Possessor – Dead By Dawn

Possessor_RingMasterReview

Still drawing new attention with their previous offerings, British metallers Possessor unleash new album Dead By Dawn, a mouth-watering threat of their rawest, most voracious sound yet. Continuing to conjure their individual fusion of old school fuelled metal embracing everything from heavy and blackened death metal through to doom/occult and stoner infused thrash the London trio cast a viciously malevolent and addictively compelling infestation of ears and instinctive pleasure with their latest offering.

Formed in 2013, Possessor teased and tempted with the Wings of Fire demo in 2014 before making a far greater impression with their self-titled debut album later that year. Hellacious and demonic in equal enterprise, the band’s reputation and acclaim garnering stature was given another injection of energy with last year’s Stay Dead EP. Its four tracks breached a new level in sound and adventure by the threesome of vocalist/guitarist Graham Bywater, bassist Marc Brereton, and drummer Matthew Radford; one now pushed again by Dead By Dawn.

The album opens with Afterburner and its sinister, cinematic intro. As shadows collude with aural drama, it fades into the ravenous jaws of the opener, a mesh of riffs and rhythms which go straight for the jugular. The meatiest groove aligns to a primal energy and intensity, they soon entwined in a sonic twine of guitar and the effect cloaked tones of Bywater. Previous releases hinted at a Nurse/Troublegum era Therapy? essence in the band’s sound; the first song shows it has become an even more intense flavouring but still without diluting the distinctive tone and invention of the Possessor sound.

Predatory and inescapably infectious with Sabbath meets Electric Wizard overtones also to its body; the excellent start makes way for the similarly immense and thrilling Scorpion Swamp. Straight away the grievous growl of Brereton’s bass has ears gripped and lips licked, the appetite enflamed further by the sorcerous grooves and rabid hooks joining the mix. Again echoes of the Northern Ireland trio are a vibrant spicing as Possessor and track rumble and grumble upon the senses and imagination, the song an ever twisting web of thrash driven, multi-flavoured metal.

art_RingMasterReviewBeneath the Chapel takes over next, an encounter growing in ears with a less forceful character compared to its predecessors but one soon sharing its own captivating net of flesh whipping beats and rapacious grooves to seriously please. Again within an ever tempestuous nature irresistible hooks taunt and tempt, providing rich bait within the rawest roar of sound to come from the band in any offering yet and the same template seeds the following Without Warning, a design breeding another individual treat within the album. A tempest of grooves and antagonistic ferocity it simply blossoms into a psyche infesting avalanche of predacious animosity to leave a hunger for more.

Things take a breath just a touch as Slaughter High enters next upon another evocative bassline from Brereton, its suggestive twang absorbing bait deviously leading the listener into another waiting beast of sound. Arguably the most old school sounding song on the release, it gnaws at the senses as riffs venomously prowl and the swinging beats of Radford flail flesh with rapier like effect. More destructive and gripping with every passing minute the brute of a proposition departs in a cold storm to let Terror Tripping step forward with its own cantankerous and primal rock ‘n’ roll. Taking a touch more time to thickly persuade compared to the other songs before it, the track is soon seeing swinging bodies and eager satisfaction in its rip tide, especially when it shares another ear exciting hook.

A pair of instrumentals comes next, The Creeps another cinematic scene setting piece parading a glorious and voodoo-esque rhythmic enticement before Midnight devours the body and imagination with its blackened heavy metal and feverishly stomping aural necromancy. Both tracks has ears enslaved and thoughts conjuring before the closing drama of The Curse of the Hearse revels in the individual skills and craft of all three Possessor members, aspects uniting in an incendiary provocation bringing Dead By Dawn to an almighty end.

Possessor get bigger, better, and more creatively barbarous with every release and indeed more irresistible. A treat for fans and a thrilling introduction to Possessor for newcomers, Dead By Dawn and its creators are the kind of propositions metal probably does not appreciate or notice enough but would be a much blander place without.

Dead By Dawn is out now @ http://possessor.bandcamp.com/album/dead-by-dawn

https://www.facebook.com/possessorband

Pete RingMaster 21/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

BoneHawk – Albino Rhino

BONEHAWK_RingMasterReview

Having already been gobbled up in as a limited vinyl release through Hornacious Wax Records in 2014, Albino Rhino from US heavy rockers BoneHawk gets its official CD release via Ripple Music, who the band recently signed with, this month. Already preceded by single/video Los Vientos, as part of the label’s Second Coming Of Heavy series but not actually on the album, the band’s returning debut album is an invitation and wake call to those yet to discover the melodic and groove woven rock ‘n’ roll of the Michigan quartet.

With its seeds already sown when guitarist/vocalist Matt Helt and guitarist Chad Houts first met and bonded in third grade at school in Kalamazoo, BoneHawk emerged in 2011 after the pair played together in various projects over the years. With bassist Chris Voss alongside Houts and Helt who also provided drums, the trio set about recording Albino Rhino with Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit. In less than two months the first run of vinyl was sold out whilst, with drummer Jay Rylander and bassist Taylor Wallace by now alongside the founding duo, BoneHawk was being devoured on their local live scene. A second ‘Ultraviolet Purple’ pressing of the album followed and either sparked the attention or came about through the attention of Ripple Music boss Todd Severin. Whichever the line of events, it has led to the CD availability of Albino Rhino, a release which maybe did not blow us away but certainly has sparked persistence in returning for more helpings of the band’s riff loaded and groove strapped persuasion.

Inspirations for the band seem to stem from the likes of Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath; the latter certainly and quickly an open influence and hue to Albino Rhino. It opens with Argenia and straight away grooves are enjoyably entangling ears as the bass almost dances on the ear with its throaty tempting. Beats have a hefty swipe to their touch too whilst riffs and the harmonic tone of the vocals, singular and as a pair, bring further magnetism to a quickly and highly infectious song. The blend of dark and melodic, heavy and light grabs the imagination with ease, contrasting as potently with the more intensive touch of the rhythms as the song continues to captivate and impress.

art_RingMasterReviewThe following Sexy Beast is just as swift a persuasion; its sizzling air immediately coating the senses with an appetising coaxing, almost echoing the fiery textures which coloured its predecessor before casting its own spicy flames in a prowling gait. There is a great delta blues like tone to the track and especially its rich melodies and emotive tone, but as shown in the first track and becomes repeated throughout Albino Rhino, things never seem to hang around in one shade of sound or imagination for long. Hot Mary is the same; the song evolving an initial heavy stroll with a juicy blues scent to its grooves through catchy swings of beats and riffs matched in infectiousness by the ever engaging vocals of Helt.

Weaving a seventies heavy rock vibe, Tonight We Ride steps up next, keeping the listener’s physical and vocal involvement as busy as ever whilst Warchild is like a net of appetite trapping grooves and stoner-esque temptation. Sometimes it takes a band like BoneHawk to make ears remember how close many genres are to each other, how they are a one-step evolution from another and the relative pointlessness of tags in so many ways. The song is a festival of flavour even in its generally reserved and slim body; a paint box of rock ‘n’ roll colours especially vibrant in its furnace of a chorus and additional crescendos.

Ulysses puts in its claim for best track honours next, the song a feisty and ears blistering stomp of individual craft and anthemic tempting quickly followed by the dirtier, almost sludgy theatre of Desert Run. Its rugged landscape is sultry and almost imposing but with its cow bell and searing tendrils of melodic acidity alone, its creative body is just as welcoming as anything on offer by the album.

There is a whiff of Pentagram to Nomad which next takes over and envelops ears in a tangy melodic smoulder with again grooves which seem to writhe and entangle with snake like dexterity as rhythms cage and provoke even stronger physical engagement. There is an instinctive bond between song and listener which is never absent from any track within the album and certainly not the closing pair of the virulently swinging Going Over The High Side and the closing title track of Albino Rhino. For almost eight minutes, the final encounter fascinates and enthrals with its individual drama of sound and accomplished craft sculpted with stirring imagination. In many ways it is the most unique song on the album and a potent end to the spirit rousing encounter.

We look eagerly forward to what comes next from BoneHawk; going by Albino Rhino it is likely to be weighty and seriously alluring. Add a little more originality and the band could kick up a real storm of attention around themselves to build on what will assumedly arise from this highly enjoyable re-release.

Albino Rhino is released on CD on April 22nd via Ripple Music across most stores and downloadable now @ https://bonehawk.bandcamp.com/album/albino-rhino-2

https://www.facebook.com/bonehawkkzoo

Pete RingMaster 22/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Eujenics – Alec Guinness

eujenics_RingMasterReview

Having already given the year a striking event with the release of their acclaimed debut EP, Humanism, British alternative rock band Eujenics have quickly backed it up with new single Alec Guinness. Their most forceful and dynamic track yet, which is going some such the quality of said EP and previous singles, the release is a rousing and fiery slice of rock ‘n’ roll from a band it is becoming increasingly easy to suggest real success lies ahead for.

Hailing from Sunderland, Eujenics formed in 2015 and quickly stirred up eager attention with their first pair of singles. Together the September and December respectively released Meniscus and Kalashnikov provided a potent and attention grabbing introduction to the quartet, though it was as part of the four-track Humanism EP uncaged this past February , that they really helped ignite a new wave of eager acclaim and new fans. Live too, Eujenics has become an eagerly praised and sought proposition, sharing stages with bands such as Dead!, Despite My Deepest Fear, Edenthorn, Massa Confusa, and Deadfire over the past months.

Now it is Alec Guinness ready to make a striking impact and follow its predecessors in luring strong radio play around the country. Straight away it has ears and imagination lured as vocalist Nic Wood melancholically sighs alone. His emotive coaxing is soon engulfed with pungent rhythms and growling riffs though, his expression continuing to ooze emotive angst as the tenaciously anthemic beats of Adam Hay grip and tendrils of bluesy guitar entwine the senses. In the belly of it all as the song shares its roar, there is also a virulent rumble with the pulsating resonance of David Scott’s  prowling bass in prime position as guitarist Chris Hanna weaves an evocative and often incendiary tapestry of blues, stoner, and psych rock imagination.

The first single from a new upcoming EP, the track is quite irresistible; as antagonistic as it is seductive, as ferocious as it is dramatically flirtatious and as suggested a track to really put Eujenics on the radar of many more. Alec Guinness, man and song, continues to be one mighty inspiration.

Alec Guinness is available now @ https://eujenics.bandcamp.com/track/alec-guinness

https://www.facebook.com/Eujenics/    http://www.eujenics.com    https://twitter.com/Eujenics

Pete RingMaster 13/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Boss Keloid – Herb Your Enthusiasm

Boss Keloid_RingMasterReview

Big praise drenched words and claims have been shared in the build up to the release of the new album from British heavy rockers Boss Keloid, and we can quite eagerly say that Herb Your Enthusiasm more than lives up to every syllable of acclaim offered. The Wigan hailing quartet’s second album is simply superb, inescapably irresistible, and a ravenous incitement entangling the finest ravenous textures of sludge, doom, stoner, progressive rock and much more. For ten tracks it turns ears and imagination inside out with unpredictability and ferocious adventure that catches the breath as equally as the heavy predacious sounds and rabidly dark ideation terrorises the senses. The release is spellbindingly fascinating and destined to stalk the top places of end of year best album lists.

As in debut album The Calming Influence of Teeth of 2013, riffs carry a furious rabidity as rhythms probe and punish within Herb Your Enthusiasm. That alone provides a proposal demanding attention with the seduction of low-slung grooves only increasing the senses intimidating, imagination courting prowess at work. To this masterful palette of raw intensity and barbarous persuasion the band layers further temptations of melodic dissonance and glamour, progressive drama, and at times an avant-garde psychosis which just puts hex on album and listener. The result is a release which blows its impressive predecessor out of the water and announces Boss Keloid as a big creative predator in a large devouring pond.

Recorded and mixed by Chris Fielding at Skyhammer Studios and mastered by James Plotkin, Herb Your Enthusiasm opens up with Lung Mountain, a track swiftly providing the template for the heart of the album. Riffs badger and pounce on ears as the hefty swings of drummer Ste Arands resonate on the senses. It takes little time though for band and album to slip in something more sultrily comfortable as guitarist Paul Swarbrick shares flirtatious melodies cross a calmer landscape where the already rousing roar of vocalist Alex Hurst mellows into a more enticing growl. With Jon Davis of Conan guest and adding to the vocal web, the bass of Adam Swarbrick is all the while a predator, stalking the song and imagination with its swaying animus for a perfect temper to the kinder climate and the spark for more ravenous intent elsewhere. As shown time and time again, there is so much going on in songs only physically embracing them can reveal all with every listen perpetually revealing a new twist or texture to get hooked on.

Boss Keloid_HYE_Front_Artwork_RingMasterReviewThe progressive ingenuity in the latter stages of the song only adds to a theatre of sound and craft which continues in the imagination fuelled emprise of Haarlem Struggle. An exotic acoustic opening is soon a tempestuous wall of lumbering confrontation, though that early spicing still flavours the bracing proposal of primal intensity aflame with senses enveloping harmonies. Strains of death and groove metal among other bold spices are equally glimpsed in the brewing maelstrom, teasing and thrilling ears though not as much as the subsequent spiral into experimental adventure towards the track’s rear where Boss Keloid conjure an alchemy best described as a bedlam of Faith No More, Trepalium, 6:33, and Destrage.

Giving a final crushing of ears as it leaves, the excellent track makes way for the equally compelling Escapegoat where grunge/stoner toxicity quickly grips and excites whilst vocals and rhythms collude with more tenebrific riffs within an atmospheric trespass. There is no let-up of thick pressure and corrosive intensity across the song, its invigorating voracious intent single minded as its heads into the doom spawned jaws of Cone. Amongst resonating bass bait and dark fibrous grooves, Alex Hurst flirts with a Mike Patton like devilry for his early presence though he and song need little prompting to raise their antagonistic side as heavy rock and thunderous rhythms align for an invasive tsunami of sound and intent. For every assault offered there comes a flirtatious groove or virulent infectiousness that has the body and passions swinging, here it revealing a great Alice In Chains like hue to its tempting.

Axis of Green keeps the release and enjoyment on the same striking plateau, the rhythmic agility of Ste Arands and Adam Swarbrick catching ears in swift time as Paul Swarbrick’s sonic strands and venomous grooves weave in and out. Increasingly more eventful as it progresses, ending with a progressively tenacious and again expectations destroying climax, the song is followed by Highatus, a brief and fiery slice of instrumental sludge suggestiveness which is far more straight forward than the tracks around it but similarly enjoyable before being seriously outshone by Lung Valley. With psych rock keys and the increasingly impressing vocal variety and quality of Alex Hurst instantly sparking further lustful reactions, the track creates a tapestry of grouchily invasive textures and inviting grooves. Every element is as welcoming as they are imposing, and ultimately all addictively persuasive.

The fierce blaze and climactic toning of Elegant Odyssey enslaves next, every groove and slither of ingenuity infesting the psyche as the senses are bruised and body physically nagged by the track’s weight and aggressively shared intent. With its mercurial and spellbinding character, the track is simply outstanding, a ravenous triumph to bear and lustfully embrace, much as the final pairing of songs on the album. Chabal steps forward first, Davis again featuring as another array of textures and rock ‘n’ roll strains entangle and unite as the band forcibly push their songwriting and imagination whilst similarly imposing on the listener, trapping them in a web of contagious exploits and instinctively quarrelsome incitement.

Hot Priest closes up Herb Your Enthusiasm and is as exceptional as its two predecessors. Immediately it flirts with ears in an avant-garde rock shuffle with keys and rhythms sharing off-kilter imagination and enterprise too. Of course in no time, Boss Keloid has uncaged the pugnacious side of their invention with combative riffs and beats led by snarling vocals descending on the senses. From there the two contrasting sides continue to switch within and share the track’s glorious presence.

We have only hinted at the heart, body, and character of Herb Your Enthusiasm such its rich depths and imagination. Your job is to explore it, embrace, it, and be mercilessly buffeted and seduced by something surely few will manage to better this year.

Herb Your Enthusiasm is released April 8th via Black Bow Records and @ https://bosskeloid.bandcamp.com/album/herb-your-enthusiasm

https://www.facebook.com/bosskeloidband

Pete RingMaster 07/o4/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Law 18 – Self Titled

Law18_RingMasterReview

There is little we can tell you about Italians Law 18 beyond that they come from Milan, were formed in 2011, and are a quintet playing “hardcore groove /crossover stoner”. Actually there is one more thing, and that is that they recently released their self-titled debut album and it is one slab of deranged rock ‘n’ roll that we for one have become increasingly fond of.

That description of their sound is lifted from the band’s Facebook page and only tells part of the story, a small clue to the off-kilter fusion of styles the band weave into their compelling creative revelry. Across the album’s nine tracks, you will find everything from groove and nu metal to thrash and hardcore, stoner and punk through to funk and plenty of other bold strains of sound.  Its songs are raw and inventive, ranging from psychotic and quarrelsome to eccentric and tenacious, very often all at the same time, and for the main compelling fun.

The album opens with Dwarfs & Cowboys and an immediate mesh of rich grooves and punkish vocals led by Alessandro ‘Ale’ Mura. Bold rhythms align with Lorenzo ‘Pero’ Perin’s riffs to add thick aggression whilst lead guitarist Davide C springs sonic tendrils into the tempest, a mix which bullies and entices like a mix of Pantera and Suicidal Tendencies as the track develops. It is a relatively straight forward offering but prone to contagious thrash bred surges of intensity amidst sonic drama, each becoming more volatile and extreme with every passing second.

The following You Blind is similarly sculpted but with a swifter eagerness to show its instincts in pushing its boundaries and infusing broader textures of sound and flavours. Hardcore and metallic voracity unite as the initially band prowls before launching a torrent of rapacious grooves and rhythmic agitation upon the senses. It subsequently eclipses its strong predecessor before being outshone itself by Hollow Earth Society. From the initial grazing of guitar and the predacious beats of drummer Luca Ferrario, the song has ears and attention gripped, more so when it slips into an unpredictable web of warped sounds and imagination from its early bout of muscular rock ‘n’ roll. The new and riveting enterprise uncaged is unmistakably System Of A Down inspired and quite irresistible, even with its familiarity to the Californian band, as Law 18 infuse their peculiar strains of heavy and anthemic textures.

art_RingMasterReview The dramatic invention continues with Dominus Caeli, a track opening with a flirtatiously seductive bassline from Lorenzo ‘Tarzan’ Colucci which then incites further jazz/funk exploits from rhythms and guitar. Like an abrasive fusion of Toumaï and Trepalium, the track grumbles and rumbles with punk lined irritability whilst creating an unstoppable and virulent contagion of grooves and raucous aggression. Further building to a hungry prowl courted by unhinged vocal teasing, the song is a thrilling slice of rabid, in sound and invention, metal fired rock ‘n’ roll.

The bass of Colucci again provides a great start to the next track; its heavy pulsing growl the lure into Dirty of Blood and spark for another hellacious assault of hardcore fuelled raging before Leather’s Wreck shares its own expectations foiling landscape of creative bedlam. Both tracks in their contrasting lengths show more of the band’s striking imagination; the brief fury of the first slipping into a mischievous discord hued swagger for a great psyche twisting moment whilst the second provides a noise rock shaped avant-garde adventure. As raw and imposing as it is sonically and melodically seductive, the harmonica skills of Mura excelling with its bluesy expression against the similarly hued guitar resourcefulness of Davide C, the track offers seven minutes plus of ear pleasing and imagination stirring incitement.

An addictive swing and stroll spines the anthemic persuasion of the following Mirror Reflections; its boisterous and pushy antagonism an uncompromising brawl of forceful punk ‘n’ roll. In time, it too evolves as rhythms spring into a demandingly infectious shuffle within post punk like scenery before returning to its tempestuous and bruising rampage of punk metal loaded rock ‘n’ roll.

Rage Against Me roars with defiance from every blues rock pore next as intrigue surrounds each turn in its bracing funk ‘n’ punk stomp. Driven by a grouchy stamping of its rhythmic feet and mass vocal irritability, there is no escaping its instinctive catchiness and highly persuasive ire or from the avalanche of riffs and crushing rhythms which shape closing track 2010. Unleashing a host of heavily spiced grooves, barbarous hooks, and a contagious energy which has bodies as involved as ears and imagination by the parade of vocal provocation across the band, the track is a maze of sonic invention.

It is a great close to an album which grabs attention from the off but really blossoms as a whole and excels in its individual elements with each subsequent venture into its frenzied rebellious world. Law 18 has sculpted something very worthy chunk of anyone’s time but especially for those with a taste for bold yet organic blurring of genre walls but still simply want unbridled rock ‘n’ roll.

Some bands and releases just seem to be on the same wavelength as personal creative adventure;

The Law 18 album is out now @ https://law18.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Law18band/

Pete RingMaster 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Lightsabres – Hibernation

Lightsabres Promo Photo_RingMasterReview

Though in many ways embracing the torpidity of its title, there is very little that is dull and apathetic about Hibernation, the new album from Lightsabres. An encounter which ebbs and flows in intensity and drama, the ten track release is a raw and compelling fusion of fuzz sculpted psychedelic textures and adventures aligned to stoner-esque riff heavy rock ‘n’ roll; a meeting ears and imagination can only feistily devour.

Lightsabres is the solo project of John Strömshed, the front man for Swedish hard rock/blues outfit Tunga Moln. Hibernation is his fourth album and the successor to the acclaimed Beheaded which was released early 2015. Hailing from Swedish city Luleå, Strömshed has pushed his sound away from the garage-rock influences which marked previous offerings into warmer but in many ways rawer explorations. The result is a collection of tracks bathing in a Deftones meets Queens Of The Stone Age climate, though that certainly over simplifies the rich creative landscapes of songs and album.

Hibernation opens with its title track and a gentle shimmer of guitar which quickly engages ears with a sonic romancing. As the track stretches its scenic expression, a throbbing bassline joins an electric flame of guitar whilst beats jab and lure dormant instincts into its scuzz cloaked blossoming. It is a fiery but controlled incitement, a sonic bonfire of emotive textures and vocal tones luring complete attention which the heavier throb of Endless Summer quickly grips with its own blistered touch. Flirting with distortion through its fuzzy nature, the track equally spins a web of melodic intrigue around the hazily surfaced vocals, offering a lively captivation of suggestive sonic invention which has the spirit as aroused as the imagination.

art_RingMasterReviewCascades Of Blood provides a mellower proposal next; its body a bubbling simmer of melodic spotting within a melancholic yet inviting atmosphere. There is a touch of Billy Momo to the intimate melodies and harmonies which entangle and seduce ears, an alluring calm too which enthrals before the climate heats up with the more volatile Whisper To Me Softly. Again vocals are a richly enticing blend of harmonies and emotive expression, this time within a harsher ambience which eventually infests vocals and the sonically brumous and inflamed air of the song.

Breaking Bones is just as feisty and climatic; it’s QOTSA like proposal grouchy in its sonic glaze and virulent in its weave of spicy hooks and sultry riffs whilst the following Throw It All Away has thick and robust substance to its meandering, almost prowling fusion of snaky grooves with a similarly magnetic tonal skulk. Both bewitch ears, luring thoughts deeper into the emotionally autumnal album before leading them into the slightly sinister but inescapable spatially tinged beauty of Satan’s Pilgrim.

In contrast Blue Smoke is a confrontational blaze of raw volcanic sound within a funereal gait, Providing a raw and searing proposal compared to its predecessor, it is more than a match in evocative and dramatic persuasion before Possessed adds its own psychedelically pensive and sombre elegance to the album’s temptation. Like drifting on a sixties/seventies psych rock cultured cloud, the track immerses body and thoughts before closing track Blood On The Snow leaves its tenebrific yet transfixing and sultry imprint on the senses. It is a lingering infestation of ears and emotions, a final blaze of rock ‘n’ roll with a lava-esque flow to its trespass of seventies inspired riffery and inflammatory melodic invention.

Hibernation makes a very potent first impression but really grows into the high praise it warrants over time and attention. It is a release which lures you back and is destined to be, for a great many, one of the adventures which perpetually finds its place in weekly soundtracks.

Hibernation is out now via HeviSike Records digitally and ltd edition vinyl @ http://lightsabres.bigcartel.com/ or https://lightsabres.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/lightsabres

Pete RingMaster 16/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Iron Jawed Guru – Mata Hari

iron jawed guru_RingMaster Review

With all the curvaceous moves and intrigue fuelled exploits its title suggests, Mata Hari is an encounter which simply and irresistibly entices ears as it infests the psyche. The new album from West Virginian instrumental groove rockers Iron Jawed Guru, it is creative espionage of the most rewarding order offering seven songs bursting with grooves that writhe like seductive snakes and a rhythmic intimidation as imposing as it is dynamically compelling. Without reserve, Mata Hari is a delicious incitement that the more you struggle to resist and move on, the deeper you get entangled up in it.

Iron Jawed Guru is the pairing of multi-instrumentalist Mike Lorenzen and drummer Roy Brewer; a Morgantown hailing project which emerged in 2013, though both members first met nine years earlier. Originally a trio with Eric Clutter, who later went on to join Karma To Burn, Lorenzen and Brewer continued as a duo from his departure evolving their fiery and rapacious psych/stoner rock sound. It is a proposition which singes the senses as it flirts with the body, its heavy yet salaciously inviting weave of grooves and riffs aligning with rousing rhythms to create the fiercely captivating and anthemic blaze that is Mata Hari.

cover_RingMaster ReviewFirst up on the album is Quake and straight away its impacting rhythms and dusty grooves echo the ferocity and agitation suggested by the name. As a sonic, almost smog like, embrace is cast, Brewer not for the last time swiftly has the senses on edge and energies ignited with his dynamic presence whilst Lorenzen only expands the flame of sultry grooves and intrusive hooks to increase the virulence of the song. An explosive yet controlled incitement, the song is more than matched by the heated aftermath of Aftershock. Toxic and flirtatious, the track is a maelstrom of contrasting and supporting textures again built on the commanding beats of Brewer and shaped by the tenaciously creative fire of Lorenzen. Bands such as Clutch and Kyuss have often been mentioned as a reference for Iron Jawed Guru, and it is easy to see why from this alone.

The deceptively wiry and full-bodied intoxication of the album’s title track is next, it expelling a sinister and tempestuous air around the undisguised salaciousness that ignites every swinging groove and deeply rooting hook. The song is a devious temptress, a predatory romance stealing breath and soul before Gemini and its mercurial saunter lays bold hands on the imagination. With sinews again flexed in every rhythmic swipe and jab as dark volatility lines the sultry climate of sonic suggestiveness, the track has thoughts leaning towards serial killer like imagery rather than astrological based tales such its rich spiral of dark and intensive adventure.

Navajo brings the hues of the dust hugged West next with its smouldering heatwave of melody inflamed enterprise amidst a web of senses scorching grooves whilst Tremors rumbles and grumbles as it descends ravenously on ears with a horde of robustly explosive rhythms matched with equally abrasive riffs. Both tracks in their individual ways are increasingly veined and bound in the ever forceful invention and irresponsible grooves of Lorenzen; they reckless because there is no doubt that hips will never be the same after indulging in the thick devilry of Mata Hari.

Unsurprisingly Vesuvius is a volcanic prowl of sound with lava-esque drama from the guitars and the expected and enterprising bone shuddering swings from Brewer. Its sizzles upon and burns the senses whilst igniting the passions from start to finish; its gripping and increasingly rabid rock ‘n’ roll the perfect exhausting finale to one increasingly thrilling release.

Mata Hari is pure manna for anyone with a groove fetish; for anyone who loves to be flirted with by swinging strains of guitar and rebellious rhythms whilst Iron Jawed Guru is a band surely on the way to recruiting a rampage of hungry appetites and spotlights.

Mata Hari is available now digitally and on CD via Grimoire Records @ https://grimoirerecords.bandcamp.com/album/mata-hari

https://www.facebook.com/IJGrock/

Pete RingMaster 09/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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