Illusions of Grandeur – The Songs of the Siren

Today we offer up for your attention one of the most striking and impressive debuts you are likely to hear this year. It comes from theatrical hard rock/fantasy metal band Illusions of Grandeur and goes by the name of The Songs of the Siren. Quite simply it is one of the most fascinating and rousing releases we have come across with all the reasons on display as to why the band has such a devoted following.

Hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Illusions of Grandeur have drawn rich praise, support and attention with their live shows, each soaked in energy and drama now vocal within their first album. The Songs of the Siren is the first release in the grand tale of The Siren Saga. The album takes the listener on epic adventures with the Siren and her warriors, their perils and triumphs revealed through fact and fiction “combining Greek and Norse Mythology, Sirens, Warriors, Archangels, and Kharon “The Ferryman.” It is a rich adventure immersed in just as fascinating and rousing sounds bred on a tapestry of flavours which proves hard to define but easy to devour.

Illusions of Grandeur and The Songs of the Siren are ‘led’ by the presence of The Siren with one of the most compelling voices to grace these ears in recent times. Alongside her warriors of sound consist of bassist Archangel Michael, drummer Mercury, and guitarists Taranis and Thano, a quintet which together cast a tempest of sound as varied, imaginative, and contagious as it is formidable and insatiable. As waves break upon the album’s creative shore and a lone melody casts its melancholic sigh intrigue made a swift companion, opener Fallen/Awakening instantly a potent lure but only just beginning to cast its spell. Quickly an even more enticing thread of guitar is coaxing ears, an invitation soon inescapable as The Siren shares her irresistible tones. To say we were hooked within the tracks opening minute is an understatement and only further enthralled and enslaved as the song proved one of the most devilishly captivating musical moments. Its controlled and virulent bait only intensifies as sonic flames erupt and the track’s springs its full rapacious trespass, the track setting the striking character and thrill of the album.

Mayhem follows, guitars weaving their melodic prowess as rhythms firmly land. Metal and heavy rock hues collude in its rapacious stroll, The Siren’s vocals a web of narration and agility matched by the exploits of the band alongside. There is a Nightwish meets Otep like breathe to the track but as proved by every track, like next up Three Two Three, Illusions of Grandeur have conjured true individuality in their sound. The album’s third track rises on a resonating drone, its thick draw devoured but still throbbing within the song’s erupting drama and intensity. Soon after writhing grooves slowly entangle the predacious heart at its core as vocals again lure moth like ears to their bright flame, the track seducing with its every invasive breath.

Proving just as irresistible, Red Sky Morning enters with a swagger in its rhythmic tread and temptation in its vocal enticement. A subtle but instinctive snarl coats every essence exuding from its esurient body as again a kaleidoscope of flavours combine in its dark rapture while The Archangel provides a tenebrous capture of ears and imagination with its instrumental intimation before Silent Suicide reveals its tempestuous drama with voracious enterprise and breath. Its call is inescapable and fearsome, inevitability in its temptation and persuasion as again Illusions of Grandeur simply commanded attention with craft and imagination.

As Breathe bestows its Stygian shadows and creative crawl and Lullabies sprung its fusion of melodic radiance and raw ferocity, the album only placed a tighter grip on already greedy ears with the band’s invention and individual craft taking care of the imagination. Their successor, The Voyage, only accentuated that triumph as it hauntingly floats the listener down its caliginous waters with Through The Styx waiting to welcome and prey on the senses with its Tartarean embrace. The song highlights all the qualities and temptations within the creative emprise of Illusions of Grandeur and the rich web of flavours at its behest.

With a handful of radio edits of some of its finest moments as a bonus, The Songs of the Siren just lit our fires and for the second time in week we can only declare an album one of the year’s essential encounters.

The Songs of the Siren is out now via Pavement Entertainment.

https://www.iogmusic.com   https://www.facebook.com/IllusionsOG/    https://twitter.com/IllusionsOG

Pete RingMaster 06/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Despyre – Rise Up

The sound of Long Island, NY metallers Despyre is another which seems openly bred in familiar strains and flavours of sound but emerges as something boldly individual to its creators; all the proof within the band’s striking new album, Rise Up. Each of its tracks makes like a mix of old friend and adventurous new protagonist and all provide one fiercely enjoyable encounter arousing the senses and spirit alike.

The classic and the fresh collude across Rise Up for a multi-flavoured proposal which demands attention. There is a punch to the release which often left us breathless but equally a comforting reassurance in a world of madness from those recognisable inspirations to its character. Produced by Life of Agony’s Joey Zampella, the album assaults and incites, harasses and inflames body and senses from start to finish leaving plenty for the imagination to play with too.

Rise Up immediately hit the spot with opener Liberate, the song emerging from chaos through the melodic threads of guitarists Dennis Gaudio and Brad Maestro, voracious riffs swiftly following as rhythms descend with ruthless intent. Rob Malvagnos’ potent tones add to the immediately compelling incitement, his attack and texturing as rousing as the tempestuous and skilfully conjured sounds around him. Thrash and extreme metal hues collude with classic/melodic metal enterprise as the song ignites ears and an album which from start to finish only compounds its impressive incitement.

Only slightly less insatiable, Regret follows casting a melodically wired tempting with irritability in its lining. The alluring vocals of Malvagnos are potently backed by the rawer throated roars of Maestro as they add to the stirring heart of the song before DRU eclipses it with its dirt encrusted rock ‘n’ roll. The swinging rhythms of drummer Dave Riggins set the tone, the attitude sparked by the brooding throatiness of Kevin Cassidy’s bass as well as the group calls inclinations as imaginatively adopted by the rest of the band in their exploits.

Our favourite track is next up, Evil Inside an irresistible sing-a long moment sprung from seductive enterprise and heart bred drama. It was impossible not to be wrapped up in the writhing melodic threads of guitar or the earnest feel of the vocals and enslaved to the rich roar of an intimate chorus which just demanded participation.

Even though Complicated could not quite live up to its predecessor, the track had the body bouncing with the dark groan of the bass inflaming personal appetite while Twisted equally had the imagination hooked with its sinister keys cast opening before the suggested almost demonic darkness consumes the subsequent ravening sound and the discontent fuelling it. Both tracks simply added to the raw pleasure of Rise Up with the second especially manipulative with its thrash nurtured essences before Hell Freezes Over shares even deeper corners of darkness within its apocalyptic fringed tempest with just as rousing enterprise from all sides of the quintet.

A riveting version of the classic Life Of Agony track, Underground, follows; Despyre rather than re-inventing it casting their own predacious metallic imagination over its indisputable glory to create another mighty moment within the release.

The album closes up with Blue Sky (Reborn), a stripped down version of a track from the band’s debut EP. With radiant female vocals to the side of Malvagnos captivating tones within the acoustic laced embrace of guitars, the song brings the release to a truly magnetic conclusion.

Rise Up is not exactly unique yet stands as individual to Despyre as you could wish leaving us only with a hunger for much more from a band surely set to face far greater attention.

Rise Up is out now via Pavement Entertainment; available across most stores and through https://www.pavementmusic.com/product/despyre-rise-up/

 https://www.despyre.com   https://www.facebook.com/despyre/

 Pete RingMaster 25/06/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

We Are Band Nerds – Forget Me Nots

When something is self- described as “Deftones meets Outkast” you just have to have a sniff but it was a mighty lung full we subsequently grabbed when diving into the debut album from US outfit We Are Band Nerds. That description certainly fits the Dallas sextet’s sound, though we would also suggest The Kennedy Soundtrack at times in their blend of alternative hip hop and nu metal, yet there is so much that is individual to the band that it is one imagination grabbing adventure within a debut which just demands plaudit loaded attention.

We Are Band Nerds consist of Brandon Cross (Lead Singer/Rapper), Tony Lucas (Rapper/Vocalist), Dorian “Scullie” Thomas (Guitarist), Carlos “DJ Sol*Los” Juarez (DJ/Sampler), Stephen “S Dot” Bonilla (Drums), and Santos “Sandman” Johnson (Bass). They all bring individual craft and loves into a united sound keenly embracing further diverse styles from jazz, metal, electronica, rap, and varied rock music. Within their first full-length, Forget Me Nots, it quickly proves to be a fascinating mix. Lyrically too the band transfixes, never pulling their punches whilst showing honesty fuelled insight and craft which whether with subtlety or force bewitches as firmly as the sounds around them in songs exploring the depths of everything from relationships to racism, poverty to life’s experiences.

From opener Hunger Games it grabs ears and imagination, electronics almost teasing as they suggest and lure before embracing a current of metal nurtured riffs, dancing beats, and the vocal prowess of Cross and Lucas. The snarl of the guitars is gripping and portentous; vocals matching their angst and irritability with the pair of singers and their individual styles a magnetic union.  All the while the melodic instincts of the band add a mesmeric glaze to veins of creative suggestion and the encounter’s natural rawer rapacity. It is a compelling mix of threat and contemplation in word and sound and a gripping start to the album.

The following Whore has an instinctive catchiness from its first breath of voice and bass, their natural swing controlled but bold and setting the tone for the outstanding track. Like a clock, each note ticks by with consistency and intimation, vocals matching their gait yet all the time volatility in the song’s belly is brewing and stirring, never truly erupting but adding a rousing trespass between the crystalline breaths and organically bred emotions. Like Palms meets Mudvayne in an unexpected way, it is simply glorious and reason alone to check out band and album.

Fake In You similarly has a relatively calm climate within which turbulence and intense shadows lie, essences which burn bright at times but are tempered by the atmospheric glides of the keys and the smooth blend of rap and clean vocals. That tempestuousness does take hold momentarily towards the song’s close but again is dampened down by the tranquillity and beauty of melody before Dreamer opens its heart and diminishing hopes through elegance, grace, and corrosive intensity. As with all songs, hindsight brings a sense of familiar hues within the inventive drama but there is no chance of predicting the landscape and enterprise of each encounter as hearts are shared and thoughts turned over.

Without quite stirring the passions as thickly as those before Under Water still holds attention tight with its evocative drama in sound and word amidst rapacious metal encroachments while American Trash springs from an electronic breeze of an interlude/intro into a heady windstorm of sonic manipulation and lyrical dissonance, though never breaking from its restraints to truly create a blistering tempest.  That control just makes the song though, ensuring its portentous air is a tantalising harassment behind more of the stirring blend of mellow and ire sealed vocals.

The industrial bent Hagel Trumpf is a prowling predator breeding addiction and lust for its senses preying beauty lit with nu metal stalking while Savage borders on the carnivorous, in comparison, but too holds its ferocity in an embrace of suggestion soaked harmonics and melodic intrigue. Both are mutually unique and magnificent, just two more reasons to be excited about their creators and lustfully keen to recommend the album they grace.

Forget Me Nots concludes with Fade Away, a scalding slice of rap and rock infused metal which is the band at their organically rawest on the album but once more infused into a searing irradiation of melodic beauty. It is a compelling end to an album which we can only repeat, must be checked out especially if those comparisons at the beginning hit the spot but equally atmospheric metal/rock in general.

Forget Me Nots is out now via Pavement Entertainment across most stores.

http://www.wearebandnerds.com/    https://www.facebook.com/wearebandnerds/     https://twitter.com/wearebn6

Pete RingMaster 09/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Outfit – Self Titled

Like the band’s name, the sound of US rockers The Outfit borders on the unassuming while embracing an array of familiar flavours. Yet, with its devious hooks and rousing dynamics, it equally reveals itself as one bold, tenacious, and stirring affair; traits all going towards making the Chicago band’s self-titled debut album one thickly enjoyable slab of rousing rock ‘n’ roll. It is a great contradiction which it has to be said hits the spot from track one to song nine, a stirring proposition declaring The Outfit ready to welcome world attention.

Consisting of musicians who have plenty of well-earned experiences, The Outfit was formed in 2016 by brothers Mark (drums) and Matt Nawara (guitar), Mike Gorman (bass) once of  Pezband and Off Broadway, and Andy Mitchell (vocals/guitar) who lists the likes of Dish, Verona, and 9 Volt on his CV. Their first album is a major nudge on widespread spotlights, the band looking to build on their reputation and success in their home city’s rock scene and it is not hard to expect it to stir up such widespread reactions.

As its opener coaxes ears, riffs and rhythms instantly collude in a feisty lure, spicy grooves emerging from their bait with the excellent vocals of Mitchell. Wire just as rapidly shares recognisable hues, hints of bands such as Seether, Breaking Benjamin, and Saliva adding to its own stylish enterprise. Inescapably infectious and increasingly addictive, the track gets the album off to a strikingly potent start which continues with Lucky One. It too grabs ears with real eagerness, richly enticing vocals and lively hooks joining the joyous stroll of the rhythms. In little time the song had the body bouncing and vocal chords boisterous as an electronic undercurrent and band harmonies got the imagination crowing. As with the first and many other tracks, there are no real surprises yet the song is insistently fresh and rousing.

A calmer air is brought by TKO, its Three Days Grace meets Chevelle breath and emotive heart nothing less than captivating while latest single, Soldier Boy, whips up an earnest rock ‘n’ roll saunter with energy in its spirit and vitality in its craft. Vibrant melodies unite with warm harmonies, flying beats with an earthy bass rumble, all bursting through ears alongside creative resourcefulness which is as anthemic as it is intimate.

A definite Sick Puppies hue colours next up Unfolds, the track an irresistible bold croon with power in its touch and heart in its call, all capped by one delicious hook within another enslaving chorus. It is the album’s pinnacle though closely rivalled throughout the album and especially by the rock pop romp of Just as One and the melancholically graced imposing balladry of Miracle, a track also showing essences of the aforementioned Australian rockers to fine effect.

No Lights On with a similar colour creates a web of steely lures soon after, guitars and vocals leading the song’s dexterous way driven by the lithe swings of drum sticks and the brooding amble of the bass. Nagging ears and imagination second by second with moments of further fevered harrying, the song is superb, another highlight setting up the raucous rock ’n’ roll finale of Hot Love. A slice of hard rock with classic instincts, it is a riotous charge of contagion bringing one spirit sparking release to a fitting and fine conclusion.

As suggested earlier, The Outfit in sound and album are not breaking out into brand new pastures but we suggest you will find few better bursts of virulent and exhilarating rock ‘n’ roll this year.

The Outfit album is out now through Pavement Entertainment on iTunes and other stores.

http://theoutfit.rocks/    https://www.facebook.com/TheOutfitrock/    https://twitter.com/theoutfitrock

Pete RingMaster 06/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Saint Tragedy – Prolonging The Agony

Formed in 2008, Saint Tragedy is a hard rock outfit from Kenosha, Wisconsin and they have just released a rather flavoursome new EP in the shape of Prolonging The Agony. They have a sound which is not dramatically unique but as the six tracks within their latest release reveals, it is a fresh and thoroughly enjoyable proposition.

Consisting of vocalist Wayne Wiginton, guitarist Matt Brudniewicz, bassist Eric Serbedzija, and drummer Jason Scuffham, Saint Tragedy has honed their sound over the years into a boisterous and enterprisingly crafted rock ‘n’ roll roar and it all comes together within Prolonging The Agony. It might not be an encounter which startles yet from start to finish, especially at its departure we only wanted to have more of its goods to rock out with.

As the EP opens up with Make Believe where familiarity and individualism collude to tempt and grab ears, straight away the band’s music with its muscular lures and melodic fire begins working its way under the skin. Like a fusion of Poets Of The Fall and the sadly demised US outfit Resin, sound and song stomp across the senses, rhythms adding their heavy thump alongside the rapacious tenacity of riffs. Wiginton’s vocals swiftly appeal too, adding further dexterity and tone to a track which continues to blossom with melodic enterprise and infectious craft by the second.

It is an impressive start which only continues with Ties That Bind. From maybe a less striking start though its early hook is pure infection alongside potent vocals, the song brews its own highly catchy and persuasive rumble with a chorus so easy to get involved with. Guitarist Brudniewicz once more firmly entices with his sonic enterprise, the rhythmic half of the band providing a formidable yet equally infectious lure before No More Religion takes over. The third track opens with the simple alignment of Wiginton’s croon and the melodic suggestion of guitar, a rich union which ignites into another rousing rock ‘n’ roll incitement equipped with tasty hooks and scorched melodies. Major surprises are few but skilfully nurtured enticements plentiful.

Move On has an old school feel to its confident stroll, classic rock hues and a sultry twinge to its melodic voice adding to its smouldering presence. Though it did not quite grab as forcibly as its predecessors, the song only pleases with its sultry air and emotive touch before being followed by the robust shuffle of Would I Lie. It too maybe lacked the spark of those earlier tracks for personal tastes but more than added to the strength and attraction of the EP with its melodic flames and steely undercurrent.

Closing with an alluring acoustic version of their song, Jumpin’ the Gun, Saint Tragedy prove themselves to be one highly enjoyable and accomplished proposition. They may be something of a secret to a great many right now but Prolonging The Agony could just change that. As mentioned surprises are not thick in coming forward but persistent enjoyment is far more eager.

Prolonging The Agony is available now via Pavement Entertainment.

 

https://www.facebook.com/SaintTragedyMusic/

Pete RingMaster 31/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

American Wrecking Company – Everything and Nothing

Released less than a thick handful of weeks back, Everything and Nothing is one of year’s most voracious metal releases and in turn one of its most appetising. The new creative enmity from US outfit American Wrecking Company, the album is a ferocious tempest of sound bred across a broad spectrum of metal and expelled in a caustic roar individual to its creators. Everything from groove and death to nu and punk metal, with plenty more besides, is sucked up into the maelstrom and woven into one antagonistic furnace so easy to devour.

Since emerging in 2006, the Tacoma, Washington outfit has grown into a potent force and live presence across the West side of the US, sharing stages with bands such as Hatebreed, Fear Factory, Motorgrater, Act of Defiance, and Mushroomhead to great acclaim. Now they are ready to stir up broader attention with Everything and Nothing and it is hard to see the Pavement Entertainment supported release failing.

It launches at the listener with its title track, opening with an atmospheric coaxing as portentous as it is deceptive. The relative calm is stalked by apocalyptic threat, a danger from within which niggly riffs spring. Instantly, they carry an infectious lure; bait swiftly emulated in the sonic vines which wrap them before the track surges cantankerously across the senses. Vocalist TJ Cornelius stands across it all, his ire fuelled growls defiant as the guitars of Randy Bebich and Ben Reynard spin a trespass of sonic spite and nagging riffs around them, the latter persistence also matched by the groaning lines of Jeff Bloomfield’s bass. Still that catchy temptation infests song and ears in the ferociousness, teasing and tempting as the swings of drummer Dylan Hickey bite.

It is a great start more than matched by the groove netted From Grace, a slab of extreme virulent metal which gnaws on the senses and stirs the imagination. Like a mix of Cryptopsy and American Head Charge, the song grumbles and rumbles, every second a crotchety insurgent commanding attention as it savages the body to contagious effect though it is soon eclipsed in presence and harrying by the following I Won’t Listen. The guitars alone ensure irresistibility is bred for their grooves and sonic doggedness, their raw persuasion more than matched by the barbarous yet similarly enterprising rhythms as Cornelius raucously hollers to equal success.  There is no escaping a bit of Slipknot and Fear Factory spicing within the charge but mere flavours in its infernal and seriously compelling assault.

Health for Wealth churns up the senses next with its own web of waspish grooves, surly dynamics, and choleric attitude; American Wrecking Company lacing it with a belligerence caked but open melodic dexterity which just lights up appetite and imagination while its successor, The Burning lives up to its name in touch and atmosphere. It feels like a sonic witch hunt, every note and syllable a combative infestation of psyche preying on ears and the world but entwined with a flirtation of grooves and enterprise which keeps the track on a constant evolution within its fractious pyre.

As Purge swings and taunts with its thick groove metal predation and Enemy soils the senses with its crabby enticements and instincts, band continues to stretch the album’s landscape of sound. Each song is maybe a nudge into new adventures rather than a big leap but one by one they openly reveal the expanse of the American Wrecking Company sound within the constant emotional and physical storm. Beautiful Lie is no different though it does not quite have the inventive attributes of other songs around it. Nevertheless its carnal breath and sonic tenacity leaves a want for little before Mad by Design arguably courts the widest collusion of styles and imagination within the album for its mercurial and persistently captivating feud.

The release is finished off by Day of Shame, a song which springs from a great melodic coaxing with middle-eastern promise into a rip tide of rapacious grooves splintered by scything beats. The throaty tension of the bass is icing on the toxic cake and a final track to confirm American Wrecking Company as one potent and exciting force.

Everything and Nothing is a beast of a proposition which ticks all the boxes and more yet you still feel there is so much more to come from the band such the potential equally loud within the creative ferocity. Happy days!

Everything and Nothing is out now on iTunes and other stores through Pavement Entertainment.

http://www.americanwreckingcompany.com/    https://www.facebook.com/americanwreckingcompany

Pete RingMaster 27/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Flaw – United We Stand

With their acclaimed last album, Divided We Fall, still raising high praise and attention, US rockers Flaw release a companion piece in the shape of new EP United We Stand. Offering four new tracks and a pair of live cuts of songs first appearing on the highly successful 2001 debut album Through The Eyes, the EP is a prime slice of Flaw’s melodically rich and enticingly muscular rock ‘n’ roll.

Released through Pavement Entertainment, United We Stand is a fiery often irritable fusion of nu and melodic metal with hard rock driven by similarly fired emotion and intensity. As soon as opener I’ll Carry You envelops ears it is easy to see why the release is described as a companion and continuation of Divided We Fall though it soon shows it has plenty of its own character and imagination to be a fresh and potent step on. The first track coaxes ears with a suggestive melody, Jason Daunt’s guitar a swiftly captivating lure soon joined by the potent and distinctive tones of vocalist Chris Volz as bold rhythms stir. As in turn sonic flames escape that melodic enticement a similar urge hits the throat of Volz, his initial smoulder becoming an emotive roar before the crescendo of sound settles once again. The magnetic cycle repeats with increasing appeal, the track a crackling fire of sound and heart further stoked by the enterprising swings of drummer Dan Johnson and Tommy Gibbons’ brooding bass.

It is a striking song quickly backed up by the darker air of Fall Into This. Bass stirs the senses with melancholic prowess initially before the wiry heat of the guitar cradles the melodic expression of Volz. It is a captivating mix of dark and light, emotional and aural shadows colluding with again fire bred textures as the song croons with infectious dexterity. At times imposingly heavy and frequently seductively inviting, it is a fascinating incitement before My Style uncages its volatile adventure, submerging ears in a Staind meets One Minute Silence like drama. It too has tempestuousness to its heart which infests the sounds shaping its proposal and it too leaves ears and appetite thickly satisfied.

The live tracks are Only The Strong and Payback; two rousing encounters showing why Flaw is such a powerful and skilful draw on stage which leaves Such Is Life to bring United We Stand to its conclusion. There is a raw edge and air to the whole of the EP but is especially vocal in the final track, feeling like it was recorded live in one take to pull the listener right onto a face to face union. With each passing second it becomes more ferocious and turbulent but without losing its melodic craft as the EP come to a fine close.

In some ways there are no new surprises within United We Stand, the release Flaw as you know and fans embrace them, but rarely do you feel like old waters are being stirred only fresh pleasure.

United We Stand is out now digitally and physically via Pavement Entertainment.

https://flawband.com    https://www.facebook.com/FLAWBAND/    https://twitter.com/officialflaw

Pete RingMaster 05/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright