Networks – Enough To Save Us EP

Networks_RingMaster Review

There is a bit of a buzz brewing up around UK metalcore band Networks and though we are not ready to yet add majorly enthused voices to the rising roar, intrigue and attention for the Portsmouth band has certainly been sparked thanks to their debut EP Enough To Save Us. It is a tempest of sound and ire fuelled emotion which sits easily within expectations of the genre inspiring it but dig deeper and there is an underbelly of invention and imagination which incites closer inspection and a want to know more.

Formed in 2014, Networks was soon stirring up ears and support across shows and a handful of festivals like Redfest, Edgefest and Messtival. From there opportunities to share stages with the likes of The Blackout, Slaves, and Astroid Boys have arisen, 2015 being a thick nudge of broader attention by the band. Seeing a couple of personnel changes early on this year, they set about writing new songs whilst playing with artists such as Palm Reader, Zoax, and When We Were Wolves and at the Crossroads Stage at Butserfest with HECK, Fathoms, and Shields. Now they attempt to whip up more of us with Enough To Save Us, a try easy to imagine leading the band to some potent success.

Networks ETSU EP Front Cover_RingMaster Review   Wires gets things off and running, its opening a worldly bred flavouring infused with samples and a brewing turbulence which soon drives the heart of the raw fury and enticing sonic tempting gripping the track. In no time the guitar of Joe Soar builds a web of engaging grooves and sonic enterprise, they a less hostile tempering to the heavy growling vocal antagonism of Sean Kelly and the hefty swipes of drummer Harry Fielder. The main body of the track is potent and persuasive if without springing any surprises but it is the twists of sound and imagination, at times only in slithers, which turn a good track into a keenly appetising one.

A melodic caress opens up the following End Of An Era, though soon jagged exploits from the guitar step forward in tandem with the dark menace of Josh Slade’s bass. Within a few more breaths, the track is stomping with energy and irritable emotion, though again things evolve as all the creative tendrils and facets of the excellent track collude and entwine. Once more it is fair to say that Networks are not breaking free from established metalcore scenery and hues, but with bright imagination and a good level of unpredictability, the track provides an increasingly enjoyable incitement.

The rugged and challenging Darker Truth steps up next, vocals a rasping provocation against barbarous rhythms. As the lure littered sonic weave spun by Soar breaches ears, the bass brings a great bestial voracity to the song’s tone, it all uniting in an appealing trespass on the senses with again surprises low but enjoyment thick.

The EP is completed by its title track, a proposal carrying a similar and satisfying template to its predecessor. There is an open degree of similarity across all songs in varying ways, the admittedly strong and pleasing vocals of Kelly one such area which might blossom further with a touch more diversity. More than most, the final provocation suggests this closeness but nevertheless it still enlivens the appetite whilst confirming the prowess and potency of Networks in songwriting through to sound.

Enough To Save Us suggests there is plenty of potential and quality which will see Networks emerge from the crowd in time and coax strong attention and support along the way. Fair to say that the band’s opening gambit is a strong and fiercely solid introduction providing ears with a potently enjoyable slab of confrontation, a sign of things to come we suspect.

The Enough To Save Us EP is available via on Viper Trail Records, digitally now from most online stores and as a physical copy from December 3rd when it will be launched at the EP’s release show at The Edge Of The Wedge in Portsmouth.

https://www.facebook.com/networksband        https://twitter.com/networksband

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2015

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This Is Shark Country – Chances

This Is Shark Country - Promo Photo_RingMaster Review

As you would imagine from a band name like This Is Shark Country, there is a real bite and unbridled tenacity to their sound; voracity bred in the fusion of technical metal and hardcore which the Berkshire quintet is increasingly becoming more and more acclaimed for. New EP, Chances, is further evidence to that fact and of the growing potency and potential the band embraces in their striking creativity; it a roar of four tracks fuelled by ire and sculpted with imagination seeded craft.

Formed in 2011, This Is Shark Country has also become renowned for their live hunger and prowess, a presence taking in most of the UK whilst sharing stages with the likes of ‘68 (ex-Norma Jean), Nexilva, Palm Reader, Exist Immortal and many more. Their debut album Saviour was uncaged in 2013 to keen fan and in some quarters, potent media attention. Taking a year to make, the Newbury band now unleashes Chances, an encounter revealing greater strength and invention in the band’s sound and songwriting which suggests that This Is Shark Country is a band bringing new adventure and striking promise to the UK hardcore scene.

This Is Shark Country - Chances Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with Sitting Pretty and within a breath the guitars of Ben Mercer and Nick Blair are spinning a web of technical prowess and enticing expression, the bass of Jamie Holmes no slouch in gripping attention either with his lure of dark strings. Swiftly the song is a climatic affair, emotion and sound colluding as vocalist Oli Cole lays down an antagonism of voice and narrative within the blossoming tempest. Calm and elegant moments also add to the temptation of the song, their shining passages still prowled by the predatory tones of the bass within a constant rhythmic web swung by drummer Chris Sheen. The track is a potent and welcomingly unpredictable start to the EP but soon eclipsed by its successor.

Ghosting is reeled in on a punk infused hook, a bait of rock ‘n’ roll seared in gripping sonic endeavour. Continuing to entice, its lead in grows into a noise/alternative rock turbulence with rhythms a carnal attraction as the guitars create a virulently caustic rain of riveting enterprise. Though no lightweight when it comes to skills, the song is a more out and out rocker than the technical compulsion crafted by its predecessor, and in many ways, it is that impressively crafted punk ‘n’ roll fury which sees the release breach another plateau.

The EP’s title track is a similarly cultured blaze of hardcore contagion, though this time the djent sparked zeal of the band is entangled in the tendrils of melodic acidity and sonic imagination shaping the track. Of course Cole is straddling all with his undiluted bellow, his angst soaked delivery unafraid to tweak its attack to ensure even there some level of variety adds to the drama of the lively incitement. Becoming more antagonistic and bruising with every minute, its metal seeds gnawing at the senses as its punk heart roars, the song fiercely impresses before flowing into closing track Forever In Waiting.

Instantly an intimidating theatre lines the bait of riffs and bass, and almost as swiftly the guitars are wrapping it in a weave of rapacious invention and challenging intensity. More of a grower than the previous pair of offerings within Chances, the song blooms into another impressive provocation if one lacking that final decisive spark of others.

To go along with the press release for Chances, the EP is something fans of bands like Periphery, Every Time I Die, and Sikth will get a kick out of but there is plenty more to This Is Shark Country and their sound, some realised here and some as potential for their future maelstroms of imagination. What is very clear though is that the British hardcore/rock scene has another seriously stirring protagonist in the making.

The Chances EP is released November 13th through all stores and digital platforms.

https://www.facebook.com/ThisIsSharkCountry    https://twitter.com/tisharkcountry

Pete RingMaster 13/11/2015

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The Spanking New EP From A Room Swept White Hits The UK This January!

 A Room Swept White Online Promo Shot

Southern Melodic Hardcorers ‘A Room Swept White’ unleash their jaw dropping new EP ‘No Love Lost’ on Monday 12th January 2015. Taking from the edginess and potency of While She Sleeps and The Ghost Inside, and by adding their own absorbing dynamics and alluring melodies, the quintet have produced a forceful fusion of Post-Hardcore.

A Room Swept White were originally born at the tail-end of 2011 in the South East of England. The fiery five-piece wanted to create a sound that inspires and attacks the senses, and they have certainly more than fulfilled their objective. With a keen ear for hearty riffs and pummelling hooks, A Room Swept White have etched out a sound that is hard-hitting, yet still inventive; and that’s no easy task given the present over-saturation within the metalcore genre. ARSW have sparked glowing comparisons to The Ghost Inside, The Amity Affliction and Of Mice & Men; and although they’ve pulled from their influences, they’ve still managed to create a sound uniquely their own.

The five-some hit the ground running on the live circuit, and after a series of sweat-drenched UK shows throughout the south, sharing stages with Heart In Hand, Hacktivist, Bury Tomorrow, Feed The Rhino, Bleed From Within, Soulfly, Demoraliser, Palm Reader, POLAR, Continents and Bleed From Within, and with recent performances at the Redfest and Guilfest festivals, the band’s stock is on the rise.

The band are now set to kick on even further with their latest offering and new record, ‘No Love Lost’. The EP takes shape with the brooding and poignantly phrased ‘Recollection’. However, ‘This Life’ soon turns up the velocity with its breakneck riffage and full vocal assault. The record’s namesake and new single ‘No Love Lost’ twists and contorts itself around your ears to pleasing effect, while ‘Time Heals’ is additional evidence that these Southern metalcorers really have something different to offer. Lastly, ‘Better Days’ showcases the band’s growing stature and utilises dynamics to stunning effect. With five potent cuts, the EP is sure to thrust the band to the vanguard of the UK scene.

A Room ...PromoImage

 

– A ROOM SWEPT WHITE RELEASE ‘NO LOVE LOST’ ON MONDAY 12th JANUARY THROUGH ALL DIGITAL PLATFORMS –

 https://www.facebook.com/ARoomSweptWhite

Black Art – Full Lungs | Empty Words EP

With a roar of an antagonistic sound sitting somewhere between the demised Californian band Red Tape and Brits The Ghost of a Thousand, UK punk ‘n’ rollers Black Art are an emerging proposition with the potential, going by their new EP, to ignite the punk scene. Driven with a melodic hardcore fuelled fury in sound and lyrical confrontation, the band has been stirring up rigorous attention and appetites in recent times and it is easy to hear why with their Full Lungs | Empty Words EP. It is angry and hostile but loaded with an anthemic contagion which makes every track a lingering and thrilling proposition. It is a knack shared by the two bands we mentioned at the start but in the hands of Black Arts seemingly is even more inescapable for imagination and emotions.

The new EP follows a well-received 7” split with Surrender The Coast which was released a couple of months ago. It swiftly reinforces the reputation garnered over the years by the band for their sound and live presence where they have shared stages with bands such as Feed The Rhino, Baby Godzilla, Palm Reader, The Catharsis and many more along the way. It is a release which sees the Forest Of Dean quintet go for the jugular straight away but equally seduce with the first of numerous spicy hooks and infectious melodic enterprise.

That instant bait is provided by opener Life Stalker, coaxing riffs laying the first lure to be immediately joined by heavy swipes of thumping beats from drummer Nathan Davies and a carnivorously gripping bassline cast by Jake Morgan. It is an intimidating and riveting predation which becomes more caustic and challenging with the fierce vocal squalls of Joe Kibble which also initially strike in great singular assaults. The track is soon a maelstrom of voracious incitement and energy, the guitars of Nick Lewis and Oli Bendall blazing away with fiery riffs and tasty grooves to brawl with craft and flavoursome endeavour.

The potent beginning to the EP sets the template for things to come in quality and success, and a little in sound but as the following Duress shows there is a busy heart to all songs which gives them distinct characters. The second song lays 1910160_712588515486444_587585896235052623_ndown a ridiculously addictive and intimidating torrent of riffs bound in sultrily alluring grooves from the start, its brief but powerful presence a corrosive stomp which grips and scars with contagious efficiency. Its excellent tempest is matched by the more inventively sculpted Hold Fast. It is still an uncompromising fury but the guitars twist with a wider heavy rock recipe whilst rhythms carry the punk spirit in every debilitating swipe and throaty bass groan. Though it does not quite match the tracks before it, it is richly satisfying, aggression driven rock ‘n’ roll with little want to get fussy and clutter its raw muscle bound bones with over blown flourishes.

The Endurance has the passions lustful again, the opening flame of sonic grazing enticing the blistering and colourfully hued turbulence to follow. Hooks flare up throughout the rhythmic and sonic animosity, sharing the limelight with heavy rock grooves and an inflamed passion especially expelled through the lungs of Kibble. It is a brute of a rocker but soon in the shadow of the primal rock ‘n’ roll fired Pseudo Sound. Morgan uncages another irresistible grump of a bass temptation whilst the guitars come with venomous designs and toxic expression, all aligning with the merciless swings of Davies for a riotous and compelling storm.

   Full Lungs | Empty Words is completed by the quarrelsome charm of Fool’s Gold, a final bracing bluster of skilled creative assertiveness and impassioned belligerence. Soaked in a fierce scowl amidst a skilful savaging, the song is a fine intrusive close to an EP ripe with promise and accomplished invention. The release provides a very impressive and memorable base from which Black Art with their already plentiful armoury, can spring to truly fire up punk rock far and wide. ‘

The Full Lungs | Empty Words is available now digitally and on CD via White Russian Records @ http://whiterussianrecords.nl/store/index.php/cd/black-art-full-lungs-empty-words.html, CD and Cassette via Let Them Die Records @ http://letthemdierecords.bigcartel.com/product/black-art-full-lungs-empty-words-cassette-cd , and I For Us Records @ http://music.iforusrecords.be/album/full-lungs-empty-words

https://www.facebook.com/Blackartuk

RingMaster 07/11/2014

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Lifelines – In Presents Wake EP

Lifelines Online Promo Shot

If there is one thing which In Presents Wake, the debut EP from Scottish metallers Lifelines suggests it is that this is a band you need to see live. The intensity and aggressive energy of the six track release is a formidable hint to what you imagine their stage attack is like, though you suspect it still only touches the edges of their intensive stage presentation. The release is a fiery slab of metalcore rife with strong melodic flames and a voracious blend of rhythmic antagonism and ferocious riffery. The EP does not present Lifelines as the finished article but certainly as a band on a rapid and intensive rise with a sound to match their hunger.

The Glasgow quintet was formed in 2011 by vocalist Paul Bone, guitarist Sean Young, and drummer Jonny Macintyre. After going through multiple guitarists the line-up was completed by guitarist Adam Cosgrove and bassist Murray Paton and by the end of last year had built a strong growing reputation for their live shows which has seen them alongside bands such as Bleed From Within and Palm Reader. With In Presents Wake, the band makes its widest and strongest declaration to date, one you can easily see leading to strong acclaim and a much larger fan base for the explosive unit.

Opener Skyscrapers is an immediate pressure of rigid rhythms and eager riffing ridden by the coarse vocal attack of Bone. A Lifelines Cover Artworktimid but open groove tempts within the intensive atmosphere, the guitars crafting inviting lures into the song’s muscular body. There is a sense of Architects to the track which gives extra texture to the evocative conflict if also showing a distinct presence is still evolving for the band. With an intrigue and invention which is happy to ignore expectations the starter is a riveting entrance into band and EP.

The following Limitless is equally as magnetic without completely waking up the passions, the guitars and bass casting a web of enticing imagination and craft whilst the rhythmic enterprise of Macintyre is a bruising treat driving the track and ultimately release forward. The vocal delivery is a caustic grazing on the senses, a strong and passionate one but with a lack of diversity to Bone’s delivery it does diminish the potency of the track a little, though the incendiary guitar play and group vocal harmonies brief though they are, keep attention and thoughts captivated.

The Protagonist is an uncompromising confrontation from the start, bulging rhythms and a predacious bass prowl increasing the already eager appetite for the release whilst the sinew clad guitar invention without breaking boundaries weaves a cage around the senses and emotions which is lasting and satisfying. The EP from its strong opening does get better and more impressive song by song with this a definite marker to note, though after the brief and accomplished torrent of passion Better Left Unsaid, it is surpassed as the EP unleashes its finest moments with firstly Undertow. It is a heavily intensive tempest of enjoyment and incitement, riffs and rhythms a rapacious courting of the senses whilst the melodic endeavour paints their canvas with creative hues which ignite the imagination. The employment of cleaner vocals alongside the harsh scowls adds the extra exciting finish to the track; the earlier slightly wanted variety here alive and proving how well it works to help make the song the best and most potent encounter.

The closing triumph Silver Screen Synthetic is equally as inventive and exploratory to leave the promise and strengths of the band a raging and wholly persuasive lasting impression. Adventurous without losing sight of its intent and eager to mix things up rhythmically, melodically, and vocally, it is a contagious addiction breeding slice of brutality to complete an impressive debut.

It is fair to say that In Presents Wake does not offer anything new and that Lifelines have yet to stand out from the other strong elements of the crowd but equally it is easy to suggest that it will come, especially on the evidence of the final two tracks of the release. Though even these songs cannot hook a lingering connection once departed, in their and the band’s company they make a convincing and attention grabbing persuasion to make Lifelines a band to keep an eager eye on and definitely to catch live.

www.facebook.com/wearelifelines

7.5/10

RingMaster 16/11/2013

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LIFELINES unveil first EP ‘In presents wake’, on 18th November‏

Lifelines Online Promo Shot
SCOTTISH METAL COMBO LIFELINES NATIONALLY RELEASE DEBUT EP!
 
Glaswegian metal outfit ‘Lifelines’ are rapidly etching a prominent name for themselves. Dishing up ear shattering shows that clearly mark their intention and convey their manifesto, the rising quintet are poised to hurl themselves into the national arena, ready to annihilate every sweat-pit venue along the way.
Spawned in the back streets of Glasgow, Scotland, Lifelines were formed in 2011 when old band mates Paul Bone (Vocals) and Sean Young (Guitar) recruited Jonny Macintyre (Drums). The trio soon started to write and rewrite as they began to flesh out the bones for their very first record and set list. However, the early days of Lifelines posed its challenges; the band went through six guitarists in their first year, could only afford to rehearse in Jonny’s front room, had no microphones for vocals and had only a make shift drum kit without any cymbals! But through sheer dedication and gutsy drive, the three piece pressed on, and by happenstance, they stumbled into Adam Cosgrove (Guitar) while frequenting a bar in the city; the four instantly clicked and Cosgrove joined the ranks. It wasn’t too long then before they drafted in Murray Paton (Bass) to finally complete the unit.
By the end of 2012, the aspiring five piece began to truly solidify, picking up solid underground acclaim, and scoring a feature in Front Magazine’s New & Unsigned section. The band continued their climb by hitting the road, playing throughout Scotland and supporting good friends ‘Bleed From Within’ and ‘Palm Reader’ along the way. Lifeline’s shows are now fast becoming notorious for their intensity and full-hearted delivery. The Metal crew will tour again this Autumn in support of their debut record ‘In Presents Wake’.
The band’s debut EP ‘In Presents Wake’ is stuffed to the gills with blistering riffs and pounding beats. Lifelines have pulled down their live energy to tape and the EP perfectly captures the band as they are best heard: live and in your face. From the unbridled ballsy vigor of ‘Subcitizen’ through to the vicious drive of ‘The Protagonist’ and the ferociously rifftastic ‘Silver Screen Synthetic’, ‘In Presents Wake’ is a record that showcases Lifelines as a sure-to-be prominent force in the UK metal scene.
Lifelines Cover Artwork
TRACKLISTING: 1. Subcitzen; 2. Limitless; 3. The Protagonist; 4. Better Left Unsaid; 5. Undertow; 6. Silver Screen Synthetic.
BAND MEMBERS: Paul Bone – Vocals; Sean Young – Guitar; Adam Cosgrove – Guitar; Murray Paton – Bass; Jonny Macintyre – Drums.
FOR FANS OF: Architects, Misery Signals, August Burns Red.