The Arusha Accord – Juracan

Beginning to feel like a period of long awaited returns, October sees UK tech-metallers The Arusha Accord releasing their first record in seven years in the fury spewing shape of the Juracan EP. Offering five ravenous almost rabid but skilfully conjured and complex encounters, the release is not only the Reading hailing outfit back and to their best but with a fresh breath in sound and imagination.

The first of four planned EPs, Juracan has come out of a turbulent time for the band; its title an echo of that tempestuousness and coming from the phonetic name given by Spanish colonizers to the deity of chaos and disorder which Taíno natives believed controlled the weather, particularly hurricanes. The Arusha Accord actually returned to action as headliners at UK Tech Fest 2017 but things were derailed by vocalist Alex Green and subsequently guitarist Tom Hollings leaving the band. Taking time out to take stock, the band decided to go forth with Juracan as a quartet, Paul Green stepping up to handle solo vocal duties alongside bassist Luke Williams, guitarist James Clayton, and drummer Mark Vincent.

What has emerged is a release which certainly bears but embraces the difficulties endured. There is a fire in its belly and irritancy in its breath which only enhances both its raw almost rebellious roar and melodic imagination. Recorded with Adam Getgood and mastered by Prash Mistry, the EP springs from dark clouds and a melancholic climate with Blackened Heart, the track surging through ears with caustic intensity wrapped in melodic enticement. It swiftly consumes and violates the senses yet all the while its creative swing and instinctive virulence is working away on song and listener. The recognised technical prowess of the band is as quickly tempting and escalating the magnetic appeal equally racing through the track, unpredictability lighting its evolving landscape as Green similarly shows his strength and prowess as sole frontman.

The track leaves a rich and impressive mark on ears and memory before being matched in inventive kind by Vultures. As with its predecessor, there is instinctive aggression driving its escapade but also an almost Celtic metal seeded flavouring which emerges through the enterprise of Clayton. A collusion of extremes which at times is a skilfully nurtured collision, the raucously rousing yet seductively manipulative track, again as the first, is pure magnetism.

From a sonic mist The Road (Amor Vincit Omnia – Part 1) rises upon a deliciously dirty bassline accompanied by the continuing raw glaze of keys. As its tempestuousness stirs, Greens fine clean vocals only escalate the lure and potency of the outstanding start to the track and a captivation only growing as things mellow out before Beneath The Dule Tree shares its sonic winds and melodic fire. As powerful and stirring as it is, the track epitomised by its fadeout feels like it is part of a bigger but disconnected picture. For that reason it did not quite find the same level of potency with personal thoughts yet everything about the track left a want for more which EP closer, The Dark Pane, eagerly satisfied. It rhythmic barrage is purposeful and invasive but the spine to another infectious trespass bound in alluring sonic wires and suggestive melodic tendrils, all amidst an alignment of the tempestuous and harmonious.

Talking about the EP, Green has said “Despite the knock backs we have had and there have been a whole bunch this past year, we’re the strongest we’ve ever been, more unified and passionate about this project and excited to finish the next three EPs!” There is little we can argue against his claims but only add we are excited to hear the next trio of encounters.

At The RR we try to bring you the most exciting, unique, and adventurous releases around, Juracan ticks all the boxes and more.

Juracan is out now @ https://www.arushaaccord.com/shop/

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Pete RingMaster 06/10/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tardive Dyskinesia – Harmonic Confusion

td_2_RingMasterReview

With the suggestion that it and its sound sits “somewhere between Meshuggah and The Ocean”, Harmonic Confusion the new album from Greek tech/prog metallers Tardive Dyskinesia instantly has a reputation to live up to. It is a tall order which band and release certainly live up to. The successor to critically acclaimed predecessor Static Apathy in Fast Forward, the fiercely fascinating and creatively imposing Harmonic Confusion has to be considered as Tardive Dyskinesia’s finest moment to date.

Since forming in 2003, the Athens hailing quintet has honed and evolved their sound across three previous albums with Static Apathy in Fast Forward a pinnacle in their rise when released in 2012. The years have also seen the band open for the likes of Mastodon and Meshuggah and play prog-metal festival Euroblast, it all leading to now and the release of Harmonic Confusion. Mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, The Ocean, Leprous) and produced by Tardive Dyskinesia themselves, the album is the band’s sound at its most rounded, accomplished, and adventurous; often a raw roar to numb and disorientate the senses but equally a melodic and technical maze of craft and imagination to enthral and excite.

The album opens with the instrumental Insertion, a piece as welcoming as it is technically eventful. It shows a potent restraint though, the band holding its boldest exploits for subsequent tracks while setting the scene and tempestuous atmosphere for the album to come beginning with Fire Red Glass Heart which leaps from its predecessor’s sonic lure. Immediately the winding tendrils of sonic enterprise springs from guitarists Petros Nikiforakis, Steve Lado, and Manthos Stergiou, the latter soon unveiling his clean and alluring vocals too backed by the harmonic tones of Lado. As the song slightly intensifies, a rawer gruffness appears in Stergiou’s delivery, the contrast of his vocals merging perfectly as the song twists and turns through its theatre of enterprise and melody fuelled expression.

The track captivates from its first note to last, a tempest like climate brewing without quite erupting saving itself for the outstanding turbulence of The Electric Sun. Wiry strands of guitar soon collude with ravenous riffs and the heftily swung beats of drummer Nick Argiropoulos; again contrasting textures and extremes of energy aligning in a fluid and clarity graced challenge to captivate ears and imagination alike. That rawness is there again to enhance sound and vocals as well as the song’s eventful atmosphere, offering a dirtier trespass to the technical prowess which intensifies alongside the nagging riffery and scything rhythmic persistence on offer.

coverresize_RingMasterReviewThrough the turbulent and at times almost spatial landscape of Self Destructive Haze and the mazy multi-textured Thread Of Life attention is tightly gripped, the second of the two a real seduction of ears with its invasive storm cored by melodic beauty, and latterly, dark stringed seducing while the exceptional Concentric Waves, with the ever compelling bass exploits of Kornelius Kiriakidis especially magnetic, mesmerises as it aggressively and technically swings to and fro.

As impressive as its first touch and listens are, Harmonic Confusion simply grows in strength and stature over time, tracks like Triangulation Through Impasse and Savior Complex laying highly persuasive seeds straight away which seem to blossom over time. The first of the pair twists and turns with increasing relish and grievance across its length whilst still bringing a variety of tones to vocals and intensity to its body. Another favourite and major highlight of the album it is matched and over shadowed by the mellower yet no less dramatic and dynamic exploits of its successor. As across the album, there are elements which maybe are less than unique than others but Tardive Dyskinesia embrace it in their own imaginative and technically riveting designs to fine and here mouth-watering effect with the noir lit call of the sax icing on the dramatic cake of the album’s greatest moment.

The album is completed by the infectious and hungrily resourceful Εchoes 213, its hooks and melodies alone as biting as they are romancing, and lastly the instrumental journey of Chronicity, a captivating epilogue to all before.

Harmonic Confusion is without doubt one of the year’s tech/prog metal treats and yet there is still a feeling that there is more to come from and creatively discover within Tardive Dyskinesia; a thought to add extra spice to one fine release.

Harmonic Confusion is out now on Playfalse Records and @ http://tardivedyskinesia.bandcamp.com

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Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Aliases – Derangeable

Aliases_RingMasterReview

Obviously, it is too early to suggest what will be the best of 2016 but amongst album contenders we suggest you can expect to see Derangeable flirting with the top spot. The new and second album from British progressive tech-metallers Aliases is simply majestic, inescapably irresistible, and a proposition more than living up, in sound and imagination, to its title.

The brain-child of former SikTh guitarist Pin and fellow six-string maestro Leah Woodward, Aliases quickly whipped up attention and eager appetites from the first steps of its emergence in 2010. The band’s first year saw ear exciting single We Never Should Have Met create a potent buzz; an introduction quickly backed by the band making their live debut at Euroblast Festival in Germany and subsequently signing with Basick Records. Highly acclaimed debut album, Safer Than Reality, was uncaged in 2011 to swiftly make the band a potent presence and protagonist within tech metal and suggest the potential to rise to the stature of Pin’s former band. With a new vocalist and drummer bringing their prowess to events, Aliases easily live up to that promise and indeed have more than matched, and arguably surpassed, anything previous exploits have offered with Derangeable.

The album is a non-stop, often exhausting kaleidoscope of sound and invention; a release as technically beguiling as it is infectiously compelling and creatively mouth-watering. It is also an openly individual and unique proposal which at times borders on the loco in its dance of craft and imagination. It all starts with Find Where You Hide, a track which leaps at ears with a wall of imposing rhythms and spiky guitar coaxing as new vocalist Joe Rosser springs with equal attention grabbing zeal. From his initial dirty tones, he swiftly gives a glimpse of his melodic and harmonic diversity which increasingly shines across song and especially album. If ever a voice was perfect for an unpredictable and fluidly eventful sound, Rosser’s is it; his delivery and invention seeming to flow and prowl the inventive discord and flirtation lining every twist and turn in sound with their own striking adventure. The song itself continues to seduce and incite; the sultry addition of sax, antagonistic beats, and finally classical keys, just a few strands in the enthralling tapestry of the song.

art_RingMasterReviewEverything Is Upon Us is soon dazzling ears and thoughts with its instant busy weave. Entangling varied metal bred lures with funk, avant-garde, and nu-metal devilment, the track enslaves in seconds. The guitars of Pin and Woodward simply dance with almost schizophrenic invention whilst Joe Heaton’s bass prowls through it all like a predator equipped with resonating groans and salacious grooving. As with all songs, it is impossible to reflect the emprise of senses twisting and psyche captivating exploration going on, every second seemingly a new cascade of adventure as shown again in the beefier and equally melodically alluring Back To The Start. Shaped by the crafty swings and beats of Jof Walsh and coloured by the impressive vocal exploits of Rosser, the song emerges like a mix of The Kennedy Soundtrack, KingBathmat, and maybe unsurprisingly SikTh on the way to being something distinct to Aliases.

The pair of Smile All You Like and Deep Sea Avenue keeps attention tight and the imagination stirred; the first with its intricately woven exotic bedlam of guitar and rhythmic ingenuity ridden by the great vocal resources of Rosser and band. It is a fascination of sound and imagination emulated in an even more strikingly unbalanced way by its successor, a track that growls and leers at the listener whilst taking them through its sonic psychosis. It is an outstanding and virulent treat of sound and temptation pretty much matched in success by the lighter yet just as frenzied tango of Uncontrollable Desires. There is a touch of Korn and System Of A Down to the song; spices which simply add to the irresistible web of creative alchemy infesting body and spirit.

The commandingly intensive and barbarously engrossing Callous comes next; it a merger of contrasting shades of aggression and intent bound together by the band’s ever riveting casting of unhinged innovation in sound and idea. It completes a quartet of unmissable favourites at the centre of Derangeable, though through the agitated maze of Face For Lust, where the bass is instinctively flirtatious, and the similarly dynamic and left-field bearing Seen It All, the album and pleasure are locked closer together than ever.

The album comes to a mighty close with the grooved beauty and psyche bending resourcefulness of the wonderful Untangled Mind and finally the warm harmonic charm and mischievous eccentricity of Above The Sky. The pair provides a quite glorious and lingering conclusion to not only one of the year’s major triumphs so far but one of the most enjoyable and impressive adventures in the history of tech and progressive metal. Derangeable is one of those releases which are destined to become an inspiration to others and the best friend to ears and imagination; the tag of genius is already on the lips in reference to their glorious triumph.

Derangeable is out now via Basick Records with buying options @ http://www.basickrecords.com/releases/derangeable

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Pete Ringmaster 18/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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This Is Shark Country – Chances

This Is Shark Country - Promo Photo_RingMaster Review

As you would imagine from a band name like This Is Shark Country, there is a real bite and unbridled tenacity to their sound; voracity bred in the fusion of technical metal and hardcore which the Berkshire quintet is increasingly becoming more and more acclaimed for. New EP, Chances, is further evidence to that fact and of the growing potency and potential the band embraces in their striking creativity; it a roar of four tracks fuelled by ire and sculpted with imagination seeded craft.

Formed in 2011, This Is Shark Country has also become renowned for their live hunger and prowess, a presence taking in most of the UK whilst sharing stages with the likes of ‘68 (ex-Norma Jean), Nexilva, Palm Reader, Exist Immortal and many more. Their debut album Saviour was uncaged in 2013 to keen fan and in some quarters, potent media attention. Taking a year to make, the Newbury band now unleashes Chances, an encounter revealing greater strength and invention in the band’s sound and songwriting which suggests that This Is Shark Country is a band bringing new adventure and striking promise to the UK hardcore scene.

This Is Shark Country - Chances Artwork_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with Sitting Pretty and within a breath the guitars of Ben Mercer and Nick Blair are spinning a web of technical prowess and enticing expression, the bass of Jamie Holmes no slouch in gripping attention either with his lure of dark strings. Swiftly the song is a climatic affair, emotion and sound colluding as vocalist Oli Cole lays down an antagonism of voice and narrative within the blossoming tempest. Calm and elegant moments also add to the temptation of the song, their shining passages still prowled by the predatory tones of the bass within a constant rhythmic web swung by drummer Chris Sheen. The track is a potent and welcomingly unpredictable start to the EP but soon eclipsed by its successor.

Ghosting is reeled in on a punk infused hook, a bait of rock ‘n’ roll seared in gripping sonic endeavour. Continuing to entice, its lead in grows into a noise/alternative rock turbulence with rhythms a carnal attraction as the guitars create a virulently caustic rain of riveting enterprise. Though no lightweight when it comes to skills, the song is a more out and out rocker than the technical compulsion crafted by its predecessor, and in many ways, it is that impressively crafted punk ‘n’ roll fury which sees the release breach another plateau.

The EP’s title track is a similarly cultured blaze of hardcore contagion, though this time the djent sparked zeal of the band is entangled in the tendrils of melodic acidity and sonic imagination shaping the track. Of course Cole is straddling all with his undiluted bellow, his angst soaked delivery unafraid to tweak its attack to ensure even there some level of variety adds to the drama of the lively incitement. Becoming more antagonistic and bruising with every minute, its metal seeds gnawing at the senses as its punk heart roars, the song fiercely impresses before flowing into closing track Forever In Waiting.

Instantly an intimidating theatre lines the bait of riffs and bass, and almost as swiftly the guitars are wrapping it in a weave of rapacious invention and challenging intensity. More of a grower than the previous pair of offerings within Chances, the song blooms into another impressive provocation if one lacking that final decisive spark of others.

To go along with the press release for Chances, the EP is something fans of bands like Periphery, Every Time I Die, and Sikth will get a kick out of but there is plenty more to This Is Shark Country and their sound, some realised here and some as potential for their future maelstroms of imagination. What is very clear though is that the British hardcore/rock scene has another seriously stirring protagonist in the making.

The Chances EP is released November 13th through all stores and digital platforms.

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Pete RingMaster 13/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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