New Keepers of the Water Tower – Infernal Machine

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Infernal Machine, the new encounter from Swedish “cosmic rock” band New Keepers of the Water Tower is a concept album based on the classic Joe Haldeman written sci-fi novel The Forever War, a story of an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. Equally, it is a compelling incitement enabling the listener to invent their own dark and highly involved escapades within a musical soundscape which simply stirs the imagination and enslaves ears. It is enjoyably impossible to pin down the Stockholm band’s sound but very easy to suggest that Infernal Machine will become one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed in 2006 as New Keepers, extending the name three years later, the band creates a proposition entwining a tapestry of varied and contrasting flavours with an epic canvas predominantly progressive and space rock bred. As shown by fourth album, Infernal Machine, even that description is a scratch on the surface. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Rasmus Booberg, guitarist Victor Berg, bassist Björn Andersson, keyboardist Adam Forsgren, and drummer Tor Sjödén, New Keepers Of The Water Towers has the ability to transport the imagination into the focus and heart of its theme with its music alone; Infernal Machine their most devilish and sublime success yet.

The album opens with The Forever War, a track luring the listener into the centre of dark times and persistent dangers from its opening sonic pulse. Keys quickly unveil a portentous invitation, rhythms adding an intimidating drama soon after as guitars dangle evocative bait before ears. Then Booberg’s immediately impressing vocals swiftly begin unfurling the track’s rich narrative, his tones mellow and mesmeric whilst the sounds around him are predatory. It is a superbly designed blend of contrasting incitement which simply enthrals as it manipulates the psyche and imagination. At times the track is like a grungy XTC, in other moments a sonically bracing and fascinating merger of King Crimson and KingBathmat like essences, and all the time an absorbing and irresistible entrance into album.

art_RingMasterReviewIts dramatic presence and mighty temptation is matched and pushed further by the gripping adventure of Tracks Over Carcosa next. Initially, it is an echo of a cold and desolate place, a lonely place within whose shadows a pulse beats with increasing relish, emerging to pull the song into a contagious stroll lined with swinging surf rock grooves. Around it a sultry and tantalising atmosphere descends, stirring up even more infectious tenacity in rhythms and melodic enterprise. Hypnotic does not do the track justice; its instrumental air has a cinematic lure and intrigue which you can akin to sixties cold war/spy thrillers and only adding to an impossible to resist alchemy of persuasion.

Towards its departure, the track slips into a solemn noir tinged calm which continues in different form into the following and as thrilling Tachyon Deep. With the returning vocals casting a mist of seducing harmonies as rhythms reveal an almost shamanic nature to their shuffle, the song glides exotically over the senses. Thoughts run through its poetic glade of melodies and vocal caresses, immersing in the scenic expression and spellbinding landscape of the track. That deceptive calm and peace also has hidden dangers, progressively unveiling them with every twist and turn within eventfully its imposing jungle.

Misantropin Kallarv is a brief, relative to the tracks around it, respite to the intensive adventures before and after; like shelter in a soulless building or moment but one which holds secrets behind the turbulence and unrelenting pressure found in the likes of next up Escape Aleph Minor. Its successor also has a less incendiary and demanding nature to its sound and energy but certainly does not lack thick drama in sound and air or the collage of hooks and sonic seduction which incite body and thoughts. From the melodic seduction and discord of guitars and keys to the tribalistic potency of bass and drums, the song is a carousel of suggestiveness.

A slow piano sculpted gait with classical melancholy to its touch ends the track, wistfully floating away into the waiting melodic smoulder of Jorden and a lumbering, emotionally heavy engulfing of ears. More sludge than doom, the track is a rapacious and darkly poetic suffocation of the senses which may not match the impact of others within Infernal Machine but undoubtedly has the imagination conjuring away as eagerly as anywhere upon the album.

The Infernal Machine completes the release; the track with every passing minute growing and evolving whilst providing a kaleidoscope of cosmopolitan and tribalistic incitement. Its repetitious strands and drone like nagging is simply delicious, around them the craft of guitars and lure of sonic imagination mouth-watering as the album ends as majestically and thrillingly as it started. A bass led passage midway of post punk seeded virulence, the cream on the cake of the song.

Infernal Machine has so much for fans of every kind of rock and melodic/progressive metal. Those with the appetite for bands ranging from Pink Floyd and King Crimson to Goblin and The Ocean to Arcade Messiah, to hint at its diverse appeal, will find plenty to devour, though by the middle of its opener the only name on their mind will be New Keepers of the Water Tower.

Infernal Machine is released on 4th March via Listenable Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/NewKeepers

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Armageddon – Captivity and Devourment

Photo by John Fell

Photo by John Fell

 

Over a decade since their last foray into ears and imagination, Sweden/American metallers Armageddon return with new album Captivity and Devourment, their most compelling and fascinating work to date. As to its strength against the band’s previous albums, that will be down to the individual and their appetite for the different stages of the continually evolving and exploratory invention of the band, but it is a creativity imposing and magnetic proposition which even when its persuasion ebbs a touch simply enthrals and when in complete tantalising majesty is a sonic masterpiece.

Formed in 1997 as a studio project by then Arch Enemy guitarist Christopher Amott, the Halmstad hailing project swiftly grip attention and fevered support with the release of cult album Crossing the Rubicon that same year. A sci-fi themed concept album, its lure and success was followed by the potent presences of Embrace the Mystery and Three of 2000 and 2003 respectively. Each release saw new line-ups in their individual persuasions and a shift from the bands initial melodic death metal explorations into power metal coloured landscapes. With another new line-up alongside Amott and a fresh creative emprise across technical and heavy melodic metal pastures, the now New York City based band and their album turn on ears and imagination to Armageddon once again with a bewitching tempest of emotion and sonic intrigue.

The album’s title track explodes in ears first, grooves and riffs an instantly virulent savaging as a hellacious rhythmic assault keeps pace with the track’s ferocious yet infectious start. The guitars ofarm Amott and Joey Concepcion swiftly cast a web of melodic and technical temptation as the raw caustic tones of vocalist Matt Hallquist abrase with varied and potent hostility. It is an impressive and gripping start to Captivity & Devourment, the dark hearted basslines of Sara Claudius and the unrelenting and creative swings of drummer Márton Veress adding antagonistic depths and appealing shadows to the dominant lure of grooves and the sonic ingenuity. Technically in craft and invention, song and band fascinate and seduce; the theatre of the song, as in most tracks, providing inescapable persuasion alone.

The great start is backed up if not quite matched by Locked In next, the portentous emergence of the encounter the appetiser to scenery of blackened malevolence courtesy of the vocals within a sonic tapestry of melodies and emotive colour. Carrying a classic heavy metal air at times, the track flirts and entices with every wash of melodies and bait of restrained rhythms with only the again caustic and this time not so adventurous squalls of Hallquist a tempering factor. It is enough though to accentuate the missing spark in the song compared to its predecessor, and the indefinable but prevalent essence which ignites the following Rendition. The third track, as the first, is a colossal beast in ears and attention within its first breath. The vocals are back on diverse form and riffs a rampant predation as they unite with the just as brutal rhythmic provocation. It is a formidable and addictive intimidation which finds a new plateau with the burst of impressive clean vocals from Amott and his subsequent tendrils of breath-taking sonic invention. The song is magnificent, everything about it as engrossing and seductive as it is venomously inhospitable, every flaming groove, unpredictable twist, and barbed hook a theatre of ingenuity and passion sculpting a canvas for body and emotions to greedily immerse in.

Its epic persuasion though casts a shadow which neither Fugitive Dust nor Conquer can evade next, though each provides plenty to keep an already potent appetite for the release satisfied. The first of the two rumbles with a great throaty bass threat from Claudius as guitars again burn air and sear the senses. Again though the vocals of Hallquist reveal little enterprise, certainly in comparison to the previous song, and dampened the seventies psych rock and progressive climate of the encounter. Its successor challenges and assaults with another breed of toxically enchanting and malicious intent where this time vocals find that enjoyable and inventive extra as they help enhance the internal conflict of the track where rage and melodic seduction entwine like creative lovers. The relatively short but exciting track makes way for the masterful drama of Thanatron. A gorgeous opening of acoustic guitar beauty swiftly has ears and emotions enthralled, and still tightly gripped as riffs and rhythms emerge from within its light to prowl and stalk the psyche. Equipped with seriously addictive grooves and scythes of melodic tempting, the song simultaneously bullies as it spellbinds, another incitement where every predacious shadow and melodic coaxing comes with thick virulence.

One triumph leads into the instrumental beauty of another, Background Radiation a warm yet haunting caress casting its own sublime provocative spell before making way for the scintillating and epically weighted grandeur of The Watcher. Brutal rhythms and riff driven scourges assault the senses with rapacious tenacity but have to submit to the welcome return of the clean vocal flames which erupt within the tempestuous soundscape. It is another mouth-watering tsunami of invention and craft which seems to grow broader and more impressive with every listen, just like next up Equalizer with its cantankerous threat of sinew sculpting rhythms and melodic exploration. Dipping into a mix of progressive and heavy metal, power and folk seeded enterprise, the track also captivates without restraint even though the viciousness it offers is held down by the warmth elsewhere in comparison to the absorbing turmoil of the last track.

Completed by Giants, though the CD version of the album has bonus track Stone Worker included, Captivity and Devourment is an invigorating confrontation and temptation. The last song is another missing that final intangible ingredient which turns great songs into insatiable treats within the album, but it is still a fine end to a release that can only be heartily recommended. As we said previously, you can expect differing views and tastes when comparing the might of the album against Armageddon’s previous offerings, such their open uniqueness to each other, but for us it has to be seriously considered as maybe their finest moment.

Captivity and Devourment is available from January 26th via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/fr/143_armageddon

https://www.facebook.com/armageddonbandofficial

RingMaster 26/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hellish Outcast – Stay of Execution

Photo by Fotograf Jarle Hovda Moe

Photo by Fotograf Jarle Hovda Moe

Simultaneously a tsunami of organic hostility and premeditated intimately defined brutality, Stay of Execution from Norwegian metallers Hellish Outcast is quite simply one of the finds of the year. Not that the Bergen quartet are real newcomers, the band has been tearing up the local underground scene since 2001 and making a potent announcement of intent with debut album Your God Will Bleed two years ago. Their new album though is a whole new murder-pit of creative antagonism and majesty from the band, a rhythmically crippling and sonically ravishing destruction and seduction of the senses. Described as thrash/death metal, their sound is so much more than that limiting tag, the album inescapable evidence of a vicious and scintillating tapestry of varied flavours and styles picked apart and used as weaponry in one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed by guitarist Martin Legreid, bassist Mads Mowinckel (Breed), and drummer Mads Lilletvedt (Solstorm, ex-Byfrost), Hellish Outcast as mentioned was swiftly an attention grabbing and growing force in the Norwegian underground scene. 2006 saw the release of the demo Release You from Their Soil, and two years later came the unleashing of the Raping – Killing – Murder EP which drew keen and favourable attention on a wider scale. The addition of vocalist Thebon (ex-Keep Of Kalessin) in 2010 helped trigger a new twist and attitude in their already visceral sound, a spark ensuring Your God Will Bleed was well-received by a more potent spotlight . Stay of Execution takes it all to another level though, the expanse and maturity in sound and songwriting as marked as the greater insatiable brutality accompanying it. It is an album which tears senses and psyche asunder whilst serenading them with addiction binding grooves and melodic toxicity. Stay of Execution is exhilarating, rigorously compelling, and a release impossible to get your fill of.

It is fair to say that as soon as an avalanche of riffs and rhythms cascades down on the senses through opener Partition of Lust, the album takes a tight hold of ears and attention. It is an instinctively anthemic lure, the creative artillery of beats from Lilletvedt rigorously enticing bait within which riffs cast their own raw tempting. It is an onslaught which never waivers in its demands and punishing intensity, only increasing its savagery as the malevolent vocal squalls of Thebon explode in the maelstrom of spite. Though there is a repetitive core to the track, it just as grippingly unleashes strong variation in voice and grooving to provide the most hostile and irrepressibly addictive start to the release.

Things only accelerate in persuasion and ingenuity as the following punkish brawl of I Can No Longer See the Sun erupts. The song’s subsequent barbarous body is swiftly drawing on groove and nu-metal tendencies as it dips into the 10653627_10152640278209718_9183828471053285056_ndeath bred corners of muscular animosity. It is a bewitching pillaging of the emotions, at times crooning with melodic and harmonious beauty and in other moments stripping the senses bare with vicious and merciless invention. Its deceptive and thrilling mastery is soon emulated by the lethal breath and inhospitable landscape of Heresiarch, the track a stalking predator but again unafraid to sooth the wounds it’s rhythmic and sonic claws dig with a weave of warm melodies and spellbinding clean vocals. The song is ravenous in its fierce imagination and seductive through the grizzled radiance similarly expelled.

The corrosive rancor of the thrash fuelled Hunter Supreme comes next, its title perfect naming of the exhaustive sound within the predacious enmity masquerading as a song, before a new pinnacle is forged with Gods of Fear. This track is as primal as it is innovative, the opening crawl of riffs and bass intimidation bestial at best and tar thick malevolence at its deepest. It is soon engulfed in another thrash driven tirade of death and groove metal blood lust yet manages to hold a rein on its venom to more taunt the imagination and emotions. Scorched with a blistering solo, the track is a monstrous rancor and virulently infectious.

Leave offers its own outstanding violation next, its entrance a mellower coaxing than anything provided before on the album but also as portentous and menacing as those same companions. With a slow groan of a delivery from Thebon exposing the song’s narrative as at times vocal harmonies magnetically colour the background, there is a Faith No More essence to the brooding incitement, a similarly distinct inventiveness as the track seduces with clean vocals and grizzled snarls musically and lyrically. It is a transfixing treat setting up the listener for the impossibly contagious presence of Machines. With a robust swing to its stride and sonic tenacity to its enthralling enterprise, the track is loaded with a creative rabidity which is pure fascination. A round that is a ferocity which is honed into something controlled but forcibly hungry. The mid-point slip into a stark and dystopian like metallic soundscape does not quite work with personal tastes, mainly for the length it consumes before allowing the severity of the blistering storm to return, but it cannot derail another track from impressively igniting body and passions.

The album’s irresistible title track makes for a distinct and intriguing antagonist next, its winding grooves like sonic ivy entwining the imagination and lingering in grip, before both Morbid Attraction and Torment unveil their destructive and thrilling characters. The first is a nostrils flaring, fist pounding hellacious assault; riffs and rhythms scything and swiping respectively upon the senses with barbaric and deliciously infectious urgency whilst its successor almost glares at the listener with its initial imposing stance before casting a canvas which is as predatory in tone and effect as it is sizzling in unpredictability and melodic imagination. Both tracks, as the whole album throughout, share searing and unique displays of sonic invention from the guitars aligned to exciting vocal variation and an enslaving rhythmic animus. It is a starling blend, which in whatever individual form the combination comes, never loses the band’s almost inimitable touch.

The album comes to an end through the instrumental beauty of The Wait, an acoustic led piece of music which is expressive in melodies and spellbinding in elegance. It finally gives time for breath to be taken within Stay of Execution, though in some ways the senses feel it might have been more useful earlier. The track makes a provocative close to a devastating and mercilessly thrilling release whilst at the same time revealing yet more of the qualities and thoughtful adventure within the band.

Whether Stay of Execution is forging new scenery for extreme metal is a debate which can be argued either side way. It does provide without any doubt though one of the most exciting and refreshing releases this year, pushing Hellish Outcast to the frontline of brutal pleasure.

Stay of Execution is available via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/en/81_hellish-outcast

https://www.facebook.com/HELLISHOUTCAST

RingMaster 22/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kruger – Adam And Steve

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There is probably a masochistic side to us all that get off on being swallowed up by a vicious wall of blisteringly hostile and sonically destructive noise but also the ability to see and appreciate the beauty in such tsunamis of unbridled animosity. It can be a seductive corrosion at times and none more so than that found on Adam And Steve, the new merciless album from Swiss noise sculptors Kruger. The eight track inferno of sound and antagonistic invention is a glorious exploration of abrasion, causticity, and sonic savagery but equally a purveyor of some of the most toxic hooks and inescapable contagion bred by venomous imagination. Every note and syllable comes with malice and each twist with ingenious captivation, resulting in an encounter confirming the band as one of the most thrilling alchemists of noise.

Formed in 2001, the Lausanne quintet has been on a steady and impressing ascent since debut album Built For Speed unleashed its ruinous charm upon the senses a year later. 2004 saw second full-length Cattle Truck draw greater attention towards the band, including that of Listenable Records who signed the band and have released their assaults on the senses ever since, starting with the Kurt Ballou mixed Redemption Through Looseness of 2007.Its success and acclaim was matched by the band spreading across Europe with shows and tours, but it was last album For Death, Glory and The End of The World three years later which thrust Kruger into a global spotlight, something Adam And Steve will only intensify. Last year saw the two-track EP 333 tease and spark eager anticipation of things to come but in many ways it only hinted at the triumphs destined to devour the senses and psyche courtesy of the new release.

Complete with a new guitarist and the success of a tour with Gojira last year behind them, the band instantly goes for the jugular upon the Magnus Lindberg of Cult of Luna mixed storm. Rampaging heavy booted riffs and boulders of rhythmic violence descend on ears from the first breath of opener Bottoms Up, the track an immediate onslaught but almost as swiftly employing enticing vocal harmonies behind the caustic squalls of Renaud right away sparking an even keener appetite for the abuse. The raw throated tone of Blaise’s bass snarls and preys on ears with predatory intent whilst the guitars of Margo and Raul sear and swarm across song and senses with deliberate irritancy. It is a deliciously bracing and compelling assault, the vocals across the band continuing to seduce whilst acidic melodies and grooves worm under the skin for a lingering tempting.KRUGER-A&S_cover_sm

The stunning start is rivalled by the following Discotheque, its entrance on a building rhythmic wave instant anthemic bait enslaving thoughts and passions straight away before the band unleashes a barbarous cauldron of merciless beatings and synapse flailing sonic design. Creating a reined in yet uncompromising brawl of essences potent in the flavouring of a Converge and Unsane and aligned to the creative ferocity of a Coilguns, who the band are sharing dates with as the album is released, the song is a tempestuous fury. Unafraid to explore more progressive and post metal scenery within its cavernous depths, it soars and brutalises its soundscape before making way for the infectious tenacity of the album’s title track. Grooves and sonic lancing almost swagger with their vicious hues and ideation whilst vocally and rhythmically the track exchanges another unpredictable and addictive web of spite and craft for a black and blue bruising of the listener’s senses.

Both tracks, and especially the second, set a new hunger for the raucous seduction working within Adam and Steve, something the pair of Charger and Mountain Man toy with and ultimately reinforce. The first of the two prowls ears and thoughts with seeming relish, its roar a severe yet magnetic intrigue drenched predation soaked in infectious imagination and intensive examinations from drums and guitars especially. Within its fury though there is a charm and sonic elegance which escape their binding to cast a masterful calm and resourceful beauty midway in, like the eye of a storm settling fears until the track explodes once again into its hellacious but inviting tempest. Its successor as all tracks almost swings from the fearsome skills and invention of drummer Raph, his wild but perfectly and precisely conjured attacks the irresistible core for which here, grooves and riffs can shape enthralling designs whilst vocals croon and bawl with equal strength and appeal. It is a numbing and invigorating fury, its voracity as unbridled as its invention and raw passion.

For personal tastes the pinnacle of the album comes with the next two tracks, the album reaching new plateaus with firstly The Wild Brunch, a track as melodic and harmonious as it is acutely ravenous and brutal. Across the album hardcore, heavy rock, metal, and more all add rich hues to the hurricane of noise and on this majestic emprise, the weighty thunderous riffs and tonal bruising you would imagine of a Mastodon or Gojira stake their claim to the passions. It is a devastating and engrossing treat but soon surpassed by the brilliance of the heavily unpredictable Herbivores. Easily one of the best songs heard this year, it at times soothes and riles in the same breath as vocals and guitars fuel the passion and incendiary imagination of the riveting track. In others it simply bewitches through bestial rhythmic slaps and grizzled bass suasion, all the time exploring a simultaneously destructive rabidity and insatiably seducing invention.

The album is brought to an end by Farewell, an expansive exploration of sound, emotional landscapes, and the listener physically and mentally. The instrumental is a journey all in itself and the fitting masterful finale to a thrilling encounter. Adam & Steve uses noise as if it is on its own personal vendetta against the senses but also as a commanding colour in the maelstrom of textures and imaginative hues which permeates its raging exploration. Kruger has created an engrossing and irresistible conflict with an album which plays like an aural judge and executioner, and seductress.

Adam & Steve is available now digitally and on CD via Listenable Records @ http://www.shop.listenable.net/en/5725-kruger-adam-and-steve-ltd-digipack-with-slipcase-t-shirt-bundle-pre-order.html and on partially black, partially sin-red vinyl through Pelagic records @ http://pelagic-records.com/vinyl/

http://www.kruger.ch

RingMaster 14/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Sticky Boys – Make Art

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An album which is as much punk as it is hard and heavy rock, Make Art is an unexpected pleasure which is simply what all great albums should be, out and out rock ‘n’ roll. The new slab of dirt encrusted sleaze kissed revelry from French trio The Sticky Boys, is certainly not making a major statement of originality but for riotous fun aligned to bruising voracious sounds it is hard to think of many better mischievously enjoyable heavy rock rampages this year.

Rampaging out of Paris in 2008, the trio of guitarist/vocalist Alex Kourelis, bassist/vocalist J.B Chesnot, and drummer Tom Bullot drew attention with their early demo Rock’n’Roll Nation two years later but more so with debut album This Is Rock’n’Roll in 2012. The album was an easy on the ear arguably unsurprising but thoroughly satisfying rock ‘n’ roll. Make Art can in many ways be described by the same line but with its stronger fresh adventure and that punk seeded ferocity to an undemanding presence, the Listenable Records released album is a new and attention grabbing offering from The Sticky Boys.

Opening track Mary Christmas swiftly ingrains flavoursome riffs upon ears before unleashing a feisty tide of thick guitar and bass enterprise punctuated by the jabbing beats of Bullot. If like us you have an aversion to seasonal songs never fear as the lyrics soon steer towards the salacious side of festivities whilst hooks and rhythms bring an intoxicating spirit. Like Turbonegro meets Skid Row, surprises are few and pleasure high as the track strolls proudly towards the following Bad Reputation. Here a Motorhead influence is open as grimy riffs entwine with predacious hooks and rhythmic confrontation. There is also a breath of Offspring to the track, the punk bait making its most vocal suasion yet around the subsequent melodic flames of Kourelis which scorch and treat ears simultaneously.

A great throaty bassline opens up the AC/DC spiced High Power Thunder and continues to spine the stroll of heavy metal draped in guitar cast melodic flame. It is a strong if unspectacular track, keeping attention and appetite keen 10501716_10152593575618919_2268711738949228514_nbefore making way for the similarly toned classic rock coloured Mrs Psycho and subsequently Uncle Rock, a quickly pleasing anthemic stomp primed with a classic hard rock swagger and belligerent rhythmic attitude. Again neither song sparks a fire in the belly but leaves the body drenched in sweat and emotions well satisfied.

There is no need to reveal the theme of Party Time, its title the perfect summing up of the addictive energetic mosh and rhythmic contagion. It the previous track was anthemic this is a brawling call to arms for the devil’s mischief and rock ‘n’ roll at its primal best , a triumph swiftly matched by The Ramones spiced The Future Is In Your Hands. Equally there is an essence of The Clash to the album’s best song, both flavours adding to the captivating hard rock cored encounter.

Love On The Line explores the same classic rock/punk scenery as found in Bad Reputation to similar success as Make Art continues on its most potent stretch to date, its sonic intrigue and craft a compelling texture to probably the most intensity soaked song on the album. That high level is reinforced by the excellent agitated confrontation of The Game Is Over. Persistent scythes of rabid riffs and uncompromising beats gnaw and flirt with the senses whilst the bass sculpts another dark temptation as Kourelis explores a seemingly Lemmy inspired delivery. It is a thrilling proposition which makes its own claim for best track accolades.

Make Art concludes with the more than decent pair of Juicy Lucy and its title track, each providing a strong and in the case of the closer a thrilling finale to the release. The first of the two is an all-out heavy rock charge and the last a punk infused rocker which opens with Boomtown Rats like keys and proceeds to twist and flirt through pop punk hooks, sonic causticity, and aggressive vocals, all within a melody strewn hard rock climate. It is a real grower and to be honest over time manages to make the strongest persuasion with its adventurous and imaginative invention; think 999 meets Mötley Crüe.

Not carrying major surprises but loaded outright creative revelry and undiluted fun, Make Art offers the kind of devilry it is hard to get enough of. Every rock ‘n’ roll party, riot, and rampage needs a heart to drive it and they do not come much more enthusiastic and enjoyable than this from The Sticky Boys.

Make Art is available now via Listenable Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/ee/album/make-art/id904560291

http://www.stickyboys.eu/

RingMaster 30/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Milestones – Higher Mountain-Closer Sun

Photo by Pasi Rytkonen Photography

Photo by Pasi Rytkonen Photography

We cannot say we have a natural appetite for southern and classic rock, nor an over attentive interest, but occasionally something hits the right spot and sparks a thorough investigation. The recent impressive album from Norwegian blues rockers Electric Woodland has been one and the legendary Bad Company in the past another to light a fire of interest and pleasure. Now with new album Higher Mountain-Closer Sun, Finnish southern rockers The Milestones have lit another potent appetite with their hot sultry sounds. Another reason for mentioning the first two bands is that this album comes with a healthy soak of blues/hard rock to its southern sonic climate which brings potent comparisons in many ways to the enticing sounds of those two bands. Higher Mountain-Closer Sun seems to soak up those essences and many more flavoursome spices to create its own feistily simmering proposition, an offering which seduces even our more aggression wanting tastes.

Twenty years since taking its first steps and with now four albums under the belt, The Milestones has earned a strong presence within world hard rock since the release of their debut album Vol. 1 in 1996, an album seeing a re-release later this year. Acclaimed and drawing strong interest in the States, its success and the band’s live presence led to them traveling to New York to record second album Souvenirs of 1999. This proved to be nowhere near as successful in sound and impact as its predecessor and as the promo sheet accompanying the new album states, “Ultimately it would take ten years for The Milestones to heal the wounds.”

That was when album three emerged, Devil In Men in 2009 pushing the Helsinki quintet back to the stature and acclaimed attention enjoyed before on a global scale. It was followed by tours around Scandinavia, Central Europe, and the US the band supporting the likes of Whitesnake, Deep Purple, Black Stone Cherry, Gary Moore, Raging Slab, and D.A.D. along the way. Now they uncage Higher Mountain-Closer Sun through Listenable Records, a magnetic and fiery romp of instinctive rock ‘n’ roll taking body and passions on a fevered stomp.

From the first track the album seems to have a hook deep into thoughts and emotions, the opening Walking Trouble instantly smothering ears in a blaze of sonic and melodic haze with the guitars of Tomi Julkunen and Marko 10301540_10152415122872560_6266331794037874146_nKiviluoma a seductive graze on the senses whilst the bass of Veli Palevaara roams with equally captivating enterprise and swagger. Completed by the firm beats of drummer Tommi Manninen and the dusty vocals of Olavi Tikka, whose harmonica flair also ignites a twinge of hunger, the track is a storming romp to start things off and get the listener to their feet.

Both the smouldering heat of Shalalalovers and the tarmac stomping Drivin’ Wheel keep the impressive start heading along the same plateau. The first of the two merges a great sultry climate over verses with an almost too easily accessible chorus, its lure predictable and over familiar yet irrepressibly addictive. The union works a treat with a soft spot for the harmonica well fed again before the song’s successor pulls on a Stones like blues colouring to wrap its southern bred adventure. Again there is a simple but inescapable virulence to the chorus which makes a great contrast to the more intensive creative tenacity before and after their expulsions. Both tracks incite full engagement physically and emotionally before allowing a breath to be taken with the evocative southern rock heated scenery of Oh My Soul. With a breath of gospel passion and ‘red neck’ causticity, the track is a sizzling temptation which increases its strength with every listen.

The acoustic ballad Grateful is a pleasing encounter but lacks the spark of previous songs, though that is probably more down to personal preferences for feet sparking revelry. To be fair it is a vocally and musically accomplished song which at times sounds like a mix of Elvis Costello in his country era and Bon Jovi. The following Sweet Sounds does have the body moving with intent next and again apart from its stirring chorus is another enjoyable but underwhelming offering when up against songs like the brilliant It’s All Right. The track is an insatiable rocker from start to finish, grooves and hooks as eagerly tenacious as the increasingly impressive vocals of Tikka and the addictive rhythmic bait. As with all the songs on the album, you feel you already know this bruiser of rock ‘n’ roll devilry which only adds to its invigorating and refreshing presence.

Such the strength and tremendous pull of the track it gives the likes of the energetically fevered You and the melodically and vocally reflective Looking Back For Yesterday a stiffer task to match up to, but both without quite lighting the same fire still treats ears and imagination to exciting endeavour and enflamed melodic sounds. Their success is taken to a new level by the raw and gripping drama of Damn. Again ridiculously compelling hooks and grooves vein what is a darker and sonically fevered canvas to the song. It makes a slow initial impression but emerges as another evolving into a big highlight within the album.

The scintillating Fool Me brings the main body of the album to a tremendous close, the guitars of Julkunen and Kiviluoma bordering on sonic eroticism such the potency and spellbinding strength of their grooves whilst vocals and rhythms dance with impassioned devilry around them. It is a stunning track, a show stealer on any other album.

The CD version of Higher Mountain – Closer Sun is finished by a couple of bonus tracks in Call Of The Wild and Quicksilver which sadly our promo did not contain but such the quality of the rest of the album it is easy to assume they only add to the fun. The Milestones may have taken ‘ten years to heal the wounds’ but there is little to stop them now with releases like this.

Higher Mountain – Closer Sun is available now via Listenable Records @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Higher-Mountain-Closer-The-Milestones/dp/B00ILWB4VS and http://www.levykauppax.fi/artist/milestones/higher_mountain_closer_sun/#cd

https://www.themilestonesmusic.com

RingMaster 30/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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Axegressor – Last

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Thrash metal with the hostility and ravenous jaws of a rabid horde is the bestial sound which roars away in the hands and skills of Finnish metallers Axegressor, epitomised and taken to its strongest level to date on new album Last. The nine-track fury is an exhausting and thrilling onslaught of passion and thrash rabidity, maybe an encounter so well seeded in its inspirations to lack a strong vein of originality but holding an invention and craft to its contagious ferocity which easily make the band stand apart from the rest and pushes them towards the frontline of the genre.

Formed in 2006, the Turku quartet of vocalist Johnny Nuclear Winter, guitarist Seba Forma, bassist/backing vocalist Aki Paulamäki, and drummer Atte Mäkelä took influences from authentic thrash metal into their own ideas, impacted upon by bands and sounds they had been listening to since their teens. Alongside that flavouring, experiences from ten to fifteen years playing in various metal bands adds to a mix which is impressively accomplished and exciting as evidenced by the new album. Over the early years the band grew a potent and increasingly growing fanbase and reputation in their homeland, helped by shows supporting the likes of Dark Tranquillity, Legion of the Damned, Onslaught, Soilwork, and Municipal Waste. At festivals too the band has only done themselves good whilst previous albums, debut Command and its successor Next in 2007 and 2011 respectively, after first EP Axecution a year into its life, confirmed and accentuated the impact of the emerging Axegressor. The Listenable Records released Last is the band’s greatest moment so far and the expected trigger for the band to much bigger things.

From the opening Freedom Illusion, band and album has attention and thoughts engrossed and eager to explore the voracious cover_lenticements ahead. Heavily striding riffs and sinew swung rhythms engulf ears first within which for the first and definitely not the last time the great savage predatory sound of the bass thrills and bewitches. It is a formidable and commanding start, nothing flash or explosive but everything that is compelling and anthemic for appetite and passions. Once the vicious rasping vocals leap from the shadows a switch is flicked and energy and tenacity is lit up as the track charges with teeth bared and aimed for the jugular of the senses. It is a seamless and captivating move, accompanying group shouts and the sonic invention of the guitars irresistible. The song continues to mix up its gait, at times swamping the body like a swarm of insidious hornets in sonic flight and at other moments prowling around with a bear like intent weighing up its next move.

Lead Justice rips at flesh next, in top gear from the first second scything through air and bone with its rhythms and searing flesh with guitar rapaciousness. As the first, the track is an incessant persuasion badgering and impressing for an early submission with its tremendously gripping bait. A certain drama also walks the edge of the narrative, primarily sculpted by the exciting bass sound and the vocal causticity, the result with all combined a continuation of the striking presence of the album and ignition of an even keener hunger in the listener, a greed soon satisfied by the blistering Mind Castration. Riffs and rhythms as expected, shape the fury of the song from the first moments, carving out their temptation from within the sonic flume marking the first surge of the track. Once more there is an insatiable thirst to the elements of the song which simply nags from start to finish with repetitious and contagious efficiency, a suasion upon which vocals and melodic enterprise wrap their toxic exploits. It is a riveting adventure, a constant aggressor clad in sonic finery and creative distinction from those around, as all songs on the album to be fair.

Things are kept ticking over very nicely by Merciless Reality Check, a track which is nastier and more intensive than those before but lacks some of the spark. Nevertheless it is a pleasing and exciting incitement before the furnace of spite that is 15 unleashes its venom on the senses. Rhythms and riffs collude in a maelstrom of antagonistic and malicious endeavour from the off before aligning into another single minded but unique rampage. Malicious and hypnotic, and wholly infectious, the track is an invention clad predator which surges and twists throughout its tempestuous presence, a roaring proposition and soundscape for which battlefields and nightmares were invented.

Intensive examination is the order of the day once Social Pressure unleashes its punk infused tsunami of incitement and beleaguering enterprise. The track tunnels deep within ears and skin, hooks and grooves as pestilential in their epidemic contagion as they are malevolently seductive. Axegressor have mastered the art of creating repetition fuelled beauty with no finer an example than this monster of a track soon matched in its own unique character by A Fistful Of Ignorance. Delivered in a more predacious crawl than the outright onslaught of the previous track, it massages the senses with heavy handed riffs and that carnivorous bass persuasion to impressive effect before inserting its own transfixing and determined urgency.

The closing pair of Command To Last and Determinator ensure brakes are untouched in their tumultuous and varied deliveries, the first a constantly belligerent gallop with moments of unbridled aggression and the last an uncompromising heavy metal stomp around a thrash cored ferocity which may not match earlier successes but leaves the album in a thrillingly healthy state.

Last is an exhilarating encounter and though as mentioned it arguably uses well wore seeds, there has been few bands producing a sound anywhere near this good and uncaging releases as enjoyable within thrash metal over recent months and longer. A must check out release for all thrash and punk metal fans.

Last is available via Listenable Records in Europe now and in North America on June 24th.

http://www.axegressor.net

9/10

RingMaster 10/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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