Akb’al – …Of Darkness and Light

Akbal Online promo shot

    …Of Darkness and Light is one of those encounters which makes a striking initial impression but over time and subsequent journeys unveils and expands into a constantly rewarding and riveting adventure. The creation of Welsh progressive metallers Akb’al, the seven track album soon shows it is much more than that tag suggests, the band exploring and employing resources across a multitude of styles to produce one thoroughly absorbing and provocative experience. The release is not without minor issues, and they are minor but with craft and hunger to seduce and savage across its formidable presence, the band’s debut is an impressive adventure to grow from.

     The seeds of the band began back in 2006 with Michael Young-Temple (vocals, bass, tablas, djembe, didgeridoo and the kaossilator!) who coming to the end of travelling around the world began fusing his experiences and world percussion instrumentation into a more stoner/prog rock and metal bred songwriting. Linking up with Thoby Davis (vocals, guitar, violins) and Rob Miles (guitar, backing vocals, synths), the trio began evolving and expanding Young-Temple’s early ideas. The band was eventually completed with drummer Michael Hourihan, also of Onslaught, and from 2010 set about building a live presence. The Cardiff quartet took little time in making a mark locally and with shows alongside bands such as Ten Cent Toy, Thorun, Chaos Trigger, and Fell on Black Days was soon an established and eagerly followed proposition around their region. Next came a venture into the studio to set about working on…Of Darkness and Light; the result a tempest of imagination and invention and one of the more exciting and compelling entrances so far this year.

     The band bring influences from the likes of Tool, The Doors, and Porcupine Tree through to Kyuss, NIN, Alice in Chains, and Akbal Cover ArtworkCoheed And Cambria into their sound though again certainly they are spices heard but only a slight flavour of what …Of Darkness and Light feeds the senses within. The title track opens up an imaginative and intimidating flight, the track a venture through the dark side of the release’s theme, an exploration of the darkness and light in human reality and state of the mind. Opening female torment within a cloud of pestilential breath coaxes in a shadow drenched bass and guitar incitement, the former heavy and respectfully imposing and the latter a melodic tender heat wrapped in spoken whispers. It is an intriguing and imagination probing invitation which flows into an aggressive and tempestuous oppression of noise and intensity. Merging mellower caresses with menacing sonic rapaciousness the song weaves and entrances the senses with a blend of progressive, nu, and psyche metal for a potent and riveting start.

     The Ride takes over with the same fluidity and mix of dark and light evocations, voracious and magnetic textures easily lying in each other’s arms as the song develops a melodic metal temptation. Again nothing settles into a singular persuasion or attack, bursts of primal agitation vocally and rhythmically punctuating the transfixing melodic wash of the song and great clean vocals. Sonically the track equally ebbs and flows with intimidation and temptation, both fuel to the open invention and craft consuming the ears.

    From the very strong start the album switches up another creative and impacting gear with Totally Recalled and the following Equilibrium.  A muscular rock essence which at times flirts with a Metallica like tempting guides the heavyweight stoner persuasion of the first song, an exhaustive metallic predation united with an infection clad groove just as irresistible and virulent in its ignition of the passions. As with many of the tracks there is a slight familiarity to certain moments but never anything to deter thoughts and emotions from falling greedily into the scintillating feast of sound and enterprise on offer. The track’s successor and new video single from the band is pure magnetism, simply nine minutes of smouldering wanton seduction from its opening melodic notes. Thumping rhythms and a bass snarl is soon stalking the senses whilst another strong and impressive swarm of clean vocal harmonies soak the ears with the equally pleasing lyrical narrative. The song is an unbridled addiction, unveiling a mouthwatering range of grooves and hooks within a flowing evocative soundscape which never relinquishes its hold and immense stature across its epic expanse. Like a mix of KingBathmat and Tricore with a healthy touch of Mishkin to its ingenuity at times, the song is a masterful triumph and the obvious doorway into Akb’al.

     Restless And Waiting is bred from the same bloom of ideas and inventive sculpting as it predecessor but returning the ears to the scavenging causticity of coarse vocals and sonic predation within the melody rich adventure. The song provides a subtler though no less captivating addictiveness with its squalling charms. It imposingly completes a trio of major peaks in the range of lofty highs with the sultry suasion of Pacha Mama stepping up next to take its share of the imagination. A gentler and progressively crafted soar through melody enriched and expression cast sky, the song is a mesmeric and evocative exploration bringing diversity and further acclaim upon the release.

    …Of Darkness and Light closes on the extensive instrumental Light, a lingering invention driven travelogue of emotional reflection and expressive scenery taking in twelve minutes of tantalising continent travelling endeavour. Admittedly like a couple of songs it is a little too long to keep attention as enraptured as it deserves but as mentioned earlier the issue is a minor quibble against the pleasure and enthrallment surrounding the senses. It completes an outstanding encounter from a band in Akb’al, who you can be sure we will hear much more of and in even greater circumstances ahead.

http://www.akbalband.com/

www.facebook.com/Akbalband

9/10

RingMaster 10/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Pteroglyph – The Great Unseen EP

Pteroglyph Online Promo picture

The excellent Found EP of last year made a striking introduction and formidable base for UK metal project Pteroglyph to stretch its evolution of invention and power from, which it surely has with The Great Unseen EP. The new release is a riveting expanse of technical art, fervour fuelled imagination, and finely crafted textures which go from chewing upon to seducing the senses within the time a breath takes to release its hunger, and back again continually. It is a masterful giant soundscape, a three part emotive adventure merged into one long rewarding excursion through shadows and blazing light wrapped in an evocative potency.

Pteroglyph is the one man project of multi-instrumentalist Jimmy MacGregor, once of one of the UK’s finest bands Mishkin. Setting out on his own to explore his unique musical premises and sculpt multi-layered technical structures within a torrent of sonic incitement, MacGregor chiselled a debut in the Found EP which was as emotionally colourful as it was metallically confrontational. Pulling acclaim from the underground media and offering a track to a cover mounted Metal Hammer CD, the release set up strong anticipation for future compositions from the man, an appetite fully satisfied by The Great Unseen.

Part One of The Great Unseen instantly unleashes a concentration of stabbing riffs with swarming sonic persistence as its companion, thePteroglyph Cover Artwork immediately riveting introduction soon joined by the hoarse growls of MacGregor and an acidic melodic wash. An intensive brew of rapier like jagged guitar spite and perpetually shifting vocal and enterprising invention, the track brings a suspicious and intimidating landscape to engage the listener whilst setting it ablaze with the excellent skill and progressively layered cutting sonic narrative. The promo accompanying the release suggests the EP is for fans of the likes of Devin Townsend, Sylosis, and Gojira, an impossible to argue with statement which can be stretched to include The First, Tesseract, and similarly inspired artists on evidence of this stretch of creativity alone.

The second part merges from an evocative mist to bring a singular guitar coaxing against the brewing storm with vocal harmonies flanking its suasion. Soon though the track has sinews and teeth coveting and assaulting the ear with pure rapaciousness whilst the vocal croon of MacGregor glides through the attack at times breaking into a rabid delivery to match the carnivorous side of the piece as melodic and atmospheric layers weave a concurrent evocative and resourceful flame to shape further tantalising depths within the track.

With the third part of the EP a tender and gentle plain of melodic and emotionally charged reflective imagination, The Great Unseen leaves thoughts and feelings soaring as high as the skies the final part ventures with its warm and evocative charms, though the outstanding heavy tones of the bass provides a dark anchor ensuring the piece of music never loses its shadowed footing as it brings an impressive release to a potent close.

Released through Red Tower Records The Great Unseen is a formidable step forward for Pteroglyph yet still suggesting there are more layers and depths to explore, which is one very exciting proposition.

https://www.facebook.com/Pteroglyph

http://www.pteroglyph.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/08/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

Pteroglyph unveil new video!‏

Pteroglyph Online Promo picture
PTEROGLYPH release new video for The Great Unseen in preparation for a
rousing new EP set to be unleashed this summer. 
Pteroglyph is the collective musical and artistic workings of UK maestro ‘Jimmy MacGregor’. Ex Mishkin member Jimmy MacGregor has poured from all of his vast touring and studio experience to hand-craft a record that has multi-layered technical structures, rampant fretwork and colossal power—all from one talented individual!
After cutting his teeth for over eight years playing with a series of well respected bands, Jimmy decided to strike out on his own, taking it upon himself to build the foundations of a new project that would become ‘Pteroglyph’. Under the guise of Pteroglyph, Jimmy has already released his debut EP ‘Found’, which garnered widespread underground support, including having a track from the record selected for the covermount CD of Metal Hammer (January 2013). The EP has helped to rapidly increase Pteroglyph’ s national profile and fan-base.
Pteroglyph now step up with a brand new record entitled ‘The Great Unseen’.  The new EP boasts an impressive array of styles and swings from Devin Townsend-esque soundscapes to the ferocious beatings of Sylosis and Gojira. Encompassing three merged tracks over fifteen minutes, the record rips open the envelope, pushing fresh boundaries and illustrating Jimmy Mac’s extensive creative talent and craft for producing cutting edge and exhilarating progressive metal.
Check out the new video for The Great Unseen @  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iC_vaUIrCw
* Pteroglyph’s new EP ‘The Great Unseen’ is unleashed on Monday 26th August
through Red Tower Records and is available through all national outlets and stores.*
 

PTEROGLYPH unveil ‘The Great Unseen’, out 26th August‏

 
Pteroglyph Online Promo picture
ROUSING NEW EP FROM PTEROGLYPH SET LOOSE THIS SUMMER!
Pteroglyph is the collective musical and artistic workings of UK maestro ‘Jimmy MacGregor’. Ex Mishkin member MacGregor has poured from all of his vast touring and studio experience to hand-craft a record that has multi-layered technical structures, rampant fretwork and colossal power—all from one talented individual!
After cutting his teeth for over eight years playing with a series of well respected bands, Jimmy decided to strike out on his own, taking it upon himself to build the foundations of a new project that would become Pteroglyph. Under the guise of Pteroglyph, Jimmy has already released his debut EP ‘Found’, which garnered widespread underground support, including having a track from the record selected for the cover mount CD of Metal Hammer (January 2013). The EP has helped to rapidly increase Pteroglyph’ s national profile and fan-base.
Pteroglyph now step up with a brand new record entitled ‘The Great Unseen’.  The new EP boasts an impressive array of styles and swings from Devin Townsend-esque soundscapes to the ferocious beatings of Sylosis and Gojira. Encompassing three merged tracks over fifteen minutes, the record rips open the envelope, pushing fresh boundaries and illustrating Jimmy Mac’s extensive creative talent and craft for producing cutting edge and exhilarating progressive metal.
Pteroglyph Cover Artwork
* Pteroglyph’s new EP ‘The Great Unseen’ is unleashed on Monday 26th August through Red Tower Records and is available through all national outlets and stores.*
 
TRACKLISTING: 1. The Great Unseen (Part 1-3)
BAND MEMBERS: Jimmy MacGregor – Vocals/Guitars/Programming/Production
FOR FANS OF: Devin Townsend, Sylosis, Gojira

 

II II II : A Conundrum On My Coffee Table

cover

Something wicked this way comes, an exceptional experiment of sonics, sounds and adventurous sensibilities to engineer the deepest ardour. Plenty of releases excite and thrill the senses but just a few ignite a fire of passion and deeply rooted rapture for the sounds they offer. One such rarity has just been unleashed into the world by II II II. The project from former Mishkin vocalist Ben Davy is sensational and its debut release without doubt one of the most enthralling and intoxicating pleasures of 2012. The A Conundrum On My Coffee Table EP captures the imagination in every aspect, its innovative weaves and inventive teasing an invigorating breath of fresh air which like the band name inspires thought, intrigue, and a hungry anticipation which is quenched with staggering ease.

Being a massive fan of the now deceased Leeds band Mishkin, the excitement of hearing from Davy with the EP was immense and

Ben Davy

Ben Davy

arguably placed higher expectations on the impending release than any other new record might have to prove itself against. It was child’s play for the release though, its six tracks leaving hopes as just inadequate musings when placed before their creative triumphs and exhilarating sounds. Fusing  blend of mathcore, metal, jazz, and rock, the release is an experimental tempest which offers essences of Faith No More, Mishkin, 6:33, Mike Patton, Dog Fashion Disco and much more, all honed into a unique and compelling encounter. The tracks are slight sonic swipes, colourful aural blades which barely worry a third minute but are rigidly magnetic in the time they take to transform the emotions into a compliant subservient.

Dog’s Lost His Bone swaggers in with sultry melodies and bruising basslines over firm rhythmic slaps to immediately pull all focus in its direction. A tempest of delicious enterprise and aggressive sinews the track is a storm of scattergun like energies and sounds honed into deliberate patterns and senses manipulating structures. It is glorious, an evolving beast of sound which ignites every corner of mind and heart. The track reminds of Guano Padano at times especially their recent collaboration with Mike Patton, whilst offering the ever shifting weaves which marked Mishkin and the technical mesmerism of a Karnivool.

From there things just venture into arguably further elevated areas of psyched investigation and musical excellence. Firstly the psychotic HITPTYGWYDIYL exposes the nerve endings with its wanton melodic caresses and scything rhythmic malevolence, the track a piece of aural sculpture which teeters on insanity. It like the first song is just irresistible, a brief unpredictable expanse of taunting and challenges bringing the richest of rewards. If the likes of Polkadot Cadaver give you a buzz, this track as the release will have you feeling like a teenager on your first sexual quest.

No Condition and Memories follow with their own individual ingenuity, the first a tirade of white hot sonics and argumentative riffs with a smouldering seductive centre and expressive challenging gest, and the second a flash of thought exploiting invention which leaves nothing less than heightened pleasure in its wake. In addition to the previous mentioned references the release inspires there is a sense of the maniacal mischief of 12 Stone Toddler to this pair of songs bringing yet another refreshing and inspirational flavour to the whole experience.

The release is completed by the ravenous craft of The Key To Denial and the serpentine Shingles. The former is a sizzling encounter, a face to face with the devil in aural form, its sonic tongue licking over the senses with insidious sexual greed to leave you tingling whilst grinning in sheer pleasure. Like all the songs it caresses and investigates the body like an insatiable lover whilst all the time stretching and twisting their prey with their venomous desires.  The latter is even more dangerous behind its jazz lined melodic brilliance, the passage of almost corruptive challenges and dazzling invention just breath-taking and magically intrusive.

A Conundrum On My Coffee Table is pure excellence, a release coming in the closing days of December which sets the highest standard for 2013. The EP is an essential investigation and a must get with its name your own price offer on the II II II Bandcamp Page… so go on off you go.

http://ii-ii-ii.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/II-II-II/100277240054308

RingMaster 30/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Recovery: The Faint & Fragile

With their new EP Wherever Nowhere Takes Us, looming up with a February 2013 release, Scottish rockers The Recovery are releasing their new single The Faint & Fragile as a free download and impressive taste of what is to come. The single is a storming riot of a song, a track which triggers the passions and gets the heart pumping faster not to mention making for one of the best thumping encounters in single form this year.

The Recovery is a band on the rise, the quintet since forming from the ashes of various notable Glasgow bands, gaining strong responses and acclaim through their live performances which has seen them support the likes of Transit, Cancer Bats, and Title Fight, as well as headlining their own impressive shows. Though the single is our first piece of the band, their previous releases had brought a good word in their favour though not giving any real hint of how immense the song was likely to be.

The Faint & Fragile opens with a smouldering melodic glaze of guitar and vocals whilst beats gently cage the scene. It is a warm and almost sensual breath with a restrained swagger to its glow, bass and vocals oozing confidence with a glint of the wickedness to come. As the ear settles into the hazy heat the track takes a breath before unleashing a rage of senses staggering riffs and combative rhythms. It is a furnace of metal employing twisted grooves, disorientating djent tendencies, and blistering hardcore plus more, honed into an irresistible and sensational onslaught. The once teasing vocals turn into spiteful caustic growls to match the crippling and destructive sounds but there is still an infectious hook which leaves only full captivation in the wake of the attack. The track is brilliant, simple as, and with its anthemic clean group chorus and melodic enterprise within the explosive aggressive drama is one of the treats of 2012.

Imagine a merger of the likes of Every Time I Die, Refused, Mishkin, and Cancer Bats, and you get a feel for the formidable and immense sounds on offer within The Faint & Fragile. It is a perfectly structured and layered triumph which registers highly on every level. Single of the year? Just might be.

https://www.facebook.com/therecoveryuk

RingMaster 10/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pteroglyph: Found

One of the deepest loves of The RR has been for Mishkin, the now sadly demised UK alternative metal band, so it was with extra eagerness we turned our attention to the debut EP from Pteroglyph. The band is the solo project of ex-Mishkin vocalist Jimmy MacGregor, the Found EP a towering and impressive slab of destructive yet violently beautiful music. As impressive technically and in its startling structure as it is aggressively rampant and abrasively confusing, the release is a powderkeg of attitude, energy, and keenly crafted intimidation. This is nothing like Mishkin, except in attempting to push and buckle boundaries, but is as attention grabbing.

MacGregor left Mishkin (before its end) in order to pursue his solo work and career, his introduction to the world and his greatly woven sounds with Found only likely to thrill. Released September 24th as a free download, the five track ambush on the senses is an unpredictable and imaginative beast. On the surface a tumultuous and hungry onslaught whilst within its muscular intimidation a shifting and enterprising blend of progressive invention, melodic scorching, and forceful sonic addiction. Mastered by Acle Kahney of Tesseract, with all other aspects from MacGregor, the release backs the senses up into a corner and then blasts, barracks, and seduces them, vigorously.

The release immediately seizes the ear with opener Emerge, its forceful but respectful start stirring things up before the clean vocals turn to rabid growls and the soon deeply rooted groove twists relentlessly amongst crushing riffs. It is not the most destructive assault to ever challenge but it keeps one honest and absorbed by the emerging brew of melodic thought and insistent intensity. It is not always easy blending spiteful intent with mesmeric sonic light but MacGregor has it perfectly honed within his creative armoury.

The first song arguably does not lift the roof off but does sets things off with strength. It is followed by the track Earth, a rampage down the main street of the ear with fully charged malevolence and driven imagination, though the subtle melodic break within a minute of the track offers a surprising and refreshing aside. It has to be said that surprisingly the clean vocals, especially at this particular point, pale in quality against the guttural raw delivery but for the majority of the release is still makes for a pleasing and complimentary if undulating fusion. Back into its rampant stride the song churns and tears up the air with incendiary riffs and shifting ethical prowess to keep things on a high.

It is at the third song that things really take off, Empathy making an impact of barbarous riffing, synapse stretching technical violations, and malevolent bruising feel like an energising tempest. The song is immense, the vocals defying our previous comment to drag the guttural depths and leave blistered trails of harmonic excellence in the sky. The song is merciless, offering no respite or safety net to hide within, its intense weave a ravenous dehabilitating and thoroughly rewarding soundscape.

The final tracks Endeavour and Excess bring further open diversity and enflamed pleasure. The first is a melodically fuelled wrap veined with spiky rhythms, punchy riffs, and primal growls. Around the harsh breath though the song is the ignition to flashes of sonic showers and warm persuasion to offer multiple and rich aural faces. It is a song which gives more with each reunion and though it is not without flaws, as with the EP, it is the giver and receiver of complete and hungry engagement from both directions.

Excess just rips the senses off their hinges, its death dripped metalcored assault an exploratory and brutal exercise in submission and pleasure giving, a song any extreme metal fan would drop what they are doing for. Again the clean vocals challenge the progress of the imaginative attack and rippling body of the song but never to real detriment.

As mentioned Found is not without issues, mainly the already stated uneven clean vocals as well as the ‘manufactured’ drum sounds but the release is nevertheless fully impressive and the cause of only unbridled promise and anticipation of what MacGregor and his Pteroglyph will unleash ahead. We cannot wait!

http://www.pteroglyph.com/

RingMaster 19/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.

Fist Full Of Lies: If It Wasn’t For This,I’d Still Have Everything

Explosively stunning the debut EP from post hardcore band Fist Full Of Lies is a startling arrival of a new and real force in UK rock music. Armed with all the essential punk tendencies and attitude you could wish for the Norwich quartet take the post hardcore genre into new exciting storms of sounds and quality. Fresh and eager the band is a breath of new inspiring air and the If It Wasn’t For This, I’d Still Have Everything EP the mightiest of introductions.

Formed in 2010, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Ben Taylor, guitarist Sam Taylor, bassist Rikki Assuncao, and drummer Ash Griffiths took no time in gaining a responsive attention with a free download track in the same year and subsequent sharing of stages with the likes of Atlas & I, Mishkin, Evarose, Everything Burns, Mallory Knox, and Depth. Taking influences and inspiration from such bands as Alexisonfire, At The Drive-In, Deaf Havana, Avenged Sevenfold, Gallows, and The Bronx, Fist Full Of Lies have forged their own sound and distinct identity which not only sets them apart but fires up the expectations that the band will be a major player in defining future UK rock music.

From the start the EP slaps the senses to attention with the hungry Curses. From a prodding of guitars the song erupts into an agitated brew of plaintive vocals, their delivery as expressive and open as the feisty sounds surrounding them. The beats of Griffiths are like steel jabs, clean yet dominant whilst the bass of Assuncao prowls with a menacing presence amongst the crashing riffs and evocative melodic enterprise. The song courts the ear with heated suggestion and enthused energy to make for a striking and excellent start to the release.

The great start though is shown to be just the beginning as the following I’m Jack’s Lingering Regret stands beating its chest with even greater invention and irresistibility. Thumping rhythms take charge first as the guitars and bass crowd the ear with expansive and beefy sounds. Soon joined by a hypnotic melodic hook to drool over, the song stalks the senses with a punk confrontation to the emerging emotive air. Vocally Ben Taylor is impressive and already marks himself as one of the best new voices to be unleashed this year, his delivery and control a perfect compliment and foil to the sounds and lyrical intent.

Waiting steps up next to keep things just as tight and explosive as those songs leading to its entrance. The track is an unpredictable riot of thought and expression from all departments and with a dual vocal attack at times it ruffles the ear with a rawness which ignites an even deeper enthusiasm for the band. The song alone shows why the band stands out from the crowd, its imagination and desire to venture down initially disguised avenues and enflame the passions as it goes with an anthemic intent is sheer quality.

If It Wasn’t For This, I’d Still Have Everything finishes with Bitterness Got The Better Of Me, a dramatic and dynamic closure to the release with as much ferocity in its bristling walls as arguably on the other songs combined. The track leaves the senses ringing and desperate to feel the force of Fist Full Of Lies immediately again, impassioned and unforgettable its departure the instant trigger for another thrilling engagement.

Fist Full Of Lies has surprised, their sudden and impressive presence from out of nowhere for most of us an unexpected gift and the reassuring declaration that British rock music is not only in safe hands but inspired ones.

https://www.facebook.com/fistfulloflies

RingMaster 03/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster : My Free Copyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.