Old Bones – Sleepwalker

They call it ”powerslop deathrock”, we call it rapaciously virulent rock ‘n’ roll but however you wish to tag the sound of Old Bones, it makes for one very satisfying and rousing time within their debut EP, Sleepwalker.

Hailing from Long Island, New York, Old Bones is a trio consisting of guitarists/vocalists Anthony Dallolio and Johnny Dadabo, and bassist/vocalist Dan Walsh. Emerging from two decades plus of friendship and finding the last incentive to finally be serious about the project after watching a Mastodon/Opeth show, the band has spent the past two and a half years “writing, rewriting, revising, scrapping, starting over and writing songs until our fingers bled and our throats were shot. These five songs represent our literal blood, sweat, and tears to tell stories ranging from extra-terrestrials to loneliness and grief, and every note is a piece of our soul screaming to be heard.” It is a suggestion that nothing was left at the table by the time the EP was borne and listening to its stomping quintet of tracks that physical intensity alone is unmistakable.

Fusing various metal and heavy rock essences with a mischievous imagination, Old Bones spring a sound which demands attention. Familiarity aligns with individuality throughout, the latter the freshest and most captivating aspect of a sound which is as contagious a trespass as you would wish for. There are at times moments which feel like they organically burst free even catching the band unawares but only add to the great unpredictability and enterprise striking ears.

Enlisting drummer Griffin McCarthy (Letter of Marque) for its recording at Vudu Studios, with Walsh a later addition to the mix, Sleepwalker immediately set about the senses with opener Elegy. Its thick melodic opener carries temptation and threat, its amble through ears as menacing as it is inviting. Raw throated vocals ride the grooved lines soon sparking a keen appetite while the following clean vocals make for an equally potent aspect, the mix of feral and warmly catchy swiftly captivating and addictive. There is plenty more going on though; virulent hooks and skilled melodic trails rising up as keenly as predacious riffs and punchy rhythms.

The impressive start continues with INVADERS which straightaway has ears in the palms of its hands as grunge and punk essences infest alternative rock bred agility. Again the untamed instincts of the band are bold and gripping, the song unapologetically infectious and just as pungently aggressive while taking favourite track honours before the EP’s title track muscularly ambles in. McCarthy’s rhythms gripped ears and appetite from its first breath, equally carnal riffs a welcome treat before melody rich imagination weaves another enterprising tapestry of temptation and surprise while extreme and progressive metal traits only add to the drama and incitement.

Colossus and Sights & Sounds / Electric Frankenstein bring even greater flavour and variety to the release; the first wild and ferocious rock ‘n’ roll at its core engaging with a host of just as voracious flavours and skilfully nurtured sonic flirtation. It too emerged a major favourite moment within Sleepwalker while close behind, the latter of the pair strolls the heaviest landscapes of rock and grooviest plateaus of metal to spring a Black Tusk meets Mastodon meets Tool like incitement.

Both provide ears, as the EP overall, with a tide of aspects to greedily dine on and as great a bundle of reasons to eagerly recommend Old Bones and their Sleepwalker.

Sleepwalker is out now; available @ https://oldbonesny.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/OldBonesNY

Pete RingMaster 19/05/2020

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Critical Solution – Sleepwalker

 

CZv50AmXEAAMDrM.jpg large_RingMaster Review

If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that Sleepwalker might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral rock ‘n’ roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but Sleepwalker is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.

Formed in 2015, it is fair to say that the Helleland hailing quartet began really grabbing attention from 2011 when they, to use their bio’s words, “got serious”. It was at this point the band began working with Andy LaRocque in his Sweden based SonicTrain Studios, especially impressing fans and media with their first album Evil Never Dies in 2013, which followed the Evidence of Things Unseen EP of two years earlier. The encounter was a more thrash heavy proposition fuelled by the kind of horror storylines and sounds that helped shape the gripping presence of The Death Lament EP in 2014 and now their concept album Sleepwalker. The band has also earned a strong reputation for their ferocious stage show honed over the years and alongside bands such as Diamond Head, W.A.S.P, Marduk, and Grave over the years; an intensity and energy equally rampant within the band’s new blood show.

It opens with The Curse, the establishing of the evil coursing through the album’s character and narrative through atmospheric hauntings, intimidating tones, and a bedlamic theatre of sounds. With the imprecation in place the album unleashes its title track, Sleepwalker immediately slamming ears with meaty beats as guitars tantalise, it all the prelude to the insatiable charge of the song to come. As riffs and rhythms bound ruggedly through ears, Christer Slettebø’s guitar sends spicy slithers of bait into their midst before his vocals stir up their own kind of anthemic persuasion. It is a thumping incitement soon revealing its resourcefulness as it twists into seductive prowls and dynamic torrents of inventive tenacity. Like Metallica meets Chainfist initially and more creatively devilish with each passing minute, the track raises the ante in the album’s superb start.

Critical-Solution-Album_RingMaster ReviewWelcome To Your Nightmare ensures things are only more gripping and exhausting next, its Anthrax scented thrash tirade irresistible from the first breath and only increasing its lusty allure as it releases its devil. Driven by the slamming beats of drummer Egil Mydland, the song alternatively stalks and launches itself at the listener across its hellacious contagion. The guitars of Slettebø and Bjørnar Grøsfjell arouse as they abuse whilst the bass of Eimund Grøsfjell is aural predation at its barbarously seductive best.

Melodic and evocative caresses bring Blood Stained Hands into view next, their gentle and reflective tempting the surface to a brewing and gradually building intensity and aggression. Enjoyably even that is caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s energy, being held in check to act as a tease from within the captivating and infectious roar of the song. There is a slight taste of melodic rock aligned to grungy essences at play too, Gruntruck coming to mind in certain moments as the song leaves appetite lustful and ready to devour on the sultry haunting of Murder In The Night. It too cages listeners in a melodic embrace; warm kisses of guitar and their sonic trails of temptation a rapturous suggestiveness encased in a sinister atmosphere. There is danger and menace lurking in the shadows of the track’s slightly portentous air; a waiting incitement which bursts as the floodgates open to fiercely nagging rhythms and predacious riffs within the imagination sparking instrumental.

Ending on a news report harkening darker deeds and threats as events twist and turn, the track masterfully leads to up the barbarous revelry of Evidence Of Things Unseen, its successor swiftly a merciless assailant drenched in hostile intent and virulent persuasion. Again it is hard to escape a Metallica/Megadeth like comparison, though every swinging stick and pulled string breeds a fresh and dramatic strain of enterprise unique to Critical Solution.

The heavy lumbering Sabbath-esque entrance of LT. Elliot soon has ears surrounded and imagination enthralled as its doom soaked theatre gives a bird’s eye view of the last moments of its title victim. Crawling with insidious glee and equipped with expulsions of raw catchiness, the outstanding track is as cinematic as it is murderously compelling and swiftly matched in drama by the epic exploration in length and emotion of Dear Mother. Bringing some respite to the dark turmoil before it, its tortured reflection comes entangled in a volatile landscape of dense shadows and fiery infection loaded revelry. Through every second of its ten minutes, it is masterfully unpredictable and increasingly enthralling, like being locked in the mind and emotions of torment itself as it track spellbinds as powerfully as its predecessor.

The Death Lament just tears into ears with its rapacious horde of riffs and legion of barbarian bred rhythms next, the violation thrash fuelled anthemic metal at its primal explosive best enslaving ears before letting Back From The Grave bring the chain of bloody events to a close. Featuring guests in Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), the final infestation of the senses and body is similarly pure thrash butchery and openly majestic in its crushing, rabid way.

There will no doubt be many voracious metal releases thrilling ears this year but already it feels safe to say few will surpass Sleepwalker and its thrash horror malediction.

Sleepwalker is out now via Punishment 18 Records across most stores.

http://www.facebook.com/CriticalSolution

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Life and Death Experiences: an interview with Corey Skowronski of American Standards

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Things are starting to happen for US hardcore band American Standards in awareness and stature, though the Arizona quartet have been brewing up a fine reputation ever since forming a few years back. Their Still Life EP pulled strong attention towards the band with its exciting blend of punk and noise rock within the hardcore intensity whilst their live performances have made the four piece one of the most talked about and thrilling proposition emerging from the US rock underground. Recently signed to Victory Records we thought we should learn more about the band, their music, and their promising to be explosive future. Thankfully bassist Corey Skowronski was more than happy to help our exploration of American Standards and let us in on a secret or two.

Hi Corey and thanks for sparing time to let us find out more about yourselves and the band.

First of all simply introduce the band for us and tell us about the origins of American Standards.

American standards started a few years back in 2010 and in the course of two and a half years we’ve really come along way.

How did you all meet?

With the new line-up we’ve all met through mutual friends and playing shows together.

Was punk and hardcore the music which you grew up to or did you have a wider ‘soundtrack’ to your informative years which your music does suggest?

Growing up punk was a genre of music I was heavily into and other than that just old metal but for the most part I listened to a little bit of everything. If it sounded good to me I’d listen to it.

What was the spark to actually decide to start the band?

For me personally it was always something I wanted to do, to play in a band. I had quit the job I was working at the time in 2010 and was ready for something new that’s when I decided that I would commit to the idea and the dream and begin looking for people to start a band with, and here we are now

You come from Phoenix, Arizonia, apart from the obvious names coming from the city like Jimmy Eat World, The Bled, and Job For A Cowboy, is there a vibrant bed of punk and rock talent in the more underground scene?

Everyone that I know of in bands from here has talent that needs to be heard. There’s all the band that we help with and are close to like Your Young, Sleepwalker, The Last March Of The Ents. Then there’s the old Column III dudes and Lariats of course.

Many bands say their home town/city has influenced or made a big impact on their music, is it the same for American Standards?AS2

Honestly I don’t feel that at all. We write music that we like to play and as far as actually playing here, yeah there are people that are in the scene and care but for the most part it ain’t what it used to be…

Last year you released your excellent Still Life EP how did you find the recording process and what did you learn from it which will impact on future recordings?

Me personally I like to write the song, record it, listen to it, then add or take things out that don’t fit. That’s the time to kind of experiment, in my eyes, with all the ideas you have for that song that you have accumulated over the whole process.

I feel that we did do that for the Still Life EP and with J & M they were totally cool with that. The one thing I think we will try now with the new stuff is to get everyone involved in the experimenting with ideas stage so every song has something from everyone and it shows.

Talking of recordings you are working on your debut album I believe?

Sort of…Geoff and Brennen our drummer and guitarist are stepping down but we are having Mike Cook of Your Young drum and Craig Burch of The Last March of the Ents play bass. I’ll be swinging over from bass to guitar and am very stoked. The songs we have recorded right now are going to be released as an EP titled The Death of Rhythm and Blues and after that we’ll then start on the all new full length.

You are known as a DIY band so how did the link up with Victory Records who will release your next release come about?

We were at a point where we felt ready to take the plunge into looking at possibly teaming up with a label and at the time we had many offers and we decided that Victory and the sub label We Are Triumphant was the most promising.

946270_660704840625239_2035397775_nCan you give us some ideas as what the EP will hold and does Still Life give a good indication of what to expect, more diversity and sonic/noise exploration?

The way I look at it, The Death of Rhythm and Blues is the second half of Still Life.

Have you approached the new songs and EP differently to how Still Life was created?

A little…We definitely worked together more in writing the songs and took our time with it. We didn’t want to pump a song out and call it a day.

When can we expect the EP?

The 14th of September is the date.

Tell us more about the it and what you have developed further in the new songs from those on Still Life.

New songs are great we have worked on a few things in them to give them that cherry on top and their own character and like I mention I feel this is the second half to Still Life. It feels that way at least to me.

How does the writing process within the band work?

We all come together with either a riff, half of a song, or just a little idea and we give it some structure. We jam it out and more ideas come to mind and we try and incorporate those as well.

So it is a democratic process within the band for songs and stuff?

Definitely democratic, we want to give everyone in the band their voice. Every one of us has ideas for songs and good or bad we want to hear them cause who knows what can come from them.

You have a great reputation for your live show, any particularly memorable moments or shows to date?as3

The show we just played in Tucson, InFest, that was a great show. We had a lot of fun. For me a long time ago we played a show in Tucson again, at the old Skrappys. We were getting down and playing and somehow I smashed the head of my bass into my own head and I just started pouring blood. I kept playing, can’t stop the good ole’ boys in American Standards. That story has never been shared with the outside world until now. You are all free now to make fun of me for hitting myself in the face.

Is the live aspect of the band the most thrilling for you or more the creation of new songs and records?

Writing, recording, and hearing the new songs matter. With all the songs we’ve done, once we finish them I’m stoked on them, and when I can play a song that I get stoked on, the energy I pull from it just kicks in and that’s when we can go crazy and let it all out.

Once released the energy from those songs just takes over and that’s what I love. When a song can take you from one point, one mind set and in the course of two and a half minutes it carries you to a completely different one.

Once more thank you to talking with us, anything else you would like to add?

September 14th get the new EP and let us know what you all think.

Lastly would you like to give us the five most influential records on you personally?

The Fall of Troy – Manipulator

Pantera – Reinventing the Steel

Phil Collins – No Jacket Required

Norma Jean – Oh God the Aftermath

Smashing Pumpkins – Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness.

https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStandards

Read the Still Life review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2013/06/27/american-standards-still-life/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 25/07/2017

 

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