Temple Of Lies – The Serial Killer Suite

From its predatory nature alone, The Serial Killer Suite ensures ears and an appetite for imposing metal are aroused; add potent individual craft and an instinctively woven web of grooves and rhythmic threat and you have a release which stalks attention. The third album from UK metallers Temple Of Lies, it is a rapacious contagion of sound and intensity living up to its theme and untamed protagonist.

With its first pair of singles making persuasive hints of things to come, The Serial Killer Suite swiftly shows each were accurate clues to, if still slithers of, the adventurous character of the album. The successor to the well-received From Sand, it also sees the Temple Of Lies exploring heavier and darker corners of their sound and imagination; areas as dirty and bloodthirsty as they are groove nurtured infectious and hungrily energetic. Since emerging in 2010, the Leicester hailing outfit has shown an imposing growth in their sound, an evolution now having its head within their third full-length whilst still suggesting the exploration is far from over.

The Serial Killer Suite opens up with Epic Doom and instantly prowls ears with its groove lined swagger and growling riffs and bass line. Like a ringmaster vocalist Si Shaw steps into the middle, sowing the seeds to the psychotic devil in the album’s midst. Equally from the song’s initial breath, Jon Scranney’s guitar spins a web of enticing yet rapacious hooks and grooves, bait matched by the tenacious swings of drummer Alex Gamble and Jags’ similarly grouchy bass. It is an irresistible welcome into the waiting emotional carnage and ill-intent and swiftly backed by the just as gripping exploits of Broken Mind. Again band and sound court the senses with a threatening stealth, the bass pressing intimidatingly as Shaw’s gravelly tones join its trespass. As thrusting beats and harrying riffs add their lures, the song surrounds ears with hungry enterprise, the wiry tendrils of Scranney’s guitar rich spicing.

Illusion of Choice draws on the grungier side of the Temple of Lies sound, fusing it with their ever ferocious and enticing blend of metal. Instantly the track is on the boisterous balls of its feet, rhythms scything and riffs snarling as vocals and hooks collude in a virulent temptation with a touch of Disturbed meets Spineshank to its short but fiercely persuasive body before Modus Operandi lays down its individual creative intent. Often tempting like a fusion of Monster Magnet and Suicidal Tendencies, the track has ears and imagination hooked in no time, every twist a captivating moment, each turn a fresh treat merging the familiar with the unpredictable; an essence which applies to the whole of The Serial Killer Suite.

Latest single Skin is next, the track starting with a great bass grumble and proceeding to place layer upon layer of growling dexterity whilst creating another seriously catchy proposal. Shaw again prowls it all with vocal character and quality, every syllable spawned from the psychotic menace of the album’s heart. It is inescapably magnetic stuff pretty much matched in the irritable presence of I Cut You Bleed, though the song for personal tastes just misses finding the final persuasive ingredients of its predecessors. In saying that, there are also times when the song has ears and pleasure truly in the palms of its venomous hands.

Through the calmer though still instinctively volatile Sleep and the tenebrous tone and heart of its initial single, Dark Energy, the album has ears firmly gripped and enjoyment full. The first is a mellow proposal compared to those around it but deviously dark and tantalising with Scranney again showing his melodic craft and invention. Its successor also offers a less imposing proposition initially but there is a tempestuousness and emotional toxicity which brews and catches throughout the track’s poisonous embrace.

Both are tracks which also do not quite reach the heights of earlier roars yet leave the listener wanting for nothing before being eclipsed by the crabby rock ‘n’ roll of Teeth, another song with a great whiff of the crossover thrash of the previously mentioned Mike Muir led Californians in its snarl. Gamble’s beats leave the senses bruised from within the compelling encounter, the grievously addictive tone of Jags’ bass mutually greedy as Shaw and Scranney again enthral.

In turn Face of Grey hits the spot with its almost carnally toned intent and nature though it too is overshadowed by the following Symbiotic Parasite. As soon as church bells and senses intruding beats rise, there is an air of something special brewing, a suggestion only added to by the nagging riffs and controlled but fiery net of fleeting grooves. Subsequently things erupt in a voracious stomp, a swarm of infection and energy though still on a ferocity rein sparking a gripping tapestry of adventurous enterprise.

Nihilist Dreams brings things to a fine conclusion, the song an epilogue of emotional admission and creative resourcefulness which grows more tempestuous and imposing with every passing second. It is a great end to one of the year’s most enjoyable moments so far. Certainly being picky, it would have been interesting to see Temple Of Lies push the majorly adventurous and unpredictable moments of the album with an even bolder intent, to see it become truly distinctive, but there is nothing about The Serial Killer Suite that leaves disappointment or a lack of rich enjoyment. Temple of Lies is ready for global recognition; whether the world is ready for them time will tell.

The Serial Killer Suite is out now through Attic Records on iTunes and @ https://templeoflies.bandcamp.com/album/the-serial-killer-suite

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Pete RingMaster 11/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Death Blooms – Self Titled EP

Recent single I’m Dead was the hint of a new emerging force in British metal, the self-titled debut EP from Death Blooms is the confirmation. It may be their first full introduction to and nudge on the nation and beyond but the four track roar of ferocious multi-flavoured alternative metal is a wake-up call demanding attention.

We had marked down the fresh breath and sound of Anti-Clone as the future of UK metal but now alongside them we have to suggest will be Death Blooms. It is not that the Manchester/Liverpool bred outfit’s  sound is strikingly unique at this moment in time but everything about it blossoming from their equally potent songwriting is, as the EP, feral excitement and compelling dynamism soaked in the potential of truly great things ahead.

With shows alongside the likes of Dope, Skindred, Raging Speedhorn, and Anti-Clone under their belts, Death Blooms are on a charge which the new EP can only add extra fuel and gears to. The release simply grips ears with its opener Hate:Die.; challenging and thrilling them from its first rabid breath as vocalist Paul Barrow roars over an intrusive trespass of sound. Riffs nag as hooks collect around the primal stabs of bass and Mel Stewart’s swinging beats. Quickly hitting its predacious stroll, the track devours the senses but equally seduces them with melodic flames and unpredictable moments of relative restraint. Barrow continues to snarl from within the web of sonic enterprise cast by guitarist Ad Lucas, the bass of Ben Grimsley as dark and threatening as the backing vocals almost crawling across the psyche.

It is a stunning start to the EP, essences of early Mudvayne, Spineshank, and indeed Anti-Clone coming to mind as it ignites body and spirit before passing its willing victim over to the waiting infectious animus of Last Ones. With a seriously catchy chorus breaking up yet managing to inflame or at least accentuate its ferocious confrontation, the song similarly impresses while recruiting eager involvement in its contagious tempest.

Two songs in and Death Blooms confirm their instinctive ability to align virulent infection loaded temptation with primal animosity, latest single I’m Dead further evidence with its rabid energy and rapacious urgency. Vocals bark and riffs hit the body with spiky endeavour, the bass a primordial flirtation alongside the biting jabs of Stewart and all colluding in a hungry storm of antagonism and flirtatious craft given greater strength by the hardcore hollers of the band. As the opener, the track is superb and easy to understand its success in stirring up real anticipation for the EP and the spotlights already pressing upon the band.

Closing things up in fine style is Sick, another scourge of resourceful metal harrying and arousing the senses and spirit. Its plaintive cries lay earnestly upon the maelstrom of grooves and riffs, every hook linked to a voracious rhythm, each imposing beat bound in sonic coquetry.

It is fair to say that Death Blooms find adventure in every idea and note thrust upon a quickly willing victim to their might and imagination. With a deluge of submissions to be considered by The RR it is hard to find the time to return to many encounters for just pleasure, but Death Blooms and their galvanic treat of an EP has joined that short but potent list; they should be on yours too.

The Death Blooms EP is out now through iTunes.

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Pete RingMaster 24/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Star Dancer – Welcome To My World

Star Dancer_RingMasterReview

Whether by coincidence or intent, Welcome To My World feels like an homage to suspected inspirations to its creator. It offers a bundle of songs and flavours which seem like friends before they even finish making their first persuasion with originality not as ripe as the craft bringing them to life. The result though is a fun time which it is hard not to like and enjoy, and increasingly so with every listen.

The album is the debut from Star Dancer, a band created by Detroit hailing vocalist Robert Star and Sponge members Vinnie Dombroski and Tim Patalan who produced it. Welcome To My World is as much a jukebox of recognisable “snapshots” of assumedly the music lighting the artist’s life and passions as it is of “both the world surrounding Robert and a troubled modern day America” explored “through Robert’s unique lens.

Highly enjoyable is what it predominantly is and straight away as Welcome To My World opens with its title track, a feisty slice of hard rock with classic rock inflamed grooves wrapped in rousing backing vocals provided by Tosha Owens and Rachel Williams. As well as kicking the album off in potent style, the song gets the appetite and spirit going too and ready to embrace the more restrained but openly magnetic Earth Mother Dancer. Flirting with a Billy Idol meets Johnny Wore Black swing to its rock ‘n’ roll; the song is as instinctively simple and catchy as it is sonically colourful with the leading lures of David Black’s guitar pure captivation alongside the more punk ‘n’ roll riffs of Wally Filipiak.

Great Sexpectations (Turn Off the Lights) provides an eighties hue to its hard rock revelry next, an easy to bite on hook framed and speared by the punchy beats of Jerome Day. Guitars create a splattering of that nostalgic enticing throughout the song whilst bassist Jason Lollio prowls it all with a great throaty and contagious tempting. From one easy pleasure to another as She’s In Love With Joan Jett takes over; a song echoing the focus of its title whilst also sharing an Elvis Costello meets The Cars like air to its boisterous stroll.

Star Dancer Artwork_RingMasterReviewDiversity continues to enrich album and ears as the sultry smoulder of The Weed Don’t Lie radiates warm melodic and harmonic persuasion across an exotically textured landscape whilst hugging the increasingly impressing voice and presence of Star before High & The Mighty brings its own individual tempting to bear on the imagination. A web of varied rock flavours from electro to heavy, the song entices like an unexpected mix of Ministry before they went metal, Heaven 17, and Spineshank. The track is another of the peaks of the album matched quickly by the melodic shuffle and seducing of Annie and an excellent spin on EMF’s classic, Unbelievable.

In the first of the two there is a whiff of Bowie which is even bolder in the following IntraVenus FlyTrap, though at times it becomes Bolan-esque as the track grips ears with its steely rock ‘n’ roll built on snarly riffs and electronic imagination. The vocal union again, as across the album, simply whets the appetite as hooks and grooves work freely on the imagination before the punk ‘n’ roll of Before I Die brings the album to spirit rousing close. From a lo-fi strum, the song erupts; leaping and bouncing as southern and punk rock flavouring infests its anthemic vivacity.

The final song epitomises the album; many flavours combining in many ways for something very familiar and so easy to get fully and eagerly involved in. If you are looking for a good time and something to feel good from, then Welcome To My World just might fit the bill.

Welcome To My World is released April 20th on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.stardancerband.com   https://www.facebook.com/Stardancer13

Pete RingMaster 20/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Anti-Clone – The Root Of Man

Anti-Clone_RingMasterReview

If asked at the start of the year which was the one release we were most anticipating in 2016 there would have been no pause of thought involved in saying the debut album from UK metallers Anti-Clone. They had us addictively hooked into their own distinct nu-metal bred, psyche twisting sound from the outstanding Hands Sewn Together EP, which had its highly successful national release back in 2014. Its tracks were a regular part of our podcasts too, finding the same eagerness across a horde of other shows and stations with the mainstream media soon waking up to the band’s emergence in turn. Now two years on and quickly following reputation cementing and pushing performances supporting Mushroomhead and Sanguine on certain dates of their recent UK tour, the Boston hailing quintet are poised to unleash The Root Of Man.

The question was never going to be would the album live up to expectations seeded in the last EP and the hefty fuss around the band, that just seemed to be a given in thoughts, but would their music have grown and evolved enough to make them a real contender to stir up the metal scene beyond the UK as earlier songs suggested. Well, the answer is found within the first few tracks of the eleven song incitement alone. Together they give a rousing confirmation with their creative roar, only being forcibly backed by the rest of an album which in some ways continues where the Hands Sewn Together EP left off but immediately shows a craftier and imaginatively more exhilarating, not forgetting broader, weave of styles and flavours in its boldly sculpted songs. The Root Of Man is Anti-Clone on a new mature imagination drenched plateau from songwriting to sound to presentation. There is inventive confidence and fierce adventure at every turn as the scent of inspirations from the forefathers of the nu-metal scene are again embraced, twisted, and honed into openly fresh textures within the band’s own fascinating experimentation.

art_RingMasterReviewFormed in 2011 but really finding its creative mojo once the current line-up was in place a couple or so years later, the Lincolnshire band soon sparked a hungry and swiftly growing fan base for their dramatically addictive sound which reached its first pinnacle in the Hands Sewn Together EP. Live too, the band has grown to be one of Britain’s prime incitements, sharing stages with the likes of American Head Charge, Kindred, ESO, Breed 77, Sworn Amongst, Maplerun, Evil Scarecrow, and Bloodshot Dawn amongst many along the way. Linking up with EP producer Matt Hyde (Machine Head, Trivium, Fightstar, As I Lay Dying and Slipknot) again for The Root Of Man, the quintet of brothers Drew (drums/ programming) and Peter ‘Mr Clone’ Moore (vocals), Conor (guitar) and Liam Richardson (guitar), and Mike Bradbury (bass) are seemingly poised to set their place at the head table of the UK and indeed European metal scene.

Dually looking at “the beginning of the human race, starting with Eve committing original sin which resulted in us being cast out of Eden” and symbolising the band’s beginning as a band; “These are the roots that we are planting to fully establish ourselves as our own entity, to establish ourselves as Anti-Clone“, the pledge music funded The Root of Man immediately grips ears and imagination with its title track. It is a brief but inescapable lure into the album, an as expected apocalyptically ambience clouded scene setter which is soon crawling portentously over the senses as steely bass and toxic grooves wrap the enjoyably familiar tones of Mr Clone. Its dark tempest rolls straight in to Deracinated which seamlessly draws ears into its own animus of intent and creative rapacity. Straight away an industrial toning merges with the schizophrenic nu-metal prowess which flows from the band, Society 1 meets Mudvayne like essences adding to the imposing character and trespass of the fearsome magnetism on offer. Ebbing and flowing in raw confrontation, the track bewitches ears and stirs up the appetite, setting them in an unfamiliar and disorientating yet welcoming blend of old school aired modern imagination for a seriously rousing slab of predacious incitement.

SwitchBlade growls at and brawls with the senses next, vocals from Mr Clone and the Richardson brothers almost pestilential in their psyche invading animosity as the sounds around them rise and fall with constant inhospitable adventure. Melodic calms and percussive invention are just as potent lures in the agitated imagination and landscape of the song; all colluding to savage and spellbind before A Sight For Sewn Eyes prowls ears with Fear Factory/Spineshank tinged ingenuity. As replicated across the whole of the album, every moment of the song brings greed breeding drama to the listener, Mr Clone showing his clean melodic tones are as fiercely agreeable as the rawer psychosis fuelled side of his vocal character. The song persistently twists and turns from the start before reaching a bedlamic crescendo that never truly departs once erupting as the song leaves on a groove bound web of suggestiveness.

With a constant range of peaks across its landscape as momentous and memorable as the Alps, B9 adds another with its Manson-esque textured slice of predatory heavy metal whilst Twisted Neck entangles ears in the intoxicating vines of toxic grooves which wrap a calmer melody hued serenade beneath a thickly tempestuous and predatory climate of sound and personality. Both tracks present a tapestry of styles and textures, the first also flirting with steampunk like elements where, not for the last time, Anti-Clone have a touch of the now sadly demised Shanklin Freak Show to them. Its successor flirts with a colouring which is more 6:33 meets Dog Fashion Disco though as always, it is hard to pin down a flavour such the Anti-clone ingenuity as they align spices to their own enthralling ideation.

A great punk metal hue seeps into the riveting and mercurial soundscape of Mechanical Heart, the track as welcoming as it is fearsome with sinister keys and avant-garde devilry lining another almost rabid mix of nu and industrial metal carrying at times more than a whisper of death metal to it. Compelling to the extreme, the track simply wants an apocalypse based Hellraiser movie to grace to see its majesty totally fulfilled, though fair to say there is no time to linger in thought with any song during the album as here Feed The Machine steals attention instantly with its vocally anthemic and physically bracing proposal. Repetition in word and sound within the track is a glorious igniting of instincts; that simplicity employed in another rich weave of roving grooves and a cantankerous rhythms skilfully sewn into an irresistibly unpredictable but dramatically galvanic onslaught. Like early Korn in some ways and Slipknot in others, the track still stands distinctively tall as another unique Anti-Clone ravaging of the senses and passions.

ComaSpace brings a moment of relative calm and the chance to catch breath next though unsurprisingly it too has irritability to its tone and dark imposing edge to its atmosphere. Vocally Mr Clone entices ears with a clean delivery as melodies merge acoustic and more aggravated hues into the Deftones spiced offering. Again the band has ears and appetite enthralled, though even being another impressive moment within The Root Of Man, it gets overshadowed a little by Astaroth. The band’s new upcoming single, the song is sonic slavery; the reason mosh pits and lustful reactions were bred into life. As barbarous as anything on the release and the most virulently contagious assault too, the track has everything you need to know about Anti-Clone and whether they are the tonic to your personal musical passions.

Completed by the grisly presence and voice of Sentinel, a sonic inferno of psyche burrowing riffs and grooves amidst an insatiable and concussive tempest of sound and attitude, The Root Of Man is the declaration of a new major force in UK and undoubtedly European metal. Anti-Clone is set to be one of those guiding their journeys over the following years whilst with this superb release, the band has placed themselves right there in stature alongside a great many of those who have inspired their adventure to date.

The Root Of Man is released 29th April  via PHD (Plastic Head Distribution) with more information @ http://www.anticlonehq.com

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Pete RingMaster 04/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Bad Solution – Self Destruct EP

Photo_RingMaster Review

A juggernaut is the best way to describe the Self Destruct EP from UK band Bad Solution, a juggernaut of energy, passion, and anthemic potency, not forgetting scything rhythms and crushing riffs. Its quartet of songs also come equipped with a sonic and melodic enterprise bridging the voracious metal and inflamed heavy rock instincts which openly fuel songs and sound. The EP is a beast, a rousing introduction to a band many others have long been crowing over; a proposition easy to see forging an even more explosive and acclaimed presence within British rock ‘n’ roll ahead.

London based Bad Solution began in 2010 formed by guitarists Trix and Mariusz Chojnowski. With initially an all Polish line-up, the band recruited British vocalist Alex Willox late 2011 which was soon followed by the band making their live debut to rich acclaim a couple of months after. The current line-up, completed by bassist Wojtek Suberlak and drummer Joe Patterson, was in place by the December of 2013 and the band simply has gone from strength to strength with a live reputation to match their sound. They have shared stages with the likes of Gallows, The Blackout, Soulfly and many more along the way and released the well-received three track single Echoes of the Cry. Now the quintet is beginning to stir broader attention with Self Destruct and it is easy to see and hear why from its first roar.

cover_RingMaster Review   The EP opens with its title track and a melancholic tempting of piano amidst more sorrowfully ethereal keys. As the strong vocals of Willox join the embrace, so does a bass snarl and a spicy croon of guitar with more rigorous rhythms aligning themselves to the start soon after. It is a potent entrance becoming increasingly inflamed with every second, its volatile ambience eventually erupting into an energetic tempest of intensity and emotion. There is a definite Papa Roach air to the song, when that band was in its early prime, and equally a touch of Spineshank and fellow Brits The Self Titled to the evolving blaze of creative and impassioned ferocity. It is an immense start to the release, the band’s melodic and aggressive side resourcefully and strikingly merging in an impressive union.

To be honest, as mighty as it is, the following Nothing (You don’t know me) just outshines it with its Five Finger Death Punch/ Bloodsimple like riot. Willox quickly shows great versatility to his delivery, matching the furnace of enterprise and sound around him. Riffs chew on ears and rhythms swing lead like bait whilst the guitars stir up a maelstrom of ravenous and melodically seductive magnetism. Neck muscles are soon in allegiance to the brawling intensity, as too are ears and imagination to the heavier rock and melody hued exploits within the thick persuasion. It all results in another hellacious and compelling proposal easy to jump on board with and well before it’s reached its fiery climax.

Dear Sarah steps up next and similarly has attention and appetite eating out of its inventive hands. Though stalking the senses with their jagged tempting, riffs and rhythms carry an inviting swing to which tangy sonic tendrils wind their richly alluring endeavour. Again whispers of Spineshank and also this time 36 Crazyfists nudge thoughts but with every passing half minute, the song fluidly moves into new scenery drawn from varied metal flavours across a tenacious and imaginative landscape.

Fair to say Self Destruct just gets better and better with each proceeding track, ending on its pinnacle, the brilliant Desert Rock. A Middle Eastern spicing immediately coats the emergence of the song, traditional instrumentation colluding with predatory rhythms and antagonistic riffery before the latter takes over and sculpts a ferocious stomp of energy and sound. To this those ethnic hues add their thrilling hues from time to time, lurking and shining from within the groove stoked, rapacity lined furnace of anthemic sound and volcanic intensity. The track is glorious, an aural call to arms which no metal loving body and heart can resist, and surely the single to light the touch paper to national success and more.

Bad Solution is a band which guarantees a good, exhausting time with their music but as shown by the Self Destruct EP, they also bring inspiring energy, instinctive passion, and invigorating invention to the table. It might not be the most original EP you will come across this year, but without any doubts it will be amongst the most memorable and thrilling.

The Self Destruct EP is available now through most online stores.

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RingMaster 18/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Pop Evil – Onyx

onyx

Though its veins are not exactly bursting with originality, Onyx the new album from US rockers Pop Evil is without doubt a rigorously compelling and invigorating slab of fiery melodic rock. Every shrug of its sinews and each melodic flame exhaled soak ears with an open familiarity whilst every muscular blaze of emotion and searing of sonic enterprise leaves thoughts and passions greedily content. It is may be not going to set the year on fire but the band’s third album is definitely bringing it a thoroughly enjoyable stomp of aural temptation.

Still under a keen spotlight after touring across Europe supporting Five Finger Death Punch, the band hits the European market and ears with a mighty slab of potent contagion. Released via Eleven Seven Records, the album has a voracity and tempestuous passion to its body which along with inciting melodies and perfectly barbed hooks, simple enthrals the senses and imagination. Having already established themselves on their side of The Pond with their rich tempting sound and albums War of Angels and even more so Lipstick on the Mirror, as well as a clutch of attention grabbing singles, the Michigan quintet are setting their sights on a wider audience and it is hard not to expect a healthy success through Onyx alone. Having also impressively shared stages with the likes of Three Doors Down, Papa Roach, Puddle Of Mudd, Theory of a Deadman, Buckcherry, Judas Priest, Black Stone Cherry, and Seether since forming, as well as going through the obstacles music throws up including line-up changes, Pop Evil have found a fresh and determined tenacity which shines across their new release as powerfully as the craft and passion soaking it. Produced by Johnny K (Disturbed, 3 Doors Down, Megadeth), Onyx is an encounter which does not herald a torrent of surprises but does ensure satisfaction is fat to bursting.

The album gets off to a flyer with opener Goodbye My Friend, an instant attention grabbing encounter which from its initial guitar and bass coaxing awakens a potent appetite for what is to come. Nick Fuelling and Dave Grahs take little time casting a web of riffs and grooves to snare the imagination whilst bassist Matt DiRito brings a predatory growl to the mix to accentuate the immediate potency of the song. It is an enthralling mix to which vocalist Leigh Kakaty adds his impressive tones as the rhythms of drummer Josh Marunde punctuate and frame the thrilling enticement. The track also offers the comparisons which stand across the whole album, its sounds like a mix of Seether and Sevendust with the metallic rapaciousness of Spineshank, the emotive angst of Three Days Grace, and the anthemic craft of Drowning Pool. To be fair though that still only gives part of the picture as shown by the second song on the album.

Bringing a rich colour of Alice In Chains to its striking canvas of sound and gripping narrative, Deal with the Devil prowls and strolls around the senses like a warrior, the guitars and bass crowding ears with forceful intensity and ravenous intent whilst rhythms punch with weighty persuasion. The latest single is a stirring and climactic incitement, ablaze at times with infection soaked melodies and senses entwining grooves for a thoroughly exciting temptation. One not quite matched but certainly thrillingly backed up by previous single Trenches. Holding a defiant air to its body of sound and lyrical call, there is an air of antagonism to the song which only urges the sonic warfare of the guitars to blaze with brighter flames and virulence as additional keys and electronic bait bring extra charm.

The riotous charge of the album takes a break with power ballad Torn To Pieces, a magnetic song which goes exactly where expectations assume but still leaves a lingering and increasingly potent lure in its wake. Kakaty is a powerful and controlled vocalist throughout the album and shows his depth of expression and emotional quality masterfully here to match the strengths of the sounds caressing and at times scorching his words. It is a glorious emotive encounter which leaves the following Divide looking a little pale in comparison. To be fair the song is a feisty and vivaciously striding suasion but lacks the extra guile of say its predecessor or the punchy invention of other songs on the release. Nevertheless it makes a pleasing play upon the ears as does its successor Beautiful, another song which just misses the potency and success of others, but still leaves a flavoursome offering for a hungry appetite to devour.

Things return to the opening plateau with the outstanding Silence & Scars, a song which seduces and pressurises thoughts and emotions simultaneously with imaginative and emotion driven invention. There is a touch of Bush to the song, its grunge spice and melodic weaves absorbing whilst a cathartic essence to its whole picture offers a magnetic radiance. The track is bewitching as is next up Sick Sense, a furnace of a song which is as raw as it is mesmeric, as caustically charged as it is a resourceful seducing. Again it is like an instant friend, that familiar seeding inescapable bait but with a voracious fuel to the backing vocal roars and a nu-metal menace to the ingenious twists within the song, again that Spineshank reference coming forth, the track is an exhilarating proposition.

Fly Away and Behind Closed Doors keep the album burning brightly and at times ferociously, the first an eagerly striding charge of pop rock urgency across evocative textures whilst the second steps into a more formula yet forcibly appealing canter of melodic fire and vocal enticement. Both songs leave a smoking long term bait working away even after their departure, their heat and passion enough to override a slightly predictable design, before the more aggressive and excellent Welcome To Reality has it moment to ignite the senses. It again confirms that Pop Evil are masters at creating songs which might not break away from existing trodden paths but bind the listener up in feverishly addictive and irresistible anthems.

The album closes with Flawed, a striking dramatic and impressive end to Onyx which simply underlines the quality and exciting presence of band and release. Pop Evil is not inventing the wheel, or arguably even redesigning it, but it is giving it a breath-taking and often scintillating soak of explosive colour.

Onyx is available now through Eleven Seven Music with the standard European version holding 3 additional tracks whilst the deluxe version features an extra 5.

www.popevil.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/07/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Fade Out – Welcome to My Hell

Fade-Out - Welcome to My Hell - 2013

Fancy being thrust into a caustic creative storm…an agitated squall of rapacious and voracious imagination? Then checking out Welcome to My Hell, the debut album from Russian band Fade Out is a must. Combining a core of alternative and nu-metal with varied abrasive extras, band and release create an encounter with is richly invigorating and enthralling whilst simultaneously being intrusive and corrosive. Whether chewing the senses or bewitching them with acid borne melodic enterprise the album conjures a stirring web of invention proving that certainly nu-metal is not quite an empty well yet.

Formed in 2007 in Voronezh, Fade Out initially started out with a gothic metal intent but soon the band decided to explore a heavier nu-metal sound. The following year saw their first single released, the song proving to be the last to be sung in Russian by the band and the final appearance on vocals of guitarist Roman “Dagen” Davidov. From this point Fade Out decided all future songs would be sung in English only, the direction easily accepted as the band added incoming vocalist Katerina Davidova to the line-up. With the autumn of 2008 came second single Don’t Shoot followed in 2009 by festival appearances and gigs, all strengthening the rising reputation and fanbase of the band. Late the same year though also saw Fade Out go on a lengthy hiatus though a maxi-single kept their sound and name in the thoughts and passions of fans. The line-up of Davidova, Davidov, guitarist Ilia Sysoev, bassist Roman Kurlykin, and drummer Evgeniy Yakunin returned in 2012 and immediately began gracing festivals and working on releasing their full-length debut, Welcome to My Hell.

From the exploratory kinetic maelstrom of the intro Fade-In, the album sets to work on the senses with the exhilarating title track. Immediately riffs are rigorously rubbing the ear whilst drums unleash a mesh of bone splintering rhythms and the bass stomps with equal hunger within it all. It is an instantly contagious invitation set ablaze by the emerged carnivorous charge of the track and the rapacious vocals of Davidova, her delivery impressive guttural squalls stemmed from malevolence and bestial invention. The track gnaws with insidious passion but throughout the onslaught is constantly evolving and twisting its back and imagination for an irresistibly captivating forage of the senses. There is diversity and skilled provocation to every aspect of the song, musically and vocally which preys on the ear with craft and devilment like a mix in many ways of Iwrestledabearonce and Spineshank.

The following I Realize continues the stunning start, warning sounds heralding its malicious invention. Heavy riffs and intimidating rhythms wrap viciously around its recipient whilst again vocally there is a tempest of aggressive passion. Into its stride the track shifts and swerves into further intriguing and rewarding adventures, sonic enticements and ingenious avenues that only light stronger rapture for what is offered. In its nastier aspects there is a feel of Otep to the ravenous provocation whilst where melodies bring their easier warmth it is hard to imagine rock any more satisfying.

The open diversity continues through the menacing and oppressively chaotic Jump!, the industrial spiced Don’t Shoot, and Five Seconds with extensive cleaner vocals being merged with again wonderfully coarse scowls, all the songs exceptional and impacting confrontations. Amongst them is another major highlight in the scintillating shape of Ultima Ratio. Once more the vocals crawl the range from melodic to vicious with skill and temptation whilst musically the song is an insatiable fire of classic rock, groove metal, and melodic endeavour which, like the album as a whole, gives expectations short thrift with its unpredictable and fully imaginative course.

The opening of Twitch For Threads is a delicious mix of a pit spawned throaty bass lure and the kind of sound which harkens the presence of a devil in Asian horror movies like The Ring, the subsequent passage of the song intimidating as it crawls through its and your darkest shadows with evocative vocals and addictively harmful essences. It is an excellent lingering ‘evil’ soon pushed aside by the outstanding Annihilation Tool, another Otep like toxin of predatory fervour and esurient addict forming excellence leaving the senses and heart a furnace of lust.

Completed by Пять секунд, the Russian sung version of Five Seconds, and the closing Три цвета (Three Colours)which features Davidov on vocals, Welcome to My Hell is a thoroughly exhilarating storm and hopefully the start of a constant and successful presence for Fade Out, metal and definitely nu/alternative metal needs this band.

10/10

RingMaster 20/06/2013

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