7stbaby – Control

 

7 st baby

    Providing an encounter which not only sparks the imagination but takes it on a rapacious ride through a maze of sounds and metal bred styles alongside the passions, UK band 7stbaby is a provocation we are going to hear much more of and be persistently impressed by. The reason for that bold declaration is debut album Control, a compelling and scintillating landscape of invention and adventure. The Guildford trio has created a juggernaut of riffs and grooves aligned to a sonic mastery which just infects thoughts and emotions. Equally though it is an adventure unafraid to leave expectations and assumptions a barren wasteland with nine tracks which explore and stretch everything from stoner and progressive metal to ambient textures and heavy rock enterprise. Released January 31st via Got Wrong Records, it is one of the first important introductions of the year and already a heavyweight contender to rival the established regime within rock and metal.

     Founded a few years ago but held on the back burner until last year by Kyle MacKenzie (vocals, guitar) and Ben Martin (vocals, bass), both members of the also impressive Surrey band Static Plan, the duo enlisted the presence of drummer Greg Webber also of their other band to complete the active line-up. August last year saw the band record and self-produce their debut album, a release which seizes ears and thoughts from its opening moment and never relinquishes its imaginative feisty hold until its parting breath. Now with its impending release also ready drawing impressed responses alongside ours, the album is poised to thrust 7stbaby into the heart of the heavy riffing intensive fire of British stoner and progressive metal.

     An atmospheric electronic breeze opens up Behind The Looking Glass, an ambient coaxing infused with distant vocals Screenshot-2014-01-07-at-16.15.30taking over the first few seconds before the song slowly stretches out a melodic arm. Again this is a mere moment in the evolving fire of the track, soon bulging riffs and crisply cracking rhythms assault the ears as a sonic weave of guitar class veins their urgency. Into its sirenesque stride the vocals from MacKenzie and Martin punch through air and sounds, their tones laid with effects but expressively forceful in their own right. A Queens of the Stone Age flavouring emerges at this point though similarly the track offers essences of bands such as Orange Goblin and fellow Brits Ten Foot Wizard to the mix. Three minutes of blood rousing, emotion inciting endeavour the tracks makes the perfect contagious start which the album only grips tightly and continues across subsequent offerings.

    The following Somebody’s Bitch opens with a grouchy bassline gnawing at the ear before sonic winds erupt from within the equally rapacious riffery. An acidic groove only adds to the instant lure and as it settles into a more relaxed but still intensive stroll with outbreaks of intimidating and weighty aggression, the song sparks another wave of hunger in the awoken appetite. As magnetic as the first but bolder in its merging of varied styles and sonic spicing, more than happy to slip into voice and ambient progressive breaths within the sturdy enticement , the song continues the strong and riveting start with an ease soon matched by the next up Psycho and its successor, the title track. The first of this pair stalks the senses with an initial predatory snarl and combativeness, a Devildriver feel wrapping the vocal delivery and antagonistic menace. It is an immense opening soon taken to another plateau when the band steps into a gentle melodic embrace, warm vocals and dark rhythms combining for a Korn like temptation which persists throughout. It is a seamless transition repeated as the voracious and virulently addictive chorus erupts. The track is metal alchemy, a voracious invention soaked hunt and enslaving of the passions. Its successor delves into a blend of striding melodically caustic sounds and smouldering vocals, a Palms like venture that seduces and riles the imagination and senses with another mouthwatering fusion of songwriting ideas and musical craft.

      Leave Me To Bleed is another song with a ravenous snarl and heart to its creative abrasiveness yet skilled in immersing melodic and sonic persuasion which leaves the track unpredictable and impossibly compelling. From an Alice In Chains like start the track through an electronic whiff of ambience unleashes a blaze of rhythms and riffs which devoid of vocal direction simply consumes and invigorates with anthemic potency. Its robust and torrential energy is very different to the atmospheric climate of Lucid. The next song on the album carries strong elements of the band’s sister venture, a Static Plan rock elegance merging with a Deftones like immersion for the imagination to seduce and enthral. It is a glorious wash of emotive and bordering on melancholic beauty with shadows as company.

      The outstanding Horses puts the listener back under intensive and heavy incitement next, its vocal drama and tightly gripping grooves sparking thoughts of Life Of Agony whilst the mesmeric Bastille and the closing Pale Horse only reinforce and intensify the impact of the album. The first of the final pair is a riveting interfusion of light and dark, hope and pain through again a Deftones cast ambient transfixing within a threatening and skilful frame of rhythms, bass menacing, and shards of guitar invention. The final song is a drifting melodic caress matched by a similarly sculpted vocal embrace. A progressive flight through reflective beauty lyrically and musically it is a bewitching end to a simply impressive debut.

     From a rigorous and towering first half through to the emotionally driven beauty of its second with maybe just the production a minor niggle with its slightly suffocating touch on the songs, Control is a fluid evolution which takes the listener on an exceptional flight of brave adventure and skilfully sculpted emotional provocation; it gives the passions and neck muscles a damn good time too. 7stbaby is destined to major things…you heard it here!

https://www.facebook.com/7stbaby

9.5/10

RingMaster 17/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hungry Brains – Centre Of The Omniverse EP/The Mule EP

The Mule EP

The Mule EP

     The tail end of 2013 saw the release of two sister EPs from UK’s  Hungry Brains, a pair of releases which suggests that the Manchester trio and their impressive mix of stoner rock and progressive metal is a towering force in the making. Both releases spark the imagination and passions with skilful enterprise and mountainous ranges of riffs and sonic flaming. Think Monster Magnet meets Alice In Chains with plenty of Svolk and Red Fang bulging contagion involved and you get a big hint to the scintillating sound created by the band and as to why both EPs are leaving lips eagerly licked and anticipation rife for what is ahead from the band.

      Made up of Callum Armstrong, Paul Daly, and Orestis Papadopoulous, Hungry Brains first swiped at or rather barged into attention with the Centre Of The Omniverse EP last September. Consisting of three tracks which instantly enflamed the senses and imagination it was a commanding entrance soon reinforced by the December unleashing of The Mule EP. Alone either make a compelling introduction but together they enforce a declaration of intent from a band only a fool would refuse to keep a close eye and eager ears upon.

Centre Of The Omniverse

Centre Of The Omniverse EP

    Centre Of The Omniverse opens with Dawn Of A New Age and immediately is throwing heavy muscular rhythms at the ears whilst the guitar sears all their vibrating hairs in the face of its intimidating and refreshing tempest. Vocals are not slow in thrusting their persuasion forward either and soon the impressing dual delivery is seducing even further the already keen appetite awoken by the already contagious sounds. That AIC reference is soon bearing its suggestion, especially through the vocals which a carry a definite Layne Staley feel but also we would suggest there is a slight Metallica essence as well as Soundgarden and Kyuss to the song’s imaginative mix. It is a totally magnetic start with only the fade out to its finale a slight niggle.

    The following Unmade is a brief and rigorous brawl of sound with blues kissed psychedelia soaking the melodic adventure whilst rhythms again thump and career through the ear with firm and skilled provocation. Raw and fiery in sound and breath, the track is a combative yet seductive blaze of enterprise which produces and says more aurally in its one and a half minute than most bands manage in their epic soundscapes.

      The first EP is concluded by Crooked Eye, a tantalising blend of expressive and harmonically fiery vocals within a sinew driven rhythmic cave and heavy intensive riffs. Part stalking and part canter, the song entices the imagination with a steely sonic stare and evocative melodic embrace whilst never relenting in its dramatic persuasion or breath stealing craft. As with all the songs and those on the second EP, there is never a moment where predictability reigns or expectations are merely fed, every minute and flame of sound an invigorating incitement for thoughts and emotions.

    It is hard to recall many introductions to a band which has been enjoyed more and The Mule EP soon shows it is not a one off. Made up of one track in two parts, the release confirms and stretches further the potent temptation and presence of Hungry Brains with ease. Part 1 opens with a shamanic call of vocal chants which is instantly meditative but equally coaxing the imagination into thoughts of something dramatic and imposing pending. That hope is slowly realised as the track emerges, taking its time with rolling heavy cast rhythms and a sonic mist of almost antagonistic tempting within a relatively restrained atmosphere. The bass is a delicious tempter in the evocation, dark and menacing amongst the heated weave surrounding its throaty tones. The piece scores the air for a final time before evolving into Part 2 and unveiling a contemplative stroll of riffs and mutually determined rhythms. As a spiral of sonic sculpting from the guitar ignites the song’s sky, vocals again present the lyrical narrative in impressive and enticing style, once more only adding to the overall irresistible lure of the sound and release. Virulently contagious without losing its dramatic intensity and provocation, the nine minute track infests the passions to make its length slip by in moments and its potent suasion and that of the whole release rise with every passing minute.

      Hungry Brains is a band we are sure you will be hearing time and time again swamped in acclaim across the future months and years and with both releases available as buy now name your price releases on Bandcamp, only the foolish and lazy would wait until then and resist now the stunning toxicity of this impressive band.

http://hungrybrains.bandcamp.com/

www.facebook.com/HungryBrains

10/10 for both EPs

RingMaster 15/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Groan – Ride The Snake EP

© Oran Tarjan

© Oran Tarjan

Like being thrust into a predatory mosh pit of agitated woolly mammoths, the Ride The Snake EP from one of the UK’s most exhausting and inventive sculptors of heavy duty riffs and contagion clad rhythms wrapped in funk kissed intrusive grooves continues the towering presence of a titan of consumptive intensity. Groan are no strangers to acclaim and it is hard to expect anything but another fever of praise and strong reactions for their latest towering five track bruising. Merging stoner and doom metal with hard rock and classic metal, plus plenty more essences, Groan has never been lightweight in crafting rapacious provocation but it is fair to say that their new release has an extra growl to its rampage which ignites even further hunger for the band’s incendiary sound.

2010 saw Groan’s debut album The Sleeping Wizard uncaged and it had little difficulty in garnering eager responses and acclaim from fans and media alike. Equally drawing hungry responses for their live shows the band next recorded a split EP with Finnish band Vinnum Sabatum in 2011, it another record swamped by critical plaudits as was second album The Divine Right of Kings which was unleashed in October of last year. Now with a new line-up seeing band founders vocalist Mazzereth and bassist Leigh Jones joined by guitarists Mike Pilat (ex-Ocean Collective) and James Beedham, as well as drummer Zel Kaute (ex- Pettybone, Vodun), Groan thrust forward the Ride The Snake EP to attack and ravage the senses, something the Superhot Records released record does with riveting exhaustive ease.

Women Of Doom opens up the torrent of sound; ridiculously gripping acidic grooves winding their way around the chugging RideTheSnakeCoverthroaty bass prowl and slugging rhythms, all immediately capturing attention before moving on to the imagination as their persistence seduces with every chord. The great slightly rasping vocals of Mazzereth almost scold the ear, his delivery a squalling passion which matches the heat of the song’s energy and the melodic causticity coating every note. From the lumbering yet energetic start the track lifts its heavy metal knees into an eager romp, entwining both lilts across the remainder of its magnetic heavyweight bulk.

The impressive start is soon left in the wake of Drug Lord, the track a massive peak upon the release. Group shouts triggers the entrance of the track, their call enticing predatory riffs and barracking rhythms to bring their intensive pressure and air to the already tempting bait. There is always a swagger to the band’s creativity and songs, the second on the EP employing one of their most contagious yet, the song swinging with muscular hips whilst sonic endeavour and anthem bred vocals seduce the listener further. It is a delicious riot of dirty rock ‘n’ roll soaked in raucous blues and stoner toxicity, a song hard not to just have just one more rampage with before moving on.

Both Slice of That Vibe and Blessed Is My Blade feed on the black ‘n’ blue emerging upon the senses caused through their predecessors with individual but mutual creative rabidity. The first fuses a punk ‘n’ roll essence reminding of Fuckshovel to a Maiden kissed metallic predation. It does not quite find the same submissive rapture as the first two tracks but with guitar invention which has lips licked furiously it is still a formidable and irresistible blaze soon matched by its successor. The second of the two hits a classic/hard rock vein to exploit, rhythms taking chunks out of the senses whilst the guitars send sonic spirals across their bows with enterprise and seductive skill.  Infusing additional haunted temptation and a breath stealing chugging charge as well as a bordering speed metal infection, the track is an absorbing stoner rock hybrid of the highest order.

The eight minute plus stroll of Citadel of Chaos brings the EP to a close. It offers a reserved gait which increases pace and intensity as it expands and an insatiable seduction within its expressive and sonically scenic path. Though the earlier tracks still take top honours the closer shows everything you need to know about Groan to place them on the frontline of British stoner and riff driven metal.  With the likes of Desert Storm, Ten Foot Wizard, and XII Boar to name just three of the great imposing current and emerging bands, the UK scene has the staggering armoury to take on the heavyweights of the world with Groan again proving they are driving the frontline.

https://www.facebook.com/groanuk

9/10

RingMaster 09/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sons of Huns – Banishment Ritual

SONSofHUNS_Will_Bragg-6233

Riff clad and groove shoed, Banishment Ritual is one of those albums which is so hard to tear yourself away from once it has its eager and rapacious hooks deeply entrenched within the ears and passions. Sculpted by Oregon trio Sons of Huns, the eleven track release is as virulently contagious and thrillingly magnetic as any stoner/heavy metal confrontation to come along over recent months and though its originality can be argued and debated the album is a ridiculously easy to devour magnetic treat. Since 2009, The Portland band has been firing up and building a keen and potent home fanbase since forming but now with the release via EasyRider Records of the riotous Banishment Ritual, expectations are simply rife with the expectation that the band will soon be recognised and cooed much further afield.

Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Peter Hughes, drummer Ryan Northrop, and bassist/vocalist Shoki Tanabe (who has recently departed the band to be replaced as touring bassist by Aaron Powell of Belt of Vapor), Sons of Huns has already earned a major reputation for their live performances which has seen them grace numerous Portland festivals and stages supporting the likes of Red Fang, Andrew W.K., Danava, and also comedian Brian Posehn. The band’s 2011 self-titled EP drew potent acclaim as did the 7” single Leaving Your Body, but you feel as debut album Banishment Ritual stomps and ravages through the ears like a sonic terrier on heat that everything before was mere foreplay for the real thing.

The title track opens up the storming exercise in persistent dramatic riffery and rhythmic entrapment with an eager swagger and Cover Artfiery breath if not the rabidity and aggressive attention grabbing shown in later tracks. A warm blues squall wraps the guitar enterprise whilst the vocals have a strength and expression which matches the sonic intensity and melodic tantalising veining the track. It is a compelling accomplished start which lays down the appealing canvas for greater things to play upon starting with the following Argenteum Astrum.

The second track is a delicious flame of sci-fi inspired adrenaline coaxed stoner rock ‘n’ roll, a merger of Motorhead and Red Fang with the sinews of Black Tusk rippling throughout its contagious charge. The band is equally unafraid to twist and shift things around within the charge, a slow melodic croon teasing the senses midway in for a mesmeric enticement that tempers and compliments the sturdy riffery and thumping rhythms. It is the first of a few pinnacles closely followed by the mighty seduction of Heliolith, a track where grooves entice places which should never be felt up in public and riffs cage thoughts of escape with resourcefulness and irresistible addictiveness.

The dual assault of Horror In Clay and I’m Your Dad bring the album to another peak, the first with a blues crafted energy and rampancy which flirts with the passions through evolving gaits and inquiring sonic imagination whilst its successor, the best track on the album is pure undiluted bruising rock ‘n’ roll. Part early Queens Of The Stone Age and part Black Sabbath with a spattering of Trucker Diablo, the song emerges as a unique and exhilarating blaze of voracious enterprise to ignite a greater rabidity to the already spawned hunger for the album.

Following the decent but out of place amongst the other tracks instrumental Waking Sleep, Sons of Huns unleashes another incendiary device for the passions with the intensive infection of Planet No. 9, another track where grooves are as epidemically inciting as the riffs and rhythmic confrontation. With strong vocal harmonies to aid the always enjoyable delivery of Hughes and Tanabe, the track storms the barricades with charm and insatiable energy aligned to aggressive endeavour and addiction forging adventure. Seriously challenging for best song on Banishment Ritual it gives a tall order for the rest of the album to live up to.

Both the smouldering lure of Lord of Illusion and the garage rock escapade of instrumental Rollin’ the Dice make a fine if unsuccessful attempt, the pair as many of the tracks breeding a psychedelic air to their stoner and blues emissions, whilst Super Kanpai Rainbow steps up to the plate with an impossibly infectious temptation of garage punk and metal merged into a psychedelic psyche taunting with sonic colour as vibrant and transfixing as the imagination spawning its intriguing and thrilling offering.

Completed by final stoneresque fire of Oroboros, The Sword meets Led Zeppelin to give a whiff of its heat, Banishment Ritual is an outstanding release which makes a stronger persuasion with every encounter.  Maybe not strong on originality but towering in every other aspect, it is an outstanding full length debut placing Sons of Huns towards the frontline of stoner/blues metal.

http://sonsofhuns.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 03/12/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King Hiss: Snakeskin

King Hiss

With nostrils flaring and muscles flexing to their limits Snakeskin, the debut album from Belgium rockers King Hiss, is a mountainous terrain of thunderous rhythms, voracious riffs, and exhausting energy.  It is  a powerhouse of a release which draws the potent essences of melodic metal, hard rock, and stoner rock, not forgetting at times a caustic breath of hardcore, into a confrontation which leaves the senses ignited and passions soaring. Consisting of seven tracks feeding off  inspirations from the likes of Red Fang, Black Tusk, Corrosion of Conformity, Down, and Clutch, Snakeskin is a powerhouse of an album, one injecting new blood and predatory strength into rock music.

