Upanishad – Crossroad

Its press release calls Crossroad, the debut album from Italian outfit Upanishad, “…a trip, an adventure, physical and dreamlike.” It has also been a journey for the band to reach the point of its release and a collection of ups and downs with experiences which have undoubtedly gone into one fascinating, captivating, and refreshingly imaginative encounter.

Hailing from Florence, Upanishad began in 2000 and quickly began breeding their own unique sound from a blend of rock, punk and indie flavours. The following decade saw a first EP which sparked attention and opportunities, departures and additions to the band’s line-up, and live success leading to greater moments and chances. The departure of members in 2010 as the band prepared work on a first album saw Upanishad go on hiatus for a couple of years before two of its founders in vocalist/guitarist Vanni Raul Bagaladi and drummer Lapo Zini resurrected the project; bringing in bassist Mirko Bazzocchi to complete the band’s line-up. Quickly writing new songs, the band found, whilst still embracing those earlier hues that their sound was quickly embracing a new and richer as well as broader flavoured character with bold imagination aligned to technical adventure. It is a mix now making their debut full-length one truly fascinating proposal and one which just seems to grow in ears and appetite by the play.

Crossroad opens up with Look At You and instantly had attention on board as the bass of Bazzocchi alone lays down enough intrigue carrying bait to hook any appetite. A sonic swirl gathers in the background as it beckons, eventually sparking a further melodic enticement through the guitar of Bagaladi whose vocals I turn make swift company to the already magnetic incitement. Though slim in body it is a union thick in spicing and tempting which revels in the web of hues making up increasingly and creatively agitated not forgetting irresistible rock ‘n’ roll.

This Room follows and instantly hits its own alluring stroll with unpredictability oozing from every pore, a proposal gaining momentum by the second as the song grows, twists and reveals its mischievous invention. Like a fusion of T-Rex, Pere Ubu, and Mucho Tapioca as psychedelic and progressive imagination collude in rock ambition, the track is a voracious cosmopolitan sounding adventure exploring fresh skies and earths simultaneously.

Quickly establishing itself as one of the album’s truly tantalising moments it is quickly matched by the daring rock ‘n’ roll of Feelings. The band’s latest single, the track launches through ears on gnarly riffs entwined in Red Hot Chili Peppers like funk infused devilry, grooves and hooks spared lusty tenacity across its virulent swing and flirtatious stroll. Again there is a mercurial bent to its boldness, every breath and mania gaining turn soaked in unpredictability and resulting pleasure before Side Effects leads the listener into sultry surf washed climate of sound and atmospheric intimation. The throaty tone of bass ensures a great earthy connection to the loftier exploration as essences reminding of bands such as System Of A Down and 6:33 add to the acceleration of wit, vision and pleasure.

The thought tantalising instrumental Spikes Trap brings its own shadows and mystery to bear next, the technical dexterity of the trio quickly establishing a mental picture for the imagination to conjure with before Connected envelops the senses in its fuzzy sonic smog and melodically fired threads. Though not a track which inflamed as fully as its predecessors, it made for a potent addition to the album’s persuasion which its title track emulated in its sepia coloured storm embraced acoustic serenade.

Across the seductive ears smooching inducement of Parasite and the haunting almost sinister atmospherics of Clouds enthralment with Crossroad was only further cemented; the first of the two alone a lively croon of inventive virulence and emotive attraction impossible to say no to and another peak to the album.

Through the contagion lined canter of The River, a track with a great whisper of XTC to its melodic breath and inventive suggestiveness, album and band unveiled yet another aspect to their sound and quest before leaving No Way Out to close things up. Its opening tease is eighties post punk nurtured, subsequent melodic and harmonic dissonance post rock toned with both flavours embroiled in greater adventure as the song swells with creative initiative and impassioned intensity.

It is a riveting end to an equally engrossing release; a true slab of originality and audacity. Whether Crossroad will take Upanishad to the attention of the biggest and numerous spotlights it deserves to tempt it is impossible to predict but it is easy to say that it is an album which will leave a lasting imprint and joy in those taking the plunge.

Crossroad is available now via Red Cat Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Upanishadproject

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Albert Marshall – Speakeasy

Creating an ear grabbing proposal forged in the fires and technical styling of hard rock and heavy metal, Italian guitarist Albert Marshall has just released a debut solo album in the magnetic shape of Speakeasy. It is an eight track collection of instrumental adventures, though a couple also feature the guest vocals of Mark Boals (Y.J.Malmsteen, U.J.Roth, Ring of Fire), which highlight but do not boastfully self-congratulate the undoubted prowess of Marshall whilst making for one rather enjoyable adventure.

Picking up his first guitar aged 16 and self-teaching with Deep Purple records, Marshall subsequently embraced and explored the broader expanses and styles of metal and rock alongside flavours such as blues and funk. Graduating from the Modern Music Institute while already gaining experiences in various tribute and original music making bands he proceeded to become part of metallers Altair, playing on their Sleazy Rider Records released album Descending. Now the Padova hailing musician has ventured forth with his own solo work and first full-length with Speakeasy seeing bassist Simon Dredo (L.a.Rox, Alex De Rosso, Adam Bomb) and drummer Roberto Gualdi (Pfm, Vecchioni, Glenn Hughes) playing alongside.

Inspired by the styles and sounds of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, and Jason Becker, Speakeasy immediately reveals its voice and Marshall’s magnetic prowess through opener Butler’s Revenge. From start to finish, his strings vibrate like suggestive vocal chords in ears and imagination. Alongside Dredo is no lightweight either, the pulsating resonance of his bass equally captivating and appetite ensnaring as Gualdi provides a manipulative frame for the pair to conjure upon.

The superb track sets the tone for the release in style, though each subsequent piece brings its own open individuality and technical dexterity with next up Badlands aligning an enticing hue of restraint to the same eager energy and charge of its predecessor whilst weaving its own picturesque landscape of melodic metal. Wiry grooves vine the darker muscular trespass of the track, their melodic tendrils intoxication within just as potent rhythmic shadows while its successor, Fallen Angel encases the senses in a web of heavy metal endeavour. The first of two tracks featuring Boals, it is a more unsurprising slice of heavy metal yet revels in the individual and united prowess of its creators if without catching fire in our imagination as the tracks around it.

Captivation and enjoyment is only reinforced through the melodic metal waltz of Re Marzapane and the alluring sonic lattice of Dreamlover, the former carrying a glaze to its grooves which is almost punk like against the track’s progressive nature while its successor creates a tapestry of sonic hinting rich with cosmopolitan suggestion and sophistication. Both tracks enthral without deviation before Tristam Fireland re-ignites the album’s heavy metal heart with Boals back involved.

The blues stroll of Ramshackle Blues had personal juices, which faltered a touch with its predecessor, flowing again, its enterprise bound saunter a rousing spark to body and spirit. The brief closing piece of Eclipse (White Horse) equally seduced; its melodic ballad mesmeric, descriptive, and thoroughly beguiling.

And that pretty much sums up Speakeasy and the craft of Albert Marshall, a release and ability which is pretty much spellbinding.

Speakeasy is out now via Red Cat Records across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/albertmarshallmusic/

Pete RingMaster 18/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Silver P – Self Titled

Providing a debut album easy to suspect most heavy metal fans will find plenty within to spark an eager appetite, Silver P is the solo project of guitarist Pugnale, alias Roberto Colombini. The self-titled release though also embraces a host of rock and metal flavours to its creative heart providing an even wider range of ears a rich and intriguing experience.

Creating Silver P early 2017, Pugnale approached drummer/sound engineer Antonio Inserillo with a clutch of songs a few months later, persuading him to get on board with the emerging project. Finding a singer was a more difficult issue but eventfully Alex Jarusso was enlisted to the Italian band’s line-up, in turn becoming a quartet for the album with bassist Alessandro Cola. Their sound takes inspiration from the likes of Airbourne, Dio, and Megadeth but finds its own if not unique certainly distinct voice within a first album released through Red Cat Records.

The Deep Breath Before The Plunge opens up the release, its dramatic instrumental landscape a firmly magnetic intro to the release. The imagination easily ran with its epic and growing theatre of intimation and sound before Fields Of War erupts from its portentous air with an armoury of infectious riffs and rhythmic confrontation. The classic/eighties metal influenced delivery of Jarusso soon erupts from the battlefield and though it is a general vocal flavouring which we generally find hard to embrace as a style, his presence and prowess only adds to the track’s heavy/classic metal nurtured appeal and enjoyment.

Pugnale’s guitar craft and enterprise is another potent feature and provides even more attention grabbing enticement within next up Road To Hell, his grooves wrapping round ears with infectious intent as the rhythms of Inserillo and Cola rap and throb with flirtatious aggression. Growing into a definite best track contender it is swiftly rivalled by the blues rock lined strum of Memories; a track with a whiff of stoner rock and grunge to its relatively calm but increasingly tempestuous climate

Thrash and alternative hues colour the metal heart of The Net, wiry grooves luring quick pleasure into a just as enjoyable web of heavy and classic metal smelted invention. It is a trap as unpredictable as it is familiar in certain ways and another song adding to the album’s best passage of tracks though A Shade In Light with its opening feral riffs and nagging grooves within predacious shadows is as attention enslaving as anything around it. It never relinquishes that hold either as its dark trespass and melody woven predation continues to captivate.

Out Of This World follows and also ensures a compelling engagement with ears and appetite. It too has a darkness to its body and air which is disrupted and seared by bewitching sonic flames and melody hot tendrils and it is maybe no coincidence that for us the truly standout tracks are those bred in the shadows.

The thrash poked chug of I8 is old school metal/hard rock at its most wild and frivolous but built on open craft and adventurous mischief which seems to get more daring by the twist while Straight At The Heart closes things up by uncaging a rock ‘n’ roll holler not too hard to have body and spirit bouncing with.

Generally classic/heavy metal is a flavour others will appreciate more than us here but we cannot deny that Silver P, band and album, pleasured and captivated before getting under the skin in many ways.

Silver P is out now via Red Cat Records across all worldwide digital stores.

https://www.facebook.com/SilverPugnale

Pete RingMaster 18/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hogs – Fingerprints

Playing hard rock with a tantalising blend of funk, blues, and other varied flavours to it, Italian band Hogs have just released second album Fingerprints. It is an encounter which builds on a debut from Italians which certainly courted keen attention and has all the imagination to take the Florence outfit to a far broader placed audience.

The band’s seeds began in 2012 with guitarist Francesco Bottai, bassist Luca Cantasano, and drummer Pino Gulli; their creative union the spring board for the emergence of Hogs. The band’s line-up was subsequently completed by vocalist Simone Cei. 2015 saw the release of debut album, HOGS in fishnets via Red Cat Records who the band has again linked up with for Fingerprints. It was an encounter openly suggesting potential and imagination within its accomplished body; intimation now realised within its highly enjoyable successor.

Fingerprints opens up with Man size and instantly chunky riffs tempt with tenacious rhythms in close quarter. As it settles down, a blues spicing fires up within its classic rock setting, Cei’s potent tones at the core matched by the guest vocals of Carlotta Cocchi. Catchy in its swing, robust in its touch and wonderfully unpredictable in its enterprise, the imagination is soon caught in its drama, its array of styles and flavours woven into one strong magnetic start.

Stinking like a dog follows and is instantly casting a tantalising shuffle shaped by the dextrous swings of Gulli and the animated touch of Botta’s guitar. Hips could not escape the effect of the song’s swing, its funkiness, driven by the excellent tenacity of Cantasano’s bass, soon getting under the skin.

The infectious exploits of Mr. Hide is just as manipulative; its bluesy stroll and melodic rock shaped tempting a captivating launch to sonic flames and vocal reflection before making way for the warm sonic climes of Australia summerland. Again there is a classic rock breath to the song and though it misses the more unpredictable and adventurous twists of its predecessors, it leaves ears and appetite more than satisfied especially with the individual craft of the band in full display.

The jazzy air and touch of Down to the river needs little time to stir the imagination next, its reggae flavoured instincts just as magnetic as the organ of Federico Pacini; its inviting sway and the heart bred expression of Cei, a rich lure on top.

Across the likes of the boisterously magnetic Another dawn and the rousingly raucous Man of the score, enterprise and imagination fly from the speakers. The second of the pair is especially compelling with its animated rock ‘n’ roll while the increasingly captivating Can’t find my home is a web of alternative, hard and blues rock which teases with the familiar and refreshes with the individual. Pacini adds his keys to the escapade once again as too in Jewish vagabond which follows, this song a ballad with a lively smoulder and melodic elegance which too just became more magnetic by the minute and play, country borne sighs courtesy of Paolo Giorgi’s peddle guitar adding to the sunshine of the song.

Both songs relish the imagination open in varying degrees within the album, unexpected turns which surprise among more recognisable strains of enterprise and to be found within the closing pair of Don’t stop moving and Just for one day. The excellent first is one of the songs which seems so familiar from start to finish yet only pleasures and recruits keen participation alongside the imagination. The final track is a calm emotively cast ballad; a sunset of melodic and vocal intimation which caresses as potently as it flames around ears.

It is fair to say that the Hogs sound is not one we would naturally be drawn to but Fingerprints is a release we just took too. It is one which also grew in potency and persuasion play by play so worth a good look at we reckon.

Fingerprints is available now through Red Cat Records/7Hard now through most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/hogsband

Pete RingMaster20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Paola Pellegrini Lexrock – Lady To Rock

Professional criminal lawyer by day, devout rock guitarist/singer/songwriter by night, Paola Pellegrini is an Italian artist with numerous strings to her bow and a sound just as versatile. She plays rock ‘n’ roll, a collusion of hard rock, punk, and metal which as proven by new album Lady To Rock is very easy to raise a healthy appetite for.

Hailing from the city of Florence, Pellegrini has been playing and writing songs since a child. Having played with various bands she began her solo career as Paola Pellegrini Lexrock, releasing her debut album Agape in 2013. Two years its successor, Dreams Come True was unveiled through Qua’ rock Records. Lady To Rock is her new collection of songs; a release which maybe evades major surprises in some ways but embraces fresh adventure in far many more.

For Lady To Rock, Pellegrini linked up with bassist Franco Licausi, who played for 20 years with Negrita and currently with Litfiba, and drummer Simone Morettin of folk metallers Elvenking. Produced by Giuseppe Scarpato and Paolo Baglioni at Wall Up Studio in Florence and mixed and mastered by Giovanni Gasperini, the album roars into life with No Half Way. Instantly riffs and grooves surround ears, rhythms punchy company before the quickly engaging tones of Pellegrini step forward to complete a potent persuasion. A tenacious slice of heavy rock ‘n’ roll, familiar but infectiously magnetic, it provides Lady To Rock with a great start to.

It is a beginning though which is quickly built upon by the excellent Lovely Man. More restrained in its charge but even more enticing in its hooks and beats, the track strolls long like a blend of The Kut and Australian outfit Shadowqueen. Punk and hard rock are brought together in its virulently infectious temptation, a rousing concoction which easily had us bouncing, the following Avuta Mai matching its depth of persuasion. The only non-English sung track on the release, it is an inescapably catchy proposal unafraid to slip into sonic shimmers and unpredictable twists as raw riffs and melodic enterprise unite behind Pellegrini’s vocal prowess.

The catchy prowl of Cut The Chains similarly had ears and attention wrapped round inventive fingers, the song teasing with its confident swagger, seducing with its melodic and harmonic captivation before Endless Begin uncages Pellegrini’s punk heart with simultaneous energy and grace. We mentioned that across the album, uniqueness was second to familiar strains and aspects of rock but as this excellent track proves, songs still comes with an individuality and adventure which sets album and artist as one appetising proposal.

Through the raw rock hues of Wild Shot, a Plasmatics meets Girlschool spiced stomp, and the pop rock exploits of Making Love Forever, variety, enterprise and pleasure rise in tandem while What I Like sonically grumbles and melodically serenades with imagination fuelled contagion. As with all tracks, little time is needed for hips to swing and enjoyment to boil up; fun and anthemic persuasion in close quarters as echoed yet again within You Better Believe. It too had participation engaged within moments of its first play; a magnetic slice of rock ‘n’ roll very easy to be manipulated by.

The album concludes with All My Love Has Gone, a final cut of all that is good about the fiercely enjoyable Lady To Rock. As its companions, the song feels like a friend even before it runs through its first verse, even as soon as its first clutch of chords, yet is as tantalising and refreshing as any track on any rock album heard so far this year. At its core rock ‘n’ roll is about great times, boisterous fun, and arousing spirits something Paola Pellegrini proves very adept at creating with Lady To Rock.

Lady To Rock is out now via Red Cat Records / 7Hard across most digital stores.

http://www.lexrock.it/    https://www.facebook.com/paolapellegrinilexrock/   https://twitter.com/PaolaLexrock   https://www.instagram.com/paola_pellegrini_lexrock/

 Pete RingMaster20/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

StormWolf – Howling Wrath

StormWolf is a band from Italy who has just released their debut album in the shape of Howling Wrath. Though formed in 2014, the release will be the first real introduction to the Genoa heavy metallers for most and makes one powerful statement even for those of us without a natural infinity for their chosen genre.

Starting out as a studio project formed by vocalist Elena Ventura and guitarist/principal songwriter Francesco Natale, StormWolf eventually found its way to current line-up of bassist Francesco Gaetani, guitarist Dave Passarelli and newest member in drummer Tiziana Cotella alongside the founding pair, the latter joining the band last year. Fusing classic and fresh heavy metal with essences of the blues and their own individual imagination, the band released Swordwind in 2015, an encounter primarily destined just for labels, radio, fanzines etc. It was a well-received encounter followed by StormWolf earning the opportunity to open for to Lacuna Coil and Necrodeath among their live successes the following year. With their current line-up in place, the band set about creating their official debut, Howling Wrath last year with its release coming through Italian label Red Cat Records.

It opens with The Phoenix, the track rising up through stirring winds with immediate sonic flames and enterprise. Ventura swiftly commands attention and impresses with her vocals, though the amount of words she tries to get into certain lines of the chorus is maybe too much a mouthful but no issue, while Natale and Passarelli weave a similarly magnetic web of sound and craft around her. With firm rhythms creating a thick and alluring spine and Natale further conjuring on his guitar, the track gets the album off to a potent and captivating start.

Winter of the Wolf is just as eager to engage the listener, riffs and rhythms climbing and rapping upon the senses driven by the rapacious energy inspired by the guitars. There is a caustic edge to the track too which only adds to its quick appeal but tempered by the melodic tendrils and twists which bring an array of worldly spices. As it marches through ears or tenaciously smoulders on the senses, the song seals keen attention with Ventura again escalating the persuasion.

Next up, old school hues line Marathon, band inspirations such as Van Halen and Judas Priest an easy guess as the song boldly strolls with familiar flavours and blossoms around them with StormWolf’s own imagination while Fear of the Past mixes up its attack and adventure with zeal and invention. Both tracks hit the spot though maybe not as fully as Swordwind which throughout had bodies bouncing and vocal chords indulging as its anthemic battlefield unfolded.  An unexpected slip into calm and melodic elegance only added to its success, that and the already notable prowess of Ventura, Natale and co.

Through the blues scented, hard rock lined Lightcrusher and the riveting instrumental weaving of Thasaidon, the album only tightened its hold, the second of the two especially outstanding while Soulblighter brings a feral almost primal graining to its part predacious fully compelling trespass. Though not quite matching the heights of many before it, the track offers moments of real magnetism.

The final trio of All We Are, One False Move, and Me Against the World unleash their own highly agreeable lures, the first a Maiden-esque fuelled anthem, its successors respectively a melancholic romance of a ballad moving in a funereal march and a ballsy rock ‘n’ roll romp. The latter pair both are bonus tracks upon Howling Wrath and each a Lizzy Borden cover, the penultimate song one of the major highlights of the album.

It is easy to hear why StormWolf is beginning to draw broader acclaim and attention their way with more surely to follow through Howling Wrath. As mentioned, heavy metal especially classic does not exactly spark real excitement here but the Italian’s album was full enjoyment from its first to last breath which says it all.

Howling Wrath is out now via Red Cat Records /7hard Records.

 https://www.facebook.com/Stormwolf.it/

Pete RingMaster 29/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Secret Sight – Shared Loneliness

Back in 2014, we like so many others were impressed and hooked on the debut album from Secret Sight. It was a release which surprised having come out of the blue awareness wise and introduced us to the captivating dark post punk/gothic rock sound of the Italian band. Now the Ancona hailing outfit has repeated the feat with their second full-length, Shared Loneliness; a collection of songs as striking and captivating as their predecessors but with a maturity and enterprise which sets it apart.

Secret Sight emerged the same year as their Red Cat Records released debut album Day.Night.Life, though there is a 2013 self-titled EP under the name Coldwave before then. Recorded with Paolo Rossi (Soviet Soviet, Be Forest, Brothers In Law), Day.Night.Life swiftly sparked support and praise carrying attention, the band supporting its release with an extensive tour around Italy, Switzerland and Austria where the plaudits continued coming. A quartet at the time, the band has since slimmed to a trio with former vocalist Matteo Schipsi leaving, vocals being shared across guitarist/synth player Cristiano Poli and bassist/synth player Lucio Cristino. With its line-up completed by the dramatic rhythms of Enrico Bartolini, Secret Sight linked up with producer Alessandro Ovi Sportelli for Shared Loneliness, resulting in an album which has mellowed out in regard to the raw edged post punk tone of its predecessor but blossomed in its haunting melancholic drama and melodic suggestiveness.

As with their first album, the band’s sound harkens back to eighties post punk/new wave and their gothic companions but with a bolder identity and imagination belonging to Secret Shine. It opens with Lowest Point, the initial coaxing mist of synths soon joined by the atmospheric lures of guitar and bass, keys simultaneously thickening as melodies simmer and echo in the ears. The instrumental’s shadows carry over into the following Stage Lights where the mesmeric groan of the bass and aligning dark textures seduce the imagination ready for the song’s spirited stroll which erupts soon after. Like a fusion of Leitmotiv and The Sound the track dances on the senses, its rhythmic shuffle sculpting their own catchy charm to the temptation. Superb in voice and enterprise, the song swiftly grips attention, vocals as enticing as the sounds around them and with a great nagging essence to its tenacious rhythms, infectious melodies, and tantalising hooks, the tone and heart for the album is set.

The following Blindmind matches its success with its own compelling design and creative intimacy. As in the last song Cristino’s bass makes an addictive proposal, moody and melancholic in its bold exploits with the same traits fuelling the adventure and intimation of Poli’s guitar which beguiles the imagination in its own right. To be honest all three musicians seize attention with their individual prowess but uniting perfectly to create an even greater temptation, that aforementioned maturity lining every twist and turn.

There is also a breath and tone to the song which reminds of The Cure around their second album, a thick shadow draped air which is as open in songs like next up Fallen and its successor Flowers if to lesser degrees. The first of the two similarly bounds through ears, emotively conjured melodies webbing its rhythmic canter as a China Crisis like catchiness brews while the second with a calmer energy has something of a Modern English to it. Though neither song quite matches up to those before them each leaves pleasure high and attention glued before Swan’s Smile envelops the senses and drives the spirit with its sprightly canter. With a scent of The Danse Society cast, the track simply made an already keen appetite hungrier for more, a want quickly satisfied by the rampant dynamics of Over led by the skilful endeavour of Bartolini. A fusion of post punk with gothic and synth pop, it is a rousingly infectious affair with theatre in its veins and emotional drama in its voice.

The pair of Surprising Lord and Sometimes completes the album in compelling style, the first a pulsating and again relentlessly catchy incitement on body and pleasure as dark and imposing as it is hopeful and anthemic. The evocative balladry of the final track ensures the pleasure listening to Shared Loneliness is relentless even if the song does not quite meet the lofty heights of many of its companions such their might. Epitomising the release in its emotional depth and musical enterprise, it is a fine end to another mouth-watering outing with Secret Sight.

We suggest focusing on the CD edition of the album as it carries a quite excellent cover of The Sound song The Fire as a bonus track, Secret Sight not detouring too far from the original but giving it all the energy and passion it and that great band deserves; just a shame it is not on all versions.

Shared Loneliness is available now through Manic Depression Records for its vinyl edition, Unknown Pleasures Records for the CD, and digitally @ https://secretsight.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/secretsight

Pete RingMaster 16/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright