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

Ciconia – Meraki

The approaching spring of 2016 saw Spanish instrumental outfit Ciconia confirm themselves as one fascinating and enthralling proposition with the release of the album Winterize. Now almost to the day the Valladolid hailing trio are unveiling its successor, an even richer and resourcefully riveting encounter simply demanding real and full attention.

Already hinting to the fact with their 2014 debut album, The Moon Sessions, Ciconia showed a potent craft and agility at weaving canvases of sound as visually stimulating within the imagination as they were sonically compelling for ears with Winterize. The trio of bassist/composer Jorge Fraguas, guitarist Dani Dean, and drummer Aleix Zoreda have built on its acclaimed strengths and adventure within Meraki, a collection of tracks again bred through the band’s blend of progressive/classical rock and metal. It is a mix though unafraid to embrace other styles and hues to its creative breast creating tapestries of sound and intimation proving so easy to immerse within and conjure with.

Caressing inspirations from the likes of Opeth, Anathema, Porcurpine Tree, and Liquid Tension Experiment with their own individual creative emprise, Ciconia have tapped into an even more captivating fusion of individual prowess and united dexterity let alone manipulative imagination with Meraki. Swiftly as opener Litost flexes its metallic muscles within fiery melodic exploration, the track lifts ears on a flight of sonic exploration across a landscape as dramatic and welcomingly imposing as the sounds giving it visual perception. As Dean’s guitar weaves its suggestion, the respective rhythmic snarl and drive of Fraguas and Zoreda infiltrate song and appetite. It is a rousing affair stirring spirit and thoughts alike as well as sparking the instinctive heart and quest of the release.

The following Dépaysement makes a calmer more thoughtful entrance, the melodic hints of guitar within a keys spun atmospheric mist slowly but surely conjuring an increasingly defined image of dark shadows and light drawing implications. As the first, the track swiftly got under the skin and into adventure spinning imagination as folkish hues merged with progressive and melodic disclosure before the increasingly outstanding Euonia spun its own coalescence of descriptive textures and flavours. As throughout the album, every note of the music comes with open craft, drama, and sonic insinuation; a tempting as potently matched by the forceful but no less incisive and compelling manipulation of rhythms.

Through the earthier probing and strolling trespass of the equally thrilling Lost In The Wadi and the lofty winds of Katabatic, imagination and album just came closer together. Both tracks were delicious to ears and thoughts, the first a challenge with a feral edge to its persistence and the second an ethereal laced flight brought terrestrial bound by the dark hues of rhythms and incursions of earthier creative endeavour; and together the pair cast the album’s peak in a mountainous range of success and temptation.

Classic metal strains vein the incandescent canvas of Duality straight after, another track which relentlessly captivates with moments of irresistible enterprise and invention while the closing celestial seduction of Starlight inflames its mellow lures with controlled but stirring blazes of guitar and luminous melody. As each song and Meraki as a whole, every moment is as unpredictable as it is unapologetically alluring; the track a whole mesmeric adventure for the senses and personal interpretation.

We for one were blown away by previous album Winterise but Meraki has left it in the shadows as Ciconia again announce themselves one of the world’s most spellbinding and fiercely enjoyable propositions.

Meraki is released March 11th with pre-ordering available @ https://www.ciconia.band/web/Shop

https://www.facebook.com/ciconia666/   https://twitter.com/ciconiaband  https://www.ciconia.band

Pete RingMaster

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

DeeVer – You Need This

If like us you were taken with Only Enemy, the recent single from UK rockers DeeVer, we can tell you and you will be excited to hear that it was only a mere teaser to the rousing goodness which makes up the band’s debut album. You Need This is a collection of contagion and imagination loaded tracks that burrowed under the skin in quick time; quite simply it is rock ‘n’ roll which more than backs up the title it roars under.

Formed by ex-Inglorious guitarist Wil ‘Billy’ Taylor in 2017, North East hailing DeeVer has bred a sound blending the rapacious essences of punk, metal, and hard rock. It is a mix of the familiar and hungrily fresh with the latter driving its enterprise and tenacity. Alongside the band’s frontman is the rhythmic prowess of bassist Phil Appleton and drummer Dan Higgins as well as the stirring exploits of fellow guitarist Stevie Stoker. Through previous singles they have garnered references to the likes of Foo Fighters, Shinedown, and The Senton Bombs; easy to understand comparisons even within what is an individual character and holler to the band’s, definitely in the case of You Need This, irresistible sound.

The album opens up with Fire At Will, a song which swiftly turns the tap to the ridiculously infectious virulence which flows through the DeeVer songwriting and album. Eager riffs lay the first lure, quickly joined by muscularly swinging rhythms and soon after the potent tones of Taylor. Already that instinctive catchiness is infesting song and ears, steering the twists and turns springing from the craft and voices of the quartet. It is a commanding start to the release casting the anthemic quality of the band’s sound quickly taken up by the following All Come Running.

The outstanding second song easily had ears gripped through the opening throaty throes of Appleton’s bass, the subsequent punk hued stabs and staggers escalating the persuasion. Soon finding a brooding groove, the song evolves into a bold and voracious croon built on wiry strands of guitar and mellower melodic coaxing; every second offering up new imaginative temptations before making way for the creative drama and exploits of Alright. Again riffs and grooves align as the track swiftly rises to its stomping feet, that organic catchiness once more flooding the blossoming adventure and hearty roar of the encounter to quickly seduce ears and appetite.

The subsequent creative manoeuvres of Back Down and Waves only back up the potent and captivating success of the album so far; the first a classic rock nurtured offering with steel in its touch and a snarl in its voice. Though not quite hitting the spot as those before it, the song effortlessly had us bouncing before its successor sparked a similar reaction with its poppier rock ‘n’ roll. There is something very familiar to the track especially within its chorus but an essence hard to pin down with its boisterous and at times rapacious deeds.

Parachute is next up bringing a blend of alternative metal and melodic rock which again had body and vocal chords quickly engaged while the voracious Only Enemy simply continued its thick persuasion as a single as another major highlight of the album. With a feral metal breeding to its punk attitude loaded roar, the track instantly gets down to business throwing rhythmic punches amidst predacious riffs. Again Taylor’s vocals draw keen involvement as easily as the whole band’s enterprise; it all bedding in the imagination and lusty appetite in quick time.

Through the equally hungry if relatively more restrained We Are and the rock pop canter of Jim, pleasure instinctively bubbled with the closing I Am The Cavalry sending the album out on another peak with its new wave meets pop/hard rock shuffle. With calm verses leading to crescendos of wolfish almost untamed sonic contagion, it is a glorious end to a similarly striking release.

When peaking at the band’s past singles we suggested that DeeVer “has all the armoury and daredevil to make a major dent on the British rock scene.” You Need This shows we may just have underestimated their impact in saying just a dent.

You Need This is out now across most online stores with hard copies available @ https://deever.bigcartel.com/products

https://www.deever.uk/     https://www.facebook.com/thisisdeever   https://twitter.com/thisisdeever

Pete RingMaster 11/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sofy Major – Total Dump

Sofy Major is a leviathan of sound and trespass which persistently erupts from a noise fuelled creative lair with releases which for us have pretty much left contemporaries in their tempest and turbulence. Three previous albums have as good as decimated the prowess and adventure of other ear rewarding encounters around at the time and with Total Dump, the French trio has done it again Their new full-length is in many ways their most accessible and flirtatious offering yet but equally their most voracious and imposing not forgetting irresistible slab of noise and hardcore infested, metal lined rock ‘n’ roll.

The successor to the outstanding Waste of 2015, which itself eclipsed the thrilling Idolize unleashed two years earlier, the Dave Curran (UNSANE, Big Business) produced Total Dump is a contagion of abusive yet flirtatious noise and bruising but virulently captivating force and imagination. It is predatory irritable rock ‘n’ roll from start to finish with an eager taste in contagious and invasive enterprise. Opening up with its title track, the album immediately reveals its bestial side, the track prowling the senses with the carnivorous claws of Mathieu Moulin’s bass locked onto the senses as his more welcoming vocals align with the raw flames and tendrils of Thomas Dantil’s guitar. It is a preying of ears and imagination which never diminishes in threat and temptation however it evolves, a trespass driven by the menacing swings of drummer Mathieu Desternes that equally escalate in infernal virulence and captivation as individual and united enterprise breeds fresh twists and sonic commination.

The compelling start is only accentuated, indeed built upon by next up Giant Car Crash; a collision with the senses which had us bouncing as much as cowering before its flirtatious and barbarous intent. Voraciously feral and inhumanly infectious, the track devoured body and passions with unquenchable hunger leading to lustful responses before Cream It uncages its rapacious crawl to trespass the senses and melodic irreverence to seduce an already greedy appetite. The kind of proposition which offers a warm welcome whilst ruining the foundations to your sanity, the glorious track is a manipulative mix of viral noise with an appetite for clamorous untamed pop.

As the ravenously viral rock punk ‘n roll throes of Strike and the post punk embracing devilry of The Jerk infested and seduced ears with unruly dexterity, Total Dump just stretched its landscape of esurient intent and fevered invention. Both tracks are as mercilessly catchy as they are unapologetically invasive, that greater accessibility to the band’s sound in full bloom just as much its acclaimed creative villainy is merciless, and traits just as thrilling within next up Shinny Happy Asshole, a venomously swinging, deviously contagious but inescapably corruptive slice of unscrupulous enterprise.

Through the slow hunt of the senses that is Franck Butthole; a cancer of sound which just ignites the imagination, and the unbroken antics of Tumor O Rama it is impossible to say attention and pleasure wavered, the total opposite in truth up against their combined sonic punk infection fuelled scourges while Kerosine Mike n turn just trapped and enslaved with ursine-esque power and intimidation whilst brewing up its own melodically toxic strain of bewitching rock ‘n’ roll.

Completed by the senses ravishing, violently bouncing exploits of Panamarama, it one the album’s most magnificent moments, and the sonically consumptive, caustically alluring tempest of The Longest Yard, there was and is no diminishing of the ardour we bred and hold for Total Dump. Without any doubt despite the glories of the past, it provides the greatest, most thrilling time with Sofy Major yet but also is set to send a shiver through the world of noise in any form as those within wonder how they can compete with its voracious triumph.

Total Dump is out now via Deadlight Records on CD and Antena/Corpse Flower on Vinyl.

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

Pete RingMaster 30/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The RingMaster Review picks its favourite metal, rock and noise releases of 2018

Across its busy year 2018 unleashed a horde of gripping and rousing metal, rock, and noise driven releases. Here we pluck out those covered by The RingMaster Review which had the juices flowing most lustfully of all…

1. Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 2

2. Coilguns – Millennials

3. KEN mode – Loved

4. VNDTA – Pale Glow

5. Mammüth – Outlander

6. Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 1

7. Eryn Non Dae. – Abandon Of The Self 

8. The Great Sabatini – Goodbye Audio

9. U-Foes – No More No More

10. Dead Register – Captive

11. Naberus – Hollow

12. Bailer – Self Titled

13. Hostile Array – Self Titled 

14. In Vain – Currents

15. Vantablack Warship – Abrasive Pulmonic Speak

16. Skulk, The Hulking – Afterbirth Of A Nation

17. The Ugly Kings – Darkness Is My Home

18. Spookshow Inc. – Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II

19. The Castor Troys – Legends Never Die

20. Owl Company – Iris

21. Deville – Pigs with Gods

22. Arcaeon – Balance EP

23. Maudlin – Sassuma Arnaa

24. The Senton Bombs – Outsiders

25. Verni – Barricade 

Hails of metal and imagination; talking Shattered

US metallers Shattered have a sound which quite simply made us take notice so with big thanks to guitarist Tony Pettry we explored the band , its beginnings, sound, and plenty more…

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 began?

Hello, we are Shattered out of Tampa Bay, Florida. I, Tony Pettry and Tony Weaver decided to put a band together in 2014 because our musical styles of playing fit perfect.

Have you been or are involved in other bands? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing with Shattered?

Yes, I was in a couple different bands in the past and learned something from each one of them which I still carry with me today.

What inspired the band name?

After that we went through a bunch of names and made sure they were available and Shattered stood out above them all.

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

I thrive on being unique and all the different styles of music everyone brings to the table makes us stand out.

As the band has grown and evolved it is the same core intent driving the band?

I still have the drive as when we first started the band. Loosing members from different situations really helped me mature for the most part and I approach things in a different manner.

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

Our music is getting more technical as we grow together for sure.

Is that simply an organic growth or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

All of us have so much music built up inside so we mix it all together till it moulds into a song.

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 music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Every member in the band is different but personally King Diamond has always been my inspiration because of his uniqueness in music and stage performance.

Is there a general process to the band’s songwriting?

We share ideas and it goes forward from there.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of songs?

Our vocalist likes fantasy and storyline type of songs which is always awesome in my book.

Would you give us some background to your latest release?

The last album was named “PRIDE” which was about bullying and standing up for yourself, an aggressive album on not letting people get the better of you and standing your ground. Our new album coming soon is called “SKINWALKER” focusing on stories about werewolves and more. It is going to be out this year.

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?

Yes, we like to walk into the studio fully prepared to record.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

I love that not only do we have a blast sharing our music but doing crazy stuff during our performances to get the crowd going.

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

I found that the social media helps a lot promoting. Honestly, it is hard to make an impact in the music scene so our best shot is being unique from other bands so we get noticed.

You mentioned the internet and social media, is it something the band easily embraces?

Social media is a positive 100%. We learn something new every day to get our name out there.

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

I just want to thank you for the interview and Sinister Guitar Picks, Fireball Whisky, From The Depths Entertainment, and Rogue PR for everything.

Check Shattered out further @…

http://www.shattered727.com   https://www.facebook.com/pg/Shattered727

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

State Of Ember – Broken Horizons

With a sound woven from a combination of metal, punk and prog rock, UK outfit State of Ember have already courted proper attention with a debut EP but are now demanding it with the release of its successor, Broken Horizons. Offering six power fuelled, boldly tenacious tracks, the release is an ear grabbing, spirit rousing slab of anthemic rock ‘n’ roll and one fiercely enjoyable trespass.

Formed 2016, Worcestershire bred State Of Ember have been referenced to the likes of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, and INME but as Broken Horizons shows they have an individuality which is really beginning to mark them out from the crowd. True originality might still be awaiting their sound but it is hard to say there is nothing fresh or little which does not stand out about it either. From opener Time & Time, the EP sets out its rich stock of metal infused punk ‘n’ roll, flavouring just as welcoming to the spices of heavy and melodic rock. That first track swiftly springs wiry grooves which keenly wrapped ears, the guitar temptation laid out by Chris Tamburro an equal to his vocal prowess while the tenacious swings of drummer Chelsea McCammon alongside the infectious growl of Mike Landreth’s bass make for a matching lure.

It is a great, senses rousing start quickly matched by the eager exploits of its successor, Fear of Falling. Admittedly its opening wave of grooves and riffs is barely removed from those of the first song but it soon evolves its own character of imagination and attack which ebbs and flows in ferocity and invasive catchiness; growing all the more compelling by the turn.

Both next up Made Up My Mind and the following Reasons hit the spot, the first a fiery strong-willed roar with feral instincts and the second a cyclone of irritable punk metal inspired vigour and enterprise with a definite Therapy?-esque lining to it. Both are a cauldron of raucous adventure, the latter especially stirring before the blues rock scented Wrong Turn shares its infectious holler. Because of the thick triumph of the previous song it paled a touch in comparison but still easily coaxed ears and appetite to want more; a need final track, Beneath Our Dreams, feeds with zeal and resourcefulness as State Of Ember share another creative strand to writing and sound with its melodic rock laced metal insurgence on the senses.

Broken Horizons is as much about potential as current strengths and enterprise and as it is rich in all, it is not that hard to suspect a potent future for State Of Ember and a whole lot of pleasure for the rest of us.

Broken Horizons is released January 11th.

http://www.stateofember.co.uk    http://www.facebook.com/stateofember   http://www.twitter.com/stateofember

Pete RingMaster 8/01/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright