Of Legions – Face Value

With already a rather potent reputation for their voracious live presence, UK outfit Of Legion offer the fullest introduction to their hardcore ferocity with debut album Face Value. Enticingly irritable, enjoyably raw, and emotively abrasive, the nine track trespass is a potential rich suggestion of a band carrying all the qualities to make a lingering mark on the British hardcore/punk scene.

Emerging in 2015, Stoke hailing Of Legions have evolved a sound which could be said to have found its true roar around the release the following year of second EP,. They have continued to hone it with essences of metal, rock, and punk blossoming within and as evidenced by their first album, though it still feels like it has a way to go to fulfil its potential, it is a sound that has grown into one ear grabbing, imagination stirring proposal. Alongside, the quartet has further earned increasing plaudits with a live presence which has seen them share stages with the likes of Gideon, Desolated, Silent Screams, Liferuiner, Martyr Defiled, TRC, Machete 187, Continents, and Brokencyde. Now it is Face Value looking to push the band’s growing presence and fair to say it makes for one hefty invitation to ears and awareness.

The album’s title track opens things up, Face Value looming in from a distance with heavy coaxing riffs and crisp rhythms; already that multi-flavoured mix of sound grabbing ears. Once in full view, the initial vocal blast from Luke Mansfield triggers a rapacious surge of sound and emotion but one which prowls rather than violates to great effect. Swiftly it is all over the song brief but a great start setting up a real appetite for the rest of the album which the following Let Loose soon feeds. It instantly walls ears in a tempest of intensity and noise, the scything swings of drummer Nath McCue full of ill-intent next to the thick grumble of Ollie Lewis’ bass. With Mansfield venting with emotive passion, the guitar of Sam Morrey casts an enterprising web of intrigue and animus which just grips attention, the four way combination uniting in another two minutes plus of creative animosity and pleasure.

La Familia is another which prowls the listener, its threat and energy in check but fully felt as riffs and rhythms badger rather than strike the senses. With hungry hooks and rhythmic imagination at its centre, the song easily keeps predictability away before Worthless springs a bedlam of acidic grooves, vocal discontent, and rhythmic voracity. It similarly twists and turns with adventure and tenacity, blending familiar essences with real imagination carrying Of Legions individuality.

Grouchy bordering on choleric, Scum crowds and bullies ears next, Mansfield leading its corrosive holler with his throat scraping outpourings. Yet at its core is the most irresistible of grooves which inspires a similarly infectious lining across all traits as it leaves the senses withered, even more so with its final bearish incitement.

Even in their individuality, all songs to this point have their seeds in recognisable hardcore beddings but with Suicidal Thoughts the band really push themselves as progressive lined melodies and atmospheric intimation envelop ears as vocals share emotional scars. It is a compelling start which develops into a melodic rock/punk stroll, Morrey colouring it with some great fiery yet suggestive melodies. Leaving food for thought and a whole new current of potential flowing from the band it is another inescapably enjoyable moment within Face Value.

With the adversarial and constantly shifting dynamics of No Loyalty and the bullish rock ‘n’ roll of Hard Time, the album only confirms its potency if neither track quite stirs personal tastes as forcibly as other songs. Nevertheless, each only builds on the blending of styles the band embraces before Wormfeeder brings things to a close with its snarly intrusive quarrel. With death metal essences in its barbarous and suffocating tempest, the track is sonic pestilence and so easy to willingly succumb to.

Face Value is a great next step in the Of Legions’ growth, yes there are elements which might not grab as much as others but its promise is undeniable as too the enjoyment it delivers.

Face Value is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/OfLegions     https://www.instagram.com/of_legions_uk/

Pete RingMaster 20/02/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Outright Resistance – Me Vs I EP

Outright Resistance

Outright Resistance

There has been a following roar of impressed voices and recommendation to the ascent of UK metallers Outright Resistance within the UK metal scene and especially over recent weeks with the release of the band’s new EP Me Vs I. It is a defiant and aggressive growl of raw groove woven metal often openly suggesting inspirations from bands such as Lamb of God, Chimaira, Stone Sour, August Burns Red, The Agony Scene, and Pantera but unleashing its if not fully unique certainly own kind of irritable sound.

Formed in 2011, the Stevenage bred band soon had debut EP Don’t Eat My Organs stirring up awareness whilst hitting the local live scene with a raw passion. Shows with the likes of Hacktivist and TRC were including in a host of gigs across Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and London, all adding to a growing reputation which was invigorated further by last year’s Poveglia EP and especially now through Me Vs I, with being one of six finalists in the 2015 London arm of the Bloodstock Metal to the Masses competition in between.

Me Vs I opens with its title track, a short piece of drama which finds more sense and potency once having journeyed through the whole EP and its honest no punches pulled look at prejudices and ignorance among other things. Maimed In Chelsea is the next proposal and boy does it start off with a wallop, riffs nagging the senses before being quickly joined by thumping rhythms and the grasping roars of vocalist Paige Lee. In no time it is into a grouchy stroll with Pantera-esque grooves entangling harsher rhythmic predation. Backed by the band, Lee continues to orchestrate the venomous nature of the track with her imposing vocal trespasses, the guitars of Michael Worsley and Joe Jacobs creating a contagious web of grooves and riffs for an outstanding full start to the EP which just becomes more addictive and viciously dynamic with each passing minute.

me-vs-i-artwork_RingMasterReviewProve Them Wrong steps forward next, displaying an even eager desire to consume the senses as riffs and the scything beats of Michael O’Neill descend. Soon displaying a more familiar heavy metal nature to its onslaught and melodic toxicity, the track is a hungrily enjoyable canter with the bass of Chris Everett a predatory incitement alongside the growling antagonism of Paige. Missing some of the extra sparks which ignited its predecessor, the song nevertheless leaves a heavily satisfied appetite behind before the outstanding Pain grabs attention next. From its first rhythmic coaxing there is a belligerence and defiance to the character of the song, a tempestuous attitude which fuels riffs and voice but still content to share its moments with spicy melodies and electronic intrigue across an increasingly rousing and enjoyable encounter.

An echo of Paige’s own personal journey having to deal with transphobia, Gee, Dysphoria challenges as it roars, rhythms a concussive assault and riffs a relentless incursion on the senses as vocals uncage an animosity toned but plaintive call for understanding. With melody spiced grooves and fiery enterprise straddling its intensive outpouring of the heart, the song demands attention being soon matched by successor Destiny Is All and in turn outshone by the closing ravaging of Take The Blame.

The first of the two stalks the senses; riffs again a niggling proposition as beats cantankerously swipe and vocals crawl with similar intent over song and listener while the second is a thrash/death metal spiced tempest as virulently catchy as it is violently imposing and bound in short but flavoursome grooves. Standing alongside Maimed In Chelsea as the EP’s best moment and showing the most adventurous nature of all, the song is a fine end to a thoroughly enjoyable release.

Me Vs I lives up to the promise and potential suggested by plaudits towards the band so far, suggesting greater things to come from Outright Resistance while leaving keen enjoyment.

The Me Vs I EP is out now @ https://outrightresistance.bandcamp.com/album/me-vs-i

https://www.facebook.com/OutrightResistanceBand/   https://twitter.com/OR_Band   http://www.orband.co.uk/

Pete RingMaster 20/10/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Counting Days – Liberated Sounds

Counting days_RingMaster Review

With their new album our first acquaintance with and taste of UK metallers Counting Days, we cannot suggest how strong the anticipation for Liberated Sounds was, but such its thrilling ferocious roar there is no doubting its successor sometime ahead will be the subject of thick and eager contemplation. The London band’s momentous debut full-length gloriously gnaws on the senses, its metalcore/hardcore fury savaging and bruising the same with equal animosity, but it is a ferocity bred with a creative virulence and open imagination that simply whips up a frenzied appetite in body and emotions.

Counting Days emerged in 2014 from a union of former members of TRC, Heights, Rough Hands, and Last Witness. The heartbeat came through the continuing song-writing partnership of guitarist Charlie Wilson and drummer Lasselle Lewis, the pair previously uniting song providers in TRC. Next former Heights vocalist Thomas Debaere was enlisted to the new project to become Counting Days, his addition followed by that of former Last Witness guitarist Bobby Daniels and subsequently Rough Hands frontman Alex Dench who was brought in on bass and additional vocals. A leap forward to now and first album Liberated Sounds, which was produced by Fredrik Nordstrom (At The Gates, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Architects, Bring Me the Horizon), Counting Days is poised to shake certainly the UK metal scene, but suspicions are it will not stop there, ahead or with this stirring debut.

cover_RingMaster Review     The quintet start it with Burned By Faith and an immediate vocal roar which backed by a wall of rhythms and riffs has ears bent back as in a wind tunnel whilst the senses cower. Without losing its raw intimidation and strength, the track twists into a vociferous stride driven by raging vocal roars, this in turn spawning a predacious and eager canter of musical hostility. Fearsome from the start, the rhythms of Lewis become more agitated and robust as the metalcore seeded tempest rages, they sparking jagged lines of riffs and caustic grooves within a lyrical look at the things people do in the name of religion. It is an intensive and attention grabbing launch by the album, one already showing signs of an invention which becomes increasingly pronounced in following tracks.

Die Alone is next, spinning a tasty groove from its first breath as the rapier swings of Lewis collude with the predatory tones of bass. The vocal union of Debaere and Dench abrases as it entices, the former arguably finding more vitriolic charm and hardcore potency in his delivery than in his previous band, whilst around them the track explores melancholic and stringed textures within its unrelenting rancor.

As impressive as the first two are, the album just gets bigger and more exhilarating, finding its pinnacle in the next clutch of songs starting with Beaten & Scarred. Spinning on an addiction of a groove, the track spews a creative and emotional animus that is as contagious as the anthemic vocal calls and irritable rhythms driving the torrent of catchy riffery. A punk raging and metal hostility, the song is superb; it’s swerving grooves and nagging hooks alone ensuring the maliciousness in its veins is greedily welcomed.

From one major triumph to another pair in Life & Death and the album’s title track. The first rumbles with rhythmic thunder and cantankerous guitar rabidity, both matched in fierce kind by the air scarring vocals. With a touch of Static X meets Bloodsimple to it, the song intensely and explosively bellows within a landscape of melodic enterprise and sonic imagination, the savaging fuel of the song never diluted by the more refined invention within it and that captivating imagination defiant to being overwhelmed by the storm slamming through it. The band’s latest single is the same, Liberated Sounds a merciless festival of debilitating intensity and voracity infused with deliciously gripping grooves, potent vocal variation, and a contagiousness that infests and ignites the soul with lingering ease.

Five tracks in and ears are ringing and the body breathless, whilst enjoyment is flooding thoughts and emotions and fair to say no respite from any of it, thankfully, is forthcoming as firstly Fire From The Sky uncages its heavy metal meets post hardcore antagonism . The song’s climate is a muggy and unforgiving swamp of incitement veined by the thick melodic enticing of guitar, a blend which gives further substance to the song’s look at the mental effects of war. It is a hard task matching up to the previous trio of tracks but the invasive and provocative heart of the song leaves no-one short changed before making way for the caustic embrace and inventive accosting of Days Go By and in turn the short and evocative instrumental oasis of The Vines. Its calm gives a respite whilst igniting the imagination with warm strokes of sound within a somewhat haunting ambience.

Sands Of Time descends on the senses next, again a prime groove wrapped in great irritable textures coring a blustery climate whipping up the senses before Prison Of Misery through an initial bewitching melodic drama and coaxing, turns into a bestial rampage of scathing vocals, scarring riffs, and a sonic snarl that turns every note and beat into an inescapable and greedily devoured vicious incitement. It is another major highlight, amongst many, of Liberated Sounds, rock ‘n’ roll taking no prisoners in its vehement entrapping of ears and passions.

The album is closed by the equally acrimonious, unforgiving, and enjoyable Cold Truth and finally similarly crafted and toned Reunion. The track is a fine end to the album but just a touch too samey to its predecessor, a slight issue which does crop up in slithers across the album. The final pair of songs is where it is most noticeable but with both tracks nothing less than fiery stirrings of pleasure it is a minor blemish just to try and temper our otherwise full ardour for Liberated Sounds.

All the members of Counting Days come with a good pedigree in their experiences and craft but for personal tastes they have hit a new plateau in their creativity and invention with Liberated Sounds, and yes already anticipation for its successor is brewing.

Liberated Sounds is out on October 16th via Mascot Records.

Upcoming live dates:

23rd October – Riverside, Sheffield

24th October – The Festing, Southsea

26th November – The Scene, Swansea

28th November – The Rainbow, Birmingham

29th November – Sanctuary, Basingstoke

3rd December – Packhouse, Leeds

4th December – Vic Inn, Derby

5th December – Grog & Fiddle, Cheltenham

12th December – Craufurd Arms, MiltonKeynes

http://www.countingdaysmusic.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Countingdaysuk

Pete RingMaster 15/10/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Koshiro – Crown Of Venom

Koshiro Promo Picture_RingMaster Review

Starting off well and just getting creatively bigger and bolder over its six tempestuous tracks, the Crown Of Venom EP from metalcore quintet Koshiro, pretty much reflects the emergence of the British band. Making a good and potent impression with the first release, the band has continued to grow into a formidable proposition on the underground metal scene. Whether their new EP is enough to push them into the thicker glare of the broader metal scene time will tell, as it still suggests there is plenty more from the band to come in greater originality and ingenuity, but it will forcibly remind that the Bristol fury is around and getting stronger and more sonically vocal.

Formed in 2010, Koshiro quickly drew attention and loyal local support with their fierce yet melodically fiery sound. Their self-titled EP of 2012 and a handful of singles around and since it have nudged wider attention with plaudits increasing in turn, whilst live the band’s reputation has similarly only grown, shows with the likes of Feed the Rhino, TRC, Lower Than Atlantis, The Safety Fire, Blessthefall, Malefice, I, The Breather, and LIFERUINER part of their emergence over the years. Crown Of Venom though, is a new big step for the band; in songwriting and imagination it easily outshines all before and musically reveals the band as mentioned earlier, bigger, bolder, and creatively busier. In the words of vocalist Ben Errington, “These new songs are both the most chaotic and the most heartfelt we’ve ever put together. There are tracks on this record that I never thought we’d be capable of; we really wanted these songs to capture our live sound perfectly but take it to the next level, really expand upon our grand ideas which have progressed from our past singles ‘Malevolent’ and ‘Guts Guilt Greed”.

Koshiro Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review     The EP was recorded with long-time collaborator Kevin Peters and opens with the thickly atmospheric, slightly portentous air of Green and Gold. Strings seep elegance and melancholy in equal measure whilst the ever strong tones of Errington share the emotive heart of the track as haunting keys cup his expressive voice with cinematic resonance. It is a potent coaxing into the release and the following King Of Snakes, if a start which does not light any particular fires outside of intrigue despite the prowess of all. Its successor quickly provides a bigger temptation, its initial breath Tricore like with again Errington providing rich bait as around him the guitars of Ben Bone and Thomas Clark begin sculpting a provocative and spiky weave of riffs, grooves, and sonic confrontation. The expected storm does not materialise despite ire and aggression lining all aspects, with the swiping beats of Craig Rudman especially intimidating and again the song does not hold the spark to get the blood raging through veins but with inventive enterprise and fine fluidity to its subtle and bigger twists of gait and ferocity, the song keeps ears and appetite easily on side, especially with its rousing anthemic calls, before being eclipsed by Necromancer.

As suggested, the EP improves and gets more fascinating with each subsequent track, and so as the first pair pleased, Necromancer stirs the senses like a landslide. From a dying heartbeat, the song erupts in barbarous rhythms and crushing riffs but amongst them a delicious scythe of violin ignites air and imagination, its wonderful touch just the first of ingenious hues and ideation within the carnivorous beast posing as a song. It would be hard to say it brings major originality but remembering others mixing up recognisable flavours as cleverly and tenaciously as Koshiro do is hard. The track continues to snarl and brawl with creative zeal but equally aligns the hostility with a striking melodic and vocal croon. In a way Crown Of Venom and indeed Koshiro seem to come of age at this point, a maturity continuing to impress hereon in.

Sleeper Cell steps up next with a rhythmic shuffle from Rudman which resonates through bone as it bewitches with infectiousness whilst bassist Rich Miller lures the darkest predacious tone from his strings as the guitars cast a tapestry of rancor and sonic romance. The ever riveting strings continue to spark adventure too whilst vocally Errington is as compelling, whether with raw squalls or clean persuasion, as the volatile furnace of sound and the musically driven bellow of emotion. The track is a climatic storm of temptation, and as its predecessor also ripe with the shoots of real originality which are definitely blooming within the band’s sound now, Creation Theory swift confirmation as between two vocal samples, which sound like they are voiced by Michael Caine, it sculpts a hellacious emprise of sound as physically carnal as it is evocatively suggestive. Like a war cry in many ways, the track has body and thoughts enflamed and ready to unleash their emotive strengths, a powerful success from a gladiatorial merger of devouring intensity and incendiary invention.

It is the pinnacle of the release, only relenting in its animosity as it departs for closing track Catharsis to begin spreading its melodic warmth with a slightly mercurial and antagonistic underbelly. It was up against it to match the previous trio of songs but still leaves the EP on a high whilst relishing the chance to reveal more of the depth and new diversity in the band’s sound and composing.

Actually there is one more offering upon Crown Of Venom, the bonus of a cover of Sia’s Chandelier. Though Koshiro easily improve the song it does nothing for the EP and quickly found itself ignored in our numerous listens of one increasingly impressive and enjoyable release.

Koshiro are again proving themselves to have the potential to make a big impact on the UK and European metal frontline, even more so this time around. They are probably still a couple of rungs short but with more progress as shown here, watch out world here they come.

The Crown Of Venom is available from September 25th through all stores.

Pete Ringmaster 24/09/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com/

Black Shapes: In The Mourning Light

To listen to In The Mourning Light, the new EP from UK hardcore band Black Shapes is like being caught within an intense and violent storm. It is a rampage of furnace hot passion and unbridled aggression which leaves one gasping for breath and holding on to anything close by for strength. It is also one of the most rewarding and exhilarating releases from the genre, certainly in the British scene, for quite a while.

Formed in mid 2011, the London quartet took no time in gaining enthused attention with their self titled debut EP at the tail of last year, easily confirming the promise shown with shows alongside This Is Hell, Landscapes, and Brotherhood of the Lake, as well a successful performance at Hevy Fest 2012. Since that first release the band has also undergone a line-up change with new vocalist Gareth Evans (November Coming Fire) and bassist Mike Ager (Jairus) joining up with guitarist Jonathan Goldthorpe and Richard Wooding on drums. This new combination has added an extra snarl and depth to the band as the July released single/video Let Valhalla Burn first showed and this their new four track explosion confirms. Recorded in August with Steve Sears (Gallows, Spy Catcher, TRC), the EP chews up the senses and spits them out with relish and force, it is an intimidating and at times nasty slab of extreme punk, and wholly satisfying.

Beyond The Grey smashes into the ear first, its initial grinding riffs and sonic blistering bursting into an onslaught of concussive beats, rabid rhythms, and abrasive scathing sonics. Barbed hooks capture the imagination within the crushing attack and venomous intent whilst the gritty grooves just rip the passions from the heart into their own pockets. As much as it is borne of today there is plenty of old school punk essences to ignite the passions, the track a twisting feast of all that is the best of the genre. The vocals of Evans are as caustic as the lyrics; their presence leaving a sore but blissful wound, but it is the unpredictable and continually engaging invention which secures compliance to the excellent assault. As with all the songs, first engagement is all about fury and aural abuse but it is within the next few confrontations where the impressive structures and imagination reveals their mischievous glories.

Behind My Dead Eyes barges in next, its breath as combative and uncompromising as in the opener and equally destructive in intent. Within its muscular outrage the track shifts from furious and frantic energies through oppressive breakdowns and light sucking shadows, its prowling climax a consumptive devouring of emotions. It is not an easy union for the ear but openly rewarding and fulfilling, a provocative fire which succeeds in its mission to leaves provoking scars and thoughts.

Next up, Rose And Lace charges with anthemic and barracking energies, its unrelenting vitriolic blitz speared by group shouts, crippling rhythms from Wooding, and flesh wilting sonic corruption from Goldthorpe. It is a delicious violation, as invigorating as it is energy sapping, but on all songs and especially here the bass of Ager holds the key, his cantankerous and primal lines bringing that final additive to make great songs into special ones. As a whole Black Shapes feels complete, every aspect of the band pulling every ounce of adrenaline and invention out to create songs which yes abuse and debilitate its recipients but also inspire and ignite latent passions and pleasures.

Thunderous completes the wreckage causing release, the track another insatiable tempest of knee buckling rhythms and flaying riffs alongside insidious basslines and squalls of spiteful vocals. It is as immense and irresistible as what came before and just as turbulent.

Released as a 7” vinyl through Speedowax Records or as a pay your own price digital download via their own bandcamp (www.blackshapes.bandcamp.com ), In The Mourning Light is simply outstanding. With its release Black Shapes easily show UK hardcore has never been healthier or more gratifying.

https://www.facebook.com/blackshapes

RingMaster 31/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright