Down To The Bunker – Misery

A growling, snarling beast of a release, Misery is the debut album from Swiss quintet Down To The Bunker and an encounter which marks them out as one richly promising, indeed already impressive proposition. Offering up nine tracks of alt metal predation merged with heavy rock contagion and hardcore dissonance it all delivered with potent technical prowess and an uncaged heart, the release is one wake-up call to and declaration of intent from one rather exciting outfit.

Formed in 2012, the Genève hailing band has worked through years of line-up instability as it searched for the right personnel. It is a time though the band equally used to explore and hone a sound which is as unpredictable as it is varied and adventurous. A self-titled EP in 2015 drew keen attention though its support live was a struggle with again a changing line-up trespassing the next steps for Down To The Bunker. Now though things seem to have settled and with the band’s strongest line-up to date, the stability relishing result being the striking Misery.

Embracing a sound which sees the likes of Tool, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Meshuggah, Gojira, Promethee, and Code Orange amongst its inspirations, Misery is an album which arouses as it challenges. Almost every moment has attention glued to its lures, the thrill of the unexpected rearing its head throughout an encounter which twists the familiar into its own pattern of fresh imagination and invention. Certainly there are moments where it ebbs and flows in the intensity of its temptation but there are few if any moments where it allows the listener to impulsively drift off elsewhere.

From the opening bait of first track Mother, the album was burrowing under the skin; sonic lures straining against the speakers urgently wanting out. The guitars of Matt and Jerem continue to bait the senses as heavier and darker strands join them, the bass of Arnaud a predatory taunt alongside the considered but imposing swings of drummer Léo. Completed by the fine tones of vocalist Jo, the track swiftly grows into a formidable and compelling incitement, imagination and unpredictability increasingly fuelling its enterprise and inescapable persuasion.

The increasingly magnetic and impressive start is easily continued by the album’s title track. It too springs from a seductive sonic lure if one which lances the senses rather than caresses them. The emerging web of guitars ensnared ears with swiftly nagging and devious intent; a strength of coercion matched in voice and rhythm. There is a touch of Mudvayne to the track at times which does it no harm or indeed the atmospheric winds which bring haunting melodies amid seemingly calm but dark aural intimation.

With the twisted canvas of The Asylum a refreshing bedlam of sound and individual craft shaped into another tantalising captivation come threat and the, at times, even more creatively unhinged and similarly fascinating Chrysalis, there is no let up on attention and enjoyment. Each track lured and trapped both with a creative greed which alone marks Down To The Bunker out, a dexterity in thought, songwriting and adventure which equally infests next up Ethics. As with all songs, it is a writhing collusion of sonic vines and metallic dissonance matched in vocal and lyrical dispute, and like each a blend of the barbarous and seductive as a cast of styles and flavours join up to ignite the band’s imagination and sound. There are moments of deceptive and corrupted calm which maybe disrupt the flow and impact of the track but it is that unexpected ideation which also makes it as potent as anything within Misery.

Through the intimately reflective and melodically evocative Waves, a quest with its own underlying snarl, and the sonically invasive and haunting Lost In The Desert, there was no let up on bold enterprise and striking intimation. The latter is like a senses suffocating limbo which slowly but surely reveals it’s waiting demons and distortions resulting in an experience which gloriously tests and provokes.

a final pair of bonus tracks in Machine and Alive brings the album to a dramatic and imposing close. The first and another major highlight of the release openly wears familiarity in its holler yet it would be hard to say it is anything other than a Down To The Bunker creative clamour while its successor prowls, pretty much crawls through ears with a great mix of heavy grunge and rapacious metal bound in melodic volatility.

It is a great end to an album which just pleasures and grows more impressive over time. In their seventh year Down To The Bunker will be making their first introduction to a great many with Misery but it is easy to believe they will be no strangers to them and major spotlights hereon in.

Misery is released February 22nd via Tenacity Music; available @ https://tenacity-music.bandcamp.com/album/misery

https://www.facebook.com/DownToTheBunker

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Masiro – Geodesics

Simultaneously teasing and engaging the imagination from start to finish, Geodesics is the new EP from British instrumental metallers Masiro. It offers up six tracks which take the listener on their own inspired journey through realms of creative intimation and magnetic craft; a collection of pieces which provide a straight line to pleasure but across a landscape of adventure which curves and fascinates like an aural kaleidoscope.

A trio hailing from Oxford, Masiro consists of original founders in guitarist Mike Bannard and drummer Chris Pethers, the band emerging as a duo in 2011, alongside bassist Chris Hutchinson Mogg formerly of ex-50ft Panda. Scented by the inspirations of artists such as Meshuggah, Primus, Mars Volta, Animals as Leaders, 65 Days of Static, Psyopus and many more, their music is a tapestry woven from strains of mathcore, progressive metal, and post rock though that only skirts over its varied richness. The band soon drew acclaim once releasing debut EP Technocologist Unknown in 2016, praise and recognition only thickened by their live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Poly Math, Core of IO, Iran Iran, and Kusanagi as well as festival appearances.

Geodesics is surely set to see Masiro lure even greater and broader recognition and plaudits their way, though strangely it is an encounter which with us depended on close attention to be really seduced and enthralled. As background support to whatever maybe needed to be done, it is a certainly fully enjoyable but a touch too easy to have distractions take charge but sit ears down with headphones and record and Masiro had us lost in its riveting web of craft and imagination whilst bouncing to its dynamics and suggestive incitement.

The EP swiftly entices with opener Andromeda Handshake, the track almost instantly a sonic chasm of turbulence but from within which tendrils of melody bred guitar wrap around ears and imagination The snarling almost bestial tone of the bass keeps the threat alive whilst rhythms pick their spots with rapacious intent. The tempest though breeds melodic radiance, it being swallowed once more but only to wait its moment to crystalize air and the rich temptation it ignites. Perpetually evolving, the track transfixes from start to finish with its mercurial flight.

The following K-Ursa is a far calmer proposition from its first breath. Featuring the saxophone prowess of Charlie Cruickshank, the song is a warm almost summery canter but with bold flames in its sultry climate. Again though there is a volatile instinct to the music, one which never fully ignites but brings a thought inspiring temper to the melodic beauty woven and eventually incites it all to come to a fiery head for its finale.

Both tracks also revel in an array of infection spreading hooks and twists, a creative agility just as potent within next up 21:15. With shadows courting its lining and depths, the track is a dark almost predatory controlled waltz, always intimating a portentous outcome even through its melodic elegance; a threat accentuated by the throaty growl and crawl of the bass and Pether’s agile swings. As all tracks it sends thoughts off on an exploration, espionage and danger courting their conjuring this time around.

The sonic displacement of Intermission: Graveyard Orbit with Lee Riley supplying drone dissonance intrigued if not much more and is soon forgotten as the outstanding End Permian emerges from its raw mists. Instantly a nagging groove had us hooked, its guitar lure increasing as the bass seduced as it prowled with slight irritability amidst a shimmering melodic glaze. Subsequently, as you can rightly assume, the piece gyrates with ideation and individual craft aligned to a united imagination, every slip into something new as fluid as it is expectantly unpredictable.

The release concludes with Grand Trine, another inescapable incitement of emotional and physical response. It is carnival of eager bordering rabid enterprise, the band’s mathcore instincts dancing like a dervish around relaxed moments of equally compelling melodic insinuation. As with all tracks, where it takes you will be as individual as the sounds provoking your imagination and as each we suspect leaving little else but pleasure especially the deeper you immerse in its creative emprise.

That is the same for Geodesics as a whole, give it your total time and attention and the rewards verge on the irresistible.

Geodesics is released September 7th, available @ https://masiro.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/masiromusic   https://twitter.com/masiroband   https://www.instagram.com/masiro_band/

Pete RingMaster 07/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flirtation amidst debris: exploring the aural tempest of Cohesion

“If music is the machine, Cohesion are the engine. They drive fast, hit hard and have no need for brakes.”

The band’s own words sum up the energy, intensity, and force of their industrial scented alternative metal . With their latest single a major wake-up call to the UK outfit we got to look in on their background, heart, and roar with the band…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

We’re Cohesion, straight out of London. We play loud Alternative Metal with a splash of Industrial. It all started on the back of a solo experiment with some songs, and since expanded with a constant rotation of the line-up, music and settled into what it is now: a machine ready to charge through to the top, borne of musicians who want to play, write and work together to create something new and powerful that gets heads banging and bodies rolling.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

Yeah of course we all have something else going on, from Gypsy Punk to Blues Functions. Certainly hasn’t changed our style or direction in any major way, most of them are meal tickets but all the nuances and tricks from other genres we do feed into Cohesion when we can, a rip roaring blues solo can sound sick in the right place, and some fast punk beat really helps to break up a song every now and again. I think by the fact all of us are always playing music in some form it really helps us to be as good as we can be.

What inspired the band name?

Pushing aside any possible pretentious answer, I really have no idea. I had a list of possible names, I umm’d and ahh’d for ages and one day Cohesion just stuck; it wasn’t even on the list!

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Of course…I started with writing something that I could get my rocks off to, and that expanded into us writing music that we could get off to. We want to play what we want to hear, what there is not enough of out there or what there is but we want to put our own spin on it. Really we just want to rock out and enjoy ourselves, if anyone else likes it and can enjoy our shows too then that’s just awesome.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

The overall goal and drive is still there but now we aim for little victories, getting that recording done by this time and getting that gig there. Things get a lot more focus and the productivity goes up when you do this.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Heavier…yet softer, weird answer I know but before we had a few things we wanted to do that just didn’t quite come out as we wanted, maybe we were too scared? Bit teenager but you get that with any band really. Now we’ve decided to just go for it, no matter what we want to do, just do it.

And has it been more of an organic movement or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

Again, bit of both. We’ve made some very deliberate choices to do certain things in our music, maybe it’s things we thought wouldn’t work or would work and we’ve learned our lesson; sometimes it’s just one of us has been listening to certain bands and some new influences come in where we go, oh hey that is cool, do that again!, which really helps drive the organics!

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s invention but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Definitely bands like Puscifer and Meshuggah, for different reasons. We ceased caring about that perfect 3:30 long song and just say fuck it, let’s write a 9 minute epic or a song that never gets to the chorus. Bands like Puscifer just show a certain maturity in their writing which we can only begin to attempt to emulate.

Is there a general process to the songwriting?

The process is so bog standard; riff gets written, or a beat, gets sent round, jammed on, smashed out from there really. But I do find lyrics are always last, I’ve tried so many times to start with them but by god it just doesn’t work for me! I have to hear the song first before I even know what I’m gonna start singing about.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to those lyrics?

Pick a place. Lobotomies, aliens, religion, war, greed, sex, violence, love (yes, really), depression and everything else you can think of really. It’s usually something I’ve experienced or seen in the news and I’ve gone damn, that sucks and then lyrics ideas start creeping through. I wish I could write about something positive once in a while? That’d be a change.

Give us some background to your latest release.

Avarice…Oh man it’s a great song, we love it. It’s got groove, it’s got some sick riffage, bangin’ chorus, and it’s all about greed, the kind of greed that fucks up the world. We’ve got this crazy time in politics on the world stage full of all sorts of shit and everyone trying to put themselves first and it just sucks, so this is kind of our answer to that.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Definitely the former…Everything is done and finished in a rehearsal room, there’s just no time to dick about in a studio these days, not enough money, not enough time, we want to go in and just nail what we’ve already spent ages crafting and concentrating on getting that sounding as good as it can, not rewriting and working on parts that are recorded when only half thought out.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

Can’t go wrong with a gig…Even when everything goes to shit and your bass player gets snowed in and can’t make it and the kick pedal explodes in the intro of the first song (both happened at most recent gig)…we love it. Just energy and rocking out and cranking it, it’s what we love and we only ever want to do more of it!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it?

We’re based in London so it’s kind of a blessing and a curse at the same time: there’re so many more opportunities here but that also means the competition is much fiercer, and sometimes the wrong people can get the right gig which is always frustrating but hey, just gotta keep your head down and crack on.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

We have a bit of a love/hate relationship with social media, it sucks the energy and time out of you and there’s nothing worse than planning bloody Instagram captions to destroy what could be a nice afternoon but at the end of the day it’s just a tool, like everything else; it used to be magazines, now it’s blogs, same stuff has always been there it just takes on a different form these days and you just have to learn to live with it (and to use it to your advantage!)

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

A guy once asked to have some of our guitarist’s underwear after a show once, gross right? Otherwise, check out our new single Avarice – it’s awesome!

Check Cohesion out further @ https://www.facebook.com/cohesionhq/

 Pete Ringmaster 10/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Inferum – Modern Massacre EP

photo by Emmelie Herwegh

Making an introduction very hard to ignore are Dutch metallers Inferum through their debut release, the Modern Massacre EP. It offers four barbarous slices of, to use their press release’s term, “Mechanical Death Metal” but a trespass just as eagerly embracing groove and deathcore bred enterprise. It is a striking first listen at a band young in age and yet to reach its second year but one with the potential to make major statements within the European metal scene ahead.

The Eindhoven hailing outfit draw on inspirations found in the likes of Thy Art Is Murder, Lamb of God, Slaughter to Prevail, Meshuggah, and Gojira; a couple of which can be sensed within the EP’s opener and title track. Modern Massacre instantly wraps ears with wiry grooves as rhythms probe with forceful intent. Both continue to entice and invade as vocalist Morrison de Boer quickly shows his adventurous delivery, employing varying textures within his first assault alone. The sonic dexterity of guitarist Lars Deelman is matched by the barbarous designs cast by rhythm guitarist Ozzy Voskuilen, together creating a tempest as infectiously alluring as it is fearsomely intrusive with never a handful of seconds passing without new adventure and unpredictable twists being shared.

It is an outstanding dramatic start which alone demands repeat attention to the release and quickly backed in potency by the following Blinding Supremacy. Instantly shaped by the predatory tone of Stan Albers’ bass and the imposing swings of drummer Wouter Macare, the track is an even darker and more murderous proposition than the first but fusing a controlled lighter tempting into its inhospitable climate. Indeed it has moments which skilfully and imaginatively wrong-foot expectations and assumptions, creating a maze like proposal which simply grows more impressive with every passing minute and listen.

Rotten King slams its credentials into thoughts and appetite immediately after as rhythms scythe through the senses followed swiftly by a raw animus of sound cast by guitars and vocals. Inferum have just played with Cryptopsy at Patronaat Haarlem and there is a whiff of the Canadians to the character and technical tenacity of the third track and of Gojira too as it intrudes upon and devours the senses with relish.

Closing track, Incineration, shares its own almost kaleidoscopic whirl of barbarous invention and violent unpredictability; each second seemingly an evolution of the last but with a fluidity which breeds infectious bait for quickly ravenous ears. The groan of bass is as irresistible as the vocal enterprise of de Boer, both as compelling as the imaginative sonic netting sprung around the listener by Deelman and Voskuilen. With Macare’s merciless strikes on top, the song brings the release to a masterfully stirring conclusion.

Only further impressing with every listen, Modern Massacre is a debut demanding to be taken notice of from a band which with their already open creative adventure and fires increasingly burning are surely heading to major attention.

Modern Massacre is available now @ https://inferum.nl/product/ep-modern-massacre/

https://www.facebook.com/InferumBand/

Pete RingMaster 22/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Devil In Faust – Come Apart

Grabbing ears straightaway is not the easiest thing to achieve as numerous music fans can testify but to truly and swiftly catch the imagination is a rare success but something Brit goth rockers The Devil In Faust have done with their debut EP, Come Apart. It is not necessarily the most unique encounter though its web of enterprise and temptation is certainly individual to the Shrewsbury hailing trio, but it has open freshness to its creative drama and virulent adventure which just clicked with our ears and appetites.

Formed late 2014 by old school friends in vocalist/guitarist Al Pritchard and drummer Ben Codd, The Devil In Faust soon made a strong impression on their local live scene whilst their debut video single, Dark Places, found potent online success. Subsequent sharing of stages with the likes of Dani Filth’s Devilment and Sinnergod only furthered their growing reputation as too following singles, all a spark to the band receiving an invitation to record in Aarhus, Denmark with Tue Madsen (Moonspell, Meshuggah, Sick of it All) where they demoed twelve tracks then whittled down to the four making up band’s first EP. With a stable line-up now in place with the addition of bassist Jess Lomas, the trio are ready to impose on bigger spotlights with Come Apart leading the way.

The EP opens with the outstanding Cross Your Heart, a slice of virulent temptation working away at ears and imagination from its first breath. Swiftly, there is a familiarity to the band’s sound yet as suggested earlier, it is woven into a boldness of invention belonging to The Devil In Faust. Like a blend of Flesh For Lulu and Clan of Xymox with a touch of Southern Death Cult and 1919, the track strolls in with a seductive shimmer around rhythmic incitement. Pritchard’s potent voice is soon in the midst of the compelling bait, directing the virulence with his distinctive tones as his guitar spins a web of chords and hooks. Quickly infectious and increasingly virulent, the track has attention in its creative palms in no time, physical participation enticed soon after.

The excellent start is backed by the equally alluring presence of Soulmate. Dark melancholic strings and gothic keys caress the imagination initially; from within their theatre a tenacious dance of energy and infection simmers and boils sparking a rousing rock ‘n’ roll stroll part Psychedelic Furs, part The Lords of the New Church, and just a little Alice In Chains but again boisterously The Devil In Faust in nature and devilment. Its fluid flow through lively and mellower moments comes drenched in catchy contagion, the calmer passages emulated and expanded in next up In My Eyes, an acoustic led slice of captivating balladry cast in a hug of emotive shadows which soon has the body rocking and passions entangled in its inventive landscape. There is a whiff of The Only Ones to the song and not for the first time a thought arises that if The Devil In Faust had arisen three or so decades back their success would be guaranteed.

Those dark shadows cloak next up Seed, its instinctive growl lining another increasingly contagious escapade coloured with sultry psychedelic rock hues. Adding essences not too far removed from a fusion of The Doors and The Birthday Party, the song simply and swiftly beguiles ears with again familiarity and new enterprise entangling for a thoroughly gripping adventure.