As soon as it emerges from a sonic mist and finds its feet, the opening title track launches into a tirade of contagious riffing and a4123523464_2rhythmic barracking, a tight beckoning groove winding the passions around its call within moments of its appearance. The vocals of Jan Coudron begin their impressive narrative next, his voice having an excellent grizzled tone and a melodic power which sends every syllable to its target with purpose and appeal. It is an instantly enthralling encounter rising to greater temptation with the ridiculously catchy chorus and further seductive grooves amidst a tempest of rhythmic provocation from drummer Jason Bernard and bassist Dominiek Hoet. Such its immense presence there is a slight suspicion the rest of the alum will struggle to match its heights but its successor soon dispels any doubts.

    Into The Mountains opens with a carnivorous bass groan and rolling drums, their jabbing persistence hypnotic and persuasive alongside the predatory lines of Hoet. It is another irresistible start taken to greater heights when guitarist Josh Fury unleashes sizzling melodic flames and air carving craft. It is an absorbing blaze soon taking on an intensity and raw almost muggy encroachment which sears flesh and soars across the senses raining down sonic adventure alongside further vocals persuasion. The track easily matches the opener and though across the chorus there is something familiar, though impossible to pin down, it is another refreshing and impacting treat, especially the blues lined solo leading to a riotous climax.

Both D&F and Endorphine swagger and stroll through the ear to equally impressive effect, the southern rock whispers in the sound heated and sinewy, especially in the towering hard rock embrace of the first of this pair whilst the second reveals sturdier textures and dramatic fires within its Mastodon meets Kyuss like invention. Again grooves dangle pure irresistible temptation from their lures whilst vocally the group harmonies find an emotive heart not lacking in previous songs but given a clearer canvas to lay out their rich feelings here. Though both tracks just miss grabbing the plateau set by their predecessors they still capture the imagination and compel the passions to greedily accept them.

    Rollergirl though is not happy to accept second best and from her opening crescendos of fire bred sonics and tsunami tall rhythms rampages with high octane energy and virulently compelling infection loaded riffs and hungry drum enticement, the bass groaning with primal rabidity whilst acidic melodic fascination from the guitar scorches ear and beyond with skill and imagination. It is another bruising triumph which colours the passions until full but still lustfully wanting more.

The final pair of tracks ensures there is not one ounce of dissatisfaction or unfulfilled appetite, The Greater Good an ear burning, senses tearing juggernaut of hard rock and classic metal spicery wrapped in the passionate muscle bound vitality that is King Hiss whilst the closing Word Made Flesh, from its opening bass devouring of the ear, is a scintillating rapacious consumption from a delicious and insatiable rhythmic ravaging and sonic scalding. Like Crowbar meets The Sword it is an epic and towering conclusion to a staggering album.

Whether Snakeskin offers anything new can be debated but you know when something sounds this good and raises passions and energy to such heights, who really cares. King Hiss is a force of the future, hell they have already made a deep branding am mark with this, one of the albums of the year.

http://www.king-hiss.com/

10/10

RingMaster 27/06/2013

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Southern Badass: Born In Mud

Arno Bechet

     Hailing from Perpignan in France, Southern Badass is a band which in Born In Mud has released an album as intriguing as it is pleasing. With a core of southern/stoner rock and other added spices such as doom and heavy metal, the release is an imaginative and engaging album, it is not always as successful as it could be but is continually brewing up pleasure and positivity to its enterprising encounters.

The project of multi-instrumentalist Arno Bechet, Southern Badass brings essences of artists such as Kyuss, Down, and Corrosion Of Conformity into a healthy and inspiring brew with flavourings from others like Metallica and Black Sabbath. It is a mix which gives the album a good variety across its length as well as making individual songs unpredictable and captivating for the most.

From the instrumental At The Gates the album takes a grip on the thoughts with Wrath Temptation, a pulsating piece of sizzlingImpression stoner rock with a heavyweight presence through the excellent bass work and snapping rhythms. The guitar is a fiery creature throughout which adds extra spice to a captured imagination. As with the album as a whole, arguably there is not a lot of open originality on show but with the enjoyment given for the main it is hard to really care. The vocals of Bechet have a near perfect American drawl which belies the mother tongue of the man and just add to the authentic heated breath of the track.

From the very strong start the album shuffles things up through the dirty blues tinged furnace of Call Of New Orleans and the cruising gait of Nowhere Man. The first of the pair sparks with tight melodic flames and a raw acidic energy and continues the impressive start whilst the second is simply a rock n roll party for the road which gets the job done without firing up any extra passion its way.  Both songs, as the album too, are slow burners, tracks which reveal their persuasion over several plays rather than in one union with the ear. It is a release which needs focused attention but rewards the time given.

Further highlights come with The Witch and its grumbling bone shaking basslines, Back To Where I Want, another song where the bass growls to offer a deeper textured snarl, and Voodoo Girl. The first pair of songs are feisty riots of southern grit and towering stoner touching sludge might to agitate and provoke the senses and emotions into a strongly receptive stance whilst the latter is a smoky southern croon to soundtrack a whisky drinking session and seductive wanton encounter. All three songs leave an appetite to keep a keen eye on the project in the future whilst making many returns to the release in the now.

Closing with the outstanding pulsating instrumental Sons Of The Sun, the album is one all stoner fans should take a look at. It is not perfect, the production at times offering a cloudy surface upon a sound from a genre which already is thick with intensity, whilst there are a couple of songs and other moments where the ideas feel either forced or given too much rope. Overall though Born In Mud is a highly enjoyable release which just needs time to state its case.

http://southernbadass.bandcamp.com/

RingMaster 07/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

BloodRedSky: A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness

jonematilainen.photodesign

A real treat lies in store for all stoner rock fans with the release of A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness, the thumping debut album from Finnish metallers BloodRedSky. The towering release is a record all fans of the genre and of storming rock n roll will devour with raging contentment, and though it arguably does not offer anything really new it is a riot they and stoner rock can be brazenly proud of.

A quintet from Pieksämäki in Eastern Finland founded in 2008, BloodRedSky have followed up their well-received self-titled promo release of 2009, with an album which leaves one breathless and exhilarated and probably shell shocked under its tumultuous energy and intent. A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness released through Inverse Records, offers up ten hurricanes of intensity and invention which as mentioned do not try to break into new pastures but ignite existing recipes into boiling and impacting, not to mention refreshing, incendiary storms. The band have brewed a sound which is as heavy and abrasive as Mastodon, as shadowed and malevolent as Danzig, and veined with grooves and insatiable riffs borne of a Red Fang or Mos Generator, On top of that you have the snarl and attitude of Motorhead with the Kyuss stoner might to its charge. It all conspires for songs which grab you by the throat, sucks the air from your lings, and sends shards of rapture through the passions.

The album declares the tempest open immediately with the outstanding opener Locked ‘n Loaded and as expected with a title like that the song is an adrenaline driven onslaught of aggression and primed energy. The drums of Pasi Moilanen take no prisoners from the start, his thunderous rhythms and cafe fighter intensity a rewarding encounter with drives the caustic riffs into the ear perfectly. The growling bass of Jesse Muranen is a bear prowling the scene and once the equally ursine delivery of vocalist Riku Tarvonen enters, the track is into a stride which fires up the senses to their fullest limitations. It is a dirty tank of a song which ticks all the right boxes and though again it will not exactly satisfy searches for something truly unique who really cares when it sounds this good.

It is an impressive start easily equally by firstly Colours and then surpassed by the staggering song Purifier. The first is an abrasive maelstrom of riffs and sonic enterprise from guitarists Ville Kosunen and Antti Minkkinen which sear flesh and rupture bones whilst again the stunning bass presence of Muranen is a raptorial treat. There is so many great things to say about the album but probably he steals the top honour with his gnarly sounds and intimidating tones. The second of the two songs is a maelstrom of dynamic energies and inventive manipulations of sound and the senses. It twists like a bestial siren throwing serpentine grooves and ravenous riffs at its victims whilst chewing on the ear with the ever agreeable raw growls of Tarvonen. There is a slight hardcore edge to his squalling rage which makes the perfect contrast and compliment to the backing chants and insatiable assault elsewhere whilst all aspects together produce not only the best song on the album but one of the best this year.

The band does mix it up on A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness with tracks like the slower classic toned A Hero to a Few with its smouldering keys, and the sludgier Goblin King, complete with a sensational and blistering solo, to name just two offering strong and pleasing variations to the otherwise unbridled bruising hunting down of the senses. For personal tastes when the band tries to rip out the heart of the listener they trigger the biggest ardour but every track is a mighty and eagerly welcomed companion and in the likes of The Dead, an adversary such the malevolent consumption spreading from the corrosive engagement. The track is a brilliant and glorious slab of aural black death, an intensive intrusion not to be denied or escaped from, its sonic doomed fingers permeating every cell and synapse for a thrillingly rewarding conclusion for the passions.

Further highlights come with the grizzly Stoneskin and the closing exhilarating instrumental Skulltower but as stated every track is an immense and formidable gem. If you are looking for true stoner metal with a full heart and the intentions of tearing your body asunder than look no further than the excellent A Cross To Bear & Hell To Harness from emerging giants  BloodRedSky.

http://bloodredsky.net/

RingMaster 26/11/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

C.F.A. : Managed By The Devil, Brought To You By The Grace Of God

A stormy mix of stoner, classic rock, and hardcore punk, Managed By The Devil, Brought To You By The Grace Of God the debut album from US stirrers C.F.A. is a more than decent riot to bruise and treat the senses to. It is an album which at times feels like it is unleashing something quite unique and in other moments is treading a well worn yet persistently pleasing path. Overall though it is a formidable slab of sixteen feisty and ultimately satisfying tracks.

C.F.A. (Cody Foster Army) consists of three musicians who combined their talents in 2008, a trio with plenty of experience in their wake. Creating a sound which has been tagged as stoner-core, the threesome of bass guitarist/vocalist Cody Foster (A.K.F., Toxic Shock, Miserable Bastards, Stump, Ash Bib, Poppa Wheelie), lead and rhythm guitarist/vocalist David Takata (Raw Meat , Inbreed, Daisy Love, Bonzort, Swelter, Argonaut, Goldteeth), and drummer David “Reno” Marseillan (Tribe, Nadir, Holokron, Crash Landing, Buckwildz, Mico De Noche, have not looked back in gaining an enthused reaction and following to their combative and abrasive sound. 2009 saw the band record their first album with engineer/producer Tony Reed of Mos Generator and Stone Axe, with its  release coming now via Ripple Records and one imagines certain to draw strong acclaim and responses its way.

The album is a storm of crucial and irresistible riffs from guitar and bass, starting with the infectious Never Free. The track is a magnetic weave which scours the ear through slamming rhythms, scraping vocals, and the gnarly bass tones of Foster whilst offering a melodic swagger which simply oozes contentment. It is a lure not to be denied, an opening temptation which leaves one enthused for what is to come.

Though the following burly Third Side and the crawling Chorus do not make the same heights they both stir up the emotions enough to leave one more than satisfied. In some ways the album is one of two halves with its later presence bringing a more impressive and appetizing collection of confrontations for personal tastes. This is not to say the earlier songs are lacking as Never Free and especially the excellent Shake Your Ass show, the latter a track which feeds on adrenaline and mischief whilst thrusting fiery melodic guitar strikes and pulse racing rhythms through the ear with teasing wantonness before passing onto the flaming stoner punk jab fest Lost Wisdom. This is another song to light the imagination with eagerness without leaving one particularly drooling in lust.

Songs such as the Bob Marley cover Iron Lion Zion, Sons of the Soil, and Kick Rocks deliver an easily agreeable energy driven rampancy but it is with the entrance of Shut Up Your Face that things suddenly find another incendiary level to light the passions. The song is high octane punk rampage which opens with a ska tinged smile before exploding into an air sizzling furnace of riffs and attitude. The bass of Foster funds an even more venomous growl to the song whilst the guitar of Takata moves from delivering insatiable riffs to being a malicious weapon which sizes up its victim before unleashing scythes of sonic venom.

Next up Built Up Knocked Down is a deliciously twisted brew of stoner and garage punk to fire up the heart whilst Red Wine Ride is a contagious rub of salty melodics and barging riffs driven by the fiery vocals. Another cover in the form of Creedence Clear Water track Fortunate Son is a decent enough song but pales against its predecessors and the following final two songs Magic Salad and Inhabit, both outstanding examples of hardcore punk for the first and stoner/sludge antagonism for the latter.

They impressively complete in Managed By The Devil, Brought To You By The Grace Of God an album which continually ticks all the right boxes even if it arguably does not hold the consistency to make it a classic.

http://www.cfa-codyfosterarmy.com/

RingMaster 22/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Huata: Atavist Of Mann

If witchcraft ever needed a suitable soundtrack for its presence than it should look no further than Atavist Of Mann from Huata. A mightily formidable consumption of the senses, the debut album from the French band is a concussive mixture of stoner, sludge, and Doom metal brought with a blackened Occult breath. Not an easy or comfortable listen but the album is persistently rewarding and is without doubt one of the best releases of its ilk this year.

From the old Celtic part of France, Brittany, Huata first drew attention with their first EP Open The Gates Of Shambhala of 2010. Their creativity finds inspiration in music and films of the sixties and seventies and deals with things as the accompanying promo says like ‘the initiation and hidden workings of secret societies, Luciferian pacts, extra terrestrial forces, inner earth mysteries, the quests for the holy power of mighty relics, Vril power and the ancient knowledge from dead kingdoms.’ Lyrically, musically, and in its overall presence their sound is intense and merciless bringing an oppressive unstoppable weight upon the senses. Taking and creating sounds which remind of the likes of Electric Wizard, Goatsnake, Church Of Misery, Black Widow, Black Sabbath, and Goblin, their music and album leaves one gasping for air under the power but completely mesmerised by the accompanying drone laced absorption.

Released through Mordgrimm, the album is just six songs but is not short in any other way, its overall length, mass, and intent a sonic swamp of angry muscle and predatory instinct. From the opening Lords Of The Flame, the release ruptures synapses and scrapes nerves without` mercy. This album has to be listened to at full volume to fully feel its might but of course that makes the destruction of the senses even more acute. The song is a crushing mass with blistering melodic imagination and burrowing energy. From its initial assault the track tempers the damage with glorious Hammond organ melodic weaves and a growling rippling bass but it is not long before the aggressive claws return to overcome the atmospheric climate that had evolved and leave one again crawling breathlessly under the assault.

The excellent following Operation Mistletoe is an even coarser grizzled obliteration of nerve endings. Dirtier, caustically vicious, and with a stoner flavour brewing underneath the bristling surface, the song is quite simply aural abrasion, a sonic enema for the senses. As in the previous song the vocals are a mesmeric contrast to the noise ripping through every pore. They are immersed within the heavy claustrophobic tones but add a soulful melodic light, thought that is not to say they are submissive as they offer a gruff delivery to pierce the doom swamp more often.

Atavist Of Mann is unrelenting with the likes of Thee Imperial Wizard and Fall of the 4th leaving the emotions pulsating from their intrusion. To say the album leaves the ears ringing after its departure is just touching the surface of the effect of the album. Inside and out every inch of the body, nervous system, and thoughts are left reeling but wholly satisfied. Huata have no mercy or wish to relinquish their hold of the listener whilst it overwhelms their bodies. They have also created one of the best and most exhilarating releases in their genre heard this year so there are no complaints here.

RingMaster 12/06/2012

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Tricorn : Self Titled

The debut self titled album from UK stoner/rock band Tricorn is quite simply a cauldron of sweaty low slung throbbing riffs and beefy rhythms drenched in a scuzzed veined blanket of intense stripped to the bone essential rock. It is also rather tasty and a compulsive slab of adrenaline fuelled rock n roll to lose oneself within with great satisfaction.

Formed in 2008, the Portsmouth quartet of vocalist and rhythm guitarist Paxo Dyne, lead guitarist Constantine Droutsas, bassist Rob J., and drummer Simon Lopez according to their bio take influences from the likes of Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Alice In Chains and Queens Of The Stone Age. To that you can add flavours that come from similar gene pools as bands like Black Tusk, contemporaries Desert Storm and even Orange Goblin. Their music is not particularly demanding but consistently fully absorbing and a sound thick in intent and honest invention. At times the album suggests the band has yet to find their true voice but with a release that is so mighty and pleasing it is impossible to be anything but complimentary.

Released June 11th through their own imprint Need Sleep Records, the album immediately marks the senses with opener Step Outside. With a music box intro the track slaps down some muscular riffs to wake up the dead whilst throwing down simple but very pleasing torched melodies and gruff vocals. The track has a live essence devoid of unnecessary frills or wastefulness which is maybe not surprising considering the album was recorded in a mere six days but makes for a release that is loud, almost bullying, and real.

As good as the first track was the following Give Me Some More hits the mark even more accurately and deeply. The song raises heat and dust with a dirty insatiable groove and glorious overweight riffs to rile up the senses even more than the opener. Bruising and insistent the song is a mighty infection and the highest peak in a series of highlights which marks the album.

An intimidating strength and intense breath marks The Therapist whilst the rampant Where Did It Go crowds the ear with alcohol soaked melodic surges and chunky forceful riffs, both songs continuing the impressive sounds and power of the release with sure and skilled craft. The songs and album do not try to mesmerise with fiery shows of artistry or over played style but simply fires up attention and satisfaction through uncomplicated but irresistible southern rock n roll majesty.

The excellent Life Again inflames the passions with an enveloping sinister presence which leans on the ear with a menacing darkened groove and badgering riffs, its bulky energy more laid back than previous tracks in a confidence that it will capture its recipients fully. The grooved crush of Crawl and the slight Danzig toned Girl Lets Ride further lead the senses down avenues of feisty raw riffs and low tuned guitar pleasure to make the album an event to savour.

Closing on the beautifully oppressive and irrepressibly grooved Momentum, the album leaves one full to bursting with angry distorted riffs and tumultuous dark energy. It carries no pretence or thought other than to rummage through the heart with the heaviest and most fulfilling sounds. Tricorn have produced a must have release for a sure to have enjoyment.

www.tricornband.com

Ringmaster 04/06/2012

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