Arkdown – The Calling

Having already teased acclaim and attention with their debut EP a couple of years back, UK metallers Arkdown give them a real shove with its successor, The Calling. Unleashing five uncompromising, seriously predacious cuts of metalcore seeded hostility as stylish as they are rabid the new EP is the declaration of a band ready to take on all comers.

Cast in the steel of their hometown Sheffield hailing Arkdown has been on a steady ascent through the British metal ranks since emerging in 2015. The well received EP, Path, lit up the underground metal scene with its 2016 release whilst live the band’s reputation has only risen as alongside their own shows they have shared stages with the likes of Fit for an Autopsy, Oceans Ate Alaska, Martyr Defiled, Kingdom of Giants, A Night in Texas, and Shields. The Calling is their next bold and impressive step and challenge to the higher echelons of the British metal frontline and further afield.

Though metalcore based, the Arkdown sound is a rich union of flavours, death and melodic metal colluding with rapacious grooves and merciless aggression across that instinctive bed. It makes for tracks which even as they directly assault equally fester in the imagination all twisting and turning with imaginative adventure as quickly shown by EP opener, Wake Up. The initial calm of its intro is soon squashed under the following weight of riffs and rhythms from which vocalist Kyle Dawson enticingly scowls and the guitars of Mike Dyson and Mike Walker spin senses ensnaring webs of antipathy wired with fine melodic thread. Swiftly a diversity of sound and vocal attack mingle in the outstanding trespass leaving ears ringing and pleasure greedily rising.

The following It Calls Me instantly wraps the listener in spirals of contagiously intrusive grooving, the swinging beats of Alex Roberts taking skilled pot shots as again the throat raw variety coated assault of Dawson erupt in animosity and magnetism. With the eager yet brooding basslines of Ed Morley as potent as the invasive enterprise of the guitars, the track grabs best track honours as it further ignited the passions before Mirrors embraces the senses in its own infectious guitar wiring as winds of discontent and dark reflection ravage. As its predecessors, the track is a captivating roar of craft and enterprise built on an array of individual agility and as those before, another mighty reason to devour the Arkdown sound.

The closing pair of Five Years and Falling brings the EP to a rousing close. The first is a sonic wrath within a cauldron of melodic intensity, uncaging grooves and sonic rancor with an intrusive yet deft hand whilst its successor while being the calmest moment within The Calling, indeed a haunting seduction of imagination, it is also a tempest of conflict and venomous ideation as mercurial and volatile as it is tantalising.

Giving five tracks which increasingly fascinate as they corrode the senses, The Calling is a striking and increasingly irresistible encounter from a band surely poised to stir up real fuss with their dynamic, dramatic and deviously compelling sound.

The Calling is out Friday 2nd November.

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Pete RingMaster 31/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Greyhaven – Breathe EP

A year and a handful of months ago, British alt-rock quintet Greyhaven aroused rich praise and attention with their EP, State Of Mind. It suggested a band with the potential to become a rich part of the British heavy rock scene. Now the London hailing outfit are ready to release its successor in Breathe, an EP which maybe does not quite realise its predecessor’s promise as anticipated but only confirms thoughts that the quintet has a potent future.

Emerging in either the autumn of 2014 or early 2015 depending where you read, Greyhaven quickly whipped up local support and following through their live shows and debut EP, The Flood. The following State Of Mind, produced by Daniel Kerr (Shields, Create To Inspire, Despite my Deepest Fear), was the moment broader attention was lit, the release sparking praise and coverage with the likes of Scuzz TV and Kerrang, as well as finding a place on one of Metal Hammer’s front cover CD. Since then the band has experienced changes in its line-up and as a momentary foursome uniting once again with Kerr to record Breathe.

Truth opens the release up and quickly has attention in its grasp with a tempting shuffle of beats and a rapacious lure of riffs. It is an opening hinting at a furious expulsion but instead is followed by a calmer if still slightly volatile breath allowing the strong vocals of Sam Paterson to step forward into the already woven web of melodies. Harmonies soon wrap the frontman’s potent tones, the rhythms of drummer Connor Tate and brooding texture of Jack Hudson’s bass a dark almost portentous echo of the song’s emotional heart fuelled angst. With the guitar of Alex Hills as suggestive as it is sonically wiry, the song makes a fine introduction to the EP though for personal tastes is soon eclipsed by its companions.

When We Divide is next, bringing its own tempestuous air and drama to bear on ears and imagination. Great nagging riffs accompany Paterson’s ever tempting voice, rhythms just as thick a welcome trespass as the song mixes sharp hooks and sonic enterprise with emotive energy. Whereas its predecessor, though sounding fresh, held few surprises, the second track is rich with twists and unexpected turns which if anything it does not fully exploit.

Nevertheless, the track is a magnetic persuasion soon matched in almost similar success by the following Crows. There is rawness at its core which enjoyably contrasts the lively shimmer of keys and melody, the song evolving through mellow and crystalline climes but always one sigh away from its tempestuous instincts.

The EP’s title track brings things to an end, the song rising on a caress of keys with a jangle of guitar flanking its move into poppier rock exploits. Temptingly catchy and vocally alone magnetic, Breathe strolls along with a confident smile, its inner fire catching further along to flame with increasing intensity and attraction.

It is hard to say that the Breathe EP has managed to be as richly memorable as State Of Mind before it but it is more of a grower and with every listen impresses and increasingly satisfies and if you have an appetite for bands such as 30 Seconds To Mars, Don Broco, and Alexisonfire, it is an encounter which really should be checked out.

The Breathe EP is released January 12th through Outsider Records.

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Pete RingMaster 10/01/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dream Awake – Don’t Hold Your Breath

An encounter which persists with its persuasion after making a pretty strong first impression, growing in thoughts and enjoyment all the time, Don’t Hold Your Breath is the sophomore EP from Northern Ireland melodic metalcore quintet Dream Awake. The successor to their well-received debut of a couple of years ago, Pathfinder, the five track offering is a potent new step in the ascent of the Belfast band.

Recorded with producer Daniel Kerr of Avenue Studios (Our Hollow Our Home, Create To Inspire, Shields), Don’t Hold Your Breath certainly provided an attention grabbing first listen initially though its real strengths taking it out of the crowd were not so imposing. Subsequent outings with its melody rich and threateningly aggressive enterprise gave the time to discover a real depth in adventure and creative resourcefulness. There are moments in which the EP fails to escape familiar traits among genre companions but even those times are built with a potential of greater and bolder individuality.

It begins with the ear grabbing The Weathering, a track featuring the guest talent of Napoleon vocalist Wes Thompson. Its atmospheric opening is soon vined by Chris Byrne’s suggestive guitar and subsequently immersed in the volatile tide of rhythmic thunder and vocal causticity. The raw throated roar of David Houston is in turn replaced by the excellent clean tones of guitarist Conor Kelly, a calmer presence in the growing tempest where the bass of Craig Leetch springs a bassline which swings around ears and appetite while the beats of drummer Daniel Kelly manage to share the fierce touch of the song’s irritability and the tempering touch of melody. Even Kelly’s warmer delivery has a fire in its belly at times and put all together it is a magnetic affair which only further impresses with every listen.

The following Mind’s Eye tempts with a melodic enticing before its wave of adventure surges through ears; again warm and harsher textures colluding in the persuasion. As Byrne’s strings dazzle, Kelly’s voice is a magnet with the dirty throat grazing of Houston a predacious element in the fire. Swiftly the track outshines its predecessor, finding uniqueness in craft and magnetism which was a touch more latent in the song before. Its roar continues to seduce and challenge bringing a greedier appetite to the fore for the EP’s tempting before Cataclysm comes at ears from a distance with gusto and a web of sonic intrigue. The guitars cast a web of suggestiveness as rhythms prowl, the scowls of Houston lyrically and emotionally scar the senses and as keys add their grace, a Linkin Park like tempting blossoms to lace the arising metalcore tempest with further imagination; the track, as the last outshone the first, out burning the second.

T.O.D. descends on the senses with rapacious intent and tenacity next, guitars and vocals offering a flavoursome mix of design and intensity with the guest vocals of Christina Rotondo bringing extra beauty to the seduction. Though arguably not as bold musically as the songs before it, the track sizzles on the ear before making way for the concluding throes of Heavy Heart. Again an atmospheric, almost haunting start has the imagination swiftly engaged, its suggestiveness continuing as a volatile climate erupts. For personal tastes, the track does not build on its great start as successfully as it might though there are certain moments where it is a magnet. Nevertheless it makes for an enjoyable end to a release as suggested grows with every listen.

Dream Awake has not quite established their full individual character of sound yet but the potent signs are there within their new EP. With a bolder adventure in the writing and maybe greater diversity in the still pleasing attack of Houston, you can expect the five-piece to turn their undoubted potential into genre pushing success and hopefully with plenty more fiercely pleasing outings like Don’t Hold Your Breath along the way.

Don’t Hold Your Breath is released August 18th

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Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deference – False Awakening

Increasingly compelling, False Awakening is the new EP from British metallers Deference. A maelstrom of ravenous textures and flavours caught in an equally imposing web of emotion, the release not only forcibly pleases ears but also suggests this is a band with the potential to be a big part of the UK metal scene.

Coming from Southampton, Deference weave in inspirations from the likes of Architects, Northlane, Periphery, and Oh Sleeper into their tapestry of melody rich metalcore with djent and progressive metal tendencies. The quintet has been climbing the ladder with a rapid ascent in recent times, the release of 2015 debut EP XXXVII and live successes alongside bands such as Rolo Tomassi, Napoleon, The Hell, and Shields as well as a European Tour with True Lie all increasing their reputation. False Awakening is a creative echo of an outfit ready to break into national recognition, the next unavoidable step for a band beginning to make their potent mark.

The release opens with Scavengers. A steely shimmer initially coaxes ears, senses strapping riffs soon following as rhythms and guitars grumble around the plaintive vocal roar of Rob Lea. That djent styled essence is equally as swift infecting song and satisfaction, the guitars of Matt Dennison and Jonathan Prince creating a spiky attitude and touch in their emerging weave of enterprise. Strapped to the muscular grouch of Shaun Kirtland’s bass and the animosity loaded swings of drummer Mike Hill, the track is a formidable introduction to the EP; not necessarily unique but relentlessly exhilarating.

The might start slips away to be replaced by the instantly ravenous Insomnia; its immediate wall of sonic trespass the bed for melodic and technical dexterity to blossom. It is an intriguing mixture which takes longer to ignite the imagination than its predecessor’s tempest but grows into a rich captivation especially as raw and aggression vocal contemplations are joined by an impressive clean delivery from Lea, Dennison adding his potent vocal backing throughout. Persistently turbulent across its vociferous landscape, a tempestuous climate equally as open in the track’s mellower melancholy thick yet stark moments, the song has the imagination as gripped as ears throughout.

New single Departure follows, growing from another solemn but engaging melody equipped peace with keys colouring its atmospheric questioning before again vocal and sonic volatility takes hold and seize the moment. As another maze of sound and invention descends, Deference reinforce the potency of their  presence and creative dexterity, the song shifting through numerous cycles all capturing the imagination if again with increasing persuasion rather than an immediate one though indeed its first listen or two leaves pleasure alive.

The EP’s title track has an almost carnal air and character as it ravages the senses straight away, an antipathy which rather than diminishes simply expands its scope as clean vocals and melodic endeavour gets involved in the volcanic explosion. The track is superb, unpredictable yet with plenty of familiar spices only adding to its impressive blaze of sound and emotive exploration. Rabid and composed, vicious and seductive, the track is a collision of extremes and imagination breeding a mighty storm again fusing varied metal bred hues in its cataclysmic squall.

The release closes with Become Death Part 2, an initially gentle melodic romancing of the senses around a vocal sample. As destructive elements fall upon the calm, the song is fallout of corroded beauty, an epochal epilogue to the EP’s themes looking at “a man-made apocalyptic world.”

The buzz is that Deference is ready to take their place to the fore of the UK metal scene; whether it is sooner or later it is expected success backed up by False Awakening and its striking contents.

The False Awakening EP is out now.

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Pete RingMaster 05/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Greyhaven – State Of Mind

greyhaven-online-promo-shotCopyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Finding an inventive and commanding middle ground between the raw intensity of metal and the anthemic infectiousness of alternative rock with a firm dash of post hardcore involved, British quintet Greyhaven recently uncaged their new EP State Of Mind. It is an encounter which roars and serenades ears and imagination in equal measure; bullying and seducing the senses with seven explosive and imposingly compelling proposals.

London based, Greyhaven formed early 2015 and soon earned a potent reputation for a live presence which has seen the band play alongside the likes of Create To Inspire, Idols Of Apathy, Vera Grace, and The Afterparty. Their first year also the release of debut EP The Flood, a well-received introduction which solidly set the band out as one to watch. State Of Mind suggests much more as it reveals Greyhaven taking new strides in songwriting and sound with riveting results.

Recorded with Dan Kerr (Shields, Create To Inspire, Despite my Deepest Fear), State Of Mind is a tempest of anthemic intensity and sound aligned to mellower moments of melodic intimacy. From opening suggestive instrumental Sinners a sense of creative and emotive drama blossoms in ears, the track growing in predacious shadows and poetic charm before it eventually drifts into the waiting jaws and rousing tempestuousness of Hexes. As guitarists Alex Hills and Jim White weave a tapestry of descriptive riffs and melodic tendrils in tandem with similarly potent keys, the raw throated growl of bassist Edd Kerton explodes to be subsequently replaced by the impressive clean and emotive tones of vocalist Sam Paterson. Tapestry is the best word for the song, so many elements across the band bred with imagination and interwoven in a proposal which never stops revealing new essences and shades of tone in every listen.

greyhaven_cover_artworkCopyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyrightIt is a craft and prowess which applies to all songs within the release to be fair, the following Darkest Hour swift confirmation as a great growling bassline from Kerton and the merciless swings of drummer Connor Tate link up with the harmonious delivery of Paterson and the emotive melodies which embrace ears. A fiery solo only adds to the imposing yet captivating drama shaping the song, again each minute a cauldron of enterprise breeding new adventures with every encounter.

There are familiar elements to the Greyhaven sound which suggest inspirations from the likes of Architects and Alexisonfire, and maybe are most openly apparent within the excellent On & On, though they are spices quickly engulfed in the band’s own eager imagination. The source of the band’s new video, the track leaps around and burns like a sonic fire, the guitars licking at the senses with melodic heat as rhythms crackle at the core amidst vocally coloured flames.

From one powerful persuasion to another as the highly infectious Our Stand steps forward next, its proposal bruising and magnetic as Paterson shines within another storm of metallic predation and emotionally inflamed contagion as savage as it is rousing as it is pop lined infectious. That lighter air also frequents successor Brother, though again Greyhaven infuse it into a creative and musical ferocity which almost venomously snarls. The song adds another shade to the sound and songwriting of the band, its catchiness an inescapable lure perfectly courted by a barbarous intent headed by Kerton’s toxically grouchy growls.

Closed by a thoroughly enjoyable acoustic version of The Flood, the title track of that first EP, State Of Mind proves and further suggests that Greyhaven is heading towards becoming a potent part of the British heavy rock scene. Already they have provided two releases no one should ignore.

State Of Mind is out now via Outsider Records across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 08/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bailer – Shaped By The Landscape

BAILER_RingMasterReview

There is a new bruiser in town, a creative bully as at ease turning the senses and ears to mush as it is breeding a dervish like reactions in the body. That uncompromising assailant is Irish quartet Bailer and its choice of irresistible weapon, debut EP, Shaped By The Landscape. The band’s striking introduction is a fiercely irritable groove fest of demands and rewards; a caustic fusion of groove metal and hardcore which leaves body and soul wasted and spirit and emotions ignited.

Formed in the January of 2015, Bailer has been a welcome scourge through its local and Irish underground scene, sharing stages with the likes of Red Enemy, Novelists, The Colour Line, Shields and more as well as playing main support to Murdock on tour. Aidan Cunningham from that fellow Irish band recorded, mixed, and mastered the Shaped By The Landscape, and fair to say if describing the distinct Bailer sound, Murdock would be used as a kind of reference as well as maybe Gacys Threads and The Dillinger Escape Plan. There is no escaping the sonic and vocal, let alone emotional, animosity fuelling and shaping the band’s first poke at the broadest attention, or that it is one of the most punishingly thrilling debuts in the hardcore scene for quite a while.

Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens with Failsafe and immediately has ears enticed with its spicy guitar coaxing and then under siege by a wall of hungry riffs and barbarous rhythms. It is all conducted by the ferocious tones of vocalist Alex O’Leary, his searing squalls almost visibly scarring his throat as they enjoyably abrase ears. There is equally a swing to his delivery, a devilish catchiness which is even stronger in the web of fiery grooves that entangle ears and appetite amidst the rampant aggression of Paul Cashman’s rhythmic swings. The carnivorous growl of David Cleere’s bass is simply delicious in the mix as too the wonderfully nagging tapestry of metal and punk grooves and riffs cast by guitarist Chris Harte. The track is a glorious start to the release, and maybe the most virulently infectious slab of abuse heard in a long time.

It is not a one off though, being swiftly matched by The Binding. It starts off in the same vein as its predecessor but soon reveals its own nefarious twists and turns as O’Leary again shares rancor with the air. Everything about the song is also ridiculously catchy; the body and imagination is soon caught up in its hostile groove almost unaware of being battered and bruised, sonically and emotionally tossed around. Its sensational onslaught is followed by Anti-Venom and its own animus of spite and infectiousness. Grooves squirm with the tempest of noise and irritability, the snarling lure of the bass as seductive as ever whilst vocals rage and almost gloat over the victim, in the shape of the senses, crippled by the rhythmic battering alone. Not that the listener realises when being manipulated by an infestation of grooves and stirring hooks shared with similar zeal and power.

The Benefit Of Doubt is an even darker and more predatory proposal; venom toning every rhythmic strike and scything flash of guitar while all the time the bass adds a grouchy nag linking it all up. Maybe the least openly catchy song on the EP, though not by much, the track is as bold and majestic in craft and invention as it is in highly persuasive animosity. It is a formidable and stirring end to what is simply a killer and monumental debut from Bailer.

The CD version of Shaped By The Landscape actually comes with bonus tracks Call Of The Unknown and Animosity, and the cause of the only issue with the release; the fact that we were not sent those songs to cover too, though it is easy to assume they will live up to the other quartet. Already we are greedy for the Bailer incitement and it is hard to imagine we will be on our own once it is out there playing havoc with ears and the passions.

The self-released Shaped By The Landscape EP is released 29th April digitally and on CD @ https://bailerofficial.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 27/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Story – Hopeless But Hoping

Story_RingMasterReview

With a sound living up to their name; music and songs which tell a tale for ears and imagination to get wrapped up in, UK band Story release their second EP, Hopeless But Hoping this month. Carrying six tracks fusing melodic metalcore with post hardcore amidst rock scented infectiousness, the release is a captivating and accomplished encounter which is as much at ease brawling with the senses as caressing them with suggestive melodies.

Formed in 2014, the Sheffield hailing band seeded their sound in the inspirations of bands such as Memphis May Fire, Of Mice & Men, Mallory Knox, and Young Guns. They quickly earned a potent reputation for their live show, sharing stages with the likes of Tek-One, Qemists, ACODA, Shields, Silent Screams, The Call Back Academy, and Summerlin over time whilst the release of their first EP and debut single Father Forgotten, nudged a broader attention. Now they are unveiling Hopeless But Hoping to stir things up again and to greater heights, a success not too difficult to contemplate.

Produced from within the band, Hopeless But Hoping opens with Story’s new single/video Article 10. It lays a gentle melodic touch upon ears initially, evocative guitar charm stroking ears and imagination before a bigger rumble brews and escapes the band. It soon relaxes as the impressive vocals of Bill Hobson step forward with the narrative, the guitars of Liam Gratton and Matt Baxter almost dancing around him with their enterprise. Equally, between them the pair uncage some feisty and imposing riffs to match the throbbing rhythms of bassist Tom Walker and drummer Chris Ogden as Hobson shows his fluid switch to angst fuelled aggression is equal to his harmonic delivery.

Story Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe track is a fiery and eventful encounter with a nice line in unpredictability, not a trait which every song exploits as well but when they do as in the following Push Me Away, the imagination cannot help but get involved. The second track swings in on a lure of tenacious rock ‘n roll, calming down again as vocals join the bubbling affair before rising up with energy into an emotive snarl. Great backing roars and keen spirals of sonic endeavour add to the contagious tempting and presence of the song; it as its predecessor offering plenty of textures and twists to be forcibly enticed by.

Community flares up next, its emotive and volatile blaze catching attention if without finding the same individuality and success as the songs before it. With open craft from the band in sound and songwriting as well as a strong anthemic feel to it, the song certainly keeps enjoyment high before Letting Go serenades ears as an emotive turbulence shares its ire in the background. Melodies and vocals gently and impressively hug the senses, proceeding to reveal their tormented side as in time provocative flames of sound and emotion erupt in a thick engulfing of the senses. It is a slow burner compared to the first pair of songs, but grows to be another highly agreeable moment in the adventure of the EP.

The release’s busily textured and energetic title track sizzles within ears next, Hopeless But Hoping a song which is as riveting as it is a touch frustrating. It leaps in with an irresistible turbulence of grooves and rhythms aligned to raw vocals but then lets the strength of its thrilling start wane as its intensity and drama drops. It saves itself though with some fascinating turns into atmospheric and melody fuelled resourcefulness to add a great element of surprise to an encounter which, as great as it turns out, just feels like it could have been even bigger and bolder.

Carry Me Home finishes the release, its rousing air and boisterous enterprising alone a blend to grab attention. It might not be a song ripe with uniqueness, something you could say about the EP generally, but as Hopeless But Hoping, it has a wealth of invention and drama, as well as the band’s undeniable skills, to leave ears and emotions healthily satisfied. The potential of their sound also makes a lingering impact suggesting that Story has a potent time ahead of them.

The Hopeless But Hoping EP is released March 4th, details @ http://storyofficial.bigcartel.com/product/hopeless-but-hoping-ep-pre-order

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Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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