Secret Sight – Shared Loneliness

Back in 2014, we like so many others were impressed and hooked on the debut album from Secret Sight. It was a release which surprised having come out of the blue awareness wise and introduced us to the captivating dark post punk/gothic rock sound of the Italian band. Now the Ancona hailing outfit has repeated the feat with their second full-length, Shared Loneliness; a collection of songs as striking and captivating as their predecessors but with a maturity and enterprise which sets it apart.

Secret Sight emerged the same year as their Red Cat Records released debut album Day.Night.Life, though there is a 2013 self-titled EP under the name Coldwave before then. Recorded with Paolo Rossi (Soviet Soviet, Be Forest, Brothers In Law), Day.Night.Life swiftly sparked support and praise carrying attention, the band supporting its release with an extensive tour around Italy, Switzerland and Austria where the plaudits continued coming. A quartet at the time, the band has since slimmed to a trio with former vocalist Matteo Schipsi leaving, vocals being shared across guitarist/synth player Cristiano Poli and bassist/synth player Lucio Cristino. With its line-up completed by the dramatic rhythms of Enrico Bartolini, Secret Sight linked up with producer Alessandro Ovi Sportelli for Shared Loneliness, resulting in an album which has mellowed out in regard to the raw edged post punk tone of its predecessor but blossomed in its haunting melancholic drama and melodic suggestiveness.

As with their first album, the band’s sound harkens back to eighties post punk/new wave and their gothic companions but with a bolder identity and imagination belonging to Secret Shine. It opens with Lowest Point, the initial coaxing mist of synths soon joined by the atmospheric lures of guitar and bass, keys simultaneously thickening as melodies simmer and echo in the ears. The instrumental’s shadows carry over into the following Stage Lights where the mesmeric groan of the bass and aligning dark textures seduce the imagination ready for the song’s spirited stroll which erupts soon after. Like a fusion of Leitmotiv and The Sound the track dances on the senses, its rhythmic shuffle sculpting their own catchy charm to the temptation. Superb in voice and enterprise, the song swiftly grips attention, vocals as enticing as the sounds around them and with a great nagging essence to its tenacious rhythms, infectious melodies, and tantalising hooks, the tone and heart for the album is set.

The following Blindmind matches its success with its own compelling design and creative intimacy. As in the last song Cristino’s bass makes an addictive proposal, moody and melancholic in its bold exploits with the same traits fuelling the adventure and intimation of Poli’s guitar which beguiles the imagination in its own right. To be honest all three musicians seize attention with their individual prowess but uniting perfectly to create an even greater temptation, that aforementioned maturity lining every twist and turn.

There is also a breath and tone to the song which reminds of The Cure around their second album, a thick shadow draped air which is as open in songs like next up Fallen and its successor Flowers if to lesser degrees. The first of the two similarly bounds through ears, emotively conjured melodies webbing its rhythmic canter as a China Crisis like catchiness brews while the second with a calmer energy has something of a Modern English to it. Though neither song quite matches up to those before them each leaves pleasure high and attention glued before Swan’s Smile envelops the senses and drives the spirit with its sprightly canter. With a scent of The Danse Society cast, the track simply made an already keen appetite hungrier for more, a want quickly satisfied by the rampant dynamics of Over led by the skilful endeavour of Bartolini. A fusion of post punk with gothic and synth pop, it is a rousingly infectious affair with theatre in its veins and emotional drama in its voice.

The pair of Surprising Lord and Sometimes completes the album in compelling style, the first a pulsating and again relentlessly catchy incitement on body and pleasure as dark and imposing as it is hopeful and anthemic. The evocative balladry of the final track ensures the pleasure listening to Shared Loneliness is relentless even if the song does not quite meet the lofty heights of many of its companions such their might. Epitomising the release in its emotional depth and musical enterprise, it is a fine end to another mouth-watering outing with Secret Sight.

We suggest focusing on the CD edition of the album as it carries a quite excellent cover of The Sound song The Fire as a bonus track, Secret Sight not detouring too far from the original but giving it all the energy and passion it and that great band deserves; just a shame it is not on all versions.

Shared Loneliness is available now through Manic Depression Records for its vinyl edition, Unknown Pleasures Records for the CD, and digitally @ https://secretsight.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/secretsight

Pete RingMaster 16/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

1919 – Bloodline

This is a moment no one likes to contemplate let alone undertake, reviewing something from an artist and exceptional musician who has sadly just been untimely taken from music and the world. It also though gives fingers and thoughts a chance to pay homage especially when the subject of the piece is such a striking and rousing slice of creativity.

Bloodline is the new album from gothic/post punks 1919, a band formed at the tail of 1980 which proceeded to break the charts with a trio of singles, record one of the genre’s inspirational albums, and make appearances on the John Peel sessions twice before disbanding. Founding guitarist Mark Tighe

Mark Tighe RIP

began bringing the band back to life in 2014, its line-up sealed the following year with original drummer Mick Reed and bassist Karl Donner joining Tighe and vocalist Rio Goldhammer; the quartet subsequently releasing the ‘Madness Continues Sessions’ live album and in turn the self-released Death Note EP.

This past night of January 27th, Mark passed away; a deep loss for family, band, and fans but equally for music generally. His playing was distinctive, like a single individual colour in a vast palette of hues, able to create haunting melodies and moments as evocative and captivating as the incisive grooves and hooks from him which so freely and uniquely gripped body and imagination. The evidence is no more powerful and true than on Bloodline. He was also a wholly loved man to whom music was his life’s fuel and a true gentleman for all those who knew and met him.

Bloodline is a thrilling way to remember and enjoy Mark’s craft and potent presence; an album which grips physically and imaginatively from its first breath, increasingly winding appetite and lust around its creative fingers track by track. The foursome quite simply cements themselves as still one of the essential post punk incitements with it, almost as if they had never been away as a presence yet pushing themselves into new fresh realms of creative drama and aural adventure.

The album’s title track is first up, chugging riffs swiftly turning into wiry tendrils as percussion teases. Once the brooding bassline enters, things become eagerly catchy with the song blossoming into a PiL meets Leitmotiv like lure with Rio’s tones showing a certain Lydon-esque tinge to them. Feet and hips cannot avoid being involved as sultry melodies weave their temptation and a repetitious Killing Joke scented nagging growls in its belly.

Drama seeps from the electronic coaxing bringing next up This Vanity into view, its raw industrially kissed smoulder continuing to hug the senses as the bass unveils a gorgeous lure. Alongside, Mark’s guitar spins a spiral of melodic suggestion as Mick’s rhythms instinctively roll, a Gene Loves Jezebel like breeze soon floating over the provocative landscape to seep into every emotive crevice as vocals plaintively croon. Quickly absorbing the senses, the track makes way for the outstanding, rhythmically tenacious canter of Inquest. There is no escaping thinking of Jaz Coleman and co as Karl and Mick unite their flirtatiously anthemic designs but as throughout Bloodline, 1919 soon breed their own distinct character of sound and imagination. Magnetic harmonies and intoxicating melodies proceed to vine the ridiculously virulent encounter drawing the listener further into its creative theatre where just as riveting treats lay like its successor Retrograde. Like a puppeteer, it has the body bouncing while its spicy maze of melody is a sunspot of temptation contagiously matched by the snarling bass and hungrily leaping beats; Rio the ringmaster to its rousingly provocative and exhilarating waltz.

Even darker depths are drilled by the bass next in Legacy, its gnarly breath echoed in the caliginous air of the song though it too has a rampant catchiness which tempers and suits its shadowy presence. Imagine Bauhaus in league with Play Dead and the song can be visualised but still only a glimpse of its invasively compelling adventure, success matched by that of the wholly different presence of Zeitgeist. Again the first of the just mentioned pair of references is a prime clue to its tenebrific air and almost vampiric temptation, Rio carrying a Pete Murphy air to some of his persistently highly enjoyable, ever moving delivery. Mark’s imagination spins another labyrinth of melody and haunted sound too, evolving textures as radiant as they are emotively darksome to seduce and ensnare.

Through the galvanic punk rock of Disassociation and the intrigue soaked flirtation of Waiting For God ears are thrilled and the album’s variety stretched with the latter revolving its charms in ears and imagination like a temptress whilst wearing Theatre of Hate/ The Danse Society sourced inspiration as another alluring spice to its own spellbinding and tenacious revelry. Both tracks whip up body and spirit with sublime yet forceful ease, being quickly and as boldly matched in results by the slightly calmer and heavier fascination of Trespass. Maybe the most pop lined song on the album it just as openly shares raw shadows whilst boisterously serenading the listener, and as those before, it only sparks emotional and physical participation.

Bloodline closes with Life Is.., its tribal incitement of rhythms alone enough to incite allegiance, bewitchingly assisted by the fuzzy glow of melodies and variety coated vocals. Something akin to a fusion of Calling All Astronauts and Inca Babies but not, the wonderfully niggling song saunters and swings with increasing infection; an aural epidemic from which there is no escape as it brings one very fine release to a tremendous conclusion.

You cannot evade sadness listening to Bloodline but neither the joy sparked by its simply stunning presence.

Bloodline is out now through Westworld Recordings.

Video Dir. Carl Arnfield / ChalkmanVideo.com

https://www.facebook.com/1919official/

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Planning For Burial/Liar In Wait – Split 7”

BLR039_HIGHRES

Bringing together two bands which have already stolen strong attention and praise for their previous releases, the new split 7” from Broken Limbs Records makes a compelling introduction for newcomers to both Planning For Burial and Liar In Wait whilst showing existing fans a glimpse, certainly in the case of the second project, of a new mature landscape of sound. It is an absorbing and immersive experience being offered, two tracks which distinctly differ but unite in their ability to seduce and envelop ears, as well as the imagination, with subtle and bolder invention.

The first track Mischief Night is provided by Planning For Burial, the solo project of Pennsylvania based musician Thom Wasluck. The song is his first outing since the release of the acclaimed album Desideratum earlier this year. It IMG_7856(2)opens with a sonic flame which swiftly immerses into a radiant but oppressive drone. It is a persistence of noise though wrapped and embraced by flowing synth crafted melodies, their evocative breath and nature a warm caress over the caustic spine of the song. Guitars add their raw beauty and unpolished elegance almost as quickly, everything combining for a haunting and ethereal flight through morose and imposing shadows. It is a thick and challenging intensity which emerges from the bewitching cacophony of sound, but one tempered just enough by the slow laboured vocals of Wasluck, melancholia dipping off every syllable within his expressive monotonous delivery. It is an emotion lighting cloud of riveting dark beauty and dramatic shadows lying pleasingly like a mix of Joy Division and Nine Inch Nails within a cold shoegaze soundscape.

   The second song Paper Houses is a lighter and warmer proposition but just as rich in firm textures and infectious magnetism. Liar In Wait began in 2012 as a side project of vocalist Adam Clemans of Wolvhammer and bassist Jim Adolphson from Mourner. It was not long before the band grew to a quartet with the addition of guitarist Jeff Wilson (Wolvhammer, Nachtmystium) and drummer Peter Clarke (Iron Thrones), and recorded debut EP Translations of the Lost which was released last year on Profound Lore. Employing inspirations from the likes of Asylum Party, Joy Division, The Cure, and Fields of the Nephilim, release and sound was well-received and has already raised keen anticipation for the band’s first full-length scheduled for next year.

liw promo     Paper Houses makes a potent and exciting teaser for the release, immediately seducing ears with an intrigue loaded bassline which swiftly suggests Ian Curtis and co. The irresistible bait is then crossed by shards of sonic eruptions before it all slips into a lively but reserved stroll with the bass still leading the seduction beneath the melodic tones of Clemans. There is a shoegaze glazing which mesmerises with House of Love like radiance but equally a dark tonal elegance which embraces essences of Gene Love Jezebel, early Cure, and The Danse Society in its emotive flight across the enthralling song. It is a spellbinding track having no difficulty in awakening real anticipation for Liar In Wait’s first album.

We have been blessed with a strong and impressive array of split releases over past months and this is another to add to that list.

 The Planning For Burial/Liar In Wait Split is available now digitally and on vinyl (300 black and 200 on orange vinyl) @ http://brokenlimbsrecordings.com/shop/

https://www.facebook.com/planningforburial

https://www.facebook.com/liarinwait

RingMaster 15/10/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sinezamia: La Fuga

Foto di P.Rubini

Foto di P.Rubini

Despite one frustration arising from it, La Fuga (The Escape) the debut album from Italian gothic rock band Sinezamia is a rather tasty shadowed delight. Fusing dark rock with new wave and post punk, the Mantova quintet has created an album which is perpetually enthralling with its often nostalgia inspiring sounds and emotive breath. From an initially absorbing first impression it also grows into a presence which is hard to tear oneself from though once you do it is arguably not as memorable in hindsight as you expect. In its company though it is a thoroughly pleasing and exciting release.

That frustration mentioned at the start is actually surprising. Usually there is never an issue with bands singing in their native tongue, in fact very often it adds something extra emotively, but on La Fuga it left one feeling out in the cold a little, like missing out on the secret you are meant to support without knowing its content. Despite that the album leaves only satisfaction and welcomed intrigue amongst thoughts and emotions.

Formed in 2004, Sinezamia began finding a shape and stronger response to their well-received dark wave/rock sounds from 2006 which elevated with the release of their debut EP Fronde the following year. Media and fans took to the release with eagerness and the band began pulling in more to their fan base through touring. With a new line-up in 2009 the band recorded their second EP Sacralità which was released to strong success and interest from the print media and radio not forgetting an ever increasing legion of fans. As a foretaste of what was to come from La Fuga, the single off of it Ombra came out in 2011 to fire up anticipation for what has emerged as a very impressive debut full length.

The album has a grip on the passions immediately with opener Ghiaccio Nero (translated as Black Ice), the breath of synths and sinezamia-la-fugathe pulsating velvet clad bassline an instant infectious lure. Within seconds one is reminded of The Cure around their second and third albums with the contagious melodic hooks of Leitmotiv. The bass of Marco Beccari is irresistible within the weaves of sonic elegance from the keys of Charles Henry Scaietta and the teasing guitar play of Federico Bonazzoli. Into its stride with the great vocals of Marco Grazzi at their expressive might the track shifts into the darker aural shadows of Bauhaus to leave one even more magnetically drawn to the track. It is an excellent start instigating memories and pleasures from a few decades ago with a fresh touch.

The title track is a harder straight forward encounter of rock n roll with the rhythms of drummer Stephen Morbini leading the muscular passage with skill and tight control. The song still leads the ear into beckoning dark corners but lacks the mesmeric charm of the first though instead offers a bite which not only shows a good diversity to the music of the band but entraps a willing attention with ease.

     Nella Distanza opens on a slow haunting bass resonance before expanding into a sultry presence with a tight irresistible serpentine hook. The track took time to get to terms with, musically it is a smouldering wash of elegance and energetic passion but accosted by the initial distraction of the vocals of Grazzi. It is obviously down to personal taste but his slow almost spoken delivery send the song slightly awry and startlingly out of place compared to what came before. Thankfully it is only until he surges into his full singing range where you can only be impressed, his heart driven tones as powerful and thrilling as the constant musical imagination. Being selfish one only hopes he avoids this slow walking delivery in the future, but that is just one lone view of course.

The album continues to excite but when the aforementioned single arrives it just sends shards of rapture through the senses.  Ombra (Shadow) is sensational, a song which is like a beacon for the heart, especially if the likes of Leitmotiv and Play Dead hold a place in the emotions from times past. With a persistent sonic tease and boisterous energy around the ever inciting caresses of the keys, the track commands body, thoughts, and emotions like a sonic temptress. It is the best track on the album though matched by the closing triumph Nebbia di Guerra (Fog of War). It too is an insatiable wash of melodic elegance and almost raptorial energy from guitars and rhythms section speared by contagious carnivalesque teasing and sultry wantonness. Like a cross between Sex Gang Children and the poppier touches of The Danse Society it is a final act of magnificence from a simply stunning release.

If the heady times of the older bands mentioned do things to your little blood pumping organ than Sinezamia and La Fuga are a must.

https://www.facebook.com/sinezamia

RingMaster 19/12/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright