Vovkulaka – Self Titled

Having recently devoured an EP featuring four of their fan’s favourite tracks, there could only be one next port of call and that was the self-titled debut album from Ukrainian metallers Vovkulaka. If that introduction to the band impressed and excited then we can only say that this twelve track release had us lusting for the striking sounds and rousing songs it held.

Emerging in 20914, Vovkulaka (Ukrainian for werewolf) is primarily the solo project of Odessa based vocalist/drummer/songwriter VolK but an adventure also featuring members from Bulgaria and the United States with Stone of metallers Contortion providing guitar and its stage line-up up completed by dancers and percussionists Naya G and JuleZ, and guitarist Ivan Manoloff. Vovkulaka creates a voracious sound bred in the heart of industrial and nu metal but one embracing a host of other flavours such as gothic metal and dubstep. Like a fusion of Fear Factory, Korn, Slipknot, Society 1, Type O Negative and Rob Zombie it grips attention but with an individuality which ensures it boldly stands out from anything else. Lyrically VolK’s inspiration and invention finds its seeds in his passion for ghost hunting and the paranormal experiences found as well as more personal issues; shadows and darkness sought and embraced to immerse the listener in the most compelling encounters.

Produced by Darian Rundall (Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, Yellowcard), the album immediately had the senses and psyche hooked with its opener, Summon The Demon. The brief track is a rhythmic calling, VolK revealing his percussive skill and manipulation as carnivorously haunting beats conjure an atmosphere from darker realms. It may barely be a bidding escaping a minute but proves an irresistible invitation leading to the equally ravening haunting of Cemetery Voices. Crawling over ears and senses, the track is a heavy but compelling trespass but one already a lively threat through the skittish percussion of VolK around his rapaciously slow vocal drawl. The similarly sinister lures of guitar and electronics only add to the captivation quickly bred, the track a sign if mere hint of things to come.

Darkness Calling follows with again a rhythmic tempting which burrowed under the skin. Electronic fingering and the sonic courting of guitar brings shadows and ears together, the Korn-esque flames of the latter lighting up the earthier but no less infectious declaration from VolK’s voice. The track is superb, its senses grinding grooves and dubstep throbbing swift addiction and quickly matched in potency by the even more esurient intent and drama of My Devil. Keys gently entice with a crepuscular sheen before the track erupts in another ravenous incitement, again psyche burrowing grooves leading the way as raptorial rhythms pounce. The contrast of crystalline electronics and musical predation simply gripped attention, all the while rhythms jabbing and stalking with manipulative animation as gut bred vocals magnetically nagged; a dubstep solo from DJ Gigantor from the band Evol Intent extra creative flesh to feast upon.

Emerging from a calm if again minatory caress Defy enslaved ears in its tenebrous realm; defiance and decay embroiled at the heart of its visceral grumble as it wormed deeper and deeper under the skin through raw-boned but rich grooves and provocatively niggling rhythms. With Volk’s cadaverous vocals ever enthralling, the track easily gripped and inspired the imagination before Priest Hole unleashed its own addictive fall from grace. VolK’s rhythms alone ruptured attention, their deeply probing bait aligned to scurrilous but rousing grooves and the illuminated eeriness of keys. The track quickly made a stake for best track acclaim though quickly challenged by the decayed and vicious malevolence of Death Ground. Nefarious grooves wind around ears as corrupt rhythms surround sinful vocals, the result one glorious ungodly delight.

The band’s acclaimed first single is next, Glory To The Heroes a track breaching ears and keen support across the globe with its release in 2018. Featuring Keith Lynch (Bill Ward Band, Ozzy Osbourne) on guitar and dedicated to Ukrainian soldier Nadiya Savchenko who was jailed in Russia but released in May 2016, the track quickly revealed why it made such a strong impact before, savage riffs and punishing rhythms perfectly set against light shimmering keys and melodic seduction as Fear Factory meets Pitchshifter like industrial discontent corrupts the air.

As the contagious venom and dexterity of Whispered Lies seduced as it invaded and Purple Door writhed and crawled into body and psyche with flesh-eating grooves across bone resonating percussion, the album shared further aspects to the Vovkulaka darkness and sound. The latter is something akin to Korn being violated by Godflesh as angels caress the carcass while The Dark Empty chews on the listener’s emotional flesh with rabid jaws coaxed by feral grooves and maniacal rhythms as VolK’s vocals again direct the rich pleasure.

The album closes with a metal version of the Ukrainian National Anthem though the CD also offers a couple of bonus tracks in a drum solo enhanced Darkness Calling and an instrumental version of Defy.

Vovkulaka is a band which should, if any of the references we suggested to their unique presence appeals, no must, be checked out but be warned such their debut album’s dark triumph there will be no turning back.

The Vovkulaka album is available now across most online stores.

https://vovkulaka.com/   https://www.facebook.com/VovkulakaFanPage   https://twitter.com/VovkulakaMusic

Pete RingMaster 15/03/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

The Unbroken – Human Crown

It may have been unleashed last year but Human Crown is one encounter you really do not want to have missed. The release comes from Brooklyn metallers The Unbroken and offers five rousing tempests that had us grinning from ear to ear.

The quartet brews a ferocious cauldron from a feral fusion of punk, thrash and groove metal and it proves a potently incendiary mix in this their debut EP. Influences to the band include the likes of Metallica, Pantera, and Slipknot and in some ways there is plenty that is familiar to the release yet from first to last breath Human Crown stands as something aggressively individual and fresh in ears and indeed the metal scene.

Co-produced by the band with John Bender (Breaking Benjamin), mixed by Johan Meyer (Gojira) and mastered by Alan Douches (High On Fire, Mastodon), Human Crown erupts upon the senses with Stuck In The Way, an initial spiral of guitar sparking a thicker volution of groove wiring, the pugnaciously swung beats of Tamas Vajda in the middle. That grooving continues to wind around ears as lead Mark Johnson skilfully entangles the lead vocals of fellow guitarist Chester Oszustowicz, the song forcefully jabbing and inciting as it leads to a chorus which is just as galvanic. There is something akin to American Head Charge meets Mudvayne to the encounter but swiftly it stamps down its own compelling character as the EP gets off to a voracious flyer.

Suffering In Silence follows and quickly lays down its own formidable proposal, rhythms tenaciously marching through a weave of riffs, from which Johnson casts another rich melodic web. Hitting its meaty stroll, contagion soaking sound and vocal attack, the track swings with more of the virulent grooves the band is already proving so fertile with as the bass of Jeff Hinz magnetically growls in the midst of it all, ears and attention eagerly immersed in the thick enterprise making up the welcomed trespass.

Though the track did not quite get under the skin as its predecessor it only had us greedy for more which the EP’s outstanding and spiky title track delivered. Its calm melodic opening made for an evocative contrast to the storms before though a volatile heart is soon exposed as Oszustowicz’s belligerent vocals erupt in the background. As things brew a delicious nagging groove breaks, the vocalist’s snarl riding its rapacious incitement while it all leads to a brief but dynamic chorus, the cycle repeating to further enthral.

Just as addictive is next up I Never Forget, its agile entrance soon the seeding for more of The Unbroken’s unapologetically ravenous grooves and barbarous but welcomingly manipulative rhythms. From start to finish the song savages as it seduces; it’s snarled tone and truculent nature proving as irresistible as the quarrelsome sounds making up its untamed character and inescapable persuasion.

Nothing Left To Sell brings the release to a close, it immediately coaxing ears with a melodic caress full of intimation and elegance and again from the equally warm and intrigue hug of vocals which blossoms a charged and irritable eruption breaks driven by thrash nurtured riffs. The song though is a tapestry of contrasts, the reflective and serene uniting with a disturbed and volatile divergence as the band’s imagination and craft shape another fresh aspect in writing and sound.

The Unbroken is a band easy to see making great strides up the metal ladder especially if Human Crown is a sign of things to come and they exploit its very open potential and prowess.

Human Crown is available now @ https://theunbroken.bandcamp.com/releases

https://theunbroken.band/   https://www.facebook.com/theunbrokenofficial    https://twitter.com/theunbrokenrock

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Destroy Planets! – Mass X Gravity

Though only emerging this past February UK metallers Destroy Planets! have made a striking introduction to themselves with debut EP, Mass X Gravity. It bears all the hallmarks of a craft and imagination which has been brewed over time, indeed the band has a sound which has been two years in the shaping and honing, but equally has an unpolished breath to it which only breeds pure pleasure and the potential of greater exploits to come.

Manchester hailing, Destroy Planets! draws on an array of metal seeded styles and muscular rock flavours for the individual confrontation which surges through their first EP. Raw edges meet with ferocious trespasses whilst both collude with melodic temptation and bold imagination; a tapestry of invention and tenacity which needed little time to intrigue and seize attention. Equally Mass X Gravity is a savage and resourceful force of unpredictability which continues to surprise by the listen as its depths expand to devour greater attentiveness.

As quickly shown by opener Ikon, pinning down the sound of Destroy Planets! is a pointless task, its voice as varied and mercurial as it is uniformly striking. The first track itself immediately sparks ears with industrial metal eruptions across its dark brooding but as quickly springs groove and death metal hues upon the senses; an Enter Shikari meets Machine Head meets Cryptopsy like corruption swiftly igniting keen attention and appetite. By the second though its sound is evolving and growing more fascination, a quality just as potent within the vocals of Tanya Wilson, her multi-flavoured and dextrous tones sheer magnetism in the thickly compelling tempest.

It’s fiercely testing and alluring twists and turns are echoed in next up Stars, the track shaping them in its own creative image as electronic and metal bred trespasses unite in a similarly gripping exploit. Wilson casts throat raw and melodic lures with equal captivation as the grooves and riffs of guitarists Aaron Pettit and Nathan Arif intrude upon and bound the senses. Providing a confrontation as feral as it is carefully woven, the track is a contagious predator with individual and united enterprise as well as its distinct imagination matched by that within the following Immortal. The third track instantly casts a Korn/Slipknot-esque shadow over the imagination though it is soon scavenging the senses with its own particular psychosis of sound and emotion. The whipping beats of Adam Tyree again incite as they punish whilst the dark, voracious grumble of Brad Crane’s bass is a perpetually unwavering lure in the creative tempest and especially goes to make one addictively memorable moment within the song and EP when it singularly courts the nightmarishly haunting melodic tempting of Wilson.

Absolution instantly consumes the senses with grooves and toxic ferocity, fellow Brits VNDTA coming to mind not for the first time but again swiftly band and sound casts their own unique creative character to prey upon and feed the imagination. Arguably the most infernal, vicious, and untamed track on the release, the song just compelled keener attention during its length and subsequent revisit while Bed Of Lies hooked equal greed with its calm melodic beginning and subsequent sonic squall; the latter woven in heavy metal threaded spirals and coated in extreme metal animosity as melodic virulence brews and eventually erupts in voice and sound.

The EP concludes with Save Yourselves, a closing inferno of sound and enterprise that descends with venom and ruthlessness but once surrounding the listener treats them to a myriad of textures and melodically seeded endeavour without losing its crushing intensity. It is a song which epitomises the Destroy Planets! sound and craft and its rich fuel of unpredictability which can only lead to greater adventures ahead.

Mass X Gravity is a challenge, a threat and another of the year’s unexpected but true pleasures.

Mass X Gravity is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/destroyplanetsband/   https://www.instagram.com/destroyplanets

Pete RingMaster 30/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Survival Code – Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill

With their attention grabbing second album still a rousing presence in our ears, alternative rock outfit The Survival Code have returned with another collection of pleasure fuelling tracks in the shape of the Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill EP. It brings more of the sounds and individual flavour which the band firmly established within their last offering but songs which swiftly reveal their own individual character and temptation.

Formed back in 2012 by Dublin hailing vocalist/guitarist Gary McGuinness, the London based band slimmed to a duo as Hopelessness of People escaped their craft and imagination last year. Since then a change has seen drummer Simon Hartop, formerly of The Barbs, join McGuinness, Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill the first encounter with the new line-up and another which confirms The Survival Code as one of the most refreshing and potent propositions on the British rock scene.

With the EP seeing the band link up once again with producer Matt Hyde (Trivium, Slipknot, Ash), Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill quickly hit the spot with its opener. The Innocent immediately leaps upon waiting ears, riffs and rhythms a nagging pleasure as McGuinness’ guitar springs one of the shapely hook sharing grooves which go to help define the band’s sound. As virulent as within the last album, inescapable catchiness fuels the song in sound and the songwriter/guitarist’s persuasive vocals; full participation in its roar inevitable and swift.

Darker hues line next up Something Beautiful, a track though instantly just as contagious as its predecessor even as its relatively calmer contemplation and attack leads to thicker intensity and energy. The delicious throaty tone of bass is just one compelling aspect to the eager encounter, vocals and guitar enterprise as magnetic whilst skilfully backed by Hartop’s manipulative rhythms; imaginative twists and turns adding to the track’s pure infectiousness.

If the first pair is the epitome of catchy, So Serious is simply viral, taking little time to entangle ears and appetite in its choice hooks and wiry antics. Wrapping its temptation around the senses whilst taunting the body into involvement, the devil of a song casts a web of rock ‘n’ roll temptation where every groove and hook is riveting, each rhythm and syllable cunning and it all relentlessly stirring.

Just as animated and invigorating is Cycles, its eager canter and hearty roar alone enough to buoy body and spirit. As with all tracks the bold and imaginative essences and textures making up tracks come with a thought stoking lyrical insight and a vocal declaration which stirs thoughts. Twisting and turning with increasing prowess and invention, the song makes way for EP closer, Magnetic. It too is a proposition wrapped in shadows and with a more intense gait and breath rising, a proposal with volatility and tempestuousness in its heart, it only adds to the release’s increasingly compelling and potent presence.

Certainly Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill shares the attributes which made the band’s previous album so powerful and adventurous but The Survival Code also tease of new horizons and creative dramas within the outstanding encounter; a new lure proving the band one of the most exciting proposals out there right now.

Crosses To Carry, Coffins To Fill is released August 16th via Good Deeds Music.

 https://www.thesurvivalcode.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thesurvivalcode    https://twitter.com/thesurvivalcode

Pete RingMaster 16/08/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

Hello Dean and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you. My pleasure!

Can you first introduce the project and give us some background to how it all started?

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the project and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

Presumably there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your approach to and ideas about creating and playing music?

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

How has the internet and social media impacted on your project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands/artists struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Survival Code – Hopelessness Of People

Checking out recent single Crawl combined with the potency of previous releases, we declared The Survival Code a band it is so hard for us not to be excited about. That track was the second teaser for the London based outfit’s new album; an intimation alongside its predecessor of something to truly anticipate. Having feverishly devoured the full-length we can announce that Hopelessness Of People not only lives up to the promise offered by its singles but has emerged as one of the year’s major gems.

Formed by Dubliner Gary McGuinness, The Survival Code has bred and earned a rich reputation since emerging late 2011, each release seeing their imaginative rock bred sound openly growing and evolving backed by a live presence which has constantly proven itself a rousing experience. Though numerous musicians have been alongside lead vocalist guitarist McGuinness, it has been his long term link up with drummer/backing vocalist Tom Cook which has been the heart and power of the band. A trio for their acclaimed Matt Hyde (Trivium, Slipknot, Ash) produced 2015 debut album, MMXV, and the subsequently just as striking Broken Strings EP two years later, The Survival Code has slimmed down to just the core duo upon Hopelessness Of People and the band has never sounded more powerful, dynamically bold, and rousing.

With Hyde again producing, Hopelessness Of People takes mere seconds to entice and thrill ears with opener Same Skin. Its initial guitar shared lure is a calm intrigue ridden coaxing which soon flares up with rapacious energy as Cook’s beats court their own infectious trespass of a swing. McGuinness’ vocals are just as captivating, like the sounds a blend of melodic composure with underlying aggression and volatility. Embracing rock in its various shades alongside a twinge of punk irritability and metal bred ferocity, the track and band’s sound soon establishes its inescapable identity though with its tenacious almost stalking hooks and hungry grooves there is a certain Sick Puppies hue to the excellent encounter, a spicing which enjoyable lingers across the whole release in varying degrees.

Crawl is next to snare thick attention, immediately imposing with its senses harrying riffs and formidable rhythmic swing. From its already infectious threat, appetite wrapping grooves and imagination stoking twists combine for a web of contagious enterprise matched by the equally compelling vocals of McGuinness in turn backed by Cook’s potent tones. There is a touch of Coheed & Cambria to the track, a pinch of Adelitas Way too as well as the aforementioned Australians but the song rises to be all The Survival Code. As a single it got us lustful to hear Hopelessness Of People and still does each and every time roaring from within its midst.

A calmer entrance by the following Take It As It Is only brings a mutually eventful slice of melody rich and highly catchy hook loaded alternative nurtured rock where rhythms swing with muscular intent and emotion fuels vocal expression while Anything Goes These Days strolls with emotive tempestuousness in its heart and raw power in its snarly breath. In their individual ways, both songs had the body and imagination bouncing, the first especially with its keenly crafted unpredictability.

One of the album’s early tasters is next, Along The Way a single earlier this year which effortlessly hits the spot whilst leaving a lingering breath which again just draws intrigue and attention the way of the album. Though the track does not have the incendiary dynamics of Crawl, it is a virulent persuasion which again has the body dancing to its whims before Self Medicate wraps thoughts in its emotive balladry and the imagination in a tapestry of creative and vocal intimation. A slow burner compared to its companions within the album, the song just grew by the listen enticing purposeful contributions from hips and vocal chords.

In so many ways the track epitomises the almost deceitful virulence of Hopelessness Of People, quietly nagging away yet openly seducing with its resourceful breeding; a template just as successful behind the decisive enterprise of Not Working. It is another which seems to be a touch subdued compared to other tracks but the truth is clear when from nowhere we found ourselves repeating melodies and a chorus which had burned itself into the memory.

Damn these Survival Code boys are devious and at it again within the smouldering and increasingly fiery and just a bit funky This Time Around. McGuinness and Cook unite to weave a contagion of hooks and melodic grooving as tenacious as the expectations devouring exploits of the song, repeating the feat with new imagination for the quite outstanding and devilishly tempting Too Late and in turn Next Step. Another major favourite here, the second of the two borders on the feral, its metal seeded antics spring grooves which demand subservience and riffs which harass to the point of addiction. Around them, melodic flames and vocal angst roar to add to the undiluted captivation.

The final pair of Integrity and Goodbye proves there is truly no moment within the album which is lightweight in presence and enjoyment. The first has a vocal calm which rests perfectly within the more unevenly tempered air of the song though McGuinness’ delivery has a hint of prickliness to it too while the closing offering is a slice of magnetic rock ‘n’ roll which too mixes hushed aggression with volatile energy whilst casting an infectious wind of melody woven turbulence and emotive exclamation.

Quite simply releases like Hopelessness Of People are the reason our hunger to devour new music is more lustful than ever. It is an appetite which has been rewarded so many times this year alone but few as relentlessly and powerfully as by The Survival Code.

Hopelessness Of People is released Friday 31st August, through Good Deeds Music Ltd.

 https://www.thesurvivalcode.co.uk/    https://www.facebook.com/thesurvivalcode    https://twitter.com/thesurvivalcode

Pete RingMaster 30/08/2018Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Deathflux – Execrated

With its members previously part of death metal outfit Cacodaemonic and one of our favourites in progressive metallers Akarusa Yami, there was certain anticipation in hearing the debut album from British metallers Deathflux and Execrated certainly rewards that intrigue and excitement. It is a raw and uncompromising trespass upon ears and senses quipped with rich enterprise the imagination quickly took to.

Formed in 2016 by Nottingham guitarist Tom Clarke, who as mentioned enlisted band mates from his former propositions, Deathflux creates a sound which cannot be precisely pinned down. Led by a rousing and enjoyable senses abusing dual vocal attack, the sextet entangle everything from death and heavy to technical and groove metal with plenty more flavouring involved. Their first year saw the Bludgeon, Consume, Transcend EP uncaged, the band’s second bringing the current line-up together with vocalist Adam Jones joining the raucous bellows of Patrick MacDonald. Now Deathflux is ready for full and hungry attention which it is very easy to expect to be crowding them through Execrated.

It is a release which from opener Forsaken which manages to grab ears and captivate as it trespasses the senses while hinting we are just in on the beginnings of even bigger and bolder things ahead. Maybe that means there is an open potential not quite realised within the album yet it just adds excitement for the future to that gained though the bracing assault of the release. The first track immediately infests the listener as the twin fury of the vocals joins the predacious lure of the guitars and instantly threatening touch of the rhythms.  Soon as it hits its imposing stride, the song winds its creatively malicious tendrils around ears, animosity matched in the individual and united antipathy of the vocalists. Often lurching along between its fevered intrusions as imagination fuels twists and turns, the track lays potent seeds for things to come.

The following Consume finds an even more predatory lilt to its voice and presence, extreme and melodic metal converging on ears and each other as again vocals challenge as they align their discontent. Dissonance soaks every note, syllable, and word; its dystopian coating breeding a conspiracy of enterprise and imagination within the track and subsequent album as proven by next up Devolution. Similarly woven yet individual in its character and rapacious attack, the song springs nu metal hues into its infestation of styles and the web of rancor woven from them. It too jabs and snaps as well as careers across the senses, the guitars alone weaving magnetic intrigue and adventure including a delicious groove as rhythms blossom in their predatory dynamics.

Toxin initially dances in ears with catchy intent, it’s pent up animosity and frustrations waiting to be subsequently unleashed through the riveting exploits of vocals and the persistently unpredictable landscape of the song. As much as all its predecessors hit the spot, the track truly grabbed our attention and appetite, that intimation of even richer and bolder layers to the band’s creativity a nagging pleasure.

Easily our favourite track, it is more than backed up by Bludgeon which simply lives up to its title as it accosts the listener but an assault built with an imagination and diversity of touch which at one point seems to embrace inspirations of a Slipknot or Mudvayne in other moments the likes of Fear Factory and Dillinger Escape Plan.

Next up Transcend is even more bullish and irritable, deathcore traits seeping venomously into its grooved trap set by the guitars, Clarke relishing the dynamics as he casts melodic dexterity into the thrilling mix before Exile brings the album to a vicious conclusion. It epitomises every aspect of the band’s sound; from their ferocious energy and nature to the creative touch and technical flair each member brings to the war.

Though first impression were potent, Execrated really flourishes over subsequent plays as each track reveals more of their individuality and invention which might have escaped notice first time around. Expect to be assaulted and richly pleasured by Deathflux’s first album and anticipate being addicted as its potential ignites in the future.

Execrated is out now through iTunes and other stores.

https://www.facebook.com/deathflux/   https://twitter.com/deathfluxband

Pete RingMaster 03/07/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright