Lithium Dawn – Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension

LithiumDawn1_RingMaster Review

Whether people describe Lithium Dawn as progressive rock or progressive metal, the Californian band’s sound somewhere in between, neither suitably describes the sonic kaleidoscope that turns new album Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension into one of the year’s major treats. Creating an emprise of aural imagination built upon a vast array of styles and flavours, band and album fascinate and enthral throughout their second full-length. The album’s canvas is certainly seeded in progressive adventure but from there it blossoms into an evolving adventure sure to excite fans of anyone from Karnivool and Tool to TesseracT and Opeth to Circles and Voyager, and that still barely covers all of the lures laid by the outstanding Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension.

The successor to debut album AION of 2012, Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension is the result of new growth and bolder invention fuelling the Lithium Dawn sound. Formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ondrej Tvarozek and drummer/programmer Matt Benoit, a pair who first met way back in 2004 on an online message board, the band released their first album to eager praise, it recorded with the help of new member bassist/guitarist Jens Marcelis. It was a potent start from which the band has impressively blossomed further, all the thick evidence there within their stunning new release.

The album opens with the track Tearing Back the Veil and instantly wraps ears in djent inspired predation aligned to flowing and suggestive keys spun by Aaron Gage. There is immediate drama to the start which never abates even as the track’s atmosphere becomes mellower yet cloudier and its air more sultry and exotic around the impressing tones of Tvarozek. That theatre also comes with a classic rock toning, a scent colluding with Porcupine Tree like elegance and Periphery like technical ferocity as the track evolves within the ears.

LD DIGI COVER FULL_RingMaster Review   It is an enthralling and gripping opening to the album matched by the tantalising majesty of Ascension. Emerging straight out of the alluring breath of its predecessor, the song is quickly weaving into its creative agenda reggae spiced melodic and rhythmic temptation with pulsating echoes of dub ingenuity. Potently backed by the voice of Gage, Tvarozek quickly has ears bending the way of his inviting delivery whilst the senses become enveloped by the intimately haunting yet celestial ambience of keys and guitars. The track is an engrossing endeavour with creative snarls making another seriously enticing aspect to the crystalline character of the track.

The individual craft of the band is as stirring and impressive as the sonic poetry they cast and welcoming to additional enterprise like that of guest guitarist Sithu Aye who brings a gripping solo to Point of No Return. The song twists and turns as it seduces ears and imagination, the great volatility of its jagged scenery and imposing attitude perfectly merged with its harmonic heart and melodic tempting. Confrontational and seductively immersive in equal measure, the track is a tapestry of creative imagination and emotive exploration spun in a web of diverse flavours and tones. At times it is jazzy, in other moments an emotive croon, and at times even an aggressively imposing incitement, but from start to finish it simply beguiles.

An already happy appetite for the release is made greedier still by the following Decimator, a primal but majestic involvement of the senses which flows seamlessly through again contrasts in texture and sonic attitude to entice and thrill. Throughout it can be as bestial as a Meshuggah offering and as warmly seductive as an instrumental flight with Heights, and with another guest in Plini providing a potent solo, it powerfully intrigues and pleases before making way for the darker shadows and emotion of Selfcollapse. Immediately a hue of turbulence lines its opening tempting, gaining thicker persuasion as guitars and bass sculpt a tempestuous canvas for vocal flames and the mesmeric lure of keys to share the track’s evocative narrative upon. Again there is the sense of a predator to the nature and tone of the outstanding track, prowling and urging with invasive bait as a melodic haunting permeates thoughts and emotions.

The pair of Synchronicity, with its otherworldly serenade, and the lively lapping of the senses that is Tidal keep ears and pleasure full with their unique natures and imaginative portraits in sound whilst Spires cradles the listener in melodic arms and inviting melancholic strings within another multi-coloured immersion of sound and ethereal temptation. All three absorb and transfix, successes matched by the mazy entangling of contrasting yet fluidly aligning textures and sonic colours that is Labyrinthian and after that by the mystique charged, sonically fiery B’ak’tun, which is set up firstly by the shamanic coaxing of short piece Incantation. As proven here and time and time again across the album, words only give a glimpse of the richness in sound and invention making up the tracks within Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension, and as shown by B’ak’tun too, just when you think you have it all, another listen unveils a little more to the alchemy conjuring such intensively immersive incitements.

The album is brought to a close by the gentle romance on ears of Horizon and finally the brief atmospheric grumble of Edge of the Earth, confrontation and beauty merged for a closing instrumental exploration. It sums up the whole album, contrasting tones and layers wrapped in evocative expression to spark mind and body into full involvement.

To simplify it all, Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is a gorgeous album; one demanding of your time and concentration but rewarding with one of the year’s biggest triumphs.

Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is out now @ http://lithiumdawn.bandcamp.com

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Pete RingMaster 09/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mercutio – Back To Nowhere

mercutio shot 1_RingMaster Review

It might not have the passions always ablaze throughout the length of its certainly compelling body, but Back To Nowhere, the debut album from Mercutio is a new acquaintance you only want to get to know better and of its creators, more about. The twelve track encounter is a tapestry of varied flavours and perpetually enticing enterprise with something for all varied tastes. At times it embraces a metal breeding, others moments a diverse rock seeding, whilst across its twelve tracks a host of other styles and flavours are zealously infused and entwined into its theatrical and fascinating adventure. The result in a collection of songs which raise the passions in varying degrees but all entice and captivate as they make up one thoroughly enjoyable proposition.

Italy hailing and now London based, the quartet of vocalist Mirko Petrini, guitarist Fabio Staffieri, bassist Emanule Nazzaro, and drummer Francesco Lucidi since forming in 2011, has increasingly garnered a potent following and reputation on the UK scene with their progressive weave of sound, earning supporters in the likes of Anna Phoebe and the Porcupine Tree’s Colin Edwin amongst a growing legion of fans along the way. Recorded with Andy Wright [Jeff Beck/Simple Minds] at the Assault & Battery Studio in London, with Gianluca Cucchiara co-producing, Back To Nowhere is the band’s strong and inviting nudge on broader attention and keener spotlights with a rich personality to back it up.

It opens up with Shed Your Skin, instantly soaking ears in drama and awakening the imagination with its opening build of sinister sound around the instantly alluring tones of Petrini. Just as quickly, the track unveils a bubbly funk underbelly to a brooding union of riffs, voice, and rhythms. Reminding of UK band Japanese Fighting Fish, it is a gripping entrance by song and release which only increases in persuasion as things get more creatively agitated and atmospherically darker, as well as virulently tempting. Within this the bass growls seductively as drums lay down anthemic bait, around both the guitar painting a suggestive proposal lit by the excellent vocals. Ravenous metal, heavy rock, avant-garde mischief, and indie enterprise is all in there with other hues equally catching ears and imagination alight.

Packshot BTN_RingMaster Review   The following album title track is as rousing and inventively exhilarating in its individual way, opening on a rock ‘n roll stomp before casting a weave of electronic and melodic rock endeavour gripped by the just as dramatic but controlled vocals. Its heart is warm and air symphonically painted with melodies that entangle the senses with emotive prowess, though shadows are always a constant flirtation too as things build to small and harmonic but potent crescendos throughout before A Part Of Me lays a calm acoustic hand on ears. Melancholic with an air of the ever present drama in songwriting and sound, the song is an increasingly bewitching offering which certainly is enjoyable on the first listen but something to get more enamoured with over every subsequent listen.

The flirtatious Anytime with its emotive breath within rugged rhythmic scenery forges a similar engagement next, its classic and melodic rock enterprise given greater potency by the rousing exploits of the rhythms, whilst Fake unleashes another ridiculously infectious and instinctively off-kilter treat to match the opener. At times Mercutio create sound and imagination that stalks the listener, a mix of flirtation and intimidating in the invention which here courts strands of alternative metal and darkly bred rock ‘n’ roll with bands like Pryapisme and Toumaï coming to mind. It is a trespass of sonic intrigue which, as in most songs, leads to catchy embraces of energy and tempting posing as a chorus.

The reflective balladry of No Compromise is a warmly engaging proposal next, its emotive hues wrapped in summery spices keeping satisfaction high even if it is still over shadowed by its predecessor. Nevertheless with a delicious stringed embrace and the ever impressing vocals of Petrini, pleasure is a sure thing and back in torrents through the voracious shuffle and invention of Hail The Night. Again Japanese Fighting Fish is the closest to describe the robust imagination and draw of the track, a dash of 6:33 and Faith No More also adequate hints to the rich and provocative rock ‘n roll courting ears.

Featuring an appearance by Colin Edwin, In Front of you romances and captivates next with a carousel of vibrant melodic invention which works its way to an even more thrilling stretch of rap/alternative metal where Skindred meets Muse might be a good comparison. The song just gets bolder and more unpredictable with each passing minute, its theatre engrossing and matched by the smouldering allure of Mother, another song growing into its skin and exciting ears more over numerous plays. In contrast the fuzzy triumph of Set Me Free has body and emotions enlisted in its volatile and invigorating stomp from the first breath, a tinge of grunge aligned to Queens Of The Stone Age spicing its boisterous nature for another pinnacle within Back To Nowhere.

Straight after The Ghost That Is You casts a more restrained and atmospheric roar of sound but one with tempestuousness to its emotion and invention which soon gets under the skin and leaves a healthy appetite just a touch more greedy before Reasons To Erase brings it all to a jazz/funk/classic rock swinging close. Some tracks hit the sweet spot straight away and others take longer to ignite a similar reaction, but ultimately all do as with the final track which despite some sensational moments steals most full admiration over a host of pleasing plays.

As suggested earlier with Back To Nowhere, Mercutio provides something for everyone with plenty of just as flavoursome sounds and moments to back each aspect up; at times they make you lustful for the album, other times just leave you fully content, but throughout the band inspire a want to hear more and more…

Back To Nowhere is out now via Diverge Records through most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 25/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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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

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Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Deadly Circus Fire – The Hydra’s Tailor

DCF_RingMaster Review

Casting a creative and impassioned roar which just gets richer and more compelling with every listen, The Hydra’s Tailor is a majestic beast of an album; a release that invasively seduces and cantankerously snarls. The second album from UK metallers Deadly Circus Fire, it has been the source of much attention and highly enthused praise already, so time we thought to get involved in its acclaimed proposal and fair to say disappointment was not on the agenda.

Fusing persistently unpredictable explorations of progressive metal and rock with just as magnetically carnivorous textures, The Hydra’s Tailor is already no stranger to drawing keen attention, just like the band’s debut album The King and the Bishop which was heartily embraced by fans and media alike. Drawing on inspirations such as Tool, Mastodon, and Deftones, the London based Deadly Circus Fire laid down a fiercely inviting teaser for this their latest emprise of sound and imagination through a couple of eagerly welcomed singles and since their release, they have signed with Musicarchy Media for the release of the crowd-funded, The Hydra’s Tailor as well as share stages with the likes of Crossfaith, Funeral For a Friend, and Bleed From Within across the UK and Europe. Right now they are lighting up European venues supporting Skindred on their Pump Up The Volume tour, just as The Hydra’s Tailor does the same to ears and speakers.

Artwork_RingMaster Review     The album starts with In Darkness We Trust, its keys spawned melancholic air embracing the immediately enticing and impressing voice of Adam Grant. The duet is bewitching, a solemn yet magnetic coaxing into the heart of the album and second track Animal. Riffs instantly begin prowling ears as it opens up predatory scenery, vocals again a potent enticement as the firm swings of drummer Paul Igoe resonate and the guitar of Save Addario spins expressive sonic enterprise around the still ravenous riffery. Grant again strikes with compelling vocals, his presence backed as resourcefully and potently by the tones of Mike Enort, whose basslines are no slouch when it comes to casting dark temptation either. Whereas the opener was a minimalistic treat its successor shows the shape of things to come with its unpredictable and seamlessly diverse landscape, it also a triumph in its own right.

The following Where It Lies expands from an acoustic flirtation into another mesh of wiry guitar tendrils and emotive flames, ebbing and flowing in aggression and intensity but relentlessly seducing in charm and adventure. As vocal craft and imagination shadows every step made by the ideation building the track, a scent of bands like Circles and Palms lay upon the fascinating encounter, Karnivool too in the song’s mellower moments but all spices to something already showing Deadly Circus Fire uniqueness.

Victim is another entering with an antagonistic glint in its creative eye, rhythms and riffs aligning their rapacious natures as Metallica-esque grooves line the emerging tempest. This time there is a whisper of bands like Bloodsimple and Lamb of God to another song which needs little prompting to evolve into new pastures of tenacious ideation and compelling craft, subsequently an air of Porcupine Tree and Tool just as suggestive across the outstanding incitement.

Another pinnacle comes with the stunning blaze of Devil’s Opera, a track as infectiously catchy as it is mouth-wateringly involved. It takes ears, emotions, and the imagination on a heady ride of united enterprise and individual exploration, a flight which twists and turns with an inventive turbulence that only ignites the appetite to greedier intent towards album and band. It is a forceful yet respectful invasion of the senses continued in Rise Again, it too aligning riffs and rhythmic rabidity with a fire of sonic invention and emotion driven melodic expression guided by the superb voice and delivery of Grant.

The brief instrumental tempting of Martyrs provides a relaxation for the senses next and a new spark for the imagination to play with before the exceptional House of Plagues groans and grinds ears with guitar endeavour around an enjoyably volatile blend of vocals. That bestial intent continues as melodies catch flame and rhythms jab with the stealth of a predator, all contrasts uniting in a scintillating emprise of emotive and provocative ingenuity, one that gets more ravenous and thrilling over each passing minute. Amongst so many within The Hydra’s Tailor that linger and relentlessly lure constant attention, as the album itself, the track is pure addictiveness as it takes best track honours.

Through the bold air and wonderfully fluid and varied tapestry of Aeden and the climatic atmosphere and soundscape of the album’s title track, The Hydra’s Tailor continues to enthral and tempt lustful reactions, its namesake another especially mesmeric blaze of dexterous songwriting and skills matched in sound. Both songs add thick layers to the epic nature of the album with the next up Turning the Tide equally as mighty with its agitated rhythms and sonic swirl of discontent. Equally within its stormy nature though, melodies brew, calm emerges, and bewitching harmonies entice to engross and excite before the turmoil returns in similarly exhilarating style.

The album is closed by the celestially lit, intensively aired Universe; a song which soars and bullies its way into ears and the psyche whilst leaving a great resonance and glow from its respective merger of harsh and tempestuous textures with absorbing beauty. The song is just masterful, repeating the major success cast before it across The Hydra’s Tailor with its own impressing adventure.

The good things heard and read about Deadly Circus Fire barely do the band justice, and now having been infected by The Hydra’s Tailor it feels safe to say if there are those yet to feel the power and prowess of the band the chance of finding reactions breeding the same kind of enthusiasm as us here, is high. There is only one way to find out of course and that is one of the heartiest recommendations made at The RR this year, go explore.

The Hydra’s Tailor is out now via Musicarchy Media @ https://www.musicarchymedia.com/project/the-hydras-tailor/

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

Pete RingMaster 17/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Mindset X – Oceans

Mindset X_RingMaster Review

Since emerging in 2006, US band Mindset X has never been slow in enticing ears with hook laden and inventively melodic songs, creating anthems which grip the body as firmly as the imagination. Equally though the past years and releases have seen the New Hampshire trio explore a more progressively seeded enterprise as their sound and songwriting has evolved and matured. It has been a perpetual time of potent songs and attention grabbing releases luring frequent acclaim, praise forcibly matched by their live presence and hunger. Now the Manchester band has set down another benchmark with new album Oceans, a fascinating, imagination fuelled concept album unveiling band’s most expansive and emotionally intimate sound yet.

The eleven track encounter is an absorbing proposition which around body manipulating escapades, immerses ears and thoughts in a soundscape of emotional turbulence and discovery wrapped in atmospheric and progressive rock suggestiveness. Each track has its own tale, its own unique narrative of sound and word, uniting for one gripping incitement. As most releases, certain moments have bigger success with personal tastes than others but at no point does Oceans lose its hold on the adventurer sharing its journey or leave a quickly triggered appetite feeling unfulfilled.

cover_RingMaster Review       Recorded with multiple Grammy Award winner Jay Frigoletto and featuring guest appearances from Paul Bielatowicz and Simon Fitzpatrick of The Carl Palmer Band and John Wesley of Porcupine Tree, Oceans opens with the brief Zero 220. The track sets the album’s scene, the charm and solitude of coastal waves lapping the senses as a gentle melody courts the air. The imagination is on alert and quickly fed with the hard rock grooves and bluesy spicing of I Imagine straight after. Typical Mindset X in that it is a swiftly engaging stroll of inventive hooks wrapped in a melodic wine that intoxicates as it colours the growing context of the song. The distinctive voice of Steven Haidaichuk is as equally expressive as his guitar enterprise whilst the swiping beats of drummer Adam Cote provide a textured grounding to match the throaty growl of Paul Davidson’s bass.

It is an accomplished and highly enjoyable full start to the album but soon outshone by the band’s new single Shockwave. Striding in on a rhythmic magnetism cast by Cote, the track soon entangles ears in spicy sonic scythes and a moody bassline, all as contagious as they are suggestive. A fresh snarl lines the tones of Haidaichuk as he proceeds to prowl the persuasive web cast by the predator like encounter. Two thirds in and an apocalyptic aftermath sizzles, providing more food for thought with the lyrical side, before things are back in a virulent swing hard to resist let alone ignore.

From one peak to another and the glorious incitement of Flatline where again bass and drums spring a highly compelling and provocative trap that thoughts grip greedily, before a gentle caress of guitar hugs emotive vocals. The hypnotic lure of the track increases as crescendos erupt and caustically sizzle on the senses, the tribalistic rhythms continuing to provoke and bewitch as the heart of the protagonist theming Oceans melancholically flows out.

An electronic ambience makes a thicker presence in Island next, the keys of Davidson shadowing the melodic and emotion drenched croon of the classic rock spiced song. Though it does not quite light the same spark inside as its predecessor, the track is a ripe bloom of resourceful invention and creative colour which only feeds ears and mind with lingering enjoyment. Being placed within the might of the previous song and The Bends which follows does it no favours though; the new track a spellbinding wash of sinister atmospherics and sonic intrigue around more personal and intimate introspection from the album’s character voiced impressively by Haidaichuk. Around him, keys and guitar create a cloud of temptation, a climate stalked by the moody lure of the bass and graced by subsequent celestial harmonies.

The infectious rock ‘n’ roll of You and Me takes over next, its easily accessible yet precisely sculpted swagger a quick and unshakeable persuasion leading to a brewing addiction whilst the initial exotically sultry ambience of War and Crime lights a fresh fire in the passions with its smouldering seduction before breeding a glorious infestation of grooves and spiky hooks for gnarly rock ‘n’ roll drawing on angst and social inspirations for its virulent tempting.

The flowing elegance and melodic prowess of Castaway is another which does not tickle personal tastes as firmly but still leaves ears full of potent temptation. For others it will undoubtedly be one of the highlights and easy to see why with its emotional charm and melodic beauty, but for us The Great Divide Part I quickly steals attention from it with its instrumental theatre whilst setting up the imagination for the triumph of The Great Divide Part II. The closing song on Oceans, it is also the most inventive and experimental, Mindset X spinning a tapestry of numerous styles and flavours into an emprise of craft and heart which just gets stronger and more delicious, not forgetting irresistible, with each and every listen. The pinnacle of a consistently thrilling album, it is also quite possibly the best any song written by the band, ingrained favourites aside, a slice of invention as emotionally provocative as it is contagious. At times it is raw rock ‘n’ roll, in other moments a cinematic adventure, and persistently a progressive lined exploration to enthral and incite.

Mindset X has had a potent and increasingly growing sound for a fair few years now but they have tapped into something deeper and fresher within their imagination with Oceans, with us the listener reaping the rewards.

Oceans is out now through most online stores with the single Shockwave available as a free download @ http://mindsetx.bandcamp.com/track/shockwave

http://www.mindsetx.com  http://www.twitter.com/mindsetxband   https://www.facebook.com/mindsetx

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Helfir – Still Bleeding

Helfir _RingMaster Review

Dark and atmospherically emotive, imposing yet seductively immersive, Still Bleeding the debut album from Helfir, is a haunting and at times chilling embrace radiating an inescapable and persistent persuasion. It is a fascinating and more often than not bewitching proposition providing escape from the mundane of life but ironically explores just as solemnly reflective and emotionally melancholic climes. The contrast between the two though is as rich as the sounds fuelling the temptation, the album soaked in noir brewed beauty transporting ears and imagination into sublime and sorrowful realms.

Helfir is the solo project of Italian multi-instrumentalist Luca Mazzotta, the co-founder and guitarist of Silvered and guitarist of neofolk band NID. 2013 saw Mazzotta begin working on his solo project, subsequently performing alongside Antimatter, a band it is easy to suggest is an influence to Helfir alongside the likes of Anathema and Porcupine Tree,. Apart from additional drum parts from Antonio Fanizza and Francesco Politi on a few tracks, Monza hailing Mazzotta provides everything upon Still Bleeding, enveloping ears and tantalising the imagination from its very first breath.

The initial cold caress of Oracle starts off the dark flight of sound and emotion, keys with a funereal air coaxing thoughts before a spoken narrative and warm guitar enticement add to the captivating start. Apart from that early brief passage of narrative, the track is primarily an instrumental reflecting the dark words spoken with haunting elegance and poetic melodies.

Helfir cover_RingMaster Review     My Blood slips in as its predecessor departs, a similarly bred but individually mournful embrace of sound and emotion smothering and igniting the senses. The expressive voice of Mazzotta is as downcast as the melodic beauty around him and as compelling, his tones alluring and emotive within the web of samples, prowling rhythms, and incendiary guitar invention, and all within a tempestuous atmosphere. The track is spellbinding, sparking deep thoughts and feelings which as the whole album, inspires the imagination to run with its own dark tales alongside those of the proposition.

An even darker and disquieting hug follows in the shape of In The Circle, its initial gently shadowed kiss evolving into a rich tapestry of flavours and textures. There is a volatile heart and landscape to the track too, its blaze of progressive and alternative rock one of the flames forging the dramatic incitement. As its predecessor, it grips with immediate strength and prowess but as Still Bleeding itself and most tracks within, blossoms into an increasingly powerful and emotional impact over time.

Alone is further proof of the thick creative theatre and engrossing prowess of songs and sound, its crestfallen heart and shadow fuelled radiance as invigorating as its disconsolate smog is light sapping whilst Dresses Of Pain exposes its own grander and bolder but no less melancholically intimate and emotive depths. There is a fiery ambience and energy to the song which ebbs and flows so that personal aspect can unveil its raw palette within the more explosive textures. Both songs seduce the dark corners of thoughts and feelings to console with those of the song; a persuasion which Black Flame equally sculpts into its pungently expressive and doleful touching beauty. Again a common factor across the album, the vocal and lyrical prowess of Mazzotta is as enthralling as the almost maelstrom like weave of skilfully crafted sounds.

Arguably the darkest emotional anguish and suffocation loaded shadows on the album are revealed by Portrait Of A Son, its dour yet beaming charm fuelling one invasive trespass and mesmeric kiss. The song is gripping setting up the listener for the brief instrumental led haunting of Where Are You Now? and finally the climactic tempest of Night And Deceit, a conflagrant roar of invention, craft, and blackened emotion.

At times a proposition which could push already darkened hearts into inescapable turmoil through its open and beauteous melancholy, Still Bleeding is a feast of imagination and emotional intensity. Luca Mazzotta as Helfir might not have created the most immediately welcoming listens but as an impacting and persistently alluring incitement, he has unveiled a haunting success.

Still Bleeding is available now via My Kingdom Music @ http://mykingdommusic.bigcartel.com/product/helfir-still-bleeding-digicd

http://www.lucamazzotta.net/   https://www.facebook.com/helfirofficial

RingMaster 10/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Empty Yard Experiment – Kallisti

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   Kallisti is an album to which you have to commit time and attention but rewards with an enthralling journey for thoughts and emotions to deeply immerse within. The new release from Empty Yard Experiment, the fourteen track encounter is a transfixing and compelling proposition which never lets you comfortably settle into its exhausting textures and climactic structures but equally never relinquishes its grip and temptation on the imagination. A riveting web of progressive and melodic rock with just as rich veins of post rock and alternative metal, the album is an expansive landscape of consuming atmospheres and provocative emotion wrapped in a craft and enterprise which pushes Empty Yard Experiment to the forefront of progressive exploration.

Formed in 2006, the Dubai based band consists of musicians from the United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Iran, and India. Taking influences from the likes of Tool, Porcupine Tree, Nine Inch Nails, and Mogwai into their own invention, Empty Yard Experiment (E.Y.E.) has certainly on the evidence of this second album, forged a unique yet almost recognisably engaging presence and sound. It comes in an ingenious tapestry though which sets it well apart from the band’s influences and others engaged in a similar weaving of multi flavoured styles into sonic experimentation. With the band already earning acclaim through shows with the likes of Evanescence, Metallica, and Anathema, their Joshua F Williams (Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder) produced Kallisti has the quality and potential to thrust the band into the keenest spotlight. Named after the inscription on the ancient Greek Apple of Discord, Kallisti is a concept album themed by the threads of chaos and discord which permeate our lives and existence, its lyrical provocation as rich and intensely provocative as its sound.

The journey starts with Sunyata, an instrumental introduction which places melancholic keys from Gorgin Asadi and strings in a crystalline and slightly portentous ambience. It is an easily engaging opening cloaked in emotive shadows and swiftly has thoughts wrapped up in its restrained yet potent drama. The track builds up a sonic link between itself and the following robust and intimidating Greenflash. That threat is slightly defused with the great ragged rub of riffs which soon emerge and mellow vocals which instantly brings a whisper of Deftones or Palms to the otherwise predatory entrance of the track. As it opens up its rhythmic pressure and sonic ruggedness everything takes on a fresh, bordering on antagonistic, approach to the melodic temptation. The result is a song which flirts and melodically roars like a mix of Alice In Chains and Karnivool. As with most tracks there is so much going on that we can only give brief glimpses, each proposition within Kallisti an on-going exploration of an evolving soundscape.EYE_CoverArt_Kallisti

The outstanding track makes way for the dystopian ambience of Red, a brief instrumental clad in an emotively sinister ambience before it in turn slips into the reflective caress of The Blue Eyes of a Dog. The track is like a stark imposing breeze, its emotional intrusion at times a wispy elegance and in others a forceful wind all sculpted by respectful rolling rhythms, melodic experimentation, and emotional turbulence. The instrumental is a beacon for ears and especially imagination to find their own scenic visions within the track and album, matched to more sinister effect by the more disturbed There Will Never Be where keys and vocals unite for a severely troubled caress.

Entropy provides the loftiest peak on the album, the track an enslaving bait of sinew stretched riffs from Bojan Preradovic and the probing beats of Josh Saldanha within an atmospheric sonic glaze courted by a gripping throaty bass temptation unveiled by Kaveh Kashani. Vocals swiftly add their smooth and evocative tension as keys swarm tenderly over the senses with a smouldering breath of seduction. The song prowls as it seduces, expelling raw abrasing flames of sonic and emotive passion throughout for a climactic and absorbing flight.

Blue is another short cinematic slither of industrial bred scene setting before the transfixing beauty of Anomie immerses ears and senses, the skilled designs of guitarist Mehdi Gr a gripping narrative alongside the increasingly mesmeric vocal qualities of Preradovic. There is a sinister almost bedlamic eruption of discord kissed sonic ingenuity within certain twists of the song which simply adds to its engrossing intrigue and unpredictability. The following Lost In a Void That I Know Far Too Well has less of the second of those two aspects but certainly a wealth of the first within its soaring melody strewn instrumental landscape. The piece again has thoughts flying their own agenda before Untitled spreads its unique but easily accessible melodic rock revelry and provocative expression. Detours into cinematic glimpses of life and festivities wrong foots at first but opens up further exploration within the constantly surprising track which over time only enhances its suasion.

The dark cavernous depths of Sama make another short but impacting twist in the narrative of Kallisti before it seamlessly evolves into the melodic enchanting of God Has His Reasons, a self-reflection driven slice of melodic and harmonic beauty. Keys and vocals steal the ears but only because the striking canvas built by restrained rhythms and an inescapable web spun by the enterprise of the guitars and bass gives them a potent background.

A final short piece called Green leads into the closing triumph of The Call, a track from its initial rhythmic trap binding ears and passions in a nine minute travelogue of gentle and tempestuous emotional climates and rugged aural terrains. It is a final emprise for thoughts and feelings, a thrilling sonic gest to lose reality within.

Though many tracks work alone superbly, Kallisti works best as a whole even though that means greater attention and effort is needed. The rewards though are enormous as Empty Yard Experiment proves themselves to be one of the truly exciting emerging forces in melodic and progressive endeavour.

The self-released Kallisti is available now @ http://emptyyardexperiment.bandcamp.com/album/kallisti

http://www.emptyyardexperiment.com/

RingMaster 29/09/2014

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