Quantum Leap – No Reason

Creating a tantalising yet portentous fusion of post punk and garage rock, Swedish trio Quantum Leap make their major entrance with a debut album which through its dark climes and apocalyptic tones makes for one hungrily infectious and enthralling proposition. No Reason, in the words of its introduction, “invites you to a heavy and dark feast celebrating the very last setting of the sun”, a beckoning as arousing as it is threatening.

Hailing from Uppsala, Quantum Leap consists of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Björn Norberg, bassist Andreas Hennius, and drummer Mats Gustavsson. With a diversity of musical backgrounds taking in thrash, death and black metal, electronica and pop, the three came together in 2014. A demo was released in 2016 after the band linked up with producer Tomas Skogsberg of legendary Sunlight Studios (Entomed, Refused, Backyard Babies, Dismember). That led to a contract with Swedish label Viskningar och Vrål (Whisperings and Growls), who now release the fiercely magnetic No Reason, the release again seeing the trio working with Skogsberg and featuring guest musicians in Lea Martinelle (saxophone), Rosa Kristalova (cello), Mattis Fredriksson (accordion), Daniel Söderberg (on modular synthesizer), and Janet Simmonds (backing vocals).

It opens up with That’s The Reason, a swiftly compelling trespass of post punk bringing an initial menace of sound before rumbling through ears on a rhythmically driven stroll wrapped in sonic dissonance. Norberg’s vocals, as strong and magnetic as the web of sounds around them, are soon accentuating the lure. It is a dark, suffocating, and invasively heavy confrontation but inescapably contagious with echoes of eighties bands such as Joy Division, Play Dead, and Leitmotiv to its rasping winds.

It is an outstanding start which swiftly aroused a keen appetite for things to come; one soon reinforced by the following In Between Worlds. It too springs from a raw sonic misting into a virulent attack, its swing eating at instincts and psyche with viral tenacity whilst spreading another exploration of stark, ravenous times. There is more of a noise infested rock ‘n’ roll attack to its post punk, bass and drums a rapacious incitement upon which guitars and keys spread a toxic glaze while escalating the infectious and fractious catchiness of the song.

With an even darker climate Blind comes next, the track a calmer but equally emotionally and atmospherically invasive proposal. It offers a more art/alternative rock spicing with not for the last time within the album a Bowie-esque hue which only adds to its persuasion before Yeah sees the band embrace a metal lined garage rock flavouring with matching success. The diversity within the band’s sound is in full swing at this point, each song revealing a new shade and flavouring to keep things unpredictable and intriguing. Trust quickly backs this variety up with its seventies psych toned dark rock. Though all uniquely different, the quintet of tracks so far all slip perfectly alongside each other, the alluring overall Quantum Leap voice uniting their eclectic characters.

The Fiction In The Daily Life bounds in with a mix of garage punk and heavy rock straight after; the excellent track swiftly stirring up attention and pleasure while Sea repeats that tempting straight after with its again Bowie reminding saunter. There is a definite Heroes like feel to the track which maybe does not lead it to impress as some of its companions within the album but only richly pleases within its fuzzy climate.

Through the bruising and hungrily rousing rock ‘n’ roll of All I Ever Wanted and the Bauhaus meets Wire like gothic/post punk air of I Don’t Know attention and enjoyment only escalated, both tracks unsettling magnetism while Dreaming taps a poppier gait to its darky lit romancing to equally attract. A bit like a blend of Modern English and Modern Eon with once more that hint of Bowie, the song entices from start to finish.

The album concludes with firstly the groove wired heavy punk ‘n’ roll of Mayday and lastly the senses consuming, imagination sparking sonic tides of Like A Memory From A Long Time Ago. With a melodic Skids like current ebbing and flowing in its infectiously sinister but thickly alluring ominous waters, it is a last entrapment for the suggestively impending apocalypse and another sepulchral proposal which is quite irresistible.

Quantum Leap have uncaged a debut which simply demands attention of the band and their dark foreboding layered sound…so stop reading and go explore.

No Reason is out now through Viskningar och vrål.

https://www.facebook.com/quantumleap2/

Pete RingMaster 06/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Torous – Mindfield

After checking out and enjoying their recent singles, it was hard not to feel real intrigue for the debut album from British metallers Torous. Those previous songs were a potent introduction for us to the band’s fusion of Celtic/progressive rock with additional and varied alternative bred metal and a potential which alone warrants close and continued attention. Mindfield only confirms and cements their promise while equally pushing and expanding the imagination and adventure found in those songs; showing just why the Birmingham trio is beginning to create a stir.

Since emerging in 2014, Torous has toured the UK numerous times with increasing success and shared stages with the likes of Rival State, Evil Scarecrow, and Diamond Head as well as played major festivals like Hammerfest alongside bands such as with Napalm Death, Alestorm, and Grand Magus. Their first EP, Dried Bones, lured critical and fan praise subsequently matched by that around the Holier Than Thou released singles Colours and I Am.  Out via the same label, Mindfield is sure to take things to another level in acclaim and attention as it does the inventive qualities heard in those previous tracks.

The piped seduction of Sideline brings the album to ears, its brief instrumental caress courted by darker shadows before Frontline erupts from its alluring charms. Instantly riffs and rhythms crowd the senses but with a certain restraint as the distinct vocals of guitarist Marc Malone join the potent mix. With the bass of GMT a steely enticement alongside the senses clipping beats of Tom Fenn, the track prowls as it courts ears and imagination with open enterprise and a rich blend of classic and modern metal hued rock ‘n’ roll with the extra colour of some fine folk inspired melodic endeavour.

Those previously mentioned singles come next, I Am first gripping ears with its slightly predatory and increasingly addictive bait of metal infused drama and rebel-rousing spirit. Stabbing riffs are matched in trespass by the spiky rumble of beats, the bass offering even darker bait as Malone’s vocals holler with melodic suggestion and grace waiting for the moment to strike and turn things on their head. It is a song just as potent and thrilling as first time heard a crowd of listens ago, Colours similarly blossoming again with time as its shamanic air and Celtic lilt swiftly captivates the imagination. The track entices like something akin to the blending of Manegarm and Southern Death Cult, a suggestion may be even more apt for subsequent tracks like Close My Eye, though before it the engaging croon and growing roar of Playing Human has an already happy appetite for the album blissful with its energetically crawling gait and boisterous invention bolstered further by great Skids spiced hooks.

Becoming increasingly feisty, the excellent track is matched in success by Close My Eye, the song a perpetually twisting and compelling escapade, and in turn by the progressive growl of Seven which instrumentally has the imagination flirting with its own evolving landscape to match the mercurial but still relatively stable climate of the suggestively crafted piece.

Shipped Away canters in like a warrior on horseback, rhythms swinging and vocals inciting as the bass nags with its shadowy devilry. Offering arguably the most infectious chorus upon the album, even in its brief state though it emerges through a host of equally catchy stages, the song is a venture through unpredictable moments which do not always work as well as in other time but only fascinates with ears firmly hooked before Nine holds the next moment of keen attention with its folkish hues across imposing textures.

Across its fourteen tracks there is may be surprisingly no weak moments though of course some tracks spark greater reactions than others. As the trio of Shadow Self with its tribal lining to capriciously emotional and physical terrain, the more openly predacious Crow Road, and the melodic web of Feed the Fire show, there might be a varying degree of pleasure found in songs but all ensure varying shades of rich satisfaction flirts with the borders of rapture.

On top of that Mindfield just gets better with every listen, almost intoxicating ears and thoughts as new things are unveiled and propositions like its title track, a beguiling almost demonically alluring persuasion, share adventures which never end with the same character they start with or keep to a path expectations can get a handle on.

Closing track God Game Suicide sums up all the attributes of the Torous sound and album; its Celtic rock adventure aligned to rapacious melodic metal a creative and rousing emprise to find kinship with. Certainly Mindfield is not without imperfections and at times a familiarity to others yet those traits somehow carry their own individuality as the album consistently catches the imagination full on and sees pleasure bubbling with perpetual rigour.

Mindfield is out through Holier Than Thou now; digitally on iTunes and other stores and physically @ http://torous.bigcartel.com/product/mindfield-cd

http://www.torous.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/Torousishere    https://twitter.com/Toroustheband

Pete RingMaster 25/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A Blue Flame – What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain

A Blue Flame_RingMasterReview

Three years after the release and success of a debut album, A Blue Flame has released successor What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, a collection of songs which musically tug at the imagination and lyrically at the emotions.

A Blue Flame is the solo project of British songwriter Richard Stone, a Leicester based artist who has been stirring attention these past months through a host of suggestively ripe and ear pleasing singles. What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains follows his 2013 cast first album someone else’s dreams will fill our home; an offering released under the name of Woodman Stone. As suggested, it was a proposition which grabbed ears and plaudits alike, its lead song Does Madonna Dream of Ordinary People especially drawing strong support and airplay across the likes of BBC 6Music and BBC Leicester with Tom Robinson calling Stone’s music: “wonderful unashamed pop music that comes with an inbuilt English Pop sensibility running through to its very core“.

Featuring some of Leicester’s best musicians including co-producer Adam Ellis on guitar and Tony Robinson from The Beautiful South on keys and brass, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains is now whipping up even more loud attention. It needs little time to make a potent impression with When Time Slowed Down first up and readily caressing ears. Stone’s sound is a folk scented mix of British flavouring from pop and Brit Pop to a more rock hued proposal. The album’s opener is a gentle folk coloured slice of enterprise, a flavoursome coaxing gently drawing the listener into a release which just grows in strength and stature song by song. Keys and guitar cradle the dusty tones of Stone, a jazzy whisper coating every note and tone of the engaging start.

ablueflame_RingMasterReviewEveryday Yesterday similarly makes a low key entrance though there is a latent sturdiness from its start. With the firm beats of drummer Damon Claridge leading the way as guitar and keys amidst warm harmonies colour the track’s sky, a captivating catchiness descends on ears.  It is a quality ever present in Stone’s songs, making an increasingly vocal present here and in the following The Girl Inside of You. The new single, the track is a rousing slice of melody thick revelry embraced in Brit Pop meets folk rock flavouring. Increasingly addictive with every listen, the song has bodies bouncing and thoughts thickly involved as Stone’s lyrical and vocal prowess works on the imagination. A thumping proposition setting an early peak to the album it is also the spark to a new plateau within What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain.

Next up is Our Memories Fade, a less energetic endeavour initially which grows in energy and emotion as sultry guitars glow across crisp beats. It too has an instinctive infectiousness, an organically appealing swing wrapped in Americana-esque charm while Stone grips attention with his words and inviting vocal style. Its highly pleasing endeavours make way for Be Kind To Yourself, a smouldering ballad which might not have the same spark as its predecessors but simply beguiles with its fifties hued cry.

Earthy punk infused rock ‘n’ roll treats ears next in the shape of the excellent I Don’t Know, another imposingly enjoyable sing-a-long canter with Skids like fuzzy guitar, while the equally compelling Out There Somewhere shares its own piece of rock where again a Stuart Adamson comparison arises as the song has a touch of Big Country to it. Both tracks increase an already eager appetite for the release, a satisfaction which From God on Down feeds with even greater strength. Flirting ears with a twist of reggae inspired devilry and slight dub effect within its formidable rock ‘n’ roll, the track takes top honours.

A Julian Cope feel shades the inescapable magnetism of Marlborough Park Avenue, a scent which only adds to its bewitching prowess and success whilst The Sun Refused To Shine dips into the fifties/early sixties again with its teasing melodies aligned to another potent Stone croon and alluring harmonies. The two songs alone reveal the diversity of sound and invention which frequents the album, a variety continued by the country twanged folk of Feeling The Same and finally Goodbye as What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain goes out with the same poetic gentleness it began with, if with greater melancholy involved.

Enjoyable on the first couple of listens and near on essential thereon in, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain announces A Blue Flame and Richard Stone as one of Britain’s most compelling propositions and exciting songwriters.

What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/a-blue-flame/id1078425623 and http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ABlueFlame across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/ablueflame/

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Kirsten Adamson – New York Girl

Photograph by James Glossop.

Photograph by James Glossop.

Taken from and backing up a thoroughly captivating debut album, New York Girl is the new irresistible single from Scottish singer songwriter Kirsten Adamson. It is one of those songs which though thoroughly fresh you feel you already know and have an affinity with, a lively romp to raise the spirit and get those feet leaping around to. The summer might not quite be here yet but in sound Kirsten Adamson brings it to your doorstep with New York Girl.

If the name has a tinge of familiarity to it that is because Kirsten is the daughter of ex-Skids and Big Country songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Stuart Adamson. As hinted at by her self-titled album released last December and the new single, plenty of his talent has transferred in the genes. With influences from the likes of Kate Bush and indeed Big Country a major part of her formative years, the summers spent in Nashville where her father relocated to in 1998, have equally left a potent impression on her invention and quirky pop sound. Pinning her down with comparisons is a tough thing such the refreshing distinctiveness which flows through voice and music but imagine a mix of Rachel Sweet and Fay Fife with Lene Lovich for occasional company and you get closer.

New York Girl instantly leaps upon ears as throbbing rhythms collude with the energetic and spicy coaxing of keys and guitars. It is a lively entrance which only continues to invite participation as Kirsten’s voice dances amongst the jangly strands of guitar and the bold rhythms which still bound around within the melodic seducing of keys. There is a definite eighties alternative pop scenting to the magnetic encounter, so much so that if Kirsten was around back then you could easily see her being swooped up by Stiff Records.

Continuing to twist and swing with an inescapable pop contagion, New York Girl leaves a spring in the step and a satisfied smile on the spirit; much as the album it comes from which maybe is an even better way to get the song because then you get to bask in the feisty revelry of tracks like Robot Girlfriend, The Calling, and Valentine alongside the beauty of others such as Like This, Feel The Same, and Time To Be Afraid amongst many other impressing proposals.

New York Girl is released Match 18th whilst the Kirsten Adamson debut album is out now @ http://www.kirstenadamson.com/

Upcoming UK tour dates:

March

22nd The Hope and Ruin, Brighton

23rd The Fiddlers Elbow, Camden London

24th The Vic, Derby

26th Gullivers, Manchester

27th The Cluny. Newcastle

30th Stereo, Glasgow

31st Cafe Drummond, Aberdeen

April

2nd Mad Hatters, Inverness

3rd Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh

https://www.facebook.com/kirstenadamsonmusic/     https://twitter.com/kadamsonmusic

Pete RingMaster 18/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

My Dying Bride – The Manuscript

My Dying Bride

UK doom alchemists My Dying Bride set themselves a major benchmark with their album A Map of All Our Failures last year, a release which took all the expected prime essences bred by the band across the years and that made fans of the Yorkshire quintet offer fervour driven support since their formation in 1990, and laid them onto a fresh rich new plateau. It was typical My Dying Bride but in a new pleasing stance which even set those of us who have more of a passing affair with their music to stop and take notice. The Manuscript is a four track EP which continues the presence established on the previous record and though it slips just below the high standards set it employs the new emotively carved impacting breath which emerged for another very appealing experience.

Released via Peaceville Records, The Manuscript is a potent imagery bearing quartet of tales seeded and reaped in tragedy, loss and bitter vengeance; gothic tales brought to bear with metallic intensity and melancholic shadow bred melodies. Each song strolls and prowls a well-worn, but not exhausted or diluted, premise of love, death, and all the emotions which make their bed within the two extremes. It is like most of their releases an offering which is easy to see why the band garner such devotion from fans even if personal fires lay no more than smouldering at best, and like the last record an encounter which has the ability to raise a few sparks even in less receptive appetites.

The title track rides in on a soulful blaze of guitar whilst bass and drums add their firm touch to the emerging presence, but it is the 578094_507496359312227_1503676395_ninstant lure of the vocals of Aaron Stainthorpe followed by the ever delicious emotive breath of the violin, Shaun MacGowan using the canvas set to paint a potent impassioned melancholic weave upon its surface, which seals the brewing recruitment to its premise. The heavy laden walk of the track consumes senses and thought, wrapping them in dense feelings for the guitars of Andrew Craighan and Hamish Glencross to seduce with their personal narrative and suggestively confronting riffs. The concussive approach of the drums certainly in cymbals and percussion does the song no favours to be honest, nor the release as a whole, but such the excellence at work around them it is a minor niggle especially when the song slips wonderfully into an elevated groove lined enterprise which reminds of the same heart recruiting, passion lighting anthemic temptation which veined the early work of the Skids, the slight Celtic whispers irresistible within the rhythmic snarl of drums and bass of Lena Abé. It is an explosive virulence which makes way for a gentle folk crafted climax for a little bit of disappointment despite its own personal beauty, such the quality and lure of what heralded its appearance.

The opener is impressive even though for our individual tastes it ebbs and flows a little, the song always richly satisfying but igniting moments of real seduction without retaining that hook throughout. The same happens with the following Var Gud Over Er, the immediate carnivorous attack of rapacious riffs and predatory bass calls gnawing and growling with thrilling ferocity whilst the guitars create a sonic weave to encapsulate the intensity. Across its even pace crawl though even with the enjoyable move from intimidating growls to a cleaner expressive delivery in the vocals, the track only provokes and invites a full ardour never quite getting its many appealing barbs in deep enough for a total persuasion. The track is an undeniably pleasing companion though which arguably does outstay it’s welcome at eight minutes plus of a relatively uniformal stance, but offers another great finale as it makes way for its successor A Pale Shroud of Longing.

The song loams large and tall over the ear with descriptive melodic fire from the guitar revealing itself beneath a wall of oppressive energy built by bass and drums which seizes any remaining attention and chains it to the brewing sonic embrace and the subsequent emotive beauty spawn again by MacGowan and his singing bow. It is a moment which sees tingles running their tiny fingers down thoughts and spine as the evolving intensity and weight of the song exploits with open craft and contagious imagination their persuasive touch. It is easily the best track on the EP, its haunting voice and feverish hunger within the again crawling ravenous passion and weight, an irresistible temptress which combined with the treacherous yet spellbinding tide of emotive darkness, leaves a big highlight.

The closing Only Tears to Replace Her With is very much like the second song on the EP, a track with moments which instil a lingering entrancement but never quite restrains their escape into enjoyable but uninspiring captures. The Manuscript is an excellent release for the main though and one fans of the band will devour with ferocity and be rewarded wholly for, whilst for others like us it may not light any fires but offers plenty to relieve happily again.

http://www.mydyingbride.net/

7/10

RingMaster 13/05/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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