Triggerman: Hail To The River Gods

With the rhythmic bombardment of a Black Tusk, the monster riffs of a Mastodon, and the mischievous grooves of a Red Fang, we bring you arguably the most exciting release of the year in Hail To The River Gods from Northern Ireland stomp rioters Triggerman. The seven track release is a monster of an album which simply lights up all the senses, accelerates the heart, and has limbs doing movements only the devil could have designed. If the likes of the bands previously mentioned and those of Orange Goblin, Clutch, and EyeHateGod ring your bell, Triggerman will be your next orgasmic pleasure.

Hail To The River Gods is the third album from a band formed in 2002, with the current line-up of vocalist and guitarist Bap, guitarist Niall, bassist Dixie, and Rory on drums, in place since 2009, give or take a month or two. It follows the critically acclaimed Brand New Day of 2010, a release which had the likes of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock Magazine drooling. Heavier than a mud slide and more rampant than a dog in heat with the moves to match, the album is a senses tenderising thrill of metal, stoner, and classic rock with plenty of other additives to spice the unbridled enjoyment. It is a release which is not trying to invent or re-design anything, just one wanting to unleash the biggest towering grooves and riffs known to mankind, which it does with accomplished skill and energy.

The Derry quartet opens up with Rage Of The Goddess and immediately seize hold with eager welcoming rolling rhythms and fiery guitar chords. The vocals of Bap soon enter to begin the tale of the title, a mythological air soaking every word though at times any woman scorned can fit the story; yeah we have all been there guys. His delivery throughout the release is a spoken growl in a similar style to Jello Biafra which adds to the muscular and raw energy of each and every song, verbal and musical biceps flexing with every word and note. The constantly agitated fury of the drums is a hypnotic pull whilst the guitars and bass unleash crushing hungry riffs with ease. The glorious solo which scorches the air as the song reaches its climax leaves the scent of burnt flesh in its wake which lingers whilst the track evolves into its successor.

      Rise Of The Woodsmen is a storming assault, a raging onslaught dripping sweat, power, and menace like its subjects. For two and a half minutes the track works every sinew within its colossal body, riffs bulldozing everything in sight and grooves sparking fires, their melodic embers showering the skies. The song is a worker, a track which gets things done without distraction or obstruction and loving every damn minute of it, which ensures we do too.

Every song on the album is immense and the provider of infectious glory but some do stand on the top step above others, such is the case with the title track. Hail To The River Gods is a song which with its story of men going off to sea and paying homage and prayers to the River Gods for protection, is rife with absorbing folk metal spicery. At times it teeters on the edge of pirate metal with essences of Alestorm raising their bones. The song is a prowling stomp, again a hard working beast of a track which reflects the energy and muscle of its content.

     Th’on Strange Brew is a magnetic treat, its stoner grooves sirenesque and thicker than tar. The fumes the guitars conjure with their riled riffs overwhelm and intoxicate the senses and with the rhythms inciting the devil inside and a groove which unleashes a wanton wickedness, the track is a wonderful danger to man and beast.

The sixties blues tinged pagan breath of Flower Of Life takes another contagious diversion as the album again shows diversity whilst the closing pair of the brilliant Wake The Dead and Blind Side Of The Moon twist and bewitch the ear with insidious intent. The first of the pair is a fury of anthemic rhythms and aggressively driven riffs, a charging call to arms which is irresistible and the second a sludge flavoured prowl which drags its listener through every treacle thick shadow and oppressive dark corner within its oppressive heart. Wake The Dead emerges as favourite song on the album but all leave nothing but deep pleasure.

Quite simply Hail To The River Gods is one of the best releases this year and Triggerman our new best friends. Go discover them for yourselves and join their addicted ranks too.

http://www.triggerman.co.uk

RingMaster 29/08/2012

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Grenouer: Computer Crime

When a band appear out of nowhere with a sound and release that makes one stop and pour full attention on its fresh and stirring body it simply lifts and re-energises the enthusiasm to continually search and listen to each and every new band that comes into view. Russians Grenouer is such a band though they are not really as such only fresh to these ears. The band itself has been a force in their country for many years but have yet to obviously make a truly striking mark outside of their homeland borders. With their excellent new mini album Computer Crime released via UK label Copro Records, they could turn the current interest from the rest of Europe into a much more powerful energy towards them.

Formed in 1992 the history of the band seems to be one of continual change or evolution going by their bio, not only in people but sound, and not a slight change either. Initially the St. Petersburg band was an underground/death metal band and with a sound which found a definition and maturity by the time of their debut album Border of Misty Times in 1996. Three more albums followed in the shape of Gravehead, The Order O’Folly and Presence with War between 1999 and 2003 to establish the band with fans and the underground media.

2006 saw the release of Try and a new sound for the band as they moved from within their death metal sound into a more experimental sound combined with industrial and polyrhythmic invention. The album took them to the attention of the likes of Hard Rock, Rock Sound and Metal Hammer and into a full album release with Casket Music. Next came Lifelong Days in 2008 through Locomotive Records and a busy time of festival and touring to share stages with bands such as Anathema, Cradle Of Filth, Soilwork, Pro Pain, Neurosis, Entombed, Tiamat, Testament, Textures, and Tesseract. Another rethinking of direction and sound emerged from this point with the discussions and differing opinions causing the band to go through a line-up change as it split in half. Vocalist Andrey Ind and guitarist Alexander Motor brought in second guitarist Igor Arbue and drummer Michael Coroner to replace the departed members of Grenouer, and worked on new songs to add to three recorded before the split. The new hard rock and post grunge lined sound took inspiration from the likes of Alice In Chains, Filter, Stone Temple Pilots and Soundgarden. With a quintet of tracks renewed, produced and mixed at ‘Astia’ Studio in Finland with Anssi Kippo, who played bass and keys on the songs, and Jonas Kooto, the band created Computer Crime.

The release opens with Last Stop, a track which immediately announces its arrival with muscular riffs, intimidating rhythms and a predatory prowl around the ear. Sharp melodies cut through the intensity with a sure and satisfying craft whilst the growling intensity of the song is never far away, eager and ready to pounce from behind the inventive play and strong smooth vocals of Ind. The song offers up a mix of Gruntruck, Prong, and The Sun Explodes with more than a Meshuggah flavour to the rhythms and riffs.

The following Rejected is an equally impressive and welcome invasion of the ear, placing its creative melodic enterprise and blood pumping darkened energy upon the senses with craft. The bass of Kippo is a brooding stalking beast which adds a glorious sturdy and threatening vein to the openly appealing song.

One highlight of a very impressive album is See No Sun. Opening on an emotive atmospheric melodic weave with an ethnic lining the song entrances and entices immediately. It reminds of Motherjane as it sways and lights up the emotions, the controlled and passion fuelled path a compulsive and touching experience. Then the track unleashes a surprising inner blackness in an intense and venomous expulsion mid way in before returning to the captivating grace before.

The powerful and equal best track on Computer Crimes is Fix Your Life and with Golden Years completes the release. The first is a blend of towering riffs and spiky melodic intrusions whilst the latter a warm and vibrant track which without the harder edge of the other songs is still as rewarding and an infectious song that soon has one involved.

    Grenouer maybe new to a great many but with Computer Crimes that is sure to change, and the recommendation is to just go find it before it finds you.

http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Grenouer/89279191818

RingMaster 01/04/2012

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Furyon: Gravitas

You can hear great things about a band as the promotion wagon behind starts its mighty trail enticing the eyes of the world but until you finally get your ears upon the sounds of said band do you obviously find the depth to the truth. With UK rock band Furyon the words written certainly do justice to the band and an album that is deeply impressive and thoroughly uplifting.  Gravitas strikes up the heart with an engaging bounty of rock sounds sourced from their hearts and the world around bringing influences and flavours from across multiple genres. The release is a mighty slab of songs infused with heavy metal, prog, and classic rock as well as some tasty metal touches, all flavours the band from Brighton cut their musical tastes upon.

Having evolved and grown over a few years Furyon entered a studio in Atlanta in 2009 with Platinum selling US Producer Rick Beato (Shinedown, Fozzy and Vince Neil), the result from this vibrant link-up and creative meeting being Gravitas. A limited run of 2000 copies of the album took them to the attention of the likes of Metal Hammer and Classic Rock magazine, each featuring tracks on their over mounted CDs. Two videos followed, one for the subsequent single Disappear Again, each again grabbing more and more eager acclaim and attention, and all the time the band reinforced this tide of recognition with blistering live shows and appearances at the likes of Bloodstock, Hard Rock Hell, Hammerfest, and High Voltage. Now following a management deal with Germany’s Rock N Growl and a link up with Frontiers Records Gravitas gets its full debut and rock music is set to feel a new breath of freshness following through its veins.

Consisting of vocalist Matt Mitchell, guitarists Chris Green and Pat Heath, bass guitarist Alex Bowen and drummer Lee Farmery, Furyon grab the ear from the opening guitar invitations of opener Disappear Again and never releases until it is ready to depart when it chooses. The song epitomises the whole album, infectious, intelligent and unafraid to court the ear with addictive melodies, heavily loaded riffs, and a catchiness which is hard to deny submission to. The song has a sound seemingly melded from the likes of Adrenaline Mob, Alice In Chains and Soundgarden with extra classic rock essences, a mesh that ensures nothing but keen attention going its way.

Following track Stand Like Stone immediately shows the diversity to the band and sound, its heavy tumbling rhythms and formidable metallic riffs thunderous as they burst through the ear. With a groove that beckons like a loose woman the song fills every pore with well crafted melodies and the impressive vocals of Mitchell. In two songs he sets the quality of his tones and delivery high something that never drops throughout the album. The guitars and melodies are quite wanton, eager to excite and thrill, which they do with incredible songwriting skill and realisation.

Songs like the excellent Souvenirs with its lovely deep crusty bass lines, New Way Of Living offering a glorious hard rock/grunge majesty, and the mesmeric Wasted On You, come and go with wonderful quality and the ability to light up the senses. Gravitas is an album despite or rather due to its open diversity and adventure that has a consistency which is refreshing, not once does any of their ideas or surprising avenues fail to connect fully. There is one track that eclipses all though and that is the magnificent Desert Suicide, a song not as obvious as others maybe but one which marks the band already as a mighty addition to rock and gives evidence of what they will yet evolve into. The song meanders in with a mystical and a subdued atmosphere, the guitars slow to reveal themselves fully and the vocals reserved. Soon it evolves into a mighty beast of sound, slowly pacing around the ear before its muscular legs start to run with the senses though it never explodes outright. The song is truly stunning, addictive and unpredictable; the height of invention without indulgence, a stirring animal that remains inside long after the album departs.

Gravitas is an essential investigation for all rock fans; an album that only raises one question. If they sound this great with songs at least two years old how impressive must their new material be? Furyon will be massive, no question so join the ride from the start by grabbing yourself some Gravitas.
www.furyon.net

RingMaster 19/03/2012

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The Dead Lay Waiting – Almost Heaven

It has been impossible to miss quite a flurry of negative almost vehement reviews and first reactions to the new album from UK metalcore band The Dead Lay Waiting. Certainly Almost Heaven is not the perfect album or a classic in the making but it is also far from being the car crash and failure that many seem to be declaring. Obviously any review is down to personal opinion and taste as much as the evidence that is the music but it is hard to understand the harsh and destructive views of many towards the album and band itself. Maybe The Dead Lay Waiting is simply the current band to hate much as My Chemical Romance and Disturbed and countless others have been before them. All that is apparent from Almost Heaven is that though not flawless the album is a very agreeable and enjoyable release that shows a band creative and with great promise.

From their coming together in 2007 the band has grabbed attention, making a marked impact on a swiftly growing fan base. Debut EP Memories Of A Massacre in 2007 followed the next year by a self titled one plus an appearance at the 2008 Bloodstock Open Air Festival increased the interest and led to signing with UK based label Rising Records. January 2010 saw the release of the band’s debut album We Rise surrounded by acclaimed performances at Download in 2009 and ’10, plus tours with the likes of Trigger The Bloodshed, Bleed From Within and Sarah Jezebel Deva. The band this year found themselves nominated for KERRANG! Magazine’s ‘Best British Newcomer Band’ award, and the Metal Hammer Golden God ‘Best Underground Band’ award, their stock and rise continuing at a rapid rate, something surely Almost Heaven will accelerate further. 

The album starts with an ascending intense sound erupting into the explosive ‘This Day Will Be Your Last’ through the brief but mountainous intense ‘Wake Up’. Crushing riffs and ear bending rhythms pour incessantly over the senses, vocals growling deeply and threateningly aided by lighter screamo chants and shouts. As following track ‘Take Me Away’ picks up the hard lined energetic baton it is apparent The Dead Lay Waiting know how to create and deliver flesh melting sounds and have a string ability to write memorable and intricate songs. It is also clear that they are far from the finished article which gives exciting promise ahead from the impressive sounds within Almost Heaven.

One can understand some of the criticism laid at the band’s door for as good and as agreeable the strength and incisive music within the album is there is not a great deal of originality there. This is not to say it is just reproducing sounds others have created but there certainly is nothing awe inspiring or jaw dropping either. This can be said about75% of all releases this year so it is a criticism that applies to a great many. The two things that do stop the album from being a major land mark is firstly and something that I never thought I would complain about, that the songs are too varied within their own skins. This makes songs such as ‘Always Ask Why’, chaotic with many elements included which would really work if they were better blended with a more seamless feel, something experience will surely improve. It should be remembered this is a very young band and credit should be given that they do try to be different and attempt to make their songs unique, it is just they need to know when less is more. The other problem with the album is that it feels like the band is trying too hard, as if comments given and seemingly continuing made them try so hard that their instinctive touch and ease was held down.

Despite this the album is an impressive release with songs like ‘Open Your Fucking Eyes’ with its crunching basslines, the abrasive ‘Choke on Your Words’, and the immense ‘Burnt to Ashes’ easily bringing great pleasure and pulse racing emotions. Even the epic meanderings of the closing title track ‘Almost Heaven’, despite its slightly overblown near ten minute journey gives far more joy than doubts.

Almost Heaven has its negatives but far more positives and is far ahead of the majority of albums coming out of the woodwork these past months. Why some have such a downer on the band is hard to comprehend unless it is solely based on their seemingly manufactured visual image. The Dead Lay Waiting will ahead make those doubters eat their words one suspects; they just need more time to find their very own unique sound and undeterred belief.

RingMaster 27/11/2011

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