Baring souls: talking Exoaura

Fresh in presence and fresh in sound, US progressive/alternative metal duo Exoaura are beginning to create a stir. Drawing on an array flavours, it is a band with bold imagination and sounds. So with their debut release barely out of its wrapper, we took to exploring this exciting emerging outfit with great thanks to both Lindsey and Adam, delving into the band’s beginnings, musical instincts, that new release and much more…

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

Can you first introduce the band and give us some background to how it all started?

We are Lindsey Church (vocals/piano/strings) and Adam Ingram (instrumentation/engineering). We’re a female fronted alternative-metal duo with a twist of soul, from Spokane WA, US.

Lindsey: We’ve been best friends for years and have been writing and performing music together since 2004. We have extremely different tastes in music. I like a lot of soul and R&B, while Adam listens to a lot more prog and rock, but we both have a common love for metal, so we decided to blend our styles and form Exoaura.

Have you been/are involved in other bands before? If so how have those experiences infused within Exoaura?

Lindsey: We were both in the nu-metal band Reflection. It had a wide spectrum of light and melodic, to heavy sounds that we both loved…and some progressive elements, so we brought a lot of that into Exoaura. Also writing and growing as musicians together for so many years, we’ve developed a great chemistry that, from what our fans tell us, can really be felt in what we write.

What inspired the band name?

Adam: We wanted our sounds and band name to represent a concept of being something bigger than the boundaries and limitations that people put on themselves…so, we came up with Exoaura, “exo” meaning outside and “aura” meaning one’s atmosphere.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

Lindsey: Exoaura is a new project that we just formed summer of 2016, but the drive regardless of what band I’ve sung in, remains the same. It’s a need for raw self-expression and using that to connect on a deeper level with other people. It’s the freedom that you can only get from your art.

Where has your thoughts and personal direction in music evolved over time?

Lindsey: I think we should always be looking for ways to grow and evolve, so I’ve studied vocals for years. I take what I learn and apply it to my writing. When I increase my range, or learn different styles, it gives me the ability to get a more diverse sound. It’s like getting a new toy to play with and it’s always exciting lol.

Though you are still in your early days as Exoaura, how would you say your sound has evolved to date?

Adam: I’m a gear junkie. I love picking up and experimenting with new sounds, processes and effects. I’ve also been listening to a lot of progressive metal bands and have been incorporating more and more of these kinds of picking techniques in my guitar work.

Is there an organic flow to the movement and exploration of your sound or is it that you deliberately search out new things to try?

Adam: Our evolution has been organic. Whether it’s from finding new bands to listen to, or learning something different from training, our writing flows in new ways with each other from the inspiration we find.

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

Lindsey: Absolutely. TesseracT has been a huge influence. Dan Tompkins is an incredible vocalist and I’ve always been blown away by his impeccable technique and range. I had a chance to study with him and he helped me to realize the dynamics of my voice and how to unleash it. So, he’s had a huge impact on how I write.

Is there a particular process to your songwriting?

Adam: Usually, yeah. I’ll boot up one of my writing templates in Cubase, set a tempo then create a groove as a foundation for the mood and energy of the track. After I’ve recorded my instruments I’ll send Lindsey a draft mix where she adds her creative process with orchestral and vocal melodies. Once all the magic is captured I spend quite a bit of time getting a solid mix together then migrate to mastering, getting it spit polished for release.

Where do you generally draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs from?

Lindsey: I’m fascinated by the polarity of love and hate in the world and the interconnectivity between all living things that people feel, but tend to ignore. So, a lot of my lyrics are about that seemingly eternal struggle to break free of that and see things for what they truly are.

Could you give us some background to your latest release?

Our debut self-titled EP will be released on June 30th, 2017. It’s a combination of thought provoking lyrics, melodic grooves, ethereal orchestration and passionate soul.

How about the themes and premise behind it and its songs.

Lindsey: The concept relates to the division in society today and that despite how much negativity and hate there is there are people who are strong enough to surpass that.

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

Adam: We tend to develop our songs in our studio: We’ll have basic ideas and outlines, but once we’re tracking and start to hear the composition come alive, it guides us in which direction the song should go.

Is there a live side to the band yet?

Lindsey: Exoaura is new, so we haven’t started touring yet. But with our past projects, for me it’s the combination of getting lost in the feeling our music, while connecting to the audience so that they can experience the intense emotion that went into writing it. That synergy is just unforgettable.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Adam: Honestly, I think it is far easier now than it has ever been. Regionally speaking, metal is very much alive and kicking in the Pacific Northwest, and we are very fortunate of that. We’re from Spokane, not far from Seattle, one of the largest music scenes in the US and have proximity to a very active music community here. Nationally and further afield, bands have access to social media, digital discovery services and by leveraging analytics/demographics, any band in any genre can find and connect with their target audience. We’re a new band ourselves and even in the past few months we’ve been asked for tour dates from here in the US all the way to Brazil.

…And the internet and social media. How has that impacted on the band to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as some artists seem to almost expect?

Adam: As a DIY artist, social media and digital streaming services are incredibly valuable, nearly mandatory resources. I happen to have a marketing background, which has certainly helped Exoaura’s online presence. The evolution of how music is accessed is something musicians just have to adopt. Each platform and strategy has its own learning curve, sure, but the reward of understanding these tools is far greater.

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

Lindsey: You’re so welcome! Yes, our official release date for our EP is June 30th, 2017. And of course, thank you to all our fans for your love and support! Find us https://www.exoaura.com/

Explore Exoaura further @ https://www.facebook.com/Exoauraband/    https://twitter.com/exoauraband

Pete RingMaster 07/07/2017

The Parallax Method – The Squid

A couple of months or so short of two years after the release of The Owl EP, British instrumental progressive rock trio The Parallax Method release its companion piece, The Squid. Continuing the theme of “space and a perpetual battle between the owl and the squid to convey their unique sub-genre of modern prog” started with the first EP, its successor takes ears on another groove infested, colourfully inventive, and technically captivating shuffle sure to have the body enthralled and twisted as eagerly as the imagination.

Emerging from the ashes of hard rock band Isolysis, The Parallax Method stepped forward in 2014 with old friends in guitarist Danny Beardsley, drummer Dave Wright, and bassist Daniel Hayes. Drawing on the inspiration of bands such as Between The Buried And Me, Tesseract, and Karnivool, they nurtured and bred the compelling tapestry of sound to grace debut EP The Owl in 2015. Its acclaimed release and complex yet easily accessible escapade announced The Parallax Method as an exciting prospect to watch and an adventure to devour. The departure of Hayes post the recording of the EP saw Ben Edis (Spirytus/Breed77) come in and complete a line-up even creatively bolder and mischievous within The Squid.

Let’s Get Kraken gets things underway; its title the first hint to the knavish and spirited escapade within song and EP. From within a busily engaged crowd, a swing guided bassline joins the jazzy flirtation of guitar, beats skipping along with them. It is an inviting collusion soon luring hips and feet into the waiting net of enterprise; every initial attribute and lure soon infested with lustful intensity and creative boisterousness as things get funky with the arrival of Donald Sutherland And His Magnificent Mane. Evolving from its predecessor, grooves captivate as hooks ensnare, all the while Wright’s swings landing with real bite and snap as the track gets down to laying a web of intrigue and beguilingly evolving adventure. There is chunkiness to its body which sparks the appetite as much as its gentler wanderings across the senses, all making for a compelling incitement for body and imagination.

Its final vocal sigh sparks the similarly spirited and energetic shuffle of You Gotta Be Squiddin’ Me’, the track slyly entwining ears with seductive grooves with a whiff of predacious devilment as around them melodic interplay blossoms its own beguiling enticements. Electronic spicing only adds to the tenacious and imaginative touch of song and guitar, Beardsley weaving another rascality of sound through his strings as Edis’ bass prowls with its own coltish instincts and intent. Fuelled by mood swings of enterprise, the track at times heavy and rapacious whilst in other moments crafty and sprightly, it has body and thoughts leaping and inventing respectively.

As too does the creatively athletic and kinetically energetic canter of Owl Pacino Vs Mega Mango; a piece of music which can feel in certain moments like a stand-off between battling textures and attitudes but at other times a heated yet respectful collusion of both sides; though it is the aggressive instincts of each side which drive the outstanding track.

Its funk lined finale flows into the epic melodic epilogue and dynamically entrancing theatre of I Squid You Farewell (Owl Be Seeing You). The final track is a drama of sound and texture; an imagination woven and guided frolic of the rich craft and strikingly inventive versatility of all three musicians as they lead the listener on a fruitful gest as much of their own as the band’s making.

Every listen of The Squid brings escalating joy and adventure as new twists in the imagination flare up as fresh nuances and layers are discovered. The EP is a stunning move on from The Owl yet still works perfectly with its earlier companion; the full glory of The Parallax Method ingenuity and creative fertility best served with both releases played back to back and given full attention of ears and mind.

The Squid is out now digitally and on CD @ http://theparallaxmethod.bigcartel.com/

http://www.theparallaxmethod.com/  https://www.facebook.com/theparallaxmethod   https://twitter.com/parallaxmethod

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Patriot Rebel – Cynics Playground

PatriotRebelPromo_RingMasterReview

With their first new slabs of muscle bound rock ‘n roll since the Two Worlds EP in 2013, UK quintet Patriot Rebel take another attention grabbing and impressive step to the fore of the British rock scene. Quite simply the Cynics Playground is a thumping collection of rousing incitements, a multi-flavoured EP that stirs up the spirit.

Formed in 2011, the Nottingham hard rockers have constantly honed their sound and lured greater focus the way of their ear pleasing creative roar. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Alter Bridge, Shinedown, Black Stone Cherry, and Avenged Sevenfold, Patriot Rebel poked at acclaiming attention with the aforementioned Matt Elliss (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot) produced Two Worlds. Live the band equally earned a potent reputation, taking in shows with the likes of Y&T, Tesseract, The Treatment, Jettblack, and Skarlett Riot along the way. Last year saw the release of the similarly striking video single Propaganda, a track taken from their first EP. Now with Ellis again at the helm, the band returns with Cynics Playground and a sound which has noticeably grown in maturity, power, and downright magnetism.

Patriot Rebel Cover Artwork_RingMasterReviewOpening up with Digital Mannequin, the EP hits the ground running. Led by the most irritably growling bassline to get an appetite for, the song is soon driving through ears with the riffs of guitarists Danny Marsh and Dave Gadd stirring the senses as vocalist Paul Smith roars. It is a thick and almost muggy assault with every element crisp and precise within the infectious tempest, throughout Marsh’s grooves entwining the imagination, binding the sinew swung beats of Aaron Grainger and the persistently grouchy tone of Will Kirk’s bass.

It is an outstanding start, with at times a whiff of System Of A Down to it, which leaves a lingering impression and pleasure before being matched in creative kind and potency by Self Hate. The second track similarly has ears and eagerness devouring its robust throes of riffs and rhythms, presenting another imposing yet inviting entrance which commands attention and enjoyment with swift success. Smith again stands magnetic within the boisterous energy and aggression offered, his delivery a fiery snarl with contagious prowess to match the virulent enterprise of the guitars and rhythms, which in turn means one stirring encounter.

Two songs in and the Patriot Rebel sound while never afraid to reveal some of its influences, shows itself to be at its most unique and individual yet, the emotive power balladry of Dying Breed continuing that welcome trend as it ebbs and flows with emotional and physical intensity amidst sonic invention. More a smouldering success than its predecessors, the track emerges as another highlight within Cynics Playground, being quickly equalled by the rhythm swinging, antagonistically riffed All I Wanted. It is a beast of a proposal, that irritability of bass in the opener fuelling every aspect of the mighty incitement. The song takes no prisoners, guitars and beats biting as they entice and land alongside the predatory nature of the bass which in turn courts the catchy lead of the vocals and the infection sharing instincts of the track itself. Equally though, there is room for some sonic and exotic melodic imagination to be seriously tempted by.

The EP closes with Miss-Guided, a song which reveals all the Patriot Rebel attributes with consummate ease while sharing the new depth and adventure in the band’s sound. Though it might not quite live up to those before it, the song is an impressing finale to a thrilling release. Cynics Playground is Patriot Rebel on a new plateau yet the feeling is that the band is still working towards their true creative heights; so happy days for UK rock ‘n’ roll ahead we suggest.

The Cynics Playground EP is out now through all stores.

https://www.facebook.com/patriotrebel    https://twitter.com/patriotrebeluk

Pete RingMaster 24/06/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Symphonies in sound and imagination: exploring Sahona with Charly Sahona

Charly Sahona_RingMasterReview

2016 received one of its early treats just a few weeks back with the release of the self-titled Sahona album. It was the debut release from the new melodic rock project of vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Charly Sahona of progressive metallers Venturia. It is a release which is, in our own words “a rousing drama of sound and imagination.” Offered the chance to find out more with Charly, we grabbed a hefty chunk of his time to explore the creation of the band and its first album, and simply the creative heart of the man…

Hi Charly, many thanks for sharing time with us. How are things in the Sahona area of the world?

Hello, thanks for the invitation. Well, things are fine here. The album is out and so far, reviews have been very positive about it . We’re about to release a new music video and shoot a new one. I’m working like crazy in order to perform these songs live as soon as possible . So, I can say I have a good life .

Before we look at your excellent debut album, would you tell us about the first days of Sahona. It was originally meant as a solo project for you?

Oh thanks, I’m glad you like it !!! Sure, you’re right , at first, the album was meant to be a solo project and more precisely, the follow-up of Naked thoughts from a silent chaos released in 2010 but the songs are quite different and so are the musical arrangements and the line-up. So, the first days of Sahona as a full band are recent but the writing of the songs began in 2013. Oh It actually took a lot of time before we recorded and released it .

What sparked the creation of the project; what was it you wanted to explore different to your music in progressive metallers Venturia

I really wanted to do something different with this one. I like my musical-making to be in a constant motion. At the same time It’s necessary to stand back with the last thing you released and start something new with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. For this project, I wanted to write something without any heavy riff played on a 7-string and focus on different musical textures, guitar sounds and new grooves.

You touched on it earlier, so you had a collection of ideas and songs already in the works before you invited fellow musicians to help out?

Yes, after I finished the first 4 demo-songs, things were clear in my mind and I knew who I wanted to work with. I like to make music with talented people of course but it’s always better when you do it with your friends. So I first asked drummer Stéphane Cavanez to join me , I’ve known him for a long time, he’s a brilliant musician, very enthusiastic about things. After hearing the demo version of On this winter night , he said he would agree to play on all the songs . Same thing with my long-time friends Fabien Paraillac and Cédric Artaxet; I don’t remember exactly if I sent them the first four demos before asking them to join me but anyway, both of them agreed. I was very glad and happy they all said yes to join me for this project. I knew they would sound great together and that my songs would have been transcended thanks to them .

sahona_RingMasterReviewSo what was the catalyst to changing the idea of guest musicians to a full band?

It was something I had in mind for a while , as the songs have a different sound compared to the things I did before. As we were recording, there was an obvious musical chemistry going on and it reinforced me to think about having a band name for this project. So I talked about it with Chris from Dooweet agency and to my buddies. We all thought that the idea of the band was obvious and as the name Sahona sounds cool for a band too, the choice was done, easy to make and I didn’t have to scratch my head during days in order to find a new name . The other thing is: as the musicians are my friends, the idea of having a band together was something natural. More, I really like to immortalize music with talented friends.

Was it an easy to decision to ‘share’ your songs with I am guessing musicians with their own adventurous ideas when creating music?

Sure, it was very easy as we’re all professional musicians . There was no ego thing that could have been hard to deal with . I wanted a more organic sound and a sophisticated modern rock approach and I knew what my band mates were able to do .

For example, the drums I programmed were done in a prog-metal style and Stéphane brought a more refined  rock groove, I let him do his stuff as everything was matching .

As I’m the lead singer and as there are many guitar layers on these songs it was obvious to ask for help and some back-up . I couldn’t imagine another guy than Fabien to play the guitar with me on this album.  We have the same guitar approach but he’s more rock than me.

We recorded a lot of different guitar takes and during the mix, we chose what was best for the song no matter if it was him or me playing….

He did an amazing job on the mix too. Just like his guitar sound, all the songs sound powerful and organic.

Regarding the bass, there was a couple of things I asked Cédric to play the exact same way I did on the demos. But as my bass programming was voluntary basic most of the time, he added his own personality and groove that matched perfectly Stéphane’s drumming . He even changed some root notes that at first surprised me, and the more I listened to it, the more I liked it.

In the end, everything felt easy and natural.

Did their input mean your songs changed or evolved from their original characters once the band was a full involvement of all?

No, not really but I guess things will evolve when we’ll perform live. It’s a natural process and it’s important for us to make slightly different things when we play the same songs over and over.

When writing songs, do you come at them from different angles or have a general way of bringing them to life from idea to sound?Album cover_RingMasterReview

I usually have a precise idea of how the album or a song will sound like even though the root of all songs is based on a guitar or keyboard chords progression and a simple hummed melody . Then, I’ll program a midi file of what I just did. If the melody sounds good with a bad flute midi sound and a midi bass line, I keep the idea and will have a clearer vision of how it will sound like with all the instruments. Then I’m thinking about what kind of drum beat, bass line, guitar riff, and keyboards texture would fit with the idea of the song and at this moment, the creative process is growing fast. Or, not that fast actually because getting the right keyboard sounds or guitar effects takes me a while very often. When I’m programming , I have in mind how my band mates would play it and that’s the reason why I’m never really surprised (although I’m always amazed) when they bring the songs to life with their style and their sound. It sounds obvious to my ears and at the same time I’m so excited to hear what they bring to a song and to discover how it takes the song to a higher level.

Tell us about the lyrical themes behind the album.

Sure ! I decided to do something I never really done in the past.  I wrote about the most widely expected subject in the world: Love !!! But not the way girls like it though (no offence intended girls, I’m just kidding !!!) .

Reading and writing romantic and soppy stuff are not my thing at all as I’m a cynical and rational guy . So the majority of these lyrics are about love and its frustrations and turbulences . It’s way more interesting, true and realistic in my opinion. But when I say “love”, It doesn’t only mean the feelings you have for your girlfriend or your boyfriend,  I use it for the passion you have for your art or whatever that excites you too, it can be painting, sport, your beliefs and then we’re slightly get into the spiritual aspect and themes I like to write about as well.

Most of my lyrics are not explicit, this way people can identify with them and make their own story.

I usually prefer to describe impressions than reality.

What about the recording of your self-titled debut? How long was it in the making?

It’s funny because it took a long time to finish it (something like two years !!!) but the writing and the recording were actually very fast and easy to do. As we’re used to record in studio, we know how it works and we’re getting more and more efficient and good at it. But as we didn’t have any deadline or expectations,  we took our time to record it. The rule was to get together when we were able to do it only. It was: job, touring with cover bands, tasks and family priorities first. This way, we were in a very relaxed state of mind and every time we forgathered, it was for fun.

Ok, the album was supposed to be released in late 2015 but for commercial and administrative reasons it got more delayed .

Did you approach its recording differently to creating releases with your other projects?

Yes and no … As it’s the 5th album I’m producing , I’ve learned through the years with amazing people and  I’ve also learned from my mistakes. Today, I know the importance for everybody of being prepared and how to record the best way possible taking into consideration the people you work with as every musician has his own preferences and personality. And that’s how a recording session can be different from the ones you experienced in the past: it depends on your line-up as well. So I asked my band mates about the way they wanted to record and I just let them do it their way as it’s extremely important for artists to work the more relaxed and efficient way possible.

But the thing that changed a lot for me was to share the guitar parts with Fabien but it was so exciting to hear him play with a different strumming and sound than mine and then mixing our guitar tracks together. I really enjoyed it .

Oh, and there was another great thing : My vocal takes were recorded home with a very cool equipment a friend of mine lend me.

This way, I took my time…I was recording one full song a day and the day after, if something was not exactly the way I wanted to be, I just had to press the « rec » button again and it was done. I don’t like the feeling of recording in a studio with time passing, all the money you know you’ll have to spend, the people around you even if it’s your friends. I did it many times in the past and I can tell you how relieved I am to work and to record alone at home, it gives me so more freedom and offers you more possibilities.

sahona_RingMasterReviewHave you found there has been an instinctive urge to do things with Sahona and the album differently to your other ventures elsewhere, just out of the want to try different things?

Yes, as I told you, I wanted to have a different musical approach, a different sound, a different line-up. But on the top of that I really wanted to express myself to another level, and the best way possible as a singer and I’ve been working hard to achieve that. Maybe, being the singer of your own songs reinforces the introspection aspect of the creation. This is not to say that this album sounds more like “me” than the previous ones I did with another lead singer, it’s just different . But as you give more of yourself as a performer, it makes the thing more introspective and maybe more intense and that’s what I wanted to achieve too.

I always imagine a debut album breeds new ideas and opportunities to try and explore further in its successors. Elements not imagined and expected when composing that first encounter. Were there any which arose for you in the making of Sahona’s debut?

I’m always excited to explore new territories, new sounds, new chords progression, new ways of making music. Having a more or less precise idea will always push you to go further in order to create something new and interesting. Listening to different music, going to the theatres, reading books, talking with people, playing with musicians…All this things are inspiring and maybe it if it’s not always a conscious thing, it will incite you to evolve as a human being and inexorably in your art and in your life indeed. This is something I like to be aware of and thankful to.

What comes next for Sahona and its individuals?

We have to play live as soon as possible and we have to work hard for that. We intend to begin a tour in our country in September. Then we will focus on the next album as we’re all really happy about this debut one.

My thanks again Charly for talking with us; Anything you would like to add?

Thanks for having me !!! Congrats to the readers for reading this interview so far and thank you Pete for spreading the word about the music you like whether it’s mainstream or underground .

And finally, give us an insight into the records and artists which could be claimed to have most inspired your own life and creativity.

Oh my god, they are so many . But let’s try to do it fast. I’ve always been a fan of classical music but the one from the early 1900 with composers like Ravel, Bartok, Debussy, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff. As a guitar player I’m a huge fan of guitar heroes like Steve Vaï, Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, John Petrucci. I’ve always been into progressive music with bands like Genesis, Rush, Yes, Dream Theater, Frost, Opeth and I’m really into their contemporaries with the young prog underground scene like Destiny Potato, Disperse and especially with the metal djent scenes with bands like Periphery, Tesseract, Monuments who took progressive music to a new level. I like rock and pop music too with bands like Muse, Radiohead, Keane, Dead Letter Circus.

All these bands and musicians have inspired me in many ways indeed.

Check out our review of the Sahona album @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/sahona-self-titled/

https://www.facebook.com/sahonamusic/

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 21/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Apherium – Embrace The Fall That Brought Us Here

Apherium_RingMaster Review

Our introduction to British alternative rockers Apherium came last September with the Neoteric EP. It was a striking and attention grabbing offering if one whose major peaks left the surrounding adventure of the release seeming like it was lacking a spark or two. The potential was inescapable though, and now in full flow in new offering Embrace The Fall That Brought Us Here. The new three-track EP from the Somerset quartet blows its predecessor out of the water and though it might contain less songs each shows a band on close terms with increasing craft and tenacious invention.

Its members having met at college, Yeovil hailing Apherium emerged in 2011 and within a year had released a self-titled EP and debut album The Cycle. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Midgar, Biffy Clyro, InMe, TesseracT, and Anathema, the band continued to evolve and hone their sound in an exploration which provided a stirring tapestry of flavours in last year’s acclaimed Neoteric EP At that point it was announced as the band’s finest moment to date, though as suggested, the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Larry Turner, bassist/vocalist Callum Shortland, guitarist/vocalist Ross Derby, and drummer Ashley Jones have burst onto a new plateau of sound, invention, and seemingly passion with Embrace The Fall That Brought Us Here.

Recorded with legendary producer and sound engineer John Mitchell (YouMeAtSix, Lower Than Atlantis, Enter Shikari), the EP opens up with Resolve, a song swiftly enticing ears with jabbing beats and a moody bassline as guitars cast a thick mesh of sonic coaxing. A moment’s relaxation sparks a bold stroll ridden by the impressive vocals of Turner. Thereafter, the song is a forceful and anthemically engaging proposal, enhancing its gripping start with potent backing vocals amidst a rhythmic intensity and melodic flames which rise up with increasing contagion. By mid-way on the first listen, it is impossible not to be fully involved with participation a given by the second and certainly third outing with the excellent encounter.

Embrace The Fall That Brought Us Here (Artwork)_RingMaster ReviewIt is an attribute all three songs have, a familiarity which plays like an old, but previously unknown, friend. They also share the quality to be the lead song, the big invitation to the EP. Embrace has that pleasure and quickly has its infectious claws in ears as stabbing beats and irritable riffs collude with the emotive tones of Turner and the brewing ascent of evocative melodies. Raw vocal expulsions are amongst the unpredictable and inventively infused elements that create even greater hooks within the catchy, bordering on volatile blaze where angst powered roars are seamlessly merged with elegant calms.

Closing track Ever Present bruises and seduces from the off, the scything swings of Jones imposing drama backed by the moody tones of Shortland’s bass whilst the guitar enterprise of Derby and Turner is at times pure creative theatre and persistently an arousal of the imagination. Emotively inflamed and dynamically compelling, the song is a mighty end to the thrilling next step in the rise of Apherium.

With their last EP, comparisons to bands such as Funeral for a Friend were easy to suggest, but as the band has untapped further into the creative depths hinted at previously, Embrace The Fall That Brought Us Here emerges as something solely Apherium; with the promise of more to be discovered bringing extra intrigue in their future.

Embrace The Fall That Brought Us Here is available from February 29th, and able to be pre-ordered @ https://apheriumofficial.bandcamp.com/album/embrace-the-fall-that-brought-us-here

Upcoming Tour dates:

Feb

29th – Leicester, Sumo

Mar

1st – Guildford, The Star Inn

2nd – London, The Garage

3rd – Bristol, Stag & Hounds

4th – Yeovil, Quicksilver Mail

5th – Wigan, The Old Courts

http://www.apherium.com/     https://www.facebook.com/apherium   https://twitter.com/apheriumband

Pete RingMaster 23/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Lithium Dawn – Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension

LithiumDawn1_RingMaster Review

Whether people describe Lithium Dawn as progressive rock or progressive metal, the Californian band’s sound somewhere in between, neither suitably describes the sonic kaleidoscope that turns new album Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension into one of the year’s major treats. Creating an emprise of aural imagination built upon a vast array of styles and flavours, band and album fascinate and enthral throughout their second full-length. The album’s canvas is certainly seeded in progressive adventure but from there it blossoms into an evolving adventure sure to excite fans of anyone from Karnivool and Tool to TesseracT and Opeth to Circles and Voyager, and that still barely covers all of the lures laid by the outstanding Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension.

The successor to debut album AION of 2012, Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension is the result of new growth and bolder invention fuelling the Lithium Dawn sound. Formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ondrej Tvarozek and drummer/programmer Matt Benoit, a pair who first met way back in 2004 on an online message board, the band released their first album to eager praise, it recorded with the help of new member bassist/guitarist Jens Marcelis. It was a potent start from which the band has impressively blossomed further, all the thick evidence there within their stunning new release.

The album opens with the track Tearing Back the Veil and instantly wraps ears in djent inspired predation aligned to flowing and suggestive keys spun by Aaron Gage. There is immediate drama to the start which never abates even as the track’s atmosphere becomes mellower yet cloudier and its air more sultry and exotic around the impressing tones of Tvarozek. That theatre also comes with a classic rock toning, a scent colluding with Porcupine Tree like elegance and Periphery like technical ferocity as the track evolves within the ears.

LD DIGI COVER FULL_RingMaster Review   It is an enthralling and gripping opening to the album matched by the tantalising majesty of Ascension. Emerging straight out of the alluring breath of its predecessor, the song is quickly weaving into its creative agenda reggae spiced melodic and rhythmic temptation with pulsating echoes of dub ingenuity. Potently backed by the voice of Gage, Tvarozek quickly has ears bending the way of his inviting delivery whilst the senses become enveloped by the intimately haunting yet celestial ambience of keys and guitars. The track is an engrossing endeavour with creative snarls making another seriously enticing aspect to the crystalline character of the track.

The individual craft of the band is as stirring and impressive as the sonic poetry they cast and welcoming to additional enterprise like that of guest guitarist Sithu Aye who brings a gripping solo to Point of No Return. The song twists and turns as it seduces ears and imagination, the great volatility of its jagged scenery and imposing attitude perfectly merged with its harmonic heart and melodic tempting. Confrontational and seductively immersive in equal measure, the track is a tapestry of creative imagination and emotive exploration spun in a web of diverse flavours and tones. At times it is jazzy, in other moments an emotive croon, and at times even an aggressively imposing incitement, but from start to finish it simply beguiles.

An already happy appetite for the release is made greedier still by the following Decimator, a primal but majestic involvement of the senses which flows seamlessly through again contrasts in texture and sonic attitude to entice and thrill. Throughout it can be as bestial as a Meshuggah offering and as warmly seductive as an instrumental flight with Heights, and with another guest in Plini providing a potent solo, it powerfully intrigues and pleases before making way for the darker shadows and emotion of Selfcollapse. Immediately a hue of turbulence lines its opening tempting, gaining thicker persuasion as guitars and bass sculpt a tempestuous canvas for vocal flames and the mesmeric lure of keys to share the track’s evocative narrative upon. Again there is the sense of a predator to the nature and tone of the outstanding track, prowling and urging with invasive bait as a melodic haunting permeates thoughts and emotions.

The pair of Synchronicity, with its otherworldly serenade, and the lively lapping of the senses that is Tidal keep ears and pleasure full with their unique natures and imaginative portraits in sound whilst Spires cradles the listener in melodic arms and inviting melancholic strings within another multi-coloured immersion of sound and ethereal temptation. All three absorb and transfix, successes matched by the mazy entangling of contrasting yet fluidly aligning textures and sonic colours that is Labyrinthian and after that by the mystique charged, sonically fiery B’ak’tun, which is set up firstly by the shamanic coaxing of short piece Incantation. As proven here and time and time again across the album, words only give a glimpse of the richness in sound and invention making up the tracks within Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension, and as shown by B’ak’tun too, just when you think you have it all, another listen unveils a little more to the alchemy conjuring such intensively immersive incitements.

The album is brought to a close by the gentle romance on ears of Horizon and finally the brief atmospheric grumble of Edge of the Earth, confrontation and beauty merged for a closing instrumental exploration. It sums up the whole album, contrasting tones and layers wrapped in evocative expression to spark mind and body into full involvement.

To simplify it all, Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is a gorgeous album; one demanding of your time and concentration but rewarding with one of the year’s biggest triumphs.

Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is out now @ http://lithiumdawn.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/lithiumdawn

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

The Five Hundred – Winters

TFH_RingMaster Review

Every now and then, without any debate, lustful pleasure is ignited by a release; by a band exploding on the sweet spot of ears and instincts with something which just seems to know what the passions like. Such an encounter for us is Winters, the debut EP from UK metallers The Five Hundred. It is hard to say what particularly incites such enthused reactions and appetite, the release weaving its fierce tempting with a host of familiar flavours and styles, but every one of its four incendiary tracks is hellacious manna to the ear and imagination; something we suspect to not be alone in feeling.

The Five Hundred emerged in 2014, a Nottingham quintet previously known as DAOR. In no time their fusion of brutal and melodic metal was whipping up ears and thick attention, every strain of extreme metal and numerous other styles seemingly entangled into a compelling maelstrom of enterprise and confrontation which now fuels Winters and already an acclaimed live presence which has seen the band share stages with the likes of Napalm Death, Fear Factory, All Shall Perish, Architects, and TesseracT. Recorded with Justin Hill (Sikth, Heart of a Coward), Winters is the band’s first fearsome roar at national spotlights, and if our ears are anything to go by, heading to rich success in awakening that broader focus.

Winters EP Front Cover_RingMaster Review    The press release suggests that the band switching to 8 string guitars has been a new spark to their sound and invention; whether it has or not, all that matters is that Winters is a full-on tempest of persuasion from first breath to last. The EP starts with its title track and straight away is grumbling in ears through the predatory bass of Andy Crawford, it a grouchy provocateur within a surge of wiry guitar. The hefty swings of drummer Liam Perez show no light in their nature either with each beat a shuddering impact as guitarists Mark Byrne and Paul Doughty weave more compelling bait for vocalist John Eley to spring from with great diversity. Just as musically the release ticks all the boxes so does the attack of the frontman, his fluid mix of clean, punkish, and outright raw hostility equally accomplished and perfectly measured in the split of all his strains of potency.

Death and heavy metal collude with metalcore and post hardcore ferocity though that is a simplifying of the hues creating the first and each track within Winters, as Come Closer swiftly proves. The lead track with a great video in tow, it emerges from a misty sonic atmosphere with military rhythms and emotive vocals, they still more in the background until a ravenous stomp of belligerent rhythms and caustic riffs is triggered. It in turn breeds a sonic blaze which is not so much mellow as less vicious than the surrounding and perpetually prowling ferocity soaking the walls of the incitement. Again at times as punk as it is metal and a constant exploit of seriously enticing elements amidst slithers of unpredictable ingenuity, the track is a ravenous treat but outshone within seconds.

The barbarous majesty of the first two tracks carries on in the outstanding Shutter to the Light, its immediate swagger as seductive as it is venomously violent. Like an anthem for the derailment of all that is hopeful, the track bellows at and trespasses the senses and imagination with enthralling enterprise, yet within its despoiling character harmonies and melodies are unleashed to wrong-foot and seize the passions even tighter. Everything about the track whips up a greedy appetite and pleasure; from the irresistible prime hook to the increasingly formidable vocals and the raging invention culturing the creatively rabid storm.

The EP is closed by The Cannibal Hordes, it also a quite thrilling and blistering arousal of ears and satisfaction. Melodically acoustic in its first caress, defiantly cantankerous from the second onwards, the track spits hostile intent and roars melodic understanding; vocally and musically entwining both with a skilled volatility that ensures expectations never gets proven. As suggested earlier, many elements and flavours are recognisable, bands like Fear Factory, Lamb of God, In Flames, and Hatebreed coming to mind, yet no song utters anything other than something unique to The Five Hundred.

The Winters EP is a crushing and scintillating introduction to The Five Hundred, band you should expect to hear a lot more of in sound and acclaim ahead, if only from our enraptured lips.

The Winters EP is out now digitally and on CD via https://thefivehundred.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/wearethefivehundred   https://twitter.com/thefivehundred

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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