Dead Winter – My Only Home

Dead Winter_RingMasterReview

The early weeks of 2014, saw UK post hardcore band Dead Winter make a rather potent introduction to themselves with debut EP Erasing Glaciers. It was a magnetic six track fury of melodic metal and hardcore ferocity soaked with open potential which had already aroused attention with its first outing a few months earlier. Its re-release four years ago though, sparked a more national awareness which the band fed with their impressive live presence. The past couple of years or so have seen the band seemingly quiet. Things were happening though with ideas and directions breeding line-up changes as the band headed into their next steps now marked by new single My Only Home.

Formed in 2011, the Blackpool hailing band soon lured loyal support and ears with their sound and in turn the successful Romesh Dodangoda (Funeral for A Friend, Twin Atlantic) produced Erasing Glaciers. Weaving inspirations from bands such as Bury Tomorrow, Bring Me The Horizon, and A Day To Remember into their sound, Dead Winter and EP were soon drawing acclaim from the likes of Rock Sound, Powerplay, and Big Cheese Magazine. That regrouping and defining of direction and intent followed but now, and ahead of their first album also called My Only Home, set for release this summer, Dead Winter ‘return’ with a bang in the shape of its title track and an equally gripping video.

With Dodangoda at the helm of album and single again, My Only Home swiftly descends on ears with rapier like rhythms and badgering riffs which soon reveal their own predacious intent and snarl. There is a great metalcore edge to the trespass but a hue soon matched by the melodic enterprise and warmth increasingly aflame in the song. In the first minute alone, the band shows themselves to have tapped into a new contagious and virulent quality in their music without defusing the emotive intensity and fire that marked out their earlier exploits.

As pop punk in many ways as it is melodic metal and post hardcore crafted, the song continues to stir up appetite and pleasure, It provides a compelling and at times almost hostile anthemic proposal further shaped by the guitar craft of Jamie Townsend and Adam Roberts whilst driven by Danny Dawkins’s addictive beats and led by Ant Jones’ outstanding clean and melodic tones. There is a real maturity to the song which hopefully is a big teaser to the heart of the album to come, and a bold adventure which simply whips up attention.

My Only Home, single, video, and album looks like the moment when Dead Winter reassert themselves as one of Britain’s most exciting and seriously promising propositions.

The single, My Only Home is out April 15th. Check out the video on our Video Selector page.

Pete RingMaster 15/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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New Keepers of the Water Tower – Infernal Machine

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Infernal Machine, the new encounter from Swedish “cosmic rock” band New Keepers of the Water Tower is a concept album based on the classic Joe Haldeman written sci-fi novel The Forever War, a story of an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. Equally, it is a compelling incitement enabling the listener to invent their own dark and highly involved escapades within a musical soundscape which simply stirs the imagination and enslaves ears. It is enjoyably impossible to pin down the Stockholm band’s sound but very easy to suggest that Infernal Machine will become one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed in 2006 as New Keepers, extending the name three years later, the band creates a proposition entwining a tapestry of varied and contrasting flavours with an epic canvas predominantly progressive and space rock bred. As shown by fourth album, Infernal Machine, even that description is a scratch on the surface. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Rasmus Booberg, guitarist Victor Berg, bassist Björn Andersson, keyboardist Adam Forsgren, and drummer Tor Sjödén, New Keepers Of The Water Towers has the ability to transport the imagination into the focus and heart of its theme with its music alone; Infernal Machine their most devilish and sublime success yet.

The album opens with The Forever War, a track luring the listener into the centre of dark times and persistent dangers from its opening sonic pulse. Keys quickly unveil a portentous invitation, rhythms adding an intimidating drama soon after as guitars dangle evocative bait before ears. Then Booberg’s immediately impressing vocals swiftly begin unfurling the track’s rich narrative, his tones mellow and mesmeric whilst the sounds around him are predatory. It is a superbly designed blend of contrasting incitement which simply enthrals as it manipulates the psyche and imagination. At times the track is like a grungy XTC, in other moments a sonically bracing and fascinating merger of King Crimson and KingBathmat like essences, and all the time an absorbing and irresistible entrance into album.

art_RingMasterReviewIts dramatic presence and mighty temptation is matched and pushed further by the gripping adventure of Tracks Over Carcosa next. Initially, it is an echo of a cold and desolate place, a lonely place within whose shadows a pulse beats with increasing relish, emerging to pull the song into a contagious stroll lined with swinging surf rock grooves. Around it a sultry and tantalising atmosphere descends, stirring up even more infectious tenacity in rhythms and melodic enterprise. Hypnotic does not do the track justice; its instrumental air has a cinematic lure and intrigue which you can akin to sixties cold war/spy thrillers and only adding to an impossible to resist alchemy of persuasion.

Towards its departure, the track slips into a solemn noir tinged calm which continues in different form into the following and as thrilling Tachyon Deep. With the returning vocals casting a mist of seducing harmonies as rhythms reveal an almost shamanic nature to their shuffle, the song glides exotically over the senses. Thoughts run through its poetic glade of melodies and vocal caresses, immersing in the scenic expression and spellbinding landscape of the track. That deceptive calm and peace also has hidden dangers, progressively unveiling them with every twist and turn within eventfully its imposing jungle.

Misantropin Kallarv is a brief, relative to the tracks around it, respite to the intensive adventures before and after; like shelter in a soulless building or moment but one which holds secrets behind the turbulence and unrelenting pressure found in the likes of next up Escape Aleph Minor. Its successor also has a less incendiary and demanding nature to its sound and energy but certainly does not lack thick drama in sound and air or the collage of hooks and sonic seduction which incite body and thoughts. From the melodic seduction and discord of guitars and keys to the tribalistic potency of bass and drums, the song is a carousel of suggestiveness.

A slow piano sculpted gait with classical melancholy to its touch ends the track, wistfully floating away into the waiting melodic smoulder of Jorden and a lumbering, emotionally heavy engulfing of ears. More sludge than doom, the track is a rapacious and darkly poetic suffocation of the senses which may not match the impact of others within Infernal Machine but undoubtedly has the imagination conjuring away as eagerly as anywhere upon the album.

The Infernal Machine completes the release; the track with every passing minute growing and evolving whilst providing a kaleidoscope of cosmopolitan and tribalistic incitement. Its repetitious strands and drone like nagging is simply delicious, around them the craft of guitars and lure of sonic imagination mouth-watering as the album ends as majestically and thrillingly as it started. A bass led passage midway of post punk seeded virulence, the cream on the cake of the song.

Infernal Machine has so much for fans of every kind of rock and melodic/progressive metal. Those with the appetite for bands ranging from Pink Floyd and King Crimson to Goblin and The Ocean to Arcade Messiah, to hint at its diverse appeal, will find plenty to devour, though by the middle of its opener the only name on their mind will be New Keepers of the Water Tower.

Infernal Machine is released on 4th March via Listenable Records across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

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Crossing Rubicon – No Less Than Everything


Roaring out of Connecticut, Crossing Rubicon is a band tagged as hard rock but has plenty more to their potent sound as evidenced by new album No Less Than Everything. Entwining incisive strains of metal and variations of classic rock with their own modern rock ‘n’ roll adventure, the Bristol hailing band makes grabbing attention look like child’s play. Their debut full-length is the proof; twelve songs which for the main just leap out. At times they provide a familiar incitement of sound and other moments offer a rich bloom of the uniqueness openly brewing within the band. Throughout though, No Less Than Everything is a sonic charge of passion and craft which demands to be taken notice of.

Since being formed by in 2009 by vocalist Scott Anarchy (Wawrzyniak) when linking up with Pete Ahern (Red China Blue), and soon after drummer Brandi Hood, Crossing Rubicon has been through a few line-up changes whilst emerging as a generally recognised impressive live proposition. Before and since the release of first EP, In Pains Of Sleep in 2012, the five-piece has opened for and shared stages with the likes of Motley Crue, Queensrÿche, Bret Michaels, Tantric In This Moment, Nonpoint, Pop Evil, Saving Abel, Rev Theory and the list goes on. Their live presence has been a reputation building success which, with the band’s potent sound, has ensured No Less Than Everything was a highly anticipated proposition.

Straight from the off, band and release reward that eagerness. The quintet of guitarist/vocalists Zach Lambert and Jesse Near, bassist/vocalist and former All That Remains member Jeanne Sagan, and the pair of Anarchy and Hood, immediately entice ears with Tomorrow Never Comes. Flames of guitar provide the first inviting bait; they quickly joined by punchy beats and a throaty bassline, which in turn welcome the full and quickly impressing tones of Anarchy. Hitting its stride, the thrash tinted, riff driven persuasion has body and appetite hooked, with the imagination gripped by the front man’s rich vocals and emotions grabbed by the great band provided backing vocals and simply the virulent contagion flowing through the opener.

CoverArt_RingMasterReviewA great start is pushed on again by the outstanding Unhinged. Its initial sonic shimmer holds a sinister air which relaxes as the vocals come forward, though the gait and nature of the song remains predatory if skilfully restrained. A mix of vocals, with presumably Sagan one half of the two prong dark temptation alongside Anarchy, adds to the track’s intimidating seduction. It is enthralling stuff which blossoms further as spirals of guitar shared melodic enterprise wraps prowling rhythms, their magnetic alignment ridden by the increasing strength of the fiercely alluring vocals.

Never Again has the hard task of following the great encounter, living up to the demands from its initial lead of Hood’s heavily scything swings before casting its own predacious stalking of the senses. Enticing melodic suggestiveness soon infests the track, though its instincts remain grouchily confrontational before the mellower but still fiery charms of The Fallen and Bittersweet Day step forward. For personal tastes, neither can match up to their predecessors, though both leaves ears involved and satisfaction lively with their accomplished hard rock croon and classic rock blaze respectively.

Grooves create a web of tempting within Cut Deep next, the band weaving alternative metal and stoner-esque spices into the song’s pungent and devilish confrontation of variety soaked rock ‘n’ roll whilst with Who’s Gonna Save You, with a gorgeous growl of bass leading the way, they are back sizing up the listener with a predatory intent. This comes with venomous riffs which crawl through ears and the stirring up of attitude loaded revelry by the ever enjoyable vocals. As for the rhythms, they simply stalk the listener. The track is another major favourite to emerge, especially with the subsequent addition of an exotic mystique courtesy of the guitars, and another of a number of particular pinnacles across No Less Than Everything.

Crossing Rubicon continue to reveal diversity in sound and imagination within the release. Violet Carson reveals itself a track which is almost ritualistic in its dark character and emotive fire whilst Reason to Beg is a slice of sinew sculpted rock ‘n’ roll entangled in searing strands of sonic tenacity and uncompromising attitude, in word and emotion. It would be fair to say that the songs, as the album, create something fresh and fascinating from the use of recognisable flavours on familiar templates at times, but invigorating and enticing it ultimately is as proven again by the classic rock infused, plaintive rumble of Do We Not Bleed and straight after, the similarly woven and magnetic I’m Here. Neither of the pair quite lives up to the major high points of the release, but both potently please before Return to Atlantis brings the album to a close of rich sonic enterprise upon an eighties bred melodic rock landscape.

The track provides an increasingly impressing album with a rich climax summing up all the qualities and infectiousness of the Crossing Rubicon sound and imagination. As the band’s sound evolves, expectations are of bigger and bolder things to build on, what is right now, a thoroughly enjoyable adventure and a thick nudge on the broadest attention, No Less Than Everything.

No Less Than Everything is out now via Pavement Entertainment through most online stores and @

Pete RingMaster 28/02/2016

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Forever Still – Tied Down

Forever Still - Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

As for a great many, Danish rockers Forever Still has been a persistently impressing pleasure through the release of songs and EPs since emerging with their debut release Breaking Free in 2013. Their sound is a virulent fusion of rousing intensity and seductive melodies fuelled by an emotional exploration unafraid to get into the darkest, disturbing corners of life. The last twelve or so months has seen the band working towards the release of their debut album; the release of two of the three EPs making up its strikingly impressive body ripe with the rich qualities which has drawn strong attention the way of the band. With the third offering in the trilogy making its first entrance as part of the new ten track adventure, Tied Down is one thrilling roar of melodic rock from a band destined to major things.

Hailing from Copenhagen, Forever Still revolves around the creative and songwriting union of vocalist Maja Schønning and multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Haastrup. As mentioned, the band first hit ears with their potent debut Breaking Free, subsequently breaching a broader expanse of attention with the following pair of Scars late 2014 and Save Me last April. Those two EPs were the first in the journey to create the band’s first album, the tracks within the two releases making up the first part of Tied Down with that final unreleased EP providing a quartet of new songs to explore and as it turns out, get equally gripped by.

Forever Still Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewTied Down opens with the mighty roar and anthemic insistence of Scars which from the off is a pleasingly unpredictable and ferocious proposal. Additionally featuring Jens Berglid on drums and Dennis Post on guitar, the track immediately presents a grouchy and volatile incitement soaked in the gripping voice and delivery of Schønning. Even having devoured previous releases hungrily, her vocal prowess never fails to impress each and every time and especially shinning and exciting in the album opener backed by the equally dramatic tenacity of Haastrup. Continuing to create an enthralling web of spicy grooves, intensive energy, and a growling resourcefulness as potent as the raw emotion driving the song, the song makes for a formidable start to the album.

The pair of Once Upon A Nightmare and Miss Madness quickly and strongly back it up; the first of the two exploring a slightly mellower landscape but being no less imposing in its emotive flame amidst skilfully evocative textures. Post appears again as bass and guitar collude with a flavoursome electronic enterprise, Schønning standing magnetically astride the tempestuous melodies and dramatic climate escaping song and sound. Almost intrusively majestic, the thick and impassioned encounter makes way for its classically elegant, power balled seeded successor, the song a keys and vocal led beauty skilfully tempered but inflamed further by the moody bass and guitar suggestiveness of Haastrup and Anders Bo Jespersen.

Awake the Fire steps up next, instantly gripping ears and appetite with a tangy groove which in turn sparks an energetic swagger to a boisterous stroll of hefty rock ‘n’ roll cored by a great rolling rhythmic enticement. Post appears again alongside the craft of Haastrup, the pair stirring up air and ears with their almost toxic web of enterprise within a spicy tapestry of melodic incitement and bruising anthem building rhythms. Throughout the album it is easy to suggest Evanescence and Lacuna Coil as hints to what is overall the Forever Still uniqueness in sound, and here Poets Of the Fall also comes to mind briefly as a clue to the melody rich body of the song.

The following Breathe In leaps from a great electronic teasing into a more lively but controlled canter, that early pulsating coaxing still a pungent lure alongside the tempting tones of Schønning and around the tempestuous blazes of sound and energy which erupt to further reward ears. Those rugged squalls also lead to bracing moments of carnivorous aggression with Schønning and band flirting with an Otep like confrontation before the outstanding Save Me takes over. A striking mellow but expectantly inflamed seduction compared to the last song; it is also soaked in emotional turmoil with thunderous tempests of heart and intensity seeded in the poetic melodies and harmonies caressing the imagination. As all tracks, the kaleidoscope of emotion is open; melancholy and despair as ripe as loneliness and hope, love and darkness across Tied Down.

With Anders Bo Jespersen in addition, the first brand new song, Your Light, bounds from a sonic mist with muscular rhythms loaded with punchy beats and a raw edged line of riffs which spark spice heavy grooves and melodic drama. In no time attention and appetite are greedy, especially with the virulent prime hook which connects the calm and more climatic layers of the song. A quick want for more of the band’s new exploits is rife by its end and fed by Alone. Emotively intimate with its first breaths, epically cinematic in a few more, the track continues to impressively entwine both contrasts as an industrial air also invades the thick theatre and sonic beauty of the encounter; the outcome a metal bred Bond theme ready in the waiting.

Break The Glass boldly rumbles as it pulsates next, the bass offering a growling belly to a riveting blend of electronic and melodic expression soon walled by aggravated riffs and speared by whipping beats. Schønning owns the song, as all, from the first second, her tone and presence the puppeteer to the dancing piano crafted melodies and passion rich adventure shaping the increasingly thrilling temptation.

Tied Down is brought to a close by its title track; a song also revealing individual character through a weave of calmly reflective and rigorously forceful endeavour bred in increasingly inventive and infectious ingenuity. It is an epic close to a towering release which even with around half of it strongly familiar through the earlier EPs, makes a major impact reinforced by the creative might of the new tracks.

Forever Still is a giant in waiting with Tied Down the perfect key to force that lock.

Tied Down is available from January 15th through all stores and @

Pete RingMaster 14/01/2016

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Order Of 315 – Antipi


Photo_RingMaster Review

Three years ago French metallers Order of 315 awoke ears and attention with their debut album Near-Birth Experience, a fierce and tenacious offering which only grew in persuasion and stature over time. Now the Paris quartet have returned with its successor Antipi, raising the heat of the qualities and potential found in the first album whilst creating an even more compelling and varied confrontation. Antipi is a rousing incitement and cantankerous roar bred across eleven individual stirring aggravations of sound and imagination. Fair to say the band’s music still wears open inspirations at times but is now really showing its own character whilst unleashing tapestries of varied and aggressively delivered flavours.

Formed in 2010, Order of 315 draw on a host of styles from metalcore and hard-rock to progressive, djent, and alternative-metal; flavours bred in the experiences and tastes of its members with bands such as Black Label Society, Pantera, Machine Head, Slipknot, Stone Sour, Five Finger Death Punch, and Korn amongst individual sparks to their sound and imagination. The 2012 released Near-Birth Experience earned strong attention and acclaim from certainly the metal underground and media with its striking tempest, its seeds now blossoming into the creative voracity that is Antipi. The new album is more brutal yet equally richer in melodic tempting and certainly a more atmospherically volatile confrontation around a heart feverish in its resourcefulness.

Cover_RingMaster ReviewAntipi opens with A Slap On The Wrist and an initial sample stroked by an innocence drenched, single strand melody. It caresses the imagination, awakening ears ready for the swift assault on the senses of jagged riffs, beefy rhythms, and the instantly recognisable and welcome grizzly tones of Edgar Jabberwocky. His voice and delivery is a mighty lure alone easily igniting a pleased reaction in ears to match that being sparked by the growing rabid swing and antagonistic rumble of the sounds around him. The song is bullish rock ‘n’ roll, an easy anthem to get eager teeth into and a hungry appetite from, both fed with every passing swell of bruising enticement.

It is an outstanding start to the album quickly continued by Telescope. From its first groaning breath the track is a more imposing and intrusive proposition with the rhythms of drummer Pablo Civil unruly in their skilled design. Aligned to the predacious air of Grm Lecouflet’s bass, they make for a hostile yet gripping frame entwined by the thick winy grooves of Klaus Kersey, his guitar just as magnetic in primal riffery and sonic enterprise too. As with its predecessor, the track has hips violently gripped with its swinging challenge and ears hooked by its rapacious sound, Jabberwocky leading the incitement as masterfully as ever before The Feather Factor takes over with its industrial metal breeding and groove meets heavy/alternative metal tempestuousness. Subsequent switches into melodic flames bring a relatively undefined familiarity to things but only adds to the thick and captivating drama unfolding within ears.

Without quite finding the same dynamic impact as the first tracks, Abelian still keeps satisfaction fully whetted with its spidery melodic enterprise around a fierce tempest of a heart whilst the following Meiosis almost beats pleasure from the senses with the brutal rapier swings of Civil, though the atmospheric melodies, scything sonic trespasses, and unpredictable landscape of the assault are just as thickly tempting and alluring. Once more there is something recognisable in the spicing of the song but warped perfectly by its great bedlamic nature.

A creative composure lines Rumble Fish, the bass of Lecouflet a prowling protagonist leading the listener into the awaiting animus of the song. It never breaks its pleasing chains though, hinting and provoking with subtlety and atmospheric imagination whilst showing more of the growth in songwriting and maturity of the Order Of 315 sound, something clear across the whole of the album and indeed next up Data Warfare with its Korn meets Bloodsimple like turbulence with just a touch of Fear Factory adventure to it all.

Both the magnetically wiry Greyscale and the senses enveloping Densen keep things mean and keen; the first an inflamed mix of heavy metal and alternative rock as flirtatious as it is menacing whilst its successor crawls through ears with a slight but definite salacious sway to its evocative and intensive rock ‘n’ roll design. Both carry an attitude and hearty intimidation which, with the sonic imagination, sparks a want for more, a success just as easily drawn by the spiralling textures of Unperfect Circles. The track perpetually winds around the senses, the guitars especially influential in tempting out lusty enjoyment.

Drone brings Antipi to an end, the track a tangle of sonic craft and expression ridden by the brawly tones of Jabberwocky amidst a rhythmic tempest. Though in some ways the song takes longer to get to grips with, it is a fine end to another thrilling offering from Order Of 315. To be picky, there is a slight diminishing of unpredictability towards the rear of the release, until the final encounter anyway, but each track only ignites body and imagination to declare Order Of 315 one of the potent fresh roars within the metal scene.

Antipi is available now through numerous online stores.

Pete RingMaster 21/12/2015

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MACHINÆ – Clockwork

machinae-clockworks-promo_RingMaster Review

A breath or two over a year since first emerging upon the Finnish metal scene, MACHINÆ make a broader and richer introduction to their melodic metal exploits with debut album Clockwork. Given its global release via Concorde Music Company barely two weeks after a successful unveiling in the quintet’s homeland, the album is a fascinating and captivating encounter making a persuasion that builds and then lingers rather than providing an immediately explosive one. From start to finish though, Clockwork tantalises and entices with its imaginative weave of potently varied flavours within a metal bred rock ‘n’ roll landscape.

Formed by guitarist/keyboardist Eriksson and drummer Romppanen, MACHINÆ took their first step as a full band on Halloween 2014, swiftly getting into the creation of their first album thereafter. Potent teasers in the shape of singles/videos Never Coming Back and Frozen Ground earlier this year ignited great anticipation for Clockwork and now here, fair to say it delivers a highly enjoyable and imaginatively accomplished incitement. Covering themes ranging from “death, independence, and an overall tone of overcoming hardships”, the self-financed and self-produced album is merges aggressive and seductive contrasts within an often tempestuous canvas. As if bred on the melodic/progressive prowess of Amorphis, the epic and industrial intensity of Rammstein, and the emotive resourcefulness of Poets Of The Fall, the album persistently entangles ears and imagination in its creative drama to leave satisfaction full.

machinae-clockwork_RingMaster ReviewDestroy And Rebuild starts things off, raw riffs and rhythms colluding with theatre laced enterprise spread quickly by the keys and guitars of Eriksson and Karenko. Enveloping ears with thick tempting from the start, the song’s energy relaxes a touch as the clean tones of Piipponen step forward, though beside him the carnivorous tone of Kauppinen’s bass ensures dark intimidation is still a prowling feature. Throaty growls add to the mix too as the swinging swipes of drummer Romppanen drive and shape the great volatility at the heart of the song. It is a great proposal epitomises things to come; the track not sending the senses and passions spinning but perpetually working away on them to emerge a long term and increasingly persuasive proposition.

The gripping Never Coming Back comes next; keys straight away hugging ears with lively yet shadow hued melodies as the vocals paint an evocative portrait of paranoia and the tragic outcome it leads to. As throughout the release, the song carries a familiarity which adds spice to the highly agreeable mix whilst its raw and bracing textures wake and hold attention as potently as the enterprise colouring their confrontation.

Barely a breath is allowed between tracks, This Will Be The Day emerging from the final release of sonic air out of its predecessor, instantly casting a folkishly melodic and engaging coaxing evolving into brewing angst and the intensity of the song. Its light might darken in the process but the track also unveils eager infectiousness and a similar welcoming glow from the keys which tempers that Poets Of The Fall like melancholy.

Across the quartet of songs so far, the album shows distinct diversity within its imagination, and continues to spread those wings through the brooding gothic croon of Casualties and the haunting air of Frozen Ground. The first of the two embraces symphonic and grouchily predacious elements whilst its successor blossoms a provocative electronic expression aligned with a gnarly touch and at times intent.

From a warm reflective smoulder to a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar simplifies but gives a glimpse of the heart of Into light whilst Falling One By One weaves a tenaciously sculpted tapestry of sultry keys and hungry riffery around the enjoyable variety in vocal delivery and imagination colouring the song’s contagious body. It is an enticement and virulence echoed within Forever, where, not for the first time within Clockwork, there are certainly parts closely similar to others in the other songs but skilfully nurtured to positive effect in the emerging individualism of again an inescapably enjoyable encounter.

MACHINÆ continue to please and intrigue with their craft and imaginative songwriting as Almost Human Doll and Don’t Get Used To This provide eventful and unpredictable exploits, the latter especially riveting and anthemically incendiary before making way for the magnetic Blank Canvas which brings the album to a musically and melodically evocative close, with a contrasting snarl or two included.

Clockwork is not an album which left ears and thoughts awe struck, though thorough enjoyment was an easy conquest, but each song and moment offered something adventurous and sparked an appetite to explore the band more now and across future releases.

Clockwork is out now via Concorde Music Company.

Pete RingMaster 08/12/2015

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Mercutio – Back To Nowhere

mercutio shot 1_RingMaster Review

It might not have the passions always ablaze throughout the length of its certainly compelling body, but Back To Nowhere, the debut album from Mercutio is a new acquaintance you only want to get to know better and of its creators, more about. The twelve track encounter is a tapestry of varied flavours and perpetually enticing enterprise with something for all varied tastes. At times it embraces a metal breeding, others moments a diverse rock seeding, whilst across its twelve tracks a host of other styles and flavours are zealously infused and entwined into its theatrical and fascinating adventure. The result in a collection of songs which raise the passions in varying degrees but all entice and captivate as they make up one thoroughly enjoyable proposition.

Italy hailing and now London based, the quartet of vocalist Mirko Petrini, guitarist Fabio Staffieri, bassist Emanule Nazzaro, and drummer Francesco Lucidi since forming in 2011, has increasingly garnered a potent following and reputation on the UK scene with their progressive weave of sound, earning supporters in the likes of Anna Phoebe and the Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwin amongst a growing legion of fans along the way. Recorded with Andy Wright [Jeff Beck/Simple Minds] at the Assault & Battery Studio in London, with Gianluca Cucchiara co-producing, Back To Nowhere is the band’s strong and inviting nudge on broader attention and keener spotlights with a rich personality to back it up.

It opens up with Shed Your Skin, instantly soaking ears in drama and awakening the imagination with its opening build of sinister sound around the instantly alluring tones of Petrini. Just as quickly, the track unveils a bubbly funk underbelly to a brooding union of riffs, voice, and rhythms. Reminding of UK band Japanese Fighting Fish, it is a gripping entrance by song and release which only increases in persuasion as things get more creatively agitated and atmospherically darker, as well as virulently tempting. Within this the bass growls seductively as drums lay down anthemic bait, around both the guitar painting a suggestive proposal lit by the excellent vocals. Ravenous metal, heavy rock, avant-garde mischief, and indie enterprise is all in there with other hues equally catching ears and imagination alight.

Packshot BTN_RingMaster Review   The following album title track is as rousing and inventively exhilarating in its individual way, opening on a rock ‘n roll stomp before casting a weave of electronic and melodic rock endeavour gripped by the just as dramatic but controlled vocals. Its heart is warm and air symphonically painted with melodies that entangle the senses with emotive prowess, though shadows are always a constant flirtation too as things build to small and harmonic but potent crescendos throughout before A Part Of Me lays a calm acoustic hand on ears. Melancholic with an air of the ever present drama in songwriting and sound, the song is an increasingly bewitching offering which certainly is enjoyable on the first listen but something to get more enamoured with over every subsequent listen.

The flirtatious Anytime with its emotive breath within rugged rhythmic scenery forges a similar engagement next, its classic and melodic rock enterprise given greater potency by the rousing exploits of the rhythms, whilst Fake unleashes another ridiculously infectious and instinctively off-kilter treat to match the opener. At times Mercutio create sound and imagination that stalks the listener, a mix of flirtation and intimidating in the invention which here courts strands of alternative metal and darkly bred rock ‘n’ roll with bands like Pryapisme and Toumaï coming to mind. It is a trespass of sonic intrigue which, as in most songs, leads to catchy embraces of energy and tempting posing as a chorus.

The reflective balladry of No Compromise is a warmly engaging proposal next, its emotive hues wrapped in summery spices keeping satisfaction high even if it is still over shadowed by its predecessor. Nevertheless with a delicious stringed embrace and the ever impressing vocals of Petrini, pleasure is a sure thing and back in torrents through the voracious shuffle and invention of Hail The Night. Again Japanese Fighting Fish is the closest to describe the robust imagination and draw of the track, a dash of 6:33 and Faith No More also adequate hints to the rich and provocative rock ‘n roll courting ears.

Featuring an appearance by Colin Edwin, In Front of you romances and captivates next with a carousel of vibrant melodic invention which works its way to an even more thrilling stretch of rap/alternative metal where Skindred meets Muse might be a good comparison. The song just gets bolder and more unpredictable with each passing minute, its theatre engrossing and matched by the smouldering allure of Mother, another song growing into its skin and exciting ears more over numerous plays. In contrast the fuzzy triumph of Set Me Free has body and emotions enlisted in its volatile and invigorating stomp from the first breath, a tinge of grunge aligned to Queens Of The Stone Age spicing its boisterous nature for another pinnacle within Back To Nowhere.

Straight after The Ghost That Is You casts a more restrained and atmospheric roar of sound but one with tempestuousness to its emotion and invention which soon gets under the skin and leaves a healthy appetite just a touch more greedy before Reasons To Erase brings it all to a jazz/funk/classic rock swinging close. Some tracks hit the sweet spot straight away and others take longer to ignite a similar reaction, but ultimately all do as with the final track which despite some sensational moments steals most full admiration over a host of pleasing plays.

As suggested earlier with Back To Nowhere, Mercutio provides something for everyone with plenty of just as flavoursome sounds and moments to back each aspect up; at times they make you lustful for the album, other times just leave you fully content, but throughout the band inspire a want to hear more and more…

Back To Nowhere is out now via Diverge Records through most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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