Bleeding Raven Interview

BLEEDING RAVEN is the aggrotech/dark tek project from Dean Mason of Gnostic Gorilla. Recently he released its debut album via Cleopatra Records. We had the pleasure to chat with Dean about the album, his latest project, a career and life changing set back and much more…  

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

The pleasure is all mine man.

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

In a land…far far away…hahahahaha…Ok, but seriously… I first got the ‘itch’ to record music when I was a teen-ager in high school. Some buddies and I went into a little studio and recorded two songs for a single release. (Dark Hallway/Golgotha) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p05YqqTOS_M  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=047Pk2GhPnY

Thanks to my lovely parents I released a vinyl 45 rpm as just “Dean Mason” with “Lonely Ghost Productions” as the name of the makeshift indie label. I got ‘itchy’ again in 2001 and began looking at music again, but did very little. In 2012, I got right into recording electronic music of a dark bent and scent and thus was born “Gnostic Gorilla” eventually. (I released stuff as The Lonely Ghost Project initially but changed the name to “Gnostic Gorilla”) In 2018, Cleopatra Records released “St. Basil’s Asylum”. (Gnostic Gorilla) In May of this past year, after releasing quite a few albums on different labels (KL Dark Records, Nowhere Now Records, Throne of Bael Records and LGP-ONE) I wanted to pursue something more ‘aggrotech’ in style. That’s when I initiated the “Bleeding Raven” project. Cleopatra released “Darkness Consumed” in October of this year.

How have those earlier impacted on what you are doing now, in maybe inspiring a change of style or direction?

As I mentioned earlier, I started off as just “Dean Mason” as a lad. In 2012, the Lonely Ghost Project was launched (so to speak) and then “Gnostic Gorilla” and from that evolved what we are talking about today…that is…the Bleeding Raven Project. My early music in these other projects was a mix of ‘Goth/Dark Wave/Dark Tek/Industrial’. I really wanted to do something more bizarre and almost literally more noisy and that’s when I initiated “Bleeding Raven”. It’s more aggrotech, but I also call it… “dungeon trash”…hahahahahahahahahaha I even have a shirt with that on it.   https://www.dizzyjam.com/products/157830/ 

The image or character of the ‘raven’ is common in First Nations lore and even spirituality. The raven can either be a trickster or mischievous little critter or it can be sort of a symbol of the soul preparing for death of being taken back to the Great Creator. Different nations/tribes have different ideas and stories about the raven. The ‘bleeding’ part more or less speaks of suffering, of hurt etc. So, like my lyrics however, even with the image, I allow people to have their own interpretations. That said, I think always…DAILY…of my many sisters and brothers in the First Nations communities who suffer immensely because of a racist attitude towards them. There are many…MANY young Native women/girls who have gone missing and the effort to find them hasn’t always been fervent. As well, the suicide rate among First Nation teens is extremely high.

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

Well, in the Spring of 2019, I had to be on the road a bit and for some long drives, I acquired on my iTunes a few albums of a more industrial bent. That includes a couple of compilations of various bands. I discovered acts like Die Sektor and Psyclon Nine and I felt very inspired to go in this direction. I sort of started to go in that direction as “Gnostic Gorilla” but I wanted a new project that was mostly aggrotech in style. I came up with the ‘dungeon trash’ (LOL) I released in October and I am very proud of it!

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

Definitely evolved over time. So, when I first started off, I was more into a Gothic sound or industrial. And I still love a lot of that stuff. Always will. St. Basil’s Asylum is a classic and I’m just so sad that it’s still not discovered by many yet. But anyway, yeah…things do evolve. That said, I don’t like the idea of being in a ‘genre house arrest’ and being narrow minded in your approach to music. But either way, it’s all over for me in music anyway so…I’ve done what I could.

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

Well, from the really early days, that is from the days of the Dark Hallway release, things really evolved dramatically. First of all, that 45 was like a mish mash of metal/punk pre-grunge I guess. I was heavily influenced by Gary Numan and yet, try as I did my vocal style was markedly different than his. It’s later that I appreciated that. But, see…I love ALL sorts of music. I mean, sometimes I’m just knee deep  into The Doors and more psychedelic shit and other days I’m into Dio and Sabbath and Type O Negative and Ministry and Rammstein. Other days it’s The Cure or Smashing Pumpkins or of course, classic Numan and Japan or Bauhaus. So, a lot of what I do depends on where I’m at and I guess when it comes to music, I’m moody as hell. hahahahahaha

Do you find the changes have been more of an organic movement of sound or you deliberately wanting to try new things?

I’d say the latter, yeah.

Presumably , and you have touched on them already, there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

So, I make a distinction between that which has inspired and that which has influenced more directly my own style. The artists/bands that have been inspirations are many. Gary Numan, KISS, Type O Negative, Black Sabbath, Rammstein, Japan (David Sylvian) Ozzy, Manson, Korn, Smashing Pumpkins, The Cure, Bauhaus, Zardonic, Fear Incorporated, Frost Like Ashes, CRIX IIX and the list is endless. As for those who have been influences, while they include some of the names listed already, I’d say Ministry, Skinny Puppy, Psyclon Nine, Die Sektor. As I always do in any interview, the band that will forever be my absolute favourite is The Doors. The Doors and Gary Numan are both at the top of my own personal ‘chart’.

I also want to give a shout out to Tim Muddiman and NOT because of his connection to Gary Numan. Tim has ventured into more graphic arts in recent years and he is doing some amazing work. THAT very much inspires me…or better yet…I honour the man as an artist in every sense of the word…as a true artist.

Is there a process to your songwriting which generally guides the birth of songs?

Yeah, mostly I start off with a vague idea of want kind of song I want to do, Then I begin with beats and drum patterns and bass lines or even synth lines. (it depends) I get a general idea of the direction I want to go in before going far into the track. So, I begin to choose the different sounds and samples/loops that I want as well to give it a mood. More often than not, I manipulate these and distort or whatever to make them unique. Then as the song evolves, there’s the question of whether or not I want a traditional chorus (often not because that’s too pop) and I allow the track to sort of dictate to me where it’s going. Sort of like a First Nations wood carver who allows the ‘wood’ to speak to them as they say. Then when I have a rough demo, I begin writing lyrics and then record vocals. That’s the tough part for many reasons. Lots of hit and miss with that process. I’ve written an entire set of lyrics for a song only to discover that something else would work better and I have to (at times) chop out some of the lyrics. Hard to explain.  Also, sometimes I record the vocals and it sounds like shit. I mean, there is a need for a different ‘style’ all together. After all the vocals are recorded, I go back and add more …sometimes a sample here or an FX noise there or whatever. I’m quite ADD so if there are any sort of ‘blank stare’ moments in a song…that’s unacceptable. It has to be busy. I’m told my music is VERY busy. Then there is the final mix which is a real pain in the ass. Sometimes even at that stage you decide… “nah…this is total shit”! It’s a bit of a drag when that happens though man because you’ve come all the way to a full song and you realize it isn’t happening.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

First off, good for you for asking that because lyrics are important for me… I realize it’s not what the listener first becomes aware of…but for me, the lyrics are important. Anyway, so…I don’t write any lyrics with any sort of ‘agenda’. In other words, I don’t preach or dictate anything. I like a very poetic approach to the lyrics with lots of imagery. Now, that said, there are certain subjects that inspire me. I often write about religious themes or philosophical themes and often touch upon injustice and hypocrisy and hate and injustice for example. But I do so in veiled/poetic language. I want the listener to decide for themselves what it could mean.

Give us some background to your latest release.

 “Darkness Consumed” touches upon a few subjects…again in veiled language. One of the tracks is called “Pontiff’s Nightmare” which is actually about St. Francis. He more or less spooked the Pope at the time with his authentically radical life style and that Pope had a dream about Francis. Francis challenged the corruption of the time by the way he lived. “Salem Vigil” is sort of… but not completely about the Salem witch trials. The song actually addresses the unfortunate phenomenon of ‘religious people’ oppressing and persecuting people who don’t fit their narrow definition of what it means to be ‘good’ or ‘decent’ and ‘righteous’.  In the end, these arrogant and often ignorant people of so called ‘faith’ are the ones who are truly evil because of the harm they inflict on many borne out of their hatred and unenlightened worldview.  

Give us some insight to the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

So, “Darkness Consumed”…that very title isn’t a nod to evil or the promotion of ‘darkness’. It’s actually about the fact that somehow, ‘TRUTH’ (light) will ‘consume the darkness’ and overcome it. That’s sort of the idea in brief. As I said, I want people to decide for themselves however what something can mean for them.

Do you go into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Going back to the very first single “Dark Hallway”…I had everything figured out (with lyrics) when I presented the tracks to the band. I wrote the lyrics in English class (Dark Hallway) while under the influence of benzodiazepines. Hahahahahahaha We were reading “Death of a Salesman” in that class and it was, to say the least, a rather dark story. hahahahahaha

Tell us about the live side to Bleeding Raven.

I have lost the hearing in the left ear completely and totally. It happened in October…Very traumatic actually. I have to protect the little hearing I have left in the right ear which is at half capacity. I want to be able to hear the voices of the ones I love and the more natural sounds in life. For all intents and purposes…I’m deaf. Music is no longer an option. Especially live music, even if I wanted to do something live with a band. Music has been such an important part of my life obviously…but that’s over. That’s the future.

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

You’re correct. It’s very difficult to ‘break through’ in this day and age. There’s just too much out there. I mean, everyone and their cat is putting stuff out. There are so many genres today and so many…MANY indie folks (like me) who have stuff out there and are competing with the ‘big boys and gals’. You have to be creative to get known because sadly, younger people are not interested in new music aside from what they become aware of through video games or TV/Movies. I mean, I’m seriously over generalizing perhaps but it is true that, young people today don’t appreciate music the way people did in the past. They don’t grasp the concept of music as ‘art’ anymore. That’s not their fault. But because of the technology that we have today and with social media platforms…there is too much out there and for younger people, music is just “there for the taking” the way fruit on trees is there to pluck. So, you have to be creative in how you get people to notice you today. It’s not easy.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the band grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

So, this is sort of a continuation of the previous question. Here’s the thing, the internet and social media and digital music etc. is here and it’s here to stay. We are still trying to adapt to this I suppose. Now, you could lament and dream of the “good old days” but that’s all it will ever be…a ‘dream’. Musicians/artists have to adapt. In many ways, it has been a blessing. Many artists would have never been able to put their stuff out there so to speak were it not for the kind of technology we have today. See, I picked up music again in 2012 but only as a hobby. I then, almost jokingly put some of my stuff out there as an indie/unsigned act and I eventually got a label deal with Cleopatra Records, which for me is phenomenal. I will have three releases with Cleopatra Records by end of 2020. (the last one is another Gnostic Gorilla album) I also have releases with three other labels. So, none of that would have happened were it not for the technology we have at our disposal. I guess it’s sort of what you make of it, like anything else.

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

Thanks again to you for the great (and extensive) interview. Reveal?

Ok…I’m  B A T M A N.  Hahahahahahaha  No but, seriously, I thank the many people who have been supportive of me in one way or another…be it family or friends and certainly Benny at Cleopatra Records. As I said earlier, because of the extreme hearing loss (actually deaf completely in one ear and the other is severely compromised) …I have to pack it in with regards to music. I will promote what I have and will have out soon (already recorded obviously) and perhaps a book of lyrics and that’s it. Cheers.

Dean

https://bleedingraven.bandcamp.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bleedingravenofficial/   http://www.bleedingraven.com

Pete RingMaster 17/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Syztem 7 – Evolving

Though new album Evolving is the first time we have come across US rockers Syztem 7, it is a proposition which immediately felt like an old friend back to eagerly stir things up. That is because the Seattle hailing outfit openly aligns familiar rock, industrial, and metal textures to their own just as bold imagination. It is the distinctiveness of the latter though which fuels and drives their rousing sound and makes their new album one highly enjoyable encounter.

