Dead Register – Captive

It is two years since Atlanta outfit Dead Register not only thrilled but truly captivated us with debut album Fiber. It was a collection of tracks bred in the rich essences of doom, gothic, and post rock but equally embraced many more flavours to create something as unique as you could imagine or wish. Twenty four or so months on we still cannot truly define their sound or want to as that would be to sterilise its originality and fertility, both as rampant and captivating in the band’s new offering, Captive.

Every word in praise of Fiber by us and so many others can be echoed with zeal in regard to the Captive EP, but not only repeated but escalated as its five tracks venture to mouth-watering new heights in the imaginative craft and inventive prowess of Dead Register. The new EP sees percussionist/drummer Danny Ryann (ex-Gigan) alongside vocalist/bassist M. Chvasta and his wife, Avril Che on bass synth, keys, and backing vocals; Dan Dixon (Whores, The Life and Times, PLS PLS, Biters) recording, mixing, and mastering their now proposition.

Captive opens up with its title track, a dark mist springing the lumbering gait of the song but a funereal step soon wrapped in romancing melodies as a shadow bred atmosphere descends. Magnetic rhythms are swiftly courted by the ever potent and alluring tones of Chvasta, both in turn hugged by the heavy emotive doom gaze breath of the track. Haunting and mesmeric, the song continues to seduce and impose, drama soaking very brooding note and harmonic utterance trespassing and seducing the senses.

It is a highly tantalising and increasingly captivating beginning to the release and one as powerfully continued by next up Ender. A song exploring love and loss and “a reminder to savor even the most mundane idiosyncrasies that “make” our loved ones who they are”, a premise easy to relate to, it rousingly smoulders in ears and thoughts but a thick simmer with volatility which only enriches its emotional incitement and a sound with Type O Negative/Nine Inch Nails hues. There is also a breath to the track and its successors which reminds of eighties band, The Sound; an instinctively downbeat almost depressive yet rousing dark essence which is especially apparent in the fiercely infectious Heresy. From its predacious nagging bassline to the sonic tendrils and Chvasta’s transfixing vocals, the track is pure temptation as virulently catchy as it is melancholically consuming.

A riveting cover of the Dead and Gone track Blood from a Ghost follows, Dead Register infusing it with a voraciously dark elegance without defusing its raw heart and anguish. Few covers in our experience improve on the original but the threesome certainly flirts with that success before Monochrome completes the aural mastery of Captive with its own tenebrific majesty soaked in emotive dissonance. A breath-taking and arousing yet corrosive romance, the track is a maelstrom of destruction and tenderness and quite irresistible.

It is a spellbinding prowess which devours the whole of Captives and feeds the infatuation we have already found for the band. If in our words Fiber was “dark magic, emotional trespassing, and quite wonderful”, Captive is pure aural alchemy and one of the year’s essential encounters.

Captive is released November 2nd; available @ https://deadregister.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deadregister

 Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Masiro – Geodesics

Simultaneously teasing and engaging the imagination from start to finish, Geodesics is the new EP from British instrumental metallers Masiro. It offers up six tracks which take the listener on their own inspired journey through realms of creative intimation and magnetic craft; a collection of pieces which provide a straight line to pleasure but across a landscape of adventure which curves and fascinates like an aural kaleidoscope.

A trio hailing from Oxford, Masiro consists of original founders in guitarist Mike Bannard and drummer Chris Pethers, the band emerging as a duo in 2011, alongside bassist Chris Hutchinson Mogg formerly of ex-50ft Panda. Scented by the inspirations of artists such as Meshuggah, Primus, Mars Volta, Animals as Leaders, 65 Days of Static, Psyopus and many more, their music is a tapestry woven from strains of mathcore, progressive metal, and post rock though that only skirts over its varied richness. The band soon drew acclaim once releasing debut EP Technocologist Unknown in 2016, praise and recognition only thickened by their live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Poly Math, Core of IO, Iran Iran, and Kusanagi as well as festival appearances.

Geodesics is surely set to see Masiro lure even greater and broader recognition and plaudits their way, though strangely it is an encounter which with us depended on close attention to be really seduced and enthralled. As background support to whatever maybe needed to be done, it is a certainly fully enjoyable but a touch too easy to have distractions take charge but sit ears down with headphones and record and Masiro had us lost in its riveting web of craft and imagination whilst bouncing to its dynamics and suggestive incitement.

The EP swiftly entices with opener Andromeda Handshake, the track almost instantly a sonic chasm of turbulence but from within which tendrils of melody bred guitar wrap around ears and imagination The snarling almost bestial tone of the bass keeps the threat alive whilst rhythms pick their spots with rapacious intent. The tempest though breeds melodic radiance, it being swallowed once more but only to wait its moment to crystalize air and the rich temptation it ignites. Perpetually evolving, the track transfixes from start to finish with its mercurial flight.

The following K-Ursa is a far calmer proposition from its first breath. Featuring the saxophone prowess of Charlie Cruickshank, the song is a warm almost summery canter but with bold flames in its sultry climate. Again though there is a volatile instinct to the music, one which never fully ignites but brings a thought inspiring temper to the melodic beauty woven and eventually incites it all to come to a fiery head for its finale.

Both tracks also revel in an array of infection spreading hooks and twists, a creative agility just as potent within next up 21:15. With shadows courting its lining and depths, the track is a dark almost predatory controlled waltz, always intimating a portentous outcome even through its melodic elegance; a threat accentuated by the throaty growl and crawl of the bass and Pether’s agile swings. As all tracks it sends thoughts off on an exploration, espionage and danger courting their conjuring this time around.

The sonic displacement of Intermission: Graveyard Orbit with Lee Riley supplying drone dissonance intrigued if not much more and is soon forgotten as the outstanding End Permian emerges from its raw mists. Instantly a nagging groove had us hooked, its guitar lure increasing as the bass seduced as it prowled with slight irritability amidst a shimmering melodic glaze. Subsequently, as you can rightly assume, the piece gyrates with ideation and individual craft aligned to a united imagination, every slip into something new as fluid as it is expectantly unpredictable.

The release concludes with Grand Trine, another inescapable incitement of emotional and physical response. It is carnival of eager bordering rabid enterprise, the band’s mathcore instincts dancing like a dervish around relaxed moments of equally compelling melodic insinuation. As with all tracks, where it takes you will be as individual as the sounds provoking your imagination and as each we suspect leaving little else but pleasure especially the deeper you immerse in its creative emprise.

That is the same for Geodesics as a whole, give it your total time and attention and the rewards verge on the irresistible.

Geodesics is released September 7th, available @ https://masiro.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/masiromusic   https://twitter.com/masiroband   https://www.instagram.com/masiro_band/

Pete RingMaster 07/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dicepeople – One From Many

Dicepeople has never been afraid to venture into the shadows within their electronic sounds but as already hinted by last album End Of Line; they have been increasingly tempted into the thick realm of dark electro. Now the UK band has fully embraced its lure with new full-length, One From Many, emerging with their most compelling and magnetic proposal yet.

Founded by Matt Brock (musician, songwriter and producer) back in 2013 and completed by Zmora (vocalist) and Rafael Filomeno (visual artist), London based Dicepeople have drawn increasing attention and praise across their albums and EPs to date and a live show as visually immersive as it is musically involving. As mentioned, their sound has evolved and grown by each moment and as suggested forged a new captivating plateau from within One From Many. It is borne from an eclectic array of flavours including synthpop, EBM, darkwave, and post-rock with its own identify and originality nurtured by the record. The new album openly embraces those essences also but ingredients in an aural Pandora’s Box where the imagination is exposed to “a provocative and otherworldly place, immersing you in your fears and dreams, and exposing you to the darkness and light within.”

One From Many opens with the sonic dissonance of Void and its passage through crystalline shimmers and distortions all leading to an evocatively challenging sample. Imagination provoking, it eventually leaves the listener to the waiting infectious trespass of Gone. Synths and rhythms immediately stroll through ears; each bringing a catchy lure to which Zmora adds her magnetic tones.  A relatively calm affair even with its infectious presence, the track has an underlying dark edge which provokes rather than invades the imagination, a darkness offering threat emphasized by the guitar of Roger Le Guin within its overall seduction.

The following irresistible Multiplicity instantly invades the senses and psyche with its kinetic pulses, resonance shaken off every synth cast palpitation before it expands into another virulently infectious escapade this time seeing guitarist Rob Ackerman adding his prowess. Brock joins Zmora vocally as the track invades with its inimitable contagion before Celestial brings a progressive rock breeze to bear on its electronic exploration. This time Brock is joined vocally by Sara Dee, their union a perfect fit with the Celtic folk hue which also arises in the outstanding encounter which soon had the title of best track on our lips, reinforcing its grip as its electro pop tenacity infested body and spirit.

From its ethereal and physical radiance, the album’s climate becomes darker and more intense through Nitro though the inherent relish of the band to create infection spun enterprise is never far from the surface. Featuring the vocals of Darien Graham-Smith and Atashi Tada, the song courts the dark corners of thoughts in something akin to Cauldronated meets Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft but undeniably individual to its creators.

The following Addiction nags and niggles on ears with repetitious catchiness in its arsenal and discord in its nature, a restrained yet feral weave of temptation which as so many tracks just compels lustful attention, while Pigs is a web of discontent and dark intrigue within a portentous atmosphere but again one as alluring as it is tenebrous as it envelops and manipulates the senses and imagination respectively.

Even darker depths and layers of intimation are unveiled by This. With Hemiola guesting on vocals, the track is electronic smog invading and enticing with equal relish. Its cloudy cacophony devours as it seduces, its inharmonious air woven from melodic prowess as deceitful and deceptive as it is hypnotic.

Duality brings the release to a close, it too bred from a discord of noise and suggestion before parting with melodic bonds for the ever ear gripping tones of Zmora. Light and darkness once again merge in magnetic inharmony; each making vocal claims on thoughts and emotions before everything falls back into the void.

It is a truly provocative and spellbinding end to an album which with moments of real magnificence captivates and excites from beginning to end. Dicepeople are deserving of major attention, One From Many just might, should be the key to unlock that recognition.

One From Many is out now through Syndicol Music; available on all digital stores and @ https://www.syndicolmusic.com/store

https://dicepeople.com/   https://www.facebook.com/dicepeople/   https://twitter.com/dicepeople

 Pete RingMaster 02/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Head On – Ubik

photo by Aggeliki Mourtzouchou

Cold and calculating yet atmospherically immersive and at times invitingly suffocating, the debut album from Greek outfit Head On is a sonic trespass of the senses which simply commands attention. It is an invasive confusion of noise skilfully and deliberately woven to entangle and distract, disturb and invade; one which ignited the imagination at virtually every turn.

Head On are a quartet from Athens which creates a post punk bred sound infested with the raw snarls of grunge and heavy expansive climates of post rock. In fact it is a sound which embraces the causticity and dark depths of many flavours for its physical and emotional dissonance. Ubik is the band’s first album; an introduction quite easy to see taking the band’s presence far beyond their local borders.

Produced by the band with Iraklis Vlachakis, Ubik swiftly takes hold of close attention with opener Entropy. The instrumental is a rousing invitation into the release immediately revealing the aural palette the band creates from; its drifting waves of post rock nurtured sound lapping a post punk hued landscape. In no time the imagination was keenly involved and even more so as the track slips into the nagging prowess of next up Σήψη (Decay). Riffs and dark grooves collude in its similar swells of sound, casting hooks for ears and appetite to be ensnared by as vocals prowl the murky intimation for something akin to a blend of Joy Division and Leitmotiv and quite addictive by its close.

Lexicon follows with its own arsenal of compelling textures and trespasses. As vocals again almost stalk proceedings, the bass uncages a delicious dark nagging on ears around which guitars spin a rapacious web of grooved bait. It is highly magnetic and even more so when the track twists into grunge lined punk rock, the captivation only more tempting in its second cycle before Dylarama springs its own punk infused challenge on ears and an already greedy appetite. The track is a lime pit of varied rock ‘n’ roll; scorching and eating away at the senses with its sonic tides and attitude, a PiL like glaze liquor in its tart toxicity.

The stark soundscape of Imipolex G is next, a track with a hint of Alien Sex Fiend to its dissonance and Sex Gang Children to its emotive character. Harsh and corrosive yet with a melancholic elegance which boldly simmers up at certain moments, the song grips ears with ease if not quite to the intensity of successor Life Seems Johnny Rotten. It’s Bauhaus seeded groove and spirals of guitar swiftly enthral, the subsequent vocal drone and melody infested post punk stroll elevating the song’s thick magnetism. A kaleidoscope of sounds and hues, the song is glorious expanding its lure as its tight senses encroaching tunnels of noise erupt into expansive sonic scenery.

Across the great irritant that is No Harm, a track which niggles and nags the senses into easy submission, and the rich rock ‘n’ roll of Broom of the System the album just accentuates its potency and variety in sound. Both embrace a mix of flavours with the second especially making a bold side step from post punk instincts with its heavy and classic rock spiced escapade though it still retains the steely repetitious instincts of that core genre in its depths.

Closing out the album is Scum Manifesto, a sonic scalding which boils from imposing calm into an acrimonious flood of noise and intent. It entices until it is ready to unleash its venom, which it does like pouring boiling oil on the senses. It is masterful end to an album which increasingly impressed play by play.

If not with Ubik, though the album has everything needed to lure rich praise, Head On is facing the prospect of real attention within the European rock scene. How their sound will evolve is intriguing and already keenly anticipated here but more of the striking same next time around will do very nicely too.

Ubik is available now digitally and on 12” vinyl @ https://headongreece.bandcamp.com/album/ubik

Upcoming UK tour dates.

Jun 28 The Pig and Fiddle, Bath

Jun 29 New Cross Inn, New Cross

Jun 30 The Pipeline, Brighton

Jul 01 The Old England, Bristol

https://www.facebook.com/Head0n/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ophe – Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude

Ophe is the solo project of Bargnatt XIX, guitarist/vocalist with French outfit Område. His main band is a proposition which entangles an array of styles and experimentation into avant-garde soundscapes and has grabbed our imaginations since the release of their 2015 album Edari and even more so with its startling successor Nåde two years later. So you can imagine we were only too pleased to take a look at Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude, the debut Ophe album when Bargnatt (Christophe Denhez of Nerv, Mur, and In The Guise Of Men) got in touch. Despite having embraced the ambience hued climates of post rock, industrial, electronica, and avant-garde metal merged by Område though, ears were not prepared for Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude.

Certainly living up to its tag of experimental avant-garde black metal, Ophe’s sound is much more expansive than that. It is a ravenous maze of sound and adventure set in a tempest of emotion and atmospheric dissonance. Whether it is something you can say you physically enjoy is still up for debate but as one fiercely captivating and relentlessly tempting challenge it is inescapable.

From opener Somnum Sempiternum the senses are taken on a turbulent sonic flight; a buffeting of winds around perpetual rallies of rhythmic antipathy the initial engagement. Bargnatt’s vocal currents are just as harsh within the intensive but controlled cyclone, rasping breath on sonic causticity and melody flirting with discord and dissonance. As invasive and toxic as it is an infectious hue merges within the emotional and aural trespass adding to the imagination sparking incitement that has already brewed. The track continues to grate and tempt across it’s almost nine minutes, never giving enough to mercilessly seduce but never coming close to leaving ears searching for alternative calms. Though a one man project, the album features the sax borne craft of Val Dorr; it too an almost schizophrenic, to use the press release’s description, protagonist in the midst of the blackened ambient storm.

Decem Vicibus is a calmer but no less dark investigation. Its tenebrific air wraps around mellow bordering on whispered vocals whilst alongside a hellacious scene unfurls hue by hue, cry by cry until the listener feels like they are trapped experiencing the visceral drama of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. The solemn chimes of church bells only add to the track’s deceitful incantation before XVIIII provides its own individual portentous peace complete with sax squeaks but only leading to a rabid smog of emotional disharmony clad in a web of musical unpredictability.

Whereas its air is thick almost acrid, the following Missive Amphibologique D’Une Adynamie A La Solitude has a clearer atmosphere but one just as sinister as guitars, bass, and sax host a dance of emotive dissidence. The best track within the album, it is a weave of rhythmic temptation and melodic seduction but each a welcoming vice flush with the animus of torment the vocals openly share. The track is superb, the moment the imagination ignited feverishly and even with an arguably over long presence enthrals from start to finish.

The album closes with Cadent, an elegant melody woven piece with clean vocals and harmonic reflections. All the while though, darkness lurks providing a threatening undercurrent which does not have its day but adds dark intensity to the beauty.

It is a fine end to an album which might have to fight to be called actually enjoyable yet we did indeed enjoy every moment of its tempest filled bitter atmosphere if some moments more lustily than others. For something to turn your calm, emotions, and thoughts into captivated turmoil Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude is a certain quest to explore.

Litteras Ad Tristia Maestrum Solitude is out now via My Kingdom Music; available @ https://ophe.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/OPHEBM/

Pete RingMaster 28/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

OMRÅDE – Nåde

2015 saw the release of an album which deserved far more attention than it got and warranted every syllable of praise offered its “visual and aural telescope.” Edari was the invention of French duo OMRÅDE who now return with its equally startling successor Nåde. That first full-length made ears and imagination pay attention, the second simply demands it and repays with what will surely be classed as one of the major adventures of the year.

OMRÅDE consists of vocalist/guitarist Bargnatt Xix, known elsewhere as Christophe Denhez of Nerv and previously Mur and In The Guise Of Men, and drummer/keyboardist/programmer Arsenic, christened Jean-Philippe Ouamer and the skin hitter of Idensity and formerly of Nerv. Together they weave a collection of avant-garde soundscapes nurtured from everything around the ambience hued climates of post rock, industrial, electronica, and avant-garde metal, and that is simplifying their fascinating explorations of sound and emotion. It is a mix which created a compelling proposal in the cinematic adventure of Edari and now the even more aurally haunting and stirring Nåde.

Whereas the first album felt like looking across a broad canvas of universes there is much stronger intimacy fuelling Nåde, like ears and thoughts are peering in on the tempestuous fortunes and emotions of a single soul representing the surroundings and lives within a noir lit and suffocating climate. That is not to say it does not venture through worldly landscapes too, just they all feel cored by the same instinctive melancholy and depressive clad spirit. Influences upon the project include the likes of Ulver, Manes, and God Is An Astronaut, essences certainly seeping across the new album along with an equal infusion of Nine Inch Nails/Palms scented shadows and suggestiveness.

Nåde opens up with Malum and swiftly has electronic beats and guitar coaxing ears as Denhez’ vocals share the song’s heart and beleaguered emotions. Pretty much haunting thoughts and psyche from its first breath, its inner psychosis is just as swift in stirring the imagination as vocals hint at a soul trapped yet seemingly revelling in the inevitability of inescapable turmoil. Strings and brass soon after bring their seductive shadows and flames respectively to the blossoming atmosphere and body of the song, a cinematic wash in tow yet that personal dispute continues to voice things. It is a stunning piece of music and vocal insight, instantly surpassing anything on that impressive first album and just the start of a uniquely stirring journey.

The following XII has a gentler touch, its hazy atmosphere jazzy and sombre yet with a warm glow which only attracts like a night’s final brandy. Keys tease as Leo Sors’ guesting sax woozily blows with suggestive prowess, each flame embracing reflective vocals and in turn a hotly simmering funk shuffle. With Bernard-Yves Querel adding his guitar, the track at times is something akin to 6:33 certainly with the emerging depths and mercurial intensity of the track; ears and imagination enthralled and sucked into its unpredictable enterprise and dark instrumental theatre. Whereas the first was physically provocative, the second is emotionally inciting with just as rich results before the outstanding Enter beckons the listener into its melodically woven, progressively shaped, and increasingly virulent proposal. With a snarling brooding within the guitars and an unstoppable catchiness lining its brewing rapacity, the song is a lively cauldron of infectiousness and trespassing anxiety, each conflicting with and accentuating the other.

Hänelle is pure heart ruptured melancholy, another track which builds in intensity and intimate drama on every level from an initial smoulder nurtured as much by Jonathan Maronnier ‘s clarinet as emotional shadows while Styrking Leið is a haunted croon; a siren like lure of vocals and keys and if slower to tempt as its predecessors simply growing into another lingering highlight especially with its increasing visual potency and emotional desperation. The song sees Edgard Chevallier guesting on guitar while next up The Same For The Worst features additional vocals from L. Chuck D in its jazzy intoxication with Julien Gebenholtz’s bass a captivating pleasure all on its own. Becoming more fevered and intense with emotion as sounds share a volatile almost bedlamic restlessness, the track has ears and thoughts gripped. Certainly it is not the easiest listen within Nåde but boy is it one of the most rewarding and impacting.

The final pair of tracks ensure captivation and pleasure is as burning as ever. Baldar Jainko is as similarly intensive as the previous track, its heart and scenery a sharing and conflict of peace and faith with emotions and suggestiveness working on personal and worldly levels. Closing track, Falaich, is almost apocalyptic in tone and touch; an epilogue or portent of our emotional and physical destructions and apathy to it which is seriously gripping from start to finish and only increasing the vice as it provokes the darkest thoughts and richest enjoyment.

It is easy to suggest that if Edari impressed and impacted on you previously, Nåde will blow you away and for newcomers to OMRÅDE, the moment when music might just become much more than ear pleasing.

Nåde  is released May 26th via My Kingdom Music.

https://www.facebook.com/Omradetheband    http://omradetheband.wix.com/omrade

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright