MONO INC. – The Book of Fire

Having been successfully teased by its first two tracks cast as a single a few weeks back anticipation for the new album from German alternative-gothic outfit MONO INC. was rife. In preparation for checking out The Book of Fire we leapt back into the first time we came across the Hamburg based band, that being seventh album Nimmermehr, to just remind ourselves of the evolution of their sound. It was a reminder that MONO INC. creates music which has always been wholly individual to them, one embracing a host of flavours and styles and the familiar essences within them but with a growth which never settles for a lack of exploration as proven by their outstanding eleventh studio album.

Formed back in 2000, the quartet of vocalist Martin Engler, drummer Katha Mia, guitarist Carl Fornia and bassist Manuel Antoni have created a bold new presence and adventure within the successor to their previous acclaimed album, Welcome to Hell. A concept album, The Book of Fire tells the complete story of young healer/witch Aellin in the era of inquisition told across 12 captivating chapters, the album an “earbook” for the senses and imagination exploring her ownership of the Book Of Fire as chosen by the mystical artefact containing the secret knowledge of centuries itself. Fair to say the story alone proved enough to captivate but it comes wrapped and entangled in songs and sounds which equally just fascinated.

The Book of Fire begins with its title track, a gentle engaging melody on a piano welcoming attention before the song breaks into its scene setting canter. Already lyrics through the fine tones of Engler cast a social landscape and teasing intrigue, its bold physical and picture setting urging an infestation of light and shadows, calm and beauty challenged by an impending threat and darkness.

The instinctive catchiness of the surging gothic rock/folk scented encounter even in its slower reflective moments is a potent trait across the whole of the album, the following Louder Than Hell similarly an infectiously stirring incitement this time embroiled in a great electronic rock/industrial bred wind across tenacious heavy rock nurtured textures. Vocally Engler and Mia combine to enthralling effect in a chorus which echoes the contagious dynamism of a song which swiftly had the body bouncing though too there is a siren like enchantment to it.

Warriors is next up, emerging on a keys woven string caressed calm and vocally understanding. From that elegance a rising of tribal confidence and arousing incitement sweeps song and ears alike, its nobility and muscle security and strength within the shadows bound proposal and approaching dark horizons. The band’s latest single, it effortlessly got under the skin as too its successor Shining Light which features Tilo Wolff of Lacrimosa. If the album already had us gripped, the fourth track simply had us enslaved. From its first second, the song’s virulent stroll swathed in golden harmonies ignited the imagination, every note and sound as haunting as they are magnetic. Engler’s vocals and the controlled but lively rhythms of Mia and Antoni simply induced thought and body too while its chorus was the spark for vocal participation, keys working on an instinctive body sway. The song is superb, one of the most potent tracks heard in a while and surely a great choice for next single.

There is no let-up in temptation and rousing exploits as Where The Raven Flies rides in, guitar and rhythms springing another invasive catchiness accentuated by the piano. Those keys continue to engage and inspire the imagination as the song relaxes, a thoughtful mellowness descending though quickly from its embrace senses stalking beats swing their muscle to emphasize the tempting rather than break it. Across its emerging body, the track epitomises the unpredictability and invention within the release shaping it with melodic craft and poetic intimation.

As the likes of The Last Crusade, with its anthemic breath and great bass nagging, and the dark folk metal scented Death or Life coat ears in thick craft, enterprise and stirring emprise, band and album only strengthened the temptation and pleasure, the following pair of Nemesis and Right for The Devil with their respective darkly soulful serenade and groove metal toned electro industrial exploits just as irrepressible and irresistible. The latter has Teufel of Tanzwut guesting within its almost predatory saunter, a fanfare of fire icing on its creative cake.

Though Run for Your Life with its classic metal lined character might not have sparked the lust of others it effortlessly had the body and spirit abound while The Gods of Love ignited those same elevated reactions with its rapacious march and predation steeled textures. It proved another major highlight within the continuing peaks of the album, voice and sound alike galvanic around just as potent words before in bringing things to a close, What Have We Done shares the rich drama and enterprise as well as eager imagination behind the whole of The Book of Fire. The finale is a roar of emotive realisation and dark rapacity honed into another exceptional adventure, an epilogue which haunts as it breeds the despair of those within.

The Book of Fire is a stunning encounter and the finest moment with MONO INC. to date. Every second had us enthralled and aroused, every moment in the narrative and presentation a theatre of craft and temptation within a sound as intrepidly bold and darkly valorous.

The Book of Fire is available now via SPV / NoCut and ADA / Entertainment One.

THE BOOK OF FIRE TOUR 2020

06.03.20 – Münster, Skaters Palace

07.03.20 – Köln, Carlswerk Victoria

12.03.20 – München, Backstage Werk

13.03.20 – Nürnberg, Z-Bau

14.03.20 – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof

15.03.20 – Pratteln, Z7

20.03.20 – Berlin, Columbia Halle

21.03.20 – Leipzig, Haus Auensee

27.03.20 – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle

28.03.20 – Stuttgart, Im Wizemann

29.03.20 – Saarbrücken, Garage

03.04.20 – Hannover, Pavillon

http://mono-inc.com/   https://www.facebook.com/monoinc   https://twitter.com/mono_inc

Pete RingMaster 16/02/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

From streets and trees

With again thanks to our friend Shauna of the great band Ummagma and leading light of the mighty Shameless PR, we have discovered another clutch of singles sure to ignite your interest.

The Room in The Wood is centred round the creative union of guitarist Paul Cavanagh and vocalist Dave Jackson, the pair back writing and playing together again since the demise of their post-punk band The Room in 1985; a band whose single, Things Have Learnt to Walk That Ought to Crawl still finds an eager place in our ears. That alone sparked real anticipation as what The Room in The Wood might offer and as Charmed reveals, it is pure captivation.

The likes of The Doors, Burt Bacharach, Beck, Fleet Foxes, and Nick Cave have been offered up as suggestions to the band’s sound but as soon as Charmed began its suggestive balladry, it was The Monochrome Set which came to mind and escalated the natural magnetism of the song, To be fair, the track is unique to The Room in The Wood in every way but that additional scent does it no harm as neither the flighty lures of Simon James’ folkish flute and the autumn stroll of drummer Colin George Lamont’s rhythms.

Released via A Turntable Friend Records, Charmed is a slice of melodic beauty with snapping jaws at social disparity and a real joy.

Also released through A Turntable Friend Records is the latest single from the black watch, a LA-based outfit consisting of John Andrew Fredrick, Andy Creighton, Scott Campbell, and Rob Campanella. Crying All The Time is taken from Brilliant Failures, the quartet’s new album planned for release mid-2020 and no finer a teaser for the full-length are you likely to hear.

A slice of psychedelic indie pop, the song has a definite eighties scent to its enterprise; indeed in certain moments and in varying degrees bands such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Sound, and The House Of Love came to mind though it would be wrong to say that Crying All The Time shared anything less than the black watch richness.

From the citric jangle of guitar to the rampant incitement of rhythms and Fredrick’s participation encouraging vocals, the single rides pop rock instincts with creative boisterousness. Everything about it is virulent infectiousness yet embraces an organic DIY feel which again harkens back to late seventies/early eighties invention and boldness; another of numerous reasons to swiftly check it out,

photo by DC Cane

With their new self-titled mini album set for release January 31st, Beat Hotel share the second single from it on the 3rd. Bury It Deep is a song with an indie rock jangle and melodic pop catchiness and an ear pleasing invitation to that upcoming release.

Featuring current and former members of The June Brides, The Loft, The Weather Prophets, Distractions, Mudlow, Mojo Fins, and Lolita Storm and based between Brighton and Plymouth, Beat Hotel is the long-time project of guitarist/vocalist Paul Pascoe and bassist Arash Torabi. With drummer Dave Morgan having played on records alongside the likes of Jazz Butcher, Primal Scream, Vic Goddard, and Subway Sect, there was plenty to intrigue from the band’s musical experiences alone and Bury It Deep quickly rewarded with its accomplished enterprise.

There is a touch of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions to the song’s guitars at times, a hue which escalates its natural infectiousness and the melodic prowess of Pascoe and fellow guitarist Stephen Brett. With a psych rock breath adding to the track’s shimmer against the darker lit stroll of rhythms, Bury It Deep soon had ears hooked and with increasing strength by the listen. Released through Occultation Recordings, it is a song which suggests that upcoming release will be well worth a good listen.

Also with a new album in the wings, German gothic rockers MONO INC. release a pair of singles to entice ears towards that bigger proposition.

The Book of Fire and Louder Than Hell are the opening two songs upon The Book of Fire LP which will be released January 24th via SPV / NoCut in Europe and ADA / Entertainment One in North America. The eleventh full-length from the Hamburg quartet, it is a concept album of a “time when knowledge gained over centuries was systematically erased…A time of the inquisition”, an adventure the two singles suggest will make for a fascinating exploration.

The band’s sound is a weave of gothic rock and folk scented metal evenly embracing familiarity and uniqueness. The Book of Fire is a canter of melodic dexterity and lyrical intimation and straight away coaxes attention with its melodic lures before bursting into a bolder and heavier surge. Martin Engler’s tones soon unveil the track’s shadow bound tale as the rhythms of bassist Manuel Antoni and drummer Katha Mia echo that darkness.

Louder Than Hell similarly takes the imagination into a saga of drama and darkness and with matching enterprise from its electronic enticing to robust rock exploits. With Mia’s tones a rousing company to Engler’s lead and the guitar of Carl Fornia weaving suggestion as potent as the lyrics, the track makes for a stirring encounter, eclipsing its companion on the way with both tracks joining those previously mentioned in luring intrigue and attention the way of the bigger proposals they come from.

The final single we urge you to go explore is The Delicate Balance of All Things from Beauty in Chaos featuring Wayne Hussey. The song is the first appetiser for the LA-based collective’s new album, The Storm Before The Calm, a release due February 21st via 33.3 Music Collective which as its predecessor sees the project formed/led/curated by guitarist Michael Ciravolo (Human Drama/ Michael Aston’s Gene Loves Jezebel) uniting with the craft and talent of numerous musicians.

Also a potent part of that debut, Finding Beauty in Chaos, The Mission’s Hussey joins Ciravolo in The Delicate Balance of All Things, his distinctive tones a calm and suggestive presence within the psych bred web of guitar and the melodic shimmer from their evocative strands. Craftily infectious in groove and gait and hauntingly dramatic in tone and imagination, the track simply bewitched ears and appetite while laying the seeds of eager anticipation for The Storm Before The Calm.

https://www.facebook.com/theroominthewood/  https://twitter.com/davejacksonroom    https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/   https://theroominthewood.bandcamp.com/track/charmed

http://johnandrewfredrick.com/   https://www.facebook.com/theblackwatchmusic   https://twitter.com/blackwatchmusic   https://theblackwatch.bandcamp.com/track/crying-all-the-time

https://www.facebook.com/Beat-Hotel-107226936009024/   https://twitter.com/paulbeat70   https://beathotel2.bandcamp.com/album/beat-hotel

http://mono-inc.com/   https://www.facebook.com/monoinc   https://twitter.com/mono_inc

https://www.beautyinchaosmusic.com/   https://www.facebook.com/beautyinchaosmusic/   https://twitter.com/MichaelCiravolo

MONO INC.’s THE BOOK OF FIRE TOUR Dates

06.03.20 – Münster, Skaters Palace

07.03.20 – Köln, Carlswerk Victoria

12.03.20 – München, Backstage Werk

13.03.20 – Nürnberg, Z-Bau

14.03.20 – Wiesbaden, Schlachthof

15.03.20 – Pratteln, Z7

20.03.20 – Berlin, Columbia Halle

21.03.20 – Leipzig, Haus Auensee

27.03.20 – Oberhausen, Turbinenhalle

28.03.20 – Stuttgart, Im Wizemann

29.03.20 – Saarbrücken, Garage

03.04.20 – Hannover, Pavillon

04.04.20 – Hamburg, Sporthalle

Pete RingMaster 04/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright