Altitudes and Attitude – Get It Out

Just the thought of two of metal’s finest most influential bassists linking up whets the appetite; indeed a potential pleasure which pretty much inflamed said optimism with the release of an EP five years back. That teaser though has just become a full on feast of hard rock ’n’ roll pleasure with the release of Get It Out the debut album from Altitudes & Attitude.

For those yet to discover the outfit, Altitudes & Attitude is the creative union of Anthrax’s Frank Bello and Megadeth’s David Ellefson. It was a partnership sparked when the pair started touring together to lead bass clinics for the amp manufacturer Hartke in 2010.To provide backing tracks to support their demonstrations the pair began writing songs, this leading four years later to the unveiling of a three track EP. Now the link-up has brought us Get It Out and thirteen tracks which pretty much rock the life of the majority of hard rock offerings of recent times. You might say that the album is not the most unique, it openly embracing assumedly some of the hues of the pair’s own musical likes and pleasures over time, yet it has a freshness and individual character which uses such flavours rather than relies on them. At times it has a definite John Bush led Anthrax meets Foo Fighters roar but from start to finish stomps with its own voice and gait to relentlessly thrill.

Produced by Jay Ruston (Anthrax, Steel Panther, Stone Sour) and with drummer Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Ashes Divide, Filter) unleashing the driving rhythms throughout, Get It Out sees a host of guitarists guesting alongside the bass and rhythm guitar sharing of Ellefson and Bello, the latter providing the vocals and lyrical prowess. Among them is the familiar craft of Ace Frehley, Gus G (Firewind), Jon Donais (Shadows Fall/Anthrax) and Christian Martucci (Stone Sour); with all musicians involved adding to its magnetic lure.

The album opens with its title track and swiftly and easily had attention gripped as guitar bred wires entangled ears; their nagging increasingly compelling before riffs and rhythms add their persistence to the baiting of the senses. Bello’s vocals are just as potent as the track erupts into that Foo Fighters tinged roar which sweeps across the album at times. It is an outstanding track and start quickly matched by the similarly stirring and vigorous Late. The second track is less forceful in its initial tempting, almost teasing ears before hitting its muscular stride with Friedl’s beats a crisp trespass alongside the melodic caress of guitar. With a Verni like hue to its infectiousness and controlled holler, the song also effortlessly hit the spot with its multi-flavoured rock ‘n’ roll.

Lyrically, the album sees Bello open up to personal experiences and the intimate turbulence which have been part of his life; explorations just as intriguing as the sounds around them and fuelling further quick success in the likes of Out Here and Part Of Me. The first shares a delicious groove aligned to mountainous rhythms, their captivating unity matched by the harmonic call of vocals and guitar while the second is pure incitement from its gnarly bassline to thumping beats and hook springing virulence. Both tracks leave little to be desired but the latter with its imposing but galvanic trespasses was rock ‘n’ roll manna to personal tastes with a guitar solo to lap up.

The irresistible Slip ventures into a more indie rock lined hard rock stroll, vocals and melodies as infectious and manipulative as a virus while next up Talk To Me provides a relatively calmer but no less persuasive canter draped with a great Julian Cope-esque feel in voice and sound. Both tracks add to the already lofty heights of the release with creative and hearty relish before Leviathan shares more classic and heavy/progressive metal strains of enterprise. The instrumental is a magnetic detour from the thrust of the album so far adding another aspect to its increasingly varied landscape.

Cold shares some of its predecessor’s colouring within its own heavily satisfying melodic rock ‘n’ rumble with Another Day returning to shades of Dave Grohl and co with its controlled yet fiery saunter.    It was a song which maybe did not have us bouncing as lustfully as others but its magnetism was inescapable as too its hungry hooks and lures; coaxing just as thick and even more compelling within the emotively atmospheric and revealing All There Is where melodic droning and vocal intimacy blossoms.

The album concludes with bonus cuts of the songs which made up that first EP; all three remixed and re-mastered. Booze And Cigarettes has a great feral edge to its rock clamour, Tell The World a melodic almost poppy instinct to its catchiness, while Here Again is as much punk as it is heavy and hard rock bred; all three showing why Altitudes & Attitude had so many excited a few years back and anticipation for the album, they now thrillingly end, so keen.

A record which will appeal to a vast array of metal and rock fans, Get It Out is rock ‘n’ roll at its hearty best, so no more words needed just your soon to be hungrily happy ears.

Get It Out is out now through Megaforce Records.

https://www.facebook.com/altitudesandattitude/   http://www.altitudesandattitude.com/

Pete RingMaster 12/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Downpour – Self Titled

It has been waiting for its chance to explode on the metal scene for three years and now uncaged, the debut album from US outfit Downpour, is not going to let a little matter of a lengthy delay stop it making a very potent impact. Groove rich, rhythmically merciless, and built on individual craft which commands attention, the self-titled release is a declaration of creative power and intent.

Boston based, Downpour began as a project with no particular expectations and possibly aims except the simple desire to create music; indeed they were “instrumental jam nights among the members [which] offered a respite from real life – things like 9 to 5s, crumbling relationships, bills, and beyond. Their sessions were akin to therapy sessions and the music became increasingly heavy.” As things progressed drummer Derek Kerswill (Unearth) contacted Brian Fair former band mate in and vocalist for Shadows Fall. With its line-up completed by guitarist Matt LeBreton and bassist Pete Gelles, and itself a proposition which could not be denied, Downpour recorded this debut full-length in 2015. The quartet though decided to sit on it until the time was right and everything was in place for the album to be unveiled which thankfully is now.

Musically the album embraces a tapestry of metal bred flavours. Senses brutal groove metal could possibly be said to be at its heart yet in any given moment it can spring forth with progressive imagination or extreme metal predation. It swiftly proves an unpredictable and fluidly evolving encounter indeed which quite simply is metal at its most instinctive and style embracing best emerging with a voice openly individual to its creators.

The Serpent’s Tongue opens up the album, predatory riffs and Kerswill’s rapier swing to the fore but equally strands of citric endeavour entangle the trespass which in turn is accentuated by the familiar and ever magnetic tones of Fair and an increasingly antagonism in that rhythmic antipathy. Savage yet firmly galvanic, the track is superb; hues of bands like Pantera adding to an almost spiteful character but a grudge which invites deeper and greedier investigation as individual flair and prowess inspires a united enterprise.

It is an imagination though which is only broadened across the following Truth In Suffering, a song which immediately weaves a melodically crafted but volatility lined landscape of shadow cloaked intimation and portentousness. Physical and suggestive extremes collide and collude within its captivating body, vocals too aligning raw and melodic dexterity in an encounter which lyrically and emotionally reveals an intimacy to its roar.

Though you could apply certain names as reference to the pleasures with the album by these two tracks and successor Astral Projection there is no denying the distinct personality and endeavours of the Downpour sound and release. The third track has a relatively calmer and warmer presence than its predecessors but again there is an inherent volatility and tempestuousness which keeps expectations guessing and ears fascinated; that and the ever compelling imagination of songwriting and craft that breeds them.

Through the likes of darkly lit and siren-esque Still Waiting and the irritable enmity that is Without The Fear, the album simply continues beguiling and ravaging the senses. The first is pure seduction with Eastern hues to its adventure soaked landscape built upon rolling rhythms and intrigue casting guitar manipulation. It is superb, easily our favourite track within the album where virtually every note brings fresh mystery and adventure with that essence of danger and invasive reprisals, though neither are realised but always lurking. The second rises from its own inviting lure into a wiry entanglement of grooves, riffs, and voracity fuelled rhythms but a mercurial proposition tempered by the melodic toxins and harmonic caresses which rise up. Though eclipsed by the track before, it feels like the former’s dark side in many ways and was just as greedily devoured before Beautiful Nothing had the appetite licking its lips once more through its rancorous virulence and imagination embroiling exploits.

Mountain completes the release, another track which just stole ears and passions with ease. From the vocal prowess of Fair, the album surely one of his finest moments ever, through the rhythmic manipulation and suggestion of Gelles and Kerswill to the sonic weaving of LeBreton, the song, echoing the whole encounter, enthralled and aroused.

Anticipation for Downfall’s debut has been long and keen across media and fans alike and it is easy to expect all to feel the wait has been more than worthwhile, the album basically another of the year’s major highlights.

The Downpour album is out now via Noize in the Attic Records through all major digital platforms and @ https://downpourmetal.bandcamp.com/album/downpour

https://www.facebook.com/downpourmetal   https://twitter.com/downpourmetal

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hell Night / Sweat Shoppe – Split

A new split on Encapsulated Records sees two of St. Louis, Missouri’s finest come together for one simply tremendous encounter. The release features five tracks shared between Hellnight and Sweat Shoppe, a quintet of tracks which all unerringly got under the skin.

Pic by David Torrance

Hell Night provides the first two tracks within the split. Formed in 2014 by guitarist Andy White, the band additionally consists of bassist Eric Eyster, drummer Adam Arseneau, and the distinctive tones of former Shadows Fall and Overcast vocalist Brian Fair. Their sound is a ferocious yet instinctively animated fusion of metal and punk and as emphasized by the duo of offerings here fraught with virulently incisive hooks and grooves.

Their first track is Unincorporated, a predacious nagging of enterprise which is part feral part manipulation from its first breath. Fair’s rasping roar is soon infesting the invasive contagion, that array of flavours a rapacious entanglement squirreling its lures in ears and psyche. The track is superb, not richly unique yet wholly individual to the quartet as too its companion Overburden. Heavier and slightly more intense in its gait and tone, the song also webs the senses in the niggling prowess of guitars and bass as Arseneau’s beats bite and arouse. Its melodic undercurrent is just as tempting, new wave hues lining its understated but potent tease within the more carnal trespass.

Hell Night’s outstanding duo of tracks as quickly matched by the trio uncaged by punksters Sweat Shoppe. Another foursome, the band emerged in 2015 and includes members of The Disappeared, Horror Section, and The Timer as well as Ultraman vocalist Tim Jamison, the full line-up completed by Justin Haltmar, Gabe Usery, and Andrew Brandmeyer.

Lost and Mean is the first of the band’s tracks and immediately barrages ears with its unfussy yet skilfully honed attitude and ferocity. Its old school tone is instantly addictive within the minute and a half of punk belligerence, riffs unleashed and hooks uniting for a catchy invasion which continues within the even briefer Circumstance. The track’s hooks and riffs are ravenously contagious within the darker tone and climate of the song, aiding its inescapable persuasion and addictive trespass whilst reminding a touch of British punk legends Angelic Upstarts.

The final track from them is Clawing Brain, another antagonistic scowl of sonic contagiousness and rhythmic contempt around the attitude loaded vocal release of Jamison. It completes five tracks which do the highly enjoyable business with raw passion, energy, and imagination as well as a bit of intimidation. If either Hell Night or Sweat Shoppe has yet to hit your radar, their coming together here is one unmissable introduction and you can enjoyable further songs from both outfits on the Quarter Hour Of Power compilation also from Encapsulated Records; each release available digitally and on 7” vinyl now @ https://www.encapsulatedrecords.com/collections/releases   https://encapsulatedrecords.bandcamp.com and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/hellnightus/   https://www.facebook.com/sweatshoppemusic/

Pete RingMaster 10/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Carnivora – The Vision EP

mkramer_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Boston metallers Carnivora first caught our attention with an appearance on the excellent Bluntface Records compilation Operation: Underground. It featured a track from the band’s debut album Eternal, which after investigation turned out to equally be a stirring and attention exciting proposal. Now the band returns with the vicious exploits and temptations of The Vision EP, a ravenous and thrilling declaration of all the band’s skills and even bolder creative enmity.

Everything about The Vision is a step up from their impressive and acclaimed 2013 debut, the EP’s four tracks a cauldron of fierce imagination and volatile invention cast in maelstroms of diversely sculpted extreme metal. Groove and melodic metal enterprise colludes with death and thrash animosity in slabs of unpredictable and brutally irritable incitements, but furies ripe with captivating sonic adventure and melodic expression. Its release follows a successful couple of years which saw the band tearing up festivals such as the New England Metal & Hardcore Festival, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, The Summer Slaughter Tour, and Rock And Shock Festival, all last year, with their merciless sound and share stages with the likes of Cannibal Corpse, Behemoth, Overkill, Trivium, Job For A Cowboy, Avenged Sevenfold, Morbid Angel, Shadows Fall, and many more. The Vision is Carnivora now snarling viciously at broader and more intensive spotlights and a global awakening to their presence sure to be on the cards such the EP’s dramatic persuasion.

CARNIVORA_VisionCover_jpegReputation Radio/RingMaster Review     It opens with A Vision In Red, a song venomously driving through ears straight away, swiftly getting under the skin and invading into the psyche. Riffs and grooves from Cody Michaud and Mike Meehan swarm maliciously over the senses, their addictive presence and prowess addictive bait to which the raw vocal squalls of M. Scott Lentine unleash a diversely delivered and magnetic hostility. It is a gripping proposition, the barbarous swings of drummer Dan DeLucia and serpentine tones cast by the bass of Cam Hunt, an addictive spine around which the guitars blossom and expand rich acidic textures bred in sonic imagination. As unpredictable as it is fascinatingly virulent, increasing in both the further it evolves its creative landscape, the song provides a tremendous start to the release.

Its success is quickly matched by Pessimist’s Tongue, its opening suggestive ambience subsequently whipped up into a tempestuous climate of blistering and rancorous intensity. The guitars lay out a melodic invitation even in the stormy climate of the song, a beckoning impossible to resist despite rhythms hailing down on them and the senses. The vocals, singularly and as the band, soon bring another shade to the encounter, offering a cancerous trespass and rally cry for thoughts and emotions. The song is a glorious violation with underlying temptations such as an understated but seductive lure of keys, solidly backed by Razors & Rust. Arguably more restrained than its predecessors, well slightly more merciful, the track stands toe to toe with the listener raging vocally and emotionally whilst guitars again entangle their enterprise around body and imagination. It does not quite have the spark of the first two tracks but easily entices ears and thoughts into exploring its rich depths and textures to a success similar to that found by those before it.

With a thrilling end to its creative ire, the track departs for EP closer The Reek Of Defeat to provide a final bracing and abrasive ravishing. It carries an almost mischievous flirtation to its melodic design and adventurous gait yet there is little about the song which not predatory or fuelled by bad blood. Its consuming maliciousness leaves ears ringing and emotions high and enjoyably completes a thrilling onslaught of a release.

Carnivora has climbed to new plateaus with The Vision EP yet you can only feel it is just the start of new and greater creative grudges, which in turn is a thought and anticipation to savour.

The Vision EP is available from 23rd June via Manshark Entertainment @ http://carnivora.bandcamp.com/ and http://carnivora.bigcartel.com/

https://www.facebook.com/carnivoramass   http://www.twitter.com/carnivoramass

RingMaster 23/06/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

 

Huntress – Starbound Beast

Huntress-Promo-1

Though not flawless, Spell Eater the debut album from US heavy metallers Huntress, made a strong impression, its potent sounds and in the face devilry receiving mixed responses but always sparking something. For us it bred a definite appetite for what was to follow, a keen hunger which new release Starbound Beast teases with, satisfies more often than not but also leaves a sense that maybe the album is resting on earlier laurels rather than forging its own unique and forward driving adventure. It is certainly an appetising and frequently thrilling collection of powerful multi-flavoured tracks but lacks the dramatic impact which its predecessor ultimately achieved.

The Californian band fronted by the always potently pleasing vocals of Jill Janus, a classically trained singer who toured Europe as a teenage opera starlet before moving onto performing with Dave Navarro in a project called Under the Covers, arrived with a wind of brewing excitement and recommendation with their first full length, the anticipation for that already seeded as the band signed with Napalm Records and helped intensely by first single Eight of Swords. Made up of guitarists Blake Meahl and Anthony Crocamo, bassist Ian Alden, and drummer Carl Wierzbicky, some of whom ex-members of Professor, Dark Black and Skeletonwitch, alongside Janus, Huntress it is fair to say split opinions with their debut and are sure to do the same with Starbound Beast. It is fair to say the band and release does everything you would wish for in a heavy metal release, its sound a constant blaze of barging rhythms, predatory riffs, and soaring stormy vocals drenched in passion, but throughout the additionally thrash, death and black metal spiced encounter something is missing or been allowed to escape which leaves the new album bringing up the rear to their first rampage into the world.

Produced by Zeuss (Shadows Fall, Hatebreed, Agnostic Front), Starbound Beast starts like a beast on heat, its opening full song 494_Huntresscoming after the brief chaotic tempest seared by the classical tones of Janus weaving harpy like harmonic toxicity across its sky, the instrumental Enter The Exosphere. The following Blood Sisters sets its dramatic walls from the start, flames of sonic taunting and melodic colour caging the attention whilst rhythms frame it all with deliberate prowling intent. Once secure in its entrapment the excellent vocals of Janus, with a husky growl to her tones, rides boldly on the cantering charge of eager riffs and probing drums jabs which then open melodic arms through the infectious chorus. Throughout there is a constant menace to vocals and sound which flares up and casts shadows over the rampant muscle clad energetic core. It is an excellent track which twists and turns through dark provocation and warm evocation, the perfect scenario for light and dark to wage physical debate within brewing thoughts and maelstrom courting imagination.

It sets a high standard and equally lofty hopes and expectations for the rest of the album which are immediately dented by the following I Want To Fuck You To Death. The song has already seemingly come under fire from many quarters and though we would argue that it is not as bad as many claim, in many ways it does not do the album any favours. Co-penned with Lemmy, the song has a power metal grandeur in intent and a rapacious hunger in certainly the breath and the delivery of the verses, but as the predictable and underwhelming chorus loses the established pull of the track it sounds like a weaker fish from another pond, not the devil spawn lake of Starbound Beast.

Destroy Your Life gets things back on track, its striking melodic and fevered guitar invention standing out as much as the fury that is Janus’ vocals. The solo within is a sizzling detour from the greed of the song, its flare and craft lighting up hot sceneries for the band to exploit with the returning vociferous appetite of the sound and intensity. It is another of the more prominent highlights which the title track, which to be honest took time to persuade but eventually did succeed especially with Janus at her potently sirenesque best, the thrash driven carnivorous Zenith, as well as the following tracks Oracle and Receiver all make very decent attempts in emulating. The second of these savages the senses with primal greed and air scorching intensity vocally and sonically to lift the album back to its highest plateaus whilst the others hold their own with inventive endeavour to undoubtedly leave strong pleasure.

Completed by the more than decent Spectra Spectral and the stirring Alpha Tauri, the album offers plenty to enthuse over and take enjoyment from, especially taking songs individually but Starbound Beast as whole does seem to lose an undefined something Spell Eater which had and feel like a lost opportunity. Despite that Huntress and album still secure a regular appearance on our playlist.

http://huntresskills.com/

7.5/10

RingMaster 28/06/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Witness The Fall: Self Titled EP

Since their formation in 2007, Scottish metalers Witness The Fall have pulled in a constantly increasing attention and acclaim for their extreme sounds and aggressive intensity. Through their debut demo and shows with the likes of The Casino Brawl, Horizons, and Scar My Eyes the band have left deep marks and good impressions to ensure people took notice. Their self titled second EP should bring an even stronger focus upon them with its blend of metalcore and straight metal, intrusive sounds and demanding intensity.

Upon the EP, Witness The Fall hit hard and ruthlessly with a sound borne from the likes of Killswitch Engage and Shadows Fall. The quintet from beginning to end treat the ear to towering riffs and merciless rhythms, which combined with the intrusive acute melodies also on offer makes the release an experience that is uncompromising and intriguing.

The release starts strong and only gets better as it muscles its way through to the excellent closer. For extreme metal fans there is plenty within the release to excite and draw from but for those less inclined to being bashed from pillar to post the melodic play and invention within is also plentiful and pleasing. To be honest the only criticism that can be placed upon its shoulders is that the music is not particularly original, of a high quality and constantly engaging it is without doubt but lacking in the sparks to set the band apart from similar fuelled bands. The indication though is that it is only a matter of time and not so far ahead.

Opening track An End To Darkness sets a blistering start with riffs to bludgeon the ear and drumming from Dilkie that demands attention. The guitars of Tony and Chris leave scorch marks with their melodic play and bruises with their stomping riffs whilst vocalist Nels growls with spite challenging with each word and syllable. A good start if not remarkable but things instantly pick up when the following song Victory assumes control.

The track is brutal, a devastating assault which grips tight steely fingers around the throat as it forces scorched melodies, violent riffs, and rhythms that leaves one staggering under their weight.  The song also fully shows the great creative bass play of Jason, an aspect not so obvious in the opener.  Though the song does not give as much diversity in melodic and sharp guitar invention it is a firmer and deeper satisfying track than the first.

The following The Dying Art Of Integrity and The Tragedy Of Man are insatiable slabs of metal which further show the band as fine musicians and sure in their delivery and creativity. There is little to dismiss about either with each song a formidable treat to digest but at this point the lack of diversity and uniqueness is clearer. Saying that though there are moments in the second of the two which border on escape into something substantially different but they never quite make the move, something the closing two tracks are bolder about.

Righteous Kill with its use of sampled words and a groove which demands obedience offers strong and intriguing diversions within the expected and pleasing aggression. This is a great step forward and improved upon further by Darkest Hour (No Surrender). The song is masterful bringing knee bending riffs, controlled and powerful rhythms plus an unrelenting intensity which overwhelms and manipulates. The song is unpredictable and apart from the vocals there is no certainty to it which is the key to why it is so impressive.

Witness The Fall , band and EP is a must check out for all metal fans extreme or not, and though as mentioned one feels the band has yet to discover its distinct voice they more than satisfies the fires within right now with this release.

RingMaster 02/03/2012

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