Intervals – A Voice Within

 

Intervals_1lo

    The additional information accompanying the promo for the debut album from Canadian band Intervals, declares that the quartet is ‘set to be the most exciting new progressive metal prospects of 2014 with the release of debut album, A Voice Within. As their offering seduces and fascinates it really is impossible to disagree, the nine track adventure a magnetic kaleidoscope of sonic colours, inciting textures, and contagious adventures. With a technical craft to match its progressive enterprise, the self-released A Voice Within, with distribution across Europe by Basick Records, is a maze of diverse and inventive flavours which captivates and absorbs from start to finish.

      The Toronto hailing Intervals was formed in 2011 by guitarist Aaron Marshall and took little time in earning a well-respected and acclaimed presence with their evocative instrumental soundscapes. With a line-up completed by guitarist Lukas Guyader and drummer Anup Sastry (Jeff Loomis / Skyharbor), the band released two well-received EPs, The Space Between and In Time in 2011 and 2012 respectively, as well as playing and touring with the likes of Texas In July, Northlane, Structures, The Kindred, The Color Morale, Misery Signals and more. Last year a new direction was taken by the band, not so much in sound though that was unavoidably affected, but with the joining of vocalist Mike Semesky (formerly of The Haarp Machine). Work began on their first album last September with Jordan Valeriote (Silverstein, Structures, Counterparts) and what has emerged is a riveting triumph taking the band to new scintillating levels and you can only expect greater spotlights.

      The first single taken from the album Ephemeral opens up the endeavour, the track taking no time to immerse the ears in the Intervals.AVoiceWithin.cover.lotechnical skill and inventive breath of band and release. Bass and drums instantly cast a web which entangles and excites the senses whilst the guitars flirt and dance with the imagination. It is a potent start enhanced by the melodic tones of Semesky, his expressive and fluid delivery holding hands with the melody rich flames licking from within the sinew framed opener. Sculpting an aurally scenic venture which intrigues and draws in thoughts with ease, it is only hindsight and not its company which suggests the album’s introduction is merely an appetiser to greater things ahead.

    That suggestion arises straight away with the following Moment Marauder, the song a compelling temptation which enslaves and dances with the passions from its initial melodic caress and technical invention. Winding jazz bred imagination around precise and bewitching temptation, it seduces with almost mischievous glee as the vocals stroke and coaxes the emotions as irresistibly as the complicated breeze of sounds surrounding them. Dazzling bordering on disorientating , the ingenuity and sculpting of the song is a virulent lure but one which never indulges itself, each transfixing technical exploit matched by an openly accessible and infectious hook or sweeping groove aligned to the persistently persuasive vocals.

     Automation and The Self Surrendered struggle just slightly to match the album’s first pinnacle, though both build their own plateaus to rigorously enthuse over. The first offers an almost pop rock swagger within its progressive and technical mesmerism, the melodies and contagious assets framed by muscular rhythms which take no prisoners but equally have a respect leaving ardour rather than wounds. It’s equally smouldering and vivacious bait is swiftly matched by the second of the two, a song which has voraciousness to its opening technical gambit which it then lends to the rest of its potently catchy and provocative body. As all the tracks, the melodic canter never settles into one gait or stance for long, the ever evolving and twisting emprise coming with flared nostrils and irrepressible passion.

    After the brief elegant instrumental Breathe, the song allowing that very action before the next spiral of adventure, The Escape confronts the ears like a frantic acrobat, leaping through and wringing out its sonic narrative upon a mouthwatering canvas of inventive hues and emotion. Its beauty is replaced by the fiery landscape of Atlas Hour, technical poise and passionate energies once again offering a journey of unpredictable and persistently shifting scenic inspiration clad in formidable rhythms aligned to just as forceful riffs.

    Siren Sound confronts the senses next, the song a whirl of almost carnivorous jagged riffs and rhythmic antagonism reined in by the ever impressive vocals and harmonies. As the second song on the album, the track explores and unveils that something extra, something which sparks a furnace in the imagination and passions in comparison to the fierce blazes spawned elsewhere. There is a predatory instinct to the song too which inspires everything from the skill and hunger of the band to the uncompromising sounds themselves, and all engulfed in an irresistible seduction. The track steps up to offer a real challenge to the brilliant Moment Marauder for best song accolades, the pair then tested by the closing title track. Bringing the outstanding album to a tremendous close, the song stomps and teases the passions with a weave of severe rhythms, awe inspiring technical artistry, and simply unbridled adventure.

     Offering a kind of mix of Circles and Beneath the Buried and Me with TesseracT, but something different again, A Voice Within is an exceptional encounter and yes as suggested the evidence of something new and exciting emerging. The evolution to include vocals and new adventures by Intervals might just be the boldest most inspirational move from any band in recent times too.

www.facebook.com/intervalsmusic

http://intervalsmusic.bandcamp.com/

9/10

RingMaster 05/03/2014

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Animus – Fall of the Elite

Animus Online Promo Shot

    If you understandably missed the limited regional release of the Fall of the Elite EP last year, Scottish metallers Animus have provided another chance to immerse in its tempest with its deserved nationwide unleashing. Consisting of four savagely aggressive and rivetingly varied slabs of sonic provocation, the band’s introduction is a mouthwatering onslaught providing a well of satisfaction as deep as the promise also rampaging through its sinews. Its sound whips up an antagonistic fury from a brew of progressive death metal and djent with technical and groove metal, creating a predation which is equally recognisable and innovative. Fall of the Elite certainly suggests this is a band still evolving its presence but one with major expulsions ahead you easily feel.

     Hailing from Dundee, Animus was formed in 2010 by drummer Poul Thomassen and guitarist Sam Gilmour. It was not long before the pair was joined by second guitarist Graham Brown and Gavin Holloway on bass. The first couple of years saw the band playing around Scotland drawing strong support and responses but it was with the addition of vocalist Aaron Fawns in 2012 that it could be said a spark ignited within the band, the quintet finding that something bringing everything into focus and vital explosiveness. A further rampage of shows ensued, including sharing stages with the likes of Bleed From Within, To Kill Achilles, Here Lies A Warning, Heights, Silent Screams, Chronographs, Hero In Error, Our People Versus Yours, and I Divide, all only increasing the stature and reputation of the band. The final weeks of 2012 saw Animus enter the studio to sculpt their debut Fall Of The Elite, influences from the likes of After The Burial, Suicide Silence, Bring Me The Horizon, Whitechapel, and Tesseract spicing up their own distinct toxicity. After a well-received first unveiling, the EP is now poised to work on the rest of the UK with its ravenous and creative intensity.

    Drawing a single breath whilst a groan brews in the background, opener Damnation announces its presence with an intriguingAnimus - Front Cover air accentuated by sirens and an apocalyptic ambience. With the scene set, the track emerges from the anarchy with forcibly twisting grooves and percussive provocation speared by vicious rhythms skirted by predatory riffing. The vocals of Fawns snarl and growl with bile soaked animosity, his direct intent sharing enough variety to engage whilst musically the band lashes and entices the senses with a masterful and bold invention. The song is not the most malevolent and violent proposition but holds an intimidation and intensity which leaves knees buckled and ears scarred as its imagination captures that of its recipient with ease and enterprise.

   The following DB8666 follows suit but instantly uncages a lethal groove and commanding swagger which leaves its predecessor in the shade. The swinging contagion of the track is clad in a threatening musculature upon a djent inspired spine whilst it’s flailing sonic arms and acrid melodic adventure provides the most compelling hues to potently ignite the imagination. Every move and twist of the song is pure infectious bait, at times almost too involved in itself but never relinquishing the tightest entrapment of thoughts and emotions. As all the tracks upon the EP, there is plenty to discover with each subsequent encounter, certain underlying textures and touches unveiled within the increasingly persuasive tempestuous engagement after numerous excursions.

     The following Home(less) is a bestial display of maliciousness but one aligned to the most creative progressive enticement yet. The guitars sculpt simultaneously uncompromising and seductive endeavours whilst bass and drums carve out bruising lures which also only beckon and threaten. Once again the song is a cascade of innovative manipulations which flirt with indulgence and chaos but only to tease and taunt within its skilled and deliberately devious craft. That dramatic and alluring enterprise is pushed further with the closing title track, its bewitching opening progressive design of melody caressing keys wrapping the ears in a transfixing coaxing before being joined by staccato riffs and splintering rhythms within a brawling cast of sonic causticity. Carnivorous in its stalking and guitar endeavour whilst magnetic in its continually evolving melody induced progressive searing of the air, the track is a smouldering rampancy which seizes an instant lingering submission for its ruinous nature and assault yet slowly burns an even greater seduction in the passions over time and multiple unions.

   The outstanding climax brings a similarly impressive release to a close leaving anticipation and appetite for Animus a greedy hunger. Certainly the release shows that the band is yet to find its truly unique presence but that is only a matter of time with, on the evidence of Fall of the Elite, stronger dramatic triumphs destined to follow. This is an immense exciting start and base for their horizons and the open doorway to eager recognition countrywide.

www.facebook.com/AnimusUK

9/10

RingMaster 03/03/2014

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ANIMUS declare the ‘Fall Of The Elite’, on 3rd March‏

Animus Online Promo Shot

DUNDEE PROGRESSIVE METAL CREW ANIMUS REBOOT THEIR EAR SHATTERING DEBUT EP THIS SPRING!

Drawing musical influence from a host of sources stemming from After The Burial, Suicide Silence, Bring Me The Horizon, Whitechapel and Tesseract, Scotland death metal progsters ‘Animus’ are primed to take the UK by storm with their cutting blend of crossover metal. The rising five piece release ‘Fall Of The Elite’ on Monday 3rd March through all stores.

Animus began life in 2010, with beatmaster Poul Thomassen on drums and Sam Gilmour handling the guitar. The duo soon enlisted Sam’s old college buddy Graham Brown on second guitar and new friend Gavin Holloway on bass. For the next two years, the band played throughout Scotland, wrestling to hold down a permanent and reliable vocalist. However, all of this changed in the Summer of 2012 when the four-piece hooked up with Aaron Fawns, and everything just clicked into place. Aaron immediately joined the band as full-time vocalist and the revitalised noiseniks soon picked up the pace with a flurry of explosive shows throughout the northern territory supporting the likes of Bleed From Within, To Kill Achilles, Here Lies A Warning, Heights, Silent Screams, Chronographs, Hero In Error, Our People Versus Yours and I Divide.

The five-some closed 2012 by heading into the studio to lay down their official release in the shape of their “Fall Of The Elite” EP. Because the EP only received a regional and limited release during the early part of 2013, the band have decided to unleash the record with a full national release and extensive touring for Spring 2014. And rightly so, as the record deserves to be thrust into the limelight. From the full bloodied fury of the opener track ‘Damnation’ to the death prog beatings of the EP’s namesake ‘Fall Of The Elite’, the record showcases a band that will be a prominent force in the UK metal scene for many years to come.

=ANIMUS RELEASE ‘FALL OF THE ELITE” ON MONDAY 3rd MARCH 2014 THROUGH ALL DIGITAL STORES=

Animus - Front Cover

 

 

Dzyen – Self-Titled EP

 

Photo Debbie Todd

Photo Debbie Todd

Providing impressive food for thought, UK progressive metallers Dzyen unleash their debut EP to instantly thrust themselves on the genre radar but equally with a rich blend of flavouring to their potent sound it has plenty to draw in a wider expanse of metal fans from groove through to alternative.  The five track encounter is a feisty and inventive riot of sound and energy suggesting that the Stanley, County Durham hailing band is a proposition to keep a close and eager eye upon. Their self-titled EP is striking without being startling, imaginative without being ground-breaking but certainly is one thickly flavoursome and captivating release which sparks imagination and emotions.

     Made up of vocalist/guitarist Scot Goodrum, bassist Bryan Tulip, and drummer Niel Linney and formed in 2011, the band takes influences from the likes of Tool, Periphery, Sikth, and Trivium into their thoughtful and enjoyably crafted adventure. With 15 years of experience behind them from roots which began in death metal, the trio has evolved into a progressive/melodic metal persuasion which has been earning good attention and acclaim from fans and other artists such as members of Tesseract, Monuments, Novallo and Skyharbor, some of whom appear on the EP funnily enough. The release of first single Digital Senseless last December sparked an eagerness and appetite to find out more about the band which their EP feeds whilst confirming all the promise previously suggested.

    The single opens up the EP and features guest vocals from Daniel Tompkins (Skyharbor, White Moth Black Butterfly) as well as a0975414611_2Novallo guitarist Gino Bambino.  A collaboration written by band and guests, Digital Senseless is an instant forceful rub on the ear with a contagious bait of djent seeded riffery and an intensive rhythmic scouring of the air to open up its presence. The mix of vocals between Tompkins and Goodrum is a fiery mix of clean and raw which works a treat and one which at times the sounds struggle to keep up with in impact. Nevertheless the pleasing track strides confidently and powerfully with a compelling veining of melodic enterprise through its bulging muscular body as well as a thoroughly infectious chorus.

     From the strong start things only get tighter and more contagious, Beneath The Surface stepping forward next with progressive nostrils flaring and grooves writing within the instantly appealing temptation. From opening scratchy guitar strokes the track expels a heavy commanding breath, again djent sculpted riffs and crisp sinew driven rhythms plus a great throaty bass sound leading the way into the heart of the song. With a melodic and mellow caress accompanying the chorus within a still rigorous metallic pressuring, the song sparks thoughts of Mudvayne and American Head Charge. It is a healthy mix which the band explores and filters into their individual expressive endeavour for a deeply satisfying and thrilling portrait of sound and enterprise which easily twists the emotions around its infectious enticement.

      Neurosis next keeps the lofty heights going. The best track on the release, it is a voracious impact with thumping rhythms and carnivorous riffs driving its intent whilst the vocals of Goodrum create a fluid blend of raw surfaced attacks and ever agreeable melodic clean tones primed to seduce. The song like most always seem to stomp midway between clean and aggressive, never leaning too far into either despite often hinting a preference but always finding an impressive union which never fails the band. In saying that there is no doubt that this is the most combative track on the EP and shows with ease that the band can create corrosive rampages quite easily and skilfully if they want.

    The good times keep coming as Dzyen offers up an accomplished and thoroughly satisfying cover of Just So You Know, the aforementioned American Head Charge classic. It is fair to say that the band does not stretch or reinvent it in any dramatic way instead providing a faithful and ravenous version which easily hits the spot and with the song already a favourite it just cannot fail to add another big positive to the EP.

   The closing Dualism Part 1 took longer than other songs to fully convince with numerous plays unveiling its rich depths and thrilling textures in their complete persuasion. Featuring and written with Sam Gitiban, the vocalist of US progressive metallers Novallo, the track is an eight minute expanse of gritty rhythms, twisted grooves, and melodic tempting which has a Slipknot feel in their mellower moments. It also comes with an unexpected and unpredictable want to turn in on itself with additional styles and progressively bred imagination evolving into a resourceful provocation which alone shows the richness and expanse of the songwriting and adventure within the band.

     With a Lee Jackson directed first music video in the immediate future soon followed by a debut album and touring, as well as this inspiring and promising entrance, Dzyen look like making 2014 a breakthrough year to remember for them and us. A definite must check out release of the coming year.

www.facebook.com/dzyenband

http://dzyen.bandcamp.com/album/ep

8.5/10

RingMaster 13/01/2014

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Patriot Rebel – Two Worlds

Patriot Rebel Online Promo Picture

We have had a bit of a ‘crush’ on UK rockers Patriot Rebel ever since the band submitted a couple of tracks for our Bone Orchard show at Audioburger.com, songs receiving a persistent airing which is as much down to the greed of the listeners as much of the hosts. This meant anticipation for their debut release, the Two Worlds EP, was high and forcibly rewarded by a heavyweight riff clad storm of passionate breath-taking rock ‘n’ roll. The six track riot is bruising rock at its very best, a direct and virulently contagious confrontation which hits the target dead centre with flaring nostrils, menacingly flexing muscles, and a melodically crafted adventure fuelled by adrenaline.

The Nottingham has been breathing from around 2007 but it was with the coming together of current line-up of vocalist Paul Smith, guitarists Danny Marsh and Dave Gadd, bassist Will Kirk, and drummer Aaron Grainger in 2011 that the band began finding a potency and presence which really began commanding attention. Their sound is a tempestuous mix of alternative rock, grunge, and unpolluted rock ‘n’ roll thrust through the ear with a mountainous energy, drawing references to bands such as Stone Temple Pilots, Alter Bridge, and Shinedown and even more predominantly Black Stone Cherry and Velvet Revolver. With the distinctive tones of Smith and an aggressive sound which is unfussy but concentrated in its craft and effect, their live performances are no strangers to acclaim with the band since forming giving the likes of Tesseract, Jettblack, Skarlett Riot, Cornerstone, Earthtone9, Spirytus, and Violet a tough act to share stages with whilst equally leaving festival crowds aware and eager for their presence. Recorded with producer Matt Elliss (Black Spiders, Terrorvision, Skarlett Riot), Two Worlds is the next Patriot Rebel strike on the country and one you can only see placing the band on the frontline of UK’ s rock scene.

The self-released EP opens up with the imposing Propaganda, sinew driven riffs and equally predatory rhythms consuming the Patriot Rebel Cover Artworkears with intimidation and intrigue as Smith offers the song’s croon. The bass of Kirk is especially rapacious in presence and voice within the encounter adding to the almost oppressive initial breath, an introduction which soon explodes into a fire of sonic infectiousness with the chorus. It is one of those moments where you ‘recognise’ the stranger, the song a previously unheard persuasion which hits like an old friend and enlists an instant companionship from your own voice and neck muscles. The track like the EP is not sculpting brand new adventures it is fair to say but as it firmly proves here it rewrites existing invention into something most bands would seduce your granny for. It is a potent powerful start immediately matched and exceeded as the release rampages.

What Goes Around makes a gentler entrance at first, certainly stripping less flesh from the senses anyway until it erupts into a brawl of hungry riffs and punchy rhythms ridden again by the magnetic vocals. Its rich bait takes little time in laying down its lures, the chorus like calls soon seducing the passions with another epidemic of rioting toxicity. Rippling with melodic persuasion which burns heatedly as the track intensely barracks the senses, the song is a ferocious charge of insatiable energy and skilled temptation designed to grip its recipients by the throat and launch them into a torrent of submissive participation, physically and emotionally.

The following Goodbye is an emotively lined slower track which seduces with an intense almost melancholic embrace, guitars weaving an imaginative and impacting web of enticement around the almost reserved delivery of Smith. The song instantly shows why the band has been spoken of in terms of the likes of Alter Bridge though as it burns brighter and increases its melodic flames and muscular presence, Patriot Rebel go somewhere which for our mind those bands have only flirted with. The song smoulders and sears the air the further into its compelling depths you go, bass and riffs a thick haunted wash of intensity alongside vocals drenched in emotional expression. It probably takes longer than others to make its full declaration but with focus emerges as one of the highlights of the release, amongst a few to be honest.

Both Come Of Age and Holding On are songs we know well from the show and each leaves the already raging appetite with another full meal to devour greedily. The first saws the ear’s cartilage from its first second, carnivorous riffs snarling whilst Smith draws a vocal breath and lets rip with a sonic wail to match the spirals of scorched design from the guitars. The track is a voracious torrent of energy and enterprise, a maze of ideas and enthralling invention veining its stormy mass of intensity and predation whilst again an irrepressible addictive enterprise casts its spell on the passions.  There is a muggy air to the track but it only adds to its weight and intent leaving the listener gasping for air whilst waiting for its successor. The second of the two multiplies the weight and depredation of its predecessor before expanding it into a melody fuelled blaze of hard rock meets heavy metal passion. It is a glorious anthem of sound and intent which resourcefully ignites and enslaves the emotions into their fullest ardour, a track which dares you not to be calling out its finale in a mutual vocal union, a challenge you only will lose.

The release ends with The Storm, a track which in the wake of the previous onslaughts feels at first almost pale in comparison that is until it too corrupts the senses with a dramatic and perfectly sculpted furnace of sonic endeavour and vital melodic invention. It is an absorbing encounter to close off an outstanding release. It maybe their introduction to most but Patriot Rebel has immediately thrust themselves into a vibrant spotlight with Two Worlds, and they can only get better with is simply a mouthwatering proposition.

www.facebook.com/patriotrebel

10/10

RingMaster 07/12/2013

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Magoa – Topsy Turvydom

PRESS-PIC-MAGOA-2013

    Topsy Turvydom might not be setting new standards and adventures for the metal world but with ten tracks of bruising and invigorating craft it makes for one sizeable and feisty encounter, a confrontation which leaves satisfaction and enjoyment lively responses. Created by French band Magoa, the album is a multi-flavoured rampage employing an expanse of styles and invention within its explosive body and though it maybe is not the most original fury of modern metal it does provide a very easy to devour and return to exploit.

The album from the Ermont hailing quintet is the successor to the band’s well-received debut Swallow the Earth, a superbly sculpted and delivered blaze of metal which builds on the strong base of its predecessor to push the band to greater depths in their songwriting and aural manipulations. Released via Klonosphere and produced by Charles “Kallaghan” Massabo, Topsy Turvydom initially engages the ear with a rich suggestive ambience, its brewing mass and intensity punctuated by electronic beats. It soon unveils the entrance to opener Ailleurs where the guitars of Vincent Alvarez and David Teixeira are instantly carving the air with concise sinew clad invention and the rhythms of drummer Martin Montergnole punching as forcibly as the riffs beside them. It is a magnetic introduction where the squalling vocals of Cyd Chassagne sit perfectly upon the djent/metalcore filtered enterprise The already impacting encounter lures the passions further as an electronic teasing and the bass of Vincent Blondel add extra contrasting yet wholly persuasive tempting. The song is an immense start which provides the core knowledge of the album, a storm of slightly familiar attributes unleashed in a resourceful and contagious tempest.

The following Wall of the Damned is a sturdy confirmation of the strong start, cleaner heavy rock vocals and grooves the opening Pochette_cartoninvitation within another rapacious cage of hungry riffery and rhythmic provocation. The song twists and turns in its presentation, fusing a mix of John Bush fronted Anthrax and TesseracT which slowly burns its way into the senses and imagination, moving from initially a pleasing encounter into one of the highlights of the album, its emotive keys caressing and melancholic atmosphere an endearing and lasting suasion.

As the likes of the commanding Max Bet, with its infectious blend of lethal intent and melodic swaggering, and the intriguing Betraying Grace next play upon the ears, the album continues to enthral and breed a strong hunger for its presence. The second of the two swings from a Pantera like snarl to a pop metal coated harmonic embrace, its structure imaginative and impressively crafted as it entwines the extremes into an appealing and ultimately convincing assault. Another track which takes time to fully persuade and to ignite the energy of pleasure others reap with ease, the track only leaves attention and appetite engrossed in what Topsy Turvydom next has to offer.

     Party Time brings an electro metal bred suggestiveness to its encounter which without lighting the fires and an appreciation like its predecessors still makes a worthy incitement for the album and emotions, if not a long term one, the same which can be said of the classic metal seeded Eat You Alive and the Estamos Locos. The first of these two is less potent in its merging of styles, the song shaking the throat gently rather than ripping out its flesh like other tracks on the album, whilst its successor even in providing a brutal and ravenous predation on the senses fails to find that spark or fuse to a lingering and deep thrill, though both in craft and skill leave no one wanting.

     Broken Record is a different story; featuring Threat Signal’s vocalist Jon Howard, the track is a ravishment of the senses with an intensive rabidity soaking every riff and rhythmic strike whilst vocally Chassagne, backed strongly by the band, chews every syllable of his narrative before sharing its aggressiveness. Infusing rap vocals in to the antagonistic rage works well as do the harmonies which caress the ears in the latter part of the song even if neither delivery escapes the shade provided by the great lead attack, but it is the imagination and adventurous experimentation of the song and its structure which makes the richest convincing; and certainly the virulent grooves and Korn like breath which breaks out at times does it no harm either.

Completed by the strenuous and inventive might of Forgotten Saints and the excellent closing insidious fury of the thrash lit There Is No Tomorrow, the album is an impressive and convincing slab of accomplished and thrilling metal. Magoa might not be stretching limits but undoubtedly creates a tempest of enterprise and skill which feeds the needs of any metal release. Intelligently carved invention, exhausting passionate energy, and the eagerness to push themselves, the album has it all and more.

http://magoamusic.com

8/10

RingMaster 06/11/2013

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Emperor Chung – Self Titled

Emperor Chung Online Promo Shot

If their self-titled debut album is a sign of things to come, UK rock band Emperor Chung is going to be one impressive and incendiary proposition for British rock music. The eleven track release is a riveting introduction to a band which has been causing quite a stir with their fresh and diverse sound. It is an album which does miss the opportunity to be an instant classic but as a reservoir of promise and the seed of expectations of big things to come, it is a striking and potent triumph.

Coming from Ilkeston in Derbyshire and formed in late 2011, Emperor Chung has taken little time in making their mark locally and further afield with a sound which has drawn comparisons to those such as Queen, Thin Lizzy, Coheed & Cambria, and Alter Bridge in various ways. Consisting of vocalist Martin Jackson, guitarists Danny Beardsley (formerly of Isolysis) and Richard Shaw (also of NG26), bassist Dan Hayes, and drummer Eddie Hodgkinson (formerly Eight Idle Hands), all bringing strong experience from their previous exploits, Emperor Chung has been on a rapid and impressive rise which their album is sure to accelerate. Their performance at Download earlier this year set the country’s rock scene on full alert, which the album creatively reinforces and with appearances at the YNOT festival with The Darkness, Macmillanfest with Tesseract, and numerous other shows taking the year into the next you can only feel their ascent is picking up speed.

The wintery scene to the start of I Vow This Day brings in instant drama and menace which has thoughts licking their lips, especially whenEmperor Chung Cover Artwork a tight inviting groove from the guitar beckons. The impressive vocals of Jackson soon make their appealing mark also and when the chorus with Beardsley adding his strong tones moves over for an even greater lure to that original groove, the track has full eager attention. From there it does not exactly hold its grip but with good sonic displays and feisty rhythms perpetually nagging the ear, it is a pleasing if not striking start to the album.

The following To Bring Justice and Downpour soon raise levels as the band and release begins to stretch their creativity and adventure. The first is a smouldering heat of strong vocals and melodic imagination which from its stirring opening flexing of sinews and emotive intensity evolves into a tantalising weave of progressive rock and evocative colour crafted by the guitars and veined by the throaty call of the bass and the snarling riffs. It is the first pinnacle of the album and does makes its predecessor look a little pale. The classic rock sculpted build of its successor provides a muscular and equally warm sonic blaze. The track creates a contagious web around the ears but as a few times on the album just does not take that final step or bite to secure a lingering slavery of the passion; nevertheless the song as the album is a richly appetising encounter which leaves satisfaction full.

The album is themed by a story of an Emperor Penguin, Chico Chung who is hunting down the members of the Chinese zodiac who murdered his father. It sounds a little Kung Fu Panda like taken out of context but the wrap of the bands enterprise, which starts with the outstanding artwork around the album to the lyrical fun and craft not forgetting gripping sounds, brings the premise successfully within the potent persuasion of tracks, like the next up My Next Foe and Pyramid. Both tracks in their individual landscapes paint an evocative progressive/melodic narrative which explores the imagination, and though neither grips the plateaus of some of the other songs they leave a brewing hunger in their wake for more, which the likes of No Mercy and the band’s first single The Bloodline supply with accomplished craft and inventive temptation. The first of these two has a familiarity to it and often reminds of Coheed & Cambria whilst the second offers a slowly building melodic caress from guitars and vocals which takes little time to seduce attention and thoughts. It is an obvious lead into the album for newcomers if not the best track on the release.

That honour belongs to Our Weaknesses, a scintillating track which from its intriguing guitar mystique at the start soon expels a technically teasing and invigorating fire of intensity and invention which reminds of Tesseract though across the enthralling song and not for the first time on the album, there is also a strong breeze of Manic Street Preachers coating its irresistible flames. It is the best thing on the album by far, which considering the strength of all songs gives an idea of its majesty, guitars carving out an addictive entrapment which the great rhythmic predation and snarling vocals stalk and ignite further.

The impressive Victory’s Calling and the mouth-watering Apex bring the album towards an intensely enjoyable close leaving Free At Least and its melodic yet rapacious suasion to conclude a thoroughly thrilling and impressive release. As impressive as it is you do feel there is an element of a lost opportunity with not enough songs fulfilling their open potential but with all drenched in unmistakable and infectious promise it is only a matter of time before Emperor Chung do create a ‘classic’ you feel. For now their debut is a wholly enterprising and hunger sufficing treat from a band destined to major things.

http://emperorchung.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheEmperorChung

8.5/10

RingMaster 14/10/2013

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Pteroglyph – The Great Unseen EP

Pteroglyph Online Promo picture

The excellent Found EP of last year made a striking introduction and formidable base for UK metal project Pteroglyph to stretch its evolution of invention and power from, which it surely has with The Great Unseen EP. The new release is a riveting expanse of technical art, fervour fuelled imagination, and finely crafted textures which go from chewing upon to seducing the senses within the time a breath takes to release its hunger, and back again continually. It is a masterful giant soundscape, a three part emotive adventure merged into one long rewarding excursion through shadows and blazing light wrapped in an evocative potency.

Pteroglyph is the one man project of multi-instrumentalist Jimmy MacGregor, once of one of the UK’s finest bands Mishkin. Setting out on his own to explore his unique musical premises and sculpt multi-layered technical structures within a torrent of sonic incitement, MacGregor chiselled a debut in the Found EP which was as emotionally colourful as it was metallically confrontational. Pulling acclaim from the underground media and offering a track to a cover mounted Metal Hammer CD, the release set up strong anticipation for future compositions from the man, an appetite fully satisfied by The Great Unseen.

Part One of The Great Unseen instantly unleashes a concentration of stabbing riffs with swarming sonic persistence as its companion, thePteroglyph Cover Artwork immediately riveting introduction soon joined by the hoarse growls of MacGregor and an acidic melodic wash. An intensive brew of rapier like jagged guitar spite and perpetually shifting vocal and enterprising invention, the track brings a suspicious and intimidating landscape to engage the listener whilst setting it ablaze with the excellent skill and progressively layered cutting sonic narrative. The promo accompanying the release suggests the EP is for fans of the likes of Devin Townsend, Sylosis, and Gojira, an impossible to argue with statement which can be stretched to include The First, Tesseract, and similarly inspired artists on evidence of this stretch of creativity alone.

The second part merges from an evocative mist to bring a singular guitar coaxing against the brewing storm with vocal harmonies flanking its suasion. Soon though the track has sinews and teeth coveting and assaulting the ear with pure rapaciousness whilst the vocal croon of MacGregor glides through the attack at times breaking into a rabid delivery to match the carnivorous side of the piece as melodic and atmospheric layers weave a concurrent evocative and resourceful flame to shape further tantalising depths within the track.

With the third part of the EP a tender and gentle plain of melodic and emotionally charged reflective imagination, The Great Unseen leaves thoughts and feelings soaring as high as the skies the final part ventures with its warm and evocative charms, though the outstanding heavy tones of the bass provides a dark anchor ensuring the piece of music never loses its shadowed footing as it brings an impressive release to a potent close.

Released through Red Tower Records The Great Unseen is a formidable step forward for Pteroglyph yet still suggesting there are more layers and depths to explore, which is one very exciting proposition.

https://www.facebook.com/Pteroglyph

http://www.pteroglyph.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 24/08/2013

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Deadfall – Sentinel EP

deadfall

When releasing their five track EP New Light two years ago Massachusetts band Deadfall easily impressed and set up strong anticipation of things to follow with their djent carved progressive instrumentals. It was a release which sparked a real appetite for the creative explorations  of duo Eddie Kim and Sean Dusoe. It also came with areas which you hoped they expanded further as well as elements where the release suggested it could benefit from investigating, like adding a vocalist and live drums. The Sentinel EP finds the band, now a sextet, has indeed experimented with and brought in those aspects as well as pushed their imagination and invention on, and the result is quite magnificent. The three track release is a thrilling and inspiring slice of progressive metal, the band still seeded in its initial sound but a fuller, healthier, and more potent beast.

Now alongside Kim (guitar) and Dusoe (bass), the Watertown based Deadfall consists of vocalist Chris Greene, guitarists Kyle Brennan and Keith Dusoe, and drummer  Marc Brennan. Taking inspirations from the likes of Periphery, TesseracT, Meshuggah, Cloudkicker, and Animals As Leaders into their own adventure, the band has with   Sentinel laid down a declaration of an emerging impressive force which can only improve to greater stirring heights. The release is a teaser to a debut album scheduled for later in the year and it certainly has hunger licking its ravenous lips in anticipation.

The title track opens up the release and immediately has attention snapping in its direction especially when the vocals and organica2385053675_2 feel of the drums make their early declarations. Initial contact comes from gnarly riffs picking and chewing on the ear whilst beats crisply lay their sinews across the instantly eager senses but it is the smouldering expressive tones of Greene which make the biggest statement for thoughts to leap upon and passions ignite to. His delivery is a Chino Moreno like wrap around words, a warm seductive tone emotively washing the intensive riffing and spiralling sonic invention of the guitars. The song is a startling and enthralling encounter and for those aware of the earlier release an exhilarating evolution. The persistent gnawing from riffs and rhythms adds riveting shadows and menace to the contrasting temptation and when vocals take on their own caustic growl later into the track, the union is sealed with rapacious majesty.

The other two songs are re-workings of two of the instrumentals on New Light, and it is fascinating to hear and see their progression from exploratory and open promise into intense and scintillating pieces of carnivorous beauty. The first Shades Of Inception takes no time to wind the senses into its muscular knot of sonic manipulation as brawling coarse vocals rage against their walls. Whereas the original version took its time to ignite its predatory passion now it is more urgently into its attack, softening up its victim for the following melodic voice of Greene and the atmospheric caressing keys to colour a tempering ambience against the rabidly tinged riff fired confrontation. Again there is nothing but lustful satisfaction ignited by the eagerly shifting blend of aggression and resourceful elegance. Deadfall have discovered the perfect alchemy to merging spirited spitefulness and incendiary incandescence, a result which leaves the listener basking in hot-blooded imagination.

Final track The Divergence shimmers with melodic crystalline warmth and light bursts before being cored by another torrent of voracious djent honed riffs, once more the union irresistible and skilfully brought to bear on the ear. Bruising and alluring in the same and every breath it takes, the song escapes into every pore, synapse, and esurient thought rife before its enterprise, whilst conjuring another unique and contagiously evocative blaze.

The Sentinel EP, as impressive as it is straight off the bat reveals more of its triumph with each additional venture, the already renowned guitar craft of Kim creating stunning paintings of sound aided and matched by each element and member of the band. Deadfall has arrived at its full sound but the EP still only suggests they are scratching the surface of their promise which is undeniably exciting. As a name your price release their Bandcamp page, there is no reason not to make the first step in joining their sure rise which has its next major landmark one suspects with the forthcoming album.

www.facebook.com/deadfall1

9.5/10

RingMaster 17/06/2013

 

 

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Conjuring the vision: an interview with The Afterimage

Photo by: Brooks Reynolds

Photo by: Brooks Reynolds

The Afterimage is one of the imaginative and creative new bands to explode onto the metal scene initially in their homeland Canada and more recently Europe, this year. Their outstanding debut EP Formless is an introduction to a band which fuses flavours of extremes and melodic spicery into a sensational and unpredictable adventure. Given the opportunity to ask the band more about themselves and their release we had the pleasure of talking to vocalist Kyle Anderson and guitarist Alex Lappano.

Hi and welcome to The Ringmaster Review

Firstly tell us about The Afterimage, its conception and intent as a musical force.

Kyle: The Afterimage was formed in December 2011.  I (Kyle) had been fronting a project before that called ‘Centuries Apart’ which Alex was involved in briefly.  Alex and I stuck together and recruited drummer Nick McCaslin and bassist Dallas Bricker shortly after.  They were involved in a project with Alex previously and were a great fit.  Mike Ticar was later added on guitar a few months after.

You have been a band around a year and in that time made a major impression at first in your home state Ontario and now beginning to worldwide. Has it seemed a bit of a blur or have you had the chance to reflect and enjoy as things brewed and grew?

Kyle: In all honesty this has been amazing for us.  We never imagined having some of the interest we’ve had in our material.  We’re just having fun playing music we enjoy making.

From the outside Ontario appears a potent breeding ground for metal and rock bands; is that the reality and how has the area affected you as a band if at all?

Kyle: It has definitely had a huge impact on us through our time in the heavy music scene.  Growing up listening to a lot of great bands from the area and being impacted by their performances and records always inspired us to create ourselves.

You just released your outstanding Formless EP across Europe, have the highly positive responses surprised you?182321_363752250345032_761764621_n

Kyle: We are very surprised about this!  We never imagined we’d be able to release the EP in Europe and that in and of itself is  a blessing.

The tracks show a wonderfully diverse and pulsating blend of sounds, who are the major influences which if not inspiring your sound, has influenced the way you look at and create it?

Kyle: We actually have some major influences outside of Metal.

For instance…

Jaga Jazzist, This Town Needs Guns, Toe and The Bulletproof Tiger are all huge with our guitarist Alex who handles a lot of the writing.

In terms of Metal, Meshuggah, Ion Dissonance, Danza and Tesseract would be some big ones.

Musically it is fair to say you bring many sub genres and flavours together for a unique result. For newcomers how would you describe your sound to best represent your imaginative creations?

Kyle: I’d say we’re a Progressive Metalcore band if you want to use a title.  We just fuse chaos and melody.  That’s how I’d put it simply.

How do the songs, from seed to final creative explosion, come about within the band?

Kyle: Like I said before Alex handles the majority of the writing.  He had a lot of the ideas locked away for quite some time and we refined them for the release of ‘Formless’.

You have found a strong and eager audience and response in Canada, has Europe and the UK taken to the same things as your countrymen in your sound and EP or picked up on and found an ardour for different elements?

Kyle: I find the response is pretty similar.  I’d say groove/rhythmic aspects are bigger in the UK but the chaotic parts are generally received well over here.

Is the Canadian underground metal scene one which is wrapped in its own ‘juices’ or takes plenty of influences from elsewhere and how does it help new bands like yourselves?

Kyle: I’d say the influence comes from everywhere.  With the internet being the a huge force for distributing and sharing music it’s become quite easy to keep track of projects from all over.

Tell us about the writing and recording of Formless.

Kyle: As I said before a lot of the riffs were already compiled by Alex in his archives.  We re-worked structure and tweaked a bunch of things about a month before recording.

In terms of the recording, Jordan Valeriote (Structures, Counterparts, Silverstein) produced and engineered the EP.  He is an absolute pleasure to work with and we will continuously go back to him.

Photo by: Brooks Reynolds

Photo by: Brooks Reynolds

Reverie  the single from the EP which we said had a maniacal mastery through the sonic mayhem of the guitars and offered elements of jazz and improv to its chaos. A fair reflection of what is an immense track in your thoughts?

Alex: I’m extremely picky with what I like to hear, and due to this I find that I always end up writing songs that jump back and forth from each side of the musical spectrum. For example; with heavier styles of music, I love chaos and abrasiveness, but on the other hand, I’m a huge sucker for melody and instrumentals that can express emotion. On top of being extremely picky, I get bored very, very quickly, so I try to keep myself constantly entertained with the music. So I’d say my attention span (or lack thereof) is what leads to having dissonant chromatic sections followed with a melodic passage! I hope that answered your question!

What were your hopes for the EP with its release in Europe?

Kyle: We honestly had no idea how that was going to go, but so far Ghost has treated us great and we’re quite happy with the response!

Are you itching to come over this side of the world to play and when are we likely to have the pleasure?

Kyle: We’re not sure of the when right now, but it’s something we’d love to do as soon as possible!

What is next for The Afterimage, an album maybe?

Kyle: We’re currently finishing up writing the full length album, although no release dates/plans have been made as of yet.

You released Formless through Ghost Music; is this union one which goes beyond that release and how have you found them in comparison to how your releases at home have come about?

Kyle: Toyan from Ghost Music has been great to us. He’s an extremely nice guy and very organized. We have nothing but great things to say about Ghost!

What are your plans for the end of the year and hopes going into 2013?483438_428899413830315_467549125_n

Kyle: Just playing our city Toronto, ON.  2013 will consist of touring and working on the full length.

Great thanks for sharing time to talk with us here, any last words or thoughts you would like to end with?

Kyle: Just want to say thank you for interviewing us, and make sure you check out our new single ‘THE SEEKING’!  It’s a free download.

https://www.facebook.com/TheAfterimage705

Read the review of the Formless EP @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/the-afterimage-formless-ep/

The RingMaster Review 23/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright