TREP – Lucian EP

Since forming two years back, Welsh metallers TREP has earned potent support and reputation across South Wales. Now they are hoping to spark similar reactions further afield with the release of their debut EP, Lucian and with it offering up five slices of imaginatively woven alt-metal it is not too hard to expect decent success in the intent and hopes of the Cardiff based trio.

Lucian revels in the band’s mix of classic and modern alternative metal, its character nurtured in melodic dexterity and rousing choruses gifted with individual craft. Freshly breathed and individually natured it also embraces inspirational hues of bands such as Muse, QOTSA, Mastodon, Tool and Breaking Benjamin; the first pair openly spicing the EP and its song’s inventive flavouring.

The first of two EPs which together unveil an elaborate story with themes looking at “dystopia, a dictatorship, and the use of technology for a chance at a better world…but at what cost?” the swiftly fascinating Lucian opens up with the single Silence the Crows. Immediately a guitar cast wire entangles ears, winding around their flesh with intimation and dexterity as rhythms gather their bait and in turn the quickly captivating vocal blend of guitarist Rhys Evans and the supporting tones of bassist Sam Green and drummer Max Hill steps forward. There is a flirtatious touch and lure to the song from its first breath but equally a snarl in its melodic almost deceitful smile, an edge which is as much threat as it is sonic enterprise as Evans guitar reveals greater flavouring and invention by the passage.

It is easy to hear why the song made a more than decent lure to attention when released as a demo in 2017, and is now flourishing in the band’s growth in sound and the surroundings of the EP; its rich presence matched by that of next up The Time You Have Lost. There is something familiar to the track which only adds to its swift lure and bold enterprise whilst welcoming an array of melodic and sonic hues to its creative breast. Arguably even more virulent than its infectious predecessor, the song equally has its own volatile instincts which just add to its drama and increasingly captivation.

The EP’s best track is followed by the equally enticing It’ll Never Happen. Rising on a calmer breeze of sound and attack, it strolls with inescapable catchiness but all the while is brewing up the next twist and turn which then breeds another moment of fluid but unpredictable adventure. Maybe more of a grower than its predecessor despite its swift persuasion, the song rises to set down one more highlight of Lucian before another potent bloom in Architect spins its own dextrous and resourceful web around ears. Classic metal spicing accompanies its rise, Avenged Sevenfold coming to mind a little as the song broadens its tempting but also there is something to it which carries an eighties rock/new wave flavouring. It is an essence which teased within earlier songs but is a rich scent here even if a direct comparison still evades our ears.

The outstanding Better World brings the release to a close, the song an alluring mix of melodic metal and stoner infused rock ‘n’ roll with rich grooves and versatile rhythms offering to references to the likes of Mastodon and Red Fang. Again the great vocal mix of the trio is a magnet within the captivation of the sounds set on casting their own adventure and eager temptation.

Impressive from the off and only increasing its stature and potency over time and listens, Lucian is a striking and rousing first proper introduction to TREP; so much so we are already greedily anticipating the next chapter in the sonic story.

The Lucien EP is out now; available @ https://trepmerch.bigcartel.com

https://www.facebook.com/TrepBand/

 Pete RingMaster 21/03/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Down To The Bunker – Misery

A growling, snarling beast of a release, Misery is the debut album from Swiss quintet Down To The Bunker and an encounter which marks them out as one richly promising, indeed already impressive proposition. Offering up nine tracks of alt metal predation merged with heavy rock contagion and hardcore dissonance it all delivered with potent technical prowess and an uncaged heart, the release is one wake-up call to and declaration of intent from one rather exciting outfit.

Formed in 2012, the Genève hailing band has worked through years of line-up instability as it searched for the right personnel. It is a time though the band equally used to explore and hone a sound which is as unpredictable as it is varied and adventurous. A self-titled EP in 2015 drew keen attention though its support live was a struggle with again a changing line-up trespassing the next steps for Down To The Bunker. Now though things seem to have settled and with the band’s strongest line-up to date, the stability relishing result being the striking Misery.

Embracing a sound which sees the likes of Tool, Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Meshuggah, Gojira, Promethee, and Code Orange amongst its inspirations, Misery is an album which arouses as it challenges. Almost every moment has attention glued to its lures, the thrill of the unexpected rearing its head throughout an encounter which twists the familiar into its own pattern of fresh imagination and invention. Certainly there are moments where it ebbs and flows in the intensity of its temptation but there are few if any moments where it allows the listener to impulsively drift off elsewhere.

From the opening bait of first track Mother, the album was burrowing under the skin; sonic lures straining against the speakers urgently wanting out. The guitars of Matt and Jerem continue to bait the senses as heavier and darker strands join them, the bass of Arnaud a predatory taunt alongside the considered but imposing swings of drummer Léo. Completed by the fine tones of vocalist Jo, the track swiftly grows into a formidable and compelling incitement, imagination and unpredictability increasingly fuelling its enterprise and inescapable persuasion.

The increasingly magnetic and impressive start is easily continued by the album’s title track. It too springs from a seductive sonic lure if one which lances the senses rather than caresses them. The emerging web of guitars ensnared ears with swiftly nagging and devious intent; a strength of coercion matched in voice and rhythm. There is a touch of Mudvayne to the track at times which does it no harm or indeed the atmospheric winds which bring haunting melodies amid seemingly calm but dark aural intimation.

With the twisted canvas of The Asylum a refreshing bedlam of sound and individual craft shaped into another tantalising captivation come threat and the, at times, even more creatively unhinged and similarly fascinating Chrysalis, there is no let up on attention and enjoyment. Each track lured and trapped both with a creative greed which alone marks Down To The Bunker out, a dexterity in thought, songwriting and adventure which equally infests next up Ethics. As with all songs, it is a writhing collusion of sonic vines and metallic dissonance matched in vocal and lyrical dispute, and like each a blend of the barbarous and seductive as a cast of styles and flavours join up to ignite the band’s imagination and sound. There are moments of deceptive and corrupted calm which maybe disrupt the flow and impact of the track but it is that unexpected ideation which also makes it as potent as anything within Misery.

Through the intimately reflective and melodically evocative Waves, a quest with its own underlying snarl, and the sonically invasive and haunting Lost In The Desert, there was no let up on bold enterprise and striking intimation. The latter is like a senses suffocating limbo which slowly but surely reveals it’s waiting demons and distortions resulting in an experience which gloriously tests and provokes.

a final pair of bonus tracks in Machine and Alive brings the album to a dramatic and imposing close. The first and another major highlight of the release openly wears familiarity in its holler yet it would be hard to say it is anything other than a Down To The Bunker creative clamour while its successor prowls, pretty much crawls through ears with a great mix of heavy grunge and rapacious metal bound in melodic volatility.

It is a great end to an album which just pleasures and grows more impressive over time. In their seventh year Down To The Bunker will be making their first introduction to a great many with Misery but it is easy to believe they will be no strangers to them and major spotlights hereon in.

Misery is released February 22nd via Tenacity Music; available @ https://tenacity-music.bandcamp.com/album/misery

https://www.facebook.com/DownToTheBunker

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Wheel – The Divide EP

Pic by Jonna Ohrnberg

With time seemingly at a premium in all aspects of life, especially free time to do as one wishes it is far too easy to be acquainted with bands and artists in name and reputation but not through the real attention they quite possibly deserve. Finnish progressive rockers Wheel is such an outfit with us. The release of The Path EP last year sparked potent acclaim for the 2015 founded band; praise that reached us here even though its sounds evaded close focus. We have not made the same mistake this time around though with its successor, The Divide EP a collection of tracks which roar and seduce with craft and enterprise whilst enthralling the imagination in their complexities, intricacies, and emotive landscapes.

Helsinki based, Wheel weave a sound which is as familiar as it is fresh and bold. It is easy to suggest comparisons to bands such as Karnivool, The Pineapple Thief, and Tool though none are an exact match or true clue to the powerful sound within the release. There is a touch of all in its tracks but each swiftly proven individual to Wheel with the outstanding voice of English vocalist James Lascelles at their heart.

Produced and mixed by Jesse Vainio (Apocalyptica, Poets Of The Fall, Sunrise Avenue), The Divide opens with Please. Immediately the dark growl of Mikko Määttä’s bass entices ears and attention, the crispy beats of Santeri Saksala enticing alongside. The pair is soon joined by the flavoursome lures of the guitars, a mix settling into a suggestive stroll as Lascelles tones step forward. There is a slight Bush like scent to the song at this point, its tempting tendrils and intimation a flirtation easy to grab with hunger. Lead guitarist Roni Seppänen weaves a web of adventure and craft as the track grows, Lascelles backing him with string and voice as the tempestuous heart of the song erupts with increasing rigour. As suggested earlier, there is something recognisable about the song yet every twist is unexpected and each of its emerging textures and turns a spark for the imagination.

Powerful in tone and voice and coming in two versions on the EP, radio edit and extended cut, the track is an easy pleasure to devour and pretty much matched in strength and adventure by Pyre. It is aflame from the off, rhythms and guitar colluding in a tenacious proposal as muscle and enterprise unite in persuasive voracity, vocals equally blazing alongside. As in the previous track there is a grunge bred lining which adds to its richness and magnetic layers. Similarly there are also the expected detours and twists, all fluid and imaginative as the track continues to melodically holler and emotively croon over instinctive volatility.

Completing the line-up of songs is It’s Over Now, a compelling ballad aligning melancholic strings and Lascelles’ similarly magnetic vocals to the melodic poetry of the guitars. Compared to their dynamic shaping of the other tracks, rhythms provide a calm almost reserved presence but one just as suggestive in their shadowed touch.

If like us Wheel has yet to make it upon the radar we can only suggest, indeed urge The Divide EP is given keen attention, the rewards as the pleasure are quite addictive.

The Divide EP is out now via Umbrella Productions / Warner ADA.

http://www.wheel.band/   https://www.facebook.com/wheelband/

Pete RingMaster 05/06/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Vie Jester – All In Jest

It was around two years ago that L.A. trio Vie Jester grabbed ears and impressed with the Etches In Aether EP, a collection of multi-flavoured and imaginatively sculpted melodic/alternative rock bred songs. Recently drummer Cliff Conway got in touch to introduce the band’s latest offering, All In Jest, to our ears. Another EP sized clutch of songs, it was gratefully received especially once discovering the new adventure and maturity shaping the band’s sound and even more striking new offering.

As much as it left a greedy appetite for the Vie Jester sound, Etches In Aether is forcibly eclipsed by the exploits of All In Jest. Everything about the band has grown and matured with its five songs giving dramatic evidence within their skilfully woven episodes of enterprise and imagination. Magnetically melodic but with a snarl which may ebb and flow but always lurks to add greater depth, All In Jest is an inventive roar unafraid to lyrically take a bite at intimate and social issues.

It opens up with new single Please and one of the best starts to any release this year. The track is immense, rising from a calm but portentous melodic yawn into a muscular yet inviting spire of sonic nagging. The guitar of vocalist Kyle Guerrero needs mere seconds to tempt, his powerful vocal prowess just as swift in persuasion once gracing a song already revealing an unpredictable and adventurous body. Vocally backed by both Conway and bassist Jaime Salas with matching potency, Guerrero’s niggly citric tendrils addictively persist though stepping back nicely at times as the track blossoms from one twist and idea to another with increasing magnetism.

It is a magnificent start which hints at bands like Voyager, Tool, and Karnivool in its own individual adventure; a blend echoed in the equally creative Sunburn & Moonshine. A gentle melody wraps its suggestion around ears first, harmonic whispers adding their elegance before Guerrero’s expressive tones join the already bubbling adventure brewing within the catchy encounter. Embracing an engaging intimacy as it brews up emotive crescendos, the track just seduces ears and attention. It does lack the tempestuousness of its predecessor but replaces it with melodic flames and warm infectious tenacity for similar if not quite as spectacular success.

Enigmata follows quickly catching expectations unaware with its electronic tempting as vocals gather. The same essences continue as they are joined by the imaginative enterprise of guitar, rhythms, and vocals; the song evolving with every passing note and idea with enticing endeavour. Its relative calm and boisterous expulsions are similarly gripping whilst the array of flavours and textures within its body only captivate. It has the boldness guiding the whole release to the fore but with its richest invention in play as the song explores it simply demands plaudits.

The release is concluded by firstly The Punchline, an ethereal caress with volcanic tendencies, and lastly through the rousing endeavours of Colourblind. Both tracks keep pleasure and ears intensely involved with the second of the two especially gripping with its stylish touch and creative tapestry framed by Conway’s rhythmic prowess. It is probably fair to say that neither quite lights the major fires in personal passions as those before them but both inflame an already installed appetite for the Vie Jester invention whilst pushing the new craft and imagination shaping their sound.

Vie Jester has always deserved greater attention and they should get it with All In Jest; certainly they and it warrant a moment of your concentrated time.

All In Jest is available now @ https://viejester.com/album/548219/all-in-jest

http://www.viejester.com/     https://www.facebook.com/viejester    https://www.instagram.com/viejester/    https://twitter.com/viejester

Pete RingMaster 07/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bad Llama – Apocrypha

UK band Bad Llama emerged early last year and swiftly poked eager attention with the release of first EP Shedding Skin and its lead single The Wolf You Feed from fans and media alike. Now ahead of their upcoming follow-up EP, Crooked Empire, the Burton upon Trent quintet ups the ante with the release’s first track, Apocrypha.

It is a powerful and rousing encounter which demands attention whilst revealing a new maturity and intensity in the band’s multi-flavoured sound. A list of Bad Llama’s inspirations reveals an eclectic mix ranging from Red Hot Chili Peppers, Incubus, and Tool to Korn, Faith No More, Rage Against The Machine and Bring Me the Horizon; a mix equalled in the metal and heavy rock bred enterprise of a sound also bearing the spices of progressive and industrial nurturing. As previous releases suggested, what emerges is a sound distinct and becoming more unique to the band; Apocrypha another definite potent step towards that originality.

Recorded with producer Gavin Monaghan, Apocrypha moves in on ears with an almost predacious atmosphere and similarly swinging beats, its threat dissipating slightly as Kyle Jordan’s expressive tones step into the web of suggestion cast by the guitars of Dan Houlbrooke and Sam Wyatt. The gnarly snarling bass of Lewis Hutchings though keeps the intimidation flowing; a delicious texture prowling the sonic temptation continuing to entangle the imagination of song and listener as Gaz Waddell’s beats bite.

It is a captivating mix in a song which grows and blossoms in thought and enterprise with every passing second. Apocrypha is a masterful proposition, skilfully crafted and emotionally intense which it is hard to see not stoking up attention for Bad llama and anticipation for that forthcoming EP.

Apocrypha is self-released November 10th.

https://www.facebook.com/Badllamaofficial    https://twitter.com/BadLlamaBand    https://www.instagram.com/badllama_/

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

First Signs Of Frost – The Shape Of Things To Come

Pic Ben Ashton

The Shape Of Things To Come is the first EP since British rock band First Signs Of Frost emerged from a hiatus a couple of years back; its title as much a declaration of the fresh blossoming sound and creative chapter within the band as the themes it explores across five absorbing tracks.

Formed in 2004, the quartet of guitarist/vocalist Owen Hughes-Holland, guitarist Adam Mason, drummer Will Gates, and bassist Dan Oehlman grabbed keen attention with their debut EP, In Our Final Chapter. 2007 saw Daniel Tompkins join up as lead vocalist before the acclaimed release of first album Atlantic and a period see the band play alongside the likes of Deaf Havana, Enter Shikari, Architects, You Me At Six, We Are The Ocean, Senses Fail, Devil Sold His Soul and many more. Before the fuss had settled around the release, Tompkins left to join TesseracT. His departure left a gap the band struggled to fill; thus their hiatus until Hughes-Holland resurrected the band in 2015. Linking up with Mason again as well as bassist Andy C Saxton (ex-Cry For Silence), vocalist Daniel Lawrence (ex-Kenai / All Forgotten), and drummer Alex Harford, the London quintet immediately sought to explore and push their sound to new imaginative heights with The Shape Of Things To Come the first glimpse of their success.

Immersing inspirations from the likes of Deftones, Tool, Further Seems Forever, and Glassjaw into their invention, First Signs Of Frost swiftly lures ears with opener Meat Week. Its atmospheric calm is a quick enticement, the gentle caress of guitar a matching lure before the brooding air also there sparks a bolder expulsion of sound. Lawrence’s vocals immediately impress, his melodic expression matched by the colluding warm and wiry textures of the sounds around him. An infectious energy is equally as persuasive within the song, every element bold without being forceful but making a strongly emotive and technically alluring temptation on ears and imagination.

The following White Flag potently backs up the great start; its enterprise similarly resourceful and ear catching without making over aggressive trespasses upon the senses. There is elegance to the First Signs Of Frost sound which charms as the craft of the individuals captivates; again making for a gentle almost smouldering seduction carried in a contagious and skilfully conjured proposal.

Latest single Look Alive Sunshine is next up with its own individual melodic rock venture veined by djent scented progressive metal intricacies. There is jaggedness which bites as the vocals and melodies hug the senses; a union which grips and lingers even if the song just fails to touch the plateau of its predecessors before the evocative climate and atmospheric ambience of Atlantis drifts in with the superb vocals of Lawrence and keys to the fore. An instinctive emotional intensity rises within the song, simmering down again before repeating its cycle within the graceful serenade.

The EP closes with Sharks; it too an initially serene coaxing but one soon revealing its djent nurtured teeth and creative volatility within a subsequent sea of melodic and technical but emotionally inflamed tranquillity. It is a fine end to a fascinating and thoroughly enjoyable release. The Shape Of Things To Come feels like the first step towards something bigger and bolder but is a full pleasure in its own right; a mix which makes First Signs Of Frost a band which just has to be followed closely.

The Shape Of Things To Come is out now via Basick Records and available @ https://basick.supplies/collections/first-signs-of-frost or http://music.basickrecords.com/album/the-shape-of-things-to-come

https://www.facebook.com/FSOFofficial/

Pete RingMaster 15/08/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

White Noise Radio – Cosmos

Offering an eagerly tenacious union of hungry riffs and resourceful grooves, Cosmos is the second EP from UK outfit White Noise Radio. The band’s ear catching alternative rock owes plenty to inspirations ranging from Porcupine Tree and Karnivool to Incubus and Opeth but proven across four eventful tracks to carry a host of distinctive and potential carrying attributes likely to set the Bristol quintet a couple of steps  aside from the crowd.

Formed in 2014, White Noise Radio has forged a potent reputation and stature across the South-West, pushing broader awareness with their self-titled debut EP last year. Recorded at the legendary Sawmills Studio in Cornwall, Cosmos is poised to draw greater attention the way of the band with its captivating tapestry of melodic and sonic enterprise around a clutch of choruses which simply demand involvement.

The EP opens with the excellent Siren, a song instantly baiting ears with a fine percussive lure, their clipping touch an inviting dance to which melodies and the dark throb of Mark Detre’s bass add even greater potency. Soon the song opens up a teasing web cast by the guitars of Antoine Maas and Ben Lampard, a draw intensifying in weight and trespass before the lead vocals of Lampard grace a mellow breath coming forth within the encounter. There is still a dark edge to the song, the rhythms of drummer James Gill and Detre almost as portentous as they are progressively funky. It is a bold and compelling mix, only increasing its snarl and draw as the song blossoms across a more tempestuous yet controlled and always evolving landscape, with adventure in its creative hills.

Without knowing their influences it is not too difficult to guess the touch of bands like Karnivool and Incubus but similarly that individual character of the White Noise Radio sound is apparent and just as vocal within the equally striking Gone Inside. The wiry riffs of its entrance again make for a richly appetising lure, the guitars and bass seductive and sinister as they continue their invitation whilst subsequent mystique lined grooves flirt alongside before a heavier breath sweeps through it all. As its predecessor, the track twists and turns through a revolving spiral of aggression and intensity, each bringing new textures and drama to easily embrace as the five-piece technically and creatively weave with increasing dexterity.

Latest single, Dawning is next, the song a calmer proposal with a celestial tone to its melodies and bouncy energy to its rhythmic enticement. Vocally Lampard again swiftly impresses, his guitar play also engaging alongside the suggestive flare of Maas. A mellower encounter in comparison to the first pair, it too has a fire in its belly which erupts in sonic bursts and though for personal tastes lacking the final bite and boldness of the first two songs, the encounter has ears and appetite bound in no time.

Wires bring things to a similarly collected close, its Tool-esque tranquillity almost deceitful of the emotional and fiery energy waiting to break at certain times. Throughout there is a dark almost predacious edge to the bass and riffs, a fine tempering to the spiralling sonic lights of the guitar and the ever harmonious and inviting tones of Lampard just as magnetically backed by Maas. With a Bush like scent also seeping from the song, it makes for a fiercely gripping conclusion to a firmly pleasing release.

White Noise Radio has not quite found their unique voice yet but Cosmos suggests it is coming whilst offering songs which quickly get their highly enjoyable hooks into the psyche. The fact the EP only gets stronger and more impressive over listens just adds to the fun.

The Cosmos EP is out now and available @ https://whitenoiseradio.bandcamp.com/album/cosmos

https://www.facebook.com/WhiteNoiseRadioRocks/    http://whitenoiseradio.rocks/

Pete RingMaster 18/07/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright