This Burning City – Blinded

TBC_RingMaster Review

With the release of their storming single Ignorance last year, we settled down to chat with its creators This Burning City to learn more about the band and their attention grabbing sound. At that time the Canadian alternative hardcore quintet were working on their debut EP, declaring that its “sound is going to be huge.” Recently the Blinded EP was unleashed and fair to say the band was not misguided in their prediction. The five track fury is a gripping roar of hardcore lock ‘n’ loaded with an array of punk and metal essences entwined with scorching melodic enterprise. The promise drenching their previous single is potently realised in the release yet at the same time it only opens up new waves of potential to be excited and hungry for ahead.

From the small town of Gananoque in Ontario, This Burning City formed in 2012, school friends coming together to make some noise. A few line-up changes was followed by a honing of the band’s direction and sound, first single Consummation in the September of 2013 the result. With inspirations including Ritual, Dead And Divine, Stray From The Path, The Chariot, Prophets, and The Color Morale adding sparks to the band’s quickly persuasive sound, second single Ignorance last November, awoke stronger and broader attention, and indeed strong anticipation in a great many for the band’s first EP, and as a rousing and volatile tempest of craft and sound, Blinded more than lives up to expectations.

This Burning City - Blinded_RingMaster Reviewcover  Wasted Time opens up the encounter, prowling riffs enticing ears first before the band, led by the impassioned vocal squall of Steven Harnden, creatively gangs up on the senses. Already the soon to be confirmed variety of the frontman’s delivery shows its strength, as too the band’s sound which perpetually evolves with elements of groove metal, post hardcore, and metalcore adding to an enflamed punk ferocity within the song. It is a tastily intrusive stomp which flows straight into the even more uncompromising predation of Feed The Machine. Featuring fellow Ontarian artist Todd Barriage of Borland Studio, who also mixed and mastered the EP, the track explores a Rage Against The Machine like stalking of air and listener. With the heady beats of Jarrett Montgomery courted by the bestial lures of Nick Deslandes’s bass, the song is as exhaustive as it is fiercely contagious, bellowing and inciting with unrelenting efficiency and addictiveness whilst seemingly confident in the knowledge it will get people to their feet with fists clenched.

A spiral web of guitar enterprise from Mitchell Ferguson and Jacob Harnden quickly entangles ears as In Your Head steps forward next. In no time the song is an addictive rhythmic and energetic shuffle carrying an unshakeable infection within its mercilessly bruising overall tempest of intensity and sound. The carnivorous encounter is sonic rabidity superbly sculpted and coaxed into greater antagonism by the skills of the band yet at times as catchy as any slice of rock ‘n’ roll around today, with the continuing to impress depth of Steven’s vocals the extra spice.

Track by track Blinded just gets heavier and more uncomfortably enjoyable, The Victim the next creative furor to stir up the emotions and appetite. Once more within raw hostility and great unpredictable imagination, weaves of melodic calm and seducing emerge, making full use of their moment in the storm before stepping back into the metalcore raging equally thrilling ears.

The EP is brought to a vicious close by State Of The World, another track, without pulling punches, lyrically and musically taking an individual look at a theme lured within the landscape of politics, world events, people, and injustices. Without being the most unique song on the release, it hauls thoughts and emotions into an impassioned heart and sonic turbulence with striking prowess to potently complete a thoroughly impressive release.

Last single Ignorance certainly whetted the appetite for This Burning City; sparking keen intrigue and excitement for their next move. That step is Blinded, a release that roars that this is a band ready to step into richer and broader spotlights with the hard to argue suggestion of bigger and bolder things still to come.

The Blinded EP is out now as a name your price download @ http://thisburningcity.bandcamp.com/

https://twitter.com/tbcbandofficial     https://www.facebook.com/ThisBurningCity

Check out our interview with This Burning City @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/roaring-flames-introducing-this-burning-city/

Pete RingMaster 21/10/2105

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Skeyes – Empty Mirrors

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Like with post-hardcore, for any emerging band to stand out in metalcore, even in its more progressive state, is a bit of a tall order. US band Skeyes is another coming up against that challenge but with debut EP Empty Mirrors, the band certainly makes a potent introduction and offers plenty of potential that they can rise up from the pack. The four track offering is a very likeable slice of metal voracity with a melodic invention which wakes up the imagination. Whether it has enough to push the band above the crowd time will tell but right now the release sparks the feeling that the Pennsylvanian band can ascend to that spotlight pushing height at some point.

Skeyes was formed in 2013 by Jesse Cease and Tyler Williams, and originally was intended as a studio project. Their first year saw many changes in line-up which led to the becoming a fully functioning band with vocalist Dale Brosious and guitarist Ryan Macaluso alongside guitarist/vocalist Cease. Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Erra, Mureau, Northlane, and For the Fallen Dreams, Skeyes have now arrived at the point of unleashing their presence on a broader landscape. Featuring guest vocals from Garret Rapp of The Color Morale and Jesse Cash of Erra, and released on Imminence Records to whom the band signed last October, Empty Mirrors is a more than solid and pleasing base for the band spring forth from.

Ethereal sets the ball rolling and instantly is a flame of clean vocals amidst a web of sonic enterprise, a coaxing punctuated by thumping rhythms which shows restraint in their attack but not their weight. With Garret Rapp bringing his strong guest tones to the song, it is soon a turbulent storm of an encounter, the caustic roars of Brosious an increasingly enjoyable squall against the warmer colours and harmonies of the song. The guitars also grab attention swiftly, tendrils of sonic imagination aligning with ragged riffs equipped with a djent seeded agitation. It is a strong song which satisfies with ease especially through the ever growing voracity of the rhythms, but elevates its stature with an excellent twist of melodic calm coloured by excellent vocals of Rapp.IR030

The following Myriad also needs a breath before unleashing its maelstrom of imagination and sonic tenacity. In some ways it is a less imposing and intrusive track yet still stirs up an intimidation and creative agitation which keeps expectations at bay. Even so there are plenty of recognisable things about the song, as the EP, but it would be amiss to not say it comes over as fresh and with a hungry passion as it roughs up and seduces the listener’s ears and thoughts. Strangely another thing in its favour and success is the briefness of its presence, at under three minutes the track is a dazzling quick jab to the senses with certainly as the old adage says, ‘leaves them wanting more’, just as the similarly swift offering of the EP’s title track which steps up next.

With Jesse Cash involved, Empty Mirrors is virtually a bedlamic swirl of venomous raw growls and melodic suggestiveness within a cage of aggressive riffery and belligerent rhythms. Holding magnetic calm at moments and unbridled energetic hostility in others, the song seduces with dramatic keys and impressive clean blazes of vocal expression. Easily the best thing on the release, the inventive bellow is as fascinating as it is exhausting and with more songs like this, Skeyes will definitely rise to join the cream of melodic metalcore.

The closing Ars Amatoria revels in the mellower side of the band’s sound and songwriting, initially at least anyway. The voice of we assume Cease shows its strongest and most impressive moments on the EP as the song brews up a tempest of sound and angst round him. It does not take long for Brosious to unleash his thick venom too as guitars paint a reflective sonic picture in the rabid frame of rhythms and riffs. The song is also brief, though this time it feels like an unfinished proposition once it departs, as if there was more to say but instead just walks away.

Empty Mirrors as suggested is a strong way to open up their entrance into the ears of the world. It is not going to shake the tree but certainly will do enough to ensure Skeyes and what comes next is given stronger attention, and if the band can really build on songs like the EPs title track, with equally potent rewards in return.

The Empty Mirrors EP is available now via Imminence Records @ http://imminencerecords.bandcamp.com/album/empty-mirrors

https://www.facebook.com/skeyesband

RingMaster 26/02/2015

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Roaring flames: Introducing This Burning City

This Burning City

One song does not make a band but it certainly is enough to pay close and eager attention upon one and so it is with Ignorance the debut single from Canadian hardcore rockers This Burning City. The teaser for an upcoming EP, the track is visceral and sonically compelling introduction with a vicious contagion to match. Not wanting to wait until the upcoming EP to learn more, we grabbed the chance to fire off a few questions at the band to discover their background, influences, and more….

Hi guys and thanks for talking with us.

Can we start by asking about the band and its background?

Hey there RingMaster. Thanks a lot for opportunity to chat. This Burning City is a hardcore band from the small town of Gananoque, Ontario. We all knew each other from school and came up with the idea of getting together and making noises. Nothing serious but as time went by we loved what we did and This Burning City formed. We’ve been together for roughly 3 years now, but have jammed together for longer.

You have had a few changes in personnel since forming, the norm for plenty of bands but how has that impacted on your hardcore fuelled sound along the way?

No major changes, but a few bumps in the road really. I think in the beginning we didn’t really have any direction or idea of what we wanted. We looked up to bands and said “We want to be THAT” and wrote what we could. After the line-up changes, I think everyone was finally on the same page on what we wanted and we finally could start writing the music that we really wanted to put out. So to answer your question I’d say yes, it has influenced our hardcore sound, but in a good way.

Who would you list as the biggest influences on the band’s sound and you as individual musicians?

It’s extremely safe to say that our biggest influences as a band are Ritual (Ex. Dead And Divine), Stray From The Path, and The Chariot. Other than these three, we all really take influence from Prophets, Holly Springs Disaster, Of Temples, and The Color Morale. You can hear most of these bands in our music, and the influence is pretty clear and direct.

Tell us about the single Ignorance which was released earlier this year, is it a thick example of your sound generally for newcomers to get an idea of what This Burning City is all about?

Ignorance was selected as our single to lead into the EP that we have in the works. When writing music for the EP, we made this song and absolutely HAD to put it out. It was designed to give people a taste of what we had to come, the new direction we were going in, and keep people waiting for the EP. It was recorded in a small basement by Jordan Bulhoes of Suns Of Static and it was mixed and mastered by Jordan Valeriote who has worked on some really huge bands such as Silverstein, Neck Deep, Structures and many others. It’s a very good example of what’s to come, but since writing the single, we’ve written some truly outstanding music that will blow away anyone who enjoys the single.

What about the EP, any info you can share?

We just finished some gruelling days in the studio with Zane of North Of Princess studio to put together a really, really amazing EP. Right now we’re waiting for some early mixes and then it’s off to become truly magical.

Can you give us a spoiler as to its sound and direction?

All I can say at this time is that the sound is going to be huge, the melodies are going to be magical, and to those who have heard us before, it is going to be unlike anything we’ve ever released. Honestly, we all couldn’t be more excited.

You seem to be getting a potent reputation for your live presence also and have played with a horde of bands including the likes of Horizons, Atlas, Fairview, End Of Crisis, and With Blood Drenched Hands. On stage is where the band is most at home?

The stage is definitely our home. When we entered the studio, we looked like deer in the headlights. We didn’t know what to do. But the moment we need to hit the stage, we’re like a well-oiled machine. It’s the place where we let loose, connect with the people we play with, and try our hardest to create a memorable experience. It’s all energy and smiles when we’re up there.

You have a show coming up with He Is Legend and Maylene & The Sons Of Disaster as well as others. How are feelings as it looms closer and this is one of your biggest shows to date?

Well first and foremost we are excited to be sharing the stage with such amazing bands. But at the same time, we are a bit nervous. Kingston, Ontario has the bad tendency to not give these bands the attention they really deserve. I hope the locals will come out and support them. I know we’ll be a bit nervous to open, but like every time, we’ll get over it and truly kick the shit out of the performance.

What else has the band in store for the rest of the year leading into next?

Lots of big plans! Once the EP is out, we’re going to do our best to get it into the hands of people we don’t know and get the name out. Touring is a definite possibility. And of course, we’re always looking ahead to the next big step: our album. The ball is always rolling with us.

Thanks again for sharing your time, anything you wish to shout out to finish off with?

Thank you again for the questions! All I have to say is we are This Burning City! Check us out at www.facebook.com/ThisBurningCity or go to our website at www.ThisBurningCity.com. Check us out at a show near you and listen to the newest single, Ignorance.

Pete RingMaster

The RingMaster Review 14/11/2014

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Intervals – A Voice Within

 

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    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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From Sorrow To Serenity – Antithesis

FSTS

As ravenous and barbaric as a tornado but with the passionate insatiability of a tsunami, the Antithesis EP from Scottish metallers From Sorrow To Serenity is a striking ruthless ferocity wrapped in a scorching melodic elegance and rapacious imagination. Consisting of four merciless confrontations, the release is the debut of a band metal we will all be taking intensive attention of, if not now certainly in the near future as the Glasgow quintet build on their powerful and impressive entrance.

Formed in 2010 by the core of vocalist Fraser Smith alongside guitarists Steven Jones and Mark McInch, From Sorrow To Serenity  have earned a formidable reputation for their unbridled mesh of metalcore ripe with flames of progressive, groove, and technical metal; a colossal recipe which has fuelled their intensively impacting live show. Sharing stages with the likes of Memphis May Fire, Bleed From Within, Stray From The Path, The Color Morale and many more across Scotland, the band has continued to impress and strengthen their stature and explosive presence, bassist Andrew Simpson and drummer Matthew Cowie completing the potent line-up challenging and invigorating the senses. Following their recent successful showing at Techabilitation where the band played with the likes of Meta-stasis, Nexilva, Visions, and Aeolist, the Antithesis EP is the next heavy swipe at the nation, one you can only imagine leading the band to the strongest positive responses.

The title track instantly tells you all you need to know about From Sorrow To Serenity, Antithesis emerging from a sonic brew a0430344357_2designed by the guitars to launch a savage and riveting exploitation of the band’s craft and maliciousness. The track is a carnivore, riffs and rhythms a ravaging creative spite cloaked in a sonic seduction which scorches as it tempts. The technical enticement is equally as predacious and addictive, the band coaxing out a rapturous hunger for its towering and erosive presence whilst the vocals of Smith squall with as much animosity as that provided by the rhythms. It is a hypnotic fury completed with twisted grooves which swing with a compelling swagger from within the inventive and exciting maelstrom. The outstanding track never relinquishes being the finest moment on the release though it is constantly challenged by the remaining trio of songs.

The following Synergy approaches the ears with an electro cast ambience, an industrial lilted embrace not long alone as djent splintered rhythms and grooves encroach and prowl around the immersive evocative canvas. Into its full storm the song has less clarity to its individual elements than the first song but spawns intensive sonic smog which consumes and ignites the senses once again. It is a viscous encounter but one which flows with enticing ease as it intertwines aggressive rabidity and emotive suffocation into its exhausting melody stretched torrent.

Dead Reign is another to lend a gentle, in this case crystalline bait to lure the listener into a subsequent voracious furnace of intensity and emotional savagery. The track is a hypnotic and ferocious slab of sonic alchemy, an ever evolving passage of electronic shards and kisses, Middle Eastern promise, and melodic imagination which steals the passions within the similarly infectious violent abrasiveness and straight forward voracity. It is a masterful violation, a stunning and inventive blend of extremes and opposites merged into a sonic narrative which rivals the opener and is debatably the most creative confrontation on the EP.

The release is completed by i9, a track featuring Nexilva vocalist Gaz King. It is a barbarous challenge for the senses, the guitars and bass at their most uncivil yet refined on the release and the rhythms a blur of animosity and skilled intimidation. The track does not neglect the melodic hues the band has already shown they are accomplished at exploring either, the whole result a scintillating provocation for body and mind which backs up the immense promise and presence of the band.

There is little to temper the praise for Antithesis with, a slight lack of diversity from the vocals and a production which does submerge their delivery within the sonic tempest a little too much at times the only thing to be picky about. The EP is a powerful and incredibly weighty persuasion which declares From Sorrow To Serenity as a band to expect and anticipate a dominate future from.

The Antithesis EP is available as a buy now name your price digital release from http://fromsorrowtoserenity.bandcamp.com/album/antithesis-ep

https://www.facebook.com/FSTSOFFICIAL

8/10

RingMaster 28/11/2013

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