Maziac – Forged

When a release instantly and impressively smacks you in the face and proceeds to tease, taunt, and fascinate thereon in you know there is something rather special in the brewing. Forged is one such proposition, the new album from UK based outfit Maziac devouring ears and attention from its first breath and only continuing to captivate with its eclectic body through every passing second.

Formed in 2017, the London residing trio of guitarist/vocalist Tony Best, bassist/synth player Tim Stokes, and drummer Marc Vachon have already faced potent fan and critical praise through their first EP, the Justin Hill (SikTh) mixed and mastered Parallel unveiled in the May of 2018. Its success alongside the band’s rousing sound and live presence has led the band to share stages with the likes of The Ever Living, Epsilon, Derange, On Hollow Ground, and Winchester; it all adding to their growing reputation. All previous acclaim though should be quickly paled by that destined to be garnered by Forged, one of the year’s brightest gems so far.

Again recorded with Hill, Forged erupts with an immediate predacious hunger, opener Symptomatic a tempest sweeping in and consuming the senses. Rhythms bludgeon as riffs dismantle the senses, Best’s vocals just as urgent and rapacious as a cyclone of djent/technical and alternative metal/rock disgorges its rabid temptation. It is a starting introduction which only continued to incite and thrill as the song reveals its craft and prowess. As quickly and continually proven, Maziac have a sound which enjoyably proves very difficult to pin down with references to others but certainly within its ferocious sonic kaleidoscope essences resembling bands such as Fear Factory, Deftones, The Contortionist, Between the Buried and Me, and Spineshank swirl.

It is a stunning start keenly and powerfully matched by the following Escapism. Relatively restrained in comparison, the track still prowls with a definite predatory intent; its rich body wrapped in melodic wiring as alluring as they are cutting. Best’s vocals equally have a calmer harmonic edge in a delivery as varied as the sounds around it, the band’s alternative rock instincts a thick colour to the inventive metal of the song. It is hard not to think of the track as a beast, stalking and preying on willing ears tempted by sonic plumage of inventive temptation.

Cortisol teased an already eager appetite right away with the rhythmic rapping of Vachon, his beats taunting attention as the guitar brews up its subsequent eddy of bold enterprise and melodic flaming. The song’s progressive nature shapes its imagination; rock ‘n’ roll contagiousness fuelling the animated gait of unpredictability. There is a touch of Voyager to the track as too Muse but once again, it emerges solely Maziac before Prisoners saunters in with its swiftly beguiling lures. A whiff of The Kennedy Soundtrack shades its beginnings, a Muse-esque hue adding to the mix as the riveting track unfurls its intrepid enterprise and adventure to challenge for best track honours.

The melodic intimation of brief instrumental Vicissitudes had the imagination conjuring ready for the far more feral but composed dynamics of Again. Once more progressive and djent elements collude in its buoyant design, Stokes’ bass not for the first or last time a rousing snarl of incitement in the midst of skilled melodic and sonic endeavour. It is fair to say that as potent tracks are on first listen, each following play only reveals fresh depths and textures for greater rewards as no better proven than here.

Deceptive of its title, Allure instantly embroils ears in a pestilential cauldron of metal but soon relishes the band’s melodic dexterity and the almost poppy catchiness that breeds. It is a thunderous encounter teasing with glimpses of the peace at the eye of the storm, never giving in to predictability or anything less than compelling while closing track, Resolution, casts its own experiment in texture and tone to bring the album to a fine close. In certain moments almost primal in its climate and in others like a melodic sunspot, the song just enthralled as another aspect to the Maziac sound and imagination is shared.

With Forged ringing in our ears it is easy to be excited about what is ahead for and from Maziac because as suggested, they have created one of the year’s finest moments so far.

Forged is released July 5th; available @ https://maziacband.bandcamp.com/album/forged

https://www.facebook.com/MaziacBand/   https://twitter.com/maziacband

Pete RingMaster 05/07/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Blacktop Mojo – Burn The Ships

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Skindred – Volume

Skindred_RingMaster Review

Skindred need no introduction we are sure; a band rising from the ashes of the also one of a kind Dub War in 1998 and proceeding to enslave ever since the imagination of initially the UK metal scene before expanding into broader territories with their unique sound, ferociously compelling releases, and a live presence second to none. We make no apologies for declaring the band as one of our all-time favourite passions since those early days of both of vocalist Benji Webbe’s bands or for over enthusing over Skindred’s massive new release Volume. Admittedly it is hard to say that this sixth full-length from the band is their best album to date, an already invested lust for their sound and previous releases preventing that full declaration, at least just yet, but Volume is without doubt the most concentrated tempest of Skindred blockbusters so far. Stocked with creative bitch slaps perpetually building to momentous choruses and tidal waves of voracious sound, it is simply one gloriously riotous and anthemic beast.

The album at times seems like it is inspired by and drawing on essences of past albums, whilst tenaciously forging its own identity within the sculpting of fresh mountains of inventive noise. Volume is no slave to nostalgia though, except the kind which always comes with a sound truly distinctive to one protagonist, but it does spark the fierce kind of excitement first found in the creative claws of Babylon and later the likes of Roots Rock Riot and Union Black. The fact is for fans every release has got us hot under the collar, even, for personal tastes, the less potent Shark Bites and Dog Fights having truly irresistible moments, but the Skindred fusion of metal, rock, reggae, and electronica has been honed into its most inimitable and ferocious shape yet for Volume. Certain plateaus at certain times have been breached by the band over the years, and by drawing on all their years of creativity and aligning it to new experiments of imagination Skindred has hit their newest with Volume.

623_Skindred_RGB_RingMaster Review     The successor to last year’s Kill The Power, the album opens up with Under Attack, a song instantly smelling of Skindred from its warning tones and Webbe’s vocal prowess alone. In no time song and sound is into a recognisable swagger and intimidating prowl, riffs and rhythms a battlefront of contagion and muscle led by the expectantly gripping vocals. Just as you think you have a hold on it though, the track slips into an atmospheric croon and seventies funk twisting, returning to its tenacious canter for a dynamic and fiery finale.

It is a great start but just a teaser of bigger and bolder things to come, starting with the album’s title track. A flirtatious start sparks the predacious tone of Dan Pugsley’s bass and the scything strikes of guitar from Mikey Demus, they leading the song in a slightly schizophrenic shuffle as warm and melodically alluring as it is at times grouchy and emotionally rabid. With the skills of Dan Sturgess conjuring, twisting, and distorting throughout as the rapier swings of Arya Goggin ebb and flow in viciousness, the track is a fire of intensity and enterprise with a (Hed) P.E. like spicing especially tasty.

Hit The Ground is another fiercely animated flirtation straight after, rhythms a cantankerous dance as throaty bass and spicy guitar endeavour get entwined by the prowess of electronic suggestiveness within the thick air of the Skindred trademarked song. A roar to wither the senses and incite a rebellion, energies are aflame by the song’s end but given no time to regroup as from an enticing lure of drums, Shut Ya Mouth has feet and imagination leaping around like a puppet. Talking about Volume, Webbe said the band wanted to emulate their renowned live sound more than ever in the release, and for sure Shut Ya Mouth epitomises that success especially when almost physically feeling the vocalist’s ire and confrontation alone in face and ears. Musically the track also has a hint of fellow UK band Anti-Clone to it, who we know has also supported Skindred live, inspiration going both ways maybe?

The scent of Southern rock spices up guitars upon The Healing next whilst vocally and rhythmically it swiftly turns a ska flavouring into an incitement of heavy rock ‘n’ roll. Biased we maybe, but it is hard to offer many frontmen up as rich and explosive in presence and tone as Webbe in full roar, and not for the first or last time upon Volume, he whips up air and energy with ease, unsurprisingly repeating the feat with Sound the Siren. As beats go on an addictive dance, guitars tunnel into the psyche with their nagging groove whilst the bass just oozes dark hues as the vocals romp and stroll anthemically through ears. The track is superb, a kaleidoscope of sound and ideation as unpredictable as it is virulently incendiary; Skindred laying down another template to inspire others.

A calm of sorts as Saying It Now emerges, allows a breath or two to be swallowed but soon Goggin is back working a web of infectious and dramatic rhythms as a sonic ambience aligns to the mellow delivery of Webbe. Each passing minute sees Pugsley’s craft get more predatory and skirting grooves become sharper as the track’s intensity simultaneously escalates, it all subsequently erupting in a furnace of energy and passion posing as the chorus.

The body is soon flung around as Straight Jacket breaks out its agitated contagion next, another slightly deranged imagination gripping verse and listener, building to a colossal chorus which is simply anthem from head to toe. It is that fierce and volatile temptation around it though that turns ardour lustful, that and the ingenious evolution of its mania.

No Justice strides commandingly in on a chorus of band roars, ska seeded hooks and poppy riffs emerging from that great stormy entrance to help the track into a buoyant canter with eruptions of searing sonic flames and vocal rapacity. Becoming punkier with each burst of verbal defiance and rebel rousing creative outburst, greed for more escalates before it steps aside for the just as irresistible Stand Up. Loaded to the gills with sinew lined grooves and swordsmen like rhythms jabbing and swinging with zeal, the track equally growls and bellows with bestial and invitingly defiant prowess.

Completed by the reflective fire and sonic tapestry of Three Words, again the band at their emotive best, Volume is a maelstrom of Skindred invention and power. It is a heavyweight confrontation in a year of big successes; a creative ‘bullying’ that just gets the ears throbbing, body aching, and passions roaring.

Volume is out October 30th via Napalm Records.

http://www.skindred.net/   https://www.facebook.com/skindredofficial  https://twitter.com/skindredmusic

K1600_Skindred Volume 2015 Europe Dates_RingMaster Review

Upcoming Tour Dates:

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Pete Ringmaster 29/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Target:Renegades – Dark Sounds EP

T:R_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

As much as Target:Renegades’ debut album [Press Start] impressed and provided an immense enjoyment last year, it suggested there was plenty more within the UK band yet to be explored and brought to the creative surface. It hinted at an originality which it arguably did not really bring in its striking songwriting and gripping sound but now that suggestiveness has been realised with the Dark Sounds EP, and in turn brought Target:Renegades easily their finest moment yet, easily overshadowing what is still a highly accomplished and riveting album.

Hailing from Warrington and with inspirations from the likes of Deftones, Karnivool, Faith No More, and Pearl Jam in their creative intent, Target:Renegades quickly drew keen and increasing attention with their explosive live performances and equally dynamic hard rock seeded songs. First release, the Corruption For Beginners EP, poked wider awareness in 2012, backing up a growing live reputation which has only been cemented and enhanced over the past years as the North-West quartet shared stages with the likes of The Vibrators, Sumo Cyco, and I Am Giant. As mentioned [Press Start] thrust the strongest spotlight on the band yet with its unleashing in 2014, radio play and media acclaim joining the support of Target:Renegades’ ever increasing and loyal fan base. Now we have Dark Sounds, four songs which push the band amongst bigger more established boys, and shows most of them a ferocious thing or two.

The release opens with the outstanding We Are Dead, a track taking no time in stirring up the passions. From an opening roll of drums, spicy grooves and ravenous riffs quickly enclose ears as the beats of Matt Reid bash the senses. It is an irresistible start which only increases its grip on ears and imagination as vocalist Adam Hulse brings his ever gruff and enticing tones out to play within the tenacious scenery of the song. The bass of Jack Hamnett courts it all with an almost carnivorously dark and throaty sound, a psychopathic texture against the virulent torrent of addictive hooks and incendiary grooves uncaged by guitarist Dan Fido. The song proceeds to storm the senses with a chorus soaked in anthemic persuasion, though to be honest that applies to the whole of the infection posing as a song. Everything about the encounter is memorable and lingering, an epidemic of bruising and creatively salacious rock ‘n’ roll, and the best thing penned by the band yet, though definitely rivalled later.

Cover_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review The following Filthy similarly needs few seconds to awaken ears and appetite with its dirtily inviting presence. Once more the bass of Hamnett is a bear of a proposal within the song, its grouchy tones aligned to the keen edged swipes of Reid whilst complimenting the ever magnetic and gravelly delivery of Hulse. Compared to its predecessor, the song is a more restrained proposal with the enterprise of Fido less expansive, yet it offers some of the richest hooks and suggestive melodies found on the release. It is also a song rich with a variety of essences, at times a grungy rapacity fuelling its invention and in others a more punkish air, whilst its spine is just predatory rock ‘n’ roll.

Latest single Brave Coward is next and it too is a pinnacle in the Target:Renegades invention. A melancholic melody wraps ears initially, its potent lure quickly inviting a more agitated but still checked enterprise of rhythms. The strings of Fido continue to seduce and bewitch as a rawer air brews around them and the voice of Hulse. The singer again reveals more of his diversity and prowess, his reflective croon and impassioned roar within the song an incitement to ears and the intensity of the exceptional encounter. It is an ingenious tempest of a track, whether bellowing with anthemic and emotional ferocity or seducing with its melodic resourcefulness, it has ears engrossed and the passions enslaved.

Dark Sounds is closed by Losing Now, a more classic hard rock prowl in ears but again a track with a web of additional flavours and skilful tenacity. The song also grumbles from start to finish, bass and riffs an antagonistic temptation around which vocals and imagination cast a magnetic tapestry of snarling adventure. Though maybe not as an immediate stirring of the blood and passions as its predecessors, the track grows and intensifies its persuasion with every passing minute and subsequent listen, bringing the EP to an impressive end and spotlighting more of the expanding depths in the band’s sound and intent.

The national rock landscape is blessed with some of the most exciting emerging and potential scene changing propositions right now and Target:Renegades is right there amongst them. In fact with Dark Sounds now in their arsenal, they are on the frontline. British rock ‘n’ roll is on the prowl!

The Dark Sounds EP is released at the end of June with pre-orders taken @ http://www.targetrenegades.bigcartel.com/product/dark-sounds-ep-cd

http://www.targetrenegades.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/TR.UKMusic

RingMaster 02/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

The Haunting – Beyond These Doors

Though not quite veterans US hard rock/heavy metal band The Haunting has been around for just over a decade and is still relatively unknown outside of their homeland but with their latest album Beyond These Doors the chances of that changing are greatly raised. Displaying a straightforward blend of rock, metal and punk the Californian quartet have released an album that is simple pure rock ‘n’ roll without any complications or pretence. Uncluttered and direct Beyond These Doors just parties in the ear with heavy riffs and clean dark melodies that are as engaging as they are punchy.

Formed in 1999 by lead guitarist Randy Korstick and drummer Jessie “2 Feathers” Melendrez, The Haunting gained their current line-up the following year with the addition of vocalist/guitarist Raven Celata and bassist Mike Gjede. Two demos in 2000 and 2002 started gaining them attention alongside shows but it was not until 2009 that the band entered Dinky Music studio in Corona, California to work on and subsequently release their album No One’s Innocent. 2010 saw them spend the whole year writing and working on its follow-up Beyond These Doors to be released earlier this year with the singles from it ‘Crank Up the Amps’ and ‘The Loser in Me’ leading the way. 

The songs on Beyond These Doors are generally themed from horror movies and carry an attitude that challenges you not to like them but no one can win that test with the eager and addict forming tunes on offer. Musically the band is a hybrid of Misfits/Ramones punk metal, Alice Cooper classic rock, and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers rock ‘n’ roll. The clean simplicity of all those bands in league with ear catching instantaneous riffs and hooks that demand attention combining into an irresistible mix.

The first track ‘Crank Up the Amps’ opens on a definite Heartbreakers type sound, its open rock ‘n’ roll directness eager to have fun. As the track declares “We got a rock ‘n’ roll party tonight” that is what it delivers without any qualms. The early Misfits toned ‘Creation’ takes over with Celata’s slightly Danzig like vocals and striking guitars teasing and taunting with riffs and razor sharp solos.  The song, as is eventually revealed across all songs on the release, is never going to offer up the intricacies of progressive guitars and complicated rhythms from a Mastodon or the rampaging violence of a Brutal Truth but honest music that is just as definite to excite with its dark compulsive rock sounds.

Each song is an intriguing and appeasing slice but ‘The Loser in Me’ with a sound bringing strong flavours from UK 70’s punk, another Misfits spiced burst of catchy rock in the shape of ‘The Knife’, and the addictive ‘Two O’Clock In The Morning’ blessed with more rock ‘n’ roll harking back to Johnny Thunders and a touch of New York Dolls, stand out from what are ten thoroughly enjoyable and fun tracks.

Beyond These Doors to be honest has nothing particularly new about it but that is its big positive in many ways. It’s bringing in of obvious influences which every metal fan will find something to reminisce over, but used in the band’s own dark themed and joyful horror homage is an inviting and deeply satisfying result. The Haunting may still be a band that has still to enter your shadows but once it does their wicked rock ‘n’ roll grip will feed your heart for a long time to come.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Haunting/210527502303316?sk=info

RingMaster 15/12/2011

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