Albert Marshall – Speakeasy

Creating an ear grabbing proposal forged in the fires and technical styling of hard rock and heavy metal, Italian guitarist Albert Marshall has just released a debut solo album in the magnetic shape of Speakeasy. It is an eight track collection of instrumental adventures, though a couple also feature the guest vocals of Mark Boals (Y.J.Malmsteen, U.J.Roth, Ring of Fire), which highlight but do not boastfully self-congratulate the undoubted prowess of Marshall whilst making for one rather enjoyable adventure.

Picking up his first guitar aged 16 and self-teaching with Deep Purple records, Marshall subsequently embraced and explored the broader expanses and styles of metal and rock alongside flavours such as blues and funk. Graduating from the Modern Music Institute while already gaining experiences in various tribute and original music making bands he proceeded to become part of metallers Altair, playing on their Sleazy Rider Records released album Descending. Now the Padova hailing musician has ventured forth with his own solo work and first full-length with Speakeasy seeing bassist Simon Dredo (L.a.Rox, Alex De Rosso, Adam Bomb) and drummer Roberto Gualdi (Pfm, Vecchioni, Glenn Hughes) playing alongside.

Inspired by the styles and sounds of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, and Jason Becker, Speakeasy immediately reveals its voice and Marshall’s magnetic prowess through opener Butler’s Revenge. From start to finish, his strings vibrate like suggestive vocal chords in ears and imagination. Alongside Dredo is no lightweight either, the pulsating resonance of his bass equally captivating and appetite ensnaring as Gualdi provides a manipulative frame for the pair to conjure upon.

The superb track sets the tone for the release in style, though each subsequent piece brings its own open individuality and technical dexterity with next up Badlands aligning an enticing hue of restraint to the same eager energy and charge of its predecessor whilst weaving its own picturesque landscape of melodic metal. Wiry grooves vine the darker muscular trespass of the track, their melodic tendrils intoxication within just as potent rhythmic shadows while its successor, Fallen Angel encases the senses in a web of heavy metal endeavour. The first of two tracks featuring Boals, it is a more unsurprising slice of heavy metal yet revels in the individual and united prowess of its creators if without catching fire in our imagination as the tracks around it.

Captivation and enjoyment is only reinforced through the melodic metal waltz of Re Marzapane and the alluring sonic lattice of Dreamlover, the former carrying a glaze to its grooves which is almost punk like against the track’s progressive nature while its successor creates a tapestry of sonic hinting rich with cosmopolitan suggestion and sophistication. Both tracks enthral without deviation before Tristam Fireland re-ignites the album’s heavy metal heart with Boals back involved.

The blues stroll of Ramshackle Blues had personal juices, which faltered a touch with its predecessor, flowing again, its enterprise bound saunter a rousing spark to body and spirit. The brief closing piece of Eclipse (White Horse) equally seduced; its melodic ballad mesmeric, descriptive, and thoroughly beguiling.

And that pretty much sums up Speakeasy and the craft of Albert Marshall, a release and ability which is pretty much spellbinding.

Speakeasy is out now via Red Cat Records across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/albertmarshallmusic/

Pete RingMaster 18/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Virtual Symmetry – X-Gate

The new EP from Italian progressive metallers Virtual Symmetry, X-Gate is quite simply a theatre of sound, craft, and creative storytelling which keeps ears and imagination greedily engaged from start to finish. Simplicity though is not a feature of the release with every song a kaleidoscope of flavours and styles, each encounter a lure into surreal realms and adventures woven with individual and united craft which alone grabs attention.

Founded by guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist Valerio Æsir Villa, Lugano hailing Virtual Symmetry potently build on the creative landscape and progression of their well-received debut album Message from Eternity of 2016 with X-Gate, creating a web of enterprise and imagination which ensures fascination is an equally lively reaction. There are moments when things settle into a calm temptation, a low key seduction and other times when the EP ignites a real zeal for its dramatic body of sound and invention but always attention is firmly hooked.

X-Gate opens up its exploration of man and its evolutionary possibility, which starts with its artwork, with Eyes of Salvation. Instantly guitars coax the listener with a fiery glaze to their lures before a portentous calm is accompanied by poetic strains of piano from Mark Bravi. Swiftly his additional keys flame up as the rest of the band unites their essences in a rising tide of sound and suggestion. Vocalist Marco Pastorino walks alongside the piano in another mellow passage, his potent voice matched by others within the outfit, before that fire erupts once again with the rhythmic rapacity of bassist Alessandro Poppale and drummer Davide Perpignano driving things. From its first breath, the track is a web of enterprise and thought, a myriad of textures and layers explored better over subsequent listens though its infection loaded chorus is a swift recruitment of ears and involvement. Across its seven plus minutes, the song continues to tease and tempt whilst weaving a fluid collage of styles and theatrical imagination.

It is a great start which has ears and appetite hooked for that to follow starting with the epic flight of Alchymera. For almost a quarter of an hour, the song is a magnet for the senses and thoughts; its celestial and emotional journey especially blessed with keys carrying a definite  Bill Nelson vibe whilst the guitars give Steve Vai like scents to their endeavour. An eighties new wave/synth pop essence also simmers within the track, seductively caressing its more irritable traits while Villa alone brings an emotional drama and moodiness to the track which is absorbed and emulated in the atmospheric climate spreading across the mercurially alluring and skilfully woven landscape.

Elevate completes the release, the track notable alone for the union of Pastorino with the radiant voice of Diane Lee from Swiss melodic progressive metallers Lost Journey. The pair is surrounded by a serenade of sound with volatility in its nature as potent as the emotional drama and invention loaded imagination baring their qualities. The song almost swarms the senses with its charms and fiery heart, breaking into more tempestuous moments throughout to only increase its pull.

It is fair to say that though its strong first showing, X-Gate simply escalates in depth and persuasion over time. Virtual Symmetry is a richly intriguing and tempting proposition from the outskirts of the progressive metal landscape but a prospect increasingly coming to the fore with each offering they make and though the EP might not end up on the year’s best lists come the New Year, but could for many, as one of the most enjoyably fascinating propositions X-Gate is right up there.

The X-Gate EP is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/VirtualSymmetryOfficial    https://twitter.com/virtualsymmetry    https://www.instagram.com/virtualsymmetrypjct

Pete RingMaster 25/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The art of choosing…talking with The Dreamer Within

The Dreamer Within_RingMasterReviewPromo Shot

Hailing from Exeter in the UK, The Dreamer Within is a band beginning to lure very potent attention with their compelling metalcore bred sound. Young as an outfit, they have already shown themselves a fresh presence and roar on the British metal scene with a stage presence that has audiences swinging s evidence by acclaimed shows with the likes of I Divide, Glamour of the Kill, Skindred, and Palisades. Recently the quintet unveiled a new video for the song Purge for another big poke at broad attention. It had us wanting to know more, so with thanks to the guys we explored the beginnings of The Dreamer Within, their new video, an impending EP, and more besides…

Hello and many thanks for taking time to talk with us.

That’s kewl 😀

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

Alex and Charlie started writing stuff when they were at Uni many years ago…like 7 years ago (they’re both well old). They both knew each other played guitar from school but Charlie didn’t like Alex because he had better hair and knew how to play more Metallica solos than him. However they ended up jamming together in a covers band and started writing their own stuff just for fun. They’d send each other random riffs and ideas and eventually ended up putting drums to some stuff so things sounded a bit more legit. One day though, Alex decided to put some synth over one of the riffs for a joke, however there was actually no laughing matter – it sounded genius. Well actually it sounded terrible but it started to influence some other things they wrote and eventually synth became a must for any song ideas. To cut a longer story shorter: they eventually got in touch with some people who they thought might be interested in actually playing some stuff live, including Alex’s dear cousin Josh who loves to play a bit of bass. After a few years of practice, writing and re-writing everything and a couple of line-up changes we eventually managed to play a show in July 2014. Ultimately, our love of metalcore probably brought us together, plus we all really like wearing vests. We all have pretty similar music tastes though, ranging from more straight up metal to trance/EDM so going down the contemporary metalcore route was a pretty natural thing for us.

What sparked the decision to form the band and the direction it was to take?

It’s always been quite a natural development, we all love our music heavy and full of synth! As mentioned above, the original conception of the band happened years ago (you can probably still find the original version of Recovery on the internet without having to look too hard) and the direction of the band really just came from a culmination of the things we love about music, minus Taylor Swift’s voice though unfortunately.

The Dreamer Within_RingMasterReviewIs there any specific meaning behind the name?

Choosing our name was a stressful time. We all had terrible ideas and it got pretty frustrating as all the super cool names were taken according to numerous Google searches.  We agonized over so many until one day at practice, Charlie lost it and said “right, I’m going to my car to get my mountain dew and packet of cashews, I want a name by the time I return…” and sure enough, Eliott came up with The Dreamer Within. It probably reminds us most of Charlie being furious and eating cashew nuts, although on a more serious note, we liked it as it vibed well with our style as a lot of our lyrics relate to recognising what’s important within oneself and looking at the world outside the box if you catch our drift. At the core of it, the name refers to the part of yourself that is dormant inside that aspires for greater experiences.

Tell us about your early days as a band; the unforeseen surprises and difficulties which you came up against that maybe musicians do not expect or realise will show themselves.

It’s still pretty early days really! I think one thing we never really considered was just how much effort (and equipment) has to go into creating the kind of sound that we have to manipulate live. I’d say one of the biggest surprises was probably when we played our first show after releasing our debut single Heart of Mine as originally we just wanted to release some music and play a live gig to say that we’d done it; the feedback was so overwhelming that we decided to keep going and never really looked back. In hindsight we could have probably done a far better job at getting ourselves shows at the start – we ended up waiting to be asked by other bands a lot which was awesome when it happened but it did mean we struggled to keep ourselves booked up. Ultimately, we realised that everyone in the local Exeter scene was super nice and talking to people/other bands was the best way to get about. Typically, no one ever has any batteries and we use A LOT of batteries for all the wireless stuff etc. The amount of times we’ve had to do an emergency battery run before a show is ridiculous – we never learn! Josh is the worst for this and also equipment in general. One show we played in Plymouth had him kneeling on the floor playing after his strap broke mid set. Obviously he didn’t have any sort of backup plan so the drummer from The Core of IO had to duct-tape it up for him while he was playing…we looked really awesome…

As you say, it has been a relatively short time that The Dreamer Within has been around; how would you say your sound has evolved in that time?

To be honest not that much – the first two songs we released in 2014: Heart of Mine and Recovery 2.0 are songs that were written alongside a few others that we actually had in mind for our up and coming EP so we’re still very much influenced by our original ideas. We guess that people can probably expect a far heavier EDM presence in some of our more recent compositions but essentially we want to get better at what we started doing rather than change our sound loads of times before people really get to know us.

Do you write and create as a unit?

Alex and Charlie often lay down the primary structure for most of the tunes as they’re both guitarists. They also have the responsibility of recording, mixing and mastering everything so it makes sense for them to take the lead on that side of things. However overall the songs come together from everyone’s ideas as Eliott is a keen synth composer and Matt handles pretty much all the lyrical side of things. As much as we make fun of him, Josh is a sick bass player and he rarely has to be taught anything and is happy to write his own bass parts rather than mimic the guitars…All pretty harmonious really.

 You recently released the video for new track Purge. Tell us about the song’s theme first of all.

Purge is primarily about recognising agents of deception and control in everyday life and “Purging” the feeling that you need to conform to believing what’s force fed to you or allow yourself to be easily influenced by common sources of information. Essentially the message is ‘don’t believe everything you read/see, don’t just sit there letting the world carry you along, get out there and find your own truth.’ We hope we don’t sound too cliché and political!

The press release with its announcement suggested that your new tracks, as well as being more creatively imposing and inventive, have “a darker lyrical tone.” Can you elaborate upon that and The Dreamer Within2_RingMasterReviewdoes Purge epitomise that evolution or are there further dark depths to be discovered?

We think the darker elements come from the overall feel of the songs themselves rather than the lyrics. We find it impossible to write anything in a major key! However regardless of what the song is about, lyrically we always try and put a positive spin on things to inspire a more uplifting feel.

What kind of things most inspires the band’s lyrical side?

We like writing about mankind’s place in the Universe, why we’re all here, what we should be doing while we are here etc. We are all really into space and all that cool stuff so we’d like to think our songs have a really big epic feel to them. We also like writing about some supernatural/potentially supernatural stuff as we think that a lot of potential answers to the world’s great mysteries could lie in thinking a bit more radically than the norm. Our first single, Heart of Mine is actually about Final Fantasy 7 which is one of our favourite video games. Video games are a theme we’d like to explore more in the future. All of us are also massive Star Wars fans so you can probably expect to hear a song in the future that mentions about how Rey from the new film is the greatest female ever.

Back to the video; who did you film it with?

An ace gent who goes by the name of Ben Lumber; the frontman of Acres who are currently killing it in Europe.

Did you, as a band, have a particular idea for it in mind or left it to the director etc. to come up with the basis for what is certainly an eye catching, ear pleasing proposal.

We scouted out what we thought was a pretty cool location for a first video. To be perfectly honest we took a lot of influence from videos that came out in the golden 2008 – 2012 metalcore/(dare we say it) crabcore era. It’s not a big surprise to hear that we love all that stuff. Because it was all performance based, it was up to us to choreograph our moves and group shots. We tried to throw in as much energy from our live shows as possible so what you see in the video is pretty close to what we pull off live, although that can be dependent on the size of the venue! Ben had some great ideas for angles and solo shots etc. but we had a lot of input in the visual side of things and Ben was great at listening to our ideas and working with us.

I believe the band is working on a new EP? Can you give us some insight and spoilers to that?

Cheeky 😉 I think we can probably let slip that the EP is going to be called This Is Not Our Home and will be out at the end of May. It will be made up of 5 tracks including Purge and another new song we’re doing a video for very soon. After listening all the way through, you should end up feeling like you’ve just danced with the Incredible Hulk at a rave until 6am.

Apart from the EP, what is in store for The Dreamer Within fans from hereon in across 2016?

We’ve got some really cool festival announcements coming up over the next few months including Massacre Fest in Gloucester. We also have our first tour booked from June 1st to 5th with High Rise, Follow the Wolf, and Last Hounds which we’re stupidly excited for. It will be our first time playing most of the venues on the schedule including dates in Leeds, Leamington Spa, and London so we’re really looking forward to seeing how we go down in places that aren’t near the South West.

Many thanks again for chatting with us. Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having us! And to those of you coming to our hometown show of the tour on June 2nd – keep your eyes open for a ripped and kewl announcement about that 😉

And finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own life and creativity.

We’re inspired by a lot of the bands that people wouldn’t be surprised by like Asking Alexandria, Abandon All Ships and Enter Shikari etc. Although collectively, it’s not unusual to see us listening to artists/bands like Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Bullet for my Valentine, Trivium, Black Sabbath, Whitesnake, Erra, Funeral for a Friend, Paramore, and The Lonely Island to name a few.

Check out The Dreamer Within further @ https://www.facebook.com/thedreamerwithin

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 23/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Symphonies in sound and imagination: exploring Sahona with Charly Sahona

Charly Sahona_RingMasterReview

2016 received one of its early treats just a few weeks back with the release of the self-titled Sahona album. It was the debut release from the new melodic rock project of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Charly Sahona of progressive metallers Venturia. It is a release which is, in our own words “a rousing drama of sound and imagination.” Offered the chance to find out more with Charly, we grabbed a hefty chunk of his time to explore the creation of the band and its first album, and simply the creative heart of the man…

Hi Charly, many thanks for sharing time with us. How are things in the Sahona area of the world?

Hello, thanks for the invitation. Well, things are fine here. The album is out and so far, reviews have been very positive about it . We’re about to release a new music video and shoot a new one. I’m working like crazy in order to perform these songs live as soon as possible . So, I can say I have a good life .

Before we look at your excellent debut album, would you tell us about the first days of Sahona. It was originally meant as a solo project for you?

Oh thanks, I’m glad you like it !!! Sure, you’re right , at first, the album was meant to be a solo project and more precisely, the follow-up of Naked thoughts from a silent chaos released in 2010 but the songs are quite different and so are the musical arrangements and the line-up. So, the first days of Sahona as a full band are recent but the writing of the songs began in 2013. Oh It actually took a lot of time before we recorded and released it .

What sparked the creation of the project; what was it you wanted to explore different to your music in progressive metallers Venturia

I really wanted to do something different with this one. I like my musical-making to be in a constant motion. At the same time It’s necessary to stand back with the last thing you released and start something new with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. For this project, I wanted to write something without any heavy riff played on a 7-string and focus on different musical textures, guitar sounds and new grooves.

You touched on it earlier, so you had a collection of ideas and songs already in the works before you invited fellow musicians to help out?

Yes, after I finished the first 4 demo-songs, things were clear in my mind and I knew who I wanted to work with. I like to make music with talented people of course but it’s always better when you do it with your friends. So I first asked drummer Stéphane Cavanez to join me , I’ve known him for a long time, he’s a brilliant musician, very enthusiastic about things. After hearing the demo version of On this winter night , he said he would agree to play on all the songs . Same thing with my long-time friends Fabien Paraillac and Cédric Artaxet; I don’t remember exactly if I sent them the first four demos before asking them to join me but anyway, both of them agreed. I was very glad and happy they all said yes to join me for this project. I knew they would sound great together and that my songs would have been transcended thanks to them .

sahona_RingMasterReviewSo what was the catalyst to changing the idea of guest musicians to a full band?

It was something I had in mind for a while , as the songs have a different sound compared to the things I did before. As we were recording, there was an obvious musical chemistry going on and it reinforced me to think about having a band name for this project. So I talked about it with Chris from Dooweet agency and to my buddies. We all thought that the idea of the band was obvious and as the name Sahona sounds cool for a band too, the choice was done, easy to make and I didn’t have to scratch my head during days in order to find a new name . The other thing is: as the musicians are my friends, the idea of having a band together was something natural. More, I really like to immortalize music with talented friends.

Was it an easy to decision to ‘share’ your songs with I am guessing musicians with their own adventurous ideas when creating music?

Sure, it was very easy as we’re all professional musicians . There was no ego thing that could have been hard to deal with . I wanted a more organic sound and a sophisticated modern rock approach and I knew what my band mates were able to do .

For example, the drums I programmed were done in a prog-metal style and Stéphane brought a more refined  rock groove, I let him do his stuff as everything was matching .

As I’m the lead singer and as there are many guitar layers on these songs it was obvious to ask for help and some back-up . I couldn’t imagine another guy than Fabien to play the guitar with me on this album.  We have the same guitar approach but he’s more rock than me.

We recorded a lot of different guitar takes and during the mix, we chose what was best for the song no matter if it was him or me playing….

He did an amazing job on the mix too. Just like his guitar sound, all the songs sound powerful and organic.

Regarding the bass, there was a couple of things I asked Cédric to play the exact same way I did on the demos. But as my bass programming was voluntary basic most of the time, he added his own personality and groove that matched perfectly Stéphane’s drumming . He even changed some root notes that at first surprised me, and the more I listened to it, the more I liked it.

In the end, everything felt easy and natural.

Did their input mean your songs changed or evolved from their original characters once the band was a full involvement of all?

No, not really but I guess things will evolve when we’ll perform live. It’s a natural process and it’s important for us to make slightly different things when we play the same songs over and over.

When writing songs, do you come at them from different angles or have a general way of bringing them to life from idea to sound?Album cover_RingMasterReview

I usually have a precise idea of how the album or a song will sound like even though the root of all songs is based on a guitar or keyboard chords progression and a simple hummed melody . Then, I’ll program a midi file of what I just did. If the melody sounds good with a bad flute midi sound and a midi bass line, I keep the idea and will have a clearer vision of how it will sound like with all the instruments. Then I’m thinking about what kind of drum beat, bass line, guitar riff, and keyboards texture would fit with the idea of the song and at this moment, the creative process is growing fast. Or, not that fast actually because getting the right keyboard sounds or guitar effects takes me a while very often. When I’m programming , I have in mind how my band mates would play it and that’s the reason why I’m never really surprised (although I’m always amazed) when they bring the songs to life with their style and their sound. It sounds obvious to my ears and at the same time I’m so excited to hear what they bring to a song and to discover how it takes the song to a higher level.

Tell us about the lyrical themes behind the album.

Sure ! I decided to do something I never really done in the past.  I wrote about the most widely expected subject in the world: Love !!! But not the way girls like it though (no offence intended girls, I’m just kidding !!!) .

Reading and writing romantic and soppy stuff are not my thing at all as I’m a cynical and rational guy . So the majority of these lyrics are about love and its frustrations and turbulences . It’s way more interesting, true and realistic in my opinion. But when I say “love”, It doesn’t only mean the feelings you have for your girlfriend or your boyfriend,  I use it for the passion you have for your art or whatever that excites you too, it can be painting, sport, your beliefs and then we’re slightly get into the spiritual aspect and themes I like to write about as well.

Most of my lyrics are not explicit, this way people can identify with them and make their own story.

I usually prefer to describe impressions than reality.

What about the recording of your self-titled debut? How long was it in the making?

It’s funny because it took a long time to finish it (something like two years !!!) but the writing and the recording were actually very fast and easy to do. As we’re used to record in studio, we know how it works and we’re getting more and more efficient and good at it. But as we didn’t have any deadline or expectations,  we took our time to record it. The rule was to get together when we were able to do it only. It was: job, touring with cover bands, tasks and family priorities first. This way, we were in a very relaxed state of mind and every time we forgathered, it was for fun.

Ok, the album was supposed to be released in late 2015 but for commercial and administrative reasons it got more delayed .

Did you approach its recording differently to creating releases with your other projects?

Yes and no … As it’s the 5th album I’m producing , I’ve learned through the years with amazing people and  I’ve also learned from my mistakes. Today, I know the importance for everybody of being prepared and how to record the best way possible taking into consideration the people you work with as every musician has his own preferences and personality. And that’s how a recording session can be different from the ones you experienced in the past: it depends on your line-up as well. So I asked my band mates about the way they wanted to record and I just let them do it their way as it’s extremely important for artists to work the more relaxed and efficient way possible.

But the thing that changed a lot for me was to share the guitar parts with Fabien but it was so exciting to hear him play with a different strumming and sound than mine and then mixing our guitar tracks together. I really enjoyed it .

Oh, and there was another great thing : My vocal takes were recorded home with a very cool equipment a friend of mine lend me.

This way, I took my time…I was recording one full song a day and the day after, if something was not exactly the way I wanted to be, I just had to press the « rec » button again and it was done. I don’t like the feeling of recording in a studio with time passing, all the money you know you’ll have to spend, the people around you even if it’s your friends. I did it many times in the past and I can tell you how relieved I am to work and to record alone at home, it gives me so more freedom and offers you more possibilities.

sahona_RingMasterReviewHave you found there has been an instinctive urge to do things with Sahona and the album differently to your other ventures elsewhere, just out of the want to try different things?

Yes, as I told you, I wanted to have a different musical approach, a different sound, a different line-up. But on the top of that I really wanted to express myself to another level, and the best way possible as a singer and I’ve been working hard to achieve that. Maybe, being the singer of your own songs reinforces the introspection aspect of the creation. This is not to say that this album sounds more like “me” than the previous ones I did with another lead singer, it’s just different . But as you give more of yourself as a performer, it makes the thing more introspective and maybe more intense and that’s what I wanted to achieve too.

I always imagine a debut album breeds new ideas and opportunities to try and explore further in its successors. Elements not imagined and expected when composing that first encounter. Were there any which arose for you in the making of Sahona’s debut?

I’m always excited to explore new territories, new sounds, new chords progression, new ways of making music. Having a more or less precise idea will always push you to go further in order to create something new and interesting. Listening to different music, going to the theatres, reading books, talking with people, playing with musicians…All this things are inspiring and maybe it if it’s not always a conscious thing, it will incite you to evolve as a human being and inexorably in your art and in your life indeed. This is something I like to be aware of and thankful to.

What comes next for Sahona and its individuals?

We have to play live as soon as possible and we have to work hard for that. We intend to begin a tour in our country in September. Then we will focus on the next album as we’re all really happy about this debut one.

My thanks again Charly for talking with us; Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having me !!! Congrats to the readers for reading this interview so far and thank you Pete for spreading the word about the music you like whether it’s mainstream or underground .

And finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own life and creativity.

Oh my god, they are so many . But let’s try to do it fast. I’ve always been a fan of classical music but the one from the early 1900 with composers like Ravel, Bartok, Debussy, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff. As a guitar player I’m a huge fan of guitar heroes like Steve Vaï, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, John Petrucci. I’ve always been into progressive music with bands like Genesis, Rush, Yes, Dream Theater, Frost, Opeth and I’m really into their contemporaries with the young prog underground scene like Destiny Potato, Disperse and especially with the metal djent scenes with bands like Periphery, Tesseract, Monuments who took progressive music to a new level. I like rock and pop music too with bands like Muse, Radiohead, Keane, Dead Letter Circus.

All these bands and musicians have inspired me in many ways indeed.

Check out our review of the Sahona album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/sahona-self-titled/

https://www.facebook.com/sahonamusic/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services 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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The Inner Road – Ascension

Ascension promo

Taking the listener on a compelling and expansive journey through soundscapes which evoke and provoke thought and imagination, Ascension the new album from The Inner Road, is a vibrant and classy adventure which incites personal invention and interpretation to its narrative whilst equally creatively directing thoughts into a proposed direction. It is an enveloping kaleidoscope of instrumental progressive rock with each movement and moment drenched in a full blaze of sonic colour and inspirational craft from its creators for the deepest pleasure.

The Inner Road is a project founded by keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist/ songwriter/producer Steve Gresswell as an outlet for

Steve Gresswell

Steve Gresswell

his more symphonic style of  instrumental progressive rock, sounds and ideas which do not find a place within the creativity of his other band Coalition. The Inner Road also finds Gresswell collaborating with other musicians who bring something special to fit the need of the music. 2011 saw the release of debut album Visions, a record made with renowned guitarist Phil Braithwaite which was met with strong acclaim, and here for Ascension the musician has teamed up with one of the UK’s finest guitarists and rock songwriters to emerge in recent years, Jay Parmar. Fresh from the release of his own stunning album Circle of Fire via Steve Vai’s Digital Nations label, Parmar brings a style to the new album which sets tracks on fire with passion and evocative invention, his striking style drawing out the same hunger as inspired by his previous solo work for this album As well as his own releases and Ascension, the guitarist is also recording the new album from Exorcism featuring Csaba Zvekan and Joop De Rooij (both also in Ravenlord) as well as again joining up with Zvekan in new band D.O. Messiah, showing the appeal and impressive reputation Parmar has earned over recent years, which will only grow further when, after being invited by Gresswell, he joins Coalition who record their new album later this year.

Ascension wastes no second of its inventive presence to light up the senses and thoughts with full and extensive atmospheres, their embrace consistently fuelled by the sonic skill and grace of Parmar’s melodic incisions and alchemy; sounds and imagination which comes more often than not with a breath and caress of eastern influences and suggestion within an almost exhausting creative temptation. Set alongside the equally captivating and warmly invasive keyboard enterprise and ingenuity of Gresswell  the union makes for a release which leaves visual and emotional alchemy in its enthralling wake.

Jay Parmar

Jay Parmar

The title track opens up the adventure, a piano aiding a sun of melodic enticing to introduce the first steps on the departure into the vast realms of the album. Its company comes from crunchy riffs slowly bringing their voice to the brewing unveiling of this beckoning expansive landscape. With the sounds of both musicians coming together to sculpt the view there is a sense of depth and long passage ahead in the exploration of the immediately majestic world. The song appears as a travelogue of textures and sonic exhilaration instantly in league with the wonderful orchestral seduction at work , and their unity finding itself in tandem with the melodic weaves and wash already igniting the passions. As in all songs the music is like a ‘travel guide’, a provocateur to beauteous scenery and imagination whether visual or reflectively emotive, an investigation which is enjoyed physically and imaginatively.

From the immense opener the album takes flight through The Steel Sky; sinewy almost cold riffs from guitar and bass guiding the listener through shadowed clouds and imposing structures to find the sonic rays of light and melodic coating of sun brought from the keys and the stunning persuasive guitar commentary. It is then followed by the equally powerful Two Worlds Two Tomorrows, the track seemingly the sister to its predecessor as deeper in to the heart of the emotive terrain we go. Every song within the album feels connected to what came before and follows, for a fulfilling and ear widening melodic peregrination.

The smouldering and sizzling sonic traverse of Altered Reality and the provocative Troubled Memories step forward next to raise the temperature further. The first has fire to its intensity and creative sonic discharge whilst ensuring a continually evolving surprise in its presence with a compelling regal mid-section with potent and sirenesque strings, their orchestral embrace stepping in to temper the heated insistence of Parmar and set celestial cascades of melodic glory falling upon the ear, whilst the second is a dazzling candescent of melodic and harmonic craft leaving again only rising emotion towards its enthrallment

The biggest highlights of the thrilling album come with the final three tracks starting with A Fleeting Dream, a piece which triggers an unbridled flood of thoughts and ideas with furnace bright melodies and descriptive paint box rich sonic colouring. Parmar wrings out every emotive drop of incitement with his playing whilst the keys of Gresswell especially when he flows through a stunning sea of floral melodic expression which reminds of Dave Greenfield at his best, inciting the fullest ardour for what is the best track on the album. The outstanding and riveting The Awakening has its say on the final choice of top dog though with its initial colonial call moving aside for another poetic and provocative voyage of shifting gait and imagination whilst the closing Flight through Eternity simply lures the last of any passion still sheltering out with its strongest Eastern sultriness and inflamed closing sunset.

Ascension is an excellent and continually giving album, a release which just gets better and more potent with each travel of its ambient hot pilgrimage. The Inner Road has produced a release which is not only progressive/ instrumental rock at its best but melodic enterprise of any description.

http://www.inner-road.com/

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Steve-Gresswell/442768909088975

https://www.facebook.com/jayparmar

9/10

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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http://www.audioburger.com

Derek Buddemeyer: Afterthoughts

   Afterthoughts is one of those albums which needs numerous plays to explore its many diverse corners of sound as well as the thoughts and emotions it incites during its engagement. The release from rock guitarist Derek Buddemeyer unveils a little something more within its expanse of instrumental pieces with each encounter whilst lighting different imagery each time too and though it is not always as consistently successful, it is a rewarding and enjoyable engagement which is easy to return to and often.

Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, the musician moved to San Jose, California at an early age and found musical influences which included The Beach Boys, Hall & Oats, and Barbara Streisand. As a young teen, Buddemeyer then discovered the likes of Van Halen, Def Leppard, and Stryper, inspirations which led him to buying a guitar at 15. Another move this time to Southern California drew him to the sounds and skills of George Lynch, Steve Vai, Warrant, Scorpions, Skid Row, Metallica, Megadeth, Testament, Anthrax, and many more. Taken by the heavier and rawer sound, as well as the melodic imagination borne from such artists, he evolved his own blend of melodic hard rock with sinewy veins and pop metal warmth. Debut album Afterthoughts, which is released through the Jerry Dixon and Erik Turner of Warrant owned Down Boys Records, is the vibrant result of his inventive ideas and honed craft, a release which breathes with enterprise and rich and full sounds.

The album starts with a storm of a track in the mighty Wicked Little Sister. The track immediately fires up the heart with flesh grazing riffs, insatiable energy, and a melodic teasing which smoulders with skill and sonic manipulation. It is an adrenaline soaked piece which is unrelenting in its purpose and inspiring in the open invention driving its course. Amongst the ten tracks which make up the release there are a trio which stepped to the fore instantly upon first listen, the opener heading that impressive first thrill.

The album is a varied little pleasure which investigates and ventures into numerous premises and soundscapes of sound. From the metal rush of the first song the album strolls into the progressive and metal expression of Breathing In The New, the powerful guitar adventure an invigorating and expressive heat supported by electro showers of sound. Then the title track takes over, it another of the great  pinnacles within Afterthoughts. It is a symphonic wrap with emotive keys and a brewing epic atmosphere which surges thoughts and senses through a striking escapade of melodic elegance and lush imagination. Whereas the previous songs were guitar driven this song is a delicious weave of keys and sonic beauty which leaves one basking full of content in a flush of strings and dramatic grace.

As the likes of the magnetic New Groove with its gentle and sunny coaxing of the ear, the classy and refined Morning After, and the fiery Lift Off with its burning temptations, reveal their creative and distinctly individual gaits, the album is a continuing captivation. Occasionally as with the brief presence of the last of these three songs, it feels like a track is written with the thought of soundtracking a cinematic moment so often depart without a defined climax but it only adds to the imagery incited during their usual dramatic breaths.

The third of the previously mentioned greatest heights attained by the release closes the album up. Sandstorms is an immense piece of writing which seduces the senses with its Eastern promise and intrigue setting imagination. Completed with coarse riffs and snarling guitar rubs shadowing the majestic melodic whispers, the track is an evocative delight.

For personal tastes and no other reason, there are moments on Afterthoughts which do not quite rise up to spark the same enthused ardour as at other times, like the mechanical rhythms and shallow electro  drizzles in some places, but it is a minor niggle in the overall quality of the album and does not deter from offering the recommendation to check the album if you are looking thoughtful and inventive instrumental melodic rock.

https://www.facebook.com/DerekBuddemeyerFanPage

RingMaster 20/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright