Chasing Dragons – Faction:Prologue

CD_RingMasterReview

Almost two years on from their forcibly impressive Checkmate EP, UK alt-metal quartet Chasing Dragons unleash its equally striking and rousing successor, the Faction:Prologue EP. The three track roar is a teaser to a forthcoming album from the Yorkshire hailing band and an incendiary confirmation that their contagious sound is one of the really fresh and dramatic proposals within the British metal scene.

Formed in 2011, the Leeds bred outfit has earned a powerful reputation for their dynamic live shows which over the years has seen the band share stages with the likes of Skindred, Pendulum, InMe, Death Angel, Betraying The Martyrs, Fearless Vampire Killers, Attack!Attack!, Skarlett Riot, and The Dead Lay Waiting among many. Early releases in the Take Flight For A Firefight EP of 2012 and the single Hindsight’s A Bitch the following year, marked the band out for attention though it is probably fair to say that Checkmate sparked the biggest acclaim loaded reactions until now. Faction:Prologue in many ways carries on where its predecessor left off with rhythmically imposing and melodically fiery proposals but equally the new trio of songs reveal a fresh richness in tone and intensity aligned to tenacious attention grabbing craft and emotive energy.

Faction-Prologue-Album-Art_RingMasterReviewwork-WebResFrom opener Devil In Her Eyes, band and release firmly seize ears and a swiftly nurtured appetite for their enjoyably imposing temptations. Straight away, the first track casts a web of melodic enterprise and bullish rhythms with matching riffs upon the senses. It is a forceful entrance as intimidating as it is inviting, especially once the recognisable and ever potent vocals of Tank spring into action. Her presence adds further drama and harmonic tempting to an already fiery mix driven by the tenacious rhythms of drummer Kate and bassist Murf. The track continues to infect ears and imagination with its swinging gait and sonic hooks; seemingly drawing on inspirations from bands such as Halestorm and Avenged Sevenfold but in its great unpredictable twists and creative turns sparking thoughts of bands like Spinnerette  and Flyleaf also, a foursome which probably most often comes close to giving a clue to the Chasing Dragons sound and individuality.

The outstanding start is matched in compelling kind by The Mutiny. As in the first, guitarist Mitch spins a spidery web of melodic imagination and intrigue which enticingly wraps the more volatile character of the rhythms and the rich flame of Tank’s commanding presence and voice. With backing vocals and siren-esque harmonies colluding with the raw snarl of the track and its lead vocal attack, the song beguiles as it sets ears and instincts alight with grouchy riffs and anthemic prowess, ultimately taking favourite song honours in the process.

Whitehorse closes off the EP, unveiling another side to the band’s maturing sound and of course the upcoming album. An electronic coaxing brings the track into view, its lure quickly joined by the hearty tones of Tank and subsequently a predacious prowl of stabbing riffs, antagonistic hooks, and rhythmic irritability. Harmonies and melodies soon temper the intimidation of the assault but without defusing the intrusive intent fuelling every note and beat.

Another tapestry of inventive endeavour and virulently catchy aggression, the song is a fine end to an excellent ‘return’ by Chasing Dragons to ears and speakers. There is no escaping that the band has got creatively bigger, bolder, and even more captivating; so roll on that album…

The Faction:Prologue EP is released March 29th @ http://chasingdragons.bigcartel.com/

http://www.chasingdragons.co.uk/   https://www.facebook.com/musicchasingdragons/   https://twitter.com/xChasingDragons

Pete RingMaster 29/03/3016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Chasing Dragons – Checkmate

Chasing Dragons pic

Brewing a striking fusion of fiery hard rock and ravenous melodic metal, UK ’s Chasing Dragon is one of those emerging propositions which you can only see going in one direction. Taking new EP Checkmate as evidence, the quartet from Leeds is on a potent ascent pushing an already strong reputation into a new spotlight. Consisting of six tracks which are as rigorously captivating as they are creatively potent, the new release is a striking marker on the progress of the band. It is probably fair to say that they are still finding their unique sound and voice, the EP bred well within heavy rock and metal boundaries with plenty of familiar assets to its successful persuasion but you can only feel the band is well on the way to finding that distinction and thus further recognition.

Formed in 2011, Chasing Dragons has built a formidable live presence which has seen them share stages with bands such as Pendulum, InMe, Death Angel, The Sweet, Fearless Vampire Killers, Attack!Attack!, The Headstart, Skarlett Riot, and The Dead Lay Waiting whilst lighting up the likes of Rock and Bike Festival, Highway To Hell, Leeds Fringe Fest, as well as many of the LGBT Prides around the UK. Checkmate follows the band’s debut EP Take Flight For A Firefight of 2012 and the single Hindsight’s A Bitch of last year. Their first EP made a striking and immense impression here which sparked a big anticipation of and expectation for Chasing Dragon from there on in. Whether Checkmate pushes the band forward as much as maybe hoped is still under debate but undoubtedly it reinforces the quality and potential of the band with ease, to reassert belief that the quartet can become a major force in British rock/metal.

Checkmate opens with Prelude, an atmospheric portentous piece of melodic drama and vocal whispers. It is an evocative piece which makes a stronger incitement when ravenous and coarsely sinewed riffs shape its closing narrative before making way for Throw Down Your King. The guitar of Mitch Sadler fires up its sonic bait first, entwining acidic twine around ears before being joined by the eager punches of drummer Kate Bullock and the bass snarl of Ant Varenne. Guided by the excellent vocals of Laurie ‘Tank’ Carnan, her tones simultaneously seductive, antagonistic, and powerfully potent, the track strides purposefully into the imagination with familiar attributes to a fresh roar. It is a song very easy to join in with, catchy and inviting, but also unafraid to slip into something melodically comfortable and evocatively persuasive to temper the charge. There is also a folk metal like twist midway to the riffs before they cast a carnivorous temperament to their predation which in turn slips back into the vociferous hard rock adventure which started the excellent incitement off. It is a great track feeding assumptions but equally unleashing unpredictable imagination.

The following That’s Not Love opens with a fire of hard rock colour from the guitars which makes way for a thumping rhythmic frame around the bluesy growl of Tank’s delivery. It is an irresistible enticement which loses some of its potency once the song opens up into a fluid melody washed stroll. It is not that the full appeal of the band is lacking anything, just that the aligned beats and outstanding vocals is so good, as proven again when it steals the main stage again in the passage of the song. Across the song’s body riffs chip away at the senses and rhythms bring an anthemic lure to match that of the guitar enterprise whilst vocally the song is firing on all cylinders, but it is the inventive twists and turns within the track which steals the show and passions.

   For The Sake Of Murder brings a smokey blues texture to its initial blaze of guitar before again voracious riffs and rhythms stab from within the melodic gaze of the song. Backed by strong vocals from Mitch, Tank tempts ears with a resourceful delivery whilst around her the track teases and tempts with a sultry air and climate to its inventive scenery. As in all tracks, hooks grip deeply whilst grooves and melodies entice like a wanton temptress yet it is all with a respectful touch within a magnetic creative rabidity.

Next up The Last Defence catches thoughts off guard when it opens with an evocative classically spawned piano coaxing over which Tank vocally soars effortlessly and enthrallingly. With a lesser singer the beginning possibly would not work but Tank owns thoughts and emotions at this point to make a decent entrance stunning. Keys add extra hues to the emerging landscape which is coloured richly by the guitars and rhythms. Gaining weight and energy all the time, the song evolves into a powerful and anthemic croon which is simply compelling and breath-taking.

The EP ends on Broken Jaws, a riotous rocker of a track which has nothing surprising about it but everything virulently contagious and mightily enticing to create a highly satisfying stomp. It is the least adventurous and impressive track on the release but also one of the most magnetic and infectiously enjoyable which ensures the band leave on another high, parting with another reminder of their irrepressible strength and appeal.

