Inferum – Modern Massacre EP

photo by Emmelie Herwegh

Making an introduction very hard to ignore are Dutch metallers Inferum through their debut release, the Modern Massacre EP. It offers four barbarous slices of, to use their press release’s term, “Mechanical Death Metal” but a trespass just as eagerly embracing groove and deathcore bred enterprise. It is a striking first listen at a band young in age and yet to reach its second year but one with the potential to make major statements within the European metal scene ahead.

The Eindhoven hailing outfit draw on inspirations found in the likes of Thy Art Is Murder, Lamb of God, Slaughter to Prevail, Meshuggah, and Gojira; a couple of which can be sensed within the EP’s opener and title track. Modern Massacre instantly wraps ears with wiry grooves as rhythms probe with forceful intent. Both continue to entice and invade as vocalist Morrison de Boer quickly shows his adventurous delivery, employing varying textures within his first assault alone. The sonic dexterity of guitarist Lars Deelman is matched by the barbarous designs cast by rhythm guitarist Ozzy Voskuilen, together creating a tempest as infectiously alluring as it is fearsomely intrusive with never a handful of seconds passing without new adventure and unpredictable twists being shared.

It is an outstanding dramatic start which alone demands repeat attention to the release and quickly backed in potency by the following Blinding Supremacy. Instantly shaped by the predatory tone of Stan Albers’ bass and the imposing swings of drummer Wouter Macare, the track is an even darker and more murderous proposition than the first but fusing a controlled lighter tempting into its inhospitable climate. Indeed it has moments which skilfully and imaginatively wrong-foot expectations and assumptions, creating a maze like proposal which simply grows more impressive with every passing minute and listen.

Rotten King slams its credentials into thoughts and appetite immediately after as rhythms scythe through the senses followed swiftly by a raw animus of sound cast by guitars and vocals. Inferum have just played with Cryptopsy at Patronaat Haarlem and there is a whiff of the Canadians to the character and technical tenacity of the third track and of Gojira too as it intrudes upon and devours the senses with relish.

Closing track, Incineration, shares its own almost kaleidoscopic whirl of barbarous invention and violent unpredictability; each second seemingly an evolution of the last but with a fluidity which breeds infectious bait for quickly ravenous ears. The groan of bass is as irresistible as the vocal enterprise of de Boer, both as compelling as the imaginative sonic netting sprung around the listener by Deelman and Voskuilen. With Macare’s merciless strikes on top, the song brings the release to a masterfully stirring conclusion.

Only further impressing with every listen, Modern Massacre is a debut demanding to be taken notice of from a band which with their already open creative adventure and fires increasingly burning are surely heading to major attention.

Modern Massacre is available now @ https://inferum.nl/product/ep-modern-massacre/

https://www.facebook.com/InferumBand/

Pete RingMaster 22/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

le-3-11-16_RingMasterReview

It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

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

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

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

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

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?

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

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

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn 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 Micheals, 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) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

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

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Magoa – Imperial

magoa-photo_RingMasterReview

If nothing else, these past couple of years have revealed that the French metal scene is at a striking high if maybe still not truly recognised outside of its national borders. That might be on the verge of changing if it continues to persist in producing bands and releases like Magoa and their new album Imperial. An outfit established within the French metal underground, the Paris hailing band has unleashed a proposition which just demands the richest attention.

Imperial sees the band’s tapping into and unleashing a brutality and a grouchily uncompromising attitude not as vocal in their music to date; a coincidence that the band kept everything about its creation in house? It is emotionally and physically raw yet woven with an imagination which makes its grievous groove infested sound stand out from the crowd. Imperial is a cauldron of varied strains of the fiercest metal genres honed into a virulence which infests ears, appetite, and psyche alike.

The successor to their well-received second album Topsy Turvydom of 2013, Imperial swiftly hints at something having stirred within the Magoa heart and creativity which eclipses all before with each passing minute let alone song. It opens up with its title track, a rousing call to arms which drifts in on a sonic mist broken up by warlike strikes. A melancholic melody slips into the brewing climate, vocalist Cyd Chassagne close behind sharing his dirt encrusted snarls as that lone melodic lure begins to flame with greater intensity within a growing tempestuous air. As grooves begin winding around bruising rhythms, the track rises to real anthemic heights, its roar of a chorus as defiant as it is provocative and contrasted superbly by the beauty of keys and mellower caresses of emotion.

It is a potent start which is soon over shadowed by the snarling brutality of Resistance, grievous riffs and senses shuddering rhythms to the fore. The track is superb, an angry beast of a proposal but one unafraid to show melodic elegance and sonic grace like oases within its vicious onslaught. As its predecessor, the song is a spirit raising anthem which arouses body and emotions before Sailors swings in with its own host of irritable beats and riffs, they soon evolving into one ridiculously infectious and addictive incitement. A great blend of vocal ire is matched by the array of textures within the track’s fiery sound, guitarists Vince and Drayton spinning an imagination snaring web of intrigue and suggestiveness, the bass and drummer  Martin’s lethal swipes antagonistic weight to be feared and embraced.

pochette_RingMasterReviewThere is something familiar about the encounter but an indefinable essence which just spices things up here and within tracks like the following heavyweight swing fest of Kill Us. It descends upon the senses with raw aggression and intent, taking them on a groove spun, melody enriched ride of fearsome yet anthemic savagery which just sparks the instincts.

Through the haunting melancholy of Merge, a less imposing affair but just as emotionally intense as cleaner vocals and resonating rhythms court piano nurtured melody and electronic atmospherics, and the brief and equally impacting Remember and its reminder of conflict’s casualties and protagonists, Imperial strikes another stirring chord with both setting up emotions for the thumping roar of Faith. Like a reassuring beacon within the more murderous aspects of the album, it is pure contagious revelry with its own truculent presence.

The calmer nature of Afterglow follows uncaging a nu/groove metal trespass which bellows with warrior strength and countenance but equally engages in less bruising exploits which further entangles the imagination. Sonic and melodic invention is as prevalent as another great mix of vocal confrontation, all topped off by deliciously scything strings.

Physical barbarism and emotive reflection unite within Endlessly next, the track a mix of bloodlust and warmer enticement, emotionally and musically, with the former holding the reins throughout, while Pray for Us is an emotion driven sonic clamour which whilst maybe lacking the spark of other tracks before it, leaves ears enjoyable ringing and appetite hungry for more which the bewitching Untouchable delivers with its low key but atmospherically thick and emotionally commanding serenade. Cyd’s clean vocals glide over the senses, the gentle haunt of keys and guitar fingering the imagination as the song resonates in thoughts as darker clouds loom on the back of heavier lumbering rhythms.

The album ends with the ruthlessly addictive and mercilessly anthemic The First Day, a track which will either have you cowering or raising a fist in defiant unity while summing up everything impressive and compelling about album and the new character of Magoa’s songwriting, invention, and inescapable sound.

If Imperial came from a Lamb Of God, Slipknot, or In Flames people would be raving about it; hopefully they still will just with the name Magoa upon their lips.

Imperial is out now across most online stores and @ http://magoamusic.com/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/Magoaband/   http://magoamusic.com/   https://twitter.com/magoamusic

Pete RingMaster 21/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Outright Resistance – Me Vs I EP

Outright Resistance

Outright Resistance

There has been a following roar of impressed voices and recommendation to the ascent of UK metallers Outright Resistance within the UK metal scene and especially over recent weeks with the release of the band’s new EP Me Vs I. It is a defiant and aggressive growl of raw groove woven metal often openly suggesting inspirations from bands such as Lamb of God, Chimaira, Stone Sour, August Burns Red, The Agony Scene, and Pantera but unleashing its if not fully unique certainly own kind of irritable sound.

Formed in 2011, the Stevenage bred band soon had debut EP Don’t Eat My Organs stirring up awareness whilst hitting the local live scene with a raw passion. Shows with the likes of Hacktivist and TRC were including in a host of gigs across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and London, all adding to a growing reputation which was invigorated further by last year’s Poveglia EP and especially now through Me Vs I, with being one of six finalists in the 2015 London arm of the Bloodstock Metal to the Masses competition in between.

Me Vs I opens with its title track, a short piece of drama which finds more sense and potency once having journeyed through the whole EP and its honest no punches pulled look at prejudices and ignorance among other things. Maimed In Chelsea is the next proposal and boy does it start off with a wallop, riffs nagging the senses before being quickly joined by thumping rhythms and the grasping roars of vocalist Paige Lee. In no time it is into a grouchy stroll with Pantera-esque grooves entangling harsher rhythmic predation. Backed by the band, Lee continues to orchestrate the venomous nature of the track with her imposing vocal trespasses, the guitars of Michael Worsley and Joe Jacobs creating a contagious web of grooves and riffs for an outstanding full start to the EP which just becomes more addictive and viciously dynamic with each passing minute.

me-vs-i-artwork_RingMasterReviewProve Them Wrong steps forward next, displaying an even eager desire to consume the senses as riffs and the scything beats of Michael O’Neill descend. Soon displaying a more familiar heavy metal nature to its onslaught and melodic toxicity, the track is a hungrily enjoyable canter with the bass of Chris Everett a predatory incitement alongside the growling antagonism of Paige. Missing some of the extra sparks which ignited its predecessor, the song nevertheless leaves a heavily satisfied appetite behind before the outstanding Pain grabs attention next. From its first rhythmic coaxing there is a belligerence and defiance to the character of the song, a tempestuous attitude which fuels riffs and voice but still content to share its moments with spicy melodies and electronic intrigue across an increasingly rousing and enjoyable encounter.

An echo of Paige’s own personal journey having to deal with transphobia, Gee, Dysphoria challenges as it roars, rhythms a concussive assault and riffs a relentless incursion on the senses as vocals uncage an animosity toned but plaintive call for understanding. With melody spiced grooves and fiery enterprise straddling its intensive outpouring of the heart, the song demands attention being soon matched by successor Destiny Is All and in turn outshone by the closing ravaging of Take The Blame.

The first of the two stalks the senses; riffs again a niggling proposition as beats cantankerously swipe and vocals crawl with similar intent over song and listener while the second is a thrash/death metal spiced tempest as virulently catchy as it is violently imposing and bound in short but flavoursome grooves. Standing alongside Maimed In Chelsea as the EP’s best moment and showing the most adventurous nature of all, the song is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release.

Me Vs I lives up to the promise and potential suggested by plaudits towards the band so far, suggesting greater things to come from Outright Resistance while leaving keen enjoyment.

The Me Vs I EP is out now @ https://outrightresistance.bandcamp.com/album/me-vs-i

https://www.facebook.com/OutrightResistanceBand/   https://twitter.com/OR_Band   http://www.orband.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shotgun Rodeo – The New Standard

photoshoot-2015_RingMasterReview

You might suggest there are more unique proposals coming forth this year but there will be very few encounters which ignite and incite the passions as The New Standard. The six track roar from Norwegian metallers Shotgun Rodeo is as infectiously virulent as the common cold and as instinctively anthemic as any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can be.

Hailing from Trondheim, Shotgun Rodeo have been weaving riotous incidents from contagious strands of groove, thrash, and heavy metal  since 2008 which each subsequent release becoming more focused, potent, and as proven by their latest escapade irresistible. Previous EPs, Dead End Massacre (2012) and Guilty as Charged (2013) drew strong awareness of the quartet with debut album World Wide Genocide especially whipping up enthused attention. That time has seen their multi-flavoured sound become even more adventurous and diverse which The New Standard takes to a new compelling level.

From its first breath the EP sees predacious riffs and imagination enslaving grooves almost battling for attention, each earning their equal share alongside robustly eager rhythms and an overall contagiousness as opener Batshit Crazy leaps at and consumes ears. An enticing groove lined riff opens up the assault, it swiftly joined by heavy beats and broader wave of riffery amidst increasing spicy grooving. The great dirty tones of vocalist Nino Escopeta are soon there inciting involvement too as the song strolls with an aggressive almost arrogant swagger. The swinging rhythms of drummer Doomfang and bassist J.Buvarp trap attention virtually on their own, chaining an eager attention for the tapestry of grouchy riffs and sonic seduction from the strings of guitarist Don Shrediablo to further flirt with the listener within. With its chorus icing on the infectious cake, the track is the first of six which can make anyone lose all inhibitions in public view which is some feat when if like us you are someone hiding a voice which has rats fleeing towards a sinking ship.

shotgun-rodeo-the-new-standard-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start is taken up another gear with the outstanding temptings of Uncontainable. It too is a brawling stomp of cantankerous riffs and soliciting grooves lorded over by boisterous vocals while being driven by surging rhythms. Once more the band casts a chorus impossible to escape, the blend of heavy and feverish rock ‘n’ roll fuelling a kaleidoscope of spices from hard rock and classic metal to old school rock with plenty of other darker ravenous textures involved. Giving a seriously and gloriously anthemic battering to the senses, the track takes best track honours though it is persistently challenged throughout The New Standard and songs like its successor Around The Bend.

A heavier and darker proposal, the third track stalks ears while easily entangling them in more melody rich grooving, subsequently luring them into a chorus that is as raptorial as it is sublimely catchy. Shotgun Rodeo is unafraid to bring some death metal seeded shadows to their sound either, and it is that lurking hue which unites all the varying elements of the song perfectly, marked by the bestial growling of the bass in turn tempered by the broad enterprise of Shrediablo in a song which is a bit like King Hiss meeting Lamb Of God.

From one compelling moment to another as Drawing Blood From Stone takes over, it too a predatory proposition with twists into contagion loaded inciting of ears and involvement. Merging old school and modern hungry metal in one fiercely imposing captivation, the thrilling trespass of the imagination makes way for the EP’s title track. Once more grooves wrap around ears and appetite as rhythms hunt and attitude loaded vocals challenge, a combination which soon crafts its own individually surly engagement to further hook and ignite the passions.

The EP ends with the groove infected rock ‘n’ roll of Scatterbrain where the guitar spreads some southern goodness in its endeavours while rhythms provide a more fractious but no less alluring invitation. It is a rousing and exhilarating close to the EP, a slightly psychotic proposal all raw sweetness and deceitful animosity which just lights the fires all over again.

The New Standard might not be the most original thing you might come across but few bands involve familiar essences and textures in such a masterfully magnetic and seriously rousing fashion. As the release grips ears once again to say Shotgun Rodeo and The New Standard EP is a must is more than easy.

The New Standard EP is out now across most online stores.

http://www.shotgunrodeo.com/   http://www.facebook.com/ShotgunRodeo  http://www.twitter.com/shotgun_rodeo

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The beating of shadowed wings and inflamed hearts: introducing Darkstone Crows

Darkstone Crows_RingMasterReview

Hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Darkstone Crows is a fresh metal bred fire on the Toronto music scene with a sound which simply demands attention. Now as they prepare their debut album for release later in the year, the quintet is beginning to poke at ears and spotlights further afield. With thanks to the band, we take a look into the heart and creative passion of alternative metallers…

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you all together?

Chanel Martins-lead vocals, Nick Sawicki and Jiv Marshall-guitars, Russ Shipman-bass and backing vocals, Matt Skypas-drums.

Jiv and Elle started the band back in 2014 and went through a bunch of line-up shuffles. Russ joined in July 2014, Matt was February 2015. Nick replaced our last guitarist in January 2016. We’re just a group of friends making metal music, we want to do it the best we can and not cut corners, really make a work that we can be proud of, that means something.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Russ, Matt and Nick have been involved with bands before, and Chanel has been singing since she was four years old. We all bring something from our experiences to the table but we’re learning a lot as well so our personal style has evolved with the music we’re making.

Russ: I’ve been in a ton of bands before Darkstone Crows, but I would have to say that my first real band (Get!Wise punk-metal, 2008-2013) was very influential on my ethics and approach to songwriting. I learned to jam and to listen to the other players in the band, to build and to lock into groove. I wouldn’t say that any other band I’ve played in before had any direct impact on what I’m doing now.

