Pigeon Lake – Barriers Fall

Three years after the release of their striking and quickly acclaimed debut album, Tales of a Madman, Norwegian quartet Pigeon Lake return with its successor in Barriers Fall. The time between has seen changes within the band and a reassessment of the way forward; a shift sparking an evolution in sound too which is actually hard to pin down but openly inflaming the Oslo outfit’s new offering and release which like its predecessor at the time, will make a definite rival to those around it for one of the most essential investigations of the year.

Since emerging in the opening smiles of 2012, Pigeon Lake has grown to be one of the most compelling propositions on the melodic rock/metal landscape. Founded by vocalist/guitarist Christopher Schackt and completed by childhood friend and drummer Andreas Prestby and bassist Kenneth Stiansen, the band instantly sparked attention and praise with the I: Mindrape EP later in that first year. Its themes of domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health were as striking as the raw sounds inciting ears. The three became four with the addition of lead guitarist Magnus Engemoen soon after while the following year saw Stiansen replaced by Anders Børresen. As their sound moved towards a flavouring more akin to the likes of Katatonia, Stone Sour, and The Ocean, the band’s live presence escalated before they got down to work creating Tales of a Madman, its release coming in the Autumn of 2014 and followed by the band heavily hitting the road again including taking their first steps touring Europe.

Linking up with Wormholedeath Records in recent times provided the spark for that previously mentioned re-assessment and the resulting highly amicable departure of Børresen and Prestby which was soon followed by the joining of bassist Håkon Bechholm and drummer Jonas Rønningen. Now the new line-up has unveiled Barriers Fall, an encounter feeling darker and rawer than that first album yet their most melodically seductive and inventively mature adventure yet.

The album opens with Ragnarok, grooves instantly wrapping ears with shadow lined radiance. There is a portentous edge to them though, nothing imposing but clearly there as rhythms jab and riffs collude around them. Magnetic straight away, the track settles down into a heavy prowl where all those imposing elements erupt for a few rapacious seconds before Schackt’s cleaner tones steer the tempest into kinder waters. Abrasive growls remain alongside him though as the song merges predatory and seductive sides, luring the imagination into a provocative squall of emotion and intensity.

It is a striking start soon eclipsed by the just as tempestuous roar of Lyra. Nagging riffs align with Schackt’s distinctive tones initially, the bass prowling around them before the incendiary heart of the track erupts with fiery melodies and antagonistic tendencies. Harmonies and melodic tempting bewitch as the song subsequently shares its evolving soundscape, contrasting textures blending their potencies in one beguiling encounter. There is definitely something of the aforementioned Katatonia to the song and indeed album but equally the likes of Opeth and Swallow The Sun come to mind though in all honesty Pigeon Lake here and across Barriers Fall only reveal their own character of sound and imagination.

The album’s title track is next, seducing with a mesmerising poetic melody and calm vocal reflection before Rønningen’s beats add increasing threat. In time, as things increasingly simmer with greater intensity, everything comes to a head, vocals spilling their psychosis as a sonic causticity descends. A relative relief in the storm comes with the closing breaths of the excellent track before the more mercurial presence of The Futility of You takes the listener into a controlled yet seemingly unstable emotional embrace. Again the music is a web of trespass and radiance, vocals matching the changeable mood with suggestive prowess as wiry hooks and almost toxic melodies tempt and trap the imagination. Epitomising the album as a whole, the track only reveals new layers and textures with every listen, each time within it seeing growing attraction and the blossoming of image painting thoughts.

Hide and Seek runs a fine line of control and lawlessness, its cauldron of corrosive energy restrained and held back by the harmonic and melodic beauty hugging the senses though it is never more than a breath from breaking free while within Sunder it shapes the predatory nature of a track which equally is as much an oasis of elegance and gentle repose as a turbulent tempest; a beauty and beast of inner and worldly turmoil.

Senses harrying riffs brings A Familiar Problem to bear on ears next, delicious bait opening up into a just as enticing fusion of roaming grooves and brooding rhythms around feral toned vocals. That previously mentioned raw element of the release has its head with the harsh throated presence of Schackt adding to the psychotic edge of the track with clean and melody woven radiancy just as powerful before Perfect Place casts its variable cyclone on the passions. Irresistible within its first moments and only stealing greater lust thereon in, the track breeds an addiction as rich as its unpredictability to provide if not the pinnacle, one of many.

Closing track Let’s Pretend takes the listener into one final embrace of emotional restlessness and creative anxiety, the song as the album whilst being intricately woven and layered is almost anarchic in its nature and heart. It is a fine end to another encounter with Pigeon Lake which simply blossoms and further impresses with every listen.  To be fussy, personal tastes would see Schackt’s throat scarring vocal side reduced to allow his excellent clean and emotionally suggestive tones to have an even larger say but it is a mere passing thought in a release which stirs every part of body and mind.

Barriers Fall is available now through Wormholedeath Records across most online stores.

http://www.pigeonlake.no/    https://www.facebook.com/PigeonLakeMusic/   https://twitter.com/PigeonLakeMusic

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Tardive Dyskinesia – Harmonic Confusion

td_2_RingMasterReview

With the suggestion that it and its sound sits “somewhere between Meshuggah and The Ocean”, Harmonic Confusion the new album from Greek tech/prog metallers Tardive Dyskinesia instantly has a reputation to live up to. It is a tall order which band and release certainly live up to. The successor to critically acclaimed predecessor Static Apathy in Fast Forward, the fiercely fascinating and creatively imposing Harmonic Confusion has to be considered as Tardive Dyskinesia’s finest moment to date.

Since forming in 2003, the Athens hailing quintet has honed and evolved their sound across three previous albums with Static Apathy in Fast Forward a pinnacle in their rise when released in 2012. The years have also seen the band open for the likes of Mastodon and Meshuggah and play prog-metal festival Euroblast, it all leading to now and the release of Harmonic Confusion. Mastered by Jens Bogren (Opeth, The Ocean, Leprous) and produced by Tardive Dyskinesia themselves, the album is the band’s sound at its most rounded, accomplished, and adventurous; often a raw roar to numb and disorientate the senses but equally a melodic and technical maze of craft and imagination to enthral and excite.

The album opens with the instrumental Insertion, a piece as welcoming as it is technically eventful. It shows a potent restraint though, the band holding its boldest exploits for subsequent tracks while setting the scene and tempestuous atmosphere for the album to come beginning with Fire Red Glass Heart which leaps from its predecessor’s sonic lure. Immediately the winding tendrils of sonic enterprise springs from guitarists Petros Nikiforakis, Steve Lado, and Manthos Stergiou, the latter soon unveiling his clean and alluring vocals too backed by the harmonic tones of Lado. As the song slightly intensifies, a rawer gruffness appears in Stergiou’s delivery, the contrast of his vocals merging perfectly as the song twists and turns through its theatre of enterprise and melody fuelled expression.

The track captivates from its first note to last, a tempest like climate brewing without quite erupting saving itself for the outstanding turbulence of The Electric Sun. Wiry strands of guitar soon collude with ravenous riffs and the heftily swung beats of drummer Nick Argiropoulos; again contrasting textures and extremes of energy aligning in a fluid and clarity graced challenge to captivate ears and imagination alike. That rawness is there again to enhance sound and vocals as well as the song’s eventful atmosphere, offering a dirtier trespass to the technical prowess which intensifies alongside the nagging riffery and scything rhythmic persistence on offer.

coverresize_RingMasterReviewThrough the turbulent and at times almost spatial landscape of Self Destructive Haze and the mazy multi-textured Thread Of Life attention is tightly gripped, the second of the two a real seduction of ears with its invasive storm cored by melodic beauty, and latterly, dark stringed seducing while the exceptional Concentric Waves, with the ever compelling bass exploits of Kornelius Kiriakidis especially magnetic, mesmerises as it aggressively and technically swings to and fro.

As impressive as its first touch and listens are, Harmonic Confusion simply grows in strength and stature over time, tracks like Triangulation Through Impasse and Savior Complex laying highly persuasive seeds straight away which seem to blossom over time. The first of the pair twists and turns with increasing relish and grievance across its length whilst still bringing a variety of tones to vocals and intensity to its body. Another favourite and major highlight of the album it is matched and over shadowed by the mellower yet no less dramatic and dynamic exploits of its successor. As across the album, there are elements which maybe are less than unique than others but Tardive Dyskinesia embrace it in their own imaginative and technically riveting designs to fine and here mouth-watering effect with the noir lit call of the sax icing on the dramatic cake of the album’s greatest moment.

The album is completed by the infectious and hungrily resourceful Εchoes 213, its hooks and melodies alone as biting as they are romancing, and lastly the instrumental journey of Chronicity, a captivating epilogue to all before.

Harmonic Confusion is without doubt one of the year’s tech/prog metal treats and yet there is still a feeling that there is more to come from and creatively discover within Tardive Dyskinesia; a thought to add extra spice to one fine release.

Harmonic Confusion is out now on Playfalse Records and @ http://tardivedyskinesia.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/tardivedyskinesiaband

Pete RingMaster 22/09/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

New Keepers of the Water Tower – Infernal Machine

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Photo by Soile Siirtola

Infernal Machine, the new encounter from Swedish “cosmic rock” band New Keepers of the Water Tower is a concept album based on the classic Joe Haldeman written sci-fi novel The Forever War, a story of an interstellar war between Man and the Taurans. Equally, it is a compelling incitement enabling the listener to invent their own dark and highly involved escapades within a musical soundscape which simply stirs the imagination and enslaves ears. It is enjoyably impossible to pin down the Stockholm band’s sound but very easy to suggest that Infernal Machine will become one of the year’s major triumphs.

Formed in 2006 as New Keepers, extending the name three years later, the band creates a proposition entwining a tapestry of varied and contrasting flavours with an epic canvas predominantly progressive and space rock bred. As shown by fourth album, Infernal Machine, even that description is a scratch on the surface. Consisting of vocalist/guitarist Rasmus Booberg, guitarist Victor Berg, bassist Björn Andersson, keyboardist Adam Forsgren, and drummer Tor Sjödén, New Keepers Of The Water Towers has the ability to transport the imagination into the focus and heart of its theme with its music alone; Infernal Machine their most devilish and sublime success yet.

The album opens with The Forever War, a track luring the listener into the centre of dark times and persistent dangers from its opening sonic pulse. Keys quickly unveil a portentous invitation, rhythms adding an intimidating drama soon after as guitars dangle evocative bait before ears. Then Booberg’s immediately impressing vocals swiftly begin unfurling the track’s rich narrative, his tones mellow and mesmeric whilst the sounds around him are predatory. It is a superbly designed blend of contrasting incitement which simply enthrals as it manipulates the psyche and imagination. At times the track is like a grungy XTC, in other moments a sonically bracing and fascinating merger of King Crimson and KingBathmat like essences, and all the time an absorbing and irresistible entrance into album.

art_RingMasterReviewIts dramatic presence and mighty temptation is matched and pushed further by the gripping adventure of Tracks Over Carcosa next. Initially, it is an echo of a cold and desolate place, a lonely place within whose shadows a pulse beats with increasing relish, emerging to pull the song into a contagious stroll lined with swinging surf rock grooves. Around it a sultry and tantalising atmosphere descends, stirring up even more infectious tenacity in rhythms and melodic enterprise. Hypnotic does not do the track justice; its instrumental air has a cinematic lure and intrigue which you can akin to sixties cold war/spy thrillers and only adding to an impossible to resist alchemy of persuasion.

Towards its departure, the track slips into a solemn noir tinged calm which continues in different form into the following and as thrilling Tachyon Deep. With the returning vocals casting a mist of seducing harmonies as rhythms reveal an almost shamanic nature to their shuffle, the song glides exotically over the senses. Thoughts run through its poetic glade of melodies and vocal caresses, immersing in the scenic expression and spellbinding landscape of the track. That deceptive calm and peace also has hidden dangers, progressively unveiling them with every twist and turn within eventfully its imposing jungle.

Misantropin Kallarv is a brief, relative to the tracks around it, respite to the intensive adventures before and after; like shelter in a soulless building or moment but one which holds secrets behind the turbulence and unrelenting pressure found in the likes of next up Escape Aleph Minor. Its successor also has a less incendiary and demanding nature to its sound and energy but certainly does not lack thick drama in sound and air or the collage of hooks and sonic seduction which incite body and thoughts. From the melodic seduction and discord of guitars and keys to the tribalistic potency of bass and drums, the song is a carousel of suggestiveness.

A slow piano sculpted gait with classical melancholy to its touch ends the track, wistfully floating away into the waiting melodic smoulder of Jorden and a lumbering, emotionally heavy engulfing of ears. More sludge than doom, the track is a rapacious and darkly poetic suffocation of the senses which may not match the impact of others within Infernal Machine but undoubtedly has the imagination conjuring away as eagerly as anywhere upon the album.

The Infernal Machine completes the release; the track with every passing minute growing and evolving whilst providing a kaleidoscope of cosmopolitan and tribalistic incitement. Its repetitious strands and drone like nagging is simply delicious, around them the craft of guitars and lure of sonic imagination mouth-watering as the album ends as majestically and thrillingly as it started. A bass led passage midway of post punk seeded virulence, the cream on the cake of the song.

Infernal Machine has so much for fans of every kind of rock and melodic/progressive metal. Those with the appetite for bands ranging from Pink Floyd and King Crimson to Goblin and The Ocean to Arcade Messiah, to hint at its diverse appeal, will find plenty to devour, though by the middle of its opener the only name on their mind will be New Keepers of the Water Tower.

Infernal Machine is released on 4th March via Listenable Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/NewKeepers

Pete RingMaster 04/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Akarusa Yami Announce New Video & Departure Of Frontman

AY Pic 1_RingMaster Review

Tech Metallers Release Heavy Climb Clip & Announce Tom Brumpton Has Left The Band

British tech metallers Akarusa Yami recently put together a clip for their new video ‘Heavy Climb’! Created by acclaimed videographer Andy Pilkington, the video for ‘Heavy Climb’ closely follows the message behind the track; despite our beginnings, we can achieve great things if we believe in ourselves and push onwards.

The video can be viewed here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8BvZMLp0Wg

The band have also announced that frontman and co-founder Tom Brumpton will be parting ways with the band. Drummer Adam Jones had this to say on the announcement: “We’re sad to see Tom go, as we started this journey together five years ago and we’ve done some amazing stuff together in that time. That being said, we are in the process of training up a new vocalist and we’ll be making an announcement in early 2016. We have already begun work on new material, which we hope to share with all of you next year.

Brumpton has opted to step down due to other commitments, and had this to say on his recent departure: “I’m really proud of everything we as a band have achieved in the last five years. 2015 has been an excellent year for Akarusa Yami, having played some truly incredible festivals, shows and seeing the heart-warming support for “Heavy Climb”. I wish everyone the best of luck, and I’m sure the new material is going to sound great.

Formed in 2010 by Guitarist Tom Clarke (Insidious) and Vocalist Tom Brumpton, Nottingham noisinks Akarusa Yami have worked tirelessly since launching their debut EP “Ouroboros” to glowing reviews across the world in 2011. The band picked up solid coverage in Terrorizer (UK), Zero Tolerance (UK), Metal Hammer (Norway), Legacy (Germany) and many others. Their debut singles ‘Third Eye, Wide Open’ and ‘Millennium Is My Salvation’ were picked up for national airplay in 11 countries throughout Europe, alongside copious airplay on internet stations across the world.

The band went on to play a series of successful shows supporting Textures, The Ocean and Aliases. The band also played as part of Bloodstock Festival 2011. In late 2011 the band recorded ‘Life, The Venomous Way’ with prolific producer James Dunkley (Vallenfyre).

2012 saw the release of their second EP “Trace Element Rebirth”, which saw the band spreading their sound even further across the globe. Moving forward, the band busied themselves preparing their long awaited debut album “Heavy Climb”; a sprawling beast of a record that pulls together the finer elements of their first two efforts with a heap of new ideas. In early 2015, the band announced Guitarist Julia Goatly had joined the band. Akarusa Yami are presently writing new material for their fourth release, tentatively set for a late 2016 release.

Akarusa Yami – Heavy Climb

AY Pic 1_RingMaster Review

This year has seen a host of impressive and imaginative progressive/technical metal releases and joining the most compelling and thrilling is Heavy Climb, the debut album from Akarusa Yami. The UK band has uncaged a mouth-wateringly unpredictable and fascinating proposal with their first full-length, not only building on the potential of previous successes but setting out a whole new template of adventure and uniqueness to explore further ahead.

Heavy Climb is simultaneously raw and sonically elegant, imposingly fierce and seductively bewitching and as suggested earlier, a striking step forward from its creator’s previously acclaimed offerings. Formed in 2010 by guitarist Tom Clarke and vocalist Tom Brumpton, the Nottingham hailing Akarusa Yami quickly whipped up ears and support with their sound and live presence, and in turn debut EP Ouroboros the following year. The quintet’s singles Third Eye, Wide Open and Millennium Is My Salvation lured potent national airplay across Europe and online whilst the band began being featured in the likes of Terrorizer, Zero Tolerance, and Metal Hammer (Norway). Their generally well-received second EP Trace Element Rebirth arrived in 2013, following successes like the supporting of bands like Textures, The Ocean, and Aliases as well as appearing at the Bloodstock Festival also in 2011. It also saw the new emerging direction in the Akarusa Yami sound and songwriting and it is probably fair to say for some it was not an immediate persuasion. It was though a gripping sign of things to come, and an intriguing teaser for what is now Heavy Climb. With a line-up completed by bassist Jake Bennett, drummer Adam Jones, and guitarist Julia Goatly, Akarusa Yami have honed and experimented with their sound, stretched their ideation and craft and subsequently the imagination of the listener with Heavy Climb; the result being certainly for us one of the most enjoyable and enthralling encounters of 2015.

Heavy Climb - Front Art_RingMaster Review     The album opens with The Old Man By The Fjord where instantly rolling rhythms align with engaging melodies and a shadowy bassline. The song does not grab attention but coaxes it for the same success before riffs get steely with their snarl and the voice of Brumpton growls attitude and aggression. Now ears and thoughts are firmly awake and held, and it is here where expectations start to unravel as the band begins their relentless emprise of invention and unpredictable ingenuity. A slip into an infectious passage of glowing melodies alongside clean vocals and harmonies brings a progressive tempting which is almost Horslips like, its presence entwined with more technical predation amidst the pulsating lure of keys. It is an engrossing start to the album which just gets stronger and more endearing with every listen, as indeed does the album.

Second track At Last, Sunlight (Endlich, Sonnenlicht) makes its entrance on a warm jazzy field of enticement, though the track soon uncages its ire and aggression fuelled volatility in a tempest again infused with gothic keys, sonic suggestiveness, and clean vocals which again catch thoughts initially unaware. It does not quite live up to its predecessor or the following title track but feeds an already strong appetite before its successor bawls at and brawls with the listener with irritable rancor and magnetic resourcefulness spread by the atmospheric keys and perpetually shifting attack of the guitars. The rhythmic swings of Jones are a constantly addictive bait in the mix too though it is the perfect union of metal savagery and electronic charm which steals the show.

The imagination is taken on a moonlit flight with the instrumental Long Nights In The City next, its ambience and emotive climate moody and melodic body exotic. Keys and guitars virtually writhe around and alongside each other in the minimalistic but thickly evocative piece before A Monument Built To Carnal Desire comes forward with its own melodic calm in front of a predacious and inventively tenacious storm. As the song erupts and spills its antagonistic and technical prowess, synths tour a vibrant electronic palette, at times flirting with Nintendo-core teasing and more often flowing with progressively symphonic hues. It is an absorbing engagement, the song managing to combine bestial and beauteous extremes in one thrilling incitement, a fusion taken to fiercer depths by And The Night Will Take Us All. Rhythms are barbarous yet anthemic with the guitars a source of swirling sonic toxicity whilst Brumpton leaves no animosity core stone unturned, yet throughout the bruising assault, smart hooks and electronic enterprise add their alluring touch and magnetism. It is the virulent irregularity and schizophrenic rhythms which lure the biggest portion of the ardour bred for the track though, they and the glorious melodic majesty falling from jazzy/Latin kissed guitar strings midway.

     I Work In Formaldehyde sees the band again immerse in its electronic/industrial inspirations early on before spinning another grouchy and insatiable web of carnal riffs, lethal beats, and the ever compelling vocal roars of Brumpton. It is angry, dark, and sinister, a song to keep the imagination and passions involved past its departure as too the exceptional Les Mere Terribles, which after the noir lit electronic lead of the brief instrumental Loving Parents, wraps ears in a spiralling of djent spiked trespasses and senses binding melodic enterprise. Vocals and rhythms take no prisoners, their intrusive drive a bracing onslaught enhanced rather than tempered by the spellbinding caress of keys and warm melodies as well as the outstanding clean vocals, Brumpton showing his great prowess and diversity.

The album’s pinnacle is followed by its most fascinating offering. The Natasha Trade is a haunting drama of a life trapped in a stark, unforgiving, and destructively enslaving situation voiced by guest Joy Shannon from Beauty Marks. It is a strikingly cinematic proposal, like a theme within a dark visual incitement such as Sin City and though it does not quite fit in with what came before in many ways, the thought of it not being included feels even more wrong.

Akarusa Yami have made a huge leap on from the ground seeding encounters of their previous EPs and now with Heavy Climb announced themselves as one of progressive/technical metals brightest and thrilling protagonists.

Heavy Climb is released on October 5th via the Akarusa Yami Bandcamp profile as a name your own price download.

https://www.facebook.com/akarusayami

Pete RingMaster 05/10/2105

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Closet Disco Queen – Self Titled

photograph by Monni

photograph by Monni

There must be very few musicians who have bewitched and ignited our ears and senses more than Jona Nido and Luc Hess, and across as many projects. Seeing their names with a band or release stirs up an instant appetite to learn more, all thanks to previous triumphs and dramatic incitements from the likes of Coilguns, KUNZ, The Ocean, The Fawn, Schwarz and…well the list gets longer by the month it seems. Now the Swiss pair has unveiled another fascinating and virulent tempting under the guise of Closet Disco Queen and with a self-titled debut album. Consisting of seven instrumental progressive/psych explorations bred from a fusion of seventies blues rock, stoner and psychedelic rock, kraut and groove rock, to suggest some of the rich hues woven together, the album is an adventure which at times plays like a bedlamic dance party and in others a journey into the darkest, most haunted corners of the soul. Predominantly though it is rock ‘n’ roll to lose yourself within and another inspiring proposal from the sonic and rhythmic imagination of Nido and Hess.

The La Chaux-de-Fonds based pair open up their album with Hey Sunshine! and immediately have ears entangled in a web of melodic and sonic enterprise pierced by sinew swung rhythms. Grooves just spring from the fingers of Nido, instantly pushing away any inhibitions in the listener’s body left from trying to resist the anthemic and intensive shuffle cast by Hess. The music’s unbridled contagion is matched in impact by its smouldering seduction, both ignited further by the spatial warmth and mystery soaking the enthralling start.

The piece flows straight into the dark, haunted embrace of What’s Your 20? next, where compelling yet intimidating shadows ride a raw sonic mist. It immerses ears in a stark yet strangely alluring ambience for a flight into the hidden; a spellbinding slip into the darkest corners of the imagination preying on emotions and the psyche with every provocative breath. It is also the gateway into the instantly dramatic and rousing Caposhi, another heavy duty incitement to send the body squirming and writhing to its virulent drone and hypnotic tapestry of sultrily persuasive noise. The track is pure addiction, a consummate violation and puppeteer of flesh and greed through searing temptations around a robust spine.

    A brief sigh of frustration in its leaving escapes as the track twists into the warped rock ‘n’ roll feast Catch You On The Flip Sid, but that is soon forgotten as the new proposition reveals its own rhythmic jungle and sonic trespass sculpted by the psychotic invention of either geniuses or mad men; you will surely choose as the song creates its own asylum of sound and creative mayhem. It is jazzy and funky, avant-garde and psychedelic, all on another seriously enslaving rhythmic tango from Hess, and at nine minutes there is no complaint it has not given the fullest thrilling work-out for ears and soul.

Closet Queen Disco_RingMaster Review     The Shag Wag is soon brewing up its rich and ravenous blues rock blaze, from gentle flames bursting into a furnace of old school and modern rock ‘n’ roll. It is just as potent when slipping into gentler sighs of sound and energy too but at its best when sizzling on the senses and sparking the listener to get fully involved physically and emotionally. Rock music does not get much more incendiary and gripping than this, or frenzies as mouth-watering.

The duo stay with a blues bloomed tone and texture with next up IYD (In Your Dreams), the melancholic caress of the track spun on a sonic breeze of blistering sound and emotive theatre. Though the piece does not ignite the same intensive reactions and endeavour as other encounters within the release, it is an absorbing sea of invention to wallow in and set up the similarly but more imposing soundscape of Black Saber. The closing song expands and blossoms to greater intensity and emotion the essence of its predecessor, and fair to say that blues kiss is another highly emotive shimmer on the surf and psychedelic coloured investigation employed by the track. Across over eleven minutes, the constantly hinting and generally restrained volatile heart of the track does eventually erupt and steer the track into fresh and exhilarating tempests. Every moment sparks a new hunger in ears and appetite, and making its long length a swift passing of dramatic time.

It is probably fair to say that the first half of the Closet Disco Queen album had the biggest and fiercely lasting impact but even its latter trio of creative alchemy and dark fiery emotion alone only ensures the parting thought with every listen is give me more please. Together all tracks just confirm Nido and Hess an adventure which never stops evolving or getting bolder and more impressive.

Closet Disco Queen is available now on ltd 12” clear orange vinyl through This Charming Man Records, Division Records, and Hummus Records and as a name your price download @ https://hummusrecords.bandcamp.com/album/s-t-5

https://www.facebook.com/closetdiscoqueen

RingMaster 18/07/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Watertank – Destination Unknown

SLF019 - hi-res cover_RingMaster Review

After ten years of existence, French rockers Watertank released debut album Sleepwalk in 2013 to heavy and deserved acclaim. Like for so many, it took our ears and appetites to hungry heights; in the words of our review the release was “an instigator of the purest temptation.” Now the band unleashes its successor Destination Unknown and lures even lustier responses with its irresistible concoction of sludge, stoner, and various other compelling styles. Taking the essential essences with made the first album so potent; Destination Unknown emerges as a fuller, more gripping proposal of sound and invention which in turn shows that its predecessor was just the appetiser to greater Watertank alchemy.

The Nantes band began in 2013, swiftly forging a strong fan base and reputation for their sound and stage presence with increasing success over the years. A couple of well-received EPs earned strong attention and praise before the release of Sleepwalk, whilst on stage the band proceeded to play with the likes of Torche, Kylesa, Baroness, Capricorns, Lair Of The Minotaur, and The Ocean amongst a great many. The band’s first album certainly sparked new spotlights upon Watertank though not to the level now expected to be aroused by Destination Unknown.

The album opens with Automatic Reset and straight away transfixes ears with its opening mist of guitar; the sonic shimmer quickly followed by a bulging blast of heavy riffs and rhythms. With them a groove also joins the tempting, its lure relaxing as the song settles into its stroll and welcomes the dusty tones of vocalist Thomas Boutet before returning with even spicier toning to its sultry tendril. Just as quickly a contagious air floods the encounter, a persuasion which never loses its potency as the song shuffles up its gait and intensity across the rest of the magnetic offering. The guitars of Rémy Bellin and Bojan Anicic continue to wrap ears and song in resourceful and gripping enterprise, greater colour added to the excellent start to the album all the time.

Straight away it and the following Fever reveal a more rounded and deeper depth to the band’s music, a less raw and caustic sound which still retains the growl and intensive weighty hues which fuelled the previous release. The second song is a far more aggressive offering than the first, punkish in its attitude and energy with wiry hooks to match. The bass of Maxime Coste is a grumbling potency whilst drummer Jocelyn Liorzou lashes skin and senses with adventurous and antagonistic scythes. It is a glorious riot bringing a mix of Torche, eighties band Skyscraper, and a touch of Motorgrator to entice before making way for the gentler smouldering charm of Contrails. It is still a heavyweight proposal though which seems to grow and loom over the senses with every passing second. Once more hooks and grooves grace a dynamic web of imagination and primal temptation, the latter at times as intimidating as the swings of Liorzou and the predatory riffs.

The song closes with similar reflection soaked calm to how it started, drifting away so the heavy resonance of Coste’s bass can lure attention ready for an intensive crawl of riffs and grooves. DCVR is another swift inescapable persuasion equipped with a sonic tang and commanding stature, not forgetting an addictive swagger even with it is on the prowl. It is also another track showing the greater expanse and imagination in the band’s songwriting and sound, and their ability to perfectly entangle rugged terrains with highly provocative ambiences of sound and emotion.

   The bubbling electronic start to Last/Lost Hope instantly catches expectations unawares and by surprise, though they are barely given a nibble to feast on within Destination Unknown anyway. Its enslaving coaxing soon evolves into a thrilling and lively shuffle of sonic and melodic festivity guided by the ever appealing tones of Boutet. At times elements of post punk and new wave, as well as noise rock, seem to add their spice to the infectious tapestry of the rock popper, a strong catchiness emulated again in the dirtier but just as contagious Surrender. As much as you can find hints in varying degrees of bands such as Torche and Queens Of The Stone Age to the song, there is an older hue to the outstanding stomp, elements across its kinetic two minutes recalling eighties and nineties seeded ingenuity.

Doomed Drifters explores the darkest shadows and corners of the band’s sound but again tempers it with a sonic and melodic resourcefulness which energetically and brightly smoulders as it masterfully fuse contrasts and flavours. Seducing with greater and more experimental suggestiveness for an emotionally provocative and atmospheric climax, the song leaves ears enthralled and primed for the bewitchment of the similarly expansive landscape of Scheme. Growing bigger and bolder with every passing harmonious whisper and melodic enticement, the song dances and flirts with ears and imagination, recalling a strong if coincidental feel of Comsat Angels to its exceptional and thrilling adventure.

The album ends with its just and adventurous title track, Destination Unknown a thick provocative embrace which evolves and then revolves through a soundscape of sonic and emotional intensity. It is a fine finish to an exhilarating proposition. Watertank certainly thrilled with their first album but leave it looking a touch pale against the creative vivacity and explosive drama of Destination Unknown, one of the most exciting encounters this year so far.

Destination Unknown is out now via Solar Flare Records @ http://shop.solarflarerds.com/categories/pre-orders and http://music.solarflarerds.com/album/destination-unknown

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Ringmaster 30/06/2015

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