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

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Circle Of Reason – These Hands And This Mind EP

circle of reason

If like us you were excited by the debut A Favour For A Stranger EP from UK alternative rock band Circle Of Reason, you are going to be grinning from ear to ear with their new release, the These Hands And This Mind EP. The five track EP realises all the promise of its predecessor and more. It is a release which aligns itself with thoughts and emotions with reflective and evocative potency whilst coaxing the passions further with sounds which caress, rumble through, and energise the ear with a maturer imagination capturing craft. Hopes of greater things from the band in the wake of their previous EP were inevitable and rich but the Southampton quartet now makes it feel like we short changed their potential with the outstanding release.

Since forming the foursome of vocalist/guitarist Simon Osman, guitarist Gary Slade, bassist Sam Cogher, and drummer Andy Milwain, have earned a strong reputation through their live performances alone which has seen them play with the likes of Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, Girlschool, Lafaro, Fighting With Wire, The Smoking Hearts, Landscapes, Inme, Zico Chain, Attention Thieves, and more. Their video singles and the A Favour For A Stranger EP equally built up their stance, garnering acclaim and widespread national coverage from the underground media to the likes of Big Cheese Magazine, Scuzz TV, Kerrang TV, and Lava. Already having earned comparisons to the likes of Coheed and Cambria, Soundgarden, and The Smashing Pumpkins, Circle of Reason are now ready to step onto higher levels and with These Hands And This Mind they have made an impressive first step.

Released Monday 29th July, the EP steps forward first with the single from the release Don’t Be Still. It is an instantly appealing cover_240mix of punchy rhythms and fiery guitar caresses around the ear, the air soon heated and thick from the sonic and passionate endeavour. As the again impressive tones of Osman stand astride the creative sounds with rich expression and emotive potency aided with the equally notable backing vocals of Cogher, the song wraps its sinewy intensity and melodic flames tightly around thoughts and passions. With only the disjointed break midway a minor niggle the song leaves a starting to stir ardour smouldering in its wash though it takes the following pair of songs to truly ignite its hunger.

Next up Home is a slowly burning triumph; its initial vocal and guitar welcome a glorious tender lure which only suggests you should share its company, though this persuasion is soon heightened as the bass of Cogher offers darker shadows and the beats of Milwain frame it all with rhythmic concentration.  It is when the track erupts and expels its fullest sinews of energy and passion though, subsequently merging both aspects into a scintillating progressive adventure, that the song rips full submission from the heart. It is a mountain of a piece which alone shows how far the band has come and evolved in sound and songwriting whilst still offering a promise of much more. As with the first EP, there is a strong feel of eighties band The Mighty Lemon Drops to Circle of Reason, vocally and emotionally which is most apparent in the equally stunning Themes Amongst Thieves. Riffs and rhythms carve out a terrific flight of metallic excellence which leaves lungs breathless whilst vocally once more Osman swoops across the rugged landscape with a grace hand in hand with the melodic elegance that permeates every breath the song takes. The two songs easily steal top honours on the EP and do not be surprised if they, and especially the second of the pair, turn up as the next single.

The following Novel also has a vigorous presence to its structure with guitars coarse flames across the cage of rhythmic demands but equally it explores its heart and emotive depths with a melodic and progressive adventure which is mesmeric and passion driven. Like all songs and the EP as a whole, the track just gets better and better with each dramatic engagement and leaves the appetite for the band verging on feverish.

The closing Sleep is a slow croon which captivates musically and vocally. It does not quite spark the passions as powerfully as other tracks but still leaves the richest flavour on the appetite and provides further evidence of the evolution of the band already and ahead.

These Hands And This Mind has marked Circle Of Reason as one of the most thrilling emerging bands in UK rock and with you feel so much more to come. Really it is hard not to be excited about this band.

www.facebook.com/circleofreason

9/10

RingMaster 21/07/2013

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Circle Of Reason – Don’t Be Still – Official HD Music Video

‘These Hands And This Mind’, from CIRCLE OF REASON out 29th July‏

Circle Of Reason Online Promo Shot

RISING ALTERNATIVE ROCKERS CIRCLE OF REASON RELEASE NEW EP & VIDEO!

Bursting out of the South West of England, Circle of Reason cunningly weave together their own brand of Prog-infused Alternative rock that is unmistakably unique and individual. Intensely merging considerate, visceral guitar parts, ear-shattering drums, and warm, alluring vocals, they create something sweepingly fast-paced and melodic that is at once compelling and supremely appealing. Their highly engaging sound is very much their own, though they have received affectionate comparisons to the likes of ‘Coheed and Cambria’, ‘Soundgarden’ and ‘The Smashing Pumpkins’.
   Circle of Reason have a genuine affinity for touring and performing live, and have already played alongside bands such as: Feed The Rhino,  Marmozets, Girlschool, Lafaro, Fighting With Wire, The Smoking Hearts, Landscapes, Inme, Attention Thieves and Steak Number Eight. Besides a hefty touring schedule, the four-piece are also amassing a solid release output. Last year, the rising quartet’s debut EP ‘A Favour For A Stranger’ racked up impressive underground acclaim and national magazine coverage, with Big Cheese Magazine praising the band: “This is truly hard hitting material for a debut EP”. The EP also spawned a series of music videos which all garnered TV coverage from the likes of Scuzz TV, Kerrang TV and Lava.
   The band stride forward once more with the release of their killer new EP ‘These Hands And This Mind’, out this July. The EP is loaded to the maximum with diverse guitar riffs and glowing vocal lines that truly soar, from the pounding riffery and stomping groove of their forthcoming single ‘Themes Amongst Thieves’, to the anthemic guile and craft of their current single ‘Don’t Be Still’. The foursome’s indisputable talent prominently shines throughout the whole of the EP, with each track dispatching its own unique feel, drive and vigour.

    Before then check out their brand new video for the track Don’t Be Still below.

– CIRCLE OF REASON RELEASE ‘THESE HANDS AND THIS MIND’ ON MONDAY 29th JULY THROUGH ALL DIGITAL OUTLETS –
Circle Of Reason Cover artwork
TRACKLISTING: 1. Don’t Be Still; 2. Home; 3. Themes Amongst Thieves; 4. Novel; 5. Sleep.
BAND MEMBERS: Gary – Guitar; Simon – Singer/Guitar; Sam – Bass/Backing vocals; Andy – Drums.
FOR FANS OF: Smashing Pumpkins, Coheed and Cambria, Soundgarden.