Returning to the garden with Leaving Eden

Two years on we have linked back up with Leaving Eden songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Eric Gynan to catch up with the band. Already renowned for their ear grabbing, imagination stoking rock sound, the band is poised to release its new album this month. One highly anticipated release we join Eric to look into its body and character with more besides…

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

Howdy Eric Gynan here from the band Leaving Eden, Boston Mass area USA. It’s great to talk with you again. I think it was a couple years ago when we chatted last.

To remind people can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all?

Myself and Eve are the co-founders of Leaving Eden We had some songs; I’ve always been recording so we wanted to play some of these live. I think one must make a choice as to what they want to do with their life. It takes sacrifice, let downs and one must have a thick skin. Let’s face it most artists are different than others, so not only is there issues with all the variables outside the band, but from within too. I think the current line-up is great where everyone sees the bigger picture.

What are the musical backgrounds to you all; previous bands, projects etc…

Yes myself and Eve were in a band before leaving Eden. The band was regionally successful, but it usually comes down to the members. I remember for instance the drummer wanted no part of having a female in the band. He just hated it. Well, I saw the bigger picture, and after the first 100 people came up to me and told me how great Eve was, I knew I had to really do something about it…Shortly after we formed Leaving Eden.

Tell us about the band name?

We thought that this planet being the entire Garden of Eden has become corrupt full of Deceit and Hate so we thought wouldn’t it be nice to go somewhere else that’s the name leaving Eden.

Did you have a particular aim for the band initially and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Originally we wanted two female singers that never seemed to work out. Eve was really 2nd to none when it came to a front person, so anyone else up there trying to almost compete was pretty much a ridiculous situation. Now we do have another female, but she plays keys and sings backup vocals so it’s different now. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have not only the right people for the right sound, but the right personalities for perseverance.

Do the same things still drive the band when it was fresh-faced or have they evolved over time?

I think so. I think we are a little more reality oriented and understand more the barriers and pitfalls associated with the business. I think more so now we’re happy doing what we’re doing instead of being unhappy about not achieving our goals to the fullest.

How do you see the evolution of the band’s sound since starting out?

I think first and foremost you must always be listening to what’s out there what’s current what’s new and changing with the times. Also, one must try and be a trendsetter. It’s the new artists that forge the future, the ones out there in the gutters so to speak who are really at the pinnacle. As I said, for me I listen and get these songs kind of fully produced in my mind’s eye and I just go with the flow.

So it is a more organic movement of sound than deliberately wanting to try new things or an equally sided process?

Good question maybe both. We always want to try new things but also I think organically speaking the band naturally moves in a particular direction.

You said you eagerly listen to the sounds out there; are particular inspirations which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating music?

I think playing I’m sharing the stage with many of the best bands in the world has definitely been a great influence on us. Leaving Eden has toured the USA, UK and Canada sharing the stage with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world including; Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio, Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, Buckcherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s, Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Michaels, Halestorm,Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel, Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) Adelitas Way, Scott Stapp (The voice of Creed), Gemini Syndrome, Pop Evil, Ratt, Anthrax, Testament, Napalm Death & many more..

How does the songwriting work within the band; is there a particular process?

Yes I think it’s best for me as the songwriter to make a connection with the universe and listen because there’s always songs out there trying to come in; it depends if they come while I’m sleeping and I have the ability to wake up from that and go record something or if it comes while just almost meditating and communicating again with the universe and just listening.

How about the sparks to the lyrical side of your songs?

It’s definitely drawn from reality; all the lyrics are based on what’s happening at the time. Good, bad or indifferent I’m constantly writing lyrics so it’s going back to those and using them for music that I may already have written or writing the music around those lyrics. The skies aren’t always blue, thus our song Skies of Grey. “It’s not too late to open your eyes and sail through skies of grey”. “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, we’ve been exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around, tied and bound but NOTHING could take the music away”. From our Tied and Bound album.

Tell us about the band’s latest release?

