27 Tons of Metal New England – Various

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And Bluntface Records do it again, thrusting the underground scene at the senses courtesy of another essential compilation of some of the most striking and potential drenched bands around. This time the US label is exploring the underground metal scene from New England, which on the evidence of 27 Tons of Metal New England, is simply writhing with great ravenous bands and sounds. The release is as diverse in styles as it is voracious in creativity and though with the amount of bands and metal subgenres involved personal tastes will obviously find a greater hunger for some over others, it is fair to say that the album from start to finish is a compelling treat with no weak spots, and all the more tastier for being completely free.

The encounter opens with Carnivora and a track taken from their outstanding EP, The Vision. Pessimist’s Tongue is the Danvers quintet at their full blistering best and weaving suggestive ambiences into subsequent tapestries of rabid vocals and rancorous intensity. Yet despite its almost cancerous intent and creative breath, there is anthemic energy and a web of searing adventure from the guitars involved, which in turn sparks addictively imaginative exploits from the band across the song’s corrosive landscape.

It is a scintillating start to the release pushed on by Alterius and their uncompromising melodic death metal trespass on the senses, A Citadel’s Demise. The song comes from the band’s latest EP Voyager, and merges classical overtones into its fluid brutal and seductive tempting. Like being serenaded whilst the beast tears your throat out, the track stalks ears and psyche setting in motion a keen appetite to know more, a success matched by Revere quartet Travel Amygdala and their aggressively smouldering Died by a Bullet. Entangling its inventive metal bred sound with progressive and grunge seeded imagination, the song aggressively crawls over the senses enticing and intimidating, especially as it builds in energy and tempestuous air. There is also a potent sludge feel to part of its character too, the thick prowls between forceful strides of creative and vocal drama carrying the strongest whiff, with ultimately everything uniting for one riveting proposition.

Bostonian black metal trio Ashen Wings comes next, the band’s raw and carnivorous sound a bracing magnetic scourge delivered to ears from Cancerous Bones. As insidious and ruinous as you can imagine, it also spawns a swing to its gait which only adds to the addictive proposal on offer before making way for the just as destructively virulent Scourge of the Hierophant from Sorrowseed. A blend of blackened death metal with a healthy vein of classic and melodic tenacity, the increasingly thrilling track smothers ears and appetite with pestilential persuasion whilst provoking the want to offer vocalist Lilith Astaroth some soothing for her surely shredded vocal chords.

band-contacts-page-127 Tons of Metal New England      Walk the Earth (No Longer) from sludge/doomers Conclave steps up next, the nine minute intrusion an accomplished and enthralling predation cast with rugged heavy riffs and heavily swiping rhythms, all lorded over by just as unpolished and alluring vocals. From their Breaking Ground EP, the song is as effective descending on ears in top gear or in crowding their walls with a lumbering and weighty provocation within a long but never less than thickly engaging incitement.

The same kind of hold is seized by Beneath The Burial next and their track In Memory, its fusion of hardcore ferocity and metal spawned sonic invention a fury of searing grooves, vocal animosity, and subsequently predatory imagination. As the album itself, there is a wealth of flavours emerging across the track musically and vocally, which only adds to the slow but fiercely burning persuasion of the song to inspire a want for more as it makes way for Skin Drone and God Complex. One of the few bands these ears had already come across and previously devoured, the duo of Bluntface Records founder Otto Kinzel and Erik Martin of Erik Dismembered and Critical Dismemberment unleash one of those examinations which you never know whether to fear or whole heartedly embrace, the latter always the chosen reaction of course. Like a sonic scavenger, the track vocally and musically spills its creative industrial/metal animus on to the senses within an evocative ambience which then inspires a melancholic exploration of emotive and creative expression. The song is a cauldron of inventive sound and emotional intensity, a rich picking for those with an avant-garde side to their preferred examinations.

The scorching designs and temperament of Dirty Birdy from metalcore furnace Don’t Cross the Streams is next; band and track a scarring addictiveness which without springing major surprises has ears and heavy enjoyment sealed from the first clutch of seconds. Their triumph is quickly backed by Stoughton power/progressive metallers Forevers Fallen Grace and Clarion of Regret, another song which needed warming to before its potent expanse of craft and enterprise became an inescapable hook, and after them Makavrah with the excellent Awakening The Ancients. The Peterborough hailing doomsters have a sound which is dangerously mesmeric, a senses meddling sonic bewitchment which as shown by its twelve minutes of evolving soundscape, is hex like in its ingeniously dramatic and creative exploration. With echoes of Show Of Bedlam to it, the track is one delicious incessant crawl.

The industrial endeavour of Isolated Antagonist more than lives up to its offering’s title next, Infection a contagious causticity of sound and emotion with vocals to match as it worms under the skin and into the psyche with lingering rewards, whilst the following Composted bring a carnal presence and hostility into the equation with their track OB/GYN O.G. The band’s death metal onslaught has the voracity of thrash and swagger of groove metal to it, and as hungry hues only help to create an immense and irresistible corruption.

Both Charlestown sextet Untombed and Mike Kerr Band keep the riveting roar of the album going, the first with their groove and antagonism loaded death metal antipathy, Criminal Inception. Savage and violently catchy, the track is another which is maybe not gripped by original exploits but is one spilling a fresh venom which leaves a great many of fellow emerging genre bands in the shade whilst its successor is the title track from its creators recently released new album The Truth of the Lion and features Texan vocalist Adrienne Cowan and Jim Oliveira in its classic/melodic metal lure.

Power groove metal is on the agenda next through Before the Judge and their track Bobby D. With a highly agreeable nag of riffs and grooves lining its erosive blaze, the song stirs the blood band-contacts-page-2_RingMaster Reviewwhilst pouring more diversity into the compilation, variety further expanded by The Aberration and their track Bologna Skins are the Next Big Thing. The band consists of Travis O’Connell (guitar) and Jim Cole (drums), an instrumental duo creating, on the evidence of their contribution, compelling proposals of snarling progressive metal loaded with uncompromising attitude.

Melodic death metal quartet My Missing Half scars air and ears next with The Lives I’ve Ruined, a song with essences of The Black Dahlia Murder and At the Gates to it whilst finding its own magnetically inventive nature. The track leaves emotions and senses breathless but hungry for more as so many on the release, including Seeds of Negligence and their maelstrom of varied and inhospitable metal posing as The Reaper. The song is a bruising and vicious temptation of death, groove, thrash, and progressive strains of extreme metal, an incendiary incitement sparking a lust for further confrontation.

Dover trio Cactus Hag drags the listener back into a rich immersion of sludge and doom invasiveness with Grand Lodge of the Mirage, the track an insidious erosion snuffing out light and hope whilst sparking just as strong enjoyment. Its smothering rancor is contrasted by the brighter and superbly volatile adventure of G.O.G. from Side Effects May Include, the song another entwining a mass of different styles into its individual tempest of heavy rock and creatively rabid metal, and another only leaving the urge to go explore in their wake. Which is something which also applies to Pelham’s Epicenter and the thrash fuelled insurgency of See Through. With strands of alternative and groove metal to its robust and tenacious exploits, the track is as anthemic as it is strikingly inventive, and amongst admittedly many, an instinctive favourite.

band-contacts-page-3_RingMaster Review     Fog Wizard get body and passions inflamed again with Fear the Kraken, a rapacious prowling built like Sabbath meets Motorhead with the attitude of Stuck Mojo and the combined snarl of Slayer and Black Flag. One slab of real pleasure is replaced by another and the abrasive kaleidoscope of sound unveiled by Sonic Pulse through Defenders of the Good Time. A brawling festival of power and thrash metal with a flurry of heavy and classic metal hues for greater captivation, the track is a ferocious blaze equipped with drama, familiarity, and inescapable bait.

The heavy weight slab of talent is brought to an impressive end by a trio of bands to also keep a close eye on, starting with the bestial sound of extreme metallers Graveborn. Their mercilessly hellacious and skilled Leviathan is sheer sonic and rhythmic savagery with just as brutishly varied vocals, and another big enticement before heavy/thrash metal Verscythe prove their classic seeds in the richly magnetic Land of Shells.

Completed finally by Vacant Eyes and the melody sculpted funereal death/doom exploration that is The Dim Light of Introversion, a track thick in atmosphere and haunting trespasses for a darkly compelling seducing, 27 Tons of Metal New England is an intensive journey through the depths and expanses of New England’s underground metal scene. It is one of the most extensive and rewarding compilations in a long time which from start to finish, enthrals and assaults, entices and transgresses. If any metal fan does not come away from the encounter with at least a handful of new lusts we would be amazed. So no dawdling, go and get one of the biggest and best free treats of the year,

27 Tons of Metal New England is available for free download @ http://bluntfacerecords.com/27-tons-of-metal-new-england

RingMaster 06/07/2015

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Max Pie – Odd Memories

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Fair to say their name is still as dislikeable as it was when we covered their excellent album Eight Pieces, One World album two years ago but musically the Belgian metallers still rock the juices out of us as proven by new encounter Odd Memories. Max Pie fills their third album with all the essences which made its predecessor a surprising and compelling proposition but it is with bigger and bolder imagination and creative energy. We are no major heavy/power metal fans here to be honest but once again Max Pie has given us one thumping and rousing time.

The band was formed in 2005 by vocalist Tony Carlino taking inspirations from bands such as Symphony X, Van Halen, Toto, Queensrÿche, and Dream Theater into their emerging ideas. A slightly unstable time in personnel graced their early years before Max Pie released debut album Initial Process in 2012. Fan and critically acclaimed it was surpassed by Eight Pieces – One World a year later in presence, sound, and praise. Its release was followed by the band playing numerous festivals and undertaking tours with the likes of Symphony X, Evergrey, Fates Warning, Avantasia, and Queensrÿche. Now they return with, as the last album, the Simone Mularoni mixed and mastered Odd Memories and simply their finest, most inventive proposal yet.

The album opens with its title track; an instrumental ripe with a foreboding atmosphere and epic textures all cinematically imposing on the imagination. This type of beginning is becoming a common practice across varied metal offerings but when done right, as here, it makes a potent invitation into any release. As the track slips into the following Age of Slavery, a sizzling electronic coaxing colludes with rampant riffs and a melodic embrace of keys. The thick commanding rhythms of drummer Sylvain Godenne shape and invigorate the track further, framing the growling vocals of Carlino perfectly. The frontman’s diverse delivery is as magnetic as ever, some elements more powerful and potent than others but like the music, a constant lure that likes to stretch and push both song and musician. As the guitar and keyboard craft of Damien Di Fresco builds and expands its enterprise, the track blossoms into a sturdy and fiery encounter to really kick things off.

It is also, in many ways, a relatively straight forward and maybe expected proposal from the band, the new exploration showing itself more from Odd Future on. Keys breed the first mesmeric caress on the third track before guitars and the wonderfully dark throated bass of Lucas Boudina bring their hues to the emerging and stirring landscape of the encounter. Once vocals join, the song settles into a melodic roar and sonic flame of melodic and heavy rock ‘n’ roll, their union a heated and tenacious arousing of ears and thoughts veined by sparkling, and at times understated temptation from the keys. It is when things go off kilter with a glorious stretch of discord kissed invention and melodic bedlam that the song really comes alive and if there is any moan it does not play in this great moment long enough.

MaxPieOddMemories_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     Promised Land opens on a vivacious escapade of keys quickly encased in storming riffs and rhythms, it all quickly blooming into a virulently contagious slice of rock pop with classic metal and progressive rock hues. It has single running through its potent craft and lusty veins, every second of the track a bold and rousing incitement for body, voice, and emotions. Such its power and lure, it gives next up Love Hurts a hard time trying to follow it, and as mesmeric in melodic beauty within tempestuously emotional and physical terrain that it is, it never quite finds the same full-blooded personal reactions as its predecessor. It is undeniably superbly crafted and woven though and does leave only fully satisfied thoughts before the darker, ravenous excellence of Don’t Call My Name takes over. The guitars alone are predatory with their creative rummaging of the senses whilst the keys float with celestial temptation above them and the uncompromising rhythms spearing it all. Reaping the ripest elements of technical and progressive metal, band and track pulsate as they gnaw on ears, adding melodic and harmonic balm to the increasingly irresistible voracity on offer. With Carlino also on fine form, the track is the pinnacle of the album, reason alone to eagerly approach Odd Memories.

The acoustically brewed Hold On slips in next to transfix and from a slow start to its persuasion grows into a big favourite. Whether by chance or intention, it has a Bowie-esque essence to it, a floating whisper in quieter moments which does it no harm. It is a scent soon out flamed by vocals and the sonic blaze giving the song rich crescendos and a breath-taking finale before Unchain Me takes the listener on another tumultuous ride of rugged metal and tantalising electronic adventure.

No prizes in guessing some of the scenery within Cyber Junkie, its electronic and industrial endeavour a potent spicing to another song offering a compelling fusion of bestial metal and melodic flirtation, the former steering the ship with invigorating success. As Don’t Call My Name before it, the track is a masterful web of varied and diverse styles in one predacious provocateur, thoughts of bands from Anthrax to Armored Saint, Dream Theater to Skyharbor coming to mind across its exciting and again show stealing soundscape.

The album is finished by The Fountain Of Youth, a song which either a raging storm of a canter or a gentle caress enthrals and sparks only the keenest attention and support from ears and emotions. Like a couple of other songs it takes longer to get all of its hooks inescapably entrenched but with its additional symphonic elegance and emotively hued strings, the song has seduced long before realisation notices.

Wrapped in the excellent artwork of Didier Scohier, Odd Memories and indeed Max Pie have caught us again with a tempest of sound and invention driven by craft and passion. This time it is bigger, more adventurous, and confirming the band as one of progressive power metal’s finest.

Odd Memories is available from June 19th via Mausoleum Records @ http://www.maxpie.be/shop.php

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RingMaster 19/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sacred Wind – Sacred Wind

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Having had our pleasures goosed by Odin’s wind courtesy of Metal and Curry, the recent single from Welsh Viking bred rockers Sacred Wind; there was no option but to check out the album from which it comes. Released towards the rear of 2014, the thirteen track adventure, also going under the name of Sacred Wind, reveals the full landscape and creative emprise hinted at by our first introduction to the band.

The album is a tale of bold knights, even bolder flatulence, and a rampant hunger for cheese, not forgetting a few buxom women draped around a curry or two. Even more potently the album is bulging with glorious heavy metal and classic rock psalms of heroic deeds and Norse seeded challenges. From its first moments there is no doubting that Lord of the Rings/ Game of Thrones have found a richly mischievous companion in Sacred Wind, an alternative reality comparison, but that cannot hide or devalue the impressive craft and roaring sonic might of band and album.

Opener A Time of Magic is a vocal introduction between grandfather and child, be it a kid with the squeak of an adolescent aged forty plus with one ball dropped and one hovering. Questions from the latter bring an unveiling of the scenery and drama behind the album’s premise from the former, a telling of the background to the quest undertaken by the noble warriors regaled through the songs. These brave souls are called Sacred Wind and the following album title track, their opening scene. Hefty rhythms and fiery riffs make an immediate impression upon ears; the guitar hooks an almost predacious lure matched by the heavily throated bassline courting their attitude. Subsequently keys and raw melodies add to the canvas upon which Memphis bred Viking and vocalist/guitarist Olaf the Berserker reveals the narrative. It is a pungent offering, old school and swiftly anthemic.

The impressive opening song is matched straight away by Metal and Curry, the track similarly an inescapable anthem but with a lighter swagger to its gait and harmonic roar. Whilst meaty hooks and melodic tenacity from Olaf and Grundi the Windy are thrust through ears to seduce the senses, a rhythmic stomp provided by bassist Smid the Merciless and drummer Agnar the Hammered ensures neck muscles and imagination are flush with an appetite to devour the song’s tremendous contagion.

Already Sacred Wind is lighting body and emotions like a mix of Gwar meets Green Jelly meets Judas Priest, though that only narrows down what is a much broader flavour to the album. The band’s humour is just as open and ripe too but only in the lyrical and thematic adventure, their sounds a blaze of creativity and exciting endeavour which has plenty for all metallers, let along those just honed in with just a taste for classic rock ‘n’ metal. It is fair to say though that Hurricane Ass next is purely steeped in seventies metal bred in a bed of similarly aged classic rock. Begging for the power of a certain bodily function to help woo a prospective love, the song flames with sonic enterprise and vocal harmonies, transfixing ears as it heads towards to a firework like display of a finale, beats exploding across its melodramatic sky.

The combative character of Warriors of Asgard takes the success of its predecessor to new heights next, the track sinew and ferocity as the warriors take arms to rescue damsels in distress. Equally though it is unafraid to light their way with beacons of melodic ingenuity through the guitars and the symphonic yawn and soar of keys. The track is a delicious cinematic like escapade, not only a potent visual offering for the imagination to run with but simply an infectious slice of melodic metal.

Both the eighties kissed Sail with Me and the climactic bellow that is Rock, Rock, Rock, Rock Ragnarok keeps things on appealing and satisfying course, though neither can rival the some of the previous encounters. The first covers an emotional realisation brought by romance and the other an apocalyptic incitement to the Gods. Each brings new diversity and intrigue to the album leaving thoughts engaged and enjoyment contented is without setting a fire in their attention, something the power ballad Frigg certainly manages with its dark grouchy shadows and sonic balladry of vocal and melodic expression. Strong the first time and increasing its lure thereafter, the track is a slow burner which as quite a few songs upon Sacred Wind has the ability and persistence to flirt with the memory whenever it wishes.

Fart for Odin, by title alone, needs no help in explaining its narrative to the imagination, it a bar room ode and mead fuelled anthem within a tempestuous sonic and rhythmic turbulence. It is another thumping antagonist to body and fun though soon surpassed by the outstanding Dragon Ships and Women’s Hips. Impossibly virulent from its first sweep of vocals and initial tease of melody, the song brings rock pop from the late seventies, glam metal from the eighties, and nineties folk metal in one irresistible catchy croon. Think Alestorm meets Duran Duran and you get an inkling of the majestic lure of the pinnacle of Sacred Wind.

The battlefield brings the background to My Sword is my Sword firmly into thoughts, the power metal offering soon expanding its tale with horn like calls of the keys and predatory rhythms around the vocal roar of Olaf, all courted by the cantering invention of the guitars. Its spicy persuasion is followed by the celestial instrumental hymn of The Sheep’s Lament, which in turn makes way for the closing celebration of The Power of Cheese, though why anyone would want to crow so favourably about the mouldy stuff beats us. The song, as the previous track is a bonus offering on the album, and brings the release to a riotous yet melodically sizzling end.

It would be wrong to think of Sacred Wind as a one off good time to file away as you might a Green Jelly or in some ways a Steel Panther offering. Lyrically yes it is a roaring laugh but musically album and band stand side by side with any power metal, classic rock offering, just with an extra dose of mischief. Produced and arranged by Andy Coffey, who has a much bigger hand in things then you might suspect, including writing the excellent books which accompany the album’s story, the album is recommended to anyone with an appetite for strong, accomplished, and most of all enjoyable full fat metal.

Sacred Wind is available now via iTunes, Amazon etc. and the Sacred Wind books @ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Andy-Coffey/e/B00LXLNW64/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

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RingMaster 18/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Viathyn – Cynosure

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With a sound which revolves within a web of progressive, folk, power, and melodic metal, drawing on varying degrees of each essence with every twist of their imagination and invention, Canadian metallers Viathyn present another contagious and gripping proposition with new album Cynosure. Nine individual musical and creative emprises thick, the album presents a fruitful and colourful journey for ears and imagination. Every track is an intriguing and at times demanding proposition with more going on than can be taken in on initial unions. It is an attention wanting enticement though which roars with a melodic tenacity and strolls with muscular flirtation to give the richest rewards.

Formed in 2006, initially as the trio of guitarist Tomislav Crnkovic, guitarist Jacob Wright, and drummer Dave Crnkovic, Viathyn released the instrumental Demagogue EP in 2008. From there the band expanded with bassist Alex Kot coming in, whilst Tomislav added vocals to his duties. Debut album The Peregrine Way was unveiled in 2010 to enthused reactions from fans and media alike. It marked the band out for their songwriting, instrumentation, and equally the storytelling which on the album told the journey of an unnamed wandering man, through the highs and lows of his life. Cynosure is bred from the same creative template, in many ways an obvious continuation of its predecessor rather than providing a startling evolution in sound and intent, but still pushing the limits and enterprise of the band to new riveting and pleasing levels.

The album starts with Ageless Stranger, a track with an epic leaning tone and resourceful melodic scenery from the off. Guitars, keys, and vocal harmonies instantly spawn a radiant yet portentous atmosphere which the jabbing beats of Dave guides with a firm hand, leading it all into a rugged terrain of rampant riffs and concussive rhythms. The song is still swarmed over by the melodic appetite of the keys and guitars though, everything coming together for a maelstrom like tempest of enticement. The strong vocals of Tomislav bring another tempting texture to the mix whilst the fluid craft of Jacob bewitches from within the aggressive stride of the song. It is a pungent and invigorating start which as its successor, as much brings thoughts of a Dommin or Volbeat as it does of bands like Wuthering Heights and KingBathmat. The song is a constantly twisting and unpredictable yet flowing proposition matched by The Coachman.

The second song takes little time to explore a richer folk enterprise to its emerging stride of rock ‘n’ roll, before weaving in just as potent essences of heavy metal and melodic rock. It is impossible not to be drawn right into its vigorous revelry, Album Cover - Viathyn  - Cynosure - 2014every turn and new idea a lure to devour with ease and greed. The brief expulsion of raw growls does not quite work but is a mere instant in a song which vocally and musically simply infects ears and imagination for a thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable encounter. There is also a theatrical mischief to the song which is given full clarity at the song’s end before Edward Mordrake thunders in on a storm of rhythmic agitation and fiery sonic temptation. Though not as immediately gripping as its predecessors, the song, with its seamless movement through varied gaits and imaginative endeavours, binds senses and thoughts in its successfully exploratory and surprising expression to keep them hungry and enthralled. The track also raises up slight comparisons to fellow Canadians New Jacobin Club at times, the drama in the skilled invention of the band’s individuals a similar and inescapable persuasion.

As mentioned there is plenty going on to reflect with mere words, this track a prime example as are both the following Shadows In Our Wake and Countess of Discordia, but that richness of depth and often tempestuously unleashed ideation ensures each partaking of a song reveals new aspects and adventures. The first of this pair of songs encloses ears with a heavy aggressive breath though it is soon aligned to an evocative wash of keys and the melodic narrative of the guitars. A thick gothic ambience also coats the song, lingering across the sinew toughened canvas and subsequent dramatic turns within the track whilst the second of the two leads by a great bass coaxing into a heavy and power metal blaze. Whether storming the senses with nostrils flared or seducing with mellower bordering on sinister melodies, the song is a glorious sonic waltz which gets better and bolder with every passing second.

Time Will Take Us All struggles to emulate the success of the previous song but still has ears and thoughts seriously engaged with its opening melancholic caress of keys and guitar, a potency matched by the emotive delivery of Tomislav. It is a song which as all on the album, builds and develops into a different proposition as it proceeds, its gentle climate discovering an imposing turbulence and emotive beauty along the way. It is not a track which lingers as others but provides another gripping tale to immerse within before the excellent folk/power metal escapade of Three Sheets To The Wind steals the passions. With a touch of Alestorm and Tyr to its Celtic folk stomp, the track swiftly recruits unbridled attention. As anthemic as all good power metal triumphs should be, the track soon has body and voice in tandem before exploring a progressive crafted landscape of mystery and invention, to keep ears and thoughts on their toes.

Completed by the dark atmospheric menace of Albedo, an outstanding track which is as predatory as it is sonically radiant and infectiously irresistible, and the closing title track, Cynosure is a peach of an encounter. The last song sums up release and band perfectly, an encounter built on a riotous elegance and creative bedlam honed into something sublime and intricately structured, not forgetting gloriously presented. The album is fun, at times unafraid to let its serious side have a rest, but most of all Cynosure is one of the most enjoyable and enterprising progressive metal releases this year.

The self-released Cynosure is available now @ http://viathyn.bandcamp.com/album/cynosure

http://www.viathyn.com

RingMaster 09/10/2014

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Falconer – Black Moon Rising

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Sure to please long-time fans of the band, Swedish folk power metallers Falconer return with their eight album and an embracing of the sound which bred their earliest presence. It is not as clear cut as it sounds though because the quintet also craft a compelling web of modern metal tenacity and at times hostility to create a varied, often unpredictable, and constantly rewarding proposition. Falconer has always been a band which either clicked with or missed our preferences up to this point but despite still elements which fall on our stony ground, Black Moon Rising surpasses all that came before and has little trouble leaving rich satisfaction in its wake to temper our difficult demands.

Formed in 1999 as a solo project by guitarist Stefan Weinerhall (ex-Mithotyn) with Mathias Blad stepping in as session vocalist, Falconer soon become a full band with the addition of drummer Karsten Larsson. From their self-titled debut album in 2001, the band had attention and passions falling over themselves as well as a wealth of acclaim. Its successor Chapters From A Vale Forlorn a year later marked another step forward for the band, though the year also saw Blad leave the band. With Kristoffer Göbel enlisted as the new singer, third album Sceptre of Deception in 2003 was unveiled to again strong reception whilst a year later another line-up change saw guitarist Jimmy Hedlund and bassist Magnus Linhardt joining Weinerhall, Larsson, and Göbel. A twist in style accompanied the next album before a more recognisable, and arguably wanted by fans, flavour returned as the next trio of albums lit up an ever increasing fanbase starting with Grime vs. Grandeur which marked the return of Blad. Recorded with Andy LaRocque at Sonic Train Studios, Black Moon Rising follows the entirely sung in Swedish Armod of 2011, taking those earlier ventures and sounds of the band on a brand new and rigorously captivating emprise.

Riffs and attention seeking rhythms open up first track Locust Swarm, which in turn awakens attention and an early appetite through Falconer - Black Moon Risingthe following energetic rabidity and deeply rooting hooks across a blazing sonic canvas. Soon settling into steady stroll as the narrative and Blad unveil their expressive tales, the song is swarming around and within the imagination whilst rhythms buffet ears. The song is a mix bag, the ravenous and predatory aspects of the track exhilarating and the mellower passages around the vocals slightly underwhelming in comparison. Nevertheless with the individual skills and combined enterprise, the track is a more than solid entrance into the emerging power metal landscape, setting up the listener nicely for the following Halls and Chambers. The haunting whispers within a cavernous hall is a great portentous introduction but not exploited fully as the song goes on a similar charge as in its predecessor. What emerges to take it another step forward though is an indefinable but open familiarity to the chorus and melodic tempting which flows as courageously as the breath and anthemic riffery through the track. Again it is not a song to lose full ardour to but with the delicious sculpting of guitar and a nagging persuasion it is an encounter to immerse in often, especially its great hard rock/folk metal finale, the beauty of melodies and vocals hand in hand with the beast of the bass.

The album truly erupts with the title track next, the song a muscular warrior of rapacious rhythms and eagerly roving grooves carrying the colours of infectious melodies and riveting imagination. By the first round of its anthemic chorus the track easily outweighs and outstrips its predecessors, enslaving thoughts and passions with a continually shifting aural scenery but never straying from the potent core which stole the plaudits within its opening breaths. Larsson impresses from first swiping jab to the last whilst the guitar ingenuity of Weinerhall perfectly assisted by Hedlund, bewitch and ignite a greater greedy appetite for the album.

The enchanting coaxing of folk stroll Scoundrel and the Squire has the misfortune of following such an epic but from its gentle initial caress builds a persistently expanding and tempting landscape of unpredictable beats and fiery guitar wrapped in poetic and melodic hues. Like its music its success and appeal grows and enriches ears the further it explores its premise before making way for the scintillating Wasteland, a track which attacks ears with a scourge mentality from the off before, and without losing its agile intimidation, grabbing its sonic steeds and galloping magnetically across the senses with rhythmic nostrils flaring and antagonistic riffs baring teeth. It is another major pinnacle within the album, feet and neck muscles as soon devoted to its suasion as ears and emotions.

Both In Ruins and At the Jester’s Ball keep things boiling nicely, even if they miss the lip of the previous plateau cast. The first borders on rock pop even within a tirade of blasting beats and exhaustive riffing, the song forging a great and enthralling mix of vivacious invention and raucous intensity, whilst its successor is a satisfying romp suiting the artistic revelry imagined by its title. Neither leaves thoughts awe struck but undeniably both add to the pleasure and fun being devoured by this point of the album before being shown the way by There’s a Crow on the Barrow, another insatiable gallop with melodic flanks over thunderous hoofs of rhythmic intent and heavily enticing riffs.

Dawning of a Sombre Age despite is open invention and masterful presentation leaves established heights alone though sculpting its own definitely pleasing level before the album concludes with the voracious and fascinating Age of Runes and the jubilant dance of The Priory. Each song brings the album to an impressive end, the first an absorbing proposition which never leaves expectations anything to truly feast upon whilst the last is just Falconer and their distinctive sound at their creative best.

Black Moon Rising has moments of brilliance and others where it merely pleases without much more but makes for an exciting and enthralling encounter overall proving Falconer have plenty left in their fire keep on setting power and folk metal new adventures to eagerly anticipate.

Black Moon Rising is available via Metal Blade Records now!

http://www.falconermusic.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 11/02/201

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My Refuge – Living In Anger

 

My Refuge - Foto

    Hailing from Italy, My Refuge is a band which has steadily gained very decent attention for themselves at home, a recognition which will be increased whilst potentially starting a just as keen reaction further afield through the release of new EP Living In Anger. The release is a power metal encounter which without casting any major surprises easily satisfies and potently continues the Varese based quintet’s more than solid emergence.

     My Refuge was started in 2010 as a solo project by guitarist Mauro Paietta, a start soon followed by the release of the 3407 Picture Of An August Night EP. Expanding in size with the enlisting of guitarist Simone Dettore, bassist Salvatore Chimenti, drummer Valerio Ferrari, and lastly vocalist Moz, this current line-up in place and stable from 2012, My Refuge was soon writing and creating potent and flavoursome sounds. Living In Anger is the next unleashing from the band, a taster and invitation to their forthcoming debut full-length due later this year, which easily raises interest and appetite for band and album. It is fair to say that it does not light any raging fires but just as undeniably it does offer plenty of temptation and potential to satisfy and lure a wealth of new hearts into the upcoming horizons of My Refuge.

     Opener A Storm is Coming is exactly as its title suggests, a tempestuous and voracious energy soaking ears from the first Living In Anger - Cover 200x200second. Though not exactly entering the eye of the onslaught, the song soon settles into a sinew clad, rhythmically driven stalking, the thumps of Ferrari bordering belligerent and the guitar design and tempting of Paietta and Dettore enticing. The magnetic bass sound from Chimenti adds its own individual predation to the stalking gait of the track whilst Moz provides a strong and varied vocal narrative which complements the song’s exploration without leaving lingering fires. There is an open familiarity to the song, as across the whole EP, but it makes resourceful use of previously well-worn paths to build a pleasing and very easy to return to encounter.

    The following song, The Cage (Oh Demon In My Eyes) does not carve out new ventures for heavy and power metal either but imaginably feeds any wants and needs from the genre with skill and endeavour. Like the first, the track does not rampage and push the listener into anthemic pastures with grand and mischievous premises like many power metal charges, but instead centres on emotive and dramatically passionate aspects. The vocals and guitars explore these evocative hues intensively and creatively leaving bass and drums to intimidate and lure the senses in deeper; it is a strong and potent blend impressively sculpted and delivered, if lacking the key to waking a more ravenous appetite for its invention.

     The title track steps up next with more of the same design in its particular pattern; vocals and thick melodies with an acidic nature leading the suasion from within another intensively brought rhythmic cage. Moz again unveils a good stretch of delivery with purpose and skill, even the typical heavy metal wails which usual fall on barren ground with our tastes only enhancing the variety of the song. Parading an almost carnivorous throat to its intent, the song does not quite match the previous pair but still adds to the growing presence and convincing provided by the band.

   The EP is concluded by an acoustic song called Empty Rooms. To be honest it is a track which initially did not lay any really persuasive hands on thoughts and emotions but as it makes its way across and deeper into its emotive journey, the union of guitars and vocals work under the skin to provide a real highlight of the release. The controlled and wide array of vocals is a vibrant treat in the melancholic embrace of the song, a suasion bringing a very decent release to an outstanding close.

   My Refuge feels like a band still finding its unique presence and voice but providing a satisfying presence on that journey. Living in Anger will not set your heart racing but definitely makes for a pleasing and refreshing addition to power and melodic metal, which is always a well worth investigating quality.

http://www.myrefuge.it/

7/10

RingMaster 12/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Taberah – Necromancer

Taberah Promo2

A very agreeable merger of classic and power metal with melodic flames licking the imagination from within, Necromancer the new album from Tasmanian metallers Taberah makes for one rather tasty and satisfying encounter. Fusing a mix of essences which reap the seeds of Iron Maiden like heavy metal, AC/DC spawned classic rock ‘n’ roll, and the over blown revelry of Powerwolf, the album is a richly enjoyable ride which arguably is low on originality but high on accomplished perfectly sculpted pleasure.

With seeds blossoming from 2004 through guitarist/vocalist Jonathon Barwick and drummer Tom Brockman, Taberah has built a mighty reputation and following through firstly the Tasmanian live music scene on to the Australian shores and beyond. Handpicked by Lemmy for the Sydney leg of Motorhead’s 2011 Australian tour the band earned equally potent reactions from their own shows and the sharing of stages with artists such as Paul Di’anno, Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, LORD, Psycroptic, Black Majesty and many more. 2011 also saw the release of the band’s debut album The Light Of Which I Dream, recorded with producer Joe Haley of Psycroptic, the record drawing strong acclaim around the world. Its successor Necromancer looks set to cement their stature and take it up a few more levels and though arguably it offers little truly new, the Dust On The Tracks Records released album leaves nothing less than eager satisfaction from its creative revelry.

With guitarist Myles Flood and bassist Dave Walsh alongside Barwick and Brockman, the album opens up with the mighty 2012. InstantlyTaberahNecromancerthe great throaty bass growl conjured from Walsh seduces the ear whilst crisp beats stand by its side with anticipation for the melodic flames of guitar. Next group harmonies light the air before the delivery of Barwick impressively delivers the lyrical narrative within a mesh of sonic imagination and striking craft. As energetically inviting as it is infectiously compelling, the song makes a great start to the album offering expectations what they wish for and intrigue plenty to find thrills within especially the excellent solo mid-way.

Dying Wish continues the riveting introduction with its colourful sinew clad riot of power/glam metal. There is a Cooperesque breath to the track especially early in its presence which catches the ear and with a contagious gallop of a chorus the track like the first provides all the aural manna needed to brawl with a wide smile on the passions.

From here on in the album ebbs and flows in its contents and originality thus also in success though plenty of that is down to personal preferences as much as the songs. The melodically weaved encounter Burning In The Moonlight, the dramatic Warlord, and the acoustically shaped Don’t Say You’ll Love Me are prime examples, all hard to dismiss and mark down such their craft and open imagination but still they are unable to generate a spark for the passions to grip on to. Amongst this trio there is the excellent title track to keep the release hanging on to its earlier heights though, the track a climactic march of air flailing riffs and flesh stripping rhythms creating a web for vocals and harmonies to paint their provocative and descriptive tale. As across the whole of Necromancer, from drums to bass, guitars to vocals everything is irrepressibly potent and skilled, all coming together in this instance for a ferocious yet merciful rampage.

Further highlights are unveiled in the shapes of the explosive and sonically absorbing For King And Country and the outstanding beast of a track The Hammer Of Hades where the band finds a carnivorous predation to accost the ear not seen previously on the album. It is a thunderous treat which leaves the closing harmonic sunset of  My Dear Lord quite pale in comparison though the bonus track Burn ensures the album ends on a final storm of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll.

Necromancer is a very decent and satisfying album which declares Taberah as one of the bands within melodic/heavy metal able to really fuse old school and modern metal into a voracious if debatably slightly unadventurous pleasure.

www.facebook.com/taberah.tas

8/10

RingMaster 12/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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