Pigeon Lake – Barriers Fall

Three years after the release of their striking and quickly acclaimed debut album, Tales of a Madman, Norwegian quartet Pigeon Lake return with its successor in Barriers Fall. The time between has seen changes within the band and a reassessment of the way forward; a shift sparking an evolution in sound too which is actually hard to pin down but openly inflaming the Oslo outfit’s new offering and release which like its predecessor at the time, will make a definite rival to those around it for one of the most essential investigations of the year.

Since emerging in the opening smiles of 2012, Pigeon Lake has grown to be one of the most compelling propositions on the melodic rock/metal landscape. Founded by vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt and completed by childhood friend and drummer Andreas Prestby and bassist Kenneth Stiansen, the band instantly sparked attention and praise with the I: Mindrape EP later in that first year. Its themes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health were as striking as the raw sounds inciting ears. The three became four with the addition of lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen soon after while the following year saw Stiansen replaced by Anders Børresen. As their sound moved towards a flavouring more akin to the likes of Katatonia, Stone Sour, and The Ocean, the band’s live presence escalated before they got down to work creating Tales of a Madman, its release coming in the Autumn of 2014 and followed by the band heavily hitting the road again including taking their first steps touring Europe.

Linking up with Wormholedeath Records in recent times provided the spark for that previously mentioned re-assessment and the resulting highly amicable departure of Børresen and Prestby which was soon followed by the joining of bassist Håkon Bechholm and drummer Jonas Rønningen. Now the new line-up has unveiled Barriers Fall, an encounter feeling darker and rawer than that first album yet their most melodically seductive and inventively mature adventure yet.

The album opens with Ragnarok, grooves instantly wrapping ears with shadow lined radiance. There is a portentous edge to them though, nothing imposing but clearly there as rhythms jab and riffs collude around them. Magnetic straight away, the track settles down into a heavy prowl where all those imposing elements erupt for a few rapacious seconds before Schackt’s cleaner tones steer the tempest into kinder waters. Abrasive growls remain alongside him though as the song merges predatory and seductive sides, luring the imagination into a provocative squall of emotion and intensity.

It is a striking start soon eclipsed by the just as tempestuous roar of Lyra. Nagging riffs align with Schackt’s distinctive tones initially, the bass prowling around them before the incendiary heart of the track erupts with fiery melodies and antagonistic tendencies. Harmonies and melodic tempting bewitch as the song subsequently shares its evolving soundscape, contrasting textures blending their potencies in one beguiling encounter. There is definitely something of the aforementioned Katatonia to the song and indeed album but equally the likes of Opeth and Swallow The Sun come to mind though in all honesty Pigeon Lake here and across Barriers Fall only reveal their own character of sound and imagination.

The album’s title track is next, seducing with a mesmerising poetic melody and calm vocal reflection before Rønningen’s beats add increasing threat. In time, as things increasingly simmer with greater intensity, everything comes to a head, vocals spilling their psychosis as a sonic causticity descends. A relative relief in the storm comes with the closing breaths of the excellent track before the more mercurial presence of The Futility of You takes the listener into a controlled yet seemingly unstable emotional embrace. Again the music is a web of trespass and radiance, vocals matching the changeable mood with suggestive prowess as wiry hooks and almost toxic melodies tempt and trap the imagination. Epitomising the album as a whole, the track only reveals new layers and textures with every listen, each time within it seeing growing attraction and the blossoming of image painting thoughts.

Hide and Seek runs a fine line of control and lawlessness, its cauldron of corrosive energy restrained and held back by the harmonic and melodic beauty hugging the senses though it is never more than a breath from breaking free while within Sunder it shapes the predatory nature of a track which equally is as much an oasis of elegance and gentle repose as a turbulent tempest; a beauty and beast of inner and worldly turmoil.

Senses harrying riffs brings A Familiar Problem to bear on ears next, delicious bait opening up into a just as enticing fusion of roaming grooves and brooding rhythms around feral toned vocals. That previously mentioned raw element of the release has its head with the harsh throated presence of Schackt adding to the psychotic edge of the track with clean and melody woven radiancy just as powerful before Perfect Place casts its variable cyclone on the passions. Irresistible within its first moments and only stealing greater lust thereon in, the track breeds an addiction as rich as its unpredictability to provide if not the pinnacle, one of many.

Closing track Let’s Pretend takes the listener into one final embrace of emotional restlessness and creative anxiety, the song as the album whilst being intricately woven and layered is almost anarchic in its nature and heart. It is a fine end to another encounter with Pigeon Lake which simply blossoms and further impresses with every listen.  To be fussy, personal tastes would see Schackt’s throat scarring vocal side reduced to allow his excellent clean and emotionally suggestive tones to have an even larger say but it is a mere passing thought in a release which stirs every part of body and mind.

Barriers Fall is available now through Wormholedeath Records across most online stores.

http://www.pigeonlake.no/    https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic/   https://twitter.com/PigeonLakeMusic

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blacktop Mojo – Burn The Ships

The past four years since forming has seen Texan rock band Blacktop Mojo court a potent reputation for their sound and live presence, all the time increasingly nudging global attention to turn their way. The release of second album Burn The Ships is the moment that awareness just might happen, the release a striking and thickly accomplished slab of highly flavoursome, sinew moulded rock ‘n’ roll.

Formed in September 2012 by vocalist Matt James and drummer Nathan Gillis, Blacktop Mojo swiftly leapt into the live scene with the intent of playing as many shows and tours as they could. It is a hunger which prevails to this day, the Palestine, TX quintet sharing stages with the likes of Bon Jovi, Candlebox, Drowning Pool, Aaron Lewis, Saving Abel, Puddle of Mudd, Whiskey Myers, Dirty River Boys, and The Bigsbys among a great many others over the years. Debut album I Am stirred things up at home with its release in 2014, similarly inviting broader notice of the band’s hearty hard/melodic rock sound. Burn The Ships though is a wake-up call to bigger spotlights upon the band, the Philip Mosley produced and Austin Deptula mixed and mastered encounter a fiery roar very hard to ignore or avoid finding a healthy appetite for.

The Blacktop Mojo sound is arguably not the most unique, the band drawing comparisons to the likes of Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, and Soundgarden yet has an individual character and diversity which lifts it from the crowd with ease. All the evidence lies within Burn The Ships and its inventive and impassioned rock ‘n’ roll; a proposition hitting the ground running with its majorly rousing opener Where The Wind Blows. A lone melody with a country rock twang makes the first beckon, a sister lure swiftly by its side before muscle bound rhythms loom over ears amidst the continuing invitation of that initial welcome. Soon into its thick and potent stride with the growling tones of Matt Curtis’ bass rich bait alongside the meaty swipes of Gillis, the track has its infectious claws firmly around ears and appetite with James’ delivery leading the way and in turn the listener into one peach of a chorus impossible not to get fully involved in. With the riffs of rhythm guitarist Kenneth Irwin equally steering the temptation as lead guitarist Ryan Kiefer spins wiry grooves, it is a seriously compelling proposal,

The following End Of Days is just as formidable and satisfying, its robust rhythms and gnarly grooves alone gripping body and an instinctive passion for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll. As its predecessor, the song carries an irresistible chorus to back up the already successful lures at play and the album’s powerful start, success its title track continues. As provocative guitar temptation wraps its flame lit charms around ears, Burn The Ships quickly shows itself an equal to those before in enticement, gaining even greater strength in that trait as its groove takes on a nagging quality as it meanders around the vocal potency of James. With Seether-esque hues involved, the song croons and roars; flexing its muscle as it spins its inventively intoxicating sonic web with each passing second. The track is pure drama and the pinnacle of the album though challenged throughout.

The earnest strains of Prodigal follow, its Staind lit serenade a mellow emotive caress allowing for a breath whilst enjoying its melodic heat, suggestive flames building  into a bigger blaze before Shadows On The Wall smoulders and erupts in a 3 Doors Down scented fire next, subsequently  followed by the virile throes of Sweat. The trio do not quite teach the heights of the first three tremendous tracks but each with their individual natures and temptations leave plenty to embrace and firmly enjoy.

The snarling properties of Pyromaniac bring the album back to its loftiest heights, the song as heated as its title suggests with irritability in its riffs and a bass grumble so easy to grow lustful for. Melodically, there is a 3 Days Grace air contrasted and complimented perfectly by the grungier textures at work on the senses, both linked by an instinctive catchiness  which again features in potent form within the predacious 8000 Lines, a song stalking ears with rapacious riffs and antagonistic beats as sonic enterprise and vocal drama ignite. The track is outstanding; its unpredictability enhanced by melodic beauty as an oasis of calm shares ears with its tempestuous heart.

Both Dog On A Leash with its red-blooded plaintive call and the reflective cries of Make A Difference leave satisfaction full, each revealing further twists in the album’s make-up and enterprise while Chains brings a web of athletic grooves and beefy rhythms in a burly persuasion raising the ante again. It is pure captivation preying on an already eager appetite for sound and encounter.

Concluded by the emotionally charged Dream On and the melancholic musing of Underneath, the impressive Burn The Ships has plenty to see the band make the next step towards global recognition. Its songs are shapely and sound rich if not always on the truly unique side. Its craft and imagination more than compensates though as ears embrace the open potential also lying within a triumph of a listen.

Burn The Ships is out now through Cuhmon Records @ https://blacktopmojo.bandcamp.com/releases or http://www.blacktopmojo.com/store

http://www.blacktopmojo.com/   https://www.facebook.com/BlacktopMojo   https://twitter.com/blacktopmojo

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sertraline – Guilty

Sertraline

Sertraline

March sees the release of a new EP from British melodic metallers Sertraline, an encounter earning a fair amount of anticipation due to its well-received predecessor and the band’s increasing reputation. The Guilty EP offers five potent slices of rock and metal fronted by the quickly engaging tones of Lizzie, tracks which revel in the new growth of sound and imagination spawning them from within the band.

Formed in the Autumn of 2014, the Stoke-on-Trent hailing band quickly stirred up a loyal local fan base and close attention, their first single a couple of months in, Set The World Alight, luring strong radio play and support from BBC Introducing. Their well-received debut EP Bury The Ghosts pushed the band into national spotlights in 2015, its success more than backed by Sertraline’s dynamic live presence which has seen them shared stages with the likes of Butcher Babies, Toseland, Kobra and the Lotus, Skarlett Riot, and Normandie along the way. Last year saw a new line-up in place and the further honing of the band’s sound, Guilty showing the enjoyable results from the evolution.

The EP title track is first up, ears consumed by a wall of carnivorous riffs and intrusive rhythms. It is a striking appetite raising start soon relinquishing its threat as a wiry melody escapes the guitar. Any disappointment from losing that raw trespass dissipates as Lizzie’s tones dance on the emerging web of riffs and grooves from Mike and Wilson. With beats still swiping with fierce intent as the bass of Hendo enticingly grumbles, the song takes a firm grip of ears and imagination. Throat raw growls intermittently join the adventure, contrasting with the harmonic beauty of Lizzie but for personal tastes lacking the bite to be as successful as their certainly welcomed addition could have been. Nevertheless it only adds to the strong character and increasing potency of the excellent track.

sertraline-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewSuccessor Snakes opens with a melodic coaxing, atmospherics gently kissing a lone melody before a weave of Periphery scented enterprise sparks song and imagination. As the first, the individual prowess of the band is a captivation, their combined adventure just as compelling if lacking the imposing impact of the first track. It is the subtlety of its twists and turns which predominantly make that difference resulting in the song taking longer to reach the same heights though with listens it surely does.

New video/single Change Of Heart is next, an even mellower proposal with a poppier catchiness to a harmonic stroll courted by cantankerous riffs, rhythmic punches, and that coarser expulsion of voice. It is obvious single material, melodies and Lizzie tantalising but does not quite live up to those around it for personal tastes though still adding to the EP’s success.

Nyeevise gets the appetite keenly back on track, its opening brooding presence carrying a whiff of Breed 77 to it before bolder sinews spin a glorious web of steely riffs and rapacious senses twisting grooves. Like a mix of Halestorm and Forever Still, the song growls and seduces; vocals and guitars providing an alluring blend of contrasting textures and creative drama.

Bringing the release to a highly satisfying close is I Admit The Blame, an emotive serenade with fire in its heart and melancholic beauty in its roar as well as creative attitude in its body. Another which grows with every listen rather than making a swift impact, it is a fine end to a thoroughly pleasing encounter. We are still not sure about the harsh side of the vocals, they missing the ‘savagery’ desired, but still an inventive part of the fresh blaze fuelling the Sertraline sound which will only take the band to higher plateaus.

The Guilty EP is out March 3rd @ http://www.wearesertraline.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WeAreSertraline/   https://twitter.com/wearesertraline

 Pete RingMaster 02/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raptor King – Dinocalypse

raptor_king_2016-23_RingMasterReview

As a new threat looms to trespass his domain Raptor V and his cohorts have risen again to take on the trespass. Raptor King are back with new EP Dinocalypse, a compelling successor to the well-received Dinocracy EP, to take on the new trespasser of their apocalyptic landscaped world.

Dinocalypse sees Raptor V, a dino king from the cretaceous era which ended up in 2015 via a temporal gate, once again linking up with his acolytes in guitarist Nightsmoke and drummer Don Coco to thwart new protagonist Pelletor. The Boulogne-Billancourt hailing outfit have also enlisted the guest help of bassist Strange Kid Armageddon and guitarist Indian Shredder for their second outing, a release showing a broader web of diversity in sound and bolder uniqueness in its character compared to its predecessor. As impressive and highly enjoyable as the first release form the band was, Dinocalypse easily and swiftly eclipses it in all departments.

The EP opens with its title track, Dinocalypse rising from its ‘sleep’ with a dawning of textures and essences, all entwining each other in a heated embrace until from its midst a thrash fuelled fury escapes. With the three pronged vocals as confrontational and belligerent as the riffs and rhythms surrounding them, things are soon a tempestuous assault challenging the listener as readily as the hunger of those in its tale to take on the invader of civilisation. Infectious grooves and brassy toxic flames add to the volatile and increasingly compelling mix of flavours and styles now colluding with bedlamic potency within the excellent starter.

pochette-raptor-king-dinocalyspe_RingMasterReviewThe dark lures of The Witch comes next, a web of sinister grooves and heavily swung beats gripping ears as a sludgy swamp of sound in a mutually thick climate envelops the senses. It is an alternatively rapacious seduction and invasive proposal veering further into the jaws of the latter as vocal and sonic antipathy boil up with a blackened edge to their intrusive attributes. Equally though, melody woven calm aligned to deception carrying elegance lures with siren-esque intent, a mercurial web of suggestiveness heading towards a devouring concluding tempest of extreme metal and grievous rock ‘n’ roll.

The Long Way To Rock (Pom Pom Pom Pom Pom) reveals its own infectious hand at spinning addiction sparking grooves and raw contagion next. A blend of melodic metal and rock with grungier tendencies in its intent, the song dances flirtatiously in the ears with vocals as varied and contrasting as the sounds alongside them. Whereas the first album was a collusion of truly familiar flavours and elements, the third song and the EP as a whole quickly reveals that exclusive nature and enterprise suggested earlier whilst still making for a proposition which roars like an old friend.

The stand-off between Raptor V and Pelletor is a raucous rumble in Fight’n’Roll, the track a riot of destructive and fiercely catchy rock ‘n’ roll embroiled in combative agitation. Corrosive and anthemic, the song simply hits the spot with hungry endeavour before leaving Lonesome Raptor to bring things to an excellent close. A melodic embrace around the reflective croon of Raptor V, it is a noir lit bluesy smoulder of seduction and another side to the imagination incited escapades with the release showing the striking growth of the Raptor King writing and sound.

Dinocracy majorly pleased last time around but Dinocalypse breaches a whole new landscape of craft and fun and as the closing seconds of its final track suggests is just the beginning of a new rousing conflict of bruising adventure to come and eagerly anticipate.

Dinocalypse is out now @ http://raptorking.bigcartel.com/product/dinocalypse-ep

http://www.raptorkingrocks.com/    https://www.facebook.com/raptorkingrocks    https://twitter.com/raptorkingrocks

Pete RingMaster 28/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Kreoles – Psycho

the_kreoles_RingMasterReview

Psycho is the new album from Italian melodic metal/ alternative rock quartet The Kreoles, a release which makes a highly enjoyable first impression but continues to sneak up on the imagination as each track passes with diversity and inventive fun; the result an encounter very easy to get rather excited about.

The Kreoles emerged in 2011, the realisation of an idea by founder Ivan McSimon, a Como-based producer, songwriter, and guitar player who previously played with Dyve. The new project was born from the intent to explore new creative paths and subsequently saw McSimon linking up with vocalist Valentina Merlo, bassist Marco Francesco D’Elia, and drummer Davide Piccolo. 2014 saw the release of their well-received debut album Touch The Sun, the potent base from which Psycho now blossoms from with even greater adventures.

Released through Sliptrick Records, Psycho makes a strong and steady start with opener The Last Man. Coaxing attention with its initial country scented melodic jangle, the track soon breaks into a muscular stride with swinging rhythms, an irritably steely bassline, and the fiery roar of guitar. In the midst of it all, the instantly engaging and impressive voice of Merlo lures with siren-esque quality drawing ears even deeper into the rousing heart of the song. Slips into melody rich emotively calmer passages only adds to the alluring drama of the encounter, McSimon scorching the senses with his volcanic melodic tapestry as the album roars into life.

Disease takes over with the same kind of imposing but welcoming intensity to its body, more classic metal hues colluding with the band’s enterprising canvas of textures and sounds. Again there is an instinctive nagging snarl to the underbelly of the song driving the melodic fire consuming and pleasing the senses; Merlo enticing and the open individual prowess of the band uniting in a similarly explosive and anthemic proposal.

With exotic keys to the fore, Empty steps forward next, that early charm soon entwined and vocal in a web of sonic and rhythmic rapacity embraced by an Animal Alpha like character of song. Infectiously irresistible and a fierce flame of melody and tenacious energy, the track stirs the spirit before making way for the equally creatively hungry and energetically dynamic Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die. Breeding a great punk pop essence recalling seventies bands like The Photos and The Adult Net whilst infusing it in a tapestry of heavy rock/melodic metal enterprise, the song similarly catches attention with swift ease and potency, only increasing its hold minute by minute.

Though just as heated, a calmer climate embraces next up Don’t You Know, a Pretenders spiced offering with more of the southern hues which the band skilfully infuse in many of their songs. With the vocal beauty and expression of Merlo sheer magnetism, the song boisterously smoulders, its touch a burning seduction as catchy as anything upon the album.

Through Obsession with its rhythmic irritability and melodically metallic confrontation and the tempestuous confrontation of Like A Scream, The Kreoles keep enjoyment high even if neither song ignites the appetite as imposingly as their predecessors. Both tracks are missing the same kind of surprises lighting up those around them but ensure there is no wandering of attention before Dolomites installs itself as our favourite moment. A rolling contagion of country punk pop as inescapably infectious as the flu but a hell of lot more fun, the song just cannot fail to place a smile on the face and in the heart with its virulent exploits.

Black Star’s Night is another which weaves familiar essences into its own creative domain to forcibly satisfy without turning emotions lusty before the album’s title track brings things to a thrilling close. There is cantankerousness to the rhythmic enticement of the song, a predatory edge lining riffs too as among them Merlo beckons with every syllable shared. Its eventful presence though is also a haven for melodic imagination and an evolving intensity as unpredictable as it is scintillating.

Psycho, song and album, is a masterful enslavement of ears and imagination from a band destined to real and eager recognition ahead and if their new enticement has its deserved way, beginning right now.

Psycho is out now through Sliptrick Records across most online stores.

http://thekreoles.com/    https://www.facebook.com/TheKreoles/    https://twitter.com/thekreoles

Pete RingMaster22/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Eyes Wide Shot – Back From Hell

EWS_RingMasterReview

Part of any success is down to grabbing attention and that is a quality the new album from French outfit Eyes Wide Shot certainly has. It offers a dynamic and rousing blend of alternative metal and melodic rock with many other varied strains involved too. Uniqueness is maybe a less obvious essence to Back From Hell but it and its ten captivating songs just grab ears and imagination leaving thick enjoyment behind.

Hailing from Jarny in the north-east of France and formed at the beginning of 2013, Eyes Wide Shot released their debut EP in their first year which helped firmly establish them in the local music scene. The following year saw the current line-up settled when drummer Anthony Marra linked up with vocalist Florent Curatola and guitarists Nicolas Menus and Kevin Guernane, further expanded since recording the album by bassist Jeremy Machado. Soon after Marra’s addition, the band came to the attention of producer Charles Kallaghan Massabo (Falling In Reverse) who subsequently flew to Los Angeles to record their debut album with them.

Back From Hell quickly commands ears and thoughts as its themes of life’s setbacks and obstacles, its manipulations and addictions, shadow songs which leap from the speakers with energy and enterprise. Heavy rhythms and hungry riffs collude with electronic revelry throughout; that mentioned fusion of rock and metal familiar yet unpredictable and ultimately always intriguing.

It all starts with Waiting In Vain and an instant confrontation of imposing sound and niggling riffs. Soon hitting a formidable stride still leaning heavily upon ears, the song lightens slightly for the potent tones of Curatola, his entrance aligned to inviting melodies and an infectiousness which lines every aspect of the proposition awakening ears. With an element of bands like Avenged Sevenfold to it, the anthemic roar of the track is a convincing persuasion as melodically imaginative as it is aggressively biting.

Cover_RingMasterReviewThe following A Glimpse Of Me is a similarly textured offering, riffs and grooves a rapacious proposal with rhythms an even more irritable aggressor. Their attack though is tempered by the catchy prowess of vocals and harmonies and the warm melodies wrapping their proposal. Together it is an engaging invitation easy to get involved in as too that of My Redemption which initially seems very similar to its predecessor but soon shows a potent vein of electronic twists and anthemic tenacity in a body which wakes easy participation but keeps the imagination busy with its varied flavours from djent and technical metal to alternative and electro rock.

It is an excellent highlight within Back From Hell quickly emulated by the fiery smoulder of Lost For You, a track which simmers with a volatility given its head in a chorus which blazes without exploding. Its melancholic calms and melodic mists only add to the song’s beguiling presence though, a success in turn breached by both Lisp Off My Lips and the album’s title track. The first of the pair is another which may not have major originality on its side yet from its first moments to its last and especially in a chorus which seduces the passions, the increasingly tempestuous song creates a fixed bond with pleasure. Its successor shares crystalline electronic melodies as riffs grumble, slipping into mellow reflection before brewing an emotional intensity which in turn sparks a contagious swing to the song’s gait. It is a real grower becoming another big moment in the album over listens.

Another pinnacle to Back From Hell is the virulently catchy Under The Knife, a song which hits like an old friend and has body and voice enlisted in mere moments of its inescapable arousal. Melodic metal and rock in rampant collusion, the track is a boisterously fiery and anthemic encounter impregnated with suggestive tendrils of melody rich enterprise.

Both Living The Dream with its underling irritable volatility beneath emotive flames and the poppy aggression of See What I’ve Seen pile on the enjoyment, the second especially tempting before Watch Me closes the album off in fine style. The song is a proposition which it some ways should not work. It is bedlamic in a ‘messy’ way, certain textures from its first second crashing into each other rather than aligning seamlessly yet it all makes for exciting harmonic disarray around concussive antagonism which increasingly captures the imagination, rap styled twists only adding to the off kilter landscape.

Eyes Wide Shot is without doubt a band well worth taking time out to investigate. Their sound is yet to find bold uniqueness but as Back From Hell shows it demands attention while thickly satisfying; success easy to recommend.

Back From Hell is out now across many online stores and @ http://ewsband.bigcartel.com/product/back-from-hell

https://www.facebook.com/Eyeswideshotband/

Pete RingMaster 09/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Light The Skies – Human

light-the-skies-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

It seems that there is a sudden swell of excitement around British quartet Light The Skies primarily because of their new EP, Human. Creating an attention luring sound built on a fusion of post hardcore with melodic metal influences, it maybe that the band has been on the radar of a great many before now but it is with their potential fuelled new release that the rest of us might just be catching on.

It is hard to say there are many major surprises within the six songs making up the EP but each is an accomplished and imagination built proposal easily enticing ears. Since forming during their college days in 2013, the Birmingham band has grown into a potent live force, sharing stages with the likes of Ghost Town, Palisades, Boy Jumps Ship, Alverez Kings, Scream Blue Murder, Lock & Key, Beyond Recall, and Templeton Pek along the way. The Human EP is a new step up in their ascent, a release sure to be nudging national awareness of the band’s dynamic sound.

The EP opens up with Animals, a track which promises much but does not always deliver yet leaves a definite intrigue to hear more. Its muscular opening with the probing beats of drummer Sam Hemus make a potent coaxing, escalating as just as intensive riffs and grooves from the guitars of Will Douglas and Charlie Elliott grip the senses. With the heavy tones of Conor Browne’s bass seducing it is a formidable start capped by the raw throated cries of Douglas. A sudden slip into mellow climes with clean vocals is a less potent move for personal tastes though redeemed by the great band harmonies which lead back into the tempestuous roar of the song.

light-the-skies-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewContinuing to switch between its increasingly imaginative stages the song is ultimately a powerful and pleasing start to the release and soon matched by Distractions. Its gentler melodic opening paves the way for a tantalising mix of Douglas’ clean vocals and a web of guitar enterprise speared by the shadowy yet flirtatious nature of the bass. With a lighter climate throughout compared to the tempestuous air of its predecessor, the song is a radiant tempting with keys and melodies as suggestive as the emotion lining the eventful song.

Acclimate uncages its own irritable storm of sound and intensity straight after, a challenge nicely tempered by warmer vocals and melodic endeavour as rhythms intrude upon the senses. It many ways it is as poppy as it is aggressively raw, veering more towards the latter the further into its creative and emotional turbulence it ventures though still it makes room for more welcoming ideas.

Looking Back unites the same kind of contrasts in an infectious stroll with a forcibly anthemic chorus and heavier textures which prowl its body throughout while its successor Ourselves is an acoustic caress with Douglas showing the strength of his harmonic tones. The first of the pair is a certain highlight of the EP with the second increasingly beguiling, their individual qualities combined by the closing drama of Distance. As its start, Human ends with a song which fully satisfies if without finding all the ingredients which ignite other tracks but each nurtures an appetite to hear more from Light The Skies; a success in anyone’s book.

Human is out now via Snowhill Records @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/human-ep/id1154785404

http://www.lighttheskiesuk.com/   https://twitter.com/LightTheSkiesUK   https://www.facebook.com/LightTheSkiesUk

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright