Shotgun Rodeo – The New Standard

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You might suggest there are more unique proposals coming forth this year but there will be very few encounters which ignite and incite the passions as The New Standard. The six track roar from Norwegian metallers Shotgun Rodeo is as infectiously virulent as the common cold and as instinctively anthemic as any slab of rock ‘n’ roll can be.

Hailing from Trondheim, Shotgun Rodeo have been weaving riotous incidents from contagious strands of groove, thrash, and heavy metal  since 2008 which each subsequent release becoming more focused, potent, and as proven by their latest escapade irresistible. Previous EPs, Dead End Massacre (2012) and Guilty as Charged (2013) drew strong awareness of the quartet with debut album World Wide Genocide especially whipping up enthused attention. That time has seen their multi-flavoured sound become even more adventurous and diverse which The New Standard takes to a new compelling level.

From its first breath the EP sees predacious riffs and imagination enslaving grooves almost battling for attention, each earning their equal share alongside robustly eager rhythms and an overall contagiousness as opener Batshit Crazy leaps at and consumes ears. An enticing groove lined riff opens up the assault, it swiftly joined by heavy beats and broader wave of riffery amidst increasing spicy grooving. The great dirty tones of vocalist Nino Escopeta are soon there inciting involvement too as the song strolls with an aggressive almost arrogant swagger. The swinging rhythms of drummer Doomfang and bassist J.Buvarp trap attention virtually on their own, chaining an eager attention for the tapestry of grouchy riffs and sonic seduction from the strings of guitarist Don Shrediablo to further flirt with the listener within. With its chorus icing on the infectious cake, the track is the first of six which can make anyone lose all inhibitions in public view which is some feat when if like us you are someone hiding a voice which has rats fleeing towards a sinking ship.

shotgun-rodeo-the-new-standard-artwork_RingMasterReviewThe excellent start is taken up another gear with the outstanding temptings of Uncontainable. It too is a brawling stomp of cantankerous riffs and soliciting grooves lorded over by boisterous vocals while being driven by surging rhythms. Once more the band casts a chorus impossible to escape, the blend of heavy and feverish rock ‘n’ roll fuelling a kaleidoscope of spices from hard rock and classic metal to old school rock with plenty of other darker ravenous textures involved. Giving a seriously and gloriously anthemic battering to the senses, the track takes best track honours though it is persistently challenged throughout The New Standard and songs like its successor Around The Bend.

A heavier and darker proposal, the third track stalks ears while easily entangling them in more melody rich grooving, subsequently luring them into a chorus that is as raptorial as it is sublimely catchy. Shotgun Rodeo is unafraid to bring some death metal seeded shadows to their sound either, and it is that lurking hue which unites all the varying elements of the song perfectly, marked by the bestial growling of the bass in turn tempered by the broad enterprise of Shrediablo in a song which is a bit like King Hiss meeting Lamb Of God.

From one compelling moment to another as Drawing Blood From Stone takes over, it too a predatory proposition with twists into contagion loaded inciting of ears and involvement. Merging old school and modern hungry metal in one fiercely imposing captivation, the thrilling trespass of the imagination makes way for the EP’s title track. Once more grooves wrap around ears and appetite as rhythms hunt and attitude loaded vocals challenge, a combination which soon crafts its own individually surly engagement to further hook and ignite the passions.

The EP ends with the groove infected rock ‘n’ roll of Scatterbrain where the guitar spreads some southern goodness in its endeavours while rhythms provide a more fractious but no less alluring invitation. It is a rousing and exhilarating close to the EP, a slightly psychotic proposal all raw sweetness and deceitful animosity which just lights the fires all over again.

The New Standard might not be the most original thing you might come across but few bands involve familiar essences and textures in such a masterfully magnetic and seriously rousing fashion. As the release grips ears once again to say Shotgun Rodeo and The New Standard EP is a must is more than easy.

The New Standard EP is out now across most online stores.

http://www.shotgunrodeo.com/   http://www.facebook.com/ShotgunRodeo  http://www.twitter.com/shotgun_rodeo

Pete RingMaster 07/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Critical Solution – Sleepwalker

 

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If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that Sleepwalker might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral rock ‘n’ roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but Sleepwalker is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.

Formed in 2015, it is fair to say that the Helleland hailing quartet began really grabbing attention from 2011 when they, to use their bio’s words, “got serious”. It was at this point the band began working with Andy LaRocque in his Sweden based SonicTrain Studios, especially impressing fans and media with their first album Evil Never Dies in 2013, which followed the Evidence of Things Unseen EP of two years earlier. The encounter was a more thrash heavy proposition fuelled by the kind of horror storylines and sounds that helped shape the gripping presence of The Death Lament EP in 2014 and now their concept album Sleepwalker. The band has also earned a strong reputation for their ferocious stage show honed over the years and alongside bands such as Diamond Head, W.A.S.P, Marduk, and Grave over the years; an intensity and energy equally rampant within the band’s new blood show.

It opens with The Curse, the establishing of the evil coursing through the album’s character and narrative through atmospheric hauntings, intimidating tones, and a bedlamic theatre of sounds. With the imprecation in place the album unleashes its title track, Sleepwalker immediately slamming ears with meaty beats as guitars tantalise, it all the prelude to the insatiable charge of the song to come. As riffs and rhythms bound ruggedly through ears, Christer Slettebø’s guitar sends spicy slithers of bait into their midst before his vocals stir up their own kind of anthemic persuasion. It is a thumping incitement soon revealing its resourcefulness as it twists into seductive prowls and dynamic torrents of inventive tenacity. Like Metallica meets Chainfist initially and more creatively devilish with each passing minute, the track raises the ante in the album’s superb start.

Critical-Solution-Album_RingMaster ReviewWelcome To Your Nightmare ensures things are only more gripping and exhausting next, its Anthrax scented thrash tirade irresistible from the first breath and only increasing its lusty allure as it releases its devil. Driven by the slamming beats of drummer Egil Mydland, the song alternatively stalks and launches itself at the listener across its hellacious contagion. The guitars of Slettebø and Bjørnar Grøsfjell arouse as they abuse whilst the bass of Eimund Grøsfjell is aural predation at its barbarously seductive best.

Melodic and evocative caresses bring Blood Stained Hands into view next, their gentle and reflective tempting the surface to a brewing and gradually building intensity and aggression. Enjoyably even that is caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s energy, being held in check to act as a tease from within the captivating and infectious roar of the song. There is a slight taste of melodic rock aligned to grungy essences at play too, Gruntruck coming to mind in certain moments as the song leaves appetite lustful and ready to devour on the sultry haunting of Murder In The Night. It too cages listeners in a melodic embrace; warm kisses of guitar and their sonic trails of temptation a rapturous suggestiveness encased in a sinister atmosphere. There is danger and menace lurking in the shadows of the track’s slightly portentous air; a waiting incitement which bursts as the floodgates open to fiercely nagging rhythms and predacious riffs within the imagination sparking instrumental.

Ending on a news report harkening darker deeds and threats as events twist and turn, the track masterfully leads to up the barbarous revelry of Evidence Of Things Unseen, its successor swiftly a merciless assailant drenched in hostile intent and virulent persuasion. Again it is hard to escape a Metallica/Megadeth like comparison, though every swinging stick and pulled string breeds a fresh and dramatic strain of enterprise unique to Critical Solution.

The heavy lumbering Sabbath-esque entrance of LT. Elliot soon has ears surrounded and imagination enthralled as its doom soaked theatre gives a bird’s eye view of the last moments of its title victim. Crawling with insidious glee and equipped with expulsions of raw catchiness, the outstanding track is as cinematic as it is murderously compelling and swiftly matched in drama by the epic exploration in length and emotion of Dear Mother. Bringing some respite to the dark turmoil before it, its tortured reflection comes entangled in a volatile landscape of dense shadows and fiery infection loaded revelry. Through every second of its ten minutes, it is masterfully unpredictable and increasingly enthralling, like being locked in the mind and emotions of torment itself as it track spellbinds as powerfully as its predecessor.

The Death Lament just tears into ears with its rapacious horde of riffs and legion of barbarian bred rhythms next, the violation thrash fuelled anthemic metal at its primal explosive best enslaving ears before letting Back From The Grave bring the chain of bloody events to a close. Featuring guests in Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), the final infestation of the senses and body is similarly pure thrash butchery and openly majestic in its crushing, rabid way.

There will no doubt be many voracious metal releases thrilling ears this year but already it feels safe to say few will surpass Sleepwalker and its thrash horror malediction.

Sleepwalker is out now via Punishment 18 Records across most stores.

http://www.facebook.com/CriticalSolution

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O – Are You Land or Water

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Are You Land or Water is like a colouring book for the imagination; the template is there in its inspiration and themes but each track within the new album from Norwegian band Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O, is as much an adventure to self conjure as an atmospheric and evocative landscape to explore. The six track incitement immerses the senses then grows in thoughts; each of its proposals a unique art rock seducing awash with warmly invasive ambiences and when united a release which has body and emotions enraptured.

Part of Are You Land or Water was inspired by the Barbarossa Cave in the Kyffhäuser region of Germany and behind it the myth of Frederick Barbarossa – former German monarch and Roman Emperor of the twelfth century – who is said to slumber within these caverns in a palace beneath the Kyffhäuser hills where his beard grows in circles around the table at which he rests. He is said to be waiting until either he can reign once more over a unified Germany or till the end of the world; whichever arrives first. Its beauty made a potent impact upon the band’s main creative force, Alexander Kloster-Jensen (Alex K), his visit coinciding with the fermentation period of ideas for the album to come. Talking about its theme, Alex said of the album “Are You Land or Water is about tension, and describes the states of passive and active. You cannot be the two at the same time, but the two states are equally important.” They are dynamics which play skilfully throughout the release, and again essences which simply spark ears and imagination into creative responses.

The album opens with Barbarossa (Fire Birth) and its swift compulsive lure of rhythms. Metronomic beats and a heavy dark bassline instantly enslave attention and an ever ready appetite for brooding post punk, steely eyed temptation. In the shadows slithers of sound and percussive skittishness also play, their often tribal flirtation bringing a scent of eighties bands like King Trigger to mind before the rapacious sonic trespass of guitars electrifies the compelling jungle of sound with their intimidating breath. The track is irresistible; its instrumental canvas inescapably gripping and raw sonic air scintillating.

KKKMO_Gatefold_RingMaster ReviewThe following Saleph (The Voyage) pulls the listener into a magnetic electronic stroll with melodic guitar ripples and the seductive tempering of rhythms. Once more electro imagination brews a host of provocative spots of noise across the track’s suggestive sea, each adding more colour and intrigue for the imagination to play with. As with its predecessor and songs to come, there is a great repetitive coaxing working on the psyche, a polite nagging that holds an already greedier appetite fast as rhythms dance and guitars cast their sail in the besetting sonic flight.

Going Forth By Day is the first to offer a vocal texture and narrative to the release, the track another with eighties hues which engage like a blend of The The and David Byrne. Instantly infectious with a great cast of shadows to its atmosphere and broody rhythms, the frequently evolving song is instinctively mesmeric with its celestial harmonies within a sultry climate. It provides a persistent sparking of thoughts with its fresh reflective excursion before Are You Land Or Water (The Deluge) invites feet and hips into its funk ‘n’ roll shuffle with again resonating beats and stirring dynamics colluding with vibrant yet melancholy laced emotion and lively enterprise.

Another inspired by those aforementioned caves and legend, Kyffhäuser (The Path) is a psych rock infused instrumental with again that grounding of sublime repetition and mythical drama; all low key but potent in their capture of ears and adventure forging thoughts. The track tantalises from first to last breath, its slightly predacious bassline within an intoxicating warm sonic mystery making for another masterful collusion of contrasts to become deeply involved in and linger in contemplation with.

The album is completed by the expansive spatial delving of Europa (First Light), the track like a celestial dawning and examination within a subdued yet tempestuous ethereal flight drawing the listener towards an introspective single hearted croon. The vastness of the contrasts and extremes is fascinating, their bewitching and surprising merger a darkly tranquil and hugely stimulating proposition.

Are You Land or Water is one of those encounters providing new adventure with every listen; it’s often minimalistic landscapes as powerful and persuasive as its involved atmospheres and poetic ambiences. Kitchie Kitchie Ki Me O has provided the year with an early treat, now we suggest you do the same for your imagination and ears.

Are You Land or Water is out now via House of Mythology @ http://houseofmythology.com/releases/view/kkkmo-are-you-land-or-water

https://www.facebook.com/Kitchie-Kitchie-Ki-Me-O-185337610403  http://www.kitchiekitchiekimeo.com/

Pete RingMaster 25/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Saligia – Sic Transit Gloria Mundi

On first listen to the debut album from Norwegian black metal band Saligia, the release did not inspire any strong reaction either way except the question of was it liked or not. After numerous listens that indecision is still the overriding thought about Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, a release that at one turn intrigues and in the next blurs into one flowing sound. The album is not bad, far from it, the duo of Ahzari (vocals, guitar, lyricist, composer) and Malach Adonai (drums, lyrics) creating strong and uncompromising black metal, but somewhere along the line it keeps slipping from the grasp of consistently satisfying the senses even though the ear is always entertained.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi has been released as a vinyl LP by UK-based label Barghest, a label that strives to bring forth the best challenging and non-commercial black metal around based on more than simply technical skill. The release by Saligia is another success on their part even if the longevity of its appeal is most likely short in the wave of constant releases trying to grab attention. Containing impressive power and emotional intensity lyrically and by sound, the band “offers up seven burning visions of the journey towards enlightenment, the first steps on the path to find one’s True Will, and to follow that Will.” The album at the same time succeeds in branding and scaring the ears with its incessant and at times, especially in tracks like ‘Womb Caverns’ overwhelming oppressive sounds. The main problem is the strong similarity across the whole release track by track. To be fair at times the music is very mesmerising but in equal measure also comes over as one ball of sonic withering that is depleted of any defined variation or diversions to keep the listener truly engaged throughout.  

The opening track ‘Casus Gloria’ is the albums best song and a great intimidating but also inviting opening to the release. With an increasing incessancy and almost hypnotic flow the mixed paced and viral like atmosphere it brings is rewarding and inviting, giving high anticipation for the rest of the album. Vocally Ahzari agreeably sings in the area between growls and clean vocals, at times almost seemingly chanting as he casts his devilish weave throughout the dark power seeping from the track. It is a great song bringing high hopes for the remaining six slices of presumed prowling darkness.

What emerges though is more of the same in structure and delivery but somehow losing the spark the first track brought, any variation minimal even after many listens. The second track ‘Sar Ha-Olam’ plays like an echo or dulled mirror image without any of the vibrant appeal of the opener. Again it must be stressed that it and all of the tracks on the release are actually strong but as a package just ‘play the same tune’ too closely for it to work as well as it deserves.

There are moments that manage to shine out before being lost again in the overall feel, such as the menacing atmosphere of ‘Womb Caverns’, the burrowing sonic fingers within ‘Orb of Flesh’ which are subsequently repeated in the following track ‘Shed Old Skin’, and the other stand out track on the release ‘Blood Staineth’. This song instilled more urgency and aggression than the others before it, bringing a revitalising energy and appeal to proceedings if only for that tracks length.

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi is a strong album in many ways and the suggestion is that all who feast on original black metal sounds especially should definitely check it out as Saligia deliver their creations with undeniable skill and passion. It is just for some ears that passion does not quite translate into something that engages deeply or simply enough to make a lasting connection.

RingMaster 27/09/2011

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