Ciconia – Winterize

Ciconia_RingMasterReview

One complete movement or song split into ten standalone chapters, Winterize is one riveting adventure for ears and imagination. The new encounter from Spanish instrumentalists Ciconia, the concept album is a bold and fascinating merger of progressive rock and metal with post rock attributes aligned to a whole array of other flavours and styles from stoner to folkish enterprise. Winterize is quite superb, a mesmeric and invigorating incitement leaving pleasure and spirit eagerly aroused.

Hailing from Valladolid and drawing on inspirations from the likes of Opeth, Anathema, Distance Calling, Toundra, Mogwai, Liquid Tension Experiment, and Porcupine Tree, the 2013 formed Ciconia soon grabbed attention with debut album The Moon Sessions the following year. Its impressive body drew the band to the attention of the Independent Music Awards in Spain last year, that recognition backed by The “Z” Sessions EP, which featured a trio of tracks from the album re-mastered and remixed by Roy Z and was unveiled as the band hungrily took their live presence around Europe; the likes of France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary taken in as well as extensive shows across the band’s homeland.

Now it is Winterize set to awaken new spotlights; an aim easy to see succeeding such the beauty and impressive melodic character of the album alone. The trio of bassist Jorge Fraguas, guitarist Javier Altonaga, and drummer Aleix Zoreda open the album and creative narrative up with Snowfields. From wintery winds and a solitude suggesting ambience, a single melody flickers into life and begins seducing ears and imagination. Like a flame in the cold air, it dances on the senses, painting provocative imagery in thoughts before the band cast an alluring mix of classical and Spanish like guitar. With the theme of the release from artwork to aural suggestion, expectations were that the album would provide cold and imposing soundscapes to ponder. The pure warmth and elegance revealed by track and album throughout was not predicted but swiftly devoured as it added to the inventive palette presenting the imagination with plenty to work with.

cover_RingMasterReviewThe gentle flight of the first track is replaced with the busy and bullish tenacity and energy of Eloina´s Inn. Strands of varied metal and heavy rock enterprise entangle as they descend feverishly on the senses, the track like a celebration and boisterous oasis out of the starker air of surrounding creative scenery. Rhythms are virulently dynamic and guitars a blaze of flirtatious and descriptive adventure whilst the skills of the individual members are as open and gripping as their combined endeavour.

There is no way words can present all that is going on in songs and album or of the diverse flavours lured into each dramatic piece of composing and invention but as the volatile soar of Limbus and the snarling confrontation of Scarsman proves, Ciconia create music which does not need to offer or receive any hints or clues to help the listener invest in their own adventures.  The first of the two takes thoughts through spatial hues whereas its successor creates a flesh marked protagonist in another mentally sculpted exploit which you would might be wary of yet reassured of their involvement.

As each track passes it offers a theatre of sound and rousing ingenuity; the epic serenade of The Forgotten casting a melancholic embrace and tempestuous fire of attitude and emotional turmoil all in one whilst A wolf never comes alone is as predatory as it is anthemically irresistible. A tempest of ear lashing beats and carnivorous riffs at its core, the piece is also a maze of classic rock acidity amidst antagonistic turbulence and quite thrilling. Its darker moonlit secrets and dangers midway only add to the bewitching drama of a song which leaves ears and emotions alive and ready to be ignited further by the outstanding Reel of Trevinca. Spanish folk rock meets Celtic spicery, the song has a great essence of Horslips about it at times as it whips up a jig and romp to get physically involved in.

The very brief melodic stroll of Forestwalk beside the crystal beauty of running water leads thoughts into the classical, almost vaudevillian exploits of Fiadeiro. Extreme metal textures collude with the radiance of classically spun melodies, further growling textures emerging with each twist of the song’s adventure and the sonic enterprise which colours the scene painting imagination shaping it.

The album is completed by the sixteen minute plus Towards the Valley, an emprise of craft and unpredictable incitement that seamlessly and beautifully moves though peaceful scenery into shadow drenched and in turn danger spawning challenges. Continuing to revolve and evolve through various shades of each across its long but seemingly quick in the ear such the eventful nature of its passage, the track is a striking end to a sensational release.

With Winterize, Ciconia have pushed themselves to the fore of instrumental and progressive rock; more importantly though they have given ears and the imagination one truly exciting and irresistible collection of aural pigments to go conjure with and inevitable richly enjoy.

Winterize is out now @ https://ciconia.bandcamp.com/ and http://www.ciconia.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ciconia666   https://twitter.com/ciconiaband

Pete Ringmaster 19/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Erudite Stoner – Self Titled

Erudite Stoner_RingMasterReview

There has been quite a few ear seducing instrumental albums over the past year or so but it is hard to remember any as charming yet emotively striking as the self-titled debut album from Erudite Stoner. A one man acoustic based project from Brazil, the band creates music which simply immerses the imagination in beauty and suggestive intrigue. Nothing is imposing and no elements forced, but sound and album provide the paint for a myriad of mental pictures and emotive explorations.

Erudite Stoner is the creation of Matheus Novaes, a guitarist leaning on inspirations from the like of Alcest, Agalloch, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Ulver for his first album. Weaving the potent scents of post-rock, shoegaze, doom, and classical guitar into his sound, the Erudite Stoner freely and so often sublimely caresses ears and strokes the imagination across nine tracks of aural majesty. The pieces of music are the perfect length, never too long and over pushing their persuasive limits but equally never too short and leaving the conjuring of imagery adrift. Together tracks create a seduction hard to get enough of and easy to drift away with time and time again.

The release opens with Spiritual Deliverance, a piece of music initially wrapped in nature’s lonely hug whilst sharing melodic melancholy. A warmth and escape from that harsher climate subsequently surrounds ears, the embrace of acoustic and electric guitar as gentle and descriptive as it is at times dramatically tenacious. It is a bewitching start to the album which continues in the similarly melancholic Alienist. Darker hues line the track’s scenic tempting of melody and tone though, essences flirting with thoughts like shadows in the shade of a lonely yet mesmeric day.

art_RingMasterReviewThrough the emotive fascination of Ride to Nowhere with its sultrily melodic calm and the elegant theatre of Far Away From City Walls, imaginative interpretation and pleasure only increases. The second provokes thoughts of innocent smiling children within depressing and oppressing landscapes; a superb merger of contrasting shades of sound and emotion skilfully woven before the riveting majesty of There is No Home sends the listener into new and quaint but equally cosmopolitan lands.

The song, as with the craft and skill of Novaes, easily inspires praise, their tempting and composing creating the most inspiring and engrossing moment yet within the release though it still gets eclipse by emerging favourite Waiting For the Storm. Listening to the track is like its title’s suggestion with a melodic peace initially romancing ears and attention while around it slightly darker essences are glimpsed and eventfully felt in a dynamic and deliciously intensive finale. The piece is simply irresistible, a rousing companion for ears and thoughts.

The pair of Sand Path and Roads to Somewhere continues to keep both those aspects busy, each providing their own individual and tempting palette of melody and emotive expressive for the listener to wrap themselves in before the brief and folkishly intimate Left Behind brings the thoroughly enjoyable and bewitching adventure to a close.

Erudite Stoner, band and album, is a proposition of sheer beauty which it is hard to imagine anyone failing to be easily touched and seduced by. Go treat yourselves is our sole recommendation.

The Erudite Stoner album is out now @ https://eruditestoner.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Erudite-Stoner-784870508325321/?fref=ts

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Uncanny – Self Titled EP

Pic Marius Ringen

Pic Marius Ringen

As much as technical prowess does impress, personal tastes dictates that if an instrumental proposition is going to really fire up the passions, it has to have inescapable imagination inspiring drama to its presence whether that be cinematic or emotional. It is a quality which is in abundance within the self-titled debut EP from Norwegian trio Uncanny and why the release has barely left our speakers these past couple of days since first immersing in its fascinating and dark creative adventure.

The Oslo based Uncanny consists of Andreas Oltedal, Rikard Sjånes Pedersen, and Torkil Rødvand; a threesome drawing on the inspirations of artists ranging from Meshuggah, Benea Reach, and Shining to Stian Westerhus & Pale Horses, Aiming for Enrike, and Igor Stravinskij for their own multi-textured exploits. Their first EP is an introduction to all to the band and if it is a sign of things to come, the first step in drawing perpetually eager and persistent attention their way.

The release opens with klown, a darkly flavoured web of sound swiftly sparking ears and imagination into life. The initial steps of the track are heavy and predacious, a Korn-esque hue soon wrapped in acidic melodies before things suddenly settle into a gentle yet slightly sinister calm. Skittish rhythms equally have an off-kilter edge to them as they court the melancholic melody playing in ears before the track erupts into another rousing trespass of the senses. Light and dark, mellow and raw textures continue to clash and entwine across the track as thoughts explore the two sides of their take on the title and the figure it provokes. It’s scary and welcoming sides battle in thoughts, the former winning the battle as the track twists and turns with increasing metal and raw rock ‘n’ roll voracity. Of course the theme and inspiration to the song, to any of the tracks, is not always going to match that conjured by the listener, every song allowing and encouraging the imagination to make their own interpretation of their aural suggestiveness.

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

Artwork: Harm ten Napel

The great start is quickly eclipsed by the outstanding maze of sound and styles making up electric black. Starting with an ears rapping roll of beats, the track spins a web of steely and winy grooves, two hues fuelling their irrepressible and addictive toxicity. The guitars move like animated vines across song and the senses, spicing up the imagination with their dark flirtation as the rhythms grouchily grumble below. As in the first, a more passive weave of sound emerges with a mystique toned air and melodic reflection though little time passes before the volatility of the moment brews tempestuous traits which lead back to the galvanic and rabid maelstrom with waspish grooves and nagging riffs to the fore.

The following u will fail envelops ears in a haunting caress initially, floating harmonic almost gossamer like vocals more a texture than a narrative in the brewing theatre of sound and temptation. Across its body, the early post punk like elements continue to inspire and excite as the song involves melodic and progressive rock enterprise into its cinematic tapestry. Often prowling and persistently imposing whilst stimulating ears and thoughts, the song is at times like a cold war romancing for the imagination in other moments a dystopian bred oppressor and all the time increasingly irresistible.

Fair to say it and its predecessor steal the show upon the Uncanny EP, yet the first song and the EP closing rat8 only add to the impressive nature and creativity of the release. The last song initially lays a solemn melodic mist which is soon alive with tendrils of guitar spawned rock ‘n’ roll before a black hearted descent of dark metal invades all. That too is a momentary incitement though as a post and progressive rock brewed climate washes over the senses whilst rhythms reveal great irritability and feverish tenacity to their character which in turn inspires something similar from guitars and bass.  This too is just another emotively expressive moment in an ever evolving soundscape of a track where ears joyfully feel like they are in a creative rat run. It constantly leads and twists around on the listener, providing riveting rewards at every turn whilst never relenting in its busy and voraciously delicious manipulation.

There may be not too much background  available to Uncanny yet but their music and EP has everything you need to know about their potential and their already impressive qualities which invite the imagination to go on their own thrilling adventures.

The Uncanny EP is out now on iTunes.

https://www.facebook.com/uncannysounds

Pete RingMaster 07/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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/

Three Days From Retirement – If We Keep Walking Eventually We’ll Fall

Pic - Roisin Smith

Pic – Roisin Smith

Released last November, If We Keep Walking Eventually We’ll Fall, the latest EP from Scottish post rock band Three Days From Retirement (3DFR) is seemingly and deservedly getting a fresh push to spark new attention. The four-track EP is the result of a busy 2015 which also saw the Edinburgh hailing outfit eagerly embark on recording sessions, gigs, and a successful single. It is also evidence of the reason why the band’s cinematic post rock explorations are beginning to create a stir.

Formed in 2013, 3DFR take inspiration from the likes of Mogwai and Explosions in the Sky into their persistently evolving sound and invention. The following year featured the release of the band’s self-titled debut EP which eventually led to a link up with Infinite Hive Music and the unveiling of first single What Is Dead May Never Die last year. It was swiftly followed by the well-received If We Keep Walking Eventually We’ll Fall, which as suggested seems to be being given a new push to kick start another potent year for the quartet of Matty McGhie, David Henderson, Joe Warnock, and Matthew Floody.

Produced, mixed and mastered by Tony Doogan, the EP opens with Avalanche Error which instantly and gently lures ears and imagination into a melancholic yet inviting soundscape. Guitars and keys align like a meeting of planetary bodies to immerse the slow but ripe rhythmic canvas with melodic and suggestive caresses. A fine but expressive mix of cold laced shadows and an emotive colouring of sonic tempting only add to the restrained yet kaleidoscopic nature of the song and its tapestry of sound, a weave which grows a sense of volatility over time. Like an aural aurora borealis erupting with bolder and thicker drama as textures and intensity expand, the track is a poetic and magnetic start to the release.

art_RingMasterReviewIn contrast to the more earthbound feel of its predecessor, Shatner’s Rhapsody shares a spatial ambience with ears and thoughts next. Similarly it has elegance and intimate charm to its character whilst it’s blending of textures and emotional shades this time explores a more celestial atmosphere. Subsequently revealing an imposingly dark and weighty drama, the track transfixes before By the Power of Grayskull offers a more comfortable and romantic flight for the listener to discover, immerse in, and interpret. From virtually the song’s first touch, the funky tone of the bass provides a lure for the body, backed by the magnetic shuffle of beats, whilst the melodic mystique and shoegaze scented air and nature of guitars has ears and mind enthralled.

Spooky Action Across Distance brings the release to a haunting close; vocal reflection adding to the theatre of sound and imagination which is nothing less than a compelling persuasion. Though maybe not impacting as commandingly on personal tastes and emotions as the tracks before it, the track leaves thoughts eagerly busy and pleasure full whilst revealing another side to the band’s invention. The fact the emotive vocal/sonic union reminds of the Scars track Your Attention Please, does it no harm either.

Three Days From Retirement is beginning to command attention with many reasons why contained within the highly enjoyable If We Keep Walking Eventually We’ll Fall; a release as suggested deserving of another wave of attention from media and fresh listeners alike, especially fans of bands such as The Cure, Mogwai, Russian Circles, and Sigur Ros.

The If We Keep Walking Eventually We’ll Fall EP is out now via Infinite Hive Music at https://3daysfromretirement.bandcamp.com/album/if-we-keep-walking-eventually-well-fall-off and most online stores.

Upcoming live dates:

Friday March 18th 2016, Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh

Sunday March 20th 2016, Nice ‘n Sleazy, Glasgow

Friday April 22nd 2016, Banshee Labyrinth, Edinburgh

Tuesday May 10th 2016, Audio, Glasgow

https://www.facebook.com/THREEDAYSFROMRETIREMENT   https://twitter.com/3dfruk

Pete RingMaster 14/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Lumberjack Feedback – Blackened Visions

THE-LUMBERJACK-FEEDBACK_RingMaster Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete RingMaster 18//01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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