Feral Sun – Evacuate

 

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The final week of January sees the debut album from UK rockers Feral Sun getting a well-deserved reboot, a re-release sure to mop up the unsuspecting appetites and fans that were not netted the first time around by the band. Evacuate is quite simply a collection of emotive and sonic anthems which come in varying forms and all roar with a snarling angst. They are also propositions which seem as familiar as they are fresh, the band weaving inspirations from the likes of open Stone Sour, Karnivool, Alter Bridge, and Trivium into their own distinctive designs. It plays like an old friend re-groomed, revitalised, and with a new found individuality.

Formed in 2009, the London quartet spent time honing their sound and live set before unleashing themselves locally and gaining a swift reputation and potent following for their stage ferocity and similarly impacting sound. Next came the creating of their first album, an imposing but feistily seductive encounter which again embraced a strong and acclaimed acceptance upon its first unveiling. With anticipations keen thanks to a trio of singles from the release, Evacuate is now poised to inflame the country with its national outing, with an inevitable success it is easy to expect thanks to its stirring and imaginative body of sound and enterprise.

Evacuate takes little time in awakening ears and attention as opener Find A Way follows its initial jangle of guitar with a wall of heavily swung beats and predatory riffs. It is a formidable entrance given greater potency by the instantly magnetic vocals of Mick Burns and a broader coaxing of guitar from himself and lead guitarist Marco lo Coco. That earlier mentioned familiarity is soon apparent but it only spices up the dramatic weight and character of the song. At times essences of Seether make a suggestive whisper and in others a mix of Stone Sour and Mudvayne, but all colouring which increases the reach and appeal of the impressive start.

There is also a raw quality to the track and a ‘raggedness’ to riffs which only increases the texture and lure of the proposition, revealing one aspect of the band’s sound to which the next up Alone Feral Sun covershows another. Also offering an aggressive touch at first, the song soon slips into a mellower melodic landscape, Burns opening up an emotive narrative with increasingly impressing vocals as lo Coco tantalises with an elegant melody against the darker provocative tones of Alex Nikitin’s bass and the skilfully fluid rhythms of drummer Jay Stephenson. His rhythmic incitement ebbs and flow in attack and weight perfectly as the song croons with passion and intensity as a 3 Days Grace like persuasion spices the unique theatre of Feral Sun’s invention and fiery craft, the band entwining melodic and hard rock with a more classic bred adventure.

The album’s excellent title track is stomping with teeth bared and passions inflamed next, prodding and swiping at ears with antagonistic attitude wrapped in a sonic and melodic tempering. Feet and voice are swiftly recruited by the song, its anthemic qualities as potent as the intimate drama colouring the track before it passes the listeners over to the alluring charm of People Are Dying. Its opening balladry within a sultry climate, leads senses and imagination into evocative scenery of acoustic led persuasion when subsequently opens up into an expanse of fiercer fiery incitement in sound and vocals. A slow burner compared to its predecessors and arguably never reaching their plateaus, the song still impresses and thrills much as One More Day after it.

With no song leaving ears and satisfaction wanting, there is a shallow dip in the album caused by the might of its start and impending closing stretch. This song for example a seriously compelling stroll of brewing anger and militant intensity with a craft individually and united from the band to match, yet it just misses the final spark to emulate the heights of the early songs. Nevertheless with lo Coco spinning a web of impressive skill and adventure around the ever striking vocals, it leaves a lingering pleasure and impression just as the Audioslave scented Into Pieces and the enslaving Long Road. The first of the two almost stalks ears and thoughts with its predacious gait and aggravated riffery whilst the second finds a similarly imposing leer to its sound and emotion bound in another strapping of sonic intrigue and vocal might, especially in the latter passage where the whole band unveil an irresistible vocal call to arms.

Breathe continues the strong diversity to Evacuate next with its distinctive and rigorously engaging balladry. Its highly pleasing flame of melodies and harmonies is followed by the equally potent emotional reflection of Take This Away. The track aligns resourceful calm and expression with raw blazes of angst soaked aggression from guitars and rhythms, providing further evidence of the maturity and imagination within the band’s songwriting and its fascinating realisation.

The album ends as mightily as it began, with firstly Caught In The Act exploring a mouth-watering blend of hard rock revelry and dirty rock ‘n’ roll tenacity. It results in the most inventive and unpredictable treat on Evacuate. The whole album is a heady peak of quality and temptation, but its start and finish provide the pinnacles with this song a tempestuous march of hungry riffs, hostile rhythms, and grooves to drool over. Its successor Falling is just as exhilarating with its virulent stroll of vocals and hooks interspersed with gripping rock pop devilry posing as a chorus. The album’s final song leaves ears and appetites, which are already full to bursting with highly enjoyable sounds and enterprise, just that little bit hungrier and greedier for more.

Evacuate is a roaring stomp of a release, not always as unique as it might be but for the main using the recognisable flavouring in fresh and contagious ways. For a riot of thoroughly satisfying and invigorating rock ‘n’ roll, it is hard to imagine too many over shadowing Feral Sun’s debut in the coming months.

Evacuate is released on Monday 26th January through all good stores and @ http://www.feralsun.bigcartel.com/

http://www.feralsun.com/

RingMaster 26/01/2015

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The Morning After – Legacy

Before second and new album Legacy, UK Rock band The Morning After had already excited and drawn enthused acclaim and a fervent following from fans to the media, but with this release they will surely take classic rock/AOR to new heights amongst rock listening audiences. With sure exuberance, blatant teasing showmanship, and a definite confidence that their sounds will light up anyone’s day, the band and their album have rounded off a strong year of rock in distinctly fine style.

Fusing classic 80’s metal, melodic hard rock, and NWOBHM with shards of harsher metal and pop the Essex quartet create a sound that is buoyant, energetic and intriguing to any ear. For rock fans Legacy will be manna from heaven and even for the blacker more violently veined tastes as here there is more than enough substantial quality and dark veins running through much of the album to ensure solid attention and satisfaction.

Since their debut album of 2009 You Can’t Hurt Steel, the band has demanded and received impressive attention and support from the UK to even more immediate adulation in Japan. The UK was slower but in determined fashion caught on to the band too thanks to the release and the band’s explosive performances on tours and shows with the likes of Viking Skull and Blessed By A Broken Heart throughout the UK and Europe, plus a scorching performance at Download in 2010. Legacy released via Rising Records will thrust the band even further into the hearts of fans new and old as they take the melodic rock sounds that they have become known for and matured them with songwriting that is intelligent, engaging and captivating. 

The brief title track leads in the album with a glorious and immediately mesmerising harmony of voices before handing over to ‘Into The Fire’ and its vibrant classic rock/hair metal sounds. Addictive choruses, lively melodies and irrepressible energy thrust the song happily into the ear and though the song is not bursting with anything particularly unexpected the stabs of metal/hardcore intensity and coarse supporting vocals add substance that lifts the track. ‘Limit’ carries on in the same mould though stays firmly on the side of melodies with scorching guitar play and solo from Phil Maher and Sam Ryder. Vocally the blend of voices from the guitarists and bassist Gary Stone are a seamless union with the lead vocals of Ryder never less than impressive and of high quality.

The single from the album ‘America’ is another straight forward slice of melodic rock and though understandable why it is the lead track to draw people in it is probably the weakest and most predictable song on the Legacy. It certainly is not bad just a little dull, especially when in the context of the album against the likes of ‘The Witch Is In My Back’ with its creative variety and wonderful additional strings, the meaty and aggressive ‘Rest In Pieces’ and ‘These Hills Have Eyes’, plus by far the album’s best song ‘Stream Of Stars’. The last of these is worth checking out the album for alone, it being easily one of if not the best song to arise this year from anyone. Incisive guitars, probing basslines from Stone, and with drummer Jake Booth skilfully directing the affair this ten minute epic glory of metal and hypnotic melodies reveals there is so much more to the band creatively and in their ability to write stunning songs. In some ways it leaves a little taste of disappointment for the other songs on Legacy, in that though they are all fine and impressive creations they could have been much more on the evidence of ‘Stream Of Stars’.

Legacy is a joyful first rate album with a proud unbridled desire to bring rampant, verging on overblown, controlled glorious melodic rock to the senses. Even ears that crave intrusive pummelling will fall into its charms. The Morning After have created a masterpiece for classic/melodic rock fans that will have them drooling, and for the rest of us they have given one of the more agreeable and intriguing albums this year.

RingMaster 08/12/2011

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