Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

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

Thank you. My pleasure!

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

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

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

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

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

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

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

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist 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/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

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

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

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

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Returning to the garden with Leaving Eden

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us about the band name?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tell us about the band’s latest release?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Starsha Lee – Post-God Metaphysics

You venture into the dark dusty corners of a previously unexplored attic and within find the predictable, almost dauntingly alluring yet sinister looking dolls house long told tales and visually evocative movies often portray. You peer through its small enticing windows and wonder what goes on within their plastic panes, what adventures play out within the surrounding walls in the darkness. The imagination conjures, thoughts tease…then as their distinct sounds search out both from speakers below, the possibility is obvious; they just might house the unique world of Starsha Lee.

Not that the sound of Starsha Lee is nursery room fit, unless it is those lurking within the distorted lines between reality and nightmares. As in evidence within the band’s debut album, Post-God Metaphysics, it is a rapacious psyche trespassing endeavour spawning songs borne of discontented snarls with characters bred in demon haunted mania. It is also one fiercely addictive treat which may find itself a challenge too far for some but fingered our passions from start to finish within an album that just demands attention.

Though undoubtedly highly individual, the Starsha Lee sound also has a side to it which is akin to a fusion of the rebellious punk rock of In Evil Hour, the noise bred catchiness of Melt Banana, and the mischievous alternative rock of Daisy Chainsaw. The latter is no surprise as they and Starsha Lee are inflamed by the distinct senses scathing, spirit rousing guitar enterprise of Crispin Gray, also formerly of Queen Adreena, and Dogbones. Beside him, the quartet consists of the rhythmic adventure of Lenny Verallis (Dumbjaw/You) and, headed by the vocal devilment and lyrical incitement of Portuguese singer/ visual artist Sofia de Oliveira Martins. Epitomising the uniqueness of the band tenfold, she can best be described as having the vocal prowess of Lene Lovich twisted and distorted through the hands of Jigsaw as the juices of KatieJane Garside (Daisy Chainsaw/Ruby Throat) and Dawn Lintern (Das Fluff) are squeezed into their high pitched results. It all adds up to anarchic beauty in a release which had us drooling with lust rather quickly.

Post-God Metaphysics opens up with Love Is Superficial and immediately Gray is teasing ears with sonic intrigue, coaxing them and the imagination with infectious rhythms in close quarters. As swiftly the richly enticing tones of Martins flirt and dance on the blossoming landscape of the song, it all as infectious as it is musically and emotionally predacious. The track is superb and just the beginning of one exhilarating creative emprise.

The punk rock throes of People Are Horrible follows, its rhythmic raps and sonic writhing spinning a web of stop go virility entangled with Martin’s vocal rascality. In its far too short a stomp, the song, as all, embraces an array of flavours in one devious recipe, all spicing up ears and an already greedy appetite here for the album’s loco lined exploits.

With the guitar again laying the first line of bait, next up Holy Hatred seduces and feverishly ignites within its opening breaths; growing from a gentle caress into a metal infused blaze of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll with venom in its voice and sounds before Life Is Suicidal shares its own sonic pyre with virulent contagion to its bold vocal blend and bounce. The nihilistic tone of word and heart floods the proposal, another constant menacing allure across the album, and bonds perfectly with the raucous bounce and captivating discord conjured.

Post Modern is an electric scowl, the guitar almost grimacing with acidity as Martin’s skilfully and heartily delivered intimation are again aligned to the harmonic breath of Gray’s backing vocals. Verallis and Zahra-Hall stamp rhythmic authority on the temptation, working on hips and neck muscles as the song serenades with open causticity while within the more hard rock nurtured Used To The Bruise, their rhythmic arousal comes wrapped in melancholic harmonics and emotive suggestion. Both tracks simply captivate with ease, the latter an inescapable lure to participation before Even God Doesn’t Know Your Name ensnares the senses with its addiction sharing punk ‘n’ roll canter. With a Cauldronated like hue to its tenacious body as Martins vocally writhes around, the song matches, at times eclipses, the temptation of its predecessors as another major highlight within the album drew further lust.

Through the scuzzy climes of Sterile Girl and the similarly raw discordance of Uncle Nietzsche, Starsha Lee just increase their grip; the first with a gentle twist and the excellent latter with a tug like one induced within an inflamed sexual endeavour. It stomps through ears with a hunger which veers on the rabid but with a controlled predatory nature matched in the following swagger lined march of Glass Diamonds. Its Marilyn Manson-esque swing underpins a senses scorching flame of sonic toxicity, an aural drug which   bewitches and bewilders with craft and imagination.

Laugh Of God and (I Am) High And Divine bring things to a close, the first a cauldron of punk, metal, and garage rock which scars and seduces by the second, Martins once again a vocal Harley Quinn centre stage. Though not quite living up to other songs, it simply grabbed eager attention but was in turn overshadowed by the closing track’s acerbic croon. A song epitomising every aspect of the Starsha Lee sound if without continuing the line of springing essential hooks on the imagination, it brings Post-God Metaphysics to a glorious conclusion.

It is fair to say that Crispin Gray has been behind and involved in numerous bands which have unerringly hit the spot and instincts of us and a horde of others, but few if any striking dead centre the same way Starsha Lee has with Post-God Metaphysics.

Post-God Metaphysics is out now on digital download, streaming, CD and vinyl via Syndicol Music; available @ https://www.syndicolmusic.com/store

http://starshalee.wixsite.com/starsha-lee    https://www.facebook.com/OFFICIALStarshaLee/

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Powerman 5000 – New Wave

Since first album The Blood-Splat Rating System was uncaged in 1995, it has been so easy to form a soft spot for the metal exploits of Powerman 5000 and all the reasons why are there blazing away in new album New Wave. Across nine studio full-lengths, the band has aroused and stirred the imagination in varyingly successful degrees but always left a potent impact on personal pleasure, their new offering hitting that mark with ease once again. Whether New Wave is their best proposition to date or indeed their most unique we will leave others to debate; as to whether it is one of their most exhilarating and addictive incitements there is nothing to question.

Though metal bred, Powerman 5000 has always felt as much punk rock in tone and attitude as any more recognisable punk ‘n’ roll proposals; an air which is at its most vocal within New Wave. The album opens with Footsteps and Voices, its electro instincts teasing and tempting as rhythms and vocal chants gather in the industrial background. In no time though, the track is strolling along with a muscular swagger, vocalist Spider One the ringmaster ready to share his spirit rousing rap as the rhythmic shuffle of drummer DJ Rattan and bassist Murv Douglas flirt with the electronic revelry. Like a fusion of Marilyn Manson and Hed (PE) but uniquely Powerman 5000, the track has the body bouncing and vocal chords hollering; its rock ‘n’ roll inescapable bait.

The following Hostage is just as manipulative, again bringing all its virulent aspects together before leaping into a contagious canter with biting beats aligned to compelling grooves and riffs cast by the guitars of Ty Oliver and Ryan Hernandez. Submission and involvement with its epidemic of enterprise and incitement is unavoidable and liberating as the track’s punk fervour takes hold before exhaustion soaked pleasure is passed onto and emulated by the band’s latest single. The warped love affair of Sid Vicious in a Dress lives up to its theme in sound, a psyche twisting infestation only leading to addiction as heavy grooves and rapacious riffery unites with the rapier swings of Rattan and Douglas’ bass grumble. As its predecessor, the song’s catchiness and ear arousing antics are viral, a toxic sonic trespass leading to dependency from which escape is not an option. There are plenty of familiar aspects to the track and all adding to its forceful persuasion upon body and spirit.

 The electro waltz of David F**king Bowie is no mean spirit in stirring ears or appetite either, its gait and energy a calmer but lively instigator swiftly tempting forceful participation from vocal chords. Its celestial meanders allow a breath to be taken though equally it leads to a hankering to be back romping which the song subsequently provides before Spider stands centre stage to call on ears and his flock with Cult Leader. An anthemic hard rock meets glam punk roar again very difficult not to get caught up in it does lacks some of the unique sparks of its predecessors but leaves the listener wanting little.

The alluring balladry of No White Flags settles the charge of the album but not the rich attention it continues to earn; the song a tantalising mix of melodic alternative metal and heavy rock while Thank God is a gloriously irritable slab of nu-metal lined punk metal as raw and antagonistic as it is uncontrollably contagious. One minute plus of primal temptation it sets yet another lofty marker in the landscape of New Wave, one teased if not hit by successor Die on Your Feet, a song of typical yet openly individual Powerman 5000 enterprise carrying all their established traits in its scuzzy rock ‘n’ roll blaze.

Get a Life steals the passion next with its prowling Dope/Rob Zombie-esque taunting. The track hints at and flirts with an instinctive tempest but keeps it restrained to only further seduce. That volcanic eruption never does not really escape even as the song expels a more tempestuous energy and aggression in its riveting stalking, again though this only adding to its show stealing majesty.

The album concludes with Run for Your Life, an electro rock nurtured, groove swinging slice of infection which in no time has hips swaying as feet and spirit dance. At times there is whiff of Ministry before Al Jourgensen turned his synth pop industrial metal to the song which potently colours up the Powerman 5000 creative theatre working away on the imagination. As it departs with a clunky abruptness you wonder if the song was a late addition or originally meant as a hidden treat, or indeed maybe a clue from the band of things to come, but it is a welcome and thoroughly enjoyable addition which lingers as much as any other gem within New Wave, an album which declares Powerman 5000 as essential as they have ever been.

New Wave is out now via Pavement Music across most online stores.

http://www.powerman5000.com    https://www.facebook.com/officialpowerman5000/

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Freak Injection – Freak Is Fashion

Unleashing in the words of its press release, “Blood, Sex and Psycho!” the Freak Is Fashion EP is quite simply a temptation rather hard not to get down and sweaty with. It is a new slice of devilment from French industrial/electro rockers Freak Injection, a rousing four track escapade fusing the familiar and the fresh in a roar sure to inspire the freak in us all.

It is fair to say that big surprises are not as prevalent within Freak Is Fashion as flavours which tempt like old friends yet the Paris hailing quartet create an aural captivation and physical incitement many unique offerings can only dream of. Inspiration to Freak Injection comes from the likes of the Prodigy, Nine Inch Nails, Nina Hagen, Madonna, and Marilyn Manson, though Freak Is Fashion leaps upon the listener more like an insatiable fusion of Animal Alpha, Die So Fluid, and The Guilt with Kontrust like lunacy leading and fuelling it all.

With the raw essences of metal and punk colluding with electro and industrial revelry, the Freak Injection sound needs little time to infest ears and psyche as EP opener and title track reveals. As soon as its initial electro spiral is joined by distortion kissed vocal coaxing, there is no r escaping the song’s devilry and rebellious intent. Within a breath rhythms are pounding upon the senses like migraine, riffs simultaneously harrying them with their dirty tone as hooks and electronic bait are unleashed with insatiable intent. The vocals of Charlie RED just as swiftly get a hold of ears, her infectious guile and mischief accompanied by the melodic teasing of guitarist MAC-F as Kevin Hapexia’s bass heavily prowls. Continuing to probe with the swinging beats of Anthony bordering on the psychotic at times, the track makes a riveting and body rousing trespass to kick things off, its schizophrenic character increasingly unveiled as its bounds along.

The following Sex Me is an instantly panting arousal of sound and creative intrigue, its introduction a slower, more controlled yet insatiable proposal with instinctive seduction lining every note, beat, and vocal taunting. With an increasing swagger, riffs grow in weight and rhythms in impact but equally so too does an unpredictable web of twists and deceitful turns never going quite where you expect and greatly pleasing because of it. Again it is hard to say that the song is truly unique, certainly not across its whole body yet there are only fresh and enthralling times in its midst. It is qualities equally found within successor Crosses, a meaty stomping of electro pop ‘n’ roll which has the body bouncing,  hips swerving, and vocal chords induced within its first anthemic roar. Charlie is again a beacon within a blaze of tenacious captivation naturally fitting and sparking rock ‘n’ roll instincts.

The release is completed by Psycho (Russian Boy), an emboldened motivation of sound which arguably fits expectations of the tags given to the band’s sound more than most but brews volatility in its rock ‘n’ roll which just detonates in ears. It is a high-voltage end to a creatively bustling and animated, not forgetting fervour driven, rampage that the inner freak just cannot refuse.

Freak Is Fashion is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/Freakinjectionmusic/    https://twitter.com/Freak_Injection

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dope Out – Scars & Stripes

Formed on the first breath of 2013, French band Dope Out has earned a potent reputation in their homeland for their aggressive and stylish heavy rock sound. Now with the release of their highly enjoyable second album, Scars & Stripes, they are threatening to provoke the same kind of attention and support on a much broader scale.

Musically, the Paris quartet merges flavoursome traits from classic and hard rock with more punk, metal, and stoner essences for a proposition which feels familiar yet equally fresh and adventurous. The band has honed their sound and invention across a debut EP, All Hopes Inside, released that first year, and the well-received debut album Bad Seeds of 2014. The years between albums has seen Dope Out breach another level and maturity in their music; an evolution making Scars & Stripes a potently flavoursome proposal.

The four tracks making up the Lady Misfits EP which came out January 2016 made a tasty teaser of things to come, its potential straight away confirmed as Scars & Stripes hits ears with its title track. A lone bassline provides the first lure, its throaty twang soon joined by wiry riffs and rolling rhythms as the song brings its appetising bait all together for a predacious stroll awash with flaming melody. Once settled, the grouchy lead vocals of guitarist Stoner step up with attitude the fore, their irritated air matched by the hooks and grooves lining the slice of punk infused rock ‘n’ roll. Varied twists and turns follow to add to the captivation of the strong start to Scars & Stripes; a base the album only grows bolder from.

The following Dive is a just as appealing proposition, matching its predecessor’s success with its fiery web of grooves and enterprise spun by lead guitarist Crash over a rhythmic trespass driven by the jabbing beats of Mad and Doc’s heavy tempting bassline. As with the first, the song sets the tone of the album without exposing its deepest layers of imagination, that discovery really beginning from The Freakshow, which follows, onwards but still inciting a keen appetite for what is on offer so far.

The third song swiftly hits the spot, its initial pyre of sonic taunting mouth-watering but only added to by the rhythmic rumble which is soon aligned to a broadening design of flavours and invention.  Once hitting its resourceful stride, the track prowls like a mix of Dope and Marilyn Manson while its melodic blaze and earthy air has Gruntruck like hues to it. It is compelling stuff, only increasing its hold on ears as it twists and turns with imagination fuelled confrontation, blues grooves and steely tendrils increasing the fun.

Lady Misfits makes a more even tempered entrance, Stoner’s mellow tones joined by a just as relaxed melody as rhythms saunter with similar restraint. It is all a build-up though to a blaze of a chorus which after searing and pleasuring the senses slips back into the highly enjoyable calm, erupting with greater temptation throughout as the track continues to grow and reveal more of its captivating character and resourcefulness.

By now, the band and album has the lid open on their boldest adventure, next up Clan Of Bats bearing a spicy slab of imposing blues hued rock with an infectiousness breeding a chorus which is one of the truly memorable moments within the release. It is also the moment when you feel Dope Out really get to grips with their craft and imagination, the album having a real swagger to its presence and almost mischievous ambition.

The snarling rock ‘n’ roll of next up Shooting Gun keeps attention and pleasure high, its catchy swing and assertive intensity a potent mix before Nose White entangles ears in woozy blues grooves and stalking rhythms as vocals mix belligerence and invitation in their commanding persuasion. Carrying a touch of Black Stone Cherry and Hardcore Superstar to its body, only concentrated pleasure arises with it especially as its shadows darken and its tone and sinews become more invasive, luring the listener into its heart and the waiting devilry of Balls To The Wall. Another major highlight of the album, the song is a beast of almost violent rhythmic intent and sonic trespass, the guitars searing ears with their hook laden melodic flames whilst vocals scowl as the heart of the track erupts.

The album is brought to a just as feverish close by firstly Again, a song with infectiousness in its DNA and blues rapacity in its veins. As many of its predecessors, it has feet twitching and hips swinging with increasing relish, exhausting and pleasuring the body ready for the mellow caresses of closing encounter Soulmate, an acoustic reflection playing like a warm and increasingly enthusiastic night cap on a boozy rock ’n’ roll session.

It is hard to say that Scars & Stripes is overly unique yet has plenty of new elements to provide a truly fresh and increasingly enjoyable encounter; a proposition quite possibly coaxing a great more of the world to listen to Dope Out.

Scars & Stripes is digitally out now.

https://www.facebook.com/Dopeout/   https://dopeoutunited.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Suicidal Tendencies – World Gone Mad

 

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credit-krouskypictures

Many elements make up the success of legendary punk/thrashers Suicidal Tendencies, an array of qualities which has gripped and thrilled across three and a half decades and eleven previous studio albums. One potent trait is, within a sound which roars Suicidal Tendencies from its first breath, unpredictability; an essence which in varying degrees has made all of the band’s offerings memorable and easy to devour. New proposal World Gone Mad is no exception; a seriously rousing and thunderous affair of crossover ferocity inescapably Suicidal Tendencies which twists through new adventures while flirting with the imagination.

The successor to the well-received 13 of three years ago, World Gone Mad is a tempest of infectiously aggressive and creatively imaginative escapades equally drawing on the kind of punk fuelled exploits which marked out the band from its early days as one of metal and punks most vital propositions.  The new album also sees the band’s newest line-up in place with founder and vocalist Mike Muir and guitarist Dean Pleasants (ex-Infectious Grooves) linking up with guitarist Jeff Pogan, bassist Ra Diaz, and master drummer Dave Lombardo (Slayer, Phantomas, GripInc, Dead Cross). It is a unit which across the board has forged a new aspect to the Suicidal Tendencies personality without losing its prime character and appeal. Produced by Muir alongside Paul Northfield (Rush, Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, Ozzy Osbourne, Hole, Marilyn Manson) who also engineered and mixed the record, World Gone Mad snarls and stomps, providing an incitement as bruising and confrontational as it is a riotous funk grooved infestation of ears and body.

Latest single Clap Like Ozzy sets things off; its fuse and explosion prime Suicidal Tendencies. Lombardo’s catchy beats first catch ears, a grumbling bassline quickly adding to the thick coaxing as guitars send sonic scythes across the lure. Swiftly the song uncages a venomous yet ridiculously catchy assault, wiry grooves and rhythmic tenacity an anthemic roar of punk ‘n’ thrash virulence ridden by the unmistakable presence and tones of Muir. As hooks collude with the flirtatious antics of the bass, Pleasants winds trails of melodic lava around it all, his strings a heated siren within an already irresistible calling.

The New Degeneration takes over finding even more irritability in its tone and individual elements. Riffs and rhythms almost stalk the senses as Muir leads the defiance; group calls a great backing to his instigation. An undercurrent of animosity brews throughout the attack, eventually igniting as Lombardo flicks the switch to a full-out ravaging of ears with his magnetic swipes. Again the track is ‘typical’ Suicidal Tendencies but rippling with fresh twists and turns to leave satisfaction rich and full before Living For Life appears to eclipse its success. Unsurprisingly moments of Infectious Grooves like juiciness appear within World Gone Mad, the third track unapologetically embracing their funk metal swing for its initial flirtation before crashing ferociously upon the senses with its punk scented epidemic of ravenous riffs and on rushing rhythms again led by the twisted beat alchemy of Lombardo. The track is glorious everything you could wish from a Suicidal Tendencies encounter and more as it seduces and inspires body and spirit

suicidal_tendencies_-_world_gone_madSuicidal Tendencies - World Gone MadThe gentle melodic opening of Get Your Fight On! is a suggestive pull next which intrigues more than ignites the imagination but soon leads into the waiting rhythmic prowess of Lombardo and the sonic enterprise of Pleasants and Pogan. It too works its way from a relatively calm tempting to an incendiary blaze where it really grabs the appetite and passions as heavy metal flames unite with punk and thrash dexterity for an anthem which might not hold all the sparks of its predecessors but leaves only an eager want to delve into its cauldron all over again.

The album’s title track is another which takes its time to convince to the same level as the opening tracks, showing itself a slow burner which by the fifth or sixth lessons is one of the moments of the album which lingers the longest. A perpetual prowl which ignites onto a consuming fire of sound and aggression, the song has a touch of Insane Clown Posse to its most intense fire and Red Hot Chili Peppers to its relentless groove but as expected roars with nothing other than the voice of its creators.

The excellent Happy Never After fingers lustful reactions next, its gait also a prowling incitement crossed with sonic tendrils and pushed by steely riffs courting militant beats. Muir is the ringmaster to its determined intent and nature, whipping up the heart and imagination of track and listener alike as the rest of the band spins a riveting and increasingly addictive web.

From one major highlight to another as One Finger Salute stands bold and aggressive with punk rock insatiability and thrash driven intensity straight after to create a deliciously imposing and hungry proposal. Diaz’s bass is a treat of a bestial lure, its resonating flirtation aligned to the jumping beats of Lombardo, both enslaving attention soon bound in the sonic potency of the guitars.

Straight after Damage Control is a threatening infestation of wonderfully toxic and gripping grooves as rhythms again take on a preying animalistic potency whilst Muir and riffs stir with their punk ‘n’ roll cattiness. The outstanding track keeps the album’s pinnacle point going in feverish style, bass and drums especially irresistible though all parts of the incitement leaves a new hunger installed in ears and appetite for the release.

The sonic metal tapestry of The Struggle Is Real equally sparks a zeal for song and album, its punk call and rhythmic swagger a captivating irritant on peace and clam while successor Still Dying To Live sees the quintet embarking on a smouldering melodic venture equipped with alluring throaty bass tempting and psych rock shimmers around the warm coaxing of a kaleidoscope of magnetic hooks and surprises. At over seven minutes, the track is a masterfully invasive seduction romancing ears and imagination and a compelling finale to World Gone Mad capped by the stripped down magnificence of This World and its evolution and continuation of the closing track of the same name upon 13.

The track is a fine end epitomising the growth and riveting blossoming of sound and imagination between the two albums seeing World Gone Mad a powerful and thrilling new turn in the band’s history.  Whether it will be considered the band’s best release will down to the individual but without doubt the album is destined to be right there as a true favourite.

World Gone Mad is out now across most online stores through Suicidal Records.

http://www.suicidaltendencies.eu/   https://www.facebook.com/suicidaltendencies   https://twitter.com/OFFICIALSTIG

Pete RingMaster 15/11/2106

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright