it isn’t happening.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

First off, good for you for asking that because lyrics are important for me… I realize it’s not what the listener first becomes aware of…but for me, the lyrics are important. Anyway, so…I don’t write any lyrics with any sort of ‘agenda’. In other words, I don’t preach or dictate anything. I like a very poetic approach to the lyrics with lots of imagery. Now, that said, there are certain subjects that inspire me. I often write about religious themes or philosophical themes and often touch upon injustice and hypocrisy and hate and injustice for example. But I do so in veiled/poetic language. I want the listener to decide for themselves what it could mean.

Give us some background to your latest release.

 “Darkness Consumed” touches upon a few subjects…again in veiled language. One of the tracks is called “Pontiff’s Nightmare” which is actually about St. Francis. He more or less spooked the Pope at the time with his authentically radical life style and that Pope had a dream about Francis. Francis challenged the corruption of the time by the way he lived. “Salem Vigil” is sort of… but not completely about the Salem witch trials. The song actually addresses the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘religious people’ oppressing and persecuting people who don’t fit their narrow definition of what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘decent’ and ‘righteous’.  In the end, these arrogant and often ignorant people of so called ‘faith’ are the ones who are truly evil because of the harm they inflict on many borne out of their hatred and unenlightened worldview.  

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

So, “Darkness Consumed”…that very title isn’t a nod to evil or the promotion of ‘darkness’. It’s actually about the fact that somehow, ‘TRUTH’ (light) will ‘consume the darkness’ and overcome it. That’s sort of the idea in brief. As I said, I want people to decide for themselves however what something can mean for them.

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Going back to the very first single “Dark Hallway”…I had everything figured out (with lyrics) when I presented the tracks to the band. I wrote the lyrics in English class (Dark Hallway) while under the influence of benzodiazepines. Hahahahahahaha We were reading “Death of a Salesman” in that class and it was, to say the least, a rather dark story. hahahahahaha

Tell us about the live side to Bleeding Raven.

I have lost the hearing in the left ear completely and totally. It happened in October…Very traumatic actually. I have to protect the little hearing I have left in the right ear which is at half capacity. I want to be able to hear the voices of the ones I love and the more natural sounds in life. For all intents and purposes…I’m deaf. Music is no longer an option. Especially live music, even if I wanted to do something live with a band. Music has been such an important part of my life obviously…but that’s over. That’s the future.

It is not easy for any new artist/band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

You’re correct. It’s very difficult to ‘break through’ in this day and age. There’s just too much out there. I mean, everyone and their cat is putting stuff out. There are so many genres today and so many…MANY indie folks (like me) who have stuff out there and are competing with the ‘big boys and gals’. You have to be creative to get known because sadly, younger people are not interested in new music aside from what they become aware of through video games or TV/Movies. I mean, I’m seriously over generalizing perhaps but it is true that, young people today don’t appreciate music the way people did in the past. They don’t grasp the concept of music as ‘art’ anymore. That’s not their fault. But because of the technology that we have today and with social media platforms…there is too much out there and for younger people, music is just “there for the taking” the way fruit on trees is there to pluck. So, you have to be creative in how you get people to notice you today. It’s not easy.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

So, this is sort of a continuation of the previous question. Here’s the thing, the internet and social media and digital music etc. is here and it’s here to stay. We are still trying to adapt to this I suppose. Now, you could lament and dream of the “good old days” but that’s all it will ever be…a ‘dream’. Musicians/artists have to adapt. In many ways, it has been a blessing. Many artists would have never been able to put their stuff out there so to speak were it not for the kind of technology we have today. See, I picked up music again in 2012 but only as a hobby. I then, almost jokingly put some of my stuff out there as an indie/unsigned act and I eventually got a label deal with Cleopatra Records, which for me is phenomenal. I will have three releases with Cleopatra Records by end of 2020. (the last one is another Gnostic Gorilla album) I also have releases with three other labels. So, none of that would have happened were it not for the technology we have at our disposal. I guess it’s sort of what you make of it, like anything else.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Thanks again to you for the great (and extensive) interview. Reveal?

