Victories at Sea – Everything Forever

VAS_RingMaster Review

Everything about Everything Forever is noir hued; even its melodic glows and emotive beauty is wrapped in some form of portentous shadowing resulting in something highly mesmeric and provocative. The encounter is the debut album from UK band Victories at Sea, a Birmingham trio already no strangers to an excited buzz and attention around them and their sound, with plenty more sure to surface as Everything Forever seduces over time.

Musically Victories at Sea draw on inspirations ranging from the likes of Mogwai and Factory Floor to Slowdive and The Chameleons, and it is the latter in a fusion with Editors, Felt, and The Slow Readers Club which emerged in personal thoughts as a hint to the flame and suggestiveness of the band’s new release. Written over two years within an abandoned steel works in Digbeth and recorded in the damp basement of an old whistle factory, Everything Forever builds on the character of the bands’ previous EP In Memory Of. That was a release leading to keen support by the likes of NME, The Guardian, Clash Magazine, and XFM’s John Kennedy, something already being echoed in the wake of the new album’s varied and fascinating persuasion.

Artwork_RingMaster Review   Released via Static Caravan Recordings, Everything Forever opens up with Bloom, an apt title as release and sound does openly grow and blossom within the song. Synths offer the initial hug of coaxing, their mix of intense and emotive colours melancholic yet lively and increasingly inviting as they lead ears and appetite into a catchy stroll bound in sonic guitar lures. The mellow vocals only add to the warmth within a more oppressive climate as an eighties hue reminding of bands like Felt and also The Wild Swans adds to the fascinating and swiftly gripping success of the impressive opener.

The rich start continues with Florentine and there is barely a slither of difference to the sheer majesty of the first two tracks; the second, with more of that familiar nostalgic air, flirting from within another flavoursome shuffle of floating keys, harmonic vocals, and spicily melodic enterprise courted by the darker swing of the rhythms. Inescapably infectious, the track shares its attributes with the following Up, it too bridging eras of synth rock and post punk whilst bringing a big smile of infectiousness aired in a whisper of Duran Duran meets Tones On Tail. Keys and guitar entangle throughout, spinning a kaleidoscopic web of sound with minimalistic strands thick in temptation and resourceful imagination. Already the first three songs are rivalling for best track honours and to be honest they continue to chain the choice amongst themselves though many songs attempt to rival them.

The smooth celestial swing of On Your Own is one, its charming canter of sound and vocals a pulsating and contagious radiance on ears and imagination whilst DMC finds the band slip into something far more dystopian in air and suggestion. Its dark heavy climate embraces a blend of cool and warm keys, whilst its industrial spawned instrumental heart alone echoes as much the dark animus the world is in and which inspires some of the band’s lyrical exploration, as any vocalised tracks within Everything Forever.

Poles Apart is initially a low key but still boisterous affair compared to earlier tracks, vocals against skittish percussive tenacity creating a lively canvas from where keys and especially the spicy tonic of the guitars breed emotive imagination and subsequently a growing intensity which soon roars like a fire. It is compelling stuff which continues in the slightly starker but no less riveting seduction of Swim, a slice of again eighties inspired post punk that ignites the imagination as swiftly as hips and emotions. As suggested already, the Victories at Sea sound delves into the deepest shadows and darkest corners of worldly reflections and emotional intimacy yet boy is it easy to dance to, band and music built to get bodies fully involved and heading to the dance-floor.

Future Gold just epitomises that intent and success, its golden sunspot of melodic and harmonic prowess a sultry glow on another landscape crafted to tempt hips and an instinctive motion of the body. Emotionally driven by hope matched by an alluring radiance of sound, the song as so many quickly gets under the skin, leaving a welcome imprint that draws attention back again and again.

The thumping bait and virulence of Into the Fire provides one more rousing waltz of imagination and addictiveness next before album closer Sirens uncages its haunting atmospheric soundscape. The breath and design of the final song lives up to its title with ease, intimidating air and emotionally desolate scenery colluding in a post rock tinged exploration of physical dissonance; it all playing like a reflection of the same invasive discordance now gripping socially and globally. The track is darkly captivating, revealing even richer aspects of the Victories at Sea invention whilst taking the listener to yet another new place within Everything Forever.

