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

U-Foes – No More No More

Live @ Fru Lundgreen, Trondheim, Norway

It may say No More No More but ears swiftly demanded the opposite once falling under the sonic hail and brimstone of the new single from Norwegian outfit U-Foes. The track is an insatiable slice of noise punk infested hardcore which batters and tempts with increasing rigour; nagging, harassing, and pleasing in equal measure.

Rising from the ashes of hardcore outfit Silence the Foe, Oslo hailing U-Foes is the trio of made up of guitarist Marcus Forsgren (The Lionheart Brothers, Jaga Jazzist, Bror Forsgren), drummer Peter Rudolfsen (The Lionheart Brothers), and long-time friend of The RR, vocalist Anders Voldrønning (Shevils). Embracing aspects of their earlier work together and on-going projects, the threesome have twisted all elements into a whole new trespass of sound with plenty more fresh and creative animosity loaded craft involved.

A teaser of the band’s debut album due for release in November, No More No More is a carnal assault of sound; a track as primal and feral as it is skilfully manipulated and manipulative. It scowls with contempt from the first caustic surge of guitar, its sound a scuzzy yet precise blur inciting just as irritable intent from senses harrying rhythms. Voldrønning’s familiar roar intensifies the antipathy of sound and emotion, sharing greater toxicity to the wounds already incurred from the band’s raucous enterprise. Even so there is an infectious side to it all which quickly had hips swinging and limbs punching with zeal.

However you drape the track, it is rock ‘n’ roll rock at its primal best; punk rock to arouse the senses and spirit and the sign of big exciting thing to come from that impending album and we suspect for the band itself in its wake.

Check out the video for No More No More on our Video Selector page, the single available now on Marw Melodee Music.

https://www.facebook.com/ufoesofficial/   http://u-foes.com/

Pete RingMaster 24/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Animosity Kills – Severance

Pic: Tom Robert Wold

Well over two years ago, Norwegian outfit Animosity Kills stole attention with their first EP, Manipulative. It offered up a rousing mix of heavy and thrash metal, a fusion nurtured in the influence of bands such as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Pantera, and Testament but as fresh and bold as it was familiar. It was fuelled by inescapable potential and suggestion of bigger, bolder, and more individual things to come; a suggestion more than partly realised by the band’s debut album, Severance.

It is probably fair to say that the Bergen hailing quintet still has some way to go to find their truly unique sound and character but with releases like Severance there will be no irritation at the wait. The eight track release is a magnetic beast of a roar with songs which just glue to the memory as greedily as they do ears. Formed in 2013, Animosity Kills boasts a three-pronged guitar attack all geared to stir up the listener in body and spirit; an intent as forcibly and inventively matched by the band’s rhythmic enterprise. Manipulative was an ear catching introduction to Animosity Kills; Severance evidence of a band destined to be further widely embraced.

The album opens with Black Death, gently luring in the listener with an opening melody. It is soon backed by a towering wall of riff and rhythm, one still controlled but swiftly springing a ravenous charge of raw riffs and rhythmic biting. Its thrash instincts are to the fore, driving through ears as eagerly as the swinging incitement of drummer Eirik Nilsen and the brooding tone of lead vocalist Erik Lindelid’s bass. With an underlying rabidity to its charge and a predacious restraint to the invasive bait of guitarists Stephan Høgtun, Rupert Notøy Rødland, and Mats Bruland, the song tempts and teases in between ravaging the senses, promising more ferocity than it unleashes but benefitting in that manipulative suggestion.

It is a potent and enticing start Dead On Arrival continues with its bristling and irritable but fiercely infectious attack. Leading up to its virulent chorus, the song commands eager attention but grabs it like a puppeteer with a focal point which has neck muscles and fists as involved as vocal chords. Around that beast of a chorus, the guitars weave a web of enticement as rhythms again prowl and pounce with anthemic prowess, the track real evidence of the band’s growing and evolving sound whilst stirring up the senses and attitude with prime thrash volatility.

The following Lord Of Darkness looms over ears from its first breath, riffs and grooves colluding in thick enticement as rhythms firmly rap the senses beside Lindelid’s vocal growl. As it grows, the song twists and turns, the guitars weaving individual and united resourcefulness with almost lusty appetite as beats and bass continue to bring threat and intensity to the inescapably catchy challenge.

Its success is swiftly matched and eclipsed by that of Thermic Vision, a track which instantly gripped personal appetites with its snarling opening riffs and a gnarly carnivorous bassline to drool over. Captivating grooves entwine the dark intent and temptation, the rapacious edge to Lindelid’s vocals adding to the alluring menace of the song. Its thick thrash nurtured riffs are an equally predatory incursion aided by the thick slaps of Nilsen’s beats, it all together creating a track as sonically stylish as it is barbarously intrusive around a volatile heart.

The album’s title track is next, instantly pulling ears into its torrents of compelling riffery and pummelling rhythms with an addictive touch which seeps into the following Pantera scented prowl of voice and song. It is a predacious trespass broken by Metallica-esque twists and flames of metal varied rock ‘n’ roll, groove and alternative traits among many. With a mouth-watering hook which infests the psyche, the song grabs a thick urge of participation before Revolutionary Suicide saunters in with a feisty and imposing swagger. From its first breath it swings as it harries the senses, its contagious instincts complimented by a more composed but just as tempting exploration which leads to a mercurial passage of melodic and progressively scented enterprise.

The mighty Ballistic was a major treat on the band’s first EP and again hits the spot with its grooved entangled rock ‘n’ roll. With something of Grumpynators to its virulent swagger and ravenous swing, the track is a quickly addictive incitement which only escalates its individual lures and united contagion by the groove, rhythmic swipe, and vocal snarl.

Invictus completes the release, its opening riffs preying on ears and appetite with a predatory intent before taking it into its blossoming prowl of thrash discontent and heavy metal fire which in turn expands into melodically cast suggestion amid bolder adventure. Though the song did not grab as vigorously as others, its enjoyable individual endeavour suggests a sound already evolving with an imagination to really anticipate ahead.

Certainly Animosity Kills has a sound which is not the most unique but as Severance declares in a roar which leaves ears richly pleasured, it has freshness and potential which is only heading in one direction.

Severance is available now @ https://animositykills.bandcamp.com/album/severance

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

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Mammüth – Outlander

An epic journey in time at almost an hour and a half and a rich exploit in sound, Outlander the new album from Norwegian rockers Mammüth is one unforgettable proposition already easy to suggest will make regular appearances on end of year best of lists. The band’s sound is a thick and flavoursome not forgetting imposingly heavy invasion of stoner metal and quite addictive within the walls of their striking new album.

Hailing from Drammen, Mammüth emerged in 2007 forged in its members love for stoner, space rock, metal, doom, drone, and hard rock. They are flavours which entangled to make the quintet’s debut album of 2012, Gone with the Wolves, a well-received and praised encounter. Since then the band has honed their writing and sound while breeding open maturity in all aspects, all fuel to the instantly and increasingly impressive Outlander.

Produced by the band and mixed and mastered by Martin Skar at Skar Productions and Norsk Lydstudio, Outlander instantly draws and grips attention with the opening strains of Circling Vultures, its initial wired grooves and senses rapping rhythms nothing less than predacious. With just as hungry riffs in tow, the potent bait only strengthens with the earnest vocals shared by rhythm guitarist Stian Svorkmo and synth player Steffen Overaa. Their union is superb, magnetism in its own right and matched by the rabidly writhing yet controlled sounds around them. Like a fusion of Mastodon, High on Fire, and Down yet not such its and indeed the whole album’s individual character, the track is manna to an appetite for heavy, voracious rock ‘n’ roll and a great tease for what is to come.

The compelling dynamic beats of David Hjellum lead in next up Dead Man’s Trail, a track swiftly as addictive as its predecessor and unveiling a web of varied flavours in its bold trespass. The bass of Stig Johansen growls with almost bestial temptation, its dark lures contrasted but matched in salacious intent by the gripping enterprise of lead guitarist Christian Schei. Drama soaks every twist and turn, accentuating each inventive note and atmospheric breeze blowing across the track’s serpentine landscape whether melodically calm or tempestuously intense.

That mellower air blows through the following Fields of Bones in voice and music though there is always a certain volatility waiting to catch which it does with a dirtier, grouchier eruption. Virulently catchy and manipulatively fascinating, the song is quite superb and if the album collapsed in on itself thereon in, with its two companions, would make Outlander a notable recommendation.

Of course the album does not slip from its heights, Fortuneteller and God Eater just as beguiling as they devour the senses. The first, and one of the candidates for best song, is a relentlessly nagging irritancy on ears, riffs and rhythms alone harassing quick submission for its proposal with vocals again pure raw seduction in the midst of the guitars tenaciously resourceful webbing. Its successor has a more concussive touch tempered by grooves which crawl under the skin with primal desire, again everything offered as predacious as it is irresistible.

Through the early atmospheric suggestiveness of Hadrin’s Wall, a lure which grows more invasive and portentous as the band bears its gladiatorial dexterity, and the even more confrontational, certainly cranky, Heirophant, the real world is an even more distant reality, band and album consuming all attention soon gripped even tighter by the senses enveloping, discord blessed Lightyears. With grooves which worm into the psyche with ease and a tempestuousness that roars upon the senses from within a mercurial sonic cyclone, the song is just majestic yet still eclipsed by the mighty Monstrosity. With waspish grooves swarming the senses from the first second and vocals buffeting ears with their emotive holler, the track soon steals best moment upon Outlander in our ears, its voluminous rock ‘n roll manna.

The album’s title track finds a somewhat moderate attack in comparison to the previous track but as expected with a threat of a brutal eruption at any time. It is a peril which remains lurking around as melodies and harmonies radiate though it does have a say on the growing energy and flurry of the encounter before the extensive creative theatre of Space Ghost unfolds. With an eager lilt towards thrash metal at times across its sinuously textured evocation, preying on body and imagination at every turn and there are plenty across its nine minutes plus, immersion into the song’s crafty tale is easy.

Uncharted Waters completes the exceptional adventure of Outlander, its thick shadows and dark depths as transfixing as the sound as they colour. An array of flavours twisted into a coiled spring, nothing predictable escaping as it tenses and discharges its enterprise, the track is an enthralling finale to one remarkable album to which we can give numerous references to others for certain moments but really only embraces its own uniqueness.

There will be many important propositions across 2018, encounters which will guide its musical direction and Mammüth with Outlander has come up with the first.

Outlander is available now through Negative Vibe Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/MammuthMetal

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Nika Riots – Set Fire

Having found the Norwegian hardcore scene a rather fruitful place to excite personal tastes, there was a definite twinge of eager anticipation when we found ourselves receiving he debut EP from Oslo outfit The Nika Riots, especially upon seeing it features members from bands such as Man the Machetes, Torch, and IEatHeartAttacks. The prospect of hearing something flavoursome to really get the teeth into was quickly confirmed by Set Fire and only reinforced across its six ferocious tracks.

Consisting of Christopher Iversen (Man The Machetes), Jørgen Berg (Torch), Kristen Fjeldstad, Morten Vikanes, and Noppers Myren (IEatHeartAttacks), The Nika Riots fuse their hardcore with voracious metal essences while drawing on the inspirations of bands such as Every Time I Die, the Dillinger Escape Plan, and Rise Against for its still individual character. It is a mix which grooves like a Bokassa, snarls like a Shevils, and has the irritable melodic punk fuelled fury of Bad Religion aligned to the unpredictable dexterity of Every Time I Die and all delivered with a defiant antagonism living up to the historical unrest behind their name. Those metal bred essences add yet another aspect to their sound, a hungry trespass which accentuates every other thread in its fractious web.

As soon as the rousing rhythmic invitation of Anti-Social Social Club was launched within a raw sonic breath attention was grabbed, the initial handful of seconds of the opener a welcoming intrusion which swiftly becomes a tirade of addictive grooves, thumping beats, and vocal argument. The track proceeds to swing along with intrusive hardcore tenacity, inciting ears and spirit at every turn with the imagination hooked by its melodic punk hues. Metal textures equally give it a diverse nature and potency as the song gets Set Fire off to a heady start.

A chest beating roar of defiance, it is pretty much matched by the following Knock ‘em Dead. Straight away it is sharing solicitous hooks, a touch of Billy talent in their spicing before its punk canter brings a great bend of throat scarring and melodically sandy vocals. As in its predecessor, attitude fuels every note and syllable, the melodies even carrying a slight toxic edge to their temptation but it all combining for another fiercely infectious affair before allowing the excellent Kill This Chaos emerges from its last sonic sigh on a rhythmic roll. This leads to another contagious intrusion equipped with hungrily anthemic rhythms, vocal irritancy, and caustic riffs. It is pure magnetism, especially when the incitement of drums and throb of bass only accompanies raw throated appeals, guitars accentuating the bait on their return with strains of heavy metal in their attack.

A melancholic melodic caress opens up Hanged Drawn & Quartered but all time becoming dirtier and unsettled before breaking into punk thrusting rock ‘n roll though that too is only another shade to the song as melodic metal essences take their moment to captivate. It epitomises the fluid resourcefulness of the band’s sound, a quality as open if not to the same prevalence within next up Skeleton Crew. Opening with an Avenged Sevenfold scented beckoning, the song soon rattles the cages with its hardcore guile and fury lined acuteness aligned to punk rock virulence.

All Hail the Queen completes the attack, its body breeding its own fusion of sound and enterprise. As the previous track, it did not quite light the fires as dramatically as those before them but with vines of grooves wrapping round the ears and a rich bluster of energy wearing the senses, it simply left pleasure and appetite hungry for more.

Set Fire is a striking introduction to The Nika Riots hinting at even bigger and bolder exploits ahead whilst stirring the passion and instincts for uncompromising punk rock; Norwegian hardcore continues to impress and excite.

Set Fire is released January 19th through Negative Vibe Records.

https://www.facebook.com/thenikariots/

Pete RingMaster 18/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

I, The Betrayer – 7 EP

I, the Betrayer might quite likely be a new name to you if outside of Norway but that could very well change and in quick time if the Oslo metallers bring the rich potential of their debut EP to reality. The release is a multi-flavoured proposal with its roots firmly in a thrash/heavy metal bed which just ripples with energy, creative hunger, and imagination. The 7 EP has been garnering plaudit loaded reviews and comments since its release a matter of a few days ago and it does not take too long to hear why.

Formed in 2014, the quintet embrace a host of styles for their ear grabbing sound; the likes of blues and progressive rock entangling with those aforementioned thrash and classic metal flavours as well as darker extreme metal hues. The result is a proposition which has familiarity and originality in collusion within songs which demand rather than ask for attention. Add a vocalist in Chris Wiborg who provides another fine balance of clean and darker tones to match the same union within music skilfully conjured and crafted by the band and you have something which really warrants a close look.

The EP opens with Credulity and instantly surges through ears on a tide of thrash blossomed riffs and thumping rhythms. Wiborg is quickly in the mix with his strong expressive delivery, the riffs and grooves of Geir Prytz and Alex Bjørklund driving and binding the song with infectious energy and enterprise. Across its snarling body, the track hints at more vicious and antagonistic intent but never quite unleashes either though the brooding bassline of Kyle Sevenoaks midway has a predacious edge which hits the spot.

It is a potent start soon eclipsed by the virulent rapacity and character of Selfish Ride. Sensed in the first, the second track brings a stronger Metallica meets Machine Head like tone to its more irritable nature. That attitude is simultaneously tempered and supported by Wiborg, his mixed delivery adding fuel to the fire of the song’s rock ‘n’ roll which in turn is driven by the highly persuasive swinging beats of Terje Høias. As suggested at the beginning about the release, there is something recognisable about the track yet everything about it is equally fresh and magnetic, though it too is overshadowed by its successor as the EP just blossoms to greater heights song by song.

Conformity is next, its opening melodic lure a radiate invitation but courted by a more portentous bassline; both leading into a web of intrigue and vocal temptation. The calm introduction subsequently makes way for a fiery wash of nagging riffs and skittish rhythms, the track twisting and turning like a dervish in between its charge of chugging dexterity and moments of alluring melodic invention. Things only get more appealing once Wiborg adds a Serj Tankian like unpredictability to his presence, the song too teasing with a mercurial System Of A Down like loco.

Things are calm again as Humanity opens up its melodic arms, every melody and bass caress a suggestive moment matched by Wiborg’s great vocals. Across its melancholic yet radiate presence, the track erupts with greater volatility, fire in its belly as emotion and sonic expression flares before slipping back into its mellow reflection with ease. Things get truly heated in time with eagerly tenacious rhythms spearing a weave of progressive drama under a sweltering climate of sound and intensity.

Things begin to follow a pattern now, the calm before the storm once more enticing the listener as the outstanding Creatures Of Hate dances with a sultry gentleness in ears; ensnaring them and the imagination for the darker, almost demonic intent and imagination of its enthralling shadow woven body. The track is hypnotic, its predatory tranquillity a deceit to the dark heart at its core as humanity is exposed. It is also another fresh aspect to the I, The Betrayer sound and invention, its more primal dark metal inclinations managing to take the EP to its darkest place yet its most composed and imperious.

The release is closed up by firstly the growling thrash bred Boaster,  a track which like the opener is maybe not the most  adventurous but leaves a stronger appetite for the band’s sound and recognition of their  skills and lastly Ignorance Pt. 1, an emotive ballad with an underlying dark edge in outlook and sentiment. Though neither quite have the spark of their predecessors, each only adds to the impressive presence and adventure of 7.

Simply out, the EP is a potential rich and increasingly impressive first encounter with I, The Betrayer but more importantly a fiercely enjoyable one. Expect to hear their name and sounds much more from hereon in.

The 7 EP is out now through Darkspawn Records and available @ https://ithebetrayer.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.ithebetrayer.com/    https://www.facebook.com/ithebetrayerr    https://twitter.com/itbmetal

Pete RingMaster 14/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pigeon Lake – Barriers Fall

Three years after the release of their striking and quickly acclaimed debut album, Tales of a Madman, Norwegian quartet Pigeon Lake return with its successor in Barriers Fall. The time between has seen changes within the band and a reassessment of the way forward; a shift sparking an evolution in sound too which is actually hard to pin down but openly inflaming the Oslo outfit’s new offering and release which like its predecessor at the time, will make a definite rival to those around it for one of the most essential investigations of the year.

Since emerging in the opening smiles of 2012, Pigeon Lake has grown to be one of the most compelling propositions on the melodic rock/metal landscape. Founded by vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt and completed by childhood friend and drummer Andreas Prestby and bassist Kenneth Stiansen, the band instantly sparked attention and praise with the I: Mindrape EP later in that first year. Its themes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health were as striking as the raw sounds inciting ears. The three became four with the addition of lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen soon after while the following year saw Stiansen replaced by Anders Børresen. As their sound moved towards a flavouring more akin to the likes of Katatonia, Stone Sour, and The Ocean, the band’s live presence escalated before they got down to work creating Tales of a Madman, its release coming in the Autumn of 2014 and followed by the band heavily hitting the road again including taking their first steps touring Europe.

Linking up with Wormholedeath Records in recent times provided the spark for that previously mentioned re-assessment and the resulting highly amicable departure of Børresen and Prestby which was soon followed by the joining of bassist Håkon Bechholm and drummer Jonas Rønningen. Now the new line-up has unveiled Barriers Fall, an encounter feeling darker and rawer than that first album yet their most melodically seductive and inventively mature adventure yet.

The album opens with Ragnarok, grooves instantly wrapping ears with shadow lined radiance. There is a portentous edge to them though, nothing imposing but clearly there as rhythms jab and riffs collude around them. Magnetic straight away, the track settles down into a heavy prowl where all those imposing elements erupt for a few rapacious seconds before Schackt’s cleaner tones steer the tempest into kinder waters. Abrasive growls remain alongside him though as the song merges predatory and seductive sides, luring the imagination into a provocative squall of emotion and intensity.

It is a striking start soon eclipsed by the just as tempestuous roar of Lyra. Nagging riffs align with Schackt’s distinctive tones initially, the bass prowling around them before the incendiary heart of the track erupts with fiery melodies and antagonistic tendencies. Harmonies and melodic tempting bewitch as the song subsequently shares its evolving soundscape, contrasting textures blending their potencies in one beguiling encounter. There is definitely something of the aforementioned Katatonia to the song and indeed album but equally the likes of Opeth and Swallow The Sun come to mind though in all honesty Pigeon Lake here and across Barriers Fall only reveal their own character of sound and imagination.

The album’s title track is next, seducing with a mesmerising poetic melody and calm vocal reflection before Rønningen’s beats add increasing threat. In time, as things increasingly simmer with greater intensity, everything comes to a head, vocals spilling their psychosis as a sonic causticity descends. A relative relief in the storm comes with the closing breaths of the excellent track before the more mercurial presence of The Futility of You takes the listener into a controlled yet seemingly unstable emotional embrace. Again the music is a web of trespass and radiance, vocals matching the changeable mood with suggestive prowess as wiry hooks and almost toxic melodies tempt and trap the imagination. Epitomising the album as a whole, the track only reveals new layers and textures with every listen, each time within it seeing growing attraction and the blossoming of image painting thoughts.

Hide and Seek runs a fine line of control and lawlessness, its cauldron of corrosive energy restrained and held back by the harmonic and melodic beauty hugging the senses though it is never more than a breath from breaking free while within Sunder it shapes the predatory nature of a track which equally is as much an oasis of elegance and gentle repose as a turbulent tempest; a beauty and beast of inner and worldly turmoil.

Senses harrying riffs brings A Familiar Problem to bear on ears next, delicious bait opening up into a just as enticing fusion of roaming grooves and brooding rhythms around feral toned vocals. That previously mentioned raw element of the release has its head with the harsh throated presence of Schackt adding to the psychotic edge of the track with clean and melody woven radiancy just as powerful before Perfect Place casts its variable cyclone on the passions. Irresistible within its first moments and only stealing greater lust thereon in, the track breeds an addiction as rich as its unpredictability to provide if not the pinnacle, one of many.

Closing track Let’s Pretend takes the listener into one final embrace of emotional restlessness and creative anxiety, the song as the album whilst being intricately woven and layered is almost anarchic in its nature and heart. It is a fine end to another encounter with Pigeon Lake which simply blossoms and further impresses with every listen.  To be fussy, personal tastes would see Schackt’s throat scarring vocal side reduced to allow his excellent clean and emotionally suggestive tones to have an even larger say but it is a mere passing thought in a release which stirs every part of body and mind.

Barriers Fall is available now through Wormholedeath Records across most online stores.

http://www.pigeonlake.no/    https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic/   https://twitter.com/PigeonLakeMusic

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright