Bloodclot – Up in Arms

Pic Rick Rodney

Bringing together the highly recognised talent of certain individuals from various acclaimed bands does not always guarantee something special but in the case of Bloodclot, it feels a given such the instinctive union between its collective. The band is the coming together of Cro-Mags vocalist John Joseph, former Danzig and Murphy’s Law guitarist Todd Youth, drummer Joey Castillo formerly of Queens of the Stone Age, Danzig, and Eagles of Death Metal, and Mondo Generator frontman and ex- Queens of the Stone Age, Kyuss bassist Nick Oliveri. Together they confirm that given with debut album Up in Arms, a physical and lyrical roar of hardcore defiance.

Unleashing twelve ravenous slices of punk rock with more inescapable hooks than found in Leatherface’s pantry, all fuelled by raw irritability at the state of the world today, Up in Arms is a crowd uniting battle cry. It fuses familiar essences with the fresh appetite and invention of a quartet seemingly destined to come together at some point. Everything about it is as organic as it is rabid, as challenging as it is rousing; taking no prisoners but rewarding those who it devours time and time again.

The album’s title track crashes in on the listener first, springing from an invasive sonic mist with a slavery of guitar and rhythmic predation as Joseph pokes and stirs the senses with voice and word. Castillo’s beats are rapier sharp and imposing, Oliveri’s bass carries an infectious brooding whilst Youth’s riffs and hooks ensnare across four eventful minutes.

It is an ear gripping, appetite inflaming beginning which only kicks up a gear with the following Fire, a belligerent brawl of punk ‘n’ roll instantly chaining ears with a  virulent hook as rhythms jab and incite. If the Angelic Upstarts was merged with Sick Of It All, this could be their anthem while Manic infuses an even greater physical psychosis and unforgiving attitude to the torrential gait of its predecessor in its own addictive multi-flavoured rumble.

Through the sonic call to arms scourge of Kill the Beast and the Dead Kennedys scented Prayer, new twists of sound and invention force themselves through ears, each with a virulent strain of spiky hooks and body twisting grooves, while their successor has things bouncing like a dervish. Siva / Rudra is a contagion of enterprise as cantankerous as it is exotically seductive marked, as all three, by Oliveri springing basslines as funky as they are carnal. Alongside, Youth’s riffs and grooves come as primal as they are compelling whilst Joseph squeezes every ounce of uncompromising adventure and emotional incitement out of tone and syllable.

Soldiers of the New Babylon locks metal and punk together in its prickly vent, a testy proposition woven with nagging riffs and a magnetically throbbing bassline before Kali throws all those attributes into an insatiable maelstrom of punk rock temptation, taking best track honours along the way. Barely seeing the one minute mark, the track is irresistible but swiftly rivalled by the crabby assault of Slow Kill Genocide, the catchiness moment within Up in Arms and arguably the most choleric.

Pure punk rock truculence shapes the breath-sapping antics of the following Slipping into Darkness, Oliveri spawning his most addictive moment within the album bound in the searing flames of Youth’s guitar as vocals and beats vent their animosity with Life as One backing up its triumph with its mercurial but always commandingly imposing tapestry of quarrel and imagination.

The album is closed by You’ll Be the Death of Me, a slab of rock ‘n’ roll taking big chunks out of the senses as it excites with its Lard-esque espionage. Addiction has never been more vicious and seductive within three and a half minutes, certainly in recent times, as that spawned by the outstanding finale to one of the year’s biggest treats so far.

Produced by Zeuss (Hatebreed, Revocation) and mixed by Kyle McAulay at NRG, Up in Arms transcends being just a great release from another so called ‘super group’, it has given hardcore a fresh new breath and snarl which we can only hope is the first of many gales from Bloodclot.

Up in Arms is out now on Metal Blade Records across most stores and @ https://bloodclot.bandcamp.com/album/up-in-arms

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Pete RingMaster 26/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Widows – Oh Deer God

As kids on a rainy day there was nothing better than coming home caked in the dirt rich antics of the day; being mud splattered after playing and revelling in the organic filth on offer. The sound and new album, Oh Deer God, from UK stoner/heavy rock outfit Widows is the sonic equivalent; a dirty, scuzzy plaything which sticks to the senses whilst offering a tank full of just as instinctive pleasure.

Over seven tracks bulging with rabid grooves, ravenous riffs, and vocals that instinctively wear irritability with pride, Widows has unleashed their heaviest and dirtiest escapades yet but without losing the body inciting grooving which helped debut album Death Valley Duchess grab attention back in 2012. The five years between releases has seen the band in their words trade “the desert worship for some more sludgy/doomy elements and it’s definitely a much darker affair.” It has also seen new bassist Phil Emblin come in and link up with vocalist Adam Jolliffe, guitarist James Kidd, and drummer Ze Big; another move which seems to have given fresh depth and weight to a sound bred on the inspirations of artists such as Down, Kyuss, and Clutch. It has been a fair time since the band formed in 2008 and released debut EP Raise the Monolith two years later, a passage which on the evidence of Oh Deer God has seen them become one of Britain’s mightiest purveyors of infestation.

The Nottingham band swiftly has Oh Deer God eagerly fingering the senses with its title track. First the guitar strokes ears, the bass quickly joining in as beats add their imposing bite and Jolliffe growls with an almost toxic intent from the midst of it all. Strolling along with a controlled but feral gait, the song breaks its stride with moments of instinctive boisterousness but then slips back into its natural prowl. Melodic strains simply add to the raw temptation of the track, its stoner breeding complimenting the primal heart driving things. With a touch of Northern Ireland outfit Triggerman meets Clutch to it, the song brings things to the boil superbly before parting for the one minute plus fury of its successor.

Caffeine and Hatred is a short swift violation that just ignites the senses and passions, its punk tempest and web of sonic trespasses, accentuated by the lethal swings of Ze Big, irresistible pleasure. The song is as musically horny as it is quarrelsome, the kind of rabid assault greed flocks to before taking on the rhythmically big boned and sonically compelling Heresy and Venom. As with the first, the song has hips swerving to its grooves and the inner punk grabbing on to its senses puncturing stabs with glee whilst the rocker inside swings from its stoner nurtured tendrils of intoxication. There is a great element of discord in the mix too, an unpredictability which increases the slavery of the imagination.

More familiar essences and designs are woven for the tangy exploits of next up Blue Tuna but wrapping a rhythmically agitated skeleton dancing with more of that expectations squashing enterprise already shaping the album while Ride To The Realm Of Coitus gets to the grain of dirty rock ‘n’ roll with its crawling motion and grubby textures. With the bass a soiled flirtation, the song initially stalks the senses before flicking a switch into a feistily energetic and volatile canter with tart melodic seduction veining a rapacious character built on predacious grooves and riffs.

The blues infested grooving of Baron Greenback Blues across a spine of wonderfully dishevelled rock ‘n’ roll has things hungrily bouncing next, the track a wild and wily incitement of body and spirit with another seriously carnal and glorious bassline stealing the passions before making way for Germanium Buzz which brings things to a fine close. Almost clean cut in comparisons to things before it, the song is the one track the stoner rock tag fully fits though it too is soon uncaging muscular dexterity and body trespassing instincts seeded in other strains of sound, merging both sides with increasingly captivating tenacity.

You can call Oh Deer God and the Widows sound stoner rock, sludge, or heavy rock but quite simply it is just undiluted rock ‘n’ roll and the reason the band’s latest album is one essential slab of prize pleasure.

Oh Deer God is out now through UMC Recordings and available @ https://widows666.bandcamp.com/album/oh-deer-god

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Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Morass of Molasses – These Paths We Tread

The first album from UK trio Morass of Molasses has definitely been one encounter we have here been keenly anticipating, almost from the day the band first stepped forward with a couple of senses infesting, psyche twisting tracks. Their fusion of doom, sludge, and stoner bred textures served in a swamp of aural filth just fed all the instincts and continued to through their debut EP a few months after. Now we have These Paths We Tread to devour, an album which we will admit had us a touch unsure initially.

Instantly enjoyable, These Paths We Tread still had thoughts crowding to contemplate its new proposal of sound. Morass Of Molasses has lured their music from the filth infested depths of the swamp into a cleaner yet still aurally clinging landscape. That is not to say that it does not still come with a healthy coating of scuzz and doom lined dirt but it is a lumbering trespass of sound which is almost more celebratory than predatory. Quite simply their sound has matured, grown up even, and hindsight through listening back at certainly that last EP, So Flows Our Fate, shows it was an evolution on the cards even back then. To be honest we miss the filth but it has not stopped These Paths We Tread through time and listens blossoming into one seriously striking encounter loaded with the potential of even greater adventures ahead with the threesome of vocalist/baritone guitarist Bones ‘The Beard’ Huse, lead guitarist Phil ‘The Mountain’ Williams, and drummer Chris ‘The Beast’ West.

These Paths We Tread gets off to a mighty start with My Leviathan, its gentle caresses of melody and atmospheric waves a deceptive coaxing into the waiting jaws of colossal riffs and flirtatiously tangy grooves. Settling into a predacious crawl entwining raw causticity with salacious seduction, the song roams ears and imagination like a primal siren. Bones’ raw throaty roars share pure toxicity at times, his hostile tones matched by the punchy rhythms of West but tempered by his own calmer vocal tempting and the sonic web cast by Williams. Continually twisting through an array of perpetual incitement on ears and appetite, the track is glorious, its emerging funkiness icing on the feral cake.

Recent times has seen MOM tear into stages alongside the likes of Orange Goblin, Ohhms, Vodun, Elephant Tree, Desert Storm, Space Witch, Sea Bastard, Gurt, and Limb among many others, and there are essences of a few of these within second track So They Walk. Its grooves seep Orange Goblin/Kyuss like taunting whilst its irritable side has a Sleep like causticity, all merged into a distinct MOM recipe and a track like its predecessor which hits the spot with relish.

Continuing themes of “mythic sin and ancient archetypes”, album and next up Serpentine lyrically and musically bind the listener in evocative textures. The third track winds around ears with a dexterity and sonic adeptness emulating its title, grooves almost slithering across the imagination as rhythms bite. Bones’ warm if emotionally deceitful vocals contrast the underlying volatility of the track superbly, also erupting at times to spark a sonic wave fuelling greater weight and intensity throughout. It is a bewitching affair, not as instantly gripping as the first pair of songs but blossoming with every listen into an instinctive temptation before the brief incantation of The Ritual lures and the haunting presence of Centralia descends. A weave of stoner bred enterprise lined with provocative shadows and ghostly whispers as infectious rhythms drive a rolling canter, the second of the two is a well of suggestion coloured by the skilful adventure of Williams on guitar strings.

Next up Maenads is a psychosis of drama and sound, simultaneously enthralling and threatening with seduction and primal toning. It is fair to say, as the album, the track grows and infests deeper into the psyche with every taking of its inflamed intoxication; its melodic anaesthetic fascinating and feral instincts tantalising before things end with Wrath Of Aphrodite, a song which maybe did not quite spark the passions as richly as its companions yet has body and appetite for more bouncing to its groove woven, heavily boned rock ‘n’ roll.

Certainly for fans of the band, These Paths We Tread  will maybe need time to grow and develop on ears and thoughts though newcomers will find Morass of Molasses a quick persuasion we are sure. Yes we still miss the filth but the album blossoms into something thickly compelling and increasingly pleasurable; how stupid of us to doubt with those first thoughts.

These Paths We Tread is out now through HeviSike Records in various formats @ https://morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com and http://www.hevisike.com/product/morass-of-molasseslp

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Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Desert Kingdom – Self Titled

desert-kingdom_RingMasterReview

Hailing from the suburbs of Melbourne, Desert Kingdom recently made their introduction to greater attention with their self-titled debut release offering seven slabs of fiercely muscular stoner bred rock ‘n’ roll relishing the band’s inspirations. Certainly uniqueness is not as forceful as the physical power and prowess of the band but there was no escaping a richly pleasing and rousing first glimpse of the potential loaded quartet.

Consisting of vocalist Ritch, guitarist Emmett Young, bassist Brett Wright, and drummer Paul Coste, Desert Kingdom swiftly get down to business as opener You’ll Burn descends on ears with sinew woven riffs and swinging beats. Instantly infectious, it is a commanding coaxing for ears only increasing its potency as choppy tenacity infects those initial chords and a heavy grumble escapes the bass. The raw scowling tones of Ritch are equally as persuasive, it all combining for a fiery slice of stoner heaviness clothed in the influences of bands such as Orange Goblin, Kyuss, and Down.

desert_kingdom_art_RingMasterReviewThe atmospheric, drama soaked entrance of Mafiaso Opera deceptively makes a gentler proposition but its sinister air is soon a tempestuous torrent of catchy beats and predacious riffs. As vocals rage spicy grooves wind around the rhythmic temptation, varied metallic strains linking arms in a familiar yet fresh incitement. Brawling with the senses through every passing second, the track quickly eclipses its impressive predecessor, stomping with raw aggression and captivating enterprise before Doghouse Blues prowls with an equally rapacious intent to that of the previous track while military seeded rhythms impose their agreeable authority. Like a blend of Gruntruck and Pantera with a whiff of Mary Beats Jane, the track irritably rumbles leaving satisfaction full if not quite matching the heights sparked by the pair before it.

If the last track prowls then 7 Years stalks the senses with its doom bred trespass, sonic flames erupting within the pressure as choice grooves entwine voice and the engaging ponderous gait of the rhythms. It too lacks the sparks of those early successes but again only and increasingly pleases as its waspish sound intensifies in tandem with the song’s boisterous aggression with subsequent blues toxicity adding to the fun.

Abstainer rocks like a lustful dog next, its hungry riffs and heftily swung rhythms alone a carnal incitement while Fuck You is sonic belligerence and muscular aggravation bred to raise the spirit as the release re-hits the early plateau it began upon. With spicy hooks and scorching grooves, the track has all the attributes and open potential to raise expectations that Desert Kingdom will come under the scrutiny of the broadest spotlights if not now in the time ahead.

Concluded by the boozy blaze of Whiskey, sawdust and spit rock ‘n’ roll with all the groove laced liquor you could wish for, the release is a very easy to return to stomp. Originality might be a touch on the scarce side but enjoyment is full, something never drawing complaints.

The Desert Kingdom album is out now via Black Bow Records across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 01/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Big South Market – Muzak EP

the-big-south-market_RingMasterReview

Weaving strands of hard and blues rock with grunge and stoner essences for a sound equally familiar and enterprisingly fresh, The Big South Market is an Italian band making a powerful introduction to themselves with their debut EP Muzak. Five tracks of rousing rock ‘n’ roll the encounter is an impressive offering from yet another duo showing that you do not need multiple bodies to make a mighty roar.

From Barletta, The Big South Market was formed in 2015 by vocalist/guitarist Giuseppe Chiumeo, founder of the crossover band The Rest Side, and drummer Ruggiero Ricco from thrash metallers Cancrena. Quickly they made a potent impression playing all across their homeland, broader attention now being tempted by Muzak and its fiery contents.

Opener Big Deal immediately threatens welcoming ears with thumping beats as wiry grooves wrap around. It is an intoxicating start which only blossoms in strength and sound as Chiumeo and Ricco unite their imposing enterprise. Like a blend of Gruntruck and Crobot, the song growls and seduces, getting under the skin in no time as it vocally snarls and musically sears the senses.

tbsm_cover_RingMasterReviewIt is a stunning start swiftly matched by the similarly fiery lures of Before (You Make It Deeper), itself a fine blend of stoner and blues endeavour as raw as it is imaginatively woven. As with its predecessor there is plenty which seems familiar yet more than enough to create a proposition which stands apart from the crowd, riffs and grooves a web of instinctive adventure in an imposingly big yet uncluttered roar of sound.

A southern air lines the blues rock of next up Moodrink, its grooves and rampant rhythms a spirit sparking enticement as soulful vocals roar. Hinting at the likes of bands such as Pantera, Kyuss, and Royal Blood, the track robustly croons and writhes in ears while the following Red Carpet involves its predecessor’s creative liquor in an even richer slice of virulent blues infused rock ‘n’ roll.

As it strikingly began, Muzak ends on a major highlight with Desert Motel, a slab of desert blues built on enjoyably intrusive rhythms and boozy blues tenacity around the ever potent vocals of Chiumeo. A less energetic proposal compared to earlier tracks, it replaces a full throttle charge with emotively suggestive grooves within melodic fire as an underlying intensity soaked in attitude and ferocity murmurs.

It is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable first look at The Big South Market, a pair showing the potential of eventually matching the stature of other great rock n’ roll duos.

Muzak is out now across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/thebigsouthmarket   https://twitter.com/tbsmofficial

Pete RingMaster 11/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Welcome Back Delta – Sucker

WBD_RingMasterReview

As commandingly infectious as it is resourcefully muscular, Sucker is one of those propositions which just demands attention. The second album from British rockers Welcome Back Delta, the album is a spicy brew of classic and blues rock with a stoner/grunge scent to its captivating aroma. It embraces familiar flavours and textures but in a creative devilment and character all of the Welcome Back Delta making.

Hailing from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, Welcome Back Delta emerged in 2011 and quickly made an impact on their local music scene. Since then they have toured the UK several times and supported the likes of Clutch, Nick Oliveri’s Death Acoustic Tour, And So I Watch You From Afar, Lionize, and Karma to Burn. 2014 saw the well-received release of debut album Shocker, a success sure to be eclipsed with style and strength by Sucker.

Band and album get straight down to business with opener Beast Mode where from an initial ear catching ear spun hook and a swiftly joining rally of beats attention is hooked, riveted as Clutch like grooves and great group vocals uncage their catchy and dirty exploits around the lead and enjoyable slightly grouchy tones of vocalist/guitarist Joe Kelly. With the brooding bassline of Phil Davies carrying its only steely nature to align with the potent lures of Rob Duncan’s grooves, the track is soon in command of ears and appetite with a rousing chorus to complete the persuasion.

The bluesy tendrils of the following Snake In The Grass keep the commanding start going, grooves a smouldering lure of classic and familiar blues infection luring the listener into another potent chorus of group vocals. Caged by the firm and magnetic rhythms of drummer Steve Roberts, the song strolls along with a swagger and melodic glint in an intoxicating combination sparking listener participation with ease before the heftier weight and growl of Thrones takes over. Again there is no lack of contagiousness to its boozy grooves and imposing presence as ears and imagination are ignited alike again.

cover_RingMasterReviewGood variety across Sucker is another potent attribute, the country blues drama of Arms Dealer, which features guest Damon T, providing a flavoursome turn in the album’s landscape while Dadgerous featuring Bison Steed wraps itself in a Kyuss meets Red Fang-esque roar. The track is outstanding, a virulent trespass of the senses which ignites the spirit and energies of those it touches.

Jeremy’s Iron rumbles and grumbles next, its heavy riffs and cracking rhythms colluding with more of the smouldering grooves and instinctive catchiness Welcome Back Delta conjures at will while The Magic Of Flight shows the band is as adept at serenading ears, the track a tantalising mix of darkly grained vocals and simple but suggestive melody courted by the shadowed air of bass. It is hard to say that either is overly unique but both tracks, as the album, simply tempt and persuade with a sublime touch and invention.

More of that country breeding infests the lively Black Tie next with the following Preacher entangling itself in a web of blues endeavour and though neither quite match up to songs before them, each leave satisfaction thick and ears hungry for more which the closing and fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Don’t Hold It Against Me, Unless It Gets Hard provides in fine style. With rampant rhythms and tangy grooves it leaves a lingering taste of the album and the inspiration of a swift return into the rousing triumph of Sucker.

Sucker might not be the most unique slab of rock ‘n roll heard this year but it is one of the most enjoyable so we dare you to take a punt on Welcome Back Delta.

Sucker is out now and available @ http://welcomebackdelta.bandcamp.com/

Upcoming Live Dates

11th November- HARD ROCK HELL Festival

26th November- The Exchange, Bristol (Supporting Planet of Zeus)

http://welcomebackdelta.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/Welcomebackdelta

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The silent roar of darkness; talking Evocation with Skin Drone

SD_RingMasterReview

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

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

Can you first tell us how you both met?

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

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

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

Otto

Otto

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erik_RingMasterReview

Erik

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

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

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

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

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

Can you give some idea to its themes?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What comes next for Skin Drone and yourselves individually?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 19/05/2016

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