Black Lilium – Dead Man’s Diary

credit_by_Andy_Gruenitz

Last year saw the digital release of Dead Man’s Diary, the debut album from progressive melodic metallers Black Lilium. To provide an injection of fuel to its ear grabbing presence, the German outfit has just unleashed it in physical form, another reminder and nudge on the rich attention its impressive exploits deserves.

You could say the seeds to the band were first sown in the school days of guitarist Marcel Wroblewski and drummer Jan Knoop, the pair friends who subsequently played together in their first band in 1987. Jumping forward to 2013 and the pair began to work together again with Black Lilium formed a year later. In time its line-up was completed by guitarist Maurice Scholz, bassist Lasse Lammert, and vocalist/keyboardist Felix Hochkeppel, a quintet swiftly showing their imagination, craft, and bold adventure within Dead Man’s Diary.

There is something familiar but more so boldly individual about the band’s sound, its melodic seduction and rousing physical roar something akin to a fusion of Malum Sky, Silent Descent, and Voyager with a potent splash of early My Chemical Romance. Album opener Beast In The Backseat quickly insists of a predominate uniqueness to the band’s sound though, the song a swiftly and persistently striking introduction to the band for ears. Keys spread an engaging mesh first, rhythms lurking in its midst before triggering a voracious stride complete with swinging beats and the instantly delicious grievous grumble of the bass. There is an instinctive catchiness to the Black Lilium sound in general which just as quickly soaks the first track even as it calms a touch for the entrance of Hochkeppel striking tones. Every note and syllable comes with an inherent swing, the imaginative dexterity of voice and sound prowling every twist and moment with the same tenacity.

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It is a great start to the album and straightaway Paragon Of Imperfection builds on it. An electronic reflection initially hugs ears, keys a thoughtful intimation as all the while darker shadows brew around them. Drama tints every evocative caress before Hochkeppel’s throat sparks another surge of contagious agility and energy which too embraces a melodic heart already bared. The volatility at the soul of the track never truly erupts but brings extra appealing drama to the encounter before Demon In Disguise out shines both with its virulent character and almost prowl like gait. As siren-esque as the embodiment of dangerously dark temptation that is its central protagonist, the outstanding song infests as it seduces, invades as it charms; its shadow wrapped moment of calm as magnetic as the galvanic roar driving its impressive presence.

As all tracks within the release next up Start All Over effortlessly fuses light and dark emotion and intensity with rich enterprise and imagination; the nurturing of a fine line in unpredictability within a fluid landscape of infectiousness extra captivation. The rhythms of Knoop and Lammert bite as they tempt and encourage, keys and guitars weaving a just as compelling persuasion within the track’s dark serenade while both Never and Walls Around My Soul seriously aroused with their respective uninhibited creative agility and emotive brooding. The first again is the epitome of one of the band’s stirring traits which helps shapes the album, its sound physically stalking body and imagination as it manipulates both into eager engagement with organic almost pop like catchiness while its majestic melancholy lined successor teases and tempts intimate shadows whilst brewing its own singular virus of invigorating sound and emotional orchestration.

Across the likes of equally inward seeking Everything I Am and The Ones You Made Us with its bold declaration, the band’s ever varied blend of flavours and captivation adds greater depth and captivation to Dead Man’s Diary; darkness, inner light, and the melancholic beauty which pervades the whole of the release uniting with individual attention hounding craft and a combined imagination which never lets expectations settle. If not quite breaching the depth of lust as incited by earlier tracks both offerings left ears and pleasure enriched, the following My Purpose similarly nurturing quick and increasing greed for its swiftly established distinction.

The closing pair of the album’s title track and Ghosts Without A Voice ensured Dead Man’s Diary left as dramatically and powerfully as it began, the former rising from a solemn sigh on melodic guitar threads to craft an incendiary pyre of emotion and sound; Hochkeppel’s continuing to impress vocals exposing heart and intensity. The final track almost infernally nags before opening up its electro metal resourcefulness and suggestion; a continuing rich temptation as the song unfurls its aggressive metal and invasively contagious trespass. Both songs alone left a hunger for more, an appetite severely exposed and escalated with every listen of this exceptional album.

So whether preferred as files or as something firmly grasped in the hand on CD, Dead Man’s Diary should seriously be checked out and indeed with great releases like this Black Lilium are unlikely to remain in the shadows of recognition for much longer.

Dead Man’s Diary is out now across most stores.

https://www.blacklilium.de/    https://www.facebook.com/blackliliumband/   https://twitter.com/blackliliumband

Pete RingMaster 18/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Unimagined – Friendless

Something wicked this way comes and it goes by the name of Friendless, the debut EP from US rockers Unimagined. Offering five rousing slices of the band’s “theatrical metal”, the release swiftly and increasingly had ears and imagination in the palms of its creative hands as it introduced a proposition we found rather easy to devour.

Hailing from St. Louis, Unimagined emerged in 2017 and soon earned a potent reputation and support across their local scene. Their sound is an animated mix of post hardcore and alternative metal; something akin to a n animated fusion of Pierce The Veil, My Chemical Romance, and At the Drive-In. It is a carnival of flavour and imagination honed into one melodically rousing and tempestuously seductive proposition which across Friendless never leaves a moment void of bold adventure and creative drama.

Too Dead To Dance sets the EP off and alone convinced there was something special going in within ears, its declaration subsequently echoed across its companions. The outstanding opener instantly had its hooks under the skin as the rich clean vocals of guitarist Caleb Freihaut align with the rapier swings of drummer Kai. The guitars of Jake Morgan and Nathan Simpson add to the emerging theatre with the waiting throat scathing roars of fellow vocalist Jarett Clark poised to erupt upon the already alluring mix. With every passing second the track simply escalated its captivation, the grumbling swing of Patrick Reuben’s bass adding further threat within the melodic enterprise embracing Freihaut‘s expressive dexterity.

It proved enthralling stuff and was soon matched by the imagination fuelling next up Something Borrowed, Something Blue. Its entrance is maybe less dramatic than its predecessor’s but with boisterous energy to its stroll and the crystalline caress of keys the song had little difficulty enticing attention, undisturbed focus rewarded with a tempest of aural drama and fiery invention brought with craft and imagination. The contrast of the lead vocalists works a treat in the creative maelstrom, the tenacity of the sounds crowding their magnetism simply rousing and as with all tracks every second, note, and syllable brings compelling persuasion.

The EP’s title track follows, Friendless. strolling in with a certain swagger as its theatre of sound and intimation quickly casts its narrative. Raw vocal prowess provides a scathing trespass within the swiftly thick theatre of enticement, the song almost bullying with its melodic wiring and muscular manipulation. Eventually its pressure becomes a senses harrying assault but one tempered by the melodic elegance of keys.

The final pair of She Was Scared Of Storms and Lemons & Sodomy simply escalated the bountiful character and prowess of the EP. The first of the pair is a serenade with fire in its belly, a pyre of creative animation and endeavour which had the body bouncing and appetite lusting while the second from its inescapably seductive melodic teasing erupts in a kaleidoscope of inflamed passion and resourcefulness ; both fascinating stages for the fertile craft and imagination of Unimagined.

As Friendless reaches new borders it is easy to expect and assume Unimagined will be launched into keener spotlights. The EP is a thrilling beginning to a proposition with still so much more to discover within their depths and imagination; something else to be eagerly excited over.

Friendless is out now via Standby Records; available @ https://standbyrecords.merchnow.com

https://www.facebook.com/UNimaginedBand/   http://unimagined.standbyrecords.com

Pete RingMaster 21/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Erica Drive – The Hate, The Hurt, The Healing

Having introduced themselves in fair style with their self-titled debut EP, UK outfit Erica Drive have provided an even more potent roar for ears to enjoy with its successor The Hate, The Hurt, The Healing. Offering up four tracks built on a blend of pop punk and alternative rock, the new EP is an easy to embrace affair showing revelling in the growth in the band’s sound and songwriting since its predecessor.

Formed in 2017 when vocalist/guitarist Matt Underdown and guitarist Frank Harding started working on song ideas, the Bournemouth hailing band soon became a quartet with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Sam Firmin and drummer Damien Carter. Already stirring up the local live scene, the band released their first EP which subsequently earned over 10,000 plays on Spotify.  The four then became five with the addition of bassist Damian Bruton, the quintet soon after joining producer Mike White (Wolf Culture) to record The Hate, The Hurt, The Healing, with its mastering duties eventually handled by John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance).

The EP swiftly grabbed ears with opener All We Are, the EP’s lead track which does exactly that, leading the release in sound, adventure, and enterprise. As rhythms place a sturdy hand on the senses, guitars cast a dextrous web of riffs and sonic endeavour, a formidable fusion quickly commanding attention. Things relax a touch as Underdown’s vocals add their melodic tones, the song hitting a lively stride inflamed with pop punk boisterousness. Carter’s bold swings drive the captivating encounter with relish, the guitars shaping its body for the equally alluring vocals with Firmin providing potent backing to Underdown’s lead.

The following Better Man almost teases with its opening union of chirping guitar and reflective voice; a calm start growing in drama and muscle with every passing second before hitting its own tenacious stride. Imagination and enterprise accompany its every move, it too simply impressing and pleasing by the listen.

The final pair of Anchor and The Fall provides a just as enjoyable second half to the EP, the first a punchy infectious affair as catchy as it is rousing. Our favourite moment within the release, the track mixes a vociferous snarl with virulent catchiness but equally a composed restraint at times which emphasizes its melodic prowess. In turn the closing track maybe did not stir the appetite as fully as its predecessors, but with its intimate heart and melodic caresses provides a highly satisfying conclusion; the fire in its belly only adding to its enjoyment.

It is fair to say that the Erica Drive sound is not truly unique yet but it has freshness and vitality which added to the band’s instinctive imagination provides a thoroughly enjoyable listen whilst suggesting they could have a rather exciting future ahead as they breed real individuality.

The Hate, The Hurt, The Healing is released April 12th.

https://www.facebook.com/ericadriveband/   https://twitter.com/ericadriveband

Pete RingMaster 11/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

One Last Daybreak – A Thousand Thoughts

Creating a plaintive post hardcore roar with an emo tinged heart, British outfit One Last Daybreak release their debut EP this April. Offering up five ear luring tracks, A Thousand Thoughts is a potent introduction with a strong ability to grab attention while revealing the potent potential within its creators along the way.

Essex hailing, One Last Daybreak is as fresh as they come, emerging this past January. Whether they have taken time before then honing their style and sound we cannot say though it would not surprise such the accomplished nature of their first release. It has the great rawness which comes with a first endeavour from a newly uncaged proposition but equally a sure touch and imagination which suggests bigger things ahead even at this early stage. With inspirations including the likes of My Chemical Romance, Architects, and Underoath, One Last Daybreak quickly make a persuasive statement which to be fair becomes even more compelling by the listen.

A Thousand Thoughts opens with its first single According to Pleasure, I Was Low on the Food Chain. A lone guitar makes a keen melodic invitation and is quickly joined by bold rhythms amidst a colluding sonic jangle. Vocalist Connor Catchpole is soon in the midst of the lure with his melodic, angst lined proposal; his strong delivery just as potently backed by that of guitarist Jack Smith to create a fiery and enticing union. Quickly the song has the body bouncing as familiar strains meets fresh endeavour, the strings of Smith and lead guitarist Matt Pike creating a captivating weave over the darker moody hues of James Hicks’ bass. It is a strong start to the release enticing ears and intrigue with ease if offering elements of predictability but for personal tastes is soon outshone by the following track.

The Sand In The Hourglass, The Life In My Lungs instantly makes for a compelling affair, the resonance of drummer James Hart’s first swings ringing around the enticement of guitar before driving the blossoming track with boisterous energy as vocals and sonic imagination brew their winning persuasions. Swiftly there is a freshness and spark to the song less noticeable in its predecessor, its character and imagination bold with a fire in its belly which erupts with lava-esque intensity. Short and voracious, the song grabs and firmly retains best track honours though the EP’s title track soon makes for an eager rival with its infectious nature. Though it misses the keen creative invention of the last track it makes up for it with its rich catchiness and eager energy aligned to that natural flair in sound the band seems to have.

The release is brought to a close by firstly In The Movies, a blaze of sonic causticity and temptation further fired up by vocal ferocity and melodic infection, and finally A Coffin For Two. It is an assault of wiry grooves and voracious riffs backed by rhythms with the intent to split bone and a major rival to that top track title. With metal, punk, and rock essences all become embroiled in its physical and emotive furnace; the song is an irresistible predator which alone sparks a real appetite for more.

As suggested, A Thousand Thoughts only gets more enjoyable with every play as too anticipation for the potential it reveals. It is a great sign that the band’s strongest and most striking moments is when they replace familiarity with bold adventure and an edge of unpredictability and though too early to declare One Last Daybreak as the future of something or other, the ingredients to make a mark are brewing nicely.

A Thousand Thoughts is released April 7th.

https://www.facebook.com/onelastdaybreak    https://twitter.com/OneLastDaybreak

Pete RingMaster 04/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Syren City – Paradise In The Dirt

Syren City Promo Shot_RingMasterReview

Almost two years ago, UK rockers Syren City laid a hefty punch on attention with the Escape EP, five tracks of multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll which was as compelling as it was thrilling. Now the Bristol quintet returns with its successor Paradise In The Dirt and three more encounters which leave ears ringing with pleasure and an appetite for more simply greedier.

Formed in 2011, Syren City swiftly bred a sound from essences drawn across the likes of post hardcore, punk, metal and alternative rock. The 2014 Escape EP quickly showed it was a formidable and striking mix, echoing the band’s live reputation earned through festival appearances and shows with the likes of Turbowolf, The Alarm, Mallory Knox, Max Raptor, The Hell, Roam, Black Foxxes, Futures, Young Legionnaire, Attack Attack, and Blitz Kids. The release of their new proposition shows that the band’s sound has continued to expand and indulge in greater adventurous traits, increasing in magnetism with equal measure. The first in a series of EPs which have a conceptual thread and link, Paradise In The Dirt captures ears and imagination with swift deftness of enterprise and a rousing boisterousness, never relenting upon or releasing the listener until its final note has shared its mighty bait.

Syren City Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewIt opens up with It’s Morphine Time, a song which descends on the senses like a tempestuous challenge from its first breath, but a threat just as quickly seducing ears and appetite as riffs and rhythms launch their hungry persuasion. In no times wiry grooves are entangling song and listener while anthemic vocal roars across the band find a great Beastie Boys feel to them. As it proceeds, the scent of bands such as Rage Against The Machine and Refused also colour the encounter, with frontman Simon Roach taking vocal charge as the barbarous rhythms of bassist Sam Leworthy and drummer Mat Capper badger and incite. It is a virulent infectious affair with the enterprise and fiery grooves of guitarists Ian Chadderton and Josh Mortazavi arousing, aiding and shaping the songs twists and turns as its metal/heavy rock antagonism and inescapable catchiness fuels pleasure, the song alone surely ensuring the EP’s certain success.

It is quickly backed up by its companions though, Danielle coming next and opening on a melodic caress which inspires the following vocals and flirtatious gait of the song. Little time passes before again a volcanic quality and energy erupts, its theatre creating a My Chemical Romance like attraction before things slip back into the captivating calm and the repeat of the galvanic cycle. As within its predecessor, there is a kind of tempestuousness to ideas and intensity which only adds to the riveting drama provided before 10,000 Knives steps forward to grab its share of the plaudits. Initial riffs and lures have a slight Therapy? feel before the punk heart of band and song grips and adds a Reuben meets Taking Back Sunday hue to the outstanding encounter.

All three tracks are uniquely distinct to each other but fuelled by a sound with a character all Syren City’s. The band impressed with their last release and have only made a bigger impact with Paradise In The Dirt, a release sure to be the favourite EP of 2016 for a great many.

The Paradise In The Dirt EP is out now through all stores-

https://www.facebook.com/SyrenCity  https://twitter.com/SyrenCity  http://instagram.com/syrencitymusic

Pete RingMaster 30/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ghosts Again – The Closest Thing To Closure

Ghosts Again_RingMasterReview

Based out of North Carolina, Ghosts Again is a post hardcore trio releasing a new EP, The Closest Thing To Closure this month. Having missed their earlier efforts, the new five track encounter is the first time we have had to check out a band many are suggesting is loaded with promise. From a strong but initially underwhelming start, it is fair to say that The Closest Thing To Closure suggests that Ghosts Again is indeed a potential equipped band well worth paying attention to.

Rising from the ashes of its member’s previous projects, Close Up on the Quiet Ones and Messenger Down, Ghosts Again picked up highly positive attention in 2015 with the release of the single, Business as Usual. It and their sound lured understandable comparisons to bands like Underoath and The Amity Affliction, suggestions easy to see happening again with The Closest Thing To Closure EP, though what ultimately emerges is an imagination and boldness in song which suggests Ghosts Again are shaping something heading towards being distinctly theirs.

GA4(Art_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens with Skeleton Boy which quickly shows the vocal and melodic prowess of vocalist/guitarist Alex Cortright. As the darker hues of Brandon Washington’s bass unites with the swinging beats of drummer Arun Bose, a great blend of brooding and lighter sonic hooks ensnare ears as Cortright’s roars continue to flame and impress. There are elements which really grab attention but equally from sound and the raw side of the vocals things are a touch too formula; failing to ignite personal tastes beyond being contented and firmly intrigued.

Pant’s Division (The End is Silence) makes a similarly expected and appealing start with heftily swung beats within sonic smog of suggestiveness around the band’s vocal variety. As the first, the song is skilfully woven with each moment involved yet a fluid web of sound and emotion; not openly striking but potently persuasive. It is the emerging element of discord and in turn melodic elegance which lifts the song to another alluring level though. It brings greater drama to the temptation and a richer element of unpredictability which really grabs the spotlight in the following and outstanding Les Enfants Terribles. From the start, grooves wind their charms around ears, the imagination just as easily bitten by the web of melodic enterprise and vocal dexterity which blossoms as the song broadens its adventure. There is a touch of My Chemical Romance to the track at times which enjoyably lines the more volatile and metal bred dexterity as well as the thickly emotive calms within the persistently evolving song.

That new level of invention continues in Relive Revive; its emotional and sonic blaze colouring an equally fascinating tapestry of guitar craft and rhythmic theatre. As with all songs on the EP, there are plenty of textures and moments of creativity to recognise or certainly compare to other bands within the post hardcore scene but tinted with a freshness of thought and skill which stops it becoming too indistinct or dull.

Ending with the increasingly compelling Eleven, a song fusing symphonic hues in its boisterous and bracing tempest of heart and sound, The Closest Thing To Closure leaves a healthy, and growing with every listen, appetite to indulge in the highly enjoyable Ghosts Again challenge and reward proposal. It is a band showing that earlier mentioned potential at every turn of an EP which is not ground-breaking but offering plenty to please ears with vigour and style.

The Closest Thing To Closure EP is out now on iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/ghostsagainband   https://twitter.com/GhostsAgainBand

Pete RingMaster 25/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Audio Poets – Make a Scene

artworks_RingMaster Review

Such the almost scattergun diversity escaping Make a Scene there are times you wonder how it works with such coherent unity but it does and what is on offer is one gloriously rousing and dynamically imagination incitement for ears and emotions. The new album from US rockers Audio Poets, it is a thumping merger of pop punk, alternative rock, and unbridled rock ‘n’ roll, to try and slim it down, which leaves an increasingly greedy appetite breathless for more.

Formed in Dallas as 2014 made its goodbyes, Audio Poets quickly hit the live scene the following year, playing their first show in Buffalo with Rookie of the Year. Debut EP Colours had its successful release the following month before the quartet spent the spring of 2015 recording Make A Scene. The latter months of the year saw the album uncaged and the band relocate to Los Angeles, as well as hungrily hitting the live scene across the US. The UK and Mainland Europe are now in their live sights for 2016, the band ready to pounce on the already eager reactions to the galvanic sounds and the quickly impressing adventure of Make a Scene.

Recorded with producer Geoff Rockwell (Forever The Sickest Kids, Memphis May Fire, Crown The Empire), the band’s album swiftly hits a rousing plateau with opener The Anthem. A scuzz lined guitar makes the first invitation with its sultry hues, the lead vocals of guitarist Chris Durio quickly adding their punch to the attitude loaded proposal. As the track develops there is no escaping the potent and enjoyable Rage Against The Machine essence to the track, it coming bound in just as appealing stoner-esque grooves from the fiery guitar enterprise of Bru Whitley and Durio who create a magnetic web around the increasingly defiance loaded narrative and vocal tones.

It is a riveting and contagious start to the release but soon overshadowed by the outstanding Wake Up. Straight away that variety in sound and imagination is arousing ears and thoughts, the second song bounding around with pop punk energy and revelry whilst casting an aggressive CIV like snarl and melodic tempting. There is a touch of UK band Hawk Eyes to the romping escapade too, enslaving hooks aligned to rowdy but controlled dynamics colluding excitedly with the darker inviting prowess of bassist Mike Knight and the sinew swung beats of drummer Landon Jett.

Next up Not My Time is a triumph to match the last, this time the band exploring a My Chemical Romance meets Fall Out Boy like theatre of invention and creative mischief. Feet and hips are soon seriously involved with the more restrained, compared to its predecessors, yet feistily swinging canter of the spellbinding song and its unpredictable invention. There is a serious urge to dive right back into the track after its conclusion, though that is soon diverted by the punchy roar of Burn and after that, the album’s Marilyn Mansion scented title track. For the first, Durio mixes his strong clean tones with more rap bred vocal jabbing, though this time The Kennedy Soundtrack is a closer hint to the adventure of sound and voice on offer. As the song evolves between standing toe to toe with grouchy agitation and seducing with poetic melodic infectiousness, a touch of Lost Prophets slips into the captivation, that one more arguably familiar colour which, as within every song, simply helps flavour something openly unique. Next up Make A Scene flirts with and barges across ears with a virulence of craft and sound which again has the body and emotions subservient; electronic and industrial ingredients as powerfully persuasive as the punk infused rock ‘n’ roll at its heart.

Fiery interlude Space is more the doorway into a new turn to the album than a break, its cosmic air a progressively textured tempting for the imagination before Revolution stands tall and defiant in attitude and sound. Featuring Jay Miller of Texan band Drudge, the song is a brooding maelstrom of imposing rock ‘n ‘roll spiced with melodic hardcore imagination and an array of intriguing sonic colours and styles. It easily holds attention and enjoyment tight and leaves satisfaction full though it is maybe not as inventively bold and tenacious as earlier songs, a success found by the equally weighty emotive and tempestuous embrace of Wounded Eyes. Mixing a rich blend of varied metal infused rock flavours, the track is again an encounter fulfilling all wants and hopes if without quite breaching the same plateau the album set in place early on.

Do You Feel It (Now) brings a feistier and in some ways creatively livelier proposal with its tapestry of styles soon after, vocals and sounds from every corner of the band helping draw physical participation before closer Make It Through, escorts ears into a broader electronic landscape that sees the album go out on a potent high.

For personal tastes the album produces its richest and most ingenious mastery across the first five or so tracks, exploring more emotively shadowed and intensive depths to matching success thereafter, and from start to finish Make a Scene is one irresistible and rousing temptation from a band surely heading towards major attention.

Make a Scene is out now through most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/audiopoetsmusic   https://twitter.com/audiopoetsmusic

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/