Defeat – Rise

A handful of weeks short of two years since the eagerly welcomed release of their EP, You Know What You Are, British electro industrial/synth pop duo Defeat return with new album, Rise. This too, such the highly enjoyable offerings from the band before, has been a keenly anticipated encounter since news of its coming; enthusiasm rewarded with the pair’s most accessible yet creatively imaginative and skilfully accomplished proposal yet.

The successor to debut album [Seek Help] of 2013, Rise is a collection of anthems to dark thoughts, corrupted emotions, and invasive shadows. They are tracks which unleash the most virulent hooks and infectious escapades laced with menace and creative threat like a twisted twenty first century Fad Gadget; indeed there are times where you just feel that if Defeat were emerging in the eighties, Mute Records would have had them snapped up.

With inspirations from the likes of Nitzer Ebb, Depeche Mode, NIN, Front 242, Front Line Assembly, and Skinny Puppy teasing their own ever potent and individual sound, the twosome of vocalist/lyricist Anthony Matthews and keyboardist/programmer Gary Walker have taken the evolution and promise of You Know What You Are and pulled it into another realm of craft and maturity, challenging their songwriting and imaginations along the way.

Rise opens up with The Phoenix; its sound elevating from the breath and ashes of an emotional wasteland. Melancholy honed melodies soon surround a rhythmic throb; the menacing and almost frustrated air becoming a hypnotic stroll jut as swiftly with a swagger and character as much a threat as a defiant realisation and action to its initial corrosive state. With catchy electronic flirtation and salaciously dancing shadows, the song is an easy to succumb to trap, Matthews’s words and tone a compelling mix of challenge and resurging hope.

The following Rage starts as an irritated emotional and physical ember which flickers and flames into an EBM nurtured blaze and again washed with defiance. It never becomes a furnace but instead wonderfully nags at the senses and imagination, stroking and provoking both with its relentless catchiness before The Hurt grows in ears. Its opening lure is almost predatory, laying dark electro seeds which swiftly bloom into another niggling refusing to be ignored temptation. Matthews echoes its shadows with his inimitable vocal prowess and presence; the drama within all aspects blossoming and immersing song and thoughts in contagious theatre.

Dirty/Sick crawls and trespasses the listener next, Matthews’s introspective guise a festering depravity surrounded by the deceitfully tempting sounds and invention of Walker, his melodies licking at ears with a relish almost matching the lustful threat of each trespassing syllable. The track is a grievous seduction and just irresistible while its successor and the album’s title track shares a toxic serenade invading and suffocating the senses with its envenomed mist; an ambush which should not be welcomed and embraced such its sinister intent but surely is.

Following track, The Fatalists sees Walker take lead vocals for the only time within the album. With pulsating electronics and shimmering harmonies, the song shuffles and glides through ears, vocals shaping its honest heart and melodies colouring its electro pop scented landscape. As with all tracks, shadows and light embrace and collude; often challenging each other or as here uniting in solemn and rousing beauty.

Even more galvanic and masterful is Nothing You, a lead single if ever we heard one. As its creative kindling smoulders, there is an air of excited intrigue and magnetic compulsion awoken; anticipation swiftly fed with a kinetic canter of creative virulence. With voracious hooks and grooves woven into one deliciously persuasion, the outstanding song is one virulence driven adventure unafraid to change gait and energy on a twist of a note as it pounds, pulses, and provokes the passions with irrepressible majesty.

The album closes with the melodic croon of Live Your Life, a gentle and darkly tender but still shadow wrapped incitement and reminder to find the strength and believe in being yourself. It is a fine smouldering and seductive end to Defeat’s most impressive and enjoyable encounter yet. All of the potential of their previous releases has been realised within Rise creating something deserving of the richest attention.

Rise will be released April 14th digitally and Ltd Ed CD with pre-ordering available now @ https://defeatmusic.bandcamp.com/album/rise

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Pete RingMaster 06/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

City Of Ashes – Rise

City Of Ashes_RingMasterReview

Making a big impression with their well-received debut album back in 2013, UK alternative rock band City Of Ashes now release its successor Rise; an encounter easy to imagine finding an equal if not bigger success. Consisting of eleven heart bred and melodically provocative tracks, the album confirms and pushes on the promise of predecessor All We Left Behind. In some ways, the band’s sound has not made any major leaps from the last album, or the EP before it, yet there is an open new maturity to songwriting and the bolder emotive imagination involved which alone grabs attention.

Since forming in 2009 and releasing the Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness EP, with All We Left Behind swiftly following, City Of Ashes has played all across the UK, sharing stages with the likes of Skindred, Exit Ten, Polar, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Fei Comodo, Hildamay, and Young Guns along the way. Subsequent performances on their tour with Trapt only enhanced a reputation already ripe through their first album. Now it is the self-released Rise about to lure fresh attention the way of the Eastbourne quartet; an aim, as suggested earlier, easy to see succeeding to some potent degree.

Uprising is first up and swiftly lays an evocative melodic caress on ears as darker hues bring just as alluring shadows. The impressive vocals of Orion Powell quickly add their prowess backed by great band harmonies. The track is only a brief lure into the album but an attention grabbing one setting up the appetite for the following Vipers Nest. A sonic web of hooks and riffs descend on the senses first as the firm beats of Dan Russell make a thick impact with the brooding bass line of Dan Frederick in close attention. Soon bound in the melodic enterprise of James Macdonald and coloured by the expressive tones of Powell, the song easily catches the imagination with a touch of Placebo meets Manic Street Preachers to its broader alternative rock character.

RISE Artwork_RingMasterReviewBoth Battles Of My Youth and Walk Away keep the strong start going; the first with its anthemic roar and intimate tone amidst vocal and melodic suggestiveness whilst the second shares even more intensive angst in its melancholic cry. Again Powell impresses; the drama of his delivery an emotive flame within the more subdued but no less enticing rhythms and the creative adventure of Macdonald’s fingers on strings.

A delicious brooding bassline and core riff marks out Bittersweet next, that and a climatic feel to its emotional and sonic intensity, whilst Save Me carries a lively simmer to its bubbly melodies and crisp beats to equally grip ears and appetite. Whether there are any major surprises within the songs and indeed album can be argued, but each offering has something fresh and imaginative to its character and invention which draws attention easily as here or greedily as by the outstanding Iliad. Unstoppably emerging the album’s favourite track, it is a haunted and darkly lit proposal with a slow prowl as portentous as it is inviting. Matching his surroundings, Powell’s voice also ebbs and flows in raw emotion as rhythms and riffs border on stalking the senses. Provocative theatre in the ears, the song simply steals the show.

Bloodlust has a similarly hued nature to its canvas but a far lighter and vivacious air to its emotive outpouring and subsequent fiery expulsions whilst Sometimes provides a croon fuelled by apprehensive words and emotions cradled in orchestral like melodic sensitivity. Both songs keep enjoyment high before Confessions raises the album’s game again with its earnest roar.

Closing with the sober but potent sharing of the heart that is We Own The Night, band and album leaves pleasure a strong reaction to its imaginative and tenacious endeavours. Rise is a strong continuation of the band’s previous releases, if not a dramatic leap forward. As suggested earlier though, it is a more rounded and mature adventure embracing all the already recognised City Of Ashes qualities and more; and their most impressive outing yet.

Rise is out now @ http://cityofashes.bigcartel.com/

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Pete RingMaster 25/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Devilstrip – Rise

Devilstrip Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

This month sees Rise, the debut album from US rockers Devilstrip get its UK release and show what those over the pond and especially in Akron, Ohio know, that the trio is one thickly enjoyable hard rock roar. The ten track encounter offers an infectious and rousing proposal rich in heavy grooves and melodic tenacity upon robust rhythms; the result being rock ‘n’ roll to get eagerly close up and personal with.

Formed in the closing weeks of 2012, Devilstrip consists of lead vocalist/guitarist Marc Wasmund, bassist/vocalist Graig Lindgren, and drummer/vocalist Jimmy Gray. Drawing in inspirations from the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Live, and Foo Fighters, the threesome soon set about penning tracks built on the intent to “create something original, yet accessible”. Debut single Go lit ears first, its well-received release also the touch paper to the band’s hunger to play live, an appetite seeing them share stages with bands such as Europe, Buckcherry, Jared Weeks, Girl on Fire, Saving Abel, and L.A. Guns amongst many over time. Fair to say, Rise only reinforced the band’s emergence in the US underground scene, drawing plaudits from critics, media, and fans alike. That success is surely to be expected in the UK moving into Europe now as the Devilstrip sound makes its invitation through Rise.

Not What You Need is the first slice of bait from the album, its initial low key and atmospheric sonic coaxing a deceptive lead into the swiftly fiery and boisterous heart of the song. Riffs and rhythms are soon a choppy lure over which the potent tones of Wasmund entice as agreeably as the slim grooves and melodic tempting also exposed. It is easy to see where that Black Stone Cherry spicing comes into the band’s music in the opener alone, though it is not an overpowering essence in the broader heavy rock character of the song.

Devilstrip Cover Artwork_RingMaster ReviewIt is a thoroughly enjoyable start but quickly outshone and played by Go. From the off, flirtatious grooves and melodic charm holds ears as country rock meets grungy hard rock flavours colour the track and imagination. In no time hips twist as eagerly as those grooves and feet dance as tenaciously as rhythms, Wasmund the vocal ringleader to it all in the increasingly varied proposition. More irritable and antagonistic as it goes, the track has ears hungry for more which Including Me more than feeds with its outstanding revelry. For all the references offered as hints to the band’s sound, this track is like Terrorvision at their inventive best; a tone and spicing which does the song no harm at all. Across Rise, there are many familiar scents and essences of bands and supposed influences yet, as here, they only add to the nature and infectious weight of the album.

Both the swinging temptress that is Are You Ready and the punkish Kill The Headlights keep album and ears in thick unity, the first an insatiable flirtation of grooves and anthemic theatre whilst the second stomps and swaggers around one delicious throaty bassline. Its punk n’ roll flavoured canter come prowl is a lively affair with the right mix of devilment and intimidation to have feet leaping and emotions cornered in preparation for the resourceful confrontation of To The Enemy. A great steely bassline opens things up, its irresistible bait soon joined by sonic flames and stabbing beats before all three collude in a predatory courting of ears. Things relax a smidgeon as the vocals reflect the song’s lyrical heart but always there is a volatile atmosphere to sound and voice sparking feistier evocative eruptions of emotion and energy.

The crunchy presence and emotive reflection of Ugly comes next, its pleasing if slightly unadventurous offering allowing no lessening of attention, as neither does Light Up The Room straight after. Again there is a punk hue to the air of the subsequent power ballad spiced encounter, more essences showing the flavoursome and varied songwriting of the band before Love, Hate, Die backs all thoughts with its potent croon and melody soaked intensity. Like its predecessor and indeed the following She Said, there are plenty of aggressive turns within scenery draped in melodic charm and prone to angst fuelled roars, and as the other pair, plenty to be captivated by. With She Said enjoying a great tempestuous climate, the trio conclude Rise in fine style, though for personal tastes, the album is at its loftiest in the first half dozen tracks where they seem to have much more character to their imagination and devilry.

Nevertheless Rise is a gripping slab of hard rock from a band we can only hope to hear and see more of this side of the Atlantic from hereon in.

Rise is released in the UK on January 22nd Through All Stores.

http://www.devilstriprocks.com   https://www.facebook.com/Devilstripband   https://twitter.com/devilstriprocks

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2916

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Devilstrip to “Rise” in January 2016

Devilstrip_Cover_Artwork_RingMaster Review

US ROCKERS DEVILSTRIP UNLEASH THEIR DEBUT ALBUM TO THE UK THIS WINTER!

Devilstrip are a hard-rock power trio from the rust-belt of Akron, Ohio, USA. Comprised of Marc Wasmund (lead vocals/guitar), Graig Lindgren (bass/vocals), and Jimmy Gray (drums/vocals), the three piece tug from the inspirational powers of Black Stone Cherry, Live, and Foo Fighters, with critics already describing the band as “melodic, raw stadium rock with a bit of punk rock sensibility”. Stocked with hefty riffs, soaring melodies, and an explosive debut album in the shape of ‘Rise’, which drops on Friday 22nd January, the band are destined to break in 2016.

Born December 2012, the three piece had a strong desire to create something original, yet accessible, and instantly set to work, soon penning their debut single ‘Go’. Intense rehearsals and extensive writing followed, along with a gigging schedule which has seen the DIY rocksters grace stages with everyone from Europe, Buckcherry, Jared Weeks, Girl on Fire and Saving Abel, to the L.A. Guns. The band have also recently filmed an episode of the hit TV show “Bar Rescue”, which will air on Channel 5 later this year.

With the trio’s blossoming live reputation, Devilstrip decided to turn their attention to crafting their debut album ‘Rise’. Independently mixed and produced, the record is a call to arms for anyone and everyone that has an affinity with burly riffs and earnest songwriting. The layered depth of their debut album is evident as hammering drums and probing guitars, entwined with alluring hooks, cleverly wind their way deep into your core. Tracks such as the mighty ‘Go’ and the emotive ‘She Said’ are sure to light up radio airwaves. Devilstrip will tour the UK in the Spring, so latch onto the band now before they explode in 2016.

-DEVILSTRIP RELEASE ‘RISE’ THROUGH ALL STORES ON FRIDAY 22nd JANUARY-

https://www.devilstriprocks.com  https://www.facebook.com/Devilstripband  https://twitter.com/akrondevilstrip