Leaving Passenger – When it’s done

LP _RingMasterReview

Sharing a sound inspired by bands such as Incubus, Hoobastank, Breaking Benjamin, and Three Days Grace, Leaving Passenger is a Paris hailing band starting to pick up keen attention beyond their local shores. They have just released When it’s done, their debut EP offering six tracks of melodically fuelled and emotionally empowered alternative rock. There are few big surprises within the richly engaging encounter but for accomplished and enjoyably catchy rock ‘n’ roll, the EP is a potent introduction to the French quartet.

Formed in 2014 by vocalist Julien Boireau, guitarist Pierre Christophe ‘PC’ Maurier, and bassist Julien ‘Jumar’ Margat, Leaving Passenger soon completed their line-up with drummer Vince De Sousa. Honing their fiery sound over time, the band has already earned and become a strong reputation and presence on the Paris live scene which When it’s done is hoping to spread to a wider audience.

The EP opens up with Scream, its fizzy start soon ruptured by sinewy beats and in turn a fiery wash of guitar. From within that strong coaxing, wiry grooves emerge leading into the melodic and emotionally intense heart of the song. Boireau instantly impresses with his vocal presence, his tones powerful and earnest within the increasingly intense flames of guitar. There is a definite touch of Hoobastank to the song which only adds to its draw as warm harmonies court muscular rhythmic intent for a great start to the release.

frontcover-when-its-done _RingMasterReviewRunning Back To Me leaps upon ears next, instantly winding tempting grooves around them as vocals and riffs unite inside. Boireau again commands attention though sharing it with the creative exploits of PC and the firm hand of De Sousa’s energetic beats. Carrying more of a mix of Three Days Grace and Poets Of The Fall to it, the track eclipses its predecessor with its emotional intensity and creative drama; again big surprises absent but enjoyment felt full.

Through the southern blues spiced I Don’t Care and the reflective caress of Better Place, the EP continues to hold on to keen ears. The first blooms into a blaze of heated melodies within an emotion drenched climate while its successor is a captivating heart shared ballad with its own moments of passional fire.

The haunting essence of the last track is matched by that within Lies on the floor, keys floating over the senses fuelling that atmospheric feel as incandescent melodies and bold intensity smoulder to intermittently burn brighter throughout. Without quite matching the strength of other songs it still lodges in the imagination as too the closing title track with its melancholy wrapped strings/keys and intimately haunted balladry. It provides a fine end to the EP, blossoming to greater heights with every listen; an ability also shown by When it’s done as a whole.

The Leaving Passenger sound has yet to find its own identity but it only satisfies without reservations and within the When it’s done EP provides an introduction which just has to be followed up.

The When it’s done EP is out now through numerous online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/leavingpassenger/

Pete RingMaster 08/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sinnergod – Self Titled

sinnergod-online-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

For quite a while now and across a handful of releases, British alternative/gothic rockers Sinnergod has suggested they are in line to seize the British rock scene with their dramatic and ever growing sound. With their new self-titled offering the Manchester hailing outfit has come to that day, their second album a compelling and increasingly irresistible theatre of dark rock and metal announcing the band ready to help lead British rock.

Formed by twin brothers Mark and Chris Hampson in 2007, Sinnergod quickly grabbed attention and plaudits. Within months of hitting their stride live, the quintet earned a slot playing Bloodstock Open Air Festival. A trio of EPs followed, Two Thousand and Never in 2009, A World in Grey three years later with Behind Every Corner uncaged the following year. Each provided an ear and imagination pleasing proposal, each showing fresh evolution and adventure in the band’s sound leading up to the well-received and impressive debut album Seven Deadly Sinphonies in 2014, a release featuring special guests Bill Moseley (Devil’s Rejects, Texas Chainsaw Massacre) and Tobias Keast (Esoterica). Live too, the band has continued to establish themselves as one of Britain’s finest propositions, sharing stages with the likes of Misfits, Deathstars, Orgy, KMFDM, Sarah Jezebel Deva, Voodoo Six, and Blaze Bayley along the way.

This has now all been eclipsed by their self-titled offering. The new album is a monster of an adventure; a collection of songs which roar and resonate in ears and imagination. Sinnergod draw on the catchiest of eighties hooks and electronic seducing to light the darkest portrayals of emotion amidst an enjoyably invasive sound. It is music which at first appears familiar in some way but needs mere moments to reveal its own distinct and magnetic character.

It opens up with Dead Of The Night, its intro a shadowy and suggestive symphony drawing the listener into the subsequent and swiftly addictive mix of choppy riffs and melodic reflection. As the swiping beats of Chris Hampson land the guitars of Mark Hampson and Sam Saint collude with the keys of Paul Swindells to cast a transfixing weave of emotive sound. Mark’s impressive vocals soon share their heart; lying melancholically upon the blossoming landscape of enterprise as a dark edge is provided by James Dunn’s bass, its shadows in turn prowling the infectiousness of the track’s rousing chorus.

The impressive start is quickly outshone by Burn. The track is glorious, slipping in on the mist of keys as slightly deranged vocals tempt. Once in full heavy motion, riffs and rhythms march masterfully across the senses, vocals and steely melodies combining to further trap the listener. The song is a creative predator, challenging and seducing with every imaginative stride growing into something akin to Nine Inch Nails meets Poets Of The Fall but unique in its own skin.

As the last track is different to the first, The Endless with its symphonic hues offers yet another shade of adventure to the album. As unapologetically catchy as it is muscularly voracious, the song ebbs and flows like a sonic storm, moments of relative emotion packed calm instantly hit by surges of tempestuous energy and sound for another plateau of craft and enjoyment within the release, a success matched by the electronic stomp of I Never Had a Gun. Creating a tapestry of essences found in the likes of Abandon All Ships, Fear Factory, and Silent Descent, the track simmers and bubbles over as it strides relentlessly through ears and into the psyche before making way for the crystalline opening of 1000 Sins. Pretty soon though, its sinew swung rhythms and pulsating theatre of sounds swamps ears; eighties electronic flavouring hinting at bands such as Depeche Mode and Gene Loves Jezebel in tandem with Sinnergod’s own creative might. Addictive and fiercely persuasive, the listener will find themselves quickly emotionally and physically involved, certainly going by the effect song and album had on the office here.

sinnergod_album_cover_artwork-jpg_RingMasterReview There is also an element of early synthpop fuelled Ministry to the track, before Al Jourgensen dived head first into metal, and a flavouring which soaks the next up serenade of The Watched. Another which sonically simmers but with a liveliness which infects hips and feet, the song is a hug of melodic and harmonic expression and beauty.

Across the gothic electronic and keys shaped dance of Joshua’s Day and the engrossing darklight of Supernatural, a seducing with the open scent of Dave Gahan and co to it, band and album simply flow over the senses, like poetic fog laying heavy but welcomingly before We’ve Been Expecting You rises from a single evocative melody with gothic and orchestral majesty to stand god like over ears while casting its magnanimous musings. As with many songs, it feels like something you may already know yet every note and twist is a new and fresh exploration to album and the dark rock world Sinnergod are poised to take in their creative palms.

The thickly satisfying Johnny Sits Perfectly Still is arguably the least adventurous track upon the album yet needs little time to have ears and participation secured before We Don’t Have Anything looms from portentous shadows and erupts into a Korn/Machine Head spiced foray into ears and passions. The song epitomises the Sinnergod sound; meaty and dark, heavy and melodically aflame with an unrelenting intensity and energy to tempt and lift the spirit. It is an explosive and thrilling end to the album, though the minute long desolate and forlorn soundscape of instrumental XII actually brings the album to a close but it is its predecessor which leaves the last lingering imprint.

Sinnergod is a band on the march and heading to the frontline of British rock/metal, though to be honest their new album suggests they are already there.

The self-titled Sinnergod album is out now through all platforms.

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Pete RingMaster 15/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Normandie – Inguz

normandie_promo_RingMaster Review

Rock ‘n’ roll is all about arousing people; igniting their spirit and emotions in tandem with their physical presence and there is no doubting that Sweden hailing Normandie do that with debut album Inguz. It might not be a release that carries total uniqueness in breath and sound but there is no escaping its anthemic might and virulent impact.

Formed in 2013, Normandie initially emerged with a rawer sound but with the departure of their heavier co-vocalist, the Örebro hailing quartet began honing in on the rousing melodic side of their invention. This has led to the stadium rock like roar and the anthemic fuel igniting within Inguz and understandable comparisons to the likes of 30 Seconds To Mars and Bring Me The Horizon.

The album opens with Fight and an instant incitement of firm beats and handclaps which just as swiftly are joined by a heavily coaxing chorus of voices surrounded by spirals of sonic tempting. The song holds back a touch as the quickly impressing tones of frontman Philip Strand emerge, waiting for the moment to erupt into fiery life around the seriously infectious chorus and drama of the song. In no time ears and appetite are gripped by its invasive roar, even more so as Håkan Almbladh’s guitar spins an incendiary web within a familiar yet robustly fresh sound.

With energy and emotions racing in tandem with those of the song, the superb opener makes way for Awakening and it’s mellower but no less catchy endeavour. Strings scythe majestically across the sky of the song, joined by another dose of potent vocals as the darker prowling presence of John Löfgren’s bass provides a provocative temper aside the thick beats of Jesper Malmberg. Riffs and keys almost duel with rapacious zeal as they further shape the explosive encounter, a potent essence equally colouring successor Collide. With a carnivorous tone to the bass as the song expels a blood pumping bellow of sound and emotion, the scent of bands like Poets Of The Fall and Allele crossing thoughts as ears become enveloped in a masterful melodic tempest.

inguz-cover_RingMaster ReviewRecent single Believe quickly hugs and pressures with its own seemingly recognisable if indefinable character and roar, emotive radiance and atmosphere angst uniting before Loop Hole shares electronic agitation and tenacious rock ‘n’ roll in its Muse meets Sick Puppies like tempest. The track just raises the album’s roof, its aggressive and volatile character as gripping as its searing blaze of melodies and vocals are fiercely seductive.

Through the darker charm of The Deep Cold, a 30 Seconds To Mars meets The Veer Union like encounter, and the wonderfully tempestuous Calling, band and album set a fuse to greedier reactions in appetite and emotions. The second of the pair is especially invigorating and inescapably galvanic, giving yet another striking peak to the landscape of the increasingly impressing release.

The pop spiced rock ‘n’ roll of Starting New leaves satisfaction full, especially with the devilish dark tone of Löfgren’s bass alongside another great vocal display from Strand and band. It was only ever going to pale a little against the might of its predecessor though, but nevertheless pleasure is kept high and reinforced by the bold melodic flames that shape The Storm and finally the reflective smoulder of Epilogue.

All three provide a richly tempting close to an album which from start to finish has the listener rigorously involved and eager to share their own emotive roar. Certainly Normandie is yet to find their truly unique sound though very few will be complaining as Inguz takes them on a ride few will surpass this year.

Inguz is available from March 4th via the band’s own Normandie Records @ http://normandie.bigcartel.com/product/normandie-inguz-album-digipak-cd

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Pete RingMaster 19/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dangerego – Special Dreamer

Dangerego_RingMaster Review

This month sees the release via Sliptrick Records of Special Dreamer, the latest album from Italian rock band Dangerego. This is a band that has seemingly become a potent presence on the underground scene of their homeland but escaped wider awareness…until now that is as it is easy to see their latest proposal igniting global bred attention. It is an enthralling and increasingly compelling collection of songs fuelled by their “alternative/ post grunge” sound. In fact the band’s music is a tapestry of diverse and flavoursome styles across many genres woven into a proposition which is simply rumbling, fiery rock ‘n’ roll.

Formed in 2005, the Florence bred quintet emerged from a union of musicians from the city already experienced from playing in the likes of Terrametèa, Bleff, Chèquers, and Florence New Grass. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Black Sabbath, Faith No More, and Audioslave, the band soon made a potent impact on the local live scene, playing some of the most prestigious venues of Tuscany such as Viper Theatre, The Cage Club, and Borderline over time, as well as numerous festivals and sharing stages with bands such as Heike Has The Giggles, Calibro 35, and Maniscalco Maldestro. The band self-released their debut album Autopsy in 2011, it finding more success with a re-release two years later through Atomic Stuff. The autumn of 2014 saw Dangerego touring the US and playing Fall Jam Fest with bands such as Otherwise whilst last year they began working on Special Dreamer and linked up with Sliptrick Records for its uncaging.

The album quickly grabs ears and imagination with opener The Death of Thoughts, Pt. 1, an acoustic caress with electronic shadows that instantly reveals the alluring strength of band’s songwriting and the potency of Flavio Angelini’s vocal prowess. It is a mesmeric start which even at a handful of seconds over a minute in length has thoughts and attention firmly gripped and ready for the following tempting of Blackheart Hotel. Riffs straight away entangle ears with a bluesy spicing whilst rhythms forge a punchy welcome, both continuing to impose their weight as vocals and inflamed melodies get bound in fiery grooves and salacious hooks. There is a touch of Soundgarden to the encounter, a scent of Kyuss too, but predominantly here and across the album the one band which most comes to mind is Life of Agony, though undoubtedly Dangerego create something wholly individual to them.

art_RingMaster ReviewBarely a moment passes before the second song becomes the third, Everything Comes to Life a sister temptress to its predecessor but soon exploring its own emotive depths as the infectious rhythms of drummer Massimiliano Innocenti work on hips and the grooves and melodies of guitarists Enrico Francesca and Lorenzo Giusti enslave ears. Once more hooks are in appealing abundance but finely honed to sneakily line the tenacious body and anthemic pull of the song where the moody basslines of Claudio Zucchelli is as much thick bait as anything within the sultry blaze of rock ‘n’ roll.

Special Dream allows a moment to catch a breath, its initial melodic and vocal serenade soaked in reflective emotion and poetic melodies but soon it too is a robustly dynamic and a creatively incendiary offering firing up an even greater hunger for the release in an already easily persuaded appetite. Vocalist Angelini continues to impress and captivate as forcibly as the canvas of evocative and again enjoyably imposing sounds around him, even in the quieter reflective moments mid-way through the song.

I’ll Stand Here tantalises and entices with its melodic amble next, though of course it too has impassioned and sonic outbursts in its stoner/grunge hued and melodic rock coloured presence before Winter’s Come steps up to reveal its boisterous blues rock spiced rock ‘n’ roll. Expectations at this point are for songs to twist and turn through an array of flavours, and the broodingly catchy offering is no exception nor the riveting Red Dawn with its funk bred bassline and the predatory nature of riffs and prowling grooves. The noir lit track is glorious, a canvas for the imagination to run with and an enthused body to get eagerly involved with.

With another moment to relax as the emotive charm of Euphony with its classically aired keys and thick emotions takes over to further captivate, there is no escaping the diversity of sound and resourcefulness of inventive craft across the album, the last trio of songs alone rich proof, and it only continues as the dark hearted and grippingly volatile Black Soul steps forward next. From a haunted, melancholy drenched slow opening, the track erupts into a cauldron of intensive energy and ferocious drama. From the predatory bass to the scything rhythms and the searing grooves to the heart driven vocals, it is a devouring fire of magnetic songwriting and bracing persuasion that only leaves a want for more.

The Road to Stockholm also has a haunting climate to its almost vaudevillian theatre of evolving sound, its great success backed by the roar of A Trail of Tears with its flirtatious hooks and Poets Of The Fall like character. Both songs again inspire full involvement, one of the many potent aspects of the album shown again in the seemingly but indefinably familiar and bewitching Broken Bones with its electronic devilment around another imaginative sonic web sprung from the strings of both guitarists.

Completed by The Death of Thoughts, Pt. 2, the companion bookend to the opener, Special Dreamer is a masterful and thoroughly thrilling encounter which only grows in temptation and stature with every listen. Like us you may not have heard of Dangerego before but the time is ripe to change that and to prevent the secret from being allowed to go on. For stylish and imaginative melodic rock woven from its various guises, there will surely be few releases this year to outshine Special Dreamer.

Special Dreamer is out now via Sliptrick Records.

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

Pete RingMaster 11/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Forever Still – Tied Down

Forever Still - Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

As for a great many, Danish rockers Forever Still has been a persistently impressing pleasure through the release of songs and EPs since emerging with their debut release Breaking Free in 2013. Their sound is a virulent fusion of rousing intensity and seductive melodies fuelled by an emotional exploration unafraid to get into the darkest, disturbing corners of life. The last twelve or so months has seen the band working towards the release of their debut album; the release of two of the three EPs making up its strikingly impressive body ripe with the rich qualities which has drawn strong attention the way of the band. With the third offering in the trilogy making its first entrance as part of the new ten track adventure, Tied Down is one thrilling roar of melodic rock from a band destined to major things.

Hailing from Copenhagen, Forever Still revolves around the creative and songwriting union of vocalist Maja Schønning and multi-instrumentalist Mikkel Haastrup. As mentioned, the band first hit ears with their potent debut Breaking Free, subsequently breaching a broader expanse of attention with the following pair of Scars late 2014 and Save Me last April. Those two EPs were the first in the journey to create the band’s first album, the tracks within the two releases making up the first part of Tied Down with that final unreleased EP providing a quartet of new songs to explore and as it turns out, get equally gripped by.

Forever Still Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewTied Down opens with the mighty roar and anthemic insistence of Scars which from the off is a pleasingly unpredictable and ferocious proposal. Additionally featuring Jens Berglid on drums and Dennis Post on guitar, the track immediately presents a grouchy and volatile incitement soaked in the gripping voice and delivery of Schønning. Even having devoured previous releases hungrily, her vocal prowess never fails to impress each and every time and especially shinning and exciting in the album opener backed by the equally dramatic tenacity of Haastrup. Continuing to create an enthralling web of spicy grooves, intensive energy, and a growling resourcefulness as potent as the raw emotion driving the song, the song makes for a formidable start to the album.

The pair of Once Upon A Nightmare and Miss Madness quickly and strongly back it up; the first of the two exploring a slightly mellower landscape but being no less imposing in its emotive flame amidst skilfully evocative textures. Post appears again as bass and guitar collude with a flavoursome electronic enterprise, Schønning standing magnetically astride the tempestuous melodies and dramatic climate escaping song and sound. Almost intrusively majestic, the thick and impassioned encounter makes way for its classically elegant, power balled seeded successor, the song a keys and vocal led beauty skilfully tempered but inflamed further by the moody bass and guitar suggestiveness of Haastrup and Anders Bo Jespersen.

Awake the Fire steps up next, instantly gripping ears and appetite with a tangy groove which in turn sparks an energetic swagger to a boisterous stroll of hefty rock ‘n’ roll cored by a great rolling rhythmic enticement. Post appears again alongside the craft of Haastrup, the pair stirring up air and ears with their almost toxic web of enterprise within a spicy tapestry of melodic incitement and bruising anthem building rhythms. Throughout the album it is easy to suggest Evanescence and Lacuna Coil as hints to what is overall the Forever Still uniqueness in sound, and here Poets Of the Fall also comes to mind briefly as a clue to the melody rich body of the song.

The following Breathe In leaps from a great electronic teasing into a more lively but controlled canter, that early pulsating coaxing still a pungent lure alongside the tempting tones of Schønning and around the tempestuous blazes of sound and energy which erupt to further reward ears. Those rugged squalls also lead to bracing moments of carnivorous aggression with Schønning and band flirting with an Otep like confrontation before the outstanding Save Me takes over. A striking mellow but expectantly inflamed seduction compared to the last song; it is also soaked in emotional turmoil with thunderous tempests of heart and intensity seeded in the poetic melodies and harmonies caressing the imagination. As all tracks, the kaleidoscope of emotion is open; melancholy and despair as ripe as loneliness and hope, love and darkness across Tied Down.

With Anders Bo Jespersen in addition, the first brand new song, Your Light, bounds from a sonic mist with muscular rhythms loaded with punchy beats and a raw edged line of riffs which spark spice heavy grooves and melodic drama. In no time attention and appetite are greedy, especially with the virulent prime hook which connects the calm and more climatic layers of the song. A quick want for more of the band’s new exploits is rife by its end and fed by Alone. Emotively intimate with its first breaths, epically cinematic in a few more, the track continues to impressively entwine both contrasts as an industrial air also invades the thick theatre and sonic beauty of the encounter; the outcome a metal bred Bond theme ready in the waiting.

Break The Glass boldly rumbles as it pulsates next, the bass offering a growling belly to a riveting blend of electronic and melodic expression soon walled by aggravated riffs and speared by whipping beats. Schønning owns the song, as all, from the first second, her tone and presence the puppeteer to the dancing piano crafted melodies and passion rich adventure shaping the increasingly thrilling temptation.

Tied Down is brought to a close by its title track; a song also revealing individual character through a weave of calmly reflective and rigorously forceful endeavour bred in increasingly inventive and infectious ingenuity. It is an epic close to a towering release which even with around half of it strongly familiar through the earlier EPs, makes a major impact reinforced by the creative might of the new tracks.

Forever Still is a giant in waiting with Tied Down the perfect key to force that lock.

Tied Down is available from January 15th through all stores and @ http://www.foreverstill.bigcartel.com/

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Pete RingMaster 14/01/2016

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MACHINÆ – Clockwork

machinae-clockworks-promo_RingMaster Review

A breath or two over a year since first emerging upon the Finnish metal scene, MACHINÆ make a broader and richer introduction to their melodic metal exploits with debut album Clockwork. Given its global release via Concorde Music Company barely two weeks after a successful unveiling in the quintet’s homeland, the album is a fascinating and captivating encounter making a persuasion that builds and then lingers rather than providing an immediately explosive one. From start to finish though, Clockwork tantalises and entices with its imaginative weave of potently varied flavours within a metal bred rock ‘n’ roll landscape.

Formed by guitarist/keyboardist Eriksson and drummer Romppanen, MACHINÆ took their first step as a full band on Halloween 2014, swiftly getting into the creation of their first album thereafter. Potent teasers in the shape of singles/videos Never Coming Back and Frozen Ground earlier this year ignited great anticipation for Clockwork and now here, fair to say it delivers a highly enjoyable and imaginatively accomplished incitement. Covering themes ranging from “death, independence, and an overall tone of overcoming hardships”, the self-financed and self-produced album is merges aggressive and seductive contrasts within an often tempestuous canvas. As if bred on the melodic/progressive prowess of Amorphis, the epic and industrial intensity of Rammstein, and the emotive resourcefulness of Poets Of The Fall, the album persistently entangles ears and imagination in its creative drama to leave satisfaction full.

machinae-clockwork_RingMaster ReviewDestroy And Rebuild starts things off, raw riffs and rhythms colluding with theatre laced enterprise spread quickly by the keys and guitars of Eriksson and Karenko. Enveloping ears with thick tempting from the start, the song’s energy relaxes a touch as the clean tones of Piipponen step forward, though beside him the carnivorous tone of Kauppinen’s bass ensures dark intimidation is still a prowling feature. Throaty growls add to the mix too as the swinging swipes of drummer Romppanen drive and shape the great volatility at the heart of the song. It is a great proposal epitomises things to come; the track not sending the senses and passions spinning but perpetually working away on them to emerge a long term and increasingly persuasive proposition.

The gripping Never Coming Back comes next; keys straight away hugging ears with lively yet shadow hued melodies as the vocals paint an evocative portrait of paranoia and the tragic outcome it leads to. As throughout the release, the song carries a familiarity which adds spice to the highly agreeable mix whilst its raw and bracing textures wake and hold attention as potently as the enterprise colouring their confrontation.

Barely a breath is allowed between tracks, This Will Be The Day emerging from the final release of sonic air out of its predecessor, instantly casting a folkishly melodic and engaging coaxing evolving into brewing angst and the intensity of the song. Its light might darken in the process but the track also unveils eager infectiousness and a similar welcoming glow from the keys which tempers that Poets Of The Fall like melancholy.

Across the quartet of songs so far, the album shows distinct diversity within its imagination, and continues to spread those wings through the brooding gothic croon of Casualties and the haunting air of Frozen Ground. The first of the two embraces symphonic and grouchily predacious elements whilst its successor blossoms a provocative electronic expression aligned with a gnarly touch and at times intent.

From a warm reflective smoulder to a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar simplifies but gives a glimpse of the heart of Into light whilst Falling One By One weaves a tenaciously sculpted tapestry of sultry keys and hungry riffery around the enjoyable variety in vocal delivery and imagination colouring the song’s contagious body. It is an enticement and virulence echoed within Forever, where, not for the first time within Clockwork, there are certainly parts closely similar to others in the other songs but skilfully nurtured to positive effect in the emerging individualism of again an inescapably enjoyable encounter.

MACHINÆ continue to please and intrigue with their craft and imaginative songwriting as Almost Human Doll and Don’t Get Used To This provide eventful and unpredictable exploits, the latter especially riveting and anthemically incendiary before making way for the magnetic Blank Canvas which brings the album to a musically and melodically evocative close, with a contrasting snarl or two included.

Clockwork is not an album which left ears and thoughts awe struck, though thorough enjoyment was an easy conquest, but each song and moment offered something adventurous and sparked an appetite to explore the band more now and across future releases.

Clockwork is out now via Concorde Music Company.

http://machinaeband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/machinaeband   https://twitter.com/machinaeband

Pete RingMaster 08/12/2015

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Oceanic – City Of Glass

Oceanic PR 2

Not sure exactly why but the depth and quality to the Israeli metal/rock scene always surprises, even despite covering numerous releases and artists from its creative well. You have the likes of Orphaned Land, Ferium, and Desert amongst a great many stirring up the world scene with their varied sounds, and from within the underground bands like Walkways making their mark. To the latter you can now add Oceanic, a band beginning to draw and earn potent responses to their presence and debut album, City Of Glass. Formed in 2009, the Tel Aviv quartet has inspired strong and increasing attention, especially over the past couple of years, and now with their first album nudging greater awareness, Oceanic has the potential to be another breaking into broader spotlights well beyond their homeland.

The band’s sound is melodic/alternative rock but with an appetite to throw in unique twists of progressive exploration and feisty imagination. As shown upon City Of Glass it makes for a fascinating and unpredictable proposition which can offer familiar essences in a fresh and often offbeat design. There are moments where things just confuse and miss their target but for the main, album and sound are one captivating tempting. The band itself has grown its stature and reputation in the Israel underground scene through appearances at events like Progstage 2012 and in supporting the likes of Pain of Salvation. Band experiences are not restricted to Oceanic alone either, bassist Or Lubianiker having toured as part of bands for Marty Friedman and Gus G whilst playing on Yossi Sassi’s album Desert Butterflies. The ex-Orphaned Land guitarist is now returning the favour by producing City Of Glass, and providing guest guitar, vocal, and bouzoukitar enterprise within certain songs on the release.

A Scanner Darkly starts things off and swiftly has ears and attention intrigued; it’s atmospheric opening inviting but also oppressively hazy. It is a tantalising mix veined by gentle melodic Oceanic - City of Glass - Front (sRGB)coaxing and soon joined by the gentle husky vocal reflections of guitarist Idan Liberman. The song gently immerses senses and imagination, broadening its intensity and provocative textures with smooth and warm persuasion. Before long its passion and energy breaks through the calm though, crisp beats and a dark bassline uniting with fiery enterprise from the guitars of Amir Manbar and Liberman, whilst the latter’s vocal tones also elevate in emotion and roaring vivacity. The song by now offers a mix of Palms, Bush, and in some ways System Of A Down, melodies and harmonies blooming in a fiercer cage of beats from Gal Shochet and throaty bass suggestiveness from Lubianiker. The song continues to ebb and flow in its intensity, increasingly impressing and exciting ears and imagination.

The following Wind Up In Barrel (Tribute To Walter) continues the strong start, raising the album’s game straight away with its rolling rhythmic start. A sudden drop into an emotive calm catches ears by surprise, losing that potent start quickly and dramatically wrong-footing, especially first time around, but it is soon embroiled in a brewing climatic of creative voracity and sonic agitation. Vocally too, Liberman seems to find a left field approach to his delivery which only adds to the riveting drama of the song. It takes time but the track eventually emerges as an inescapable seduction whetting the appetite further for album and the sultry embrace of South Of Heaven which follows. Its smouldering lures and charm is just the lead into more tempestuous but restrained musical and emotional progressive bred turbulence. It is a compelling encounter, essences of bands like Shinedown and Seether making glimpses in the magnetic presence of the song.

Both Enter and Clouds keep attention and enjoyment high, each again a mix of aggressive energies and reflecting tranquillity, never lingering in either too long and uniting them with craft and invention. Neither song creates new templates for rock ‘n’ roll it is fair to say, but both provide refreshing and thoroughly satisfying proposals, the first a melodic bellow with tangy sonic endeavour from the guitars and another rhythmic enticement to equally intimidate and excite. It only grows in pungent appeal and strength over time whilst its successor almost stalks ears with its heavy rhythmic resonance and predatory riffing, though again it is tempered by the strong vocal and guitar sculpted enterprise bringing warmth and light to the darker tones.

The brief and harmonically elegant Fish You Shouldn’t Eat (Part 1) slips in next, its musty warmth and sonic shimmer, a pleasing appetiser for the impact of These Countless Hours. This is a song which left ears and thoughts undecided and still does even though it is also a compelling puzzle. It starts off in impressive style, rugged beats and caustic tone a swiftly enthralling protagonist aided by similarly robust vocals. It continues to light ears until something strange happens, an exploration of invention emerges which sees music and vocals going in different directions. Both continue to work just not together for personal tastes, and we devour anything with a warped twist or avant-garde approach. It is almost as if singer and instruments have their own individual songs and are trying to unite them as one. The fact that it keeps luring ears back to try to make sense of it is a testament to what is going on in ideation just not its success.

We are back on an even keel with HMS Beagle, an intensive ballad of power and emotion with more roaring senses licking flames than a bushfire, and straight after through the melodic smooch of Eva The Cat Doesn’t Sleep, a song with a Poets Of the Fall whisper to its melodic and creative beauty. Vocally Liberman shows his full and strong range, occasionally showing an Andy Partridge like lilt, whilst guitars and rhythms combine in a graceful romance of accompanying sound.

The track Oceanic brings City Of Glass to an epic end, its meaty length and imaginative textures a rich croon of soaring vocals and provocative melodies wrapped in thick bass shadows and gripping beats. It has a latent aggression and underlying anger to it too, which only seems to intensify the emotion and sonic tempest smothering ears. It is a fine end to a great album. There are certainly moments which do not work as well as others but ultimately, City Of Glass is a dramatic and enthralling storm of melodic and alternative rock very easy to recommend all at least should check out.

City Of Glass is available now @ http://oceanicband.com/album/city-of-glass-full-album

https://www.facebook.com/OceanicBand

RingMaster 18/03/2015

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