VNDTA – Pale Glow

The moments of being truly bowled over by a release or ‘new’ band, introduction wise, seem to be far and few between right now but leave us on our backs with jaw wide open with exhilarated awe is just what British metallers VNDTA did with their debut EP, Pale Glow. With a sound which manages to caress and seduce whilst ripping out and feasting on the senses, the Hertfordshire quartet have just announced themselves as a real big deal.

Though formed in 2015, it was 2017 which saw the band really worry attention and acclaim as they shared stages with the likes of Aghast, Vanity, King Leviathan, and Confessions of a Traitor as well as a host of their own headlining shows. To be honest, Pale Glow is actually our introduction to the band and there could be no better a way to meet them and form a lustful union between music and ears.

Like a fusion of the raw aggression and spiteful trespasses of Iwrestledabearonce and Otep with the virulent catchiness of No Doubt and The Cardigans, the VNDTA (pronounced as vendetta) sound swiftly reveals itself within their latest encounter to be as unique to the band as you would wish. Tagged as alternative metal it embraces a host of other metal and punk flavours in its cauldron of intimation and intimidation. The recording of Pale Glow came within a turbulent time, vocalist Megan Targett admitting that “Recording the EP was probably the most difficult week of my life. We were broke, spent weeks living in my car; I ended an abusive relationship and lost a family member. But it didn’t stop me. We used the pain to fuel raw passion into the vocals and the music.” That passion is clear to hear as the EP’s tracks devour and arouse second by second.

From the moment the EP’s title track looms right up from its distant entrance attention was not only hooked but chained to what was to follow. Wiry tendrils of guitar wrap around ears immediately, senses slapping beats alongside and once the first track hits its voracious stride and the vocals of Targett unleash their incitement, the deal between lust and the devil’s music roaring from the speakers was done. Swiftly the singer impresses with a throat abrasing attack and venomous delivery but it is when she breaks into a glorious clean delivery that realisation at her talent is inescapable. Before then guitarists Callan Hughes and Jay Bacon gnaw at and chew on the senses, twisting and turning with grooves as their hooks pierce with imagination as the swinging rhythms of drummer Willem Mason-Geraghty infest body and spirit just as potently. The track is immense and no better way to succumb to the first abusive seduction of VNDTA.

Well we say that but the highlights just flood ears thereon in, the following Excuses a feral yet skilfully honed temptation as contagiously infectious as it is violently manipulative. Targett croons first this time, harmonically enticing as the band spin their creative web. There is of course a constant growl in the throat of singer and song, one subsequently erupting with carnal designs though still with melodic veining and atmospheric suggestion for inventive company. Involvement in voice and attitude is unavoidable as too with next up Swine, a tempest of contrasts and intensity amidst the drama of the imagination. Another as wickedly catchy as it is uncompromisingly gladiatorial, the song is another which just stirs body and spirit.

The visceral and physically twisted enterprise of Martyr is a sonic virus, getting under the skin and into the psyche within a few insidious breaths from where it burns and seduces with toxicity and beauty, again pretty much simultaneously as the sounds abound the senses with antipathy and infectiousness as Targett again simply exhilarates. The suggestive calm which bridges it and successor Rare Breed is magnetic yet soon in the past as the following creative escapade erupts. Again a tapestry of flavours and intrusion descends on ears and once more pleasure is swift and continuous. From voice to sound, melody to rhythm the song is a mercurial adventure rewarding at every twist and tempting at every turn imagination, unpredictability fuelling every moment.

Emotion and passion equally soak every breath and note, the final pair of Leeches and Virus blossoming with both. The first is carnivorous from the off, music and voice an intrusive animus but instantly as catchy as the lighter harmonics which intersperse the tempest of technical, extreme, and grooved endeavour with a fine line in progressive intuition. The track is yet one more immense moment within Pale Glow, a predator of the finest incitement pretty much matched by Virus. Straight away it gets under the skin though maybe no more than its other striking companions, but by the twist and turn it digs deeper and becomes more toxic and intoxicating but similarly graceful as it revolves its attack.

The excellent encounter completes the outstanding release, a nationwide introduction surely leading to bigger, broader, and richer things much as their sound blossoms across its length. Once in a while a band really excites, at the time and for things ahead. VNDTA has us drooling and we can only say go see why.

Pale Glow is out now, available @ http://vndtashop.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/VNDTA/    https://twitter.com/VNDTA_OFFICIAL

Pete RingMaster 17/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Coburg -The Enchantress

If a title ever fitted an album and its lead protagonist then it is The Enchantress. The debut album from UK hailing symphonic rock outfit Coburg, the release is a riveting cauldron of adventure fuelled sound and melodic seduction; a fascination of imagination with a bite in its jaws and theatre in its flirtatious trespass.

Coburg is the creation of and led by singer songwriter/guitarist/actress/model Anastasia Coburg, an artist who has previously gripped attention through previous guise Jet Noir and as part of Naked Lunch. The London based band is completed by synth player Dean Baker and bassist Mark Spencer both of Galahad and Twelfth Night, rhythm guitarist Sarah Sanford, and drummer Pietro Coburg. Musically, Coburg embraces the gothic rock tones of Jet Noir into its grander and bolder symphonic rock soundscapes; a blending which simultaneously feels intimate and worldly around the emotively woven heart and expressively delivered lyrics of each individual adventure.

Straight away The Enchantress beguiles ears and thoughts, a tempting which only escalates track by track for a seriously potent lure starting from the first breaths of opener A Cold Day In Hell. As soon as the resonating touch of bass and keys fingers the senses the song, which was born in Anastasia’s Jet Noir exploits, has submission in its grasp. Swiftly, you can hear the growth and maturity which has blossomed in the song since its first impressive days a couple of years back, a new sense of drama and intensity fuelling stalking riffs and rhythms as Anastasia’s striking tones step forward. Erupting throughout with melodic flames, the song continues to prowl as that drama intensifies note by note. Apocalyptic in air, darkly romancing in character, the song is immense and unafraid to twist through unpredictable discord lined detours.

Its Middle Eastern spices are even richer within the following and equally exceptional Echoes In The Night. They emerge from the initial shadows of the song, dark corners and provocative ecclesiastical chants enticing as they are soon in union with the wiry tendrils of guitar. With Blancmange like qualities, those cosmopolitan essences dance seductively on the ear, keys and guitar weaving an entrancing beckon before the grittier tones of Anastasia walk the eager stroll. Her lead guitar prowess teases around and alongside too while rhythms share their excitable shuffle in a proposal which has the body as lustfully involved as the imagination.

Dark essences are never far from a Coburg song and coat the senses straight away as The Hall Of Ghosts steps forward next; its fiery and lively balladry a lithe saunter draped in flavourings hinting on the likes of Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, and Vajra. Its melodies have a childlike innocence but encased in a dark tide of further melodic suggestion and raw power. With bewitching harmonies sealing the deal, the great track is matched in success by the tenebrous atmosphere of Into The Darkness. Gothic rock again flows openly through the symphonic nurtured tapestry of sound, bringing a noir lit intrigue and in turn virulent infectiousness to infest ear and imagination. As with every track, each listen reveals a new twist and layer, the song evolving and growing from its stirring introduction into another major moment within The Enchantress.

Each song also feels like an individual tale and fresh chapter in the album’s journey, Requiem no different as it romances ears next. Though not quite having the sparks of those before it, the track is a heated flame of melodic and lyrical invention which captivates with creative ease before the album’s title track spins its own crepuscular web woven with the fingering enterprise of synths and guitar around smouldering but direct vocals. With electro and progressive rock invention joining its drama, the song is an increasingly compelling proposition, an essence which applies to all songs to be honest as proven by next up Thy Dagger. Its union of intimidating scythes of guitar and electronic revelry instantly grabs full attention, a focus rewarded with vocal and melodic dexterity as the track blossoms note by note into a magnetic slice of cultured rock ‘n’ roll

A haunting realm of suggestion and sound brings Till The Bitter End into view, its shadowed melodic lighting and veiled threats encapsulating the intimate yet broad depths of song and words. Personal tastes did not take to the track as easily as with its companions within The Enchantress but instantly it nurtured a want to go deeper whilst embracing the siren like harmonies and undisguised imagination bringing it to life.

The album is completed by firstly Warrior’s Blood, a song with steel in its skeleton and rousing invention in its evolving character. There are moments which mix the bite of Otep with the melodic fire of Within Temptation but just flavoursome strains in the individual emprise of song and Coburg before Rise closes things with its inflamed hope graced ballad. As if further proof was needed, the song is an emotive declaration of Anastasia’s quality as a singer and songwriter as well as the band’s craft and individual imagination.

Song by song The Enchantress captivates and stirs, growing as mentioned with every listen into something even more impressive whilst announcing Coburg a striking addition to the European symphonic rock scene.

The Enchantress is released October 24th via Evolve Or Die Records and available @ https://coburg.bandcamp.com/album/the-enchantress

http://coburgband.com/    https://www.facebook.com/COBURGtheband/    https://twitter.com/COBURGband    http://www.anastasiacoburg.com/

Pete RingMaster 24/10/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Doll Skin – Manic Pixie Dream Girl

As they grab a breath after successfully being part of the 2017 Vans Warped Tour, Arizona pop punk rockers Doll Skin continue to grab attention with their recently released sophomore album, Manic Pixie Dream Girl. The successor to their acclaimed 2016 debut, In Your Face (Again), the new album uncages more of the Phoenix hailing quartet’s aggressive punk fuelled infection and hard rock tenacity to continue the ear grabbing potency of its predecessor.

Meeting at the Phoenix School of Rock in 2013, Doll Skin have only flourished from the attention of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson who subsequently produced In Your Face (Again), and its acclaim garnering success which escalated the initial well received release of the outfits first EP, In Your Face on Ellefson’s own imprint Emp Label Group. Last year not only saw Doll Skin’s first album greedily received but the band hit the road and shows alongside the likes of Otep, Lacey Sturm, Fire From The Gods, Hellyeah, Dead Kennedys, Escape The Fate, September Mourning, Through Fire, and numerous more. It was a busy time continuing through this year and sure to intensify with the release of Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

Produced and Mixed by Evan Rodaniche from Cage9, the album opens up with Shut Up (You Miss Me) and instantly has ears bound in a hip stealing hook; that potent lure continuing through Nicole Rich’s bass as things calm and the alluring tones of vocalist Sydney Dolezal jump in. Soon the busy and energetic heart of the track rises again, jabbing beats and catchy vocal delivery lining its swinging infection loaded melodic punk gait. There are no major surprises within the song but everything about it has body and spirit involved before Daughter up the ante with its hard rock inspired declaration. Defiant in soul and adventurous in character, the song flows from calm reflection to anthemic ferocity with sublime ease; the guitar of Alex Snowden suggestive and inventive as Meghan Herring’s rhythms pure rock ‘n’ roll behind more irresistible vocal boisterousness, singular and across the band.

Its impressive incitement is matched by that of Road Killa, a track which straight away is prowling the senses with a predatory edge. With Dolezal equally as imposing yet richly endearing in tone and presence, things only escalate in quality and rapacity as spiky hooks and wiry melodies collude with emotionally aroused vocals and the rhythmic tenacity of Herring and Rich. A rock/punk trespass, the track hits the sweet spot before Boy Band exposes its instinctive rock ‘n roll heart with relish and energy. Familiarity and fresh traits unite within the contagion of the track, its recognisable presence bolstered by its ear gripping resourcefulness as the album continues to richly tempt.

The sultry hues of Rubi entice and please next, its rhythmic grumble adding extra intrigue to a warm often fiery nature while Sunflower has an equally agitated underbelly to its more irritable and lively stomp. Though neither track quite matches up to those before them, each confirms that Doll Skin know how to sculpt the most flavoursome of hooks and twists in their songs as well as brew some seriously infectious strains within their music.

Both songs have a hint of Australian band Valentiine to them as too the beguiling Sweet Pea which follows though its melodic shimmer and elegant smoulder quickly shows originality all of its own as it lays a best track hand on attention. It is a treat of an encounter swiftly rivalled by the punk moulded stroll of Baby’s Breath but a song embracing an array of flavours within its harmonic temptation and volatile undercurrent. Again imagination and body are taken on an eventful and highly enjoyable ride but then turned on even more by the outstanding roar of Persephone. Carrying an eighties pop punk feel reminding of bands like The Photos and a modern rock ‘n’ roll ferocity akin to the likes of Courtesans, the song stalks and seduces with equal invention and boldness.

From one major highlight to another as the pure punk grouchiness of Puncha Nazi consumes ears and attention; the track a spirit stirring, rebel rousing surge of sound and intensity which actually misses out on delivering the donkey punch killer blow it hints at but still makes for another pinnacle within Manic Pixie Dream Girl before the emotionally haunted and melodically bewitching Uninvited brings things to a magnetic close. Adding just one more new turn to the imagination of the album’s body and Doll Skin songwriting as it boils to an inferno of a climax, the song provides a momentous finale to another seriously compelling outing with the band.

Over the first couple of listens, it was hard to say that Manic Pixie Dream Girl majorly built upon that first triumphant album but it was a deception as from there the release only blossoms with time to reveal a new depth to the Doll Skin sound and pretty much match the former’s impressive presence and by giving that time another 2017 highlight is the reward.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl is out now via EMP Label Group through most online stores.

http://www.facebook.com/dollskinband    http://www.dollskinband.com

Pete RingMaster 28/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

OTEP – Generation Doom

photo credit: Paul Brown

photo credit: Paul Brown

There have been few furnaces in word, sound, and defiance as potent and irresistible to our ears over the past decade than Otep Shamaya and her band Otep. Across six albums she and co have crafted and crafted provocation, incitement, and incendiary metal invention like an artist with a palette of unquenchable suggestiveness. Now to ensure and show that the fires of art, imagination, and discontent burn as imposingly bright as ever, her band uncage Generation Doom. The seventh album from the LA hailing protagonists of noise and thought, body and spirit, is an inescapable predator within a kaleidoscope of metal fury woven from nu and industrial through to groove and poetic alchemy.

In the world we live today and the breed of bigotry and injustices that comes with it, there is an endless supply of fuel to the lyrical ire and challenges that escapes Otep Shamaya’s mind and pen. Fair to say though, that every inventive twist and emotional flame shaping Generation Doom has arguably the band’s fiercest venom and greatest animosity yet, but intimidation and rage aligning with some of the band’s most imaginative ideas and exploits. Certainly the album has everything you expect from an Otep proposition, a rare time when expectations are wonderfully fed to no displeasure, but every track, each moment of adventure, comes with new ingenuity and fearsomely imaginative craft to drool over. You do not have to know who created Generation Doom, ears can tell within the opening minutes. Otep is perpetually a proposition and artist out on their own which with their new album has unleashed a fresh pinnacle in their inspirational presence within music.

Generation Doom opens up its virulent warfare with Zero; global and intimate apathy as much in its sights as the ears and imagination of the listener. Within its first few breaths, the song is an uncompromising assault of barbarous rhythms and rapacious riffs ridden by the distinctive vocal presence and prowess of Shamaya. Grooves are soon dancing and flirting with tenacious enterprise alongside; throaty harmonics in turn regaling the air as her ever diverse and gripping tones spring vocal and lyrical traps as easy to get caught by as the maze of unpredictable sound igniting the senses.

The track is the sign of things to come, of the unexpected and ferociously striking explorations that infest release and appetite as in Feeding Frenzy. The second track is almost bull like in its initial steely pawing of the ground before prowling and grinding its punk metal hued rock ‘n’ roll into the greedily welcoming psyche. As the first, the track is swift addiction feeding an already Otep seeded appetite whilst weaving a voracious tapestry of diversely baited textures and confrontational trespasses that devour as a whole new creative scourge. The track is superb, an irresistible intrusion which drops out for one of the cinematic/ emotively visceral samples/pieces that Otep are and have been so great at conjuring over the years.

art_RingMasterReviewLords Of War follows with its haunting voice and descriptively evocative mystique. The sounds of invasive force and subjugation litter the disturbed ambience of the track, its portentous inevitability exploding in a tirade of riffs and merciless rhythms as vocals flirt with and dance on the assaultive intent. Gripping body and thoughts, the song epitomises the Otep ability to reflect the object of their lyrical attack in tone and sound whilst simultaneously placing it under attack by the same.

Already the variety of the album is a clear quality across early songs and broadened to enthralling success by Royals. A striking cover of the Lorde song, the band embraces the pop theatre of the original and weaves it in an aggressive growl and raw metal escapade drenched in Otep distinctiveness. Floating harmonies lurk in the background as melodies kiss and go across the emerging tempest of shadowed emotion and creative drama. Not for the first or last time, Shamaya confirms her stature and agility as a vocalist; clean and throat scarring tones as easy from her body and on the ear as the rap bred delivery which steers this compelling proposal. The vocalist has a voice which can charm the birds or spark the darkest demons, the former a bewitching flame across the melodic rock of In Cold Blood and its pyre of honest reflection brewing up into an almost animus like roar of noise and emotion, Throughout keys court the sonic rancor with poetic elegance, the track ruffling the feathers and stirring the imagination before the eastern hued Down intimidatingly seduces and hungrily bristles with its industrial infused kaleidoscopic and fractious emprise.

Religion and its source feels the full creative force of God Is A Gun next, the track an unbridled face melting gladiatorial challenge of volcanic metal and intensity, whilst the hip hop/electro scented Equal Rights, Equal Lefts has its eyes and aim on intolerance and bigotry easy to assume being as intimately as observationally inspired. Both tracks grip ears and thoughts with sublime efficiency and creative alchemy in sound and syllable, swiftly matched by the invasively infectious and forcibly fascinatingly melancholic No Color. That seductive sombreness also continues in Lie, a hypnotic blending of light and dark textures casting a snarl in its beauty and mesmerism in its tempestuousness across an ever evolving creative landscape reigned over by Shamaya’s expansive vocal presence and adventure.

The album’s title track goes for the jugular next, its irritable maelstrom of toxic grooves and cancerous riffs entwined in choleric industrial volatility and rhythmic antagonism. It is all bound together by another fluid bedlam of galvanic and corrosive vocal dexterity creating a savaging as delicious as it is destructive. The track leaves ears ringing and senses numb with pleasure in turn thick and set to overflow over the closing beauty of On The Shore. A rhythmic catchiness is matched in gait and vocal swing with Shamaya kissing ears with sunlit melodies and warm caresses as darker, angrier shadows lurk and subsequently crowd her dominant presence.

The track is a glorious end to a stunning album which, even with a definitely biased outset because of previous encounters, simply blew our expectations and hopes away.  For Otep fans, Generation Doom is new manna for the ears and for newcomers and those maybe yet to be convinced by the band’s sound, something to seriously consider exposing their intrigue to; the rewards are relentless.

Generation Doom is released via Napalm Records April 15th on iTunes and other stores.

http://otepsaves.me/   https://www.facebook.com/otepofficial/   https://twitter.com/otepofficial

Pete RingMaster 14/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Grooves and zombies: getting close and personal with Novacrow

novacrow_RingMasterReview

According to the band, Novacrow is “a four-piece of zombie-punching, hard-rock sleazeballs.” What they certainly are is a hard rock seeded roar which is earning a mighty reputation for their eclectic sound and EP Black Syrup has only backed and reinforced their striking emergence on the British rock scene. With the supporting of bands such as Skarlett Riot, Heonias and Green Jellÿ also under their belts, the EP feels like the spark to bigger things and attention upon Novacrow so we seized the opportunity to get to know the band and its hungry heart with big thanks to vocalist/guitarist Kitty Synthetica and bassist/backing vocalist/producer Federico Spera.

Hi guys, thanks for taking time out to talk with us

No worries, thanks for the interview!

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started and what brought you together?

Federico: The band consists of the following sex gods: Kitty Synthetica on vocals/guitar/kazoo, Jonyx on lead guitars, Freddy on bass/backing vocals, and Torben Schmidt Hansen on the drums. We all got together when Kitty and John wanted to form a band; they met Torben and I through mutual friends and cosmic forces.

Have you been/are involved in other bands?

Federico: The others have all been in bands before and I studied music in university, so I’ve always been part of different bands in some form…The so called “Mistress Bands”.

Kitty

Kitty

How have previous experiences impacted on what you are doing now?

Federico: It’s kind of hard to say, obviously with us all having been in bands before you’d think we’d be super pros, but the truth is that there’s no set way to work together. It depends entirely on the bands and the people in them. But being in other bands definitively taught us how to promote ourselves and our releases, what works and what doesn’t, etc.

Kitty: I’ve been playing gigs since I was 16 and it really helps giving you ‘live experience’. Shows can be tough and crowds can be unforgiving, but you need that to make you a better performer. In terms of the impact on my music, in previous projects, I was solely focussed on writing metal, which tended to limit my creativity. I listen back to demos I had scrapped for ‘not being heavy enough’ and think “Oh nice, I want to use that now!”

What inspired the band name?

Federico: The legend says that John one day just picked a word out of a dictionary and fused it with an animal. The idea of a bird on fire must have appealed to him I guess, so he stuck with it.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band in what you wanted your sound to offer?

Federico: Kitty had a few songs already written when she originally formed the band, but that’s about it. I think ultimately we just wanted to rock out with our cocks out, and that was the main premise behind the band.

Kitty: I had a very different project in mind! I wanted an all-girl band, but these guys were the closest thing to women that I could find. Haha. No, I love this band and how well we all work together. One big creepy happy family!

Do the same things still drive the band from its first days or have they evolved over time?

Federico: The drive of the band is still rooted in the desire to be outrageous and we’re very much a success driven band. However, the way we focus that drive has definitely matured throughout our time together.

Since those early days, how would you say your sound has evolved for you?

Federico: I’d say it has evolved for the better. If you listen to our old demos there were some nice ideas, but they weren’t particularly well mediated and executed. I’d like to think that as time goes on, we manage to find the right balance between being ridiculous and writing good songs as opposed to doing one or the other, which is a significant sign of evolution for our sound.

Would you say that change has been more of an organic movement of sound or have you gone out with new things you wanted to specifically try?  

Frederico

Frederico

Federico: It has always felt quite organic. I don’t think there’s a single song which we’ve had to force into existence.

Kitty: Because Novacrow is so unrestricted when it comes to genre, there’s no ‘wrong sound.’ I have a few juicy riffs in the pipeline though.  I am also a big fan of vocal harmonies, (Alice in Chains get this SO right) so I’ll be looking for opportunities to use some interesting melodies.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Federico: With the exception of Black Syrup (which was inspired by the burlesque goodness of Pussy Liquor by Rob Zombie), I wouldn’t say there’s been a conscious influence on any of our songs or approach. We mainly base our inspiration for songs on vibes and energies as opposed to songs or artists. Instead of saying “We should write a Machine Head-esque riff in C phrygian”, we’ll say “We should write an angry and crushing powerhouse of a song”.

Kitty: There are some awesome female musicians that have inspired me massively. Brody Dalle of The Distillers, Tairrie B of My Ruin, Joan Jett, Grog of Die So Fluid, Otep, Alissa White-Gluz- to name a few. From the earliest days of getting into rock and metal, I would seek out bands with powerful female figures and I always wanted to emulate the same sort of commanding presence they had onstage.

Musically, I only ever learnt guitar as a means to write songs. I’ve never had an interest in replicating tracks; if I love a song, I have no urge to reproduce it identically. But, I do love deconstructing a track that I adore and putting together a new cover, something I have been doing on YouTube since 2009. It’s a fun challenge and a way of paying homage to songs I love.

Is there a particular process to the songwriting which generally seems to emerge?

Federico: Generally, one of us (usually Kitty) will have a whole song idea in their head, which they’d bring to a rehearsal room and we bounce ideas off each other. Each song is then mediated in a different way. I’d say the biggest exception to this is The Mantra, which was almost a completely different song when Kitty first showed it to me for pre-production.

Kitty: For a lot of songs, I think that the melody is the most important part- and by this I mean the vocal tune combined with the central guitar riff. That will always be the starting framework of any song I write. In my opinion, if you strip back everything else, but still retain that central vocal/guitar, it needs to be strong enough to make an impact on its own.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Kitty: It completely depends on the song. In a lot of cases I fixate on a phrase and use it for a title first (Black Syrup and Fat Frog for example), or the lyrics drive the rest of the track entirely (I think this is particularly the case in The Mantra).

Fight The Horde!!! was very much video game inspired. The lyrics loosely follow the storyline of The Last of Us, whilst the title is a reference to Left 4 Dead. I wanted something fast and heavy, with epic soaring choruses, perfect for kicking ass.

I wrote the lyrics to Set in Stone and Colourless whilst reading a lot of Haruki Murakami novels. I love how he creates such fantastic vast images and creates these prophetic journeys of self-fulfilment for average characters.

Novacrow EP 2016 - Blacky Syrup Cover Art_RingMasterReviewGive us some background to your new release and some insight into the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Federico: Our latest release is the panty-dropping powerhouse of an EP called Black Syrup. It really captures the vibe of the band effectively, opening with the kazoo filled drunk anthem Fat Frog to get them booties shakin’ (which is about getting shitfaced and party-hardying). That’s followed by Fight The Horde!!!, which is a zombie-apocalypse based thumper of a song inspired by the game Last of Us. Then comes the title track Black Syrup, which is inspired by sticky black goo. Set in Stone is next, which gives the listener a peak into our more melodic side. The whole EP is brought to an end by Colourless, an easy listening instrumental piece.

Kitty: I love focussing on big over-the-top themes. Most of the time, I write the majority of a song in my head before picking up an instrument, so it’s very much a ‘visual’ experience. I deliberately wanted a set of very different songs for the EP, each with a completely different vibe and based on very different vivid scenarios.

Do you enter the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or use that scenario to bring songs to their final character?

Federico: For all of our releases so far, we’ve gone through intensive pre-production, so when it comes to recording we know exactly what we’re doing. The pre-production usually consists of recording high quality demos, so if we want to develop an element of the song we can use that as a reference point.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Federico: Ooh, there’s so much to talk about here, but I’ll do my best to sum it up. We don’t believe in “over-the-top”, so we pretty much do what we want on stage, which usually means somebody is gonna make an ass out of themselves. We’ve brought inflatable crows on stage, did a kazoo cover of My Heart Will Go On, chugged pints mid songs, and done all sorts of stupid shit when performing. It’s the biggest form of release for some of us, so we’re not gonna hold anything back on stage.

Kitty: Performing is everything. I love to make people laugh, I love writing songs and I love goading a crowd. Word of our onstage stupidity is definitely our biggest pull to shows and makes us appeal to promoters. Basically, we’re just a bunch of attention seekers, that aren’t talented enough to earn praise for doing great deeds, so have to resort to being a bunch of performing chimps. AND WE LOVE IT.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally or further afield. How have you found it?

Federico: Like you said, it’s not easy. We’ve definitely not even scratched the surface. It’s hard because you want to celebrate every little insignificant bit of success that you achieve, but as soon as you do then it sort of means you’re satisfied, and then your efforts diminish. This is an EXTREMELY tough industry, and unless you’re giving it you 10000% then there’s virtually no chance of getting anywhere in it. We’ve found it extremely tiring at times, especially whilst trying to balance the band with our “normal” life, but at the end of the day we can’t show any signs of stopping otherwise we won’t get anywhere.

Kitty: The music industry today is highly saturated with competing artists, in a field where very few people are willing to spend money on music. Every small victory is important to me, as I wouldn’t be making music if I didn’t enjoy it. In the grand scheme of things, I’m not under any false impressions of earning world notoriety, but I am grateful for every show, every sale and every person who takes the time to let us know how much they love the music. Hard work is everything though.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?Novacrow_RingMasterReview

Federico: Absolutely. You gotta play to win. It’s gonna be extremely hard, and even if you put your 20000% into it then there’s still no definitive chance to “make it”, but it’s the best chance you’ve got. As soon as you stop trying then you lose any opportunity you might have. It’s just a matter of persistence and not letting the odds get you down and eventually you’ll find yourself in a good place.

Kitty: There’s no guarantees, at all, but if you’re going to go for it, there’s no point half-assing it. You have to treat a band like Walter White treats meth; you need to believe in your ‘product,’ market it intelligently and push it like CRAZY.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

Federico: We’ve started the band at a point in which internet and social media became crucial to a band’s success. We’ve started using Kitty’s YouTube “fame” to fuel traffic to our various pages and so far it has worked very well, people who like Kitty’s covers tend to like Novacrow as well. So far, it has had a great impact!

Kitty: Social media is such a fantastic platform for bands, but I don’t think everybody appreciates just how hard you have to work to harness it. It is survival of the fittest. You can’t just moan about how small your post’s ‘reach’ on Facebook might be, you need to fight to get people’s attention.

The internet is incredible for musicians. I love looking at the insight statistics on YouTube and our website and seeing how people all over the world are listening to us. I had to send out all of our EP pre-orders this week, and there’s Novacrow CDs flying out all over the globe!  To an extent, social media gives you a chance to reach an audience without borders or limit. As a listener, you have an endless supply of incredible music at your fingertips.

Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

Federico: Probably the former. People don’t realise exactly how much work needs to go in just to have the tiniest chance of success, and so they don’t work for it. And then they get annoyed when they can’t draw a crowd to their gigs, or get any decent support slots, until they eventually give up. How hard do you think you need to work to get anywhere with your band? Welp, that’s wrong, you have to work EVEN harder than that.

And that’s when we whip out the kazoos and zombies. We know how to work hard yet still entertain ourselves.

Kitty: You have to MAKE people want to see you. Give people a reason to want your music and look forward to your gigs!

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Federico: Hell yeah, thanks for the interview! Check out our EP Black Syrup, I guarantee you will be more aroused than you’ll have ever been in your life! And keep an eye out on our various pages for more music, pictures, videos, and tips on world domination!

https://www.facebook.com/novacrowofficial/    https://www.novacrowofficial.com/

https://twitter.com/novacrowband   https://www.instagram.com/novacrowband/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Embracing the sickness: exploring Caustic Method with Matt Caustic

CMPic_RingMaster Review

   It has been a far time coming with US metallers Caustic Method first emerging in 2003, but debut album The Virus is an infectious scourge of sound and invention which more than lives up to its title. For many it has been the first taster of the band and its virulent of tapestry raw and contagious animosity bred from a fusion of flavours and diversity, an introduction breeding, certainly for us here, a hungry appetite for the Syracuse roar. With big thanks to vocalist and band founder Matt Caustic we dig into the heart of Caustic Method, The Virus, and the passion fuelling all…

Hi Matt and many thanks for sparing time to talk with us.

Can we start with looking at the beginnings of the band; what was the spark to its creation and how did you all come together to be Caustic Method?

Thank you for this opportunity. I think the real spark to the band’s inception was mostly an opportunity to put our message out there and to lyrically speak my mind, and work out some demons and issues I might not have normally addressed otherwise. Eventually I found myself writing about several life issues that a lot of our fans seemed to really relate to. As we grew they grew with us and the walls really began to fall where I found myself less worried about opening myself up lyrically and it became my means of therapy. We were all in very established bands in New York State and at one point I was revamping the line-up and an opportunity presented itself to be able to play with some amazingly talented people who I always had a great amount of respect and admiration for. From that point on the planets aligned and we really began to get a head of steam rolling to propel the EP to get us to where we are today. Everything happens for a reason they say and I am very honored to be amongst the best people I now call family

Was there any specific intent for the band and sound as it escaped your imaginations and does that prime idea still drive the band twelve or so years on or has it evolved?

Our real intent was to just stay true to ourselves and make the art that just naturally creates itself. Through time we have kept that mentality of just letting things happen and even more so now, as on the new record half the songs were written from intuitively responding to the music and improvising my vocal lines and lyrics on the spot to the point I actually kept 90 percent of what was written in the session. That gave me the best possible snapshot of what inspired me at that moment in time.

Is there a specific story behind the band name?

Originally called Caustic from a past co-worker with a very “caustic” sarcastic and biting attitude, with an alternate definition of something that can eat through flesh, it seemed perfect for the music we were creating. As we branched out and began travelling we found other Caustics out there and made a decision to separate and define ourselves with no confusion or mistaken identity. The Caustic Method is the means of applying stress on something to effectively find its breaking point, so to speak. Combined with the previous definition it was a very fitting change. Keeping the familiarity with fans and separating ourselves at the same time. The change also helped us shed our skin a bit for the next level we were trying to reach.

virus_RingMaster ReviewYou have just released your album The Virus, a thrilling incitement whose qualities and addictive potency certainly lives up to its title. For fans it has felt a long timing coming so how is it for you guys on the inside. A relief to finally have your first album out or is it more that this is the exact right time to unleash its?

I think timing and chemistry are behind all great achievements and for us and the style of music we create, the timing couldn’t be any better. There is a void in modern metal today we are trying to fill by keeping the attitude and message as the defining attribute of what we create. We have also for years lovingly referred to our fan-base as The Virus because word of mouth has been this band’s best friend over the years. After hearing about us and then finally seeing a live show we hope that’s the point where we win people over and they continue the whole process for us by spreading the word about the band. We pride ourselves on our live performances whether for one hundred or ten thousand fans and we always strive to go above and beyond anything on the album. In an effort to thank our fans for putting us where we are today, the album was given the title The Virus. We love and value the fact that we are fortunate enough to have such a broad fan-base. Fans of Caustic Method are exceptionally supportive and really are the fifth member of the band when it comes to promoting and spreading the Virus. They are one of our greatest sources of pride and confidence knowing they are always behind us.

How long was the album in the making?

The sessions for this record were incredible and unique to any other sessions I’ve been involved with. We were literally chomping at the bit to get these songs down. We just went in and hammered every song with confidence and attitude from beginning to end, we are super proud of what we have created on The Virus. It retains the energy and live vibe of our shows with the precision we were looking to capture. We recorded the sessions at an incredible studio in Syracuse called Subcat. It’s world class all the way and just being really prepared made the process a memory I will cherish my whole career.

Alongside its adventurous exploits and gripping imagination there is a live energy and feel to the album which you touched on there. We described it as stirring “up the blood and putting a fire in the belly.” Give us some more insight into its recording.

We took each song as its own entity and tried to really focus on the subject matter at hand to enhance the message and passion of each performance. I feel we really accomplished this well and for the first time I am really proud of all of us. I wrote a lot of the lyrics for this album during one of the darkest periods of my life. I didn’t think twice about what I was writing or how i was saying it. I just let it out knowing that it was necessary to go through the dark to get to the light. Coming out the other side I can’t say I have any regrets or would have done anything differently. It was all part of the process; a healing process and a growing process, some of which is hard to listen to, but I can and will stand behind it forever because it is honest and real.

Did you approach its creation with any particular intent and set idea or was it more an exploration of its emerging depths and boundaries in the studio environment?

I think we came at it from a very open minded perspective. We were prepared on the playing side but knew we wanted to convey all the attitude you’d find at one of our shows. Combined with some healthy exploration I’d have to say it was the combo that made it extra special for us.

Can you give us an idea of how the songwriting process works within the band?

It differs a lot, which I love. Some days I will just have a vocal hook like The Virus. I presented it as just a dry acapella vocal line and the band just painted with me instead of after me and boom it’s done before it began. Other songs are conceived from just instrumental experimentation with an improvised vocal line written in real time as they play. My gut reaction to what I hear is usually my best guide in writing vocal lines and melodies. It’s like opening up a channel and letting the energy flow. Decoding my lyrics can be frightening at times but it’s a new way of writing I have really embraced as well as the band. These guys are exceptional players and it is like the possibilities for this band are endless. They know how to use the gas pedal and the brake very well. Knowing when to play and when not to play can be just as important for the message to be heard effectively. Being the heaviest or fastest band on earth doesn’t ensure the listener can relate to your message. We really tried and found the balance we were most comfortable with.

Were there any major surprises or unexpected moments which merged whilst recording the album which either enhanced or provided an unexpected obstacle in its emergence? CM_RingMaster Review

Actually the song Bottle of Scotch only existed as a voice recording on my phone from one of my acapella vocal lines we worked on briefly one night at rehearsal. As we were finishing up our session, our friend Ron Keck and owner of Subcat was like before we break down the drums is there anything else we can get on tape. Angel remembered the shell of the song on my phone and we ran through it twice in ten minutes and then hit record. The band nailed it immediately and I literally improvised the verses as he hit record and the tune has become one of our favorites. To me THAT is the Caustic Method!

The Virus has been released through Pavement Entertainment how did that link-up come about?

A friend of ours Michael Trumble was helping us with some PR work and sending the video of The Virus around to some mutual industry friends when Mark Nawara from Pavement saw the video and thought we would be a good candidate for the label. I was a huge fan of a lot of the bands on Pavements roster and I knew in my heart instantly that this would be a great fit and a good home for us. After talking with Tim King our A&R rep and bassist of Soil for a couple weeks we worked out the scope of what we were trying to accomplish and we signed our deal right around New Years. I knew then that 2015 was going to be an epic year in the growth of this band. With distribution through Sony RED it’s available all over the world. The main objective was never to be famous or a rock star but to get our music out to a larger audience because if it works in the Northeast we were confident it would work elsewhere. With Pavement’s amazing network and support we have definitely reached a much larger audience and the response has been overwhelming.

With their stable and history of potent releases, the environment they offer for your music must give you an extra spring in the step to match those sparked by the album itself and the acclaim it is earning?

Without a doubt! After years in the trenches we are no strangers to hard work and not much has changed. We knew coming into this we would have to work harder than ever but knowing we are in good hands gives us the confidence to meet all challenges as they come. And of course we are also looking forward to hopefully touring with some of our label mates soon! We are all still huge music fans first and foremost and there is so much talent on the Pavement roster it is just amazing…Such huge fans of all of them.

Looking at your history as a live presence, it is fair to say since forming you have ignited stages with a Who’s Who of modern metal including Hatebreed, American Head Charge, Ten Years, Candlelight Red, Otep , Korn, Mushroomhead, (Hed) P.E., Cypress Hill, Threat Signal, Skindred, Toxic Holocaust, Nashville Pussy… well the list goes on. Noticeable is the diversity of bands and sounds you guys fit in with. Fair to say your fan base is impressively eclectic?

We have been really blessed in our region to have played with many of our heroes and literally dozens of amazing bands we were able to learn from and grow with. Growing our fan-base through the diversity of these bands has given us a uniquely eclectic fan-base for sure. I do feel we crossover well from hardcore to metal to old school punk and commercial hard rock audiences and that has only reinforced our main objective of just doing what WE do and never emulating anyone.

It is easy to assume that Caustic Method are in their element on stage, tearing up audiences and venues?

The stage is where it really all comes together for us. We can roar like a lion or purr like a kitten. Mostly though we roar like a tornado and sweep you up and drop you on your head,

Fair to say your music on the album take no prisoners, the band has to be the same on stage?

Confidence and attitude are what we emit most onstage. We not only take no prisoners we take no shit! It’s what we all live for and everything else in life is on hold for the next hour because our show is what it’s all about. I relive every inspiration good or bad every time I deliver my lyrics. I flashback in my head to the very minute the words came to me and like a tidal wave all those emotions and attitude that created that song just pour out of me like the wound is still brand new; like ripping open your stitches just to see your beating heart. Not a great idea but you will see a noticeable and real reaction. We transform right in front of you. Forget the people you may have spoken to before the show. We leave them on the stairs to the stage.

Any hope we will see you across Europe and the UK in the near future?

We would love nothing more than to tour Europe immediately. I am fascinated by how different the music fans are there. They seem to have way more diverse tastes and a lot more tolerance of stuff that is different from each other. In America we compartmentalize our music and god forbid you cross compartments. Not true of everyone but we have these boxes and categories of metal everyone lives within where it seems over there people are just fans of any metal that is credible and simply put just GOOD. We all can really respect that and hope to be able to have the honor to tour there in the very near future. Definitely on the high priority list!

So what is next for Caustic Method?

The response to the album has been amazing and for us the real next step is to get out and tour to support this record, see the world and spread the Virus as far and wide as possible!

