Shades and glories; talking Different Light with Trevor Tabone

The history of progressive rock band Different Light comes in two parts, each seeing the band finding greater attention and plaudits to match their relentless growth in sound. Following their acclaim clad last album, the band is preparing to record its most inventive and imaginative collection of songs for a new album so we took the opportunity to explore the band to date with thanks to Trevor Tabone, a founder of Different Light.

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

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

The band consists of: Trevor Tabone (vocals, keyboards) that’s meJ, Jirka Matousek (bass), Petr Matousek (drums), Petr Lux (guitars, backing vocals) and Petr Kania (live guitar). The band was originally formed in Malta in 1995 with 3 other members besides myself; then I reformed it with the current line-up after I moved to Prague in 2000.

Have you been involved in other bands before?

I was obviously involved in a few other bands before Different Light. The style has always been prog/classic rock, changing slightly according to the time it’s in.

What inspired the band name?

Mark (original guitarist) came up with the name when we were drinking in a bar, usually the place for the best ideas!

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

Personally speaking, I see myself more of a songwriter than a musician, so I’ve always sought the best musicians I could find to help me create and record the material I’d written. Regarding the sound, it’s got to be melodic and powerful with lyrics the listener can relate to.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

I suppose the driving force is still one of wanting to move people with the music we make; I think I can speak for the rest of the band with this.

Since your early days also how would you say your sound has evolved?

We’ve obviously become technically better, plus the new members to the constantly changing (evolving?) line-up always add a new dimension to the sound.

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more the band deliberately wanting to try new things?

More organic I would say, it’s all about evolution and not intelligent design 🙂

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

What particularly inspires my writing is personal experience and real life situations, people I know or even people I just observe. I’m not into fantasy and sci fi! Of course there are the many bands that we love and have inspired us, Genesis, Supertramp, Pink Floyd, Rush, Dream Theater and quite a few others.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I sometimes come up with a lyric and put a melody to it and go from there. Or I’m fooling around on my piano or guitar and come up with a chord progression and a basic melody which I develop. I sometimes just completely rip off something (joking of course :)).

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our last release, The Burden of Paradise, came out just over a year ago and has been received fantastically by both critics and fans. We were high in many of the prog polls for 2016 and sales were excellent too. Its success has been a great inspiration for me personally and I’ve already managed to write the next album which we hope to start recording later this year.

Can you offer some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

A lot of the themes are personal but which I hope the listener can also relate to. They deal with love, death, freedom, religion, history, delusion and a host of other subjects.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

They pretty much are in their final state when we go in to record, as we always develop and arrange them in our rehearsal sessions before. Obviously some changes are made during recording, but not too many I’d say.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

To be perfectly honest, we’re more a studio band than a live one. Having said that, we’re rehearsing to play a few gigs later this year and we promise to give a memorable show!

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?

The Czech Republic isn’t exactly a hotbed for progressive rock, so we’ve found that our market is mostly around the rest of Europe, plus various other parts of the world too of course.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success?

It’s a bit of a double edged sword, in that it has helped, or even enabled us to make our mark in the music world without having to rely on a record company. It also makes the recording of an album so much easier. On the other hand though, streaming and illegal downloads have obviously cut our sales dramatically. Still, I think it’s mostly positive for bands like us.

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

Our next album is going to be even better than the last 🙂

 

https://www.differentlight.cz   https://www.facebook.com/differentlightsound/?fref=ts   https://www.youtube.com/c/differentlight

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Magnetic reflections: looking into Black Mirrors

We were aware of the buzz building up around Belgian band Black Mirrors so eagerly anticipated checking out their new EP release with Napalm Records. Fair to say that Funky Queen more than lived up to the praise gathering around its release, revelling in the myriad of flavours behind its bluesy rock ‘n’ roll. Offered the chance to find out more about band and release we fired questions at vocalist Marcella Di Troia and guitarist Pierre Lateur.

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Firstly can you give us the background to Black Mirrors; its beginnings and how you all met?

, c Nanna Dis 2016

Marcella: During summer 2013, I wanted to create a female band. I found a drummer and a bass player but found it difficult to find a female guitar player. I was looking for someone who could play like Pierre the actual guitar player. I was fond of his sound. I couldn’t find a girl who could do that. So, I asked Pierre to join the band. After some jamming, we wanted to work harder and to start to write our own songs but the girls didn’t have time to invest in the project. So we forgot the idea to have an (almost) female band and invite two old friends, Gino and Edouard to join the band as bass player and drummer. We used to play with them in other bands before Black Mirrors.

We recorded our first EP and did our first gigs with this line up late 2013.

What inspired the band name?

Marcella: The name Black Mirrors came up with the TV show Black Mirror, a really cool English series which shows how technology is progressively changing our world. People are more distant to one another by being connected to the virtual world. We do not want to judge anybody, it’s just that we are witnesses of that change in our society and it touches us.

You sound is seemingly bred in garage rock but, as your new EP Funky Queen shows, flames with much broader rock ‘n’ roll diversity. What are the kinds of inspirations which have lit your musical imaginations most prominently?

Marcella: All the bands we are listening to were influenced prominently by blues masters such as Bessie Smith, Leadbelly, Robert Johnson, BB King, Muddy Waters, Blind Willie Johnson… So I would say the blues.

Pierre: Apart from the blues, we have a lot of different influences like the stoner scene, the late 60’s and early 70’s rock music like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zep, Janis Joplin and even the early Pink Floyd, the revival scene like The White stripes, Rival Sons and The Black Keys, some elements of soul/funk music and a bit of desert-blues like Tinariwen.

The Funky Queen EP has just been released through Napalm Records; how did that link-up come about?

Marcella: During summer 2015, we were invited to play in Germany at «Out and Loud» festival. Napalm was there as they opened the festival with a Napalm label night. Some of Napalm’s bands played there and they found us a slot to play. That was our first contact. We stayed in touch with them for a year and last summer we sent them our new songs. They liked it and Napalm offered us a deal.

It is being described as the band’s debut EP but am I right in thinking it has a self-titled predecessor released in 2014 which new fans to the band will want to know about?

Marcella: Yes, you’re completely right! Three years ago, we released our very first EP. We recorded it a couple of months after having started the band because we wanted to play live shows as soon as possible. This first EP is now sold out.

How would you say the Black Mirrors’ sound has evolved over its first handful of years?

Pierre: The basic sound didn’t change that much. Since the beginning, we wanted to create a music which will be a mix of all our influences. In 2013, our songs were already a mix of blues/rock, stoner and a bit of psychedelic music with a vintage approach.

But if we speak of the sound more specifically, the guitar sound became wilder with the years and our first drummer left the band. He was replaced by another one who came with his sensibility, approach and specific sound. So these two elements influenced a bit the final result.

With all artists, there is a specific intent fuelling their first steps. What was the driving force for Black Mirrors?

Pierre: Nothing more than being happy and thankful to play together. We are friends for such a long time and we’ve started the band to enjoy creating music together. We never had a big statement like « We want to play this kind of music, like very pure blues or a specific kind of stoner. » It was always about playing anything we had in mind without thinking too much. Maybe it’s the reason why there’re a lot of different influences in our music.

Listening to the EP there feels like there is a strong collaboration between the band in its songs birth and character. How does the band’s songwriting generally work?

c, c Nanna Dis 2016

Pierre: Most of the time I create basic ideas like a riff or two and show it to Marcella. We work together on a first version of the song, she composes her vocal part and we work on a basic structure. We show this draft to the band. With them we give the tune his final form. We often create new parts, remove others; jamming around the sound. Because of all this process, the song’s final version is sometimes totally different than the first idea.

Can you give the readers some insight to the background and themes to Funky Queen?

Funky Queen, which opens our EP, is about addiction. Funky Queen is the queen that confronts everyone with one’s own demons.

The second song is Kick Out The Jams, a MC5 cover. We wanted to put it on our first EP as it’s represent very well the general energy of our music.

The Mess is a song about messy feelings you get after you broke up a very bad love relationship. Sometimes, you’d rather not see things than to be destroyed for your entire life.

And finally, Canard Vengeur Masqué to end up…It is a song who talks about the missing of one of your parents after a divorce, the way you can feel forsaken in this situation as a child.

Funky Queen has a great cover to match its sounds. Who is behind the artwork and indeed the band’s excellent logo?

Pierre: It’s Sebastian Jerke, a German artist who worked with My Sleeping Karma and Colour Haze to name a few. We really like his job. We got in touch with him and he appeared to have several great ideas for the artwork.

Apart from the likes of Front 242, dEUS, Soulwax, Enthroned, Triggerfinger, Steak Number Eight, and the excellent King Hiss, I cannot say we know too much about the Belgian rock scene. It is a healthy place right now, especially in its underground?

Well, it depends if it is in the French speaking part of Belgium or the Flemish part. We think Flanders gives more chance to underground music. Just by seeing bands you named, most of them are from Flanders. We are coming from Wallonia where the rock scene is a bit shy. Unfortunately, you barely see a rock band as highlight on a festival poster in Wallonia.

What is next in the immediate future of Black Mirrors?

Going on tour with Horizont and ’77 and record our full length album.

Once again our big thanks for sharing your time with us.

Check out our review of Funky Queen @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2017/03/03/black-mirrors-funky-queen/

http://www.blackmirrorsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/blackmirrorsmusic   https://twitter.com/BlackMirrorsmus

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The silent roar of darkness; talking Evocation with Skin Drone

SD_RingMasterReview

Within the metal underground, it is fair to say that anticipation for the debut album from US band Skin Drone has been increasingly eager in many quarters. The web based project is the creative union of vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Erik Martin of Critical Dismemberment and multi-instrumentalist/producer Otto Kinzel from Chemical Distance and the founder of Bluntface Records. Next month sees the release of debut album Evocation; a proposition offering emotionally and lyrically dark tales as raw and caustic as they are seductive and elegantly evocative. The album pulls the listener into ravenous experimental landscapes of imposing shadows and emotional turmoil shaped by a fusion of extreme, industrial, and avant-garde metal with provocative ambiences, to simplify it all. It is powerful and invigorating, and the source of a hunger to dig deeper into its heart. So with big thanks to Erik and Otto, that is what we have done as we explore the world of Skin Drone…

Hi Guys and thank you for sharing your time with us.

Can you first tell us how you both met?

Erik: We met through Operation: Underground [a compilation album on Blutface Records]. Critical Dismemberment was on that release and Otto mixed/mastered the song for us. From there, we became good friends throughout the months and when Otto approached me about Skin Drone, there was no way to say no.

Otto: After Operation: Underground, which my label Bluntface Records released, I started working with Critical Dismemberment much more and they eventually joined the label. So by that point I had already been talking with both Erik and Chase Fincher (who did all the mixing & mastering on Evocation) for some time. I was always impressed by both of them and we all became really good friends. Erik and I have a lot in common so I think we naturally connected on a musical and personal level. When I asked Erik if he’d be able to help me out with vocals on some songs he jumped at the chance. That first song was what ended up becoming Witching Hour, and Erik hit a home run with it! I was so blown away by what he wrote and performed that I knew we had to pursue this more. Long story short, here we are. And it’s funny because even though Chase isn’t a “member” per say of Skin Drone, he played a huge role in the final product because he’s the one that brought the tracks to life when he mixed the album.

As you have already touched on, you are both heavily involved in other projects, solo and with others, and Otto you with running Bluntface Records too; so when did the seeds to the actual project of Skin Drone first arise?

Otto

Otto

Otto: I had been trying to get a variation of Skin Drone off the ground for probably a year or so prior to hooking up with Erik. And I had basically no luck whatsoever. So when I started working with Critical Dismemberment, and subsequently got to know Erik and Chase better I knew that there was special talent there. As I mentioned, Witching Hour was the first song we collaborated on together. I had a rough demo with just guitar and drums recorded when I sent it to Erik to try his hand at it. I never had a serious vocalist attached to this project and the whole thing was basically dormant in my efforts to get it off the ground. Erik came back with a very impressive performance and lyrics, and I was blown away. I specifically remember thinking “damn, if we can make this work, even with 1,000 miles between us, we might be onto something really special”. And the momentum kept building with each song afterwards as both of us got more comfortable working & writing with each other. The chemistry was very natural; I don’t remember ever really having to “force” anything in the creative process.

What was the initial spark and indeed the moment where you knew it was going to work?

Erik: For me it was hearing the final mix of Witching Hour when we first started. It just felt right and when we really started to venture out into the experimental with Shepherd Of The Damned, we ran with it and embraced the sound we were crafting, that for me cemented that we were a force to be reckoned with.

Otto: Shepherd of the Damned was the first song we did where there were multiple changes in the timing, and in the overall feeling of the song. The levels of dynamics in that were tricky to start but once we had the final version, I think we both knew we had stepped our game up a notch.

Did you set out with a particular intent and direction for Skin Drone or let things organically arise?

Otto: Everything that happened was organic. Sure, we tried to push in a particular direction. At first I think we just wanted to pursue the technical death metal type of sound. But funny enough, the more we “tried” to push for one specific style, the more things spun out of control and took on a life of their own. It was fairly early on that we realized that we needed to just “run with it” so to speak, and however the songs came out is how they came out. It’s hard to explain because so much of it was done by “feel”; but everything was organic.

As you mentioned you live hundreds of miles apart and more. So I am assuming a physical coming together for the project is near to impossible, so how does the writing and creating process work between you online?

Erik: Usually it starts off with a demo that we toss back and forth a few times until we have something that we feel out did what we accomplished with the last song. Some take longer than others but for the most part it is no different than writing in the same room; the only difference being that when we are communicating our ideas to each other, we have to be very clear as to what we are trying to achieve sonically. There is always the potential if we are having an off day that it could derail the entire song, but we always catch ourselves before that happens.

Is this a time consuming process in the creation of songs and do you work on them one at a time or work away on numerous tracks at the same time?

Otto: I’d say no more or less of a time consuming process that what a “regular” band goes through. Some songs naturally take longer than others to complete but as a whole we work at a very efficient pace. That’s because both Erik and I each do a lot of work on our own time to develop our parts and work thing out, before presenting them to the other person. And yes we’ll typically have a few songs continuously in the works. For me it helps because if I’m stuck on a certain song or just not having any luck then I can go work on something else, and still make progress without holding the whole project up.

Erik_RingMasterReview

Erik

You have just released your striking and enjoyably often disturbing debut album, Evocation. How long has it been in the making?

Erik: If memory serves me correctly, we wrote the first song in autumn of 2014 and finished the last one in the beginning of summer in 2015. It was then gone back over and mixed/mastered in the winter of 2015. We have the luxury of being able to take our time and not have to a label or pay for studio time, I feel like that lack of pressure really shows in the music.

Is it a project which has had to grow around other commitments or were you able to create it in a period of no other musical distractions?

Erik: For me, I had just finished my parts on the Critical D debut, so for 99% of this, I was musically not distracted.

Otto: I had no distractions musically. I always try to make sure I can give 100% focus and energy to the material when I’m in writing /recording mode.

Can you give some idea to its themes?

Erik: The themes are mostly centred in occultism, rituals, witchcraft, paganism and even some calling out thieves in organized religion. There are also certain personal elements hidden in plain sight, but we leave those to the listener to decide what is fiction and what is real life. It adds a level of mysticism that we build upon musically.

I was going to ask about that; as much as it trespasses the senses and psyche, there are just as evocative moments of melancholic beauty and intimate psychosis to songs. So to push for more insight, how much of their inspiration and exploration comes from the emotionally personal side and experiences of you two, lyrically and musically?

Erik: Lyrically during the writing process I was in a very dark place. Dealing with vices and very confused on what life even meant; that included the people in it. You could liken it to just doing what I had to do in order to keep breathing. All that translated to some of the darkest and angriest lyrics I had ever written. The best example of this is Salvation. That song is about a spirit that drives his killer insane and ultimately kills him and makes it all look like a ritualistic suicide. If you really pay attention to the lyrics, you start to see a very personal story of being consumed by something and the only way out is death it seems.  There are examples of this spread out through the entire album; it is all just up to everyone’s individual interpretation of the lyrics.

For us Evocation is the darkest most invasive nightmare, yet equally at times, a shadowed but understanding emotional affair between listener and song. How much was this deliberately sculpted and again how much an organic evolution?

Otto: From my perspective, watching how Erik was so methodical; in his approach to writing the lyrics and developing the themes, I would say it was deliberate. He did a wonderful job orchestrating how it all went together, like an architect. For the music and the basic song structures, all of that was organic and natural. But when it came time to add the lyrics and really focus in on shifting the songs into their “final” state, Erik was the guy commanding the ship. I know how personal and painful a lot of these lyrics are to him and I’m so impressed with his commitment to the art.

There is also a real cinematically ambient feel to some parts. This is a style in your composing which you might explore more, or already may have?

Erik: The cinematic effects (I hope) remain a staple of our sound. Already in writing some rough ideas for record two, those ambient parts will go along with the heavy parts and we will throw in some curveballs when it comes to the time changes and the melancholic parts of the music. I think we are hungrier to really explore the depths of what we can do sonically and evolve as a band.

Skin Drone - Evocation _RingMasterReviewAs we mentioned earlier, you both have other projects which between them I can say have given some of our favourite releases in recent times. When you get an idea for one, is there now an element of stepping back and looking to see if it might fit better with say Skin Drone or vice versa?

Erik: 100% of what I write in my solo project is open for us to try and make a Skin Drone song. You just never know when you put something together that you think will not work actually turns into something that makes the record. Sometimes stepping back from the craziness for a day or two can yield some badass results.

Otto: I had some random riffs and drum patterns kicking around here and there, that for one reason or another just never got used. It was fun to go back and rediscover some of that stuff. I record tons of music, almost every day. So I have a huge catalogue of material that runs the gamut from metal and industrial to dark ambient and more instrumental/score type of compositions. Most of this I just do to capture an idea so almost everything is unfinished and in a “demo” type of state. But I like being able to capture an idea and then have it saved, so someday later on if I find a place for it I can go back and see if it works.

There is no escaping the raw and bold kaleidoscope of styles within Evocation either. What are the artists or flavours which have most inspired your own inventions would you say?

Erik: For me it was a lot of Deconstruction era Devin Townsend Project. Another I was reminded just recently was the Declaration album from Bleeding Through; most notably the song Sister Charlatan. The heaviness along with orchestral parts was really my first taste of the two blended together and since then has always been something I’ve wanted to incorporate into music. Lastly, Landon Tewers who uses a lot of ambience and really dark imagery with his lyrics was a huge influence. He was my introduction onto whispering vocals and I absolutely loved it.

Otto: Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, Mike Patton and almost all of his various bands, Ministry, KMFDM, Obscura, Gorguts, Nirvana, Kyuss…those are a just a few. If you give me long enough I can come up with a ton of stuff haha.

What comes next for Skin Drone and yourselves individually?

Erik: For Skin Drone, it’s riding the album cycle until there is no more gas in the tank and then some. After that we probably take a short break and get back into writing the next record with our foot mashed on the gas. With Critical D on hiatus, Skin Drone is my one and only focus.

Otto: Like Erik said, we’re going to promote the hell out of Evocation until there is literally nothing left to promote. We’re prepared to work as hard as we’ve ever had to work in our lives to get the music out there and make sure people hear it.

After that? I think we’ll take a short rest so we can recharge our creative batteries and then jump right back into writing the next album. We already have some rough ideas kicking around for themes.

Once again many thanks for chatting with us. Anything you would like to add?

Otto: Evocation drops June 14. Please pre-order your copy at http://skindrone.bandcamp.com/releases!

Check out our review of Evocation @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/skin-drone-evocation/

https://www.facebook.com/skindrone   https://twitter.com/SkinDrone   http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/

Pete Ringmaster

The RingMaster Review 19/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Antigone Project – From Its Room

Antigone Project _RingMasterReview

Hailing from the creative belly of Paris, Antigone Project made a potent first impression with their self-titled EP late 2014; a debut which has only strengthened its persuasion over time and listens. It was stirring and eventful tempting, a fusion of provocative flavours which has been lifted to a whole new plateau with its successor, the From Its Room EP.

Embracing the emotive qualities of post and progressive rock in electronic and guitar conjured soundscapes whilst equally drawing on the eighties inspired post punk /synth rock essences which marked its predecessor, the EP is a bolder and more immersive adventure exploring persistently evolving and evocative rock landscapes within tempestuous sonic climates. The leap in creative maturity and indeed experimentation between releases and their individual characters is as open as the wealth of textures woven into the EP’s six striking tracks, and as thoroughly enjoyable as that first offering was, From Its Room simply leaves it in its shadow.

Antigone Project is the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist /songwriter Frédéric Benmussa and a project initially intended as a solo venture. Formed in 2002, the band expanded over time with bassist Manu Ventre and drummer Fred Monaco alongside Benmussa upon the latest encounter. Inspirations to the band includes the likes of Pink Floyd, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Joy Division, Tool, and numerous more, spices which were an open spicing within that first release but far less prominent in the unique proposal of From Its Room.

art_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens with First Rush, an immediately provocative mist of keys and sonic suggestiveness surrounding the senses as the song simultaneously brews up a dramatic and tempestuous climate. Benmussa’s soaring tones soon launch across the brooding canvas, his alluringly harmonies entwining with the floating wash of keys. Both powerfully draw ears as riffs and rhythms brew up within them, the imagination firing intro leading the listener to the following creative theatre of The Black Widow. Tangy hooks and sultry surf rock bred grooves engage ears and appetite straight away as the song’s sinister but seriously alluring character blossoms. As Benmussa’s voice brings another beguiling texture into play, the track’s exotic mystique and post punk charm enjoyably increases, addictive rhythms courting the surrounding adventure cast by guitar and keys. The track is stunning, an early favourite and highlight of the EP which alone shows the new diversity of sound and creative boldness soaking the release.

A live version of Trismus comes next, the band opening with grungy guitars as gothic hued keys rise up around them and the darker lure of the bass. Earlier Radiohead was mentioned as an inspiration to the band and here there is no escaping their scent as again a sweltering sonic colouring with surf/psych rock shading escapes guitars and harmonies as cinematic drama and haunting essences collude. It is a beguiling, imagination igniting immersion of the senses and thoughts, soon matched in creative endeavour by the following Sphere.

In three parts but meant as one musical movement, it begins with MoonSphere where gothic toned keys enclose ears as poetic melodies slip from the acoustic prowess of Benmussa, both expanding their temptation with an array of warm and imposing textures as vocals and rhythms bring their contrasting elements. There is a touch of The Cure and The The to the song, that previously mentioned eighties feel showing itself in a song seemingly as much Nine Inch Nails spiced. The track’s infectious union of shadows and melodic persuasion, a dark and light side, leads into the rousing revelry of VenuSphere. Straight away the track erupts, bounding along with tenacious rhythms aligned to a just as frenetic sonic and melodic resourcefulness. Inescapably though, it is still bred from the same emotional heart as its predecessor even when involving ears in its salacious temptress like festivity. Again a skilful collusion of contrasting shades and textures, this time honed into a virulent spirit arousing canter of electro rock/pop, the track sets flows straight in the final movement in the piece, PerfectSphere.

A darkly shadowed and almost portentous coaxing of ears and imagination, its riveting theatre and emotive tapestry of sound beguiles as it inflames and though as the other two, the song does work as a single proposal, Sphere has to be played as one whole flight of sound to ensure the fall through its cinematic and fascinating depths are felt to the full.

From Its Room is a thrilling new experience with Antigone Project; as suggested a major step on from their certainly impressing debut but one still seemingly like it is only part of the way towards something bigger and bolder, of which anticipation is already brewing.

The From Its Room EP is out now digitally through iTunes and on Ltd Edition vinyl via Season Of Mist @ http://shop.season-of-mist.com/vinyl/antigone-project-from-its-room-lp

https://www.facebook.com/antigoneproject    https://twitter.com/projectantigone

Pete RingMaster 05/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Veldt – The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP

photo credit Ed Marshall

photo credit Ed Marshall

The Veldt is one of those projects which really does offer something a little different and for a fair while now. It is no different in regard to new encounter, The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP either. Consisting of five immersive tracks bred in the band’s fusion of indie, dream-gaze, soul, and immersive ambiences, the release simply grabs the imagination in a creative adventure pretty much unlike any other.

Formed by North Carolina hailing twins, Daniel and Danny Chavis, The Veldt has had success capturing ears and attention since the eighties with their individual atmospheric sound. Already performing as children and taking inspirations across the likes of gospel, Motown, and Pink Floyd into their personal pleasures and thoughts, the pair emerged then as The Veldt, a name taken from a Ray Bradbury story. To simplify the following years, the duo has worked with the likes of Robin Guthrie, A.R. Kane, Mos Def, and Lady Miss Kier and shared stages with artists such as My Bloody Valentine, The Pixies, Cocteau Twins, Oasis, Living Colour, The Jesus and Mary Chain, and TV on the Radio as well as released a host of acclaimed offerings. A name change to Apollo Heights occurred around the mid-nineties followed by a permanent link up with bassist Hayato Nakao in 1999; that a move which brought a new dynamic to the band’s sound. Eventually a return to the name of The Veldt ensued and its re-emergence is now marked by the release of The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur, it the forerunner to new album Resurrection Hymns to be released later this year via SonaBLAST! Records.

With its title borrowed from an E.E. Cummings poem, the EP opens with new single Sanctified. Emerging on a gentle but sonically misty air soon welcoming the bass throb of Nakao, the song quickly blossoms into a warm yet atmospherically muggy embrace. It is an evocative hug of ears and the impressive vocal expression and prowess of Daniel, in turn a fiery but controlled trespass of the imagination built on an array of melancholic textures, transfixing melodic drones, and sonic layers shaped by the imaginative suggestiveness of Danny’s guitar. With additional vocals from Marie Cochrane to accentuate the emotive harmonies, the track is an inescapably engaging proposal to start things off.

The Veldt - The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur (cover)_RingMasterReviewIn a Quiet Room follows and quickly provides a less intensive and crowded proposition but one still as rich with emotional flames amidst guitar and keys shared drama. The vocals alone ensure attention is a given but add the thick tapestry of sound and trance seeded imagination, and the song as EP almost traps the listener in soulful beauty.

Both Token and One Day Out of Life take ears and thoughts on sultry flights through distortion lined sonically soupy climates; the first swaying and floating with ethereal elegance around more tenebrific rhythms. Its successor is a slower fall into provocative seas of sound becoming a senses smothering and engaging immersion around hypnotic rhythms. What grips the imagination most though, is the theatre of shadows which prowls alongside or courts the radiance of these and all songs; a shade perpetually reflecting and accentuating matching hues within their lyrical and emotional depths.

The EP is closed by the classically soulful and slightly familiar yet rigorously fresh And It’s You. It also has single written all over it; hooks and melodies as tantalising as the vocal and atmospheric shimmer which soaks the song as bolder rhythms pulsate with evocative temptation.

It is a fine end to a compelling release; an encounter which offers fresh intrigue and new enterprise with every listen. As suggested at the start, The Veldt creates music which stands alone; the evidence being The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP.

The Shocking Fuzz of Your Electric Fur: The Drake Equation Mixtape EP is released March 18th via Skully Records @ https://theveldtmusic.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/The-Veldt-154526351270221   https://twitter.com/veldtthe

Pete RingMaster 17/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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New Keepers of the Water Tower – Infernal Machine

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Infernal Machine, the new encounter from Swedish “cosmic rock” band New Keepers of the Water Tower is a concept album based on the classic Joe Haldeman written sci-fi novel The Forever War, a story of an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. Equally, it is a compelling incitement enabling the listener to invent their own dark and highly involved escapades within a musical soundscape which simply stirs the imagination and enslaves ears. It is enjoyably impossible to pin down the Stockholm band’s sound but very easy to suggest that Infernal Machine will become one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed in 2006 as New Keepers, extending the name three years later, the band creates a proposition entwining a tapestry of varied and contrasting flavours with an epic canvas predominantly progressive and space rock bred. As shown by fourth album, Infernal Machine, even that description is a scratch on the surface. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Rasmus Booberg, guitarist Victor Berg, bassist Björn Andersson, keyboardist Adam Forsgren, and drummer Tor Sjödén, New Keepers Of The Water Towers has the ability to transport the imagination into the focus and heart of its theme with its music alone; Infernal Machine their most devilish and sublime success yet.

The album opens with The Forever War, a track luring the listener into the centre of dark times and persistent dangers from its opening sonic pulse. Keys quickly unveil a portentous invitation, rhythms adding an intimidating drama soon after as guitars dangle evocative bait before ears. Then Booberg’s immediately impressing vocals swiftly begin unfurling the track’s rich narrative, his tones mellow and mesmeric whilst the sounds around him are predatory. It is a superbly designed blend of contrasting incitement which simply enthrals as it manipulates the psyche and imagination. At times the track is like a grungy XTC, in other moments a sonically bracing and fascinating merger of King Crimson and KingBathmat like essences, and all the time an absorbing and irresistible entrance into album.

art_RingMasterReviewIts dramatic presence and mighty temptation is matched and pushed further by the gripping adventure of Tracks Over Carcosa next. Initially, it is an echo of a cold and desolate place, a lonely place within whose shadows a pulse beats with increasing relish, emerging to pull the song into a contagious stroll lined with swinging surf rock grooves. Around it a sultry and tantalising atmosphere descends, stirring up even more infectious tenacity in rhythms and melodic enterprise. Hypnotic does not do the track justice; its instrumental air has a cinematic lure and intrigue which you can akin to sixties cold war/spy thrillers and only adding to an impossible to resist alchemy of persuasion.

Towards its departure, the track slips into a solemn noir tinged calm which continues in different form into the following and as thrilling Tachyon Deep. With the returning vocals casting a mist of seducing harmonies as rhythms reveal an almost shamanic nature to their shuffle, the song glides exotically over the senses. Thoughts run through its poetic glade of melodies and vocal caresses, immersing in the scenic expression and spellbinding landscape of the track. That deceptive calm and peace also has hidden dangers, progressively unveiling them with every twist and turn within eventfully its imposing jungle.

Misantropin Kallarv is a brief, relative to the tracks around it, respite to the intensive adventures before and after; like shelter in a soulless building or moment but one which holds secrets behind the turbulence and unrelenting pressure found in the likes of next up Escape Aleph Minor. Its successor also has a less incendiary and demanding nature to its sound and energy but certainly does not lack thick drama in sound and air or the collage of hooks and sonic seduction which incite body and thoughts. From the melodic seduction and discord of guitars and keys to the tribalistic potency of bass and drums, the song is a carousel of suggestiveness.

A slow piano sculpted gait with classical melancholy to its touch ends the track, wistfully floating away into the waiting melodic smoulder of Jorden and a lumbering, emotionally heavy engulfing of ears. More sludge than doom, the track is a rapacious and darkly poetic suffocation of the senses which may not match the impact of others within Infernal Machine but undoubtedly has the imagination conjuring away as eagerly as anywhere upon the album.

The Infernal Machine completes the release; the track with every passing minute growing and evolving whilst providing a kaleidoscope of cosmopolitan and tribalistic incitement. Its repetitious strands and drone like nagging is simply delicious, around them the craft of guitars and lure of sonic imagination mouth-watering as the album ends as majestically and thrillingly as it started. A bass led passage midway of post punk seeded virulence, the cream on the cake of the song.

Infernal Machine has so much for fans of every kind of rock and melodic/progressive metal. Those with the appetite for bands ranging from Pink Floyd and King Crimson to Goblin and The Ocean to Arcade Messiah, to hint at its diverse appeal, will find plenty to devour, though by the middle of its opener the only name on their mind will be New Keepers of the Water Tower.

Infernal Machine is released on 4th March via Listenable Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/NewKeepers

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Unified Past – Shifting The Equilibrium

Unified Past_RingMaster Review

The two years between previous album Spots and its successor Shifting The Equilibrium has taken US progressive rock band Unified Past to a new level. It is fair to say that previous offerings from the band have garnered acclaim and impressed, especially the excellent Spots but the band’s new album is a stirring adventure in songwriting, sound, and imagination which walks a new plateau. The time has also seen the trio of guitarist/keyboardist Steve Speelman, drummer Victor Tassone, and bassist Dave Mickleson expand with the addition of vocalist Phil Naro, another potent new breath to the Unified Past temptation.

Formed in 1984 by Speelman and Tassone, New York hailing Unified Past has increasingly garnered acclaim with their rich mix of sound and live presence. A sextet of albums over the years has earned the band the reputation of being one captivating and fiercely accomplished proposition, each release, as Spots to Shifting The Equilibrium, seeing sound and band grow in craft and invention, not forgetting success. Equally individual experiences has seen original band members working and playing with the likes of Chief Big Way, Belladonna, The Colin Tench Project, Oceans 5, and Reaching Ground Project. Naro too has a spicy pedigree behind him having worked with Peter Criss, Lou Gramm, Carmine Appice, Billy Sheehan, and Brian May amongst many. More impressively though is the creative and musical unity the foursome have developed; Spots impressed but Shifting The Equilibrium comes with a new roar of striking invention.

artwork_RingMaster Review The album begins with Erasure Principle, a flight of melodic exploration across a sinew woven landscape. From its first breath crystalline keys lay an inviting haze within which the guitar spins a web of sonic enticement. Straight away there is scent particular to Unified Past washing the track and the emerging tapestry of sound, a flowing fusion of seventies and eighties rock with a modern progressive imagination. Naro swiftly impresses as a new vibrancy from his voice hits the song and sound, his tones dramatic yet honed to sit perfectly with the music around him. Inspirations to Unified Past include artists such as Dream Theater, Rush, Yes; each open spices to the album but as here, primarily just adding rosy hues to the band’s own distinct endeavour.

It is a potent start to the release but soon eclipsed by the even more striking Smile (In the Face of Adversity). Keys again bring that colour of nostalgia to the expressive weave of guitar whilst vocals melodically seduce as a quickly bred drama stirs ears and appetite with an epic tone merging intimidation and fiery beauty into the diverse kaleidoscope of sound and craft shaping the outstanding track. Keys wise a whiff of The Stranglers’ Dave Greenfield adds to the perpetually blooming excitement and theatre, but as in all proposals within the album, everywhere you look and turn the quartet is creating an intricately involved, fiercely imaginative, and wholly contagious incitement.

Etched in Stone takes over next with an orchestral air to the creative intimacy of its persuasion, again the band skilled at mixing contrasting layers and depths of sound as Naro reveals the lyrical heart. The bass of Mickleson is seriously compelling, its dark grouchy tone a predacious edge to the captivating maze conjured by Speelman via guitar and keys. The further into its adventure the imagination goes the more cosmopolitan and mystical the song becomes, a middle eastern flavouring joining the endearing bait offered throughout and though it is an eleven minute flight, such its rich and busy invention, the track seems over in a flash.

It is a fascinating quality to all tracks, their meaty lengths more like fleeting moments as busy adventure grips ears from within the whole emprise of Shifting The Equilibrium, the slightly shorter Peace Remains in the World another example as its Tool meets Porcupine Tree meets Pink Floyd like tempestuous calm, hooks and seduces ears and appetite from start to finish. A carnivorous funk tempting from Mickleson especially hits the spot, its creative belligerence matched by the resourceful swings of Tassone as melodies, acidic and warm, entangle around them.

The instrumental majesty of Deviation from a Theme (of Harmonic Origin) transports the listener into an exotic labyrinth of suggestiveness and provocative sound, proving that it is not only the addition of Naro which has been a blossoming aspect to the Unified Past proposal.

The album is completed by the vast soundscape of Today is the Day, a bewitching enticing of melodic scenery and evocative textures in a constantly evolving experience for song and listener. Like a link-up between Yes and Voyager, it is an enthralling and gripping end to a mighty temptation.

It is weird to say after the length of the time that Unified Past has been around and frequently impressing so many, that Shifting The Equilibrium is a coming of age to the band’s sound but in some ways it is though. Bottom-line though is that it is a highly flavoursome and skilfully varied slice of progressive rock hard that even more are going to get a potent kick out of.

Shifting The Equilibrium is out now digitally and on CD via Melodic Revolution Records @ http://melodicrevolutionrecords.com/album/shifting-the-equilibrium

http://www.unifiedpast.com/Unified_Past  https://www.facebook.com/Unifiedpast

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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