Desert Storm – Omens

This May saw the release of the fifth album from UK metallers Desert Storm, a band which has continuously forged new aspects to their thunderous sound but reaped the most dramatic essences of their imagination yet for the compelling Omens.

Formed in late 2017, the Oxford hailing band has had us, like so many, persistently licking our lips at their releases. From debut album, Forked Tongue, through the seriously acclaimed Horizontal Life and Omniscient, and the just as welcomed Sentinels of 2018, Desert Storm has persistently breached new plateaus of enterprise and reputation which Omens stretches once again. The quintet’s sludge metal bred sound has nurtured a progressive adventure along the way which was especially fertile within the band’s previous full-length and now makes its successor one fascinating proposal and creative trespass.

Even with its immediate persuasion and striking presence, Omens only reveals greater rewards the longer spent within its perpetually evolving adventure. It challenges and seduces in equal measure; the band’s trademark ravenous riffs and colossal rhythms still a chest crushing trespass and melodic enterprise a searing web of craft and dexterity. Yet their progressive metal imagination is the source of pure captivation, every track an unpredictable and fertile exploration which enthrals as it ravages and where maybe the last album missed out, leaving a lingering imprint on ears and appetite.

Omens opens up with its title track, a spoken word introduction cast by vocalist Matt Ryan within dark atmospheric intimation. It is a portentous poetic lure, an embrace come accusation of darkness which erupts within the following Black Bile. Immediately a patient horde of riffs surround the senses, the cutting swings of drummer Elliot Cole splitting the air as the guitars of Ryan Cole and Chris White spread their esurient web of sound. Ryan’s familiar gruff tones command the air in between their sonic wires as the tenebrific grumble of Christian Benoist’s bass only adds further dark fuel to the temptation. There is also a mercurial breath to the track’s landscape, one which echoes the album’s body as a whole and only fascinates as the sounds it inspires.

It is a great and rousing full start to the release which Vengeful Gods adds to with its feral touch and anthemic stroll. It is a song which is sonically bitter and rhythmically antagonistic, riffs a rabid crawl over the senses yet its vocal union springs a chorus as inviting and rousing as any moment within the release. Again Ryan shares a new depth of diversity and imagination in his presence, a storyteller and protagonist of the sonic spite which erupts in equal measure.

Pain, Grief & Suffering is a beast of venom and grievance but also one glorious groove which immediately wound around the passions between the untamed expulsions of breath and sound, the track recalling the exploits within the band’s early albums but as richly fertile in the progressive and melodic imagination which has increasingly set them apart from the crowd. With the piano caresses of White adding to the tantalising drama, the song is an escalation of temptation while The Path of Most Resistance taking a less invasive journey provided a similarly riveting proposal. Truth be known, it too is a forceful trespasser at times but within a melody crafted landscape with almost shamanic tendencies at certain moments; the song forging itself as our favourite track.

Through the creative contrivance of yet almost bestial presence of The Machine, the band set another keenly devoured mark, riffs and grooves colluding in ravenous intent as bold adventure again steers the imagination in its unpredictable landscape with next up Lockjaw springing its own venomous grooved steeled and riff laded trap upon the senses to match the temptation of its predecessors; Cole and Benoist just as merciless yet manipulative in their invention.

The album concludes with Rebirth, a magnetic folk tinged ballad which took thought and attention away with its words and melodic charm to bring the adventure to a fine close. From start to finish, Omens had ears greedily attentive but certainly the last quartet of tracks had us drooling and alone declares Desert Storm’s latest encounter one no one should simply pass by.

Omens is out now via APF Records; available @ https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/

http://www.desertstormband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk   https://twitter.com/desertstormuk

Pete RingMaster 02/06/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview

Desert Storm – Sentinels

Can it really be around four years since British groove monsters Desert Storm unleashed their critically-acclaimed Omniscient? It is undoubtedly true that time flies when you are having fun, the release still stirring our attention amongst the horde of new encounters submitted to us. Now the band has uncaged its successor in the bold shape of Sentinels; a dark tempest of a proposal which confirms the Oxford based sludgers as one of metal’s most compelling propositions.

Desert Storm has never been slow in pushing evolution in their sound but Sentinels marks their biggest step yet without losing the band’s trademark ear pleasing individual sound and character. Being ravenously heavy is one of their accomplished traits yet the new album manages to be a leviathan in that hue, almost oppressive at times in tandem with their darkest most tempestuousness creativity yet. Equally though, their imagination is at its most liveliest to date conjuring melodic intimation and mercurial adventures with magnetic prowess. It is fair to say that Sentinels did not quite bowl us over as immediately as the likes of predecessors Horizontal Life and Omniscient but there was no escaping its relentless persuasion and eventual captivation or the feeling that it is a compelling new step in the evolution and journey to even greater adventures with the band ahead.

The album immediately exposes its ferocity and the senses as opener Journey’s End roars into life, the distinctive snarling tones of vocalist Matt Ryan driving the skilful discord as riffs and rhythms gnaw away. Concussive yet carrying purposeful restraint, the song eventfully calms as a tantalising groove spirals through its breath, it leading ears into a waiting tempest of emotion and sound sculpted by the intimation cast by guitarists Chris White and Ryan Cole. Already there is something new and fresh about the band’s music, a sense of new adventure and exploration creating a web of contrasting textures and intensities shaping a song that made a potent first impression and only blossomed thereon in, much as the album over time.

The following Too Far Gone is swiftly into its sonic trespass, guitars again a searing intrusion and rousing incitement alongside the lumbering but tenacious beats of Elliot Cole and the dark hearted drawl of Chris Benoist’s bassline. A track tackling excessive binge drinking; a ”paradox of hard liquor being both the cause and the remedy of the sickness” according to Ryan partly inspired by the tragic tales of Bon Scott and John Bonham, it prowls and infests ears with a predatory but addictive quality taking the listener through alcoholism into death. As dark and menacing as it is, there is a certain catchiness which infests before The Brawl unleashes a tide of magnetic grooves and rapacious rhythms in the acclaimed Desert Storm manner. Emulating the title, Ryan entangles ears with his familiar ursine tones, guitars teasing with melodic fingering within the sonic winds. Its blues lining only adds to the temptation on offer, the song more expected Desert Storm rock ‘n’ roll but again with a keen fresh breath to its holler.

The melodic beckoning bringing Kingdom Of Horns into view is pure magnetism, its beauty bright yet melancholic and soon blessed with the harmonics of clean vocals as sonic winds contemplate their involvement. It is arguably the best moment within Sentinels, certainly a favourite passage which eventually breeds a raw and burly stroll still draped in melodic elegance and imagination. The song is superb, captivation at every turn and if a clue of things to come maybe the moment in hindsight the Desert Storm sound came of age which tells you it’s magnificence after all the goodness since the band emerged back in 2007.

There is a familiar classic metal lining to next up Gearhead and similarly that Desert Storm character which never takes much to tempt, the song jabbing and imposing its enjoyable personality before Drifter binds the listener in spicily searing grooves and rhythmic tenacity to incite and inspire physical and vocal participation. It too is prime Desert Storm so easy to devour for fans and heavy rockers alike as too successor The Extrovert, a bruising but magnetically grouchy stomp of riff and grooves with a matching aggressive rhythmic swagger and vocal drama. Cole simply controls the body from start to finish, his rousing beats commanding song and listener with devious prowess as the track gets under the skin.

The colder atmospherics and dark corners of Convulsion immerse and seduce next; the track looming up from its stark beginnings with an oppressive lumber and tenebrific air. That heavy suffocation though is the breeding ground for an eruption of pure metal virulence, grooves and hooks worming under the skin before new waves of heavy predation flow over the lusty enterprise. It never quite extinguishes their zeal though, instead embracing their spirit before Cole leads another highly persuasive surge of rhythmic and sonic boisterousness which teases and taunts from there on as another particular highlight of Sentinels is laid down.

The album concludes with firstly the melodic croon of Capsized, another song which almost deceitfully intoxicates, seducing almost straight away if not obviously until away from the album. Its melancholic calms have a volatility which erupt further on, settling down as the process repeats with increasing magnetism in just one more highly powerful and magnetic moment. It is left for the as good as three minutes of Outro (Thought Police) to complete the album, its stoner scented grooves and sludge thick examination providing a rich and provocative finale but one which feels like it is leaving unfinished business to take up and explore ahead.

As suggested, though Sentinels made for a highly enjoyable listen it did not make the same kind of immediate striking impression as its predecessors. It made up for it though with its thought provoking enterprise and an imagination driven creative tapestry, becoming more captivating by the listen as well as hinting that there is even bigger exciting times to come with Desert Storm.

Sentinels is available now through APF Records @ https://desertstorm.bandcamp.com/ and http://apfrecords.bigcartel.com/

http://www.desertstormband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk    https://twitter.com/desertstormuk

Pete RingMaster 24/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Desert Storm/ Suns of Thunder Split 7”

 

DS_Sot Split art_RingMasterReview

As well as releasing the Raging Speedhorn/Monster Magnet ( TheDesertFest London vol. 2) Split this coming April, H42 Records will be uncaging another union of mighty sounds in the shape of the Desert Storm/Suns of Thunder Split. Featuring two of the UK’s most compelling riff and groove exponents, the 7” will be launched at DesertFest Berlin where Desert Storm will be playing, with a special edition of the release in store for the event.

desert storm_RingMasterReview

Desert Storm

Still riding the acclaim of last album Omniscient, released at the beginning of 2015, Oxford hailing Desert Storm offer up brand new song Signals From Beyond for the upcoming split. Formed in 2007, the quintet of vocalist Matt Ryan, guitarists Chris White and Ryan Cole, bassist Chris Benoist, and drummer Elliot Cole have increasingly whipped up attention and support across their thunderous live presence and a quartet of albums. As their ferocious and contagious blues metal sound has grown, matured, and evolved so their reputation has intensified, something Signals From Beyond will only back up in all aspects.

From its first touch, a winy groove wraps ears as beats taps attention with open zeal; the song soon expanding as riffs and muscular rhythms collude with the familiar growling tones of Ryan. Like an irritable bear, vocals and sounds badger and intimidatingly entice but are tempered by the sizzling flavour and character of the addictive enterprise of guitars and their flaming grooves. The track is prime Desert Storm; a slab of the band’s familiar rock ‘n’ roll and inescapably addictively compelling.

Suns of Thunder_RingMasterReview

Suns of Thunder

Their conspirators in rousing the spirit on the 7” are equally as magnetic. The Swansea bred Suns of Thunder offer up the mean and moody Earn Your Stripes, a track from their latest album Start As You Mean To Get Down, released last November. It too is a web of grooves and hungry riffs bound in melodic tendrils. Fuelled further by the twin anthemic vocal attack of guitarists Greg Bombroffe and Matt Williams, the song soon bristles with tenaciously fiery textures as the robust rhythms of bassist Chris James and drummer Sam Loring drive its seemingly familiar, if without any obvious reason, but ultimately individual persuasion.

Rumbling and grumbling with a virulent infectiousness to its swinging body and tempting creative voice, the track is a sinew spun slice of heavy rock ‘n’ roll to get flirtatious with, and alone a potent reason to check out the 1999 formed quartet’s recent album and highly praised live presence.

Bottom-line is that the Desert Storm/ Suns of Thunder Split 7” is another meaty and irresistible split from the German label showcasing two of Britain’s most voracious rock ‘n’ rollers.

The Desert Storm/ Suns of Thunder Split 7” is released by H42 Records at DesertFest Berlin 28th-30th April with presales available from March 29th at http://www.h42records.8merch.com/services/store and available across four vinyl colours.

Upcoming Desert Storm/ Suns of Thunder shows to launch the split in the UK:

Fri 6th May – Swansea, The Scene,  w/ Suns of Thunder

Sat 7th May – Oxford, The Bullingdon, w/ Suns of Thunder

Sun 8th May – London, The Unicorn, w/ Suns of Thunder

https://www.facebook.com/desertstormuk/   http://www.desertstormband.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sunsofthunder   https://sunsofthunder.bandcamp.com/

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Desert Storm – Omniscient

Photo by Matt Winyard.

Two years on from their acclaimed second album Horizontal Life, British heavy blues metallers Desert Storm unleash a new cauldron of ridiculously addictive temptation in the ravishing shape of Omniscient. Before listening to the new release we would have been ecstatic to announce that the album was an equal to its brilliant predecessor. But it is not; just like the last album was a fascinating and thrilling step forward from the band’s outstanding debut full-length Forked Tongue, the glorious Omniscient is a leap to new plateaus. Everything about the encounter is a gripping evolution of adventure and maturity; riffs are dirtier, grooves keener edged, and it has a contagion which borders on slavery, all without losing any of the blistering uniqueness and raw power which has always soaked Desert Storm’s sonic invention.

Where many similarly styled bands seem like servants to the riff, in that it predominantly consumes their songwriting, Desert Storm enslave that feature of their sound and twist it into a web of just as forceful and potent grooved and melodic exploration. As proven by their previous album it means each track has a distinct character and creative emprise of its own, and in Omniscient all songs come from an even broader canvas of imagination and craft. Since forming in 2007, the Oxford quintet has challenged and lit ears right through to the passions with their persistently gripping releases. Equally they have earned a formidable reputation for their live presence through shows and tours with the likes of Karma To Burn, Nashville Pussy, Peter Pan Speedrock, Honky (ft. members of Down/Melvins/Butthole Surfers), Orange Goblin, Red Fang, and American Head Charge, not forgetting igniting festivals like The Bulldog Bash, The Desertfest, Brisfest, and Roadkill. Their stature and reputation already goes before them but now with Omniscient global recognition and spotlight has to be on the cards.

The band’s fans are sure to break into a broad smile as opener Outlander instantly collides with ears through excited rhythms and imposing riffs. As spicy grooves swiftly join the revelry it is prime Desert Storm psych blues flavouring, intent on seducing senses and imagination with concussive beats and intoxicating sonic temptation. Already there is a sense of new adventure though, OMNISCIENT_FCbackground melodies and atmospheres adding their suggestiveness as vocalist Matt Ryan roars. His voice is as bracing and gruffly coated as ever but also seemingly carried on a new clarity and variety. As expected it is impossible to escape the lures of guitarists Chris White and Ryan Cole or their weave of sinew driven riffs and toxic grooving, every note spilling temptation and virulence to match the similarly seductive dark throated tones of Chris Benoist’s bass and the anthemic heavy footed swipes of drummer Elliot Cole. It is an enthralling and incendiary start to the album, body and emotions already aflame from its creative bait and blues spirit.

The following more predatory Queen Reefer is just as irresistible. The source of the band’s new video, it is a ruggedly charming temptress with bulging beats and acidic invention. Far heavier and threatening compared to its more devilish predecessor, it casts a darker more volatile demonic air in its breath around a corrosive touch. In saying that though, the song is still irresistibly catchy and commanding, and with a mesmeric slip into a gentle embrace of expressive melodies and low key drama cast by guitars and bass at one point, mouth-wateringly adventurous.

Horizon continues to spread thick almost doomy textures of intensity and emotion next, drums creating a clash of percussive disorientation which only adds to the power of Elliot’s swings and the tangy blues grooving binding song and senses. It is just one part of the track’s scenery though as halfway it explodes into an explosive rhythmic tango which in turn seems to incite greater energy and venom to flush through the brawl of vocals and sonic enterprise. The track never quite ignites into the fury you suspect it might but is the better for it, the relative restraint adding to the dramatic tension of the song, a scintillating theatre which again turns Sway of The Tides into a battlefield of hostility and contagion, and Home into a folk ballad of sheer beauty. The first of the pair comes with flared nostrils and a rhythmic blood lust as heavy metal and stoner-esque blues rock clash in ears. The song is breath-taking, especially when it switches to a folkish pasture of cleaner vocals and a simple but expressive melody midway. It only impresses more as the scene and sounds start building back up to another fire of intensive emotion and searing grooves. Its successor is even more tantalising and enslaving. Voice and guitar again align to create a mesmeric smoulder of blues folk and southern tinged melodic rock which simply delights. Whereas the last album had the transfixing unexpected melodic delights of Gaia, Omniscient has this absorbing treat to wrong-foot, surprise, and thrill.

Not that the album has a moment where it does not do all those things in varying degrees anyway, as proven by the boozy swagger of House of Salvation which stomps in next. The track with its bar room like blues grooving and abrasing riffery reminds of N Ireland band Triggerman in some ways, especially in the melodic toxicity veining the devilment and the magnetic flame of a groove which has the appetite licking its lips and body swerving in subservience. The excellent temptation is matched straight away by the funk nudged stroll of Night Bus Blues. Making the perfect soundtrack to those times after a show where the cold flirts as you wait for the over-due conveyance to take you home and that is only part of the recognisable drama, the track proves humour is never a missing ingredient in the recipes Desert Storm conjures. Obviously it is not lacking addictive sounds either, an adjective which perfectly fits both Bandwagon and Blue Snake Moan which follow.

The first revels in a seventies blues rock seeding, spawning its sonic tempting from a psychedelic scent as fresh as it is familiar. The song provides yet another shade of colour and striking originality to the album, Omniscient easily the bands most excitingly and enjoyably diverse and expansive offering yet. The second of the two bristles and bellows with the heavy rock ‘n’ roll sound that the band has always bred its imagination through. Again though, it is widely spiced and commandingly robust with an array of rock bred flavours inviting feet and soul to roll with its rigorous devilry.

The album closes with Collapse of The Bison Lung, a summing up of things in a way as ripe grooves and intimidating riffs collude with rampant rhythms and snarling basslines to bind attention and light fires in the passions. A masterful end to a mighty release it reinforces and confirms what Omniscient suggests and we declare, that Desert Storm should be mentioned in the same breath as bands like Black Tusk, Red Fang, The Sword, and yes maybe even Mastodon.

Omniscient is released worldwide via Blindsight Records on January 26th.

Following the album’s release Desert Storm will be going on a short European tour:

Fri 6th Feb – Antwerp Music City, Antwerp BE w/ Atomic Vulture

Sat 7th Feb – Rock Cafe Jinx, Zaandam, NL w/ Millstone

Sun 8th Feb – Bassy Club, Berlin, DE w/ Samsara Blues Experiment

http://www.desertstormband.com/

RingMaster 22/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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