Ok…I’m  B A T M A N.  Hahahahahahaha  No but, seriously, I thank the many people who have been supportive of me in one way or another…be it family or friends and certainly Benny at Cleopatra Records. As I said earlier, because of the extreme hearing loss (actually deaf completely in one ear and the other is severely compromised) …I have to pack it in with regards to music. I will promote what I have and will have out soon (already recorded obviously) and perhaps a book of lyrics and that’s it. Cheers.

Dean

https://bleedingraven.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bleedingravenofficial/   http://www.bleedingraven.com

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Aren Drift Interview

For those who may not know who you are, introduce yourselves quickly.

Radka Nemcova – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar

Matt Plumley – Lead Guitar

Dominic Cahillane – Drums

Theo Corcoran – Bass

Describe your sound in as few words as possible.

RN: Progressive rock, international vibes, heavy melodic riffs, contralto vocals, cinematic sound.

DC: Vibrations

MP: Female fronted prog rock

TC: I’d say our sound is best described as heavy progressive rock with international influences, I’ve heard the word melodic chucked around a bit as well.

Who are your three biggest influences as a band?

RN: It’s hard to name just three bands as there are many bands we love but I would definitely mention Perfect Circle, In This Moment, Queen of the Damned soundtracks. (The first choice I would choose for the technical side and second two choices I love for the production side.)

What’s the meaning behind your band name?

RN: AREN is made of my initials (‘RN’ = phonetically ‘aren’) I used Aren D. as my artistic / musical pseudonym as no one was able to remember or pronounce my name haha. I chose the second word ‘drift’ because I like to drift and our music should make you drift too.

We came up with lots of different names but everyone liked Aren Drift so we kept it as a band name.

How did you approach our latest release in terms of writing and recording?

RN: Writing is my favourite part so it was just a fun bit for me. I love it. Recording was good but mixing was the difficult part of the whole process.

I am very creative person and I have very strong visions in music and art and I imagine things how they look and sound before they are actually written or filmed. Mixing itself is very creative process and we struggled to get the sound we wanted. However, it was a great learning curve and I’m already excited to apply everything we learnt into our next recordings.

MP: In terms of the recording, we were on a budget, four days in total for five songs, some unreleased at this moment in time. We pretty much had the parts written before we recorded, but somehow ended up re-recording most of the guitar parts at my home studio. When you are on the clock you don’t have time to mull that sound over and try different amps, settings, different guitars, you literally stick a mic in front of your amp and off you go. So that meant we weren’t quite happy with the sound we had. It was a big learning curve for us; we have plans to do things differently next time.

Do you have any personal favourite songs on the release?

RN: Snow Queen. I think the song determines Aren Drift’s unique style.

DC: Light Hole

MP: Sun Goes Down for me.

TC: I’d say my favourite song of the new EP is light hole, it’s one of my favourites to play live as well, but I do also really like “snow queen”.

Explain the meaning behind the album title.

RN: ‘Beneath The Surface’ – We want the listener to go deeper at all the levels while listening our music. Some of the reviews we received say that you need to listen the songs a few times until it fully reveals their potential. I was actually very glad to read that because that’s what I love about music.

The artwork represents what’s beneath your skin, inside of the Earth’s core, inside of you.

Tell us about the video for Snow Queen and its concept.

RN: Snow Queen music video was partly filmed in Czech mountains and partly in England. I wanted to produce something powerful and arty. A music video which captures a story as well as the feelings.

Sun Goes Down music video is solely my arty outlet.

I don’t want to say anything else. Just watch it J

Do they tie in with the themes around the song? If yes, why? If not, why not?

RN: It does. I don’t want to reveal everything. Let’s say you need to listen to the lyrics and watch the video.

Were they fun to shoot or proved to be quite a challenge?

RN: When we were shooting Snow Queen, I was two days in the mountains in -20°C wearing a dress. It was snowing and I thought my hands and nose will fall off so yeah… it was fun haha.

I believe everyone enjoys shooting the music videos. But post production is proper hard work. I believe the devil is in the details and I have very strong visions so I usually spend long time working on the post productions. I produced both videos myself in co-production with Ollie Dolling. It was great working with him. I’m already excited to work on our future videos.

MP: Definitely one of my bands highlights and the results were way beyond what I expected.

Do you have any live shows lined up at present?

RN: Follow us on Facebook. We are planning 2020 UK tour! All the dates will be there.

We were also booked at Concorde 2 in Brighton in June 2020 which will be an epic show.

In regards to the closer dates I would recommend you a gig at Black Heart in Camden, London on 20th September. We are supporting Esoterica. But if you want a ticket, be quick as the show might be sold out soon 😉

What are your favourite songs to perform live?

MP: Our new song Sirens, I love it and the response we had to it at the EP launch which was the first time we played it live, was very moving, loved it.

RN: I really enjoy playing Sirens. It is our new song and by my opinion it is musically the best piece which I’m very proud of. At the moment I’m playing with a thought to write trilogy for Sirens. I have whole concept in my head + the ideas for the video so let’s see if we can do something about that.

DC: Porcelain Dolls has a nice few changes where I can bring a few different styles in the song. For all out energy, Passion Kills is always the track I’m scanning the set list for.

TC: As I said, light hole is one of my favourite songs to play live, as well as one of our new songs called Delirious.

What are the best and worst shows you’ve played to date?

DC: I think it varies for each of us; I’ll leave it down to the fans

TC: I’d say the worst show I’ve played with Aren Drift was my first one with the band, I was slightly nervous, which is odd for me, and I just didn’t quite gel with the music! But our best show in my opinion was our EP release, the sound was great, the crowd was amazing and we were all playing at the top of our game!

If you could open for anyone, who would it be?

DC: Tool would be immense

RN: Deftones, Korn, Marilyn Manson, Perfect Circle, Alice in Chains, In This Moment

MP: Wolf Alice, lead singer is a girl and they rock, great live band from what I can tell on YouTube, I’d then get a chance to watch them in the flesh every night J

Oh yeah and Faith No More, they are still rocking, check out SuperHero from the Radio 1 sessions on YouTube.

Any comical stories from your time as a band you can share with us?

DC: Now that would be telling, shame on you. 🙂

Any closing comments?

Thank you for your support. We appreciate every single person who goes to the live gigs and support the local music in general. Thank you.

Check Aren Drift out further @…

https://www.arendrift.com/    https://www.facebook.com/arendrift/    https://www.instagram.com/aren_drift/

RingMaster Review 06/11/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Destroy Planets! – Mass X Gravity

Though only emerging this past February UK metallers Destroy Planets! have made a striking introduction to themselves with debut EP, Mass X Gravity. It bears all the hallmarks of a craft and imagination which has been brewed over time, indeed the band has a sound which has been two years in the shaping and honing, but equally has an unpolished breath to it which only breeds pure pleasure and the potential of greater exploits to come.

Manchester hailing, Destroy Planets! draws on an array of metal seeded styles and muscular rock flavours for the individual confrontation which surges through their first EP. Raw edges meet with ferocious trespasses whilst both collude with melodic temptation and bold imagination; a tapestry of invention and tenacity which needed little time to intrigue and seize attention. Equally Mass X Gravity is a savage and resourceful force of unpredictability which continues to surprise by the listen as its depths expand to devour greater attentiveness.

As quickly shown by opener Ikon, pinning down the sound of Destroy Planets! is a pointless task, its voice as varied and mercurial as it is uniformly striking. The first track itself immediately sparks ears with industrial metal eruptions across its dark brooding but as quickly springs groove and death metal hues upon the senses; an Enter Shikari meets Machine Head meets Cryptopsy like corruption swiftly igniting keen attention and appetite. By the second though its sound is evolving and growing more fascination, a quality just as potent within the vocals of Tanya Wilson, her multi-flavoured and dextrous tones sheer magnetism in the thickly compelling tempest.

It’s fiercely testing and alluring twists and turns are echoed in next up Stars, the track shaping them in its own creative image as electronic and metal bred trespasses unite in a similarly gripping exploit. Wilson casts throat raw and melodic lures with equal captivation as the grooves and riffs of guitarists Aaron Pettit and Nathan Arif intrude upon and bound the senses. Providing a confrontation as feral as it is carefully woven, the track is a contagious predator with individual and united enterprise as well as its distinct imagination matched by that within the following Immortal. The third track instantly casts a Korn/Slipknot-esque shadow over the imagination though it is soon scavenging the senses with its own particular psychosis of sound and emotion. The whipping beats of Adam Tyree again incite as they punish whilst the dark, voracious grumble of Brad Crane’s bass is a perpetually unwavering lure in the creative tempest and especially goes to make one addictively memorable moment within the song and EP when it singularly courts the nightmarishly haunting melodic tempting of Wilson.

Absolution instantly consumes the senses with grooves and toxic ferocity, fellow Brits VNDTA coming to mind not for the first time but again swiftly band and sound casts their own unique creative character to prey upon and feed the imagination. Arguably the most infernal, vicious, and untamed track on the release, the song just compelled keener attention during its length and subsequent revisit while Bed Of Lies hooked equal greed with its calm melodic beginning and subsequent sonic squall; the latter woven in heavy metal threaded spirals and coated in extreme metal animosity as melodic virulence brews and eventually erupts in voice and sound.

The EP concludes with Save Yourselves, a closing inferno of sound and enterprise that descends with venom and ruthlessness but once surrounding the listener treats them to a myriad of textures and melodically seeded endeavour without losing its crushing intensity. It is a song which epitomises the Destroy Planets! sound and craft and its rich fuel of unpredictability which can only lead to greater adventures ahead.

Mass X Gravity is a challenge, a threat and another of the year’s unexpected but true pleasures.

Mass X Gravity is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/destroyplanetsband/   https://www.instagram.com/destroyplanets

Pete RingMaster 30/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Down To The Bunker – Misery

A growling, snarling beast of a release, Misery is the debut album from Swiss quintet Down To The Bunker and an encounter which marks them out as one richly promising, indeed already impressive proposition. Offering up nine tracks of alt metal predation merged with heavy rock contagion and hardcore dissonance it all delivered with potent technical prowess and an uncaged heart, the release is one wake-up call to and declaration of intent from one rather exciting outfit.

Formed in 2012, the Genève hailing band has worked through years of line-up instability as it searched for the right personnel. It is a time though the band equally used to explore and hone a sound which is as unpredictable as it is varied and adventurous. A self-titled EP in 2015 drew keen attention though its support live was a struggle with again a changing line-up trespassing the next steps for Down To The Bunker. Now though things seem to have settled and with the band’s strongest line-up to date, the stability relishing result being the striking Misery.

Embracing a sound which sees the likes of Tool, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Meshuggah, Gojira, Promethee, and Code Orange amongst its inspirations, Misery is an album which arouses as it challenges. Almost every moment has attention glued to its lures, the thrill of the unexpected rearing its head throughout an encounter which twists the familiar into its own pattern of fresh imagination and invention. Certainly there are moments where it ebbs and flows in the intensity of its temptation but there are few if any moments where it allows the listener to impulsively drift off elsewhere.

From the opening bait of first track Mother, the album was burrowing under the skin; sonic lures straining against the speakers urgently wanting out. The guitars of Matt and Jerem continue to bait the senses as heavier and darker strands join them, the bass of Arnaud a predatory taunt alongside the considered but imposing swings of drummer Léo. Completed by the fine tones of vocalist Jo, the track swiftly grows into a formidable and compelling incitement, imagination and unpredictability increasingly fuelling its enterprise and inescapable persuasion.

The increasingly magnetic and impressive start is easily continued by the album’s title track. It too springs from a seductive sonic lure if one which lances the senses rather than caresses them. The emerging web of guitars ensnared ears with swiftly nagging and devious intent; a strength of coercion matched in voice and rhythm. There is a touch of Mudvayne to the track at times which does it no harm or indeed the atmospheric winds which bring haunting melodies amid seemingly calm but dark aural intimation.

With the twisted canvas of The Asylum a refreshing bedlam of sound and individual craft shaped into another tantalising captivation come threat and the, at times, even more creatively unhinged and similarly fascinating Chrysalis, there is no let up on attention and enjoyment. Each track lured and trapped both with a creative greed which alone marks Down To The Bunker out, a dexterity in thought, songwriting and adventure which equally infests next up Ethics. As with all songs, it is a writhing collusion of sonic vines and metallic dissonance matched in vocal and lyrical dispute, and like each a blend of the barbarous and seductive as a cast of styles and flavours join up to ignite the band’s imagination and sound. There are moments of deceptive and corrupted calm which maybe disrupt the flow and impact of the track but it is that unexpected ideation which also makes it as potent as anything within Misery.

Through the intimately reflective and melodically evocative Waves, a quest with its own underlying snarl, and the sonically invasive and haunting Lost In The Desert, there was no let up on bold enterprise and striking intimation. The latter is like a senses suffocating limbo which slowly but surely reveals it’s waiting demons and distortions resulting in an experience which gloriously tests and provokes.

a final pair of bonus tracks in Machine and Alive brings the album to a dramatic and imposing close. The first and another major highlight of the release openly wears familiarity in its holler yet it would be hard to say it is anything other than a Down To The Bunker creative clamour while its successor prowls, pretty much crawls through ears with a great mix of heavy grunge and rapacious metal bound in melodic volatility.

It is a great end to an album which just pleasures and grows more impressive over time. In their seventh year Down To The Bunker will be making their first introduction to a great many with Misery but it is easy to believe they will be no strangers to them and major spotlights hereon in.

Misery is released February 22nd via Tenacity Music; available @ https://tenacity-music.bandcamp.com/album/misery

https://www.facebook.com/DownToTheBunker

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Khaidian – Penumbra

The release of the debut album from UK metallers Khaidian has been long time coming, seemingly expected and all geared up to be unleashed in 2016. But as ears and the passions are finally being infested, those patient many will feel it has been more than worth the wait and can assume they will soon be joined by tides of new hungrily impressed and lustful hearts. Penumbra is quite simply superb; a cauldron of imagination and intensity wrapped in a rainbow of melodic enterprise amidst a tempest of technical and multi-flavoured dexterity.

Listening to Penumbra, there is no surprise at the rising reputation and stature of the London based outfit; both recently given boost by a trio of lead tracks to the album. Weaving a web of rich intrigue and thick persuasion bred from a fusion of progressive and technical metal, the band’s sound is just as inventive and tempting with its alignment to eager strains of electronic cunning. It is something akin to a fusion of the voracious flavours and touch of Gojira, Sikth and The Browning with the ravenous/melodic adventuring of Tricore/An Entire Legion; even so Khaidian pull it all to a proposition which is as unapologetically unique as it is greedily captivating as Penumbra forcibly proves.

Founded in 2010 by guitarist/programmer John Tyrell (ex-Interlock), Khaidian found its first few years as much a difficult journey to find the right mix and line-up of people as an adventure in nurturing and breeding their vision and sound. In fact, the perfect mix of personnel only really appeared once drummer Paul Fowler (ex Dragnerve) was enlisted to join Tyrell, vocalist Andy Hutton (ex-Stoopi/Dragnerve), and bassist Joseph Perumal (Mortad/ex-Almamorta). It was Fowlers departure leading up to the original release date of Penumbra which he plays upon which played a big part in its delay it seems but the band has since found the equally striking and agile percussionist in Kris Perrin (Gravil, ex-One Fell Down, Faux Fighters), he completing the current line-up last year.

Now with everything firmly in place Penumbra has been unveiled and we for one can only suggest it is the first leap in a massive and surely certain ascent for the band into the broadest spotlights. The album opens with Pearls Before Swine and immediately had ears pricked and appetite keenly intrigued as sonic and electronic enticement colluded with already stirring rhythmic lures. Just as swiftly the equally potent and enticing vocals of Hutton step forward; his clean, calm yet emotive tones an alluring bridge between the band’s sides of physical trespass and suggestive melody, their indeed their technical hunger and electronic intimation. The track continues to stomp and dance with the senses, a mix of the familiar and boldly fresh creating a whole new vehicle for ears and imagination to ride with.

The striking start is only reinforced by the band’s outstanding new video/single Dominion. Its entrance is even more rapacious but almost instantly wears a portentous calm before its predacious instincts unite with inventive and somatic catchiness. Pure persuasion with increasing enslavement of the senses, the track embraces further hues resembling those cast by Voyager and Fear Factory as it twists and turns with relish but never breaking its fluidity or charm carrying rapacity.

The following Trigger The Landslide glides in on electronic shadows around a slim but copious melodic insinuation; all the while its air brewing an intensity and threat which turns into a senses harrying stroll. Still the menace is part anger, part seduction; the song never choosing sides even as its body and imagination boils across another devilish landscape of thought, emotion, and craft. As with all tracks some kind of participation is inevitable with the increasingly blossoming and thrilling encounter, a manipulation just as potent within next up Thrive and in turn Sense Of The Spherical. A Korn-esque scent pervades the first of the outstanding two, its carnivorous breath colluding with the skittish flirtation and bite of rhythms and the tantalising yet voracious almost rabid lures of guitars. Hutton again is a matching magnet in its midst as the track creatively and vocally writhes while its successor similarly draws dark and esurient strains of sound and intent with melodic and flirtatious enterprise to tempt, seduce, and infest ears and imagination in tandem with the body.

The album concludes with the pair of Evasion and Dramatic Professions Of Martyrdom, the band getting under the skin with relish in the first where again whiffs of Korn meets Fear Factory share its own inescapable  individuality, and through the second’s musical irritability, melodic and electronic espionage, and simply unique prowess. Both tracks enslaved as heartily and strenuously as those before, the bounce of bodies enough to suggest eager submission, the following lust unbridled confirmation.

No release is going to win over all but with its thick mix of flavours including at times spices of grunge, alternative metal and more alongside sheer invention, Penumbra is one which is going to conquer far more than most and with ease we suggest. Though in theory three years late it is one of the freshest most thrilling things heard here in a long time and Khaidian one of the most exciting propositions.

Penumbra is out now through Armalyte Industries; available @ https://armalyte.bandcamp.com/album/khaidian-penumbra

http://www.khaidian.com/   https://www.facebook.com/khaidianmusic/   https://twitter.com/khaidian

Pete RingMaster 30/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Returning to the garden with Leaving Eden

Two years on we have linked back up with Leaving Eden songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Eric Gynan to catch up with the band. Already renowned for their ear grabbing, imagination stoking rock sound, the band is poised to release its new album this month. One highly anticipated release we join Eric to look into its body and character with more besides…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Howdy Eric Gynan here from the band Leaving Eden, Boston Mass area USA. It’s great to talk with you again. I think it was a couple years ago when we chatted last.

To remind people can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?

Myself and Eve are the co-founders of Leaving Eden We had some songs; I’ve always been recording so we wanted to play some of these live. I think one must make a choice as to what they want to do with their life. It takes sacrifice, let downs and one must have a thick skin. Let’s face it most artists are different than others, so not only is there issues with all the variables outside the band, but from within too. I think the current line-up is great where everyone sees the bigger picture.

What are the musical backgrounds to you all; previous bands, projects etc…

Yes myself and Eve were in a band before leaving Eden. The band was regionally successful, but it usually comes down to the members. I remember for instance the drummer wanted no part of having a female in the band. He just hated it. Well, I saw the bigger picture, and after the first 100 people came up to me and told me how great Eve was, I knew I had to really do something about it…Shortly after we formed Leaving Eden.

Tell us about the band name?

We thought that this planet being the entire Garden of Eden has become corrupt full of Deceit and Hate so we thought wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere else that’s the name leaving Eden.

Did you have a particular aim for the band initially and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Originally we wanted two female singers that never seemed to work out. Eve was really 2nd to none when it came to a front person, so anyone else up there trying to almost compete was pretty much a ridiculous situation. Now we do have another female, but she plays keys and sings backup vocals so it’s different now. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have not only the right people for the right sound, but the right personalities for perseverance.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

I think so. I think we are a little more reality oriented and understand more the barriers and pitfalls associated with the business. I think more so now we’re happy doing what we’re doing instead of being unhappy about not achieving our goals to the fullest.

How do you see the evolution of the band’s sound since starting out?

I think first and foremost you must always be listening to what’s out there what’s current what’s new and changing with the times. Also, one must try and be a trendsetter. It’s the new artists that forge the future, the ones out there in the gutters so to speak who are really at the pinnacle. As I said, for me I listen and get these songs kind of fully produced in my mind’s eye and I just go with the flow.

So it is a more organic movement of sound than deliberately wanting to try new things or an equally sided process?

Good question maybe both. We always want to try new things but also I think organically speaking the band naturally moves in a particular direction.

You said you eagerly listen to the sounds out there; are particular inspirations which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

I think playing I’m sharing the stage with many of the best bands in the world has definitely been a great influence on us. Leaving Eden has toured the USA, UK and Canada sharing the stage with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world including; Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio, Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Buckcherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s, Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Michaels, Halestorm,Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel, Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) Adelitas Way, Scott Stapp (The voice of Creed), Gemini Syndrome, Pop Evil, Ratt, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death & many more..

How does the songwriting work within the band; is there a particular process?

Yes I think it’s best for me as the songwriter to make a connection with the universe and listen because there’s always songs out there trying to come in; it depends if they come while I’m sleeping and I have the ability to wake up from that and go record something or if it comes while just almost meditating and communicating again with the universe and just listening.

How about the sparks to the lyrical side of your songs?

It’s definitely drawn from reality; all the lyrics are based on what’s happening at the time. Good, bad or indifferent I’m constantly writing lyrics so it’s going back to those and using them for music that I may already have written or writing the music around those lyrics. The skies aren’t always blue, thus our song Skies of Grey. “It’s not too late to open your eyes and sail through skies of grey”. “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, we’ve been exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around, tied and bound but NOTHING could take the music away”. From our Tied and Bound album.

Tell us about the band’s latest release?

Our latest release would be our last album Out of the Ashes (Recorded/mixed By Johnny K. (Disturbed, Pop Evil, Staind, 3 Doors Down,) Mastered by Brad Blackwood (Sevendust, Dave Mathews, Adelitas way, Korn) and produced by myself reinterpreted by Leaving Eden.) We also released a single, Jailbreak and it is going to be on our new album to be released October 19th 2018 called Descending again through Dark Star Records/Sony Music worldwide.

Our new album to be released, Descending, I’m excited about this album because it was recorded at Leaving Eden Studios. We were able to take all the time we needed and really craft this album to exactly what we wanted it to be. I did a premix on it and sent it off to Bob St John for the Final Mix and Mastering. Bob is a Grammy award-winning engineer and has done bands like Duran Duran, Extreme, Collective Soul, Steven Tyler…Such a great guy to work with too.

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind Descending and its songs.

The title Descending, is taken from a song off the album called Shallow Waters. Shallow Waters is very cool because it’s one of those songs where I woke up from a dream and the song was playing in my head; this happens a lot most of the time I can’t pull myself out but this time I was able to. It’s great when you can hear songs already produced in your dreams, takes a lot of work out of it. It definitely comes from somewhere else. We wanted to have different genres such as heavy, acoustic, different key changes and tempos, really trying to have such diversity. We even got some songs you can dance to the beat.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Yes because studio time is so expensive it’s really best to have it all complete so we have typically recorded the entire album in our studio first working out all the bugs and adding everything we want to add so that when it comes time in the studio we know exactly what we’re doing because there’s usually not as much time as you need, so you try to prepare for that. In the case of our Descending album soon-to-be-released we actually recorded this completely in our studio so we had the time to really craft what we believe is a great album.

 Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Yes when I have always said that Leaving Eden is best seen and heard live. There’s a lot of energy sharing that goes on with the crowd. We don’t look at it like hey man look at me I’m a rock star check me out I’m too cool man, rather quite the opposite. It’s like hey we’re all here together all night to have a good time so let’s party together and let’s have some fun together. We are all involved in this.

You obviously know how hard it is for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it with Leaving Eden?

Really I think with the onslaught of the internet anywhere you are you can really make a mark. I get it that making a mark by playing the venues that’s in your own region could make a difference. The reality is that if you’re good, fresh, have really put some time into the band look and made a great recording then it doesn’t really matter where you are. You can get it out there with a good publicist, good radio guy, good record label and good distribution also good management. We’ve pretty much always taken care of all of this on our own and hiring certain people and companies. I think it all works together. The most important thing for us is we will play anywhere anyhow anyway, so long as we can because this is what we love to do

You mentioned the internet. How do you work and weave your social media sites to use them most effectively?

The internet is very important to any band because that’s where people are getting most of their information now from and you can do it for free and make an impact on different social media platforms for sure. At the end of the day it comes down to a song, is the song good; is it one somebody wants to listen to? Our song Out Of The Ashes says digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound. What that means is I feel we’ve always been an underground type band, you know really building its base of friends organically so an underground band able to, with the click of a mouse be in China for instance so that is faster than the speed of sound. It’s definitely referencing the internet and for that you can’t even quantify how important it is when talking about streaming on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon. You know that’s the way people are listening to the music they’re not going out and spending money to pay for music when they can listen to it for free or maybe $10 a month. Now this doesn’t really pay the artist much but if your song caught on and you had millions of listeners every day well then you would be making a lot of money so it’s really the same, only different is the means. People will still buy CDs more at a gig than anywhere else.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add?

Well, without our friends, we got nothing so we hope to make new friends here and hope they enjoy learning more about Leaving Eden. We definitely want to say Thanx Much and Peace!!

https://www.leavingeden.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden   https://www.instagram.com/leavingedenofficial/   https://twitter.com/Leavingeden   https://www.youtube.com/user/leavingedenband

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Rosen – Self Titled

With a sound bound to draw comparisons to the likes of Korn and Limp Bizkit but quickly revealing its own individual drama and character, UK outfit Rosen are poised to release their self-titled debut EP. Offering six slices of the London band’s fusion of hip-hop, punk, and nu metal, the encounter is an attention grabbing proposal sparking ears with its enterprise and the imagination with its politically triggered lyrics.

Emerging last year, the quintet takes inspiration from bands such as Hacktivist, Rage Against The Machine and the previously mentioned pair of artists. The release of the first single High Tech Low Life and successor Riot triggered acclaim and support from fans and media alike, nurturing anticipation for something larger which the EP boisterously rewards.

It opens up with Sticks & Stones, the song rising up through the theatre of piano intimation with Frhetoric jabbing vocals leading jousting riffs and teasing rhythms. The guitar of Matt Ress becomes more irritable as a chorus forms, the track swiftly settling back down to repeat its creative cycle. Cole Sław’s keys continue to lure and suggest as the punchy touch of Frisco beats impose; a mix of the familiar and boldly fresh courting the appetite like a mix of The Kennedy Soundtrack and Papa Roach tinted by an industrial/darkwave hue something akin to Pink Turns Blue.

High Tech Low Life follows and almost immediately flirts with wiry grooves and a controlled but salacious swing encouraged by the throbbing bass of Kam Ikaze. As with its predecessor, there is an inherent contagiousness to the song, one elevated in its chorus around equally captivating vocals but just as manipulative throughout as the song strolls through ears. From beginning to end, the track is superb, enticing body and vocal chords as well as thoughts in an instant before Pushing Raw simmers and bubbles into view. Rap and synth rock entangle as the track quickly got under the skin, a rich Tech N9ne spicing adding to its organic magnetism and adventurous enterprise.

It proved so hard to choose a favourite track within the EP, the first trio all firmly lingering in thoughts and pleasure as too next up Hallelujah. The likes of Clawfinger, Fuckshovel, and B Movie all came to mind as the song calmly and effortlessly infested ears and imagination. Again lyrics and their delivery left as potent an imprint as the sounds around them, a rich trait echoed in Reverie straight after. Probably the song did not stir the passions as boisterously as its companions yet its atmospheric tone and melodic web only enhanced and enriched the already impressing release.

Riot brings things to a close, its electro punk scented entrance soon a blend of antagonism and seduction, again Clawfinger reminded of as well as very early Ministry though as for all songs, it’s individually is overriding. More volatile by the chord and vocal dexterity, the track is a web of temptation which never really unleashes its animosity but certainly snarls as it arouses.

Very good things have been said about Rosen and the EP has all the evidence as to why. Simultaneously it attacks and scythes through injustices and society’s waywardness while inflaming the senses with its insistently compelling, at times enjoyably tempestuous sound. The beginnings of great things for them and us we suggest.

The Rosen EP is released July 27th.

http://rosenofficial.com/   https://www.facebook.com/RosenOfficialUK/

Pete RingMaster 23/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright