Martyr Art – FearFaith Machines

Self-Dubbed as digital metal, the Martyr Art sound is a voracious mix of varied metal and industrial/electronic textures with more besides from an artist which embraces technology as eagerly as the cauldron of flavours woven into his bold recipe of enterprise. FearFaith Machines is the new and fifth album from the band, a release which for fans and newcomers can only make for one compelling adventure.

Martyr Art is the one man project of Joe Gagliardi III, an Orange County musician whose skills on the guitar are as captivating as the songwriting, vocal prowess, and imagination which equally escape his invention. The band is truly a solo project with Gagliardi playing every instrument before recording, mixing and mastering every second of adventure making up FearFaith Machines. Since emerging in 2004, Martyr Art has shared stages with the likes of Corey Glover, Doyle, KMFDM, Drowning Pool, Saul Williams, Full Devil Jacket, Brick By Brick, Dead Empires, and Moon Tooth whilst releasing a host of well-received singles and EPs as well as those previous four full-lengths. Up to this point Martyr Art had evaded our radar but FearFaith Machines has corrected that and will for a whole new tide of fans such its striking offerings.

The album starts with Motion, metallic electronic pulses and temptations luring ears before raw steely smog brings a rousing scourge of groove and alternative metal awash with industrial espionage. Quickly Gagliardi shows his vocal diversity as throat scarred and clean tones intermingle with the former heading the virulent contagion. Equally his craft on the guitar further ignites the tempest, shredding and picking multi-cultural sonic temptations.

The following cyclone of The Pleasure of Pain is just as invasively magnetic, its industrial inclinations steering the listener towards the waiting metal bred uproar. The cycle repeats with even greater heat and intensity, vocals again a great blend of attack and enterprise matching the adventurous emprise of sound. Like a maelstrom of Rabbit Junk, Squidhead, and Cynical Existence, the track is a captivating fury more than matched by next up Who Are You. The third song scowls as it plunders the senses, raging with punk dissonance as again a web of styles and flavours unite with voracity and imagination on the way to forging another major highlight within the release.

Across the sinister almost psychotic Just and the superb Constrict, the album simply expands its landscape of sound and captivation, the second of the two almost primal in its breath yet precise in its layers of boldly varied texture and spicing while their successor, Thundering, is a dark seduction with hues of bands like Type O Negative and Sisters Of Mercy to its irresistible gothic rock/post punk serenade.

Final track is Binary Slavery, a carnivorous slice of industrial metal gnawing at the senses yet soothing the wounds with melodic caresses though they too come with an edge of trespass to their infectious exploits. It is a rousing end to the album highlighting the craft, imagination, and bold fusions making up the heart of FearFaith Machines.

Gagliardi creates something that is nothing less than unique from the familiar styles and sounds he weaves with, indisputable evidence coming with one of the most fascinatingly individual and simply enjoyable encounters this year.

FearFaith Machines is out now; available @ https://martyrart.bandcamp.com/album/fearfaith-machines

http://martyrart.com/   https://www.facebook.com/martyrartofficial

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Squidhead – Cult[ist]

“There are horrors beyond life’s edge that we do not suspect, and once in a while man’s evil prying calls them just within our range.” [H.P. Lovecraft, The Thing on the Doorstep]

It is more than curiosity which fuels the imagination and predacious captivation of the debut album from Squidhead. Inspired by the darkest depths of the nightmare universe of HP Lovecraft, Cult[ist] lures and exposes the listener to unmentionable and unforgettable horrors across eight slices of modern death metal though that is a tag which just does not do it justice. Technically compelling with an array of flavours spun from an additional fusion of industrial and electronic metal, the album is an invasive often venomous encounter but one just imposingly seductive.

With its seeds sown in 2009, Squidhead started in Belgian as the instrumental solo project of The Painter, better known back then as Pierre Minet. The project was officially unveiled at the end of 2013 with the Prohibition EP released a few months later to potent acclaim. It was a stirring adventure for ears and the imagination, Minet’s craft and enterprise striking across its five tracks inspiring thoughts to conjure their own dark tales. As the band ventured upon the live scene, Squidhead has subsequently evolved in personnel and in turn sound. The result of three years creativity, Cult[ist] is an infernal treat of a proposition around the ever magnetic prowess of The Painter. Alongside him The Crawler unleashes tenebrific intimation through his bass and The Orator unveils nightmare realms and imagery with visceral vocal trespasses; each a source of dark tempting more than complementing the eight stringed conjuring of The Painter.

The storm courted opening to the album coaxes ears into the waiting clutches of Abyssal Worshippers, keys hinting as they lay a sinister lure into the waiting web of intrigue and opacity. Swiftly The Painter immerses ears and thoughts with technical adventure, his strings flaming with suggestion and craft but equally as potent settling into the almost carnivorous trap laid by the feral jaws of the bass and The Orator’s throat scarred vocal painting. Having run with the imagination on Squidhead’s previous offering, it was a surprise and initially wrong-footing to have some of the visual interpretation done for us but quickly the band showed there was plenty of room to create one’s own nightmares too.

The great start is immediately built upon by Mantra Of Insanity, the initial spiral of guitar drawing the fierce punches of drums and the gnarly breath of the bass before Orator spills the song’s animus of intent. Even in its rampant state, the track feels like it is stalking the senses, preying on their fears and nightmares whilst teasing with melodic tendrils carrying their own line in devious relish. The bass sadly loses some of its irritability as the song evolves and becomes an incantation like proposal yet it all works perfectly before Awakening stretches it’s carnal and in time more elegant if still rabid appetite led by the ever magnetic endeavour of The Painter. As with all tracks, every listen brings new twists and shadows to explore and similarly each delves into their pits sees the songs blossoming to greater heights.

Through the invasive dynamics and technical claws of the excellent Lucid Nightmares and the murky palette of the equally riveting Mad Painter, band and album entwine the senses in a tapestry of creative cunning and manipulation. Both tracks just enslaved attention and an already greedy appetite for the release while Whispers Of The Deep prowls and summons thoughts with intimidation and atmospheric beauty to match its predecessor’s captivation.

Similarly Torn Skies ignited the psyche and passion with its bordering on barbarous stomp, its rock ‘n’ roll virulent and voracious with spinning webs of guitar accentuating its creative alchemy. Leaving the senses breathless and imagination ablaze, the track is another major rival for best moment within Cult[ist] though the choice does twist and turn among this last quartet of tracks much as they themselves within their seriously tempting bodies.

Verbis Diablo brings the album to a richly alluring close, its more mercurial gait and air posing challenges, perils, and temptations to greedily devour. It is a fine end to an album we hoped big things of due to Prohibition but has revealed a band and sound which has evolved to be a far richer and darker experience, much as the worlds it finds its inspirations in.

Cult[ist] is out now @ https://thesquidhead.bandcamp.com/

http://www.squidhead.be/   https://www.facebook.com/squidheadproject

Pete RingMaster 26/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hedfuzy – Self-Titled

Catching up on another release appearing towards the rear of 2015, we offer up the self-titled album from Hedfuzy as a proposition to seriously consider investigating, especially if progressive rock gets the juices flowing.

Hedfuzy is the solo project of Irish multi-instrumentalist Pat Byrne and its debut album a captivating progressive adventure of melody thick and magnetically tenacious rock ‘n’ roll with a rousing contagion to it. The musical history of the Limerick musician includes touring at the age of 17 with Celtic Fusion, followed by experience building exploits touring and recording with bands such as rockers Kraven and reggae outfit Jeffonesta as well as playing bass on some of Delorean Suite’s current release Two Lives. Now Byrne is ready to ignite attention and ears with his own solo proposal, recruiting additional talent from Shardborne’s Ben Wanders, Delorean Suite keyboardist Graham Conway, guitarist Graham Keane of The Vicious Head Society, and guitarists Mike Moriarty and Cameron Allen to bring his seriously engaging songs to life.

Mixed and mastered by Chris Collier (Prong, Lynch Mob, KXM), the Byrne produced album opens with Sing which quickly coaxes ears with an enticing lure of guitar. Settling into an energetic stroll as Byrne’s potent vocals sit invitingly upon his blend of melody fuelled guitar and keys, the song soon begins to swing with a gripping catchiness aligned to a darker shade of similarly lively and eager bass led rhythms. With eighties seeded air reminding nostalgically of Modern English and currently David J Caron veined by fiery progressive enterprise, the track is a rousing start to the album quickly backed by the muscular persuasion of Snakes. Melancholic keys offer the first suggestive caress, Byrne’s vocals swiftly adding to the alluring start and in turn followed by a thicker smothering of riffs and rhythmic theatre. It is a potent collusion of textures which again has infectiousness running through it as heavier and darker shadows envelop the senses.

Hedfuzy - Self-Titled_RingMaster ReviewThe creative and physical skills of the artist persistently ignites ears in the song and album but always without offering any indulgence to temper their strength or the organic creativity impresses in the likes of How To Tear Your World From My Head. As the third song begins to flows through ears, initially bass pulses the lone dark protagonist in a misty glaze of harmonic and melodic tempting, things quickly come to boil as rugged rhythms and gravelly riffs collude with wistful keys, provocative guitar, and jazzy bass. The result is an eventful and at times volatile landscape of stirring invention and compelling craft keeping the imagination as busy as ears whilst pushing the already impressing stature of the album to new heights.

Mine brightly shimmers with melodic and vocal expression next, it an alluring serenade of melodic rock with the flavoursome essence of UK band The Inner Road to it as it settles enjoyable between the more raucous and dynamic exploits of the previous roar and The Death which follows. Not as dark as expected, the new track is another beacon of resourceful composing and boisterous musicianship lined with a craft and imagination which has body and emotions eagerly engaged.

The emotive croon of When I Come Back Down is open evidence of that core prowess in songwriting and emotion, and diversity as with This Broken Throne, a grouchy but again wholly virulent roar of aggressive rhythms and sonic adventure laced with the impressing vocal tones of Byrne. A thrilling and fluid mix of Squidhead like cantankerous metal soaked in a warmly reflective exploration of melody and voice, the track is as absorbing as it is anthemic before a mellower proposition in Name comes in. With winy melodies and atmospheric drama within again an intensive proposal of bass and rhythmic confrontation, the song carries a touch of Johnny Wore Black to it, captivating and stirring the senses from start to finish before leaving the album’s outstanding title track to bring things to a ferociously dynamic close. The instrumental is glorious, a brawling seducing collage of sound and textures woven into an anthemically fiery and exhaustingly exhilarating tempest as virulently incendiary as it is dramatically provocative.

Hedfuzy is an album to light up any day and the band a project which, even with Byrne seemingly perpetually in demand, the man soon appearing on the debut album from Irish progressive metal band The Vicious Head Society alongside keyboardist Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater, Black Country Communion) and drummer Kevin Talley (Chimaira, Suffocation), we can only hope to hear a lot more from.

The self-released Hedfuzy is out now via Amazon.

https://www.facebook.com/Hedfuzy

Pete RingMaster 13/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Parallax Method – The Owl

Pic Ewan Mathers_www.ewanmathersphotographer.com

Pic Ewan Mathers_www.ewanmathersphotographer.com

There are so many things about The Owl EP to wax lyrical over; from its intricate yet free flowing fusion of flavours to its smiling warmth of character even when offering a more volatile twist or passage to contemplate. Most though it is the fact that each of its instrumental adventures provides a brand new escapade with every listen. The music hints, at times openly suggests, but all the time the imagination is given the sonic and melodic palette to paint its own inspired landscape and exploits, and that is pure fun and pleasure.

The release comes courtesy of UK progressive rockers The Parallax Method, their debut introduction to the UK rock scene. Formed last year, the seeds of the band began with guitarist Danny Beardsley, drummer Dave Wright, and bassist Daniel Hayes’ time together in hard rock band Isolysis back in 2011. With a collective experience of almost thirty years, the Derbyshire trio re-united last year as The Parallax Method, drawing on their mutual love of bands such as TesseracT, Karnivool, and Periphery to spice a sound, as mentioned earlier, tagged as progressive rock but entwining the broadest array of styles and essences into a fascinating tapestry. It is all in evidence within their first incitement Owl, the trio conjuring a web of creative intrigue and glorious aural adventure. Since its recording, Hayes has left the band to be replaced by Ben Edis (Spirytus/Breed 77), but left as his legacy a gripping part in a potent start to the bands easy to assume rise to the fore of the progressive scene.

Parallax cdep1._RingMaster Review    To quote their press release, “The Parallax Method leans on the themes of space and a perpetual battle between the owl and the squid to convey their unique sub-genre of modern prog. Space signifies the vast and epic nature of each track. The owl, wise and powerful, manifests itself in the music in its’ confident and strategic build ups. The squid, sneaky and sly, embodies itself in the ever-present surprising twists and turns. And the battle between them often ends in a violent stalemate which serves to betray the band’s humble standard tuning.” That is the premise to and suggestive nature of the release but to be honest as soon as second track Honey I Shrunk The Squid steps forward, after the cosy yet stark intro of the brief Welcome One and Owl, the imagination is off and running with its own narrative too.

Evolving straight out of its predecessor, as all pieces do, the track is soon writhing with juicy grooves and darkly toned rhythms which in turn breed a just as swift virulence in their increasingly inventive enterprise. You can easily confirm the spicery of those previously mentioned influences but also as the track, and indeed EP, develops thoughts are reminded of Belgian solo project Squidhead. The song continues to take ears on a busy and eventful dance, the guitar a jumble of coherent hooks and bewitching melodies framed and punctuated by the almost morose tone of the bass and the swinging beats of Wright. There is an industrial feel to the visual incitement it sparks, an intensive parade of activity and life which is often seduced by shards of melodic beauty and melancholic warmth.

The following Can Mango Take Me Higher is blossomed from those seeds too, exploring them with the sombre yet flirtatious lures of Hayes’ bass and the resourceful craft and imagination of Beardsley’s fingers of guitar strings. As in the previous piece, the music perpetually evolves, at times brewing up tempestuous climates and avenues as potent and captivating as the mellow seductions aligning them. The spatial ambience of the track has thoughts soaring into the dark and dangerous unknown but always there is an earth bound intimacy which also has the imagination and emotions working overtime, the latter especially when the bass throws off its shadows to wonderfully cluck, for want of a better word, at the senses.

Though individual tracks definitely work alone, The Owl should be listened to and is most enjoyed as a whole. Each song is a natural progression and chapter in a singular scintillating tale, whether with the band’s premise or in one’s own thoughts; flowing masterfully from the other as Radagash The Brown does from Can Mango Take Me Higher. The new encounter is a cosmopolitan shuffle which from its jazz kissed and sultry opening scenery travels rugged terrain and gentler seas towards a classical seduction bred on Latin influences and mystique sowing climes. Ultimately the track is a cauldron of technical prowess and even more so mischievous imagination, there no escaping the underlying grin to the release.

Closing on a techno agitation against emotively spun keys, the song flips into Owlgarhythm, the only time you could say the join is less than organic. It matters little as the immediate haze of funk lined agitation and devilry sides with blues electricity, the trio again whipping up a tenaciously sculpted shuffle with a whisper of bedlam to its heart and energy. Continuing to spin a revolving soundscape of sound and descriptive textures which are more travelogue like for the imagination than echoing the conflict maybe suggested by the EP’s theme, the track is superb. As the whole of The Owl, it is a spellbinding creative emprise which you might never get a clear handle on but just devour more greedily with every listen trying.

Another great thing about the EP is that it never has a whiff of indulgence or showing off which can and often does afflict many progressive spawned offerings, meaning that The Parallax Method is definitely a band to pay attention to and The Owl, a release you really should let your imagination play with.

The Owl is released on Friday 11th September through all stores.

Pete RingMaster 10/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Squidhead – Prohibition

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Great Instrumental music is the playground for the imagination and emotions, a suggestive toy for the senses and thoughts to sculpt their own adventures to, and that is exactly the success that Prohibition from Belgian band Squidhead achieves. Its five tracks cast a captivating web of technical vivacity and sonic expression which has the listener physically and mentally involved with little fuss and accomplished ease, and though you can openly pick out the influences to artist and music it only adds to the intrigue of the encounter.

Squidhead is the solo project of Pierre “Pish” Minet, a guitarist providing all the additional bass, electronics, and drum programming turning Prohibition into a rigorously and increasingly addictive proposition. There is little we can tell you about the man behind the project, the Squidhead bio on the website dummy text, but seemingly the EP is Minet’s debut release whilst inspirations come from the likes of Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Steve Vai, Morbid Angel, Fear Factory and many more. The music within the release is sculpted with 8 string guitars and forges modern death metal riffs and melodic licks, a description which does not quite do the whole adventure of the encounter justice.

For us any metal instrumental proposal comes with the fear of over indulgence and excessive showing off by the aural sculptor, hopes that there is not the creative fiddling which goes nowhere as it shows what a ‘clever boy’ the artist is. Though Minet is not slow in coming forward with his technical prowess and in the face shredding, it never really defuses the fluency of the songs, slipping into their narratives as any other aspect. Nor does it disturb the theatre sparked in the imagination, so our personal wants in instrumental explorations are provided for whilst those with a hankering for a fiddle or two will also be more than satisfied.

Opener Riding The Octopus dangles a sonic lure before ears right away; a tempting swiftly reinforced by aggressive riffs and agitated rhythms. It is an immediate heavyweight proposal Prohibition coverwhich relaxes a little for the magnetic fret work of Minet, though it still retains a seriously predacious air. All the while though there is a dramatic intimidation which constantly prowls the track, even as mystique kissed melodies and acidic grooves show their spicy proposals, a skilled blending of extremes within a track which already has thoughts lost in a realm of fantasy figures and occultist bred minatory escapades.

The following Edge Of Consciousness is bred from the same dark shadows as its predecessor, riffs snarling and menacing as rhythms descend with hostile tenacity. Across both songs you can hear those Meshuggah/ Devin Townsend like essences whilst Minet veins and lights the portentous canvas of the track with sizzling sonic flames which as inventive and impressive as they are, never stay too long in one design to feed expectations or temper the unpredictability flavouring the tracks.

The strong start to the EP is taken to stronger persuasion by the outstanding title track. A sinister devilry comes with the opening dark throated bass coaxing and percussive shuffle, expanding as bestial riffs align to the flamboyant tones of guitar. It is the swing behind the song though which steals the passions, a contagious swagger which spines the whole piece of music. From this all the other enthralling additives hang and dance, whilst imagination wise both track and thoughts collude in a dark seduction full of salacious temptresses and demonic flirtation; well that is what emerged in our fantasy and that is another beauty of the release, each track inspires visually potent exotic emprises.

The EP’s best track makes way for the more ethereal atmosphere of Coded Dreams, the song exploring a post rock/progressive landscape regaled with melodic blooms and sonic elegance. The rhythmic side of the track is an unsettling and threatening provocateur but remains in the shadows as the brief but mesmeric track warms ears and air.

Prohibition closes with The Ritual, a devilish fusion of rabid riffs and unrelenting beats within a maelstrom of guitar enterprise and at times espionage as with relish it twists and turns to take ears and imagination on a spiral of fascination and danger. It is an impressive end to a thoroughly enjoyable release. The EP could be said to be offering little new but when ears and pleasure are only wanting more it is a quibble to easily dismiss.

The world of Squidhead is a mysterious adventure and sound-tracked by a rather enjoyable debut. Anticipation for its successor starts here.

Prohibition is available now digitally and on CD @ http://thesquidhead.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/squidheadproject         http://www.squidhead.be

RingMaster 28/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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