Black Space Riders – Amoretum Vol. 1

It has been well over two years since German heavy rockers Black Space Riders gripped the imagination with the acclaimed Refugeeum, just short of a couple from the release of its even more experimental and equally striking extension, the Beyond Refugeeum EP. Now the Münster hailing outfit has unveiled a new quest in their atmospheric space rock adventure through Amoretum Vol. 1, a release as mesmeric and seductive as it is invasively provocative and emotionally raw.

Since the release of their self-titled debut album in 2010, Black Space Riders has persistently pushed and evolved their sound hitting an attention grabbing plateau with third album D​:​REI four years after the first. With Refugeeum the following year, Black Space Riders exposed new boldness and imagination in their enterprise, a more atmospherically evocative and fascinating tapestry of sound and craft which took their creativity towards a whole new landscape of exploration and suggestion. Amoretum Vol. 1, with Vol. 2 marked for release later this year, entangles all the attributes of the band’s already individual sound with a fresh breath of imagination. It is often startling, insistently captivating, and occasionally physically ravenous but throughout perpetually compelling.

Consisting of JE (lead vocals, guitars, keys, piano, electronics), SEB (lead vocals, keys, percussion, electronics), C.RIP (drums, percussion), SLI (guitars), and bassists SAQ (until Sept 2017)and MEI (since June 2017), Black Space Riders walks a world where “War, terror, displacement, destruction, rejection and nationalism dominate the headlines” with Amoretum Vol. 1, taking the listener into their darkest corners whilst enveloping them with the thickest trespass of shadows. The melancholy that lines each song is so thick you can almost peal it like skin but everything in word and sound comes wrapped in degrees of hope and solution, their suggested resolutions of compassion and peace as rich and inescapable as the dark they counter; the album’s made up title symbolizing “a protective garden and a germ seed of love.”

It opens up with Lovely lovelie, raw riffs and imposing rhythms in league from the first second surrounding the subsequent vocal agitation. Acidic melodies emerge to line the intensive trespass, a rhythmically driven groove invading body and appetite in no time too as the song stands over ears with almost bearish provocation while undulating spirals of cosmic light simmer and burn. There is a primal edge and urgency to the encounter too, a waking up of the senses and thoughts which by its final repetitive shimmer has attention firmly hooked.

The song slips into the waiting embrace of Another sort of homecoming, a calmer but no less dramatic climate of enterprise and adventure with its own undercurrent of volatility. As melodies soar and the song’s instinctive rock ‘n’ roll rumbles with ear gripping hooks embroiled in the theatre, vocals match their stirring unpredictability and adventure. Again ears and attention was baited and trapped, a hold soon intensified by the outstanding Soul shelter (Inside of me).With its post punk nurtured heart, like a mix of Joy Division and The Sound encased in the dark throes of the rhythms, the song is sheer captivation. Its air and touch is low-key but with that ever present tempestuousness which subsequently boils up into a blaze of emotion, intensity, and creative drama.

Its rich triumph is soon matched by the hypnotic lure and magnetism of Movements. With ripples of crystaline beauty in a well of melancholy, the song glistens in its dark; vocals again managing to echo the musical web. Menacingly meditative with a dark brooding to its rumination, the atmospheric tone of the encounter builds and builds until escaping in a composed avalanche of intensity and virulently catchy urgency. The track is superb and with its predecessor the pinnacle of Amoretum.

Not that the dramatic and volatile squall of Come and follow lingers in their shadow, the track a cyclone of rock ‘n’ roll which ebbs and flows through dissident calms and corrosive quakes within a brew of caustic punk, voracious rock, and searing psych rabidity. It all colludes in another lofty peak before Friends are falling creates its own tempest of dirty riffs, corruptive rhythms, and psyche infesting grooves. It maybe misses the spark of the previous trio for personal tastes yet nagged and insisted on greedy attention willingly given to its almost convulsive saunter.

Fire! Fire! (death of a giant) surrounds ears with psychedelic temptation within a funk kissed stroll next, an infestation of hips and feet as inevitable as that of ears and imagination as it builds up into fiery crescendos and combative expulsions of defiance. As throughout the release, the guitars cast a web of threat and seductive temptation while rhythms prowl and launch with inventively infectious antipathy; traits similarly involved in the great vocal union and balance of JE and SEB.

The album closes with Fellow peacemakers, a song which we will admit slowly burned in the psyche and passions compared to its companions but seeded real temptation from its first journey from a shadow bound reflective croon to a ferocious deluge of energy and attitude. Melancholy bred keys and vocals initially lure ears and thoughts, lively rhythms courting their company until a whisper of peace seeds an impending tempestuous stomp of incendiary rock ‘n’ roll as addictive as it is acerbic. As mentioned it took time to get under the skin but that it did with real voracity to match every other moment of potency in the exceptional encounter.

Amoretum Vol. 1 leaves a real hunger for more and an impatient anticipation for its successor whilst Black Space Riders once again leaves ears and imagination basking in adventure which just gets bolder, bigger, and better.

Amoretum Vol. 1 is out now @ http://www.blackspaceriders.com/shop or https://blackspaceriders.bandcamp.com/album/amoretum-vol-1

http://www.blackspaceriders.com/    https://www.facebook.com/BlackSpaceRiders     https://twitter.com/BlackSpaceRider

Pete RingMaster 08/03/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Secret Sight – Shared Loneliness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://www.facebook.com/secretsight

Pete RingMaster 16/01/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Delayed Departure – Consequences

Delayed Departure_RingMaster Review

Consequences is a release which teases and flirts with ears and thoughts, all the time laying down potent bait until you find yourself humming hooks when alone and increasingly wanting to share news of its vibrant presence. The EP is the new encounter from UK melodic/alternative rock band Delayed Departure, and a collection of highly flavoursome songs which may not be about to turn the British rock scene on its head but will certainly offer it a fresh and tasty proposition to get teeth into.

Hailing from Hampshire towns, Delayed Departure was formed in 2013 by old school friends and guitarists Charlie Bluck and Jamie Hooks. Its line-up quickly doubled with the addition of vocalist Mike Harland and drummer Steven Kedge, growing by another before the year’s end with bassist Ollie Drapper. With particular fondness for the likes of You Me At Six, Paramore, and Don Broco, the quintet spent 2014 working on their sound and honing their live craft across a host of shows throughout the South of the UK. Now national awareness is being targeted by Consequences, with success easy to expect.

Delayed Departure Cover_RingMaster ReviewThe EP opens with the brief melodic suggestiveness of Opus, its sonic touch a resonating shimmer aligned to a just as pulsating bass throb. It is a reserved proposal but one building in intensity and drama for a roaring climax, led by the voice of Harland, which drifts off into the waiting adventure of Ocean. Guitars and bass immediately collude to create a weave of fiery enticement courted by thick melancholic shadows, their enterprising union speared by the swinging beats of Kedge and hugged by the already impressing tones of Harland. It is a strong and engaging big step into the heart of the EP with things only blossoming to new and gripping heights song by song.

Let’s Catch Fire is the first sign of that trait, its initial spicy groove immediately lighting ears and appetite before band vocal roars and rousing rhythms spearhead the robustly infectious stroll and character of the song. Hooks are laid as imaginatively as harmonies, the wiry tendrils of melodic flirtation as catchy as its anthemic rhythms as the track whips up listener involvement with its heavy rock ‘n’ roll enticement.

A calmer invitation follows with Captive; poetic melodies caressing the magnetic delivery of Harland as Drapper’s bass lurks with darker intent in the surrounding emotive shadows. Here alone, it is easy to see why bands such as Deaf Havana and Don Broco are given as hints to the Delayed Departure sound but personal thoughts are also nudged towards Able Archer and for less obvious reasons eighties band The Sound by the excellent encounter.

The underlying volatility of the latter part of the song is a bolder tempting within Synopsis next, the track almost stalking ears with its rapacious rhythms as vocals and guitars cast a hazily thick and forcibly provocative tapestry of craft and sonic suggestiveness. Tenacious twists, so often sparked by the dexterity of Drapper and Kedge, again litter a song which avoids expectations whilst making an adventurous but easily accessible and contagious proposal.

The same quality and skill applies to closing song Choices, the pinnacle of the release with its rousing crescendos and tempestuously fascinating landscape of sound and resourceful exploits. As strong and impacting as the EP is throughout, the closer is a step above all before, taking feet and bodies in hand with its boisterously infectious exploits as potently as it tantalises ears and thoughts with its evocative calms and emotive reflections. There is a brewing ferocity to the track too which ensures a powerful departure of song and EP leads to the quick return of ears.

Consequences makes for an impressive introduction to Delayed Departure with thick enjoyment for ears. As the band grows and their sound explores its own unique character, the five-piece can only get bolder and stronger too, that another pleasing thought coming out of one fine encounter.

The Consequences EP will be available through all stores and platforms from Friday 22nd January.

https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDelayedDeparture   https://twitter.com/dlayeddparture

Pete RingMaster 22/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Rupert Stroud: Chasing The Night

It is always great to be hit with surprises and unexpected pleasures and in many ways even more fun when it is in genres and styles of music one does not usually spend many days with. The new album from UK singer songwriter Rupert Stroud is such a release. Chasing The Night is an eager and mesmeric array of thirteen songs which please and share multiple satisfying moments with the ear and infectious musical excursions with the senses.

Chasing The Night is not quite a flawless album, the hold on the focus slipping as it reaches its latter stages though one suspects that is as much down to the play order of the songs as it is a diminish in the sharp creativity on display. Each song on the release holds its own to varying degrees and never let attention or the eagerness to stay within their call wander. It is an album that also offers great promise and firm indication that there is a one sure masterpiece within Stroud waiting to evolve. Saying that Chasing The Night is itself a fine and rewarding collection of songs that puts the majority of similar fuelled indie releases in the shade.

The album is the follow up to the self titled which first brought Stroud to the attention, but is a more mature and defined release. It brings a vibrant blend of light and dark, its warm inviting breath tinged with shadows and hidden corners that light up the senses and emotions. The great thing about it is the sound has a full and rounded body not the expected acoustic only presence and this is down to Stroud bringing in Mick Bedford on drums, Kate Peters with wonderful backing vocals, and even more importantly eminent British producer Will Jackson (The Kaiser Chiefs, Embrace, The Cribs, The Music) who also provided additional guitars and keys as well as backing vocals. Though the music is stripped down and uncluttered as one would imagine it has a rawness that pulsates throughout bringing a depth and character to the songs and one suspects that is as much down to Jackson as the artist himself.

Nothing is over complicated on the album but nor is it just a mix of obvious hooks and invitations. Throughout you get whiffs of familiarity from chords, riffs, and melodies but without a defined source which adds to the pleasure and fine spicery frequenting the release. The opening 40 Days & 40 Nights immediately brings the ear to attention with its micro drum roll and precise guitar teasing in the first few seconds. They step back for Stroud and acoustic to open up the tale before accompanying him on an eager and boisterous b even paced romp. The song takes you into its world with a sure touch and irresistible beckoning with the great voice of Peters adding a sirenesque lure behind the vocals of Stroud.

It is an impressive start followed by the electrified air of Forget You and the monotone hypnotic Take Your Time. Both songs are enjoyable and have energy within their frame that continues on from the first song but they take a step back compared to its compulsive energy.  It is from this moment though that the album unleashes its heart and fullest might with a series of outstanding songs.

Hate To Say is the brightest jewel, a song that wraps around the emotions with a steely beauty and grace that feeds the fires within. Stroud comes over like a mix of Richard Ashcroft and Adrian Borland and it is immense with the incisive melodic grip of the song as captivating as the vocals. Its suggestive driven pulse which never finds its crescendo reminds of Pounding from Doves and just adds to the pleasure.

The equally impressive darkened Heard It All Before with a further stunning dual vocal blend of Stroud and Peters, the stirring almost primitive On The Run, and the pulsating shadowy No Love Lost which ignited passions once laid at the feet of The Sound, leave the heart throbbing with breathless excitement and deepest satisfaction. If with the opener these had made up an EP it would be there as a classic contender. That is not a comment on the rest of the album just how immense these particular songs are.

The album then changes back to the strong and enjoyable stance that the previously mentioned songs that followed 40 Days & 40 Nights brought.  The likes of the unsurprising blues toned Sunday Night Blues, the excellent Hangover with its great boozy strings, and the unexpected and unpredictable Tears for Now which features vocalist Haydn Corrodus from London Hip Hop/Indie/Soul band The Stow, offer up a varied and enterprising continuation to the album. This particular song is imaginative and adventurous though whether it truly fits the album is debatable.

Chasing the Night is an excellent album with a heart of songs that stir up emotions and feelings like so few others manage. When a song brings a wave of strong emotion as it pleasures you know it is something special and there is a handful upon the album. Rupert Stroud has given the area of singer songwriters a new and impressive flavour.

http://www.rupertstroudmusic.com

RingMaster 15/05/2012

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