V/ VEGA – Leaving Lyra

V Vega Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

Leaving Lyra is like a newly discovered dish which lies on the tongue very nicely on the first mouthful, but it is in the after taste and subsequent eager snacking that its full range of flavours escape to thrill and seduce the taste buds into having another bite, and then another. So it is with the new EP from British progressive metallers V/ VEGA, a release which pleased on the initial listen but continues to reveal new creative spices and textures to simultaneously and increasingly impress at the same time. Elegant and warm, fierce and volatile, the EP’s quartet of songs challenge as they entice and enthral, each a tempest of sound and emotion which only leaves an appetite for more.

Hailing from the eastern county of Bedfordshire, V/ VEGA emerged in 2014 with a sound which we earlier stated as progressive metal but in truth it is a tapestry of styles and flavours across metal and rock. Band inspirations include the likes of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Dance Gavin Dance, Karnivool, and Periphery amongst others, they alone a clue to the diversity involved within the sound and now EP from the quartet. Making their live debut in the June of last year, V/ VEGA have hit the live scene with hunger, sharing stages with bands such as Shields, Giants, Canvas, and Create to Inspire whilst earning acclaim and potent reputation for their craft and explosive performances. The well-received release of debut EP Nostalgia, also out mid-2014, whipped up further attention, including that of Crooked Noise Records who now nationally release Leaving Lyra. It is easy to expect bigger spotlights and reactions to follow in the wake of the new EP’s unleashing, an assumption quickly in place after that initial listen and only cemented thereon in.

V Vega Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe song Lyra starts things off, it’s opening ambience of brewing intrigue sparking the imagination with ears swiftly involved as atmospheric melodies and invitingly agitated rhythms unveil their suggestive prowess. The vocals of Jim Dummer firmly engage and impress just as quickly, his soaring tones backed well by Tom Williams whose guitar enterprise alongside that of Edd Durcan, similarly spins a web of emotive and at times tempestuous persuasion. Outbreaks of heavy and voracious crescendos only add to the drama and lure of the track, raw antagonistic growls emerging from either Dummer or Durcan to drive the ferocity which manages to potently align with and be entangled in the melodic charm colouring the warm landscape of the encounter.

It is a thickly enjoyable opening to Leaving Lyra which continues with Grand Declaration. Straight away the track is badgering ears with the hefty swings of whoever is at the drums and the carnivorous tones of Josh Levy’s bass. Simultaneously melodic flames and clean vocal prowess wrap the twisting grooves and sonic tendrils that vein and spear the keys spun ambience which, as in the opener, adds an ethereal breath and climate around the stormy heart of the song. Even more than its predecessor, the track is a maelstrom of ideas and textures which may need time to reveal its depths but only with increasing rewards for the time offered in return.

Wanderer follows and swiftly flirts with djent seeded technical adventure within another ferocious expulsion of dark metalcore like antagonism. After another mournful yet inflamed breath, the band slips into a melancholy washed calm which subsequently embraces fearsome volatility, an progressive wind, and corrosive malevolence, in time all fusing into one rich confrontation. It is a mouth-watering proposition which again needs time to be explored before announcing itself as the best track, if only by a slither or two such the quality throughout Leaving Lyra.

The EP comes to a fine close with Reaching Eden, a song instantly gripping ears with its opening bait of riffs. Featuring the potent tones of Glass Cloud front man Jerry Roush, the song is a rousing and fierce blustery wind of sound and emotion, but also unafraid to drift into ambience clouded calm spun by technical tempting, flowing harmonies, and emotional reflection. Everything is seamlessly involved; what came before and is to follow fluid with the now within the track, uniting for a constantly contagious and raucous cacophony of vocal and emotive animus driven magnetically by the rhythms. Like Karnivool meets Periphery meets Bring Me The Horizon, with a healthy wash of Between the Buried and Me too, the song is a dynamic and wonderfully testing finale to a continually impressing offering from V/ VEGA.

With the band still barely into its second year, it is easy to think this is only the start of bigger and bolder things for and from V/ VEGA. A smile is breaking out at that thought.

Leaving Lyra is available from October 2nd digitally and on CD via Crooked Noise Records.

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Pete RingMaster 02/10/2105

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TesseracT – Polaris

TESSERACT_RingMaster Review

Lost in the beauty and technical magnetism of Polaris, a trio of thoughts leap forward to lead the increasing enjoyment and personal plaudits brewing up for the album. Firstly this is without doubt a typical TesseracT proposition, but not in any way one dosed with predictability or repetitious emulation of past triumphs. Their third full-length has the bands unmistakable presence and imagination, their renowned craft and riveting bold adventure, all colluding to create a brand new journey of creative evolution leading to expansive yet fiercely intimate discoveries.

Secondly like the creation of a painting, each track within Polaris plays like a layer upon layer; each individually standing alone but uniting to cast a rich and fully immersive landscape of emotive and provocative sonic incitement. They are textures to a whole which can be explored singularly or as one fluid movement across a record which just fascinates and transfixes at every turn.

The final leading thought is that everything seems right with the world as the returning voice of singer Daniel Tompkins caresses and roars in ears. As impressive and thickly important to past successes that previous vocalists Elliot Coleman or Ashe O’Hara were, something is complete with Tompkins sharing his vocal and emotional heart within the ever stirring sounds of the band.

Polaris cover_RingMaster Review       Released by the band’s new label Kscope, Polaris opens with Dystopia, it emerging through dank shadows with a tight spiral of riffs and atmospheric chills. Soon a swing grips the guitars of Acle Kahney and James Monteith, riffs and grooves enlivened with energy and a swagger as Tompkins walks their lure with his assured and distinctive tones. Pretty soon everything catches aflame, the guitars becoming openly fiery, vocals impassioned, and the bass of Amos Williams, well that just turns out the most delicious steely growl. With the dynamic beats of Jay Postones as skilfully impacting as ever, the track shows the band is on striking creative form individually and as one, and building yet another new drama of sound and imagination to get greedy over.

Of course one song does not dictate the way an album goes but its suggestiveness is quickly backed by Hexes and Survival after that, the next pair swiftly pushing on the emerging and immersion exploration within the album. The first of these two initially creates a celestial melodic sigh, its lingering elegance casting a radiance which keys and vocals share as the spatial depths of the track come into view. Its poetic glow just thickens around the subsequent vocal unions of Tompkins and Williams, remaining a rich hue as the track continually simmers and boils with intensity and emotion the further into its controlled yet tempestuous body is stretches. The track is hypnotic, seductive, and portentous; a stunning captivation matched by its successor which also opens on an absorbing calm but much sooner exudes a feistier blaze of emotion. Like a fire it smoulders and blazes, licks at the senses and crackles with aggression, and like a mass of flames totally bewitches the senses as they stare at its seamlessly volatile beauty.

Tourniquet spreads harmonic radiation next, keys and vocals an intensive caress against the mouth-watering rhythmic bait and prowess of Postones. They keep their mesmeric grip even as the guitars wind up their technical endeavour and intensity, parting only once the full technical and inventive theatre of Utopia takes over. A maze of styles and flavours cored by another entrapment of ardour sparking bass enterprise, the next song simply engrosses with its dramatic tenacity in sound and ideation, and indeed vocal strength where again Tompkins and Williams are riveting in their part within the superb creative emprise.

With a more reserved but no less impacting presence, the following Phoenix lives up to the suggestiveness of its name. Melodies leap like flames throughout, springing from a subdued canvas to soar, as the vocals, across the rich sonic sky of the encounter. Ears and emotions are full and basking before Messenger takes over with its spiny grooves and jagged riffs aligned to classically sultry keys and a melodic character which just oozes elegance, even when embraced by the more rugged elements of the track. Both songs drag ears and imagination deeper into their diversely textured depths, and like all songs and subsequently the album as a whole, reveal new twists, nuances, and creative revelations with each and very listen.

The immersive ambience bringing Cages to the fore is instantly compelling but once the song slips into something melodically and evocatively ‘comfortable’ it becomes truly spellbinding. Bass and drums flirt with rapacious tenacity whilst the guitars and keys impose their tempting with gaseous prowess, invading every pore for the richest pleasure. The song epitomises the album; every element and slither of inventiveness familiarly TesseracT but nurtured within a band taking their songwriting and imagination into new realms of experimentation and personal exploration.

Completed by the mouth-watering Seven Names, it is fair to say that Polaris is sensational and lives up to the hype already brewing around it on its first listen alone. The fact that it just gets more stunning and impressive with each additional play tells you why we believe that the new TesseracT album is the progressive/groove metal triumph of the year.

Polaris is out now via Kscope now across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 25/09/2015

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The Parallax Method – The Owl

Pic Ewan Mathers_www.ewanmathersphotographer.com

Pic Ewan Mathers_www.ewanmathersphotographer.com

There are so many things about The Owl EP to wax lyrical over; from its intricate yet free flowing fusion of flavours to its smiling warmth of character even when offering a more volatile twist or passage to contemplate. Most though it is the fact that each of its instrumental adventures provides a brand new escapade with every listen. The music hints, at times openly suggests, but all the time the imagination is given the sonic and melodic palette to paint its own inspired landscape and exploits, and that is pure fun and pleasure.

The release comes courtesy of UK progressive rockers The Parallax Method, their debut introduction to the UK rock scene. Formed last year, the seeds of the band began with guitarist Danny Beardsley, drummer Dave Wright, and bassist Daniel Hayes’ time together in hard rock band Isolysis back in 2011. With a collective experience of almost thirty years, the Derbyshire trio re-united last year as The Parallax Method, drawing on their mutual love of bands such as TesseracT, Karnivool, and Periphery to spice a sound, as mentioned earlier, tagged as progressive rock but entwining the broadest array of styles and essences into a fascinating tapestry. It is all in evidence within their first incitement Owl, the trio conjuring a web of creative intrigue and glorious aural adventure. Since its recording, Hayes has left the band to be replaced by Ben Edis (Spirytus/Breed 77), but left as his legacy a gripping part in a potent start to the bands easy to assume rise to the fore of the progressive scene.

Parallax cdep1._RingMaster Review    To quote their press release, “The Parallax Method leans on the themes of space and a perpetual battle between the owl and the squid to convey their unique sub-genre of modern prog. Space signifies the vast and epic nature of each track. The owl, wise and powerful, manifests itself in the music in its’ confident and strategic build ups. The squid, sneaky and sly, embodies itself in the ever-present surprising twists and turns. And the battle between them often ends in a violent stalemate which serves to betray the band’s humble standard tuning.” That is the premise to and suggestive nature of the release but to be honest as soon as second track Honey I Shrunk The Squid steps forward, after the cosy yet stark intro of the brief Welcome One and Owl, the imagination is off and running with its own narrative too.

Evolving straight out of its predecessor, as all pieces do, the track is soon writhing with juicy grooves and darkly toned rhythms which in turn breed a just as swift virulence in their increasingly inventive enterprise. You can easily confirm the spicery of those previously mentioned influences but also as the track, and indeed EP, develops thoughts are reminded of Belgian solo project Squidhead. The song continues to take ears on a busy and eventful dance, the guitar a jumble of coherent hooks and bewitching melodies framed and punctuated by the almost morose tone of the bass and the swinging beats of Wright. There is an industrial feel to the visual incitement it sparks, an intensive parade of activity and life which is often seduced by shards of melodic beauty and melancholic warmth.

The following Can Mango Take Me Higher is blossomed from those seeds too, exploring them with the sombre yet flirtatious lures of Hayes’ bass and the resourceful craft and imagination of Beardsley’s fingers of guitar strings. As in the previous piece, the music perpetually evolves, at times brewing up tempestuous climates and avenues as potent and captivating as the mellow seductions aligning them. The spatial ambience of the track has thoughts soaring into the dark and dangerous unknown but always there is an earth bound intimacy which also has the imagination and emotions working overtime, the latter especially when the bass throws off its shadows to wonderfully cluck, for want of a better word, at the senses.

Though individual tracks definitely work alone, The Owl should be listened to and is most enjoyed as a whole. Each song is a natural progression and chapter in a singular scintillating tale, whether with the band’s premise or in one’s own thoughts; flowing masterfully from the other as Radagash The Brown does from Can Mango Take Me Higher. The new encounter is a cosmopolitan shuffle which from its jazz kissed and sultry opening scenery travels rugged terrain and gentler seas towards a classical seduction bred on Latin influences and mystique sowing climes. Ultimately the track is a cauldron of technical prowess and even more so mischievous imagination, there no escaping the underlying grin to the release.

Closing on a techno agitation against emotively spun keys, the song flips into Owlgarhythm, the only time you could say the join is less than organic. It matters little as the immediate haze of funk lined agitation and devilry sides with blues electricity, the trio again whipping up a tenaciously sculpted shuffle with a whisper of bedlam to its heart and energy. Continuing to spin a revolving soundscape of sound and descriptive textures which are more travelogue like for the imagination than echoing the conflict maybe suggested by the EP’s theme, the track is superb. As the whole of The Owl, it is a spellbinding creative emprise which you might never get a clear handle on but just devour more greedily with every listen trying.

Another great thing about the EP is that it never has a whiff of indulgence or showing off which can and often does afflict many progressive spawned offerings, meaning that The Parallax Method is definitely a band to pay attention to and The Owl, a release you really should let your imagination play with.

The Owl is released on Friday 11th September through all stores.

Pete RingMaster 10/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Exxasens – Back To Earth

cover_RingMaster Review

Sheer captivation for ears and imagination, Back To Earth is as much a rich flight of suggestion as it is a sonic portrait. It offers a persistently evolving journey within its walls which leads every single involvement in that spatial adventure breeding new and different explorations within the imagination. The new album is the new offering from Spanish rock band Exxasens who weave a revolving kaleidoscope of post and space rock which equally draws on other potent flavours immersed in ambient majesty. There is an almost exhausting richness and density to the textures and creative hues crafted within the release and it is fair to say everything together leaves ears and imagination basking.

Exxasens was originally the solo project of Barcelona guitarist/programmer Jordi Ruiz (Playmotive, Kyba) who took the inspiration of space and “particularly those that have voyaged heroically into its heart of darkness” as the spark to his compositions and explorations. That theme has continued to be the incitement across each song crafted and proposition released, starting from debut album Polaris, released by ConSouling Sounds in 2008. Its successor Beyond The Universe the following year, again via the same label, awoke greater attention as Ruiz’s predominantly instrumental soundscapes continue to grow and expand as the realm they explored. Eleven Miles came next, released in 2011 on Aloud Music Ltd who also provided the vehicle for the critically acclaimed Satellites to be devoured through two years later. Since then Exxasens has grown to a quartet with bassist Cesc Cespedes, keyboardist Sergio Ledesma, and drummer Oriol Planells linking up with Ruiz, and now unveiling the eight track absorption that is Back To Earth.

From the sultrily alluring charm of Supernova, the album bewitches and involves the listener. The opener casts a smooth yet invigorated adventure through gentle and seductive spatial caresses edged by more volatile rhythmic agitation. Endearing melodies slip from the guitars like ripe fruit from a tree whilst the keys are more mist like with an equal potency on ears and thoughts. Their lures are aligned to dramatic rhythms which just intensify as the song’s atmosphere becomes increasingly fiery. It is a thrilling and enthralling take off for the album which My Hands Are Planets hones into its own energetically ethereal insight. As across most tracks there is a loneliness echoed by the sounds but one which simultaneously welcomes attention with a warm tempting; these reassuring colours and atmospherics portrayed through rousing melodies and evocative synth cast seducing.

Comparisons to the like of Mogwai and 65daysofdstatic have been lent the band previously and indeed towards Back To Earth, easy to understand why with the masterful entwining of sounds and elements within tracks like Hugeness and Oniria’s Interlude, though all tracks certainly spin their own identity with the first of this pair courting a more rugged and rocky scenery of textures and energy where extremes embroil in each other’s beauty, often with whirlpool like tenacity and appetite. Additionally enriched by a melodic choir like array of voices at one point, the track is superb, rousing the energies before its successor calms them back down with its radiant melodies and provocative stringed beauty. Its irresistible charm leads ears and emotions into the exhilarating multi-toned depths of Your Dreams Are My Dreams and another ever changing and compelling emprise of sound and suggestiveness.

Bright Side Of The Moon has a more exotic air as Porcupine Tree like flames incite within an increasingly mercurial atmosphere. It is a tempting which becomes more aggressively arousing and in turn intoxicating with every twisting groove and fiercely expressive sonic enticement before Saturn comes forward with new provocative exploits. With vocals for the only time on the album a prominent and highly agreeable proposal and texture, the track is as fascinating as it is electrifying, its Tool meets Voyager meets God Is An Astronaut an easy immersion.

Completed by its rhythmically galvanic, melodically spellbinding, and sonically searing title track, Back To Earth just takes you to other realms and new climates with fresh awareness of sound and in one’s own thoughts. Quite simply the album is glorious and Exxasens an incitement to real musical adventure all should partake in.

Back To Earth is available now via Aloud Music Ltd in Europe, the Ricco Label in Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia), and Rock-House in Russia.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

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Opensight – Ulterior Motives EP

Opensight band picture smaller_RingMaster Review

Described as cinematic metallers, London based Opensight take ears and imagination on a drama laced, mystery fuelled adventure with their new EP Ulterior Motives. A collection of tracks which have thoughts running this way and that like a classic noir lit crime thriller and a weave of sounds which manage to be as intimate as they are expansively suggestive, and at times bordering psychotic, Ulterior Motives is a release which simply has the listener lost to the world within its riveting theatre.

Opensight is the brainchild of Colombian guitarist/vocalist Ivan Amaya, an idea which began in his homeland but realised and evolved further once he moved to the UK. Subsequently the band grew with the addition of guitarist Genia Penksik, drummer Redd Reddington, and bassist Danni Stanner. Originally a more concentrated progressive metal project the band’s sound and imagination has blossomed to embrace a vibrant array of genres and cinematic influences, which going by Ulterior Motives seem to embrace visual inspirations as well as soundtrack seeded ones. Debut album Prosthetic Soul was released in 2008 with the well-received The Voice of Nothing EP following two years later. For many though, us included, Ulterior Motives is the first introduction to Opensight and a meeting long overdue.

OPENSIGHT_Ulterior_Motives_RingMaster Review    The release opens with Alibi and a Nintendo-esque dance of electronic shimmer. It is soon clutched by a web of dramatic rhythms and melodic flaming which in turn spawns a sonic shuffle around the instantly striking tones of Amaya. Barely a handful of seconds in and the song is a creative jungle, hooks and grooves colluding with the darker shadows of bass and the lively attitude of drum beats. Atmospheric colour comes from wistful keys whilst the guitars spin a weave of grooves which understandably seem to incite Bond like references from a great many. We would not go quite that specific in their description but imagine Faith No More crafting the soundtrack to a sixties espionage themed show and you get some idea of the visual potency on the imagination and the intricate yet seemingly simple tapestry of sound seducing ears.

Such the persuasion of the track you are almost crouching in secrecy as you move to its instrumental lure, only stepping into bold clearance as the lyrical narrative returns and leads the song to its ripe end and into the waiting funk kissed arms of The Chase. Whereas the first song also had a feel of artists such as 6:33 and Diablo Swing Orchestra to it, its successor takes a more dramatically intensive turn nearer to a mix of Voyager and Native Construct, with at times a whiff of Between the Buried and Me. There is an adrenaline rush and urgency to the track which matches the hinting of its title, whilst seventies flavoured electronic bubbling only adds mystique and flirtatious intrigue to the whole exploration.

Vanishing Point explores more rugged scenery initially, subsequently settling into a sultry climate and evocative persuasion with crescendos of intensity and emotion. Vocally the song is a bit mixed, Amaya’s slow vocal walk not as powerful and impressive as his lung busting roars or anthemic incitements but it does not defuse the fiery blaze of sound and enterprise rippling through the song. All the same, the thoroughly enjoyable and captivating track does not quite spark ears and thoughts as successfully as the songs around it, especially the outstanding Ulterior Motif right after.

The track is a symphony of aural colour and imagination seducing tempting. A first slow caress blooms into a soundscape of exotic beauty and sinister shadows, a canvas inspiring new adventures with every listen and if any track was evidence of the band’s talent at cinematic songwriting alone it is this glorious flight of craft and suggestion.

The EP is finished by Antagonist, an emotional and physical cliff hanger of a finale driven by creatively imposing rhythms, fascinating sonic invention, and a vocal delivery which is part the story teller part the protagonist in it all. With smouldering beauty and jazzy elegance reminiscent of The Chase earlier, the song drifts and erupts with bewitching craft and ingenuity. Sometimes it feels like a celestial flight into the unknown and the broadest emprise and in other moments a close romance wrapped in personal mystique and earthbound theatre; and at all times slavery for body and mind.

It frustrates that it has taken to now to discover the band but better late than never as we suggest all think about immersing into the dark and enthralling world of Opensight.

The Ulterior Motives EP is available from September 4th

Pete RingMaster 04/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Between the Buried and Me – Coma Ecliptic

Pic by Justin Reich

Pic by Justin Reich


It is tempting to call the Between the Buried and Me music a kaleidoscope of sonic and inventive hues yet that suggests a randomness which certainly does not apply to their persistently compelling and dramatic explorations. In saying that though, there is an organic unpredictability which seemingly evolves on its own so that at times you wonder if the band knows what is to emerge any more than the listener. And so it is with their seventh album Coma Ecliptic, a series of gloriously imaginative plains of roaming sounds and immersive textures which whether a BTBAM fan or not is seriously compelling, that together create an epic emprise of aural fascination which is either creative ingenuity or insanity.

It is easy to see Coma Ecliptic splitting opinions though hard to imagine many dismissing its technically immense, musically explosive, and rivetingly captivating journey out of hand. Equally the reference to it being like a rock opera does it no favours, certainly with those like us instantly cringing at the thought and term, but assumptions should be cast aside as, even though there are indeed moments of indulgences and flamboyant enterprise, the concept album is bred from the same template of musical and lyrical probing that made previous release The Parallax II: Future Sequence so bewitching and thrilling. It is a whole new beast of course bred from the similar seeding which unites all the band’s releases, but BTBAM doing what they do best, tearing up their own rulebook with zeal and tenacity.

Lyrically Coma Ecliptic follows a single protagonist who stuck in a coma travels through his past lives, each track an individual episode set in “a modern day, sort of The Twilight Zone-esque” world. In each place he can choose to stay or move on to search for a better place, ultimately being met with the ultimate question life or death. The rest is for you to find out but in true BTBAM fashion, the lyrical side of the album is as involved and time consuming to reap its full rewards as the music. There are a few things to pull Coma Ecliptic up on, if you wish to be over analytical and demanding, but like the best sci-fi/fantasy movie, run with its liberties and proposition rounding flaws, and unbridled pleasure through full-blooded adventure are the rich prize.

Cover_RingMaster Review     Opener Node cups ears in a gentle yet emotive touch of keys, Tommy Rogers’ fingers and voice swiftly stroking ears and imagination even before melodies broaden and their elegance mesmerises. The melancholic air of the song has its own ethereal light and hope, album and band immersing the listener into the realm of album and story with sublime ease, even adding Queen-esque flames of epic tones and sonic grandeur to striking effect. It is a potently enticing start which slips into the theatrical and magnetic embrace of The Coma Machine. Many have compared the album and some of its textures and flavours to bands like Dream Theater yet aside from the unavoidable uniqueness of BTBAM, here and often across the album Australian progressive metallers Voyager nudge thoughts. The track ebbs and flow in energy and rousing intensity as it explores its and the story’s depths, and is just as enthralling as it writhes with majestic imagination, whether in a gentle hug of a croon or roaring with aggression and passion.

Dim Ignition emerges from an electro bubble next, synths a lively and nagging simmer within drummer Blake Richardson’s increasingly intimidating rhythms. The song flows into the immediately darker hued Famine Wolf, portentous and ever gripping bass tempting from Dan Briggs alongside just as shadowed keys, their haunting smothering consuming the senses for the ever spellbinding craft and invention of guitarists Paul Waggoner and Dustie Waring to exploit and shape further. The track’s early predator like union grows from one relatively inviting premise to a volatile incitement, with Rogers vocally entwining his superb clean and just as impacting raw metalcore seeded deliveries to match the sounds. The track is thoroughly absorbing, even making its less than seamless slip into a jazzy, psych rock like twist work perfectly and never relenting in making every minute unique from another.

As outstanding as it is though, King Redeem / Queen Serene steals the show, growing from the departing breath of its predecessor into a tempest of pop, funk, melodic revelry, and ravenous metal ferocity; every aspect fuelled by a contagiousness which simply intensifies with every elevation of aggression and invention. Imagine spilling the essences of Periphery, Society 1, and Cardiacs into the BTBAM mix and you get something close to this exhilarating encounter.

Both the imposing Turn on the Darkness and fascinating The Ectopic Stroll keep the fires of serious enjoyment burning, the first at times bordering on the bestial as its landscape savages as siren like seduction joins in equal creative measure. Its successor explores a dance seeded gait and scenery, piano keys a punchy spark to the tenaciously evolving avant-garde landscape, and both songs, but especially the second, tempestuous weaves of expansive flavours, styles, and bold intent sculpted by musicians openly at the top of their game and imagination.

     Rapid Calm brings a spatial yet melodically and emotionally intimate proposal forward next with mellow vocals, harmonies, and keys the warm serenade to the carnivorous walls and depths soaked in challenging intensity lurking and eventually exploding from deep within. Bewitching hardly does the song justice but that is what it is as it wraps its mesmeric and often rabid charms around ears and thoughts. Coma Ecliptic is undoubtedly an album which challenges and involves both aspects with every second, it shown again with Memory Palace and after that Option Oblivion. The first of the pair is soaked in blues and funk rock resourcefulness, a folkish festivity also getting in on the persuasion as the song traverses through ten minutes of instinctive and virulent creative alchemy whilst the second is like looking into a fire, every flame of sound distinct to another yet perfectly aligned in one senses sizzling incitement.

Coma Ecliptic is completed by the emotionally rousing Life in Velvet, another fusing intimacy with grander winds to fine effect. The intoxicating Jamie King produced album leaves the richest hunger to hear and learn more, which is lucky as like their other encounters, it is a proposition which needs numerous plays to really get into its constantly revolving corners and levels, our words above barely scratching its surface let alone depths to be truthful.

The best album from Between the Buried and Me to date?…Well it has to be seriously considered and argued over but there is no denying this is another major success and thrill from the band which their fans will get lustful over and others will at least offer a thick complimentary smile or nod.

Coma Ecliptic is available now on Metal Blade Records @ http://www.metalblade.com/btbam/

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RingMaster 14/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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27 Tons of Metal New England – Various

cover_RingMaster Review

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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