The Silverblack – The Grand Turmoil

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Starting with a core blaze of industrial metal and twisting and stretching it thereon in by infusing a horde of rampant flavours, styles, and waves of imagination into its roar, Italian rockers The Silverblack have come up with one thoroughly enjoyable trespass of the senses in The Grand Turmoil. The band’s new album is a physical and creative holler of sounds, new and familiar, that captures the imagination and exhausts the breath across a volatile landscape, and though it might be pushing it to say that The Grand Turmoil is the best industrial metal incitement this year, it is firmly amongst the leaders in pure enjoyment.

The Torino hailing band is the brainchild of multi-instrumentalist and producer Alessio Nero Argento (NeroArgento, The Stranded) and vocalist Claudio Ravinale (Disarmonia Mundi, The Stranded, 5 Star Grave), the pair forming The Silverblack in the opening weeks of 2014. Live the band becomes a quintet with the addition of bassist Ivan King, drummer Rob Gaia, and keyboardist Nisha Sara, but for the album it is the founding duo exploring ears and their own invention alone with just a couple of guest solos for extra spice.

It opens with its title track, a stomping beast of a proposal with a sonically fetid atmosphere and pulsating electronic scenery crowding a stalking gait. It is immediately intensive and busy on the senses as the band springs a trap of agitated rhythms and great fiery and openly varied vocals, the raw emotive roars of Ravinale balanced skilfully by cleaner tones courting their confrontation from the background. With keys and guitars jostling for attention, each getting equal share as the track casts its maelstrom of adventure, the song makes a dramatic and heftily alluring start to The Grand Turmoil, though bigger and bolder things are on the horizon.

cover_RingMaster Review   The following Anymore with its vibrantly lighter breath and shadowy presence follows and if not one of the bolder tracks certainly whips up ears and appetite with its Dope meets Celldweller parade of electronic enterprise and vocal magnetism. It is not a song stretching the imagination or finding major originality but it does leave an energetic satisfaction and hunger behind which the outstanding King-Size Vandalism pounces on with virulent and ravenous prowess. Bursting in with robust rhythms and a joyfully warm melody, the song becomes a boisterous romp sizzling with the energetic tenacity of a Pendulum and grouchier lilt of a Combichrist, whilst vocally variety reaps a slight scent of Marilyn Mansion at times. The track quickly infects feet and emotions; it’s an electro rock anthem soon having the body bouncing as high as its own.

Retaliation comes next, its immediate heavy predacious gait a thick intent that defies the effort of the keys to lighten the ambience and mood. Nevertheless they shimmer and tempt engagingly as the song prowls through an early Rammstein leering towards an electro pop chorus. The band’s eagerness to venture into unpredictable turns and styles is a stirring quality in the album but for personal tastes not as potently impacting here with the track’s ‘nice’ pop essences, though it does not stop ears being more than content overall and ready to leap on the kaleidoscope of sound and light that is Make It Worth The Grime. Dirty and melodically glowing, the song is a great fusion of dark and light that loosely comes over like a meet up of Hanzel und Gretyl and KMFDM yet sculpts its own identity along its compelling length.

The fiercer tempest of As Good As Dead raises the levels of addictiveness next; its blended contrasts of emotive rapacity and antagonistic sounds with vocal harmonies and warm infection a perfectly crafted union whilst Attic Hime straight after quickly eclipses it. With a great vocal weave within a climate which at times is like a still warm melodic day and in other moments a blustery sonic wind that ebbs and flows to distort and enhance the drama of the song, it provides an ever evolving and constantly gripping parade of diverse sound. The track leaves ears on a lofty high; a plateau extended by the blistering examination of Pyromanservant, a track drawing on as broad a canvas of metal as it does electronic invention. Like Die Krupps, Powerman 5000, and Skinny Puppy blended, the song incites and engrosses as it takes top song honours within The Grand Turmoil.

The initial gentle shimmer of Great Expectations allows a catching of breath before it too uncages a dark and contagious theatre of emotion and enterprise, an angrier and bitter version of Gravity Kills coming to mind as yet another excellent and lingering encounter within the album exciting ears.

The release is brought to an end by firstly the pleasingly sonically thick and physically volatile Might Get Worse Before It Gets Better, a song brawling with the senses as it lays down its ultimately successful persuasion, and lastly Fragmentary Blue, the darkest, most melancholic offering on The Grand Turmoil and one of the most forcibly compelling even as its departure leaves a sense of unfinished business. It is a fine end to a richly enjoyable offering which as suggested has all the invention and adventure to be, for a great many, deeply entrenched amongst their favourite 2015 industrial releases.

The Grand Turmoil is out now via Sliptrick Records.

Pete RingMaster 29/10/2105

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This Burning Age – Desolation

this-burning-age-ep3-desolation-band-photo-5th-day-records-2015_RingMaster Review

It has taken a while to get here but now inciting ears and emotions, Desolation proves the wait was more than worth it. The new EP from British electro rockers This Burning Age is the third in a four EP cycle which began last year. The three track encounter is a rousing and forcibly provocative proposition proving that whatever has happened and evolved in the time between releases, the This Burning Age songwriting and sound has potently grown through it.

The EP’s songs feel physically and emotionally fiercer than ever but equally more inventively woven from the depth of sound and flavours which have always marked the band’s sound and releases. Originally a solo project for vocalist/songwriter/guitarist Friday, the Birmingham band emerged on the live scene as a full line-up after the release of debut album A Muzzle for the Masses. Wanting to take its heart and success to live venues, Friday enlisted guitarist/keyboardist Jon Farrington-Smith, bassist Davey Bennett, and drummer Christian Jerromes (since replaced by Jack Josypenko) to the band, with the years since seeing This Burning Age play with the likes of Fearless Vampire Killers, William Control, Heights, and Hundred Reasons amongst many.

this-burning-age-ep3-desolation-5th-day-records-2015_RingMaster Review   The band’s sound fuses essences of post-punk, industrial, Synth-pop and post-rock to really simplify its tapestry, with influences arising from bands such as NIN, Interpol, Rammstein, Sonic Youth, and Smashing Pumpkins. It is a fusion which potently gripped attention through the first pair of releases in the four EP project. Both Supplication and Devotion revealed an evolution in the band’s sound with a fresh thick web of textures to that within the band’s album, whilst exploring the theme of love and sex in their destructive form across their songs. That growth has continued with Desolation, its tracks inspired by a look at death and the human condition. As to the timeline of songwriting between the EPs we cannot say but there feels a new maturity to the band’s latest EP which not only seriously ignites ears but offers the potential of even bolder and deeper things ahead.

First song up on Desolation is Tatterdemalion, a quickly voracious and rousing proposal but one just as quickly slipping through an unpredictable and tempestuous landscape of intensity and creative resourcefulness. From its initial fuzzy flame of riffs, imposing rhythms stir the blood with just as potent scything grooves getting involved. The song hits a commanding stroll before relaxing into a prowling gait lit by a great steely twang of the bass. This ‘restful’ passage in turn welcomes the distinctive tones of Friday, his expression and emotion as open as ever as keys glow with simmering but bright temptation around him. Fiery expulsions of energy and heart then drive the soon to break chorus, its ferocity lingering to add richer hues to subsequent melodic and slightly restrained moments. For the main though, the track is a cauldron of inventive twists and turns, an array of styles colluding in a striking blaze which at times pokes thoughts of bands like Joy Division, in others of the likes of Pitchshifter and Smashing Pumpkins or Trent Reznor and Anti-Clone.

The outstanding start makes way for Drown In Silence, a song which leans more or certainly quicker to its industrial and electronic rock side as lively cascades of punchy rhythms and suggestive synths fall upon ears before dissipating for the emotive reflection of voice and atmospheric melodies. Calm before the storm, the track is a furnace of emotive energy and heart but again thick intense shafts which share time and the imagination with increasingly volatile and ferocious crescendos, all these keen essences uniting in an explosive and dynamic climax to another increasingly contagious persuasion.

As striking and irresistible as they are, the first two songs are slightly over shadowed by the closing Ab Aeterno (From Forever), a mesmeric introspective unveiling from Friday in voice and emotion. A crystalline twinkle of keys light a creeping mist of evocative melodies from the song’s first breath, the vocals emotionally raw as guitars and stirring beats add their weight to the unfolding intimate drama. Like a mix of Bauhaus and very early U2 embraced by the dark ethereal craft of Nine Inch Nails, the song glows with charm and shadows, eventually igniting in a searing fire of sound and suggestiveness.

It is a transfixing end to a breath-taking release from This Burning Age, the band’s finest hour without doubt though you get the feeling even now that we have seen nothing yet.

The Desolation EP is out now via 5th Day Records @

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2015

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Suffer No Fools – Songs For The Restless Youth

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Suffer No Fools is a name you will be getting used to if they fulfil the promise running through debut EP Songs For The Restless Youth. The British metallers are merely months into their emergence after forming earlier this year but offer a sizeable introduction and potential loaded first collection of fiery, groove lined incitements suggesting there is experience in the ranks of their creators. Whether that is so or not, it is a highly accomplished encounter leaving a definite appetite for more from the London based quintet.

Roaring out of Ealing, Suffer No Fools draw on inspirations from the likes of Metallica, Rammstein, Killswitch Engage, and Trivium for their aggressive melody rich sound, influences which do not hide in the shadows within songs but tone rather than direct their direction. As mentioned the band only formed a few months back but have quickly got down to creating strong persuasions as shown in Songs For The Restless Youth. Led by the strong tones of Ali Khan and driven by the rousing rhythms of bassist Alex Bain and drummer Mike Taylor, music and songs take little time in luring ears and attention. Once entwined in the skilled and imaginative enterprise, whether in stirring riffs, imagination inciting grooves, or evocative melodies, of guitarists Jamie Newdeck and Jack Kirby, the EP is a magnetic fire of potential and thick inventive craft. Recently Kirby has left the band to pursue other musical ventures but leaves his potent part in the first steps of a band surely heading to bigger and stronger things.

albumart_RingMaster Review   Opener Acheron is a one minute atmospheric introduction washing the senses in intrigue and sonic radiance; calm before the storm of The Bombing Campaign which is already brewing its potency and tempest in the closing ambience of the first track before striding purposefully into ears with military like rhythms. As riffs and beats welcome the voice of Khan there is no escaping the Metallica spicing, a hue also lining the subsequent melodic and grooved exploits of the song. It is an ear pleasing, emotion stirring encounter, a sturdy anthem to set the EP off properly but one also unafraid to switch into contrasting provocative flavours and textures.

Prey continues the strong start to Songs For The Restless Youth in equally rousing fashion, pushing the accelerator down a touch more and creating an aggressively urgent and compelling proposition at the same time. Again fluidly emerging spicy melodies and vocal harmonies provide a temper to a stormy landscape whilst some of those other inspirations come to mind across the song. Equally though Suffer No Fools, if not dramatically, still offer their own character as shown by the growling Forgiven Or Forgotten. Here guitars further flirt with sonic imagination and ear wrapping grooves but in a climate more hostile and dirty than in its predecessors; its riffs a snarling confrontation and rhythms a fierce barracking. As all tracks and the EP itself, it makes a more than decent first impression but just grows in stature and persuasion over time.

Both the resourceful almost progressive scenery of Abyss and the scorching prowl and anthemic enterprise of Dirge Of The Old Gods make enjoyable times, even if without finding the same heights of those before them and certainly the EP’s best track which brings Songs For The Restless Youth to a mighty close. Into The Breach is the jewel in the crown of the EP, a treat of a song equipped with striking imagination and ear enriching melodic enticement lined with glorious hooks. The song takes a little while to get going but when in full flight and flow, is a riveting beast simultaneously antagonistic and bewitchingly seductive. Alone it makes Suffer No Fools worth keeping an eye on and with its companions in tow encourages thoughts of a band with the tools to make a big impact.

It is probably fair to say that Songs For The Restless Youth has open embers of originality but apart from its final offering, lacks the spark of the unpredictable, to yet truly leap away of the crowd. Suffer No Fools though is a band with individual skills and a united craft that demands attention, rewarding that with a strongly satisfying first look; so again make a note of the name as you enjoy the quality and potential.

Songs For The Restless Youth is available now from the Suffer No Fools Bandcamp.

Pete RingMaster 01/09/2015

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Black Space Riders – Refugeeum

Black Space Riders official 2015_RingMaster Review

With their previous album D:REI, it is fair to say that German space rockers Black Space Riders not only set a new benchmark for themselves but ignited a whole new host of appetites and acclaiming attention. Now the Muenster sextet return with its successor Refugeeum; an intensive and expansive exploration which may or may not quite surpass its exceptional predecessor, but is an equal as it reinforces the band’s stature as one of the most fascinating and gripping propositions in heavy rock.

This time around the band has dropped from spatial explorations and focused on earthbound issues and tempestuous times. Musically the band has found an earthier and more organically trespassing, as well as more intimate, depth and invention to their ever diverse, flavour embracing sound. Certainly there are moments which soar and take flight through rich and broad landscapes but always they lead to the turbulence and raw canvas of emotional and physical migrancy, to simplify the album’s theme. There is also a new and open maturity to the songwriting and its realisation in Refugeeum, a quality taking the already recognised and rewarding potency in all aspects of band and sound that had already powerfully blossomed within D:REI, to new pastures.

A spatial shimmer grows around ears initially as album opener Vortex Sun starts things off, its distant twinkle soon joined by a lone melody and vocal harmonies. Everything has a shadowy glaze to it but equally a magnetism which within seconds draws ears and imagination right into the brewing soundscape of the song. Once the drums begin rolling with increasing resonance and hunger, the track is on the lip of a thickly atmospheric and energetically contagious proposal, guitars casting a cascade of sonic enterprise around nagging riffs whilst the vocals add further descriptive drama and texture. The threat of a full explosion of sound and turbulence is constantly there but never really realised, the song moving through constantly shifting rock scenery with exotic mystique and sultry Eastern whispers a regular and inventive lining.

Frontcover Refugeeum Vinyl _RingMaster Review   The track is a glorious start to the album and swiftly matched by Universal Bloodlines, who wins its persuasive argument from the opening bait of throaty riffs and crispy beats alone. They come with an irresistible hook, one which only persists as the band develops and slips into a Life of Agony like emotive croon within rousing rhythmic and dirtily aggressive temptation. It is a fiery and intimidating fusion and ridiculously irresistible, even when the sonic craft of the guitarists SLI and JE add searing sonic flames to the raw alchemy.

Born a Lion (Homeless) comes next, opening with its own compelling coaxing. The scuzzy tone of bass from SAQ is a thick menacing hook all on its own whilst just as quickly, fuzzy guitars and slithers of keys align with its enthralling call to accentuate and colour the tribal call of the song. The vocals are shared around the album by Seb and JE, and here offer maybe their most rapacious and fiercely captivating delivery yet. The song itself continues to grow into a brute of a proposition, a treat lying somewhere between Killing Joke, Rammstein, and David Bowie.

There is a post punk edge to the following The Lure (Come with us), especially in its opening stalking of ears. Four songs in and each has provided the most individual and passion enslaving openings, entrances backed by ever evolving and twisting adventures, and here the fourth song goes on to explore a filth toned embrace of snarling vocals, evocative guitar caresses, and one hypnotically tenacious doomy prowl.

A mellower lure escapes Run to the Plains next, gentle vocal persuasion luring in attention as a darker groan of bass from SAQ or HEVO, who also features upon Refugeeum, courts its invitation. It is a tempting increasing as both vocalists unite with their unique and complementary tones. There is a touch of post rock to the track and a Palms like alternative rock smoulder to the stoner-esque ripeness colouring the mesmeric encounter. At over ten minutes the track is a maelstrom in waiting too, expelling thick tendrils of intensity and heavy grooves as well as tempestuous riffs across its constantly resonating sonic glow.

The pair of Curtains of Death, another with a start which just seems to know how to flick the switch of lust, and Melek’s Lament (Yazidi Tears) just seduce and engross with constant imagination. The outstanding first of the two follows up its tasty start with a spiral of tangy grooves, feisty riffs, and grouchy vocals, all honed into an intimidating and again wonderfully fuzzy yet boisterous shuffle before drifting off into reflective and haunting, almost cavernous exploration. It is a riot for the ears and feast for the imagination whilst its successor is a mist of worldly whispers, flirtatious textures, and emotional intensity, and in a completely different way just as fascinating and infectious, especially as it brews up its own seventies rock tinged roar of a climax which in turn descends into a sonic escape.

Such his skilled rhythmic jungle of beats and resourcefulness C.RIP has an easy time winning these ears over from start to finish within Refugeeum, and again ensures Walking Shades has its hooks into the psyche straight away with another almost meditatively inviting dance of beats. Subsequent melodies and vocals pursue another Life of Agony like toning in their catchy and provocative body, it all colluding for one tantalising offering before Ritual of Inner Strength brings the album to an epic close. The track in many ways is like a musical epilogue to Refugeeum, all the richest and most potent elements creating the hearts of the album’s songs converging together in a gentle but intensifying tempest. It is creative theatre, one igniting thoughts and emotions as strongly as its infectious lures grip the body, and though it does not take personal emotions quite to the heights sparked by other songs, its impacting croon is a fine end to a mighty release.

The band’s previous album had great ruggedness to it which has been rounded off for Refugeeum but in its place the band has honed a more intricate blend of slimmer tempests, thicker explorations, and a perpetual unpredictable invention. The album is Black Space Riders’ boldest and farthest reaching creative offering yet and after many more listens whilst composing this, decidedly their most thrilling exploit yet.

Refugeeum is available now digitally, on Cd, and on double vinyl (2x180G, incl. CD & lyric-insert) @

RingMaster 24/07/2015

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Black Strobe – Godforsaken Roads

Photo Philippe levy.

An adventure which has the imagination bouncing around as enthusiastically as the body, Godforsaken Roads from French band Black Strobe, is an exhilarating stomp with more juicy flavours than a Pick ‘n’ Mix stand. The band’s new album is a tapestry of sound and enterprise which is as insatiable in its eclectic intent as it is contagious in its devilry. Seamlessly and inventively entwining fiery melodic rock and sultry blues spicery with a flirtatious electronic resourcefulness, and that brief description still only a thick hint of what is in store, the release simply lifts spirits and passions as one of the year’s most captivating and thrilling releases.

Black Strobe is the brainchild of Arnaud Rebotini, a Parisian musician and producer just as renowned for his instrumental electronic explorations released under his own name. Alongside this and a horde of remix work for the likes of Rammstein, Depeche Mode, The Rapture, Bloc Party, Nitzer Ebb, and Fischerspooner, Rebotini’s 1997 founded project has released a host of well- received singles and debut album Burn Your Own Church which saw its founder collaborating with Kill the DJ label head Ivan Smagghe. Live the band has equally earned potent acclaim, touring the likes of USA, South America, Japan, Australia, and Europe to great success and lighting up festivals such as Reading/Leeds, Sónar, Primavera, Pukkelpop, Dour, and Transmusicales. Now with guitarist Mathieu Zub, drummer Mathys Dubois, and bassist/keyboardist Benjamin Beaulieu alongside him, Rebotini and Black Strobe return with, we suggest, their finest moment yet, Godforsaken Roads.

Recent single Broken Phone Blues offers the first temptation and from its initial touch it is fair to say that Godforsaken Roads is in full control of excited attention and increasingly lustful emotions. An electro bubbling opens things up and is swiftly joined by the distinctive and dark toned voice of Rebotini. His voice has lured comparisons to Nick Cave and Johnny Cash and it is easy to see why as it sits somewhere between the two in expression and tone. Just as quickly a pulsating electro stroll adds its captivating invitation before guitars and bass align to jabbing beats to cast an irresistible canter over the senses. It is a virulently infectious electro rock romp which in some ways brings thoughts of The The and also Helldorado with its increasingly steamy ambience.

It is a tremendous start right away surpassed by the outstanding Monkey Glands. The track is an out and out rocker; again electro essences stirring up ears for a gripping entrance before vocals and riffs finding seeds in fifties rock ‘n’ 10646751_10152620336545266_4319895831447366858_nroll which in turn infuses even greater captivating colour into the devilish engagement. Wonderfully exhaustive in its dramatic vivacity and hungry energy, the track sets a new plateau for the album which the blues scented He Keeps On Calling Me matches with its smouldering sonic heat and melodic intrigue. Bass and guitars take centre stage alongside the relentlessly impressing voice of Rebotini, the song a forcibly seductive yet controlled spaghetti western spiced drama standing tall like a mix of Nick Cave and Fatima Mansions.

Both Blues Fight and For Those Who Came on Earth Thru The Devil Asshole keep ears and appetite hungry for the album. The first draws on a steamy funk hue to ripen its sultrily woven blues rock climate, with the guitars showing a growl and bass a throaty predation to temper the flirty swing and electro tantalising of the track. It all unites in another ridiculously catchy and addictive proposition with a touch of De Staat to it. Its successor idles in on a slow melodic and vocal croon embraced by an exotic electro teasing within a portentous and ever darkening keys bred atmosphere. It is a compelling encounter which feels like it is brewing up to a major fire, and at moments comes close, but almost taunting the listener instead just ebbs and flows with an intoxicating evocative charm and intensity which is just as gripping.

The two triumphs are emulated and over shadowed a little by the delicious cover of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues. Held in a transfixing electronic embrace only, the song is given an exceptional make-over. Rebotini strokes its body with an individual vocal delivery but the same shadowed irresistibility as offered by Cash whilst keys simply create a seducing beauty which steals the passions whilst keeping the unique expression and presence the legendary song has always held. It is a stunning offering backed up right away by the heated temptation of Swamp Fever, a song mixing acoustic and blues rock with electro elegance around one of the most infectious and anthemic choruses on the album.

House Of Good Lovin’ revisits a fifties rock enterprise for its agitated rumble of addictive beats and blues soaked guitar endeavour; think Muddy Waters and Joe Cocker with definitely a twist of The Cramps and you get another riveting incitement on Godforsaken Roads. It though only warms up the passions for Dumped Boogie and From The Gutter. Both tracks provide a masterful feet enslaving temptation, the first riding a steamy wave of electronic contagion and the second bringing a less urgent but just as enticing electro pop waltz reminiscent of Heaven 17 to transfix body and emotions.

Levels slip slightly with Going Back Home, a dance floor spawned encounter which still shines with beacon like strength within the album but to be honest is less appetising for personal tastes, but raised again somewhat with Boogie in Zero Gravity, one of two songs exclusive to the digital copy of the album. With a touch of The Correspondents about it, the song is a tempered yet persuasive dance which though not at the heights of the more rock infused tracks leaves satisfaction full.

The album is completed by Promised Moon, a song seemingly bred under the influence of The Beatles’ Get Back and on the digital version by The Girl From The Bayou; the pair further inescapable temptations without casting the same potency of suasion as earlier encounters upon Godforsaken Roads. They still add a fine end to an exceptional release though which simultaneously nostalgic and innovative as it weaves an epidemic of ingenious sound and body gripping enterprise.

Godforsaken Roads is released on CD and vinyl 6th October via Blackstrobe Records/K7 Records and digitally @

RingMaster 06/10/2014

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Radium Valley – Tales From The Apocalypse


Standing impressively tall with an album and sound which plays like a mix of Rammstein, Poets Of the Fall, and Type O Negative yet emerges as something richly flavoursome in its originality; French metallers Radium Valley provide a seriously compelling and fascinating proposition. Debut album Tales From The Apocalypse is a full immersion for ears and imagination into an apocalyptic lyrical and emotional landscape coloured by a tempestuous yet fluid blend of industrial, gothic, and melodic metal. It is a masterful darkwave fuelled incitement which just grows and flourishes the more time and attention it is given.

Formed in 2012, the Limoges hailing band takes inspirations from the likes of Rammstein, Paradise Lost, Ghost Brigade, and Katatonia into their sound, as well as lyrically for certainly their first full-length an eighties background embracing its current events and culture. The combination paints a wasted world stopped by the Chernobyl disaster and littered with radiation embraced survivors. It makes for a vivid and intriguing canvas to which Radium Valley casts similarly dark and turbulent sounds. Produced by Alexandre Granvaud and Romain Janvier, with its mastering done by Logan Mader (Machine Head, Soulfly, Fear Factory, Gojira), the Pavement Entertainment released Tales From The Apocalypse is a riveting and often haunting proposition.

The nine-strong band instantly awakens the imagination with Song of rain, a vintage sample discussing the first nuclear bomb luring in attention against a sonic croon and distortion kissed ambience. It is not long before the musical weight and prowess of the band is seizing ears, melodies from guitars and keys laying down thick enticing smog which is littered with jabbing beats and dark throated bass temptation. A slight relaxation then brings in the impressive vocals and further expressive hues from the keys, their electro seeding a dulled yet mesmeric radiance in the imposing heart of the song. It is a seamless and impressive mix of textures, dark and light extremes as enthralling as the dramatic narrative presented by the increasingly impressing clean vocal delivery.

As the album proves itself to be, the opener seems to get bigger and better with time, something emulated by the following Sweet infection. The second song emerges from a cyber-sculpted darkness with melancholic keys which equally image003have a bold statement to their presence, before flowing into an electronic glaze and synth rock infectiousness. Finding a presence which is somewhere between Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails, and Poets Of The Fall, the song soars over the senses with a sultry caress and fiery temperament. It is a bewitching song which seduces more than grips but to the same successful end before the Numan-esque start of For all of us takes over. Raw abrasing riffs stand perfectly against the electronic sizzle of the synths whilst vocals once more gently but powerfully spark thoughts with their theme. There is rich drama to the song which comes in waves without ever departing, the strikes of guitar and inventive bass designs alongside them creating much of that gripping lure.

Both Darkest hours and Behind me create their own slice of intimidating but welcoming persuasion, the first an almost brawling proposition which switches between urgent rampages and slower crawls of predation without losing any of its fluency, despite the turbulence of sound and passions explored. It is an intrusive treat of a track allowing no rest to take in the sights yet leaves no sense of dissatisfaction, just hunger to go back to explore more. Its successor merges electro elegance with a voracious metal appetite to produce a captivating adventure calling on sparks of Rammstein, Fear Factory, and Paradise Lost. There is also a seeming intimacy to the touch and heart of the song which only fires up the vocals and rhythmic punch of its striking exploration.

Next comes Le terrain vague à l’âme, the first of two interludes with the second, Une charogne coming before the final track. With each being predominantly a French spoken vocal piece they do not really add much for us language handicapped souls so it is hard to evaluate their presence, something much easier to do with the excellent instrumental Radium Valley. It is a rigorously descriptive piece of composing which takes the imagination through its provocative soundscape into a rugged and violently hued terrain, the skills of the band providing a threatening and contagious journey.

Through the melodic tempest of Into the undergrounds and the hostile yet theatrical Last resort, the album ventures into new aspects of its starkly bred and adventurously expressive character. Each provides a memorable creative emprise, darkly poetic proposals which leave a lingering and inviting mark on emotions. Their unique offerings lead, after the other interlude, into album closer Wings of disease. It is possibly the least gripping track on the album but still a thoroughly engaging and unpredictable pleasure with the band no less impressive in sculpting its structure and temptation.

It completes an outstanding release in Tales From The Apocalypse, an album needing time to truly show its depths but rewarding with a blistering and exciting encounter. Radium Valley is a band destined to grab your attention at some point and their debut album definitely makes a potent suggestion that the time is now.

Tales From The Apocalypse is available now on CD via Pavement Entertainment and in a slimmer digital version via

RingMaster 25/09/2014

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Machine Rox – Next Level


British industrial metallers Machine Rox has never been a slouch in stirring up ears and emotions with its fiery and rapacious energy and imagination, but the London quartet has found a new covetous creative tenacity to consume the senses with new album Next Level. As its title declares, the eleven track adventure sees the band rise to a new plateau in songwriting, sound, and sheer contagious enterprise. Not exactly a game changer but an encounter to set a fierce new blaze within the landscape of industrial and electro rock, Next Level is a gripping and feistily enjoyable rampage.

Originally formed by musician/songwriter Richard K as a solo project in 2007, Machine Rox has evolved into a full line-up consisting of guitarist Val Oproiu, drummer Nuj Farrow, and Aga on keys and vocals alongside vocalist/bassist/ programmer Richard K. Employing his experiences in bands like industrial metallers Meat Machine and Global Noise Attack, and in the sharing of stages with the likes of Rammstein, Napalm Death, and Covenant, Richard after some time away from music began exploring a merger of metal and electro rock in his band’s emerging sound. It is a journey which has intensified and grown with accompanying acclaim through releases such as the Activate Your Anger EP and debut album Shout, both in 2013. Last year also saw the release of the more metal infused Intox EP, a tasty hint of the exploits to be found on Next Level, though to be fair the band’s electro and industrial side is as vocal and potently evolved on the album.

The album flirts with ears straight away through the opening crystalline electro coaxing of Lost My Mind. The first track takes little time to flex its muscles and intensity though, sinew packed riffs and rhythmic teasing combining to challenge and ignite the senses as the vocals of Richard K similarly work on thoughts with his raw expression. The electronic lure of the track provides a contagious enterprise whilst the muscular strength of the song and the vocal bait adds anthemic essences, it all adding up to a riveting and impressive start.

The melodic Front Line Assembly meets Ghost In the Static feel of the song is replaced by the more caustic breath and ferocity of Love Explosion, KMFDM and Godflesh coming to mind though as with all songs the finished recipe is all a2738925395_2Machine Rox. The second track also unleashes an insatiable energy and charge to its pulsating persuasion, synths swirling feistily around the senses whilst guitars and beats cast a heavier and darker confrontation in the relentlessly infectious endeavour. With a glorious solo adding to the proposition, the song continues the outstanding start to the release and is immediately emulated by the heavy and catchy swing of Losers In Your Game. A Marilyn Manson-esque swagger fuels carnivorous riffs and eager rhythms whilst vocally Richard K prowls ears with a provocative narrative cast by his distinctive tones, the mix another slab of inescapable virulence.

Next Level is an album which holds a greater diversity than any Machine Rox release to date, the following warm mellow embrace of Electric Sun one example of the different sides to the character of the album. It is a melodic and seductive smouldering reminding of fellow Brits MiXE1, but also a song unafraid to spread a rawer climate across its sultry canvas; keys and guitars merging extremes for a heat wave of evocative and imaginative adventure.

Both Illusion and Cycle Complete keep body and emotions aflame, the first a bubbling yet bordering on corrosive devilry gaining swift enslavement of feet and imagination, whilst the second has a sinister edge to its imposing presence and electronic fascination. A throaty bass flavouring adds to the song’s drama, its weave of noir kissed shadows soaking the otherwise magnetically fiery track driven by vibrant electronics, heavy metallic riffery, and enticing vocals of Richard and Aga. Though neither song quite finds the plateau of their predecessors, both leave an already hungry appetite greedier before making way for the bewitching instrumental Last Kamikaze. Keys and guitars entwine with melodic beauty whilst the electronic atmosphere of the track provides a mesmeric soundscape for thoughts to drift into their own adventure through. There is also a sterner intimidation offered by slow but voracious riffery, again a blend which results in a stunning incitement for ears and emotions.

The aggressive yet welcoming presence of Breathe Again comes next, its striking metal seeded attack and rabid toxicity instantly contagious as a spice reminding of Gravity Kills and Die Krupps shows itself. Another scorching solo from Val Oproiu lights the exciting and scintillating tempest, its impressive offering contrasted and matched by My Own Religion as a resonating electro temptation swallows the senses to breed a similar weighty enticement as its predecessor. Only nailed to the floor feet could resist its enthralling call whilst the raw glaze to the vocals and the scything guitar invention gives the rest of the body a welcome work over. The two songs show another twist in the nature of the album but each slightly pales against the might of Mind Game. It is a thunderous provocation, rhythms and riffs the heaviest on the album and melodies the most acidic as it evolves into an irresistible almost savage stomp which leaves thoughts and lungs breathless.

The album closes with You Belong To Me, itself another slab of industrial metal loaded with creative voracity and uncompromising attitude within heavyweight infectiousness. It is a thrilling end to an enthralling and rigorously compelling album. Next Level is without doubt Machine Rox at their most potent and thrilling yet, the start of a new adventure which should push the band into a new and greedy industrial /electronic spotlight.

Next Level is available now @

Be sure to catch Machine Rox at the DARK7 festival at The Electrowerkz, London on October 11th


RingMaster 19/09/2014

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