Crawling and romancing the shadows with Gnostic Gorilla

Hailing from Toronto, Canada, Gnostic Gorilla is a dark electronic project which wears unpredictability as easily as imagination in its ear gripping sound. Recently we had the chance and pleasure to talk about the solo project with creator Dean Mason, exploring its origins and music amongst many things as well as picking at Dean’s thoughts about music in general.

Hello Dean and thanks for taking time out to talk with us.

Thank you. My pleasure!

Can you first introduce the project and give us some background to how it all started?

Sure. As a teenager, I began exploring the idea of recording music. I was of course a major day tripper…I mean…day dreamer. Hahahahaha! So I ventured out to record two songs, Dark Hallway and Golgotha for a single. I had some excellent musicians join me in the studio (Dave Davidson, Tony Bourdeau, Shaun Saunders and Chris Byrnes) and with the help of my parents I released the 45 rpm under the so called label name “Lonely Ghost Productions”. That was my first experiment with recording music. I left it at that and went to school to find some sort of career. In 2012, I returned to recording, as a hobby and recorded exclusively electronic music with a dark bent. (Gothic/Dark Wave/Industrial) I released a few singles on iTunes etc. and then in 2015 I released the first album (St. Basil’s Asylum) using the project name “Gnostic Gorilla”. Before that I was using the project name “The Lonely Ghost Project” but that changed once I learnt there was an American band called “The Lonely Ghost Parade”. I wanted to avoid confusion. So that’s a brief history of “Gnostic Gorilla”.

What inspired the name “Gnostic Gorilla”?

As I mentioned earlier, initially my project was called “The Lonely Ghost Project” but I changed it to “Gnostic Gorilla”. I had a song called Gnostic Gorilla (now renamed Eye for a Lie) and I decided to use that name for the project. The idea behind the name is a sort of convergence of two world views: the religious ‘creation’ story and Darwin’s theory of evolution. “Gnostic” means “knowledge” or “to know”. That is a reference to the “tree of knowledge”. Obviously, “Gorilla” is in reference to the idea that we evolved from some sort of ‘ape’ species (not specifically the Gorilla of course) and here we are. “Gnostic Gorilla” is not about Gnosticism as some may think.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the project and also in what you wanted it and your sound to offer?

In many ways a lot of it was allowing the creative process to dictate where I wanted the project to go and how I wanted to sound. I started off doing simply instrumental/soundtrack type recordings. Then I decided to try and do a complete song with lyrics/vocals. The first song I did as part of this new electronic music pursuit was a song called Requiem for the Prophet of Doom which was a tribute to Peter Steele of Type O Negative who passed away in 2010. There were two versions of that track. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEnSgqaI3JA & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0N7Uxzg7ac

That was released under the name “Dean Mason of The Lonely Ghost Project”, as singles. Soon after this, I began to really become more interested in a sound that was more industrial and Gothic or Dark Wave and eventually after a few more singles I recorded St. Basil’s Asylum which is now rereleased by Cleopatra Records. Most of my music has been industrial or Gothic since then.

Do the same sparks still drive the project or have they evolved over time and equally since your early days, how would you say your sound has specifically evolved?

Sort of continuing on from the previous question…yeah…there was definitely an ‘evolution’ of sorts. I look back on what I did in 2012 and some of it doesn’t send me far, with the exception of Nietzsche’s Cyborg. I will always be proud of that song. It was a game changer. It’s on St. Basil’s Asylum even though it was recorded in the fall of 2012 and St. Basil’s Asylum was released in 2015 and then rereleased by Cleopatra Records in 2018. But back on track here, I guess for me, I became more interested in an abrasive and weird industrial sound. (Psalm for the Lost was actually more of a retro Goth/New Wave type deal though) My latest album, Freak’s Mind is in my opinion one of my strongest in many ways. The next album to be released by Cleopatra Records (Shaman Rave) will blow your socks off! Promise!

Has it been more of an organic movement of sound or more you deliberately wanting to try new things?

A bit of both… I don’t want to be boxed into a specific genre to be honest. So, I go through phases where I really like menacing and weird industrial and then other times I prefer a more velvety Goth or Doom Psychedelic type mood in my music. I have been inspired not only by other artists but also by some soundtracks like, the soundtrack for Sinister which is absolutely mind numbing! So sometimes I watch a movie like that or like Queen of the Damned and it gives me inspiration. So, yeah, there is an evolution of sorts but I never deviate too far from being a dark electronic act.

Presumably there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on your music but your approach to and ideas about creating and playing music?

Well, one of my first inspirations would be Gary Numan. I mean, I was a huge KISS fan when I was still in diapers hahaha …but Numan was the one that inspired me to consider doing my own thing in music. That said, I don’t write and record in the style of Numan. I owe more to Ministry, Skinny Puppy and Rammstein as far as recording style goes. I also am very much inspired by Peter Steele of Type O Negative and Jim Morrison of The Doors, especially for their unique lyrical style. Did you know that the first time the term ‘Goth or Gothic’ was used in reference to a rock band was when someone did a review of The Doors, the day after (or close anyway) that Morrison had met Andy Warhol? Anyway…I owe a lot of gratitude to Nash The Slash for being an inspiration as an indie artist as well.

Is there a certain process to your songwriting?

I usually begin a track with a general idea of the kind of mood/style I want to pursue. Then, usually, the song ends up being something totally different than want I first imagined. I usually start with either synth riffs/loops and/or beats/drum patterns and build from there. Kind of difficult to explain how a song evolves and usually I look back and think, “how did I even come up with this”?

… And where do you draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Many of my songs address the human struggle. I never write ‘love’ songs or ‘sex in the corvette’ songs…there are ample of those so …why compete right? I usually write in sort of ‘mystical’ story form. I use a lot of imagery and I allow the listener/reader (of lyrics) to decide for themselves what it means to them, even though I may have a specific idea in mind. I often use religious imagery and also imagery of ‘battles’ or ‘war’ but not in the sense that they are LITERALLY about armed combat. The imagery of ‘battle’ is more of an emotional/psychological journey of that inner struggle. I use a lot of religious imagery, but I don’t push ANY sort of religious point of view…for or against. Again, I let people decide for themselves what any song could mean. I address the issue of mental illness and depression and even the tendency for despair. I don’t encourage ‘despair’ but that experience of wondering where there is hope is quite universal. As well, I often, in veiled language, address the ‘tribalism’ that we humans seem to cling to. I have a real personal distaste for hatred of any kind and the world is full of that. Religious people bashing and rejecting others for being ‘different’ or of the ‘wrong tribe’ and all the bigotry and racism and all the phobias that still exist in a so called ‘evolved’ modern world. That ‘tribalism’ isn’t just from those of a religious persuasion but it also exists among ,many ‘atheists’ and ‘secularists’ who can be just as hateful towards those of the ‘other tribe’. We just don’t know how to leave each other be do we?! Hatred of any kind is for the birds. Wait…not even the birds want it!

Give us some background to your latest release.

The latest release is Freak’s Mind. It’s very abrasive and weird and even at times ‘gothadelic’ (a term coined by Peter Steele by the way). That album is the album that wasn’t supposed to be. I never really wanted to record anything new but one song at a time, and I ended up recording an album’s worth of dark wave/industrial/Gothic madness and I’m really proud of this album. It touches on all those subjects I mentioned earlier. Womb To The Tomb is one of my favourites on that album. It’s a strange combo of wild 60’s psychedelic with raging industrial sounds. Veil is a powerful song, which was recorded in 2013 actually. It’s a good album and I’m not the type that easily says things like that about my own music.

Could you give us some insight to the themes behind it and its songs?

Womb to The Tomb is about the cycle of life more or less, but also looks at the life of a corrupt village and all its citizens, including the powerful who take advantage and the victims who are taken advantage of. It’s kind of inspired by modern day events, without being specific. Chaos Frankenstein is sort of a ‘mystical’ telling of conflict and chaos and suffering and deception. Finally, (I won’t dissect every song) Freak’s Mind, the title track, is more or less about someone struggling with some sort of psychological or emotional turmoil.

Tell us about the live side to the band?

At present, Gnostic Gorilla is not planning on any live shows. I’d need to lasso a bunch of musicians to do that and I don’t see it happening. I don’t think so anyway…Maybe a one off someday.

It is not easy for any new act/artist to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods? Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands/artists?

You’re so right. It’s not easy. I mean, as far as having an impact is concerned. It’s a different world… a different industry and there are many factors that make it very difficult to make a dent anywhere, even locally…especially if you’re in a bigger city. Technology and the age of communication (social media) make it so that anyone can set themselves up and do music and even videos and put it out there. It makes for a VERY clogged reality in cyberspace. There is SO much out there. Everyone wants to be considered the next big thing…Fair game. But here’s the thing, it’s all been done. After KISS and Sabbath, and Manson and Depeche Mode and Numan and NIN, Slipknot, Cradle of Filth, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Ice T, Eminem, Shaggy, Run DMC etc. …how does one come up with a unique style? I don’t want to be a pessimist but let’s be realistic. It’s VERY difficult to make a dent because it’s almost impossible to snap people out of an oversaturated “yawn…I’ve seen it all before” mindset. You can’t impress people easily. You can barely shock people unless you are involved in some sort of controversy or are pretty like a Barbie/Ken doll. Legends/pioneers are no longer being made and I know that would piss a lot of people off to hear that, but it’s true. As for my own situation, I must confess that as I proud Canadian, I am very unimpressed with the way I’ve been treated by the reps/labels in Canada. I have a label deal with Cleopatra Records (LA) for two albums, a deal with KL-Dark Records in Germany and Nowhere Now Records in Australia and have never even received a reply from the Canadian labels I sent music to. Kind of disappointing but I guess they’re all waiting for the second coming or RUSH or Justin Bieber or Gordon Lightfoot.

How has the internet and social media impacted on your project to date? Do you see it as something destined to become a negative from a positive as the project grows and hopefully gets increasing success or is it more that bands/artists struggling with it are lacking the knowledge and desire to keep it working to their advantage?

As I said before, the world has changed dramatically in more ways than one. The internet and social media have forever changed MANY things, not just music. Look at what it’s done to the world of politics! (not always for the better) Even the Pope has a presence on social media. Hahahaha. But more specifically related to the music industry…it’s a mixed bag I suppose. It’s great to promote one’s music/art but also you’re not the only one doing it. Millions are doing it. With regards to the reality of ‘streaming’ though, as an example…that too is a combination of blessing and curse. What’s happening is people don’t feel like buying music is even a concept. It’s not their fault. It’s the way things evolved. (There’s that word again…hahahaha) Younger people grew up knowing nothing else and so, even the concept of music as art is kind of challenged. It’s rarely seen as ‘art’ and just part of the regular noise and scenery of cyberspace all mixed in with the latest ‘app’. It’s like music is there for the taking the way fruit on trees is there for the taking…it’s just a part of the way life goes. It’s all there to snatch and rarely pay much more than a standard monthly fee or something and have unlimited music. Hey, I do it myself, so I’m not criticizing. Also, it needs to be said, with reference to struggling artists: there are also different organizations that promise ‘hi-fi mega stardom’ for a fee! Some of these take advantage of artists, even some of the big labels have jumped on that bandwagon. Don’t get me wrong, there are some decent, honest organizations that genuinely want to assist struggling artists, but there are also a lot of vultures out there cashing in on Wendy and Charlie’s dreams of “making it”. I guess in the end, like anything else, it’s what you do with it right? Maybe it’s just another challenge for artists to be creative, even with regards to promoting and marketing.

Once again a big thanks for sharing time with us; anything you would like to add or reveal for the readers?

It is I who thank you! All I can say is that if you are a struggling artist…be true to the art, to being creative. I know that sounds like hippie bullshit, but it’s true. As soon as your goal is to become a ‘celebrity’ you’re setting yourself up for deception. Don’t dream about being a ‘star’. Instead, be creative and express yourself and be true to yourself…regardless of who does and who doesn’t approve. The rest will follow because in the end, authenticity speaks louder than the need to be ‘worshipped’. That’s what I believe.

Explore Gnostic Gorilla further @ https://www.facebook.com/gnosticgorilla/

Also grab your copy of the Various Artists Compilation album, Nowhere Now Volume 2 on Nowhere Now Records @ https://nowherenowrecords.bandcamp.com/album/nowhere-now-volume-2    featuring Last Call (Heed The Drones) by Gnostic Gorilla

Pete RingMaster 12/04/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Martyr Art – FearFaith Machines

Self-Dubbed as digital metal, the Martyr Art sound is a voracious mix of varied metal and industrial/electronic textures with more besides from an artist which embraces technology as eagerly as the cauldron of flavours woven into his bold recipe of enterprise. FearFaith Machines is the new and fifth album from the band, a release which for fans and newcomers can only make for one compelling adventure.

Martyr Art is the one man project of Joe Gagliardi III, an Orange County musician whose skills on the guitar are as captivating as the songwriting, vocal prowess, and imagination which equally escape his invention. The band is truly a solo project with Gagliardi playing every instrument before recording, mixing and mastering every second of adventure making up FearFaith Machines. Since emerging in 2004, Martyr Art has shared stages with the likes of Corey Glover, Doyle, KMFDM, Drowning Pool, Saul Williams, Full Devil Jacket, Brick By Brick, Dead Empires, and Moon Tooth whilst releasing a host of well-received singles and EPs as well as those previous four full-lengths. Up to this point Martyr Art had evaded our radar but FearFaith Machines has corrected that and will for a whole new tide of fans such its striking offerings.

The album starts with Motion, metallic electronic pulses and temptations luring ears before raw steely smog brings a rousing scourge of groove and alternative metal awash with industrial espionage. Quickly Gagliardi shows his vocal diversity as throat scarred and clean tones intermingle with the former heading the virulent contagion. Equally his craft on the guitar further ignites the tempest, shredding and picking multi-cultural sonic temptations.

The following cyclone of The Pleasure of Pain is just as invasively magnetic, its industrial inclinations steering the listener towards the waiting metal bred uproar. The cycle repeats with even greater heat and intensity, vocals again a great blend of attack and enterprise matching the adventurous emprise of sound. Like a maelstrom of Rabbit Junk, Squidhead, and Cynical Existence, the track is a captivating fury more than matched by next up Who Are You. The third song scowls as it plunders the senses, raging with punk dissonance as again a web of styles and flavours unite with voracity and imagination on the way to forging another major highlight within the release.

Across the sinister almost psychotic Just and the superb Constrict, the album simply expands its landscape of sound and captivation, the second of the two almost primal in its breath yet precise in its layers of boldly varied texture and spicing while their successor, Thundering, is a dark seduction with hues of bands like Type O Negative and Sisters Of Mercy to its irresistible gothic rock/post punk serenade.

Final track is Binary Slavery, a carnivorous slice of industrial metal gnawing at the senses yet soothing the wounds with melodic caresses though they too come with an edge of trespass to their infectious exploits. It is a rousing end to the album highlighting the craft, imagination, and bold fusions making up the heart of FearFaith Machines.

Gagliardi creates something that is nothing less than unique from the familiar styles and sounds he weaves with, indisputable evidence coming with one of the most fascinatingly individual and simply enjoyable encounters this year.

FearFaith Machines is out now; available @ https://martyrart.bandcamp.com/album/fearfaith-machines

http://martyrart.com/   https://www.facebook.com/martyrartofficial

Pete RingMaster 01/12/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Register – Captive

It is two years since Atlanta outfit Dead Register not only thrilled but truly captivated us with debut album Fiber. It was a collection of tracks bred in the rich essences of doom, gothic, and post rock but equally embraced many more flavours to create something as unique as you could imagine or wish. Twenty four or so months on we still cannot truly define their sound or want to as that would be to sterilise its originality and fertility, both as rampant and captivating in the band’s new offering, Captive.

Every word in praise of Fiber by us and so many others can be echoed with zeal in regard to the Captive EP, but not only repeated but escalated as its five tracks venture to mouth-watering new heights in the imaginative craft and inventive prowess of Dead Register. The new EP sees percussionist/drummer Danny Ryann (ex-Gigan) alongside vocalist/bassist M. Chvasta and his wife, Avril Che on bass synth, keys, and backing vocals; Dan Dixon (Whores, The Life and Times, PLS PLS, Biters) recording, mixing, and mastering their now proposition.

Captive opens up with its title track, a dark mist springing the lumbering gait of the song but a funereal step soon wrapped in romancing melodies as a shadow bred atmosphere descends. Magnetic rhythms are swiftly courted by the ever potent and alluring tones of Chvasta, both in turn hugged by the heavy emotive doom gaze breath of the track. Haunting and mesmeric, the song continues to seduce and impose, drama soaking very brooding note and harmonic utterance trespassing and seducing the senses.

It is a highly tantalising and increasingly captivating beginning to the release and one as powerfully continued by next up Ender. A song exploring love and loss and “a reminder to savor even the most mundane idiosyncrasies that “make” our loved ones who they are”, a premise easy to relate to, it rousingly smoulders in ears and thoughts but a thick simmer with volatility which only enriches its emotional incitement and a sound with Type O Negative/Nine Inch Nails hues. There is also a breath to the track and its successors which reminds of eighties band, The Sound; an instinctively downbeat almost depressive yet rousing dark essence which is especially apparent in the fiercely infectious Heresy. From its predacious nagging bassline to the sonic tendrils and Chvasta’s transfixing vocals, the track is pure temptation as virulently catchy as it is melancholically consuming.

A riveting cover of the Dead and Gone track Blood from a Ghost follows, Dead Register infusing it with a voraciously dark elegance without defusing its raw heart and anguish. Few covers in our experience improve on the original but the threesome certainly flirts with that success before Monochrome completes the aural mastery of Captive with its own tenebrific majesty soaked in emotive dissonance. A breath-taking and arousing yet corrosive romance, the track is a maelstrom of destruction and tenderness and quite irresistible.

It is a spellbinding prowess which devours the whole of Captives and feeds the infatuation we have already found for the band. If in our words Fiber was “dark magic, emotional trespassing, and quite wonderful”, Captive is pure aural alchemy and one of the year’s essential encounters.

Captive is released November 2nd; available @ https://deadregister.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/deadregister

 Pete RingMaster 02/11/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Loom – Self Titled

Photo by Kurt Fairbairn

With quite simply raw rock ‘n’ roll nurturing its heart, the debut album from UK band Loom takes ears through every shade of punk rock you can imagine within its ten track confines. It is an adventure which has the imagination fired up, ears burning with ardour, and aggressive tendencies bubbling to the surface in a striking and rousing incitement of a self-titled proposal. Each song as suggested reveals a new aspect in its furious landscape yet brews a united character distinct to a band and release which just commands attention.

Leamington Spa hailing, the trio of Tarik Badwan, Matt Marsh, and Joshua Fitzgerald took little time in attracting ears and praise with their early releases including a pair of well-received EPs within their first year. The second of 2013 featured six covers of songs from the strongest inspirations for the band in its early days, The Jesus Lizard, Bad Brains, Pixies, GG Allin, Misfits, and Warsaw. Alongside the other encounters, it sparked support from the likes of Zane Lowe and Daniel P Carter at BBC Radio 1as well as laying the first steps in a springboard for Loom live to support The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park and tour the UK and Germany with artists such as Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Queen Kwong, and Turbowolf.

The band’s first album is not slow in suggesting those influences in its multi-flavoured roar, as mentioned each song distinct from the next but there is a vein of unique Loom-ness running through all which we would suggest goes beyond the cohesion of aggression suggested by its press release. It opens up with Lice, a sonic itch you just cannot scratch enough to escape from. Its initial glaze to an instantly robust sound has a gothic/indie rock spicing, coming over like a blend of Leitmotiv and The Victorian English Gentlemens Club before its grouchy rock ‘n’ roll instincts burst free. It is a glorious nagging of the senses and imagination taking magnetic twists along its contagious enmity of sound and attitude.

The great start continues as firstly Hate imposingly shimmers with electronic radiance upon grunge bred antipathy to be followed by the rousing exploits of Get A Taste. There is a whiff of Pere Ubu for these ears to the first song but a thicker Nirvana like causticity to its nature and again niggling potency. Embracing garage punk confrontation too, the track stirs ears and appetite with ease, a triumph matched by its successor with its old school punk meets seventies garage rock growl as demandingly catchy as it is openly crotchety.

Grunge colludes with post punk for the feistily prowling Leopard, guitars winding spicy tendrils lined with delicious discord around ears as rhythms reveal a rapacious nature to their drive before Salt entangles the imagination in a fusion of Joy Division post punk and the irritable punk rock of The Stooges with just a tang of psych rock bewitchment. It is an enthralling mix opening new aspects with each passing flick of a chord and sonic detour yet throughout a fluid tart snarl never deviating from its quarrel.

Seasick bawls as its stalks ears with predacious intent straight after; indie rock merging with raw hardcore ill-temper in a track which steals the passions within seconds. Vocals are as unpredictable and instinctively volatile as the sonic flames cast by the guitar and indeed the rhythmic jabbing around them. With the bass a brooding threat within the tempestuous joy crowding and seducing ears, the track makes a big play for best track glory but is quickly challenged by the muggy grunge venting of Bleed On Me and eclipsed by the glorious dark deeds of the band’s latest single, Nailbender. The latter is a compelling caliginous seduction of gothic and punk metal; like Type O Negative fused with Descendents and 1919 yet still emerging as something unique and gripping to Loom.

The punk grouse of Barbed Wire grabs something from all decades of punk since the sixties whilst in finishing up the album Slowly Freezing Heart crawls across the senses in a kaleidoscope of sonic toxicity and shadow loaded rhythms united with vocal psychosis. Both tracks are treats greed gets the better of composure over while bringing one superb album to a memorable and rousing end. Listening to Loom you get the feeling that the band creates on instinct, not searching for a sound but letting it find them and infusing their music with its own unique character. The album reminds of numerous artists across its riveting body but never comes over as anything other than the offspring of Loom, the first of many more belligerently sculpted and physically visceral gems we hope and suspect.

The Loom album is released May 19th via Silent Cult across most stores.

https://www.facebook.com/Loomband/    https://twitter.com/loomband

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Isolated Antagonist – Affirmation of Entropy

Isolated Antagonist - cover bluntforce_RingMaster Review

Our ears were first stirred up by Massachusetts duo Isolated Antagonist, through their offering to the excellent compilation album 27 Tons of Metal New England, which came out last year on Bluntface Records. Their song was undoubtedly a standout proposal in, to be fair, nothing but attention grabbing artists and offerings. Now the band unleashes their new album Affirmation of Entropy; a striking proposition showing that their track on the earlier release was just an impressive scratch on the surface of the band and their sound’s depth and imagination.

Isolated Antagonist is the creative union of vocalist/lyricist Glen Mitchell and multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Nate Exx Gradowski. Its seeds began with Mitchell in the blazing heat of Middle East deserts with his unit where at the urging of Gradowski, who began creating the musical landscape soon after back in the US, he began writing the background story to what would become the band’s debut album. Officially formed in 2014, Isolated Antagonist released their first EP, Engineered Audi Hallucinations the following year and also debut album, The Isolated and The Antagonist. Now pushed further in their new incitement on ears and imagination, the band’s sound is a provocative fusion of industrial metal and death metal with progressive/electronic suggestiveness; it further invigorated by the evocative entangling of raw and clean vocals.

Affirmation of Entropy continues the tale of the first album and its story concerning the last man on Earth, the lead up to that situation, and the battle for survival “on a planet that has turned against him so thoroughly that the dirt beneath his feet was even a danger.” A creative emprise from Mitchell’s own imagination rich Sci-Fi universe, it is further blossomed and broadened, as the band’s creativity and music, within the new encounter and fair to say that from the stunning artwork through to the clarity of note and emotion, the album grips ears and attention.

The scene is set with the muggy and intimidating ambience of Into the Dark. It casts the image of a hostile place with the lost ghosts of the past nagging from the background, yet it has a raw beauty bred in the sonic invention of Gradowski. A compelling and unsettling start, the instrumental piece seeps away for Void to engulf ears with its equally restraint yet portentous air. Swiftly though, it is a smothering trespass of sound around the potent growls of Mitchell but raw intensity that blossoms celestial keys and zealously prowling riffs and rhythms within its storm. Carrying a death metal like animus in sound and voice, the track menaces the senses but also opens up an oasis of shadowy elegance as clean vocals from Gradowski are cradled by charming melodies and ear warming keys. At times Numan-esque and in others Godflesh like, there is no escaping the dark majesty posing as a song working on body and psyche.

The following Trapped similarly merges predatory animosity and invasive atmospheric grace whilst again the already impressive craft and imagination of Gradowski’s sound is enhanced by the entwining extremes of the pair’s respective vocal styles. Again Gary Numan is a spice that springs out, but a scent which as all across the album, is transformed into something individual to Isolated Antagonist, and repeated swiftly in Receptor and its thrilling Cryptopsy meets Nine Inch Nails like antagonism. As in previous songs, destructive textures begets sonic calm, melodic and atmospheric tempting begets industrial volatility; it all to enthralling effect.

New Light Now Made is a sinister treat, its Fear Factory inspired stalking of ears coming with a Die Krupps like infection. It is a predator; a primal yet virulently catchy offering which grows in strength and persuasion minute by minute with exotic hues and tempestuous energies as exciting company before making way for The Archetype Defined. If its predecessor hunted the senses, this song instantly tears into the listener, infesting body and thoughts straight away with its fierce drama and volcanic sound. Of course, as shown by those before it, the song is a maelstrom of contrasting energies and sonic colours that is gloriously unpredictable and increasingly fascinating.

The spatial aired yet simultaneously intimately invasive Dark Nomad surrounds ears next, its magnetic presence soon outshone though by The Infernos Son and its emotionally gothic and sonically vampiric proposal. The song sucks adventures out of the imagination, its Type O Negative meets Sister of Mercy breath feeding on the dark emotions at its and the listener’s heart to leave the senses exhausted and emotions blissful.

The following Words Beyond Time just fails to match up to the ingenuity of its predecessor but with its rapacious character and persistent nagging of metal cultured riffs and rhythms, it only leaves thick pleasure in its wake before The Protagonist Denied hits another pinnacle for the album. Bordering on carnal in its first assault, seductive in its Celtic bagpiped exploits next, the track is irresistible, especially when merging both for progressive/industrial metal at its most instinctive and suggestive best.

The album’s title track is like a momentary summing up next. It is an atmospheric oasis giving thoughts the moment to recap in the arms of calm vocals and the acoustic prowess of guitar as a storm wells up in the background, a tempest which hungrily brews further within The Last Death. The song’s haunting ambience is the vessel for the poaching of the senses by carnivorous riffs and hooks as vocals trap ears and imagination in their suggestive cage. As compelling as it is though, the track only becomes stronger and more engrossing as synth breezes bring immersive melodies to wrap and entice ears.

Synth pop meets industrial insidiousness is the best way to describe Gather The Past, the track gnawing on the senses at one moment and flirting with them through a contagion of irresistible hooks and infection soaked melodies next. As mentioned earlier, there is a great unpredictability and bold uniting of extremes across the songs of Affirmation of Entropy, and arguably nowhere better than on this exceptional incitement, though the closing pair of Prototype for Babylon and Celestial gives a fair showing with almost matching success. The first is thrash/death metal meets eighties electro/industrial psychosis in a venomous but again often fiercely catchy intrusion whilst the closing song explores a soundscape echoing its title, if one also equipped with rabid rhythmic traps and vicious sonic hostility.

It is a magnificent end to what is quite simply an impressive and dramatically stimulating album from a band which feels as if it is still evolving; still realising their potential and not yet the band and sound they are surely destined to be. That is no bad thing as it means that Isolated Antagonist, already one exciting fresh presence within the industrial metal scene, will have plenty more major treats in store for us ahead.

Affirmation of Entropy is available from February 16th via Bluntface Records @ https://isolatedantagonist.bandcamp.com/album/affirmation-of-entropy or http://www.bluntfacerecords.com/

https://www.facebook.com/isolatedantagonist   https://twitter.com/isolantagonist

Pete RingMaster 14/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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In Fall – Delete

In Fall_RingMaster Review

From Ekaterinburg, Russia, In Fall is a gothic rock duo consisting of Shade (vocals, bass, programming) and Eric (guitar). Recently they released third album Delete, a collection of dark yet hope filled, melancholy soaked tracks that simply capture the imagination. Aligning contrasts within a blend of creative intricacies which themselves are paired with simplicity of tone and emotional openness, the release is a fascinating and increasingly enjoyable offering suggesting the band are ready to prompt broad attention.

The background to the band and its members are not openly offered in profiles and press release, but 2012 saw the first In Fall release in the shape of the Coffin shores EP whilst a year later debut album Charm appeared with its successor How can you fall in love? coming in 2014. Recently linking up with GlobMetal Promotions, In Fall now has Delete to entice and inspire the imagination, a success in motion from its first touch.

Delete cover_RingMaster Review   Sometimes starts things off, a lone piano casting a classical air as thicker sounds brew around it, guitars and rhythms a shadowy tempting courted by an even darker bass lure. The voice of Shade has a mellow but emotive intensity which lies separate to the melodic beauty and metallic intimidation around it, but links all with its potent plainer hue. For ears, the song and subsequent album provokes thoughts of bands like Sisters Of Mercy, The Mission, and Gene Loves Jezebel, though equally as the likes of the album’s title track takes over, thoughts of Type O Negative and more so an emotionally detached version of Black are also nurtured. For the main though as keys seduce and shadows encroach, vocal croon and melodies caressing within a muscular climate, In Fall create something specific to themselves becoming more impressive and enticing with every listen.

Through tracks like the climatically smouldering You say and the more tenacious rock ‘n’ roll of Wednesday ears are pulled deeper into the release and its romantic lure around ironic and openly reflective lyrics. Both songs offer individual proposals in sound and design which again only increase in persuasion as their theatre of emotion and rich textures is increasingly revealed before the post punk shaped Brainbox bewitches an already happy appetite with niggly riffs and a bestial bassline around elegant keys and subsequently seducing strings. Vocally Shade deviates little from his prime emotionally cold delivery, which at times is a temper to the flames of beauty aside him, but always he stretches it to rise and fall with the heart and intensity of a track, and as here always to great effect.

Could be similarly weaves a fusion of post punk and gothic/melodic metal resourcefulness into a haunting embrace whilst from a warm dance becoming emotively darker and physically irritable, Beautiful day crawls into the psyche and passions to take best song honours. It is a relentless prowl of ears, a magnetic spark for the imagination, and lingering sinister hug for the senses, and quite superb.

That great post punk breeding lines the melodic call of synths across More, the song a transfixing siren of sound reminding of eighties band Leitmotiv. The feel of that era is a recurring and welcome spice across certainly the post punk and gothic colouring within Delete, its provocative melancholic scent again flowing through Dust even as a carnivorous bassline seeds a volatile atmosphere which, though it never quite erupts, is a constant intensity to the enthralling drama.

The album concludes with firstly From above, a lighter and catchier affair on ears, and finally the raw emotive intensity and sonic fire of Over. Each song leaves ears and pleasure full and the impressiveness of Delete enhanced even if not quite matching up to the potency of tracks before them. They certainly add to an album which just gets stronger and more engrossing though, not forgetting one more enjoyable with every encounter.

In Fall, as previously for us, is likely to be an unknown outside of their homeland for most but that deserves to change from Delete alone, a release you seriously should be checking out.

Delete is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/in.fall.gothic

Pete RingMaster 04/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Either Way – Behind The Light

either way_RingMaster Review

Hailing from Compiegne in France, Either Way is a melodic death metal proposition which makes a rather appetising introduction to itself with Behind The Light. The band is the solo adventure of Ludovic Ciszewski, a vocalist/multi-instrumentalist who after playing in an array of bands, including Scythians, Osm’oz, Dead N Crazy and currently Monolyth, decided to start his own project to undertake dark melodic explorations inspired by the likes of Before The Dawn and Dark Tranquillity. Behind The Light is the debut release from Ciszewski, with just solo guitar contributions from Mich alongside his own sole endeavours recorded in his home studio.

The album opens with Across the Light, and a beacon of crystalline keys and floating harmonies which just reflects on the imagination like the sun on water. Subsequently dark tones of bass and slow but strong beats join the brewing shadows spread by the guitar, the emerging atmosphere only growing until its brief body evolves into the following Redemption. Swiftly sonic and rhythmic drama is striding purposefully through ears, an early gothic climate initially smothered but reappearing in equal tempting as the raw vocal tones of Ciszewski come forward. Personal tastes took time to come to terms with his certainly accomplished but distinctive and generally samey delivery, a wish for more variation the main lingering request as when he does expand his vocal presence within the album, it brings a new light to songs. Nevertheless it is a raw texture which does work well with the aggressive nature of the song and against the melodic radiance lining the enjoyable start to Behind The Light.

cover_RingMaster Review     Phoenix comes next, it too opening with a classical caress of keys before being joined by more robust and rugged lures spawned by riffs and punchy beats. Though not intimidating, there is immediately a dark air to the song which breeds a rousing and commanding canter lit by the still bewitching keys and the aggressive nature of the guitars and voice. Progressive enterprise mingles with death bred malevolence perfectly, the track like a dangerous but alluring flame just getting more intensive and compelling with every passing minute before making way for the similarly enticing Always Look To The Star and in turn the darkly reflective Evil In Me. The first of the two is a rousing fusion of symphonic and melodic expression with a predatory turbulence guided by the caustic tones of Ciszewski. The track borders on spellbinding, the guitars a riveting persuasion merging numerous styles and ideation and the keys just emotive beauty on the senses. Its successor from a melodically hued and vigorous entrance slips into darker depths of emotion amidst a threatening atmosphere, Ciszewski ‘s voice early on pushes its diversity a little for the first time and to great effect, though it is the guitars which steal the plaudits within the provocative and intensive embrace of ears.

The opening bass welcome is the first irresistible temptation in the outstanding Red Eyes, a track which has a touch of Type O Negative to its emotive outpouring and roaming shadows. Once more keys and guitars entwine for a sonic narrative to spark the imagination and excite ears whilst the rhythms create a commanding skeleton as ripe with contagion as the fiery sounds around them. The best track upon Behind The Light it carries a catchy swagger but loses none of the inciting theatre and dark creative flesh which colours all songs on the album.

The jagged riff built scenery of Faces leads into an equally riveting and highly imaginative landscape of melodic intimacy and at times bruising ferociousness, though this time it is magnetically tempered by the warmer and colourful exploits of keys and for once clean vocals. Generally the impassioned energy and aggressive urgency of tracks overshadows the melancholic beauty to great effect but this time it is the other way round, and followed by a more equal union within the relatively lighter body and funkiness of Trouble In My Mind. There is a noir bred intrigue and sinister resonance to the melodic sky of the song, a haunting beauty which coats its hearty stroll whilst after it, Scarecrow takes its dark edge into stronger ravenous depths for an encounter which takes time to come alive in thoughts but impresses more with every listen.

The release is completed by Black Soul, its first touch a mesmeric piano bred hug full of emotion and elegance. It is accompanied a little further in by a physical narrative of footsteps on crunchy stone before blossoming into another theatre of craft and invention with returning clean vocals as appealing as the ever evocative keys and guitar imagination, not forgetting spirit arousing rhythms.

Creatively and musically, Behind The Light is thorough pleasure, a release continually revealing more with every play, and it is only to our ear’s loss that the vocals do not hit the same spot, something which will not apply to most enjoying our recommendation to treat yourself with the first Either Way album.

Behind The Light is available now from online stores.

Pete RingMaster 17/09/2015

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