The Ghost Next Door – Self Titled

TheGhostNext Doorband_RingMaster Review

Sometimes a band name can alone ignite potent intrigue, spark an instinctive interest. Fair to say The Ghost Next Door easily did that but where so often others fail, the Californian quartet backed it up with a just as intriguing and fascinating album, a self-titled debut ripe in invention, unpredictability, and dramatic textures. The release is a tantalising weave of diverse styles and bold imagination honed into something as contagiously addictive as it is rousingly anthemic. Description of The Ghost Next Door sound is destined to vary from listener to listener and all will be no doubt right in varying degrees but one thing expectations can assume is most will be waxing lyrical about the outstanding proposition.

The Ghost Next Door name is inspired by the supposed haunted house that founder and vocalist/guitarist Gary Wendt (ex-Skinlab, Sacrilege B.C.) found himself living next to and its sound forged from a desire to “marry the dark melancholy of 80’s and 90’s alternative with the aggression and drive of Bay Area metal.” Linking up with bassist Seanan Gridley and drummer Sean Haeberman, the band after forming played around California for a few years but unable to really find their niche disbanded. Continuing to work on recordings already underway though, Wendt with the help of people like Steve Green (Skrew/Skinlab) recorded and mixed The Ghost Next Door debut album, following it with a reforming of the band. Gridley reunited with Wendt whilst the line-up was completed by Sacramento guitarist Aaron Asghari and drummer Paula Sisson from Remagen in Germany. Since its return the band has hit the live scene with hunger again, playing with the likes of DRI, SpiralArms, Dr. Know, and Comes with the Fall amongst many. Released via Mausoleum Records, their first album is now let loose and if you needed proof that rock and metal could be boldly adventurous, intelligently inventive, and make an instinctive partner in lust, this is it.

It all begins with Forever My Demon, an electronic mist slowly emerging with suggestive tones and subsequently spawning bulging rhythmic bait and evocative melodic tempting. Already there is an anthemic core luring attention, bait enhanced by atmospheric keys and eventually a potent wash of caustic guitar. As Wendt releases his vocal persuasion too, there is a mix of metal and rock enveloping ears and imagination with thoughts of Stone Temple Pilots and nineties heavy rockers Skyscraper swiftly coming to mind. It soon evolves again though, a grunge and fiery groove driven colouring joining the already established textures, they in turn slipping into a progressive/ heavy metal twist. It would take a page long review to cover the full thrilling adventure of this song alone to be honest, it’s busy but fluid and bold enterprise further emulated in every unique track upon the album, but fair to say all perpetually leave ears enamoured and appetite greedily hungry.

TheGhostNextDoorRingMaster Review     Proof comes in Crickets straight after, its heavy and eagerly prowling riffs instantly encasing ears as rhythms keenly jab throughout. As swiftly guitars spill wiry hooks at will, their barbs gripping ears as vocals and melodic hues begin thickening the enticement. As in the opener, every moment of the song comes with creative drama and unexpected turns of ideation, ensuring that though it does not quite rival the success of its predecessor, it is a riveting enjoyment, though soon outshone by the invigorating All Fall Down. There is a familiar air to the song, though for no obvious reasons, but this only adds to the swift seducing of ears through tangy melodies, spicy grooves, and more antagonistic beats and vocals. A heavier growl is soon pushing the track but again it is all relative to the moment in the song, progressive and hard rock essences as much an open input as melodic and groove metal in its absorbing weave.

Ten Steps Back backs up this new plateau breached by the album straight away, it and the following triumph of Dead Things. The first of this pair entangles ears in tendrils of guitar and accusation fuelled vocals, their restraint but strong tempting enhanced further with outbursts of harsher, more hardcore like punk expulsions of emotion and sound. With stabbing scythes of sonic ingenuity bridging this cycle and a subsequent harmonic flirtation teasing with a pause midway, the song is a kaleidoscope of imagination with its second half as distinct and seamlessly crafted as the first. Even listening to it constantly, every partaking of this song and indeed album brings fresh rewards, its successor another prime example. More ruggedly direct than the last song in many ways, its roars and strolls rigorously with hearty beats against just as sinewy riffs, their intensity urged by the great mix of vocals and bound in a rich sonic web of sparkling endeavour.

Bully lives up to its title, springing from a deliciously tangy dance of guitar hooks into a predatory stalking with the bass especially vocal in intimidating intent. Eventually it rises into a full bruising and mouth-watering incitement with those initial lures still working spicily away to ensnare, the following mellow melodies within resonating rhythms bringing the seduction. The track completes a quartet forming the pinnacle of the release though it is not the end of the inescapable persuasion and creative alchemy of the release.

The beginning of next up Eleven O’Clock Blues is almost theatrical, vocals and rhythms entering with a swinging gait against the more aggressive surge of riffs. Everything is soon entwined in a revolving fury and melodic embrace, the former aspect the thickest texture breeding an array of metal based ingenuity and flavours. To try and simplify the glorious body of the song, try to imagine a mix of Machine Head, Killswitch Engage, Alice In Chains, System Of A Down, Tool…actually don’t it probably will still be wide of the mark as already we say do yourself a favour and simply go explore the album and bask.

In hindsight this song is another of the album’s greatest successes, and another increasingly thrilling proposition with every listen just like the far gentler but no less magnetic Fragile. The song is a feisty croon which is as seductive in its mellower moments as it is in its impassioned blazes, and without managing to reach that lofty perch set, leaves only fresh greed and pleasure in its wake before album closer Famous Last Words similarly cradles and bellows over the senses with irresistible charm and inflamed passion. With a rich strain of thrash and classic rock in its ferocious belly, if not the stronger unpredictability of other proposals, the track is a powerful end to a stunning album.

If like us the band name sparked a flicker of attention do follow it up, and if it does not still launch yourself at The Ghost Next Door, a band and release which truly has something for everyone but in an exhilarating tapestry like no other.

The Ghost Next Door is out now on CD and digitally via Mausoleum Records @ http://www.music-avenue.net/mausoleum/detail.php?id=251158

http://www.theghostnextdoor.net/    https://www.facebook.com/theghostnextdoor

RingMaster 16/062015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Max Pie – Odd Memories

MaxPieBand_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Fair to say their name is still as dislikeable as it was when we covered their excellent album Eight Pieces, One World album two years ago but musically the Belgian metallers still rock the juices out of us as proven by new encounter Odd Memories. Max Pie fills their third album with all the essences which made its predecessor a surprising and compelling proposition but it is with bigger and bolder imagination and creative energy. We are no major heavy/power metal fans here to be honest but once again Max Pie has given us one thumping and rousing time.

The band was formed in 2005 by vocalist Tony Carlino taking inspirations from bands such as Symphony X, Van Halen, Toto, Queensrÿche, and Dream Theater into their emerging ideas. A slightly unstable time in personnel graced their early years before Max Pie released debut album Initial Process in 2012. Fan and critically acclaimed it was surpassed by Eight Pieces – One World a year later in presence, sound, and praise. Its release was followed by the band playing numerous festivals and undertaking tours with the likes of Symphony X, Evergrey, Fates Warning, Avantasia, and Queensrÿche. Now they return with, as the last album, the Simone Mularoni mixed and mastered Odd Memories and simply their finest, most inventive proposal yet.

The album opens with its title track; an instrumental ripe with a foreboding atmosphere and epic textures all cinematically imposing on the imagination. This type of beginning is becoming a common practice across varied metal offerings but when done right, as here, it makes a potent invitation into any release. As the track slips into the following Age of Slavery, a sizzling electronic coaxing colludes with rampant riffs and a melodic embrace of keys. The thick commanding rhythms of drummer Sylvain Godenne shape and invigorate the track further, framing the growling vocals of Carlino perfectly. The frontman’s diverse delivery is as magnetic as ever, some elements more powerful and potent than others but like the music, a constant lure that likes to stretch and push both song and musician. As the guitar and keyboard craft of Damien Di Fresco builds and expands its enterprise, the track blossoms into a sturdy and fiery encounter to really kick things off.

It is also, in many ways, a relatively straight forward and maybe expected proposal from the band, the new exploration showing itself more from Odd Future on. Keys breed the first mesmeric caress on the third track before guitars and the wonderfully dark throated bass of Lucas Boudina bring their hues to the emerging and stirring landscape of the encounter. Once vocals join, the song settles into a melodic roar and sonic flame of melodic and heavy rock ‘n’ roll, their union a heated and tenacious arousing of ears and thoughts veined by sparkling, and at times understated temptation from the keys. It is when things go off kilter with a glorious stretch of discord kissed invention and melodic bedlam that the song really comes alive and if there is any moan it does not play in this great moment long enough.

MaxPieOddMemories_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Promised Land opens on a vivacious escapade of keys quickly encased in storming riffs and rhythms, it all quickly blooming into a virulently contagious slice of rock pop with classic metal and progressive rock hues. It has single running through its potent craft and lusty veins, every second of the track a bold and rousing incitement for body, voice, and emotions. Such its power and lure, it gives next up Love Hurts a hard time trying to follow it, and as mesmeric in melodic beauty within tempestuously emotional and physical terrain that it is, it never quite finds the same full-blooded personal reactions as its predecessor. It is undeniably superbly crafted and woven though and does leave only fully satisfied thoughts before the darker, ravenous excellence of Don’t Call My Name takes over. The guitars alone are predatory with their creative rummaging of the senses whilst the keys float with celestial temptation above them and the uncompromising rhythms spearing it all. Reaping the ripest elements of technical and progressive metal, band and track pulsate as they gnaw on ears, adding melodic and harmonic balm to the increasingly irresistible voracity on offer. With Carlino also on fine form, the track is the pinnacle of the album, reason alone to eagerly approach Odd Memories.

The acoustically brewed Hold On slips in next to transfix and from a slow start to its persuasion grows into a big favourite. Whether by chance or intention, it has a Bowie-esque essence to it, a floating whisper in quieter moments which does it no harm. It is a scent soon out flamed by vocals and the sonic blaze giving the song rich crescendos and a breath-taking finale before Unchain Me takes the listener on another tumultuous ride of rugged metal and tantalising electronic adventure.

No prizes in guessing some of the scenery within Cyber Junkie, its electronic and industrial endeavour a potent spicing to another song offering a compelling fusion of bestial metal and melodic flirtation, the former steering the ship with invigorating success. As Don’t Call My Name before it, the track is a masterful web of varied and diverse styles in one predacious provocateur, thoughts of bands from Anthrax to Armored Saint, Dream Theater to Skyharbor coming to mind across its exciting and again show stealing soundscape.

The album is finished by The Fountain Of Youth, a song which either a raging storm of a canter or a gentle caress enthrals and sparks only the keenest attention and support from ears and emotions. Like a couple of other songs it takes longer to get all of its hooks inescapably entrenched but with its additional symphonic elegance and emotively hued strings, the song has seduced long before realisation notices.

Wrapped in the excellent artwork of Didier Scohier, Odd Memories and indeed Max Pie have caught us again with a tempest of sound and invention driven by craft and passion. This time it is bigger, more adventurous, and confirming the band as one of progressive power metal’s finest.

Odd Memories is available from June 19th via Mausoleum Records @ http://www.maxpie.be/shop.php

http://www.maxpie.be/   https://www.facebook.com/maxpiemusic

RingMaster 19/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Grenouer – Unwanted Today

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Russian metallers Grenouer are one of those bands which has been seemingly around for decades, two in fact, and increasingly been looking like they were about to break from relative obscurity into intensive spotlights within world metal through their recent releases. Certainly the Saint Petersburg quartet has been drawing stronger and broader attention over the past few years but still they have yet to make that big step; maybe though that moment has come with the release of new album Unwanted Today. A release bulging with melodic expression, grooved tenacity, and sharp hooks, it also carries a hungry snarl bred in the early days of the band, a combination which goes to make one rather impressive offering from a band surely poised to leap into the wider consciousness of the metal world.

Formed in 1992 by vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor, Grenouer has released seven albums to date with the last, Blood on the Face, a thrilling and gripping enticement confirming the creative invention and musical weight of the band for those in the know whilst luring a great flood of new appetites. Again released via Mausoleum Records, Unwanted Today takes its potency into new explorations of imagination and sound. It is not a big departure from or massive leap forward in their already established sound yet there is something fresh and unique at the new album’s heart which gives the release a new voice. Emerging twenty plus years ago, the band was a raw and uncompromising extreme metal proposition, but over time and records, a melodic and alternative metal exploration has evolved and now shows its finest blooms within Unwanted Today.

With its line-up completed by bassist Al Bolo and drummer Danny D, Grenouer works on the imagination right away with brief opener Awake, a cinematic and provocatively atmospheric piece with industrial clangs and suggestiveness courted by floating harmonic vocals. It is an imposingly picturesque lead into the album’s title track, a proposal instantly pouncing on ears with punchy rhythms and growling riffs. This in turn slips into an inviting embrace of gentle melodies within a warm ambience, though even this is courted by the early predacious shadows and sounds which take their turn leading the tempting ears. It is an excellent start to the album, the vocals of Ind as alluring and potent as ever whilst musically the song radiates attitude and seduction.

