The Self Titled – Bears and Bulls EP

A rich reputation and a broad recognition of existence do not always go hand in hand and so it is with UK rockers The Self Titled. They are no strangers to thick and eager acclaim and have grown to be one of British music’s most rousing propositions yet still so many prospective fans have yet to discover their prolific presence. The band has just unleashed a new EP but can it address that absence of wide spread attention? Of course time will tell but if anything can be the spark, the mighty Bears and Bulls EP has all the right ammunition and striking qualities to be the trigger.

It was from the moment that the band reformed back in 2010 that they stamped a certain mark on the UK music scene with their rapacious blend of rock and metal and a work ethic which has seen them literally play shows non-stop, sharing stages with the likes of Kobra And The Lotus, Breed 77, Forever Never, Zico Chain and Sarah jezebel Deva, One Machine, Def Con One and many more along the way. It was their impressive debut album, Defaced, in 2012 that we came across the Kent outfit, a release establishing the band as one of the most exciting emerging encounters around. The double track Airlock EP two years later only confirmed the potential and potency of the band which Bears and Bulls EP now exploits to even greater heights, impressiveness, and we suspect success.

Bears and Bulls opens up with Disintegration and straight away guitars are harrying the senses with anthemic energy as rhythms prowl ears and the potent tones of vocalist Tom Procter. The swinging beats of drummer Paul Brander orchestrate the predatory tone of the song with the growl of Steve Burwell’s bass keenly adding to that trespass yet everything about the track is pure contagion, guitarist Philipp Hall weaving a web of hooks and riffs as antagonistic as they are rapaciously catchy.

It is a powerful and potent start to the release swiftly built upon by the following Breathe. Groove carrying riffs provide the first tasty lure, the rumble of bass adding it’s particular growl before uncaging its own body infesting groove. The band pull the heaviest most voracious essences of metal and heavy rock for their inimitable sound with the EP’s second track grabbing a healthy punk snarl to its nu and alternative flavoured confrontation. There is an open Rage Against The Machine edge to the track but imaginatively bound to the band’s melodic prowess in a song which relishes plenty of other metal and rock spawned flavours.

Fear and Loathing is next up, echoing the diversity of sound in its impressive predecessor within its own individual endeavour. Almost crawling over the senses, the track slowly unwinds its quickly addictive bait and enterprise, grooves predatory as they seduce with a matching snarl to that lining Proctor’s and the band’s vocals.  A grunge essence only adds to the infectiousness and richness of the song before the EP’s title track brings to a similarly rousing conclusion.

The final song saunters in on a rhythmic shuffle before unleashing more of the band’s rap/nu metal prowess and hard rock dexterity aligned to melody fuelled contagion. Bluesy flumes only add to the intoxication but as ever in a song bursting from The Self Titled, agitation and aggression at world issues provoke as they arouse.

It is about time the world woke up to The Self Titled roar, Bears and Bulls might give them no choice.

The Bears and Bulls EP is available now @ https://music.apple.com/us/album/bears-and-bulls-ep/1462839970

https://www.facebook.com/TheSelfTitled/   http://www.theselftitled.com/  https://twitter.com/theselftitled

Pete RingMaster 20/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Huron – The Dead Stay Dead

Photo by Leigh Drinkwater Photography

Photo by Leigh Drinkwater Photography

It will not be the first time that UK metallers Huron will have majorly stirred up acclaim and attention with a release but their stunning new album, The Dead Stay Dead is surely going to ensure that the band is regarded as one of the big boys from hereon in. As mentioned, previous encounters have all drawn strong support and praise from media and fans alike but their new and easily finest proposal to date is a band reshaping and igniting not only their own creative landscape but the metal scene around them.

Formed towards the end of 2007, Plymouth hailing Huron has worked through many line-ups changes which seem to have only help spark new potency and power in their fusion of progressive, thrash, and melodic metal and the increasingly impressive releases it fuelled. Debut album Cheyne Stoking lured strong praise and focus with its release in 2009, the band’s live reputation only being enhanced as they toured the UK in support. Its successor Mary Celeste whipped up an even feistier storm of acclaim across fans and media in 2011, its success matched a year later by the War Party EP. Performances at the likes of Download, Bulldog Bash, and Bloodstock followed whilst a British tour with Skindred was just one more live triumph to add to shows with bands such as One Machine, Onslaught, Evile, Alestorm, Ill Niño, and Viking Skull over the years. As the outstanding The Dead Stay Dead lights an expected touch paper to the strongest spotlights upon the band yet, this year looks set to emulate and surpass the successful twelve months the band had in 2015 and show Huron to be the new big roar in modern metal.

Mixed and mastered by Justin Hill (SikTh) and produced by guitarist Rimmy Sinclair, The Dead Stay Dead opens with The Ark Of Deucalion. A provocative sonic mist first wraps ears before intensive riffery from Sinclair and Chris Smith descends venomously on the senses driven by the barbarous beats of drummer David Parsons and the predatory throaty lures of Rohan James’ bass. It is a swiftly compelling and anthemic incitement built on the contagion of thrash but quickly showing the hefty weave of textures and styles now in the Huron sound as it evolves under the antagonistic roar of vocalist Sean Palmer, who has since left the band with James taking over the vocal spot. Darkly celestial harmonies only add to the drama within the blazing cauldron of craft and intensity, at times the track almost like a merger of Slayer, Devin Townsend, and now demised UK band Mishkin.

Huron Cover artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe striking start is soon eclipsed by the album’s title track, The Dead Stay Dead a predator quickly stalking ears and imagination with its scything rhythms and sizzling tendrils of sonic spice. Vocals assault and ripen the appetite as the song matches their bait with aggressive kind but it is when the track slips into something more melodically comfortable with clean vocals to match, that a great song opens its full temptation. It is irresistible, an ugly duckling evolving into blooming beauty and back with Jekyll And Hyde frequency for the thickest contagion.

Santa Muerte slips in next with a sinister climate and grievous intent in its rhythms and riffs. As in its predecessors, tortuously swinging grooves bind ears and an already greedy appetite whilst the raw vocal tones collude with the open animosity in the thrash bred and increasingly dynamic ferocity devouring the senses. Exhaustion and joy is the by-product of the blistering encounter, ears basking in the melodic enterprise searing their flesh and the rapacious imagination seducing their depths before both Pyschosis and Murder Hole unleash their venomous rancor and creative rabidity. The first of the two is a thunderous onslaught with a death thrash tendency to its equally tenacious weave of infection loaded flavours and ideation. Infused further by the burning prowess of guitars and solo it makes for one glorious collision between song and lust emulated again in its successor, a song which wraps itself in more recognisable thrash spices a la Metallica and proceeds to twist and re-weave those flavours into something far more primal and inventive with another dose of excellent clean vocal adding to the great diversity.

Managing to be brutish and seductive, the mouth-watering Despina feverishly rampages on ears like a cultured barbarian next whilst Bastard King emerges from atmospheric shadows to infest body and psyche with its sonic trespasses and rhythmic predation like a vampiric temptress taking the imagination on a ride through the darkest fearsome scenery. Both again are individual in their nature and bodies but united in igniting the passion with their invasive and imposingly addictive adventures through they are slightly outshone by the merciless virulence of The Spirit Of Hate & Vengeance. Like Black Dahlia Murder meets System Of A Down with Bloodsimple in close attention, to try and give a hint to its insatiable tempest, the track is manna to the metal feeding passions and for personal tastes the king amongst only great warriors on the album.

With the militant natured Bokanovsky’s Process and the flaming progressive subtlety of Solace, band and album continue to beat and thrill; the cunning twists and resourceful stalking of the senses by the first contrasted by the melodically poetic and cantankerously intrusive might of the second. Again each song has its own creative agenda and voice to keep the rich variety to the album flowing before Fresh & Thorns brings The Dead Stay Dead to a fearsomely rugged and invigoratingly rousing close. There is a hint of Mudvayne to the violent wantonness and canny maze of biting textures of the track, yet as everywhere any hints offered to songs in reference to others are slim hues in something uniquely Huron.

It has been a fair while between albums but the time has seen Huron escalate their craft, imagination, and fiercely flavoured confrontation of sound. The Dead Stay Dead is the proof from a band ready and undoubtedly equipped to take on the world.

The self-released The Dead Stay Dead is available from February 12th through all platforms and outlets.

https://www.facebook.com/Huronofficial   https://twitter.com/huron_uk

Pete RingMaster 11/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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