Black Water Chemistry – Return To Ashes

Though formed in 2014 it is the last eighteen months or so that the buzz around Welsh metallers Black Water Chemistry has really intensified. It has been a time where the band itself says that they have been “working tirelessly to cement their style and increase their fan base”, success of that intent in the first aspect now strikingly heard within and in the second poised to be ignited by new EP Return To Ashes.

Tagged as metalcore but with much more to its template of imagination and adventure, the Black Water Chemistry sound is a cauldron of aggressive energy and inventive enterprise. It has maybe yet to breach the walls of true uniqueness but as the four tracks within Return To Ashes shows, it has an individuality which is as memorable as it is unpredictable. Formed by blood brothers in vocalist Matt Saunders and lead guitarist Chris Saunders and completed by bassist Gizz, rhythm guitarist Murph, and drummer Dan, the Newport hailing quintet embrace inspirations from the likes of Architects, Parkway Drive, Killswitch Engage, Chelsea Grin, August Burns Red, Mastodon, and Periphery to their creative breast. They are strands of influences which light up the band’s sound but more seems to spark Black Water Chemistry’s own individual endeavour.

The EP opens up with new single Oracles. Instantly ears are under a barrage of predacious rhythms but equally are wrapped in a wiry mesh of grooves hunted by ravenous riffs. Vocals come with matching force and attitude but soon reveal great diversity as clean strains alternate and unite with throaty squalls. Already that richness of sound within its metalcore breeding is working away, enticing and intriguing as simultaneously other aspects trespass the senses. Evolving through more placid but no less gripping moments before the track’s rock ‘n’ roll explodes it is an outstanding start and appetiser to the fresh impetus in the rise of Black Water Chemistry

The Last Iconoclasts follows, it also making a striking entrance as guitars and rhythms concoct a web of rabid temptation before vocals roar and croon to create the song’s very own lure of unpredictability and imagination. The punk ferocity of its predecessor is accentuated within the second offering as too its raw metallic animosity, the song prowling almost stalking the listener at times and seducing them with melodic elegance and angst in others.

There is no let-up in the great mercurial attack of the band’s instinctive imagination and feral enterprise within next up Masterstroke. The song is borne of a more heavy rock/melodic metal seeding but again an untamed but skilfully crafted maelstrom of extreme metal nurtured ill-content. Grooves and riffs tease and nag as rhythms stalk and bite, every twist and turn an ear luring confrontation before the EP concludes with the hellacious fire of its title track. If the last song nagged in certain ways, its successor simply harasses, rewarding its imaginative malefaction with a beguiling entanglement of senses infringing adventure and unexpected twists and turns; at times roaring like a natural union between Periphery, Bring Me The Horizon, and Reuben.

It is a fine end to a release which will surely thrust Black Water Chemistry forcibly into much thicker and eager recognition and attention. Excellent from the off and even more striking by the listen Return To Ashes is a wake-up call to the UK metal scene fuelled by a potential which will conceivably take the band beyond those boundaries.

Return To Ashes is released August 31st.

https://www.facebook.com/BlackWaterChemistry/   https://twitter.com/B_W_Chemistry    https://blackwaterchemistry.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 29/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

URNE – The Mountain Of Gold

From the ashes of one great thing rises another; certainly it looks that way listening to the new EP from UK metallers URNE. The Mountain Of Gold is the debut release from a band featuring ex- Hang The Bastard members in vocalist/bassist Joe Nally and guitarist Angus Neyra. From the demise of their previous acclaimed outfit, the pair formed URNE, pulling in the rhythmic prowess of drummer Rich Wiltshire to join them. Distinctly different in sound but with the same level of craft and imagination which made their previous band so potent, URNE across four fierce yet melodically magnetic tracks suggest they have the wares to be just as rich a proposition.

