Hercules Morse – Vita Boundary

After richly enjoying their previous EPs, it was easy to discover real intrigue and anticipation for the debut album from Hercules Morse. There were also hopes that it would strongly build on the potential and enterprise of those earlier encounters with the UK outfit and we can say that Vita Boundary more than delivers, the ten-track offering a feast of magnetic and infectious melodic rock with plenty of eager snarls and sonic blazes to feast upon.

The Southampton hailing quartet emerged in 2014 and released their first EP, Edge Of Life, the following year. It was met with praise and attention as well as potent radio play; success just as easily and more keenly tempted by successor Equine Size Comparison in 2016. Their live presence has been just as potent too, Hercules Morse sharing stages with the likes of Calvin Harris, Primal Scream, Duran Duran, and The Streets alongside supporting bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up. Their reputation has grown step by step and now looks poised to be escalated by Vita Boundary.

Musically they sit somewhere between the likes of Foo Fighters, Queens Of The Stone Age, and Biffy Clyro; their sound a fusion of hard and stoner rock infused with more psych and simply melody spun imagination. Quickly as opener Everything Is Great grabs ears, the album reveals it is a sound which has grown and matured from those previous encounters whilst embracing an even broader array of flavourings. Harmonies wrap classic rock bred grooves from the off, the lead vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George captivating within the alluring flame of sound. Guillaume Redonnet-Brown’s beats and clips tease throughout too as the guitar of Harry Gardner spins a web of familiar yet fresh enterprise. It is a swiftly magnetic affair an echo of the album in that it is not strikingly unique yet everything on offer is enticingly individual to the band.

The following War Within similarly warms the appetite with recognisable and unique adventure. The dark hues of Paul Shott’s bass cast a great shadowed but infectious lure at the heart of the song and its catchy swing; egging on its virulent instincts and in turn those within the voice of George just as potently backed by those of Gardner.

Cuckoo leaps in next with its own addictive contagion, the beats of Redonnet-Brown bounding through ears with a persuasive swagger as the guitars weave another ridiculously tempting tapestry of hooks and melodic dexterity before Talk Me Down brings an earthier proposition to contemplate but one with big rousing rhythms and melodic adventure. Within a couple of listens, if that, each seduced eager participation in the lively strolls; a trait and persuasion which fuelled the enjoyment of the whole album.

There is a slight whiff of Voyager to the following Clockwork and its melodic glide across an enjoyably bumpy rhythmic landscape while Resigned reveals a more sombre lining and composed gait to its just as captivating stroll. Though neither quite matched the heights of those before them each song left ears hungry for more, Can’t See The Sunrise providing as it steps up straight after to steal best track honours. From its initial senses entwining groove and the rapier swings of Redonnet-Brown, the track had us drooling, vocals and the grumble of bass just escalating the track’s virulence and rapacious attack. That opening hook continues to pierce and sear the song, never allowing a moment for lust to relax as the song romps all over the imagination and spirit.

It is a success pretty much matched by the infection spewing Still Singing. As potent as it is from the first note, Vita Boundary saves its greatest moments for its latter stages though of course it is down to personal tastes as to its most fertile times. For us this and its predecessor is Hercules Morse at their most inventive and fiery best but equally most bold with melodies revealing a heat and rhythms a bite which simply inflames the rest of the band’s qualities.

The calmer proposal of The Story Goes similarly ignited the passions, its blend of light and dark as invasive as it is seductive and inescapably magnetic while closing track, Go For Broke, provides a fusion of tenacious rhythms, ear caressing harmonies, and spicy melodies which just get under the skin, especially the agile temptations of Shott and Redonnet-Brown. George and Gardner are just as compelling in voice and sonic invention though as the track brings the album to a rousing conclusion.

Vita Boundary is a masterful mix of the familiar and the boldly new; a rousing incitement built in layers of magnetic enterprise from a band which just gets bigger and more enjoyable, in this case, song by song.

Vita Boundary is out now on CD and digitally @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/vita-boundary

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Pete RingMaster 18/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Morass of Molasses – These Paths We Tread

The first album from UK trio Morass of Molasses has definitely been one encounter we have here been keenly anticipating, almost from the day the band first stepped forward with a couple of senses infesting, psyche twisting tracks. Their fusion of doom, sludge, and stoner bred textures served in a swamp of aural filth just fed all the instincts and continued to through their debut EP a few months after. Now we have These Paths We Tread to devour, an album which we will admit had us a touch unsure initially.

Instantly enjoyable, These Paths We Tread still had thoughts crowding to contemplate its new proposal of sound. Morass Of Molasses has lured their music from the filth infested depths of the swamp into a cleaner yet still aurally clinging landscape. That is not to say that it does not still come with a healthy coating of scuzz and doom lined dirt but it is a lumbering trespass of sound which is almost more celebratory than predatory. Quite simply their sound has matured, grown up even, and hindsight through listening back at certainly that last EP, So Flows Our Fate, shows it was an evolution on the cards even back then. To be honest we miss the filth but it has not stopped These Paths We Tread through time and listens blossoming into one seriously striking encounter loaded with the potential of even greater adventures ahead with the threesome of vocalist/baritone guitarist Bones ‘The Beard’ Huse, lead guitarist Phil ‘The Mountain’ Williams, and drummer Chris ‘The Beast’ West.

These Paths We Tread gets off to a mighty start with My Leviathan, its gentle caresses of melody and atmospheric waves a deceptive coaxing into the waiting jaws of colossal riffs and flirtatiously tangy grooves. Settling into a predacious crawl entwining raw causticity with salacious seduction, the song roams ears and imagination like a primal siren. Bones’ raw throaty roars share pure toxicity at times, his hostile tones matched by the punchy rhythms of West but tempered by his own calmer vocal tempting and the sonic web cast by Williams. Continually twisting through an array of perpetual incitement on ears and appetite, the track is glorious, its emerging funkiness icing on the feral cake.

Recent times has seen MOM tear into stages alongside the likes of Orange Goblin, Ohhms, Vodun, Elephant Tree, Desert Storm, Space Witch, Sea Bastard, Gurt, and Limb among many others, and there are essences of a few of these within second track So They Walk. Its grooves seep Orange Goblin/Kyuss like taunting whilst its irritable side has a Sleep like causticity, all merged into a distinct MOM recipe and a track like its predecessor which hits the spot with relish.

Continuing themes of “mythic sin and ancient archetypes”, album and next up Serpentine lyrically and musically bind the listener in evocative textures. The third track winds around ears with a dexterity and sonic adeptness emulating its title, grooves almost slithering across the imagination as rhythms bite. Bones’ warm if emotionally deceitful vocals contrast the underlying volatility of the track superbly, also erupting at times to spark a sonic wave fuelling greater weight and intensity throughout. It is a bewitching affair, not as instantly gripping as the first pair of songs but blossoming with every listen into an instinctive temptation before the brief incantation of The Ritual lures and the haunting presence of Centralia descends. A weave of stoner bred enterprise lined with provocative shadows and ghostly whispers as infectious rhythms drive a rolling canter, the second of the two is a well of suggestion coloured by the skilful adventure of Williams on guitar strings.

Next up Maenads is a psychosis of drama and sound, simultaneously enthralling and threatening with seduction and primal toning. It is fair to say, as the album, the track grows and infests deeper into the psyche with every taking of its inflamed intoxication; its melodic anaesthetic fascinating and feral instincts tantalising before things end with Wrath Of Aphrodite, a song which maybe did not quite spark the passions as richly as its companions yet has body and appetite for more bouncing to its groove woven, heavily boned rock ‘n’ roll.

Certainly for fans of the band, These Paths We Tread  will maybe need time to grow and develop on ears and thoughts though newcomers will find Morass of Molasses a quick persuasion we are sure. Yes we still miss the filth but the album blossoms into something thickly compelling and increasingly pleasurable; how stupid of us to doubt with those first thoughts.

These Paths We Tread is out now through HeviSike Records in various formats @ https://morassofmolasses.bandcamp.com and http://www.hevisike.com/product/morass-of-molasseslp

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Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Desert Kingdom – Self Titled

desert-kingdom_RingMasterReview

Hailing from the suburbs of Melbourne, Desert Kingdom recently made their introduction to greater attention with their self-titled debut release offering seven slabs of fiercely muscular stoner bred rock ‘n’ roll relishing the band’s inspirations. Certainly uniqueness is not as forceful as the physical power and prowess of the band but there was no escaping a richly pleasing and rousing first glimpse of the potential loaded quartet.

Consisting of vocalist Ritch, guitarist Emmett Young, bassist Brett Wright, and drummer Paul Coste, Desert Kingdom swiftly get down to business as opener You’ll Burn descends on ears with sinew woven riffs and swinging beats. Instantly infectious, it is a commanding coaxing for ears only increasing its potency as choppy tenacity infects those initial chords and a heavy grumble escapes the bass. The raw scowling tones of Ritch are equally as persuasive, it all combining for a fiery slice of stoner heaviness clothed in the influences of bands such as Orange Goblin, Kyuss, and Down.

desert_kingdom_art_RingMasterReviewThe atmospheric, drama soaked entrance of Mafiaso Opera deceptively makes a gentler proposition but its sinister air is soon a tempestuous torrent of catchy beats and predacious riffs. As vocals rage spicy grooves wind around the rhythmic temptation, varied metallic strains linking arms in a familiar yet fresh incitement. Brawling with the senses through every passing second, the track quickly eclipses its impressive predecessor, stomping with raw aggression and captivating enterprise before Doghouse Blues prowls with an equally rapacious intent to that of the previous track while military seeded rhythms impose their agreeable authority. Like a blend of Gruntruck and Pantera with a whiff of Mary Beats Jane, the track irritably rumbles leaving satisfaction full if not quite matching the heights sparked by the pair before it.

If the last track prowls then 7 Years stalks the senses with its doom bred trespass, sonic flames erupting within the pressure as choice grooves entwine voice and the engaging ponderous gait of the rhythms. It too lacks the sparks of those early successes but again only and increasingly pleases as its waspish sound intensifies in tandem with the song’s boisterous aggression with subsequent blues toxicity adding to the fun.

Abstainer rocks like a lustful dog next, its hungry riffs and heftily swung rhythms alone a carnal incitement while Fuck You is sonic belligerence and muscular aggravation bred to raise the spirit as the release re-hits the early plateau it began upon. With spicy hooks and scorching grooves, the track has all the attributes and open potential to raise expectations that Desert Kingdom will come under the scrutiny of the broadest spotlights if not now in the time ahead.

Concluded by the boozy blaze of Whiskey, sawdust and spit rock ‘n’ roll with all the groove laced liquor you could wish for, the release is a very easy to return to stomp. Originality might be a touch on the scarce side but enjoyment is full, something never drawing complaints.

The Desert Kingdom album is out now via Black Bow Records across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 01/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hercules Morse – Equine Size Comparison

hercules-morse-online-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

Last December saw British alternative rock quartet Hercules Morse impress and grab attention with the release of debut EP Edge Of Life. It was a vigorously infectious collection of songs seeded in the rousing rock ‘n’ roll of bands such as Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age. There was also an unmistakable individuality in sound and character of songwriting to the release which suggested the Southampton hailing band had something fresh to share with the British rock scene. Its successor Equine Size Comparison confirms that thought and more, offering five tracks which grab ears with their invention and again mercilessly catchy prowess. It continues from where its predecessor left off, inciting the listener in spirit and body while revelling in another step forward in the imagination of Hercules Morse.

With shows alongside the likes of Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Brant Bjork, Tiger Cub, Orange Goblin, Black Peaks, Blaze Bayley, and Dinosaur Pile Up under their belts since forming in 2014, Hercules Morse have earned the praise and support of various UK magazines, music sites, and radio shows through their energetic live presence and that impressive first EP. As the quintet of virulence posing as songs grips ears here, it is easy to expect the same kind reactions for Equine Size Comparison but in greater eagerness and across broader spotlights.

As with previous songs, the new EP mixes the familiar with new imagination resulting in encounters which instantly feel like existing friends while venturing into fresh pastures. It all starts with Asleep At The Wheel, a proposition entangling ears in bluesy grooves and swinging rhythms from its first breath. Riffs and hooks are as quickly in the mix, all inviting the listener to take notice as melodies and the potent vocals of rhythm guitarist Steve George stroll the weave of persuasion. The growl from the bass of Paul Shott colludes devilishly with the scything swings of drummer Guillaume Redonnet-Brown, both driving the energy and heart of the song as lead guitarist Harry Gardner spins imaginative melodies while vocally backing George.

hercules_morse_-_cover_artwork-jpg_RingMasterReviewIt a powerfully infectious and anthemic start which simply continues through The Boss, a song with as many similar lures to its body as new twists and turns to get the teeth into. There is a swagger to the track which borders mischievous, rhythms at the core as it flirts and the band roars musically and vocally. As with the last EP, there is no escaping Josh Homme/ Dave Grohl led influences across Equine Size Comparison and especially this second song though at times it equally reminds of nineties UK band Skyscraper while simultaneously exploring its own adventure.

Nobody’s Fool has a slightly mellower energy though rhythmically it still has a bite and imposing charm driven by the naturally infectious craft of the band. Caressing ears with its lively melodic enterprise, the track easily captivates, if without sparking the spirit as mightily as those around it, before Do It Right strolls in on a dark almost predacious bassline aligned to matching riffs. In no time though, the band uncages another virulent saunter; hooks and grooves equipped to seduce and rhythms loaded with fiercely enticing bait as vocals swing from lure to lure with matching energy and character. Rock ‘n roll does not get much more contagious than this song and indeed the EP in general as proven by its final treat.

Offering an opening prowl of riffs and tempestuous eruptions reminding of Billy Talent, Chemical Lullabies proceeds to blend its own calmer melodic moments with fiery exploits; the Canadian band continuing to be a suitable reference to a thoroughly enjoyable and increasingly gripping proposition. It is a mighty end to a powerfully engaging and enjoyable next step from Hercules Morse, a band heading in the right direction to awakening the hungriest spotlights.

Equine Size Comparison is out now @ https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/album/equine-size-comparison

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Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Bendal Interlude – Reign of the Unblinking Eye

bendalInterlude_RingMasterReview

Attempting to build on the reputation and acclaim earned through their previous clutch of EPs, British metallers The Bendal Interlude unleash their debut album; a cauldron of sludge, stoner, and blues with psych and thrash metal to sear and ignite the senses. The release is a beast of a proposition; an attention grabber reinforcing and pushing the already firm stature of the Liverpool quartet but maybe one not quite seeing the band going far enough with the new bold elements of flavour and imagination to steer them away from similarly designed offerings over recent times. Nevertheless Reign of the Unblinking Eye is a fiercely enticing and enjoyably rousing slab of predacious riffs, salacious grooves, and thumping rhythmic aggression.

Drawing on inspirations from bands such as Melvins, Crowbar, and Cathedral, The Bendal Interlude have increasingly drawn fans and attention through a quartet of releases, starting with an early Demo followed by the Foal Recordings EP in 2010, a Self-Titled EP the following year, and the Odourama EP in 2013, as well as a ferocious live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Sunn O))), Earth, Orange Goblin, COC, Church of Misery, Red Fang and more. They have also made highly successful appearances at festivals like Hammerfest, Sonisphere, and Desertfest to persistently lure keen spotlights to their emergence.

For Reign of the Unblinking Eye, The Bendal Interlude took a new tact in its creation; guitarist Stu Taylor explaining recently, “We took a shift in direction when writing for the album Reign of The Unblinking Eye. The songs are much more elaborate and have a lot more going on sound-wise than previous releases. We played with time signatures, guitar harmonies, key changes, even laying down a 10-part resonator guitar part. It is by far the heaviest but also most dynamic thing we’ve written to date.” His words are quickly backed up by the album and a collection of songs which in contrast to the “abstract collection of ideas and imagery based around loose themes” which coloured previous releases, lyrically carry a more “autobiographical approach”.

art_RingMasterReviewBuckfast For Breakfast opens the album, an easily relatable repetitive vocal sample the spark to a wall of cantankerous riffs and rapier like rhythms. It is a senses trespassing confrontation, swiftly bound and veined by wiry grooves with richly engaging toxicity to their wandering sonic hands. The raw vocal squalling of Nat Gavin adds to the intrusive hostility tempering the melodic flirtation and the instinctive swing to the track’s stalking gait. It is an ear gripping start firmly backed by the blues intoxication and fiery rock ‘n’ roll of Losing Things. With Gavin’s caustic delivery, tracks are inevitably going to challenge with attitude loaded animosity yet as proven here, The Bendal Interlude merge it skilfully with a melodic/stoner prowess and addictive sonic contagion which gives every assault a captivating and inviting personality.

Next up is The Unblinking Eye and its initial electronically atmospheric suggestiveness which the track evolves into its own individual stomp of classic/groove metal fuelled ferociousness. It recruits body and imagination with consummate ease, the virulence of the grooves and infectious swing and lead hook of the track swiftly installing it as a major highlight within the album. The Bendal Interlude are rocking like a beast on heat in song and album, sparking similar reactions in the instincts and spirit of the listener.

Efram’s Hands provides a brooding groove entangled landscape of ravenous shadows and barbarous energy straight after whilst Pint of Bodies grumbles and rumbles with sonic and rhythmic rabidity whilst infusing a scent of enterprise not too removed from glam rock. Subsequently descending on the senses with a Down meets Cathedral like animosity before shifting again into an evocative melodic calm, it and its predecessor both whip up more greed for the album’s trespass before Creeks Gigantic prowls in with a thunderous rhythmic swagger led by the bass groove of Tommy Lloyd quickly matched by the resourceful craft and adventure of Taylors’ invention on guitar strings. Given further incendiary bite by the spiky beats of Dave Archer, the track is an imposingly catchy and intrusive weave of contrasting and dynamic textures finding kinship in the tracks’ vocal irritability and tempestuous air.

Anthemic and tenaciously delivered rhythms again lead an addictive and predictably groove infested persuasion as Triumph of Fortitudo steps in with bruising intensity and Cancer Bats like punk lined antagonism before stepping aside for the more merciful but equally commanding rock ‘n roll of The Block. Drama fuels every crawling riff and the doom coated breath which soaks a track layered with acidic grooving and vocal rancor. Maybe not as striking on personal tastes as other tracks within Reign of the Unblinking Eye, it still leaves satisfaction full; success sought and easily found by the closing emotional and creative animus of R.I.P.  An at times corrosive venture through varied styles and flavours within a core heavy rock storm, the song is a fascinating and increasingly impressing end to a similarly impacting release.

As suggested earlier, The Bendal Interlude could have dared to push their imagination even further but every play of Reign of the Unblinking Eye certainly reveals new twists within the all-consuming invasion of sound. Time and attention only benefits an appreciation of an instantly pleasing album which has the psyche and passions enslaved by crucial grooves in no time; a success no one can avoid or dismiss.

Reign of the Unblinking Eye is out now via Black Bow Records @ http://blackbowrecords.bigcartel.com/product/the-bendal-interlude-the-reign-of-the-unblinking-eye

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Pete RingMaster 01/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hercules Morse – Edge Of Life

Hercules Morse_RingMaster Review

Creating a great blend of familiarity and predominantly fresh invention distinct to the band, UK alternative rockers Hercules Morse re-unleash their debut EP, Edge Of Life, a repackaged version of their 2014 three track encounter offering a trio of additional new tracks to get enthusiastically greedy over. The band has been compared to bands like the Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age, understandably so at times, but as Edge Of Life reveals, there is much more in adventurous sound and texture to the band rousing rock ‘n’ roll.

Rising from the demise of their previous guise, The Blue Screen Of Death, the Southampton hailing Hercules Morse emerged in 2014, quickly uncaging the original version of the Edge Of Life EP to potent reactions. In their earlier incarnation, the band had shared stages with bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Brant Bjork, Zico Chain, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up; a success and live hunger just as rampant with Hercules Morse as the south of England can testify since the band stepped forward. Now national attention is getting a firm and impressive nudge with the bulkier invigorating return of Edge Of Life.

That creative poke begins with The Education, an incitement throwing thick riffs, biting rhythms, and spicy grooves at ears from its first breath. The equally potent vocal prowess of rhythm guitarist Steve George quickly joins the virulent tempting, his lead tones well supported by those of lead guitarist Harry Gardner. Already those earlier mentioned comparison make a tasty hue to the encounter but spices in a fiery and tenacious romp finding its own identity with every swinging rhythms and sonic hook.

Hercules Morse Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   The great start is continued and eclipsed by the EP’s excellent title track, it too straight to the point with anthemic beats from drummer Guillaume Redonnet-Brown eagerly rolling in as the guitars cast a web of melodic enterprise around the again highly alluring vocals. There is a mellower air to the track even with its robust rhythmic boisterousness and the great carnivorous tone of Paul Shott’s bass, and a flavouring drawing on the melody rich essences of classic and alternative rock over past decades. For personal tastes it does ultimately lack the bite of its predecessor but more than makes up for it with a contagion of flowing melodies and harmonies tempered by an underlying tempestuousness.

Good Old Days steps up next, uncaging a bluesy groove from its first touch and an increasingly magnetic web of hooks and juicy sonic craft thereon in. Bouncing around with sinews as blatantly bold and insatiable as the melodic catchiness skilfully nurtured, the track offers a thrilling and inescapable Super Happy Fun Club meets Feud meets Squeeze proposal that has body and emotions on board within its first half minute.

That Difford and Tilbrook like essence is an on-going spicing, lighting up the previous pair of songs and again All About Me, if in a subtler way as a more Josh Homme inspired hug of sound wraps ears from within the wiry sonic and punchy rhythmic resourcefulness of the song. More reserved but no less potent in its persuasion and lingering seduction of the imagination and appetite, the song entangles its gentler incitement with fiery blues seeded guitar whilst its grunge heart simply becomes more vocal and engagingly volatile over time.

The EP comes to a close through firstly the pulsating and lively rock ‘n’ roll canter of Nowhere Left To Go and lastly the weighty energy and eventful landscape of How Do You Love Me. They are both songs which spring no major surprises in originality but defy solid comparisons to others as they sculpt more enjoyment to acclaim Hercules Morse for. The second of the two especially grips ears with its inventive twists and surging infectiousness, ensuring the EP ends on a high.

Edge of Life is one of those yet to be discovered friends that instinctively offers new fun crafted from somewhat recognisable exploits. It also reveals a brew of individuality though which comes with the potential of greater uniqueness ahead; reason enough to get involved with the band right now.

The Edge Of Life EP is available through all stores from 4th December and https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 04/12/215

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Helligators – Road Roller Machine

Hell_RingMaster Review

It is fair to say that Road Roller Machine lives up to its name, the new album from Italian heavy rockers Helligators an unrelenting juggernaut of ravenous riff driven rock ‘n’ roll. Immersing strains of blues and stoner bred colour into a raw and uncompromising tempest of power and intensity, the release is a thumping treat of bruising and invigorating sound; not the most unique you are likely to come across this year but without doubt one of the most exhaustingly enjoyable.

Hailing from Rome, the 2009 formed Helligators self-released their debut album Against All Odds two years later, it and a video for the track Tattooed Killer, enticing keen attention the way of the band. The varied flavouring in their imposing sound sparked increasingly eager appetites from that point on, with the release of 2012 single Snake Oil Jesus only reinforcing their emerging presence and potent musical persuasion. The song was a strong teaser to things to come too, pleasures to be found and grown further in the 2014 recorded and recently released Road Roller Machine. Alongside all of this the band’s live presence has equally drawn acclaim, the sharing of stages with the likes of Orange Goblin, Nashville Pussy, Doomraiser, Strana Officina, Bad Bones and many more persistently impressing over time. Now it is with their second album released on Sliptrick Records, to whom the band signed this past spring, that Helligators are looking to stir up rock ‘n’ roll ‘trouble’, and such its rigorously persuasion it is hard to see them not becoming a loud household name.

copertina_road_roller_machine_RingMaster Review     Recorded with Luciano Chessa, Road Roller Machine bursts into rugged life with Nomad, a lone invigorating groove straight away gripping ears and appetite before rhythms and heavily robust riffs join the deliciously intensive early bait of the song. Thoughts of Motorhead quickly take hold, hints joining just as pungent ones of Danish band Grumpynators spicing up the deluge of spiky rhythms and ravenous riffery. It is a thrilling onslaught only accentuated by the growling tones of vocalist Hellvis, his bear like delivery a thick incitement within the increasingly tenacious enterprise surrounding him. Guitarists El Santo and Kamo bring stoner and blues lined hues to entwine with insatiable charge of riffs, both also providing good vocal backing to Hellvis, with everything involved adding up to the most hellacious and thrilling start to the album; maybe to any heavy rock album this year.

The Doomstroyer holds court next, its opening sonic coaxing over swiftly addictive enticing from drummer Alex, again an immediate grab of the listener. Heftily anthemic from the first instant, the track continues to incite imagination and body with the descriptive expression of Hellvis against slightly restrained rhythms and riffs but lures still pulling at the leash of intimidation. There is a Desert Storm like air to the track, a dirty and tempestuous climate which is as volatile as it is infectious, especially as guitar cast melodic tendrils wrap around rhythmic pistons and the song’s raw ferocity.

A ‘lighter’ air springs forth with Scream next; its blues rock breeding spicy veining to a landscape as rugged as that of its predecessor. The bass of Goblin stalks the song from its first second, a dark and predacious spine the guitars entwine with their constantly evolving and enthralling ideation. The individual craft and passion of each member is an equally roaring essence in each album track, and here uniting in a furnace of virulent adventure and instinctive tempting for a success more or less matched by both She Laughs and Snake Oil Jesus. The first of the two tempers its rabid aggressiveness with mellower melodic rock resourcefulness, both guitars and even the vocals infusing a relative calm to proceedings though the gripping snarl of the bass and the ever wickedly jabbing beats of Alex ensures there is no lack of the bands intimidating edge. Its successor is a groove machine all on its own, an incessant scorcher which spills adrenaline fuelled intensity and rebellious attitude with every caustic syllable and acidic chord. Once more the band twists in strong variety to the design and persuasion of the song; never going into the unknown but only leaving ears and appetite urgently wanting more.

More is what you get with Truckdriver, a track with little in the way of major surprises but a tank load of inventive enterprise in its southern honed rumble. There is no escape from the pure contagion of the song or that of the sultry and sinister dark majesty of Swamp Man Voodoo. Every groove and predatory hook oozes menace, backed by the rapacious nature of rhythms and the ever hungry riffs though each element also leaks rich seduction that never lets go. The outstanding song is pure theatre, a satanic dance and fiercely vociferous trespass for the soul.

No surprises for guessing the character of a song called Bad Ass from Helligators, its air instant belligerence and sound swift confrontation with of course plenty which just invites full involvement before Stone Crusher takes over with its Metallica meets AC/DC like blaze. There is no denying that the song did not find the same depth of appetite as those before it, or to be fairer as consistently as those as there are moments when the band again shows they can rival any one in unleashing a torrent of rock ‘n’ roll brilliance with thick rigorous invention.

Road Roller Machine is brought to an end by the acoustically crafted Black Sun and its blues kissed melodic smoulder. The song fuses stoner and southern rock hues with classic rock ingredients to sculpt another song which maybe does not quite match those earlier within the album but is impossible to tear one away from whilst providing a fine end to one mighty slab of heavy duty rock ‘n’ roll. Helligators have no interest in re-inventing rock music but certainly they want to give everyone a riotously good time and that they do big style with Road Roller Machine.

Road Roller Machine is out on Sliptrick Records now!

RingMaster 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright