BoneHawk – Albino Rhino

BONEHAWK_RingMasterReview

Having already been gobbled up in as a limited vinyl release through Hornacious Wax Records in 2014, Albino Rhino from US heavy rockers BoneHawk gets its official CD release via Ripple Music, who the band recently signed with, this month. Already preceded by single/video Los Vientos, as part of the label’s Second Coming Of Heavy series but not actually on the album, the band’s returning debut album is an invitation and wake call to those yet to discover the melodic and groove woven rock ‘n’ roll of the Michigan quartet.

With its seeds already sown when guitarist/vocalist Matt Helt and guitarist Chad Houts first met and bonded in third grade at school in Kalamazoo, BoneHawk emerged in 2011 after the pair played together in various projects over the years. With bassist Chris Voss alongside Houts and Helt who also provided drums, the trio set about recording Albino Rhino with Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit. In less than two months the first run of vinyl was sold out whilst, with drummer Jay Rylander and bassist Taylor Wallace by now alongside the founding duo, BoneHawk was being devoured on their local live scene. A second ‘Ultraviolet Purple’ pressing of the album followed and either sparked the attention or came about through the attention of Ripple Music boss Todd Severin. Whichever the line of events, it has led to the CD availability of Albino Rhino, a release which maybe did not blow us away but certainly has sparked persistence in returning for more helpings of the band’s riff loaded and groove strapped persuasion.

Inspirations for the band seem to stem from the likes of Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath; the latter certainly and quickly an open influence and hue to Albino Rhino. It opens with Argenia and straight away grooves are enjoyably entangling ears as the bass almost dances on the ear with its throaty tempting. Beats have a hefty swipe to their touch too whilst riffs and the harmonic tone of the vocals, singular and as a pair, bring further magnetism to a quickly and highly infectious song. The blend of dark and melodic, heavy and light grabs the imagination with ease, contrasting as potently with the more intensive touch of the rhythms as the song continues to captivate and impress.

art_RingMasterReviewThe following Sexy Beast is just as swift a persuasion; its sizzling air immediately coating the senses with an appetising coaxing, almost echoing the fiery textures which coloured its predecessor before casting its own spicy flames in a prowling gait. There is a great delta blues like tone to the track and especially its rich melodies and emotive tone, but as shown in the first track and becomes repeated throughout Albino Rhino, things never seem to hang around in one shade of sound or imagination for long. Hot Mary is the same; the song evolving an initial heavy stroll with a juicy blues scent to its grooves through catchy swings of beats and riffs matched in infectiousness by the ever engaging vocals of Helt.

Weaving a seventies heavy rock vibe, Tonight We Ride steps up next, keeping the listener’s physical and vocal involvement as busy as ever whilst Warchild is like a net of appetite trapping grooves and stoner-esque temptation. Sometimes it takes a band like BoneHawk to make ears remember how close many genres are to each other, how they are a one-step evolution from another and the relative pointlessness of tags in so many ways. The song is a festival of flavour even in its generally reserved and slim body; a paint box of rock ‘n’ roll colours especially vibrant in its furnace of a chorus and additional crescendos.

Ulysses puts in its claim for best track honours next, the song a feisty and ears blistering stomp of individual craft and anthemic tempting quickly followed by the dirtier, almost sludgy theatre of Desert Run. Its rugged landscape is sultry and almost imposing but with its cow bell and searing tendrils of melodic acidity alone, its creative body is just as welcoming as anything on offer by the album.

There is a whiff of Pentagram to Nomad which next takes over and envelops ears in a tangy melodic smoulder with again grooves which seem to writhe and entangle with snake like dexterity as rhythms cage and provoke even stronger physical engagement. There is an instinctive bond between song and listener which is never absent from any track within the album and certainly not the closing pair of the virulently swinging Going Over The High Side and the closing title track of Albino Rhino. For almost eight minutes, the final encounter fascinates and enthrals with its individual drama of sound and accomplished craft sculpted with stirring imagination. In many ways it is the most unique song on the album and a potent end to the spirit rousing encounter.

We look eagerly forward to what comes next from BoneHawk; going by Albino Rhino it is likely to be weighty and seriously alluring. Add a little more originality and the band could kick up a real storm of attention around themselves to build on what will assumedly arise from this highly enjoyable re-release.

Albino Rhino is released on CD on April 22nd via Ripple Music across most stores and downloadable now @ https://bonehawk.bandcamp.com/album/albino-rhino-2

https://www.facebook.com/bonehawkkzoo

Pete RingMaster 22/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Monolith – Dystopia

MONOLITH2 Photo by Fabian Sauer

It is very easy to have mixed feelings about Dystopia, the debut album from German doom rockers Monolith. On one hand it is so close to Black Sabbath in its sounding, with even vocalist/bassist Ralf Brummerloh offering a clone like Ozzy delivery as he unveils the individual narratives, that you struggle to pick out too much which makes a distinct and unique impact. Against that though, the release and songs are so magnetic and superbly presented that it is hard not to be compelled to indulge in its seventies seeded and sounding flight time and time again. It is an encounter which is sure to divide opinions but you suspect will persuade more than it disappoints.

Based in Bremen and formed in 2010, Monolith creates an atmospheric and sultry old school doom rock atmosphere which wears its heart and origins on every note and syllable expelled by the trio of guitarist Ron Osenbrück and drummer/backing vocalist Andre Dittmann alongside Brummerloh. Inspirations it is easy to assume include the likes of Electric Wizard and Pentagram but it is that Sabbath well where the heart and breath of the band’s first offering seems to be spawned from overall. With lumbering intensity and imposing predatory rhythms aligned to tightly binding grooves and searing psychedelic temptation, the predominantly live recorded Dystopia is a thick oppressive charm to easily enjoy, if probably not to be inspired by.

The album immediately engulfs ears with deep pulsating riffs, gripping rhythms, and a growling almost carnivorous bass sound, the latter persistently pleasing bait across the whole of the release. Won’t Come Down is an immediate Cover Artwork by Rocket & Winkand sizeable tempting to start things off, not a particularly dramatic offering against subsequent tracks but a clear hint of what is in store. The song strolls with a heavy yet eager gait, grooves and caustic sonic flames holding a creative grin as they smart against the senses and imagination. The vocals of Brummerloh as mentioned also show their influence boldly, whether by choice or coincidence, but still make an enjoyable colour in the sultry scenery of the song and its swagger fuelled, contagious chorus.

The strong start is matched and pushed a tad further by the following Cosmic Fairy. From a delicious throaty bass coaxing and a swiftly joining blaze of seventies washed acidic guitar, the track holds a steady and even stride framed by similarly gaited rhythms. Though the song does not have the infectious lure of its predecessor, it burns and sizzles with striking designs of sonic venture from Osenbrück to certainly grip attention and awaken a keen appetite for the unfurling proposition.

The next up Hole roughly caresses ears with an initial hot scrub of fuzz filtered guitar and a dark bass tone with an almost demonic tremolo resonance to its malevolence. Smouldering in breath and citric in flavour, the track winds around thoughts and emotions with potent melodic and hazy hues, easily recruiting intrigue and enjoyment. Again though there is no escaping the comparison to the Birmingham legends which dilutes any chance of passions raging before its undeniable skilled and appetising incitement, something applying across the whole of Dystopia to be honest.

The dark uncompromising title track slowly wraps its heated climate around senses next, it’s slowly imposing doom sourced evocation a thick engaging swamp of ebbing and flowing enticement which pleases without sparking real fire in the belly. Its successor Acid Rain employs similar intrusive textures amidst entwining spirals of sonic tempting and a great incendiary flame of funk infused adventure, to explore a successful but barely lingering path.

The album concludes with two highly satisfying encounters, firstly the infectious hip swinging Sleepless Eye. With its transfixing addictive lures and expressively charismatic melodic web of invention, it is the best track on the album; a richly enterprising treat of a song which is unafraid to glide through energetic festivity to suffocating doom crafted shadows, every twist lit by scorching guitar play. The closing Rainbow provides an epic journey of seismic intensity and rhythms within virulent psychedelic smog of imposing weight and heavy metal structures. It is a predator of a track, stalking and preying on the psyche whilst unleashing a contagion packed net of rapacious endeavour. Monolith saved the best encounters to the rear of the album, a closing packed with potential and more originality than shown before but still within well-trodden avenues.

There is no getting away from the core recognisable sound of Dystopia and its inspiration but even with that Monolith provides a strongly enjoyable and easy to return to release which has to be classed as a success.

Dystopia is available now via Finalgate Records @ http://finalgaterecords.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Monolith.doomrock

7.5/10

RingMaster 09/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Deep Desolation – Rites Of Blasphemy

DD

Casting a captivating web of sludge and doom drenched black metal ripe with fiery psychedelic grooves Polish metallers Deep Desolation make a very convincing argument for turning to the dark side with latest album Rites Of Blasphemy. The release is a venomous yet irrepressibly magnetic soundscape to a blasphemous occult driven world, an encounter which as the greatest evils has an irresistibility which says all is well as it infests with ruinous intent. It is not always a kind listen though and carries a few niggles which stops it making and even greater impact but from start to finish, Rites Of Blasphemy makes for a compelling and potential soaked enjoyment.

