Fallen Angels – World In Decay

Fallen Angels Band Photo 1_RingMaster Review - Left2Right Steve-Brad-Erik-Carl-Matt - cropped

Creating a compelling maelstrom of energy and familiarity, US thrashers Fallen Angels back up their acclaimed second album Engines of Oppression, with another tempest of aggression and craft in the masterful shape of World In Decay. The Seattle based quintet once more openly weave the inspiration of genre masters and originators such as early Metallica, Testament, Slayer, and Megadeth into their equally classic metal hued sound, and again the band uncages a proposition which only excites ears and appetite. It is fair to say that in many ways you know what you are going to get with a Fallen Angles encounter, but not in what shape or gripping design it comes in. The same applies to World In Decay, an album with few major surprises but a torrent of things to drool over.

With their 80’s thrash and 70/80’s heavy metal influenced sound, Fallen Angels has increasingly and persistently lured strong attention, establishing themselves with fans and media as a proposition ripe with contagious and aggression driven adventure. Equally the band is a dab hand at entangling it all with a modern take on melodic and imagination sculpted textures, as first shown through 2008 debut album Rise From Ashes and even more so in Engines of Oppression three years later. World In Decay is more of the same but also equipped with an even fresher breath of craft and maturity equating to Fallen Angel’s finest moment yet.

Produced by Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Forbidden, Testament, Death Angel, Flotsam and Jetsam, Tesla, Vicious Rumors), World In Decay erupts into life with The Hammer’s Blow and an instant onslaught of spicy guitar and rampant riffs from Erik Hanson and Matt Be Rot. They coax from amidst intensive rhythms led by the swings of drummer Steve Spitzbart, the track an uncompromising lure before brewing into a more welcoming creative blaze of flying grooves and hooks over the magnetically growling bass of Carl Larsson and around the vocal roar of Bradzilla which quickly emerges as the ringmaster to the rampage in furious motion. Thoughts of Exodus and Annihilator spring up from the growing tapestry of fierce enterprise engulfing ears, whilst the melody toned side of the song dabbles with folkish/Celtic flirtation at times, the whole thing ensuring the album gets off to a stirring start.

Album Cover - Fallen Angels - World In Decay_RingMaster Review   The first single from the album, Nightmare comes next, its darker and more predatory character swiftly igniting the imagination whilst discord lined sonic enticement has ears seduced before it all momentarily halts for riffs and rhythms to collude and unleash a ravenous charge. That Metallica whiff is a rosy hue within the raw and incendiary landscape of the song, but as everywhere it gets honed into something maybe enjoyably familiar but leaves expectations scrambling for success. The song potently backs up the might of its predecessor before Forsaken Existence kicks things up another gear with its inventive and melodically emotive presence. From the opening breath, the track is a maze of twists and provocative craft before settling into a leaner surge of bruising enticement, though it in turn is soon wrapped in more sparkling invention and sonic colour which go on to entwine for the remaining length of the fascinating offering. The track is irresistible, at its heights when exploring a diversity of styles and pure contagion when just bullying air and ears.

Leading the Blind is another proposal prowling the listener from its first touch, riffs and rhythms as good as stalking the senses as an intoxicating seducing from Hanson spreads tantalising beauty around the bestial heart of the song. As in the last, it simply grows in weight, creative strength, and addictive resourcefulness with every passing chord and rhythmic swipe. The vocals alone enthral and within the gripping drama of sound, it all results in one of the pinnacles of World In Decay, through a triumph superbly supported by Fire At Eden’s Gate. Whereas the last song was beast like, its successor is a caress of classical hued melodies and mesmeric string craft from the guitarists, only the firm rhythms providing any hint of the dark intent of the song within its impressive entrance. They soon get their way though and spark an uncompromising confrontation led by the great grouchy tones of the bass and the ever ready to grapple delivery of Bradzilla. The track never uncages its fullest fury or violence though which only adds to its commanding air, but once in full stride, it never allows an easy or unrewarding time to brew either.

The weighty stance and sound of Into The Abyss keeps things burning brightly though it lacks the same spark as the songs before it. Its body is almost subdued in energy at times in comparison, saving it for the sizzling crescendos which do escape across its evocative length. The individual skills and united craft of the band again only impress though so that the song is only ever pleasing, a quality also applying to The Hour of the Time, another which does not impact as firmly as others, certainly initially but only grows into ears and in stature through every excursion through its web of flavours and tenacious execution.

The album ends on a lofty high with Mortis Ex Machina, the song a rousing anthem from its opening roar and with a volatile nature casts a thoroughly bewitching instrumental landscape punctured by recurring and ferocious vocal incitement aligned to skilfully rabid rhythms and riff driven fury. Talking of instrumentals, the album actually finishes on a mesmeric untitled offering which like an epilogue to what came before leaves ears and thoughts enraptured and eager to experience the release all over again.

World In Decay brings the best of familiarity and fresh endeavour together like an old friend carrying a whole new persona, whilst Fallen Angels as reinforced themselves with the album as a band not yet able to turn the trash/metal scene on its head, but one easy to get a bit greedy over.

World In Decay is available from August 4th via Cyberdyne Records.

http://fallenangelsthrashband.com/     https://www.facebook.com/pages/Fallen-Angels-Thrash-Band/336737539688752

RingMaster 03/08/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

FlashFires – Play EP

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It would not be surprising if the name FlashFires rang a bell even if their sounds were a mystery because of the potent buzz that has been brewing up around them, certainly over the past six months or so. A couple of recent singles gave a good hint as to why the enthused reaction to their emergence and now the UK band’s debut EP brings the strongest evidence yet. A thoroughly engaging proposition with a sound lying somewhere between indie pop and rock, the Play EP makes a refreshing and fascinating full introduction to the young band.

Hailing from Basingstoke, FlashFires was formed by a quintet of school friends who aged nineteen to twenty, brought their skills and imagination together for a band swiftly inviting local attention and appetites. They were soon playing venues along the South Coast as an eager fan base grew around them, increasing their reputation all the time as they proceeded to gain slots at the Alresford Festival, Blissfields, and a headline slot at the B’Stoke Live show this last year. A song called ManShark in 2012 brought the band to the notice of Angry Badger Records, the independent label signing them up the following year as plans to record an album were put in place. Linking up with Tesla bassist Brian Wheat at J Street Recording Studios in California that September, the band set about recording a collection of songs produced by Wheat who was so impressed he expressed an interest in co-managing the band with Jules of Angry Badger Records. It was a union concluded by early 2014 as the band continued to lure focus and praise through a live presence seeing them playing with the likes of Catfish And The Bottlemen, The Telescreen, The Birthday Suit (Idlewild), and The Rifles to date. Last November FlashFires released acclaimed debut single Circus Boy, a potent lure followed recently by its successor Shy. Now Play is set to make its mark on a national awareness and reinforce the claim of vocalist Alex Gonzato that “We have been moving to bigger and better things recently, the hunger and drive in the band keeps us moving forward all the time”.

The Play EP     The release opens with 31, a song quickly luring ears with thumping beats within a melodic coaxing of guitar. It is not a dramatic start but a potent one, continuing as the expressive tones of Gonzato step into the weave of restrained yet firmly inviting enterprise cast by the guitars of Fraser Roskilly and Jon Cullis. The song continues to engage and embrace ears with its colourful melodies and more shadowed hues brought by the bass of Liam Kinslow and speared by the crisp beats of drummer Toby Bartlett. It is a warm and welcoming start to the EP, one bringing a slight whiff of Americana to its air, but in hindsight not carrying enough of the creative drama which inflames the following songs starting with Shy.

The band’s current single almost flirts with ears through its opening strokes of guitar, turning that suggestiveness into a stronger captivating texture as sharp hooks start to line the track’s creativity. There is snappiness to the encounter which was not exactly lacking its predecessor but certainly defused, whilst harmonies and melodies seem to have an even spicier colouring to their inventive embrace of punchy rhythms. Hints of Muse equally add intrigue and adventure to the infectious proposition before it makes away for the sultry presence of Lingo. With a great grizzled bass tone aligning to another impressive dance of jabbing beats from Bartlett, the track makes an imagination sparking start which only erupts in greater temptation through a contagiously imaginative chorus. It is fair to say that none of the songs on the EP explode into out and out raucousness and adrenaline driven revelry yet the song certainly leaves you breathless by the end of its wonderfully unpredictable adventure.

It is the pinnacle of the release though shares that plateau with the following You Say Nothing. Its opening hook has ears and appetite seduced whilst the quickly joining melodic wine dripping from guitar strings brings a scent of Dire Straits to the proposal. It is an alluring entrance which continues to expand as band and song entangle bluesy rock ‘n’ roll with a strain of more classically cultured rock as well as a power pop/punk essence. The outstanding song is simply catchy and enthralling, especially when the bass steps out with a delicious and throaty bassline which in turn inspires a new twist in the creative dance of rhythms and guitar.

Play is brought to a close by Circus Boy, a feisty and energetic flame of inventive craft and passion cast in another forcibly infectious slice of pop rock, and the most raw and explosive song on the release if not one to challenge the previous pair for top honours.

FlashFires easily show why the keen interest and praise being laid at their creative feet with Play whilst revealing a potential and strong hint that we have seen and heard nothing yet. With a very enjoyable and strong first seed in the EP, we for one cannot wait to see their talent blossom.

The Play EP is available on CD from 20th April via Angry Badger Records @ http://angrybadgerrecords.bigcartel.com/ and digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/the-play-ep/id979989859

http://www.flashfiresofficial.com/   https://www.facebook.com/flashfiresmusic

RingMaster 20/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

Kodiak Jack – Alhambra

Kodiak Jack sky

Though UK rockers Kodiak Jack has not exactly been a secret it is fair to say that they have yet to ignite the widest attention across the country, something they will surely address as new album Alhambra starts its rampage. Built on eleven irrepressible inventive slabs of prime rock ‘n’ roll , the album is an incendiary fuse for the imagination and passions, undiluted heavy rock which thrusts the band to the fore of not only British but European rock music. With raging sonic endeavour around infection clad hooks and intensive riffs, all strapped to a rhythmic enticement which refuses to take no for an answer, the beast of a release is the kind of feast you can never stopping licking your lips to.

    Hailing from Portsmouth, the quintet first drew keen attention with debt album Your Death: My Glory in 2011, the release becoming no stranger to acclaim from fans and media alike. Strong radio play followed as well as the record having tracks featured on the cover mounted CD of an international edition of Metal Hammer, used on the closing credits of Eurosport’s British Superbikes coverage, and part of the States released Rumble Rides: Muscle Drag DVD . Their live reputation equally has earned the band a big reputation, shows with the likes of Kobra & The Lotus, Paul Gilbert (Mr. Big and Racer X), Everything Everything, Elvis Jackson and many more only confirming the emerging might and presence of Kodiak Jack. Recorded last year in Sacramento, California with Tesla bassist Brian Wheat who became a fan when the band sent him their debut back in 2011, Alhambra takes it all to the next level; actually up a  good few levels such its tremendous power and enterprise.

     Released via Angry Badger Records, and featuring three reworked tracks from their debut alongside seven voracious new Alhambraexploits, Alhambra takes no time in firing up the appetite with opener Get Out Alive, guitars dangling an initial temptation before thumping rhythms splinter their bait aside the vocals of frontman Bryn Roberts aided by those of guitarist Jon Karp. Into its stride the track brews up a rousing contagion which it accelerates further with storming riffs against melodic flames from Karp and Jeff Arnold, whilst the bass of Kev Farren stomps alongside the equally hungry beats of Keiran Bellinger. It is a roaring blaze of hard rock setting the release off in fine anthemic style, sparking an immediate greedy appetite.

     The first single from the album Brother steps up next, again no second wasted on lightweight beckoning as heavy riffs and crisp rhythms immediately set to work on the ears. A grunge feel emerges as the song expands its sonic narrative, a winding groove seducing the senses as the vocals of Roberts again impress with a Glenn Danzig essence coating some of his delivery. A strong acidic solo also spears the song towards its end to raise extra temptation before a dramatic finale makes way for the equally riveting and impressive Wasted Youth. Roving beats join scrapes of riffs alongside the opening narrative of Roberts as the song sets its irresistible toxicity in motion first, before hitting a similarly enthralling and magnetic passage of melodic passions pulling virulence. There is a blues flame to the guitars which only accentuates the swagger and addictiveness of the song too, it an early pinnacle in already a heady range of peaks.

     Both More Than This and Crossfire keep album and reactions sizzling, the first once again employing the greediest rhythms within an expansive wash of sonic causticity and expressive vocals whilst its successor has a broader rock wash to its earnest declaration. The pair stroll a level below what came before but with undeniable craft and the passion to inspire, neither leave anything but thrilled satisfaction behind before the outstanding THEM takes over. It almost nags at the ears from its first breath, riffs and beats a persistently probing trap beneath the wider rock delivery of Roberts, again perfectly assisted by Karp. A tinge of glam rock mischievously grins in their and the music’s incitement to tease just a little more and like so many of the tracks it secures a swift tempting for feet and voice which only the deaf and dead could resist.

     No Surrender is just as epidemically riotous and catchy, Karp and Arnold sculpting a sonic playground for the vocals and the more intimidating rhythmic section to prey and incite within, whilst the brilliant Waves with its heavier almost carnivorous presence stalks the senses with a predation which is dangerous and drenched in irresistibility. The compelling quality keeps coming on strong as firstly the masterful Live To Fight unveils a drama driven melodic rock pyre of emotive balladry and La Rue follows it up with a muscular impact of passion stirring energy and bordering on antagonistic craft, melodies and harmonies unafraid to seduce with every note and syllable.

     Completed by debatably the weakest song on the album, Coming Home, though that is down to the quality of the rest of the release than real short comings it may have, Alhambra is a rock album setting Kodiak Jack as one of Britain’s strongest and masterful rock bands but also declaring them as a new big noise in hard rock full stop. For those with a taste for Velvet Revolver and Guns N Roses, through Stone Temple Pilots and Alice In Chains, to Blackstone Cherry and Thousand Foot Krutch, and everything in between and around them, this album is your new best friend.

http://www.kodiakjackofficial.com/

9/10

RingMaster 24/02/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Alex Von Z – Implicate Order/Life’s Addiction EP

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Showing two sides of and the extensive diversity within his sound,  Alex Von Z is unleashing a gem of an EP stroke album which is as accomplished and incendiary to the passions as you could wish from any release. Combining the four track  Implicate Order EP and the three track single Life’s Addiction, which first made their appearances in October and December respectively last year, the release is a thrilling and impressive blend of melodic rock and aggressive metal shaped rock n roll.

Alex Von Z (Alex Seleznov) comes from Aurora, Colorado and has spent years investigating and discovering his spiritual and musical progression resulting in the two releases which now are combined into one exhilarating package. Varied and exuberant with a craft to his musicianship and songwriting which is irresistible, Alex combines multiples flavours with stated influences coming from the likes of 3 Doors Down, Eddie Vedder, John Lennon, Blind Melon, Collective Soul, Chris Cornell, Counting Crows, Billy Joel, Matisyahu, Buckcherry, Tesla, System of A Down, and many more. The result is songs which impact musically and lyrically, music which rather than make demands requests and invites passionate union with a presence and warm touch so easy to greedily devour, whether it is offering a melodically soaked seduction or holding a more caustic and aggressive stance.

The Implicate Order part of the release is a gentler companion to its partner but no less impressive, the songs a mix of 179656_429175313827183_1432529483_nacoustically led and melodically persuasive pop rock, for want of a better term. With tracks taken from the upcoming album of the same name, it lights up the senses with contagious recruitments for voice, senses, and passions.  Opening track Drawn starts with shimmering sonics before immediately opening its melodic arms to embrace in an acoustic cored smouldering piece of melodic elegance. The clean tones of Alex add to the warm ambience and by the time the first run of the chorus comes in the song has enlisted gleeful participation and addicted attention. As it stretches its stride with ardour seizing melodic flames and classic rock whispers expanding the strength and lure of the song, it is impossible not to be wholly enamoured with the enterprising treat on offer and anticipation for the songs to follow heightened.

What It Should Be steps up next with a more ballad like breath though there is still a underlying keenness almost urgency to excite the listener, something it does with ease. The temptation of the keys and again classic rock toned guitar reaps and gives further reward from the song whilst its smooth and compelling again is an easy consumption increasing the already brewed hunger for the release. The track does not quite reach the pinnacle of its predecessor but still makes a very strong declaration as does the excellent Chocolate Covered Karma, a rock n roll riot of invention which has loud whispers of a Buckcherry or Motley Crue to it. Like the others even with its sturdier swagger, the track is virulently infectious and stirs the passions with the ear catching guitar craft from Alex which spirals within the rampaging eagerness of the sounds.  All three songs have a familiarity to them which enforces their tempting hook upon the emotions and senses, but a recognisable element which brings the listener into the heart of the pieces like old friends enjoying new escapades. Completed by the full version of Drawn, a track which it is impossible to tire of whatever its length, it is a richly enjoyable and impressive first part.

The Life’s Addiction portion of the release, featuring songs taken from the Life’s Addiction album, reach into the harder rock heart and musically imposing side of Alex’s songwriting, and quite simply leaves the listener breathless. The title track of this section instantly lets its riffs gnaw on the senses whilst harsher flames of guitar and rhythmic intimidation seize their moments with strength. The vocals are still the impressive clean smooth style which transfers into the more imposing arena with accomplished ease whilst imagination is rife within the song, arguably more so here than in the mellower tracks before. Guitar invention and its finely crafted delivery is almost siren like in its pull and bewitching magnetism within the song, and the overall attack stirring and rampant with a slight wantonness to its inducement. Once finished with the emotions the song passes over to the stunning Rise and Fall, a track pulling progressive rock and classic metal into a dazzling tempest of crafted intensity and explosive heavy rock hunger. The most inventive and imaginative song of the whole release with striking musicianship to match, it swaps some of the infectiousness of earlier songs for a potent weave of thought grabbing brilliance with equal impact in its distinct stance.

Completed by What About Me, another outstanding burst of hard rock with a carnivorous greed to its energy and play, the whole package is a sensational introduction to an artist which blends artistic craft and imagination into sounds and songs which you want to hear and hear constantly, their epidemic like hold on the passions as intense as the invention breeding them. An outstanding release from a fantastic artist, enough said.

http://www.alexvonz.com

https://www.facebook.com/AlexVonzmusic

9/10

RingMaster 20/04/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

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