Whirling hearts and joyous uprisings: exploring the world of Swirl

Photo by Neil Zlozower

There is an increasingly mighty roar coming out of California and it goes by the name of Swirl. This is a band really beginning to make a vocal name for themselves with their multi-flavoured, hard rock fuelled fusion of rock and metal. Welcomingly given the opportunity to get to the heart of the band with Swirl creator and guitarist Duane “DT” Jones, we talked beginnings, songwriting, successes and plenty more….

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

Hello to you too. This is ‘DT” guitarist and founder of the band Swirl out of Southern California. Thank you for your interest in Swirl! We are always grateful to anyone taking an interest in what we do.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

I started the band in the Pacific Northwest in a town called Mukilteo, Washington. I had 3 other members than the current line-up; we rehearsed, wrote songs and made plans to record our debut in Santa Monica, CA. About a week before we were to leave I got a call from the drummer saying he wasn`t going to make the trip. I called my brother, Brian “Bam Bam” Jones who was playing in a band in Arizona at the time and asked him to come out to California, learn the songs and track drums to which he was all too happy to help out. That version of Swirl toured the US and Japan on a full length release titled Out Of Nowhere that was produced by former Quiet Riot and now RATT guitarist, Carlos Cavazo with former Rough Cutt bassist Matt Thorr engineering or producing tracks as well.

After those tour dates finished the band parted ways with the original singer and touring bassist. By then Brian had moved to California so I joined him there. I was introduced to current Swirl singer Alfred Ramirez and bassist Shane Carlson by former Dio keyboard player Claude Schnell who was looking to produce a demo for a band they had, however they had parted ways with their guitar player and Claude asked me to write with them so he and I could get into a studio together. After a few writing sessions we decided to go play the songs live and it was there that a friend pointed out to me that Alfred would sound really good singing Swirl songs so I asked him to go into a studio with Cinderella drummer Fred Coury and I. The end result of those sessions were the two songs Mad Disease and Time To Fly with the latter being particularly well received so tour offers followed. The natural choice was then Shane Carlson and we have been together ever since. 2018 will mark the 10 year anniversary of this line-up for Swirl.

Have you been or are involved in other bands?

My only involvement with other bands was the above mentioned writing project that introduced me to Alfred and Shane as well as one other band in California that hired me as one of their touring guitarist for a self-produced disc. That was actually my first ever “bus tour”. Actually it was a converted mobile home, but still I got the rock star treatment on that tour. It was fun, but the band broke up. As that band had already recorded their disc when I joined and there were no writing opportunities I can`t say it had any influence on my writing direction, but it was a great series of lessons on things to not do when running a band.

What inspired the band name?

Usually one look at a picture of the band is all it takes to answer that question, but it goes deeper in that we all have different nationalities and personalities that come to together to create the Swirl music.

Photo by Neil Zlozower

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

No particular theme to starting the band. I just wanted to play in a rock band that wrote songs good enough to share stages with my idols. Some of those goals have been accomplished!

And that same intent drives the band?

Absolutely! At the end of the day we enjoy what we are doing and are hell bent on capitalizing on the success Swirl has had to date. We are not where we want to be, but clearly we are on our way. The crowds are getting bigger, the stages are getting bigger and the bands we have opportunities to work with are larger, more well know bands as well.

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

While I am an 80s metal head guitarist at heart I have adapted my playing to a more modern approach when it comes to writing and guitar tones. I guess the best way to think of it is “what if you took a band like Shinedown, Seether, or FFDP and put a guitarist like Jake E Lee, Warren DeMartini or George Lynch in it.

As for the reason for the evolving sound?…The credit for that goes to Brian who wanted to push the music in a more modern direction, but knew I was still going to be me on guitar and have those moments. Our first attempts at this proved very successful with a self- produced EP titled SWIRL that wound up with 3 songs being featured in a full length, 2 time award winning film called Ditch Day. Those songs are Rise Up, Spell, and We Are Alive. That movie is now out in 6 countries with more to follow. Another indicator that Swirl made a smart move in terms of musical direction is the incredible social media success we have enjoyed while being an independent band. We have a very strong online presence.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

The change was very deliberate and I had to do my homework in listening to bands that normally I would not have given the time of day to, just to get a feel for what was going on with the guitar playing and production. I fought it at first, but in the end decided it couldn`t hurt to try. I am so glad I was open to the idea.

