Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ http://www.sandnessofficial.com/shop/ and other online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Renegade Twelve – Self Titled

renegade-twelve-promo-shot_RingMasterReview

With a character which refuses to be pigeonholed yet openly embraces every flavour of melodic metal and heavy rock you care to mention, the self-titled debut from Renegade Twelve is oh so easy to like. Offering ten rousing slices of rock ‘n’ roll as inventive as they are seemingly familiar, the release is a formidable and increasingly captivating introduction to the British outfit.

Hailing from Suffolk, Renegade Twelve emerged in 2014, formed by long-time friends in lead guitarists Jacob Mayes and Dan Potter, bassist Josh Barnard, and drummer Jack Mcsloy. It was with the addition of vocalist Sam Robson that the jigsaw of talent was finally complete, a union driving the band through over 100 gigs in 2016 alone in support and preparation for the release of their first album.

Recording it with producer Rupert Matthews who has collaborated with the likes of Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Eagles, and Black Sabbath, Renegade Twelve quickly unleash their individual and united enterprise with opener Mad Max. It opens from afar, sonic melodies and fiery energy brewing up their engines at a distance until ready to stand toe to toe with the listener. Once in place it is an imposing yet not overtly aggressive proposition, Robson soon leading the surge of adventure with his quickly impressive tones as guitars weave their sonic tapestry around the swinging rhythms of Barnard and Mcsloy. A definite Avenged Sevenfold colouring coats the song but it also offers plenty more to get the teeth into.

Vanity follows with its own blistering weave of melodic and heavy metal, its instinctive roar equally brewed on an array of textures from alternative and groove metal to classic rock. With ease, as its predecessor, it sparks the spirit and energies before Heroes Of Mine embraces ears with its melody rich, almost folk metal spiced enterprise before settling into its muscular melodically persuasive rock ‘n’ roll canter. Though the track is eclipsed by those around it, there is no lessening of appetite and enjoyment already bred by the album especially as the technical imagination of the guitarists dance evocatively on ears.

A carnivorously toned bass growl is just one ingredient in the thickly riveting success of Bipolar, anthemic vocals and raw virulence another as it energetically and at times venomously prowls the senses. It too just misses out on matching earlier heights yet has attention solely in its inventive hands especially when the organic animosity of its heart erupts and fuels a great passage of irritability.

renegade-twelve-cover-artwork_RingMasterReviewThrough the predatory landscape and infection clad swing of the outstanding This Town the album hits a new plateau, the track a boisterous funk lined stomp with a defiant snarl on every corner. Its individual nature adds to the already open variety within release and Renegade Twelve sound, a diversity further stretched by the power balladry/classic metal blaze of War Plane and in turn the epic yet intimate bellow of Somme. The first of the two leaves nothing to be dissatisfied with but is overshadowed by its surrounding companions with the sensational second of the two pure creative theatre with no signs of indulgence or wasteful seconds.

Yeah Boi swaggers in straight after, grouchy basslines and punchy beats joining cantankerous riffs in an irresistibly compelling instrumental unafraid to reveal a Pantera inspired swing bound in spicily toxic grooves. It sets ears and pleasure up perfectly for the fiercely catchy antics of MFC, a blistering sonic ravaging of ears, and straight after the melodic hug of closing track Bill & Chief. From its gentle, acoustically nurtured start, the song catches ablaze with melodic and emotive flames to bring the album to a conclusion as impressive as its start.

Renegade Twelve is a stunning debut sure to appeal to fans of most flavours within the metal realm such its richness of styles. The fact that the band still finds a pretty distinct sound even with its familiar essences is testament to the imaginative writing and unmissable skills of its individuals.

Renegade Twelve is out 27th January.

http://renegadetwelve.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/Renegade-Twelve-1393405887586971/   https://twitter.com/renegadetwelve

Pete RingMaster 25/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Mojo Slide -Twist Your Bones

 

mojo slide_RingMaster Review

Uniting blues and rock ‘n’ roll, and many other colours with their own feverish climate of imagination and dirt encrusted textures, UK rockers The Mojo Slide release their first album this month, an encounter as fiery and sonically smoky as an alcohol fuelled barbecue. Twist Your Bones offers eleven faces of blues scented dark rock ‘n’ roll, each song a fresh twist on another whilst breeding their own distinctive dose of contagious devilry.

It is an infection loaded flavouring which has captured loyal and eager support for the Cambridge, St Neots, and Cambridgeshire hailing quintet since they formed in 2011. Locally and further afield, The Mojo Slide has built a rich reputation for their live stomp, an earned stature backed by a clutch of singles leading to the release of their gripping full-length debut, it a proposition easy to imagine pushing the band to national attention with the potential for much more.

Twist Your Bones opens with the glorious Addicted, a song which from its first breath of scuzzy guitar seizes ears and attention. In a few moments more rhythms are strolling with carnival-esque revelry as the voice of Mark Wilks stands astride sharing the track’s narrative like a side show barker. With quaint keys courting the thick enticing of Mike Fenna’s guitar backed in potency by the prowess of rhythm guitarist Matt Legg, the song swings along with vaudevillian virulence, simultaneously riding a rhythmic contagion cast by bassist Danny Savage and drummer Michael Graham. There is a touch of Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers to the impressive opener which continues into the just as thrilling Jesus Don’t Love Me. The second song similarly opens on thick guitar bait, scything riffs aligning with a throaty bassline too as an instant catchiness comes the way of the vocals. Again as its predecessor, the outstanding track has its and the listener’s hips swinging with zeal whilst it roams the imagination with a jazz/funk bred tenacity entwined in warped rock ‘n’ roll.

The Mojo Slide - Twist Your Bones - Front Cover art_RingMaster Review     From an old single to the band’s new one in the warm embrace of Smiling. Just released to make a potent teaser for the album, the country bloomed croon gently glides along on a southern twang and again highly enjoyable vocals, that union alone brewing a catchy tempting under the track’s sultry air and blues seamed The Black Keys type serenade. Though not as dramatic as the first two, the song reveals the depth and adventure to the band’s songwriting and sound whilst indeed laying down a strong invitation for Twist Your Bones.

The following High is a blaze of harmonic and sonic causticity and again an inescapably addictive persuasion, with Wilks the ringleader of a gloriously compelling chorus and the energetic bubbling of blues acidity around it. As many songs, there is a sense of recognition to the inspirations and flavours within the song, yet brewed and boiled up into a distinctive swagger. Norwegian rockers Electric Woodland do come to mind during already another big highlight of the album but as suggested, only a welcoming spice in The Mojo Slide stomp.

     Make You Bleed is similarly styled sound wise but leaning more towards a Rolling Stones meets White Stripes flame of sonic seduction whilst previous single Bad In Every Bone, is a slice of delta blues inspired tempting spun by the conflagrant craft and enterprise of the guitars. Stalked by the throaty shadows of bass and intimidating beats, the track seduces as it prowls, adding a funk infused essence to its blues which definitely has a tang of Red Hot Chili Peppers to it. Both tracks impress and get the body keenly moving, with the latter a real incendiary incitement before Rattlesnake Humbug Blues gets feet and hips bursting with further energy with its classic Jerry Lee Lewis toned rock ‘n’ roll.

A transfixing dance of vintage/modern keys brings a captivating texture and enticement to The Ballad Of Satan The Devil next, at times the song laying a Doors like touch on ears whilst in other moments eighties electro pop nudges as an Arctic Monkeys like spicing lurks in the heated roar of the song. It is another shade of sound and creativity in the album, as mentioned its diversity an enjoyable trait continuing in the Dylan-esque canter of Little Bird and in turn the soul blues meets rockabilly, bluegrass seeded Drunk Dog Blues. If an appetite for the album was wavering, something highly unlikely as we found, the track chains it back up again in rich style, quickly backed by the closing psych rock burn of The Sky Is Falling In, a sizzling ramble of rock ‘n’ roll also searing ears and exciting the senses.

For those with a bent for blues and firebrand rock ‘n’ roll, Twist Your Bones is a must, but equally it has a twisted and slightly psychotic tinge to its voice and invention which will appeal to those with a taste for bold alternative adventures. Our recommendation is to go find out if it is for you anyway as fun is a sure fire reward.

Twist Your Bones is released November 14th @ http://www.themojoslide.com/music–2

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Pete RingMaster 11/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Arrogants – Introducing…

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The first striking thing, apart from four stomping songs, about Introducing… the new EP from French garage rockers The Arrogants, is the passion and obvious relish the band has for their music and its seeds. The release is a potent and energetic encounter which in presence alone gets the listener swiftly involved and feeling the heart of the band. The fact that the songs are also raw and vibrant slices of feverish enterprise does the success of the EP no harm either.

Inspired by and blending rich essences of blues and rock ’n’ roll with a sixties strain of rhythm ’n’ blues and garage rock, The Arrogants began as a 14-year old duo, becoming a 15-year old trio before the addition of an organist took the Lille band to a quartet. Earning an eager following and reputation through their live performances , which has included supporting The Pretty Things and playing the Vintage Weekend in front of 15,000 people, The Arrogants are poised to give the wider world a potent nudge with their new EP. Produced by Yvan Serrano and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, The Killers, Rolling Stones, Jack White), the Dirty Water Records released Introducing… is ready and able to stir up ears and greedy appetites for the band’s fiery sound.

Opening track Mr. Devil instantly has ears and attention awake with a flavoursome stroke of guitar, its spicy voice gripping bait to which the equally as organ melodies of Martin Tournemire adds their own savoury tempting. There is an immediate sixties touch to the track through those keys and also the echo kissed vocals of guitarist Thomas Babczynski, his agreeably ear grazing delivery as honest and raw as the feisty sounds around him. Rhythmically there is a more modern temperament, the bass of Louis Szymanowski strolling with broad shoulders whilst the beats of Hugo El Hadeuf bring a crispy flirtation and confidence to the magnetic encounter.

The delicious sweep of keys opening up We’re Arrogant next is another inescapable lure, its melodic embrace the perfect coaxing for the rhythmic swagger and guitar teasing of the track to spring from. With group vocals similarly sleeveinviting, the track makes a seductive persuasion for ears and emotions before kicking up a gear with a garage punk seeded feistiness which soaks the whole of the song before relaxing back into its opening flirty stroll. As its predecessor, it is an immediate romp which needs little time to set senses and imagination ablaze, something its successor not quite as swift in but ultimately finds the same excited reactions over time. With a delicious blues kissed harmonica joining the just as sultry organ adventure as the bass discovers its own throbbing suasion, the song strides with resourceful and unfussy, bordering on dirty temptation. In many ways like a mix of The Barracudas and The Pretty Things with a spice of 13th Floor Elevators, the song grows and flourishes to greater success over time, revealing more of the depths and potential of the band.

The EP is closed by the garage punk infused It’s an Experience, clunky riffs and a great moaning bassline making the perfect temper and compliment to the organ’s flowery designs. Driven by punchy beats and the distinctive almost angrily delivered vocals of Babczynski, the song is an unpolished, slightly antagonistic treat bringing a fine release to a richly satisfying conclusion.

The Arrogants are looking to broaden their presence and appeal beyond the spotlight of their homeland and with Introducing… they have made a very forceful and exciting start.

Introducing… will be released on Dirty Water Records on 6th October digitally and on 7” vinyl @ http://www.dirtywaterrecords.co.uk/shop/#!/The-Arrogants-Mr-Devil-EP-+-download/p/38334168/category=2902026

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RingMaster 26/09/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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Liquid Meat – In Meat We Trust

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Want a slab of rock ‘n’ roll just to lose yourself in and let inhibitions slip away with, then try out In Meat We Trust the new album from German rockers Liquid Meat. The thirteen track riot is from start to finish an honest and mischievous fusion of heavy rock, metal, and punk rock with extras, which simply leads passions astray and body into an unbridled stomp of instinctive devilry.

The creation of German born Rocker Freddie Mack, Liquid Meat was formed in Los Angeles in 2004 and was soon playing a horde of gigs around Hollywood. Two albums followed before in 2011, Mack returned to his hometown of Munich which meant a new line-up was needed. This led to the recruiting of drummer Manu Holmer and bassist Max Horch, and unsurprisingly soon after the trio was back into the swing of playing shows, drawing attention, acclaim, and notoriety musically all over again. Earlier this year the band began recording the Indiegogo crowd funded In Meat We Trust with legendary producer Reinhold Mack (Queen, ELO, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, etc.), the result one mouth-watering rock ‘n’ roll party which enjoyably wears its warts and influences like a badge.

The album opens with Liquid Meat Anthem, an uncomplicated bruising of choice riffs and crisp rhythms aligned to a great bass sound which probably grabs attention most of all on the track. The growling vocals of Mack instantly reveal the grin in his delivery and the song, whilst the backing calls of the rest of the band lays swift anthemic bait. It is hard to ignore the Motorhead like causticity and charm of the track as it provides one strong and inviting entrance into the album.

The following song right away shows the unpredictable and diverse flavouring to come across the release. They Lied sways in front of the ears with a sultry blues haze to its sonic enticement before prowling around the imagination with a IMWT Cover_1funk bred swagger which has the markings of Infectious Grooves. Equally there is a punk air to the blend which only increases the persuasion, especially when provides urgency through the chorus which brings another tasty spice, this time a Rage Against The Machine colour. It is an infectiously flavoursome track with twists of drama and an increasingly addictive groove. Its triumph is immediately matched by the outstanding Punch The Clock. Its opening intimidation of bass and predatory rhythms makes for an intense affair though that is soon lost to a big smile as the track starts flirting with what can be best described as Macho Man does Pantera. Mack does his best wrestler vocal impression as a groove certainly related to the one in Walk binds attention and appetite. It is insatiable in its luring and delicious in its devilment with Holmer providing her most magnetic rhythms yet alongside the throaty bounce of Horch’s bass.

The best song on the album is followed by the smouldering blues revelry of Double Standard Blues and then the punk joy of Black Out. The first also has a swagger which grips imagination as well as ears, whilst as with most songs lyrically it brings a devilish tone to climb on board with. Though not at the same heights of the first songs, it still provides a pleasing proposition which its successor soon over runs. Teasing and exciting ears with a riff stolen from The Ramones songbook, so much so that you just are waiting for the “Hey Ho! Let’s Go!” chant, the song is punk ‘n’ roll at its most contagious; hooks and beats as potent and greedily devoured as the driving riffs and bursts of caustic intensity. The track is another which makes claims on that best track title.

Both There Is No God and Guilty As Charged keep things strolling along nicely, the first with a dark blues whisper to its almost psychobilly kissed blues breath, which reminds of Joecephus and the George Jonestown Massacre, whilst the second puts a lighter shade of the first to a raw and incendiary classic metal canvas. Each song leaves a dose of keen pleasure behind whilst the next up Rock N Roll Will Never Die from a reserved but alluring opening melodic flame, breaks into a virulently catchy stomp of old school rock toxicity with a fevered rhythmic energy. There are no surprises with the song but a flood of hooks and inescapable trappings which leaves ears and emotions on a high as lofty as that forged by the groupie salaciousness of Up Against The Wall, never has rock ‘n’ roll romance been so aurally addictive.

The decent enough fiery rock sounds of classic/blues rocker Road House comes next before another pinnacle of the album arrives in the shape of Fuck That. The track is a return to a more punk led rampage, its jabbing rhythms and scything riffs again offering a slight rockabilly flirtation whilst the bass roams around like an adulterous predator. Revealing a parade of impossible addictive hooks and grooves blessed with a Dead Kennedys temperament, it is another glorious encounter which leaves the remaining pair of songs a task to match and leave the album on a high. That they do with consummate ease though, Smoke ‘Em a grizzled protest and confrontation of bruising raw rock ‘n’ roll and final song, The Devils Music is a noir cloaked stroll with sinister intent and psychobilly/blues intrigue. As all songs the tongue in cheek honesty is as infectious as the great sounds and adventure it rides in upon.

It is fair to say that In Meat We Trust is not going to be the greatest album you are going to hear but it will be one of the most fun and irresistible.

In Meat We Trust is available now @ www.liquidmeatlocker.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 25/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Return from the Grave – Gates of Nowhere

Return From The Grave - Band

Seeded and drenched in the thick atmospheres of seventies metal aligned to the oppressive textures and persistence of doom metal and blistering stoner designs, Gates of Nowhere the new album from Italian metallers Return from the Grave is a wide wake-up call to a band with rich potential and exhausting intensity. Its seven tracks consume and suffocate the senses relentlessly yet bring them and the imagination alive with compelling resourceful enterprise. It is a proposition which ebbs and flows a little in holding the tightest grip on attention but never lets it wander or enjoyment of its often spellbinding and predacious incitement falter.

Hailing out of Venezia, the quartet of vocalist Semenz, guitarist Sparta, bassist Kilo, and drummer Jack came together in 2011 and soon unveiled their self-titled debut EP. It was followed the following year by first album The Rebirth from the Last Breath, its heavy tsunami like provocations earning comparisons to bands such as Black Sabbath, Orange Goblin, and Orchid in the acclaim. Casting themes bred from ‘Horror stories and the hidden meanings of Life and Death’ within Gates of Nowhere, the debut release for the band on Argonauta Records, Return From The Grave are entering through a doorway to a wider recognition with its release. A one way trip you feel such the richness and depth not forgetting rigorous seduction oozing from within the Richard Whittaker (Saint Vitus, The Who, Black Sabbath and Rolling Stones) mastered release.

The first thing hitting senses and appreciative thoughts is the production. As thick and cavernous as the sounds it surrounds, it brings the Return From The Grave - Coverlistener into the dark origins of the ingredients the band infuses into their propositions. It gives, as evidenced superbly in the ravenous Intro which starts the journey off, a sinister foreboding air and seemingly analogue breath to the release, a portentous oppressiveness which really suits the music and intensive energy of the tracks. The opening piece is dark and ravenous, a dangerous swamp of sound and intimidatingly emotive textures which seduces as it infests the psyche. It has a heavy poetry to its funereal stance which captivates thoughts as it leads the listener into the last strikes of its storm and subsequently the following Words In Words. The start of the second track is deceptive, its welcoming strands of sonic coaxing almost jovial after the sufferance before. It is bait which persists as rugged rhythms and swipes of guitar and bass enter the narrative but eventually swamped as the vocals blaze away within a now burning cauldron of energy and sound. There is still a swagger and melodic temptation which steals attention from the weighty substance around them though but in turn it loses out to the excellent resonance effected vocals. Ultimately all combined it is a storming stomp of a song, a dramatically magnetic slab of voracious metal.

Center Of The Will opens up next with a bewitching crawl of gnarly bass and teasing percussion before being joined by the entwining tendrils of guitar, its lure acidic and searing as it crosses the senses. Finding a potent stride with rhythmic muscles swiping through every beat, the track becomes a furnace of melodic rabidity and sonic tenacity which flares and seduces with incendiary potency from within the lumbering yet keen gait of the song. Twists and turns bring intrigue to the generally singular course of the incitement, adding along with the scorched vocals, rich distractions to the compelling burdensome weight of the encounter. Leaning into its finale the track explodes into a rabid charge of riffs and rhythms, a thrash like urgency and hunger taking over the driving seat for an exceptional climax.

The intensive intimidation of The Rage Of Rays steps in next to push the listener into an even deeper wash of seventies nurtured metal, again a Sabbath like predation and enticement leading the way, though that bait is never far from the surface of any song within the album. The impressively sculpted and layered beast smoulders and burns with an even tempered intensity and appeal compared to the previous tracks but it lacks the indefinable something which left its predecessors so persuasive and gripping. It is still an appetising meal for the ears but soon forgotten as the rolling menacing rhythms of Uncovered Fate burst into life. The drums hypnotise senses and imagination instantly before sharing time with another excellent animalistic snarl from the bass and cutting scythes of guitar. Snatches of melodic seducing and glazes of sultry suasion almost dance within the devilish portrait unfurling within the imagination whilst the vocals, which were not as effective on the last song, are back on form here as they join the creative maze spun by the guitars within the expanding rapacious enthralling adventure.

The release closes with firstly the mesmeric River In The Sky, a fascinating flight which reveals more about the band in many ways than the other songs, its sirenesque use of atmospheres and ambient beauty within dramatic aural structures sheer captivation, and lastly Inside Human’s Soul. The final song is an alternative version of a track which appeared on the band’s debut album, a more of a straightforward charge within more predictable walls which reveals the growth between the band’s two albums.

Gates of Nowhere is an engrossing encounter from a band evolving potently and it is easy to feel has a big future on the larger stoner/doom metal stage waiting.

Gates of Nowhere is available via Argonauta Records and @ http://returnfromthegrave.bandcamp.com/album/gates-of-nowhere now!

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8/10

RingMaster 03/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Falling Red – Empire Of The Damned

Falling Red Online Promo Shot

    There is something very familiar about Falling Red and their explosion of heavy metal soaked with dirty hard and sleaze rock fire, a fusion which wakes up the passions like a merger of Motley Crue with Black Veil Brides and Black Stone Cherry. That aspect though is only a positive in the hands of the UK band which picks up well-trodden and arguably exhausted existing enterprise and brings it back to life in an invigorating and thrilling contagious rampage distinct to themselves. New album Empire Of The Damned is a storming riot of addictive hooks and incendiary grooves thrust into the heart of high octane anthemic and hard hitting rock ‘n’ roll. There is an eager buzz around the band right now and the album shows exactly why.

     The Carlisle band formed in 2007 and has been stirring up audiences earning a strong reputation from almost day one with their renowned and incendiary live performances. Over the past years Falling Red has supported the likes of Sebastian Bach and Steel Panther, to strong acclaim, and sparked further attention with the Hasta La Victoria Siempre EP and 2010 debut album Shake The Faith. With successful headlining tours also under their belt the quartet of vocalist/guitarist Rozey, guitarist Jayde Starr, bassist Dann Marx, and drummer Dave Sanders set about creating and recording their Pledgemusic funded second album with Matt Elliss (The Black Spiders, The 1975), the mastering undertaken by Pete Maher (U2, Rolling Stones, Linkin Park) last year. Consisting of eleven insatiably ravenous and passionate encounters, the release is an anarchic and belligerent blaze of virulent rock infectiousness which easily ignites the senses and emotions.

     Opener Time To Rise is a short scene setter, a breeze of melodic guitar behind defiant words which raises its temperature and cult cover lrgintensity the further it declares its intent before a closing gentle coaxing makes way for the immediately antagonistic The Devil You Know. Punchy beats and energy charged riffs stalk and stroll through the ears whilst the vocals of Rozey hold a mischief to their fiery tempting. It is not a dramatically imposing and striking track but one which wakes an eager appetite for the album and gives a healthy indication of what is to come. Skilfully presented and fired up with an obvious passion, the song makes an infection clad access into the album.

    Its potent invitation is soon put in the shade by the outstanding We Escaped A Cult, the new video single from the band. A radiant drizzle of guitar elegance provides the first breath of the song with skittish percussive invention dancing around its luring as Rozey again picks up strong attention. Soon into its heavy stride the track stomps into the imagination with addiction forging grooves and again openly predacious rhythms but equally with a charm and devilry that leave the emotions alert and enthused to join the action. With a Manson-esque swagger and great anthemic group vocals equally as flirtatious with the passions, the contagion is a masterful and thrilling encounter.

    The groove driven Break Me takes little time in stealing its slice of the brewing fixation with the album, the sinew framed romp of taunting rhythms and toxically virulent riffery irresistible with the bass of Marx not for the last time having delicious rapacious savagery to its tone. That lure makes a similar call on the next up Outcast, Marx leading the song into another instantaneous and virulent temptation on the emotions. Shadow cloaked at the start evolving into a melodically flaming blaze of hungry rhythms and bold sonic causticity, the track then takes its allurement up multiple degrees with one of those salacious grooves which street corners were made for. It is a beast of a song with enticing of epidemic proportions as it makes a riotous rival for best song honours.

    The exciting stature of the album is continued with Disposable, a twisting and swerving hook driven song with more enjoyable toxic bait than a rat trap, and the title track, though the second of the two takes longer to make its full persuasion. From an accomplished and engaging slow start the song is soon flexing muscle and intensity with passionate melodic and vocal expression to feed intrigue and satisfaction. It does not make the swift union of other songs with emotions even though everything about it sweats craft and enterprise. As suggested given time the track does reveal a depth and strength which is hard to dismiss or avoid as it adds another strong aspect to the album’s impressive character.

     As The Defiled reminding We Are Reckless and the punk toned rocker No Sanctuary step forward with their irrepressible energy and adventure pleasure is kept at a high even if passions may be less intensively ignited, both nevertheless high octane provocations which still only invite eager attentiveness. The album is certainly stronger in its first two thirds than its last but as the scintillating predatory Lonely Way To Die with its acidic melodies and psyche infecting grooves shows there is still a bruising, exhilarating, and snarling proposition lying in wait to ignite the rioter in us all. Followed by the more predictable yet refreshingly digestible rocker Change For No One, Falling Red brings Empire of the Damned to a vigorous and imaginatively lustful close. The band may have been the rising storm on the radar of a great many but with their new album you can only see the awareness of the whole of the country’s rock ‘n’ roll community finding a greedy attraction towards their recognisable but still original tempestuous musical anarchy.

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8.5/10

RingMaster 26/01/2014

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