Wrathage – Discipline

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Seventeen years or so after their emergence, and three of those years in the making, the debut album from Finnish metallers Wrathage is a proposition which no matter how it initially takes you, leaves a compulsion to explore more and more of its ultimately enjoyable depths. Discipline is a striking and increasingly thrilling slab of dark extreme metal, a collusion of black and death metal predation and ferocity embracing an avant-garde and experimental nature. It is not always as successful with personal tastes as it is other times but when it hits the sweet spot, which are numerous, the album is one of the most intriguing and exciting propositions heard this year.

Wrathage began way back in 1997, formed by identical twins Scythe (bass, vocals, guitars) and D.V Grim (vocals, guitars). With only the intent of creating music which lit their own fires, the band has gone through numerous line-up changes, especially early on, whilst exploring and honing an ever evolving sound. A self-titled demo in 2000 was the first of three over the next five years whilst 2008 saw the release of the well-received Crawlspace Antipathy EP. The gap to its successor and first album has again been a long time waiting but now with Scythe and D.V Grim joined by guitarists H-beast and Viha, keyboardist Tero Nevala, and drummer Kuismahc, the Oulu band is poised to ignite highly anticipating appetites and a horde of newcomers with their enthralling offering.

Wrathage_2015_discipline_Cover     As soon as opener Dark matter engulfs ears, thoughts of Emperor and Morbid Angel come to the fore, yet equally a fresh individualism in presence and sound too. The song opens with epic sways of guitar around dramatic vocals, a mix soon immersed in a wash of equally theatrical keys and heavily jabbing beats. It is an attention grabbing start, a respectful one too as every element from guitar to keys, voice to rhythms create imposing but restrained proposals on the senses. Of course it is a thought too soon as within moments the factors collude to create a rapacious tempest of sound and intensity. The song proceeds to entwine classical and blackened enterprise with predatory ferocity, twisting and lurching through a fascinating and enticingly turbulent landscape of invention.

The following Born girt for war blends a ravaging hostility with a broader celestial atmosphere whilst also providing a more intimate stalking at times. Within its first half minute the song is already an unpredictable theatre of textures and sounds driven by the equally dramatic and enjoyable mix of vocals, which include a guest appearance by Catamenia frontman Olli “Oujee” Mustonen. The underlying persistent prowl of the song keeps everything on course before Of the great chief comes in on an opening blaze of guitar endeavour within a sinister climate. As the previous track, it does not make the same impact as the first song but every turn, every twist in its body brings further bait for ears and appetite to keenly devour, especially its rhythmic enticing.

The album truly comes to life from fourth song Walking to death; it is like Discipline has sized up personal tastes and then gone to work on instinctive wants and pleasures. The track marches in on a horde of synchronised boots, vocals swiftly leading the way with equally imposing intent. They are soon joined by a web of sonic ideation which alone ignites the imagination, whilst the broader melodic sweep of keys only enhances the addictiveness veining the song. It is a masterful enslavement which only tightens its grip with a slip into an almost carnal landscape of dark drama caged by an excellent bestial bassline. Riffs equally have an animalistic snarl to their touch, and a raw tang which reminds of Scottish band Skids. It is an inescapable anthem matched by the exceptional Unslaved, which also sees Mustonen guesting. Celestial keys caress ears first, their ethereal theatre tantalising but barely hinting at the temptation to come. A vocal lure bridges the start with the mouth-watering and grizzly bassline which follows; this the spark to an infection of hungry riffs, antagonistic rhythms, and bad blooded vocals. It is the magnetic swagger and blood thirsty character of the grooves which provide the fuse to the strongest ardour, their infection intertwined with the spiteful provocation elsewhere.

Distortion sees another guest in the shape of Khaos from Deathchain & Deathbound within its midst, and also sparks a new urge of greed for the release with its carnivorous presence and contagiously creative rancor. Once again expectations are given a cold shoulder as the track explores death and blackened scenery with thrash bred ferocity and a hellacious attitude of sound and invention. There is never time to catch a breath upon Discipline, but one is needed after the torrential hostility and intensity of the excellent encounter. A quick gulp those is all that is allowed as the insidious scavenger Reptilian crawls over the senses and into the psyche with primal and sonic animosity. It is great toxic incitement, its rhythmic and driving riffery an insatiable onslaught but above it guitars and keys are almost flirting with slow and devilish seduction.

After a vocal enticement, Sadicum is an erosive sonic tempest which alone would satisfy if lacking the spark of its predecessors, but the band is soon spearing it with shards of melodic spicing and a persistently evolving and enthralling weave of progressive fuelled keys to create another tasty assault. The song is still more of a smoulder on the passions than a roar like other tracks, but a lively simmering pot of adventure which over time brings thoughts and appetite to the boil very nicely and hankering for more.

The album concludes with firstly The crawlspace, a bordering on psychotic smog of sound and enterprise which is as suffocating as it is explosive on the senses. Some of the vocals are less successful on the ear but a mere blip in another pleasing track before the band brings it all to a close with a cover of the Morbid Angel track Dawn of the angry. It is a very decent and enjoyable offering but the meat and major joy of Discipline is in the band’s own slices of distinctive predation.

Discipline gets better and more revealing with every listen, even a handful plus of plays unveiling fresh elements and greater craft in the creative flow and sculpting of the release. As mentioned some moments create a bigger blaze in the emotions but from start to finish Wrathage has delivered one impressive encounter to revel in and to heartily recommend.

Discipline is available from March 30th via Maa Productions and at http://wrathage.bandcamp.com/album/discipline

https://www.facebook.com/wrathageband

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

The Slow Readers Club – I Saw a Ghost

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With just a few short weeks to the release of their second album Cavalcade, UK indie band The Slow Readers Club are releasing not only a pungent teaser to their forthcoming offering, but one of their finest moments yet in the shape of new single I Saw A Ghost. It is aural magnetism, an evocative embrace of emotional shadows and intoxicating sound reinforcing the Manchester based band as one of the most fascinating and exciting propositions on the British rock scene

The past year has seen the quartet luring increasing acclaim through a host of enticing singles, including previous single Forever In Your Debt and its predecessor Don’t Mind. They are no strangers to praise and attention it is fair to say, their live presence drawing as much eager reactions as their releases with last year seeing the band play a sold out show at Manchester’s Night and Day as well as successful appearances at Tramlines Festival, Party in the Pines and Blackthorn Festival alongside support slots with bands such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Struts, Reverend and the Makers, and The Sunshine Underground. They can also list Peter Hook amongst their enthusiastic fans, a following which from the release of their debut self-titled album in 2012 has perpetually and raucously increased.

Picture 66   Now The Slow Readers Club is stoking the fires of those followers and greater anticipation of their new album with I Saw a Ghost. The song is themed around depression, more specifically according to vocalist Aaron Starkie, “It’s about appearing to have a normal happy life but carrying something with you that can descend at any moment and make everything appear bleak.” It is an emotion perfectly embraced and exposed by the music within the single, its body and gait a bouncy persuasion with infectious energy and character but holding onto underlying shadows and dark thoughts just as tightly. It opens with Starkie immediately unveiling his and the songs’ heart in the embrace of his own crafted keys. Alongside them the jabbing beats of David Whitworth punctuate the emotional drama being shown, whilst the throaty tones of bass from James Ryan only add to the dark air though it is all swiftly tempered by the contagious enterprise of Kurtis Starkie’s guitar amidst that tantalising celestial breath of keys.

The song continues to blend dark and light, each entwining the other with craft and tenacity whilst providing a rigorous stroll of infectiousness amidst immersive almost suffocating dark rapture. The Slow Readers Club are usually and understandably compared to the likes of Interpol, The Killers, and The National but it is easy to also suggest moments of the track has elements of The Smiths, especially the start, and bands like Silhouettes to it. As previous songs though, it emerges as something distinct and instantly recognisable to The Slow Readers Club whilst providing the strongest suggestion that there is a new album on the horizon all sort eagerly check out.

I Saw a Ghost is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-saw-a-ghost-single/id973544966 with Cavalcade will be released via Extenso Music on April 13th.

http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk     http://www.facebook.com/theslowreadersclub

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Tapes Runs Out – Friends/Flowers

 

Pic Lauren Marsh

Pic Lauren Marsh

A serenade for the ears and imagination, the new single from UK indie pop rockers Tape Runs Out suggests we have a rather fascinating and tantalising proposition on our hands with the Cambridge quintet. Obviously one song does not reveal all, or two in this case, but both offerings making up the band’s first release, Friends/ Flowers certainly spark an instantly keen interest and enjoyment of their opening persuasion.

The band’s debut double A-side single is a beguiling tapestry of dream pop, electronic rock, shoegaze and numerous other spices and textures within their majestic flights. Tape Runs Out itself began as an electronic solo project of Liam Goodrum-Bell (vocals/guitar/samples), before expanding to a full-band and releasing the Covered In Tape EP in 2013. It was given a gentle release but seemingly a well-received one before things changed again and the current line-up came to be mid-2014. Consisting of Richard Barker (guitar), Hélène Dufour (bass), Yasmin Prebble (keyboard/melodica/glockenspiel), and Ellie Winter (hammered dulcimer/backing vocals) alongside Goodrum-Bell, Tapes Runs Out now make their most open and broadest official introduction with Friends/Flowers via Ear to Ear Records.

a0018462225_2     Friends is the first encounter and swiftly sparkles in ears with its elegant enticement of guitar and keys. Melodies seduce and blossom within a breath of the track’s entrance, soon accompanied by the excellent mellow vocals of Goodrum-Bell backed as vibrantly by the harmonies of Winter. The song is a summer stroll basking in wistful rays of sonic light and reflective emotions, a romancing hug of sound which flirts with whispers of bands like My Bloody Valentine and House Of Love whilst creating a jangle of modern imagination. It is mesmeric company; that is until it just stops and leaves body and emotions hanging. Actually it is a great end to an outstanding song but greed determines that there is not enough of its beauty to be fully satisfied.

Flowers is another matter, its four minutes plus a plentiful bounty to embrace and immerse within. It is a far more sober landscape explored though no less warm and intriguing. Wrapped in a psychedelic haze and an even richer melancholic ambience than its predecessor, the song floats and swirls around the senses and imagination like a wispy dream. Though not as instant as Friends on the ear, the song slips into the psyche and makes a lingering temptation whilst revealing far more about the songwriting and invention of Tape Runs Out compared to its impressive seduce and run companion.

Though Friends grabs the biggest plaudits, both songs provide a thoroughly engaging and enjoyable first real glimpse at Tape Runs Out, a band we can expect and already want to hear and see plenty more of ahead.

Friends/Flowers is available via Ear to Ear Records from March 30th @ http://eartoearrecords.co.uk/album/friends-flowers-single

https://www.facebook.com/taperunsout   http://www.taperunsout.co.uk

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

The Birdman Rallies – Wild Sisters

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If you can resist the opening resonance of beats which opens up Wild Sisters, the new single from the UK’s The Birdman Rallies, then you have formidable resistance as alone it is a seriously irresistible temptation. It is only the first of a fluid weave of instinctive seductions which makes up the fascinating offering from the North Yorkshire quartet though, just one lure in a melodic bewitchment.

The song is the second single taken from the Harrogate band’s recently released and acclaimed album Real River. It is a transfixing album putting the band finally on the radar of a great many, though The Birdman Rallies has been recruiting eager attention and hearts to their highly flavoursome sounds since 2009 across a host of releases. Their self-titled album in 2008 made the first temptation, followed by the You And I EP a year later, but it was second album Moons which in 2012 sparked keener awareness and following of the band. Their sounds still eluded many though, including us, with Real River providing the remedy to that issue, now reinforced by Wild Sisters, the successor to the first single from the album, Telescope Katie. Vocalist/guitarist Daniel Webster recently described the new single as, “a poem written on a night out in Cork, Ireland, where the women are made differently to where I grew up. I observed these three sisters, dancing wildly, letting it go on a weekend in a strangely old-fashioned way. There was nothing cool or try-hard about it. The song wrote itself, with requisite yearning.”

As mentioned at the start, Wild Sisters has its infectious hooks in from its first breath with the rhythms and electronic beats of drummer David Armstrong alongside the multi-instrumental skills of Adam Westerman (guitar, vocals, keyboards, drums, glockenspiel). It is not a single strain of bait for long though as the equally delicious and earthy tones of bass from Ash Johnson are soon adding their irresistible throaty charms to the enticing. Magnetism does not come much stronger or persuasive and both aspects continue to almost tauntingly seduce across the length of the song. Around them melodies and harmonies soon bloom within the contagion, Webster and Westerman creating warm harmonies to match the emotive caress of strings provided by Angellina Bjerregard and Nicky Woods, and the reflective character of guitar and keys. Thoughts of XTC come to the fore as the song explores even greater enterprise and creative emotion; an essence soon confirmed when reading after listening to the song that the Swindon band is a favourite of The Birdman Rallies alongside others like Field Music.

