Helligators – Road Roller Machine

Hell_RingMaster Review

It is fair to say that Road Roller Machine lives up to its name, the new album from Italian heavy rockers Helligators an unrelenting juggernaut of ravenous riff driven rock ‘n’ roll. Immersing strains of blues and stoner bred colour into a raw and uncompromising tempest of power and intensity, the release is a thumping treat of bruising and invigorating sound; not the most unique you are likely to come across this year but without doubt one of the most exhaustingly enjoyable.

Hailing from Rome, the 2009 formed Helligators self-released their debut album Against All Odds two years later, it and a video for the track Tattooed Killer, enticing keen attention the way of the band. The varied flavouring in their imposing sound sparked increasingly eager appetites from that point on, with the release of 2012 single Snake Oil Jesus only reinforcing their emerging presence and potent musical persuasion. The song was a strong teaser to things to come too, pleasures to be found and grown further in the 2014 recorded and recently released Road Roller Machine. Alongside all of this the band’s live presence has equally drawn acclaim, the sharing of stages with the likes of Orange Goblin, Nashville Pussy, Doomraiser, Strana Officina, Bad Bones and many more persistently impressing over time. Now it is with their second album released on Sliptrick Records, to whom the band signed this past spring, that Helligators are looking to stir up rock ‘n’ roll ‘trouble’, and such its rigorously persuasion it is hard to see them not becoming a loud household name.

copertina_road_roller_machine_RingMaster Review     Recorded with Luciano Chessa, Road Roller Machine bursts into rugged life with Nomad, a lone invigorating groove straight away gripping ears and appetite before rhythms and heavily robust riffs join the deliciously intensive early bait of the song. Thoughts of Motorhead quickly take hold, hints joining just as pungent ones of Danish band Grumpynators spicing up the deluge of spiky rhythms and ravenous riffery. It is a thrilling onslaught only accentuated by the growling tones of vocalist Hellvis, his bear like delivery a thick incitement within the increasingly tenacious enterprise surrounding him. Guitarists El Santo and Kamo bring stoner and blues lined hues to entwine with insatiable charge of riffs, both also providing good vocal backing to Hellvis, with everything involved adding up to the most hellacious and thrilling start to the album; maybe to any heavy rock album this year.

The Doomstroyer holds court next, its opening sonic coaxing over swiftly addictive enticing from drummer Alex, again an immediate grab of the listener. Heftily anthemic from the first instant, the track continues to incite imagination and body with the descriptive expression of Hellvis against slightly restrained rhythms and riffs but lures still pulling at the leash of intimidation. There is a Desert Storm like air to the track, a dirty and tempestuous climate which is as volatile as it is infectious, especially as guitar cast melodic tendrils wrap around rhythmic pistons and the song’s raw ferocity.

A ‘lighter’ air springs forth with Scream next; its blues rock breeding spicy veining to a landscape as rugged as that of its predecessor. The bass of Goblin stalks the song from its first second, a dark and predacious spine the guitars entwine with their constantly evolving and enthralling ideation. The individual craft and passion of each member is an equally roaring essence in each album track, and here uniting in a furnace of virulent adventure and instinctive tempting for a success more or less matched by both She Laughs and Snake Oil Jesus. The first of the two tempers its rabid aggressiveness with mellower melodic rock resourcefulness, both guitars and even the vocals infusing a relative calm to proceedings though the gripping snarl of the bass and the ever wickedly jabbing beats of Alex ensures there is no lack of the bands intimidating edge. Its successor is a groove machine all on its own, an incessant scorcher which spills adrenaline fuelled intensity and rebellious attitude with every caustic syllable and acidic chord. Once more the band twists in strong variety to the design and persuasion of the song; never going into the unknown but only leaving ears and appetite urgently wanting more.

More is what you get with Truckdriver, a track with little in the way of major surprises but a tank load of inventive enterprise in its southern honed rumble. There is no escape from the pure contagion of the song or that of the sultry and sinister dark majesty of Swamp Man Voodoo. Every groove and predatory hook oozes menace, backed by the rapacious nature of rhythms and the ever hungry riffs though each element also leaks rich seduction that never lets go. The outstanding song is pure theatre, a satanic dance and fiercely vociferous trespass for the soul.

No surprises for guessing the character of a song called Bad Ass from Helligators, its air instant belligerence and sound swift confrontation with of course plenty which just invites full involvement before Stone Crusher takes over with its Metallica meets AC/DC like blaze. There is no denying that the song did not find the same depth of appetite as those before it, or to be fairer as consistently as those as there are moments when the band again shows they can rival any one in unleashing a torrent of rock ‘n’ roll brilliance with thick rigorous invention.

Road Roller Machine is brought to an end by the acoustically crafted Black Sun and its blues kissed melodic smoulder. The song fuses stoner and southern rock hues with classic rock ingredients to sculpt another song which maybe does not quite match those earlier within the album but is impossible to tear one away from whilst providing a fine end to one mighty slab of heavy duty rock ‘n’ roll. Helligators have no interest in re-inventing rock music but certainly they want to give everyone a riotously good time and that they do big style with Road Roller Machine.

Road Roller Machine is out on Sliptrick Records now!

RingMaster 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Fallen Angels – World In Decay

Fallen Angels Band Photo 1_RingMaster Review - Left2Right Steve-Brad-Erik-Carl-Matt - cropped

Creating a compelling maelstrom of energy and familiarity, US thrashers Fallen Angels back up their acclaimed second album Engines of Oppression, with another tempest of aggression and craft in the masterful shape of World In Decay. The Seattle based quintet once more openly weave the inspiration of genre masters and originators such as early Metallica, Testament, Slayer, and Megadeth into their equally classic metal hued sound, and again the band uncages a proposition which only excites ears and appetite. It is fair to say that in many ways you know what you are going to get with a Fallen Angles encounter, but not in what shape or gripping design it comes in. The same applies to World In Decay, an album with few major surprises but a torrent of things to drool over.

With their 80’s thrash and 70/80’s heavy metal influenced sound, Fallen Angels has increasingly and persistently lured strong attention, establishing themselves with fans and media as a proposition ripe with contagious and aggression driven adventure. Equally the band is a dab hand at entangling it all with a modern take on melodic and imagination sculpted textures, as first shown through 2008 debut album Rise From Ashes and even more so in Engines of Oppression three years later. World In Decay is more of the same but also equipped with an even fresher breath of craft and maturity equating to Fallen Angel’s finest moment yet.

Produced by Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tesla, Vicious Rumors), World In Decay erupts into life with The Hammer’s Blow and an instant onslaught of spicy guitar and rampant riffs from Erik Hanson and Matt Be Rot. They coax from amidst intensive rhythms led by the swings of drummer Steve Spitzbart, the track an uncompromising lure before brewing into a more welcoming creative blaze of flying grooves and hooks over the magnetically growling bass of Carl Larsson and around the vocal roar of Bradzilla which quickly emerges as the ringmaster to the rampage in furious motion. Thoughts of Exodus and Annihilator spring up from the growing tapestry of fierce enterprise engulfing ears, whilst the melody toned side of the song dabbles with folkish/Celtic flirtation at times, the whole thing ensuring the album gets off to a stirring start.

Album Cover - Fallen Angels - World In Decay_RingMaster Review   The first single from the album, Nightmare comes next, its darker and more predatory character swiftly igniting the imagination whilst discord lined sonic enticement has ears seduced before it all momentarily halts for riffs and rhythms to collude and unleash a ravenous charge. That Metallica whiff is a rosy hue within the raw and incendiary landscape of the song, but as everywhere it gets honed into something maybe enjoyably familiar but leaves expectations scrambling for success. The song potently backs up the might of its predecessor before Forsaken Existence kicks things up another gear with its inventive and melodically emotive presence. From the opening breath, the track is a maze of twists and provocative craft before settling into a leaner surge of bruising enticement, though it in turn is soon wrapped in more sparkling invention and sonic colour which go on to entwine for the remaining length of the fascinating offering. The track is irresistible, at its heights when exploring a diversity of styles and pure contagion when just bullying air and ears.

Leading the Blind is another proposal prowling the listener from its first touch, riffs and rhythms as good as stalking the senses as an intoxicating seducing from Hanson spreads tantalising beauty around the bestial heart of the song. As in the last, it simply grows in weight, creative strength, and addictive resourcefulness with every passing chord and rhythmic swipe. The vocals alone enthral and within the gripping drama of sound, it all results in one of the pinnacles of World In Decay, through a triumph superbly supported by Fire At Eden’s Gate. Whereas the last song was beast like, its successor is a caress of classical hued melodies and mesmeric string craft from the guitarists, only the firm rhythms providing any hint of the dark intent of the song within its impressive entrance. They soon get their way though and spark an uncompromising confrontation led by the great grouchy tones of the bass and the ever ready to grapple delivery of Bradzilla. The track never uncages its fullest fury or violence though which only adds to its commanding air, but once in full stride, it never allows an easy or unrewarding time to brew either.

The weighty stance and sound of Into The Abyss keeps things burning brightly though it lacks the same spark as the songs before it. Its body is almost subdued in energy at times in comparison, saving it for the sizzling crescendos which do escape across its evocative length. The individual skills and united craft of the band again only impress though so that the song is only ever pleasing, a quality also applying to The Hour of the Time, another which does not impact as firmly as others, certainly initially but only grows into ears and in stature through every excursion through its web of flavours and tenacious execution.

The album ends on a lofty high with Mortis Ex Machina, the song a rousing anthem from its opening roar and with a volatile nature casts a thoroughly bewitching instrumental landscape punctured by recurring and ferocious vocal incitement aligned to skilfully rabid rhythms and riff driven fury. Talking of instrumentals, the album actually finishes on a mesmeric untitled offering which like an epilogue to what came before leaves ears and thoughts enraptured and eager to experience the release all over again.

World In Decay brings the best of familiarity and fresh endeavour together like an old friend carrying a whole new persona, whilst Fallen Angels as reinforced themselves with the album as a band not yet able to turn the trash/metal scene on its head, but one easy to get a bit greedy over.

World In Decay is available from August 4th via Cyberdyne Records.

http://fallenangelsthrashband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fallen-Angels-Thrash-Band/336737539688752

RingMaster 03/08/2015

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

 

Prowler – From The Shadows

Prowler_RingMaster Review

Not to be confused with seemingly a handful of metal bands with a matching name, the Prowler unleashing new album From The Shadows, hail from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and create a rousing onslaught of horror fuelled heavy/thrash metal. Theirs is a sound which is maybe low on major surprises and high on familiarity, one unafraid to wear its inspirations on its blood soaked sleeve, but equally it only provides a compelling and thoroughly enjoyable escapade that hits the undemanding sweet spot time and time again.

Prowler began in 2010, releasing a quartet of EP’s which they subsequently brought together with an additional new track for their debut album After You in 2013. The band’s inspirations seem to stem from early Metallica and Anthrax, taking From The Shadows as an example, and indeed eighties thrash in general, essences twisted into sonic echoes and offshoots from horror movies of the same era. 2013 also saw the release of The New Blood EP, a well-received attention grabber in many ways sowing the accomplished and ravenous seeds for the Roger Lian (Slayer, Overkill, Pantera, Damageplan) mastered From The Shadows. As suggested the band’s new album does not particularly reshape the landscape or scenery of thrash metal but it does join a handful of genre releases this year which simply leave ears and appetite highly satisfied whilst uncaging anthemic fun easily luring limbs, neck muscles, and voice to get fully involved.

The album opens with R.O.T.L.D and the first of the individual film samples bookending each track within the album; here a slither of Return Of the Living Dead triggering a swiftly contagious rhythmic stroll. A riff and groove sculpted swing soon adds to the dynamic theatre and persuasion of the song, whilst vocally with a whiff of Wednesday 13 to his delivery, guitarist Patrick Best opens up the cinematic narrative. It is a raw and magnetic concoction with a horror punk scent brewing up its enmity within a thrash spawned prowl, and a rousing start to the album.

cover_RingMaster Review     The excellent track makes way for Out Of The Fog, riffs and beats encasing the opening sample just as the theme of the lyrics impose within the cinematic source. Keys soon add spicy colouring to the antagonistic prowl of sound whilst the bass of Shawn Bruce and beats of drummer Jak Sumwalt cast their own sinister and rampant cage. It is a predatory mix with plenty of enjoyable and generally unpredictable twists, and knowing the films seeding each track, as here, only adds to the theatre of it all.

I Am Wolf quickly hunts down the senses and psyche next; the throaty primal tone of the bass and the rapier like beats alone inciting ears and imagination whilst vocally Best is a protagonist with barker like appeal around the continuing samples which puncture the passage of the track. As the first pair of songs, the track is undiluted full-blooded thrash metal, easy to offer comparisons too but hard to dismiss as a pale imitation of anything.

The commanding and stirring beats of Sumwalt make an inspiring impact across the whole of the album, and at the start of the following The Thing Not Seen, simply stalking ears with a tribal come demonic stance and canter. Like the bass tempting offered continually by Bruce, which is just as potent across From The Shadows, there is a primal feel and air to the rhythmic provocation, one emulated in their own raw and spiteful fashion by vocals and searing guitar enterprise of Best.

Prowler next offer a cover of The Ramones track, Pet Sematary, the song given a heavy metal make-over fuelled by another thrash cast tempest of energy and sound. It is a more than decent and pleasing version but lacks something compared to the band’s own songs, which maybe is how it should be with any cover song, always being eclipsed by a band’s own invention as shown immediately by Return To The Lot. Another entwining rabid rapacity and a more stalker like gait to its primeval hell, the Salems Lot inspired ravishing captures ears and imagination with visceral ease, again not splintering into new domains but healthily feeding any wants from a thrash/horror punk fusion.

Death On Wheels carries a similar attack and growl to its predecessor and wears arguably the strongest Metallica/Anthrax sound of any song within the album, and through those aspects does not quite match what has already lit up From The Shadows. There is no denying though that it has ears and pleasure in full swing before leaving Creature Of The Black and its atmospheric entrance to work another enthralling tempting. Eventually the song grows into a muscular and savagely predacious offering with carnivorous rhythms and caustic grooves, and a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable album.

From The Shadows certainly offers little new but it certainly provides a festival of eighties aural and visual devilry with an attitude and snarl as nasty as the creatures central to each and every song. As mentioned earlier, it is enormous fun and that definitely works when looking for something to simply get the blood rushing through veins and emotions primed to take on the world.

From The Shadows is available digitally and on CD now via Slaney Records and @ http://prowlerhorror.bandcamp.com/album/from-the-shadows

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Prowler-Metal/151137794901489

RingMaster 21/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Cerebellion – Regeneration

Promo_Orange-Sky_RingMaster Review

It has been five years since US metallers Cerebellion gripped our attention with their excellent debut album Inalienable; a stretch of time which has not felt as long through many of the album’s tracks and subsequent 2013 single A Better Version, never being too far from our listening for pleasure playlists. Fair to say though and like for so many, there was healthy excitement when being sent their new EP Regeneration. It has proven to be an encounter rekindling an already rich appetite for the Californian quartet, and their compelling sound which has through the new offering shown itself to have grown and matured without losing the distinctive Cerebellion breath.

Formed in 2009, the Long Beach hailing foursome of vocalist Joe Arnold, guitarist John Arnold, bassist Marc Battung, and drummer Jimmy Schultz quickly earned a strong reputation for their inventive fusion of metal and heavy rock, a blend again fuelling the impressive Regeneration. It is an incitement which, as we suggested, has further blossomed, the songs within the EP more diverse within their provocative walls and embracing a sharper and fuller design of textures and flavours. The band has not lost or defused their aggressive snarl either, though it has been honed into a more skilfully provocative and rousing essence which only helps the band’s new release powerfully spark ears and imagination.

All Came to Light starts things off, an initially sultry and melancholic melody slipping from the strings of the guitar. Its potent coaxing is soon joined by a rawer but no less evocative lure of bass and darker guitar shadows, harmonies soon after also adding to the intrigue and emerging drama. With rhythms warming up until things are stirring nicely, they and every corner of song and band explode into a roar of heavy beats and rugged riffs around the dusty tones of Joe Arnold. As existing fans would expect, a spicy groove is soon in the midst of the engaging tempest too, the song a rigorous charge unafraid to slip into gentle melodic caresses with matching vocal persuasion. With a touch of Metallica to it alongside whispers of Alice in Chains, the song ebbs and flows in intensity, bellows and croons in aggression and attitude uniting to draw only a hungry attention for it and the whole release.

ReGen_Front_Cover_Final_RingMaster Review     The following Cold similarly makes a gentle entrance, though this time there is a definite intimidating shadow behind the emerging sound and vocal tempting. Soon the track is into a muscular but reflective stroll, rhythms a dark texture against the lighter but no less sorrow laced enterprise of guitar and voice. Across it the rolling and imaginative beats of Schultz are pure magnetism, their anthemic lures matched by the throaty emotion cast by Battung’s bass and the gnawing riffs of John Arnold, the latter also casting some delicious acidic enticing within his solo and imagination. Arguably the track lacks the richer originality of others, at times providing something for expectations but every time thoughts like that do arise it is fair to say that something twists and turns in the songwriting and song to argue the point.

The variety within the release continues more strongly with both Savior and Nothing Left. The first of the two explores a heavier rock spiced canvas upon which the guitar spins a melodic and groove metal seeded web. As the voice of Joe spreads the narrative with emotive expression and energy, there is an air of bands like In Flames and Avenged Sevenfold to the track, but only spices honed into something, certainly taking longer to persuade than its predecessors, but brewing up an individual and long-term captivation. Its successor is similar in that it slowly burns into the passions and also leaves one of the deepest enjoyments. The song opens with a mesmeric kiss of Spanish guitar, their flamenco spawned melodies like kisses on the senses and a tonic for the imagination. The song is an acoustic seduction, its beauty tempering and complementing the melancholy oozing from every syllable and harmony, not forgetting the bewitching strings which emerge later in the song. Eventually though, the drama has to explode and the thrilling encounter erupts into a rousing intensive finale though with one last acoustic stroke for its last touch.

Cerebellion are back in voracious swing with Thin Ice next, the track from its first breath almost predatory with its scythes of sound and beats, all colluding to forge a prowling enticing and subsequently an adrenaline driven, thrash bred onslaught. Of course the band is never one to settle into one wind of persuasion and they seamlessly and skilfully infuse melodic and calmer swerves into that the at times almost rabid intensity. The track is as anthemic as it is creatively riveting, a song which alone tells you all you need to know about band and sound, and definitely the perfect gateway for new fans into Cerebellion.

Regeneration ends with Forsaken, a fascinating and creatively tempestuous encounter again revealing everything impressive about the band and music. From individual prowess to group imagination, songwriting maturity to lyrical and melodic incitement, song and release only and increasingly impress.

The hefty time between releases has only seen Cerebellion grow into a masterful metal/rock proposition, but you know whilst listening to Regeneration, you still get the feeling there is plenty more untapped inside the band’s creativity. Hopefully we will discover that a little more swiftly ahead.

The Regeneration EP is available now through most online stores and digitally and on CD @ https://cerebellion.bandcamp.com/album/regeneration

http://www.cerebellion1.com/ http://www.facebook.com/cerebellion1

RingMaster 18/07/2015

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

 

Animosity Kills – Manipulative

Animosity Kills Gen pub photo_RingMaster Review

The name is Animosity Kills and if the Norwegian band can realise the open potential rifling through their debut EP Manipulative, it could be a moniker you will become very aware of. The four track rumble of metal wears its influences firmly on its sleeve, inspirations from the likes of Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Testament clear and familiar attributes, but that does not stop the introduction to the Askøy quintet being charged with fresh and tenaciously modern enterprise. It is a thoroughly enjoyable encounter making a potent nudge on ears and awareness.

Animosity Kills began in the October of 2013 and consists of rhythm guitarists Stephan Høgtun and Rupert Notøy Rødland alongside lead guitarist Mats Bruland, as well as vocalist/bassist Erik Lindelid and drummer Sindre Høgtun Gjelsvik. There is little more we can reveal about them except that on good authority they are one mighty beast live, a suggestion easy to go with going by the energy and intensity of the songs within Manipulative.

Animosity Kills Manipulative Album Cover_RingMaster Review   The EP opens up with Thermic Vision which is immediately badgering ears with a horde of rugged riffs and a wonderful carnivorously dark tone from Lindelid’s bass. With the crisp swipes of Høgtun Gjelsvik’s sticks on skin adding to the already volatile mix, the track is soon into a predatory stride bred from thrash seeds. Swiftly a busyness to the sound and songwriting of the band grabs ears, the creative web as clear as the spices sparking their sound, Pantera and Metallica the obvious references to the imposing and compelling opener. The track continues to prowl and roam over the senses, never exploding as it hints it might and thoughts hoped it would but still providing a captivating and combative persuasion sparking a keen appetite for what is on offer and yet to come.

To come is first of all Lord Of Darkness, it also tall and muscular with fiery guitars and thumping rhythms ridden by the strong vocals of Lindelid. As its predecessor, the song also keeps things turning and twisting with creative regularity, the trio of guitars creating a weave of individual and united resourcefulness which just licks at ears as the rhythmic side of the band tempers their adventure with a bordering on bestial contrast and threat. It is an accomplished and richly satisfying proposal but quickly outshone by the following Ballistic. Even with its firm tempting of riffs lined with slim hooks there is a new air of variety, and so it continues as the song expands into an enthralling stomp of rich contagion equipped with a virulent swagger. There is a touch of Volbeat and Grumpynators to it, the same kind of swinging infectiousness they are known for fuelling the addictive power of the chorus and the rousing riffs leading into it especially. With blistering melodic craft and endeavour pouring from Bruland’s guitar across the similarly gripping adventure sprung by Høgtun and Høgtun Gjelsvik, the track is a show stopper, or should that be inciter.

Manipulate concludes with its title track, a song riding thrash cultured torrents of compelling riffery and pummelling rhythms, including another hypnotic bass snarl, and twisting them into a blaze of instinctive heavy/classic metal. It has the old school air you might imagine but the fire of the track flames with touches of alternative and groove metal as well as simply a bruising and healthy dose of raw rock ‘n’ roll.

It is a fine end to an impressive first taste of Animosity Kills, a band with the promise and tools, not forgetting invention, to forge their own distinct and rich place in the metal scene sometime ahead.

The Manipulative EP is out now @ http://animositykills.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/AnimosityKills   https://twitter.com/animositykills

RingMaster 17/07/2015

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

 

I.C.O.N – The Blacklist

I.C.O.N_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Six years on from their well-received and acclaimed debut album, UK’s I.C.O.N make another noticeable and even more potent imprint on the British metal scene with its successor The Blacklist. It is a brute of an encounter yet jammed with stirring melodies and sonic enterprise to temper and complement its muscular aggression. The album is not one to seriously tear up the metal/heavy rock landscape but in giving it an invigorating stirring, The Blacklist does a massive job.

From the release of their first album New Born Lie in 2009, I.C.O.N has continued to reinforce their potent reputation and increase a loyal fan base through a live presence taking in stage sharing with the likes of Breed 77, Blaze Bayley, Warrior Soul, Diamond Head, Furyon, Zico Chain, Witchfynde, and Voodoo Six amongst many others. Numerous festival appearances have only enhanced their growing stature too, with the release of The Blacklist now carrying the broadest potential to awaken major spotlights. Produced by Pete Troughton, the album is a tapestry of hostile exploits and melodic temptation cast in an array of individual proposals. Some tracks outshine others but from its first atmospheric breath to its final roar, the release provides one rugged, raw, and rousing enjoyment.

The album opens with A Room In Hell, a short instrumental gently and evocatively luring the listener into the heart and turbulence of The Blacklist. Guitars cast an enticing web of expression and craft whilst rhythms rumble like an encroaching storm, their shadows colluding with sonic persuasion in a potent intro to the release and the sinew stretched swagger of Feeding The Negative. Instantly riffs from guitar and bass are a gripping coaxing matched by the increasingly aggressive and agitated assault of beats. The growling tone of Reece Bevan’s bass additionally provides a great accompaniment to the equally gravelly vocals of Mark Sagar and a predatory contrast to the acidic and scorching endeavour of Scott Knowles’s guitar. In full stride and attitude, ground-breaking the song is not but like the album, in prime and inventive metal spawned rock ‘n’ roll, the track is a storming incitement and pleasure.

i-c-o-n-the-blacklist-1400_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The following Grindin’ Wheel, though appearing less confrontational, is a matching beast of provocation. As the keen swipes of Larry Paterson’s drum sticks hit skin and senses, a spicy groove is cast by Knowles, its revelry sparking a similar swing to riffs and subsequent rhythms whilst band vocal calls add an anthemic tempting to around increasingly imposing and impressing tones of Sagar. The song does its big part in the continuing strong and gripping start to The Blacklist and is instantly backed by the thrash seeded I’m The Venom, a song with a hint of bands like Metallica and Testament but flinging those flavours around like a baker with dough to create its own recipe of melodic/heavy rock infused antagonism. There is that familiarity though but it only makes things spicier around the uniqueness fuelling the incendiary solo which breaks free and the bracing vocal/rhythm collusion shaping all tracks.

Both Welcome To My War, with its deliciously barbarous bass insurgence and uncompromising drums swings, and Speak To Your God keep ears and appetite fully fed. The first of the two is just breath-taking at its start, an inescapable consuming of the senses and imagination which then loses its fullest potency once it settles into a more reserved and restrained prowl. The song still impresses and ignites full satisfaction to be fair but such its glorious opening, it feels a little like a missed opportunity unlike its successor which brawls and rages from its first breath. With a hint of a southern twang to its air, the track reveals its whole weight and weaponry straight away, simply increasing its richness with nagging riffs, riveting grooves, and a fiery solo, not forgetting virulent rhythms.

The slower, more controlled Devil’s Blacklist walks through ears with emotional expression and descriptive sonic hues, and though it maybe lacks the spark of its predecessors, it hangs a creative arm around attention to keep it fully involved before Wrong Way Back turns in a heavy and forceful stomp equipped with raw contagion spun by the skilled exploits of each member of the band. There is no avoiding the technical and accomplished craft from I.C.O.N, and how individually and united its members know how to write and deliver a fully rounded and attention grabbing storm of an encounter, no better proof coming than with Man of the North. From a cold and lonely canvas the instrumental builds an evocative landscape of solitude and beauty, its range of minimalistic textures to full blown tempestuous endeavour and ideation a relentless suggestiveness for the imagination.

The outstanding rampage of Deconverted descends on ears and air next, another thickly persuasive bass lead stirring up body and emotions for the song to bruise and ignite further, though it is another which maybe does not realise the potential hinted at throughout. It is still an excellent encounter though leaving the closing and tenacious sonic might of Drowning In Their Screams to bring this thoroughly enjoyable and invigorating album to a close.

For honest and uncluttered, as well as seriously accomplished heavy metal, it will be hard to find anything much better than The Blacklist this year we suggest. It is not flawless and as mentioned it does not fulfil all the promise hinted at, but you can only feel that there is a major classic lurking inside I.C.O.N as they evolve and grown further whilst this release persistently shows itself to be one powerful and seriously tasty encounter all metallers should take time to devour.

The Blacklist is available now via Metalbox Recordings digitally and on CD @ http://www.iconukonline.com/webshop

http://www.iconukonline.com   https://www.facebook.com/icon.uk

RingMaster 16/06/2015

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

Immension – In Vain

Immension Press Shot

Continuing where their previous EP left off whilst showing greater rigorous invention and accomplished songwriting, British metallers Immension release debut album In Vain to reaffirm the potential of their already potent emergence. It is not an encounter destined to leave ears awe struck but certainly it is an album merging familiarity and fresh imagination in one persistently enjoyable proposition.

The Sheffield bred Immension was formed in 2008 by Jake Kearsley (vocals, guitar, bass and piano) and Tim Dolan (lead guitar), and soon began earning local attention with a sound seemingly Bullet For My Valentine inspired, certainly on the evidence of their self-titled first EP. Its successor The Enemy Within increased the band’s ever growing fan base whilst sparking a more national awareness too, its arrival also revealing a more Metallica influenced creativity and air was blossoming in the band’s sound and again part fuels Immension’s first and increasingly pleasing full-length. With drummer Jonni Sowter, who joined the band back in 2011, the trio are set to awaken the strongest and broadest spotlight yet with In Vain, with expected success.

Carrying a presence which is like nineties era Metallica meets Trivium, In Vain opens up with its title track and an enticing of guitar which in turn leads to a robust and skilfully tangled weave of melodic endeavour and rhythmic incitement. The vocals led by Kearsley, similarly have a tenacious and full presence, and like the music carry a Hetfield and co ring to them in varying ways. Rigorous in some moments, more energetically composed in others, the track grabs ears and attention with ease with Sowter a commanding and resourceful presence within the web of enterprise cast by Dolan’s guitar.

Immension Album Cover Art   The rich start to the album continues with The Fantasy, Sowtor’s heavy swings again instantly incendiary bait as riffs and grooves unleash a fiery magnetism against the dark swing riffs of bass. As the rest of the album, there are plenty of recognisable aspects to the song, of others and the band’s previous releases, but equally a new adventure is explored too via more provocative sonic textures and Middle Eastern spices. It is a climatic and richly satisfying encounter, its mix of deliberate prowling and ruggedly enthusiastic charges a contagious persuasion reinforced by the creative imagination and ever impressing vocals within all sides of the band.

All That Remains follows with a mellower and more restrained if still fiery character, vocals and guitar caressing ears as rhythms provide a sturdier framing. Impassioned energy flows through the heart and narrative of the song though, ensuring its more placid nature is always on the edge of emotional eruption before it makes way for the skilfully crafted and dynamic Lost & Forgotten. Neither track can match the persuasion of the first two on the album, and both also begin to reveal a surface similarity in certain areas between tracks within In Vain, but each has ears and appetite enthused for more with their also present elements of individuality, and again duly offered by In The Dead Of Winter and Shadow Of Yourself. The first of these two opens with an ominous yet regal ambience around dramatic beats before being further infused with wiry melodic hues of guitar. There is a rampancy to it which is just as highly persuasive as the ever evident technical and thoughtful potency going into songs. It is one of the loftier peaks of the album, a height its successor tries to emulate with its familiar inventive route clad in thoroughly engaging sound and creativity.

For maybe the first openly dramatic time a major twist of originality comes with the piano led and vocally harmonic Love Never Dies. Its opening charm and beauty is mesmeric but aligned to portentous shadows through the heavy tones of bass and firmly jabbing beats, it all gripping the imagination as much as ears. Continuing to evolve and expand its character and creative colour, the song becomes a blaze of melodic and emotional angst, sublimely capturing pleasure and thoughts before the just as excellent The Enemy Within uncages its barbarous and exhilarating turbulence. The track is never as aggressive and volatile as it might be due to the excellent smooth tones of Kearsley, but it thrills a treat with an enticing which is inviting and barbed simultaneously. The two tracks provide further pinnacles to the album before closing track The Father You Will Never Be offers a final imposing croon and emotional ferocity restrained by melodic temptation.

The song is a fine end to a consistently and increasingly enjoyable release. Immension are still a distance away from finding a truly unique sound but In Vain shows that in craft and sound they have taken big and impressive steps. This is not an encounter to be surprised by or find brand new terrains through but as a proposition to simply spend forty five minutes or so enjoying potent melodic metal, it is a success many other bands will envy.

In Vain is available from June 15th through all stores.

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RingMaster 15/06/2015

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