The Ghost Next Door – Self Titled

TheGhostNext Doorband_RingMaster Review

Sometimes a band name can alone ignite potent intrigue, spark an instinctive interest. Fair to say The Ghost Next Door easily did that but where so often others fail, the Californian quartet backed it up with a just as intriguing and fascinating album, a self-titled debut ripe in invention, unpredictability, and dramatic textures. The release is a tantalising weave of diverse styles and bold imagination honed into something as contagiously addictive as it is rousingly anthemic. Description of The Ghost Next Door sound is destined to vary from listener to listener and all will be no doubt right in varying degrees but one thing expectations can assume is most will be waxing lyrical about the outstanding proposition.

The Ghost Next Door name is inspired by the supposed haunted house that founder and vocalist/guitarist Gary Wendt (ex-Skinlab, Sacrilege B.C.) found himself living next to and its sound forged from a desire to “marry the dark melancholy of 80’s and 90’s alternative with the aggression and drive of Bay Area metal.” Linking up with bassist Seanan Gridley and drummer Sean Haeberman, the band after forming played around California for a few years but unable to really find their niche disbanded. Continuing to work on recordings already underway though, Wendt with the help of people like Steve Green (Skrew/Skinlab) recorded and mixed The Ghost Next Door debut album, following it with a reforming of the band. Gridley reunited with Wendt whilst the line-up was completed by Sacramento guitarist Aaron Asghari and drummer Paula Sisson from Remagen in Germany. Since its return the band has hit the live scene with hunger again, playing with the likes of DRI, SpiralArms, Dr. Know, and Comes with the Fall amongst many. Released via Mausoleum Records, their first album is now let loose and if you needed proof that rock and metal could be boldly adventurous, intelligently inventive, and make an instinctive partner in lust, this is it.

It all begins with Forever My Demon, an electronic mist slowly emerging with suggestive tones and subsequently spawning bulging rhythmic bait and evocative melodic tempting. Already there is an anthemic core luring attention, bait enhanced by atmospheric keys and eventually a potent wash of caustic guitar. As Wendt releases his vocal persuasion too, there is a mix of metal and rock enveloping ears and imagination with thoughts of Stone Temple Pilots and nineties heavy rockers Skyscraper swiftly coming to mind. It soon evolves again though, a grunge and fiery groove driven colouring joining the already established textures, they in turn slipping into a progressive/ heavy metal twist. It would take a page long review to cover the full thrilling adventure of this song alone to be honest, it’s busy but fluid and bold enterprise further emulated in every unique track upon the album, but fair to say all perpetually leave ears enamoured and appetite greedily hungry.

TheGhostNextDoorRingMaster Review     Proof comes in Crickets straight after, its heavy and eagerly prowling riffs instantly encasing ears as rhythms keenly jab throughout. As swiftly guitars spill wiry hooks at will, their barbs gripping ears as vocals and melodic hues begin thickening the enticement. As in the opener, every moment of the song comes with creative drama and unexpected turns of ideation, ensuring that though it does not quite rival the success of its predecessor, it is a riveting enjoyment, though soon outshone by the invigorating All Fall Down. There is a familiar air to the song, though for no obvious reasons, but this only adds to the swift seducing of ears through tangy melodies, spicy grooves, and more antagonistic beats and vocals. A heavier growl is soon pushing the track but again it is all relative to the moment in the song, progressive and hard rock essences as much an open input as melodic and groove metal in its absorbing weave.

Ten Steps Back backs up this new plateau breached by the album straight away, it and the following triumph of Dead Things. The first of this pair entangles ears in tendrils of guitar and accusation fuelled vocals, their restraint but strong tempting enhanced further with outbursts of harsher, more hardcore like punk expulsions of emotion and sound. With stabbing scythes of sonic ingenuity bridging this cycle and a subsequent harmonic flirtation teasing with a pause midway, the song is a kaleidoscope of imagination with its second half as distinct and seamlessly crafted as the first. Even listening to it constantly, every partaking of this song and indeed album brings fresh rewards, its successor another prime example. More ruggedly direct than the last song in many ways, its roars and strolls rigorously with hearty beats against just as sinewy riffs, their intensity urged by the great mix of vocals and bound in a rich sonic web of sparkling endeavour.

Bully lives up to its title, springing from a deliciously tangy dance of guitar hooks into a predatory stalking with the bass especially vocal in intimidating intent. Eventually it rises into a full bruising and mouth-watering incitement with those initial lures still working spicily away to ensnare, the following mellow melodies within resonating rhythms bringing the seduction. The track completes a quartet forming the pinnacle of the release though it is not the end of the inescapable persuasion and creative alchemy of the release.

The beginning of next up Eleven O’Clock Blues is almost theatrical, vocals and rhythms entering with a swinging gait against the more aggressive surge of riffs. Everything is soon entwined in a revolving fury and melodic embrace, the former aspect the thickest texture breeding an array of metal based ingenuity and flavours. To try and simplify the glorious body of the song, try to imagine a mix of Machine Head, Killswitch Engage, Alice In Chains, System Of A Down, Tool…actually don’t it probably will still be wide of the mark as already we say do yourself a favour and simply go explore the album and bask.

In hindsight this song is another of the album’s greatest successes, and another increasingly thrilling proposition with every listen just like the far gentler but no less magnetic Fragile. The song is a feisty croon which is as seductive in its mellower moments as it is in its impassioned blazes, and without managing to reach that lofty perch set, leaves only fresh greed and pleasure in its wake before album closer Famous Last Words similarly cradles and bellows over the senses with irresistible charm and inflamed passion. With a rich strain of thrash and classic rock in its ferocious belly, if not the stronger unpredictability of other proposals, the track is a powerful end to a stunning album.

If like us the band name sparked a flicker of attention do follow it up, and if it does not still launch yourself at The Ghost Next Door, a band and release which truly has something for everyone but in an exhilarating tapestry like no other.

The Ghost Next Door is out now on CD and digitally via Mausoleum Records @ http://www.music-avenue.net/mausoleum/detail.php?id=251158

http://www.theghostnextdoor.net/    https://www.facebook.com/theghostnextdoor

RingMaster 16/062015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

[STÖMB] – The Grey

Band

   “Can you hear the sound of the world? This ephemeral echo that slowly burns through the void…

Can you see beyond the veil? This overwhelming presence that enhances the truthfulness of any reality…

And then…When everything has faded away and the world is silent…

All there will be left is resonance…And the grey.”

 

Bred from the prose above, the epic, imposing landscape of The Grey, the debut album from French progressive metallers [STÖMB], is a ten track exploration of desolation and the nothingness consuming life before, during, and after its journey. Certainly that is where it took our imaginations, but the encounter will be the conjuring of diverse thoughts and emotions across all immersing within its potent and compelling adventure. As much as it is for ears, The Grey is an exploration for the imagination too, sculpting instrumental dramas and imposing soundscapes which easily ignite the senses and mind.

With a progressive metal sound entwining rich essences of diversely found flavours, the listing of the Paris quartet’s inspirations probably giving a clearer picture of their invention. Guitarists Tom B and Aurélien DF, bassist Alexandre G, and drummer Olivier R cite bands such as Meshuggah, Tesseract, Klone, Tool, and Animals As Leader as influences to their own striking compositions, and fair to say whatever your imagination is coming up with as you read that spicing is probably close to the mark in regard to album and sound yet a fraction of what The Grey provides as it leads ears and emotions into fresh adventures.

Digi    At around seventy minutes in length, the album is an epic journey and challenges from start to finish whilst rewarding with tracks which transport the listener into the realms they have been inspired to contemplate by its sonic narrative. Maybe combined it all makes for a proposal pushing limits of endurance, yet there is rarely a moment within songs and release where thoughts and attention wanders. From opener The Complex the album simply fascinates; every slither of melodic seduction and roar of primal antagonism a bewitching incitement. The first track alone has it all, its initial caress of beauty evolving into a volatile stroll of ravenous riffs and menacing rhythms within a caustic yet inviting ambience. The only voices across the album come in occasional suggestive samples, an early one helping shape or at least hint to the descriptive intensity and background of the first track.

The portentous feel of the song is replaced by the ferocious and hostile majesty of Rise from Nothing, a ravenous consumption of the senses but composed with a sonic and melodic beauty which ebbs and flows across the rugged rhythmic scenery. It’s consistently tempestuous air and theatre becomes even more volatile and inflammatory as the track proceeds, but like a travelogue it equally enthrals as it slips into new aural lands of mystique and creative colour before making way for Veins of Asphalt. The new detour to explore equally has a wealth of fearsome and endearing enterprise to offer and evolve; jagged riffs and scything beats entangled with a sonic web of mouth-watering craft and virulent temptation. With most tracks within The Grey ranging between six and nine minutes, only two courting slimmer lengths, there is a continually changeable aspect to the dark, immersive flights which is impossible to portray here but take as read very easy to get lost within in person.

Corrosion Juncture is a blend of savage intimidation and melodic ingenuity within a spatial atmosphere, the music a tenaciously magnetic flight through turbulence and calm within a shadowed drenched unknown. The senses are buffeted throughout and ears lit by the masterful endeavour of each aspect of sound as the track drives towards the lighter peace and beauty of The Crossing. It is a brief floatation of warm melodises and transfixing creative charm, a lull in the tempest which is soon consuming ears and thoughts again through the dystopian heat and intensity of Under the Grey. Its busy persuasion has thoughts lost in Orwellian theatre, again evidence of tracks and the band freeing the imagination to explore its own dark corners to their soundtrack. The song is a gripping proposal equalled by the just as potent Terminal City, a bustling rigorous prowl across an intensive, unrelenting daily provocation of life we can all feel akin to.

The track is glorious, the pinnacle of the album alongside its predecessor, though things continue to enthuse appetite and enjoyment as the broader terrain of The New Coming and the mercurial Genome Decline follow. The first of the pair embraces a calmer if still ferociously unstable climate with a smothering tapestry of unpredictable sound whilst its successor is an undulating, rabidly twisted spiral of enterprise and imagination embracing the listener in a thick sonic hug breeding fiery melodies and spicy textures.

The album closes with Only an Echo, a song with its melancholic air and reflective ambience which feels like an epilogue or more an epitaph to the dark premises explored before it. It is a fine and suggestive end to an increasingly gripping encounter. Admittedly at times The Grey is now taken in halves here, yet each time it leaves a lingering pleasure and incitement in emotions and thoughts…Fair to say that progressive metal has another impressive protagonist to contemplate.

The Grey is available now @ https://stomb.bandcamp.com/album/the-grey

http://www.facebook.com/stombofficial

RingMaster 28/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

 

All Tomorrows – Sol Agnates

All Tomorrows_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

With the release of their second album Sol Agnates, Chilean metallers All Tomorrows are hoping it will be the doorway into establishing them within a European if not global metal spotlight. Listening to the encounter it is easy to suspect it is a desire destined to find success at some point as their impressive release and sounds assaults more ears and appetites. It is not a startling proposition, the band’s sound as familiar as it is promisingly fresh, but the album is a certainly stirring and increasingly magnetic incitement hitting the sweet spot of ears and emotions with persistent regularity.

All Tomorrows began in 2010, emerging from Santiago with the inspirations of bands like Gojira and Meshuggah in their creative blood and vision. 2011 saw the release of debut album Opilion, an acclaimed release at home and further afield. It helped push the band to broader attention, a recognition reinforced and increased by a live presence which has seen All Tomorrows share stages with bands such as Children of Bodom, Voivod, Megadeth, and At The Gates over the subsequent years. Their sound is tagged as progressive metal, if an extreme strain of the style, but as Sol Agnates reveals there is equally a death metal voracity and nature to their music which adds to the drama and intensity of songs. It also suggest that this is a band which gives equal concentration to every aspect of sound and to creating a release, the album an imposing proposal of clarity which allows every note, syllable, and rhythm to individually resonate and linger whilst uniting for a riveting predatory provocation.

All Tomorrows - Sol Agnates_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     It all begins with the album’s title track, a song which takes a mere second to unveil a web of sonic intrigue and temptation through the guitars of Pepe Lastarria and Ramón Pasternak backed by rigorously intimidating rhythms. Choppy riffs and beats stalk and badger the senses whilst the fiercely, raw vocal delivery of Lastarria is as abrasive as it is magnetic. You can openly hear the Meshuggah influence but equally as the outstanding opener vents its hostile creativity, there is a sense of Mudvayne and In Flames to the striking confrontation. The sonic enterprise of the guitars persistently flare up with sizzling endeavour across the song whilst the bestial tones of Oscar Arenas’ bass are as compelling as the wild but skilled swings of drummer Pablo Martinez are punishing.

The album could not have got off to a better start and keeps the raw power and impressiveness going through both Undying Seasons and Eidien. The second track equally rampages into view on a torrent of inhospitable rhythms and ravenous riffs, all seriously inviting whilst bound in acidic grooving and pierced with spiky hooks. Again unexpected whispers emerge as the track expands its turbulence, Slipknot and Tool reminded of as much as those earlier mentioned Gojira and Meshuggah spices. The trespass of the senses continues to twist and rage, erupt and seduce across its length before making way for its similarly hectic and tenaciously flavoursome successor. Slightly less hostile at its start, grievous riffs and rhythmic barbs holding some restraint as vocals rasp with predatory intent over ears, the track sculpts its own individual maelstrom of persuasion equipped with rich grooves blossoming in another bed of contagious imagination.

A devouring stalking of ears by Fiver’s Visions keeps enjoyment high and thoughts impressed even if the track lacks a certain spark of its predecessors, whilst next up Downpour spills an animus of stabbing beats and fiercely scything riffs across a barbarous landscape. Loaded with antagonistic vocals and a sinister sonic narrative, the track is arguably the first to really begin exploring the rich progressive depths of the band’s imagination. Previous songs hinted at rather than fully employed that provocative side of the band’s songwriting, and even this track does not dig too deep whilst thrilling ears, but Burnt by Call of the Bleak after definitely makes a bolder leap as it lights up the senses. Also fuelled by a relatively uncompromising aggression, the track’s guitars entwine imaginative textures with evocative invention whilst even the rhythms rein in their rabidity as song and band create a certainly intensively tempestuous but equally absorbing kaleidoscopic adventure.

Immanence draws on the more truculent side of the band’s sound for its physically predacious proposal but the guitars ensure they flirt with a melodic tempting between moments of sheer carnivorous majesty. It is a blistering challenge and treat, a bruising entrapment of the passions leaving the listener embracing the melodic opening of Ophidian Vibrations like a comfort blanket. The song allows that security to be assumed before uncaging its own nefarious enterprise and creative nature, riffs and rhythms fuelled by destructive hunger but perfectly tempered by the band’s venture into melodic flames of sound and progressive imagination.

Sol Agnates is concluded by the epic turmoil of Union, vocals and musical expression angst soaked as rapacious rhythms roam alongside a sinful bass tone. It is a bewitching roar of volcanic emotions and turbulent sounds aligning for a powerful and lingering conclusion to the riveting release.

It is impossible to imagine that All Tomorrows will be a South American ‘secret’ for much longer once Sol Agnates gets to work on new ears and attention. As ever of course, a hefty slice of fortune will be needed but if not with this album there can be no stopping the band breaking into the strongest recognition if they carry on creating treats like this as their music evolves.

Sol Agnates is available from May 19th via most online stores.

http://www.alltomorrowsband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/alltomorrows

RingMaster 19/05/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Chainflower – Self Titled EP

chainflower band

There is a blaze brewing in alternative rock, an incendiary storm even if their self-titled debut EP is anything to go by, and it goes by the name of Chainflower. How intensive their assault on the rock ‘n’ roll scene will be we will see as it seems more a side project tight now than an on-going rampage, but with offerings like the two songs making up their first provocation, we are in for a gloriously uncompromising ride however things pan out.

Chainflower features guitarist and songwriter Kelly Wheeler, a veteran of the L.A. music scene who has played with members of Jane’s Addiction and Tool. He has also lit ears and appetites with his bands SexTapes and Ultraject, the first which featured long time Guns N’ Roses member Chris Pitman on lead vocals now on hiatus. Also bringing the Chainflower roar is vocalist Erika Renee who had previously performed with previous musical partner, A.H.M.A.D. The pair united when Renee sent Wheeler a video clip of her performing at the Whisky a Go Go, the guitarist looking for a singer after Ultraject’s previous frontman left the band. Though he was looking for a male voice, Renee more than impressed and a meeting/audition was set up. The rest is history and Chainflower the outcome.

Chainflower     Swiftly a powerful live protagonist, the band entered the studio with producer and engineer Doug Grean (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland, Sheryl Crow, Cyndi Lauper) to record the tracks making up the new EP, and the outcome is one ferocious blaze of compelling rock ‘n’ roll which straight away stirs up ears and appetite through its first track, The Fever. A spicy stroking of guitar sets the song in motion, quickly followed by a thick explosive air and the vocal might of Renee. There is an immediate intensity to the sound and weight of the song, as well as a dirty seduction which flows through every riff and enticing bassline. Punchy rhythms make their potent impact across the song too but it is the gripping and powerful tones of Renee which steal the ears and passions. As much as its verses come in a heavy smog of sonic enterprise and energy, the chorus of the song expels a swagger and virulence which easily induces a physical involvement from the listener, its lures like a mix of Spinerette and Stone Temple Pilots with an infectious dash of Eagles of Death Metal. The song is an irresistible proposal, intimidating and invigorating in equal measure and equipped with a healthy dose of antagonistic seducing.

The same description applies to outstanding second track Dissolve In The Sky, though its body has a more welcoming energy until the raw crescendos and expulsions of brawling riffs and bracing intensity. Blues rock flames across the encounter worm under the skin of the song and into the imagination too but not as deeply as the soaring roars of Renee or the addictive enticing of clanging guitar, piercing hooks, and forceful rhythms. Essences of darker rock bands Jess and the Ancient Ones hint away during the track, another appealing additive in the simultaneously caustic and contagiously enticing encounter.

We can only hope that Chainflower is a more active proposal than an interim between other exploits because introductions like their debut release only breed a real hunger for more.

The Chainflower EP is available now @ http://chainflower.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Chainflowermusic/

RingMaster 28/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

Left For Red – All Things Known And Buried

Left For Red Promo Shot

It is fair to say that previous EPs from UK metallers Left For Red, as well as an acclaimed live presence, bred keen anticipation for the band’s debut album in a great many. Now the moment for the band to unleash their first full-length has arrived in the roaring shape of All Things Known And Buried, and a rather tasty and increasingly captivating slab of aural voracity it has proven to be. It is not an album to send the metal world reeling but for a potential fuelled, ear chewing protagonist it leaves a very healthy appetite and rich satisfaction in its wake.

Formed in 2010, Left For Red took little time in raising attention and support locally and further afield with their Black Sabbath/ Judas Priest inspired assault of modern ferocious metal. Live the Stourbridge quintet has drawn potent praise, their aggressively potent performances seeing the band play with the likes of Chimaira, Crowbar, Beholder, Revoker, Evil Scarecrow, Sacred Mother Tongue, and Breed 77 across the years. It was a success matched by the release of first EP Vol 001 – Empty Shell and even more by its 2013 successor Vol 002 – Mercy Flight, an offering luring eager praise from Kerrang!, Big Cheese, and Rock Sound amongst many. It is now easy to expect the same reactions and more with the release of All Things Known And Buried. The album suggests there is plenty more yet to come from the band as their sound and imagination evolves further, much more than the album at times offers but there is no escaping that it grips ears and gives pleasure from start to finish and inspires wave of excitement for the band’s future exploits.

Left For Red - Cover Art   From the brief album intro of Master Call, band and release launch at ears with current single Master Of The Game, a song already sparking plaudits and eager attention from fans and media alike. For personal tastes it is one of the less potent songs upon the album but with vocal roars, crisp beats, and feisty riffs aligned to an infectious weave of enterprise, the encounter awakens ears and attention with accomplished ease. The guitar play of Aaron Foy and Phil Smith slip from impressive to irresistible across the sonic bellow of the song whilst vocalist LC Decoy just demands and receives attention with his great mix of old school screams and ferocious snarls entangled in melodic expression.

Things step up a notch straight away with Crooked Path, Dan Carter opening the song up with a deliciously belligerent and predatory bass line courted by a just as gripping shuffle driven by the sticks of drummer Rob Hadley. It is a superb opening, becoming more flavoursome with guitar lures and tastier again with the emerging of one instinctively addictive groove. Vocals soon blow a dramatic wind into the tempestuous landscape of the song too, again a varied blend from Decoy and band uniting to great effect. With that enslaving groove ringing in the ears, third song Reborn takes over with a blues flaming around another dark and almost carnivorous bass tone. Like Judas Priest meets Tool, the song grows into a melodic blaze, more old school than modern metal but dealing a deck of intriguing ideas and skilled endeavour. It does not quite match up to its predecessor though nor to the riveting adventure of Echoes Of Strangers which comes next. A song which took a while to convince but increasingly fascinated and thrilled over each listen, as the album to be honest, it is a constantly moving and twisting weave of styles and metal ferociousness. At times there is a scent of bands like God Forbid and In Flames to the song, in other moments a more Down meets Lamb of God spicing seeps out, all adding to the growing weight and strength of the track on ears and thoughts.

The second half of All Things Known And Buried truly hits another level and ignites personal tastes more powerfully; it all starting with the grove fest of Shatter. From a resonating distortion kissed bass welcome, the song develops a contagious swagger and melodic invention which has the imagination hooked from the first swinging step. Riffs and rhythms provide the anthemic bait whilst grooves and vocals sculpt the core of the infection being expelled, but all is outshone by the searing fire of guitar creating its solo.

Ascension has feet and neck muscles gripped next; this another song with a virulent tenacious stroll to its body and a ravenous bestial bassline to its arsenal. These strengths are matched by the melodic might and vocal prowess also going to make this as its predecessor, a pinnacle of the album. The song has everything impressive about Left For Red in its body and character, as well as more of the promise lining the album of bigger and bolder things to come.

The elegant beauty of piano led instrumental Dystopia Rising superbly seduces ears and imagination before the almost rabid presence of Utopia prowls and rages against the senses. Hostility and bracing sonic ferocity combine to create a web of fascinating and again thrilling confrontation, the uncompromising yet temperate force of the song keeping the latter half of the album impressively roaring.

Closing with the excellent Solace In Memories, a warm and intensive melodic croon across more volatile scenery of sound, All Things Known and Buried is a stirring offering from Left For Red, and a more impressive one with every encounter. From a more than decent start and a growing strength as each song comes forward, the album hits a potent plateau around halfway and never looks back. It is not one to claim as a game changer for the British metal scene or maybe even the band itself right now, but it does show them to be heading towards making that kind of breakthrough, and deserves an intensive look at by all metal fans.

All Things Known And Buried is available through Burning Halo Records from April 27th

https://www.facebook.com/leftforreduk  http://leftforred.co.uk/

LEFT FOR RED LIVE: 15th May – Mosh Against Cancer Festival – The Lomax, Liverpool; 16th May – Lower George Inn, Gloucester; 30th May – Midlands Metal Crusade – Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton; 20th June – Hard ‘N’ Hevy Fest – The Dollhouse, Abertillery.

RingMaster 27/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0GKtzvLv-g

 

Vie Jester – Etches In Aether

Photography by Jess Santana

Vie Jester may be a new name and unknown quantity to you right now but if they continue producing offerings like Etches In Aether, they will soon become a heavily talked about and devoured proposition. Progressive and hard rock, alternative and melodic metal, they and more are all woven into the attention and imagination grabbing tracks five track proposal, a skilled and exciting tempest of diverse sounds uniting in one seriously compelling and thoroughly enjoyable encounter.

Vie Jester hail from L.A. and consist of vocalist/guitarist Kyle Edward Guerrero, bassist/vocalist Jaime Salas, and drummer/vocalist Cliff Conway. They cite influences such as Tool, Mastodon, Mars Volta, Kanivool, Soundgarden, Deftones, Queens of The Stone Age, Pantera and many more in their own creativity, that list alone hinting at the diversity of the band’s sound. 2013 saw the release of the three-track debut EP Cognisense, a seemingly well-received entrance by the band, but just the groundwork for the impressive Etches In Aether to now take things further

vie jester cover   The EP swiftly has attention and appetite for its sounds awake and hungry through opener Saint. Electro like rubs tease initially, stimulating the imagination with their spicy textures as a mellow sigh of vocals caresses the senses. It is a striking and intriguing start soon leading to a bedlamic expulsion of voice and sound which in turn unlocks the heart and might of the song. A great throaty bassline emerges as even more flavoursome vocals add to the great start whilst rhythms strike with potent jabs and sonic enterprise continues to flirt with ears and thoughts. Equipped with a virulent chorus and an evolving array of creative spicery, the Tool meets Pigeon Lake sounding like track is simply outstanding, a glorious opening to the EP and broad introduction to the band.

Hollow Graffiti has it all to do to match such an immense start but is soon holding its own with another sparkling electronic like essence from the guitar of Guerrero setting things off. With a brooding yet feisty tone to the bass of Salas and punchy beats from Conway, the song casts its own unique and gripping creative narrative in sound and lyrical persuasion, more swift evidence of the variety filling the EP. Vocally the three unite to create Queens of The Stone Age sounding harmonies, inspirations again open but continuing adventure and ideation at the melodic heart of the song is a sonic exploration all Vie Jester.

The following Meridians enters on a prowl of a gait, its rhythmic muscles and intensity heavy but soon tempered by the colourful designs being unveiled by guitar and vocals. The song is a transfixing mix of imposing shadows and colour rich light in texture and character, the dark nature of bass and drums encroaching on the flames of the melodies and the warm seduction of the guitar igniting the track’s portentous corners. More of a slow burner than its predecessors, despite making an immediate thrilling impact, it grows to be another pungent example of the band’s potential and already established invention.

A mellower and almost jazzy climate wraps Dig It next, its air sultry and hazy whilst its core is a rich blaze of melodic intensity and vocal emotion. As in all the songs, there is also an infectiousness which oozes from every groove and rhythmic enticing but also from the more experimental aspects of songwriting and sound. It too takes a little more time to find the same place in thoughts and passions as those before but undoubtedly succeeds over time.

As it started Etches In Aether ends on a pinnacle, the release bookended by two major triumphs around nothing but exciting endeavours. Amplify slips in without any major declaration, almost worming its way into ears and affections sneakily but in no time has both enslaved. Vocals and melodies flame with intensity throughout its body whilst the bass discovers a grouchy snarl which only adds to the increasing drama and lure of the song, which itself is a temptation growing within ears and emotions with every note, harmony, and spark of imagination.

If any of the names referenced as inspirations above grab then Vie Jester should be a must investigation, though as Etches In Aether shows, you should not expect to hear anything particularly similar either. The band has its own creative agenda and one, as suggested earlier, with the promise of major rewards if more exciting releases like this are unleashed.

Etches In Aether is available now digitally @ https://viejester.bandcamp.com/album/etches-in-aether and physically via http://www.viejester.com/store

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

RingMaster 09/04/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

 

 

 

Shattered Skies – The World We Used To Know

Shattered Skies low res

With their acclaimed first EP having escaped our radar when it came out around three years ago, The World We Used To Know is our introduction to Ireland  bred progressive metallers Shattered Skies, and have we been missing out. The band’s debut album is an enthralling and thrilling creative emprise which avoids all the self-indulgences and over blown excesses the genre can at times coax out of a band. Instead it creates an epic drama of passion and invention with a technical adventure and skill to match, leaving jaws dropped in awe and passions lustfully inflamed.

Formed in the earlier moments of 2011, the now London based band swiftly gripped attention and critical praise with the Reanimation EP that same year. The time between releases has been filled with a host of reputation growing shows alongside the likes of Machine Head, Dimmu Borgir, Alice Cooper, TesseracT, Scar Symmetry, SikTh, Animals as Leaders, Twelve Foot Ninja, The Algorithm, After the Burial and many more, as well as performances at festivals such as Holland’s ProgPower and Bloodstock in the UK, two appearances at Britain’s Techfest and a trio of visits to Euroblast in Germany. The World We Used To Know will be the biggest lure to the world from the band yet and like for us, it is hard to imagine many genre fans and beyond resisting the fiery imagination and seriously accomplished sounds tempting from within the album’s fascinating walls.

As aflame with inescapable hooks and grooves as it is with breath-taking exploration, the release opens with the short and emotive temptation of Collapse Of Man. A provocative caress of Albumcoverpiano, the instrumental piece draws ears and thoughts into the release with a sense of drama which simply explodes in the following The End And The Rebirth. The band’s new single too, the song dances on the senses with a vibrant electro smile before ruggedly spicy grooves and matching crunchy riffs join the vivacious tempest. Instantly enticing whispers of TesseracT and Circles, the track casts its own uniqueness as it expands and glows with enterprise and invention. The striking melodic vocals of Sean Murphy are an instant treat, his ability and expression as dynamic as the sounds and ideation around him. It makes for a scintillating kaleidoscope of adventure spun on the skills of guitarist/keyboardist Ian Rockett and the simultaneously savage and addictive rhythms of drummer Ross McMahon and bassist Jim Hughes, quite simply it is a stunning start.

Things only explode with greater potency and ingenuity when 15 Minutes takes over, vocals and melodies again a sure seduction against the slightly carnivorous breath of the djent inspired guitar predation and rhythmic stalking. As mentioned before, each track has an inventive and sonic theatre to its songwriting and sound, one which over the first song and especially this has a feel of early My Chemical Romance to it. The track is sensational, a cantankerous croon of an incitement within a whirlpool of unpredictable and fluidly flowing experimentation.

Both the gripping enticement of Haunted and the inflamed serenade of Elegance And Grace keep album and ears burning brightly. The first is an angst fuelled weave of acidic grooves and stabbing riffs aligned to ever mesmeric vocals and harmonies. Its rhythms equally impose their strengths with ease, intimidating rather than coaxing the same plaudits in thoughts and emotions. Its successor is a smouldering romance of charm loaded keys and impassioned vocal expression in comparison. The song simmers and boils across a climactic canvas of riveting Muse meets Dioramic like endeavour, and as the last song engrossing ears and imagination with increasing strength and drama.

The guitars are back snarling and abrasing the pleasures in the following Show’s Over, though as discovered in all always Shattered Skies songs, they only provide one moment in evolving landscapes. Their bait and Meshuggah like growl is never far from the frontline of the song though, just in a constant and seamless flux of fresh sound and inventiveness. The track is an inescapable contagion, so much so that it is hard to think of many progressive metal bands which can rock body and passions with such catchiness to their enormous technical prowess as Shattered Skies.

As The Sea Divides is a tempestuous turbulence of sound next, its blustery guitar bred climate and inhospitable rhythmic trap the scenery for siren-esque keys and the soaring tones of Murphy to poetically and magnificently colour. A little longer to draw similar lustful responses as other songs, it grows to new heights with every listen, though it still misses the top step found by the last song and the outstanding Flipside which follows. Almost bestial in its prowling gait and sonic tempting, the track manages to be savage and impossibly infectious with a melodic bloom of voice and sound to put any crooner and pop band to shame. The song is quite delicious, a must be second single to our minds and another irrepressible reason why Shattered Skies will take the progressive metal world by storm, well this and ten other great reasons on The World We Used To Know.

     The pair of Aesthetics and Saviours seduce senses and emotions next, the first exploring the scent of bands like Tool and The HAARP Machine in a magnetic tapestry of emotion soaked expression and soaring harmonics. Unafraid to have a raw edge too, the song is also ridiculously catchy, something emulated by the darker squalling presence of the second of the two. An antagonistic cage of riffs and drums from the first second, it scowls and teases with scarring tenacity whilst within the raw frame keys and the stunning vocals of Murphy roar and soar.

The track is exceptional but so is the closing eleven minutes plus of the title track which brings The World We Used To Know to a mighty close. An epic journey and creative escapade in its own right, the song seems to draw on all the hearts of its predecessors as it draws a mouth-watering and bewitching soundscape all of its own. Everything about it is sensational and its lengthy presence seemingly over in a flash thanks to its wonderfully busy maze of startling craft and volcanic enterprise.

2015 has already in its brief time seen some quite invigorating encounters, the new 6:33 and Cold Snap albums coming to mind, and on that frontline of excellence Shattered Skies sits looking rather sensational with The World We Used To Know.

The self-released The World We Used To Know is available now @ http://shatteredskies.bigcartel.com/product/the-world-we-used-to-know and digitally @ http://shatteredskies.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/shatteredskiesofficial

RingMaster 15/01/2015

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