Fathoms – Counter Culture

Since the release of their first EP, Transitions back in 2012, the Fathoms sound has evolved as its line-up has equally changed and been revitalised. What has not changed is their ability to grab ears and attention and stir fresh new appetites for their inventive sound. New album Counter Culture is testament to that, its nine tracks a blazing roar and creative aggravation which captivates and gets the blood rushing through aggression pulsing veins.

The UK outfit soon sparked keen local attention with their melodic hardcore sound upon emerging in 2010 and quickly found themselves touring the UK and sharing stages with the likes of Legend, Set Your Goals, Polar, Dividing The Silence, Final Crisis, and Napoleon. Acclaim did not exactly hang around either especially once Transitions assaulted ears with their reputation taking another spurt with its successor Cold Youth in 2013. Both were bold and viciously imposing with a growing potential which blossomed within their Artery Recordings released debut album Lives Lived two years later. Hitting the USA, China, South Korea and Japan among regular jaunts across Britain and Europe, the Brighton hailing quintet has become a potent element in the UK hardcore scene.

Hindsight suggests the hints and clues were already there, certainly within the last album, but Fathoms’ sound has embraced greater metalcore traits over the past couple of years, the band straddling both styles with their punk metal furnace, and as Counter Culture reveals there is plenty more to that blend also. It opens up with Hate Preach, making a composed introduction as vocalist Max Campbell hits ears with his rap before the guitars of James Munn and Sam Rigden cast a persistent tide of abrasive riffs. It is a great start which only continues as the song merges nu and rap metal exploits with hardcore antagonism framed by the biting beats of drummer Lui Sarabia.

The potent starts quickly has ears keenly attentive, recent single Counter Culture stirring their appetites further with its metal bred imagination and punk infused quarrel. Melodic twists and clean vocal union with the rawer snarling tones of Campbell brings richer intrigue and captivation, the bass of Steve Cogden prowling it all with a brooding menace as the song grows an increasingly compelling web of flavours and imagination.

Latest video single B.E.L.I.E.V.E quickly follows; its body a heavier, dirtier, and more tempestuous proposal but just as content and skilled in contrasting its dark hues with melodic flames and harmonic enterprise. For personal tastes, it does not quite catch the imagination as its predecessor or other tracks within the album yet there is no denying its lures, especially its inescapably magnetic melodic.

Counter Culture is an album which seems to get bigger and bolder song by song, definitely each subsequent song made a greater thrilling impression on our appetites; the process continued at this point by the surly metal nurtured, ill-natured Fated. Its nu and rap metal dexterity gets right under the skin but equally its synth rock and punk spicing teases more impressed reactions before I’ve Been Trying To Leave exposes the band’s similarly adept progressive inclinations within its cantankerous character and imposing touch. It also has catchiness in its lighter side which is pop kissed but never more than a warm wash upon the instinctive ruggedness and spiky imagination of the band’s sound.

The calmer waters of Slip Away provides a new beguiling turn within the release, its presence like a more belligerent Silent Descent but with passages of pure melodic beauty around more volatile instincts and endeavour. It is just one more captivating moment within the album but soon eclipsed by the outstanding assault of The Spaces In Between. A trap of nu-metal design, the song twists and turns with dervish like mania and pugnacious attitude, the guitars dancing venomously on ears as the bass and vocals growl. In the midst of that inventive confrontation though, a spring of melodic and harmonic adventure flows, again Fathoms showing the new adventure in their sound and freshness in their imagination.

Next up No Compromise is an even moodier proposal; to be honest a truculent trespass of a song but one coloured with atmospheric grace as melodic suggestion weaves its bait for ears and imagination to embrace. With every passing second and unpredictable idea, the song grows in strength and impressiveness; pleasure joining the ascent until it departs to allow You Ain’t On What We On to bring things to a close.

The final track is a surge of punk dispute; an eye to eye combat which has the body bouncing and spirit raising its middle finger to the world. It is a fine end to an encounter which grows with every listen. Fathoms have maybe still to realise all that early potential but instead they have explored a whole new sphere of ideas and as Counter Culture proves, they are on a journey still easy to anticipate and enjoy.

Counter Culture is released December 1st.

https://www.facebook.com/fathomsuk/    https://www.instagram.com/fathomsuk/    https://twitter.com/fathomsuk

Pete RingMaster 30/11/2017

Under Paris – Transitions

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A release does not always have to totally blow you away to make a compelling and perpetually appetising proposition, but it needs something at its core and invention which through any uncertainties and ‘issues’ acts like an alluring beacon. That is exactly what Transitions, the debut album from US metalcore band Under Paris has. There are elements which do not whip up the imagination and passions as pungently as others within it but consistently the release has ears and imagination seriously engaged, and though it might not take metalcore into something approaching new pastures the Iowa quintet’s ferocious incitement definitely has plenty about it to stir up serious attention.

Clinton hailing Under Paris began in 2012 and swiftly went to work enticing appetites with their first single If the Drugs Don’t Work, Can You Drive Me Home?, a track featuring Rene Lopez of Scarlett O’Hara. An acoustic EP called Clean Lungs and shows with the likes of Beartooth and The Ghost Inside only enhanced their emergence before the beginning of 2014 saw the release of debut full band EP Our Stories, recorded with Derek Moffat of 608 Studios. The encounter and the two singles unveiled from it before hand in the shapes of You’re Going Nowhere and Hold On Pain Ends sparked yet another influx of attention and interest. From there and later that year Under Paris ventured into the studio to record Transitions, releasing its first single Midwest Winters as a flavoursome teaser soon after. It lured in another dose of keen interest, which the band having signed with Imminence Records this past February, hope to exploit with the worldwide release of their new album.

IR032     Release and band prey on the senses immediately through opener Shallow Graves as irritant riffs and venomous vocal growls collude with vicious beats and bestial bass tone from the off. It is an imposing and gripping start which relaxes a touch as melodic toxicity and rampant rhythms erupt and smother ears in familiar yet fresh metalcore hostility. The guitars of Jayden Serrano and Evan Morrow spin a web of sonic enterprise within their barbarous riffery, enticing and holding the imagination whilst rhythms and vocals create a hellacious trespass of the senses. It is a strong and consuming beginning to the album but a nagging doubt arises in thoughts during it too. The excellent caustic vocals of Michael “Thorr” Alexander unleash an impressive and enjoyable ferocious fury yet with a singularly inhospitable delivery which admittedly personal tastes wondered if they might fail to provide the diversity the album potentially would need. Hopes that there will be something to temper and contrast his imposing are swiftly realised by Under Paris with At War with Myself. Once again Alexander and the vicious side of the sound is a merciless single minded tempest but in no time finds itself bound in a spicy enterprise of guitar aligned to the excellent clean vocals of bassist Rylie Phillips. He has a warmth and catchiness in his tones which works perfectly with the expressive brutality of Alexander, the song musically matching their ferocious and melodic union in creative kind. The sinew swung beats of drummer Lucas Richards create a rugged yet understanding companion to both sides too as the band merges light and dark impressively, calm and violent textures bonding with captivating ease.

The album’s title track crawls with the senses next, Transitions an instant wall of bruising provocation but also soon veined by the magnetic voice of Phillips. The track grows into an ever twisting tempestuous exploit of emotion and sound, the guitars managing to flirt and scar ears with their invention whilst rhythmically the encounter reveals sheer brutal rapacity. Its hellacious but enthralling presence is matched by What’s the Big Deal About Alaska though the song lacks the incendiary spark of its predecessors. It does come dramatically alive though around midway when the band slips into an evocative and thoughtful passage of relative peace and intrigue away from the fierce bluster, though that subsequently returns in a bellow of greater infectiousness.

The very swift rage of Yoloswag#420 provides an inescapable contagion next, the viciousness coming with a virulent swing before descending into a corrosive bedlam of spite. Its brief assault is followed by the heavily engaging Midwest Winters. The song’s landscape is a turbulent terrain of heavily delivered rolling rhythms and sonic acidity, again under a murderous atmosphere cast by riffs, predatory basslines, and vocal fury. Across it though, fiery melodies and the clean tempting of Phillips, provide the light in the dark, for a union of extremes which need each other to work and in turn flourish impressively together.

Both Devil’s Trap and Too Far Gone hold ears and attention tightly, the first a web of jagged riffs, bass imagination, and tremendous crippling beats from Richards. As in all tracks unpredictability is given plenty of exposure but often elsewhere comes shadowed by the storm around and above it. Here though it is allowed the strongest clarity enhancing the drama and appeal of the experience. Its successor is simply a torrential ravaging of malevolence and emotive rancor aligned to a fascinating weave of sparkling melodies and harmonies, each an imposing magnificence whether presented alone or entwined.

A tantalising warm reprise of At War with Myself leads the listener into the explosively fearsome and seductive throes of closing track At Peace. Featuring The Color Morale vocalist Garret Rapp, the song brings all the impressive and flavoursome aspects of the album into one bewitching intrusive roar; contrasts and rigorous extremes embroiled in one emotionally fierce and sonically intensive fire. The best track on the album it ensures Under Paris end their confrontation with a gripping and lingering incitement.

Transitions is a thoroughly satisfying proposition. It does not always go as far in its imagination and boldness as it should and would be liked, meaning at times it fails to meet its potential but certainly the release shows Under Paris to be a band which should be locked into the radar and their album a regular proposal to embrace.

Transitions is available now via Imminence Records at most online stores and physically @ http://www.underparis.bigcartel.com

https://www.facebook.com/underparisband

RingMaster 01/04/2015

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Cold Summer : Wake EP

The Wake EP is the latest release from yet another emerging British post hardcore band, a genre becoming quite plump in the amount of new aspiring contributors. The band is Cold Summer and though their five track release is not flawless it is impossible not to be excited about the future of the band. There feels an untapped depth to them, a further expanse to their already inventive presence still to explore which only offers immense promise and an anticipated great future ahead.

Formed in 2010, the Wakefield quartet of Dan Feast (Vocals), Chris Harrison (Guitar), Chris Hepworth (Bass), and Justin Eastwood (Drums), the band was soon lighting up stages as well as triggering intrigue with their three track demo Committed To Tape. An unexpected line-up change then left the band looking for a new vocalist but also giving them time to work on new material simultaneously. Eventually they found and enlisted vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Feast which allowed them to further evolve their heavy and melodic sound. They spent the latter part of 2011 working on the five songs which went on to be the Wake EP. This year first saw the band unveil a two track acoustic release called Transitions featuring two songs which appear in their full might on Wake, and since live shows supporting the likes of End Of A Year, Margate, Make Your Mark, and Aficionado.

The new EP is the next big step from the band whose evolved presence is sure to grab even stronger attention. It is hard to stand out from the crowd in the post hardcore genre right now but Cold Summer feel destined to be one band which will even if with this release it is not yet by any wide distance.

The release stirs up enthusiasm with opener Waiting, a track as muscular as it is melodically adventurous. From a sonic lance of a start with the first excellent presence from the bass of Hepworth, the song offers hungry chunky riffs and rapping beats spiked with strong multiple compulsive scything of acidic sound. The vocals of Feast begin as a clean and strong presence, changing to and alternating with abrasive shouts and squalls of expression. The track is soon an eventful and forceful pleasure though it never explodes as one expects or the song itself suggests it may. Though it is not offering anything groundbreaking the track is a powerful start and the first to show Cold Summer as a band with much potential.

The brief title track follows next and to be honest fails to ignite any sparks. It lasts for barely fifty seconds and is a rubbing insurgence which actually annoys far more than it pleases making one wonder its intent overall. The EP soon is firing again though with the best song A Is For Arson. It is a well crafted and intriguing track which is as melodically heated as it is emotively intense. From a lively start and keen energetic provocation from vocals and riffs, the song expands into a heavier oppressive proposition revealing imaginative songwriting and the ability of the band to stretch its boundaries. It has a mix of Placebo and Mind Museum to its initial engagement with eventual elements of And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead and Rise Against bringing a confronting muscle to its climax. Once again the bass is outstanding, the snarling predatory air it menaces with one of the biggest highlights of song and release.

Car Crash (In Progress) and Mistakes close up Wake, the first a vibrant and unpredictable slice of inventive sound and structure with a great blues tone to the excellent play of Harrison, the second a slow melodic piece of passion brought with care and tenderness from music and the fine vocals of Feast. He is a vocalist who fuses harsh and clean deliveries well but it has to be said the clean generally outshines the other extreme, his squealing throat grazing shouts sometimes too caustic on the ear.

The Wake EP is an enjoyable collection of varied and inventive songs which only leaves satisfaction behind and despite a few to be solved issues marks them as a band on the way to finding a unique sound and impressive stature in its future.

Get the Wake EP as a name your price download at coldsummer.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/ColdSummeruk

RingMaster 21/09/2012

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