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?

Well I already touched on my 3 biggest influences on guitar and yes all four of us have very different influences that we bring to Swirl. Shane is the most “metal” of us all with his influences being bands like Korn and Metallica while Alfred cites David Bowie or Billy Idol as biggest influences for him. For Brian and I we started off as KISS fans, but he went in the direction of Rush and various jazz drummers.

For myself when producing Swirl music I lean a lot on Shinedown or Seether for production and “ear candy” ideas, but since I am not the only one working to produce/ mix the songs I am sure the other guys have their influences well represented in the final product that you hear from Swirl.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Normally we start with a guitar idea that is almost a complete song then I get together with Brian to work on the arrangement before presenting it to Shane and Alfred who then add their influences to the arrangement and of course the vocals. Alfred creates them almost exclusively.

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

I would like to start by saying that when I write lyrics it’s usually tied to a personal experience of mine or one that I have witnessed in the world we live in. I also feel what’s most import is not so much what my lyrics mean to me, but more importantly what my lyrics mean to the listener. I want the listener find their own story within the lyrics. To me that means the listener can interpret and apply them in any way they choose.”- Alfred Ramirez

Give us some background to your latest release.

The Lift is a departure in some ways from the typical writing pattern for Swirl songs and given the new heights of success we are having with it this may become the way we do things going forward. Again I had the basic structure and worked on the arrangement with Brian, before bringing it to Alfred and Shane. However Alfred and I had a separate writing session to make changes to the verse and bounce other ideas off each other. Then we got back together as a band and went from there.

During the final mix sessions Shane Carlson made some more brilliant suggestions to improve the song to let it become what you hear from us now.

Here is the lyric video for The Lifthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xaBMGg0ACYo

As Alfred is the songwriter he sets the tone for the theme of the songs. If there is one constant I have noticed when I look at the reviews we get it is that the bands “message” is a positive one. A lot of life affirming, motivational and inspirational themes go into his work and I am very happy about that. I am pretty positive person most days!

Here are some samples of reviews we have received whether they are for The Lift single…

“…everything possesses a joyous, downright celebratory spirit…the track positively teems with life”- Skope Magazine

or the SWIRL EP

“An uplifting vibe…” The Happy Headbanger

“After listening to Swirl in its entirety it has lifted me up mood wise!!”- Metal Temple

“…if you are looking for a really sweet hard rockin’ melodic band that will have you humming along and singing with the CD in just a few listens than make this new SWIRL release yours. 9/10 Stars”- The Examiner

Here is a link to our reviews- https://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl/press/

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

What The Lift means to me is that we all need help sometimes, be it an emotional lift or a physical lift. We shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help when we need it. We also shouldn’t be afraid to offer to help when were able to. We are all on this planet together and we are all connected, so let’s help one another.

My personal Lift was given to me by “The Minor Goddess” who lifted me out of a depressed and stressed out anxious time in my life. Thank you MG! “Your words will always stay with me “. – Alfred Ramirez

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?

We like to have the song pretty much done by the time we go into the studio so we can be more efficient with the recording process, but of course we leave room for those “happy accidents” that happen when tracking that are unique to a session.

One of the unique things about the sessions for The Lift is the process we used to get into the studio. We were introduced to producer Emad Alaeddin at Granted Records by Ditch Day producer Megan Waters. He suggested the band use “crowd funding” to cover the cost of the sessions. This was a first for the band and it was very successful. As an unsigned band who happens to be self- managed as well as our own booking agents we wear many hats to make Swirl the known name that is it becoming. Our fans are our record label and they decide how often we make new music and release videos or tour. We weren`t sure what to expect, but with this first attempt and the success of the campaign (we had enough money donated to book our first session in just 48 hours of activating the page at https://www.gofundme.com/launch-new-music-by-swirl-the-band ). The page will remain active. To be clear we are not opposed to record labels, management or booking agencies….we just refuse to wait on one to discover the band when we can get our music and band out to the people who support us!

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

We are a band that thrives on stage! We love being out there. Swirl is a high energy show with emphasis on the word “show”. There is always “someone doing something”. It`s actually the only way the band “fights”….we fight for the attention of the audience and are quick to let the others know who won the night after our set. It`s all in good fun and ultimately the audience is the winner.. We have been able to tour with established bands like RATT, Cinderella, Extreme, Red Dragon Cartel, LA Guns, Lynch Mob, and Slaughter just to name a few. We also headline shows in Southern California. In fact the first stop on “The Lift” tour will be in Hollywood, CA at the Whisky A Go Go on Saturday February 3, 2018.

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? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

We firmly believe that you create your own luck so yes you can make your mark. The real question is how bad do you want it? We are, have been and remain hungry to succeed! We were recently listed by Gerry Gittleson, a writer for Metal Sludge in Los Angeles as one of three local bands that actually draw a crowd when we play.

Another way Swirl has separated itself to a degree is getting involved in licensing our music into movies and television. For example Swirl has 3 songs in the 2 time award winning Ditch Day movie that stars Emmy award winner Bill Oberst Jr. The songs are Spell, We Are Alive and Rise Up (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_RhbgL5Cv0&t=11s ).  So far that film is available in 6 counties. We are working on more licensing deals for our music from the SWIRL EP as well as The Lift.

 How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

I have no complaints about social media! Swirl is doing very well with it. We also spend quite a bit of time and effort marketing our band globally. Again it`s a how bad do you want it situation. We didn`t wake up knowing what we know and have made mistakes along the way, but we learn, we grow and we apply lessons to the next venture for the band whether its online, in the studio or on stage.

We have been able to reach people that would otherwise have had very little chance of discovering our music so we are very grateful for social media. It is a big part of the music business now and I don`t see that changing any time soon.

See for yourself here-

SWIRL website- http://www.swirltheband.com/

SWIRL Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/swirltheband/

SWIRL Twitter- https://twitter.com/Swirltheband

SWIRL Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/swirltheband

SWIRL Soundcloud- https://soundcloud.com/swirl-dt

SWIRL YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/swirlgtr

SWIRL Reverbnation- http://www.reverbnation.com/socalswirl

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

Thank you for your time and interest in Swirl. Look for the band to be on tour in and out of the United States in every country where the music making an impact on radio or through movies released that feature Swirl music.

Pete RingMaster 17/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Promethium – Faces Of War

There is nothing better than hearing, release by release, the growth of a band in craft and sound especially when their potential is realised step by step whilst offering plenty more promise to be anticipated. Such has been the case with British metallers Promethium, a band who has openly blossomed record by record and now breaches a whole new plateau with Faces Of War.

Creating a sound merging old school with modern rapacious flavours, Lancaster hailing Promethium formed in 2007. Inspirations to the quintet included the likes of Black Sabbath, Metallica, Megadeth, and Pantera, essences still colouring a sound today which is as individual to its creators as you would wish. Quickly releasing their first EP, The Revenge, it was in 2009 and with debut album, Welcome to the Institution, that the band grabbed our, as so many others, attention. It was a raw yet accomplished introduction rich with that earlier mentioned potential brought to some fruition in its successor Origins four years later. As it built upon its predecessor’s strengths, so Faces Of War builds upon the second album but with a far more dramatic impact in songwriting to imagination to craft.

A concept album with each song offering a different perspective to war, the album launches at the senses with opener Enemies of Fate. A portentous sonic tone lures a march of riffs and rhythms into view with grooved armoury in its midst as vocalist Steve Graham swiftly joins the attack. It is a composed assault though, the band almost sizing up the listener rather than going at them full charge, providing a healthy mix of intrigue and predacious intimation. In no time guitarists Dan Lovett-Horn and Rossi are weaving a transfixing tapestry which is more than matched by the great vocal backing unity between Rossi and bassist Henry Greenwood; just two aspects in the inescapable maturity and growth in the band’s sound already being unveiled.

The outstanding start is followed by the similarly impressive Declaration. From its initial grooved trespass and Graham’s earnest calls, the track just wormed its way under the skin. The swinging strikes of drummer Kev Yates potently stir the senses, their rapacious incitement aligned to the groaning contagion of Greenwood’s bass as again a great maze of sonic enterprise is cast by the guitars with Curran Murphy guesting with a flavoursome solo. Drops in intensity brings spoken words from Nev Jones as Graham croons, a fluid twist which subsequently sparks a roaring finale before the outstanding P.O.W steps forward with its own dark clouds and intent. Grooves and rhythms instantly collude around vocals as an irritability fuels the nature of the track, essences of those aforementioned influences to the band spicing the volatile air of the track.

A shadowed calm is brought in by next up Shell Shock, its atmosphere as claustrophobic as it is seductive. That reflection rich restraint intermittently erupts in a cauldron of turbulence and emotive turmoil yet all the time guitars continue to weave a suggestive web of melody and predation. It is another gem and though only four songs in fair to say Faces Of War had us firmly hooked; a grip only tightened by 20,21,15 and its wirily grooved stroll. With Barry Mills sharing vocals with Graham across the song it boils with sonic dexterity while rumbling with rhythmic manipulation.

Such the massive heights of the first half of the album maybe it is inevitable that the task of living up to what came before slips up meaning personal tastes are not always stoked up as rigorously yet everything about Turncoat, from its vocal mix and rousing rhythms to sonic invention, is an ear grabbing proposition. It just misses some of the major sparks of its really striking predecessors.

As soon as the grooved webbing of Stolen Valour wraps ears straight after appetite was back to greedy, guitars and rhythms almost dancing on the senses with their snarling and badgering enterprise as again a vocal blend simultaneously entices and harries. With every passing minute the track simply blossoms as it evolves, harmony loaded vocals and creative unpredictability fuelling its compelling arsenal of invention. Another candidate for best track it is swiftly followed in matching captivation by Final Solution, itself an almost deceptive proposal being as intimidating and predatory as it is invasively infectious.

Featuring one of our favourite guitarists in Jay Parmar, Kill on Demand is one of those rousing anthems which have thoughts and spirit as eagerly active as the body. Led by the crunching beats of Yates and the brooding tones of Greenwood’s bass, the track is a magnetic fusion of old school and current ferocious metal shaped by the ever imaginative work of Lovett-Horn and Rossi and capped by the stylish raft of Parmar.

The album closes with its title track, another rigorously catchy and aggressive creative raid warlike in its tone and galvanic in its character. Epitomising the fresh strength and guile not forgetting that real maturity in the band’s sound, the track is a masterful conclusion to one mighty fine release.

Promethium and their sound just go from strength to strength, in turn so too pleasure. Yet there is still the feeling that they are yet to hit their full potential which considering the sheer unrelenting  quality of Faces Of War is something to keenly anticipate.

Faces Of War is available now @ https://www.promethiumband.com/product-page/faces-of-war

https://www.promethiumband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Promethiumband/    https://twitter.com/promethiumband

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Lotus Interview

The Lotus is a rock band with its roots in Italy but is currently based in Manchester, UK. It is also a creative adventure which embraces an array of flavours and styles in “a visionary and characterful musical journey”. With a new album in the works, we threw a host of questions at the band to discover its beginnings, latest release, what fuels their creativity and 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 all started?

Hi everyone and thank you for interviewing The Lotus. The band started in 2004 when first Rox met Luca: we initially began playing some covers as many kids do but we immediately realised we wanted more and we immediately started working on some ideas and riffs.

That’s how it started really: in 2008 Kristal and Marco joined the band and that was the real start of a professional band as we decided to record and release our first album, which eventually came out in 2011.

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

Apart from Luca, actually all of us are still playing with many other bands! Mostly metal and rock bands though and I think that always influenced our music in same way.

Rox is playing with Italian prog rockers InnerShine and UK progressive metal band Prospekt, and also with pop folk singer and songwriter named Sukh. Marco is the drummer of two of the most famous Italian metal and rock bands, which are Elvenking and Hell In The Club, and Kristal is the lead singer of melodic death metal band called Lost Resonance Found.

What inspired the band name?

The band’s name was chosen randomly by our first guitarist who was in love with R.E.M.’s song Lotus. We liked it and we realised then, that it was the perfect name for us. A few months later we also found out its meaning of purity and rebirth and we realised that was the name we really wanted.

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

As we said before, as soon as we got confident in playing together we immediately started to feel the need of composing our own songs and being rock stars! LOL

Regarding the sound, well, that’s a tricky one: we have never had an established sound or a path we wanted to follow, we just write songs we like and lyrics from experience and feelings we have during our own life.

If you listen to our songs you can really understand there’s something that binds everything which is not the genre.

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

We would say we’ve evolved as musicians and composers rather than our music’s evolved. We’re still writing what we want, without any boundary and we love what we’re doing: we’re just better in what and how we play and write!

Has the growth within the band in music, experiment etc. been an organic process or more the band deliberately setting out to try new things?

We always wanted to try new things so actually nothing’s changed since 2004 from this side: probably being mature musicians affected our way to play and compose music and you can probably hear that on our latest releases.

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?

We grew up with completely different music backgrounds and this colourful music palette brought the unique sound we have today. We are big fans of Queen and Muse, as you might have already understood :), but also Pink Floyd, Metallica, System Of A Down, U2, Depeche Mode, or even some heavier stuff like Slipknot.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting within the band?

Normally Rox brings the main ideas and Luca some lyrics inspiration: back to our earlier days we used to mainly compose our songs in the rehearsal room but now, thanks to technology we often produce full demos on the computer.

We actually have to do this way also because Marco and Kristal are living in Italy and rehearsing would be definitely not very much affordable. 🙂

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

Lyrics are mostly inspired by our everyday experiences and translated into a more poetic and hermetic way.

We talk about love and death, and human life: as we do for our music, we don’t have any limit in our lyrics’ themes as well!

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

We’ve released our latest EP in June 2015 just before we moved to the UK. Its name is Awakening and is actually a mini concept album. It’s an ambient Prog Rock opera which will delve into your inner core.

We are currently producing our new album with Muse early producer Paul Reeve (Showbiz), and we have already released three new singles: Mars-X, Perfect Love and Five Days To Shine. They are very different from our past works, simpler song structures, more melodic but still very ‘creative’. Someone said: ‘If Muse and Deftones met in a pub and had a cheeky couple of Sambucca’s and hit the town and ended the night with a ride on a spaceship, that’s exactly what this song sounds like.’

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Our latest song, Five Days To Shine, is very personal and we think the more you listen to it (or watch the video) the more you understand that. It basically talks about a man who waits for five days to know his fate with his girl. He thinks that’ll be alright but he knows the future isn’t bright.

We made the video representing this man as a kind of ‘creator’, who’s trying everything to restore what he’s lost but eventually he gives up. We filmed it in a stunning place in Manchester called Hulme Hyppodrome.

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?

We used to go into the studio with rough demos and we’ve always struggled to work with limited time. That’s why now we tend to basically go to record with all the songs pretty much finished, so that we can concentrate on instruments’ sound and performances.

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

We’d define our live shows as heavy metal. Even though our music is mainly rock, The Lotus as a live act is more energetic, more aggressive. I think that’s one of our main strengths. We have played more than 120 shows in our career but we’re definitely looking for doubling it within the next few years!

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?

We are coming from a different background which is in Italy, so we’ve definitely found a more fertile place to keep on growing our seeds.

However, these days it seems more and more difficult to have a solid fan base which follows you everywhere ‘physically’ and not only on social media.

If you’re not convinced on what you’re doing it’s better you choose another job!

Talking of social media, how has the internet impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

We think internet and social media are both good and bad thing.

They really give anyone the opportunity to get out from the anonymity and be the star you always wanted to be, but the problem starts when music is not enough anymore. You really need to let everyone come into your life. Everyone must know who you are, what you are doing, when you are doing it. Even all the pretty small things you want to keep secret; just let them go and share them with everyone. We find this a bit scary but that’s what it is now, so you have to get used to it. And we are getting used to it!

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

2018 will bring a lot of new things: we will go back to the studio to finish recording the album between March and April. Then we are expecting to release the fourth single as soon as we have everything in its place and the album immediately after that. If you want to be updated on what we’re doing you can visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thelotusofficial  or our website www.the-lotus.com . Thank you!

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Saintorment – Defective Mind

Though are not exactly knowledgeable on the state of the Latvian metal scene bands like Skyforger, Trendkill Method, Relicseed, and Ygodehwh, those we have come across, all suggest it is rather healthy and it looks like the thrash side of its fury is in good shape too going by the new album from Saintorment. A ferocious roar of old school thrash with a penchant for speed and heavy metal, the band makes a very sizeable impression with Defective Mind, the release a thoroughly enjoyable fusion of the familiar and fresh.

Formed in Daugavpils in the spring of 2013, Saintorment took little time moving from a cover band playing Metallica, Kreator, Pantera, Exodus etc. songs to writing and performing their own propositions. A quartet since 2014 unveiling their debut album, Well of Sins, the following year, there is little more we can tell you about Saintorment. Worry not though as Defective Mind has all the reasons why they deserve plenty of your metal searching time.

The album opens with Physical Force, its destructive warning a portent of the ravenous riffs and senses plundering rhythms to follow. Unashamedly wearing the band’s inspirations, the track surges through ears, the contagious horde of insatiable grooves and riffs easily devoured. Unruly impassioned vocals only add to the persuasion, their controlled rabidity riding the fury of the sounds with zeal. Skilled breakdowns and keen twists bring new identity to the recognisable but greedily welcomed traits of the track, many sourced to those bands the band embraced in their first days.

It is a great start to Defective Mind continued by its hellacious title track. As its predecessor, the song goes for the jugular, riffs and rhythms a forcibly badgering invitation led by ferocious vocals and an enterprise which entangles and twists unsurprising thrash traits with the band’s own creative character and invention. There is drama in every breath of the song, even more so than the first, which adds to its compelling trespass.

There is also a great rawness to the Saintorment sound, one which is in its prime within next up We Are, an ears savaging predator with enmity in every swing and enticement in every resourcefully crafted groove and melody. Keenly revealing the appealing variety in the band’s sound which is sometimes understated but always teasing, the track left an already forming appetite for the album greedier and ready to seize the bodies of songs like Strong Enough and Never. The first has a punkiness to its animus, a cantankerousness which fuels its magnetic scourge while its successor has a great nagging quality to its riffs and grooves, a predation brought with darker intent by the vocals; both songs also rich in sonic and melodic dexterity.

Through belligerence soaked Zerofy and heavy metal nurtured …Dies at the Black Night, the album only accentuates its tenacious nature in sound and imagination where again familiar essences collude enjoyably with the individual ideation of Saintorment; Mood Pyrexia subsequently matching them in endeavour and success while building on the theatre of the song before with its tapestry of metal diversity over thrash instincts. An instrumental for ears and imagination, it masterfully highlights the skills and energy of all band members while casting its suggestive adventure.

The album finishes with Final Hour, a track as vicious as it is alluring as the band again casts a web of multi-faceted thrash bred metal, and finally bonus track Ai, kā man patīk. A raucous punk metal version of presumably a Latvian folk song with lecherous grooves and vociferous passion to the fore, it is quite superb and the perfect end to an increasingly addictive release.

Saintorment is a band all thrash fans should take time out to explore, their album a stomp which thickly satisfies each and every time, and their open potential something to keep a close ear upon. In reference to the final song, Oh how I like it!

Defective Mind is available now via More Hate Productions @ https://saintorment.bandcamp.com/album/defective-mind

https://www.facebook.com/SaintormentSNT/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

I, The Betrayer – 7 EP

I, the Betrayer might quite likely be a new name to you if outside of Norway but that could very well change and in quick time if the Oslo metallers bring the rich potential of their debut EP to reality. The release is a multi-flavoured proposal with its roots firmly in a thrash/heavy metal bed which just ripples with energy, creative hunger, and imagination. The 7 EP has been garnering plaudit loaded reviews and comments since its release a matter of a few days ago and it does not take too long to hear why.

Formed in 2014, the quintet embrace a host of styles for their ear grabbing sound; the likes of blues and progressive rock entangling with those aforementioned thrash and classic metal flavours as well as darker extreme metal hues. The result is a proposition which has familiarity and originality in collusion within songs which demand rather than ask for attention. Add a vocalist in Chris Wiborg who provides another fine balance of clean and darker tones to match the same union within music skilfully conjured and crafted by the band and you have something which really warrants a close look.

The EP opens with Credulity and instantly surges through ears on a tide of thrash blossomed riffs and thumping rhythms. Wiborg is quickly in the mix with his strong expressive delivery, the riffs and grooves of Geir Prytz and Alex Bjørklund driving and binding the song with infectious energy and enterprise. Across its snarling body, the track hints at more vicious and antagonistic intent but never quite unleashes either though the brooding bassline of Kyle Sevenoaks midway has a predacious edge which hits the spot.

It is a potent start soon eclipsed by the virulent rapacity and character of Selfish Ride. Sensed in the first, the second track brings a stronger Metallica meets Machine Head like tone to its more irritable nature. That attitude is simultaneously tempered and supported by Wiborg, his mixed delivery adding fuel to the fire of the song’s rock ‘n’ roll which in turn is driven by the highly persuasive swinging beats of Terje Høias. As suggested at the beginning about the release, there is something recognisable about the track yet everything about it is equally fresh and magnetic, though it too is overshadowed by its successor as the EP just blossoms to greater heights song by song.

Conformity is next, its opening melodic lure a radiate invitation but courted by a more portentous bassline; both leading into a web of intrigue and vocal temptation. The calm introduction subsequently makes way for a fiery wash of nagging riffs and skittish rhythms, the track twisting and turning like a dervish in between its charge of chugging dexterity and moments of alluring melodic invention. Things only get more appealing once Wiborg adds a Serj Tankian like unpredictability to his presence, the song too teasing with a mercurial System Of A Down like loco.

Things are calm again as Humanity opens up its melodic arms, every melody and bass caress a suggestive moment matched by Wiborg’s great vocals. Across its melancholic yet radiate presence, the track erupts with greater volatility, fire in its belly as emotion and sonic expression flares before slipping back into its mellow reflection with ease. Things get truly heated in time with eagerly tenacious rhythms spearing a weave of progressive drama under a sweltering climate of sound and intensity.

Things begin to follow a pattern now, the calm before the storm once more enticing the listener as the outstanding Creatures Of Hate dances with a sultry gentleness in ears; ensnaring them and the imagination for the darker, almost demonic intent and imagination of its enthralling shadow woven body. The track is hypnotic, its predatory tranquillity a deceit to the dark heart at its core as humanity is exposed. It is also another fresh aspect to the I, The Betrayer sound and invention, its more primal dark metal inclinations managing to take the EP to its darkest place yet its most composed and imperious.

The release is closed up by firstly the growling thrash bred Boaster,  a track which like the opener is maybe not the most  adventurous but leaves a stronger appetite for the band’s sound and recognition of their  skills and lastly Ignorance Pt. 1, an emotive ballad with an underlying dark edge in outlook and sentiment. Though neither quite have the spark of their predecessors, each only adds to the impressive presence and adventure of 7.

Simply out, the EP is a potential rich and increasingly impressive first encounter with I, The Betrayer but more importantly a fiercely enjoyable one. Expect to hear their name and sounds much more from hereon in.

The 7 EP is out now through Darkspawn Records and available @ https://ithebetrayer.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.ithebetrayer.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ithebetrayerr    https://twitter.com/itbmetal

Pete RingMaster 14/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Introducing The Duffaloes

Allow us to introduce you to The Duffaloes, a band we suspect you will be hearing a lot more of once their debut EP is released this coming August. Only formed a handful of weeks ago, the British outfit is the creation and union of vocalist/guitarist Lee Duffy and guitarist/bassist Lee Williams, two musicians no strangers to the Liverpool music scene through playing in other bands and in other guises over the years. Recently the pair sent over to us a couple of songs from that forthcoming EP and we have to say you are going to like what they have to offer.

The band’s sound going by these tracks is a feisty mix of alternative and melodic rock with numerous other flavours involved and bred in the inspiration to the pair of bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, U2, Metallica, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam. Inviting musicians friends to “jump in” and help out live and in the studio, The Duffaloes have a persistent freshness to their music which colludes with their obvious experience and creative maturity and quickly makes a strong impression across the songs Scars and Outside.

Scars is a fiery encounter with a raw grunge tone to its melodic and emotive heart. Straight away it coaxes and teases attention with an opening riff and inviting bassline speared by lively beats. Duffy’s vocals are just as swiftly alluring ears and attention, his great tones a dusky mix of earnest growl and plaintive expression against the web of melodic enterprise cast by the guitars. Like a mix of Jacksons Warehouse and Stone Temple Pilots, the track tenaciously dances in ears, enticing and challenging with its roar and emotive intensity. At times ridiculously catchy and constantly commanding attention, Scars has lead single written all over it, especially once its emerging Pete Wylie like hooks captivate.

There is similar instinctive angst and imagination of sound within Outside but also an individuality which adds even more intrigue and depth to the band’s sound and songwriting. With more of a pop rock air than the rawer texture of its companion, the track still has an edge of attitude and texture which quickly gets its claws into the imagination, the body as swiftly hooked on its lively gait and infectious Echo and The Bunnymen scented chorus.

There is a familiarity to both tracks but nothing especially definable or diluting the strength and pleasure gained with each. Of course two songs is early days to truly assess a band but it is hard not to breed real anticipation for their future and expectations that a great many of you like us will develop a real appetite for their imagination woven rock ‘n’ roll.

Check out The Duffaloes further @ https://www.facebook.com/TheDuffaloes/  and watch out for their debut EP released August 1st.

Pete RingMaster 14/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

CRNKSHFT – Self Titled EP

Photo Credit – Alex Barredo

We surely have a soft spot for things carrying real punch and that is exactly what the new self-titled EP from Canadian outfit CRNKSHFT has in sound and presence. The four track offering is an imposing roar of hungry and varied metal but equally shows a blaze of hard and melodic rock ‘n’ roll, a trait even more compelling in the successor to their previous well-received debut EP helping stir up a very healthy appetite for the band’s fierce and rousing attack.

Hailing from Vancouver, CRNKSHFT (pronounced crankshaft) have begun waking attention far beyond the local scene they have already been devoured by. Support slots for the likes of Lordi, Prong, Grim Reaper, and The Veer Union have capped a powerful live presence and reputation to date, one like their releases beginning to stir broader spotlights. Providing the evidence, their recent single Systematic won an award from the Academia Awards Academy in Los Angeles and there seems little to stop the Daren Grahn (Metallica, Hedley, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi) produced EP nudging greater focus their way.

That single opens up the EP, Systematic instantly stroking ears with grouchy riffs before a wave of tenaciously swung beats and wiry grooves join the initial wave of snarling guitar and the mutually striking tones of vocalist Shane Jolie. With equally rapacious melodic strands breaking through the aggressive trespass driven by Josh Lauze’s potent beats, the song develops a Nonpoint meets Five Finger Death Punch like incitement loaded with the band’s own fresh and inventive attributes. The infectious growl and stride of the song is inescapable, guitarists Geoff Way and Sebastian Mark Pulse casting a web of voracious enterprise as intrusive as it is flirtatious; a union the song embraces as a whole.

The following Tears Me Apart bursts into life with its own antagonistic yet welcoming blaze next, riffs and rhythms ravishing the senses but equally content to pause for melody warm breaths. The calmer moments still have a shadowy air as the bass of Trevor Miles courts the peace while Jolie springs his own diversity of magnetic attack throughout. With unpredictable essences emerging, occasionally with a Korn like nature, the song leaves pleasure full before Old Habits has its go at exciting ears. Another of the singles tempting anticipation the way of the EP, the song assertively simmers and boils; its robust imagination lined body a raw fire of Three Days Grace/ Bring Me The Horizon like dexterity and adventure.

Again, it is a song with something individual to CRNKSHFT in its dynamics, a welcome trait even bolder in the dark prowl of Breaking The Silence; a track virtually stalking ears from its start before its emotive and volcanic heart erupts, a cycle then repeated with fluid craft and invention. The most unpredictable moment on the release, it is as cantankerous as it is melodically reflective in tone. Fierce and venomous whilst contagiously engaging in touch, the song ensures the EP ends on the same major high it started with, heights closely nudged in between.

With familiar textures and essences in its design, the CRNKSHFT’s sound and EP do not quite find major originality but the signs are there, as strongly proven by its closer, whilst enjoyment is already a done deal. Things are looking good for band and ears.

The CRNKSHFT EP is out now across most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 27/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright