Bottle Next – Bad Horses

Bottle Next is a hard folk band from the French music scene. It is a tag which is maybe unique to the band not having come across it before but only partially touches on their sound. Weaving seriously engaging songs from the imaginative threads of everything from indie and pop, through progressive blues and hard rock to folk and indeed any mischievous form of rock ‘n’ roll you wish to suggest, Bottle Next make for a tantalising proposition which within debut album, Bad Horses, persistently encroaches upon rich fascination and aural seduction.

There is a real sense of fun within and with the duo of guitarist/vocalist/saxophonist Pierre Rettien and drummer/vocalist Martin Ecuer; a feistiness and devilment which openly fuels their music. From the release of their first single in 2011, the pair has drawn increasing attention and support with a pair of EPs surrounded by other individual tracks and videos as well as an energetic live presence which has seen them play across France and further into Europe; sharing stages with the likes of Triggerfingers, Lofofora, Zebda, Mass Hysteria, Didier Wampas, and No One Is Innocent as well as appearing at festivals such as Rock’n’Poche Festival, The Festival du Chien à Plûmes, Musikmesse in Germany), Belgium’s Mannrock (Belgium) and the Swiss Zikamart Festival.

Released a few weeks back, Bad Horses is an announcement for a wider range of ears and spotlights of the presence of Bottle Next; the Daniel Bergstrand (Meshuggah, Soilwork, In Flames) mixed release swiftly making the most of the opportunity with its opener Break Down the Door. The initial twang twisted strums of Rettien have an instinctive striking swing to their nature, a zeal matched in the senses rapping beats of Ecuer. That energy is equally as frantic in the delivery and character of the former’s vocals; together the duo creating a body inciting, spirit dancing slice of tenacious melodic rock as garage raw as it is hungrily infectious.

It is a thickly enticing start matched in memorable heights by next up Choices, the song a swagger loaded stroll of blues tinged rock ‘n’ roll sharing a Queens Of The Stone Age meets In The Whale like adventure. There is a rapacious essence to the grooves winding around ears and an atmospheric suggestiveness to the keys which interrupts the urgency of the canter whilst emerging folkish revelry has a funk seeded grin encapsulated by the earthily sultry lures of sax.

From one mouth-watering escapade to another as next up, Running Herd, takes ears in its grips with stabby riffs and agitated beats, both entangled in a volatile web of melody and vocal dexterity. As with its predecessors, involvement in its tenacious shuffle is instinctive; voice and hips giving quick submission to its imaginative multi-flavoured dance before Revolution shows the grittier hard rock side of the band’s sound. It too though weaves in a lure of melody and pop scented indie enterprise topped by a chorus wearing sixties/seventies pop rock catchiness.

A slightly calmer air drifts over Age of beauty; the song tempting and vivaciously crooning like a mix of XTC and Be Bop Deluxe though like all songs it never settles for one idea or style for much longer than it takes the imagination to adopt one of the moments of creative chicanery.  At times it is an almost punchy encounter, the next a floating caress and consistently a captivating proposal before the outstanding Overthere grabs an already keen appetite for the release’s romp with its heavier touch and spikier climate. Again a grunge seeded essence runs alongside the song’s heavier rock instincts, colluding in a slimline, impulsively addictive temptation smoking in its shadows with a wealth of additional flavoursome scents.

The album’s title track is a more kinetic and wiry caper, guitars and drums magnetically nagging and popping as the track’s rock heart and vocals roar; pure rock ‘n’ roll its creative mantra while Machines courts a matching breeding in its mellower, blues rock tinged pop ‘n’ roll. Both offerings make swift deals with ears and imagination, More Humane matching their success with its folk/indie rock enticement brewing up from within initial suggestive smog of melodically nurtured atmospherics; funk and progressive keys born revelry growing across its enthralling body sparking canter.

The melody woven infection of The Lift off straight after is no less an inducement of physical participation, its warm and boisterous invitation a fest of inventive festivity for limbs and energy. The same equally comes with closing song The Woody Man where its folkish colour and melodic charm takes the track’s kinetic nature in hand, giving it a great layer of restraint without defusing its multi-style embracing devilry and impact on body and spirit. It is a great end to a rather fine album which it is fair to say had us leaping and grinning from start to finish, no track anything less than an imaginative galvanic romp. Bad Horses offers something really fresh in its familiar flavours and boundless enterprise in its bold and playful quest to simply rock ‘n’ roll. The best album you will hear this year, maybe or maybe not; destined to be one of the most enjoyable, without question.

Bad Horses is out now @ https://bottlenext.bandcamp.com/album/bad-horses

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Pete RingMaster 30/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

91 Allstars – Retour vers la Lumière

91allstars_RingMaster Review

Not convinced by their name but having no problem breeding a healthy appetite for their ferocious sound, 91 Allstars quickly show themselves to be another voraciously rousing proposition within the French metal scene with new album Retour vers la Lumière. The first encounter from the band since a change in line-up, their second album is a thickly enticing assault of death inspired metal aligned to melodic hardcore and plenty of other ripe spices. It roars and brawls with the senses, grips the imagination, and provides plenty to get excited over as 91 Allstars show themselves ready to take on broader spotlights.

Formed in 2005, the Paris quintet has perpetually drawn praise and support with their releases and a live presence which has seen them over the years share stages with the likes of Sick of it all, Gojira, Do Or Die , 25 ta life, Born From Pain, Mass Hysteria, and Knuckledust. Their first year saw the release of a self-titled debut EP and two years later the band teamed up with Danforth for the split release Destroy The Past. Acclaim grabbed debut album Telle Est la Loi in 2010, its success though already being eclipsed by the dynamic and hellacious enterprise of Retour vers la Lumière since its recent release.

91AS_front_RingMaster Review     The atmospheric Intro starts things off, its portentous air full of drama and suggestiveness which is taken on by the tempestuous nature and body of Omniscience. Immediately grooves and hooks are swinging with zeal as raw gruff vocals incite and rhythms batter the senses from the second track. It is a rousing confrontation, one as magnetic as it is hostile with the track’s death metal canvas coated in thrash inspired animosity and hardcore cultured dexterity.

Across both Mon bien, mon mal and Opprimés, band and ears collide as tenacious and antagonistic elements collude to spring a creative animus as appealing as it is threatening. The first of the two songs lines its assault with gripping hooks and spicy grooves as snarling vocals leads its anthemic nature. There is definitely some familiarity to parts of its textures and air but that only adds to the magnetic pull whilst its successor similarly impresses as it stalks the senses with its rumbling bass cored predation and stabbing riffery. As across the album, certain essences remind of bands such as Black Dahlia Murder and Gojira whereas the hardcore spices offer up thoughts of others like Pigs and Every Time I Die, but it all gets woven into something relatively distinctive to and constantly appealing from the French quintet.

Richesse humaine provides a raw bluster of voice and virulent sound next, its body entwined in wiry grooves and viciously anthemic tendencies whilst Les ombres de la perdition stomps along spilling acidic sonic tendrils from its bulging intensity. Epitomising the whole of Retour vers la Lumière, the pair also explore catchy exploits and melodic incitements, each spinning a tapestry of inventive lures which temper yet accentuate the unbridled force of the propositions.

The impressive intent and heart of the album continues through the ravenous animus of Eclipse éternelle and escalates in the primal trespass offered by L’ère du verseau; both songs fierce contagion with plenty to defuse expectations and further ignite a hungry appetite. Their success is matched by that of L’aube des princes, an aurally rancorous intrusion again leaving a want for more by the final note of its masterful and imaginative violation. With the songs sung in French lyrically we floundered but as shown by the encounter there is no mistaking the emotion and heart of each encounter.

Completed by the incessant infiltration of the senses that is Un sombre destin and lastly the album’s rapacious imagination enveloping title track, Retour vers la lumière is a seriously accomplished and enjoyable proposal. Certainly there is a bit of a similarity between tracks at times which defuses some of its immediate potency but songs and the album as a whole only grows to be challenge which impresses again and again.

Retour vers la lumière is out now via Dooweet Records @ http://shop.season-of-mist.com/91-all-stars-retour-vers-la-lumiere-cd-digipack

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http://www.91allstars.com

Pete RingMaster 05/01/2016

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Unswabbed – Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1

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Not breaking the banks of originality but brewing up a rousing storm of metal and rock, Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1, the new EP from Unswabbed, is an encounter which easily inspires a very healthy appetite for more. Unveiling a new twist in sound and its direction from the French veterans, the five track release binds thick strains of melodic and nu metal with a harder rock voracity resulting in a proposition which holds no real surprises but has ears and attention fired up and greedy for the band’s fascinating adventure.

Hailing from Lille, Unswabbed began in 1995 with a harder and more voracious rock and metal fusion than found on the new EP. A couple of early demos bred an attentive fan base for the band which their 2004 self-titled debut album pushed to a wider spotlight. Two years later its successor Instinct was uncaged with a third full-length in the shape of In Situ coming a year later, both to critical acclaim. Across the years the band has also earned a potent live reputation and found responses for shows alongside the likes of Cavalera Conspiracy, (Hed)P.E. , Caliban, Senser, Empyr, Pleymo, Mass Hysteria and many more. The album Intact was unveiled in 2011, and following a decision  in 2013 to explore new musical landscapes and inventions, the quartet set about creating Tales from the Nightmares Vol. 1. Themed by individual stories spawned by nightmarish incitements, and written and sung in English, a first for the band, the self-released EP is a stirring slab of metal fusion. Not dramatically overwhelming or as mentioned casting brand new explorations it easily ties up senses and emotions in a thoroughly captivating and thrilling temptation.

The release opens with the excellent Come to me, a dynamic and gripping encounter which takes little time to ignite thoughts and emotions. A sonic coaxing is soon rife with magnetic riffs and thumping rhythms as the track bursts into life, to which an additional almost punkish coaxing aligns itself. The start alone has body and imagination involved which is only accentuated by the sturdier beats and rugged riffs which accompany the excellent clean vocal suasion. Essences remind of bands like Mudvayne and Nonpoint as the song continues to flare up and cast tight melodic lures across its invigorating and emotionally charged body. It might not be offering something new but boy the song is exhilarating.a2298760115_2

The following Wake me up employs a chorus of children chants initially which return throughout the release though maybe to a less convincing success compared to its opening pitch. The song itself is soon commanding thoughts and attention, keys brewing up a haunting ambience as guitars and bass carve out another magnetic web of persuasion. It is like a mix of (Hed) PE and Korn fed through the metal contagion of Fear Factory, and just as riveting as its predecessor even if taking longer to convince. Its potent enticement makes way for the darker croon of Hold the line. Expelling angst and drama with every note and vocal expression, the song slowly expands across the senses with thick exhales of caustic energy blended with gentle melodic caresses. Lacking the spark of the first two songs, it still leaves an inescapable enslavement over ears and emotions, luring both back time and time again.

Dead end zone is a hard rock romp with an open vein of rock pop to its joyful swing and anthemic beats. It is impossibly catchy from its first touch, hooks and grooves as irresistible as the continually impressing vocals and unpredictable invention which ensures no song is anything less than an event. It also shows another side to the heart of the release and the evolving sound of the band, and though it is probably fair to say the song is less adventurous than the other tracks in its character, when it sounds and feels so addictively good there is little to complain about.

The EP is brought to a scintillating end by Pull the trigger again, a track like the first which leaves the strongest bait to stalk the release time and time again. Cloaked in emotional shadows from its first enticing chord, the song is the dark to the light of the last song. Riffs from guitar and bass weave a brooding canvas over which expression drenched vocals and sonic suggestiveness brings intimidating yet simultaneously welcoming hues. It is an emotionally pungent and rigorously captivating track which at times stalks the imagination as it scorches the senses with its poetic melodies and sonic colour. It is a might end to a similarly impressing release.

Unswabbed is not carving out truly original ideation with their new direction but they are unleashing a highly rewarding and persistently thrilling proposal which leaves any familiarity to others redundant.

Tales From The Nightmare Vol.1 is available now @ http://unswabbed.bandcamp.com/album/tales-from-the-nightmares-vol-1

http://unswabbed.com/

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8.5/10

RingMaster 02/09/2014

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The Milton Incident – Innocence Lost

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French alternative metal band The Milton Incident has built a strong following and reputation in their homeland with their resourcefully potent and rigorously impacting sound whilst also making initial inroads further afield and with the release of their debut album Innocence Lost, it is not too adventurous to suspect that they will be making a similar mark on the attention and passions of the rest of the melodic metal world. Consisting of eleven tracks which are as dramatically contagious as they are skilfully crafted with a fusion of groove and alternative metal with plenty more spicery involved, the album is a thrillingly imaginative proposition. It is not exactly ground-breaking, songs holding a familiarity at times to previously trodden exploits, but with an incendiary passion and distinctly inventive sculpting to the individual premises, it is a release to capture emotions and spark greedy appetites.

Hailing from Paris, The Milton Incident since forming in 2010 has laid down a more than solid presence with a similar strong fanbase through their sound and live performances. Shows with the likes of Kreator, Moonspell, Dagoba, Vulcain, Mass Hysteria, KlogR, and Eyes Set To Kill has only increased the spotlight upon them whilst their music has been played on numerous radio shows worldwide. Recorded with Steeves Hostin (Beyond the Dust) and mixed/mastered by Shawn Zuzek (Daughters of Mara), the Dooweet Records released Innocence Lost makes a stirring full introduction to the band, one destined to leave a lingering mark on the widest attention.

From the opening title track, a short disturbing intro of intimidating sound clips and melodic intrigue, the album launches into a fiery and Covermuscular persuasion with Deadset. Its initial coaxing is a menacing almost predatory incitement but it is not long before strong vocal harmonies and melodic entwining wraps engagingly around the ears. That heavier threat is never far from the surface though; expelling bursts of cantankerous grooves and rhythmic antagonism throughout, stalking and gnawing the senses alternatively with the melody rich embrace of the track. It is a striking encounter soon exceeded by the riveting Torn Down, grooves and rhythms again bordering on carnivorous but the perfect complement to the expressive vocals and sonic endeavour which soaks the imagination as rewardingly as the melodic flames. There is a Stone Sour essence to the track in many ways though the song ventures in areas which could be compared to others like Three Days Grace and Tool as well as later Mudvayne too, yet the result is definitely particular to The Milton Incident.

The snarling Deus Ex Machina featuring Shawn Zuzek, rampages across the senses next, again the band merging dark rapacious elements within its elegant and exploratory melodic adventure. It is a magnetic slice of metal which evolves and explores before the ear, an invigorating provocation as contagious as it is intense. Its fluid drama is succeeded by the absorbing Dearest Enemy. From a cyber, almost starkly harsh ambience, the song immerses thoughts in an emotive reflection musically and lyrically whilst aligning them with more cryptically savage elements to its suasion. Like its successor Split Second, the song does not ignite the same heat of passion as other tracks but still leaves thoughts impressed and hungry for more, both tracks skilfully crafted and enjoyably presented with the second of the two holding a Poets Of The Fall like potency before its incendiary climax.

The thrills are turned right up yet again with Dopamine, a virulently infectious confrontation of bruising rhythms, rigidly barbed riffing, and passion drenched vocals. It is a masterful storm of uncompromising aggression and respectful melodic enticement ensnared and driven by ridiculously addictive grooves and unbridled enterprise. A major moment on the continuing to impress release, it is soon matched after the enjoyable emotive breather Irukandji, by Pyromaniac, another growl of senses stripping riffs and inflammatory rhythms courted by a deliciously acidic and caustic groove. With a range and depth of vocals to match the fire and intensity of its intent, the song prowls and sways with primal seduction and thoughtfully lit rapaciousness; like the sinewed assault of an American Head Charge fused with the emotional melodic waltz of an Alter Bridge.

The lofty heights are continued with the outstanding and voracious Conspiracy of Silence, the track an almost pestilential provocation with synapse spearing riffery and sonically drenched bait which infects ears through to passions. Its tremendous outpouring leaves a slight shadow over the following Memento, though the song only adds further coals to the pleasing fire and power of the album, whilst the closing 10-56 provides a classically seeded canvas for the imagination, one coloured by thick melodic hues and epically dramatic emotion. It is an imposing and compelling encounter from The Milton Incident concluding an equally bruising and irrepressibly seducing experience.

    Innocence Lost is an excellent full debut from a band you can expect to be hearing much more of. The Milton Incident has the potential to be a major instigator in melodic metal as their sound explores its brewing individuality for greater uniqueness and impact, something to eagerly anticipate.

http://themiltonincident.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 26/03/2014

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