If The Devil In Faust never realises the potential rich within Come Apart, more of the same will go down a treat next time around but growth there will be and that is something we are eagerly anticipating; something hard to imagine we will be alone in.

Come Apart is out now on all major platforms.

http://www.thedevilinfaust.com/   https://www.facebook.com/TheDevilInFaustOnline   https://twitter.com/@Thedevilinfaust

Pete RingMaster 03/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tardive Dyskinesia – Harmonic Confusion

td_2_RingMasterReview

With the suggestion that it and its sound sits “somewhere between Meshuggah and The Ocean”, Harmonic Confusion the new album from Greek tech/prog metallers Tardive Dyskinesia instantly has a reputation to live up to. It is a tall order which band and release certainly live up to. The successor to critically acclaimed predecessor Static Apathy in Fast Forward, the fiercely fascinating and creatively imposing Harmonic Confusion has to be considered as Tardive Dyskinesia’s finest moment to date.

Since forming in 2003, the Athens hailing quintet has honed and evolved their sound across three previous albums with Static Apathy in Fast Forward a pinnacle in their rise when released in 2012. The years have also seen the band open for the likes of Mastodon and Meshuggah and play prog-metal festival Euroblast, it all leading to now and the release of Harmonic Confusion. Mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, The Ocean, Leprous) and produced by Tardive Dyskinesia themselves, the album is the band’s sound at its most rounded, accomplished, and adventurous; often a raw roar to numb and disorientate the senses but equally a melodic and technical maze of craft and imagination to enthral and excite.

The album opens with the instrumental Insertion, a piece as welcoming as it is technically eventful. It shows a potent restraint though, the band holding its boldest exploits for subsequent tracks while setting the scene and tempestuous atmosphere for the album to come beginning with Fire Red Glass Heart which leaps from its predecessor’s sonic lure. Immediately the winding tendrils of sonic enterprise springs from guitarists Petros Nikiforakis, Steve Lado, and Manthos Stergiou, the latter soon unveiling his clean and alluring vocals too backed by the harmonic tones of Lado. As the song slightly intensifies, a rawer gruffness appears in Stergiou’s delivery, the contrast of his vocals merging perfectly as the song twists and turns through its theatre of enterprise and melody fuelled expression.

The track captivates from its first note to last, a tempest like climate brewing without quite erupting saving itself for the outstanding turbulence of The Electric Sun. Wiry strands of guitar soon collude with ravenous riffs and the heftily swung beats of drummer Nick Argiropoulos; again contrasting textures and extremes of energy aligning in a fluid and clarity graced challenge to captivate ears and imagination alike. That rawness is there again to enhance sound and vocals as well as the song’s eventful atmosphere, offering a dirtier trespass to the technical prowess which intensifies alongside the nagging riffery and scything rhythmic persistence on offer.

coverresize_RingMasterReviewThrough the turbulent and at times almost spatial landscape of Self Destructive Haze and the mazy multi-textured Thread Of Life attention is tightly gripped, the second of the two a real seduction of ears with its invasive storm cored by melodic beauty, and latterly, dark stringed seducing while the exceptional Concentric Waves, with the ever compelling bass exploits of Kornelius Kiriakidis especially magnetic, mesmerises as it aggressively and technically swings to and fro.

As impressive as its first touch and listens are, Harmonic Confusion simply grows in strength and stature over time, tracks like Triangulation Through Impasse and Savior Complex laying highly persuasive seeds straight away which seem to blossom over time. The first of the pair twists and turns with increasing relish and grievance across its length whilst still bringing a variety of tones to vocals and intensity to its body. Another favourite and major highlight of the album it is matched and over shadowed by the mellower yet no less dramatic and dynamic exploits of its successor. As across the album, there are elements which maybe are less than unique than others but Tardive Dyskinesia embrace it in their own imaginative and technically riveting designs to fine and here mouth-watering effect with the noir lit call of the sax icing on the dramatic cake of the album’s greatest moment.

The album is completed by the infectious and hungrily resourceful Εchoes 213, its hooks and melodies alone as biting as they are romancing, and lastly the instrumental journey of Chronicity, a captivating epilogue to all before.

Harmonic Confusion is without doubt one of the year’s tech/prog metal treats and yet there is still a feeling that there is more to come from and creatively discover within Tardive Dyskinesia; a thought to add extra spice to one fine release.

Harmonic Confusion is out now on Playfalse Records and @ http://tardivedyskinesia.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/tardivedyskinesiaband

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright