Beauty and the thorn: exploring Scorching Winter

raf_RingMasterReview

Formed in 2012, Scorching Winter is a female-fronted quintet hailing from Melbourne, Australia. With a hard rock based sound which weaves in an array of flavours, Scorching Winter is beginning to lure proper attention beyond their borders. Ahead of their new album Victim, we were excited to have the chance find out more about the band and that upcoming proposition with guitarist Rafael Katigbak. Subsequently exploring the band’s background, heart, and more…

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

My pleasure… Thanks for having me.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you came together?

The band started in 2012 when I got together with Nick (drummer) to jam on a few songs I have written. We liked the way it sounded so we decided to put a band together. The band has gone through a few line-up changes since but we’ve had our current line-up for almost two years now and the chemistry is the best it has ever been.

scorching-winter_RingMasterReviewHave you all been involved in other bands before?

We have all been in other bands and music groups previously but nothing serious. I was in an old school heavy metal band before this and there are a couple of songs I had written in while I was on that band that I carried over to Scorching Winter. Although we sound very different now, my time with that band will always have an effect on my playing and writing.

What inspired the band name?

We wanted a name that is ironic because our music and our artworks are somewhat like that. It is heavy music with melodic female vocals, beautiful and evil, brutal and elegant. It also has a bit of medieval / gothic sound to it which we really liked.

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

I am a fan of prog metal. I really like the technicality and the freedom to incorporate different styles of music. I think it is important that the music is first and foremost interesting to the musician playing it. But I also love melodic and catchy vocals which are characteristic to mainstream rock and metal bands. So basically the aim is to make music that is both interesting to play but also fun to sing.

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

Yes. Making music is still the reason we do what we do. We keep it fresh by constantly pushing ourselves to take things further. Our last EP was a big step up from the single before that, and this album is a step above the EP again. There is a consensus within the band that unless it’s something we haven’t done before, we’re not interested in doing it.

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

Our earlier works are probably a bit more hard rock / old school metal. As with a lot of musicians, there will be songs that will always be part of our set list and some songs which we’ll probably never play again. Our new album is heavier, darker, more progressive. When we first heard it we thought that this is the sound we’ve always been going for but we’ll probably say that with the next one as well when we change sound again. Haha.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or has the band deliberately set out to try new things?

Several factors affected the evolution of the music. There is the change in line-ups, maturity as a song writer, exposure to new music and just personal development as musicians. But there is also a conscious decision to change the style a bit to challenge ourselves and keep things interesting.

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 music?

While we all have our different subgenres of metal that we are in to, there are bands that are common favorites such as Metallica, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden.

How does the songwriting work within the band?art_RingMasterReview

Our songs normally start out as instrumentals. I write a song and send a demo out to the other guys who then add their bits to it. The singer then writes the lyrics and vocal melody for it.

Where are the lyrical inspirations generally drawn from?

With our previous songs, the lyrics are based on the singers’ own personal experiences. Although the songs start out as instrumentals, the singer interprets what the song sounds like and relates that to her own personal experiences.

Give us some background to your latest release.

The new album is called Victim and it’s an 8-track concept album. The story is about a girl who is raped and beaten by a group of men but was saved by a demon who gives her powers to get revenge. However, nothing ever comes for free as she would later find out.

The album started out with the story line. It was then divided into different chapters which correspond to each song. The music was then written then the lyrics. While it is a concept album, we also made sure that each song is strong on its own so any of them can be listened to as a single.

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 really like to be sure we are 100% happy with the songs before we book recording time. In saying that, there are still some minor things that you find doesn’t quite work when you get there so you have to make some adjustments.

Tell us about the live side of the band?

I know that the other members love the performing part the most. I personally enjoy the writing part more. Anyway, with regards to our live shows, our set-list is always dynamic. We arrange the songs so we take our audience on a journey from start to finish instead of staying at one level throughout. We like to start with something a bit soft and eerie to get the mood going and then come in loud and heavy to let everyone know this is the start of a rock show. It then goes through different levels throughout the show.

SW_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How was it for Scorching Winter?

Unfortunately, it is not an easy path with no certainty of reward. It is a big commitment financially and on your personal life. We’ve all heard of internationally known bands whose members live below minimum wage, or who lose tens of thousands of dollars on tours. If you really love making music and performing, you will keep doing it regardless. If you’re in it because you have ambitions of fame and fortune, you may need to be realistic about your expectations.

How about the internet and social media, what impact has it had on the band to date?

I think it is very positive. Most of the following we have built are overseas and we haven’t even toured there. It provides you an opportunity to reach people in places you wouldn’t normally get to. I remember the first fan mail we received from overseas, I think it was from Canada, that’s when we thought, this is getting real!

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

Thanks for having me and please check out our new album Victim which is available for pre-order now through bandcamp. Official release date is on the 29th of October. You will not be sorry.

https://www.facebook.com/ScorchingWinter   http://www.scorchingwinter.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Meshiaak – Alliance Of Thieves

Meshiaak_RingMasterReview

Formed in Melbourne, Australia and unleashing a debut that stirs up the instincts and passions like the first temptress/tempter encountered by awakening youth, Meshiaak have announced themselves as one essential proposition for all thrash metal enthusiasts. Alliance Of Thieves is one of the most formidable, exhilarating, and accomplished introductions sure to be heard this year; arguably no surprise with its line-up consisting of 4ARM’s Danny Camilleri and Teramaze’s Dean Wells alongside bassist Nick Walker and drummer Jon Dette who lists Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, and Iced Earth in his notable exploits. Together they have swooped into the heart of thrash and given it a fresh injection of imagination and creative energy; not exactly breaking its boundaries but providing the genre and more with a new compelling character to get excited over.

Recorded at the Green Day owned Jingletown Recording Studios in Oakland, California and mixed by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Destruction, Anvil, Aramanthe, Epica, U.D.O., Primal Fear), Alliance Of Thieves ignites ears with opener Chronicles of the Dead. Initial rhythmic stabs and a drizzle of sonic enterprise coaxes the senses, both soon part of a thumping persuasion which swiftly has ears and appetite eagerly awake. The vocals of Camilleri quickly grip attention too with the backing roars of Wells just as potent, while together their guitar endeavours create a web of inventive infectiousness around the equally gripping rhythmic thrust of Dette and Walker. The track is superb, whether winding teasingly around ears or driving through them like a ravenous juggernaut simply triggering spirit and instincts.

The first track also shows the melodic prowess and suggestiveness of grooves that Meshiaak are also able to conjure, the song a tapestry of intrigue and unpredictable invention which continues in the following It Burns at Both Ends and across the whole of Alliance Of Thieves. Whereas its predecessor has essences of Machine Head meets Testament to it, the second track quickly shares Slayer-esque hues once the listener has drifted through exotic climes into another tide of Dette’s addictive rhythmic craft as rabid riffs crowd around Camilleri’s imposing and rousing vocals. Calm and intensely hungry, the song is a beguiling mix of contrasts and energy, matching the inescapable persuasion and intensive quality of the opener.

art_RingMasterReviewThe dark and sinister I Am Among You follows, its initial lure setting the emotional scene before the band toy with the imagination with a Fear Factory/Metallica like trespass of the soul. Predatory and often demonic but from start to finish commandingly seductive, the track manages to eclipse the might of those before it, setting a new plateau within the album in pleasure and imagination before Drowning, Fading, Falling floats in on orchestral melancholy. Soon the mountainous beats of Dette and another brooding bassline from Walker are courting the sonic weave of Wells, together crafting another encounter which skilfully merges raw intensity with melodic tempers. A slow burner in relation to the earlier tracks, it grows into an easy to get greedy over threat, each listen, as with the album, revealing new layers and nuances within its storm.

Through the harmonic and emotionally plaintive At the Edge of the World, a song as musically vast as its suggested landscape, and the sonically antagonistic Last Breath Taken, band and album simply taken a tighter grip on the passions; both songs in their individual way casting lava-esque melodies amidst thrash fuelled intrusive intensity, though the first of the two is a ‘gentler’ tempting and outshone a touch by its rawer successor. The pair in turn gets outdone by the brilliance of Maniacal. Again Metallica is an open flavouring yet once more a spice to something you can only out down as unique Meshiaak.

The album’s title track careers through ears straight after, every second a ravishing crescendo of sound and creative instincts leaving bliss and exhaustion in its lingering wake. There is a hint of Anthrax/Megadeth to the impossible to resist proposal, Dette alone makes the hellacious partnership between band and ears worthwhile but mightily matched by the whole of the quartet here and across Alliance of Thieves, song and album.

The album closes on the shadowy balladry of Death of an Anthem where sultry melodies and a smouldering climate surround the again impressive tones of Camilleri. Its air and emotion though becomes more volatile with every passing minute as the track bewitches and brings easily one of the year’s finest releases to a superb end. As suggested earlier, maybe we should not be surprised the quality of Alliance Of Thieves considering its creators but any hopes and expectations you might have had for the encounter will surely be blown away with swift results.

Alliance Of Thieves is out now via Mascot Records @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/meshiaak-alliance-of-thieves-cd.html and most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 24/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bootlegs – Ekki fyrir viðkvæma

Bootlegs_RingMasterReview

With the band recently inking a worldwide management deal with GlobMetal Promotions, we thought a look at Bootlegs’ recent album, Ekki fyrir viðkvæma, was in order.  Formed in 1986 and soon becoming one of the bigger names in Icelandic metal history over the next five years or so, Bootlegs released two highly praised albums in that period before disbanding in 1991. Since then the band has come and gone through a couple of brief comebacks before returning more permanently in 2012. Released last year, Ekki fyrir viðkvæma is the Reykjavik quartet’s latest incitement of raw and ferocious thrash metal, a release metal fans will not want to be missing out on.

WC Monster and their self-titled second album, released 1989 and 1990 respectively, certainly pushed Bootlegs from national success towards recognition upon the broader metal map as too appearances on compilation albums over the next couple of years and a live presence which saw the band break into the likes of Denmark. After coming to an end, the band did come back together for a big reunion concert which was recorded and subsequently released as a live album a few years later in 2006. Before its release though, Bootlegs were already active again, returning in 2004 for a two to three year presence.  Then in 2010, they arose again with original members back; the fresh return followed by releases of the band’s first two albums in 2014 via Minotauro Records. Last year saw Bootlegs enter the studio for their first recordings in over two decades, and emerging with the rather impressive and rousing Ekki fyrir viðkvæma.

With the vocal roars of guitarists Jón ‘Junior’ Símonarsson and Jón Örn ‘Nonni ‘ Sigurðsson to the fore and its energy and intensity driven by the rhythmic predation of bassist Ingimundur ‘Elli’ Ellert Þorkellsson and drummer Kristján ‘Stjuni’ Ásvaldsson, album and sound is old school, thrash in its irritable prime. It is unafraid to offer some punk attitude too, at times songs breaching a Suicidal Tendencies like punkiness, but for the main and in its individual style, Ekki Fyrir Viðkvæma is the perfect fit for tastes bred on the likes of Voivod, Exodus, Metallica, Slayer, and Subhumans.

Front_RingMasterReviewFrom the hungrily abrasive and riotous punk ‘n’ roll of Gervigleði er ógleði, the album has ears and appetite in league with its ferocious intent. It is a great opener quickly matched in success and persuasion by the thrash prowl of Fullur á Facebook. Grooves and hooks collude with rapier like swings from Stjuni in the second song, luring in the listener before uncaging a ravenous assault and devilment reminding of the crossover thrash sounds of the previously mentioned California hailing band.

As the likes of the senses nagging KúkurPissOgÆl and the glorious exploits of Bootlegs fyrir börnin come and go, it is fair to say that major surprises are few yet fierce temptation and unbridled enjoyment unmistakable and inescapable. Within the second of the two, there is also something very familiar about certain melodies and flavoursome hooks yet all escape comparison to anyone in particular as the track steals ears and passions with ease. There is an occasional sense of early Stam1na, passing essences fleetingly bringing the Finnish band to mind as the track provides the first major pinnacle within the album.

Tribute to Thrash is one of the few English sung tracks and more than lives up to its title, swinging along with a snarl and swagger while being as multi-flavoured as its predecessor. With some great guitar interplay involved it is followed by Eitur naðra which explores a darker and heavier canvas of textures and character as sonic flames vein its intimidating posture and tone. The track is just one more highly memorable proposal, whether stalking the listener or in a rampage of niggling riffs and the snakiest of toxic grooves, and swiftly irresistible as too the in the face predation and roar of the excellent Gjallarhorn.

By this point it is fair to say that Ekki fyrir viðkvæma had us hooked, sharing physical and vocal, where we could language wise, involvement with instinctive eagerness. The pair of Fórnarlamb tískunnar and Kjörkassasvín only add to the album’s temptation and uncompromising thrills; both tracks providing an immediate and merciless trespass as anthemic as they are grouchy. They are highly addictive proposals carrying an array of imagination pleasing twists and turns backed by the band’s individual craft; the latter especially intriguing and devilish in shape and resources.

Making less of a dramatic and lingering impression is Poser though fair to say that its antagonistic attack leaves only satisfaction in its wake before Haleluja adds its own creative incitement and SOD III uncages the album’s shortest and most hostile offering yet. Again both leave pleasure full without matching earlier triumphs with the closing Ó Reykjavík providing a final spirit arousing galvanic punk ‘n’ roll stomp to greedily devour.

It is a great end to an excellent release. Ekki fyrir viðkvæma might not be the best thrash album you will have heard this past year or so, though it is in with a real shout, but it is undoubtedly on the frontline of the most enjoyable and ridiculously easy to return to propositions you will come across.

Ekki fyrir viðkvæma is available @ https://bootlegsthrash.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.facebook.com/bootlegsiceland

Pete RingMaster 11/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.co

Athrox – Are You Alive?

Athrox_RingMasterReview

Athrox is an Italian metal band creating an ear grabbing roar from the heavy and thrash strains of the genre and Are You Alive? is their debut album showing plenty of reasons as to why the band is beginning to create a stir. Their sound is not particularly unique, it is probably fair to say, yet each song on their new release rewards ears with a fresh and fiery proposal easy to find a healthy appetite for.

Officially formed in the summer of 2014, Athrox was the brainchild of guitarist Sandro “Syro” Seravalle and drummer Alessandro “Aroon” Brandi who had already worked together across various musical projects since 2008. Swiftly the pair recruited guitarist Francesco “Frank” Capitoni and bassist Andrea “Lobo” Capitani with the band’s line-up completed the following year with the addition of vocalist Giancarlo “Ian” Picchianti. 2015 also saw the band settling down to hone their sound and write the songs now gracing Are You Alive?; a concept album looking at the problems that afflict humanity such as war and the suffering of children caught within and the free thought enslaving control of mass media. “Are You Alive? a rhetorical question that we send to people, all people slave of this corrupt society.”

The Grosseto hailing band opens the album up with Losing Your Gods, a short atmosphere setting instrumental as portentous as it is a potent invitation into the release.  Straight away, the thrash inspired side of the band’s sound and adventure stirs up the appetite, feeding it further with Frozen Here. The second track throws up a great incitement of hungry riffs and badgering rhythms from the start, spicy grooves and sonic enterprise entangling that robust spine of the song soon after. Vocally Picchianti is a match to the evolution and enjoyable creative moods of the sound around him; at times a growling antagonist and within a breath uncaging a more traditional heavy metal delivery.

Its varied landscape is replaced by the turbulence of battle for Warstorm; a Metallica meets Iron Maiden like confrontation as enjoyable in its aggressive animosity as it is in the melodic reflection which skilfully tempers the fury. It is a common trait of Are You Alive?, the merging of contrasting intensities, emotions, and flavours; a blend providing each song with individual yet similarly determined characters that becomes a rousing incitement and one of the album’s biggest triumphs in this particular moment.

art_RingMasterReviewGates Of Death stalks ears and imagination next. Straight away it prowls the senses with an intimidating and intriguing air as riffs and rhythms venomously collude while fiery grooves lay a web for the impressing vocals to share their narrative. As with its predecessors, there is a real drama to the sound and its presence too which as much as anything goes a long way to creating a powerful persuasion emulated once again in the suggestive melodic croon of Remember The Loneliness. Warm yet melancholic from its first breath, the track brews a more tempestuous climate over time which eventfully sparks an anthemic thrash fuelled canter easy to get a touch greedy for. This is just the first movement of the excellent encounter though, the song continuing to swing through an array of creative and emotionally fired attacks from melodic seducing to volatile ferocity.

Through the melodic serenade of Pretend You and the corrosive ferociousness of My Downfall, band and album keeps attention gripped as raw flames of balladry and senses wilting energy respectively consume ears. The second of the two is another more thrash favoured proposal and for personal tastes, they are the tracks within Are You Alive? which stir the strongest reactions of pleasure though no song leaves enjoyment a shallow pool.

A great Testament feel tones the following Waiting For The Eden as it uncages another bullish challenge of fearsome rhythms and spiky riffs within an acidic weave of juicy grooves and sonic enticing. Within this an ear pleasing vine of individual guitar prowess writhes across the song’s flavoursome canvas and a success swiftly matched by that of the feverish End Of Days which leaves the body breathless and hungry for more by its close before the album’s title track steals attention with its own raw and magnetic blaze of ravenous rock ‘n’ roll.

The album is brought to a close by the melodic tempting of Obsession, a last showing of the variety colouring songs and release as a whole within its heavy metal seeded soundscape of voice and captivating sound and a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable proposition. As suggested Are You Alive? is woven from familiar aural threads and textures but only presents an ear pleasing proposal which might just be a game changer for Athrox in regard to wider found attention.

Are You Alive? is out now via Red Cat Records @ http://www.redcatpromotion.com/ita_store.html and across most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Fahran – A Thousand Nights

Fahran_RingMasterReview

Giving another potent nudge on attention for their excellent and increasingly impressive second album Chasing Hours, British rockers Fahran release the track A Thousand Nights with another slice of the album in Take This City Alive for company. Both tracks epitomise the creative and rousing qualities to be found in the full-length and the Nottingham hard rock band’s sound as a whole.

Formed in 2012 out of the ashes of Toxic Federation, Fahran soon made a potent impression with their self-titled debut album which embraced inspirations ranging from the likes of Queen, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Shinedown, Alter Bridge, and Black Stone Cherry into an expressive and dynamic hard rock sound. With a just as attention grabbing live presence which has seen them successfully play Bloodstock and Download, the band made a bigger and bolder statement with the 2014 released Chasing Hours, again a success backed by their tenacious live exploits.

Now the single gives a potent reminder of album and the Breaston quintet’s enticing sound with one of its highlights. A Thousand Nights wraps ears in a sonic seducing straight away, riffs and rhythms collecting around the sonic coaxing before springing fiery grooves and classic rock bred flames around ears. Inspirations are an open colouring to the classically honed encounter, the guitars of Chris Byrne and Jake Graham a snarling captivation alongside the impressive vocal tones of Matt Black. Major surprises are not a bold element of the song but more than covered by the melodic seducing and rhythmic intimidation shaping it. Within Chasing Hours, the song was one which took longer to convince to the same stature as others but persuade it did and now seems to shine even more as a lone temptation.

Alongside it, Take This City Alive is a far more ballsy and hungry offering, a slice of rampant rock ‘n’ roll with delicious grooves entwining JR Windsor’s anthemic beats and bassist Josh Ballantyne’s throaty lures, not forgetting that powerful vocal prowess of Black. Inescapably infectious with a creative and physical swagger to match, the track roars with sonic endeavour and rhythmic aggression, teasing and pleasing ears with its boisterous swing and lively hard rock vivacity.

Both tracks provide all the best reasons to check out Chasing Hour, if it is not a friend already, but more so to give yourself the best kind of night out by seeing Fahran live.

A Thousand Nights is available now.

Upcoming Live Dates:

March 24th – Grand Central, Manchester

March 27th – The Prince of Wales, Kettering

April 16th – The Cellar, Oxford

May 1st – Dementia Aware Fest, Birmingham

May 21st – The Woolpack, Doncaster

June 5th – The Rock Bar, Tamworth

June 25th – The Birdwell, Barnsley

July 14th – Carnfield Hall, Alfreton

September 10th – Redemption Festival, Wakefield

https://www.facebook.com/Fahranmusic/   https://twitter.com/fahranmusic

Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Critical Solution – Sleepwalker

 

CZv50AmXEAAMDrM.jpg large_RingMaster Review

If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that Sleepwalker might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral rock ‘n’ roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but Sleepwalker is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.

Formed in 2015, it is fair to say that the Helleland hailing quartet began really grabbing attention from 2011 when they, to use their bio’s words, “got serious”. It was at this point the band began working with Andy LaRocque in his Sweden based SonicTrain Studios, especially impressing fans and media with their first album Evil Never Dies in 2013, which followed the Evidence of Things Unseen EP of two years earlier. The encounter was a more thrash heavy proposition fuelled by the kind of horror storylines and sounds that helped shape the gripping presence of The Death Lament EP in 2014 and now their concept album Sleepwalker. The band has also earned a strong reputation for their ferocious stage show honed over the years and alongside bands such as Diamond Head, W.A.S.P, Marduk, and Grave over the years; an intensity and energy equally rampant within the band’s new blood show.

It opens with The Curse, the establishing of the evil coursing through the album’s character and narrative through atmospheric hauntings, intimidating tones, and a bedlamic theatre of sounds. With the imprecation in place the album unleashes its title track, Sleepwalker immediately slamming ears with meaty beats as guitars tantalise, it all the prelude to the insatiable charge of the song to come. As riffs and rhythms bound ruggedly through ears, Christer Slettebø’s guitar sends spicy slithers of bait into their midst before his vocals stir up their own kind of anthemic persuasion. It is a thumping incitement soon revealing its resourcefulness as it twists into seductive prowls and dynamic torrents of inventive tenacity. Like Metallica meets Chainfist initially and more creatively devilish with each passing minute, the track raises the ante in the album’s superb start.

Critical-Solution-Album_RingMaster ReviewWelcome To Your Nightmare ensures things are only more gripping and exhausting next, its Anthrax scented thrash tirade irresistible from the first breath and only increasing its lusty allure as it releases its devil. Driven by the slamming beats of drummer Egil Mydland, the song alternatively stalks and launches itself at the listener across its hellacious contagion. The guitars of Slettebø and Bjørnar Grøsfjell arouse as they abuse whilst the bass of Eimund Grøsfjell is aural predation at its barbarously seductive best.

Melodic and evocative caresses bring Blood Stained Hands into view next, their gentle and reflective tempting the surface to a brewing and gradually building intensity and aggression. Enjoyably even that is caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s energy, being held in check to act as a tease from within the captivating and infectious roar of the song. There is a slight taste of melodic rock aligned to grungy essences at play too, Gruntruck coming to mind in certain moments as the song leaves appetite lustful and ready to devour on the sultry haunting of Murder In The Night. It too cages listeners in a melodic embrace; warm kisses of guitar and their sonic trails of temptation a rapturous suggestiveness encased in a sinister atmosphere. There is danger and menace lurking in the shadows of the track’s slightly portentous air; a waiting incitement which bursts as the floodgates open to fiercely nagging rhythms and predacious riffs within the imagination sparking instrumental.

Ending on a news report harkening darker deeds and threats as events twist and turn, the track masterfully leads to up the barbarous revelry of Evidence Of Things Unseen, its successor swiftly a merciless assailant drenched in hostile intent and virulent persuasion. Again it is hard to escape a Metallica/Megadeth like comparison, though every swinging stick and pulled string breeds a fresh and dramatic strain of enterprise unique to Critical Solution.

The heavy lumbering Sabbath-esque entrance of LT. Elliot soon has ears surrounded and imagination enthralled as its doom soaked theatre gives a bird’s eye view of the last moments of its title victim. Crawling with insidious glee and equipped with expulsions of raw catchiness, the outstanding track is as cinematic as it is murderously compelling and swiftly matched in drama by the epic exploration in length and emotion of Dear Mother. Bringing some respite to the dark turmoil before it, its tortured reflection comes entangled in a volatile landscape of dense shadows and fiery infection loaded revelry. Through every second of its ten minutes, it is masterfully unpredictable and increasingly enthralling, like being locked in the mind and emotions of torment itself as it track spellbinds as powerfully as its predecessor.

The Death Lament just tears into ears with its rapacious horde of riffs and legion of barbarian bred rhythms next, the violation thrash fuelled anthemic metal at its primal explosive best enslaving ears before letting Back From The Grave bring the chain of bloody events to a close. Featuring guests in Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), the final infestation of the senses and body is similarly pure thrash butchery and openly majestic in its crushing, rabid way.

There will no doubt be many voracious metal releases thrilling ears this year but already it feels safe to say few will surpass Sleepwalker and its thrash horror malediction.

Sleepwalker is out now via Punishment 18 Records across most stores.

http://www.facebook.com/CriticalSolution

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Blackhour – Sins Remain

Blackhour_RingMaster Review

A few days in and the new year gets its first metal treat courtesy of Pakistan hailing Blackhour. The Islamabad quintet unleashes their second album on January 5th through Transcending Obscurity Distribution, and a mighty slab of inventive and skilful heavy metal it has proven to be. Sins Remain offers five rich and imagination fuelled tracks which explore far beyond that heavy metal tag, and such its thick and pleasing impact you wonder how Blackhour has so far escaped the fullest global acclaim.

Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Guns and Roses, and Alice in Chains, Blackhour has certainly teased local and wider found appetites with their music and debut album Age of War which was released in 2011. Fair to say though, that most of us will probably have missed the presence of Blackhour until now but things surely are about to change with Sins Remain.

Straight away the band’s metal bred rock ‘n’ roll shows its adventure and variety with opener Losing Life. An instantly engaging caress of provocative guitar opens things up, the bass of Salman Afzal just as swiftly vocal with its suggestiveness. The tremendous coaxing eventually erupts into a fiery roar of sound with sonic tendrils of guitar veining a tempestuous yet controlled climate of sound and intensity. There is a touch of Disturbed to the track whilst the rhythms of drummer Daim Mehmood almost bully the senses as the bass prowls and growls within their potent web. With vocalist Tayyab Rehman also quickly impressive, the track paints a great provocative and persistently evolving proposal for ears and imagination.

BlackhourArtwork_RingMaster Review     The outstanding start continues with Wind of Change. From the off heavy metal essences steer the persuasion, the guitars of Hashim Mehmood and Mubbashir Sheikh Mashoo flirting with eighties hues to infectious effect. Their hooks and grooves because of it hold a familiarity which only adds to the forceful virulence of the encounter, whilst rhythmically the song nurtures an anthemic rock ‘n roll canter becoming increasingly wrapped in melody rich sonic enterprise. The song is irresistible and more potent with every listen, a quality applying to the whole of Sins Remain to be fair and certainly the following Life Brings Death, Love Brings Misery. The third track is an epic temptation, its nine minutes blossomed on Metallica like seeds but equally casting textures sprung from seventies heavy rock and thrash laced heavy metal. Imagine Reign of Fury and Stone Temple Pilots meets Iron Maiden and you come somewhere near the compelling encounter.

Battle Cry opens with an instantly addictive guitar hook next, one welcoming more militant and aggressive elements to join its tenacious stirring of ears and appetite soon after. It is maybe the least unique offering on the album but the fiercely boisterous song simply whips up a storm of attitude and creative prowess easy to greedily devour and want more of. The individual skills of the band are, here alone, there for all to see and praise but their unity and the powerful songwriting casting their invention is where the album truly wins out, as proven a final time by the album’s title track.

Bringing Sins Remain to a glorious conclusion, the track is a kaleidoscope of imagination, moving through acoustic elegance into Celtic spiced adventure and Eastern majesty across its length landscape. Fascinating and irresistible, the track is a thrilling end to an increasingly impressive album. With moments which stir thoughts of bands from Arch/Matheos and Horslips to Motherjane, the closer is theatre for the ears, a melodic seduction for the imagination, and alone one reason to check out the album.

Blackhour is ready to breach the broadest spotlights with Sins Remain, an album which could also be the key to opening the door to the great metal adventure going on in their homeland and surrounding regions just a little wider for the world.

Sins Remain is out now via Transcending Obscurity Distribution @ https://transcendingobscurityindia.bandcamp.com/album/sins-remain-heavy-metal

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Pete RingMaster 06/01/2015

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