It is easy to see why Victories at Sea are a favourite proposition for a great many right now and will be for many, many more now their album, a release not to miss out on, is working its temptation.

Everything Forever is out now via Static Caravan Recordings digitally and on vinyl/CD @ http://victoriesatsea.bigcartel.com/product/everything-forever

http://www.victoriesatsea.co.uk  https://twitter.com/victoriesatsea  https://www.facebook.com/Victories-at-Sea-272819659418258/

Pete RingMaster 16/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Pavillon Rouge – Legio Axis Ka

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If there were still to be active dance floors after the apocalypse then the new album from French industrial metallers Pavillon Rouge would be the perfect fit for the dark mood and decayed energy it assumedly would possess. A fusion of black metal with industrial/techno bred voracity, the band’s sound and second full-length Legio Axis Ka, make for an erosive and ravenous affair but with a contagion which never leaves the body to simply bask in pestilential depths, dictating its movement across nine pulsating predatory tracks. The accompanying press release also states that their sound and intent explores ethereal 80s new wave atmospheres, and though not always as immediate within the tempests there are elements of the dark wave scene of that era pervading their latest release, scents of bands like The Chameleons, Joy Division, and Pink Industry offering themselves to thoughts. Ultimately though, Pavillon Rouge casts a sound which has its own distinct presence and an album in Legio Axis Ka which constantly and aggressively stimulates ears and imagination.

The band was formed in 2008 by musicians Mervyn and YVH, with the intent to merge black metal with hardcore techno. Highly acclaimed debut album Solmeth Pervitine was released in 2011 and was soon declared one of the best industrial black metal albums. It was followed by shows for the band with the likes of Psygnosis, Himinbjorg, Svart Crown, and The CNK, supporting the album and pushing forward their increasing attention grabbing emergence. Recently signed with Dooweet Records, the quintet of vocalist Kra Cillag, guitarist/vocalist Mu Cephei, bassist E.Shulgin, drummer Sorthei, and guitarist/programmer Mervyn now return with their second onslaught on the senses. Released on the Swamp Records side of Dooweet, Legio Axis Ka is a vicious seduction, a mesmeric violation which however you want to look at it, leaves the senses raw and emotions entangled in its increasingly magnetic tempest.

10347166_793523130703256_1060036933092637261_n   An immediate embrace of synth beauty amidst an evocative ambience immerses ears as album opener Prisme vers l’odyssée shows its introduction, a potent and atmospheric lure which is soon consumed by a thunderous tirade of rhythms and rabid riffs. Vocally too the song offers a merciless and diverse squall yet within it all the keys continue to cast a provocative and emotionally expressive voice. That industrial element is a nagging incitement within the evolving theatre of guitars and keys too, keeping feet and body agitated as the heart of the track spills its venomous and caustically poetic premise. Lyrically the album is sung in the band’s native tongue so there is little to its obviously dark climate that we can reveal but if the words and premises match the passion of the delivery then it is a brooding exploration just as potent as the sounds around them.

The following L’enfer se souvient, l’enfer sait takes the strong start up another step with its muscular rhythms and riff clad prowling wrapped in an electro hued colouring. The dynamic and persistent techno bred heartbeat of the song again has limbs on alert whilst thoughts and emotions are entangled in the melodic and vocal imagination lighting up the abrasing atmosphere of the song. Track and album definitely need close attention and several plays to unveil all the underlying twists and creative nuances within inhospitable surface and murky air, but it only adds to the satisfaction and drama of the stark, almost visual soundscapes sculpted.

Mars stella patria does not hang about tempting the listener either, electronic percussion and anthemic band roars immediate virulent bait. Their infectiousness seems to seep into the industrial climate, which offers warped noise and textures, as well as the chilled melodic enterprise adding its weight to the song’s persuasion. It is an endeavour spiced with a touch of Sisters Of Mercy and Bauhaus, and as the track continues with open clarity around its warmer elements, shadows impose upon and the raw vocals prey on the senses. It is fair to say that each song individually brings a new step up in the presence and persuasion of Legio Axis Ka, this one with its increasing rabid turbulence another strong step in its ascent, a compelling move almost matched by the mercilessly tempestuous storm of A l’univers. Electro pulses resonate through bone and psyche from the off, enticing feet and emotions to lend their eager energies to its call whilst the melodic and sonic invention of the band provides a ravenous celestial and dirty terrestrial landscape for ears and emotions. Not as instant as its predecessor, the song subsequently wins over appetite and thoughts whilst revealing more of the inventive ideation and songwriting craft of Pavillon Rouge.

Both Aurore et Nemesis and Droge Macht Frei enthral and enslave, the first laying down its first potent tempting through a delicious dark bassline before brewing up a sonic and emotional tsunami of ferocious ire and intensity. Its successor provides the first truly insatiable full-on invitation to unleash the dance floor moves, its rhythmic stomp a pulsating infection which leads and drives the song even when enveloped in rabid smog of noise and sonic rapacity. As ever there is much more to the songs and both engross with melodic ingenuity and the often understated but open imagination which brings striking contrasts and unpredictability to all offerings on the album.

From a raucous stomp Pavillon Rouge offer a celestial flight with Kosmos Ethikos, synths and samples aligning for an atmospheric exploration with a big brother like edge to its air before Notre paradis takes its own similarly seeded soar through a new spatial climate. There is a much darker feel and texture to the track compared to the last though, an ominous breath which coats guitars and vocals, not forgetting intimidating rhythms, as keys warmly and eloquently swarm around the senses. The pair offers their own sparking new adventures for the imagination to interpret before the closing Klux santur provides a transfixing finale to the album. With the most distinct eighties feel to its body and melodic enterprise yet, the track is a swirling maelstrom of light and emotional malevolence. It is a cyclonic treat to close things up, a seducing and senses ravishing end to an album which increasingly enthrals given time and attention.

The Grenoble based Pavillon Rouge have not offered an easily accessible proposal with Legio Axis Ka but who wants easy when far greater rewards come with uncompromising intensity and evolving creative assaults. The band finds the perfect blend of industrial and black metal fury for a proposition which fans of either genre should seriously contemplate.

Legio Axis Ka is available now via Swamp Records @ http://findiemerch.com/fr/pavillon-rouge-legio-axis-ka/#

https://www.facebook.com/LuxDiscipline   http://www.luxdiscipline.com

RingMaster 22/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Hertz Complex – A New Habit EP

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Whilst it is not an encounter to instantly set the emotions on fire or leave the imagination awe struck, the A New Habit EP from The Hertz Complex quietly and relentlessly works away at the psyche to emerge as a rather tasty, potential fuelled proposition. It is a slowly burning but persistently persuasive release which puts the band on the radar with ease whilst brewing up a keen anticipation for the quartet ahead as they evolve and grow further into their enterprising sound. The band’s debut EP is as intriguing as it is deceptively infectious, its songs smouldering rather than blazing within ears but they leave seeds and hooks behind which from nowhere can take a hold of the memory.

Hailing from Cork in Ireland, songwriters Neil O’Keeffe (lead vocals, guitar) and Paul Keane (guitar/vocals) have formed an instinctive creative partnership which brings an organic breath and attraction to their songs as evidenced on the EP. Embracing the inspirations of their Irish roots and of bands such as The Chameleons, Joy Division, Whipping Boy, and Howling Wolf, the pair’s distinct twist of post punk with melodic unpredictability offers healthy bait with an imaginative coaxing. Relocating to the Deptford area of London, the duo linked up with Canadians Benjamin Balan (drums) and Chris Keelan (bass), the compelling rhythmic side to the lure of The Hertz Complex. With their live performances, including festivals and a headlining show at LA’s Whisky A Go Go, constantly drawing more attentive fans and responses, as well as the recent announcement that one of their tracks will be featured in a movie soundtrack, it feels like a big step is being taken in the ascent of The Hertz Complex, something A New Habit adds its persuasive weight to.

Maybe I Know starts things off and takes little time in enticing thoughts and appetite with its chilled but seductive charm. A shimmering sonic coaxing wraps ears first, its touch framed by punchy beats. Before long a guitar weaving 10418167_796654680353242_78278592038508633_nmagnetically flirts with the senses, dripping evocative hues as the bass adds its own dark colour. It is a potent welcome which only increases its pull once settling into a steady canter of crisp rhythms and spiralling sonic endeavour. Infectious melodies equally add their rich enticement to create a gripping canvas upon which the initially monotone kissed plaintive clad tones of O’Keeffe opens the narrative. It is a striking union, elements of Joy Division and at times Modern English swirling within the provocative climate being brewed by the band. Thoughts of Flesh For Lulu also make an appearance as the song increases the strength of its virulent suasion and enterprise. As the EP, it is not a song which explodes and has passions drooling but with its persistent fuzz lined sonic taunting and melodic web it is an encounter which beds deeply into the psyche for a long term friendship.

The great start is followed by the just as appealing and addictive Bassy. From its first breath, guitars are binding ears with entrancing acidic melodies and irresistible hooks, but it is through the shadowed throated tones of Keelan’s bass croon that the appetite is sparked into hungry rapture. There is an indefinable familiarity to the main sonic call of the song too which only works in the song’s favour whilst the slightly off kilter vocals add another intrigue sparking texture to the proposition. The track holds a restrained air to its intent, a hint of explosive incitement promised never realised yet again though it is a song which embeds in an awakened imagination for a lingering and welcome persistent presence.

Next up The Boxer Rebellion brings a broader rock ‘n’ roll intent to its keen gait and suggestive almost sinister breath. The vocals veer to a more strained delivery than elsewhere at times but also breaks into a varied punk kissed antagonism to match the evolving sound and adventure of the track. A song which merges elements of initially post punk with hard and garage rock plus that punk essence, it almost does not know what it wants to be but is still a fluid storm to thoroughly enjoy. It does not match the opening pair of songs but shows another range and depth to the sound and songwriting of the band as does its successor No Control. The song is a delicious croon of vocals and guitar, an evocative smoulder which lures in thoughts and appetite with increasing success as the rest of the band bring with their potent colours. Like the previous song it takes a while to fully seduce but given time makes for a persistence of reserved hooks and gentle melodies which entrench their fascination long term.

The EP is completed by the radio edit of Maybe I Know which is as good as the broader version but over too soon in comparison of course. A New Habit EP is probably not going to send you shouting from the rooftops to be honest but it has all the promise and exciting qualities to make The Hertz Complex a band to keep under close and keen scrutiny.

A New Habit EP is available now!

http://www.thehertzcomplex.com/

8/10

RingMaster 14/07/2014

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Tracings of time and reflections: an interview with Black Space Riders

Black Space Riders 1

German heavy rockers Black Space Riders is a band which has persistently drawn acclaim and attention with their unique and ravenously adventurous sounds but it is fair to say that new album D:REI is their finest moment. A journey of progressively sculpted metal and psychedelically forged rock through a dramatic narrative, the bands third full-length is a compelling incitement for the imaginations and passions. We grabbed the chance to find out more with JE and Seb from the band, touching on origins, albums, and much more…

Hello and thanks for talking with us.

Hello and thank YOU, here are JE (vocals, guitars) and SEB (vocals) from Black Space Riders

For newcomers to the band, please tell us about its beginnings.

JE: Black Space Riders were born in the deepest winter of 2008/09. C.RIP (drums) and I wanted to play Heavy Rock again after some years of making decent songwriter-stuff. I contacted SLI (guitar), an old friend from the schoolyard, we had been doing a NWOBHM-fanzine together when we were teens around 79/80. He brought in SAQ (bass) and we started jamming in an old mouldered bowling alley. It was great from the start. Fantastic musical and social chemistry! We created 4 songs in 2 rehearsals. We recorded our debut in 2010 and played shows while writing material for album No.2, “Light is the new black”, which was released in 2012.

SEB: In 2012 I came across and joined Black Space Riders first as an additional and background singer, then as the 5th member. But I already had known these guys years before.

JE: Now there are 5 Riders, 5 friends, just been releasing album No.3 called D:REI.

What are the musical histories of the band members before Black Space Riders?

JE: All of us have been playing in many bands or projects before. SLI played in Heavy-, Punk- and Indie-Bands since the Eighties. SAQ had a couple of Punk Rock bands before but also played in Indie-Rock-Bands, SEB used to sing in Metal bands but also has a great experience in playing accordion and singing weird, folkloristic Chanson-Stuff together with C.RIP who played and plays every imaginable musical style from Jazz over Metal to Ska. I also played in a lot of bands since 1980. Metal, Rock, Wave, Punk, Indie, Folk, Jazz … I played and sung for a long time in a Crossover band with C.RIP, which gained a decent regional/national awareness in the Nineties.

What was the spark or initial intent within the band when you started out?Black Space Riders 3

JE: As said, to create something loud and wild after years of “decent” music and to take up the Heavy stuff that we all are loving since our youth. The idea was to jam around and to create a hypnotic wall of sound … there were no ideas of releasing albums in the beginning

The band’s name stands out and suggests a space ranger like almost comic book appeal. What inspired the band name?

JE: Exactly what you have read in the name. 60ies and 70ies Sci-Fi had a very strong influence on me. I read a lot of those books when I was a child, my uncle had hundreds of them. We were looking for a name which can instantly create cartoonish, dark, hypnotic, psychedelic and cool images.

How would you say your sound has evolved since the early days and your self-titled debut album to what we thrillingly hear on new release D:REI?

JE: This time when we entered the recording studio we knew even better what we wanted and what we did NOT want. As for the sound of the recording itself: we wanted to retain the warmth, the organic live-feeling and the bottom of the first two albums but wanted to add additional freshness, transparency and openness to our existing drive. So – for example – we have been discussing a lot about the amount of “attack” in the drum sound or about guitar amps  and how to record the guitars with our friend and engineer Role (“die Tonmeisterei”) before entering the studio. Stylistically we allowed ourselves to integrate more elements and accepted the eclectic result of our songwriting without sorting out parts, grooves or ideas that sounded a little bit far out in the beginning.

As you said earlier D:REI is your third album; for us an exceptional progressively sculpted metal and rock adventure which can seduce and prey on the senses at any given moment. Did the album end up exactly how you envisaged it or did it have some surprises in store for even you guys as it evolved and emerged?

SEB: There are, in fact, some positive surprises for us. Partial tiny, audiophile little things – but also relevant structural changes we have made during the recordings.

JE: There are always surprises in the studio. The songs and arrangements are final before entering the studio, but then you begin experimenting with sounds or somebody within the band or let´s say our engineer Role has a charming “new” idea and – oooops –you find yourself changing the master plan. We are a live-recording band, old-school, five friends and all their instruments and amps in ONE room … but sometimes  we are adding some decent flavours later … experimenting with dozens of effect-pedals and creating some “space” can be so inspiring almost addictive! We are also experimenting with our vocal expression while recording, encouraging and coaching each other.

1545083_10151894936042963_1727001018_nThe album is split into ‘chapters’ exploring a…actually could you tell and expand on the theme behind the album for us please?

SEB: A new life in a new world? The depths and abysses of the human soul? Find out for yourself !

JE: On the first look a post-apocalyptic plot of destruction, escape, voyage and looking back. But maybe it´s all just in your head and it´s all about inner liberation and freedom?! The listener is defining the meaning of the story. My advice: Take a look at the story and the lyrics (you will find them here: www.blackspaceriders.com/d-rei), then put on your headphones, lights out, volume up and find it out!

Did the lyrical aspect or idea of the album come first or the music?

SEB: We had framework for about the half of the songs when JE delighted us with his concept of “Total destruction as the root of a new beginning and the Journey as a transformation”. From this point concept and music were evolved in parallel.

JE: Music first, basic concept next, lyrics last.

How does the writing process work within Black Space Riders?

SEB: On the way from our debut album Black Space Riders to D:REI we have expanded  the common songwriting.

JE: The process of songwriting has changed over the years. In the beginning I brought in almost finished songs and structures. Today it´s “just“ a riff or some harmonies, somebody picks it up, we start jamming and then we love it or we don´t. At one point SEB and me are starting to hum or sing. We are recording every rehearsal, every jam and are listening to it before the next rehearsal. We then discuss about it and try out different grooves, tempi, atmospheres, sounds. Our drummer C.RIP is playing a big part in arranging songs and developing structures…So the “song” as you know it from the album, is a common work of several band members.

Being a concept album did you approach the writing of D:REI any differently to say previous album Light Is The New Black?

JE: Not really. Light is the new black was considered by many to be a concept album as well. But D:REI seems to be so perfectly balanced and cohering, both musically and lyrically. To be honest: that is a happy ending and not a result of a worked out master plan. We have changed the sequence of the songs several times to find the perfect flow through the whole album … so we had to fiddle around with song titles and lyrics in the last moment during the recordings.

What did you take into the recording of D:REI in particular which you learnt on previous releases to enhance or ease its emergence in the studio?

JE: As said above … a clearer vision about the desired sound, recording techniques, approach and modus operandi. Additionally a greater open-mindedness, a grown faith, trust and friendship within the band and with our engineer/producer … relaxation and a strong belief that this album was going to become something special.

With a concept album is there a more demanding and intensive focus needed to link music and the expanding lyrical story of the narrative or does it pretty much come together as any other album?

SEB: I find it even a little easier because I had a specific movie in my head since the said date.

And is another concept album a possibility for future releases or maybe with the next will you return to individual standalone songs?

SEB: Anything can be, nothing must be.

JE: … all is possible. No plans, no expectations, no disappointments 😉

Have you shows/tour in the works to support D:REI, and if so will you be rampaging around Europe, the UK maybe?Black Space Riders 2

JE: Yes we have played some release-shows in some of the bigger German cities and are working on more shows and festival-slots in 2014. We are doing all this on our own. We have a distro and some professional help in the background, but in order to keep our independency and all rights… no label-contract! So most of the work, organization and booking is up to us. Additionally we all have families and jobs. It seems as though our new album, D:REI, will be received very well, so with that kind of “tailwind” we are starting now to book more shows for 2014 and will hopefully be able to play some festivals in the summer as well. Would love to play some shows in the UK, but we don´t have an “official” distro or label in the UK … so I guess we have to wait for some nice offers to play the UK.

Rightly or wrongly I have the assumption that you are a band which never stops writing or working on ideas, if correct how far are you into writing album 4? 😉

SEB: Honestly we have just a few ideas or fragments, because we were very busy with the preparation of our release-shows. But the prickling is already there and I’m looking forward to the upcoming rehearsals.

 Once again many thanks for sharing time with us, any last thoughts to leave us with?

JE: If you like what we are doing … tell the world about it! Spread the word! May the force be with you!

And lastly what are our biggest inspirations not so much for Black Space Riders but just as musicians?

JE: Of course each of us has different inspirations that is why we sound like we sound. On the other hand we have a lot of common preferences – and again – that is why we sound like we sound. Band-favourites are e.g. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, NWOBHM, The Chameleons, Motorhead, Monster Magnet, Alice in Chains, Massive Attack … many more. For me personally on top of those: Psychedelia like on the early Pink Floyd –Albums. 80ies Dark Wave like Bauhaus or Joy Division and the BIG three: David Bowie, Tom Waits and Johnny Cash.

Read the D:REI review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/black-space-riders-drei/

http://www.blackspaceriders.com

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 12/02/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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