Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

Hello Dean and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you. My pleasure!

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

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

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

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

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

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

Presumably there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your approach to and ideas about creating and playing music?

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist 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/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

How has the internet and social media impacted on your project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands/artists struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

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

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spookshow Inc. – Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II

 

Four years after Part I unleashed its “furiously agitated entrapment of industrial, metal, and electro rock”, a rousing accompaniment to an impending apocalypse, Part II of Visions Of The Blinded World is here to not only continue the arcane adventure but take it into a whole new level of dark deeds and senses trespassing contagion. The project is from Norwegian trio Spookshow Inc., a band which has been curiously ignored by bigger attention so far, a blind eye which if continuing after the full release of Visions Of The Blinded World will be criminal.

The beginning of Spookshow Inc. goes all the way back to 2003 when Lucky Spook (guitar, programming, songwriting, producer) and Soltex (vocals) came together and began creating and nurturing their individual fusion of industrial and heavy metal with electro rock. As proven by the 2014 released Visions Of The Blinded World pt I, there are plenty of other rich flavours to the band’s asylum of sound, Middle Eastern hues alone an inescapably alluring ingredient. With the band’s line-up completed by bassist/keyboardist Sharaz who featured on the final few songs recorded for its predecessor, the second part of Visions Of The Blinded World is an even richer affair of sound and styles, a bolder adventure in an already eager collusion of essences sure to appeal to any appetites for the likes of Pink Floyd, Prodigy, Rob Zombie, KMFDM, NIN, and Pitchshifter.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II has been released as a complete package and should be listened as one to grasp its full dark majesty though each part firmly captivates alone too. It makes for a journey which leaves ears, body and imagination as aroused as they are disturbed, as inspired and animated as they are haunted. As we have covered part I previously, which you can read here, we will explore the second part of the creative emprise, a canter through the haunting shadows and ravenous dissonance of a dystopian landscape lost in extinction luring bedlam. Note though that the first ‘side’ of the album contains two brand new tracks in the shapes of the Seven Trumpets, a track sparked by the biblical legend of the same name but an echo of a split personality, and the horror movie like Lizard Eyes.

Pt II opens up with Virtual Insanity, electronic sparkling the gateway to an infernal surge of electro rock predation as ravenously hungry as it is virulently catchy. Even so, its instinctive urgency has an underlying premeditation of devious intent, melodies and calmer but darker twists adding to the track’s inescapable invasion. Something akin to Rabbit Junk meets Fear Factory, the track instantly has the project’s second part off to a flyer but also connects seamlessly to the nature and presence of the first part of Visions Of The Blinded World.

Already breathless from the superb thickly rousing start, the band show no mercy as Devil’s Triangle surges in with similarly uproarious energy and intent, Spook’s guitar gnawing away at ears as beats swipe at the senses,  Soltex’s vocals in turn matching their boisterous appetites with eagerness and attitude. Again momentary detours bring darker trespass rather than a chance to take a breath, it all adding up to another galvanic assault.

Next up Mindgame does bring calm, its melodic caresses courted by demonic tones of voice and intimation, a sonic Garden of Eden oasis in some ways. Featuring XRC, the track smoulders with toxic beauty; those Eastern hues enticing with siren-esque seduction as darkness await new arrivals. Enthralling and haunting in its distraction, the song slips away for the advancing savage addiction and voracious heavy swing of Little Pill. Eating away at thoughts and senses from its initial original cinematic drama to its esurient stalking, evil soaking every note and castigating syllable, the track with Subliminal Mentality guesting equally got under the skin and nagged away thereon in.

Blackbird From Karachi with D.Tschirner involved is a deceptive creature; evolving from its initial serenade into another predatory confrontation courting chaos and corrosion with almost pernicious incitement, every moment unpredictable and disturbing before the outstanding Prison Planet casts its specific trap. A galactic tango which had the body bouncing and imagination conjuring as intrigue and espionage fuel every contagious touch, it in turn departs to encourage the emotionally harmful but physically infectious dance of Falling Down Pt. I. All three tracks simply hit the spot, repetition occurring across the whole of the album as proven yet again by the dark carnival of Cold Frantic Boy, this another track mixing flirtation and catchy harassment with cinematic intimation as cold vocals bring their own toxic fascination pretty meaning submission to its dark glamour was inevitable.

Across the likes of Match Of The Century / A. Crowley Vs. A. Einstein with its increasingly volatile and ominous disquiet around a hypothetical chess game between the two protagonists and Kissing In Graveyards featuring Underworld, another slice of aural insidiousness, the album continued taking ears and pleasure into new dark corners, the release magnetically broadening its maze of sound and creative villainy before stretching it again with the glorious Midnight Tango, a mesmeric psych surf piece with a caress of The Doors and Calling All Astronauts to its dark rock ‘n’ roll.

The final pair of Follow Me, a carnal trespass of pestilence-laden temptation, and Battle For Babylon with R. Carey (an English- New Zealand based artist better known as Fiery Jack (The Teapot Goblins)) a guest in its stark yet rousing smouldering epilogue, provide a compelling conclusion to the relentlessly enthralling release. In some ways they lack the rousing bait of their predecessors but in just as many are cast in mutually potent lures of dark emotive suggestion.

As suggested the biggest rewards come from listening to Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II as one but certainly not essential as proven by the individual galvanic prowess of each track. Spookshow Inc. has created a landscape bred in the world’s turbulence and destruction; Part I made us want to know more, the stunning Part II sparked the desire to be lost in its impeding tempest with the band’s sounds for company.

Visions Of The Blinded World pt I & II is available now @ https://spookshowinc.bandcamp.com/album/spookshow-inc-visions-of-the-blinded-world-pt-i-ii

https://www.spookshowinc.com/   https://www.facebook.com/spookshowinc/

Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Defeat – Rise

A handful of weeks short of two years since the eagerly welcomed release of their EP, You Know What You Are, British electro industrial/synth pop duo Defeat return with new album, Rise. This too, such the highly enjoyable offerings from the band before, has been a keenly anticipated encounter since news of its coming; enthusiasm rewarded with the pair’s most accessible yet creatively imaginative and skilfully accomplished proposal yet.

The successor to debut album [Seek Help] of 2013, Rise is a collection of anthems to dark thoughts, corrupted emotions, and invasive shadows. They are tracks which unleash the most virulent hooks and infectious escapades laced with menace and creative threat like a twisted twenty first century Fad Gadget; indeed there are times where you just feel that if Defeat were emerging in the eighties, Mute Records would have had them snapped up.

With inspirations from the likes of Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, NIN, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy teasing their own ever potent and individual sound, the twosome of vocalist/lyricist Anthony Matthews and keyboardist/programmer Gary Walker have taken the evolution and promise of You Know What You Are and pulled it into another realm of craft and maturity, challenging their songwriting and imaginations along the way.

Rise opens up with The Phoenix; its sound elevating from the breath and ashes of an emotional wasteland. Melancholy honed melodies soon surround a rhythmic throb; the menacing and almost frustrated air becoming a hypnotic stroll jut as swiftly with a swagger and character as much a threat as a defiant realisation and action to its initial corrosive state. With catchy electronic flirtation and salaciously dancing shadows, the song is an easy to succumb to trap, Matthews’s words and tone a compelling mix of challenge and resurging hope.

The following Rage starts as an irritated emotional and physical ember which flickers and flames into an EBM nurtured blaze and again washed with defiance. It never becomes a furnace but instead wonderfully nags at the senses and imagination, stroking and provoking both with its relentless catchiness before The Hurt grows in ears. Its opening lure is almost predatory, laying dark electro seeds which swiftly bloom into another niggling refusing to be ignored temptation. Matthews echoes its shadows with his inimitable vocal prowess and presence; the drama within all aspects blossoming and immersing song and thoughts in contagious theatre.

Dirty/Sick crawls and trespasses the listener next, Matthews’s introspective guise a festering depravity surrounded by the deceitfully tempting sounds and invention of Walker, his melodies licking at ears with a relish almost matching the lustful threat of each trespassing syllable. The track is a grievous seduction and just irresistible while its successor and the album’s title track shares a toxic serenade invading and suffocating the senses with its envenomed mist; an ambush which should not be welcomed and embraced such its sinister intent but surely is.

Following track, The Fatalists sees Walker take lead vocals for the only time within the album. With pulsating electronics and shimmering harmonies, the song shuffles and glides through ears, vocals shaping its honest heart and melodies colouring its electro pop scented landscape. As with all tracks, shadows and light embrace and collude; often challenging each other or as here uniting in solemn and rousing beauty.

Even more galvanic and masterful is Nothing You, a lead single if ever we heard one. As its creative kindling smoulders, there is an air of excited intrigue and magnetic compulsion awoken; anticipation swiftly fed with a kinetic canter of creative virulence. With voracious hooks and grooves woven into one deliciously persuasion, the outstanding song is one virulence driven adventure unafraid to change gait and energy on a twist of a note as it pounds, pulses, and provokes the passions with irrepressible majesty.

The album closes with the melodic croon of Live Your Life, a gentle and darkly tender but still shadow wrapped incitement and reminder to find the strength and believe in being yourself. It is a fine smouldering and seductive end to Defeat’s most impressive and enjoyable encounter yet. All of the potential of their previous releases has been realised within Rise creating something deserving of the richest attention.

Rise will be released April 14th digitally and Ltd Ed CD with pre-ordering available now @ https://defeatmusic.bandcamp.com/album/rise

https://www.facebook.com/Defeatmusic     https://twitter.com/defeatmusic   https://defeatmusic.blogspot.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Open Eyed Dreamer – Free Your Own Mind

free your own mind_RingMasterReview

The Open Eyed Dreamer is the solo project of Bracknell hailing Steve Fearon, the former frontman of the strongly missed British industrial rockers Ghost In the Static. The Free Your Own Mind is the debut EP from that project which was in many ways an idea and presence predating Fearon’s previous band. In the words of the man himself though, “For a long time, The Open Eyed Dreamer was nothing more than a persona, a mask worn on stage, someone sung about in Ghost In the Static Songs.” With the striking Free Your Own Mind the first ‘words’, The Open Eyed Dreamer is now Fearon’s voice against a world where “power is misused and misappropriated by those who hold all the card.”, and a release for his inner anger.

Fusing electronic incitements with raw rock and melodic pop textures, Fearon’s sound and EP is an attention grabbing blend of extremes and differing textures. It roars in defiance, snarls with antagonism, both lyrically and musically, but equally seduces while inflaming body and imagination with vibrant melodies and tenaciously infectious hooks. The heart and thoughts of Fearon and songs are unmistakable, their bite and contempt at the injustices running and ruining the world forceful but bound in music and imagination which forcibly but contagiously suggests and highlights without ever breaking into the realms of preaching.

Free Your Own Mind opens up with Press Enter To Continue and the line, “This is a bed time story but not for the innocent; you know what you’ve done and what it meant.” As big portentous beats accentuate the moment and the gentle but open inescapable challenge of that simple line, synths begin to rise and bring their intimidating sizzle to the brewing provocative drama of the brief opener.

The attention and imagination seizing start leads to the magnetic lures of Simple People where instantly it too is wrapped in dark shadows and an oppressively evocative ambience. Simultaneously Fearon’s vocals unveil the track’s narrative and emotion with rich expression and the enjoyably familiar style that helped make his previous band a potent proposition. Warm flowing melodies align to catchy beats as hooks just as magnetically blossom within the darker climate of the song, all seducing and igniting body and spirit as firmly as its tone and words spark the imagination and emotions.

Inspirations drawn upon by Fearon include, among many, the likes of The Prodigy, Gary Numan, NIN, Cease2exist, KMFDM, Infected Mushroom, and Combichrist. They are essences which in varying degrees you can sense across Free Your Own Mind. Third track Waiting though, has a hint of fellow UK band MiXE1 to it, something after investigation unsurprising when learning the song, the only one not solely written by Fearon, was created with Michael Evans of MiXE1 and Defeat’s Gary Walker. The pair also physically feature in the song; Evans’ vocals easy to spot within moments as they provide an excellent companion and foil to the equally impressing and darker tones of Fearon. The song is superb, a swiftly captivating persuasion with also a touch of the Walker Brothers to its melodic and emotional atmosphere. Synths paint a just as potent and dramatic picture as the vocals and lyrics, a combination which infests and lingers in appetite and memory.

It surely has to be the lead track to draw newcomers into the project, though The Last Revolution provides a just as commanding and gripping proposal next. Its shadows are far darker than its predecessor and in some way, especially rhythmically, its drama even bigger and bolder as the song envelopes ears and thoughts. There is also a great predacious nature to a track which at times feels like it is stalking the senses; nudging and imposing on them as an instinctive volatility inspires scything strikes of beats and keys for another resonating incitement.

The EP is brought to a close by The Final Photograph, a smouldering electronic caress with sonically blistered skin veined by melodic and vocal coaxing. The gentler wash of synths and sonic suggestiveness also has an inbred irritability which subsequently erupts and fuels the track’s volcanic and galvanic climax.

It is a fine end to a great, I guess, introduction to The Open Eyed Dreamer. Fearon calls Free Your Own Mind his “call to arms” and indeed it is an arousing of the listener in many irresistible ways.

The Free Your Own Mind is out now @ https://theopeneyeddreamer.bandcamp.com/album/free-your-own-mind

https://www.facebook.com/TheOpenEyedDreamer/

Pete RingMaster 12/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Defeat – You Know What You Are EP

Defeat pic

And so it continues, the emotion twisting sounds of Defeat have returned to voraciously crawl through ears and into the psyche. The UK duo have already increasingly trespassed into and seduced the senses through their previous encounters, each bringing evolution to their music and breaching new creative plateaus whilst suggesting there is more to come. The band’s new EP, You Know What You Are, is the realisation of much of this promise yet in turn it gives the feeling that they have still come nowhere to exhausting their potential, even though it sets the loftiest marker yet for the band in sound and invention.

Hertfordshire hailing union consists of vocalist Anthony Matthews and the master of synthetics Gary Walker, two school friends who have continually played together through previous guises from those days onwards. Each exploit has been a stepping stone to Defeat, and the breeding of a sound inspired by the likes of Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, NIN, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy. As Defeat, the pair swiftly lit attention with the release of their Outbursts! EP in 2012. Its emergence around a year after Matthews and Walker were truly able to concentrate on Defeat, lured an increasingly number of eager ears and appetites, backed by a subsequent remix EP entitled simply Defeat Remixed. It was debut album [Seek Help] in 2013 that pushed the band most forcibly onto the European EBM/ electro-industrial map though with its raw and magnetic atmospheres around angst soaked explorations. It was challenging and infectious, a fusion of dark climates and virulent electro pop digging now taken to even more experimental and striking depths with You Know What You Are. There is still that expected and inescapable catchiness, each track whipping up vivacious energies and anthemic temptation but equally they devour the most imposing and darkest corners of emotion and life.

YKWYA_cover     The EP opens with Want and instantly has ears intrigued and hungry as pulsating bassy electronics rap on the senses before being joined by a fiery melodic coaxing, It is a restrained but pungent start, rhythms quickly building up a head of intent and steam leading to a purposeful stride where the always expressive tones of Matthews invite and provoke. His delivery is part monotone, part dour, and all thick persuasion, the perfect temper and compliment to the bubbling electronic tenacity and haunting shadows respectively. As with previous encounters, the band’s sound stirs up welcome thoughts of Fad Gadget, the fusion of light and dark, invasive tempting and compelling contagion similar as Defeat sculpt their own unique incitement of dark pop.

The following Twist is just as dynamically gripping and texture entwining. Theatrical, gothic kissed keys spark the imagination first, the lure never relinquishing attention as a more caustic electro breeze joins the play. In no time the song is sauntering along with thickly jabbing beats, fizzy electronic tempting, and the narrative shaping delivery of Matthews. Things only blossom further as Walker infuses a great blistering of guitar, its presence adding to the sinister ambience evoked and fuelling the encounter. As its predecessor, there are moments of clear pop within the hazy almost portentous embrace of the track, those enticements boldly seeded in the eighties electro/synth pop which has also been a ripe influence on the band’s sound and songwriting.

Resist comes next and dares you to comply with its title, but to no avail as a Numan-esque smog wraps ears first before volatile electro sounds and rhythms rigorously simmer in an expanding provocative landscape of sour melodic tension and vocal prowling. There is always drama to the sound and narratives of Defeat, but possibly this song is their most incendiary on ears and imagination yet, thoughts especially running with its rich persuasion to create their own dark exploits alongside that of the song. It is a transfixing proposition matched by the outstanding Attention Seeker. This is a predator of a track, every beat carrying menace and each syllable a spiteful leer whilst synths cast a web of diverse colour and enterprise; even its addictive swing and spicy melodies seem to have a carnivorous grin to their tenacity.

The song is an invigorating and intoxicating anthem contrasted impressively by the next up Care For Me, a track uniquely individual but a match in magnetism and invention. Whereas Attention Seeker was open in its antagonistic charm, its successor embroils itself in another intriguing imposing caress of sound and reflective exploration. Spatial melodies seep from keys whilst guitars bring a raw fiery texture to the immersive croon, and within it all Matthews slowly releases deep rooted angst and emotional torment in the dark intimate tale.

The industrial air of Goodbye is an early hook which only thickens its bait as the song and vocals create an aural dystopia within an increasingly more rugged and inflammatory infection soaked stomp. It forces its dance upon feet and emotions, chaining their submissive enlistment into its ferocious staging of riveting sound and menacing intent. The track is a pulsating gem, at its heart pure slice of rock ‘n’ roll and in its increasingly psychotic character, pure inventive, belligerent devilry.

You Know What You Are is completed by a quartet of mixes, Ruinizer bringing the Bye Motherfucker Bye Mix of Goodbye, Paresis offering the Blackened Mix of Want, and Cease2Xist casting their Self Loathing Mix of How Pathetic, a track from the band’s Outbursts! EP. The cream of an enjoyable quartet though is the Shaken Not Stirred Mix by X-KiN of Twist, which features the exceptional vocals of Veronick. It is a gloriously fresh slant on the song with the lady’s voice enthralling as it takes centre stage.

Defeat have returned with yet another impressive step in their songwriting and sound whilst, as suggested earlier, implying that there is plenty more still to be unearthed in their imaginations and creativity. So whilst enjoyment boils over with You Know What You Are, anticipation is already on the rise again.

The You Know What You Are EP is available now digitally and on CD @ https://defeatmusic.bandcamp.com/album/you-know-what-you-are

https://www.facebook.com/Defeatmusic     http://www.defeatmusic.com/

RingMaster 23/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Spookshow Inc. – Visions of the blinded world (pt.1)

 

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A furiously agitated entrapment of industrial, metal, and electro rock, Visions of the blinded world (pt.1) is a fiery embrace to colour the way to an impending apocalypse. Its contagion is bred from the darkest corners of arcane themes taking in elements such as ‘time travel, dreams, out of body experiences and death’, but also there is a rich expression of human failings and frailties, all sculpted with striking imagination and clad in virulently varied sounds cast by Norwegian band Spookshow Inc. Imagine the world cast in imposing ravenous shadows feeding on the psyche and emotional turmoil to a soundtrack bred from a merger of Nine Inch Nails, Apollo 440, The Prodigy, and Skinny Puppy, though this is still a slim-line representation of the adventure abounding the release, and you have the rigorously compelling Visions of the blinded world (pt.1).

Just as enthrallingly veined with middle-eastern sounds too, the album is the result of a journey taking around seven years. The origins of Spookshow Inc. though go back to 2003 when Lucky Spook (guitar, programming, songwriting, producer) and Soltex (vocals) united and began honing a sound described as a mixture of Pink Floyd, Prodigy and Paradise Lost and increasingly influenced by bands such as Rob Zombie, KMFDM, Die Krupps, Skinny Puppy, NIN, Chemical Brothers, and those middle east sounds. Initially a duo hiring in additional musicians for their live shows, the band garnered strong praise as they played numerous festivals and supported The Legendary Pink Dots in 2005 on a leg of their European tour. The pair began working on Visions Of The Blinded World (pt.1) in 2006, being joined by instrumentalist Sharaz on bass and synth for the last songs recorded. Released on the bands own label Thunder Of The Distant World, the album makes a riveting introduction with a gripping invention and originality which is simply an inescapable temptation. Having grown in size with the inclusion of Seba to the line-up, Spookshow Inc. is poised to make a striking mark on electro/industrial rock; that is if anyone is brave enough to share their aural dystopian visions.

A simple resonating clang of twanging guitar is the potent coaxing bringing the imagination and album together, opener Games Of Delusion (art and religion) setting the exploration in motion. Its tone is soon swallowed by portentous caresses of haunting synths and percussive stalking, everything under a heavy air and slowly invasive atmosphere. This in turn is permeated with vocal samples and a warm and patiently waiting blaze of techno revelry. Its fire is given further freedom though still with a rein on its energy as jazz sparks flirt with ears and raw dance rapacity entwines the sturdy spine and enticingly rumbling belly of the song. It is a potent and gripping start, not one which ever explodes as it constantly hints it might but a track setting up a hungry appetite for more, a greed soon fed by New World Crash.

The second song instantly has a darker and more aggressive countenance, sinews driving beats whilst Soltex’s vocals carry a menacing snarl to his melodic persuasion. The sounds conjured by Lucky equally growl and sizzle with hostile coverpredation and electro static, yet as the first track they never quite escape their binds to go for the jugular. It is a hold which works a treat, especially with the Trent Reznor like exploration which searches the darkest corners and elegance of the track. Provocative Middle Eastern spicery adds to the drama and invention of the outstanding proposition before it makes way for the even greater temptation of Scary Dream. Like a collision between KMFDM, Ghost In the Static, and The Prodigy, yet discovering its own identity ultimately, the track is an exhausting and ravenous tempest of energy and imagination, its electro rock tenacity and enslaving infectiousness the making of addictions.

Female hailing whispers and harmonious wails within another Eastern flavoured breeze opens up Falling Down pt.2, darker tones from Soltex swiftly adding encroaching shadows to the mesmeric tempting. It is not long before he turns them into passionate roars to compliment the increasingly evolving and portentous yet radiant landscape of the song. It is a fascinating track, one which has you fully involved and immersed in its spicy energy and adventure but then drifts away to make you feel there is unfinished business. Again it is a twist which actually elevates the song rather than defuses its potency, it seemingly revelling in the adage of ‘leave them wanting more’.

Things taking a chilling turn with Requiem For a Vision, where sinister air colludes with menacing vocal variety for another creative twist to the album. A progressively fuelled slice of intrigue and sonic unpredictability, the song is a slow burning prowl, a thick and sultry seduction which takes longer to get a grip on than other songs but emerges as a web of imagination and sonic trespass before the muscular stomp of Dead Shot Baby unveils its rugged charm and intensive rock ‘n’ roll. As much industrial as it is funky, equally as electronically powered as it is ferociously antagonistic, the track is a swift grudge of a treat before the psychedelically seeded beauty of My Secret Plan. Featuring Matangi Shakti, the song is a feisty shuffle of melodic elegance, Middle Eastern magnetism, and shadowed noir kissed enterprise. It is an imagination firing adventure where drama and bracing emotional espionage flirts relentlessly from every second of the album’s best moment.

The similarly thought exploring Cyberage keeps the creative theatre and engrossing bait of the album at its most incendiary, the song a caustically abrasing and infectiously binding suasion, whilst the next up Map Of The World glides through dank caverns and stark climates in its provocative crawl across the senses. The track is a croon from the darkest nightmares, reminding strongly of Fad Gadget with the gothic predation of Paradise Lost.

The album closes with the evocatively and sonically picturesque Other Side Of Time (Vision Of The Blinded World), flavours and sounds from a global tapestry merging for a tantalising sinister waltz. It is a menacing and thrilling conclusion to an album which gets better and reveals more with every listen. Visions of the blinded world (pt.1) is a labour of love from the band and an increasingly rewarding adventure for the listener, whilst Spookshow Inc. is a potential clad protagonist ready to help see out the end of the world with the embrace of their inimitable invention, an apocalypse sure to get only more colourful with the band’s second instalment of their journey due next year.

Visions of the blinded world (pt.1) is available now digitally and as a Limited edition cd digipak via http://www.spookshowinc.com/music and http://spookshowinc.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.spookshowinc.com/

RingMaster 07/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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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

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

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