Hailing from Łódź, Deep Desolation was formed in 2009 and within a year creating their debut album. Released via Quid Est Veritas Productions/The End Of Time Records in the February of 2011, Subliminal Visions made for a formidable introduction to the band and its sound. A line-up change followed before the band provided two tracks for the split release Chapel of Fear with fellow countrymen Primal and Iugulatus that same year. From there the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Meriath, guitarist/vocalist Markiz, bassist Piorun, and drummer Wilku, set about working on their second album, a release which steals attention from the outset, never relinquishing its grip until the last note of its demonic fascination.

Rites Of Blasphemy opens with the epic persuasion of Between the Tits of a Witch. From a sinister landscape of disturbing DD coverwhispers within an intimidation ambience, thick predatory riffs and ravenous rhythms seize senses and thoughts as rasping venom fuelled vocals slowly squall over their brewing toxicity. It is an instantly striking and appealing mix which flirts wantonly as it worms around and into the psyche. Acidically sculpted grooves add to the captivating bait, their touch and enticement fiery as they sear air and ears with inventive design. Within the caustic beauty and at times seductive enterprise, there is a threatening underbelly of rabid shadows and merciless malevolence working away led by the raw vocal spite. All combined, the track makes an excellent beginning to the album, a constant trigger for the imagination to erupt from but it does push the limits of its stay at almost ten minutes in length with no major deviations in its concentrated languid prowl.

The following Searching for Yesterday emerges from a potent heavy metal coaxing into a darker rapacious but no less gripping provocation. Riffs and rhythms all carry a heavier intensive weight and throat to their attack and sound, as does the malice seeping vocals, though this is tempered by the spiteful grooves and great individual endeavour of the guitarists. The track has a bestial breathe to its body which is accentuated by the distressing landscape of the instrumental Intermezzo. The piece is a demonic insight into the stomach of hell, a maelstrom of lost souls and suffering sounds which is quite mesmeric and provocative before it leads to the doorway into Blasphemous Rite. Rich transfixing grooves entwine around ears as riffs, aligned to thumping and agreeably challenging rhythms, heavily consume the senses. The song as the album prowls and preys on senses and emotions, a creative predator happy to skirt around and intimidate its victim with riveting lures of sonic adventure and intrusive melodic toxins. Like many of the tracks and again fair to say the release itself, the encounter does not ignite and burn as ferociously as you hope and expect but that cannot prevent it making a sizeable impression and deeply satisfying proposition.

The expansive length and weight of Mroczny Hymn comes next and though it also outstays its effective suasion at over eleven minutes, the track does not fail in taking thoughts and emotions on an intrusive and in many ways a cinematically expressive journey which excites the imagination. The guitar craft is especially inciting and impressive within the tempestuous soundscape, as is the rhythmic stalking, but it cannot prevent the track losing its richest hold on attention more than once across the length of time it engages the ear.

Cuius Regio / Eius Religio offers an almost insidious tone and menace through vocals and the venom infused grooves and hooks which wind around the raw caustic rage of riffs and the just as exacting rhythms. The song’s thrilling slightly pestilential call is swiftly backed up by I Became Your God, a track from the start encroaching on ears with great abrasing ravenous riffs which are soon in league with devious grooves. The track moves through evolving gaits and changing strengths of rabidity as it hunts down emotions for just one more commanding pleasure.

The album closes with the exhaustive weight and predatory oppressiveness of Necromouth, a final track impressing whilst confirming the craft and might of the band’s songwriting and invention. With essences of bands such as Cathedral, Pentagram, and Carpathian Forest to their sound, Deep Desolation is a band fans of sludge, doom, and extreme metal should definitely be checking out.

Rites Of Blasphemy is available via Darkzone Productions now!

https://www.facebook.com/deepdesolation

8/10

RingMaster 06/06/2014

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Cave of Swimmers – Self Titled

 

CoS

Originally self-released last year, the self-titled debut EP from Cave of Swimmers now has its deserved wider release with The Path Less Traveled Records, and an insatiably magnetic treat it is. Consisting of four irresistibly flavoured tracks which are unpredictable and compelling, the release ignites ears and imagination with a contagiously adventurous and dramatically enthralling encounter. Fusing the rich essences of varied metal and rock ventures into mouthwatering landscapes, band and EP provide one surprising and wholly captivating encounter.

Cave of Swimmers consists of Guillermo Gonzalez (vocals, guitar, synth) and Arturo Garcia (drums/backing vocals), two musicians hailing originally from Venezuela who relocated to Miami a few years back. The pair met in school but it was only nine years after their first meeting when Garcia git his first drum kit that the pair started making music together. They played in a few projects including a Rage Against The Machine cover band before Garcia moved to Miami followed four years later by Gonzalez. More years passed before the pair linked up musically properly, forming The Tunnel before renaming it Cave of Swimmers.

Their debut release instantly tells you all you need to know about the pair, their influences, intentions, and undoubted musical skills. From  CoS coverthe opening track Hangman, the band unveils a superbly textured and provocatively spices weave of styles and flavours ranging from seventies heavy metal and psychedelic rock to stoner and doom as well as a stirring progressive encrusted spicery. As the first song proves it is a riveting and refreshing concoction which hits the sweet spot time and time again. Song one instantly has attention at its will with eagerly coaxing rhythms framing expressive and inventive guitar suggestiveness. It is a heavy and melodically infused invitation which losing a little of its grip when relaxing into a less surprising stride, though it soon regains its potency with the outstanding vocals of Gonzalez. His voice soars and roars simultaneously, complementing and driving the sounds around him whilst his guitar, as the rhythms of Garcia, tie up any lingering doubts with anthemic arms.  As confirmed by all songs, there is never a moment to assume you know the destination of a track, a thrilling jazz/funk like salsa of Latin rhythmic temptation and melodic seduction tripping up expectations towards the middle of the first song before excellent guitar craft entwines ears and thoughts.

The outstanding start is soon matched by the initially bewildering Materia. A sinister atmospheric embrace coats the senses first, the breath of the moog synthesizer lying provocatively upon the ears as a rhythmic hurrying pushes the listener into the thick doomy arms of the song. It is a slowly tempered prowl which courts the imagination before being torn apart by the vocal flames of Gonzalez, his delivery verging on operatic and a shock to assumptions, a very welcome and absorbing jolt to expectations. The track continues to stalk with a noir clouded ambience and heavy footed muscular persuasion. It is an irresistible bewitchment, a beautifully thought out and presented drama which explores a brighter but still doom bred scenery. Keys and guitars cast further twists in the haunting narrative as they drop into a frightening textures and sonic mystery before reaching skywards with emotive invention to close the song.

The song Cave of Swimmers steps up next instantly employing open homages to the likes of Sabbath and Pentagram in riffs and melodic grooving whilst vocally they are again sparked by a heavy metal seeding. It is only part of the song’s colour though; it’s contagious hooks and winding sonic bait offering thoughts of Kyuss and Metallic in varying degrees. Inventive and persistently shifting in its gait, intensity, and pure imagination, the song escorts the listener on a breath-taking ride across scorching melody draped scenery and sultry sonic climates, closing out in a blistering vocal crescendo.

The strikingly impressive and immense infection of the release never abates across its length, the closing Catch ensuring the EP ends on the same lofty heights as it started on. The track arguably is the least adventurous of the four but still treats with stoner visited psychedelic temptations and the ever impressing vocal suasion, whilst samples and progressive tinkering only enhance the recipe. It is a fine end to a masterful and rapturous debut by a band with all the potential to make major strides and deposits in the world of metal. Make a note of the name Cave of Swimmers you will be hearing a great deal more of these guys we suspect.

Cave of Swimmers is out on The Path Less Traveled Records now!

https://www.facebook.com/caveofswimmers

http://thepathlesstraveledrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cave-of-swimmers

10/10

RingMaster 16/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Clashing sinews and sonic deities: an interview with Gregg Higgins of Venomous Maximus

Photo by Mark C. Austin

Photo by Mark C. Austin

 Rock/metal, however you wish to describe the enthralling leviathan of invading shadows and seriously addictive melodic alchemy that is the music of Venomous Maximus it is a confrontation which leaves you gasping and hungry for more. The recent worldwide re-release of their debut album Beg Upon The Light has slammed the quartet right in the midst of the most rapacious yet sonically rewarding bands today. Towering riffs and equally mountainous rhythms crowd maelstroms of irresistible grooves and an intensity which staggers within the impressive release backing up the almost fearsome reputation of their live performances. Given the welcome opportunity to quiz and dig deeper into the band with vocalist/guitarist Gregg Higgins, we soon realised this is much more than a band for the man and his colleagues.

Hi Gregg welcome to the RingMaster Review and many thanks for taking time to talk to us.

First of we will ask for the benefit of those yet to be fully acquainted with Venomous Maximus can you give us some background to the beginnings of the band and its members?

I am an artist and a tattooer. Our drummer Bongo builds motorcycles. Trevi is a math mathematician and a hot sauce master and Christian makes everything happen. I moved to Houston 6 years ago and had been planning for 4 or 5 years on starting the band. I was just waiting on the perfect time and the right people. Then everything fell into place…the end.

Was there an immediate connection musically and in thought about how the band would progress between you?

Yes of course. We weren’t getting anyone involved if they had to be taught anything. I think that’s important when putting together a band. Not just finding members that can just play the music. They have to understand the master plan.

Some bands have a ‘leader’, a founder who is the prime force behind the direction or creative input is that the same with Venomous Maximus or is it a more democratic process within the band?

It’s like being on a submarine. It’s a tight ship with not a lot of space to move around. Everyone has a role and job in the band and doesn’t have to be told what to do. I am the main creative force but it’s just a bunch of ideas. Everyone puts in their input but they are the ones that actually make it happen.

You are seemingly tagged as anything from an occult rock band to a doom or heavy rock. I am not sure any of those truly describe your intense flavoursome rock’ n’ roll, how would you describe your massive sounds?

The whole name game that is involved with underground music is getting pretty silly now days. None of it really matters it should be just for fun and a way to describe and communicate what bands sound like to friends. Our goal was if we play a metal show we are the rock band. If we play a rock show we are the metal band. A chameleon if you will.

I have to ask the about the seeds to the great band name, which alone raises images personally of an insidious dark unknown with

gladiatorial strength and purpose.

You have given the best description of the name. When I hear it that’s what I think of… A titan or god from the ancient world. It basically comes from a tattoo design from the 60s and 70s of a solider that has been away from home a little too long.

Lyrically your songs also approach and investigate the unknown and unspoken shadows. Is this an interest which goes beyond just writing songs?

Yes of course. All of the material comes from experiences or situations I have found myself in over the years. I am not signing about graphic novels or movies or religions. This shit is real man!

Your excellent originally self –released debut album Beg Upon The Light has just been given a re-release through Napalm Records, did they come to you with the offer or were you searching for a wider outlet for the release?

We have always had the attitude whatever happens… happens and Napalm was very interested immediately. Some other labels hit us up but we didn’t wanna get lost in the mix so we decided to go with our gut.

So they were not alone in showing interest over past months or so?

Yea I guess I don’t know what your idea of interested is. We can be pretty picky and choosy about dealings with our band. But most of the buzz has started again in the last couple months. The material on the record is getting old to us and time for some new tunes.

942460_10151622495054738_934875440_nBeg Upon The Light was very well received on its first unleashing, were you more confident with this world wide release or in some way more nervous than before?

Truthfully this band began with a spark and I have always known that we would grow into a flame. It’s kinda like when you meet a woman. Something is a little bit different about it…things just seems to work and flow naturally even when problems arise they seem to take care of themselves, almost guided if you will. When things seem to naturally work in life you shouldn’t question them. ..that’s arrogance to me.

The album follows your first EP The Mission of 2011, and though you are still young in terms of the time the band has been in existence how do you feel your music and songwriting has developed between releases and also what you are presumably coming up with as either new material or ideas now?

Yea I feel the material has grown light years. We spent a good two years just me and the drummer working on a set to finally scratch it when the band actually started playing. We spent damn near the 1st two years playing every week, there has been more time spent on stage than in a practice room now. When your material is written in a practice room compared to being written on the road and in a fully functioning band you really see what you’re made of. Right now we are in the process of writing the next record. I truly feel that it is a true interpretation of what we have wanted to sound like. Much more mature song writing with more of a classic approach to rock n roll than just metal or doom or fucking yea. Hopefully there will be a group of people that don’t like it because it’s not our old material… hahahaha…but they can live in the past and do nothing

How does the song writing process work within the band and are songs as good as completed before entering a studio or do you prefer evolving ideas within that environment more?

Its 3 parts me in my bedroom. Then brought to the practice room and then worked out for the stage. Once the kinks are worked out for performing the song, then the studio. All of the salt and pepper is put on in the studio through intense examination and then its dead to me.

Are you quite strict with yourselves over ideas and things that do or do not work when writing? Do you have a mound of elements discarded or shelved for another opportunity?

We treat the band as if it was a being. As if it’s a ghost. He has his own personality and own opinions and knows what he likes and if he wants to change or stay the same we have to respect his decision. We are just here for his voice to come through. He does half the work we do the other half, so not all the decisions are up to us.

Is it riffs or melodies which generally come first for songs, or do are more often triggered from the lyrical side of your invention?

Actually goes back and forth. A lot of times its lyrics and thoughts that really drive me to write a song, or it could be as simple as me jamming Fleetwood mac and going to the guys with we have to write a song like this our way. Which is normally slightly faster with a little bit of chuggy and a blues lick laid on top. If you got a sharp year you could relate every one of our songs to The Cure, Madonna, David Bowie, all the everyday music that elitist underground’s lie about how much they love. We don’t give a shit about any of that. One of my favorite bands is Enya and she ain’t even a band. hahahaha

Beg Upon The Light is an inventive and intensive ravishing which does not really allow any breaths to be taken within its leviathan like confrontation of towering riffs and equally mountainous rhythms as well as enthralling of invading shadows and seriously addictive melodic alchemy, well how we see and feel it anyway. Is it a deliberate intent to have the listener use every part of body, senses, and emotions within its encounter or just something which naturally evolves?

I believe that all artists that have suffered and given their lives up so that they could interpret their experiences to art hope that other people will pick up on what you’re putting down. What you’re explaining is pure projection. It’s the same as someone is lying to you. You can sense they are full of shit, but when people are truly disturbed and upset to their core you can literally feel. Their emotions are so strong and being amplified so much that they literately travel from your body to yours…that’s one of the 12 super powers humans are naturally born with. It’s a shame that people in this modern technology world of information don’t even know the 12 special powers that only human beings possess…or I could be lying about all this. All that really matters is what rings true to you.

You hail from Houston, how would you say the city and surroundings have impacted on you as musicians and band either positively or negatively, if at all?

Houston is my home and I have many friends here but Texas is where I am from. Houston itself is a hell hole of grime and multi cultures. It’s like the New York of the south. One thing that it has provided for us is all the many flavors of culture. So it’s helped us be a little more diverse and not seem like hippie grass eaters from Austin or Pantera rednecks from Dallas. We love all the cities here we just love to talk shit too. It’s a Texas thing. Fun loving shit talking.

Is it a supportive metal scene there for new and emerging bands?vm

Texas can be the easiest and the roughest crowd anywhere you go. People don’t care about the bullshit politics of what kind of band you are. All the crowd wants is for you to play your hardest and get off stage and have a beer and talk to them like a real person. Everybody in Texas thinks about themselves as a rock star on or off stage. So the crowd doesn’t give a shit who you think you are. They wanna drink a beer with you.

You have a great reputation for your live performances and have played with the likes of High on Fire, Down, Guns and Roses, Mastodon, Pentagram, Eyehategod, Fu Manchu, Torche, Black Tusk, Bison BC, the list goes on. Apart from great experience and recognition, what has playing with bands of this calibre brought to your own headlining shows now and in the future, again in a good or negative way?

From day one the bar has been set super high. More than 1/2 of the bands we have played with the members have been playing longer than I have been alive. The intimidation and self-consciousness got to a point of almost conquering me but I am not really one to fail. I will bite my own leg off to get out of a trap. So we had to really bear down and focus and stay out of the bar to figure out if we were gonna do this it’s gotta be all or nothing. But it was just a trial period. When things are forced to live up to a certain expectation after a while that’s just the level it becomes and then you get bored and you take it up a notch and up a notch and up a notch. It’s truly up to you if you ever want to stop progressing because the second you do. You can clearly hear it.

I sense you guys love the live side of the band intensely, more than the time and creative process involved in writing and recording new songs?

Our band is more than a band to us. It’s more like a cult. It’s taken over all of our lives and the wives of the band, but in a good way. It’s became something that brings us all together as people for birthdays, weddings, movie nights and just straight up weekend partying. Not everyone in the world still has the family they had when they were children but everyone needs a family whether they are blood or not. A band or anytime humans group together creativity and happiness should arise. so to answer your question yes this is way more than a band.

What has Venomous Maximus in store for the rest of the year and are we able to talk about a successor to Beg Upon The Light yet?

For the rest of year we are working on writing and recording the new record which will have videos, new line of merch, and a short film. We have a few shows sprinkled in the next couple months but we have worn ourselves thin so right now we are juggling our personal lives, writing and recording and planning most of next year.

Once again a big thanks for sparing time for us, anything you would like to say to the readers?

I wanna thank all the people that have taken their time to take a second glance at something and follow their gut when they feel that there’s a deeper meaning in things. If you ask the question is it going to happen to me that means it is and that’s the truth.

And finally what have been the five most potent inspirations on you musically or personally?

Music I would have to say Beethoven, Pink Floyd The Wall from 5th grade, The Crow and the Doors from 6th grade and for films that helped me get a visual for music. The lists can go on and on. I am the kinda of guy that’s good with lists. For some reason music from people who are sad or disturbed has always just made me happy. It’s the people who relish in superficial joys that make me angry and Kenneth Anger is the shit. Read books so you don’t have to wait

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus

Read the Beg Upon The Light review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/venomous-maximus-beg-upon-the-light/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 26/07/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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Venomous Maximus: Beg Upon The Light

VM Composite - Large

Released in North America last year, Beg Upon The Light the debut album of Texan Dark Occult Metal band Venomous Maximus gets its worldwide unleashing via Napalm Records, and a powerful deep mark it is sure to make. Ten tracks of towering riffs and equally mountainous rhythms alongside a web of potent irresistible grooves and an intensity which sweeps you off your feet, the album is an enthralling leviathan of invading shadows and seriously addictive melodic alchemy wrapped in a classic metal inspired embrace. It and the band stand as a major stoner/doom clad player, their presence sure to be an inspiration to many.

The album follows their EP, The Mission of 2011, a release which set thoughts and appetite in strong motion with its promising start for a band which formed in 2010 and has since risen to be one of the most successful and important metal bands from Houston in recent years. Equally live the quartet has earned an enormous reputation  as they have lit up stages alongside the likes of High on Fire, Down, Guns and Roses, Mastodon, Pentagram, Eyehategod, Fu Manchu, Torche, Black Tusk, Bison BC and many more. Now thrust into the faces of the full expanse of the globe Beg Upon The Light will take little time in persuading, one suspects, that it is one of those classic moments which defines a band and their presence in the ears of the world.

The ominous emotive keys opening up Funeral Queen instantly engage the imagination, the brewing darkly exotic atmosphere a 485 Venomous Maximusspark to devil spawned thoughts and challenging sonic caresses. As it closes the distant but distinct vocals of Gregg Higgins add their corruptive presence though his tones truly stand eye to eye with the listener at the beginning of the next up Path of Doom. His part spoken resonating tones provides here and across every song a glorious unique narrative which invites irresistibly the listener into the heart of the dark realms explored. From its opening crescendo of energy and potent sound the song prowls the senses with scorching flames from the guitars of Higgins and Christian Larson licking at the ear whilst Trevi Biles brings further menace with his bass lures. The track continues to roar and growl through to its thick and provocative conclusion, the band providing a sonic fire to eat at and ignite the senses.

From the immense start things only reach to another depth and plateau with firstly Give Up the Witch and then Father Time, the first of the pair a fresher version of a song from their first EP. Stroking the ear with sinew driven riffs and firm rhythms from drummer Bongo from its opening breath, the track is a primal contagion which incites the imagination and toys with the passions through spires of sonic wind and tumbling cascades of addiction causing rhythms whilst vocally again Higgins pulls us through an invocation of devilish mystique. It is a slice of compelling excellence soon matched by its atmospheric successor. With keys crafting the intriguing ambience a lone guitar colours thoughts with its emotive description whilst Higgins again paints the scene in his unique style. It is only a brief song but quite delicious as its sets up the climate for what is to follow.

Complete with bulbous beats and stalking rhythms the outstanding Dream Again (Hellenbach) is next to inflame the passions, its thick stoner fragrance a sizzling temptation within the uncompromising intensity and power of the track. Another major highlight of the release with grooves and sonic colours wrapping greedily around the listener, the song encapsulates every rich aspect of the individuals within Venomous Maximus, their absorbing songwriting and its invigorating burning realisation, and the union of everything into what surely is a major breakthrough into the echelons of metal for the band.

All through the exhausting Moonchild, the predacious Battle for the Cross, and the dramatic and antagonistic triumph that is Venomous Maximus, the album reinforces its riveting authority over the passions with inventive ease whilst Mother Milk is simply another emotionally conjured delight with strings providing a mesmeric melancholic cradling of the ear whilst quaint keys paint their equally suggestive hues. Quite stunning it is a masterful fascination leading into the final blaze of inventive ravishing, Hell’s Heroes, a lasting confrontation which sears and chews on the senses with rapacious riffs and rhythms veined by sonic radiance and vocal intimidation. Complete with more ridiculously contagious grooves it is a mighty end to a magnificent album.

Though lyrically you can question some of the ‘comic book’ like tales and the band does not break into many new arenas of invention with Beg Upon The Light, you will not have heard it before in the individual and thickly persuasive style as brought by Venomous Maximus. The album is an insatiable treat and one setting the band as a true force in world metal.

https://www.facebook.com/VenomousMaximus

9/10

RingMaster 07/07/2013

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Shinin’ Shade – Sat-urn

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Taking the listener on an evocative and intensive journey of heavy lumbering riffs, bulging rhythmic resonance, and a fire of melodic rock ridden by quite compelling vocals, Sat-urn the new album from Italian band Shinin’ Shade is a masterful triumph which thrusts the band into a certain spotlight. Creating a riveting fusion of progressive and stoner rock with the dark shadowed intensity of doom and searing psychedelic blazes, the release even without the band yet arguably finding their true unique voice, offers a classy irresistible persuasion which cannot be dismissed. The seven track beast leaves the listener exhausted, enthralled, and most of all richly satisfied with the thrilling offerings laid before the ear.

Formed in 2005 by Allen Kramer (guitar, mellotron) and Roger Davis (bass), the Parma based band first made a mark with their self-titled demo in 2009 which was followed immediately by Mike De Chirico replacing the departing original drummer to join the pair and Mek Jefrey (guitar, vocals).  The following year saw Shinin’ Shade release their debut also self-titled album via Italian label Moonlight Records like the demo and subsequent releases, to strong responses. Then in 2011 vocalist Jane Esther-Collins joined the band and as their Slowmosheen EP showed upon release in in January 2012, the band found it’s most potent and formidable presence. Draped in strong acclaim the release was backed up by impressive performances across festivals and shows in Italy and Europe. The new album SatUrn is their most accomplished release to date, a powerful and imagination capturing journey alongside a burial procession through dark and desolated landscapes into the deep, sacred desert of Wiriguta.

The adventure starts with Our Time And Space, thick plunging bass grabs spearing lumbering fiery riffs and concussive rhythms 554097183-1before the track elevates all aspects into a sweltering furnace of sonic declaration. There is heavy treacle like ambience soaking the breath of the song with guitars and bass crawling intensely over the senses whilst the cracks of drum maliciousness attach themselves to bone and emotions. Once the wonderful vocals of Esther-Collins walk all over the encounter with pure majesty the track rises to a pinnacle which instantly sparks up a form of hungry rapture. Brewing a blend of beauty and intimidation with her stunning voice and delivery, her presence has the strength to bring the best out of song, sounds, and the passions in the same way that Jess does for Jess and the Ancient Ones, the songs impressive pieces of craft but the vocals turning them into a different terrific experiences. The track itself almost stalks thoughts and feelings, its evolving gait and intent unveiling dark corners and invasive shadows within perpetually changing aural scenery.

From the scintillating start the release ventures through Keyhole/Inner Saturn and Over-Sea Nightmares, two tracks which bring stunning ports of call in the overall emotive trek of the album, the first a track enriched with stoner grooves and seductive melodic temptation within a rapaciously encroaching atmosphere and labouring enveloping energy, the seamlessly almost toxic move from energetic flames to white hot smouldering sonic malcontent as impressive as it is corrosively invigorating. The second of the pair immediately slaps Sabbath like riffs to the ear before the guitars fire up another contagious dance of sonic alchemy and melodic acidity for a continued expressive satisfaction to the extensively pleasing release.

The following Through the Wires of Your Mind initially sways in front of the listener with a fascination of progressive/psychedelic elegance wrapped in an almost wanton invitation before stretching it into an exotic flame of delicious temptation further expanded into a part caustic part golden allurement energetic wash. As with all the tracks there is no obvious prime direction, the song moving through numerous avenues of light and dark as well as emotive climaxes which is as compelling as the sounds sculpting their narration.

Before coming to the end of its quest, Sat-urn unleashes more impressive and creative enterprise with the excellent Nowhere Dimension and closing song Epic Talk but sandwiched within them both is the best song on the album. Denied Lovers has a carnivorous voice and texture to the drums and bass especially, which incites the predatory instinct of the guitars as they expose the senses to a scorching fire of sonic consumption. Within the tempest though Esther-Collins tempers the heat with her exceptional voice, its forceful and harmonic fusion demanding its own slice of the passions and thoughts to steer alongside inventive guitar craft a thoroughly entrancing victory.

Though the release shows that Shinin’ Shade is still in the process of developing its own unique voice, and it is not that far away on the evidence of the album, Sat-urn sets the band up as one of the brightest beacons in the rapidly expanding genre of doom/progressive rock. With elements fans of the likes of Blood Ceremony, Jess and the Ancient Ones, Pentagram, and Electric Wizard to name a few, will devour this band is set to rise to a very potent destiny for them and us.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/SHININ-SHADE/169113931530

9/10

RingMaster 11/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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