The multi-flavouring adventure of their industrial rock sound has allowed Syztem 7 to share stages with and find support amongst the fans of bands as varied as Zakk Wylde, The Genitorturers, One-Eyed Doll, Thrill Kill Kult, Lords of Acid, King’s X, The Dreaming, and many others. It now provides a gripping incitement within Evolving which needed mere seconds to ignite attention and appetite as album opener No Regrets erupts to kick things off.

An initial lure of guitar makes for a potent coaxing, one swiftly ignited as the rolling rhythms of drummer Ed Rhoads add their ear grabbing bait to the great dirty grumble escaping Nathan Raynes’ bass. With keys keenly bursting into the already rousing mix, the track had us swiftly bouncing before relaxing into an infectious stroll alongside the enticing tones of vocalist Jason Ames. Rhythms continue to pick their spot with military precision, accelerating their strikes as the track’s anthemic chorus erupts upon the increasingly intense sonic hookery of guitarists Jaymz Kennedy and Shane Scot. Like a blend of Gravity Kills, Powerman 5000, and Rammstein, it is a gripping and highly manipulative start to the album and a persuasion only matched and twisted to greater temptation thereon in.

This Disguise is next up, the song laying down an electronic misting from which sonic tendrils wrap the imagination and a thick fusion of rock and metal spirals. As with the first, a certain familiarity in its voice and moves only entraps eager participation while fresh enterprise and individual imagination breeds the overall uniqueness which fuels the Syztem 7 sound. It swiftly had body and ears engaged passing them over to the just as easily persuasive Eternita Divina. Emerging as one of if not our favourite moment within Evolving, the song has a great touch of Breed 77 to its cosmopolitan web of melody and rhythmic animation, it all making the passage under our skin fluid and swift.

Proving just as captivating, Forgive and Forgets raises its anthemic hand upon the equally magnetic croon of Ames, the song with a Mudvayne meets Stabbing Westward air swiftly irresistible while The Worst sizzles on the senses straight after to match the virulence and captivation previously on offer. From guitars to rhythms, vocals to electronics, the track is a rapacious dance of varied rock enterprise designed to and succeeding in enticing full participation from its willing victims.

The following Skintag captures a 16 Volt/Celldweller hued temptation to its breath-taking enticement, the song another with a firm grip on best album moment as it nags eager and complete involvement in its arousing endeavours. Unsurprisingly it cast a web of tantalising flavours lined with varied and recognisable yet freshly individual threads in its energetic and inspiring weave and no shock, it too had us hook, line, and sinker.

Evolving closes out with firstly the physically intoxicating Godsend and finally the spiralling tempest of its title track. The first of the pair stalks the senses as it seduces ears with its melodic yet more carnal traits; its electronic elements inciting the bite of its rock and metal nurtured essences whilst equally breeding richer harmonic tempting in sound and vocals. Its successor aligns sonic turbulence and emotional intimacy with melodic intimation and ravening electronic contagion resulting in a final slice of inimitable Syztem 7 enterprise and audacity.

With every second, from its first lungful of sound to last, hitting the spot, Evolving easily rose as one of the year’s most arousing moments and Syztem 7 a band we can only anticipate much bigger attention rising up for.

Evolving is out now via Mighty Music @ https://targetshop.dk/product/syztem-7-evolving-cd?lang=en

https://www.facebook.com/Syztem7band/

Pete RingMaster 12/12/2019

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

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

Thank you. My pleasure!

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

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

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

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

Presumably there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your approach to and ideas about creating and playing music?

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

How has the internet and social media impacted on your project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands/artists struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

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

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Project Silence – Infinity

It has not proved too hard for us at The RR to be hooked on the creative animus of Finnish industrialists Project Silence these past years ever since the release of their debut album 424 in 2012. Even as their electro-metal based sound has evolved and embraced a host of extreme and raw metal textures across subsequent encounters, each encounter has accentuated our fascination come addiction with their music. It is fair to say that the blackened death hued adventure of the band’s last album, Slave To The Machine, did not quite hit the personal spot but still had more than a few moments of irresistible and striking adventure. Now two years on, the Kuopio quintet has returned with a seven track scourge in the shape of Infinity; a release which quite simply is their finest moment.

Infinity sees the Kuopio hailing quintet of Delacroix (vocals, programming, keyboards), S (guitar), J (guitar), Silve R (drums), and Sturmpanzerjäger (bass) in many ways returning to the industrial breeding of their roots whilst still exploring the variation of flavours involved in the creative weave of its predecessor. From its first breath there is a sense of fresh maturity and boldness to the sound, the initial trespass of opener We Will Rise a contagion loaded tide of muscular riffs. It is a fierce yet infectious nagging with a touch of Fear Factory to it which ebbs and flows as the guttural growl of Delacroix entices. As heavy as it is portentously dark, an insurgent sound tempered by the melodic tease of keys, the sonic incitement just stirred ears and imagination; a result only escalated across its successors.

The equally outstanding From Beyond follows, its initial lure new wave-esque amidst swift gothic hued intimation before its black hearted dance emerges. Even then it is a prowling venture of threat and magnetic suggestion; technical death metal dexterity merging with industrial rapacity to increasingly fascinate as its electro instincts escape sonic darklands before the tantalising drama and ungodly seduction of No More envelops and devours the senses. Soaked in malevolence, the track subsequently swings from its sinful crawl into a just as nefarious canter, Crowley-esque hues lining the increasingly transfixing and ravenous encounter.

Forgotten shares its own diabolical instincts and adventure next, its gait and character as volatile as it is sonically and melodically imaginative; again a weave of flavours mingled and worked with compelling enterprise while Pulse swings and stomps straight after with tenacious endeavour and a mercurial breath seeming not sure whether it wants to dance with or ravish its victim; for the main simultaneously doing both.

The final pair of Anthropophagite and Day Of Reckoning brings Infinity to a mighty close; the first is just superb as it feasts on the flesh and senses of the listener whilst nagging increasing attention and lust with its repetitious riffs and grooves. As keys spread their melodic toxins and vocals their taunting malevolence, the track simply escalates its lures before leaving its successor to infest body and spirit with its Rammstein spiced death soaked craft and immorality. As all tracks, it offers an invasive but captivating web of styles and flavours within its industrial metal nurtured adventure leaving the listener bouncing in deed and thought.

In many ways Project Silence has taken the strongest and most adventurous ingredients from their previous releases to breed the rousing exploits of Infinity but there are just as plenty fresh and new elements which keep the band as one of the most exciting proposals within industrial and indeed extreme metal.

Infinity is out now via Sliptrick Records across most stores and available @ https://projectsilence.bandcamp.com/album/infinity

http://www.projectsilence.info/   https://www.facebook.com/projectsilenceband/   https://sliptrickrecords.com/project-silence/

Pete RingMaster 06/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sparks and passions: Calling All Astronauts 2018

Calling All Astronauts have been no strangers to attention and acclaim for their multi-flavoured and adventurously eclectic electro punk nurtured sound; albums and singles sparking eager ears and support with persistent success. They have inflamed the senses and zealous praise yet again with new EP, Influences; the London trio sharing some of their keenest inspirations in their own inimitable way. Thinking it was high time we caught back up with the band to talk about the EP, a new album and plenty more, we had the pleasure of grabbing some of vocalist David Bury’s time….

Hi and welcome back to The RingMaster Review.

It has been almost two years since we last talked with you, around the release of your album Anti-Social Network. Could you bring us up to date with all things CAA?

We released loads of singles from Anti-Social Network, all of them were really well received, as per usually we did loads of remixes and our ubiquitous low budget videos. We actually wanted to release every track as a single, but in the end didn’t want to be accused of flogging a dead horse, so there are still some absolute gems, that only people who bought the album will know

You have just released the Influences EP made up of a quartet of covers. What was the spark to its idea?

We started writing our next album early last year, however, my wife and I (David) had our first baby in August, so time was kind of against me, but we really wanted to release something new, so we thought it would be a good idea to record versions of four tracks, this then evolved into the idea that we’d make it a “Quadruple A-Sided” single, so we made videos for all four tracks, and had them staggered two weeks apart on the streaming sites and YouTube, having to send promo out on four releases two weeks apart has been crazy, and really not something I would recommend to anyone J

Would you talk a little about each track for those yet to hear the release?

First of all is a drum and bass meets metal version of Gary Numan’s (Tubeway Army) Are ‘Friends’ Electric?, we managed to get synth sounds that are quite similar to the original, but it’s now at 176PBM, with noisy guitars all over it, next is a stripped down version of T-Rex’s Metal Guru, we’ve really slowed it down, to an atmospheric post-industrial type sound, thirdly we’ve taken on the legend that is David Bowie, and put own stamp on his song Scary Monsters; far be it from me to say our version rocks more than the maestro’s original, but you can if you want J, and last but definitely not least, we’ve absolutely brought Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water screaming into the 21st Century, it’s like Skinny Puppy, Rammstein, Ministry all rolled into one, according to the reviews; I’m not sure it is, but I’m happy if that’s what people are saying.

Many bands play covers but most just seem to approach them in the same way the original artists did and maybe hope their own sound comes across. You seem to have gone far deeper into the songs and taken the CAA imagination to certain aspects; the result tracks which are as much yours as their creators. How did you approach each track and decide what way to go with them?

We approached them exactly like we do when we are writing our songs; we kind of got an idea of how we wanted to do them, started off with drum patterns and then layered everything on top of the drums, we didn’t really have any trouble with any of them, the fill before the verse on Scary Monsters was a bit of a challenge, but I came up with that kind of dubstep drop and it all came together nicely.

Obviously the theme to the EP is in its title but in its case is it the songs which were primarily the influences or the artists, and if the latter why these particular tracks from their arsenal of persuasion?

I think it was a bit of both; they are four artists that we liked as kids, and still as adults, in fact Gary Numan’s two most recent albums are awesome, I can’t recommend them strongly enough. I was a big T-Rex fan as a kid and regularly drive past the spot where Marc died; there are so many of his songs to choose from, we wanted to pick songs that we liked but were not too obscure, you know. If we’d done Fad Gadget, Cabaret Voltaire, Japan and Psychedelic Furs tunes, they would still have sounded like us, but only people of a certain age would know the originals, so we picked four tunes, we felt had been significant to us that other people would know.

For us it was a brave move to take on four not only well-known but legendary tracks which virtually everybody knows and so many reveres. It has obviously proved a great move as fan and critical praise has quickly gathered but did you have any doubts at any point in taking on such classics?

We did obviously worry that we could face a backlash, or just get dismissed as, “another rock band doing covers” but after finishing them, we felt that we had, as they say on TV talent shows, made them our own, however unlike TV talent shows, I don’t think we have ruined any of them, I hope we have given a modern flavour to them, that will hopefully make some of our listeners revisit or even visit for the first time the artists that original wrote and recorded these songs.

Has the buzz, support, and acclaim for the EP surprised you in its swiftness and richness?

It’s truly been astonishing, we have honestly never done so many interviews before on any release, I’m feeling there isn’t the stigma associated with covers that there used to be (The Dickies excepted); people seem to have embraced it in the spirit that it’s intended, and for that we are very grateful.

Was there any specific intent in unveiling the four tracks within Influences one by one over a handful of weeks rather than as a single entity?

The original idea was to just release it as an EP, but when we got them back from Max, our mastering engineer, we were like, these are just too good to promo as a group; tracks are going to get lost. We thought it would be a shame if that happened, so we came up with the idea of 5 different release dates, 1 for each single and a final one for the EP as a whole, I’m glad we did it this way, because different DJs have had different favourites, so we’ve ended up getting an amazing amount of radio play

Tell us about the videos accompanying each song.

Here we are, confession time, as you know we have very small budgets, so we commissioned two of the video’s on Fiverr, the Scary Monsters lyric one and the Smoke On The Water one; for Scary Monsters, we just sent her the lyrics, told her we’d like it to be scary, paid her $12 and that’s what she came up with. The SOTW one, cost a little more, $30 I think, we gave the director carte blanche to do what he wanted and what he came back with, though quite surreal, works perfectly. Are ‘Friends’ Electric? was a little different. We have a friend called Stevie Mac, he makes animations for video games. He had a short story of around 90 seconds that he’d done, that wasn’t owned by any of his employers. He kindly said we could use it, so I cut it together with royalty free footage that Paul found online. Metal Guru is a whole other story. A Twitter friend of ours in Texas offered to make us one for Metal Guru, he was making a stop animation video for us but as release date loomed it became obvious he wasn’t going to get it done in time, so he came up with this one. He did go back and re-edit it as there where a few scenes towards the end that were quite disturbing, but all in all to come up with four videos for less than fifty quid, is a right result J

Was there anything about recording the EP which was more difficult than creating your own music?

I wish I could say there was something, but Paul and J are such accomplished musicians, they got their parts down really quickly and everything just fit into place. The mixing is always the hardest part for us, because we always have bass, kick drum, sub bass and bass synth sitting in the same part of the audio spectrum, so a lot of use of lo-pass and hi-pass filters is always needed.

Is there a possibility of an Influences Part 2 in the future?

Without a shred of a doubt, we will revisit this; we’ve just had so much fun with it. Don’t ask me when, there’s album three to finish first

Any hints to songs or bands which might be considered, I know you guys have eclectic tastes and inspirations.

We have tried a lot of other songs; we did Adele’s Someone Like You [but] my vocal was so out of tune, I cried with laughter’ I’d like to cover some things that nobody would ever expect us to, maybe The Shirelles’ Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? or The MVPs Turning Your Heartbeat Up. Who knows, we will just have to wait and see.

As you mentioned, the band is working on their third album. How is that actually coming along and have you a timescale to its release?

We have 16 songs so far in various stages. It’s sounding enormous, and as eclectic as you would expect from us; it goes from drop D metal circa Lamb Of God to expensive anthems almost reminiscent of early Simple Minds. The 16 songs we have so far will probably not all end up on the album; we will undoubtedly write some more, amalgamate some of them, and probably save some for singles B-Sides

I also heard there could be a release for a previously unreleased album from J’s previous band Caffeine on your label, Supersonic Media; could you tell us more?

They had a couple of albums which are now on Supersonic from when they were touring with the likes of The Offspring, AFI, New Found Glory etc. Alain their original single left and the recruited Scott who is now in the Candle Thieves, they recorded an album with Andy Hawkins from Midget producing. It’s a fantastic album that never got released; it’s quite reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World or Alkaline Trio. For fear of sounding like Trump, it really is fantastic, super, terrific, maybe it’ll do well in Mexico J

Our big thanks David for taking time out to come chat with us; anything you would like to add?

Thank you for having us.

People can check out every aspect of our new EP at http://smarturl.it/Influences-EP

Explore Calling All Astronauts further at:

http://www.callingallastronauts.com/    https://www.facebook.com/callingallastronauts   https://twitter.com/CAA_Official

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2018

 

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MACHINÆ – Clockwork

machinae-clockworks-promo_RingMaster Review

A breath or two over a year since first emerging upon the Finnish metal scene, MACHINÆ make a broader and richer introduction to their melodic metal exploits with debut album Clockwork. Given its global release via Concorde Music Company barely two weeks after a successful unveiling in the quintet’s homeland, the album is a fascinating and captivating encounter making a persuasion that builds and then lingers rather than providing an immediately explosive one. From start to finish though, Clockwork tantalises and entices with its imaginative weave of potently varied flavours within a metal bred rock ‘n’ roll landscape.

Formed by guitarist/keyboardist Eriksson and drummer Romppanen, MACHINÆ took their first step as a full band on Halloween 2014, swiftly getting into the creation of their first album thereafter. Potent teasers in the shape of singles/videos Never Coming Back and Frozen Ground earlier this year ignited great anticipation for Clockwork and now here, fair to say it delivers a highly enjoyable and imaginatively accomplished incitement. Covering themes ranging from “death, independence, and an overall tone of overcoming hardships”, the self-financed and self-produced album is merges aggressive and seductive contrasts within an often tempestuous canvas. As if bred on the melodic/progressive prowess of Amorphis, the epic and industrial intensity of Rammstein, and the emotive resourcefulness of Poets Of The Fall, the album persistently entangles ears and imagination in its creative drama to leave satisfaction full.

machinae-clockwork_RingMaster ReviewDestroy And Rebuild starts things off, raw riffs and rhythms colluding with theatre laced enterprise spread quickly by the keys and guitars of Eriksson and Karenko. Enveloping ears with thick tempting from the start, the song’s energy relaxes a touch as the clean tones of Piipponen step forward, though beside him the carnivorous tone of Kauppinen’s bass ensures dark intimidation is still a prowling feature. Throaty growls add to the mix too as the swinging swipes of drummer Romppanen drive and shape the great volatility at the heart of the song. It is a great proposal epitomises things to come; the track not sending the senses and passions spinning but perpetually working away on them to emerge a long term and increasingly persuasive proposition.

The gripping Never Coming Back comes next; keys straight away hugging ears with lively yet shadow hued melodies as the vocals paint an evocative portrait of paranoia and the tragic outcome it leads to. As throughout the release, the song carries a familiarity which adds spice to the highly agreeable mix whilst its raw and bracing textures wake and hold attention as potently as the enterprise colouring their confrontation.

Barely a breath is allowed between tracks, This Will Be The Day emerging from the final release of sonic air out of its predecessor, instantly casting a folkishly melodic and engaging coaxing evolving into brewing angst and the intensity of the song. Its light might darken in the process but the track also unveils eager infectiousness and a similar welcoming glow from the keys which tempers that Poets Of The Fall like melancholy.

Across the quartet of songs so far, the album shows distinct diversity within its imagination, and continues to spread those wings through the brooding gothic croon of Casualties and the haunting air of Frozen Ground. The first of the two embraces symphonic and grouchily predacious elements whilst its successor blossoms a provocative electronic expression aligned with a gnarly touch and at times intent.

From a warm reflective smoulder to a rousing rock ‘n’ roll roar simplifies but gives a glimpse of the heart of Into light whilst Falling One By One weaves a tenaciously sculpted tapestry of sultry keys and hungry riffery around the enjoyable variety in vocal delivery and imagination colouring the song’s contagious body. It is an enticement and virulence echoed within Forever, where, not for the first time within Clockwork, there are certainly parts closely similar to others in the other songs but skilfully nurtured to positive effect in the emerging individualism of again an inescapably enjoyable encounter.

MACHINÆ continue to please and intrigue with their craft and imaginative songwriting as Almost Human Doll and Don’t Get Used To This provide eventful and unpredictable exploits, the latter especially riveting and anthemically incendiary before making way for the magnetic Blank Canvas which brings the album to a musically and melodically evocative close, with a contrasting snarl or two included.

Clockwork is not an album which left ears and thoughts awe struck, though thorough enjoyment was an easy conquest, but each song and moment offered something adventurous and sparked an appetite to explore the band more now and across future releases.

Clockwork is out now via Concorde Music Company.

http://machinaeband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/machinaeband   https://twitter.com/machinaeband

Pete RingMaster 08/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Silverblack – The Grand Turmoil

TheSilverblack_RingMaster Review

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.

http://www.thesilverblack.eu/   https://www.facebook.com/thesilverblack/ https://twitter.com/silverblackband

Pete RingMaster 29/10/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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 @ http://thisburningage.bigcartel.com/

http://www.thisburningage.com/   http://www.facebook.com/thisburningage   http://twitter.com/thisburningage

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Suffer No Fools – Songs For The Restless Youth

suffer no fools_RingMaster Review

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

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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) @ https://blackspaceriders.bandcamp.com/album/refugeeum

https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpaceRiders

http://www.blackspaceriders.com/

RingMaster 24/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net