Defy The Ocean – Elderflower EP

DTO_RingMasterReview

Ignore the post rock tagging when seems to accompany UK duo Defy The Ocean as their sound is so much more than that. Well not exactly ignore as it is one prevalent texture within a proposition which commands attention but as their new EP Elderflower reveals, the band is as eager to embrace alternative and melodic rock as they are grunge and many fiercer flavours. It results in a sound which captures the imagination across seven intriguing tracks within Elderflower, songs which are a mix of sheer bewitchment and less dramatic adventures but all offering company that only firmly satisfies.

Defy The Ocean consists of vocalist/guitarist Chris Theo and drummer/guitarist Marcos Economides, a pair which met at high school and began jamming together at the respective fifteen and nine. Having gone their separate ways the duo reconnected and musically linked up again in 2009, Defy the Ocean emerging from their songwriting and playing. Their first two singles were released in 2010 with the Myopic EP unveiled late 2012; its well-received release followed by the single Gold & Green the following year.

Working on Elderflower since then, Theo and Economides have pushed their sound to another level, weaving soundscapes of dramatic textures within melancholic atmospheres coloured with matching emotions. Equally they have drawn on more virulent forms of rock to add an inviting catchiness which whether subtle or forthright is another potent draw on ear and imagination.

The EP opens up with Rest, a sombre introduction sharing its shadowed heart through the first melancholy hued strains of guitar. As more creative detail appears, the song comes to life, its emotive intensity as dark and troubled but shaped by melodic suggestion and graced by the excellent vocal harmonics of Theo. Ebbing and flowing with energy and raw emotion, the track grips ears, seizing the imagination as forcibly in less than three minutes of striking enterprise.

elderflowercoverart_RingMasterReviewThe following Veil equally opens in calmer sorrowful waters, wrapping downcast yet vibrant melodic strands around ears as a dirtier bass line walks the shadows bringing a portentous air to the blue but radiant captivation. Along its body, the track continues to grow in layers and ear snatching textures, as with the EP as a whole needing numerous listens to appreciate the levels and nuances making up an ultimately enthralling body with increasing impressiveness following every venture into its riveting downcast landscape.

The EP’s title track comes next, casting a theatre of emotion and sound with essences of bands like Tool, Pelican, and Grenouer in its tempestuous landscape. Both Theo and Economides entangle each other’s enterprise and technical prowess, rhythms a rousing often destructive element as sonic adventure links up with rawer trespasses for one infectious tempting.

Brine follows with its own thick canvas of dramatic sound and emotional turbulence, Theo vocally emptying the song’s heart as the guitars cradle his dejection. Again it is beguiling stuff if at times lacking the last few sparks that lit up its predecessors, though to be fair there are moments it radiates like a creative sun to dynamically pleasure the senses before Vessel soulfully caresses ears with its atmospheric despondence and warm understanding. The most adventurous track so far, it transports thoughts into exotic places over time, always sharing compelling emotion and an understated yet powerful catchiness which just as potently fuels the impressive tones of Theo and his and Economides’ invention.

The piano bred instrumental of Poisoned leads into final track Bones, its brief heavyhearted beauty the appetiser to the woeful and epically shadowed closer. With moments of melodic clarity and stormy intensity, all swept across by the vocal and harmonic elegance of Theo, the last song is emotional turbulence within a musical tempest and quite beguiling with greater command on the passions with every listen.

Within Elderflower, Defy The Ocean merges recognisable essences and textures with their own stirring invention. It makes for a masterfully powerful release becoming more striking with time shared.

The Elderflower EP is out now @ http://music.defytheocean.com/album/elderflower

https://www.facebook.com/defytheocean/

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lower Automation – Maps

lowerautomation_2016_RingMasterReview

You have seen those scenes in movies where people are strapped in front of a screen and bombarded with rapid brainwashing images; finally succumbing to the kaleidoscope of ravenous suggestiveness. Listening to Maps, the debut EP from US experimental punks Lower Automation, is like a sonic version of that; a proposition gripping the psyche with its quick fire and voracious onslaught of mathcore and noise rock trespasses. The difference is that Maps is a welcome infestation of ears and imagination which with every listen becomes more and more tenaciously seductive.

Hailing from Chicago, the seeds of Lower Automation begin with experimental/post-rock band Counterfeit I and Derek Allen who came from the band to form the new “kinetic frenzy” posing as Lower Automation  that is about to invade the rock scene. His former project found potent success which, from Maps alone, it is easy to suggest the threesome of Brian Sutton, Matt Walen, and Derek has the potential to eclipse.

lower_automation_maps_cover_RingMasterReviewRecorded with Sanford Parker (Pelican, Wovenhand), Maps instantly entangles the senses and a quickly eager appetite in the discord fuelled enterprise and sonic dissonance of opener Ring. It is a striking web of imagination which flirts and picks at ears with unpredictable and incessantly hungry dynamics; a creative dilemma for the senses  which plays like the mutated offspring of a liaison between At The Drive In, Devo, Wire, and The Dillinger Escape Plan. Fair to say though that the song quickly breeds its own unique character and devilment as frenetic bursts align with, and become tempered by, ‘mellower’ flirtatious passages as song and band reveals new sides to their rebellious adventure. It is when the creative ‘psychosis’ breaks loose though that lustful passions are especially sparked and further the track’s attempts to steal the whole show.

The excellent start though is more than matched by the band’s new single Decorated; the song swiftly showing itself another invasive tapestry of rhythmic agitation and raw sonic virulence. There is a much catchier almost pop element to the song too, the likes of Baddies and We Are The Physics coming to mind at times, though again as it warps into distorted spatial atmospherics Lower Automation show the fullness of their imagination and an invention which is all their own.

Break Room Curators offers a more noise rock sculpted venture; its body and features slightly more fluid in their infectious flow than certainly the first song but still casts a dark and sinister, not forgetting infectiously flowing, tirade of off-kilter and intrusive discordance in voice and melodic toxicity amidst scything rhythms. The track does lack a certain spark that its predecessors irresistibly carries but it still leaves enjoyment high and ears eager to devour more, which the following caustic maelstrom of The Cartographer feeds impressively. The track is a maze of sonic paradoxes and melodic toxins with an emotive angst to match as it rummages through the psyche, blisters on the senses, and fascinates the imagination.

Closing with the initially hellacious exploits of Scissor Lapses, the EP offers a final glimpse into the creative craft and aberrant imagination of Lower Automation. The song proceeds to explore a cacophonous and demandingly addictive landscape of sweeping hooks and inviting grooves within an ever evolving exploration of rabid sound and unpredictability; finally leaving on a senses invading sonic clamour.

It is a fine end to a thrilling debut from Lower Automation; a release which has certain familiar and welcome traits but is a whole new psychotic frenzy of invention ready to infect an as yet unsuspecting rock world.

Maps is released April 1st @ https://lowerautomation.bandcamp.com

Upcoming US Tour Dates:

3/5 – Skeletunes Lounge | Fort Wayne, IN

3/12 – The Oasis | Grayslake, IL

4/8 – The Refuge | Pana, IL

4/10 – Bremen Cafe | Milwaukee, WI

4/13 – The Rockery | Wyandotte, MI

4/14 – Buzzbin | Canton, OH

4/15 – Spacebar | Columbus, OH

4/16 – Crofoot | Pontiac, MI

https://www.facebook.com/lowerautomation
Pete RingMaster 28/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Lumberjack Feedback – Blackened Visions

THE-LUMBERJACK-FEEDBACK_RingMaster Review

As debut albums go, Blackened Visions from French instrumental progressive doomsters The Lumberjack Feedback is a colossus, though maybe that is not so much a surprise given the impressive and intensive tempest of their earlier offerings. The new album though sees the band exploring even more darkly provocative depths and uncompromisingly invasive textures in their sound and sonic suggestiveness. Blackened Visions lives up to its name with physically invasive ease; providing an inventive playground for the imagination and emotions to eagerly conjure within whilst at the same time luring ears into dramatic landscapes.

The band’s first acclaimed EP Hand of Glory in 2013 set the template and intent of The Lumberjack Feedback exploration in composing and sound, it offering a highly ravenous and intrusive adventure which has only grown more compelling and creatively dynamic, not forgetting experimentally bold within Blackened Visions. Between these releases, the Lille quintet drew potent reactions with Ausstellung, a split release with We All Die (Laughing) and the live EP Noise in the Church, both in 2014. Fair to say though, that Blackened Visions sees the twin guitar craft and imagination of Simon Herbaut and Arnaud Silvert, the predacious bass trespass of Sebastien Tarridec, and the united and often duelling enterprise of drummers Nicolas Tarridec and Virgil Chaize, sculpting their most stimulating and immersive proposals yet.

Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe band’s fusion of crushing doom metal with progressive and post rock explorations, all infused with tar like sludge and intensively fiery stoner-esque fascination, swiftly seduces and devours body and senses with the initial heavy throws of its opener No Cure (For The Fools). The track is a predator, laying down a sonic trail as menacing riffs lurk in the background before bringing it all to the intimidating fore led by the bestial instincts of bass and the united grouchy twang of the guitars. The track continues to crawl over and invade ears as it develops an equally gripping anthemic devilment to the combined but individual rapacity of the drums. There is a touch of Morkobot to the piece and equally in its raw character and volatile intensity, the scent of bands like Neurosis and Pelican, but whereas maybe in previous encounters they would be an overriding presence straight away Blackened Visions reveals a distinction solely from The Lumberjack Feedback.

The excellent start continues with the album’s title track. The melodic first touch and stormy air is an engaging but portentous melancholy fuelled invitation which only intensifies as guitars and bass entwine and creep around firm rhythmic pokes. There is a fearsome romance to the lure of the music too, even as things intrusively erupt and grooves become more sinewy as rhythms forcibly make their trespass. Darkness and invasive shadows always come equipped with a certain lure and so it is with the increasingly fiery and vitriolic landscape and indeed heart of Blackened Visions, song and album.

I, Mere Mortal steps forward next, another sonic coaxing the first contact from within which a rousing rhythmic incitement grabs the imagination and appetite. The anthemic potency of the drums is matched by a throaty bait of bass whilst a repetitive nagging from the guitars adds to the raw almost monolithic tempting enveloping the listener before spreading broader pestilential and ravenous sonic antipathy. The track is irresistible; a gloriously bruising call to arms led by, to simplify things, the thumping drama of rhythms and niggling persistence of guitar.

Karma to Burn like spicing lines Salvation next, melodic acidity which burns on the senses but sweetly entices ears and heart to its cancerous rock ‘n roll leading to intensely viscous doom and post rock spawned exploration. It is a flight into the beauty and hopeful calm found within acceptances of dark and merciless emotional and physical climates, and another song which leaves the body invigorated, thoughts stretched, and emotions exhausted.

A tapestry of drama and creative enmity follows with Dra Till Helvete, the track an addictive and mercurial beckoning turned sonic devourer leading body and imagination into the hellish depths of the underworld with rhythmic magnetism. As through all tracks, thoughts paint a picture and emotions flirt with more intimate realisation, every intrusive note and swinging beat a powerfully impacting and rabidly lingering incitement to be entangled in.

Mah Song (Horses Of God) completes the album, it a rumbling and lumbering beast merging expulsions of rock ‘n’ roll with psyche twisting post rock winds infused with danger lit melodic veins. It is a dramatic and compelling end to a demandingly impressive proposition. The Lumberjack Feedback has unlocked their most destructive and invigorating depths yet with Blackened Visions and it feels like it is just the beginning too; happy days!

Blackened Visions is out now via Kaotoxin Records digitally @ http://listen.kaotoxin.com/album/blackened-visions and as limited edition 500 copy DigiSLeeve CD with 100 copy collector edition 12″ LP on clear vinyl and 400 copy limited edition 12″ LP regular versions will be released during 2016’s second quarter at the Kaotoxin Shop.

https://www.facebook.com/thelumberjackfeedbackband    http://www.thelumberjackfeedback.com/    https://twitter.com/LumberjackFeedb

Pete RingMaster 18//01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Unbeing – Raptus EP

Unbeing - Raptus promo photo

Following on from their seemingly universally acclaimed debut album, Canadian progressive metallers Unbeing have released the exceptional Raptus EP, a rich and compelling journey for the imagination and emotions. As technically captivating and enthralling as it is evocatively absorbing and invigorating, the four track release whisks the listener across an expansive landscape of sound and adventure but one also soaked with an intimacy which provocatively caresses thoughts and feelings. It is a compelling and exhilarating proposition, easily one of the most pungently inspiring instrumental releases in quite a while.

Formed in 2006, Unbeing began as a three piece. Line-up changes ensued whilst two demos in 2008 and the following year respectively, drew strong and enthused reactions. The Montreal band then won Metal Académie 2, a two month competition judged by the likes of Kataklysm. The next step in the evolution of the band, seemingly inspired by the judges’ comments of that competition, saw the band dispense with vocals and concentrate on their already striking instrumental explorations. Over the past eight or so years the band has continued to evolve and impress live, sharing stages with bands such as Neuraxis, The Red Chord, Walls Of Jericho, Martyr, Katatonia, Incision, Anonymus, Beyond Creation, and Scale The Summit along the way. 2011 was the year of their self-titled debut album, with the band at this point grown to a quintet. It received acclaim from fans and media alike, its re-release two years later as a re-mixed and re-mastered vinyl edition equally devoured by the metal community. Now it is the time of the Raptus EP to spark the passions, something its twenty minute flight across a Montreal Metro themed incitement is sure to repeat time and time again as it draws minds and hearts into its imaginative aural poetry.

Unbeing opens up EP and imagination with Rapture which from the first wind of metal on rail coaxes with an evocative melodic enticement which wraps elegantly and creatively around ears and thoughts. Rhythms shuffle erratically Raptus artbut purposefully over the senses as guitars and keys cast a fine web of intrigue and awakening urgency. It is a dawning, an inventively expressive entrance into a busy and continually but gently escalating fever of activity and emotionally rich dramatic hues. The outstanding track flows into the next carriage of the evolving adventure, the following Batterie Faible bringing a more settled and sultry air to the emerging scenery. There is a jazzy breeze and breath to the caress of the song, again the guitar of Sherif El-Maghraby and the seducing keys of Martin Labelle washing over ears with a contagiously picturesque and melodically fuelled sonic design. Entwining peaceful climes and tenacious rapacity, the song intermittently seduces and agitates the emerged vision in thoughts, bursts of aggressive intent swarming across less intensive moments. It is all irresistibly framed and veined by the shadowed emotional hunger of Jean-Philippe Bédard’s drums and the increasingly provocative swing and flirtatious grooves of bass from Alexandre D’Amour, their drama alone potent fuel for the quite exceptional and embracing, physically and mentally, piece of adventure.

Over the two songs thoughts of the likes of Tesseract and Pelican come forward but also in different ways others like The Ocean and indie instrumental band Human Pyramids, particular elements, textures, and melodic paintings pulling loose but definite comparisons. The next up Tetris Rufus sparks similar thoughts but again another fluid shift in the journey sees the listener taken into darker more metallic structuring within a melodically incendiary climate. There is a volatile edge to the piece too, guitars striking at ears with jagged riffs whilst rhythms pounce upon and bustle their way across the senses. That rugged swirl of intent and intensity though is tempered and held in the thick emotive heated hug of resourceful keys, their touch and suasion a constantly changing mesh of warm feelings and anger defusing vivacity.

Final track 2nd Cup flows elegantly out of another underground sourced sample between songs. It swirl and dances with seductive melodies for an immersive mesmeric embrace to which more mercurial flames of heavier incitement and energy smoulder with urgent intensity across the incoming sunset of sound around another ebbing of adventure. El-Maghraby exploits the frenetic climax of the experience deliciously, his fingers manipulating the final throes of the journey and crescendo of emotion before the eventual peace of the destinations end clangs and leaves its disappearing mark. As all tracks it is a sublime piece of composing and realisation to which the band add their individual and united insatiably scintillating descriptions.

Raptus is the perfect instrumental adventure, one which never gets fussy or over-elaborate, but also never misses the opportunity to aurally and emotionally explore every nook and cranny of its ideation and premise as well as the imagination of the listener. The Raptus EP is an essential investigation which if you are quick Unbeing has made available for free download until the end of July at their own website. What still here?

The Raptus EP is available now via BLK COQ Music and at http://www.unbeingmusic.com/

https://www.facebook.com/UnbeingMusic

10/10

RingMaster 18/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

 

Plebeian Grandstand – Lowgazers

Plebeian Live w_ Ivo

French extreme metallers Plebeian Grandstand has one of those sounds which is so viciously ugly and vehemently destructive that you cannot understand why it is just so compelling as evidenced by their second album Lowgazers. Consisting of eight mercilessly voracious smogs of corrosive ambience and sonic violence, the release is pure noise toxicity; an insatiable pestilence of sound and hostility but as it suffocates and violates ears and beyond it is also dangerously addictive. To be honest it is hard to say exactly why this is so, though certainly the band craft the demise of the senses with undeniable invention and antagonistic passions, but the bottom line is that it is one compelling scourge and at the end of the hellacious day that is what it is all about.

Plebeian Grandstand have fused the darkest venomous, uncivil aspects of black metal with the equally poisonous core essences of hardcore and sludge metal; the result a maelstrom of spiteful dissonance and ravenous intensity which takes the listener into a ruthless tempest of sonic devastation, leaving them there basking and cowering in a primal wasteland, in this case Lowgazers. The release is the most destructive and bedlamic onslaught from the Paris based quartet yet, pushing intensively further the boundaries and inventive vitriol of their sound as first unveiled on their self-titled EP of 2008. Debut album How Hate is Hard to Define two years later ensured the band make an attention forging scar on the metal scene as equally did the band’s live performances which across the past years has seen them leave waste stages across Europe alongside bands such as Pelican, Horse The Band, Loma Prieta, The Holy Mountain, Off Minor, Intronaut, Celeste, The Ocean, I Pilot Daemon, Carnival In Coals, and Manimal. Two splits with firstly Divider and Bone Dance in 2011 and Cortez the following year arguably hinted at the jaundiced proposition to come but Lowgazers reaches far deeper into the blackest rancorous depths than imagined and could have been anticipated.

Recorded and mixed by Amaury Sauvé (Birds In Row, Calvaiire, Death Engine), the album immediately has thoughts running scared as FRONT NEW 300opener Thrvst emerges from a cold sonic ambience. Its sinister embrace is soon joined by slow sonic chords which entwine their lures tightly around ears before the onrush of barbarous blast beats and a tortuous sonic enslavement of the senses. Vocals viciously squall from within the storm, spewing their grudging malevolence across the unrelenting rhythmic abuse. All the time though there is a caustic groove, for want of a better word, which lays down the fullest contagious toxic bait from the inside of the noise friction consuming air and victim.

It is a crippling start to the album which evolves without real respite or respect for wounds into the following Endless Craving, another rapacious torment which smothers, gnaws, and devours body and soul. As I am sure you have assumed this is not easy listening, not an encounter with any ounce of comfort or mercy musically or vocally, and most like lyrically, though at times only the intensity of the delivery and surrounding fury is a clue but you can safely assume these will not be tales of love and golden fields. The track rages and ignites every rabid muscle and raw breath within itself for the nastiest rewarding exploit.

Whether it is an accumulative effect or simply the greater brutality of the songs, both Flail in the Bliss and Lowlifer put the listener under the strongest examination yet on the release, the first an inharmonious swamp of inventively cast malice and the second a synapse searing cacophony of vocal and emotional pain within an equally tormented furnace of mentally permeating sound. It has the senses ringing as it fades into fluid transformation into the ambient noise bred Relief of Troth. It is hard to call it an instrumental as the piece is more a pass over a caustic wasteland with hazardous shadows and sinister breath.

    Svn in Your Head mentally burns from its first acrid note; slowly unveiling an intrepid malignancy of sonic enveloping which stalks and invades with a doom spawned energy and sludge thick animosity, never relenting in its prowling weight of provocation and heavily leaning sound. As all the tracks, and album come to that, whether enjoyment comes into the equation is a debate for each to ponder but once more there is a persistent temptation which infects for a lingering need to suffer more, a pain both Aimless Roaming and the closing exploration of Mvrk Diving are keen to offer. Their individual enmities score and deplete the resistance of body and emotions even further bringing the album’s most inhospitable alienation in its conclusion, though again with riffs and rhythms horde like aggressors and lethal hooks the deepest transgressor it is hard not to want more.

Released digitally March 31st and as a 2 LP release via Throatruiner Records on April 10th, Lowgazers is a chaos hard to endure and ultimately survive intact against but a merciless adventure from Plebeian Grandstand that it is easy to recommend to those brave enough to face its discordant conflict.

http://plebeiangrandstand.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/PLEBEIAN-GRANDSTAND/160680714032

8/10

RingMaster 30/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com