Vovkulaka – Self Titled

Having recently devoured an EP featuring four of their fan’s favourite tracks, there could only be one next port of call and that was the self-titled debut album from Ukrainian metallers Vovkulaka. If that introduction to the band impressed and excited then we can only say that this twelve track release had us lusting for the striking sounds and rousing songs it held.

Emerging in 20914, Vovkulaka (Ukrainian for werewolf) is primarily the solo project of Odessa based vocalist/drummer/songwriter VolK but an adventure also featuring members from Bulgaria and the United States with Stone of metallers Contortion providing guitar and its stage line-up up completed by dancers and percussionists Naya G and JuleZ, and guitarist Ivan Manoloff. Vovkulaka creates a voracious sound bred in the heart of industrial and nu metal but one embracing a host of other flavours such as gothic metal and dubstep. Like a fusion of Fear Factory, Korn, Slipknot, Society 1, Type O Negative and Rob Zombie it grips attention but with an individuality which ensures it boldly stands out from anything else. Lyrically VolK’s inspiration and invention finds its seeds in his passion for ghost hunting and the paranormal experiences found as well as more personal issues; shadows and darkness sought and embraced to immerse the listener in the most compelling encounters.

Produced by Darian Rundall (Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, Yellowcard), the album immediately had the senses and psyche hooked with its opener, Summon The Demon. The brief track is a rhythmic calling, VolK revealing his percussive skill and manipulation as carnivorously haunting beats conjure an atmosphere from darker realms. It may barely be a bidding escaping a minute but proves an irresistible invitation leading to the equally ravening haunting of Cemetery Voices. Crawling over ears and senses, the track is a heavy but compelling trespass but one already a lively threat through the skittish percussion of VolK around his rapaciously slow vocal drawl. The similarly sinister lures of guitar and electronics only add to the captivation quickly bred, the track a sign if mere hint of things to come.

Darkness Calling follows with again a rhythmic tempting which burrowed under the skin. Electronic fingering and the sonic courting of guitar brings shadows and ears together, the Korn-esque flames of the latter lighting up the earthier but no less infectious declaration from VolK’s voice. The track is superb, its senses grinding grooves and dubstep throbbing swift addiction and quickly matched in potency by the even more esurient intent and drama of My Devil. Keys gently entice with a crepuscular sheen before the track erupts in another ravenous incitement, again psyche burrowing grooves leading the way as raptorial rhythms pounce. The contrast of crystalline electronics and musical predation simply gripped attention, all the while rhythms jabbing and stalking with manipulative animation as gut bred vocals magnetically nagged; a dubstep solo from DJ Gigantor from the band Evol Intent extra creative flesh to feast upon.

Emerging from a calm if again minatory caress Defy enslaved ears in its tenebrous realm; defiance and decay embroiled at the heart of its visceral grumble as it wormed deeper and deeper under the skin through raw-boned but rich grooves and provocatively niggling rhythms. With Volk’s cadaverous vocals ever enthralling, the track easily gripped and inspired the imagination before Priest Hole unleashed its own addictive fall from grace. VolK’s rhythms alone ruptured attention, their deeply probing bait aligned to scurrilous but rousing grooves and the illuminated eeriness of keys. The track quickly made a stake for best track acclaim though quickly challenged by the decayed and vicious malevolence of Death Ground. Nefarious grooves wind around ears as corrupt rhythms surround sinful vocals, the result one glorious ungodly delight.

The band’s acclaimed first single is next, Glory To The Heroes a track breaching ears and keen support across the globe with its release in 2018. Featuring Keith Lynch (Bill Ward Band, Ozzy Osbourne) on guitar and dedicated to Ukrainian soldier Nadiya Savchenko who was jailed in Russia but released in May 2016, the track quickly revealed why it made such a strong impact before, savage riffs and punishing rhythms perfectly set against light shimmering keys and melodic seduction as Fear Factory meets Pitchshifter like industrial discontent corrupts the air.

As the contagious venom and dexterity of Whispered Lies seduced as it invaded and Purple Door writhed and crawled into body and psyche with flesh-eating grooves across bone resonating percussion, the album shared further aspects to the Vovkulaka darkness and sound. The latter is something akin to Korn being violated by Godflesh as angels caress the carcass while The Dark Empty chews on the listener’s emotional flesh with rabid jaws coaxed by feral grooves and maniacal rhythms as VolK’s vocals again direct the rich pleasure.

The album closes with a metal version of the Ukrainian National Anthem though the CD also offers a couple of bonus tracks in a drum solo enhanced Darkness Calling and an instrumental version of Defy.

Vovkulaka is a band which should, if any of the references we suggested to their unique presence appeals, no must, be checked out but be warned such their debut album’s dark triumph there will be no turning back.

The Vovkulaka album is available now across most online stores.

https://vovkulaka.com/   https://www.facebook.com/VovkulakaFanPage   https://twitter.com/VovkulakaMusic

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Vovkulaka: Introducing the Darkside…

“Tortured cries from the supernatural haunt the punishing mystical metal of Ukraine’s Vovkulaka. The band’s singer-drummer-songwriter VolK is a dark conduit for paranormal activity and channels his explorations in this realm into his band’s tribal and occultist thrashings.”

We have borrowed the opening paragraph to our introduction to Vovkulaka to bring ours to you as it provides an echo to the feel and breath which pervades the band’s striking sound. With their self-titled album infesting a world already devoured by darkness, we share big thanks to Rhonda at Whiplash PR for an invitation to explore a four track EP featuring the favourite tracks of the band’s fans. It reveals a sound which devours the senses and twists the psyche whilst unleashing catchiness as carnivorous as the multi-flavoured metal fuelling it.

The creation of vocalist/drummer/songwriter VolK, Vovkulaka (Ukrainian for werewolf) rose up in 2014. Primarily based in Odessa, the band also features members from Bulgaria and the United States, on stage the line-up completed by dancers and percussionists Naya G and JuleZ, and guitarist Ivan Manoloff. With his lyrical inspiration seeded in his passion for ghost hunting and paranormal experiences, VolK (itself Russian for werewolf) casts a sound bred from a voracious fusion of industrial and nu metal with goth and dubstep though that still does not quite reveal all of its rich tapestry. Listening to the quartet of songs making up this EP, thoughts of bands such as Fear Factory, Korn, Society 1, Type O Negative and Rob Zombie come to mind yet it is a rousing trespass which swiftly and firmly slams down its own individuality and unique character.

Darkness Calling is the first track to harass our ears, its opening enough to grip attention and appetite with its great Jonathan Davis and co like scenting, one continuing to permeate the track as it entangles VolKs throat rasping vocals with the similarly predacious sounds around them. Equally his rhythms stalk the listener and even as the song contorts and invades with greater imagination, its infectiousness is virulent just as that of Defy.

The second track to embroil our ears is a visceral grumble with a raptorial groove to match, one spiralling under the skin into the psyche in no time. Even with again instinctive contagiousness to voice and sound, there is a cadaverous sense and decay to its weight and touch which only accentuated the almost brutal temptation on offer.

The other pair of tracks only compounds the persuasion and striking presence of Vovkulaka, Purple Door a ravenous crawl through ears with a haunting melody and flesh-eating grooves which wind around ears until another feral infection loaded chorus not that the passage to it is anything less than viral. Its successor, My Devil coaxes with sinister melodic intimation before swinging its eagerly welcomed ruinous grooves and a body of sound which got into every pore, its electronics alone pure manipulation only accentuated by the voracious trespass of vocals, guitar and rhythms.

Though only a taster of Vovkulaka and that earlier mentioned album, we swiftly and hungrily only wanted to be swarmed by much more of the seriously rousing pestilence and there is every chance you will want to be too.

Check out Vovkulaka further @ https://vovkulaka.com/   https://www.facebook.com/VovkulakaFanPage   https://twitter.com/VovkulakaMusic

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Krueggers – Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories

If you are going to unapologetically wear your influences on your musical sleeve you are going to need plenty more to tempt to step out from the crowd. Brazilian outfit The Krueggers have and do just that, it all in compelling evidence within new album Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories. It offers a collection of tracks which proudly blossom from the seeds of their easy to hear inspirations but swiftly stamp down their own identity and uniqueness with relish.

Emerging back in 2011, The Krueggers drew on firm influences which surrounded its founders, vocalist/rhythms guitarist Randy Fiora and bassist Rikke Galla, as they grew up for their fusion of grunge and nu metal. The likes of Nirvana, Sepultura, Alice in Chains, Korn, Soundgarden, Marilyn Manson, and Stone Temple Pilots are all listed amongst their inspirations, a diverse mix which you can firmly feel within their broadly flavoured new release. Though the band released On Your Hands back in 2013, the impressive Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories, following their signing with Eclipse Records, is their first official full-length and a seriously striking introduction to the Guarulhos hailing band it is.

It is no lie to say, that the album had us eagerly attentive in quick time through opener Lying Machine. The track just gripped from its first breath, sirens drawing its intrigue to ears as Galla’s bass raised its throbbing growl. The guitars of Randy Fiora and lead Rafael Fiora quickly offer their bait before dirty riffs accentuated the threat and tempting, Anthony Juno’s swinging beats only increasing the manipulation as the band reveals its Korn-esque instincts with the bass continuing to share a delicious throbbing groove as the track almost taunted ears with its prowling seduction.

It is an outstanding start to the album and remained our favourite moment though fair to say the likes of the following Freak Out certainly hit the spot. A gravelly hard rock spicing brings the track forward; a touch of Gruntruck meets Seether adding to its initial lure and the subsequent infectious stroll it offers for ears and vocal chords to jump upon.  With its dirty breath and spiralling guitar enterprise, the song easily got under the skin, that earthy tone of the bass again a magnetic essence before Dark Parade engages the imagination in its heavy, steely trespass. Like a fusion of early Mudvayne and Skinyard, it crawls across the senses as rhythms take their bite before uncaging a truly virulent chorus which just accentuates another irresistible moment within the release.

A definite Nirvana seeding shapes the enthralling body of next up Someday, the song maybe not unique but highly captivating as its reveals its breeding and invention while Overreaction uncages a garage punk/ grunge bred irritability which infests word and metal nurtured enterprise. Both had ears and appetite gripped but still found themselves eclipsed by the magnificent Bullshit, it too grouchy and uncompromising but around a waspish groove which nagged as it seared the senses to offer abuse and flirtation in equal measure; another major highlight of Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories stamped down.

In some ways the latter part of the album did not quite ignite the passions as what came before had yet as the Stone Temple Pilots tinted heavy metal coated and increasingly addictive I Set Myself and Wrong with its grunge croon upon an intimation soaked melodic web as well as the album’s heavily weighted and skilfully fiery title track proved, all left a lingering impact and lure to go again and again.

Bring Me Shine completes Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories, its acoustically set and melodically woven body a tapestry of adventure and temptation within an emotionally and physically volatile body. It is a fine end to an album which immediately impressed and has only made a greater impact by the listen; a triumph which surely will wake up the world outside of Brazil to The Krueggers.

Hysterical Cold Side and Dark Memories is out now via Eclipse Records.

http://krueggers.com   https://www.facebook.com/the.krueggers   https://twitter.com/thekrueggers

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

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