Baring souls: talking Exoaura

Fresh in presence and fresh in sound, US progressive/alternative metal duo Exoaura are beginning to create a stir. Drawing on an array flavours, it is a band with bold imagination and sounds. So with their debut release barely out of its wrapper, we took to exploring this exciting emerging outfit with great thanks to both Lindsey and Adam, delving into the band’s beginnings, musical instincts, that new release and much more…

Hello and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

We are Lindsey Church (vocals/piano/strings) and Adam Ingram (instrumentation/engineering). We’re a female fronted alternative-metal duo with a twist of soul, from Spokane WA, US.

Lindsey: We’ve been best friends for years and have been writing and performing music together since 2004. We have extremely different tastes in music. I like a lot of soul and R&B, while Adam listens to a lot more prog and rock, but we both have a common love for metal, so we decided to blend our styles and form Exoaura.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so how have those experiences infused within Exoaura?

Lindsey: We were both in the nu-metal band Reflection. It had a wide spectrum of light and melodic, to heavy sounds that we both loved…and some progressive elements, so we brought a lot of that into Exoaura. Also writing and growing as musicians together for so many years, we’ve developed a great chemistry that, from what our fans tell us, can really be felt in what we write.

What inspired the band name?

Adam: We wanted our sounds and band name to represent a concept of being something bigger than the boundaries and limitations that people put on themselves…so, we came up with Exoaura, “exo” meaning outside and “aura” meaning one’s atmosphere.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Lindsey: Exoaura is a new project that we just formed summer of 2016, but the drive regardless of what band I’ve sung in, remains the same. It’s a need for raw self-expression and using that to connect on a deeper level with other people. It’s the freedom that you can only get from your art.

Where has your thoughts and personal direction in music evolved over time?

Lindsey: I think we should always be looking for ways to grow and evolve, so I’ve studied vocals for years. I take what I learn and apply it to my writing. When I increase my range, or learn different styles, it gives me the ability to get a more diverse sound. It’s like getting a new toy to play with and it’s always exciting lol.

Though you are still in your early days as Exoaura, how would you say your sound has evolved to date?

Adam: I’m a gear junkie. I love picking up and experimenting with new sounds, processes and effects. I’ve also been listening to a lot of progressive metal bands and have been incorporating more and more of these kinds of picking techniques in my guitar work.

Is there an organic flow to the movement and exploration of your sound or is it that you deliberately search out new things to try?

Adam: Our evolution has been organic. Whether it’s from finding new bands to listen to, or learning something different from training, our writing flows in new ways with each other from the inspiration we find.

Presumably across the band there is a wide range of those inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

Lindsey: Absolutely. TesseracT has been a huge influence. Dan Tompkins is an incredible vocalist and I’ve always been blown away by his impeccable technique and range. I had a chance to study with him and he helped me to realize the dynamics of my voice and how to unleash it. So, he’s had a huge impact on how I write.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Adam: Usually, yeah. I’ll boot up one of my writing templates in Cubase, set a tempo then create a groove as a foundation for the mood and energy of the track. After I’ve recorded my instruments I’ll send Lindsey a draft mix where she adds her creative process with orchestral and vocal melodies. Once all the magic is captured I spend quite a bit of time getting a solid mix together then migrate to mastering, getting it spit polished for release.

Where do you generally draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs from?

Lindsey: I’m fascinated by the polarity of love and hate in the world and the interconnectivity between all living things that people feel, but tend to ignore. So, a lot of my lyrics are about that seemingly eternal struggle to break free of that and see things for what they truly are.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our debut self-titled EP will be released on June 30th, 2017. It’s a combination of thought provoking lyrics, melodic grooves, ethereal orchestration and passionate soul.

How about the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Lindsey: The concept relates to the division in society today and that despite how much negativity and hate there is there are people who are strong enough to surpass that.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Adam: We tend to develop our songs in our studio: We’ll have basic ideas and outlines, but once we’re tracking and start to hear the composition come alive, it guides us in which direction the song should go.

Is there a live side to the band yet?

Lindsey: Exoaura is new, so we haven’t started touring yet. But with our past projects, for me it’s the combination of getting lost in the feeling our music, while connecting to the audience so that they can experience the intense emotion that went into writing it. That synergy is just unforgettable.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Adam: Honestly, I think it is far easier now than it has ever been. Regionally speaking, metal is very much alive and kicking in the Pacific Northwest, and we are very fortunate of that. We’re from Spokane, not far from Seattle, one of the largest music scenes in the US and have proximity to a very active music community here. Nationally and further afield, bands have access to social media, digital discovery services and by leveraging analytics/demographics, any band in any genre can find and connect with their target audience. We’re a new band ourselves and even in the past few months we’ve been asked for tour dates from here in the US all the way to Brazil.

…And the internet and social media. How has that impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as some artists seem to almost expect?

Adam: As a DIY artist, social media and digital streaming services are incredibly valuable, nearly mandatory resources. I happen to have a marketing background, which has certainly helped Exoaura’s online presence. The evolution of how music is accessed is something musicians just have to adopt. Each platform and strategy has its own learning curve, sure, but the reward of understanding these tools is far greater.

Once again guys; a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

Lindsey: You’re so welcome! Yes, our official release date for our EP is June 30th, 2017. And of course, thank you to all our fans for your love and support! Find us https://www.exoaura.com/

Explore Exoaura further @ https://www.facebook.com/Exoauraband/    https://twitter.com/exoauraband

Pete RingMaster 07/07/2017

KingBathmat – Dark Days

Ears and the imagination have been spoilt these past three or so years by the solo adventures of songwriter/multi-instrumentalist John Bassett. From the melancholic beauty and emotional exploration of a self-titled album to the ever evolving post/progressive metal instrumental kaleidoscope of ARCADE MESSIAH and most recently the electronic/synthwave exploits of SΔCRED ΔPE, Sligo based Bassett has enthralled with an ever broadening landscape of sound and invention. It is fair to say though that, as for so many others, there has been a yearning for something new from the band which first brought him to our attention, KingBathmat. Now that hunger has been fed with the progressive rock/metal outfit’s new mini album Dark Days; satisfied and forcibly ignited further by the band’s first outing in four years.

Now consisting of just drummer Bernie Smirnoff and Bassett, KingBathmat follow up their acclaimed and seriously compelling Overcoming The Monster with the band’s heaviest and darkest proposition yet but one still bred in the band’s instinctively melodic prowess and suggestiveness. The songs within Dark Days were conceived last year for a 2 man side project but soon found a familiar identity, Bassett admitting when talking about the release that, “It wasn’t initially in my plans to make another KingBathmat record, but these songs just had that KingBathmat feel to them.”  Having enjoyed the impressively individual characters of his other projects it is easy to agree that the songs within Dark Days are instinctual to the band from the rhythmic dexterity of Smirnoff to the unique voice and style of the songs and their writing.

The title track of Dark Days starts things off, its sonic air soon sharing a keys coloured melody and the familiar tones of Bassett. Reflection fuels his words, harmonic suggestion his voice as additional textures slowly slip into the blossoming encounter where a moodier bass aligns with dancing beats as melodic hooks continue to magnetise attention; the track simultaneously growing warmly inviting and atmospherically shadowy.

The compelling beginning is continued through the more crepuscular Tis Pity She’s A Whore, its air heavier and darker yet equally sharing the calming invitation of its predecessor. Embracing an array of rock textures in its progressive web, grunge and stoner-esque essences among them, the track rumbles and flirts with increasing imagination; at times coming over like a blend of 12 Stone Toddler and An Entire Legion within its ultimately unique proposal.

Magnet To Pain has a mellower climate yet with a boisterous energy epitomised by the funkiness of the bass and Smirnoff’s vivacious rhythms. At the same time, a more volatile element is at play in the background, prowling the shadows with moments of fiery release as Bassett’s vocals and guitar honed melodies serenade. As with every song, each second carries an adventure, a bold invention which has the imagination as eager and lively as ears and a swiftly spirited body soon hooked on the track’s swing and catchiness.

The dusky charm of Feathers follows, its emotive voice and tender melodies instantly captivating especially as both elements alone bloom in expression and depth as the song grows. Bassett’s guitar weaves a tapestry of sound and temptation, Smirnoff’s rhythms offering a controlled but earthier union to the progressively nurtured layers emerging within the compelling encounter.

Dark Days concludes with Nihilist, the darkest track emotionally on the release; its feeling of emptiness countered by hope rich melodies and a spirited catchiness which grows from initial seeds into the driving force of the increasingly animated and frisky track. Bassett gives rein to his attributes across an array of instruments, his dexterity and craft as compelling as the song and supported superbly by the lithe rhythms of Smirnoff.

It is fair to say that Overcoming The Monster is one of our intimately favourite albums and though the outstanding Dark Days did not hit that level straight away, with every rewarding listen it moves a fresh step nearer to those heights. Without doubt a hankering for a new KingBathmat encounter has been satisfied with a richness which outshines any hopes lying in wait for such an event, the greed for a lot more though has now been set ablaze; over to you Misters Bassett and Smirnoff.

Dark Days is out now and available at https://kingbathmat.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/kingbathmat/    https://www.facebook.com/johnbassettmusic

Pete RingMaster 04/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pigeon Lake – Barriers Fall

Three years after the release of their striking and quickly acclaimed debut album, Tales of a Madman, Norwegian quartet Pigeon Lake return with its successor in Barriers Fall. The time between has seen changes within the band and a reassessment of the way forward; a shift sparking an evolution in sound too which is actually hard to pin down but openly inflaming the Oslo outfit’s new offering and release which like its predecessor at the time, will make a definite rival to those around it for one of the most essential investigations of the year.

Since emerging in the opening smiles of 2012, Pigeon Lake has grown to be one of the most compelling propositions on the melodic rock/metal landscape. Founded by vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt and completed by childhood friend and drummer Andreas Prestby and bassist Kenneth Stiansen, the band instantly sparked attention and praise with the I: Mindrape EP later in that first year. Its themes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health were as striking as the raw sounds inciting ears. The three became four with the addition of lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen soon after while the following year saw Stiansen replaced by Anders Børresen. As their sound moved towards a flavouring more akin to the likes of Katatonia, Stone Sour, and The Ocean, the band’s live presence escalated before they got down to work creating Tales of a Madman, its release coming in the Autumn of 2014 and followed by the band heavily hitting the road again including taking their first steps touring Europe.

Linking up with Wormholedeath Records in recent times provided the spark for that previously mentioned re-assessment and the resulting highly amicable departure of Børresen and Prestby which was soon followed by the joining of bassist Håkon Bechholm and drummer Jonas Rønningen. Now the new line-up has unveiled Barriers Fall, an encounter feeling darker and rawer than that first album yet their most melodically seductive and inventively mature adventure yet.

The album opens with Ragnarok, grooves instantly wrapping ears with shadow lined radiance. There is a portentous edge to them though, nothing imposing but clearly there as rhythms jab and riffs collude around them. Magnetic straight away, the track settles down into a heavy prowl where all those imposing elements erupt for a few rapacious seconds before Schackt’s cleaner tones steer the tempest into kinder waters. Abrasive growls remain alongside him though as the song merges predatory and seductive sides, luring the imagination into a provocative squall of emotion and intensity.

It is a striking start soon eclipsed by the just as tempestuous roar of Lyra. Nagging riffs align with Schackt’s distinctive tones initially, the bass prowling around them before the incendiary heart of the track erupts with fiery melodies and antagonistic tendencies. Harmonies and melodic tempting bewitch as the song subsequently shares its evolving soundscape, contrasting textures blending their potencies in one beguiling encounter. There is definitely something of the aforementioned Katatonia to the song and indeed album but equally the likes of Opeth and Swallow The Sun come to mind though in all honesty Pigeon Lake here and across Barriers Fall only reveal their own character of sound and imagination.

The album’s title track is next, seducing with a mesmerising poetic melody and calm vocal reflection before Rønningen’s beats add increasing threat. In time, as things increasingly simmer with greater intensity, everything comes to a head, vocals spilling their psychosis as a sonic causticity descends. A relative relief in the storm comes with the closing breaths of the excellent track before the more mercurial presence of The Futility of You takes the listener into a controlled yet seemingly unstable emotional embrace. Again the music is a web of trespass and radiance, vocals matching the changeable mood with suggestive prowess as wiry hooks and almost toxic melodies tempt and trap the imagination. Epitomising the album as a whole, the track only reveals new layers and textures with every listen, each time within it seeing growing attraction and the blossoming of image painting thoughts.

Hide and Seek runs a fine line of control and lawlessness, its cauldron of corrosive energy restrained and held back by the harmonic and melodic beauty hugging the senses though it is never more than a breath from breaking free while within Sunder it shapes the predatory nature of a track which equally is as much an oasis of elegance and gentle repose as a turbulent tempest; a beauty and beast of inner and worldly turmoil.

Senses harrying riffs brings A Familiar Problem to bear on ears next, delicious bait opening up into a just as enticing fusion of roaming grooves and brooding rhythms around feral toned vocals. That previously mentioned raw element of the release has its head with the harsh throated presence of Schackt adding to the psychotic edge of the track with clean and melody woven radiancy just as powerful before Perfect Place casts its variable cyclone on the passions. Irresistible within its first moments and only stealing greater lust thereon in, the track breeds an addiction as rich as its unpredictability to provide if not the pinnacle, one of many.

Closing track Let’s Pretend takes the listener into one final embrace of emotional restlessness and creative anxiety, the song as the album whilst being intricately woven and layered is almost anarchic in its nature and heart. It is a fine end to another encounter with Pigeon Lake which simply blossoms and further impresses with every listen.  To be fussy, personal tastes would see Schackt’s throat scarring vocal side reduced to allow his excellent clean and emotionally suggestive tones to have an even larger say but it is a mere passing thought in a release which stirs every part of body and mind.

Barriers Fall is available now through Wormholedeath Records across most online stores.

http://www.pigeonlake.no/    https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic/   https://twitter.com/PigeonLakeMusic

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pryapisme – Diabolicus Felinae Pandemonium

band-_RingMasterReview

The press release for Diabolicus Felinae Pandemonium, the third album from the creative diablerie that is avant-garde/experimental metallers Pryapisme, declares it is “definitely the album of immaturity”. In truth it is the most accomplished, dare one say inventively mature offering from the Clermont-Ferrand hailing outfit yet. That growth has not defused the rousing bedlamic imagination of the band, in fact it seems to have escalated its mischief but where previous releases might be called schizophrenic such the mayhem of their head spinning diversity, Diabolicus Felinae Pandemonium feels in control of its creative chicanery; the result importantly again, a hell of a lot of fun and another irresistible infestation of psyche and spirit by the French outfit.

Their latest release is the first recorded with the band’s actual live formation rather than the core trio, the full quintet of Benjamin Bardiaux (keyboards), Nils Cheville (guitar), Antony Miranda (bass, guitar, moog, vocals), Nicolas Sénac (guitar), and Aymeric Thomas (drums, clarinet, keyboards) revealing their off-kilter craft and imagination. The album itself reveals the “advent of the Era of the Cat, the one which will replace mankind. After the arrival of the lol-cats all over internet, which constitutes the last conspiracy, well after the one of Ancient Egypt where the cats were already ruling the highest spheres of power, the diabolical felines are now preparing the birth of Satan’s cat, the Chosen One which will tame humanity and in the end, conquer the whole galaxy with the help of its pentagram of cat food.” Further music to our ears as we always claimed they were the devil’s spawn.

It opens up with Un max de croco, coaxing Middle Eastern vines escaping the guitar as rhythms shuffle around, ready to dance in the subsequent blossoming of melodic frivolity. There is a restraint to it all though, a reserve which accentuates the glint in the eye of hooks and keyboard spun melodies. In saying that, the infectiousness of the track is rampant and only strengthened by the jazzy twist and throaty throb of the contrabass provided by guest Matthieu Halberstadt (Ogino, Please lose battle). Never predictable but as expected and welcomed, the band and song turn on a spin of notes through varied styles and flavours, each move enslaving body and imagination in active participation.

artwork_RingMasterReviewLa Boetie stochastic process follows, flowing with summery warmth and flirtatious catchiness through darker shadows and dirtier street corners, every crevice a well of human drama and devilish enterprise. As with every song, thoughts have a field day interpreting and playing with the suggestiveness offered and the melodic painting shared, hips swinging with zeal to funk infused turns as the sax of Adrien Daguzon (Zibeline) flames in the midst of it all. There is a touch of 6:33 to the track, a whiff of Trepalium in its rowdier twists but as ever expectantly unique to Pryapisme.

The tenacious stroll of 100 % babines, pur molossoïde! roams ears and imagination next, its wave of hookery and sonic theatre if not cinematic resembling themes of those old sixties detective/sci-fi shows around floral melodies and darker, almost sinister beauty. Its individual escapade and canvas of sound just confirms another release driven by unbridled diversity, A la Zheuleuleu backing its affirmation with its celestial, moon lit saunter into a hectic and aggressively boisterous romp while Tau Ceti Central immerses the listener in another jazz scented, smoky adventure.

The album is like a travelogue, glimpses at landscapes and intimate insights discovered and invaded by its theme’s protagonists though Tête de museau dans le boudoir (Intermezzo) is more of a captivating and increasingly weird caress allowing for mental refreshment though to be fair it engages with the imagination as much as any other proposal within the album such its loco array of styles.

Myxomatosis against architektür vol IV is equally a rich tapestry of styles, its psychotic nature a trespass of extreme and melodic metal bound in the virulent revelry of varied flavours and pure manna for body and soul before Carambolage fillette contre individu dragon non-décortiqué casts its Nintendo spun contagion, a lure becoming more tempestuous with time as guitars and rhythms add their cartoonish devilment.

The album is completed by firstly C++ and its mesh of cosmopolitan spicing and endeavour, not forgetting mewing cats, and lastly Totipotence d’un erg, an epic thirteen minutes of dawning power, imposing contagion, and majestic wickedness. Flying by such the consuming potency of its evolving drama and kaleidoscopic soundscape, the track alongside its predecessor provides a compelling end to another thrilling outing with the instinctive insanity of Pryapisme.

Diabolicus Felinae Pandemonium is arguably the band’s most fluid and persistently contagious release yet, certainly it is their most skilfully woven and a treat for the bold and the insane.

Diabolicus Felinae Pandemonium is out now through Apathia Records @ https://apathiarecords.bandcamp.com/album/diabolicus-felinae-pandemonium

https://www.facebook.com/pryapisme    https://twitter.com/Pryapisme

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Czar – Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal

cover-front_RingMasterReview

Finding something which stands out from the crowd let alone presents something truly unique gets harder and harder but Czar and their new album Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal easily tick both boxes. Creating a compelling experimental, bordering on psychotic, brew of sound bred in the raw essences of anything from progressive metal, hardcore, and grind to mathcore, post punk and more, all woven with avant-garde tendencies, the Tacoma, Washington based Czar infest ears and infect the psyche with relish. Certainly it is a challenge not all will take to, yet every intrusive assault, off-kilter trespass found within their album has an instinctive infectiousness which rewards as it devours. Like a mix of Dillinger Escape Plan, Mr. Bungle, and Psyopus, yet as suggested creating its own individual character, sound and indeed Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal is one of those times when you really feel something special is in the making.

The album makes a subdued entrance with the beginning of Owls, etc; electronic throbs and melodic coaxing a minimalistic but potent lure. Soon the enjoyably strained and captivating tones of vocalist Dr. Landon Jared Wonser join in with lively beats and a brooding bassline alongside. The track is still restrained but smouldering greater volatility in its belly. With the funk of Red Hot Chili Peppers and the progressive lilt of The Fall of Troy laced into its Every Time I Die like swing, the song never does explode and only benefits from that teasing of expectations for a thrilling start to the release.

Too Many Yetis quickly follows; its agitated heart and enterprise a caustic invasion as the guitar of Nicholas J. McManus drizzles sonic psychosis upon the rhythmic battering of drummer David Joseph Dorran Jr. and Peter Joseph Ruff’s throbbing bass meandering. Its brief but potent escapade further whets an already awoken appetite before Arachnochondriac casts its unhinged waltz on the senses, guitars a web of irrational melody and bass a roaming grumble as the keys of Christopher Duenas intensely sizzle. It is a frenzied ear twisting affair as magnetic as those before it with its unstable yet skilfully nurtured trespass.

Antelope Mask steps to the fore next, it’s extremely short hunt the perfect appetiser for Beware the Flies, Orestes and its unleashing of a post punk woven landscape littered with cold stabbing riffs, steely grooves, and vocal predation. The eye of its tempest sees keys sharing a classical beauty as harmonies float behind the corrosive squalls of Wonser, the combination as riveting as it is enjoyably testing as it leads ears into the Latin kissed melodic festivity of Vultures Never Eat In Peace. This is a hot bed of unpredictability and cracked emotional turbulence hugged by the toxic sonic craft of guitar and the perpetual imposing enticement of rhythms; drama soaking every twist, sinister deceit each throat spewed syllable.

With a psychedelic lining, The Worm Enters the Moon prowls the listener next, its theatre of sound and imagination sharing attributes found in UK band Japanese Fighting Fish and indeed Dillinger Escape Plan. The open variety of the flavours making up the band’s sound and individual songs is already clear and only reinforced by Canine, No Eyes Just Teeth, spoken word nestling in raw lo-fi sound and straight after the ferocious punk and metal bedlam of Shark Cancer, a track suffocating and igniting the senses simultaneously. Its mordant assault is then matched by that of The Golden Calf, its breath scathing and touch scalding yet equally captivating as it fluidly shifts from venomous pattern to corrosive irritability; and even when the movement is more of a clunky sidestep it works perfectly.

Through the creative surf hued snare of Mister Reindeer and the melodic calm of Domesticated Wolves, ears and imagination are effortlessly reeled in with the rest of the body disturbed into compliance by the predatory jazz infested mania of the exceptional first and the poetic serenade of the second. That track is an oasis in the certifiable invention and nature of the album, a gripping dementia fuelling the crumbling climate and emotional erosion of You Were a Comatose Lion and in turn the jazzily bipolar Wine Hog, both revealing an array of crazed facets to their attention demanding personalities.

So often a nineteen track release is sharing a filler or four along the way but there is no such moment within Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal, the celestially bent x̌ʷiqʷadiʔ provoking grateful reactions while Blind Mice provides a bewitching espionage of twisted enterprise and haunted frenzy with interruptions of dark repose with their successors in Prawn and after that RxABBITS invasively exploring and stretching the psyche respectively. The later of the songs is especially striking with its incendiary fusion of raw and composed sonic belligerence.

Concluded by the minimalistic lure of Taking Roadkill to the Vet, a track warming up to the task of seducing the listener with sonic malignancy through every second of its low key but haunting  electronically spun three minutes,  Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal is a rare gem as creatively murderous as it is formidably tempting. Czar themselves are a fresh breath which you will not have to go searching for; their music and talent will do the hunting.

Life Is No Way To Treat An Animal is out now @ https://czar.bandcamp.com/album/life-is-no-way-to-treat-an-animal

http://czarband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/czartheband

Pete RingMaster 08/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Chronos – Pallid Reflection

chronos-pic duncan everton

chronos-pic duncan everton

Coming from the combined areas of Bath and Bristol, UK metallers Chronos recently released their debut album Pallid Reflection. It is a seriously intriguing encounter unleashing an imaginative blend of death and progressive metal with plenty more flavours, many inspired by influences such as Metallica, Trivium, Opeth, Iron Maiden, and In Flames, embroiled in its imposing and resourceful challenge.

Formed in 2014, the quartet of vocalist/guitarist James Rideout, guitarist Joshua Boniface, bassist Tom Chapman, and drummer Jack Camp swiftly made a potent impact on their local and the south of England metal scene. First EP Hour Atonement was released in 2015 to eager reactions, whilst live the band soon found itself playing with the likes of Biohazard and Abhorrent Decimation. Pallid Reflection is the next step in the band’s emergence within the national metal landscape, an encounter which will certainly put their name on the map.

Produced and mixed by Ben Turner and mastered by Joe Caithness, the album opens up with Blood River and a sonic strand of guitar luring ears into the waiting predacious jaws of the track. In no time sturdy rhythms and hungry riffs collude before the quickly impressing skills of the band’s guitarists weave a captivating web of melodic enterprise. It is a feature which lights up the album throughout, as too the contrasts of clean and guttural vocals which give further colour and temptation to the song, especially the former. Though uniqueness is less open there is a great unpredictability to the track which just grips and impresses.

It is a strong and increasingly potent start to the release soon outshone by the following Sea Of Guilt, a hungry tempest of nagging grooves and rapier like rhythms in between passages of stalking riffs bound in restrained energy as clean vocals paint the creative canvas of the song. Again moments of unexpected imagination thrill, helping turn a great song into something even more striking and enjoyable, all offered with instinctively flowing coherency.

art_RingMasterReviewThe epic Thuribles Veil Part 1 is next, ten minutes of carnivorous riffs and grooves courted by just as predacious rhythms as throat raw vocals merge with harmonic beauty and melodic suggestiveness. The track is a cauldron of perpetual intensity, mercurial aggression, and compelling imagination, a playground for ears and thoughts even without the direction of lyric and voice. To be honest, that pretty much sums up the whole of Pallid Reflection and though familiar elements still emerge it would be fair to say they  are treated with an invention and flair which defuses familiarity.

Through the snarling ravenously nagging exploits of Lobotomised and the glorious melodically haunting Shiver, the album continues its trend of each track building on its predecessor and impressing just that little bit more while Awake displaces the elegance of the last track with a bestial swamp of waspish grooves and irritable riffs around more of the predatory rhythms which Chapman and Camp so effortlessly engineer. Arguably the least adventurous track of the album it still leaves the appetite greedy and ensures praise is easily given before Emerald Soul cradles the senses in its melodic arms, they additionally caressed by Rideout’s clean delivery and accompanying harmonies. There is a feel of KingBathmat to the outstanding track, its progressive nature given a clear climate to entrance within.

Crossover is a brutally feral encounter but again one prone to melodic radiance within its primal trespass, superbly crafted switches within a perpetually volatile atmosphere and grievous sonic intent shared with an ability and invention that constantly rises throughout Pallid Reflection and the calmer but no less sonically carnal of the song’s resourceful successor Shadow Of The Sun.

The album is concluded by almost twelve minutes of creative drama and volcanic ferocity courtesy of Thuribles Veil Part 2, a stormy incitement equipped with fiery melodies and scorching grooves around pungent contrasts musically and vocally. It is a fine rousing end to a release which reveals and offers more to greedily devour with every listen. Pallid Reflection is a mighty first step by Chronos and one of the best debuts heard this year with the potential and suggestion in its imagination of bigger and bolder things to come.

Pallid Reflection is out now though https://chronos1.bandcamp.com/releases or http://chronosofficial.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ChronosOfficial   https://twitter.com/OfficialChronos

Pete RingMaster 14/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Camel Of Doom – Terrestrial

camel-of-doom-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

Already working on their next album for uncaging next year, British progressive doomsters Camel Of Doom have just re-released fourth album Terrestrial, which came out earlier this year as a limited release. A ravenously invasive and emotionally corrosive affair carrying an inescapable magnetism, Terrestrial is another step forward in the evolution of the band’s sound and bold creativity.

Officially formed back in 2001 by the then 13 year old Kris Clayton, Camel Of Doom released a series of rough EPs before debut album, The Desert At Night, was unveiled in 2003. Recruiting some schoolmates, Clayton took the band onto the live scene before recording a second album which was subsequently released in 2008. Before then the band had already shown signs of slowing, little activity appearing from them as the decade came to a close. It was a time though seeing Clayton honing his songwriting and craft as well as becoming a member of Esoteric.

2011 saw the release of an EP of freshly recorded versions of tracks originally upon The Night After Time. Mixed by Esoteric frontman Greg Chandler, it provided the spark for multi-instrumentalist Clayton to re-ignite the project and work on a third album. Psychodramas: Breaking the Knots of Twisted Synapse came out in 2012; co-engineered and mixed as each album since the previous EP by Chandler and an encounter bred from the psych/prog/doom exploration its creator had been aiming for since the project’s first breath. For its successor, Clayton doubled the Camel Of Doom line-up with bassist Simon Whittle and in time session drummer Thomas Vallely (Lychgate, Omega Centuri) was enlisted as the following album was being written. In 2015 drummer Ben Nield came in just as fourth album Terrestrial was completed and the band’s live presence was re-activated, though the three became and remained two as Whittle left the band soon after it hit stages again.

camel-of-doom-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewAs mentioned Terrestrial now gets its broader release with the band working on its successor. The album works as individual trespasses of the senses or as one complete physical and mental consumption, the latter our preferred assault. Opener Cycles (The Anguish of Anger) sets the scene and tone of the release; its melodic and atmospheric presence melancholic and haunting while its rhythmic touch is intensive. Clayton’s vocals are as emotively harrowing and imposing as the emotionally bruising weight of the funereal toned and moving track, yet throughout the sinew wielded beats of Vallely and grievous breath of Whittle’s bass incite a magnetism alone which infests as Clayton weaves with guitar and keys.

The brief melancholy soaked instrumental of A Circle Has No End pulls the imagination into the waiting jaws of Pyroclastic Flow next, the track embracing the melodic coaxing of its predecessor in its electronically rimmed cauldron of emotional venting and sonic devouring. The outstanding track quickly swallows the senses; invading and ravaging them with its creative ire whilst brewing virulence as contagious as it is predacious and just irresistible whether storming ears or crowding them with bestial sludgy rancor.

Through the mercurially venomous Singularity ears and imagination are further seared and ignited. It is a similarly dangerously catchy slab of creative and emotion flooded enmity, Clayton revelling in his prowess at fusing heavy and darker textures, cancerous and hope gifted essences united in one compelling invasion. Vocally he matches the sounds around him, guttural poison aligning with cleaner throated roars before another major highlight within Terrestrial makes way for the distorted sonic limbo of Nine Eternities.

The near on twelve minutes of Euphoric Slumber provides a testing magnetic proposal straight after. With the steely throes of bass and keys throbbing and pulsating through its portentous prowl, the track explores the depths of it and the listener’s psyche before unexpectedly dropping into a sonic wasteland. That desolate calm springs a lone, sepulchral melody soon skirted by the rhythmic incitement of Vallely as a godforsaken atmosphere brews and intensifies. It is an absorbing, senses violating affair matched by the even more extensive examination and length of Sleeper Must Awaken. Raw and drawing on the broadest array of styles and flavours yet on the album, the track rapaciously grows with each passing minute casting a fiercely provocative and emotionally torturous yet often sonically beautiful landscape throughout.

Concluded by the suggestive beauty of the sonically cast desert Extending Life, Expanding Consciousness, the demanding and rewarding Terrestrial leaves senses and emotions ringing and pleasure rampant. There is much more to the album’s sound than even the psych, prog, doom tag suggests yet an appetite for either will find a treat in Camel Of Doom and certainly this exhaustingly fine proposition.

Terrestrial is out now through all stores and @ https://camelofdoom.bandcamp.com/album/terrestrial

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Pete RingMaster 06/12/2016

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