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

Bokassa – Divide & Conquer

The recent release of their single Walker Texas Danger suggested that the debut album from Norwegian punks Bokassa might be something a little bit special. The track was a relentless nag of their self-proclaimed stoner punk, a breath-taking tirade of sound and attitude simply demanding attention and lustful reactions. Its potential and promise is more than lived up to by Divide & Conquer, even left looking pale at times by the album’s unbridled tempest of hardcore ferocity, punk belligerence, and stoner bred grooving. Beyond being special, it is one of the essential listens of 2017 from a band you still feel is only just starting out on their creative journey.

Hailing from Trondheim, the trio of vocalist/guitarist Jørn Kaarstad, drummer Olav Dowkes, and bassist Bård Linga took little time in sparking eager ears and local bordering national support with the release of the three track strong EP, The Great Northern Roadkill in 2014. It was the following year though through a couple of singles and the War On Everything EP that their presence really began breaking borders, success enabling Bokassa to tour across their homeland with the likes of Hold Fast, The Dogs, Frk. Fryd, Johndoe, Exploding Head Syndrome, and Warp Riders. Released on Record Day 2016, the single Make Music Great Again pushed things again, with Walker Texas Danger their biggest triumph and pull yet. It is now easy to think and expect Divide & Conquer to be a game changer for the band, the trigger to bigger, even the biggest spotlights to pay dues to one of the truly exciting prospects around.

A lone melody brings opener Impending Doom into view, its rich coaxing soon seeing stormier clouds gathering above it as riffs and rhythms join its enticing groove. Its slow stroll and portentous air subsequently slips into the waiting tempest of Last Night (Was a Real Massacre). Instantly energy and aggression is turned right up; spiralling grooves and rabid riffs grabbing ears as rhythms angrily thump. Like a raw and dirty collusion from Red Tape and Fu Manchu, the track devours the senses, feverishly crawling over them with plague like hunger to powerfully feed the thick anticipation triggered by the band’s previous single.

It is that song which comes next, Walker Texas Danger slamming its bruising qualities upon the listener from its first breath. Kaarstad is a squall of vocal attitude and discontent backed with matching antipathy by the band in voice and sound. Grooves though spin an infectious web as rhythms give a primal examination and Linga’s bass provides a grumbling lilt to the song’s stoner fuelled swing. The whole mix is glorious, a reason to welcome exhaustion before Crocsodile Dundee shows no mercy with its antagonistic rumble. Metal seeded acidic melodies court the song’s punk ‘n’ roll catchiness whilst its heart is pure hardcore pushing a magnetic bluster lying somewhere between Ghost of a Thousand and fellow Norwegians Shevils.

After its rousing assault, Genocidal Tendencies brings greater restraint in its own raid though weight and spite is as full and unbridled as in its predecessors. Equally, the song shows more of the variety at the heart of the Bokassa sound and songwriting as dark harmonies and wiry grooves conspire with the inevitably punishing rhythmic and sonic incursion also escaping the band. As magnetic as it is merciless, the track is a tenderiser of the senses, their ravaging provided by Five Finger Fuckhead with its scourge of hardcore truculence bound in mouth-watering grooves as vocal dexterity plays within the band.

As each song’s final breath becomes the next track’s first, the album just flies by, never allowing the listener to regain balance or composure. Here Goes Nothing rises from its predecessor with a head-rush of violent tenacity and creative adventure. Arguably the album’s grooviest, most kindly catchy proposal, it still offers a cauldron of intensity in its emotive onslaught while any ‘lighter’ tones are boldly absent on the punk rock salvo unleashed by Retaliation straight after, the song an one minute ambush of appetite’s sweet spot.

The album is closed by the raw captivation of Immortal Space Pirate (The Stoner Anthem). The album’s longest proposition by a mile, the track is a volatile smoulder threatening to erupt with every passing second. It never really does but there is no lightweight essence to its groove woven canter and rhythmic swing, its scuzzy air and cosmic filth as much manna for a passion for raw rock ‘n’ roll as its melodic escapades and uncompromising tide of intensity. Across its seven minutes, Bokassa merge acoustic and harmonic prowess into their instinctive sonic blitz and stoner punk ferociousness, the song alone revealing the width and depth to the band’s imagination and potential.

The bottom-line is that Divide & Conquer is superb, a bewitching brute of an encounter only leaving sheer pleasure and a hunger for plenty more.

Divide & Conquer is out now digitally and on Ltd Ed vinyl via All Good Clean Records through http://www.allgoodcleanrecords.com/onlinestore/ or https://bokassaband.bandcamp.com/album/divide-conquer

https://www.facebook.com/BokassaBand

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Shotgun Rodeo – The New Standard

photoshoot-2015_RingMasterReview

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

 

CZv50AmXEAAMDrM.jpg large_RingMaster Review

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/