NoSelf – Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1

Proving that nu metal is still a valid presence and temptation, Central Florida outfit NoSelf have just released their new seven track mini-album to excite ears and arouse the spirit. Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1 unites familiar traits with the band’s imagination stoking individuality, sparking body and an already bred appetite for the earlier heyday of nu metal along the way. It is claimed there is a new revival of the genre; a most welcome second coming if band and album is evidence of its new adventure.

Emerging in 2002, NoSelf draw on the inspiration of bands such as Deftones, Spineshank, Adema, Nothingface, and Korn for their sound, spicing making a potent ingredient in the band’s new Matt Johnson recorded offering. It is flavouring which has enriched previous encounters but makes more of a hue than ingredient of the immediately pleasing Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1.

The album opens with Casting Stones, instantly cradling ears in a melodic coaxing as keys entice. Their suggestive welcome swiftly draws the listener into a waiting raw roar of sound, the guitar of Justin Dabney a predacious tempest of riffs and grooves backed by the rapier swings of drummer Drew Miller. The snarling tones of vocalist Dylan Hart Kleinhans are enticingly tempered and supported by warmer vocals, the union a bridge between the savage and electronically enchanting aspects of the outstanding opener. As suggested earlier, the song brings recognisable aspects in its turbulence but equally a squall of fresh enterprise which has body and thoughts quickly locked in.

As great as it is, the starter is still eclipsed by next up Save Me; carnivorous riffs and the wonderfully gnarly tones of Joey Bivo’s bass chewing on the senses, their ferocious web sonic barbed wire. Similarly to the first, the track contrasts its ferocity with a harmonic radiance, vocals and melodies flirting with ears before falling into the onrushing scourge of aggression though still forcing their inviting calm to the surface. That Adema influence is an especially open and enticing colour in the storm, and across the release, adding to its drama as it tempers the corrosive heart of the excellent song.

Nudisease is just as appealing and intrusive as its predecessors though with a more tolerant nature, riffs and grooves to the fore from its first breath. The intensity of the first two is pulled back in the third though its fire is as pyre like but turned into a hook carting swagger which has the body bouncing. Slips into calmer passages are fluid and magnetic, the track revealing a bolder adventure than the previous two if less of their greed inducing savagery while successor Through Your Eyes also embraces mellower climes in its more mercurial atmosphere and proposition. The song though has a volcanic temperament and heart which fuels its melodic and aggressive sides, creating an unpredictable and rabid but ultimately restrained trespass which maybe teases more than fulfils but still leaves pleasure stuck in its previous high.

If there has been a more enticing start to a song this year than that of Outatime we have yet to hear it, the track beckoning with flirtatious sonic finger wagging before the funk hearted bass of Bivo adds its lure; swiftly followed by a rapacious tide of riffs. Just as tenacious vocals and rhythms soon jump in, their more predatory touch colluding with the atmospherically intriguing, funkily mischievous antics of the song and the similarly devious presence of Hart Kleinhans. Eventually its carnal rawness erupts in a contagion of an insatiable chorus before things ebb and flow in intensity with increasing infectiousness. The track steals best song honours in no time, cementing its claim with every listen.

The weakest moment on the encounter is Frisco but the fact it is one inescapably catchy and persuasive moment tells you how potent Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1 is as a whole. The song has a definite pop spiced side not heard on the previous tracks; a kinder more deliberately infectious nature which has the feet trapping and vocal chords induced. There is something of Australian band Voyager to the song at times which only adds to its tempting and a growing growl that shows real teeth but lacks the weight and tenacity of its predecessors for personal tastes. In saying that there is no denying it commands full involvement and enjoyment before making way for the closing delights of Ctrl-Z. It too has an undisguised poppiness but latched to an imposing antipathy which hits the spot as much as its infectious escapades. The song is another which bears boldness in design and adventure to captivate ears and imagination but also a hearty tension of sound and emotion which grips eager participation.

Recently signing a worldwide distribution deal with Zombie Shark Records, the new record label from Noah “Shark” Robertson (Motograter, EX-The Browning), NoSelf have pushed themselves to the fore of this new wave of nu metal seeded goodness with Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1. There is more to their sound than just that field of flavouring, one we eagerly await hearing expand ahead.

Human-Cyborg Relations Episode 1 is out now and available @ http://www.zombieshark.net/  and  https://zombiesharkrecords.bandcamp.com/album/human-cyborg-relations-episode-1

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Pete RingMaster 22/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

One Morning Left – Metalcore Superstars

OML promo_RingMaster Review

Metalcore Superstars is the new album from Finnish melodic metalcore band One Morning Left, and our introduction to a sound which quickly you get the marmite factor feeling about in, it breeding love or eager dislike with little in between. As the eleven rousing tracks of the encounter run riot through ears with their bedlamic burst of styles and flavours, we quickly fell into the former opinion and keenly embraced its ferocious mayhem.

It has been three years since the quintet released their seemingly well-received second album Our Sceneration; it’s uncaging in 2013 quickly followed by the band increasing their live presence and hitting stages alongside the likes of like Adept, F*ckface Unstoppable (Bam Margera), Protest The Hero, and We Butter The Bread With Butter and more across Europe. 2014 saw the band begin working on Metalcore Superstars, its creation an extensive affair as the band honed their new ideas into its slightly psychotic character until arriving at the seriously eventful confrontation grabbing ears today.

Maybe the best way to generalise the One Morning Left sound is ravenous metalcore with the punk contagion of Billy Talent, the techno adventure of Silent Descent, and the mischievous prowess of Hollywood Undead; it coming with a hardcore/avant-garde surge of attitude. The result is a full-on and enjoyably unpredictable protagonist, even if one that flirts with a loss of control at times.

art_RingMaster ReviewOpener OML_KVLT sees the band announcing themselves in anthemic style, the vocals of Mika Lahti a busy and tenacious mix backed by those of guitarist Leevi Luoto. Checking out tracks from previous releases, there seems a lighter tone to the creative devilment of One Morning Left this time around with Metalcore Superstars but equally a more rabid snarl to their sonic and lyrical warfare amidst bolder drama to their imagination. The first track continues to stir ears and appetite with its fiery nature and pungent tapestry of flavours, subsequently creating a virulently infectious incitement that chews on the senses.

The following Heavy Metal Finland flirts with nintendocore like bait initially, it’s tempting aligned to vicious growling and broody dynamics which erupt further within the emergence of the tempestuous proposition. Without the constant spark of its predecessor, the track pleases as it toys vocally with heavy and death metal spices as well as similarly varied textures musically; enjoyably backing up the strong start without quite making the same impact.

The guitars of Luoto and Ari Levola aggressively dance with sonic attitude within ¡Derailed! next, but also they are unafraid to unleash some funk seeded flirtation whilst keys engage in a kaleidoscope of electro flavours and atmospheric suggestiveness. All the time moving towards a bruising confrontation, the track provides a galvanic finale within a formidable rhythmic web cast by drummer Niko Hyttinen before the outstanding You’re Dead! Let’s Disco! has body and energies fully involved in thumping aural devilry. Like Hadouken! meets The Browning, the track is a chest beating slab of sonic and vocal defiance again lit by the off-kilter imagination of keys and programming from Veli-Matti Kananen and bracingly driven by his bass lines and the swinging scythes of Hyttinen. Careering on the precipice of psychotic chaos, the track leaves body and emotions bursting with lust, a success matched by The Recipe, it a more controlled but no less forcibly resourceful and deranged web of concussive textures and fascinating theatre.

Kings and Queens throbs and pulsates straight after, its opening a haunted cascade of electronic splatters leading to a warmer toned but more punk bred aggressor as melodically engaging as it is infectiously cantankerous. That Billy Talent air is at its strongest here in a song with an inventive weave maybe less exploratory than others on the album but is still sculpted from a heftily flavoursome torrent of ideas. Its lean take on that thick diversity elsewhere works a treat, providing one more major highlight.

A muggy collage of metal and punk ‘n’ roll colours Fast and Furious 6.66 next, its electronic calms only bringing more intrigue loaded variety to ultimately an enraged bluster of the song whilst Devil’s Nest rumbles and grumbles from a sinister melodic entrance into an exotically hued adventure with duelling contrasts against aligning radiances and hostilities. A dogged but invitingly invigorating swamp of noise and flavour, the track grips attention and eager involvement with its theatre of enterprise leaving the album’s title track to bully and harry senses next, though it too is unafraid to seduce with the beckoning fingers of melodies and harmonies.

A great carnival-esque air comes with the riveting Eternity; the penultimate treat playing with a My Chemical Romance meets AFI hand within its just as potent murderous traits to ingeniously nag and thrill ears before making way for the closing turbulence of Sticks and Stones. Like being rabidly assaulted by a seductive temptress bound with irritable intent and wrapped in orchestral grandeur, the track is one enthralling end to an inescapably magnetic release.

For some, the creative turmoil and bordering on insatiable imagination of Metalcore Superstars may not hit the spot for ears or desires, but it only left us exhaustively wanting more. So be brave and take on the adventure One Morning Left offers with their latest proposal we suggest; it just might ignite your day.

Metalcore Superstars is out now in Finland via Inverse Records with full release from February 22nd in central Europe through Bleeding Nose Records, and across America and Oceania on Imminence Records.

http://www.onemorningleft.com/   https://www.facebook.com/Onemorningleft   https://twitter.com/onemorningleft

Pete RingMaster 25/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Order of Elijah – War At Heart

TOOE_RingMaster Review

In sound and word there is a real bite to War At Heart, the new album from US Christian metallers The Order of Elijah, which makes you pay attention. It is an unpredictable cauldron of varied metal bred flavours which savage and confront the senses as potently as the lyrical side incites thought with its bold and uncompromising exploration of all sides and shades of faith and life. Predominantly though, it is one rigorously enjoyable incitement which impressed on first listening and only grows more potent and compelling with each subsequent involvement.

Formed in 2009 by vocalist Shannon Low and guitarist Bryan Cox, the Joplin, Missouri quintet have only grown in sound and determination since the release of debut album Dethrone of 2013. According to the press release with the album, The Order Of Elijah have found themselves “being shunned by many peers, churches, and religious communities for the message they bring,” reactions to the band’s look and accusation at the “over-obvious corruption that many churches and cultures have adapted to the words of Jesus Christ.War At Heart shows that the band has only used any opposition as more fuel to their creative and emotional fire. The release is a tempest of anger, confrontation, and hope with a sound which alone leaves no doubts about the intensity and passion within The Order Of Elijah imagination and heart.

the order of elijah album art_RingMaster ReviewOpening with the dark vocal introduction of Heresy, band and album swiftly move to involve ears and imagination with its title track. War at Heart opens with a mesh of wiry guitar and attitude loaded rhythms, they soon joined by clean vocals which quickly reveal their raw and grouchy side. That fluid ability to swiftly change attack and character is echoed across the whole album in sound and invention, the metalcore meets heavy groove metal and electro resourcefulness of the song expectation defeating, even with its use of familiar textures at times.

The excellent track is matched in potency by Tyler Durden, where the guitars of Bryan Cox and Myk Lee Fodor create a gripping splattering of choppy bait initially as the voice of Low again swings from tone to texture with inventive ease. Like Slipknot meets Cryptopsy with a slither of Emmure involved too, the song is an impressive intrusion, those essences twisted into something maybe not dramatically unique but certainly distinct to The Order of Elijah.

The scything beats of drummer Josh Newlon open up God’s Unwanted Children next, his enticing assault wrapped in an electronic breeze which as expected soon erupts into a more volatile and tempestuous environment. The electronic smoulder of the song lends itself to thoughts of Silent Descent but again with Low in the throes of vocal adventure, things quickly take on a personality of their own which only invites deeper attention. Like a bear awoken from hibernation, the track roars and spits with unbridled antagonism, leaving ears ringing with content as the melodic calm of From the Dusk washes gently over the senses. The brief instrumental allows a breath to be taken though the excellent presence of James Copley’s bass ensures shadows are still courting thoughts and emotions before From the Dawn emerges from its beauty to inflame air and the senses again with a fiery and anthemic tempest. Vocal harmonies contrast grizzly tones and melodic suggestiveness tempers violent rabidity as the track blossoms into another crushing highlight of the release. Once more very passing minute brings a new twist to be caught unawares by and fully enjoy; electro spices alone colluding deviously with the primal metal resources fuelling the encounter to offer a whisper of The Browning in certain moments.

All American Plague lurches and invades next, throwing its elements around like a dervish but with a control which ensures no twist or texture is wasted, whilst Jennifer Mckenzie vs The Vampire Slayer straight after is a punk infested animus of fierce sound and agitated attitude. Featuring Zachary Scott of It Lies Within, the slightly Korn/Betraying The Martyrs like track is a ravenous contagion, which only sparks more greed in the appetite for the album, a hunger given more to happily chew on by both the hellacious onslaught of Haunted and The Art of Forgiveness. Admittedly neither track quite sparks the same thickness of excitement as their predecessors but each easily fattens up satisfaction before leaving the reflective intensity of Beautiful to bring things to a close.

If asked after the first couple of listens or so, War at Heart would have been labelled as impressive with the ability to lure attention back, but over time it has emerged as one fiercely delicious enjoyment which is seriously hard to leave alone. Not all will be as taken with it obviously but every metal fan should seriously think about giving the new creative bellow from The Order Of Elijah deserved attention.

War At Heart is available via Luxor Records from 8th January @ http://www.victorymerch.com/merch/label/luxorrecords

http://theorderofelijah.com/   https://www.facebook.com/theorderofelijah   https://twitter.com/orderofelijah

Pete RingMaster 07/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Clear The Auditorium – The Final Broadcast EP

Clear The Auditorium - Online Promo Shot

Released in May this year to strongly positive responses, The Final Broadcast EP from Welsh electronicore band Clear The Auditorium gets a national reboot November 17th and such its gripping presence a new wave of acclaim and recognition is a certainty. It is not a release which startles with originality yet presents a striking and rigorous confrontation which is as compelling as it is invigorating. The band’s second EP, The Final Broadcast is an attention grabbing statement of intent from a band with the potential to light major fires ahead.

Hailing from Pontypridd and formed in 2011, Clear The Auditorium entwines electronic and rock essences in a voracious merger spawned from the inspiration of bands such as Enter Shikari and Linkin Park. Last year saw the release of their debut EP 2021, a concept release following a young soldier in the midst of the third World War. Its thematic enterprise brought references to bands such as My Chemical Romance which continue to apply in The Final Broadcast, its drama centred on a post-war wasteland and rebellion against a tyrannical superpower formed in the wake of first EPs scenario. It is a lyrically enthralling encounter, though it is the music where the creative theatre is most successful. The Todd Campbell produced EP leaves appetite and its hunger greedy and satisfaction full to bursting whilst anticipation for their next endeavour is already brewing up some impatience.

The release opens with Prologue, an introduction surrounding a news alert with heavy shadows and tempting electronics before the band pushes forward with the start of the apocalyptic narrative. The electro provocation unleashed by Dafydd Richards instantly raise intrigue and sinister incitement which is simultaneously tempered and accelerated by his outstanding vocals, the vocalist strong and bullish in his raw squalls but even more impressive with his clean tones. Musically the song too seduces and threatens on its way to its successor If We Burn, a song similarly bred from the same climate of the first track. The song is a blaze of a provocation, one aflame with electronic devilry aligned to muscular rhythmic intimidation cast by drummer Caleb Priday-Jeremiah and bassist Conor Evans and courted by the predacious intent and enterprise of guitarist Matthew Bennett-Jones. The song shows where those earlier mentioned comparisons are seeded but even more it holds a strong similarity to bands like Jensen and Dead By April whilst their at times raw aggression suggests The Browning. The track is a beast of an incitement which flares up and sizzles like a battlefield.PromoImage.jpg

The following Vacant Streets is a less forceful encounter, certainly at its start but is soon imposing with rabid beats and fiercely simmering electronic vivacity. Across its equally rugged and welcoming terrain, vocals roar and spit malevolent intent whilst within the embrace of the sizzling flight of melodies, Richards croons with warm and thrilling clean tones. As all tracks, as well as being part of the overall story, there is individual drama to the song inspiring intimate reflections and connections alongside the stark landscape of the central theme. As its predecessor, an exhausting and thrilling offering it leads into Intermission, a fascinating short piece which is hard to read, but with the turning of a radio dial connecting the two tracks it feels like it represents a moment of light and lost enjoyment found by souls locked in the cold reality and broken world they hide within.

It is followed by the extraordinary We Are The Danger, easily our favourite track on the release and the band at its most adventurous and imposing best. Ignited by a dance of Morse code which is the spark to a rebellious uprising in sound and defiance, the track rages with scythes of beats and riffs, all matched by the acidic rants of electro pulses. It instantly gets body and emotions fired up ready for the heroic emprise of grooves and rampant riffing which follows. Everything about the song is anthemic from the hoarse and warm vocals, through the aggressively agitated rhythms, to the hellacious devilry driving guitars bass and mass vocal shouts. An uprising and creative brawl, the track is one of the most rousing and exhilarating songs this year reminding of now demised UK band Always The Quiet Ones.

Ozymandius comes next with gentle and elegant sonic mystique within a psychedelically kissed atmosphere. Swiftly catching the imagination with a seeming tour of lost wonders and hopes, it explosively evolves and broadens its inventive weight and passion as it strives for a new horizon of sonic light. The track is a powerful slab of evocative textures and expression potently holding its own against the masterful triumph of the previous track.

The EP is brought to a close by the slow burning and persuading Epilogue, an ultimately engrossing song which from bare voice and keys erupts into a pungently brewing tempest of emotion and climactic rhythms aligned to burning melodies. It is a fine end to an excellent adventure of sound and story. Already there are seeds of uniqueness to the character of Clear The Auditorium’s sound but there is still a fair way to go to be truly individual but with offerings like this, a release which just impresses more with every listen, we can happily wait.

The Final Broadcast EP is available now @ http://cleartheauditorium.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ClearTheAuditorium

RingMaster 17/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Giving In To Ghosts – Chasing Waves

Giving Into Ghosts Press Shots 22/10/13

Bursting out from South Wales, post hardcore band Giving In To Ghosts have given a very solid promise drenched introduction to themselves with their Chasing Waves EP. The band’s debut is a vibrant and engaging, as well as pleasingly aggressive, entrance by the Cardiff quartet. It is an accomplished and imaginative proposition which without the spark to really light up the passions certainly leaves a hungry appetite in place for the band ahead. Its sound and the band’s presence is not as unique amongst other similarly fuelled bands as you feel both will become in the future, but again still feeds an intrigue and attention for the foursome which cannot be underestimated.

Formed only last year, Giving In To Ghosts have taken little time to trigger a keen and passionate fanbase around their region which is now starting to spread further afield with equal success. Pulling in inspirations from the likes of Funeral For A Friend, Architects, and Reuben their sound certainly has a wide appeal as proven by their successful support slots to bands such as Continents, The Browning, Acoda, and Beneath My Feet. Recorded at Not In Pill Studios in Wales with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond (Slipknot, Trivium, Bullet For My Valentine), Chasing Waves is a potent first persuasion to hit the whole of the country, as said a tremendously solid attention grabbing declaration revealing the open potential within the band.

Rapture starts things off and immediately has ears under the cosh of the raw squalling tones of bassist James Hardiman, his vocals Giving In To Ghost Cover Artworkabrasing the senses and lyrical intent within firm rhythms and a sonic coaxing from the guitars. It is not a dramatic explosion but one with strong grooves and melodic designs from lead guitarist Julian Thomas alongside the equally welcoming riffs of Michael Thomas making an appealing start. The clean vocals of Michael Thomas equally impress; his delivery gentle and a good temper to the gruffness of Hardiman though you feel placing them side by side rather than alternatively could work better. The punchy beats of drummer Alex Bargh and solo casting of Julian complete the expressive forceful colour of the song and arguably stand out on the track most but all aspects skilfully unite for a strong first strike from the release.

The following Sirens makes a less forceful appearance but certainly is as fiery as its predecessor, going on to build a magnetic canvas for the switching extremes of vocals to unleash their narratives. The bass offers a mean growl to the rapacious riffs and antagonistic rhythms as do his scowls, but there is a less potent element to the song against the last which means the track fully satisfies but does not linger. Nevertheless with a pleasing sonic temptation and a belligerent intensity the song proves its worth and reinforces the potency of the band.

The title track opens with a riveting melodic caress instantly joined by the equally warm clean vocals. The bass adds tempering shadows to this embrace to expand the depth and pull of the initial coaxing before the sinews and passionate bruising within the song makes a loud shout. Evolving through both sceneries the best song on the EP provides an evocative adventure which reveals much more about the strength and depth of the band’s songwriting and sound whilst stretching the quality of the encounter. Employing emotively powered keys and a mesmeric spiral of sonic enterprise within a growing snarling dark side, the song is a formidable indication of the creative heart within the band and again its undeniable promise.

Final song To The Sun veers into the more brutal side of the band certainly compared to the reflective warmth of the previous song, it ravishing the senses with grouchy rhythms and caustic vocal spite whilst still drawing on the melodic craft and expression of the band. It is an intimidating and highly alluring end to a very satisfying release, one which maybe suggests more than it delivers but only in the quality you feel is there in the band waiting to evolve. Chasing Waves does not make claims as the new best thing in post hardcore but it certainly provides more than enough to suggest Giving In To Ghosts has the ability and sound to be a loud voice in the UK scene.

http://www.facebook.com/GivingInToGhosts

8/10

RingMaster 29/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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GIVING IN TO GHOSTS to unveil ‘Chasing Waves’, on 31st March‏

Giving Into Ghosts Press Shots 22/10/13
DEBUT EP DROPS THIS SPRING!
 
South Wales Post-Hardcore outfit Giving In To Ghosts drop their ball-busting debut EP Chasing Waves on Monday 31st March through all stores.
Blending emotive drive with defiant belligerence, Giving In To Ghosts wear their hearts on their sleeves, producing a sound that deftly merges genres. By extracting influence from everyone from fellow South-Wales icons Funeral For A Friend, to Brit bruisers Architects and cult heroes Reuben, the band’s reach and output is notably diverse.
Since their inception in 2013, Cardiff hardcore beasts ‘Giving In To Ghosts’ have already destroyed a host of fleapit venues throughout Wales and England with their boundless energy and impassionate blend of melodic hardcore. Now, after supports with Continents, The Browning, Acoda and Beneath My Feet, ‘Giving In To Ghosts’ are primed to step up with the national release of their explosive debut EP ‘Chasing Waves’.
To record ‘Chasing Waves’, the ascending four piece laid siege at Not In Pill Studios in Wales with Martyn ‘Ginge’ Ford and Matt Bond (who’s past credits include Slipknot, Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine) behind the desk. The record was completed by the end of 2013 and the result is highly impressive.
‘Chasing Waves’ is loaded with slamming guitar parts, colossal drumming, and engrossing dual vocal lines that twist and contort. The opening track on the EP ‘Rapture’ is quite simply massive and an ideal sampler for the shape of things to come. ‘Sirens’ bursts with unbridled vigour and a soaring refrain, while the record’s namesake ‘Chasing Waves’ displays the quartet’s cunning knack for stripping back the elements to deliver an engaging cut that will lodge itself in your brain for ages. As ‘To The Sun’ rounds off their striking debut with its edgy riffs and brutal drive, its clear that this record is sure to elevate the fiery tune chiefs to a national level.
= GIVING IN TO GHOSTS RELEASE ‘CHASING WAVES’ ON MONDAY 31st MARCH THROUGH ALL OUTLETS =
 Giving In To Ghost Cover Artwork

 

Hacktivist – EP+

© Tim Tronckoe

© Tim Tronckoe

If you missed out on their impressive self-titled debut EP released almost a year ago to the day, UK metallers Hacktivist give you another chance to grab and explore its triumphant thrills with its re-release via Wake To Reality. Containing an additional four bonus tracks to the five which ripped attention forcibly in their direction, the Buckinghamshire reassert the promise and scintillating invention forged in their long sold out first CD and deleted digital format. Re-mastering the original songs whilst recruiting their latest single and unreleased tracks into the EP’s line-up, Hacktivist reminds fans of their dynamic presence and future whilst surely recruiting a new legion of fans to their exhilarating blend of metal, djent, grime, and hip hop.

Formed in 2011 by guitarist/vocalist/producer Timfy James (ex- Heart of a Coward) and rapper J Hurley, Hacktivist took little time in gripping the intrigue and imagination of fans with the release of Cold Shoulders in the January of the following year via YouTube, its entrance gaining over 100,000 views in its first week. From there the band continued their striking emergence by igniting stages at home and in Europe with their exhausting performances, shows which has seen them alongside Enter Shikari and appearing on the Warped Tour Europe and Warped Tour UK. The first appearance of the EP took the band up another stride into acclaim and recognition in 2012 whilst new single Elevate earlier this year as well as a full UK tour supporting Enter Shikari ignited another wealth of attentive passion from media, radio, and fans alike. Appearances at the likes of Download, Reading /Leeds, T in the Park, Rock Am Ring, and Sonisphere France this year has equally pushed the stature of Hacktivist to new levels which the re-release of EP+ can only feed and accelerate.

The EP opens with the provocative call of New Age, its opening potent breath brewed into a thick and evocative atmosphere of H_sleeve_visual_2013sound and intent veined with stalking rhythms and the immediate irresistible lure of the vocal tempting of Hurley and Ben Marvin, James also lurking with and adding his tones across the release. A staggered rhythmic fury from drummer Rich Hawking proceeds to assassinate the air and provoke the senses as it fuels the absorbing verging on debilitating djent craft of James skirted by the predatory antagonism conjured by the bass of Josh Gurner. Barely two minutes in length the track sets up the EP and introduction to the band perfectly, the riveting assault sparking an immediate appetite soon wrapped in hunger as the song’s successor uncages its might.

     Unlike Us equally takes little time in persuading a total submission to its creative narrative, its initial restrained yet busy tempestuous mix of riffs and spicy grooves punctuated by a rhythmic web and the excellent throaty bass lines of Gurner. The track snarls and seduces in equal measure, the dark rabid elements of the track aligned to a sonic elegance and temptation which toys with thoughts and emotions. Merging radiant melodic ambience and lures with a rapacious aggressiveness, the track has the intensive growl of The Browning, the vocal infectiousness of Hadouken, and the belligerent confrontation of early Senser. It is a striking and wholly captivating adventure thrusting the release up another level of quality and persuasion.

Both Blades and Hacktivist continue the immense coaxing and presence of the release, both tracks magnetic and imaginative. The first retains the crippling prowling gait of its predecessor but layers a glorious sweeping clean vocal across its sinewy shoulders before providing the bands distinctive and pleasing hip hop inspired vocal confrontation. The song ebbs and flows in its challenging ingenuity, always ensuring unpredictability and enthralling adventure is leading its predation and skilled invention firing up the listeners greed for more. Its successor twists and turns from its first seconds, lurching powerfully through the ears with the same almost violent enterprise sculpted by guitars, bass, and drums. Rigorously anthemic in a deceptive way and potently tempting through its sonic tantalising and melodic richness the song washes the senses in a breath-taking passage of ingenuity and imaginative exploration, and taking this song as an example it is easy to offer bands as references for certain moments and twists delivered but there is no-one which creates and presents sounds close to those of Hacktivist.

    Cold Shoulders brings another slice of diversity to the EP, its atmospheric dawning through colour rich keys an ever presence evocative coaxing whether alone or whilst underlying the severe and animalistic intensity coating the crippling rhythms and bestial riffing. There is also an element of rapcore to the song, an added spice bringing a Hollywood Undead essence to certainly the vocals, and though the song is arguably the weakest on the EP you can easily see why it lured in a fever soaked fanbase for Hacktivist. The following Elevate makes a play for the best track on the release whilst showing the evolving exploration and strength of the band’s songwriting. Its muscular frame is a cage for excellent expressive invention which itself spawns transfixing melodic and sonic bait around the ever impressive vocals and the stringent crescendos of aggressive combat.  Showing the genre pushing and crossing depths of the songwriting there is also a punk/hardcore breath within the creative maelstrom which pricks thoughts of band like Lazy Habits and the Janice Graham Band and adds extra temptation.

The release is completed by the more than Shikari Sound System Remix of Elevate, though the original easy steals its glory, the Ndread Mud Remix of Unlike Us, and a great live version of Blades, the track easily showing why the band has a formidable live reputation and why all should go see them given the chance.

The re-release of EP+ easily confirms that Hacktivist is one of Europe’s most exciting and dramatically promising metal bands, a force which brings a burning spark of originality and excitement to an array of styles. The band has given all a second chance to experience the beginning of their certain ascent, an opportunity not to be missed this time.

http://www.hacktivist.uk.com/

10/10

RingMaster 13/11/2013

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