Huron – The Dead Stay Dead

Photo by Leigh Drinkwater Photography

Photo by Leigh Drinkwater Photography

It will not be the first time that UK metallers Huron will have majorly stirred up acclaim and attention with a release but their stunning new album, The Dead Stay Dead is surely going to ensure that the band is regarded as one of the big boys from hereon in. As mentioned, previous encounters have all drawn strong support and praise from media and fans alike but their new and easily finest proposal to date is a band reshaping and igniting not only their own creative landscape but the metal scene around them.

Formed towards the end of 2007, Plymouth hailing Huron has worked through many line-ups changes which seem to have only help spark new potency and power in their fusion of progressive, thrash, and melodic metal and the increasingly impressive releases it fuelled. Debut album Cheyne Stoking lured strong praise and focus with its release in 2009, the band’s live reputation only being enhanced as they toured the UK in support. Its successor Mary Celeste whipped up an even feistier storm of acclaim across fans and media in 2011, its success matched a year later by the War Party EP. Performances at the likes of Download, Bulldog Bash, and Bloodstock followed whilst a British tour with Skindred was just one more live triumph to add to shows with bands such as One Machine, Onslaught, Evile, Alestorm, Ill Niño, and Viking Skull over the years. As the outstanding The Dead Stay Dead lights an expected touch paper to the strongest spotlights upon the band yet, this year looks set to emulate and surpass the successful twelve months the band had in 2015 and show Huron to be the new big roar in modern metal.

Mixed and mastered by Justin Hill (SikTh) and produced by guitarist Rimmy Sinclair, The Dead Stay Dead opens with The Ark Of Deucalion. A provocative sonic mist first wraps ears before intensive riffery from Sinclair and Chris Smith descends venomously on the senses driven by the barbarous beats of drummer David Parsons and the predatory throaty lures of Rohan James’ bass. It is a swiftly compelling and anthemic incitement built on the contagion of thrash but quickly showing the hefty weave of textures and styles now in the Huron sound as it evolves under the antagonistic roar of vocalist Sean Palmer, who has since left the band with James taking over the vocal spot. Darkly celestial harmonies only add to the drama within the blazing cauldron of craft and intensity, at times the track almost like a merger of Slayer, Devin Townsend, and now demised UK band Mishkin.

Huron Cover artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe striking start is soon eclipsed by the album’s title track, The Dead Stay Dead a predator quickly stalking ears and imagination with its scything rhythms and sizzling tendrils of sonic spice. Vocals assault and ripen the appetite as the song matches their bait with aggressive kind but it is when the track slips into something more melodically comfortable with clean vocals to match, that a great song opens its full temptation. It is irresistible, an ugly duckling evolving into blooming beauty and back with Jekyll And Hyde frequency for the thickest contagion.

Santa Muerte slips in next with a sinister climate and grievous intent in its rhythms and riffs. As in its predecessors, tortuously swinging grooves bind ears and an already greedy appetite whilst the raw vocal tones collude with the open animosity in the thrash bred and increasingly dynamic ferocity devouring the senses. Exhaustion and joy is the by-product of the blistering encounter, ears basking in the melodic enterprise searing their flesh and the rapacious imagination seducing their depths before both Pyschosis and Murder Hole unleash their venomous rancor and creative rabidity. The first of the two is a thunderous onslaught with a death thrash tendency to its equally tenacious weave of infection loaded flavours and ideation. Infused further by the burning prowess of guitars and solo it makes for one glorious collision between song and lust emulated again in its successor, a song which wraps itself in more recognisable thrash spices a la Metallica and proceeds to twist and re-weave those flavours into something far more primal and inventive with another dose of excellent clean vocal adding to the great diversity.

Managing to be brutish and seductive, the mouth-watering Despina feverishly rampages on ears like a cultured barbarian next whilst Bastard King emerges from atmospheric shadows to infest body and psyche with its sonic trespasses and rhythmic predation like a vampiric temptress taking the imagination on a ride through the darkest fearsome scenery. Both again are individual in their nature and bodies but united in igniting the passion with their invasive and imposingly addictive adventures through they are slightly outshone by the merciless virulence of The Spirit Of Hat & Vengeance. Like Black Dahlia Murder meets System Of A Down with Bloodsimple in close attention, to try and give a hint to its insatiable tempest, the track is manna to the metal feeding passions and for personal tastes the king amongst only great warriors on the album.

With the militant natured Bokanovsky’s Process and the flaming progressive subtlety of Solace, band and album continue to beat and thrill; the cunning twists and resourceful stalking of the senses by the first contrasted by the melodically poetic and cantankerously intrusive might of the second. Again each song has its own creative agenda and voice to keep the rich variety to the album flowing before Fresh & Thorns brings The Dead Stay Dead to a fearsomely rugged and invigoratingly rousing close. There is a hint of Mudvayne to the violent wantonness and canny maze of biting textures of the track, yet as everywhere any hints offered to songs in reference to others are slim hues in something uniquely Huron.

It has been a fair while between albums but the time has seen Huron escalate their craft, imagination, and fiercely flavoured confrontation of sound. The Dead Stay Dead is the proof from a band ready and undoubtedly equipped to take on the world.

The self-released The Dead Stay Dead is available from February 12th through all platforms and outlets.

https://www.facebook.com/Huronofficial   https://twitter.com/huron_uk

Pete RingMaster 11/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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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

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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

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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