Elle: No bands, but I’ve been heavily involved with a lot of contemporary music and lessons since I was four years old. Discovering metal definitely made my previous training and experience have an impact on my current endeavours, in a backwards way.

Jiv: Nothing really.

Nick: Prior to the band I was just working out in the gym and studying hard in school. I write and produce a lot of my own music as well, so I was into that before this.

Matt: I was involved in a small band before, nothing too serious, but it set my mind on where I wanted to go and led to where I am now.

Any particular story or inspiration behind the band’s name?

The shared inability to utter a complete sentence without stumbling over our swollen tongues…The name was discovered by accident. Jiv stumbled over her words while saying the original idea “Dark Storm Crows” and said “Darkstone Crows” and we all liked it.

Photo by Carey Costa

Photo by Carey Costa

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

As the initial birth of the band was Jiv’s brainchild, her original concept follows:

Jiv: Initially we were called “Pariah”, and the meaning behind the name was to represent a band that wrote songs for people who felt like social outcasts. Even though Darkstone Crows still speaks of injustices lyrically, we identify with a broader collection of movements and issues with many varying opinions. For me, I was very engrossed by the female punk movement of the 1970’s, so I wanted to create an all-girl punk band. My musical approach was very raw and simplistic. But obviously, as musicians grow and change the music changes with them, especially when all the different members offer their own influences. As we grew together, our exposure to different music exploded, even as our vision, direction and music did too.

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

The same things still drive us and many more things as well, we’re constantly finding inspiration around us, and there’s a real drive to succeed and explore, to push boundaries that keeps driving us forward.

[Equally, things have] definitely evolved, but not to the point that we lost sight of what the end goal was. We want to travel the world, bring our music to as many people as we can, make our mark too, and have fun doing it.

How would you say your sound has evolved since starting out?

Our sound was very raw and stripped down, influenced by a lot of older rock and metal; from bluesy rock/metal in the early days to the pseudo-progressive alt-metal it is now, though we haven’t removed many elements of our early sound, but sculpted around them and experienced different types of rock and metal and how they can meld together tastefully.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both inherent in the evolutionary process; we’ve become better musicians and writers so that was a very organic growth and a natural evolution. We naturally started writing differently as we expanded our playing, but there was a definite wish to push in different directions that we acted on. The better we got, the more comfortable we got, the more our music grew in complexity. Of late, since our initial guitarist left and Nick joined, we have been deliberately shaping our sound. He’s especially good at listening to ideas and improvising, so that has been a big step forward.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approaches and ideas to creating and playing music?

Lamb of God, Disturbed, and Periphery definitely cap the list, to a lesser extent Halestorm, Slipknot, System of a Down, and Tool have been big influences on our sound.

Definitely Halestorm, Slipknot, and Periphery, all those bands are wild performers and incredible musicians as well, truly inspirational.

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

Just try not to think too hard, and keep our minds open and concentrated simultaneously. Gold nuggets of music could come from the strangest things and at the weirdest moment. It could be an elbow knocking the strings a certain way that produces unique feedback that kicks off a whole song, you never know.

Usually we start with a riff and build around it, adding other parts that fit nicely and connecting the different parts afterwards. Once we establish parts and the vocal melody is written lyrics are drafted and we start fine-tuning.

Where are inspirations to the lyrical side of your predominantly songs drawn?

 Photo by Rachel Carys Gosling

Photo by Rachel Carys Gosling

Anything around us, in our world, any thought, any emotion, cause and effect, pertinent global issues like the environment, war, famine, and poverty. Personal struggles with alcoholism, drug abuse, homelessness, ire, rage, depression, euphoria, and victory. Our songs are very dark in mood, however not necessarily darkly worded (although more often than not darkly worded).

Predominantly Jiv, and Russ write lyrics, Jiv takes ideas from injustices she see in the world around her, the media, while Russ’ lyrics hit closer to home and tend to be more metaphoric in content.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Our newest release, our first full length album, is going to be available later this year (we’re aiming to release it in October). We’re currently recording and producing the album ourselves and it’s going to be massive. This album is very different from our debut EP (Darkstone Crows, June 2015), it’s much sleeker, the songs are more complex, and we’re incorporating far more instruments, as well as some feature performances. You’ll experience a more broad sonic adventure that delves into many facets of rock and metal. Our first EP, which was recorded and mixed by Dr. Sean at TRH Studios in Scarborough, CA, is much more raw; recorded stripped down and very loud. There is a punk aesthetic to this EP, hiding behind the pounding rock beats and shredding guitar solos. Definitely an honest, solid debut, perfectly illustrating the drive and hunger we were feeling at the time.

Would you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

The album’s themes are directed at injustices around the globe, from the environment to civil rights, as well as a couple that delve into the human mind and touch on addiction or mental illness.

[In regard to the first EP] Hell To Pay was written in opposition to police brutality (this was written back in 2014, before any major organizations like BLM were even founded). Easily the darkest song on the record, and still one we play today. Sidewinder, so named after the missile and the desert snake. An apt title, as this song was written near the conclusion of the coalition occupation of Afghanistan that began with the World Trade Center attacks in 2001, loosely referencing 9/11 conspiracy theories but more importantly expressing outrage at a protracted military occupation. Deadhead is an ode to street kids and the homeless struggling to scrape a living and fight their demons every day. Fathoms is our salute to the men and woman who come out to our shows, who we’ve met and befriended, partied and laughed with. It’s about the feeling of hitting the stage and having really awesome people love what you’re doing, and scream the words back at you over the PA system.

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

For the most part we write before the studio. Only recently, with a home studio being acquired, were we able to implement recording into the writing process. It has many benefits, not the least of which is it’s now almost impossible to forget parts! It’s worked both ways for this record, plenty of trial and error, but with such high costs to record in studio we like to be prepared to nail those takes.

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

Our live shows are full of energy, we try to project our excitement onto the crowd, even joining them in the pit occasionally. We’re constantly in motion and want to turn up and just go for it. If you come to our shows, expect to meet at least one of us in the crowd. We aren’t afraid to get close to our audience, mosh with our guitars, whatever it takes to get everyone having a good time. We try to put on a bombastic show, something memorable and huge. Showmanship isn’t out-dated yet, right?

It is not easy for any new 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?

Every scene has an opportunity for a band, the trick is making your mark and being able to leave for a bit, tour around, and come back to find your mark still there. You have to make an impression on people, really work the excitement out of your audience.

Toronto has exploded recently, not on the metal front, but in the general vein of music, so that’s generated a kind of Mecca for producers and label reps. That being said, these guys aren’t necessarily looking for a metal band, which is cool because we have more to offer than just grinding riffage and double bass. We definitely have our foot in the door, but we’re still growing as a unit and brighter horizons await.

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?

It can definitely be a tedious task, continuously having to type updates and promote shows, mail out merch, upload photos/songs, the list goes on. But, if you love something, you’ll deal with the boring and the crap times because it will come back to you in the end. Social media is definitely helping us at the moment, not only are we diligent about it but we have the right people for the job. Matt is a brilliant graphic artist and designer and Elle is a promoter and Event Management student. All things good must come to an end, but global reach on social media hasn’t gone bad just yet. Bands these days should definitely invest the time into learning how to mould social media, it is invaluable. Anything has the possibility to become negative if overused or utilised improperly, the trick is the learn all you can about using social media and keep your content professional.

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

We’ve had it under wraps for a couple months now, but we are featuring the amazing Lindsay Schoolcraft, keyboardist/vocalist of UK metal band Cradle of Filth, on two tracks from our upcoming release. So we’re pretty excited about that. Beyond that just more music and we’re beginning to shoot more videos as well, so following our YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiJ2zCXgHfsnUurrge-UyoQ ) and Instagram (@darkstonecrows) will keep you up to date on that stuff.

http://darkstonecrows.wixsite.com/darkstone-crows   https://twitter.com/darkstonecrows   https://www.facebook.com/darkstonecrows

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Cleanse The Hive – From The Depths EP

Photo Credit - A D Zyne

Photo Credit – A D Zyne

If you have not head the buzz around Scottish metallers Cleanse The Hive yet, there is a pretty good chance you soon will as the band’s debut EP explodes in more and more ears. An irritable and dynamic fusion of death and groove metal with ravenous metalcore, the band’s sound shows all the qualities of a someone taking their time to evolve and hone their craft and imagination; a intent which here ensures the From The Depths EP is an introduction which not only grabs attention, it demands it!

Formed in 2011, the Aberdeen hailing Cleanse The Hive, as mentioned at the start, have not rushed to the moment to broadly unleash their inventive exploits though live the quintet has been a hungry incitement soon becoming eagerly followed and praised. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying, and Whitechapel to Periphery, Pantera, and Cancer Bats, Cleanse The Hive has earned a potent reputation for their explosive live shows and reputation building tours alongside bands such as Heart of a Coward, Nexilva, Carcer City, Exist Immortal and many more. Now they are ready to wake up a national, if not larger, spotlight upon themselves, a success already expected with the immense roar and persuasion of From The Depths alone.

The EP hits ears straight away with a wall of intimidating and prowling sound; riffs and rhythms colluding in predatory relish as a vocal growl erupts from the throat of Callum Hutchinson.  Taking a further moment to compose itself, Eviscerate then springs with greater zeal at ears, the guitars of Jordan Pacitti and Glen McMillan casting surges of ravenous riffs and sonic dexterity as Hutchinson’s vocals share varying shades of hostile and venomous squalling. In no time ears and imagination are gripped, further enthused by the broadening enterprise of the guitarists amongst the brutal swings of drummer Greig Hadden and alongside the pestilential encroachment of John Campbell’s bass riffs. Lamb of God is easy to offer, Cryptopsy too, as a hint to the maelstrom of craft and sound assaulting and exciting ears yet already something individual to the band is emerging and continuing in its successor.

cleansethehive large_RingMasterReviewCities Of Gold is arguably even more primal and inhospitable than its predecessor; vocals spewing malice with every syllable and the instantly captivating grooves spreading toxicity with very swing of their body within another tempest of emotional and aural animosity. To that though, a perpetually virulent infectiousness flows and in time, a melodic seduction from keys and guitar which is as bracing and invigorating as the animus of confrontation surrounding it. The opener grabbed ears and appetite, its successor trapped both, and by The Reign Of Tyrants, it is fair to say that band and EP had these ears enslaved. Thrash metal is never too far from the textures of death and extreme metal, and drives the third track with open eagerness, though things soon become a part of A thick tapestry of flavours and rabid intent as unpredictable as it is enthralling. Compared to the previous pair, it also has less urgency to its devouring; a more reserved violence to its assault that only makes it more dangerous and captivating.

The EP’s title track descends on the listener next, it too a less vicious attack initially, preferring to build its intensity and savagery over time as grooves and melodic acidity vein its evocatively volatile landscape. As the previous song also, it does not quite make the same impact as the more boldly eventful trio of tracks starting things off though its adventurous nature, as melodic mystique coats guitar imagination, only leaves a want and appetite for more in place.

The dramatic dance and intimidating theatre of Terror Rising brings the release to an impressive close. Again a siren-esque hue wraps melodies; their middle eastern scent a masterful temper to the cantankerous invention and resourcefulness soon driving riffs and rhythms. Emerging as the most imaginative and diversely sculpted track on the EP as even more metal bred styles are included in its emprise of sound and invention, Terror Rising alone provides plenty to use as a reason to get excited about Cleanse The Hive and for the UK metal scene ahead with them in it.

It is hard in modern metal to make a mark on your debut powerful enough to pull attention away from all the other emerging bands do the same thing, but take it from us, Cleanse The Hive have done so and how.

The From The Depths is out now @ https://cleansethehive.bandcamp.com/releases and across other online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/CleansetheHive/    https://twitter.com/CleansetheHive

Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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