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

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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TesseracT – Polaris

TESSERACT_RingMaster Review

Lost in the beauty and technical magnetism of Polaris, a trio of thoughts leap forward to lead the increasing enjoyment and personal plaudits brewing up for the album. Firstly this is without doubt a typical TesseracT proposition, but not in any way one dosed with predictability or repetitious emulation of past triumphs. Their third full-length has the bands unmistakable presence and imagination, their renowned craft and riveting bold adventure, all colluding to create a brand new journey of creative evolution leading to expansive yet fiercely intimate discoveries.

Secondly like the creation of a painting, each track within Polaris plays like a layer upon layer; each individually standing alone but uniting to cast a rich and fully immersive landscape of emotive and provocative sonic incitement. They are textures to a whole which can be explored singularly or as one fluid movement across a record which just fascinates and transfixes at every turn.

The final leading thought is that everything seems right with the world as the returning voice of singer Daniel Tompkins caresses and roars in ears. As impressive and thickly important to past successes that previous vocalists Elliot Coleman or Ashe O’Hara were, something is complete with Tompkins sharing his vocal and emotional heart within the ever stirring sounds of the band.

Polaris cover_RingMaster Review       Released by the band’s new label Kscope, Polaris opens with Dystopia, it emerging through dank shadows with a tight spiral of riffs and atmospheric chills. Soon a swing grips the guitars of Acle Kahney and James Monteith, riffs and grooves enlivened with energy and a swagger as Tompkins walks their lure with his assured and distinctive tones. Pretty soon everything catches aflame, the guitars becoming openly fiery, vocals impassioned, and the bass of Amos Williams, well that just turns out the most delicious steely growl. With the dynamic beats of Jay Postones as skilfully impacting as ever, the track shows the band is on striking creative form individually and as one, and building yet another new drama of sound and imagination to get greedy over.

Of course one song does not dictate the way an album goes but its suggestiveness is quickly backed by Hexes and Survival after that, the next pair swiftly pushing on the emerging and immersion exploration within the album. The first of these two initially creates a celestial melodic sigh, its lingering elegance casting a radiance which keys and vocals share as the spatial depths of the track come into view. Its poetic glow just thickens around the subsequent vocal unions of Tompkins and Williams, remaining a rich hue as the track continually simmers and boils with intensity and emotion the further into its controlled yet tempestuous body is stretches. The track is hypnotic, seductive, and portentous; a stunning captivation matched by its successor which also opens on an absorbing calm but much sooner exudes a feistier blaze of emotion. Like a fire it smoulders and blazes, licks at the senses and crackles with aggression, and like a mass of flames totally bewitches the senses as they stare at its seamlessly volatile beauty.

Tourniquet spreads harmonic radiation next, keys and vocals an intensive caress against the mouth-watering rhythmic bait and prowess of Postones. They keep their mesmeric grip even as the guitars wind up their technical endeavour and intensity, parting only once the full technical and inventive theatre of Utopia takes over. A maze of styles and flavours cored by another entrapment of ardour sparking bass enterprise, the next song simply engrosses with its dramatic tenacity in sound and ideation, and indeed vocal strength where again Tompkins and Williams are riveting in their part within the superb creative emprise.

With a more reserved but no less impacting presence, the following Phoenix lives up to the suggestiveness of its name. Melodies leap like flames throughout, springing from a subdued canvas to soar, as the vocals, across the rich sonic sky of the encounter. Ears and emotions are full and basking before Messenger takes over with its spiny grooves and jagged riffs aligned to classically sultry keys and a melodic character which just oozes elegance, even when embraced by the more rugged elements of the track. Both songs drag ears and imagination deeper into their diversely textured depths, and like all songs and subsequently the album as a whole, reveal new twists, nuances, and creative revelations with each and very listen.

The immersive ambience bringing Cages to the fore is instantly compelling but once the song slips into something melodically and evocatively ‘comfortable’ it becomes truly spellbinding. Bass and drums flirt with rapacious tenacity whilst the guitars and keys impose their tempting with gaseous prowess, invading every pore for the richest pleasure. The song epitomises the album; every element and slither of inventiveness familiarly TesseracT but nurtured within a band taking their songwriting and imagination into new realms of experimentation and personal exploration.

Completed by the mouth-watering Seven Names, it is fair to say that Polaris is sensational and lives up to the hype already brewing around it on its first listen alone. The fact that it just gets more stunning and impressive with each additional play tells you why we believe that the new TesseracT album is the progressive/groove metal triumph of the year.

Polaris is out now via Kscope now across most online stores.

Pete RingMaster 25/09/2015

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The Parallax Method – The Owl

Pic Ewan

Pic Ewan

There are so many things about The Owl EP to wax lyrical over; from its intricate yet free flowing fusion of flavours to its smiling warmth of character even when offering a more volatile twist or passage to contemplate. Most though it is the fact that each of its instrumental adventures provides a brand new escapade with every listen. The music hints, at times openly suggests, but all the time the imagination is given the sonic and melodic palette to paint its own inspired landscape and exploits, and that is pure fun and pleasure.

The release comes courtesy of UK progressive rockers The Parallax Method, their debut introduction to the UK rock scene. Formed last year, the seeds of the band began with guitarist Danny Beardsley, drummer Dave Wright, and bassist Daniel Hayes’ time together in hard rock band Isolysis back in 2011. With a collective experience of almost thirty years, the Derbyshire trio re-united last year as The Parallax Method, drawing on their mutual love of bands such as TesseracT, Karnivool, and Periphery to spice a sound, as mentioned earlier, tagged as progressive rock but entwining the broadest array of styles and essences into a fascinating tapestry. It is all in evidence within their first incitement Owl, the trio conjuring a web of creative intrigue and glorious aural adventure. Since its recording, Hayes has left the band to be replaced by Ben Edis (Spirytus/Breed 77), but left as his legacy a gripping part in a potent start to the bands easy to assume rise to the fore of the progressive scene.

Parallax cdep1._RingMaster Review    To quote their press release, “The Parallax Method leans on the themes of space and a perpetual battle between the owl and the squid to convey their unique sub-genre of modern prog. Space signifies the vast and epic nature of each track. The owl, wise and powerful, manifests itself in the music in its’ confident and strategic build ups. The squid, sneaky and sly, embodies itself in the ever-present surprising twists and turns. And the battle between them often ends in a violent stalemate which serves to betray the band’s humble standard tuning.” That is the premise to and suggestive nature of the release but to be honest as soon as second track Honey I Shrunk The Squid steps forward, after the cosy yet stark intro of the brief Welcome One and Owl, the imagination is off and running with its own narrative too.

Evolving straight out of its predecessor, as all pieces do, the track is soon writhing with juicy grooves and darkly toned rhythms which in turn breed a just as swift virulence in their increasingly inventive enterprise. You can easily confirm the spicery of those previously mentioned influences but also as the track, and indeed EP, develops thoughts are reminded of Belgian solo project Squidhead. The song continues to take ears on a busy and eventful dance, the guitar a jumble of coherent hooks and bewitching melodies framed and punctuated by the almost morose tone of the bass and the swinging beats of Wright. There is an industrial feel to the visual incitement it sparks, an intensive parade of activity and life which is often seduced by shards of melodic beauty and melancholic warmth.

The following Can Mango Take Me Higher is blossomed from those seeds too, exploring them with the sombre yet flirtatious lures of Hayes’ bass and the resourceful craft and imagination of Beardsley’s fingers of guitar strings. As in the previous piece, the music perpetually evolves, at times brewing up tempestuous climates and avenues as potent and captivating as the mellow seductions aligning them. The spatial ambience of the track has thoughts soaring into the dark and dangerous unknown but always there is an earth bound intimacy which also has the imagination and emotions working overtime, the latter especially when the bass throws off its shadows to wonderfully cluck, for want of a better word, at the senses.

Though individual tracks definitely work alone, The Owl should be listened to and is most enjoyed as a whole. Each song is a natural progression and chapter in a singular scintillating tale, whether with the band’s premise or in one’s own thoughts; flowing masterfully from the other as Radagash The Brown does from Can Mango Take Me Higher. The new encounter is a cosmopolitan shuffle which from its jazz kissed and sultry opening scenery travels rugged terrain and gentler seas towards a classical seduction bred on Latin influences and mystique sowing climes. Ultimately the track is a cauldron of technical prowess and even more so mischievous imagination, there no escaping the underlying grin to the release.

Closing on a techno agitation against emotively spun keys, the song flips into Owlgarhythm, the only time you could say the join is less than organic. It matters little as the immediate haze of funk lined agitation and devilry sides with blues electricity, the trio again whipping up a tenaciously sculpted shuffle with a whisper of bedlam to its heart and energy. Continuing to spin a revolving soundscape of sound and descriptive textures which are more travelogue like for the imagination than echoing the conflict maybe suggested by the EP’s theme, the track is superb. As the whole of The Owl, it is a spellbinding creative emprise which you might never get a clear handle on but just devour more greedily with every listen trying.

Another great thing about the EP is that it never has a whiff of indulgence or showing off which can and often does afflict many progressive spawned offerings, meaning that The Parallax Method is definitely a band to pay attention to and The Owl, a release you really should let your imagination play with.

The Owl is released on Friday 11th September through all stores.

Pete RingMaster 10/09/2015

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Patriot Rebel – Propaganda

Patriot Rebel Promo Shot_RingMaster Review

British alternative/hard rockers Patriot Rebel provide raw and rousing rock ‘n’ roll as virulent as it is ravenously aggressive. They proved it with their outstanding Two Worlds EP in 2013 and do so again with new single Propaganda. The song is a raw and explosive confrontation, an anthem to get fully involved in straight away but emerging even stronger and more impressive with every listen.

Though formed around 2007, it was arguably when the current line-up of vocalist Paul Smith, guitarists Danny Marsh and Dave Gadd, bassist Will Kirk, and drummer Aaron Grainger came together that the Nottingham hailing Patriot Rebel found the truly potent spark to their sound and in awakening eager attention. Inspired by the likes of Stone Temple Pilots, Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, and Velvet Revolver, the quintet created a musical proposal which was soon invigorating ears and appetites, shows with bands such as Tesseract, Jettblack, Skarlett Riot, Cornerstone, Earthtone9, Spirytus and Violet over the years the live proof and Two Worlds the potent studio evidence. The Matt Elliss (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot) produced EP certainly drew acclaim and keen focus from old and new fans as well as the media upon its uncaging, which the band’s live presence has only driven on and now Propaganda can only kick into greater reaction again.

Patriot Rebel Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The single is taken from that earlier EP but manages to hold a fresh breath and character now standing alone as the band’s new protagonist. It is also a teaser of sorts for things to come, Patriot Rebel most likely in the studio, again with Ellis, as you read this. Sometimes tracks show a new light upon their depths and presence when taken away from an album or EP, and fair to say Propaganda, for whatever reason, manages to do the same as it roars from its opening second through to its last. From an initial sonic lure of a second of two, thumping rhythms prowl and riffs stalk the senses; their intimidation crouched over by the distinctive tones of Smith. The predatory start of the song and his croon subsequently triggers the embedded contagious might and stride of the encounter, grooves and melodies entangling in an irresistible tempting still graced by the formidable and throaty nature of bass and drums.

The song is a blaze of anthemic rock ‘n’ roll, luring the listener with its verse and leads into the irresistible chorus where full involvement from band and listener is a given. There are no truly major surprises within the song, the band’s influences open spices, yet it has a resourcefulness and enterprise which leaves expectations empty and enjoyment full to bursting.

Patriot Rebel continues to impress and though Propaganda is taken from their previous release it only thrills and ensures anticipation for the band’s next exploit will be greedy. Completed by a great acoustic version of Propaganda too, and accompanied by one equally enjoyable video, this is one single for new and old fans to spend a riotous summer with.

Propaganda is available from 3rd August.

Read our interview with Patriot Rebel @

RingMaster 01/08/2015

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Rousing spirits: the Patriot Rebel Interview

Patriot Rebel Online Promo

Having impressed and staked their place as one of the best emerging rock bands on the British music scene with debut EP Two Worlds last year, Nottingham quintet Patriot Rebel release brand new single Propaganda August 3rd. Between releases the band has reinforced and increased their stature with numerous tours and festival appearances, playing with the likes of Tesseract, Jettblack, Skarlett Riot, Cornerstone, Earthtone9, Spirytus, and Violet along the way. Having been one of many bowled over by their debut, the news of a new single meant we had to know more, so we cornered the band to talk beginnings, Propaganda, Matt Ellis and much more…

Hi guys and welcome to The RingMaster Review. Many thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

There may be still some yet to discover Patriot Rebel so can you give an introduction to yourselves?

Yeah we are a five piece hard rock band from Nottingham. Our sound is heavy and riff based with melodic vocals which is rare these days as most frontmen just get up there and make a noise as if they are clearing their throats in some cheaply made Lockets advert

Your sound is drenched in flavour and variety at its core, what are the predominant inspirations for band, its sound, and you as a musician?

I think our sound benefits from the fact that we all like very different things musically. We can regularly be overheard telling each other how shit each other’s music is as we pull up to our practise studio. But it’s all in good fun and actually when it comes together really helps the song writing process. If everyone came up with the same stuff week in week out I can imagine it would get boring pretty quickly.

I believe the band started around 2007 but is it fair to say that things truly clicked and began sparking attention when the current line-up came together a few years later?

Yeah it was 2007 that the idea came about after a couple of us had been doing a few open mic nights around Nottingham performing cover songs. As we started writing our own songs we wanted to expand and round up a drummer and bassist to get the sound we wanted and Patriot Rebel was born. We fluttered around many different band members for a good few years and it wasn’t until just before the Two Worlds EP that we finally settled with five members that really clicked together.

How did you all meet, was it solely because of the band or is there history before and away from it?

Two of us were good friends from school and that was why we started doing the open mic nights. We were out in Nottingham most nights getting drunk and stumbling onto various karaoke bars before we decided to find a guitar and do it properly. We advertised on various websites and even scattered some posters around the local rock bars for band members. We were actually surprised at how quickly we managed to throw a band together but it rarely stuck until the final members were found. It can be very difficult to find five lads that can all get along and have the same sense of humour but we did and it’s been great ever since.

With those early days of the band; what was the spark predominantly bringing Patriot Rebel to life?

Mainly alcohol…..and of course it was all new to us. Playing at just a local pub felt as if you were playing something much bigger and just a group of 15 people felt like a crowd. It was very exciting to play your own music to people that wanted to listen and that’s why we do it still now today.

Patriot Rebel_Reputation Radio/RingMaster ReviewWe discovered you through your excellent debut EP Two Worlds in 2013, a show stopper it is fair to say without blowing smoke up your egos ha-ha. August 3rd sees the release of new single Propaganda, how have you filled the time between releases?

We have been gigging the Two Worlds EP all over the UK. Edinburgh was a particular favourite of ours not just because of the show but the experience. We’ve modified an old transit van into a makeshift tour bus and it has made touring much more enjoyable than packing into numerous cars. Although sleeping in it wasn’t the best experience. It was very snug and it’s difficult to look each other in the eye after you’ve been ‘spooning’ the night before.

The new song is a beast of an anthem for ears and emotions, and a potent evolution to that first release. Where are the biggest differences between both encounters?

Well actually we have cheated a bit because Propaganda was recorded as part of Two Worlds. We are basically releasing it as a thank you to everyone who has supported Two Worlds and made a video to go with it.

Have you changed any specific elements in songwriting since the first release or is it just an organic progression fuelling your new endeavours?

Our song writing is always done on a feeling. If we feel like we are struggling to come up with something we tend to leave it be. Our best stuff tends to flow immediately and just clicks straight away. Sometimes we revisit old stuff and that works too.

Can you give some background to the lyrical side of the single?

It was written about an old work colleague of mine who would always try to belittle the younger lads and shit stir just to cause trouble. So Propaganda was my way of looking at it. People generally presume its war related but it’s not in the slightest…Although it’s good that some people take out of songs what works for them.

And musically any particular sparks brewing up elements?

Not so much musically. We tend to come up with various parts and then write the lyrics over the top. It’s not often the lyrics/song come first. But the music certainly matches the mood lyrically.

You recorded Two Worlds with Matt Ellis (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot), and the same again with Propaganda?

Yes definitely. Matt is brilliant at what he does. He doesn’t just record what we play; he actually makes suggestions and has ideas of how certain things could be done differently. I think that it is important to have this whilst recording. Sometimes a non-biased ear can help the way things sound without actually changing much at all.

He seems to have the touch in luring out every essence of your sound and its nuances?

He literally does it exactly how we imagine it should sound. We’ve used a couple of other producers over the years and none have come close to the sound quality that Matt gives us.PatriotRebel live_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

People might imagine one song would be a quick in and out of the studio to record and perfect. Give us the real insight to the single’s creation and journey.

To be fair Propaganda was quite quick in relation to some of the other songs. It has quite a raw sound and sometimes too much production can kill a song. It went really well but yeah recording can sometimes be quite tedious especially for the vocalists who have to wait until the end.

Is Propaganda the teaser for bigger things ahead too; another EP or album maybe?

That’s exactly what it is. We are booked in with Matt again at Axis studios for late July where we will be recording our next EP. We have a couple of potential titles for it but I’m afraid that’s classified information at this time. We will be working on more videos, merchandise and tour dates to coincide with its release which we hope will be early 2016

You said the song was recorded around the EP but does it still offer a real hint of your new songs or are there plenty of new surprises to anticipate?

A bit of both really. We will always have the unmistakeable Patriot Rebel sound but we have worked on new things which we think are sounding great. We are really excited about some of the new stuff and we think you should be too.

You mentioned it earlier so tell us about the video accompanying Propaganda.

It’s basically a mixture of band performance and storyline. We worked with our friend Chris Clough on this one and we are glad we did because his work is excellent…Really professional record quality. We also got the help of model Katie Wainwright to accompany the storyline sections of the video where she takes newspaper clippings and sticks them on the wall to create a twist at the end. We used Katy because what’s the point of making a video without a girl in a corset and short skirt right?

patriot rebelHow was that experience in the making compared to the recording of songs?

It was really enjoyable for us; we had a great time making the video. We have done videos before but not to this quality. The last one we did was just taken from various live performances so it was an experience for us to do it properly. We shot the video on two separate occasions and the second part was done in the basement of a pub which is always good. The first part which was the band performance was actually shot at my workplace. Which is weird for me but it came out really well.

You touched on the next release but anything else ahead for Patriot Rebel and its fans you can share with us?

We’ve got plenty in the pipeline, some of which we can’t reveal yet. But we will be back gigging very soon. In fact we have a show in Nottingham as main support to Jett Black on the 29th August. It’s part of Degeneration fest and will also include The Treatment so it’s a great line up.

Once again big thanks for chatting with us. Any words or thoughts you would like to leave us with?

Always a pleasure…We would just like to thank your readers and anyone else that has supported us over the years. Cheers

Thanks to Garry at SaN for arranging the interview.

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 19/06/2015

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No Consequence – Vimana

No Consequence press shot

It is probably not too far from the mark to suggest that Vimana, the new album from UK progressive/tech metallers No Consequence has been one highly anticipated offering, and right on the money to say it is one strapping beast of sound and creative attitude. The release takes an already highly flavoursome and attention grabbing sound to new pastures of imagination and voracious intensity, aligning the established technical and aggression of the band to a more concentrated brew of melodic and expressive adventure. It is their most rounded and gripping proposition yet with just the hint that they and we are still nowhere near the finished article of their potential and sound.

Renowned as one of the most impressive live acts on the European metal scene, listing the sharing of tours and stages with the likes of TesseracT, Chimp Spanner, Carcer City and just recently Monuments and Murdock on their CV, No Consequence follow up their previous acclaimed albums In the Shadow of Gods and IO, of 2009 and 2013 respectively, with an incitement which seduces as it tears strips of the senses and relentlessly fascinates as it casts a roar of uncompromising aggressiveness.

NC-Vimana-packshot   Vimana begins with the short persuasion of Acala and an immediate hint of dramatic climates and textures within a harmonic embrace. An intro come scene setter, the appealing opening is soon departing for the more rugged and emotionally intensive Our Time Has Come. Restrained yet rich grooves wind around ravenous riffs and a sonic turbulence as the rawer aspect of vocalist Kaan Tasan comes to the fore. He too though is soon showing an adept range as a cleaner presence entwines with his dustier snarls. As the guitars of Dan Reid and Harry Edwards flirt and abrase ears with craft and enterprise, the song’s tempest provides a persistent challenge and enticement of progressive and technical tenacity. It is equally a weave of varied metal and melodic toxicity, it all colluding in one magnetic lure holding attention and appetite firmly in its hands alongside enjoyment.

The following Is This A Way To Live has a calmer if no less energetic presence, though vocal squalls and cantankerous riffs as well as a grooved taunting offer disagreement. Subsequently the song slips into a mellow reflective passage within a still tempestuous atmosphere, the bass of Tom Parkinson a prowling shadow in the growing web of wiry grooves and hooks whilst the rhythmic animosity of drummer Colin Bentham is barbarous in the norm and bestial, like the bass, in the track’s most agitated state. With a Middle Eastern suggestiveness emerging in its thick ambience and unpredictability driving every twist and turn, the track has ears and thoughts thoroughly captivated before making way for the more rigorous examination of Resistance and in turn the cyclonic energy of The Turning Point. There is a carnal essence to the savage riffs and technical predation of the first of the two, but countered by and aligned to a constantly evolving landscape of immersive melodies, heart driven vocals, and a blustery fury. Virulently contagious and intrusively dynamic, the track is the first major pinnacle within an already seriously impressing album and quickly matched by the inventive theatre and hostile temptation of its successor. It is another song which merges contrasts and contradictions in sound and energy in a riveting emotional and breath-taking physical turmoil. Though arguably not as technically busy as previous releases but certainly as skilfully dynamic and inventive it, as all the songs within Vimana, reveals new corners and depths with every listen, ensuring every flight of the album’s raging adventure is increasingly rewarding.

The elegant caress of brief instrumental Half Light comes next, its evocative beauty courted by a vocal sample before Citizen with a similarly warm charm and presence takes over. Of course things get more heated and agitated soon after, guitars spinning a trap of sonic predation matched by heavy rhythms though almost as quickly, a melodic tempting returns to seduce once again. The vocal variety of Tasan leads an eventual merger of both aspects as the song becomes a bewitching trespass on ears and passions.

There is something familiar about the following Speechless especially when vocals and song are in full roar but ultimately it casts a uniquely inflamed presence rife with emotional ire and sonic adventure. The lead track from the album and another highly satisfying encounter, it still does not quite take ears and emotions on the same thrilling ride as other tracks upon the album or indeed Disconnect which straight after unveils a worldly melodic emprise within a creative bellow and an imposing persistently evolving incitement.

Vimana is drawn to a close by firstly the cauldron of diversity and extremes that is Signs and finally its title track and its mellow croon on ears. Also equipped with a rhythmic stalking, the last song increasingly spawns brighter and bolder voracious flames throughout but without ever catching ablaze; a restraint which you have to say superbly works.

Both tracks bring Vimana a fine and absorbing finale, the album ending as potently as it began. There are moments where personally there was a wish for the band to go further with its melodic explorations or inhospitable endeavour but no moment when No Consequence just do not seriously impress. Bottom-line is that Vimana is an unbridled recommendation for not only technical/progressive metal fans but for the broad attention of metal itself.

Vimana is available now via Basick Records digitally and on CD @ and

RingMaster 09/06/2015

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[STÖMB] – The Grey


   “Can you hear the sound of the world? This ephemeral echo that slowly burns through the void…

Can you see beyond the veil? This overwhelming presence that enhances the truthfulness of any reality…

And then…When everything has faded away and the world is silent…

All there will be left is resonance…And the grey.”


Bred from the prose above, the epic, imposing landscape of The Grey, the debut album from French progressive metallers [STÖMB], is a ten track exploration of desolation and the nothingness consuming life before, during, and after its journey. Certainly that is where it took our imaginations, but the encounter will be the conjuring of diverse thoughts and emotions across all immersing within its potent and compelling adventure. As much as it is for ears, The Grey is an exploration for the imagination too, sculpting instrumental dramas and imposing soundscapes which easily ignite the senses and mind.

With a progressive metal sound entwining rich essences of diversely found flavours, the listing of the Paris quartet’s inspirations probably giving a clearer picture of their invention. Guitarists Tom B and Aurélien DF, bassist Alexandre G, and drummer Olivier R cite bands such as Meshuggah, Tesseract, Klone, Tool, and Animals As Leader as influences to their own striking compositions, and fair to say whatever your imagination is coming up with as you read that spicing is probably close to the mark in regard to album and sound yet a fraction of what The Grey provides as it leads ears and emotions into fresh adventures.

Digi    At around seventy minutes in length, the album is an epic journey and challenges from start to finish whilst rewarding with tracks which transport the listener into the realms they have been inspired to contemplate by its sonic narrative. Maybe combined it all makes for a proposal pushing limits of endurance, yet there is rarely a moment within songs and release where thoughts and attention wanders. From opener The Complex the album simply fascinates; every slither of melodic seduction and roar of primal antagonism a bewitching incitement. The first track alone has it all, its initial caress of beauty evolving into a volatile stroll of ravenous riffs and menacing rhythms within a caustic yet inviting ambience. The only voices across the album come in occasional suggestive samples, an early one helping shape or at least hint to the descriptive intensity and background of the first track.

The portentous feel of the song is replaced by the ferocious and hostile majesty of Rise from Nothing, a ravenous consumption of the senses but composed with a sonic and melodic beauty which ebbs and flows across the rugged rhythmic scenery. It’s consistently tempestuous air and theatre becomes even more volatile and inflammatory as the track proceeds, but like a travelogue it equally enthrals as it slips into new aural lands of mystique and creative colour before making way for Veins of Asphalt. The new detour to explore equally has a wealth of fearsome and endearing enterprise to offer and evolve; jagged riffs and scything beats entangled with a sonic web of mouth-watering craft and virulent temptation. With most tracks within The Grey ranging between six and nine minutes, only two courting slimmer lengths, there is a continually changeable aspect to the dark, immersive flights which is impossible to portray here but take as read very easy to get lost within in person.

Corrosion Juncture is a blend of savage intimidation and melodic ingenuity within a spatial atmosphere, the music a tenaciously magnetic flight through turbulence and calm within a shadowed drenched unknown. The senses are buffeted throughout and ears lit by the masterful endeavour of each aspect of sound as the track drives towards the lighter peace and beauty of The Crossing. It is a brief floatation of warm melodises and transfixing creative charm, a lull in the tempest which is soon consuming ears and thoughts again through the dystopian heat and intensity of Under the Grey. Its busy persuasion has thoughts lost in Orwellian theatre, again evidence of tracks and the band freeing the imagination to explore its own dark corners to their soundtrack. The song is a gripping proposal equalled by the just as potent Terminal City, a bustling rigorous prowl across an intensive, unrelenting daily provocation of life we can all feel akin to.

The track is glorious, the pinnacle of the album alongside its predecessor, though things continue to enthuse appetite and enjoyment as the broader terrain of The New Coming and the mercurial Genome Decline follow. The first of the pair embraces a calmer if still ferociously unstable climate with a smothering tapestry of unpredictable sound whilst its successor is an undulating, rabidly twisted spiral of enterprise and imagination embracing the listener in a thick sonic hug breeding fiery melodies and spicy textures.

The album closes with Only an Echo, a song with its melancholic air and reflective ambience which feels like an epilogue or more an epitaph to the dark premises explored before it. It is a fine and suggestive end to an increasingly gripping encounter. Admittedly at times The Grey is now taken in halves here, yet each time it leaves a lingering pleasure and incitement in emotions and thoughts…Fair to say that progressive metal has another impressive protagonist to contemplate.

The Grey is available now @

RingMaster 28/05/2015

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