Wild Sisters continues to enthral and delight right up to when it takes its leave on the same magnetism it entered upon, leaving ears glowing and appetite hungry for more. It is a reaction sure to be felt by most immersing in its summer embrace, with an exploration of its source, Real River, the only subsequent option, apart from diving back into the song one more time first.

Wild Sisters is out now with the album Real River available @ http://thebirdmanrallies.bandcamp.com/album/real-river

https://www.facebook.com/thebirdmanrallies

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Craig Scott’s Lobotomy – War is a Racket

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Like the soundtrack to a deranged tale fed on Tim Burton’s vision of Alice in Wonderland and soaked in the lunacy of a Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band, War is a Racket is one of those propositions which simply send ears and imagination into overload. Created by Craig Scott’s Lobotomy, the album is a kaleidoscope of sounds and textures uniting in a fascinating and warped adventure, whilst Craig Scott himself is the aural Willy Wonka, offering sonic and melodic candy created from the tang of discord and sweetness of insanity.

A bordering on psychotic tapestry of experimental jazz, alternative rock, and similarly unpredictable electronica, album and sound casts ears and thoughts adrift in a sea of instrumental incitement. Every track is a unique vehicle for the imagination to go on a creative rampage with yet they also all contribute to a perpetual flight through one fluid and invigoratingly bedlamic soundscape. War is a Racket has been three years in the making, drawing on influences, experiences, and the things Scott has learned during his life to date as a professional musician involved in numerous diverse projects. The result of everything combined is a debut album which dangles bait after bait of startling sound and seriously intriguing unconnected essences, all united in a creative toxicity which just gets deep under the skin to set off a lustful reaction in ears, thoughts, and ardour.

The previous years has seen Scott play regularly with the likes of ‘Shatner’s Bassoon’ , IKESTRA , CottonWoolf, The Bugalu Foundation, and The Hot Beef Three as well as perform with artists such as Tom Arthurs, Baba Adasose Wallace, Matthew Borne , John Potter (Hilliard Ensemble),Chris Sharkey (Trio VD/Shiver), Ball-Zee(UK Beatbox Champion) Jean Tousaint (Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers) , Les Smith (Cradle of Filth), and Ruby Wood (Submotion Orchestra , Bonobo). His music has grabbed the ears and support of fellow musicians like Gary Lucas (Captain Beefheart / Jeff Buckley) amongst a growing horde of fans which also includes cult horror classic House of 1000 Corpses’ Bill Moseley. Anticipation for War is a Racket has certainly been more than keen but it is now with its release that it is easy to expect major awareness embracing its creator.

a4033067006_2    The album, which sees Scott accompanied by a plethora of skilled and inventive talent, opens with Gibbles and a distant wistful melody. The ear is soon under the temptation of dark double bass slaps and bass clarinet seduction though; they in turn courted by a web of brass teasing. A jazzy air soon takes on an exotic flavour through guitar and sax, excited elements entwining for a sultry and mouth-watering dance through Arabian avenues and more Caribbean spiced festivity. All the time though there is a tempering shadow, an underlying turbulence which brews up a danger with fresh seeds for thoughts to twist and redesign its visual landscape with. The nearer its conclusion the more unravelled the track and its calm becomes as it takes the listener into the sonic distortion and percussive bubbling of Proud to be a Mirkin. The second song also brings a brass fuelled agitation aligned to a sinister electronic stalking of the psyche. It is the stuff of dark dreams, though as hindsight will eventually show, just the start of bigger nightmarish intrusions to come.

Peace returns with Tempest in a Teacup next, a nine minute stroll through summer gardens and reflective atmospheres. Of course already, even on the first listen of the album, expectations are soon expecting darker warped twists too and it does not disappoint, though equally the track sets senses and emotions ablaze with a deliciously manic melodic enterprise equipped with mischievous hooks and perverted imagination. Like something from Brian Brain in a drug induced stupor, the track ebbs and flows with bright revelry and noir clad infestations of ears and thoughts. Ultimately though, you come away with feet bouncing and emotions leaping to that devilish jazz pop lure and the emerging gypsy/world music spicing which has a distinct Les Négresses Vertes feel to it.

The following Technicolor Yawn is a brighter and relatively straight forward hug of the senses, initially at least as of course it too has contrasting and darker flirtations of sound and invention to its gentle cruise. Guitars and synths collude to colour the elegant canvas with shards of seemingly improvised jazz incitement, each nudge and jab of sound a tempting spark to new diversions or characters in the imagination’s interpretation. Almost a travelogue of unique lands and atmospheres on its own, the transfixing pieces makes way for the climactic and psychotic For those with a Short Attention Span. The track is a splatter of sounds and textures which somehow within the ears unite to create a coherent if still furiously unpredictable weave of sonic colour. As all the tracks it leaves a pantry load of food for thought before making way for the irresistible lures of Voodoo Friday. Rhythmically tribal and virulent, the track opens like a thumping ‘sketch’ from percussionists Stomp, but is soon embracing darker strains of sound and harmonies. Its persuasion is meditative and demonic simultaneously, the perpetual invitation from tablas, matched by grouchy bass sounds and a swarming cloud of brass and stringed fermentation which only add to the psychedelic Hammer Movie-esque visualisation inspired across the glorious encounter. Its closing romp reminds of deranged versions of eighties bands like Pigbag and Mouth, that alone leaving ears and emotions basking.

The album’s title track comes next and swiftly returns the listener physically and mentally to the dark clutches of haunted realms and sinister trespasses. Keys impact with a classic thirties/forties lilt to their narrative whilst rhythmically and harmonically, the track is a web of ravenous shadows and psyche grasping evocation. The bewitching nightmare prevails with increasing sideshow devilry as the song continues its descriptive presence, reaching a restrained yet ‘hellish’ climax taunted by crooner inspired keys. The drama and air of the song is traumatic and seriously compelling just as the lighter but no less drenched in espionage album finale of Ormchestron. Opening like the theme tune to a sixties spy/thriller TV show, keys dangling inescapable bait for the imagination, the piece becomes a much cloudier and thematically minatory adventure yet with a constant tempering of melodic and inventive whimsy. The brass escapades brings hints of Essential Logic to thoughts whilst strings and keys offer a Cardiacs like devilment, but ultimately, as War is a Racket itself, it is all wholly individual to Craig Scott’s Lobotomy.

It is fair and easy to say that War is a Racket is quite brilliant, maybe not something for everyone but for those with real adventure and love of life’s and music’s discordance woven into something truly unique, simply a must.

War is a Racket is available through Wasp Millionaire Records from 30/03/2015 on CD, 12” Blue vinyl (Ltd to 250 copies) and digitally.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Craig-Scotts-Lobotomy/102612563153288   http://lookatmemummypr.com/

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

Raucous times and roaring escapes: exploring the heart of US rockers Long Time Divided

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Sometimes there is no escaping the lure of a band, whether in sound, presence, personality or whatever. One proposition definitely equipped with that kind of instinctive temptation is Pittsburgh rockers Long Time Divided. Formed in 2008, the quintet has been a persistent rock riot grabbing an enthused and growing loyal fan base locally and spreading further afield. Renowned as one of the hardest working bands on and from the Pittsburgh music scene, Long Time Divided is beginning to stir broader attention. With a new album beginning to boil in the band’s horizon, it felt the right time to find out more about the band, so with thanks to vocalist DJ Beckage we set about exploring the origins, inspirations, and acclaimed live presence of the band.

LTD DJ Beckage - SingerHey DJ;  thanks for talking with us.

Please introduce the band members and give us some background to the band.

Well there’s me, DJ, the lead singer, and then we have two amazing guitarists in Paul Terry and Dean Toughlian. And then we have one of the best 1-2 bass and drum combos in rock with Bob Beveridge on bass and Slick on drums.

As for the band, we’re a hard rock band with a bit of a metal and blues taste mixed in and we’re based out of Pittsburgh, PA (U.S.A.). I always like to categorize us as a blue-collar rock band. We work hard and play harder and we’re really not the “green room” types, you know what I mean? We’d much rather be out having fun with our fans. We had a green room before and it was horribly boring. HA!

Where did you all meet and what did you have any specific intention behind bringing the band to life?

I had dissolved my old band and was looking to join a fully formed band in need of a singer and lyricist and it just happened that the original line-up of the band, including Bob, were looking for a singer. The guys had me audition and that first night we wrote three songs (Breaker, Spiders, and Take Me Away). Everything just clicked. It was great. Later, Paul joined the band so we would have two guitars. Slick came on board after our original drummer just up and left town (weird), and he brought a level of power to his play yet he’s attune to the dynamics of the song and what is needed. Lastly, Dean joined the group, which I think brought a refreshing outlook on the group.

Your sound seems generally described as hard rock yet there is much more in the mix for us. How would you portray it to newcomers to the band in words?

We’re a blue-collar band. We’re the guys you’d want to go with to the bar for a night of drinking and partying. We have a good time at our shows and try to bring everyone along for the ride. Times are tough and we want to be that kick-ass escape for people.

What predominately drives and inspires the lyrical and emotional side of your songs?

I (DJ) typically write what I’m feeling, whether the narrative is about something that personally happened to me or one of my band mates, or if it’s just something I heard or read about in the news. I love bringing a level of honesty to our songs because it gives the listener something to grab hold of and make his or her own.

The textures and melodic flames which sculpt your songs are as imposing as the muscular side of your invention. It suggests songs are carefully and intensely composed. What is the general writing process for the band and do you aim for particular ideas with each song or let them develop organically?

Thanks. That was about as badass a compliment of our music as I have ever heard.

We typically write as a whole group. One person may bring a melody or riff to the group and we just build the songs out from there. I love this because it gives ownership of the song to everyone, which helps eliminate ego from the writing process.

As for our “particular aim,” it goes back to the fact that we want to write music that we want to hear.

You have earned a great reputation for your live presence, highlights so far?LTD 3

I think the highlight for me has been all the big name acts we’ve had the opportunity to play with, like Fuel, Static-X, Soulfly, Jimmie’s Chick Shack, Soul Asylum, and Ace Frehley. Opening for Fuel was my biggest highlight so far. I think the fact that we’ve had these opportunities acknowledges the hard work that we’ve put in to making our music.

What have you in store for the year and fans across 2015?

Well the big thing this year is our sophomoric album. We’re aiming for April to start recording tracks for the new album and I can’t wait. There has been a wonderful growth in all of our song writing skills and I think people will be thoroughly please with the product.

Thanks for talking with us; anything you would like to add to tempt people to check out your vibrant sounds?

Thank you for having me. Anytime I get to talk about how awesome my band mates make me look (Ha!). No, seriously, thank you. We work hard and it’s always a pleasure to have this time to talk about the love for our music.

I want everyone to go to iTunes or Amazon or wherever the hell you–yeah you!–get your music and pick up the Long Time Divided debut album. It’s a helluva rock album and we want all of you to join the LTD Army!

https://www.facebook.com/longtimedividedband 

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 29/03/2015

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://reputationradio.yooco.org/

Choking On Illusions – Rest/less

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Hailing out of South-West Germany, Choking On Illusions is a band which looks like they are about to be on the receiving end of an enthusiastic roar of attention. The reason being their new album Rest/less; a beast of a melodic hardcore incitement which is as fiercely confrontational and emotionally voracious as it is inventively compelling. On first listen, it is not one which instantly leaps from the crowd though it certainly is a more riveting and fascinating encounter than most, but over time it reveals an imagination and craft which leaves ears and attention gripped. You would still not say that the second full-length from the Saarbrücken quintet is going to turn the hardcore scene on its head, but it definitely gives it an exciting proposal to chew over.

Formed in 2008, Choking On Illusions has frequently awoken keen and increasing interest in their presence; a self-titled EP in the following year starting the growth which was backed and nurtured further by a two track demo in 2010 and the band’s keenly supported live presence. It has been from the current line-up’s coming together a year later though that the band and their sound really hit its stride, as established by their well-received debut album Guide me home in the summer of 2012. Alongside all these moments the band has similarly drawn great praise and following through shows with the likes of Stick to your Guns, Comeback Kid, Terror, Evergreen Terrace, Hundredth, Counterparts, and La Dispute amongst a great many, as well as tours with The Green River Burial, Wasted Bullet, Chronograph, and Seasons in Wreckage. It all only reinforced and enriched their emergence in the hardcore scene. Now the band is lining up to burst into the broadest spotlights with their Bastardized Recordings released Rest/less, and given the time and focus it needs and deserves, it would be hard to expect anything but further potent success.

The opening Intro is a decent enough emotional scene setter, guitars melodically eloquent within a heavily brooding atmosphere whilst leading ears and imagination into the jaws of the following album title track. The second track bursts into life with ravenous rhythms and fiery riffs, each intensifying as the vocals of Mario Strasser begin their agreeable roar and the guitars of Jannik Aulenbacher and Maciej Spiczak align in a tempting mix of caustic riffery and sonic enterprise. It is when singer and melodies really erupt in an infectious and lively embrace that the song truly comes alive, their brief expulsion of revelry infecting the subsequent antagonistic side of the song which too develops an intriguing mix of catchiness and emotional provocation. It is a great start to the release, and like the album, it takes time to explore all its twists and depths, though its appeal and appetite sparking potency is swift.

Choking on Illusions Cover   The following Sleepwalker explodes in a creative and impassioned tirade you expect to hear in a hardcore based offering, continuing to feed with satisfaction those thoughts but twisting them into fresh endeavour through the persistently thoughtful and skilled ideation of the guitars. As in its predecessor though, there is a particular moment where the good song ignites into something greater, and here it is the lull in the sonic tempest where the bass of Christian Pontes takes over with a richly carnivorous bass tone matched in intimidation by the muscular swings of drummer Dustin Ueckert. It is a mere moment in the passage of the track but again seems to instil a new attitude and impact into the following adventure and passion of the proposition.

Both Left Unsaid and 13 rage and bellow with explosive and intriguing creativity, the first punctuated by the thickest rhythmic jabs yet on the album but tempered by a tantalising flame of impressive vocal harmonies and guitar crafted melodic acidity. The song continues to be unpredictable and enthralling, a slip into an acoustic landscape bewitching in company with calm and captivating clean vocals. Its heart felt and raw emotion though is soon back filling the senses, and again it is fair to say this also seems to return with a new air and vitality in its angst and sound. It is of course all sparked by the band’s dramatic adventure in songwriting and sound, with these moments seeded in a strong array of flavours outside of hardcore. They are essences not always apparent at the start of songs but emerging impressively throughout and something the band will hopefully utilise even more ahead as this is when Choking On Illusions impressively breaks free of any formulaic hardcore restraints and expectations. The song’s successor is the same, spinning a recognisable initial weave of sound and aggression built on open invention before sculpting a predatory net of rhythms and sonic imagination. It is the most straight forward song on the album in many ways but when relaxing into a smouldering embrace of warm melodies and intimate vocals to again cast a new light on its body and heart.

The disorientating dazzle of guitar and rhythms at its start sets Borderlines off in fine style and initially it is a shame it is not a constant incitement throughout the excellent track, the band preferring to unleash it in bursts amongst the muscular antagonism of the song. The truth is the band get it right, its intermittent diversity makes for thrilling eruptions of bedlam in the ferocious roar of the song and the subsequent melodic poetry charming from its heart. The song is superb, whilst the album simply gets stronger and more exciting with every offering.

The peaceful radiance of Interlude allows a breath next, its brief instrumental a classic hug of keys but as the intro, embraced by a more and increasingly turbulent ambience. Its beauty makes way for the fiery energy and intensity of Broken Song, a blaze of an encounter with deep anxiousness to its air and hostile emotion fuelling its fury. It is another which simply grows in weight and persuasion as it reveals more invention and unpredictable ideation once established in the ears; post and melodic hardcore colouring its ire as forcibly as a punk viciousness.

A new peak is set with the hellacious charge and presence of Death Waltz next, the track a thunderous predator of the senses unafraid to draw on noise rock and metallic essences to ignite its creative battlefield. Complete with soaring harmonies and sonic intricacies, the song is a raucous anthem and impassioned croon simultaneously, and quite sensational in its distorted and scuzz lit brilliance giving next up L.O.V.E. a hard task to emulate. It gives a mighty effort though with a bass sound from Pontes which is raw and carnal in touch, whilst a blistering furnace of sonic rapacity and vocal incitement treats the senses. It also has that fresh onslaught of punk hostility to it which seeps into the album’s latter tracks to enjoyable success.

Closing track Baptism – Funeral enters on a rhythmic enticement from Ueckert which alone secures hungry attention, and continues to drive and ignite the solemn and melancholic heart of the increasingly ferocious encounter. It is a mighty end to an outstanding release, one sure to put Choking On Illusions on the widest hardcore map and suggesting potential of greater things yet to come, though more of the same to be fair would not be too disappointing either.

Rest/less is available from March 27th via Bastardized Recordings @ http://shop.bastardizedrecordings.de/product_info.php?products_id=2411

https://www.facebook.com/ChokingonIllusions

RingMaster 26/03/2015

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