Things only grow in strength and contagion with the following pair of A Little Too Obsessed and Something Really Bad. The first of the two immediately has attention and appetite GrenouerUnwantedTodayenslaved, bounding in with a heavy stride and an addiction forging groove. It is a hook lingering even in the mellower twists of the song, just waiting to unleash its swagger and tenacious tempting, and always with increasing effect. Embracing essences of groove and nu metal as eagerly as the swing which infests song and listener, the track is modern metal with a nod to a diversity of styles and time, and quite brilliant. It also has a great, almost muggy air to its presence, and a bedlamic edge to its invention which shows its magnetism again in its successor, though maybe not as openly. This is another song which bewitches from its first sonic and vocal caress, and another unafraid to merge abrasing snarls of sound and grouchy basslines into a colourful and fascinating tapestry.

That dark bass toning and attitude also opens up On A Rainy Day next but in the arms of an electronic wrapping and melodic caress; voice, guitar, and keys a seducing contrast to the track’s equally flavoursome dark side. Their union is soaked in an increasing tempestuous air and intensity, one never overpowering what lies within but certainly and enjoyably giving it all a stormy and imposing landscape to colour. It is a similar blend of textures which lights up the rock/pop virulence of Blossoms In The Dust, a riveting croon of a song built on rising crescendos of sound and emotional energies. There is no escaping the mesmeric and creative romance of the song though it is soon eclipsed by the outstanding I Can’t Stand It. Everything about the song gets under the skin. From another bestial bass sound and accompanying stabbing beats to spicy melodies and soaring vocals, but especially in the unpredictable imagination and ingenuity which infects especially the latter two of aspects, the song is a compelling fascination and impossibly infectious.

   Daily Miracles is another primarily instrumental flight through evocative scenery, similar to how the album began and feeding thoughts further before Going To Stay immerses ears in its own individual melodic and emotional emprise of dark and light textures embroiled in a weave of electro rock spicing and ravenous Meshuggah like voracity. Its melodic side reminds of UAE Absolace but, as all tracks, the resulting entwining of flavours only results in an encounter with the familiarity of Grenouer alone.

Album and pleasures only continue to grow and excite as the fiercely enticing Point Of No Return unveils an invigorating maze of melodic and nu-metal equipped with the alternative flair of a Linkin Park, the inventive antagonism of a Mudvayne, and the intensive roar of a Prong. Escape from its claws is impossible as another peak is set in course of the release whilst the next up gentle balladry of Artificial Tears brings a moment to take a breath but not a slip of attentive focus on Unwanted Today. It is fair to say that it did not impact as powerfully as other songs on personal tastes, but reveals yet another side to the songwriting and charm of band sound to further feed a greedy appetite.

The same applies to Don’t Let Them Get You Down in many ways, the song missing a spark found in its predecessors but still adding its own thick slice of modern metal before the closing Clearway provides a short and delicious volatile come seductive proposal for ears and thoughts to sink within. A fine end to a great release, the track sums up Unwanted Today perfectly with its heavy and light, raw and elegant unions; creating another hypnotic adventure.

There are moments where some songs maybe have too similar a surface to others which without a deliberate concentration sees them losing some of their clear identity, but alone all show modern metal with its strongest diversity and imagination whilst together they ensure Unwanted Today is a seriously enjoyable encounter. Grenouer is knocking even harder on the fullest recognition of the metal scene now, how long they can refuse entry we will see.

Unwanted Today is available from March 20th via Mausoleum Records

https://www.facebook.com/grenouer   http://www.grenouer.com/

RingMaster 20/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

E-Force – The Curse

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For all newcomers to the band, disregard the off putting name and get your claws into one cracking album from E-Force. Though formed in 2001, the band’s moniker has never nestled easily with us but it has not stopped the thrash and heavy metal fusing encounter from lighting up the ears, new album The Curse their most potent aggressor yet. Hailing from Montreal but now France based, E-Force uncages eleven raw abrasing assaults which savage, antagonise, and thrill the ears. It is not an album breaking into new pastures for aggressive metal but certainly one to fire up the passions and imagination of metal fans across multiple genres such its flavoursome exploits.

The band was created by vocalist/bassist Eric Forrest, the frontman of Voivod from 1994 till 2001, a period which included the albums Negatron and Phobos as well as the live release, Voivod Lives. Taking his nickname as the band name, E-Force released debut album Evil Forces in 2003 to strong acclaim from fans and media alike. Relocating to Toulouse soon after, Forrest pulled together a new line-up which continued the emergence of the band; the second album Modified Poison in 2008 also earning eager plaudits for its stronger and more diverse sound. The years has also see the band forge a mighty reputation live, successful tours with the likes of Carpathian Forest, Tsjuder, and Wykked Witch, and acclaimed festival appearances highlights over the years. Now The Curse brings the next potent rampage of the band; Forrest alongside new guitarist XAV and returning drummer KROF with contributions from special guests Glen Drover (Megadeth, King Diamond), Kristian Niemann (Therion), Vincent Agar (Yotangor), bringing forth the caustic breath of the band’s live aggression to drive a new creative riot on the senses.

The concept album which takes its premise from the power and temptation of, and obsession with, the female race, makes a portentous E-Force - The Curseentrance through the brief Invitation. Its atmosphere is soaked in warning whilst a seductive female teases and lays bait to expose the weakness of man. The track is pushed aside by the following Perverse Media, riffs and rhythms immediately ascending upon the ears with a voracious hunger and combative urgency. The vocals of Forrest are equally as confrontational making for a strong and solid start, but it is just an initial lure which is soon given to greater appeal by ravenous grooves and scything twists of adventure. The track turns into a formidable predator, an aggressor which teases and intimidates throughout leaving appetite and pleasure ablaze.

The virulent temptress that is Witch Wrk steals attention next; riffs an abrasing incitement framed by a rhythmic rabidity which is controlled but rapacious. There is a gnawing pressure from the song which never relinquishes its appealing persistence whilst vocally again the delivery is soaked in a causticity to match the antagonism of the sounds. The potent bestial contagion of the encounter is matched by Serpent’s Kiss, its distinctly different temptation just as carnally insistent and masterful. From weaving seductive sonic enterprise the track brawls with the senses but again with a control which is more of a stalking beast than an unbridled storm. Continually twisting its body and gait the track, just as the album, evolves into a killer proposition over each provocation taken; both only increasing their rigorous and irresistible strength with each assault.

Both Awakened and Psyclone keep the intensity and impressive levels on full throttle, the first an inventive scourge of guitar and bass ravishing driven by the irrepressible charge of the drums whilst the second discovers a more insidiously addictive lure to entwine around ears and imagination, the track lashing the senses whilst simultaneously rewarding with dramatic hooks and infection drenched grooves, every second a tempestuous and powerfully compelling intrusion. Again both songs take a while to conquer the passions but subsequently neither leaves them idle or lacking fire in the engine room.

The instantly intriguing and exploratory Devoured fires up the passions next, its opening the prelude to the most inventive and imaginative track yet with the band infusing their thrash cored maelstrom with even broader veins of groove and melodic metal with a blackened majesty. The track ripples and pulsates with a barbarous beauty whilst the guitar casts a mesmeric and skilled web around the explosive confrontation. It is outstanding showing the depth to the band’s endeavour and potential still unrealised, a potency examined again in varying detail by the scourge like Mass Deception and the irresistible Your Beloved Hate, the latter’s opening bass call a trap of addiction, its bait easily backed by the finely carved grooves and hungry predation of the song.

The penultimate track Infexxxous unveils a virulent nagging to recruit attention and appetite before forging its own specific rampancy and enslavement of the senses with the unrelenting craft and creative fertility of the band. The second half of The Curse is the most inventive and imaginative with the first clutch of tracks on the album besieging the listener, caging their submission before stretching the ideation and resourcefulness with the following horde of persuasions as evidenced by the insatiable final song The Curse Of The Cunt. Concluding the album in exhausting sadistic style with plenty of blood soaked colour, E-Force leave satisfaction and enjoyment bloated. The Curse may not be the most original album to be let loose this year but it sure is one of the most invigorating.

The Curse is available via Mausoleum Records now.

https://www.facebook.com/eforceoffical

8.5/10

RingMaster 12/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Kirk – Masquerade

 

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   It has been around eleven years since Swiss melodic metallers Kirk impressed and brought a fresh creative punch through their acclaimed debut album The Final Dance, time which saw the band take an extended break due to internal changes and other projects. This week sees the band return with sophomore album Masquerade to not only make up for lost time but to bring another thrilling and invigorating adventure of their blend of melodic and heavy metal. The eleven track stomp is a captivating encounter destined to similar, even greater, acclaim and attention as its 2003 predecessor.

     Formed by vocalist Thomi Rauch and guitarist Sammy Lasagni in the latter part of the nineties, Kirk with bassist Daniel Pfister, drummer Vito Cecere, and Bruno Berger on keys alongside the founding pair, was soon building a formidable reputation for their sound and live performances. The Final Dance was excitedly received around Europe, North America, and particularly in Japan, whilst shows with the likes of Doro, Pink Cream 69, Axxis, and Shakra only enhanced their growing stature. With the departure of Cecere due to health issues and various members becoming heavily involved with other projects such as Decent Disaster, Godiva, Dr. Crankenstein, and In your Face, the band went on a hiatus. 2010 though saw the year the band reassembled with Philipp Eichenberger taking the vacant sticks position and soon songs began to flow once more within Kirk. Entering the studio with producer Dennis Ward (Pink Cream 69, Unisonic, Khymera), who also produced the band’s debut, the quintet set to work on their second full length, a release which grips with a craft and contagious adventure which can seduce any kind of metal wants.

     The Mausoleum Records released album sidles up to ears with the whispering first touch of Devil’s Claw, a glancing coaxing KirkMasqueradewhich is soon thrust aside by persistent rhythms, hungry riffs and rising melodic atmospheres bred by the keys. The strong start is soon accentuated by the rich tones of Rauch, the singer continuing to impress with more potency as the album progresses. The repetitive eager prowl of the song is the strongest bait of all, which the vocals and guitars swing from with confidence and enterprise. It is not the most dramatic start to a release, or a song which lingers that long after its departure but certainly it makes for an infection clad welcoming which is vivaciously matched by the next up Supersonic Speed. The second song bounds in on a rhythmic stomp which continues to invite as guitars and keys expel their weave of sonic and melodic temptation, whilst emerging grooves to its second half alongside a flaming solo coax the track to another contagious level.

    The title track follows and instantly has the imagination and appetite on greater alert, the almost wanton air of the opening hooks and riffs an insatiable lure eventually tempered by an equally absorbing melodic walk of vocals and emotion. The song continues the evolving rise and success of the album, so far each track outdoing its predecessor, a progress which takes no deviation in course with the arrival of the excellent Eternity. It cups the senses with a ballad like embrace initially, Rauch and the keys of Berger providing an evocative narrative to immerse within, though simultaneously there is a brewing intensity and drama stalking the song aligned to an increasingly anthemic rhythmic march. The prospective dark shadows never come to real fruition but the song certainly deepens its hues and passion with striking textures and darker melodic colours and once into its stride, it creates an appealing mix which you could describe as Dream Theater meets The Mission.

    Fight Or Die Music is a towering prospect from its first breath and soon confirms its might with carnivorous riffs and potent vocals which carry their own personal snarl in league with ravenous beats and a commanding sonic seduction. It is the unashamedly anthemic charge of the chorus which seals the deal, it along with the previous song raising a new pinnacle for the release.

    The album fluctuates a little from here on in but even where songs fail to secure the same depth of reaction they have plenty to induce full satisfaction, as with Nothing Else But Lies and Tragedy, the first a contagion of unsurprisingly but virulently persuasive melodies and group vocal coaxing and the second a flight of smoothly embracing vocals and keys painted melodies skirted by a great cantankerous throat to the bass and rapaciously grunting riff rubs. Neither ignite the air as previous songs or in between them the outstanding Time, but each still leaves full enjoyment. The song they book end is a thrilling waltz of sound and energy, an almost folkish breath playing with thoughts at times whilst its voracious intent recruits limbs and neck muscles with ease whilst the little additives like the deeply masculine backing pokes of vocals, icing on a flavoursome sonic cake.

     The final trio of songs cannot match the first two thirds of the album, though again there is more than enough to draw frequent returns even if they lack the spark and trigger to greater things. Face In The Crowd is an undemanding and resourceful romp whilst The End Of The Universe offers a slower evocation of drama and emotion, both allowing a final slice of unbridled rock ‘n’ roll to be offered by Fallen Angel, it a feisty slab of heavy metal and rousing sinew built rock.

     Masquerade is a stirring march which for the main captures the imagination and lights the energetic boisterous heart in us all. It is like Kirk has never been away, though the experiences and maturity grown over the past decade in its members has led to a new plateau for their presence.

www.facebook.com/KirkSwissMetal

KIRK is on tour this March 2014 with The Poodles & Crystal Ball @

14.03. Milano – Blue Rose Bresso

15.03. Torino – Audiodrome

16.03. Nürnberg – Rockfabrik

17.03. Pratteln – Z7

18.03. Augsburg – Spektrum

20.03. Ludwigsburg – Rockfabrik

21.03. Obermarchtal – Kreuz

22.03. Oberhausen – Helvete

23.03. München – Garage

8/10

RingMaster 07/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Max Pie – Eight Pieces -One World

251150 - Max Pie - Promo Photo

The first thing to say is do not let the quite uninspiring band name of Belgian metallers Max Pie put you off from investigating what is in the form of  their new album a rather thrilling and dramatic adventure and sound. Eight Pieces -One World is a captivating heavy metal release, an album bulging at the seams with muscular and almost carnivorous tracks soaked in fiery melodic invention and potently expressive passion. To be honest it came as a complete surprise but as the saying goes ‘do not judge a book by its cover’, or in this case the name, as you will miss out on one of the treats of the year.

Formed in 2005, Max Pie started off with a classic hard rock/ metal which was said to frequent the same well as of Deep Purple, and Whitesnake. Obviously over the years something riled up their hunger, invention, and attitude as proven by the new album, its tracks attacking and chewing on the senses with a destructive rabidity whilst infusing irresistible and captivating melodic metal bred flames. It is a scintillating mix which catches you by surprise and then force feeds some of the most contagious and riotously inspiring songs heard this year through to the heart.

Following their acclaimed debut Initial Process of last year, the Mausoleum Records released Eight Pieces – One World takesTITRE.EPS no time in tearing up the senses, the line-up of vocalist Tony Carlino, guitarist/keyboardist Damien Di Fresco, bassist Olivier Lemiere, and drummer Sylvain Godenne, initially laying a sonic wash on the ear as Cage Of Sins stakes its claim on the listener before with no thought of mercy unleashing a rhythmic and riff sculpted intensity. Immediately there is compelling temptation at work especially as once into its rapacious stride the music is joined by the excellent vocals of Carlino, his tones equally coarse and clean echoing the sound. References to Kamelot and Symphony X seem to come with the band and going by song and release you can easily add the likes of Fates Warning and Periphery, such the numerous textures and spices conjured.

The stunning start is soon matched firstly by I’m Sealed and then Earth’s Rules which is one of two songs featuring guest Simone Mularoni  of DGM and Empyrios on guitar. The first of the pair teases djent rhythmic manipulation, riffs churning up nerves and thoughts so that warm inviting vocals and melodic enterprise can dance over the victims with soothing invention. Across the constant snarl of bass and drums assisted by equally predatory riffs, the guitars weave a sonic narrative which twists and sculpts its distinct tale upon aggressive canvas. Its successor with keys seducing with elegance and almost emotive mischief starts off with another predatory inducement before opening up progressive/classic metal arms to reveal a lake of evocative warmth and fire sourced melodic fascination. Though neither quite rivals the opener, they leave an enflamed greed for their and the following unpredictable and now assumed glories, which without exception the rest of the album delivers.

From the excellent evocative sonically coloured power ballad I’m In Love, tracks like the carnivore Vendetta rampage and seize full control of the passions, its rabid grip of primal rhythms and treacherous riffs irresistible whilst being ridden by the paint box of absorbing synth hues and the again impressively delivered and varied vocals. It is not all about aggressive intensity at any point though as the magnificent The Side Of A Dime shows with its Middle Eastern seductive promise courting emotions and heart from within the tumultuous web of rhythms and riffing voracity. The best track on Eight Pieces -One World, the encounter is a blistering expanse of inventive and urgent cajoling which rewards submission with beautifully crafted melodic heat and passion driven splendour.

As both the engaging Addictions and the equally engrossing Don’t Tell Me Lies with its gothic breath and sinister wink of the sonic eye bear evidence of, the skill and imagination of each member and their individual aspect within songs impress on the passions with clarity whilst combining to offer further irrepressible bait emphasising that though classed as heavy metal, band and album have a presence which crosses the desires and appetite of multiple genres within metal. Eight Pieces -One World is an excellent treat; as said an unexpected and surprising one but a creative coup which will be drawing out a zealous ardour for a long time to come. Slip yourselves pass the name and discover one of the gems of the year so far.

http://www.maxpie.be/

9/10

RingMaster 28/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Grenouer – Blood On The Face

251139 - Grenouer - Photo 1

Russian metallers Grenouer have been regularly featured and devoured on our podcast The Bone Orchard at www.audioburger.com over the past couple of years so the news and chance to review their new album offered a rapacious hunger to the excitement. The band has left a striking presence with their evolving sound across the years and Blood On The Face continues that accomplished course with ease whilst opening up further suggestions of distinct explorations ahead. The sound is familiar to their fans, their melodic potency and sonic sculpting at its pinnacle, but equally it is a continuation of their now established intent and tempting with an invention and imagination which blends varied flavours and adventure for a deeply impressive encounter.

Released through Mausoleum Records, Blood On The Face combines the five tracks which made up previous acclaimed EP 251139 - Grenouer - CoverComputer Crimes with six new songs and a cover. Initial thoughts were that filling almost half the release with a previous one will disappoint fans but such the strength of those tracks with their new ‘revisited’ arrangements and more so the new compositions, it will be surely merely a passing niggle for most and for newcomers makes the perfect introduction. Produced by the team of Dualized & Eddy Cavazza (Mnemic), Anssi Kippo (Children Of Bodom), and Joonas Koto, the album is an absorbing and enthralling landscape of distinctive melodic metal. At times thoughts of other bands as inspirations make suggestions but Grenouer have a sound which is theirs alone and Blood On The Face a thrilling vehicle to share it through. Formed in 1992 by vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor, the Saint Petersburg based quintet have moved far on from their extreme metal origins, the years and releases since then drawing in and embracing a rich and passionate melodic heart to the precisely and inventively crafted songs. This their seventh album, has the opportunity to make a full declaration to the world of their might thanks to the new link up with Mausoleum, and one suspects their rewards will be just as plentiful.

A brooding intro opens up the release, Thunder Phase a dawning of a warm and provocative ambience filled with drifting vocal calls, before merging into the waiting title track. Thick riffs and sonic flames immediately erupt around the ear whilst the rhythms of drummer Michael Coroner cage it all with punch and strength. The ever impressive vocals of Ind unveil their distinct and impressive flames, his unique melodic and at times soaring range just as pleasingly supported by the backing tones of Motor and fellow guitarist Igor Buzzy. It is an intriguing and riveting blend which envelopes senses and thoughts whilst the throaty bass of Dmitry Daemon persistently adds the shadows and menacing depths which lurk and prowl the hot climate crafted elsewhere. The track is a restrained yet imposing start which opens up the album perfectly if without, in hindsight, reaching the subsequent plateaus breached later.

Both Sands of Silence and Midday Show induce greater involvement from the passions, the first with its plaintive yet seductive breath and vocals wrapped in fiery arms of melodic adventure and atmospheric emotion and the second of the two through vigorous and snarling riffs from bass and guitar which stalk and incite the ear around the again intense and emotive call of the song. It is like its predecessor a masterful expanse of imagination and enterprise with only the rapping insert later on into its persuasion taking a while to convince, the excellent song emerging as a mix of Absolace and Clawfinger.

The impressive quality and enjoyment continues and grows with each temptation masked as songs, the compelling Golden Years and the explosive Rejected igniting further lustful obedience before their creative and adventurous lures, whilst Fix Your Life/A Few Miles from Paradise finds a mix of the familiar and new which is honed into a fascination that is lingering and provocative, the keys exploring deeper invention and textured ambiences.

The most thrilling highlights in nothing but, come with firstly the predatory Brain Fever, one of those truly dangerous hunters which deceitfully lay out a welcome of melodic beauty and seduction before gnawing on senses and thoughts with corrosive riffs and crisp splintering rhythms. It is an outstanding song instantly matched by See No Sun and Last Stop. The first of the pair is a smouldering caress of a song, hazy atmospheres veined by a melodic beauty and sculpting which sways and kisses with every second of its sirenesque grandeur though it holds a carnivorous surprise too whilst the second is a reserved but forceful riot of rippling sinews and ferocious enterprise, simply an irresistible contagion.

Completed by a cover of the Stone Temple Pilots song All in the Suit That You Wear, this should be the album to bring Grenouer the recognition long deserved. Blood On The Face is an outstanding album full of refreshing invention, time for the world to wake up to the band.

http://www.grenouer.com/

9/10

RingMaster 28/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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