Produced by Architects and Sylosis guitarist Josh Middleton, The Mountain Of Gold allows new single Dust Atlas to kick things off. As the first beats of Wiltshire firmly rap the senses, a slow drawling groove emerges to entangle ears. Its sludgy air is soon courted by a livelier rhythmic taunting which in turn drives the subsequent heavy/groove metal trespass of the already compelling encounter. Neyra’s guitar dances on the imagination whilst carrying a more imposing threat in its breath, a trespass which in turn festers in the opening throes of Nally’s vocals. As the song, he soon shows diversity as mellower and harmonic hues emerge in his tones, a move bringing an even greater blend of flavours and increasing invention.

It is a thickly impressive start with a touch of bands such as Mastodon, Exodus, and The Sword to it though hues in something far more individual to URNE; a trait just as potent within the following creative drama of The Lady And The Devil. Essences of doom and occult metal join the more classic swing of the track as it gets its instinctive groove going alongside the enticing clean tones of Nally, the dark brooding in his bassline a great tempering to the fiery air of again a track which masterfully and imaginatively evolves.

The EP’s title track as good as stalks ears next with its rapacious riffs and rhythmic grumble speared by a groove which instantly inspires the body’s movements. There is punk-esque irritability to things at first, one dismissed by melodic and harmonic radiance but only to the wings to return as the enthralling cycle repeats. Neyra shares his prowess with as much dexterity as the song has in captivating ears and attention; a potency all three share with their individual and united enterprise.

The March Towards The Sun concludes the release, the song featuring Middleton within its tenacious and untimed but deviously designed rock ‘n’ roll. The track is breath raw and antagonistic but equally precisely sculpted and seductive as another mercurial landscape of varying and animated metal consumes ears.

The Mountain Of Gold is a striking and more importantly rousing introduction to URNE yet you cannot help thinking from its power and potential we have heard nothing yet which is soon clear as being just as exciting.

The Mountain Of Gold is out now available across most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 15/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lightness Of Being – Diversions

Called Diversions, the new EP from UK rockers The Lightness Of Being is just that, a diversion from the bland and predictable in sound and life and one ear thoroughly compelling distraction it is too. Formed in 2010, the London hailing outfit has already uncaged a pair of attention stoking EPs to date but are surely poised to flare up on far bigger and broader radars with their new offering.

Inspirations are said to come from the likes of Queens Of The Stone Age, Mastodon, and Deftones but the three tracks within Diversions show they are influences immersed in the quartet’s own and still growing character of sound. Each song is individual to another and all cruising along the fine line between seduction and predation with relish and imagination.

The EP opens with Bottomfeeder and immediately nags ears with a line of controlled but lustful riffs punctured by just as eager beats. The vocals of guitarist/keyboardist Gabriel Lim rise up within the quickly delicious bait bringing with him menace and intimation which subsequently inspires a ferocious squall; it’s settling back down the spark to repeat the delicious cycle. Fresh drama blossoms by the minute though, new instinctive strains of rapacious enterprise as dark and threatening as it is captivating. There is also a touch of early Therapy? to the song which only adds to its striking presence and persuasion.

Cave follows, a song openly embracing that Deftones inspiration. Its atmospheric caresses provide a mellow sigh to complement the similarly calm tones of Lim, the guitar of Sam West a radiant shimmer alongside as the mist of keys is slowly walked through by the sombre but magnetic stroll of Chris French’s bass. With the crisp beats of Sergiusz Brudek adding their inviting touch it is an infectious calm yet there is a sense of disturbance glimpsed in its depths, one which brews and festers until erupting in an immersive wash of volatility and sonic intensity. We cannot say that the song sparked the same richness of reaction and pleasure as its companions just due to personal tastes but there is no denying that it had ears gripped and appetite feasting before drifting away.

Closing song Refute took our favourite title, its blend of voracious punk ‘n’ roll and dark rock with grungier/alternative rock devilment quickly getting under the skin to incite and manipulate rock ‘n’ roll instincts. A host of flavours make up its swinging escapade, each a fiercely flavoursome spice aligning it’s almost garage punk instincts; just a shame it only lasts two minutes plus but a brief time which had us bouncing and growling.

There is plenty seemingly familiar about the sound of The Lightness Of Being but nothing less than fresh and individual to the band all the same. It is a great mix which makes Diversions a rich listen and the band ones to keep under close scrutiny.

Diversions is released 1st June.

http://thelightnessofbeing.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TheLightnessOfBeing   https://twitter.com/TLOBmusic

Pete RingMaster 29/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Dark Red Seed – Becomes Awake

Providing a kaleidoscope of intrigue, suggestion, and captivation, the debut album from The Dark Red Seed is a journey and experience which almost stains the imagination in its creative breath. It provokes thoughts and incites emotions as it lures ears into its shadowy yet seductive soundscape; Becomes Awake evolving into one of the most enthralling encounters so far this year.

The Dark Red Seed is the personal project of Tosten Larson, guitarist for Seattle dark folk musician King Dude. It is an adventure shared with King Dude engineer Shawn Flemming, the pair creating individual realms and intimation within a fusion of dark folk and heavy psychedelic rock with plenty more hues involved. Becomes Awake follows last year’s Stands with Death EP; a well-received introduction to the project hinting at the rich and immersive adventure to come. To use their words, the new album is “a dark, dusty discourse on the departure and ultimate dissolution of life, “Becomes Awake” symbolizes a movement from darkness into light; finding balance through acceptance of one’s own qualities of both the light and the dark; the good and the bad.”

Featuring the guest contributions of Kelly Pratt (LCD Soundsystem, War on Drugs, St Vincent) and Steve Nistor (Sparks, Marissa Nadler, Daniel Lanois), and wrapped in the superb art of Paul Romano (Mastodon, Dälek), Becomes Awake draws on inspirations from Indian, Persian, and Roma music. There is a nomadic feel to the exploration at times, an aural travelogue of the ancient, old, and modern within its harmonically and rhythmically shaped, melody fuelled exploration. From opener Dukkha, the album just sucked ears and attention into its awaiting and awakening milieu, flame licked psychedelic atmospheres soaring over the infectious rhythmic rockery of its land. Drama lines every note and syllable, a web of sound shaping its suggestion, all through imagination and craft.

Lured in by the first, its successor, Darker Days, just ensnared with its inviting rhythmic stroll and dark rock/country/folk swing. Like a psych kissed Helldorado, the song is a warm infection of body and imagination scorched by brass, caressed my Eastern temptation, and ignited by the underlying tempestuousness of its climate and heart. It is a recipe of pure magnetism taken and then evolved again within next up Alap, an instrumental web of threat and discord, intrigue and trespass, light and dark. The piece did convert its prowess into persuasion as swiftly as its predecessors with fascination a quick return for its mystery.

Through the melodic calm and blossoming rapture of Ancient Sunrise and the animated slightly portentous grandeur of The Mouth of God which emerges from it, ears and imagination were simply roused before The Destroyer deceptively saunters into view with a mellow if sonically volatile air. The melancholic scythes and beauty of the strings are a resignation to an impending result, enticing melodies and harmonies a holding of the hand as the track’s protagonist looms. A well of contrasts and emotions, the track simply enthralled as it made its way towards the jazz smoky atmosphere and darkly lit depths of The Void.

Personal interpretation is as easy as absorbing the inference of the tracks, another enticing element as the outstanding Awakening followed infesting and manipulating body and thought and Sukha mesmerised with its melodic heart and transfixing drone; again contrasting textures so sublimely aligned by The Dark Red Seed. The first of the two is easily our favourite moment within Becomes Awake, a stirring and rousing yet hypnotic canter on a compelling dark bassline through crystalline scenery steamed up by post punk breath.

Diana And Ouroboros Dance completes the release, another track which took its time to grow in ears and appetite yet was laying enticing seeds from its first breath to increasingly grow over time. With its heavy atmosphere and Doors-esque roar, the track is nothing less than enjoyable from the off and thick captivation down the line.

That pretty much applies to Becomes Awake as a whole though straight away we found ourselves gripped by certain moments, enslaved by just as many others. The Dark Red Seed is one heart which will not make for a fleeting attraction.

Becomes Awake is out now through Prophecy Productions and available @ https://thedarkredseed.bandcamp.com/album/becomes-awake

https://www.facebook.com/TheDarkRedSeed/

Pete RingMaster 24/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Gutlocker – Cry Havoc!

It is a release which has no qualms in punishing the senses and venomously attacking the psyche with its irritable and grievous intent; an encounter seemingly hell bent on leaving charred remains behind in its vicious sonic wake but it is hard to return that enmity when every twisted trespass and grievous throe inflicted leaves you hungry for more. The perpetrator of that creative animosity is the Cry Havoc! EP from UK sludge punks Gutlocker, a quartet of visceral noise and groove breeders which you may fear liking but find no other option available.

Born and bred in darkest Woking, Gutlocker emerged in 2012 inspired by the likes of Pantera, Mastodon, and Lamb of God and have since gone on to share stages with the likes of Trepalium, Evil Scarecrow, and Raging Speedhorn among others and made a reputation enhancing appearance at Download. We will be honest, Cry Havoc! is our long overdue introduction to the quartet of vocalist Craig McBrearty, guitarist Peter Tucker, bassist Ben Rollinson, and drummer Dean Walker but possibly the perfect moment to be infested by their sonic animus.

The release opens up with Bitter Memory and immediately devours the senses with predacious riffs, merciless rhythms, and the vocal individuality of McBrearty. His rancorous tones twist and squirm by the syllable, a trespass as magnetic as the tempest of sludge metal bred sound around him. Grooves invade and beats rupture as the track parades its grudge carrying enterprise, a raw irritation spawn incitement which crawls deeper under the skin by the minute with its multi-flavoured sonic antipathy.

The great start evolves into the equally violent and compelling No Burden, a matching cauldron of hellacious noise and emotions cast in its own individual likeness. As in the first, there is a great hardcore insurgency lurking in the lining of the track’s prowl and adding to both the songs’ continued blossoming listen by listen.  Unpredictability similarly adds to their prowess in music and voice if not to the same heights of our favourite track within Cry Havoc!

Stuck is simply superb, a web of creative deception and ingenuity never going where it suggests or expectations assume. Straight away it is weaving with cunning devilry and with vendetta in its veins, swaying away like a Pantera coaxed cobra as McBrearty spills his bad blooded venom. Captivating in seconds, addictive soon after, the track just outdoes itself minute by minute as guitars and bass collude in predacious imagination, its pinnacle coming as a bass and drum swagger ignites a manipulative noise rock discordance as fully catchy as it is unexpected.

As great as the other three are, the track steals the show but not before being worried by closing encounter, Welcome to Fucktown. As those before, it stalks and crawls over the senses sharing rancorous breaths and malignant invention matched in kind by the vocals. There is tension in every note and second, malice too especially oozing from McBrearty’s throat and heart, it all going to make the final song one fearsome but captivating incursion.

Uniqueness is still a relatively rare find within modern music but Gutlocker have a good handle on it already and are on the path to making it a key weapon.

Cry Havoc! is available now through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/gutlockeruk

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mammüth – Outlander

An epic journey in time at almost an hour and a half and a rich exploit in sound, Outlander the new album from Norwegian rockers Mammüth is one unforgettable proposition already easy to suggest will make regular appearances on end of year best of lists. The band’s sound is a thick and flavoursome not forgetting imposingly heavy invasion of stoner metal and quite addictive within the walls of their striking new album.

Hailing from Drammen, Mammüth emerged in 2007 forged in its members love for stoner, space rock, metal, doom, drone, and hard rock. They are flavours which entangled to make the quintet’s debut album of 2012, Gone with the Wolves, a well-received and praised encounter. Since then the band has honed their writing and sound while breeding open maturity in all aspects, all fuel to the instantly and increasingly impressive Outlander.

Produced by the band and mixed and mastered by Martin Skar at Skar Productions and Norsk Lydstudio, Outlander instantly draws and grips attention with the opening strains of Circling Vultures, its initial wired grooves and senses rapping rhythms nothing less than predacious. With just as hungry riffs in tow, the potent bait only strengthens with the earnest vocals shared by rhythm guitarist Stian Svorkmo and synth player Steffen Overaa. Their union is superb, magnetism in its own right and matched by the rabidly writhing yet controlled sounds around them. Like a fusion of Mastodon, High on Fire, and Down yet not such its and indeed the whole album’s individual character, the track is manna to an appetite for heavy, voracious rock ‘n’ roll and a great tease for what is to come.

The compelling dynamic beats of David Hjellum lead in next up Dead Man’s Trail, a track swiftly as addictive as its predecessor and unveiling a web of varied flavours in its bold trespass. The bass of Stig Johansen growls with almost bestial temptation, its dark lures contrasted but matched in salacious intent by the gripping enterprise of lead guitarist Christian Schei. Drama soaks every twist and turn, accentuating each inventive note and atmospheric breeze blowing across the track’s serpentine landscape whether melodically calm or tempestuously intense.

That mellower air blows through the following Fields of Bones in voice and music though there is always a certain volatility waiting to catch which it does with a dirtier, grouchier eruption. Virulently catchy and manipulatively fascinating, the song is quite superb and if the album collapsed in on itself thereon in, with its two companions, would make Outlander a notable recommendation.

Of course the album does not slip from its heights, Fortuneteller and God Eater just as beguiling as they devour the senses. The first, and one of the candidates for best song, is a relentlessly nagging irritancy on ears, riffs and rhythms alone harassing quick submission for its proposal with vocals again pure raw seduction in the midst of the guitars tenaciously resourceful webbing. Its successor has a more concussive touch tempered by grooves which crawl under the skin with primal desire, again everything offered as predacious as it is irresistible.

Through the early atmospheric suggestiveness of Hadrin’s Wall, a lure which grows more invasive and portentous as the band bears its gladiatorial dexterity, and the even more confrontational, certainly cranky, Heirophant, the real world is an even more distant reality, band and album consuming all attention soon gripped even tighter by the senses enveloping, discord blessed Lightyears. With grooves which worm into the psyche with ease and a tempestuousness that roars upon the senses from within a mercurial sonic cyclone, the song is just majestic yet still eclipsed by the mighty Monstrosity. With waspish grooves swarming the senses from the first second and vocals buffeting ears with their emotive holler, the track soon steals best moment upon Outlander in our ears, its voluminous rock ‘n roll manna.

The album’s title track finds a somewhat moderate attack in comparison to the previous track but as expected with a threat of a brutal eruption at any time. It is a peril which remains lurking around as melodies and harmonies radiate though it does have a say on the growing energy and flurry of the encounter before the extensive creative theatre of Space Ghost unfolds. With an eager lilt towards thrash metal at times across its sinuously textured evocation, preying on body and imagination at every turn and there are plenty across its nine minutes plus, immersion into the song’s crafty tale is easy.

Uncharted Waters completes the exceptional adventure of Outlander, its thick shadows and dark depths as transfixing as the sound as they colour. An array of flavours twisted into a coiled spring, nothing predictable escaping as it tenses and discharges its enterprise, the track is an enthralling finale to one remarkable album to which we can give numerous references to others for certain moments but really only embraces its own uniqueness.

There will be many important propositions across 2018, encounters which will guide its musical direction and Mammüth with Outlander has come up with the first.

Outlander is available now through Negative Vibe Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/MammuthMetal

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright