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

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

Pete RingMaster 06/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Beauty and the thorn: exploring Scorching Winter

raf_RingMasterReview

Formed in 2012, Scorching Winter is a female-fronted quintet hailing from Melbourne, Australia. With a hard rock based sound which weaves in an array of flavours, Scorching Winter is beginning to lure proper attention beyond their borders. Ahead of their new album Victim, we were excited to have the chance find out more about the band and that upcoming proposition with guitarist Rafael Katigbak. Subsequently exploring the band’s background, heart, and more…

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

My pleasure… Thanks for having me.

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how you came together?

The band started in 2012 when I got together with Nick (drummer) to jam on a few songs I have written. We liked the way it sounded so we decided to put a band together. The band has gone through a few line-up changes since but we’ve had our current line-up for almost two years now and the chemistry is the best it has ever been.

scorching-winter_RingMasterReviewHave you all been involved in other bands before?

We have all been in other bands and music groups previously but nothing serious. I was in an old school heavy metal band before this and there are a couple of songs I had written in while I was on that band that I carried over to Scorching Winter. Although we sound very different now, my time with that band will always have an effect on my playing and writing.

What inspired the band name?

We wanted a name that is ironic because our music and our artworks are somewhat like that. It is heavy music with melodic female vocals, beautiful and evil, brutal and elegant. It also has a bit of medieval / gothic sound to it which we really liked.

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

I am a fan of prog metal. I really like the technicality and the freedom to incorporate different styles of music. I think it is important that the music is first and foremost interesting to the musician playing it. But I also love melodic and catchy vocals which are characteristic to mainstream rock and metal bands. So basically the aim is to make music that is both interesting to play but also fun to sing.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

Yes. Making music is still the reason we do what we do. We keep it fresh by constantly pushing ourselves to take things further. Our last EP was a big step up from the single before that, and this album is a step above the EP again. There is a consensus within the band that unless it’s something we haven’t done before, we’re not interested in doing it.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved?

Our earlier works are probably a bit more hard rock / old school metal. As with a lot of musicians, there will be songs that will always be part of our set list and some songs which we’ll probably never play again. Our new album is heavier, darker, more progressive. When we first heard it we thought that this is the sound we’ve always been going for but we’ll probably say that with the next one as well when we change sound again. Haha.

Has it been an organic movement of sound or has the band deliberately set out to try new things?

Several factors affected the evolution of the music. There is the change in line-ups, maturity as a song writer, exposure to new music and just personal development as musicians. But there is also a conscious decision to change the style a bit to challenge ourselves and keep things interesting.

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

While we all have our different subgenres of metal that we are in to, there are bands that are common favorites such as Metallica, Dream Theater, Iron Maiden.

How does the songwriting work within the band?art_RingMasterReview

Our songs normally start out as instrumentals. I write a song and send a demo out to the other guys who then add their bits to it. The singer then writes the lyrics and vocal melody for it.

Where are the lyrical inspirations generally drawn from?

With our previous songs, the lyrics are based on the singers’ own personal experiences. Although the songs start out as instrumentals, the singer interprets what the song sounds like and relates that to her own personal experiences.

Give us some background to your latest release.

The new album is called Victim and it’s an 8-track concept album. The story is about a girl who is raped and beaten by a group of men but was saved by a demon who gives her powers to get revenge. However, nothing ever comes for free as she would later find out.

The album started out with the story line. It was then divided into different chapters which correspond to each song. The music was then written then the lyrics. While it is a concept album, we also made sure that each song is strong on its own so any of them can be listened to as a single.

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?

Yes. We really like to be sure we are 100% happy with the songs before we book recording time. In saying that, there are still some minor things that you find doesn’t quite work when you get there so you have to make some adjustments.

Tell us about the live side of the band?

I know that the other members love the performing part the most. I personally enjoy the writing part more. Anyway, with regards to our live shows, our set-list is always dynamic. We arrange the songs so we take our audience on a journey from start to finish instead of staying at one level throughout. We like to start with something a bit soft and eerie to get the mood going and then come in loud and heavy to let everyone know this is the start of a rock show. It then goes through different levels throughout the show.

SW_RingMasterReviewIt is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How was it for Scorching Winter?

Unfortunately, it is not an easy path with no certainty of reward. It is a big commitment financially and on your personal life. We’ve all heard of internationally known bands whose members live below minimum wage, or who lose tens of thousands of dollars on tours. If you really love making music and performing, you will keep doing it regardless. If you’re in it because you have ambitions of fame and fortune, you may need to be realistic about your expectations.

How about the internet and social media, what impact has it had on the band to date?

I think it is very positive. Most of the following we have built are overseas and we haven’t even toured there. It provides you an opportunity to reach people in places you wouldn’t normally get to. I remember the first fan mail we received from overseas, I think it was from Canada, that’s when we thought, this is getting real!

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

Thanks for having me and please check out our new album Victim which is available for pre-order now through bandcamp. Official release date is on the 29th of October. You will not be sorry.

https://www.facebook.com/ScorchingWinter   http://www.scorchingwinter.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tardive Dyskinesia – Harmonic Confusion

td_2_RingMasterReview

With the suggestion that it and its sound sits “somewhere between Meshuggah and The Ocean”, Harmonic Confusion the new album from Greek tech/prog metallers Tardive Dyskinesia instantly has a reputation to live up to. It is a tall order which band and release certainly live up to. The successor to critically acclaimed predecessor Static Apathy in Fast Forward, the fiercely fascinating and creatively imposing Harmonic Confusion has to be considered as Tardive Dyskinesia’s finest moment to date.

Since forming in 2003, the Athens hailing quintet has honed and evolved their sound across three previous albums with Static Apathy in Fast Forward a pinnacle in their rise when released in 2012. The years have also seen the band open for the likes of Mastodon and Meshuggah and play prog-metal festival Euroblast, it all leading to now and the release of Harmonic Confusion. Mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, The Ocean, Leprous) and produced by Tardive Dyskinesia themselves, the album is the band’s sound at its most rounded, accomplished, and adventurous; often a raw roar to numb and disorientate the senses but equally a melodic and technical maze of craft and imagination to enthral and excite.

The album opens with the instrumental Insertion, a piece as welcoming as it is technically eventful. It shows a potent restraint though, the band holding its boldest exploits for subsequent tracks while setting the scene and tempestuous atmosphere for the album to come beginning with Fire Red Glass Heart which leaps from its predecessor’s sonic lure. Immediately the winding tendrils of sonic enterprise springs from guitarists Petros Nikiforakis, Steve Lado, and Manthos Stergiou, the latter soon unveiling his clean and alluring vocals too backed by the harmonic tones of Lado. As the song slightly intensifies, a rawer gruffness appears in Stergiou’s delivery, the contrast of his vocals merging perfectly as the song twists and turns through its theatre of enterprise and melody fuelled expression.

The track captivates from its first note to last, a tempest like climate brewing without quite erupting saving itself for the outstanding turbulence of The Electric Sun. Wiry strands of guitar soon collude with ravenous riffs and the heftily swung beats of drummer Nick Argiropoulos; again contrasting textures and extremes of energy aligning in a fluid and clarity graced challenge to captivate ears and imagination alike. That rawness is there again to enhance sound and vocals as well as the song’s eventful atmosphere, offering a dirtier trespass to the technical prowess which intensifies alongside the nagging riffery and scything rhythmic persistence on offer.

coverresize_RingMasterReviewThrough the turbulent and at times almost spatial landscape of Self Destructive Haze and the mazy multi-textured Thread Of Life attention is tightly gripped, the second of the two a real seduction of ears with its invasive storm cored by melodic beauty, and latterly, dark stringed seducing while the exceptional Concentric Waves, with the ever compelling bass exploits of Kornelius Kiriakidis especially magnetic, mesmerises as it aggressively and technically swings to and fro.

As impressive as its first touch and listens are, Harmonic Confusion simply grows in strength and stature over time, tracks like Triangulation Through Impasse and Savior Complex laying highly persuasive seeds straight away which seem to blossom over time. The first of the pair twists and turns with increasing relish and grievance across its length whilst still bringing a variety of tones to vocals and intensity to its body. Another favourite and major highlight of the album it is matched and over shadowed by the mellower yet no less dramatic and dynamic exploits of its successor. As across the album, there are elements which maybe are less than unique than others but Tardive Dyskinesia embrace it in their own imaginative and technically riveting designs to fine and here mouth-watering effect with the noir lit call of the sax icing on the dramatic cake of the album’s greatest moment.

The album is completed by the infectious and hungrily resourceful Εchoes 213, its hooks and melodies alone as biting as they are romancing, and lastly the instrumental journey of Chronicity, a captivating epilogue to all before.

Harmonic Confusion is without doubt one of the year’s tech/prog metal treats and yet there is still a feeling that there is more to come from and creatively discover within Tardive Dyskinesia; a thought to add extra spice to one fine release.

Harmonic Confusion is out now on Playfalse Records and @ http://tardivedyskinesia.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/tardivedyskinesiaband

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Ciconia – Winterize

Ciconia_RingMasterReview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pete Ringmaster 19/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Aliases – Derangeable

Aliases_RingMasterReview

Obviously, it is too early to suggest what will be the best of 2016 but amongst album contenders we suggest you can expect to see Derangeable flirting with the top spot. The new and second album from British progressive tech-metallers Aliases is simply majestic, inescapably irresistible, and a proposition more than living up, in sound and imagination, to its title.

The brain-child of former SikTh guitarist Pin and fellow six-string maestro Leah Woodward, Aliases quickly whipped up attention and eager appetites from the first steps of its emergence in 2010. The band’s first year saw ear exciting single We Never Should Have Met create a potent buzz; an introduction quickly backed by the band making their live debut at Euroblast Festival in Germany and subsequently signing with Basick Records. Highly acclaimed debut album, Safer Than Reality, was uncaged in 2011 to swiftly make the band a potent presence and protagonist within tech metal and suggest the potential to rise to the stature of Pin’s former band. With a new vocalist and drummer bringing their prowess to events, Aliases easily live up to that promise and indeed have more than matched, and arguably surpassed, anything previous exploits have offered with Derangeable.

The album is a non-stop, often exhausting kaleidoscope of sound and invention; a release as technically beguiling as it is infectiously compelling and creatively mouth-watering. It is also an openly individual and unique proposal which at times borders on the loco in its dance of craft and imagination. It all starts with Find Where You Hide, a track which leaps at ears with a wall of imposing rhythms and spiky guitar coaxing as new vocalist Joe Rosser springs with equal attention grabbing zeal. From his initial dirty tones, he swiftly gives a glimpse of his melodic and harmonic diversity which increasingly shines across song and especially album. If ever a voice was perfect for an unpredictable and fluidly eventful sound, Rosser’s is it; his delivery and invention seeming to flow and prowl the inventive discord and flirtation lining every twist and turn in sound with their own striking adventure. The song itself continues to seduce and incite; the sultry addition of sax, antagonistic beats, and finally classical keys, just a few strands in the enthralling tapestry of the song.

art_RingMasterReviewEverything Is Upon Us is soon dazzling ears and thoughts with its instant busy weave. Entangling varied metal bred lures with funk, avant-garde, and nu-metal devilment, the track enslaves in seconds. The guitars of Pin and Woodward simply dance with almost schizophrenic invention whilst Joe Heaton’s bass prowls through it all like a predator equipped with resonating groans and salacious grooving. As with all songs, it is impossible to reflect the emprise of senses twisting and psyche captivating exploration going on, every second seemingly a new cascade of adventure as shown again in the beefier and equally melodically alluring Back To The Start. Shaped by the crafty swings and beats of Jof Walsh and coloured by the impressive vocal exploits of Rosser, the song emerges like a mix of The Kennedy Soundtrack, KingBathmat, and maybe unsurprisingly SikTh on the way to being something distinct to Aliases.

The pair of Smile All You Like and Deep Sea Avenue keeps attention tight and the imagination stirred; the first with its intricately woven exotic bedlam of guitar and rhythmic ingenuity ridden by the great vocal resources of Rosser and band. It is a fascination of sound and imagination emulated in an even more strikingly unbalanced way by its successor, a track that growls and leers at the listener whilst taking them through its sonic psychosis. It is an outstanding and virulent treat of sound and temptation pretty much matched in success by the lighter yet just as frenzied tango of Uncontrollable Desires. There is a touch of Korn and System Of A Down to the song; spices which simply add to the irresistible web of creative alchemy infesting body and spirit.

The commandingly intensive and barbarously engrossing Callous comes next; it a merger of contrasting shades of aggression and intent bound together by the band’s ever riveting casting of unhinged innovation in sound and idea. It completes a quartet of unmissable favourites at the centre of Derangeable, though through the agitated maze of Face For Lust, where the bass is instinctively flirtatious, and the similarly dynamic and left-field bearing Seen It All, the album and pleasure are locked closer together than ever.

The album comes to a mighty close with the grooved beauty and psyche bending resourcefulness of the wonderful Untangled Mind and finally the warm harmonic charm and mischievous eccentricity of Above The Sky. The pair provides a quite glorious and lingering conclusion to not only one of the year’s major triumphs so far but one of the most enjoyable and impressive adventures in the history of tech and progressive metal. Derangeable is one of those releases which are destined to become an inspiration to others and the best friend to ears and imagination; the tag of genius is already on the lips in reference to their glorious triumph.

Derangeable is out now via Basick Records with buying options @ http://www.basickrecords.com/releases/derangeable

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Pete Ringmaster 18/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hacktivist – Outside The Box

Photography and editing by Perry Westphal

Photography and editing by Perry Westphal

It has been a fair time in the coming but the highly anticipated debut Hacktivist album is finally about to be uncaged. It is a rage living up to the heights and promise of the UK band‘s previous self-titled EP whilst pushing further the band‘s imaginative distinct fusion of nu/alternative /progressive metal with extreme and electronic textures aligned to rap/hip hop fuelled incitement. In some ways it is not bold enough in its exploration and creative drama. Occasionally there is the feeling that the band missed opportunities to create a landmark proposition, but truthfully from start to finish Outside The Box leaves an already established appetite for their sound more than thickly satisfied.

Emerging in 2011, it is fair to say that the Milton Keynes quintet has been leaving deep marks on the British metal/rock landscape whether through their ravenous live presence or that aforementioned EP and surrounding singles. They have been devoured by fans and media alike even with a sound naturally which is going to make as many enemies as long term friends such its unconventional and unpredictable character. Festivals have equally have embraced the band, and Hacktivist them by lighting up the likes of Reading, Leeds, Sonisphere, Rock Am Ring, and Rock Im Park these past years. So as suggested, Outside The Box has bred plenty of intrigue and expectations in the wait for its eventful arrival, a pressure it more than deals with, if without quite realising its own potential at times.

The album opens with Our Time; a track featuring Marlon Hurley which lays out a dystopian atmosphere as an emotive climate springs from keys and spoken vocals before the muscular weight and intensity of the band bears down on the senses and imagination. It is a stalking rather than an assault but with djent spicing to its teeth, the track is a waking up of attention for the following tempest of Hate. An electronic coaxing entices ears initially, though its touch is as sinister as it is magnetic, especially once the subsequently duelling and colluding vocal rapacity of J Hurley and Ben Marvin steer the descending storm. Like a cantankerous cousin to The Kennedy Soundtrack, the track lures and berates the senses; eventually unleashing its full animus with intrusive grooves from Timfy James and predatory rhythms spawned in the creative venom of bassist Josh Gurner and drummer Rich Hawking.

art_RingMasterReviewThe track is a gripping affair followed by Deceive & Defy. It is the first in a trio of re-recorded older tracks amongst eight new provocations, and features Jamie Graham from Heart Of A Coward as guest vocalist. With ambience soaked smog around a rapped narrative, the song’s entrance is restrained yet dramatic, increasingly so as firmly swung beats and agitated riffs build towards an open almost carnal hostility of sound and tone. The track swiftly and increasingly pleases yet it is one which maybe holds back and never quite delivers the raw intensity and explosive adventure hinted at and expected.

It is something Taken certainly offers; its snaky steel lined tendrils of guitar and combative mix of melodic, raw, and spat vocals firing up the passions for antagonistic confrontation alone. The band builds on that with imaginative slips into harmonious vocals and warm melodies shared by James, moments which surprise and reveal the blossoming invention of the band’s songwriting. With Rou Reynolds from Enter Shikari guesting, the song leaves ears and thoughts eagerly involved as does the instrumental, The Storm. It is an evocative moment in time reflecting the physical and emotional aspect of its name, time giving the listener time to regroup before No Way Back launches its dissension. With a scent of Heart of a Coward and Monuments to it, the track badgers and tears into the senses with its jagged stabs of guitars and barbarous rhythms, soothing the wounds with the sighing caress of keys whilst a triple threat of vocals keeps ears consumed and eager to embrace the volatile textures being blended.

A re-working of False Idols comes next, the song moving from an opening romancing to a mountain of groaning rhythms and gnarly riffs bound in viperish grooves. The track certainly pleases without making a big stir in its opening moments but as each passing minute uncages more creative and intimidating adventure, the song blossoms to impress in a way fresh to its original version, even though the differences are not as dramatic as they might have been. The track is a standard bearer all the same but eclipsed by Rotten which sees Astroid Boys and Jot Maxi involved. Weaving essences reminding of Tech N9ne and Twizted into a progressively atmospheric climate, the track simply seduces the imagination as it provides a new strain of invention and diversity to the album.

Elevate has been re-tuned for its place within Outside The Box, given new sonic oil and vocal attitude as it builds build on its first outing in the band’s earlier EP. It is a dogfight for ears and a showdown for emotions as it attacks and stirs up a bedlam of carnivorous textures and electronic trespasses. Melodic and harmonic caresses add a great tempering but they never subdue the thrilling discord and friction of sound and voice.

Lyrically the band is as sharp and incisive as expected but at times they seem to carry a chip on their shoulder which does not lie quite as well as their more politically incited targets. It is something which can be said about the album’s title track where, even with the broadening investigation of its narrative, it captivates most potently in sound.

The album is brought to an exhilarating close by firstly the volcanic and bestial enterprise of Buszy, a deft entangling of contrasting textures in a maelstrom of ire and creative intensity, and lastly by The Storm II, a melodically elegant and sonically ravenous flight into uniting emotional resonance and turbulence. Both provide a climactic and impressing close to an album which itself is only striking.

Whether Outside The Box could have been even more impressive and impacting will surely be debated, our thought being that maybe it missed a trick or two knowing the invention and craft of the band. From start to finish though, it had ears and emotions enthralled and greedy for more; a success no one can turn their nose up at.

Outside The Box is released March 4th via UNFD / Rise Records through most online stores and @ http://www.hacktivist.uk.com/store/products/outside-the-box-cd-2/

http://www.hacktivist.uk.com   https://www.facebook.com/Hacktivistband

Pete RingMaster 03/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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