Temple Of Lies – The Serial Killer Suite

From its predatory nature alone, The Serial Killer Suite ensures ears and an appetite for imposing metal are aroused; add potent individual craft and an instinctively woven web of grooves and rhythmic threat and you have a release which stalks attention. The third album from UK metallers Temple Of Lies, it is a rapacious contagion of sound and intensity living up to its theme and untamed protagonist.

With its first pair of singles making persuasive hints of things to come, The Serial Killer Suite swiftly shows each were accurate clues to, if still slithers of, the adventurous character of the album. The successor to the well-received From Sand, it also sees the Temple Of Lies exploring heavier and darker corners of their sound and imagination; areas as dirty and bloodthirsty as they are groove nurtured infectious and hungrily energetic. Since emerging in 2010, the Leicester hailing outfit has shown an imposing growth in their sound, an evolution now having its head within their third full-length whilst still suggesting the exploration is far from over.

The Serial Killer Suite opens up with Epic Doom and instantly prowls ears with its groove lined swagger and growling riffs and bass line. Like a ringmaster vocalist Si Shaw steps into the middle, sowing the seeds to the psychotic devil in the album’s midst. Equally from the song’s initial breath, Jon Scranney’s guitar spins a web of enticing yet rapacious hooks and grooves, bait matched by the tenacious swings of drummer Alex Gamble and Jags’ similarly grouchy bass. It is an irresistible welcome into the waiting emotional carnage and ill-intent and swiftly backed by the just as gripping exploits of Broken Mind. Again band and sound court the senses with a threatening stealth, the bass pressing intimidatingly as Shaw’s gravelly tones join its trespass. As thrusting beats and harrying riffs add their lures, the song surrounds ears with hungry enterprise, the wiry tendrils of Scranney’s guitar rich spicing.

Illusion of Choice draws on the grungier side of the Temple of Lies sound, fusing it with their ever ferocious and enticing blend of metal. Instantly the track is on the boisterous balls of its feet, rhythms scything and riffs snarling as vocals and hooks collude in a virulent temptation with a touch of Disturbed meets Spineshank to its short but fiercely persuasive body before Modus Operandi lays down its individual creative intent. Often tempting like a fusion of Monster Magnet and Suicidal Tendencies, the track has ears and imagination hooked in no time, every twist a captivating moment, each turn a fresh treat merging the familiar with the unpredictable; an essence which applies to the whole of The Serial Killer Suite.

Latest single Skin is next, the track starting with a great bass grumble and proceeding to place layer upon layer of growling dexterity whilst creating another seriously catchy proposal. Shaw again prowls it all with vocal character and quality, every syllable spawned from the psychotic menace of the album’s heart. It is inescapably magnetic stuff pretty much matched in the irritable presence of I Cut You Bleed, though the song for personal tastes just misses finding the final persuasive ingredients of its predecessors. In saying that, there are also times when the song has ears and pleasure truly in the palms of its venomous hands.

Through the calmer though still instinctively volatile Sleep and the tenebrous tone and heart of its initial single, Dark Energy, the album has ears firmly gripped and enjoyment full. The first is a mellow proposal compared to those around it but deviously dark and tantalising with Scranney again showing his melodic craft and invention. Its successor also offers a less imposing proposition initially but there is a tempestuousness and emotional toxicity which brews and catches throughout the track’s poisonous embrace.

Both are tracks which also do not quite reach the heights of earlier roars yet leave the listener wanting for nothing before being eclipsed by the crabby rock ‘n’ roll of Teeth, another song with a great whiff of the crossover thrash of the previously mentioned Mike Muir led Californians in its snarl. Gamble’s beats leave the senses bruised from within the compelling encounter, the grievously addictive tone of Jags’ bass mutually greedy as Shaw and Scranney again enthral.

In turn Face of Grey hits the spot with its almost carnally toned intent and nature though it too is overshadowed by the following Symbiotic Parasite. As soon as church bells and senses intruding beats rise, there is an air of something special brewing, a suggestion only added to by the nagging riffs and controlled but fiery net of fleeting grooves. Subsequently things erupt in a voracious stomp, a swarm of infection and energy though still on a ferocity rein sparking a gripping tapestry of adventurous enterprise.

Nihilist Dreams brings things to a fine conclusion, the song an epilogue of emotional admission and creative resourcefulness which grows more tempestuous and imposing with every passing second. It is a great end to one of the year’s most enjoyable moments so far. Certainly being picky, it would have been interesting to see Temple Of Lies push the majorly adventurous and unpredictable moments of the album with an even bolder intent, to see it become truly distinctive, but there is nothing about The Serial Killer Suite that leaves disappointment or a lack of rich enjoyment. Temple of Lies is ready for global recognition; whether the world is ready for them time will tell.

The Serial Killer Suite is out now through Attic Records on iTunes and @ https://templeoflies.bandcamp.com/album/the-serial-killer-suite

http://templeoflies.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/templeoflies/   https://twitter.com/lies_of

Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Boundless lifescapes; exploring the realm of Lucid AfterLife Interview

lucid-afterlife-pic_RingMasterReview

With a sound as eclectic as the themes within its imagination driven walls, Vancouver hailing Lucid AfterLife has earned loyal attention and support at home and across a global landscape. Renowned as one of Canada’s more impressive and memorable live propositions, the progressive groove rockers are luring bigger spotlights their way with their new EP, the successor to their well-received debut album I Am, expected to spring a new wave of invention hungry fans the way of the quartet. We recently had the pleasure to find out more about the band, that upcoming EP, and the creative heart of Lucid AfterLife with guitarist Thom Turner

Hello and thanks for sharing your time to talk with us.

Hello, Thom from Lucid AfterLife here.  Thank you so much for having us!

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

In the beginning our vocalist Nat Jack was floating through the aether contemplating the purpose and form of existence.  He then came upon our drummer Matt.  The two of them forged a great alliance. From this union a great universe was born. It was one of never ending inspiration and possibilities. To round out this vision myself, Thom, and our bassist Miles were sought. Together we are take these rough shapes and turn them into the most honest and kick ass songs that we can.

Have you been or are any of you involved in other bands? If so have they had any impact on what you are doing now, inspiring a change of style or direction maybe?

I am a current member of the band Freya as well as being a professional musician for the last 15 years.  I have played in numerous groups.  The work ethic and attention to artistry that I got from that band is immense.  Sonically they are very different.  Miles is a member of Riftwalker and Hallux. Matt has played with many groups as well.  As for Nat Jack…He simply is.  All of us take our experience and add it to everything we do. That is one of the best things about LAL. Genre does not factor in. Whatever mood serves the lyric or vibe is what it needs to be.

What inspired the band name?

As a group we feel that reality is in an illusion…More than that it is malleable. Life, death they are merely shades on a continuum.  So through our music we transcend.  To be able to visualize and experience multiple levels of existence is.  We can experience multiple worlds through our songs and live shows.  That is what Lucid Afterlife means to me.

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

There are always stories that come to us…things that may be inspired by every day.  Some come from deeper more existential places.  All of them are important to us.  As we have toured we have been lucky to see that these topics hit home with so many people.  So we continue to write them.  As for the sound it is meant to be inclusive.  To be the heaviest thing ever when the emotion is deep and powerful then, turn around and be very clean and melodic to represent another story or character is as honest as we can be.

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

Constant evolution…we are all about that.  That said though most of the same principles are the corner stones of what LAL is.  Relatable honest music that is served with all the energy we have live.

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

Since I was brought on I would say that the sound has evo-loved.  We still love Sabbath and Monster Magnet.  On top of that we explore our mutual love of progressive music.  Things like Kansas and Yes and Porcupine Tree and Kings X.  It adds a broader pallet to the stories we can tell. Really though it all comes down to the live show for us.  Nat Jack is a wild man on stage and we push out the sound track for the listener’s experience.

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

Extremely organic I believe.  We work to service the songs that come out.  Our sound is extremely diverse.  Yet, when you hear it you know it is LAL.  It all comes from that point of honesty in the lyric and music.

You mentioned some already but presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any others in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach to creating and playing music? As I said before Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Monster Magnet, Yes, Kansas, Porcupine Tree.  Also Ministry, Cream, Dream Theater, Kings X, Hendrix, A Tribe Called Quest, Wu Tang Clan, Body Count, MF Doom.  Soooo much music goes into what we do.  From rock to jazz to metal to Hip-Hop, it all moves us.

Does the band have a particular method to its songwriting?

We work in very brotherly way.  I will write some things, pass them to Nat and a lyrical idea will usually pop out.  From there Matt and I go to work on fleshing out an arrangement and Miles lays down the bass.  So far it has been all hands on deck movement.

Where do lyrical inspirations more often than not come from?

Everyday life through the lens of existential global truths…A lot of our songs have to do with relationships.  Not really with people per se, more archetypes.  If we do a song that is very obviously about sex then you can bet it isn’t at all about sex.  We like to lead people, through the parlance of our time to deeper truths.

lucid-afterlife_RingMasterReviewCan you give us some background to your latest release?

Our new EP Occult Mafia Mistress is an opening salvo into what is coming next for LAL.  With this line-up we have 4 great singers so we wanted to put that to use.  Most songs really take advantage of all of us.

How about an insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs?

This record focuses on themes of transcendence.   Be it through love, sex, meditation or sheer elation.  They are explained in somewhat adversarial roles.  Some characters and ideas want to hold you down from your potential.  Others are the inner explorers rupturing out into being against that oppressive force.  We are able to do this through the use of many styles and genres, from hip hop on a song like Time Killaz (feat. Merkulese) to the pure rock and roll of Retarded Owl, the voice of the song blends seamlessly with the lyric.

Are you a band entering the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

The frame of a song is all done by the time we get in there.  Because we play the crap out of the songs live and see what goodness comes out. So when we get into the studio what happens is we add all the touches; layering and vocals.  A record should be a piece of art unto itself.  Music is ephemeral.  It changes depending on your mood; where you listen to it, even through the course of the song.  Then it is over.  That time has passed.  So when we are in there recording and mixing everything is fluid.  What comes out is even more magical then what went in.

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

Live we are a completely different band depending on Nat Jack.  His mood and character shape our live performance…never the same thing twice.  We reach out to the audience and invite them in…literally.  They play with us.  We feel that the live stage is a conversation so we go all out.  We breakdown our bodies and minds while we are up there and show the people they can too.  We do a lot of improv along with our normal songs as well.  We ask the audience for suggestions on style and lyrical content.  And we go at it…all within the confines of a normal set.

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?

With the internet EVERYTHING IS REGIONAL; we have many devoted fans and neighbors in BC.  They are amazing and we love them.  But, we also have some amazing fans all over the world just looking for the same stuff we are.  The impact is right there.  The days of $500,000 an album contracts are gone.  We are out there just to make these connections…One person at a time.  Art drives life; even if only one person listens to us and passes it onto one friend.  That is growth and the conversation continues.  As long as you are creating you are growing.

Do you see the internet and social media impact you mentioned destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or when or if it happens it is more that those bands have struggled to use it in the right way?

The internet is reality for many people.  So ignorance on how to use it to your advantage doesn’t seem to make very much sense.  Every tool is right there for you.  It can be no different from handing a demo to a person on the street.  As long as that person passes it on you are good.  I really think it is a matter of perspective size.  Many musicians hold themselves in light of Metallica and Sabbath and Kanye and Adele or whoever Enormous star.  These standards can be so daunting that you quit creating.  This is an atrocity.  Look, did you know that Platinum albums are now 500,000 albums instead of 1,000,000?  That proves that the old system is dying.  That level of “success” is meaningless without a real connection with people.  That is what the internet affords you…The ability to connect with THE WORLD.  We all want to be able to make a living off what we love to do.  But, that can’t be the end goal.  We all have a world of art inside us and we owe it to ourselves and humanity to get it out there.  So go into it with the goal of making great honest art, whatever that is and, people will take notice.

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

Myself (Thom) and all of LAL want to tell you and your readers that we are so thankful for you to be participating in all this with us.  We are looking forward to meeting all of you.  Remember to keep your head up and your mind open.

Occult Mafia Mistress is released digitally and on CD December 9th @ http://lucidafterlife1.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lucidafterlife/   http://lucidafterlife.ca/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 15/11/2106

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Big Jesus – Oneiric

Pic cred: Chris Sullivan

Pic cred: Chris Sullivan

Imposingly dreamy, Oneiric is a proposal which simply infests, seduces, and lingers with increasing potency listen by listen. The new album from Atlanta bred outfit Big Jesus, the transfixing Oneiric is a warm serenade of the senses but equally has a predacious side to its shadows and rhythmic weight which hooks eager attention. Mellow and raw, seductive and fiery, the band’s sound sits somewhere between My Bloody Valentine and Deftones, Smashing Pumpkins and Palms but is all the time weaving its own distinct adventures now collected on one gripping album.

According to vocalist/bassist Spencer Ussery, the Big Jesus sound was bred on inspirations found in nineties rock;  everything from metal, psychedelic pop, shoegaze, hip hop, and classical piano music impacting on the ideas and music of the band. It is a mix which lured potent interest in the band with the release of their debut album One, and is set to escalate as the Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer, Monster Magnet, Sum 41, Alkaline Trio) produced Oneiric swarms over more and more ears.

Bringing four tracks from their earlier release with six new encounters, Oneiric quickly grabs ears and imagination with opener SP, the song instantly a writhing mix of fuzzy melodies and hungry grouchy riffs. It is imposing yet inviting, especially as the warm tones of Ussery float across the feisty landscape of the song. Guitarists CJ Ridings and Thomas Gonzalez cast a great web of warm and aggressive enterprise too, riffs and grooves a conflicting yet beautifully united adventure which with the ethereal nature of Ussery’s voice offers a House Of Love meets Smashing Pumpkins enticing.

art_RingMasterReviewThe snarling air of Ussery’s bass and the intensively swinging beats of Joe Sweat make a matching powerful lure, their driving energy and dark nature as virulent in the following pair of Always and Lock & Key. The first of the two is a ridiculously catchy affair, it’s relentlessly twisting grooves and rhythms a feistily contagious invitation wrapped in magnificent psychedelia/ shoegaze spiced vocals while its successor musically ventures down the same creative avenue to create its own tempting while caressing the senses with romantic melodies as sonic suggestiveness warms with celestial hues. Again there is heaviness and intensity involved which sublimely tempers the bright air and only increases the potency on ears and imagination.

Through the rapacious directness and melodic meanderings of Floating Past You and the gentle yet intrusive and slightly melancholic croon of Fader, the album transfixes with ease while their successors, the sonically incendiary Shards and the heavy metal hued Oneirica only tighten the pull of one increasingly engaging encounter. The latter is another song which fizzes with infectious vitality and a rhythmic boisterousness which seems to inspire all the other elements making up the outstanding and seriously enjoyable multi-flavoured track.

Shrimp caresses the senses with its melodic and vocal gossamer next; a golden kiss on ears with a fiercer underbelly. it is an irresistible calling on appetite and emotions before Felt In Reverse coaxes the senses with magnetic reverberation into another sonically flaming and vocally seductive fire of sound and imagination. As at times across the album, surface elements of the song seem a touch similar to that of other tracks but with closer focus and each subsequent play, the song reveals its own mesmeric and often wonderfully volatile character of craft and invention.

Concluded by Heaviest Heart and its mix of irritable predatory riffs and airy almost diaphanous melodies and harmonies, Oneiric is pure temptation in your speakers. As suggested, the album simply grows and further entangles the listener with every listen, unveiling plenty to satisfy fans of rock music from psych and melodic rock to shoegaze and grunge.

Oneiric is out now via Mascot Label Group / Mascot Records and available across most online stores and @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/big-jesus/

http://bigjesus.net/   https://www.facebook.com/bigassjesus/   https://twitter.com/bigassjesus

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raging Speedhorn – Lost Ritual

Lost Ritual Artwork_RingMasterReview

Eagerly awaited, the fifth album from British metallers Raging Speedhorn, and the first since their return around two years ago, rips into ears and senses looking to make up for lost time. Lost Ritual has all the venom, spite, and intensity that the Corby in Northamptonshire hailing sextet is renowned for, and the quality, but all honed into their most potent and savagely stylish proposition yet. As expected Raging Speedhorn is a beast on the album, their sound an uncompromising trespass, and Lost Ritual simply the most invigorating tempest.

The past couple of years have seen the band prove themselves a live encounter no metaller should miss, continuing where they left off eight years earlier whether destroying smaller intimate venue audiences or mass crowds at festivals such as Sonisphere, Bloodstock, and Damnation. The successor to 2007 album Before The Sea Was Built, the crowd funded Lost Ritual is the first album to feature guitarist Jim Palmer and also sees vocalist Frank Regan returning nine years after his last appearance on 2005 album How the Great Have Fallen.

An anticipation feeding teaser to the Russ Russell recorded album was offered earlier this year as part of a DesertFest split with Monster Magnet via H42 Records. Fair to say, Halfway To Hell grabbed the throat and ravaged the senses to get the juices flowing for Lost Ritual and the album swiftly shows it is not a lone highlight with opener Bring Out Your Dead. Instantly a plaintive groove winds around ears, its lure quickly joined by the meaty grizzle of Dave Thompson’s bass and the mighty swipe of Gordon Morison’s sticks on skin. Right there too are nagging riffs, their tempting courting the ever gripping grooves; guitarists Jamie Thompson and Palmer casting an inescapable web. Completed by the contrasting spite loaded growls of John Loughlin and Regan, song and band devours the senses and spirit, sparking each to new heights of pleasure simultaneously. The track is a debilitating anthem, a rousing roar as contagious as it is violent and Raging Speedhorn at their very best.

Halfway To Hell takes over and now a familiar companion to ears because of its previous release again only ignites body and appetite with ease. Again riffs and rhythms unite and collide as grooves wind and vocals blaze. The band has never been low key in creating the most essential hooks in their encounters and the second song is one has some of their ripest yet, addictive twists and turns inescapable even in the passage of slow predatory enterprise stalked by bestial throat grazing snarls which emerges.

There is no let-up in force, temptation, and virulence as Motorhead erupts in ears next, the track living up to its namesake in tone and sonic dirt while as ever reaping the unique Raging Speedhorn character to big success. A brutal treat, the track makes way for the rapacious prowl of Evil Or Mental. Again the listener is quickly entangled in intrusive grooves and bruising rhythms as vocals crawl over the senses with open ill-will. They are just part of its skilfully woven net of sonic malignancy and enterprise, the encounter rocking like an antagonistic bear before its closing sonic lancing leads into the imposing and thrilling seduction of Ten Of Swords. This is no sweet talking temptress though, the song a lumbering concentrated invasion of tenebrific sound and provocative craft fuelled by a rancorous heart and appetite feeding ingenuity.

It glorious scorn gives may to the raw punk ‘n’ roll of Dogshit Blues, the track an exhausting and exhilarating stirring of body and spirit, and in turn the thick aural incitement of The Hangman. In tone alone, the song is a dark and murderous affair, voice and emotion only adding to its cancerous impact and though musically, it maybe lacks the cache of hooks and twists found in many of its companions, the track cannot help offering another lofty peak within Lost Ritual.

The next up Shit Outta Luck is pure belligerent and inflammatory rock ‘n’ roll, a chest beating incitement for body and soul that will leave all out of breath in energy and bliss. With swinging grooves, lethal beats, and fiery intent, the track is magnificent and swiftly equalled in success by the compelling toxicity and invasive invention of Comin’ Home.

Completed by the enthralling Unleash The Serpent, the darkest and most imaginative track on the album, Lost Ritual shows Raging Speedhorn bigger, bolder, and more creatively belligerent than ever. It is also one of the year’s mightiest rewards from a band world metal needs more than ever.

Lost Ritual is out now digitally and on CD and vinyl @ https://ragingspeedhorn.bandcamp.com/album/lost-ritual and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/ragingspeedhorn

Pete RingMaster 12/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Raging Speedhorn/Monster Magnet Split EP

DesertFest 2016 Split Artwork_RingMasterReview

To support and celebrate their part in Desertfest this April, British sludgers Raging Speedhorn have linked up with US stoners Monster Magnet for a split EP to be released the opening day of the UK festival. It is the meeting of two beasts from either side of the Pond and the union of two tracks which more than reflect their reputation and weight as riff and groove laded protagonists.

The successor to last year’s EP featuring Sons of Alpha Centauri and Karma To Burn, again released to mark the festival, the new Desertfest sponsored 7” split comes via H42 Records and will be available as a limited pressing of 300.

Raging Speedhorn, who are currently in the studio with Russ Russell finishing their fifth record Lost Ritual, start the 7” off with Halfway To Hell. From its first lure of riffs, the track has admittedly already eager ears gripped, inflamed once guitars burst into a feisty rumble under the forceful courtship of meaty rhythms. The grouchily throaty vocals of John Loughlin and Frank Regan only add to the imposing invitation, a tempting really easy to submit to once Jim Palmer and Jamie Thompson uncages their almost toxic grooves and a trespass of a melodic seducing. With the rhythmic predation of bassist Dave Thompson and intrusive beats of Gordon Morrison, the track offers prime Raging Speedhorn bait which is certain to be greedily devoured. Taken from the band’s forthcoming album, it is sure to inflame the anticipation of its release.

Hallucination Bomb is Monster Magnet’s offering to the EP, a track which was obviously born with a growl and has no problem sharing it from its first breath of grisly riffs and portentous air. As with its predecessor, once grooves emerge, even with their prowling intent, ears and imagination are hooked and ready to embrace the familiar tones of Dave Wyndorf. The sultry, almost sweaty, flavouring of guitarists Ed Mundell and Phil Caivano’s melodic tapestry easily captivates with their heated enterprise and landscape reinforced rather than tempered by the rhythmic rapacity of bassist Jim Baglino and drummer Bob Pantella.

Both tracks offer heavy and invasive but fiercely anthemic rock ‘n’ roll cast in their creator’s familiar aural voices honed into fresh designs. The tracks hint at big years for the bands and indeed equally for Desertfest. The words of Raging Speedhorn’s Jim Palmer probably sums it up best; “Having been a fan of Monster Magnet, forever it’s a real pleasure to be part of this split record! We also feel tremendously honoured that Desertfest chose us, as we are big fans of the festival. It doesn’t get much better than this!

The Raging Speedhorn/Monster Magnet 7” Split EP is released April 29th via H42 Records.

https://www.facebook.com/ragingspeedhorn    http://www.monstermagnet.net

http://www.thedesertfest.com/london/

desertfest_RingMasterReview

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Raging Speedhorn Announce Split EP With Monster Magnet!

Desertfest Sponsored 7” Set For April 29th Release

DesertFest 2016 Split Artwork_RingMaster Review

Corby sludge demons Raging Speedhorn are set to appear on a split EP with US Stoner Overlords Monster Magnet as part of the bands’ appearance at the British Desertfest.

The Desertfest sponsored 7” split will be released by H42 Records on April 29th, the first date of the festival, with a limited vinyl pressing of 300.

The track listing is:

Side A: Raging Speedhorn – Halfway to Hell

Side A: Monster Magnet – Hallucination Bomb

Guitarist Jim Palmer had this to say on the release:

“Having been a fan of Monster Magnet, forever it’s a real pleasure to be part of this split record! We also feel tremendously honoured that Desertfest chose us, as we are big fans of the festival. It doesn’t much better than this!”

This is Desertfest’s second split, with last year’s featuring instrumental legends Karma To Burn & Sons of Alpha Centauri.

Raging Speedhorn are currently in the studio with Russ Russell finalising their fifth record, which is set for a mid-2016 release.

 

Potergeist – Crocodile Teeth

Potergeist 1

The lure of a southern blues swamp is unleashed once again by Greek band Potergeist through new album Crocodile Teeth, and once more ears are treated to a contagion of dirty uncompromising rock ‘n’ roll which is as unique as it is familiar. The band has a sound which even with constant evolution across releases has a recognisable presence but comes as something undeniably individual to the Athens quintet. As the new album shows it is fresh and it is invigorating, and one thoroughly enjoyable stomp.

When forming in 2004, Potergeist had a more straight forward Kylesa /Down like southern metal sound as evidenced on debut album Southwards two years later. By the time of its successor Muddy Mermaids in 2012, the band’s sound had got harder and more aggressive whilst delving into the darkest depths of blues. Tagged as swamp metal by the media, the Potergeist sound was matched in progression by the attention given them and a live presence seeing the band share stages with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Monster Magnet, Pro Pain, The Haunted, The Shrine, Kylesa, and Paradise Lost. The outstanding Swampires unleashed its swamp toxicity in 2013, Potergeist’s third album darker and more voracious in sound and presence again. Though not outgunned in attack and ferocity, fair to say Crocodile Teeth takes the Potergeist sound to yet another depth of quality and invention.

Feeling as intense and intimidating at times as the last release the Peter Rutcho (Falling in Reverse, Revocation, Bury Your Dead, Havok, Seemless, The Ghost Inside) produced and mixed Crocodile Teeth reveals the band’s fullest and rounded sound yet, settings its stall out in the brief intro Swamp Muse Summoning before going for the throat straight after with its title track. Riffs and rhythms are an immediate barrage and temptation backed by a quickly emerging tangy groove. It is the first bait to the sturdy stride of the song quickly accompanied by the grizzled tones of vocalist Alex S Wamp. He is soon showing the great prowess of his grouchy and clean tones as guitars and bass cast their own intimidating and dynamic enterprise. There are no major surprises in song, or indeed album, yet as suggested earlier there is freshness and distinctive essence which ensures this is no run of the mill metal or Potergeist offering.

Crocodile Tears Artwork   The following Visit From A Swampire canters in on an infectious swing, riffs as rampant as the energetically skilled swings of drummer Tolis Toleas whilst grooves are as fiery as the melodies and solos which breed throughout. The track easily has body and emotions involved in its anthem as does What Then which comes next. The song is a touch more restrained in aggression and energy initially, but soon a bracing canter of raw riffs and rapier like rhythms entwined in the spicy grooves and bluesy melodic hooks of guitarists Nick XP and Stratal. Complete with an irresistible swagger, the song keeps things boiling over before in turn making way for the southern metal drawl and heavy rock brew of Truth. The track begins with the same groove the previous song left on but is soon sculpting its own tenacious and aggression roar. There is a touch of Crowbar in some ways to the song as the bass of Kostis Vihos brings a predatory proposal against the as dramatic but more welcoming vocals and sonic adventure cast elsewhere.

Atonement takes over next and is soon spreading a weave of southern rock inspired melodic spicing around the ever formidable and engaging rhythmic strength of the Potergeist sound. Featuring guest backing vocals from Anna Stephanou, the song is a warm slice of blues rock ‘n’ roll equipped with a dark edged groove and a blaze of imagination around the constant lure of Wamp’s vocals.

Roaming ears with a thick stance of sinew swung beats and bestial riffs The Preacher And The Witch stalks the appetite next with its magnetic web of sound. Both Fotis Benardo and Penelope Anastasopoulou add additional vocals to the tapestry of sonic and melodic craft. It is a fine song if without the spark of certainly the early songs, though much is down to a big personal appetite for when Potergeist go hell for leather in their rock ‘n’ roll, and quickly over shadowed by the excellent Eve. It too is more reserved in its gait and coveting a more classic metal whisper to its body but moulds everything and more of the band’s potent enterprise into a pungent slab of anthemic persuasion.

The album closes with Last Punk Standing, a compelling bellow of a song aligning mellower melodic tempting with a rigorous snarl resulting in a dramatic and impressive end to another mighty offering from Potergeist. We will admit that the previous Swampires still has the steal on the passions but there is no denying that Crocodile Tears is the band’s most accomplished proposition yet and one of the most enjoyable and satisfying slabs of metal driven rock ‘n’ roll you will hear this year.

Crocodile Tears is available digitally now and on CD and Vinyl via G.O.D. Records

https://www.facebook.com/potergeist

RingMaster 08/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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