Once again thanks for chatting with us, any last words for the readers?

Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to tell our story and If you truly like what you hear….YOU ARE THE VIRUS! Spread the word about Caustic Method! You are our fifth member and we thank you all! SEE YOU AT A SHOW NEAR YOU!

http://causticmethod.com/

www.facebook.com/causticmethod

Read our review of The Virus @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/caustic-method-the-virus/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Black Oil – Resist To Exist

Black Oil_RingMaster Review

I think we can all agree it is seriously hard to be truly original in the music scene now and just as difficult to be noticeably unique against the hordes of other bands tempting time and attention. A few though do instinctively stand out through sound or presence to stand many steps from the masses, and one such proposal is US based groove metallers Black Oil. Their sound is a furious maelstrom of various strands of metal, Latin and worldly invention, and a defiant passion which binds it all for one, as shown by their new album, blistering and rousing confrontation. Resist To Exist is a riot in the imagination, a tempest in the ears, and an anthemic incitement just leaving the body alive.

Calling LA home, Black Oil originally emerged from Brazil with a sound crafted and honed with a unique blend of cultures and years of experiences gained by founder Addasi Addasi, whose travels have taken in the life and flavours of over thirty countries. Since forming the band has earned a big reputation and following through a previous pair of acclaimed albums, including the predecessor to their new encounter, the Logan Mader (Machinehead, Soulfly, DevilDriver, Gojira, FFDP) produced the Not Under My Name, as well as a live presence which has seen them play with the likes Megadeth, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Soulfly, Otep, Cavalera Conspiracy, Arch Enemy, Anthrax, Cattle Decapitation and many more. Their renowned metal-samba sound and hard hitting politically charged lyrics has made Black Oil a hungrily devoured proposition already, and now with Resist To Exist it is easy to expect even greater reactions and spotlights on the band, the album simply one of the most exhilarating incitements of the year.

cover_RingMaster Review     Produced by Cristian Machado of Ill Nino, with many other contributions, Resist To Exist sees the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Addasi, vocalist Mike Black, bassist /vocalist Drew Petropoulos, and drummer Michael Gomez joined by a host of guest contributions including Fear Factory/Archaea’s Raymond Herrera and ex-Static X/Soulfly and now Fear Factory bassist Tony Campos amongst them. This and the unbridled imagination and ideation soaking songs all goes to create incendiary tapestries of sound and energy which from the opening track makes Resist To Exist one feverish conquest of body and emotions.

It all starts with Rise Up, a song with its intent in its title and success in a character which just will not accept anything less than full involvement from the listener. From its first breath, riffs and rhythms are a cauldron of enticing intensity, a tenacious prelude to swiftly joining and just as quickly virulent grooves. Aligned to the guttural roar of Black, the track is in full violent swing in seconds, its rhythmic hips casting a commanding swagger as guitars and bass cast an inescapable web of searing grooving and infectious riffery. Like Five Finger Death Punch meeting Powerman 5000, but so much more, the track is an incendiary device of invigorating and exhausting metal contagion, raw alchemy to get the blood and energy rushing through anyone’s veins.

The ferocious start continues with the just as explosive Justified where malevolently swung beats and a carnivorous bass tone add their great grouchiness to a wind storm of sonic hostility, and that is just the initial impact on the senses. Soon Middle Eastern hints stir within a spicy expulsion of guitar before the track puts its head back down for another hellacious and rabid stomp. As much death and industrial like as it is a grooved fury, the encounter continues to ignite and incite ears and thoughts before passing the senses over to Callate. The third track, which features Campos on bass and vocals, is a predator of emotional bedlam and creative unpredictability, its sound as diverse and ravenous as the vocals fuelling its inner corrosive rage, and as irresistible.

Exoskeleton savages ears with its vocal and rhythmic hostility next, whilst simultaneously seducing the imagination with a tangy web of melodic grooving and feistily flavoured enterprise. The result is something which roars like a blend of Fear Factory and Devildriver yet equally only has its own distinct animus of sound and intent. It is a flesh searing bellow leaving the body shell shocked and ready to be taken on a fiery ride by the following Combustion. From its initial fierce caress of sound, Latin bred percussion and melodic hues are enriching the song’s rhythmic and sonic tempting, elements of bands like (Hed) PE and Bang Data joining the muscular rebellion and expelling even greater influence as the track springs its bruising anthemic shuffle. Joined by guest Silverio Pessoa on vocals, Black is the ringleader of one addiction forging, body igniting tempest. The guitars alone create an enslaving persuasion with their relentless and evocatively creative twists whilst the percussive aspect of the song aided by Mario Pallais, is simply a puppeteer on the listener.

One brilliant encounter makes way for another in the insatiable shape of Revolution. Featuring and driven by the ravenous rhythmic swings of Herrera, the track is a bestial onslaught but one littered with infectious grooves and sonic devilment. The track is psychotic, never allowing the listener to make assumptions on its direction and with more guests involved, evolving character. The same can be said about Stand Against Everything which comes straight after, the song akin to the last and taking certain aspects of its persuasion into its own persistently evolving and fiery samba.

Resist To Exist closes with Paper Slave, a final aggressive and venomously inflamed uprising of creative hostility and impassioned defiance. It comes shaped with cantankerous riffs, merciless rhythms, and mesmeric invention, bone breaking hostility merging with worldly and emotive resourcefulness. Stuck Mojo and Ill Nino come to mind as it ravages air and ears but again the song in reality is something else again, and though maybe not matching earlier heights, it leaves the listener only wanting more upon departure.

Black Oil brings something different and relentlessly exciting to the metal table with Resist To Exist. Some tracks soar above others in creative adventure and sheer compelling power but all leave a greedy hunger and thick pleasure behind them. Who can want much more than that?

Resist To Exist is available now via Sliptrick Records through most digital stores.

http://www.blackoil1.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackoilofficial

RingMaster 22/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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