Big Jesus – Oneiric

Pic cred: Chris Sullivan

Pic cred: Chris Sullivan

Imposingly dreamy, Oneiric is a proposal which simply infests, seduces, and lingers with increasing potency listen by listen. The new album from Atlanta bred outfit Big Jesus, the transfixing Oneiric is a warm serenade of the senses but equally has a predacious side to its shadows and rhythmic weight which hooks eager attention. Mellow and raw, seductive and fiery, the band’s sound sits somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins and Palms but is all the time weaving its own distinct adventures now collected on one gripping album.

According to vocalist/bassist Spencer Ussery, the Big Jesus sound was bred on inspirations found in nineties rock;  everything from metal, psychedelic pop, shoegaze, hip hop, and classical piano music impacting on the ideas and music of the band. It is a mix which lured potent interest in the band with the release of their debut album One, and is set to escalate as the Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer, Monster Magnet, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio) produced Oneiric swarms over more and more ears.

Bringing four tracks from their earlier release with six new encounters, Oneiric quickly grabs ears and imagination with opener SP, the song instantly a writhing mix of fuzzy melodies and hungry grouchy riffs. It is imposing yet inviting, especially as the warm tones of Ussery float across the feisty landscape of the song. Guitarists CJ Ridings and Thomas Gonzalez cast a great web of warm and aggressive enterprise too, riffs and grooves a conflicting yet beautifully united adventure which with the ethereal nature of Ussery’s voice offers a House Of Love meets Smashing Pumpkins enticing.

art_RingMasterReviewThe snarling air of Ussery’s bass and the intensively swinging beats of Joe Sweat make a matching powerful lure, their driving energy and dark nature as virulent in the following pair of Always and Lock & Key. The first of the two is a ridiculously catchy affair, it’s relentlessly twisting grooves and rhythms a feistily contagious invitation wrapped in magnificent psychedelia/ shoegaze spiced vocals while its successor musically ventures down the same creative avenue to create its own tempting while caressing the senses with romantic melodies as sonic suggestiveness warms with celestial hues. Again there is heaviness and intensity involved which sublimely tempers the bright air and only increases the potency on ears and imagination.

Through the rapacious directness and melodic meanderings of Floating Past You and the gentle yet intrusive and slightly melancholic croon of Fader, the album transfixes with ease while their successors, the sonically incendiary Shards and the heavy metal hued Oneirica only tighten the pull of one increasingly engaging encounter. The latter is another song which fizzes with infectious vitality and a rhythmic boisterousness which seems to inspire all the other elements making up the outstanding and seriously enjoyable multi-flavoured track.

Shrimp caresses the senses with its melodic and vocal gossamer next; a golden kiss on ears with a fiercer underbelly. it is an irresistible calling on appetite and emotions before Felt In Reverse coaxes the senses with magnetic reverberation into another sonically flaming and vocally seductive fire of sound and imagination. As at times across the album, surface elements of the song seem a touch similar to that of other tracks but with closer focus and each subsequent play, the song reveals its own mesmeric and often wonderfully volatile character of craft and invention.

Concluded by Heaviest Heart and its mix of irritable predatory riffs and airy almost diaphanous melodies and harmonies, Oneiric is pure temptation in your speakers. As suggested, the album simply grows and further entangles the listener with every listen, unveiling plenty to satisfy fans of rock music from psych and melodic rock to shoegaze and grunge.

Oneiric is out now via Mascot Label Group / Mascot Records and available across most online stores and @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/big-jesus/

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Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lody Kong – Dreams and Visions

Photo-Joey Nugent

Photo-Joey Nugent

Let us get the most publicised aspect about Lody Kong out of the way first. The Arizona based band is the creation of Zyon and Igor Cavalera, the sons of Sepultura/Soulfly/Cavalera Conspiracy famed Max Cavalera and brother of Incite frontman Richie Cavalera.

Now to the important bit; the release of the band’s blistering and increasingly impressing debut album Dreams and Visions. It is a ten track infestation of the senses as debilitating as it is invigorating as it uncages ravenous tempests forged in sludge thick, raw metal toned raging infused with punk belligerence and fuelled by post and hardcore causticity. Band and album challenges ears and incite the imagination at every turn with an array of invasive textures and flavours uniting in rabid exploits which generalising as psychotic punk ‘n’ roll would not be to deceptive.

Formed in 2011, the Phoenix hailing Lody Kong soon made a potent mark the following year with debut EP, No Rules. It was an introduction to the quartet of guitarist John Bauer, bassist Shanks, vocalist/guitarist Igor, and drummer Zyon reinforced and more by the band’s part in the 2013 US/Canada/European Maximum Cavalera tour and more recently last year’s Cavalera Conspiracy US tour. Now it is the turn of their eagerly awaited debut album to stoke up broad attention and for the major reasons of sound and fierce invention rather than band personnel.

The album opens with the outstanding Chillin’, Killin’; a venomous assault of a track offering searing bait from its first breath. That sonic intrusion soon erupts into an antagonistic rumble of raw riffs and hostile rhythms urged on by the emotive scowls of Igor. Piercing repetitive grooves only add to the compelling and exhaustive incitement, shifts in the predatory state of the track’s gait and character increasing its irresistible lure with a full throttle thrash kissed charge simply icing on the scintillating cake.

art_RingMasterReviewThe album’s title track keeps the grip on pleasure and appetite just as tight, its bruising weight and cantankerous intensity carrying an air of Pigs and Discharge to its irritable storm. It too is a song which twists through a host of inventive changes and detours, leaving a lingering psyche infesting dark presence and tempting which carries on into the likes of the emotively and sonically cancerous Kreative Center and the stalking animus of Pig In The Pen. The first of the two chews the senses with its nagging riffs whilst hooks and wiry grooves vein the scything swings of Zyon which cross another bestially toned bass trespass by Shanks. It is an unrelenting pressure of sound matched in its individual way by its successor whose initial doomy prowl soon expands into tar like sludge voracity interspersed with frenzied canters of energetic animosity.

Both tracks are spiteful punk rock with the virulence of numerous styles involved, much like the body of the bad-blooded Rumsfield where again band and sound enjoyably crush the senses with their creative and emotive jaundice. As across the album, there are moments of familiar hues and textures running headlong into ears yet each and every time their appearance is woven into something fresh, inventively damaging, and individual to Lody Kong.

Smashed and Blasted is proof as it presents its own hellacious and intensely imposing proposal next. The track is arguably the heaviest and most merciless on the release yet one with a host of imaginative hooks and sonic enterprise which hints as much at post punk and noise rock as it embraces extreme metal and post hardcore ferocity. Its thick enticement is followed and eclipsed by the predacious crawl of Some Pulp. There is liveliness to the song’s attack though it clambers over the senses rather than charges them, vocals and citric grooves the lead bait in its animalistic stalking with again numerous unexpected and incendiary twists.

Through the excellent old school punk/grunge feud of The Dangerous Quest and the dirty and schizophrenic Pistols-esque rock ‘n’ roll of Topaz, the album adds more aspects to its increasingly adventurous character. There are no major deviations from the heart of the songs before, but each explores another inventive hue and discord nurtured variation which continues with the closing sludge ’n’ roll consumption of the senses cast by Venomous Kool-Aid. It is a suffocating weave of thrash and doom metal with classic and hard rock strands, the guitars of John and Igor almost flirting with their bitterness laced craft around the latter’s rasping tones.

Though for personal tastes the loftiest highlights are found in the first two thirds of the album, Dreams and Visions is an unrelenting rousing of body and spirit, and indeed the debilitating devourer of both, which simply leaves a want for more from start to finish.

Dreams and Visions is out now via Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/lody-kong-dreams-and-visions-cd.html

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Pete RingMaster 30/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Big Boy Bloater and The Limits – Luxury Hobo

BBB_RingMaster Review

Fancy a rich dose of spice to your rock ‘n’ roll then the new album from Big Boy Bloater & The Limits is a must. Luxury Hobo offers nine rich blues tinged slices of contagious rock ’n’ roll which relentlessly infests body and emotions like a sonic viral complaint to which no cure is available or wanted.

Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and radio presenter, Big Boy Bloater is an artist to which hungry ears and acclaim seem to flock to. His career and unique style in songwriting, playing, and sound has seen him the feast of the blues and roots scenes, playing numerous major festivals across the US and Europe, and tour across Europe, the Middle-East, the USA, and Canada. Equally he has played behind and with the likes of Imelda May, Paloma Faith, and Wanda Jackson and been invited by Sir Paul McCartney to record with him at Abbey Road. He is a wanted man and easy to see why from Luxury Hobo alone.

Forming latest band Big Boy Bloater & The Limits in 2011, Big Boy Bloater defies the description of being a bluesman as predominantly tagged by a great many. As proven by Luxury Hobo, he creates fusions of flavours which no-one else seems to have the notion of casting. For the new album R&B is at times entangled with swamp and delta blues, seventies rock ‘n’ roll merged with old school rockabilly and fifties garage rock, and…

Reality is that the fusions are rich and plenty resulting in songs which play like old friends yet are like few other companions you may have come across, certainly outside of the man’s own creative psyche. Luxury Hobo is Big Boy Bloater’s darkest collection of songs too; its themes bred from a bout of depression in 2013. Talking of the time and release, Big Boy Bloater openly said “I had a breakdown, the album centres around that we’ve got all these great things but are still pissed off and medicate ourselves to be normal,” further adding that “The basic idea of the title is we are all luxury hobos these days, we get to go here, there and everywhere but no one has it the hard way now do they? We all have our luxuries, it’s that juxtaposition; I think the whole album is about the modern day life and society.

artwork_RingMaster ReviewAs evidenced in the album’s opener alone it does not mean there is an absence of the flirtatious hooks and unpredictable twists, as well as the energy driven virulence fans have become so enamoured by in his music. Devils Not Angels is an irresistible start to the adventure; a flirtatious romp from its first guitar flame quickly breaking into a feisty swagger with a seriously catchy attitude and incitement of sound. From the smiling keys of Dan Edwards to the rousing rhythms of bassist Steven Oats and drummer Matt Cowley, the song has body and soul pumped with raw pleasure taken further care of by the gravelly voice and fiery guitar craft of Big Boy Bloater.

It is a superb start which still gets eclipsed straight away by the following and quite brilliant It Came Out Of The Swamp. It too bounces along with a contagious air to get swiftly involved with but its climate and textures are far more dark, sinister, and invasive. The bass borders on a carnal predation whilst the grooves are dirt encrusted flirtation as swamp blues get tainted with psych rock mischief and rockabilly devilry. Sea Sick Steve meets Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers is the best clue we have to describe the glorious infestation of the senses and imagination on offer, with hooks and melodies courtesy of a warped mix of B52’s and The Dirt Daubers.

I Love You (But I Can’t Stand Your Friends) rolls in with its pop ‘n’ rock charms next, tasty melodies cupping ears as vocals offer an opening romance with a sting in the tail. Both traits continue to entice and arouse ears as well as passions as the song strolls along with a grin on its face and rock flirtation in its heart. As its predecessors, the listener’s physical involvement is a quick success and equally drawn by the blues twang soaked seduction of The Devil’s Tail. Hips are soon swaying to its swerving body of grooves and alluring harmonies, ears there before them in submission to its sultry tempting before I Got The Feeling Someone’s Watching Me has the imagination engulfed in dark rock ‘n’ roll intrigue and salacious seduction. The outstanding song crawls over the senses, smooching with ears as the grainy tone of Big Boy Bloater’s vocals lays the seeds to dark deeds from unrelenting prying eyes whether in the noir lit streets of shadow thick towns, the bright romance of Parisian walkways, or more intimate surroundings.

From one immense highlight to another as the sexy swing of Luxury Hobo Blues takes centre stage with one wonderful nag of a tasty hook through a net of catchy rock ‘n’ roll. Potent harmonies and a web of sultry grooves only add to the riveting trap of a song before Robot Girlfriend offers futuristic love in a magnetic rockabilly/garage/blues rock shuffle. As all songs before it, even the dark crawls of It Came Out Of The Swamp and I Got The Feeling Someone’s Watching Me, it has a swing and vibrant energy which has the body tapping or indeed rocking in full allegiance, something All Things Considered decides to go against, though it too only see a sway take the body. Its soulful croon is wrapped in the smoulder of keys, that alone a simmering heat of temptation enhanced by the emotive cry of Big Boy Bloater and the spirals of melancholic yet invigorating guitar.

The album returns to tearing up the dance-floor with closer Not Cool Man, rhythms and riffs colluding to lay a canvas of energetic incitement whilst the bass flirts and grooves flare up above it. Rock ‘n’ roll to get close and personal with, the track perfectly concludes an album which has ears blissful and the body exhausted. Luxury Hobo is pure manna for the soul and if a better example of diversity loaded rock ‘n’ roll arrives this year, it will go down in history as a major classic, much as we suspect this treat from Big Boy Bloater & The Limits.

Luxury Hobo is released 11th March via Provogue/ Mascot Label Group through most online stores and @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/big-boy-bloater-luxury-hobo-cd.html

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Pete RingMaster 25/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Supersonic Blues Machine – West of Flushing South of Frisco

Photo By Alex Solca

Photo By Alex Solca

Not so much a super group but a collective of irresistible talent, Supersonic Blues Machine release their debut album, West of Flushing South of Frisco, this February and a collection of blues fuelled tracks which leave ears glowing with satisfaction. Centred around the trio of bassist/producer Fabrizio Grossi, guitarist/singer Lance Lopez, and drummer Kenny Aronoff, band and release provide a tapestry of craft and heart fuelled enterprise which, even if blues is not the prime source of your musical tastes, simply stirs up an eager appetite with its tenacious rock ‘n’ roll.

The beginnings of the band began in 2012 with Lopez, when planning a visit to Los Angeles to record a new album, arranging to hook up with Grossi, who has worked with some of the finest musicians from Steve Vai to Tina Arena, Nina Hagen to Alice Cooper as well as Glenn Hughes, Dave Navarro, George Clinton, Joe Bonamassa, Leslie West, Zakk Wylde, Ice T, Slash, and Paul Stanley to name a few. Their plan to knock around new ideas led to a trio of tracks which became the foundation of an exciting new project to which ZZ Top’s Billy F. Gibbons added fuel to the creative fire by suggesting the pair, who he both knew, “should seriously consider working on something together.” Aronoff who has worked with the likes of John Mellencamp, Smashing Pumpkins, Meat Loaf, Brandon Flowers, John Fogerty, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Joe Cocker, was then subsequently recruited, thanks to Toto’s Steve Lukather, to complete the heart of the new adventure.

Rushing forward to now and it is fair to say that West of Flushing South of Frisco is already making a stir from the glimpses of tracks offered as teasers and from the band of musical brothers brought in to give each song its individual and impressive character of sound and persuasion. It opens up with Miracle Man and a coaxing caress of acoustic guitar aligned to enticing sonic tendrils around sand textured vocals. Those sultry strands of blues guitar continue to wind around the moodier tones of bass and the great grain textured vocals of Lopez, even as an infectious saunter breaks free from the more reserved start to lead feet and hips into an eager southern spiced jaunt around the dance-floor.

artwork_RingMaster ReviewIt is a great start more than backed by I Ain’t Fallin’ Again with its punchy rhythms and climactic air of wiry grooves and spicy enterprise. As the first, it too develops an infectious canter which easily coaxes involvement in its anthemic funk lined revelry and continues the album’s rousing star before Running Whiskey turns up the heat again with its rock ‘n’ roll blaze. Featuring Billy F. Gibbons, the song aligns shimmering keys with classic rock ‘n’ roll with a very gentle scent of Thin Lizzy to it.

Remedy mellows the adrenaline running through veins next, though the song with Warren Haynes (Gov’t Mule/Allman Bros Band) adding his provocative craft has ears and enjoyment firmly gripped with its smouldering Americana. Fair to say though, it is quickly replaced in the attention of personal tastes by the outstanding Bone Bucket Blues. Gnarly and cantankerous in riffs alone, the track is a liquor scented stomp with the vocals of Lopez as much galvanic bait as the feverish grooves and tenaciously writhing textures around them. It is led by a brooding bassline which reoccurs in a less imposing manner within the emotive croon of Let It Be. Even within is sweltering climate of emotional intensity, the song has a sway and infectious manner that makes easy pickings of ears.

Equally as fiery and expressive in word and sonic invention is next up That’s My Way with Chris Duarte joining the trio for its catchy rock ‘n’ blues persuasion whilst Ain’t No Love (In The Heart Of The City) is a tantalising engaging cover of the Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland classic. Smoky in air, galvanic in a group loaded chorus, it is easy to suspect that the song has an emotional involvement with one or more of the trio such its impassioned rendering, though that kind of potency is fuel to the album as a whole and in evidence within the Eric Gales enhanced Nightmares And Dreams. Inspired by a dream, the song is a haunting yet inviting roar of voice and emotion draped in the guitar imagination which veins the whole of the album in an array of stirring tapestries.

Walter Trout brings his distinct touch to the lingering temptation of Can’t Take It No More where the pairing of Lopez and Trout‘s vocals alone are worth the price if the ticket whilst after Whiskey Time, a spicy track described as the extended ending to earlier proposal Running Whiskey, the mellow charm of Let’s Call It A Day sees Robben Ford helping create a piano led, guitar shaped serenade which provocatively smooches with ears with a gentle and at times more intensive touch.

Closing with the funky throes of Watchagonnado, the Supersonic Blues Machine debut keeps pleasure full and a hope for more of its band of brothers like rock ‘n’ roll to come. It is fair to say that we are no blues experts but we know what we like and West of Flushing South of Frisco easily fits the bill.

West of Flushing South of Frisco is released February 26th via Provogue/Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/supersonic-blues-machine-west-of-flushing-cd.html

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Pete RingMaster 25/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Simo – Let Love Show The Way

SIMO-band_RingMaster Review

Though their new album is our introduction to Simo, it is noticeable that the striking craft and potent tones of vocalist/guitarist JD Simo seem to be the main focus of attention with a great many. As proven by the compelling Love Show The Way, the Nashville based band is so much more though. From the magnetically roving bass grooves of Elad Shapiro and the tenacious enterprise of drummer Adam Abrashoff to the evocative songwriting and its fiery realisation, Simo is one potent unit made up of creatively integral parts.

It is fair to say though that JD Simo, a musician begging his parents for a guitar at the age of five and regularly playing bars backed by older musicians by 10 years old, is a mighty lure to the Joe Bonamassa favourite’s fusion of blues, southern rock, and classic R&B with jazz fuelled enterprise. The background to Let Love Show The Way is in itself as alluring also. Recorded at Macon, Georgia’s Big House, the communal home of the Allman Brothers Band during their late sixties/early seventies heyday, what we hear in ears was not the proposition planned for the first album to be recoded at the famous site. Heading into the recording, Simo has a whole different set of tracks primed for the release with the visit primarily to record a couple of bonus tracks for the album. With engineer Nick Worley involved too, band and passion “caught fire” in the inspirational surroundings with a dozen tracks being burnt down in less than 48 hours; songs spawned with raw and electrifying intensity that inspired the band to change direction and go with what organically grew there and then. JD himself summed up the moment, “As the producer of the project, I couldn’t live with myself if we didn’t use these songs, I just felt it was better than anything the band had ever captured so we decided to scrap the original record and build this new one around everything we recorded at the Big House.

SIMO_RingMaster ReviewWith each track recorded live in complete takes and without any edits, Let Love Show the Way quickly grips attention with opener Stranger Blues, a cover of the Elmore James classic. Shimmering into view, the song is soon eagerly dancing in ears, riffs and rhythms a feisty shuffle whilst grooves as good as flirt from Duane Allman’s 1957 gold-top Les Paul which JD played on every song within the album. It is a sizzling lure of a start which only strengthens as Two Timin’ Woman offers its own bluesy flame guided by the enjoyably unpredictable and dynamic rhythms of Abrashoff as well as the dark tempting of Shapiro’s bass.

An even rawer edge lines the scuzzy lure of Can’t Say Her Name next whilst I Lied has a rough psych rock air to its grouchily infectious proposal; both tracks riveting weaves of vocal prowess and heart linked to skittish rhythms and slightly antagonistic riffs bound in searing tendrils of blues imagination. The second of the pair is especially flavoursome and irresistibly imposing before the lovely and mischievous rock ‘n’ roll of Please has body and emotions stomping around like a teen with its catchy slice of blues rock.

The Celtic spiced Long May You Sail is another instantly stirring the imagination with its adventurously individual escapade whilst I’ll Always Be Around sighs, pulsates, and rumbles with magnetic southern blues melancholy before Becky’s Last Occupation writhes and swings within its groove infested fire to re-ignite the physical side of the body after its emotion feeding predecessor. Each of the trio creates tapestries of chaotic adventure and surprising twists which sublimely and dynamically unite for inescapable temptation.

The heated sounds keep ears fired up as I’d Rather Die In Vain explores a jazz lined web of sonic imagination and experimental invention matched by a dynamic rhythmic punch. The track is a glorious off-kilter incitement leaving the senses and imagination enflamed and then gentle seduced by the acoustic instrumental grace of Today I Am Here.

With a great trio of bonus tracks in the outstanding Let Love Show The Way, the fiercely sultry Ain’t Doin’ Nothin’, and the provocatively crooning Please Be With Me completing the CD and digital versions of the album, Let Love Show The Way leaves enjoyment eagerly flowing. As Simo lives up to all the potent praise and declarations heard before music touched ears, theirs is an album with the inclination to please any rock ‘n’ roll fan let alone those with an appetite for the blues,

Let Love Show The Way is released January 29th via Provogue Records/ Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/simo-letloveshowtheway-cd.html

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Pete RingMaster 29/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Teramaze – Her Halo

Pic RadioHaloPhotography

Pic RadioHaloPhotography

The beginning of Australian progressive metallers Teramaze go back to the mid to late nineties but it is in the last handful of years that the band has finally sparked rich attention on a broader scale. The Melbourne quartet is giving it another hefty nudge with their new album Her Halo too, a compelling and at times bewitching affair for ears and imagination. Bulging with eight tracks of progressive beauty and technical prowess, the release is a fiery seduction and impassioned tempest; a fascinating flight through a sound consistently evolving whilst weaving in an expansive array of sonic colour and styles. Imagine Circles, Voyager, and Native Construct merged and you get a sense of Her Halo and the invigorating music of Teramaze.

Formed by lead guitarist/producer Dean Wells, it has been since the release of third album Anhedonia in 2012, that the band really began luring potent spotlights their way. The acclaimed release was the first to show an evolution in the foursome’s earlier, apparently more thrash seeded sound; the moment that Teramaze began emerging as the protagonists exciting ears with their latest offering now. That earlier release’s predecessor, Esoteric Symbolism in 2014, continued the shift in invention and direction, its reward equally concentrated acclaim which is now eclipsed on all counts by Her Halo. The new encounter is also their first for Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group and features new vocalist Nathan Peachey, his tones one of the numerous things swiftly impressing in opener An Ordinary Dream.

teramaze-cover_RingMaster ReviewThe fourteen minute track drifts in on a chilled wind and a breeze of sepia hued emotive sound, its evocative coaxing on the turn of a breath soon a melodic caress of guitar with drama fuelled keys in close attention. In a few seconds more, that erupts into a flame of sonic enterprise from Wells matched by the darker rumbles of bass and beats from Luis Eguren and Dean Kennedy respectively. The entrance of Peachey’s outstanding voice and delivery opens the way for even more choice textures and melodic slithers to join the growing tapestry of adventure and temptation; electronic twists, rapacious rhythms, and rising columns of intensity in the spirals of sonic endeavour only adding to the busy but uncluttered web of sound. Across its length, the track moves through similarly evolving landscapes of emotion and creative suggestiveness too, each woven with a new and fresh array of varied sound and ideation.

It is a glorious and transfixing start to Her Halo, and sublimely backed by the darker embrace of To Love, A Tyrant. From its scene setting first tempting, there is a sinister and thick shadowed nature to the song, one which continues to coat the walls and line the eventful theatre of the track. With Wells a potent backing to Peachey, vocals once more flame with rich expression and harmonics whilst the former’s guitar craft is an inescapable net of tenacious and stirring resourcefulness. Fair to say though, that every member and aspect of song and album is a thick incitement for ears and a quickly hungry appetite for the release.

The album’s title track glows and rumbles next, Peachey again outstanding within the matching strength of the dynamics and the provocative textures smouldering and in turn blazing within the lava of captivation. The song is bewitching, with a steely strength to it as riveting and incendiary as the melodic mesmerism fuelling its heart, though it is quickly eclipsed by Out of Subconscious, a rousing Dream Theater-esque fire of emotional reflection and soaring, celestial graced flames. It provides a maelstrom of avant-garde, jazz, and progressive intrigue for the imagination to grab hold of, in turn keeping ears and attention engrossed with once more the band’s skill of unpredictability a seamless roar of pleasure.

   For The Innocent also has a heavy and dark air to its diversely flavoured canvas, upon which the bass prowls, the guitar conjures, and vocals spread a resonating collusion of enterprise held in a gripping rhythmic web spun by Eguren. Admittedly the track does not hit the same sweet spot as the trio of tracks before it but only engages a willing body and soul in its perpetually blossoming depths before Trapeze has the imagination twisting and conjuring with its pungent instrumental theatre of suggestiveness and creative alchemy.

The mesmeric croon of Broken steps forward next, vocals and acoustic sound a warm but melancholic hug which only becomes more provocative and magnetic with every passing minute, time again seeing the band seamlessly flow through contrasting elements sculpted with raw emotion and that constant element of surprise. They are traits every song is seeded in as shown one final time within the lengthy creative saunter of Delusions of Grandeur. As the expansive body of the first song on Her Halo, the ten minutes making up the closing emprise of idea, skill, and emotion never feels a moment too long thanks to its organically evolving imagination of sound which never stands still whether across the whole of the hefty soundscape of invention or simply one of its potent minutes.

The track is a masterful end to a mighty release, one which impresses first time around but really comes into its own over numerous, increasingly exciting plays. Progressive metal has had quite a few rich treats in 2015, this is another and amongst its biggest.

Her Halo is out now via Music Theories Recordings through most stores.

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Pete RingMaster 12/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Robben Ford – Into The Sun

PRD74542_450

With over 35 albums under his belt, attention has to be given when Californian guitarist Robben Ford describes his new release as “one of the top recordings I’ve ever done.” It is a statement potently backed up by Into The Sun, a collection of songs entangled in flavours such as blues, rock ‘n’ roll, rock pop, and jazz. The album reveals a fresh diversity to Ford’s songwriting and musical adventure, taking the established potent essences of his renowned prowess into new feel good exploits. Most of all though Into The Sun is simply fun; inventive and as expected technically and creatively superb but most of all it is sheer enjoyment.

With a host of guests across the release, the Provogue Records album opens up with Rose Of Sharon, and an immediate sonic caress across a blues bred gait with slowly strolling rhythms to match. Keys and vocals quickly add to the smouldering tempting of ears and imagination, Ford quickly immersing the listener in the landscape and reflective heart of the song through voice and his already beguiling guitar enterprise. The track is a charming smooch of a song, an evocative sunrise to the album which shines with a brighter smile through Day Of The Planets. There is a great sixties breath to the second song, a rock pop essence with R&B spicing which soon has ears firmly enticed and appetite awake, whilst its classic nostalgic hooks just seals the deal .

     Howlin’ At The Moon brings a dusty blues snarl to its sultry presence, capturing the imagination in a new adventure, whilst the following Rainbow Cover strolls into a creatively scenic rock pop exploit with landmarks as expected sculpted by the resourceful fingers and strings of Ford. Both tracks ignite the senses but are shaded by the excellent Justified featuring with Keb’ Mo’ and pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph. The track has a gorgeous nostalgic feel to its otherwise vibrant character, a blues tone from decades past bringing rich hues to the mix of vocals and piano led sounds. Harmonies add further flaming whilst the craft of Randolph is a shimmering seduction amidst the excellent proposition.

The magnetic Breath Of Me with ZZ Ward comes next, the twining of Ford and Ward’s vocals alone worth the admission price whilst High Heels And Throwin’ Things which finds Gov’t Mule and Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes guesting, has one of those inventive shuffles and fiery landscapes which even in its subdued air has ears and thoughts gripped. Great vocals and the ever sweltering adventure of guitars has one virtually reaching to wipe a bead of perspiration from the brow such the thick exotic climate of the song, whilst across the album the melodic heat conjured more than lives up to its title.

A delicious heavy and lusty bassline marks out next up The Cause Of War first of all, it’s dark lure perfectly backed by firmly swung rhythms, a rich weave of simmering keys, and the contagiously diverse mesh of guitar textures and enterprise. The track takes favourite song honours, though it is constantly challenged as shown by the captivating So Long 4 U and its quaint stroll of keys. The track needs little time to seduce ears, especially when you add six-string slide legend Sonny Landreth to the line-up, though if I am honest it is that vintage twang of the keys which lights the biggest emotions.

The album comes to a close through firstly the spicy adventure of Same Train and finally the heavily enticing Stone Cold Heaven which features Southern rock musician Tyler Bryant. The song is ablaze with guitar craft and vivacity, bringing a fine album a potent finale.

Into The Sun shows a different aspect and direction to the Robben Ford sound in many ways but has all the heart and glowing essences of his sound, and of course all the technical majesty. For full enjoyment though…do play loud!

Into The Sun is out now via Provogue Records/Mascot Label Group @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/robbenford-intothesun.html

https://www.facebook.com/RobbenFordOfficial   http://robbenford.com/

RingMaster 26/04/2015

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