Under Paris – Transitions

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A release does not always have to totally blow you away to make a compelling and perpetually appetising proposition, but it needs something at its core and invention which through any uncertainties and ‘issues’ acts like an alluring beacon. That is exactly what Transitions, the debut album from US metalcore band Under Paris has. There are elements which do not whip up the imagination and passions as pungently as others within it but consistently the release has ears and imagination seriously engaged, and though it might not take metalcore into something approaching new pastures the Iowa quintet’s ferocious incitement definitely has plenty about it to stir up serious attention.

Clinton hailing Under Paris began in 2012 and swiftly went to work enticing appetites with their first single If the Drugs Don’t Work, Can You Drive Me Home?, a track featuring Rene Lopez of Scarlett O’Hara. An acoustic EP called Clean Lungs and shows with the likes of Beartooth and The Ghost Inside only enhanced their emergence before the beginning of 2014 saw the release of debut full band EP Our Stories, recorded with Derek Moffat of 608 Studios. The encounter and the two singles unveiled from it before hand in the shapes of You’re Going Nowhere and Hold On Pain Ends sparked yet another influx of attention and interest. From there and later that year Under Paris ventured into the studio to record Transitions, releasing its first single Midwest Winters as a flavoursome teaser soon after. It lured in another dose of keen interest, which the band having signed with Imminence Records this past February, hope to exploit with the worldwide release of their new album.

IR032     Release and band prey on the senses immediately through opener Shallow Graves as irritant riffs and venomous vocal growls collude with vicious beats and bestial bass tone from the off. It is an imposing and gripping start which relaxes a touch as melodic toxicity and rampant rhythms erupt and smother ears in familiar yet fresh metalcore hostility. The guitars of Jayden Serrano and Evan Morrow spin a web of sonic enterprise within their barbarous riffery, enticing and holding the imagination whilst rhythms and vocals create a hellacious trespass of the senses. It is a strong and consuming beginning to the album but a nagging doubt arises in thoughts during it too. The excellent caustic vocals of Michael “Thorr” Alexander unleash an impressive and enjoyable ferocious fury yet with a singularly inhospitable delivery which admittedly personal tastes wondered if they might fail to provide the diversity the album potentially would need. Hopes that there will be something to temper and contrast his imposing are swiftly realised by Under Paris with At War with Myself. Once again Alexander and the vicious side of the sound is a merciless single minded tempest but in no time finds itself bound in a spicy enterprise of guitar aligned to the excellent clean vocals of bassist Rylie Phillips. He has a warmth and catchiness in his tones which works perfectly with the expressive brutality of Alexander, the song musically matching their ferocious and melodic union in creative kind. The sinew swung beats of drummer Lucas Richards create a rugged yet understanding companion to both sides too as the band merges light and dark impressively, calm and violent textures bonding with captivating ease.

The album’s title track crawls with the senses next, Transitions an instant wall of bruising provocation but also soon veined by the magnetic voice of Phillips. The track grows into an ever twisting tempestuous exploit of emotion and sound, the guitars managing to flirt and scar ears with their invention whilst rhythmically the encounter reveals sheer brutal rapacity. Its hellacious but enthralling presence is matched by What’s the Big Deal About Alaska though the song lacks the incendiary spark of its predecessors. It does come dramatically alive though around midway when the band slips into an evocative and thoughtful passage of relative peace and intrigue away from the fierce bluster, though that subsequently returns in a bellow of greater infectiousness.

The very swift rage of Yoloswag#420 provides an inescapable contagion next, the viciousness coming with a virulent swing before descending into a corrosive bedlam of spite. Its brief assault is followed by the heavily engaging Midwest Winters. The song’s landscape is a turbulent terrain of heavily delivered rolling rhythms and sonic acidity, again under a murderous atmosphere cast by riffs, predatory basslines, and vocal fury. Across it though, fiery melodies and the clean tempting of Phillips, provide the light in the dark, for a union of extremes which need each other to work and in turn flourish impressively together.

Both Devil’s Trap and Too Far Gone hold ears and attention tightly, the first a web of jagged riffs, bass imagination, and tremendous crippling beats from Richards. As in all tracks unpredictability is given plenty of exposure but often elsewhere comes shadowed by the storm around and above it. Here though it is allowed the strongest clarity enhancing the drama and appeal of the experience. Its successor is simply a torrential ravaging of malevolence and emotive rancor aligned to a fascinating weave of sparkling melodies and harmonies, each an imposing magnificence whether presented alone or entwined.

A tantalising warm reprise of At War with Myself leads the listener into the explosively fearsome and seductive throes of closing track At Peace. Featuring The Color Morale vocalist Garret Rapp, the song brings all the impressive and flavoursome aspects of the album into one bewitching intrusive roar; contrasts and rigorous extremes embroiled in one emotionally fierce and sonically intensive fire. The best track on the album it ensures Under Paris end their confrontation with a gripping and lingering incitement.

Transitions is a thoroughly satisfying proposition. It does not always go as far in its imagination and boldness as it should and would be liked, meaning at times it fails to meet its potential but certainly the release shows Under Paris to be a band which should be locked into the radar and their album a regular proposal to embrace.

Transitions is available now via Imminence Records at most online stores and physically @ http://www.underparis.bigcartel.com

https://www.facebook.com/underparisband

RingMaster 01/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Spanking New EP From A Room Swept White Hits The UK This January!

 A Room Swept White Online Promo Shot

Southern Melodic Hardcorers ‘A Room Swept White’ unleash their jaw dropping new EP ‘No Love Lost’ on Monday 12th January 2015. Taking from the edginess and potency of While She Sleeps and The Ghost Inside, and by adding their own absorbing dynamics and alluring melodies, the quintet have produced a forceful fusion of Post-Hardcore.

A Room Swept White were originally born at the tail-end of 2011 in the South East of England. The fiery five-piece wanted to create a sound that inspires and attacks the senses, and they have certainly more than fulfilled their objective. With a keen ear for hearty riffs and pummelling hooks, A Room Swept White have etched out a sound that is hard-hitting, yet still inventive; and that’s no easy task given the present over-saturation within the metalcore genre. ARSW have sparked glowing comparisons to The Ghost Inside, The Amity Affliction and Of Mice & Men; and although they’ve pulled from their influences, they’ve still managed to create a sound uniquely their own.

The five-some hit the ground running on the live circuit, and after a series of sweat-drenched UK shows throughout the south, sharing stages with Heart In Hand, Hacktivist, Bury Tomorrow, Feed The Rhino, Bleed From Within, Soulfly, Demoraliser, Palm Reader, POLAR, Continents and Bleed From Within, and with recent performances at the Redfest and Guilfest festivals, the band’s stock is on the rise.

The band are now set to kick on even further with their latest offering and new record, ‘No Love Lost’. The EP takes shape with the brooding and poignantly phrased ‘Recollection’. However, ‘This Life’ soon turns up the velocity with its breakneck riffage and full vocal assault. The record’s namesake and new single ‘No Love Lost’ twists and contorts itself around your ears to pleasing effect, while ‘Time Heals’ is additional evidence that these Southern metalcorers really have something different to offer. Lastly, ‘Better Days’ showcases the band’s growing stature and utilises dynamics to stunning effect. With five potent cuts, the EP is sure to thrust the band to the vanguard of the UK scene.

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– A ROOM SWEPT WHITE RELEASE ‘NO LOVE LOST’ ON MONDAY 12th JANUARY THROUGH ALL DIGITAL PLATFORMS –

 https://www.facebook.com/ARoomSweptWhite

Icons – Lifesigns EP

Icons band

Crafting their own very appetising take on metalcore, UK band Icons certainly on the evidence of their latest EP Lifesigns, has a potentially rich and potent future ahead of them. Consisting of four tracks which rage at, coax in, and invigorate the senses, the release is a sizeable introduction to the Leicester hailing metallers. It is fair to say that there is not a major expulsion of genre shaking invention or sounds from band on the release but plenty to suggest that the quintet is capable of such feats in the future as they evolve and hone their songwriting.

Formed in 2011, Icons has earned a strong reputation with their live performances alongside bands such as Bleed From Within, Hacktivist, Martyr Defiled, Continents, Giants and Napoleon. With a collective blend of inspirations from the likes of The Ghost Inside, Architects, Parkway Drive, Periphery, Northlane, Bleed From Within and Heart of a Coward, the five piece conjure up propositions which certainly do not slip past ears and attention easily. Their songs provide a skilfully layered alignment of sounds and textures; hooks and rhythms spearing the creative landscape with equal purpose and passion to the voracious vocals. It is a raw and uncompromising endeavour but one with a wealth of enticements to seduce and transfix the imagination.

Opener Cataclysm strides into view with jack booted rhythms and a caustic sonic haze, its infectious enticing soon permeating ears and Icons Lifesigns EP Covereagers thoughts. Taking a breath to establish its intent, the track then winds its sinewed riffs around the senses as the beats of Alan Forrest punch with a sure antagonistic touch. It is fiery bait which is soon under the squalling vocals attack of Neil Vernon, his coarse roars a scathing incitement within the emergence of sonic enterprise cast by guitarists Nick Toutjiaris and Joe Newman. Clean vocals join the picture next to bring a warm temperance to the still blustery gruff narrative, the union of both within the creative tempest of sound stalked by the great throaty bass provocation of bassist Chris Riley, magnetic in the least and thrilling in its strongest moments. As proven across the whole release though the ‘weakest’ elements are those vocals, both clean and raw deliveries undeniably potent instigators of the lyrical climate but at times landing wide of the levels musically the track elevates to.

Though the next up Fall of Avarice offers a similar scenario, it is not as big an issue as it might suggest with both styles working well enough but a further honing to rest easier within the maelstrom of inventive sound whilst still achieving their intensive aims would seem a wise move. The second track twists and flirts with the senses through intensive riffs, muscular rhythms, and a rigorously designed entanglement of sonic enterprise which holds the imagination capture from its opening play. The cleaner group vocal calls work perfectly it has to be said providing an anthemic pull which further entices the appetite to reconfirm that those vocal nags are minor for the main.

The latest single, Helios steps up next with viciously shaped grooves and melodic shards of adventure, the combination another easily accessible lure to immerse bravely within. The track creates scenery of emotive reserve and ravenous spite, both evocative propositions which merge fluidly together as the sounds expand their resourceful premises. It is not as striking and imposing as the previous songs with the vocals again raising small questions but still a song sparking keen attention and a lingering success for itself and band which is very easy to often return to.

The closing Hitch 22 opens on a rugged storm of strictly invasive riffs, deeply barbed hooks, and a contagious rabidity which instantly secures focus and hunger. Stretching its muscle flexing arms around the ears, the song proceeds to jab and scythe its way into the passions whilst simultaneously lighting the imagination with gentle but evocative short melodies and again superb group vocals, something they should definitely employ much more. The best track on the EP, it is a skilled cantankerous maelstrom which engrosses from start to finish and almost alone reveals all the promise within Icons to indicate that they are a real prospect as an emerging force.

There is plenty more within Icons to come, a continued evolution needed to see the band find a spotlight outside of the crowd but Lifesigns indicates that all the weaponry and craft is there waiting to be bred into something unique as it provides a very satisfying and enjoyable base to start from.

The Lifesigns EP is available now @ http://iconsuk.bandcamp.com/ as a buy now name your price download.

http://www.facebook.com/Iconsmetal

8/10

RingMaster 15/05/2014

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High Hopes – Self Revival

High Hopes photo 2

Building on from their acclaimed self-titled debut EP of last year, UK melodic metalcore band High Hopes unveil their first album, a release which leaves a wealth of promise and thrilling potency within the band the overriding impression. Released via Italian label This Is Core Records as was their EP, the eleven track slab of incendiary and provocative metal leaves a lingering satisfaction and suspicion that the band is destined to many exciting horizons such their intensely passionate and thunderous sound. Self Revival startles and surprises at times and in other moments feeds expectations and avoiding uniqueness, but for the lasting impression it is a vibrant and adventurous encounter which explains the buzz around the band.

Formed in August of 2012, the quintet of vocalist Nick Brooks, guitarists Nathan Pryor and Krishan Pujara, bassist Shaun Flanagan, and drummer Daryl Pryor took little time in finding themselves sharing stages with the likes of Your Demise, Palm Reader, Giants, and Oh Sleeper and making an inroad into Europe with their live performances. Their EP only accelerated the reputation of the Reading band; their powerful sound bred from the inspirations of The Ghost Inside, Parkway Drive, and Killswitch Engage upon their own invention, accelerating a rapidly rising fanbase around them. Entering the studio this past April with producer Russ Russell (Napalm Death, Evile, Sikth, Wildhearts), High Hopes has created a savage assault of a release, one as rife with hardcore animosity as it is metalcore destruction but an album that blends in a melodic weave and contagious enterprise which sparks an eager appetite.

It takes merely the first breath of opening track Seize The Chance to unleash the full intensity and effect of band and release. The guitars High Hopes artworkare soon shaping a sonic colouring to the rhythmic frame and intensity brought by the cracking swipes of Pryor and darkly shaped menacing prowls of Flanagan. It is an intimidating yet inviting lure into the song, the melodic venture bait for the imagination and the aggressive core a temper to thoughts intending to immerse in a light hued world, not that it is possible anyway when Brooks is unrelentingly squalling with his gruff animosity at the ear. With a generally singular style of delivery admittedly given good variety by group roars at times, his presence which from the start suits and pleases the songs is one that over the tracks does lose its strength of appeal due to the lack of diversity. It is a knack and ability which the likes of frontmen from bands such as Gacys Threads and Lantern For A Gale achieve even if not with open visibility, and one hopefully Brooks will acquire over time as his presence certainly enhances songs.

Through the likes of the intensive Seeking Truth with its gripping musical and emotional rabidity, the riveting 1953, and Strength To Strength, the album continues to enslave attention and appetite, the middle of the three especially exhilarating and a pinnacle of the release. It initially makes its acquaintance with a presence closely linked to its predecessor Renew Reform, but is soon carving out new walls and heights for Self Revival with twists and turns that leave the senses and thoughts invigorated and hungry for more.

Further major highlights on the album emerge with firstly the staggering climactic assault of The Balance, a song which for its first half is a formidable opponent until it whips out voracious swipes of rhythms and guitar venom to take it up many levels, and the blistering Endurance, another tempest of malevolence and creative entrapment which is impossible to resist, especially the scarring riffs and technically honed sonic lashing of excellence. The other songs on the album are all pleasing threats and captivating violations but lacking the spark or distinctive presence to make them stand out on the album. As the rampaging Days Fade To Grey closes up the brawl though, you sense that individuality as a band is not that far away, the song a scintillating slice of instinctive passion and enthralling imagination and easily the best track on the album with the biggest well of promise to spark confidence in the future of High Hopes.

    Self Revival leaves as mentioned thoughts and assumptions soaked in positivity over the band even if it maybe does not quite live up to the strengths of its peaks enough times across what are all enjoyable slices of metalcore adventure. For a debut full-length though it makes for a potent base for the band to launch from and you suspect that High Hopes surely will.

http://ihavehighhopes.com/

7/10

RingMaster 02/10/2013

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Shai Hulud: Reach Beyond the Sun

pic nathanielshannon

pic nathanielshannon

There is a full tank of positives you can place upon hardcore punk metallers Shai Hulud but the richest element they have is their passion, the fuel to their songwriting, creativity, and performance. It has always driven their sound and set the band above most similarly gaited bands, the furnace which fires and defines their distinctive and provocative confrontations. Returning after five years with new and fourth album Reach Beyond the Sun, the band and sound has lost none of its intensity, in fact it sees the band even more confronting and ferocious than ever. Released via Metal Blade Records, the album sees the band brewing their recognised sound into another raw and abrasively inciting tempest. It is less metal lined than previous release Misanthropy Pure and arguably a step back to earlier releases in sculpted intent but a storm from the band which is better than ever.

Reach Beyond the Sun is produced by New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert who was the vocalist upon Shai Hulud’s 1997 debut album Hearts Once Nourished With Hope And Compassion. He also performs vocal duties upon the new album bringing extra fire and visceral angst to the riveting release matching the imposing hardcore punk venomous sound. The album also features guest vocals from the likes of Jay Pepito (Reign Supreme, Blacklisted), John Vigil (The Ghost Inside), and Louis Hernandez (Alpha & Omega) among many, as well as former Hulud vocalists Matt Mazalli, Damien Moyal, and Geert van der Velde, all on the track Medicine to the Dead. Lyrically the band evokes and incites emotions as powerfully as ever, inviting and challenging the listener to delve deeper into feelings and thoughts personally and in regard to society and the world. Sonically and verbally the release scorches the senses and emotions to provide a canvas and aural caustic paint box to picture the scourge and wonder that is the human condition.

The release immediately and potently squalls within the ear with opener The Mean Spirits, Breathing, the vocals of Gilbert 11183_JKTcoursing through the senses with fire in their blood to match the scything rhythms of drummer Matt Covey and scarring sonic riffing from guitarist Matt Fox, all stalked and matched by bassist Matt Fletcher. With a melodic acid as rich and vigorously fruitful as the aggressive changeable stance of the song, the track is a powerful blaze of inventive and direct confrontation which energises and intimidates with impressive force.

     I, Saturnine with its corrosive breath and anthemic animosity and the irresistible title track both continue the impressive start to the release, the second of the pair one of the biggest pinnacles of the release. Through its heart driven intensity and intriguing shifts of energy and pace there is a torrential rain of sonic punk confrontation in sound and word which ignites deep inside. Through the likes of the towering A Human Failing, a track which stares you straight in the eyes and demands attention and thought, and the sensational Man Into Demon: And Their Faces Are Twisted With the Pain of Living the band just enrich and devour the senses and emotions further and deeper. The latter of the pair is a delicious unpredictable maelstrom of anger, imagination, and intensity which shifts its pose and structure relentlessly to simply magnetise and thrill.

The already impressive album gives its biggest triumph in the stunning To Suffer Fools, a brawl of punk, hardcore, and antagonism sculpted into a virulent contagion of malevolent sonics and breath-taking ingenuity which infests, infects, and seduces the passions. The track is the band at its most powerful with energy to splinter bone, a spite to wither defences, and a skilled prowess from all to leave most other bands inventively and inspirationally in their wake.

With songs like Monumental Graves and At Least a Plausible Case for Pessimism leaving further elevated heights within the outstanding Reach Beyond the Sun, Shai Hulud show no let-up in their ability to inspire and set bench marks for other hardcore/metalcore bands to aspire to.

http://www.hulud.com

9/10

RingMaster 22/02/2013

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Giants: These Are The Days

British punks Giants have just raised the intensity of their already ascending rise to the fore of UK rock music with their new mini album These Are The Days. Raw and abrasive yet melodically smouldering and as expected fully anthemic, the release is a thumping explosion of melodic, skate and hardcore punk which elevates an already impressed view of the band.

The Essex quintet still approaching two years into its life, first grabbed wider attention with their debut self released EP, as well as their storming sets alongside the likes of The Bled, This Distance, The Ghost Inside, This is Hell, For The Fallen Dreams, More Than Life, Azriel, and Haste The Day, each show and step creating a honed sound and an irresistible energised experience for a growing following. The new release is set to accelerate the rate of their ascent to what one can only see is national recognition.

These Are The Days opens on the thumping clash of sound and energy which is Did It Mean So Much To You, the track a fiery riot of muscular riffs, coarse vocals and scarring melodies. It is a hungry and forceful assault brought with craft and unbridled passion, the guitars leaving a smoking trail whilst the bass is simply a deliciously heavy dark predator throughout. It is a mighty start to the release and already shows a deeper strength and maturity to the sound of Giants which the following songs all endorse.

The following song When It Comes Down To It is a continuation of the aggression, its raw breath a scraping rub upon the ear smartly soothed by heated harmonies from excellent clean vocals amongst caustic shouts and sharp incendiary melodies. The track bristles and swaggers throughout before launching into one of the best finales in a song for a long time, its united shouts and driving thrust irresistible.

The tempest of attitude which is Snakes with its snarling bass intro next leaves one breathless and sets things up powerfully for the first of two tracks which are easily the best on the release. Won’t Be Told is an immediate anthem for voice and heart with group chants and metallic intrusive riffs riling up the senses. The following melodic vocals amongst further squalls of spite and knee buckling rhythms  as the song moves forward, are sparking and rabid making for a storm of total pleasure. Violent and merciless it lights up the air with fine craft and imagination.

Another Day, Another Year (Wasted) is similar in structure to its predecessor and alongside it steals the honours on this impressive release. Once more the bass is a real highlight, its tones a bestial and immense presence within another metal driven slab of punk rock. The band fusing multi genres with great skill without losing their core drive of sound.

With the brief instrumental Bottled Up leading in to the tempestuous closer Boneless, the EP is an energising and fully pleasing release which deserves every good word and acclaim it is destined to receive. These Are The Days shows that British punk rock is back at a forceful high with Giants right to the fore.

https://www.facebook.com/giantsuk

RingMaster 16/09/2012

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Beyond Betrayal: Money Can’t Save You Now EP

Barbaric and venomously twisting the new Money Can’t Save You Now EP from UK melodic metalcore band Beyond Betrayal is a stirring and impressive brute which leaves one bulging with satisfaction and anticipating even greater things ahead. There have been plenty of emerging metalcore bands over recent months, many offering a melodic element, but the quintet from Barrow in Furness easily stand at the fore. Arguably the band has still to define and unleash their own uniquely distinctive breath but they already sound apart from and head most of the new bands which makes the future for them and us very exciting.

Formed in 2009, the band has worked hard to shape and evolve their heavy inciteful sound through live shows, relentless practice and their well received self titled debut EP a year later. 2011 saw the band with a line-up change and arguably a new focus and strength to their sound, the metalcore heart energised with elements of death and progressive metal brought with a sure and keen touch. To this there is a sharp melodic enterprise which wraps around the intensity with intelligence whilst the grooves which rear up at times are borne from the wanton side of infectious. Released August 27th, Money Can’t Save You Now is the thrilling evidence of the depth and power which has emerged within the music of Beyond Betrayal, the release a mighty step on their accelerated ascent. As mentioned one feels their sound is still in progress towards its full identity but still leaves one deeply impressed whilst setting a level for others to aim for.

The Shane Frisby (Bury Your Dead, The Ghost Inside) mastered release opens up with the November, a track which goes for the jugular with aggression and fine craft. Within moments riffs are stripping and scarring flesh with expert sonic artistry whilst the vocals of Vinnie Dickinson seize ears to take them through a storm of guttural spite and sprawling serpentine malice. Driven by a sadistically manipulative groove the track is a maelstrom of energies and rhythms which only ignites the fullest fires. The guitars of Tom Fisher and Scott Shields are perpetually shifting the presence of the song, assaulting the senses with tight vindictive riffs or taunting them with insatiable and golden melodies. The song is an outstanding start elevated into something extra special by the seamless and unexpected progressive aside. Dropping into a tingling caustic whisper the track gives one time to step back and take it all in before surging back with intent and power for a towering climax.

With a distant drum n bass kiss to herald its presence the following Scott’s Got A Time Machine (He Told Me Tomorrow) crawls all over the senses and licking its lips over the onslaught and violation to be delivered. As with the opener the beats of drummer Jake Newton are crippling at the very least whilst bassist Arron Twinney drools rhythms like a ravenous not to be denied predator. As the track expands its grip and flexes muscles it whips up niggling persistent grooves to swarm around the corrupting tempest of undulating riffs and consistently shifting dynamics. The track is outstanding and asks for many returns to take in all on offer, though that can be applied to most of the five songs.

The following Tear Me Apart has a progressive soundscape and offers an air of Bullet For My Valentine to its sound whilst its successor What Lies Inside strikes with a violent purpose and incendiary melodic imagination. The second of the pair scampers all over the senses with intricate craft and disorientating intensity to again leave one unprepared and satisfied at the multi directional turns of the track. Neither song quite lives up to the first two tracks but still leave a deep and welcome mark in their wake, their sounds a sure pleasure for an fans of bands like I Killed The Prom Queen or Bring Me The Horizon.

The EP ends with the best song, the title track. It is a rampaging hungry bruising of energies which rages like an inferno at times and bewitches with dribbling melodic teases in other moments. It is a tremendous song which unveils the full expressive and inventive scope of the songwriting and accomplished skill of the band whilst triggering the imagination of what the band should and will create as they grow. The Money Can’t Save You Now EP is one of the best metalcore releases to be let loose this year and marks Beyond Betrayal as a band to stretch and take the genre into new and expansive places.

http://www.beyondbetrayalofficial.co.uk/

RingMaster 22/08/2012

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