Our latest release would be our last album Out of the Ashes (Recorded/mixed By Johnny K. (Disturbed, Pop Evil, Staind, 3 Doors Down,) Mastered by Brad Blackwood (Sevendust, Dave Mathews, Adelitas way, Korn) and produced by myself reinterpreted by Leaving Eden.) We also released a single, Jailbreak and it is going to be on our new album to be released October 19th 2018 called Descending again through Dark Star Records/Sony Music worldwide.

Our new album to be released, Descending, I’m excited about this album because it was recorded at Leaving Eden Studios. We were able to take all the time we needed and really craft this album to exactly what we wanted it to be. I did a premix on it and sent it off to Bob St John for the Final Mix and Mastering. Bob is a Grammy award-winning engineer and has done bands like Duran Duran, Extreme, Collective Soul, Steven Tyler…Such a great guy to work with too.

Can you give us some insight to the themes and premise behind Descending and its songs.

The title Descending, is taken from a song off the album called Shallow Waters. Shallow Waters is very cool because it’s one of those songs where I woke up from a dream and the song was playing in my head; this happens a lot most of the time I can’t pull myself out but this time I was able to. It’s great when you can hear songs already produced in your dreams, takes a lot of work out of it. It definitely comes from somewhere else. We wanted to have different genres such as heavy, acoustic, different key changes and tempos, really trying to have such diversity. We even got some songs you can dance to the beat.

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Yes because studio time is so expensive it’s really best to have it all complete so we have typically recorded the entire album in our studio first working out all the bugs and adding everything we want to add so that when it comes time in the studio we know exactly what we’re doing because there’s usually not as much time as you need, so you try to prepare for that. In the case of our Descending album soon-to-be-released we actually recorded this completely in our studio so we had the time to really craft what we believe is a great album.

 Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

Yes when I have always said that Leaving Eden is best seen and heard live. There’s a lot of energy sharing that goes on with the crowd. We don’t look at it like hey man look at me I’m a rock star check me out I’m too cool man, rather quite the opposite. It’s like hey we’re all here together all night to have a good time so let’s party together and let’s have some fun together. We are all involved in this.

You obviously know how hard it is for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it with Leaving Eden?

Really I think with the onslaught of the internet anywhere you are you can really make a mark. I get it that making a mark by playing the venues that’s in your own region could make a difference. The reality is that if you’re good, fresh, have really put some time into the band look and made a great recording then it doesn’t really matter where you are. You can get it out there with a good publicist, good radio guy, good record label and good distribution also good management. We’ve pretty much always taken care of all of this on our own and hiring certain people and companies. I think it all works together. The most important thing for us is we will play anywhere anyhow anyway, so long as we can because this is what we love to do

You mentioned the internet. How do you work and weave your social media sites to use them most effectively?

The internet is very important to any band because that’s where people are getting most of their information now from and you can do it for free and make an impact on different social media platforms for sure. At the end of the day it comes down to a song, is the song good; is it one somebody wants to listen to? Our song Out Of The Ashes says digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound. What that means is I feel we’ve always been an underground type band, you know really building its base of friends organically so an underground band able to, with the click of a mouse be in China for instance so that is faster than the speed of sound. It’s definitely referencing the internet and for that you can’t even quantify how important it is when talking about streaming on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon. You know that’s the way people are listening to the music they’re not going out and spending money to pay for music when they can listen to it for free or maybe $10 a month. Now this doesn’t really pay the artist much but if your song caught on and you had millions of listeners every day well then you would be making a lot of money so it’s really the same, only different is the means. People will still buy CDs more at a gig than anywhere else.

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

Well, without our friends, we got nothing so we hope to make new friends here and hope they enjoy learning more about Leaving Eden. We definitely want to say Thanx Much and Peace!!

https://www.leavingeden.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden   https://www.instagram.com/leavingedenofficial/   https://twitter.com/Leavingeden   https://www.youtube.com/user/leavingedenband

Pete RingMaster 02/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

Chandrian Kill – Bring Out Your Dead

Maybe there should be no surprise the craft and magnetism to the Bring Out Your Dead EP, the debut release from British outfit Chandrian Kill, but it still makes for a strikingly unexpected and attention entangling introduction. The band is the creative union of vocalist Nic Whitmore who previously fronted Number One Son and songwriter/guitarist Ted Clark renowned for his past creativity as part of Moesaboa and Life in the Making. Both men have been a potent part of the UK metal scene and are looking likely to continue so as Chandrian Kill.

Clark began writing for Chandrian Kill a couple of years back; in time contacting Whitmore and luring him back from his long break from music to develop and arrange the songs. This led to the duo entering the studio this past March to record the three tracks making up Bring Out Your Dead. Subsequently mixed and mastered by Brad Tuttle (Seventh Studios), the EP has emerged a riveting proposition with its weave of predacious melodic metal with the eager animation of alternative metal aided by more than a hint of the gnarly attributes of djent.

Bring Out Your Dead opens up with new single I Collide. Instantly voice and guitar link up in a rich melodic lure as darker rhythms keenly prowl. It is a warm enticement though swiftly showing its volatile nature as irritability surfaces through djent natured trespasses and rawer throated vocals. Similarly there is an increase of fire to the melodic enterprise as the pair creates a cauldron of contrasts and emotive intimation in the music alone, Whitmore’s ever alluring vocals sharing that internal conflict within the exploration of the external one perpetually working away through our lives.

It is a captivating introduction to release and band which is as powerfully backed by the calmer but even darker Filter Off. Its entrance is a sonic mist of sorts but soon spreading for the wiry melodic and rich vocal enticement of the track to involve ears and imagination. As with the first, shadows lurk and rise in vocals and sound as the track revolves its unpredictable spiral of emotive suggestion. The turns become more voracious and antagonistic as the song proceeds, each twist a new fresh proposal to get enticed by with an increasing appetite.

Remain Alive concludes the release, the track casting its own individually melodic flames within another tempestuous climate. Its turmoil though has a stronger temper in the melodic web of the song, keeping it relatively restrained throughout though it is always bubbling away trying to break free. It is a tension crafted by Clark which is emulated in the vocal dexterity of Whitmore, the pair creating a trespass as fearsome as it is seductive.

The first in a sequence of planned EPs, Bring Out Your Dead as forcibly pleasures as it mercifully captivates. The band’s sound has been referenced to the likes of Deftones and Stone Sour, and there are moments when Skyscraper (the great nineties rock outfit) flicker in thoughts, but truthfully Chandrian Kills have a sound individual to all and just as flavoursome as all mentioned.

Bring Out Your Dead is out now via Bar3 Records.

https://www.facebook.com/Chandriankill/   https://twitter.com/ChandrianKill

Pete RingMaster 10/09/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bullets And Octane – Waking Up Dead

Though a name familiar to a great many, attention on the UK side of The Pond did not particularly have Bullets And Octane as a concentrated spot on its radar despite some ear grabbing, appetising inciting releases since the band emerged in 2003. That was until the LA based outfit played a venue ripping tour over here last year with our own fine middle finger raising rockers Hung Like Jack supporting. It has sparked fresh interest and in turn real anticipation for the US rockers’ new album Waking Up Dead which we seriously expect to be embracing rigorous attention upon release. It is a beast of an album, rock ‘n’ roll in its most rapacious and rousing form and without doubt Bullets And Octane in their finest moment.

From the release of their debut EP, One Night Stand Rock N Roll Band in 2003, the St. Louis originating quartet has been on a hungry ride towards acclaim and attention. Their Gilby Clark of Guns And Roses produced first album, The Revelry started the growing appetite for their emergence, each of their subsequent seven albums escalating the temptation, including breakthrough album In The Mouth Of The Young, alongside a live presence which has seen the sharing of stages at shows and festivals with the likes of Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Stone Sour, Flyleaf, Deftones, Unwritten Law, Gunfire 76, Social Distortion, Eagles Of Death Metal and many more over the years. Now we would suggest they are facing their biggest year and time yet with the release of the Brent Clawson (Wednesday 13, Hell or Highwater, The Knives) produced, recorded, mixed and mastered Waking Up Dead, a slab of devilry declaring that hard rock spun rock ‘n’ roll has never been healthier or more fun.

As soon as Bad Mother Fucker launches its attitude loaded stomp off of a warning siren, it has to said, ears and appetite were swiftly gripped; a hold tightening as the track almost stalks ears with riffs and grooves whilst stirring up the spirit with its contagious roar. Vocalist Gene Louis hollers at its heart with energy and contempt, the band’s united calls supporting his incitement as the swinging beats of Jonny Udell punch and Zachary Kibbee’s bass magnetically grumbles.

A raucously irresistible start to the album aflame with the wiry tendrils of Felipe Rodrigo’s guitar, the track sets the anthemic template for things to come and is quickly embraced by the album’s following title track. Guitar and mass incitement instantly draws ears into the almost as immediate blaze of the song, its pulsating stroll and fiery sonic flames surging straight to the instincts to rock out. There is a devious craft and imagination to the song though, predacious twists and tenacious clamours uniting in its spirit rousing exploits.

The calmer but no less lusty When We Were Young has the body bouncing again, it’s gripping hard rock nurtured canter almost poppy but all raw bustle and bite while Burning at Both Wicks jabs and snaps at the senses from its first touch, takes the listener on a bold hard rock infested ride thereon in. As the whole of the album, the songs blend the familiar with the boldly fresh in their individual escapades, each nagging to get under the skin riff by hook and hitting their target in swift time. It really was impossible not to offer up one’s own vocal and physical participation across the whole of Waking Up Dead as proven yet again by the simply captivating Fires. As its predecessor, there is a touch of Fall Out Boy meets Grumpynators to the track with a whiff of Turbonegro, a spicing which slipped through our ears like nectar.

All the same, every song within the album is stamped Bullets And Octane through to the core, the likes of the melodically aflame Fuck You Song and Murder Me Baby with its predatory prowl and salacious swing diverse proof. Neither track quite hit the personal spot as those around them actually but the fact they had us rocking and pressing replay with perpetually fresh lust shows the might of the rest of the album.

The final trio of tracks keep the stomping and thick enjoyment flying, Rolling Stone casting a ‘mellow’, in comparison to other songs, incitement which only needed a clutch of seconds to bypass inhibitions before Hostage seduced the body into a subservient sway. Even with its relative composure, the song is an insatiable rocker increasing its boisterousness and the listener’s involvement by the minute.

Heart Attack completes the release, the track maybe the best of the lot though it is hard to choose. Hooks and grooves ensnare as rhythms jab, vocals stoking up devilment and alone further involvement; the four prong rock ‘n’ roll attack as manipulative as it is simply balls swinging revelry. A great album deserves a thunderous end and Waking Up Dead certainly gets that though its whole body is a galvanic storm of rock ‘n’ roll; a tempest of pleasure we can only suggest, wherever you are, you should unleash your rocker instincts upon.

Waking Up Dead is released May 25th through Bad MoFo Records/Cargo Records.

https://www.bulletsmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/bulletsandoctane

Pete RingMaster 23/05/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Godstone – Monument Of One

First impressions are not always the most accurate barometer to people and indeed bands but they can give a strong intimation when you are on to a good thing; a suggestion the debut EP from UK metallers Godstone strongly makes. Offering five tracks fuelled by a sound which is not maybe overly unique, the band’s music lying somewhere amongst the likes of Alter Bridge, Shinedown, and Stone Sour, Monument Of One hits the spot with individual enterprise and a rousing breath.

From the south west of England, Godstone linked up with John Cornfield to record their first EP and from its first moments, Monument Of One makes for one magnetic proposition with its tapestries of ear entwining grooves, imagination stoking melodies, and spirit rousing muscle.

Over the Line starts things off, the song immediately setting the scene for the release with its rapacious air, imposing touch, and create weave; a delicious groove bursting with zeal from the initial coaxing upon a swinging gait. Guitarists John Kenward and Alex Goodrich quickly have attention keen as the punchy beats of Matt Davy hungrily collude with the dark grumble of Matthew Pascoe’s bass. Once the strong tones of vocalist James McDonald rise to add further lures, nicely backed by the melodic throat of Kenward, the song is in control of ears and body whilst providing a familiar yet certainly fresh slice of metal incitement.

The following Tear It All Apart offers its own striking invitation, again a guitar making the creative beckoning before the band unites in an infectious rumble as imposing as it is magnetic. With wiry grooves and a compelling conspiracy of hooks and twists, the song soon has ears firmly locked in feeding on its cosmopolitan melodies and aggressive dynamics. As suggested earlier, there is something familiar about this and other songs yet it has a character and style to its roar which sets the band apart from most.

A gentle almost melancholic caress brings next up The Way You Are into view, McDonald soon joining the inference of guitar and sombre twang of bass. The track’s eruption into a fiery trespass is fluid and resourceful though the song still retains a leash on its aggressiveness which only enhances its temptation. Potent first time around and even more compelling by the listen, much as the EP itself, the song adds another firm hand on ears and pleasure before Breathe crafts another rich moment within the release with its grunge/groove metal natured roar. Predacious yet seductive as its body and sound reveals a mercurial nature the song makes a strong play for best track.

Swiftly showing its candidacy too is final song Full Circle, it also a composed yet raucous holler of metal and heavy rock woven with grooved enterprise and melodic dexterity. It provides a strong and indeed fine end to a release announcing Godstone a band attention is bound to be good friends with. Uniqueness may still be in the brewing stage in the band’s sound but the potential is there and with encounters like Monument Of One the wait should be rather enjoyable.

Monument Of One is out now across all digital platforms and @ https://godstone.bandcamp.com/album/monument-of-one

https://www.facebook.com/godstoneofficial/    https://twitter.com/godstone_uk

Pete RingMaster 16/04/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Spreading The Disease – Insurrection

Getting our claws into their outstanding debut EP at the beginning of last year, we suggested that UK metallers Spreading The Disease had “much bigger and bolder trespasses waiting to be nurtured and uncaged as the band evolves.” The release of their first album Insurrection has more than confirmed that thought and realised those hopes in uncompromising and rousing style. The album is a furnace of creative irritability and ravenous imagination, a rabid cauldron of metal bred flavours and angers which confirms Spreading The Disease as one of the most exciting propositions emerging on the British metal scene.

The creation of bassist Steve Saunders, formerly of another fine proposition in The Self Titled, Kent hailing Spreading The Disease emerged in 2014 and quickly lured keen attention through the single Bulldozer and their explosive live presence. Last year the Viral EP stamped the band as a new beast on the UK metal scene, its plaudits garnering release backed by a year scorching venues and ears to equal acclaim. Insurrection is the next step in the band’s evolution and rise; an encounter roaring with the new maturity and invention fuelling the band’s songwriting and sound and snarling with even greater ferocity and quarrel.

The band’s lined up has gone through major changes since Viral, Saunders and guitarist Martin Osbourne being joined by vocalist Connor Russell Snyder and drummer Jack Apella. Whether the spark or just coincidence, the new line-up has coincided with that new evolution and creative breath in an already striking sound. When starting up Spreading The Disease, Saunders wanted to “produce a sound and music that although draws from many bands and influences throws it all into a melting pot and comes out the other side with something that in this day and age is hard to achieve, a sound of their own; a distinctive style that cannot be pigeon holed to say the least.Insurrection announces the band has achieved that aim; yes there are plenty of recognisable flavours but woven into something compellingly individual to the quartet.

The album opens up with Find My Path and a lure of melodic metal with a darker bass resonance which increasingly looms in on the senses before igniting in a blaze of emotive ire and sonic intensity. Even so it holds its tempest in check, teasing and coaxing attention whilst intriguing the imagination with its unpredictable bait. As it slips into the ethers, the following Words Unspoken is boiling up to launch its sonic lava on the senses. Within seconds a great groove has body and spirit inflamed; its open Pantera inspirations extra pleasure as it burns away. There is a disorder to the song, a tempestuousness which threatens as it pleasures with the band’s vocal backing to the magnetic growls of Snyder excellent, an anthemic call in the heat of the song’s furnace.

There is a ‘calmer’ air to the following Dischord, well a less corrosive tone though it too is a bear of a proposal which is as caustic as it is imaginative. Osbourne paints the trespass with magnetic enterprise, his melodic tendrils and searing grooves as potent as the cantankerous riffs which escape his strings whilst the bass of Saunders springs its own invasive grooving to thrill. Though living up to its title in tone and presence, the track is a web of raw adventure though soon outshone in that department and might by the song Spreading The Disease. Already the album is the source of great variety in sound and style, pushed further by the fourth track and its fusion of nu and groove metal with far darker metal bred textures courting hardcore nurtured antagonism. The song is outstanding, a brawl in the waiting and raw seduction in the making.

Through the Stone Sour/ Sick Of It All spiced Greed, a striking and virulent invasion of punk infused groove metal which just gets more addictive listen by listen, and the similarly textured but far more savage Save Me, the album hits another plateau. Song by song to this point it has just grown in stature and impressiveness, a peak which Whores Of War nurtures to another high with its melodic suggestion and feral antipathy. Its attitude born rancor and sonic annoyance swiftly grabs ears and appetite; the rhythmic vindictiveness of Saunders and Apella as rousing as it is carnivorous and superbly bound in the captivating enterprise of Osbourne. Snyder skilfully bawls from the midst, his power and emotion undoubtedly giving Spreading The Disease a new weapon in their arsenal.

Even darker depths are tapped into by Method To My Madness, Saunders leading the way with his malevolence spewing bass with the band soon uniting in open crankiness and imposing dexterity. The track does not quite match up to those around it yet it grips attention and enjoyment from start to finish with moments where its creative psychosis just hits the spot before Can’t Let Go offers its plaintive reflection, again Stone Sour hinted at within its increasingly volcanic cry. Female vocals add to its magnetism, again the band pushing their imagination and the landscape of the album.

The Rage Against The Machine natured Brexit Wounds snarls and hollers next, Spreading The Disease once again twisting open inspirations into an aural rage of their own design. Plenty of other spices blossom as the song grows and spills its aggravated heart, whiffs of Red Hot Chili Peppers and Slayer arising in the excellent attack before the album closes up with Last Goodbye. It too embraces a Zack de la Rocha and co flavouring, melding it to a hardcore/groove metal furor as skilfully sculpted as it is ferociously delivered.

It is a storming end to an album which sears the senses and ignites the spirit. Insurrection is a brutal imagination bound treat from a band which we will not say has come of age as you still feel there is much more for they and pleasure to plunder ahead but has certainly established a new plateau for their sound and their position within the UK metal scene.

Insurrection is out now across most online stores.

 

 

https://www.facebook.com/spreadingthedisease.official     https://twitter.com/STDBANDUK

Pete RingMaster 01/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Pigeon Lake – Barriers Fall

Three years after the release of their striking and quickly acclaimed debut album, Tales of a Madman, Norwegian quartet Pigeon Lake return with its successor in Barriers Fall. The time between has seen changes within the band and a reassessment of the way forward; a shift sparking an evolution in sound too which is actually hard to pin down but openly inflaming the Oslo outfit’s new offering and release which like its predecessor at the time, will make a definite rival to those around it for one of the most essential investigations of the year.

Since emerging in the opening smiles of 2012, Pigeon Lake has grown to be one of the most compelling propositions on the melodic rock/metal landscape. Founded by vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt and completed by childhood friend and drummer Andreas Prestby and bassist Kenneth Stiansen, the band instantly sparked attention and praise with the I: Mindrape EP later in that first year. Its themes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health were as striking as the raw sounds inciting ears. The three became four with the addition of lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen soon after while the following year saw Stiansen replaced by Anders Børresen. As their sound moved towards a flavouring more akin to the likes of Katatonia, Stone Sour, and The Ocean, the band’s live presence escalated before they got down to work creating Tales of a Madman, its release coming in the Autumn of 2014 and followed by the band heavily hitting the road again including taking their first steps touring Europe.

Linking up with Wormholedeath Records in recent times provided the spark for that previously mentioned re-assessment and the resulting highly amicable departure of Børresen and Prestby which was soon followed by the joining of bassist Håkon Bechholm and drummer Jonas Rønningen. Now the new line-up has unveiled Barriers Fall, an encounter feeling darker and rawer than that first album yet their most melodically seductive and inventively mature adventure yet.

The album opens with Ragnarok, grooves instantly wrapping ears with shadow lined radiance. There is a portentous edge to them though, nothing imposing but clearly there as rhythms jab and riffs collude around them. Magnetic straight away, the track settles down into a heavy prowl where all those imposing elements erupt for a few rapacious seconds before Schackt’s cleaner tones steer the tempest into kinder waters. Abrasive growls remain alongside him though as the song merges predatory and seductive sides, luring the imagination into a provocative squall of emotion and intensity.

It is a striking start soon eclipsed by the just as tempestuous roar of Lyra. Nagging riffs align with Schackt’s distinctive tones initially, the bass prowling around them before the incendiary heart of the track erupts with fiery melodies and antagonistic tendencies. Harmonies and melodic tempting bewitch as the song subsequently shares its evolving soundscape, contrasting textures blending their potencies in one beguiling encounter. There is definitely something of the aforementioned Katatonia to the song and indeed album but equally the likes of Opeth and Swallow The Sun come to mind though in all honesty Pigeon Lake here and across Barriers Fall only reveal their own character of sound and imagination.

The album’s title track is next, seducing with a mesmerising poetic melody and calm vocal reflection before Rønningen’s beats add increasing threat. In time, as things increasingly simmer with greater intensity, everything comes to a head, vocals spilling their psychosis as a sonic causticity descends. A relative relief in the storm comes with the closing breaths of the excellent track before the more mercurial presence of The Futility of You takes the listener into a controlled yet seemingly unstable emotional embrace. Again the music is a web of trespass and radiance, vocals matching the changeable mood with suggestive prowess as wiry hooks and almost toxic melodies tempt and trap the imagination. Epitomising the album as a whole, the track only reveals new layers and textures with every listen, each time within it seeing growing attraction and the blossoming of image painting thoughts.

Hide and Seek runs a fine line of control and lawlessness, its cauldron of corrosive energy restrained and held back by the harmonic and melodic beauty hugging the senses though it is never more than a breath from breaking free while within Sunder it shapes the predatory nature of a track which equally is as much an oasis of elegance and gentle repose as a turbulent tempest; a beauty and beast of inner and worldly turmoil.

Senses harrying riffs brings A Familiar Problem to bear on ears next, delicious bait opening up into a just as enticing fusion of roaming grooves and brooding rhythms around feral toned vocals. That previously mentioned raw element of the release has its head with the harsh throated presence of Schackt adding to the psychotic edge of the track with clean and melody woven radiancy just as powerful before Perfect Place casts its variable cyclone on the passions. Irresistible within its first moments and only stealing greater lust thereon in, the track breeds an addiction as rich as its unpredictability to provide if not the pinnacle, one of many.

Closing track Let’s Pretend takes the listener into one final embrace of emotional restlessness and creative anxiety, the song as the album whilst being intricately woven and layered is almost anarchic in its nature and heart. It is a fine end to another encounter with Pigeon Lake which simply blossoms and further impresses with every listen.  To be fussy, personal tastes would see Schackt’s throat scarring vocal side reduced to allow his excellent clean and emotionally suggestive tones to have an even larger say but it is a mere passing thought in a release which stirs every part of body and mind.

Barriers Fall is available now through Wormholedeath Records across most online stores.

http://www.pigeonlake.no/    https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic/   https://twitter.com/PigeonLakeMusic

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

le-3-11-16_RingMasterReview

It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

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

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, BuckCherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Micheals, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

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

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright