Fayne – The Queen of Kings

FAYNE - Press Photo

The first release since returning from a hiatus in 2013, Canadian metallers Fayne have unleashed a maelstrom of a fury in The Queen of Kings EP. Bracingly raw yet just as feverishly sculpted the five track metalcore fuelled encounter reasserts the Montreal quintet as a seriously compelling proposition. It is merciless and ravenous examination of the senses and a perpetual spark for the imagination to feed upon. It is probably not an incitement for those liking an easy life with their music but for the rest it is an increasingly rewarding savaging which impresses more with every listen.

Before the break in 2008, Fayne drew strong attention and a potent following through their uncompromising sound, similarly imposing live performances, and the EPs You Took it All Away and Delivering The Final Blow in 2004 and 2006 respectively. Those releases led to numerous tours across Canada as well as the sharing of stages with the likes of Alexisonfire, Underoath, Hopesfall, and Blessed By A Broken Heart. Now the band unleash their new exploit, returning with an even more ferocious and creatively gripping sound but still sparking from inspirations such as Counterparts, Mastodon, and Periphery which have always spiced their invention. Produced by the band’s guitarist Alex Gonzalez with Alan Douches of West West Side Music (Dillinger Escape Plan, Every Time I Die, Between the Buried and Me) joining him for the final mastering, The Queen of Kings is a rabid blaze of sound and enterprise from its first second, never relenting even after ears and emotions are frayed and seduced.

The title track opens up the EP, its initial epic melodic coaxing swiftly turning to a blistering fury driven by the hoarse malevolent roars of Joseph Espinosa. Just as quickly an array of vocal tones join the mix, captivating as strongly as the EP Cover - Fayne - The Queen of Kings 2014abrasing riffs and intimidating rhythms alongside them. With no info to the contrary, the varying degrees of raw aggression and clean vocals are all assumingly bred within Espinosa and it is an impressive and unpredictable aspect of him and the band’s attack. Just as ferocious and inventively riveting is the web of intrigue crafted by the guitars of Gonzalez and Nick Fazioli, riffs hellacious and technical prowess in abundance as the pair spin a fascinating and enthralling weave of enterprise and adventure. The track continues to impress, whether a bestial assault or a flavoursome tempest, everything caged within the more directly intensive and predatory rhythmic tenacity of bassist Chris Kasp and drummer Carlo De Iuliis.

As evidenced by the whole release, there is plenty going on and involved in the structure of tracks with repeat listens the only way to discover the heart and depths of each offering. It is a demand which may test some but will reward all as shown by the following Believers which emerges from the tail of its predecessor with blistering grooves, rampaging rhythms, and further vocal diversity. Even more of a predator of the senses than the first track, it has an almost deranged and certainly fiercely agitated attack to its persuasion, everything driven with urgency but also a technical rabidity which almost deceives its quality through hostility. As it unveils more, the song is almost schizophrenic in its enterprise and twists, moving through shades of spite and aggression to explore more melodic pastures and sultry climates, though it is never too far away from savaging the listener.

This song and the fourth, is linked by Isonic Flight, a just short of two minute sonic drift through a haunting atmosphere with dulled rhythmic pulses for company. It is a piece which probably means more to the band and the journey of their release than it will for the listener, especially with it soon being forgotten once the outstanding Concord rises powerfully and contagiously from its tail wind. Riffs and rhythms are instant potent bait, across which raw flames of guitar erupt and a cleaner delivery from Espinosa lures, though he is soon entwining hoarse squalls into his again gripping attack. You would not call the frontman the most skilled vocalist in metal but there are few who are brave and daring enough to test themselves on songs with such a varied and successful arsenal. Arguably less vicious than the early tracks, though not short of malice and rage, the song is a potent fire of melodies and inflamed grooves toying with numerous styles and venturing into alluring experimental pastures.

The release is finished by Nomad’s Land which features Karl Schubach of Misery Signals. A spicy mix of metal flavours combine to encase the hoarse growls of Espinosa as the track sizzles venomously and engagingly from its first breath. Not quite matching the might of its predecessor, certainly until it’s dramatic and rigorously antagonistic final third, the song still provides an engrossing tapestry of interwoven sounds and textures which at times become quite muggy in their union but only provide a proposal which grips and excite ears and thoughts.

Though Fayne is not exactly a new band, they are still relatively a secret outside of their homeland, something The Queen of Kings will go some way to addressing and the unbridled potential within the band will eventually turn into something of the past.

The Queen of Kings is available digitally now via Crystal Math @ https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/the-queen-of-kings-ep/id937274484 and http://faynemusic.bandcamp.com/track/believers

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RingMaster 21/11/2014

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Intervals – A Voice Within

 

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    The additional information accompanying the promo for the debut album from Canadian band Intervals, declares that the quartet is ‘set to be the most exciting new progressive metal prospects of 2014 with the release of debut album, A Voice Within. As their offering seduces and fascinates it really is impossible to disagree, the nine track adventure a magnetic kaleidoscope of sonic colours, inciting textures, and contagious adventures. With a technical craft to match its progressive enterprise, the self-released A Voice Within, with distribution across Europe by Basick Records, is a maze of diverse and inventive flavours which captivates and absorbs from start to finish.

      The Toronto hailing Intervals was formed in 2011 by guitarist Aaron Marshall and took little time in earning a well-respected and acclaimed presence with their evocative instrumental soundscapes. With a line-up completed by guitarist Lukas Guyader and drummer Anup Sastry (Jeff Loomis / Skyharbor), the band released two well-received EPs, The Space Between and In Time in 2011 and 2012 respectively, as well as playing and touring with the likes of Texas In July, Northlane, Structures, The Kindred, The Color Morale, Misery Signals and more. Last year a new direction was taken by the band, not so much in sound though that was unavoidably affected, but with the joining of vocalist Mike Semesky (formerly of The Haarp Machine). Work began on their first album last September with Jordan Valeriote (Silverstein, Structures, Counterparts) and what has emerged is a riveting triumph taking the band to new scintillating levels and you can only expect greater spotlights.

      The first single taken from the album Ephemeral opens up the endeavour, the track taking no time to immerse the ears in the Intervals.AVoiceWithin.cover.lotechnical skill and inventive breath of band and release. Bass and drums instantly cast a web which entangles and excites the senses whilst the guitars flirt and dance with the imagination. It is a potent start enhanced by the melodic tones of Semesky, his expressive and fluid delivery holding hands with the melody rich flames licking from within the sinew framed opener. Sculpting an aurally scenic venture which intrigues and draws in thoughts with ease, it is only hindsight and not its company which suggests the album’s introduction is merely an appetiser to greater things ahead.

    That suggestion arises straight away with the following Moment Marauder, the song a compelling temptation which enslaves and dances with the passions from its initial melodic caress and technical invention. Winding jazz bred imagination around precise and bewitching temptation, it seduces with almost mischievous glee as the vocals stroke and coaxes the emotions as irresistibly as the complicated breeze of sounds surrounding them. Dazzling bordering on disorientating , the ingenuity and sculpting of the song is a virulent lure but one which never indulges itself, each transfixing technical exploit matched by an openly accessible and infectious hook or sweeping groove aligned to the persistently persuasive vocals.

     Automation and The Self Surrendered struggle just slightly to match the album’s first pinnacle, though both build their own plateaus to rigorously enthuse over. The first offers an almost pop rock swagger within its progressive and technical mesmerism, the melodies and contagious assets framed by muscular rhythms which take no prisoners but equally have a respect leaving ardour rather than wounds. It’s equally smouldering and vivacious bait is swiftly matched by the second of the two, a song which has voraciousness to its opening technical gambit which it then lends to the rest of its potently catchy and provocative body. As all the tracks, the melodic canter never settles into one gait or stance for long, the ever evolving and twisting emprise coming with flared nostrils and irrepressible passion.

    After the brief elegant instrumental Breathe, the song allowing that very action before the next spiral of adventure, The Escape confronts the ears like a frantic acrobat, leaping through and wringing out its sonic narrative upon a mouthwatering canvas of inventive hues and emotion. Its beauty is replaced by the fiery landscape of Atlas Hour, technical poise and passionate energies once again offering a journey of unpredictable and persistently shifting scenic inspiration clad in formidable rhythms aligned to just as forceful riffs.

    Siren Sound confronts the senses next, the song a whirl of almost carnivorous jagged riffs and rhythmic antagonism reined in by the ever impressive vocals and harmonies. As the second song on the album, the track explores and unveils that something extra, something which sparks a furnace in the imagination and passions in comparison to the fierce blazes spawned elsewhere. There is a predatory instinct to the song too which inspires everything from the skill and hunger of the band to the uncompromising sounds themselves, and all engulfed in an irresistible seduction. The track steps up to offer a real challenge to the brilliant Moment Marauder for best song accolades, the pair then tested by the closing title track. Bringing the outstanding album to a tremendous close, the song stomps and teases the passions with a weave of severe rhythms, awe inspiring technical artistry, and simply unbridled adventure.

     Offering a kind of mix of Circles and Beneath the Buried and Me with TesseracT, but something different again, A Voice Within is an exceptional encounter and yes as suggested the evidence of something new and exciting emerging. The evolution to include vocals and new adventures by Intervals might just be the boldest most inspirational move from any band in recent times too.

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http://intervalsmusic.bandcamp.com/

9/10

RingMaster 05/03/2014

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Elephantis: State of Mind

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State of Mind the debut EP from UK melodic hardcore band Elephantis is one of those releases which whether you find rapture within it or not it cannot be ignored or simply dismissed. It is a titanic explosion of fervour, expression, and searing melodic enterprise delivered with a brutality and near malice which leaves you shell shocked. The initial encounter left an uncertainty hovering over the six track expanse of the release, unsure just how good or different the EP was to a wave of emerging bands and releases in 2012 from the same genre well. After a deserved prolonged exposure State of Mind emerges as one impressive and even more promising reward for the senses, it is not an easy listen but certainly one of the most enthralling and intriguing.

Hailing from Guildford, the quintet of vocalist Angus Roberton, guitarists Connor Jackson and George Marriott, bassist Joe Oliver, and drummer Olly Harvey, has on the evidence of the EP honed their sound into a squalling and dramatic breath of emotive passion. It is a large sound with a sonic malevolence which strips the senses of security whilst leaving them satisfied and looking forward to much more future. Their influences as stated in their bio include the likes of Misery Signals, Counterparts, and It Prevails and to that you can add spices of the likes of Cancer Bats, Rise Against, and By Any Means to a sinewy mix which leaves you breathless and submerged in an emotional roller coaster of a ride.

      Eastern Skies starts things off with a furnace in its belly and rhythms which leave you trembling. It is a caustic rain of sound and1550607879-1 aggression which leaves the ear raw and smarting. The vocals of Roberton carry nothing less than unbridled heart to match the abrasive intensity and sonic assault. His tones leave finesse outside to add further vicious depth to the track. Within the tempest the guitars leave elegant patterns upon the unruly bruising canvas which counters and contradicts the violence inspiringly whilst making a compelling companion for thoughts. It has to be said that neither this song nor the majority of the others are lingering memories after their departures, though small moments do persist from within each storm, but in their presence make for deeply pleasing encounters.

The following Leo is a dynamic onslaught with its tremendous raptorial breath and shadowed stained heavy rampages; the additional vocals of Odessa vocalist Richard Lardner and the evolving invention to the structure of the track capturing the imagination completely to make the track one of the bigger highlights on the release. As with next up Stronghold, the musicianship on offer is impressive, each member stretching the songs without losing the shape and intent. The second of the two is a track which does not inspire the same reactions and acclaiming thoughts as its predecessors but is still a strong and gratifying moment in ones aural life.

After the good instrumental Ante Meridian another pinnacle is hit with Pale Shades, a track which pushes itself and the songwriting to the limit whilst being controlled and imaginative. Again towering rhythms cage a storm of melodic and inventive endeavour which sits easily alongside the perpetual vocal malevolence and consuming intensity. It is a ravaging tsunami of emotion which rewards as equally as it erodes the strength of the listener, and one very appetizing intrusion.

Ending with the unrelenting anger of the title track, State Of Mind is a strongly promising introduction to a band with one feels has much more invention and uniqueness within their emerging skilled hands. For a debut one can only be impressed and inspired to watch the band closely with a brewing anticipation that Elephantis could be a major force in the near future. As a name your price release the recommendation is check out the band as soon as…

http://elephantis.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Elephantis

RingMaster 31/12/2012

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Enabler: All Hail The Void

Stripped bare, relentlessly violated, and left a gibbering wreck on the floor, no not a scene from an entry within the Hostel movies franchise but the course and aftermath of the annihilatory bliss that is All Hail The Void from the Milwaukee-based extreme metallers Enabler. To call it an assault is to underplay its ferociousness and merciless intensity but within the violent hurricane of sound there is a creative brew of imagination which without attention can almost go unseen. Given focus the release emerges as one of the more exhilarating albums to corrupt the ear this year.

All Hail The Void is not an easy listen but nor is it so harsh that it offers nothing for those with more melodic veins to their tastes. Enabler unleash a storm of hardcore, punk, crust and varied flavours of extreme metal  but spearing it all are some of the most delicious and addictive grooves and hooks you could wish for. Ok they come with a caustic rub for the senses as intrusive as the aggression but they are as sweet as the cruellest pain and equally addictive.

Formed in 2009 by vocalist/guitarist Jeff Lohrber (Harlots, Eyes Upon Separation, Trap Them, Today is the Day, Shai Hulud), Enabler persistently has drawn increasing attention with their powerful sound. Consisting of guitarist Greg Thomas (Misery Signals, Shai Hulud, The Risk Taken), bassist Amanda Daniels, and Andy Hurley (Racetraitor, Kill the Slavemaster, Fallout Boy, The Damned Things, Earth Crisis)on drums alongside Lohrber, the band through the release of splits with the likes of Drainland and Ambassador Gun, and their EP’s Eden Sank To Grief and War Begins With You (both re-released together on the album Year One CD), have twisted metal inside out, gathering extreme flavours into their own fury of creativity. All Hail The Void is a mighty continuation of their staggering sound and a real treat.

Released July 16th via Southern Lord, the album captures the imagination from the start, the emotive strokes of a lone guitar at the beginning of F.A.T.H. an irresistible invitation for the ear even with the brewing intensity lurking behind it. A gentle start full of drama the song soon explodes into a knee buckling force of aural vengeance as riffs bruise the ear and sonic melodic scythes blister every surface they come in contact with. Like being trampled underfoot by a raging bull in the tight streets of rural Spain the track leaves one breathless and drained, senses grabbing for some kind of security though the chances of safety are destroyed as the following song The Heathens soon crushes any bones and sinews left intact. An equally vindictive piece of songwriting and its eager realisation the track contorts synapses with vicious melodic scrapings and a rampant groove intent on submission. With drums pummelling and laying bruise upon existing bruise whilst guitars flay the air mercilessly Lohrber spews unrestrained anger and spite with the strongest accuracy, the combination of all like in the opener quite glorious.

The excellent Speechless with its hypnotic dirty sonic groove and prowling bass from Daniels which intimidates with every note continues the impressive start. It is a riot of insatiable energy and twisted riffs which ignites every favourable spark within. More punk than hardcore it is another of many possibly destined to be classics on the release.

Though the album barely exceeds the thirty minute mark it feels much bigger and certainly has a titanic effect on the body. Tracks like the title track with its stalking riffs and taunting groove, the unpredictable They Live, We Sleep with its sonic blinding of the senses and haunting sanity twisting melodies, and especially Save Yourself, are all mesmeric violations which rupture and fire up every part of their recipients. The latter of the three is the best song on the album, a nasty stomping brute of a song with destructive grooves so addictive they leave one with permanent whiplash.

All Hail The Void initially came over as an impressive album but its persistence on the ear and our increasing insatiable desire to keep returning to it saw it evolve into one of the hungriest and fully satisfying intrusions of the year, and Enabler a band which should be in the ear of everyone.

RingMaster 10/07/2012

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