Arkdown – The Calling

Having already teased acclaim and attention with their debut EP a couple of years back, UK metallers Arkdown give them a real shove with its successor, The Calling. Unleashing five uncompromising, seriously predacious cuts of metalcore seeded hostility as stylish as they are rabid the new EP is the declaration of a band ready to take on all comers.

Cast in the steel of their hometown Sheffield hailing Arkdown has been on a steady ascent through the British metal ranks since emerging in 2015. The well received EP, Path, lit up the underground metal scene with its 2016 release whilst live the band’s reputation has only risen as alongside their own shows they have shared stages with the likes of Fit for an Autopsy, Oceans Ate Alaska, Martyr Defiled, Kingdom of Giants, A Night in Texas, and Shields. The Calling is their next bold and impressive step and challenge to the higher echelons of the British metal frontline and further afield.

Though metalcore based, the Arkdown sound is a rich union of flavours, death and melodic metal colluding with rapacious grooves and merciless aggression across that instinctive bed. It makes for tracks which even as they directly assault equally fester in the imagination all twisting and turning with imaginative adventure as quickly shown by EP opener, Wake Up. The initial calm of its intro is soon squashed under the following weight of riffs and rhythms from which vocalist Kyle Dawson enticingly scowls and the guitars of Mike Dyson and Mike Walker spin senses ensnaring webs of antipathy wired with fine melodic thread. Swiftly a diversity of sound and vocal attack mingle in the outstanding trespass leaving ears ringing and pleasure greedily rising.

The following It Calls Me instantly wraps the listener in spirals of contagiously intrusive grooving, the swinging beats of Alex Roberts taking skilled pot shots as again the throat raw variety coated assault of Dawson erupt in animosity and magnetism. With the eager yet brooding basslines of Ed Morley as potent as the invasive enterprise of the guitars, the track grabs best track honours as it further ignited the passions before Mirrors embraces the senses in its own infectious guitar wiring as winds of discontent and dark reflection ravage. As its predecessors, the track is a captivating roar of craft and enterprise built on an array of individual agility and as those before, another mighty reason to devour the Arkdown sound.

The closing pair of Five Years and Falling brings the EP to a rousing close. The first is a sonic wrath within a cauldron of melodic intensity, uncaging grooves and sonic rancor with an intrusive yet deft hand whilst its successor while being the calmest moment within The Calling, indeed a haunting seduction of imagination, it is also a tempest of conflict and venomous ideation as mercurial and volatile as it is tantalising.

Giving five tracks which increasingly fascinate as they corrode the senses, The Calling is a striking and increasingly irresistible encounter from a band surely poised to stir up real fuss with their dynamic, dramatic and deviously compelling sound.

The Calling is out Friday 2nd November.

 https://www.facebook.com/ArkdownOfficial/   https://www.instagram.com/arkdown.official/   https://twitter.com/ArkdownOfficial

Pete RingMaster 31/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Arcaeon – Balance EP

Sometimes a debut comes along which sets you back on your heels and forcibly drags a declaration of “something special and its creators heading towards making a major impact”. British metallers Arcaeon has unveiled one of those moments with the Balance EP. It presents five tracks of the band’s striking sound, a fusion of melodic metalcore with groove, progressive, and technical metal. It is an equal mix of all living up to the EP’s title with even more to captivate ears and imagination with. Quite simply it is superb and from a band still to complete its first year which only adds to the excitement and anticipation of things ahead.

Hailing from Reading, the quintet has already earned keen plaudits from sharing stages with the likes of Devil Sold His Soul, The Voynich Code, and The Arusha Accord, and can expect a tide of more with the release of Balance which they are planning to support with a UK tour.

It opens with Endeavour, slipping in on a melodic shimmer flickering with crystalline melodies. Rhythms occasionally break the calm, laying intent for the following web of grooves and vocals growls to emulate. Already a nest of progressive and technical metal rapacity, the track envelops the raw throated throes of vocalist William Alex Young though in quick time he shows his dexterity in warm and melodic expression potently backed by the vocal harmonies of guitarist Sam Machin. In turn his and the enterprise of fellow guitarist Rhys Thomas weaves even greater drama and technical adventure, the track evolving by the twist and turn into a mouth-watering unpredictable treat.

It is an ear and imagination stirring start which still gets eclipsed by the following Fade. With predacious beats from Joe Farrell stalking an electric tease, the song is soon a jungle of grooves, melodic tendrils, and invasive rhythms led by the compelling groan of Eifion Sweet’s bass. The song’s initial growl mellows out as Young swings from his raw attack to warm emotions, melodic radiance twinkling within the heavier grooved netting. As with its predecessor, things barely settle for more than a few breaths before fresh turns are made, the individual craft of the band as gripping as their united mastery and exploration of their sound and songwriting. It is less of an examination than the previous track but still nurturing some moments of almost primal creative hunger before Mind’s Eye takes over twisting the senses.

The third track arrives on sonic mist, but soon enveloping ears in a web of thick wiry grooves as melodic crystals glitter. The beguiling landscape soon welcomes Young’s mellow touch which almost as quickly breeds grouchier textures; a move echoed in the ever mercurial flight of sound. With jazzier hues and caustic ferocity blossoming across its fascinating landscape, the track is a relentless temptation on its way towards the EP’s pinnacle, Dysaxis. The outstanding track leaps upon the senses from an industrial scented lead, vocals and riffs digging in their aggressive claws as grooves invades and rhythms badger. It is a metalcore bred insurgency which effortlessly dips into a siren-esque progressive detour, the track returning to its predatory intent with greater groove and alternative metal enterprise to the fore. Each following cycle brings a fresh shade of flavour and invention, and all nagging the senses and passion with an insatiable appetite.

Legacies completes the line-up, its melodic beauty a swift wash of endeavour matched by the warmth of vocals. Though less tempestuous than its companions and especially its predecessor, the track has a fire in its belly and a lingering rage on its lips which erupts to break the gossamer hued climate. Ensuring the EP ends on a matching high to its beginnings, the song epitomises the skilled almost majestic weave Arcaeon casts in each and every track.

Balance is a magnet for ears and pleasure, and quite easy to suggest the first outstanding steps of a band already walking the lips of special.

The Balance EP is released January 26th @ https://arcaeon.bandcamp.com/album/balance

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

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Skies In Motion – Life Lessons

It is probably fair to say that there are a couple of metal bred flavours we are finding ourselves uninspired by at The RR right now, metalcore being one. There are plenty of good and enjoyable bands emerging within the genre but few which truly break from the familiar and creatively routine. UK outfit Skies In Motion is one which defies that thought especially with their new debut album Life Lessons now leading their persuasion.  It is a ferocious magnetic collection of songs as irritable and aggressive as they are creatively and melodically captivating. Certainly plenty of its appeal is down to striking potential but equally there is an imagination and enterprise at play which only excites.

Hailing from Derby, Skies In Motion stepped forward in 2012 and has increased their reputation year on year  with their live presence alone which has seen them share stages with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, While She Sleeps, Unearth, Slaves , Skindred, Don Broco, Our Hollow Our Home, Gnarwolves and many more. Their initial sound was more hardcore driven though still embracing melodic strains. Life Lessons merges those flavours with its metalcore instincts, resulting in an assault which at times maybe embraces familiar essences but is a relentlessly fresh and intriguing proposition.

The press release for the album suggests bands such as While She Sleeps and Architects are good comparisons and it is not too hard going along with that as opener Architect bites. It initial melodic invitation is a deceit giving no suggestion of the creative carnage to follow though it is not long before an invasion of riffs and rhythms accompany enticing throat raw vocals. Intrigue is quickly gripped and fed as the track evolves into successor Cascades where djent spice predation is followed by hardcore causticity and metal antagonism, vocalist Adam Connor tenaciously riding the tempest. It is a stirring mix which welcomingly infests ears and appetite, the rhythms of bassist Dan Wheeler and drummer Sam Gaines continuing the predatory invasion as guitarists Dave Stewart and Andy Shaw weave a carnal tempest of craft and temptation. Connor is as striking as the sounds around him, the diversity of his attack thoroughly enjoyable and as potently backed by those around him.  There is also infectiousness to the track which borders on poppy, a catchiness which never undermines the ferocity.

The following Realizationship is similarly woven if even more irritable and too a web of seduction and sonic violence which never stops twisting and turning within its storm. The song lacks the final striking essences of its predecessor yet with teasing grooves and fury loaded flames of melody it masterfully hits the spot and an imagination already submissive to the inventively evolving landscapes the band shares within songs.

Another plateau is breached by next up Happy Families, its stabbing riffs and wiry tendrils an instant trap to fall into which only tightens as steely grooves and rabid riffs join rapacious rhythms and a virulence of contagious antics. Connor impressively leads into and drives the chorus of vocal spirit, sound relaxing a touch to embrace the infectious roar though that moment of unity is surrounded by a compelling net of discord and unpredictability. The track is superb and another reason to suggest Skies in Motion is a real force in the making.

Learn The Hard Way is next, its grooved body a fiery cauldron of sound and emotion with some of the most delicious melodic and harmonic lures heard in a fair time while the following Ugly lives up to its name in tone though it too has a swing and exhaustive rigour which simultaneously incites and devours the body. Both songs reveal more of the bands craft in writing and performance, the latter simply a beast of cyclonic contagion to become increasingly greedy for even before Finding Myself Lost has the chance to stamp its intense authority over the senses. It is fair to say that some tracks, like this one, needs time to truly appreciate; to explore and discover its deep qualities beneath a surface which pleasures if not overwhelms though truthfully every song has a wealth of adventure ready to share with increasing listens.

Both the carnivorous Sword Swallower and the emotively conjured Gonvena provide a mercurial adventure of sound and imagination, the first a savage turbulence which flows into an emotionally acute oasis of calm while the second goes from poetic beauty and melodic reflection to blistering intensity. The second is especially bewitching, Connor further impressing with his melodic prowess and the band with its fluidity through extremely contrasting climates.

When Home Feels Distant (And Distance Feels Like Home) lacks some of the captivation and adventure of the previous two but still has ears gripped and pleasure lit with its Avenged Sevenfold spiced tapestry, next up Five Years finding the same success with its own heart bred tempest of sound and raw aggression. It too misses some of the keen ingredients of earlier encounters but leaves satisfaction full and a want for more, hungrier.

Concluding with Hopebringer, another track which needs time to blossom into a fascinating and invasive fury of sound and potential, Life Lessons needs no help in luring ears and attention back again and indeed again. It is a debut which more than suggests, actually declares Skies In Motion as a band able to bring a fresh breath to the hardcore/metalcore scene. Whether they can live up to its potential time will tell but we would not bet against it.

Life Lessons is out now @ http://skiesinmotionuk.bigcartel.com/product/pre-order-life-lessons-albumu

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

Pete RingMaster 14/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dream Awake – Don’t Hold Your Breath

An encounter which persists with its persuasion after making a pretty strong first impression, growing in thoughts and enjoyment all the time, Don’t Hold Your Breath is the sophomore EP from Northern Ireland melodic metalcore quintet Dream Awake. The successor to their well-received debut of a couple of years ago, Pathfinder, the five track offering is a potent new step in the ascent of the Belfast band.

Recorded with producer Daniel Kerr of Avenue Studios (Our Hollow Our Home, Create To Inspire, Shields), Don’t Hold Your Breath certainly provided an attention grabbing first listen initially though its real strengths taking it out of the crowd were not so imposing. Subsequent outings with its melody rich and threateningly aggressive enterprise gave the time to discover a real depth in adventure and creative resourcefulness. There are moments in which the EP fails to escape familiar traits among genre companions but even those times are built with a potential of greater and bolder individuality.

It begins with the ear grabbing The Weathering, a track featuring the guest talent of Napoleon vocalist Wes Thompson. Its atmospheric opening is soon vined by Chris Byrne’s suggestive guitar and subsequently immersed in the volatile tide of rhythmic thunder and vocal causticity. The raw throated roar of David Houston is in turn replaced by the excellent clean tones of guitarist Conor Kelly, a calmer presence in the growing tempest where the bass of Craig Leetch springs a bassline which swings around ears and appetite while the beats of drummer Daniel Kelly manage to share the fierce touch of the song’s irritability and the tempering touch of melody. Even Kelly’s warmer delivery has a fire in its belly at times and put all together it is a magnetic affair which only further impresses with every listen.

The following Mind’s Eye tempts with a melodic enticing before its wave of adventure surges through ears; again warm and harsher textures colluding in the persuasion. As Byrne’s strings dazzle, Kelly’s voice is a magnet with the dirty throat grazing of Houston a predacious element in the fire. Swiftly the track outshines its predecessor, finding uniqueness in craft and magnetism which was a touch more latent in the song before. Its roar continues to seduce and challenge bringing a greedier appetite to the fore for the EP’s tempting before Cataclysm comes at ears from a distance with gusto and a web of sonic intrigue. The guitars cast a web of suggestiveness as rhythms prowl, the scowls of Houston lyrically and emotionally scar the senses and as keys add their grace, a Linkin Park like tempting blossoms to lace the arising metalcore tempest with further imagination; the track, as the last outshone the first, out burning the second.

T.O.D. descends on the senses with rapacious intent and tenacity next, guitars and vocals offering a flavoursome mix of design and intensity with the guest vocals of Christina Rotondo bringing extra beauty to the seduction. Though arguably not as bold musically as the songs before it, the track sizzles on the ear before making way for the concluding throes of Heavy Heart. Again an atmospheric, almost haunting start has the imagination swiftly engaged, its suggestiveness continuing as a volatile climate erupts. For personal tastes, the track does not build on its great start as successfully as it might though there are certain moments where it is a magnet. Nevertheless it makes for an enjoyable end to a release as suggested grows with every listen.

Dream Awake has not quite established their full individual character of sound yet but the potent signs are there within their new EP. With a bolder adventure in the writing and maybe greater diversity in the still pleasing attack of Houston, you can expect the five-piece to turn their undoubted potential into genre pushing success and hopefully with plenty more fiercely pleasing outings like Don’t Hold Your Breath along the way.

Don’t Hold Your Breath is released August 18th

http://www.dreamawake.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/dreamawakeofficial/    https://twitter.com/dreamawakeni/

Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

First Signs Of Frost – The Shape Of Things To Come

Pic Ben Ashton

The Shape Of Things To Come is the first EP since British rock band First Signs Of Frost emerged from a hiatus a couple of years back; its title as much a declaration of the fresh blossoming sound and creative chapter within the band as the themes it explores across five absorbing tracks.

Formed in 2004, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Owen Hughes-Holland, guitarist Adam Mason, drummer Will Gates, and bassist Dan Oehlman grabbed keen attention with their debut EP, In Our Final Chapter. 2007 saw Daniel Tompkins join up as lead vocalist before the acclaimed release of first album Atlantic and a period see the band play alongside the likes of Deaf Havana, Enter Shikari, Architects, You Me At Six, We Are The Ocean, Senses Fail, Devil Sold His Soul and many more. Before the fuss had settled around the release, Tompkins left to join TesseracT. His departure left a gap the band struggled to fill; thus their hiatus until Hughes-Holland resurrected the band in 2015. Linking up with Mason again as well as bassist Andy C Saxton (ex-Cry For Silence), vocalist Daniel Lawrence (ex-Kenai / All Forgotten), and drummer Alex Harford, the London quintet immediately sought to explore and push their sound to new imaginative heights with The Shape Of Things To Come the first glimpse of their success.

Immersing inspirations from the likes of Deftones, Tool, Further Seems Forever, and Glassjaw into their invention, First Signs Of Frost swiftly lures ears with opener Meat Week. Its atmospheric calm is a quick enticement, the gentle caress of guitar a matching lure before the brooding air also there sparks a bolder expulsion of sound. Lawrence’s vocals immediately impress, his melodic expression matched by the colluding warm and wiry textures of the sounds around him. An infectious energy is equally as persuasive within the song, every element bold without being forceful but making a strongly emotive and technically alluring temptation on ears and imagination.

The following White Flag potently backs up the great start; its enterprise similarly resourceful and ear catching without making over aggressive trespasses upon the senses. There is elegance to the First Signs Of Frost sound which charms as the craft of the individuals captivates; again making for a gentle almost smouldering seduction carried in a contagious and skilfully conjured proposal.

Latest single Look Alive Sunshine is next up with its own individual melodic rock venture veined by djent scented progressive metal intricacies. There is jaggedness which bites as the vocals and melodies hug the senses; a union which grips and lingers even if the song just fails to touch the plateau of its predecessors before the evocative climate and atmospheric ambience of Atlantis drifts in with the superb vocals of Lawrence and keys to the fore. An instinctive emotional intensity rises within the song, simmering down again before repeating its cycle within the graceful serenade.

The EP closes with Sharks; it too an initially serene coaxing but one soon revealing its djent nurtured teeth and creative volatility within a subsequent sea of melodic and technical but emotionally inflamed tranquillity. It is a fine end to a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable release. The Shape Of Things To Come feels like the first step towards something bigger and bolder but is a full pleasure in its own right; a mix which makes First Signs Of Frost a band which just has to be followed closely.

The Shape Of Things To Come is out now via Basick Records and available @ https://basick.supplies/collections/first-signs-of-frost or http://music.basickrecords.com/album/the-shape-of-things-to-come

https://www.facebook.com/FSOFofficial/

Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deference – False Awakening

Increasingly compelling, False Awakening is the new EP from British metallers Deference. A maelstrom of ravenous textures and flavours caught in an equally imposing web of emotion, the release not only forcibly pleases ears but also suggests this is a band with the potential to be a big part of the UK metal scene.

Coming from Southampton, Deference weave in inspirations from the likes of Architects, Northlane, Periphery, and Oh Sleeper into their tapestry of melody rich metalcore with djent and progressive metal tendencies. The quintet has been climbing the ladder with a rapid ascent in recent times, the release of 2015 debut EP XXXVII and live successes alongside bands such as Rolo Tomassi, Napoleon, The Hell, and Shields as well as a European Tour with True Lie all increasing their reputation. False Awakening is a creative echo of an outfit ready to break into national recognition, the next unavoidable step for a band beginning to make their potent mark.

The release opens with Scavengers. A steely shimmer initially coaxes ears, senses strapping riffs soon following as rhythms and guitars grumble around the plaintive vocal roar of Rob Lea. That djent styled essence is equally as swift infecting song and satisfaction, the guitars of Matt Dennison and Jonathan Prince creating a spiky attitude and touch in their emerging weave of enterprise. Strapped to the muscular grouch of Shaun Kirtland’s bass and the animosity loaded swings of drummer Mike Hill, the track is a formidable introduction to the EP; not necessarily unique but relentlessly exhilarating.

The might start slips away to be replaced by the instantly ravenous Insomnia; its immediate wall of sonic trespass the bed for melodic and technical dexterity to blossom. It is an intriguing mixture which takes longer to ignite the imagination than its predecessor’s tempest but grows into a rich captivation especially as raw and aggression vocal contemplations are joined by an impressive clean delivery from Lea, Dennison adding his potent vocal backing throughout. Persistently turbulent across its vociferous landscape, a tempestuous climate equally as open in the track’s mellower melancholy thick yet stark moments, the song has the imagination as gripped as ears throughout.

New single Departure follows, growing from another solemn but engaging melody equipped peace with keys colouring its atmospheric questioning before again vocal and sonic volatility takes hold and seize the moment. As another maze of sound and invention descends, Deference reinforce the potency of their  presence and creative dexterity, the song shifting through numerous cycles all capturing the imagination if again with increasing persuasion rather than an immediate one though indeed its first listen or two leaves pleasure alive.

The EP’s title track has an almost carnal air and character as it ravages the senses straight away, an antipathy which rather than diminishes simply expands its scope as clean vocals and melodic endeavour gets involved in the volcanic explosion. The track is superb, unpredictable yet with plenty of familiar spices only adding to its impressive blaze of sound and emotive exploration. Rabid and composed, vicious and seductive, the track is a collision of extremes and imagination breeding a mighty storm again fusing varied metal bred hues in its cataclysmic squall.

The release closes with Become Death Part 2, an initially gentle melodic romancing of the senses around a vocal sample. As destructive elements fall upon the calm, the song is fallout of corroded beauty, an epochal epilogue to the EP’s themes looking at “a man-made apocalyptic world.”

The buzz is that Deference is ready to take their place to the fore of the UK metal scene; whether it is sooner or later it is expected success backed up by False Awakening and its striking contents.

The False Awakening EP is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/WeAreDeference/    https://twitter.com/DeferenceMusic   https://deference.bandcamp.com/releases

Pete RingMaster 05/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Forever In Depths – Darkness EP

FID_RingMasterReview

We are not going to claim that British melodic metalcore quintet Forever In Depths is going to be the next big thing within the genre but the fact that their new EP, Darkness, keeps drawing us back into its creative fury tells of their potential. The Portsmouth band offers three new songs which seize attention and whip up a keen appetite for their provocations. Admittedly there are times where they also reveal the issues of a band still developing, honing, and evolving their sound yet if we claimed any left us flat on enjoyment and intrigue we would be sharing lies.

Formed in 2011 as Where’s The Addiction, the south coast band quickly built up a strong and loyal local fan base encouraged further by the release of debut EP, The Lost And Found, the following year. Live Forever In Depths has made a strong mark too whilst sharing stages with bands such as Networks and Cardinal Bay as well as playing festivals like Butserfest. Now attempting to lure broader attention, the Darkness EP is ready to grab a new flock of ears with success easy to see coming.

It opens with The Storm which creeps up on the senses through a slim sonic mist before leaping boldly with evocative melodies around heavily striding rhythms and riffs. Soon showing its carnivorous side as guitars create a tempest of angular sonic stabs and challenging grooves amidst rhythmic and riff bred animosity, band and track tear and bite at the senses. The vocals of Jake Hale match their assault in raw dexterity, though his assault is tempered by the excellent clean vocal persuasion of guitarist Anthony Chantrey whose craft on strings, as too that of fellow guitarist Danny Marenghi, creates a cauldron of enterprise and imposing adventure. Unpredictability is as open as expectation feeding textures and ideas whilst some of the imaginative twists and turns are a touch clunky at times yet the song only feeds a swiftly growing appetite and enjoyment of its impressive challenge.

Darkness-Cover_RingMasterReviewThe EP’s title track comes next, featuring Luke Boyle within its own tempestuous assault on the senses. Driven by the shuddering swings of Luke Gillies and the predatory tone and gait of George Blake’s bass, the track is a bestial confrontation and equally a melodic seduction through the clean vocals of Chantrey and the atmospheric caresses of keys. The former dominates for the main yet never defuses or threatens the suggestiveness and potent presence of the latter; the band skilfully ensuring their clarity is a shared success.

Behind Our Eyes brings the EP to a fiercely engaging conclusion, its initial melodic coaxing soon boiling with vocal and rhythmic ire, though again without overwhelming the almost poetic lure of melodies. The contrast between the raw and harmonic vocals is a powerful success, the variety of the first ensuring it is more than just a dark and light shade within similarly contrasting sounds. It is something which shines in all tracks but is especially potent in the third alongside the classically hued keys and the expressive ambience lining the track.

It is a fine end to a release which seems to only grow stronger and more revealing with every listen. Forever In Depths feels like they are still in the relatively early stages of their growth but their potential is clear and suggesting the real possibility of potent times ahead for them and their fans.

The Darkness EP is released April 29th

https://www.facebook.com/ForeverInDepthsBand

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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