Heartlay – Remedy EP

Pic by Sami Benhamou

Pic by Sami Benhamou

French band Heartlay made their introduction with the well-received debut EP Injection just over a year ago and fair to say their imaginative blend of industrial and melody rich metal sparked potent reactions and words. Now they have followed it up with an even mightier exploit in Remedy, a five-track EP continuing the band’s experimental merger of rich flavours. The band is still working towards their wholly unique sound but whilst showing a realisation of some of the potential impressing within its predecessor Remedy taps into fresh promise which forcibly suggests the Parisian quartet is an exciting prospect to watch.

Formed in 2014 by vocalist/composer Aaron Sadrin, Heartlay quickly finalised its creative strength with guitarist Johan Laë (ex-Moven.S), bassist Flo Lemonnier (ex-Kera, ex-Thanatic Eyes) and drummer Loïs Arnaldi (of Irradiance). As mentioned Injection quickly put the band on the radar of a great many luring strongly positive reactions in turn and now building upon its base and success, Heartlay is set to spark greater attention as they explore darker and more creatively demanding essences with Remedy. Adding greater raw aggression and emotional shadows this time around whilst pushing their imagination to thicker boldness, the EP shows an open evolution which has ears suitably gripped from the opening moment of the Brett Lamas-Caldas (Tower Studio: SepticFlesh, Devin Townsend) mastered EP.

COVER_RingMaster ReviewBring You Down opens things up, the song a strenuous wall of riffs and rhythms swiftly entwined in wiry sonic enterprise and vocal expression. Its intensity and power is a commanding and forceful wind but still allowing room for the melodic prowess and inventive weave of heavy rock and steely metal textures to make their persuasion. A Gravity Kills feel with a fierce fire to it graces the seriously engaging mix as vocals seduce and roar to match the journey of the music across the impressing start to Remedy. It is a potent persuasion continuing with Consequence. The scent of Nine Inch Nails hinted at in the first is a stronger flavouring to the second song, but equally there is an element of UK band MiXE1 and Deftones at play too as it reveals its own distinctive tapestry of searing sonic endeavour and electronic exploration.

As the opener gripped ears, the second intensifies the tempting with its sonically sizzling air and dramatic character; that progression continuing as The Battle initially coaxes the senses with warm keys aligned to a haunting ambience wrapping the raw industrial core of the song. Spineshank comes to thoughts early on in the increasingly volatile and compelling track as well as a generally assumed Trent Reznor inspiration, both stirring up more reasons to enjoy the abrasively tenacious and increasingly enjoyable proposition.

Through The Window adds its creative weight to the convincing roar of the EP next, its body a perpetually twisting venture of electronic and metal resourcefulness that again seems to be another little step on in imagination and potency than its predecessor, a trend across Remedy that does it no harm.

The melancholic ambience soaked Black Walls concludes the release, its predominantly instrumental body seemingly and enjoyably seeded in eighties dark wave invention with Gary Numan and The Cure passing thoughts as the track seduces with its cold romance and inspires the imagination through its haunting elegance. It is a strong end to Remedy, offering another side to the fascinating Heartlay sound.

The EP is an intriguing and tantalising next step in the emergence of the French band. There are moments where the release seems to resist going further into the unknown or wavers in its real strengths but from start to finish, whilst leaving ears thoroughly enamoured, Remedy suggests Heartlay is a band with the qualities and imagination to make a major impact.

The Remedy EP is out now @ https://heartlay.bandcamp.com/album/remedy-ep or http://heartlay.bigcartel.com/

http://www.heartlay.com/     http://twitter.com/heartlaymusic   https://www.facebook.com/heartlaymusic

Pete RingMaster 08/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Black Crown Initiate – The Wreckage of Stars

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Never have open hostility and uncompromising brutality been as elegantly seductive and radiantly fascinating as within The Wreckage of Stars, the debut album from US progressive extreme metallers Black Crown Initiate. Actually that is not quite true as the band’s previous and extraordinary Song of the Crippled Bull EP offered such imaginative daring too but within the album it has bred a new bulk and exploration which is as fearsome as it is gloriously mesmeric. Their entrance was dramatic and startling and now with The Wreckage of Stars, the Pennsylvanian quintet’s emergence is complete, placing them right there side by side with the likes of Between The Buried And Me, The Ocean, and Opeth.

Formed in 2012, the Reading hailing Black Crown Initiate was soon drawing on experiences, individual inspirations, and a vast web of styles to create what is a maelstrom of gripping ingenuity and vicious enterprise. The evidence was immediately audible with the unleashing of Song of the Crippled Bull, an introduction which was as drenched in acclaim as it was in enthralling and unique inventive personality. Its attention grabbing success led to the band securing a coveted spot on the Metal Alliance Tour alongside Goatwhore and Behemoth, as well as the sharing of stages with bands such as Septicflesh, Fleshgod Apocalypse, and Rivers of Nihil. Earlier this year Black Crown Initiate signed with eOne and now in tandem go for the psychological jugular and lustful passions with The Wreckage of Stars.

The release opens with Great Mistake and an instantly seducing enticing of melodies. It is an inviting coaxing by the guitars which only gains weight and potency as imposing rhythms and aggressive riffs join its bait. Continuing to warmly lure within the brewing tempest, the song leads the senses into the bestial tones of vocalist James Dorton, every syllable expelled loaded with malice and guttural intensity. Still the song is a seductive persuasion though and intriguingly, it is when the superb clean vocals of guitarist Andy Thomas grasps ears that the track finds itself at its most threatening as the music flares up around him. It is a delicious and surprising outcome, alone revealing so much about the skill and songwriting personality of the band. Across its extensive landscape, the track boils, squalls, and explores mellow intent, every second and twist of the song a new surprise and magnetic contagion, especially the Eastern veining which colours its engrossing finale.

The outstanding start places the album on an early plateau which subsequent tracks either stalk as boldly or certainly flirt with in presence and invention. The following The Fractured One is one hitting similar heights, its immediate BCI_coveragitated predation of tempestuous beats from drummer Jesse Beahler and throaty tempting from the bass of Nick Shaw, an enslaving death metal spiced frame within which the guitars of Thomas and Rik Stelzpflug cast tenaciously imaginative and hostile enterprise. One of the shorter songs on the album, it is an incessant and virulently contagious torrent of barbarous and sonically scorching savagery.

A breather of sorts after the inhospitable onslaught of the previous tack comes with Malignant, its opening of classically honed guitar a caress of calm within the established storm of the album. Guitars nestle creatively up to the imagination straight away though that suggested respite is eventually smothered by the serpentine venom of Dorton’s vocals and a pestilential tsunami of corrosive rhythms and caustic riffery. Of course nothing can be assumed with a Black Crown Initiate track, something learned early on the last EP, and soon the increasingly impressive warm voice of Thomas breaks the wall of maliciousness, aligning itself eventually with a similarly engrossing and graceful weave of melodic design and expression. Though it is restless to return to savaging the senses, the track courts this peace as long and creatively as possible, ensuring the song again leaves expectations a lost cause.

Both the carnivorous ferocity of The Human Lie Manifest and the exhausting technicality of Withering Waves leave senses cowering and imagination basking in majestic aural warfare; the pair, as all songs, parading more of the craft and inventive depths of the band. The second of the two is especially scintillating as extremes of light and dark, animosity and melodic beauty come together in one spellbinding emprise, a mouth-watering adventure matched by the primal and ruinous presence of To The Eye That Leads You. This erupts with a tornado of vocal enmity, the assault at times an inaudible suffocation of intent and lyrical intimidation which in allowing a coarsely veiled clarity to emerge intimidates further. Around it though there is a swing and swagger to the sounds which is no less vicious but does provides an inescapable infectiousness. It is a vat of bad blood and the thrilling dark-side to the climactic and forcibly elegant beauty of the album’s title track. Predominantly instrumental it closes with a vocal union of all sides shown so far on the album, to provoke a new hunger in appetite and thoughts.

There is no escaping the relentless battering and sonic violation uncaged by Shapes Collapse next, the track as so many, no matter how harmful and fierce it impacts on body and senses casting an addictive and seriously enticing infection. It is a constant lure throughout the tempest but especially pungent in the glade of melodic reflection ventured by song and guitars before climbing back into the outskirts of the initial storm.

The album closes with firstly the arresting terrain of Purge, a track which entwines imaginative charm and melodic beauty with voracious and vehement fuelled hostility for a mutually unsettling and seductive examination of ears and emotions. It is succeeded by Linear, a sensational final encounter where under persistent hellacious provocation, the lighter side of the band has full and irresistible rein.

     The Wreckage of Stars is a major triumph proving that the last EP was no flash in the pan but instead just the appetiser to greater sonic alchemy and brutal expression from Black Crown Initiate. Now is the time to explore their brilliant fury, though you can only feel as with their music, there will be no escaping their presence and touch from hereon in anyway.

The Wreckage of Stars is available now via eOne Heavy / Good Fight

http://www.facebook.com/BlackCrownInitiate

RingMaster 29/10/2014

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