Checkmate is an exciting and impressive offering which keeps Chasing Dragons on course for a richly rewarding career, for them and us so a recommendation to check them out could not be fuller.

The self-released Checkmate is available digitally and physically at www.musicchasingdragons.bigcartel.com now!

https://www.facebook.com/musicchasingdragons

Check out Chasing Dragons upcoming live dates below:

Saturday 14th June – Salutation, Nottingham

Saturday 21st June – The Riverside, Selby

Thursday 26th June – The Corporation, Sheffield

Friday 27th June – The Pot and Kettle, Rhyl

Wednesday 2nd August – The Shed, Leicester

Friday 22nd August – The Club That Rocks, Consett

Friday 19th September – The Underworld, London

8.5/10

RingMaster 02/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Heaven Asunder – Among The Damned

  Heaven Asunder Online Promo Shot

    From their explosive live performances and previous Dead Man’s Waltz  EP, UK metallers Heaven Asunder has bred a very healthy anticipation for their debut album Among The Damned. Now with its unleashing the ten track blaze of melodic passionate metal gives potent evidence as to why there has been such an awaiting appetite. The release may be does not set new markers to fully challenge originality but impressively accomplished and rigorously engaging, the album is soaked in a captivating promise and invigorating strength which marks out the Bristol band as a proposition to eagerly indulge in.

     Formed in 2009 by five guys at University sharing the same flat, the quintet of vocalist Matt Boyd, guitarists Lewis Blake and Ally Roberts, bassist Lewys Ball, and drummer James Whitlock took little time in creating a live presence which seeded the reputation firing up the hunger for their album. Heaven Asunder has ignited stages alongside the likes of 36 Crazyfists, Idiom, Fearless Vampire Killers, When We Were Wolves, Odessa, Shining (Nor), The Smoking Hearts, The Dead Lay Waiting, Crown the Empire, and Issues since forming whilst Dead Man’s Waltz only added to their brewing stature. Thoroughly enjoyable and a powerfully satisfying encounter, Among The Damned expands the rising presence of the band whilst paving the way for stronger expectations of major things ahead from the band.

      The album hits hard right away with opening track Shallow Graves and though in hindsight the song is not the most Heaven Asunder - Cover Artworkgrabbing and gripping on the release it sets things off with hunger and energy. Immediately riffs are greedily stroking the ears whilst the rhythms of Whitlock slap the same from pillar to post. With a great melodically seeded breath wrapping the senses after the aggressive start to allow things to settle, the track is soon back to a keen rampage, the guitars casting well-crafted and alluring sonic patterns which entice and tease whilst the bass of Ball prowls within their bait with menace and depth. The vocals of Boyd backed ably by Roberts are equally as appealing as the sounds and though there is better to come from the release the track is a formidable and appealing blaze of melodic metal.

     Of Coat And Arms keeps up the momentum and potency of the start, the initial melodic coaxing similar to its predecessor but soon expanding with greater growl to the riffs and expressive adventure to vocals and melodies. Admittedly there is little strikingly new going on but there are no doubts about the imagination and skill employed in the use of the previously trodden spicery as the song wraps the listener in something richly appetising and thoroughly accomplished. This is right away built upon by the thumping presence of the excellent Nothing More, the track the most carnivorous and belligerent on the album yet again bringing an impressive and perfectly sculpted merger of violent passion and intent with equally powerful melodic and inventive exploration. Keys add another texture and evocative persuasion to the absorbing encounter whilst the bass, as all aspects, digs into a deeper corner of enticement to help forge the first major pinnacle of the album. The accompanying promo to the release mentions 36 Crazyfists as a reference, and it is hard to disagreed, but to that you can add the better moments of Avenged Sevenfold and the power of Killswitch Engage as well as other essences, all brought into a wholly enjoyable and exciting proposition.

      The likes of the fiery Reviver, a track which flares up and bites at various moments within another pleasing provocative meeting between band and thoughts, and the confrontational Another Broken Soul ensure the album continues to ignite the senses even if both fall slightly before the height set by Nothing More. That plateau is soon seriously challenged though by the next up The Silencer, the track a bruising and challenging treat soaked in rhythmic rabidity and vocal spite whilst driven hard by predacious enterprise and voracious guitar creativity. Its successor, the ravenous Last Rites, is no slouch in seizing and tossing around the senses and passions either. With nagging riffs and a great mixed vocal attack from Boyd laying down irresistible temptation from within the emerging dramatic and merciless aggression, the song is another commanding peak of the album.

     Both Lest We Be Scattered and Stranded provide an appealing closing stretch to Among The Damned, even if neither quite lives up to the previous duo. Despite that it is impossible to pull yourself away from their strong suasions before they make way for the outstanding conclusion to the release, State Of Things To Come. Sinews ripple viciously across the enthralling provocation whilst riffs and hooks saunter and prey upon the senses with rapacious intent and imagination. It is a stirring intensive end to an equally blistering and exhaustive release. Among The Damned is a great full introduction to a band you can only see going from strength to strength. The album does not carve out new adventures but certainly provides a tempestuous and thrilling storm of enjoyment to make Heaven Asunder a band to embrace fully in 2014.

www.facebook.com/heavenasunder

8/10

RingMaster 06/01/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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CITY OF ASHES to release debut album’All We Left Behind’, Mon 11th November‏

City Of Ashes Online Promo Shot
Emerging energetic South East alt-rockers ‘City Of Ashes’ are poised to stake their claim as one of the exciting new breed of bands to break through this year. They are loaded up with their blistering debut album ‘All We Left Behind’, out Monday 11th November, and it’s ram-packed with killer tracks, and sure to set the rising foursome apart from the masses.
“…this is polished, emotional work. Frontman Orion Powell pours his heart out throughout….” Rocksound Magazine.
Sparking glowing comparisons to ‘Thursday’ and rising UK stars ‘Don Broco’, City Of Ashes bond together a crafty tunesmith approach with a sincere and emotive delivery.
Born in 2009 and hailing from Eastbourne, Sussex, COA feature Orion Powell (vocals), James Macdonald (guitar), Dan Frederick (bass) and Dan Russell (drums). The tireless quartet went about the business of perfecting their sound quickly, spending their early years cutting their teeth playing a host of shows throughout the country. The youthful upstarts amassed a dedicated following and managed to share stages with a host of rising bands from Exit Ten, Polar, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Fei Comodo, Hildamay and Young Guns, to Yashin, Skindred, Fearless Vampire Killers, Attica Rage and The Dead Lay Waiting.
Besides having a hearty appetite for touring, the band also have a dedication to recording, and enlisted respected producer Matt O’Grady (Deaf Havana, You Me At Six, Don Broco) to work on their debut EP ‘Then There Was A Hand In The Darkness’. The record further solidified the band’s growing fan-base and garnered positive acclaim from Rocksound Magazine, as well as racking up an array of glowing online reviews.
City Of Ashes have now raised the bar with their debut album ‘All We Left Behind’ which is unleashed this Autumn. The broody instrumental ‘Initia’ starts the record before the punchy riff assault of ‘Ode To Innocence’ lays down the band’s intriguing manifesto of layered guitar lines and alluring hooks. Their previous single, ‘Falling Star’, continues to ignite with its colossal refrain, and the current single, ‘In Retrospect’, perfectly highlights the quartet’s nimble aptitude for despatching a killer single with its soaring melody and luscious guitar passages. ‘Brand New World’ nods its head in the direction of Taking Back Sunday with vocalist Orion Powell laying his soul bare to devastating effect. ‘Dorian Gray’ moves the album along swiftly with stomping beat blasts and visceral riffery, and then ‘Waves’ further demonstrates the band’s song-writing guile and ability to unleash an epic anthemic chorus, as it brings the album to a close.
The alternative tunesmiths hit the road this summer and have extensive touring planned for the remainder of the year; track the band’s movements atwww.facebook.com/cityofashesband
City Of Ashes Cover Artwork
CITY OF ASHES RELEASE ‘ALL WE LEFT BEHIND’ ON MONDAY 11th NOVEMBER

Cambion: Virus

   cambion

    If like us you thought Cambion was the business with their Last Rites EP of 2011, then be prepared to be a whimpering fully bloated with pleasure wreck as their new EP Virus wreaks its havoc on the senses. The UK metallers have left the previous triumph looking almost pale against the new onslaught of technical and progressive metal found on the EP. The Devon quartet has not ventured far from their already established sound on Virus but honed it into an even more lethal and expressive beast which gnaws, chews, and teases the senses for a simply sensational confrontation.

Formed in 2009, the band pulls its influences from the likes of Meshuggah, Fear Factory, and Divine Heresy but has distilled them into their own aggressive and inventive tonic. It is aggressive and corrosive but equally is an incendiary engagement melodically and emotively. The past years have seen Cambion tour with US rockers Fozzy as well as share stages with the likes of The Defiled, Malefice, Blaze Bayley, Fury UK, Revoker, The Fearless Vampire Killers, and The Dead Lay Waiting, and light up festivals like Bloodstock with the line-up of vocalist/guitarist Elliott Alderman-Broom, guitarist Liam Neary, bassist Colin Beale, and drummer Frank Dennis impressing continually. The band has reached into another level of depth in their already expansive and impressive creativity so that where the previous EP had like us many drooling Virus just ignites sheer rapture with its immense presence and sound.

The release opens on the atmospheric and stark corrosion of society through varied news sound bites and a serpentine presence; it 480282_10151163818991971_2129231106_nis a cinematic introduction fitting the theme of the release and pulls Virus Part 1 (Outbreak) into immediate focus. The emergence of the band is a step back, the brewing intensity seemingly another world as a guitar glows with sonic elegance in an open clear sky. Soon though towering rhythms add their sinews for an imposing stature elevated again once the band badger with debilitating riffs and a hungry abrasion. The storm is a building intensity with the great vocals sending warm shards through the tempestuous ambience and eventually erupts into a charged and overwhelming maelstrom of technical violence and enterprise. It is also unpredictable and beautifully surprising, the Latin blush of guitar mesmerism sensational as the riot subsides for brief moments. It is a compelling and stunning start which leaves all previous thoughts of the band as lacklustre praise in comparison to those generated from the first track alone.

Virus Part 2 (Infection) was first featured on the previous EP and was stunning then but within the encasement of the new release feels even more impressive. The song is a caustic ravaging spawn of the industrial metal craft of Fear Factory and the exhausting and ravenous intensity of Static X bled into an electrifying abrasion all Cambion. Like all the songs on the EP, it rewards as deeply as it gnaws away at the listener and their psyche, the melodic fires enflamed and aggressive violation unleashed, metal at its very compulsive best.

The brutal entrance of Virus Part 3 (Death) with sheer malevolence to the squalling vocals and heart stopping beats from the drums, brings the world to a juddering halt such its intimidation and power. It is a mere one minute of physical barbarity which leaves one shell shocked yet ready to face the next part of the Virus in (AfterLife). If you thought moving on from this plain would be all beauty and peace, the erosion of light and expulsion of civil tranquillity let free by the track soon corrects and sends one to their knees. Combining a contagion of acute grooves with crippling rhythms and further technical savagery, the track is a persuasive assailant and one which with its melodic flames hitting mesmeric heights and additional impressive clean vocals and harmonies, one which provokes and evocates the strongest passions and emotions.

Virus Part 5 (Resurrection) continues the sonic viciousness with sheer mastery of sadistic intensity, unforgiving sounds, and glowing melodic beauty. The track scores and depletes the senses until numb but at the same time energises and inflates the heart with a melodic enterprise and touch as magnificent as the quarrelsome ruin surrounding them.

Completed by a hidden track which is as stunning as all the others, Virus is just outstanding, a release which declares Cambion firmly as one of the most important bands in UK metal and a delicious violation all should allow to rampage inside.

http://www.cambionofficial.co.uk

RingMaster 25/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

The Dead Lay Waiting – Almost Heaven

It has been impossible to miss quite a flurry of negative almost vehement reviews and first reactions to the new album from UK metalcore band The Dead Lay Waiting. Certainly Almost Heaven is not the perfect album or a classic in the making but it is also far from being the car crash and failure that many seem to be declaring. Obviously any review is down to personal opinion and taste as much as the evidence that is the music but it is hard to understand the harsh and destructive views of many towards the album and band itself. Maybe The Dead Lay Waiting is simply the current band to hate much as My Chemical Romance and Disturbed and countless others have been before them. All that is apparent from Almost Heaven is that though not flawless the album is a very agreeable and enjoyable release that shows a band creative and with great promise.

From their coming together in 2007 the band has grabbed attention, making a marked impact on a swiftly growing fan base. Debut EP Memories Of A Massacre in 2007 followed the next year by a self titled one plus an appearance at the 2008 Bloodstock Open Air Festival increased the interest and led to signing with UK based label Rising Records. January 2010 saw the release of the band’s debut album We Rise surrounded by acclaimed performances at Download in 2009 and ’10, plus tours with the likes of Trigger The Bloodshed, Bleed From Within and Sarah Jezebel Deva. The band this year found themselves nominated for KERRANG! Magazine’s ‘Best British Newcomer Band’ award, and the Metal Hammer Golden God ‘Best Underground Band’ award, their stock and rise continuing at a rapid rate, something surely Almost Heaven will accelerate further. 

The album starts with an ascending intense sound erupting into the explosive ‘This Day Will Be Your Last’ through the brief but mountainous intense ‘Wake Up’. Crushing riffs and ear bending rhythms pour incessantly over the senses, vocals growling deeply and threateningly aided by lighter screamo chants and shouts. As following track ‘Take Me Away’ picks up the hard lined energetic baton it is apparent The Dead Lay Waiting know how to create and deliver flesh melting sounds and have a string ability to write memorable and intricate songs. It is also clear that they are far from the finished article which gives exciting promise ahead from the impressive sounds within Almost Heaven.

One can understand some of the criticism laid at the band’s door for as good and as agreeable the strength and incisive music within the album is there is not a great deal of originality there. This is not to say it is just reproducing sounds others have created but there certainly is nothing awe inspiring or jaw dropping either. This can be said about75% of all releases this year so it is a criticism that applies to a great many. The two things that do stop the album from being a major land mark is firstly and something that I never thought I would complain about, that the songs are too varied within their own skins. This makes songs such as ‘Always Ask Why’, chaotic with many elements included which would really work if they were better blended with a more seamless feel, something experience will surely improve. It should be remembered this is a very young band and credit should be given that they do try to be different and attempt to make their songs unique, it is just they need to know when less is more. The other problem with the album is that it feels like the band is trying too hard, as if comments given and seemingly continuing made them try so hard that their instinctive touch and ease was held down.

Despite this the album is an impressive release with songs like ‘Open Your Fucking Eyes’ with its crunching basslines, the abrasive ‘Choke on Your Words’, and the immense ‘Burnt to Ashes’ easily bringing great pleasure and pulse racing emotions. Even the epic meanderings of the closing title track ‘Almost Heaven’, despite its slightly overblown near ten minute journey gives far more joy than doubts.

Almost Heaven has its negatives but far more positives and is far ahead of the majority of albums coming out of the woodwork these past months. Why some have such a downer on the band is hard to comprehend unless it is solely based on their seemingly manufactured visual image. The Dead Lay Waiting will ahead make those doubters eat their words one suspects; they just need more time to find their very own unique sound and undeterred belief.

RingMaster 27/11/2011

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