Scream Blue Murder – Rock Bottom

Certainly with their debut album three years back, metallers Scream Blue Murder more than teased our attention; a release which coaxed strong praise around the metalcore scene. Now the band has just uncaged its predecessor and the teasing upon our personal attention is over, replaced by a forceful grip from an encounter which confirms the Coventry quartet one as one of the UK’s most striking proposition.

Formed in 2014, Scream Blue Murder quickly gained eager support through their first EP, a release leading to the band signing with Stay Sick Recordings. It was that debut full-length two years later which really stirred things up, Hollow Stories a collection of imagination soaked and boldly delivered songs. Since its success, the band has toured the USA three times and cross EU/UK countless times sharing stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, Crossfaith, Of Mice And Men, We Are The Ocean, Cancer Bats, The Defiled, I, The Breather, With One Last Breath, The Red Chord and so many more. Rock Bottom though is a whole new ball game, the new strength and maturity in songwriting matched by the new depth of adventure and imagination fuelled its tracks.

The album opens with Death Sentence, Aaron Bloomer‘s easily engaging vocals kissed by a warm melody in the song’s shadows. It is a potent invitation which soon catches light as the song looms nearer and erupts in a fiery melodic metal roar. Intensity and aggression soon joins the growing tempest, but one which ebbs and flows in its assault as the band’s melodic and harmonic prowess entangles the core volatility of the encounter.  As it expands its landscape atmospheric intimation brings another compelling exploration within the already infectious proposition, the guitar of Jack Roddy constantly shaping and entangling the inescapable tempting with rich enterprise.

Inside follows and immediately confronts and trespasses the senses, the hefty swings of drummer Jamie Bloomer driving its incursion. Even so, the invasive proposal is infectiously wired, again raw and clean vocals to the core of a virulence embracing the untamed nature of some of the surrounding sounds. Jacob Houghton’s bass adds a thick moodiness as well as its own rousing endeavour, the song all the while, as its predecessor, aligning mellow and melodic intimation with metal irritability and creative hostility.

The album’s title track and new single lays out its own particular magnetism next, Rock Bottom eventually seeing its opening melancholic sea bubbling up with harsher emotion and intensity. Every wave crashes in with instinctive catchiness amidst intimate self-reflection, drama soaking every note and syllable before recent single Bury Me eclipses its haunting success with unbridled virulence. Bass and guitar collude in a swiftly tempting web of riffs and grooves but a mere twist in the emerging landscape of imagination and enterprise creating one of the album’s major highlights. Every angle of the song is devious in its captivation and incitement, anxiety and angst soaking the fluid union of prickly attitude, spirited aggression, and calm repose.

Light It Up is just as dramatic and potent straight after, it too equipped with inescapable hooks and delicious grooves within a tapestry of texture varied adventure. Easily the most infectious moment within the release despite the contagious might of so many others, the song just manipulated and enslaved participation from body and throat whilst relishing the band’s open imagination does miss the target yet with its tetchy air and keys bred melodic climate offering plenty to become engaged in, striding rhythms and vocal contemplation adding to its persuasive fuel, it leaves thick satisfaction in its wake before The Anchor offers up its own inventive web, rancor and splenetic emotion lining its harsher threads alongside causticity less catchiness. It too took a touch longer to fully tempt but with a rousing chorus and individual flair constantly uniting for a rich recipe of sound it left little else to be desired.

A new harshness and irascibility soaks the latter part of the album, Friends Like Judas ear grabbing proof yet that fractious increasing does nothing to diminish the instinctive catchiness of songs and choruses which just light up the senses. Another big highpoint within Rock Bottom, it leaves a hunger for more in its wake as it makes way for the equally imposing and spitefully enticing Over the Line where every dynamic breath and inventive turn left another layer of praised for release and band.

Victims of Violence completes the line-up of pleasures, its haunting intimation and threat soon a fertile tempest of craft and emotive volatility whilst providing a striking and thrilling end to a just as potent release.

There is something familiar about the Scream Blue Murder sound at times across Rock Bottom yet it is hard to define and is more than tempered by the bold uniqueness which surrounds it. From their more metalcore beginnings, the band has evolved a rich multi-flavoured sound which inspires as it thrills. The fact that it feels like Scream Blue Murder are still to fully tap into their potential means it is hard not to be rather excited for times ahead whilst enjoying this triumph of a release.

Rock Bottom is out now via Stay Sick Recordings; available @ https://screambluemurderofficial.bigcartel.com/

Upcoming live dates…

May 17th – Coventry – Kasbah (Hometown show)

May 18th – Kingston – Fighting Cocks

http://sbmofficial.com/   https://www.facebook.com/sbmmetal/   https://twitter.com/SBMmetal

Pete RingMaster 01/05/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Koshiro – Crown Of Venom

Koshiro Promo Picture_RingMaster Review

Starting off well and just getting creatively bigger and bolder over its six tempestuous tracks, the Crown Of Venom EP from metalcore quintet Koshiro, pretty much reflects the emergence of the British band. Making a good and potent impression with the first release, the band has continued to grow into a formidable proposition on the underground metal scene. Whether their new EP is enough to push them into the thicker glare of the broader metal scene time will tell, as it still suggests there is plenty more from the band to come in greater originality and ingenuity, but it will forcibly remind that the Bristol fury is around and getting stronger and more sonically vocal.

Formed in 2010, Koshiro quickly drew attention and loyal local support with their fierce yet melodically fiery sound. Their self-titled EP of 2012 and a handful of singles around and since it have nudged wider attention with plaudits increasing in turn, whilst live the band’s reputation has similarly only grown, shows with the likes of Feed the Rhino, TRC, Lower Than Atlantis, The Safety Fire, Blessthefall, Malefice, I, The Breather, and LIFERUINER part of their emergence over the years. Crown Of Venom though, is a new big step for the band; in songwriting and imagination it easily outshines all before and musically reveals the band as mentioned earlier, bigger, bolder, and creatively busier. In the words of vocalist Ben Errington, “These new songs are both the most chaotic and the most heartfelt we’ve ever put together. There are tracks on this record that I never thought we’d be capable of; we really wanted these songs to capture our live sound perfectly but take it to the next level, really expand upon our grand ideas which have progressed from our past singles ‘Malevolent’ and ‘Guts Guilt Greed”.

Koshiro Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP was recorded with long-time collaborator Kevin Peters and opens with the thickly atmospheric, slightly portentous air of Green and Gold. Strings seep elegance and melancholy in equal measure whilst the ever strong tones of Errington share the emotive heart of the track as haunting keys cup his expressive voice with cinematic resonance. It is a potent coaxing into the release and the following King Of Snakes, if a start which does not light any particular fires outside of intrigue despite the prowess of all. Its successor quickly provides a bigger temptation, its initial breath Tricore like with again Errington providing rich bait as around him the guitars of Ben Bone and Thomas Clark begin sculpting a provocative and spiky weave of riffs, grooves, and sonic confrontation. The expected storm does not materialise despite ire and aggression lining all aspects, with the swiping beats of Craig Rudman especially intimidating and again the song does not hold the spark to get the blood raging through veins but with inventive enterprise and fine fluidity to its subtle and bigger twists of gait and ferocity, the song keeps ears and appetite easily on side, especially with its rousing anthemic calls, before being eclipsed by Necromancer.

As suggested, the EP improves and gets more fascinating with each subsequent track, and so as the first pair pleased, Necromancer stirs the senses like a landslide. From a dying heartbeat, the song erupts in barbarous rhythms and crushing riffs but amongst them a delicious scythe of violin ignites air and imagination, its wonderful touch just the first of ingenious hues and ideation within the carnivorous beast posing as a song. It would be hard to say it brings major originality but remembering others mixing up recognisable flavours as cleverly and tenaciously as Koshiro do is hard. The track continues to snarl and brawl with creative zeal but equally aligns the hostility with a striking melodic and vocal croon. In a way Crown Of Venom and indeed Koshiro seem to come of age at this point, a maturity continuing to impress hereon in.

Sleeper Cell steps up next with a rhythmic shuffle from Rudman which resonates through bone as it bewitches with infectiousness whilst bassist Rich Miller lures the darkest predacious tone from his strings as the guitars cast a tapestry of rancor and sonic romance. The ever riveting strings continue to spark adventure too whilst vocally Errington is as compelling, whether with raw squalls or clean persuasion, as the volatile furnace of sound and the musically driven bellow of emotion. The track is a climatic storm of temptation, and as its predecessor also ripe with the shoots of real originality which are definitely blooming within the band’s sound now, Creation Theory swift confirmation as between two vocal samples, which sound like they are voiced by Michael Caine, it sculpts a hellacious emprise of sound as physically carnal as it is evocatively suggestive. Like a war cry in many ways, the track has body and thoughts enflamed and ready to unleash their emotive strengths, a powerful success from a gladiatorial merger of devouring intensity and incendiary invention.

It is the pinnacle of the release, only relenting in its animosity as it departs for closing track Catharsis to begin spreading its melodic warmth with a slightly mercurial and antagonistic underbelly. It was up against it to match the previous trio of songs but still leaves the EP on a high whilst relishing the chance to reveal more of the depth and new diversity in the band’s sound and composing.

Actually there is one more offering upon Crown Of Venom, the bonus of a cover of Sia’s Chandelier. Though Koshiro easily improve the song it does nothing for the EP and quickly found itself ignored in our numerous listens of one increasingly impressive and enjoyable release.

Koshiro are again proving themselves to have the potential to make a big impact on the UK and European metal frontline, even more so this time around. They are probably still a couple of rungs short but with more progress as shown here, watch out world here they come.

The Crown Of Venom is available from September 25th through all stores.

Pete Ringmaster 24/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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