Olymp – Self Titled EP

Raw almost primal, the sound of German metallers Olymp is as intriguing as it is rousing certainly within their new self-titled EP. With its Teutonic heavy metal breeding and hungrily driving riffery described as being traditional 80´s styled, it is a proposition which demands attention yet it only tells part of the sonic picture. There is rabidity and essence of its character which is pure punk rock and an additional multi-flavoured web of flavours and imagination which only gives richer texture to its breath. It all goes to make the EP an introduction to the band that refuses to be ignored.

Formed in 2018, the Augsburg quartet consists of Butschi (guitars, vocals), André (bass), Armin (guitars), and Dommi (drums). There is little more we can tell you about the band but it is all about their first EP and that quickly gripped ears and appetite with opener Lightning Eater. Its initial bass lure simply teased attention, the quickly joining wires of guitar just as enticing as the song rose to its threatening feet though its menace is as alluring as it is predatory. It is with Butschi’s grouchy vocals and the subsequent band hollers that that punk essence arises, a voracious scent which aligns potently with the classic metal teased skilfully woven web of grooves and riffs that fuel the excellent start to the EP.

Fire And Fury is next up and begins with its own dark, imposing invitation for ears and imagination, one proving easy to quickly devour and relish as it continues to darkly stain the weave of metal flames and sonic enterprise wrapping rhythmic agility. As with the first song, its body is perpetually galvanic and chorus anthemic cajoling as once again punk and metal unite in an almost garage bred styling of both flavours.

A Celtic hue lines the beginnings of the following Shut Down, the guitar proving a web of sonic intoxication as rhythms create a contagious shuffle. Dark shadows court both at the same time, brewing an invasive hue to the subsequent punk ‘n heavy metal dance. If you can imagine a hybrid sound from a union of the punk density of The Lurkers, the melodic endeavour of U.D.O, and the metal esurience of Destruction then maybe a hint of the song’s and Olymp’s sound becomes clearer.

The EP ends with The Messenger, it’s melodic beckoning straight away wrapping around welcoming ears before riffs and hooks collude to further and increasingly tempt. From within that potent draw a controlled thrash hued swing begins its own thick enticement. Admittedly by its close it was a track which could not quite find the impressive heights of its predecessors but had plenty to hold court in ears and appetite as imagination shaped its fascination inciting presence.

Olymp’s sound as rousing as it is feels like it is only at the beginning of its journey and evolution and a fine adventure it should be for all if they build on and push the highly enjoyable and impressive enterprise within their first release; we wait in eager anticipation.

The Olymp EP is out now with limited availability @ https://olympmetal.bandcamp.com/album/olymp-e-p


 Pete RingMaster 03/10/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Meshiaak – Alliance Of Thieves


Formed in Melbourne, Australia and unleashing a debut that stirs up the instincts and passions like the first temptress/tempter encountered by awakening youth, Meshiaak have announced themselves as one essential proposition for all thrash metal enthusiasts. Alliance Of Thieves is one of the most formidable, exhilarating, and accomplished introductions sure to be heard this year; arguably no surprise with its line-up consisting of 4ARM’s Danny Camilleri and Teramaze’s Dean Wells alongside bassist Nick Walker and drummer Jon Dette who lists Slayer, Anthrax, Testament, and Iced Earth in his notable exploits. Together they have swooped into the heart of thrash and given it a fresh injection of imagination and creative energy; not exactly breaking its boundaries but providing the genre and more with a new compelling character to get excited over.

Recorded at the Green Day owned Jingletown Recording Studios in Oakland, California and mixed by Jacob Hansen (Volbeat, Pretty Maids, Destruction, Anvil, Aramanthe, Epica, U.D.O., Primal Fear), Alliance Of Thieves ignites ears with opener Chronicles of the Dead. Initial rhythmic stabs and a drizzle of sonic enterprise coaxes the senses, both soon part of a thumping persuasion which swiftly has ears and appetite eagerly awake. The vocals of Camilleri quickly grip attention too with the backing roars of Wells just as potent, while together their guitar endeavours create a web of inventive infectiousness around the equally gripping rhythmic thrust of Dette and Walker. The track is superb, whether winding teasingly around ears or driving through them like a ravenous juggernaut simply triggering spirit and instincts.

The first track also shows the melodic prowess and suggestiveness of grooves that Meshiaak are also able to conjure, the song a tapestry of intrigue and unpredictable invention which continues in the following It Burns at Both Ends and across the whole of Alliance Of Thieves. Whereas its predecessor has essences of Machine Head meets Testament to it, the second track quickly shares Slayer-esque hues once the listener has drifted through exotic climes into another tide of Dette’s addictive rhythmic craft as rabid riffs crowd around Camilleri’s imposing and rousing vocals. Calm and intensely hungry, the song is a beguiling mix of contrasts and energy, matching the inescapable persuasion and intensive quality of the opener.

art_RingMasterReviewThe dark and sinister I Am Among You follows, its initial lure setting the emotional scene before the band toy with the imagination with a Fear Factory/Metallica like trespass of the soul. Predatory and often demonic but from start to finish commandingly seductive, the track manages to eclipse the might of those before it, setting a new plateau within the album in pleasure and imagination before Drowning, Fading, Falling floats in on orchestral melancholy. Soon the mountainous beats of Dette and another brooding bassline from Walker are courting the sonic weave of Wells, together crafting another encounter which skilfully merges raw intensity with melodic tempers. A slow burner in relation to the earlier tracks, it grows into an easy to get greedy over threat, each listen, as with the album, revealing new layers and nuances within its storm.

Through the harmonic and emotionally plaintive At the Edge of the World, a song as musically vast as its suggested landscape, and the sonically antagonistic Last Breath Taken, band and album simply taken a tighter grip on the passions; both songs in their individual way casting lava-esque melodies amidst thrash fuelled intrusive intensity, though the first of the two is a ‘gentler’ tempting and outshone a touch by its rawer successor. The pair in turn gets outdone by the brilliance of Maniacal. Again Metallica is an open flavouring yet once more a spice to something you can only out down as unique Meshiaak.

The album’s title track careers through ears straight after, every second a ravishing crescendo of sound and creative instincts leaving bliss and exhaustion in its lingering wake. There is a hint of Anthrax/Megadeth to the impossible to resist proposal, Dette alone makes the hellacious partnership between band and ears worthwhile but mightily matched by the whole of the quartet here and across Alliance of Thieves, song and album.

The album closes on the shadowy balladry of Death of an Anthem where sultry melodies and a smouldering climate surround the again impressive tones of Camilleri. Its air and emotion though becomes more volatile with every passing minute as the track bewitches and brings easily one of the year’s finest releases to a superb end. As suggested earlier, maybe we should not be surprised the quality of Alliance Of Thieves considering its creators but any hopes and expectations you might have had for the encounter will surely be blown away with swift results.

Alliance Of Thieves is out now via Mascot Records @ http://www.mascotlabelgroup.com/meshiaak-alliance-of-thieves-cd.html and most online stores.

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

Pete RingMaster 24/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Sister – Disguised Vultures


    It is easy to declare that on Disguised Vultures, the new album from Swedish metallers Sister, there is very little new going on but you can just as comfortably announce that the album is a refreshing and imagination teasing slab of sleaze punk inspired metal which for the main thrills and ignites satisfying urges within feet and emotions. Raw and contagious, seducing like Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 meets Crashdiet in a glam cast pit of degenerate rioting, band and album create a provocative brawl where wantonness and salacious attitudes are encouraged and sonic bruising recommended.

    The ten track release follows debut album Hated which like its successor was unleashed on Metal Blade Records. Since forming in 2006, Sister’s sound has certainly evolved, if not dramatically, since first EP Deadboys Making Noise in 2009. Even more so their craft and adventure has spread from just horror punk type scenarios to maturer enterprises taking on greater conciseness and potency on the way as evidenced enjoyably by Disguised Vultures. Tours and shows with the likes of Hardcore Superstar, Wednesday 13, Crashdiet, Fozzy, and U.D.O. as well as festival appearances between albums has only strengthened the stature and awareness for the Stockholm based quartet’s sound whilst earning them a reputation as one impressive irrepressible live encounter but you feel that Disguised Vultures just might be the key to turn the lock of greater recognition even if it leaves expectations fed rather than starved predominantly.

    The band go straight for the jugular with opener My Enemy, its first breath a roaring blaze of punk infested scuzz which Coverthough immediately hitting full on between the eyes suddenly steps into what could have been its intro. A sudden chilled ambience littered with samples intercepts the imagination at this point whilst a ravenous heavy bass tone prowls inviting in rampant predatory rhythms which soon add their menace to the emprise. It is an intriguing and inspired start which arguably song and album never replicates again preferring to reinvent and twist existing flames of invention. As bass and rhythms enslave the ears and a sonic wind from the guitar shapes the landscape as the song hits full gear again, vocals and sounds slip into a more regular and predictable encounter. Nevertheless it is a rousing and compelling confrontation which uncages the same antagonistic belligerence and contagion found in Murderdolls and even more so the early and solo work of Wednesday 13.

    The impressive start makes way for the first single from the album Sick. With heavy metal melodic taunting and sinew driven rhythmic barracking leading to one of those anthemic choruses which you fight but always succumb, the song is an easily accessible and pleasing stomp offering nothing to be slack jawed over but providing a full and tasty meal for the appetite to eagerly embrace. Combined with its predecessor the album has already taken a tight grip which is sustained by both the title track and the next up Arise. The first of the two lacks the spark of the first two but romps with a juicy groove coring fiery riffs and melodic enticement whilst more restrained rhythms frame good group vocals and the rasping lead of Jamie. It is a decent enough track to settle down with but soon surpassed by its successor. Loaded with addictive barbed hooks which dig deeply and an infection soaked chorus driven home by again vocalised anthemic temptation, the song is three minutes of insatiable horror punk wrapped in sleaze rock, not ground breaking but quite irresistible.

     Another pinnacle of the album arrives with We Salute ‘Em, a heavy duty rapacious brute of a song which from its intensive weighty entrance steers the senses through a volcanic and quarrelsome tempest of scarring riffs and spiteful rhythms under a melodically cast sonic sky. Adding little twists and sparks of imagination to its absorbing body of sound, the track is another to seize and hold the imagination long past the departure of the album, something not all songs such as Naked and DMN can boast. Before them though Sister sets free Slay Yourself, a punk infused treat with a causticity which is as inciting and magnetic as the sonic storm around it. The next up Naked is a power ballad which though well-crafted just does not spark any hunger for itself unlike other songs. It is strong and skilfully presented though making a break from the rioting but soon has thoughts looking at what is next.

   From the again okay DMN, a predictable yet enthused growling fury, (Stop the) Revolution pulls the album back to its earlier heights. A rhythmic enticement opens up the persuasion and instantly has focus glued to its bait, a trap which never relents right through the whole of the song. A gnarly carnivorous bass predation is equally as seductive, combining with the drums for a dramatic canvas upon which sonic endeavour and melodic flames provide more potent adventure. The best track on the album it is punk metal at its best and the perfect lure into the band.

    The album closes with Please Kill Me, a song which feels like a filler more than anything. Certainly it does not live up to the strengths and exciting toxicity which marks the rest of the release but it cannot deter Disguised Vultures from being a fun album to play with. It is not going to provide you with anything startlingly new but for strong, pleasing, and enduring anthems of horror punk sleaze you could do a lot worse than Sister’s new tease.

Disguised Vultures is available now in North America and on the 24th of January in Europe.



RingMaster 21/01/2014

 Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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.damaged Interview

Like everyone we are always looking out for something new to light up the internal fires and bring something different to the ear. German band .damaged is one band this year which has certainly managed to do that with their excellent Road Trip EP. Without particularly breaking down new doors the band creates the kind of rock music which ears and hearts were evolved for. We had the opportunity to find out more about the young band and their music as they sat down to our questions and inquisitiveness.

Hi and welcome to The Ringmaster Review.

Hello and thanks for having us!

Tell us about the beginning of the band and its members.

We founded .damaged in 2008 with Flo, Alex and Sven. It was easy to get the connection to Christian because he played several projects with Alex and Sven before. Phil was the lead singer of a band we knew from our rehearsal room. The band broke up and so Phil decided to join .damaged!

Initially you were without a lead vocalist and second guitarist was it evident early on you needed to expand he line-up?

Yes, it was important for us to find a second guitarist and a vocalist as soon as possible because otherwise our music wouldn’t have worked! So with Phil and Christian we completed the band.

How long did it take to find the right people?

It didn’t take long to find the right people. We only had one change with Pascal who played at least one show with us and then decided to go into another music genre.

Once the band was settled original songs quickly followed?

They followed quickly but first we started out with punk rock. It took us almost two years to finally figure out in which direction we wanted to head with the band. Or in other words: To reach the ROAD TRIP.

And that the settled line-up led to live shows quickly too one can assume?

We watched out for gigs all the time, especially for band contest cause they give you the opportunity to play in big venues and more than one show if you convince the crowd and win the voting.

In 2010 we made the 4th place at the Emergenza contest in the local final, that brought us to Amsterdam! We also had the chance to play a support gig for David Reece and two shows on Ibiza in a Bar called “Hogans Rock Bar”.

With Sven on drums there was obviously that link to his father Udo Dirkschneider but one guesses there was the intention to do it alone as a band. Were you able to draw on his experiences though for advice?

We would lie by saying that we’re not glad to have that connection but the most of the things we’ve done came up from our minds. Anyway the experience of Udo and the rest of the band U.D.O., particularly the recordings of the EP in the studio with Stefan Kaufmann, is something that you can’t buy!

Tell us about those early songs and their subsequent recording.

In the beginning we were influenced by a lot of punk bands from America and our songs were similar to them. Because Flo has worked in an event engineering company we could borrow the stuff we needed to record the songs in our rehearsal room.  We recorded the songs twice but we weren’t satisfied with the results anyway.

As you said those songs were more punk driven songs compared to your later ones, what inspired the shift in direction?

By getting a bit older we expanded our interests in different rock styles. And that is how it came that we began to create a concept, which combined elements of the classic rock and metal styles with a modern attitude.

Around this point in the band timeline you were gigging heavily and occasionally beyond your homeland?

Yes it’s true we were gigging fucking heavily and that was a whole new experience for us. Above all the gigs in Spain and the Czech Republic showed us a new professional level back in these days.

I read that the band locked themselves in a rehearsal room to create the new collection of songs with the new direction in style, was it like that in reality?

This is a totally true story.

The new songs which emerged from the band felt as if the true .damaged had emerged or was just part of the bands continuing evolution?

It was a break in the story of our band because we didn’t continuously work to that point but it came from one day to another.

You recorded your latest EP Road Trip as you said with U.D.O. guitarist and producer Stefan Kaufmann. Was it a simple case of asking for his contribution?

We have to disappoint you but it was not just a case of asking. Fortunately the guys of U.D.O. were already interested in what we did, so logically we showed them the new stuff as well. By hearing this Stefan decided to help us to record our first professional EP!

Tell us about the recording of the EP.

Of course it was a big experience for us to record the EP with Stefan. And we learned a lot in the studio. It’s really great when you have your first professional recording and the guy behind the mixer knows what he is doing!

When we reviewed the release we said it comes without frills and plays like a buddy that you know well and without trying have a strong affection for. Does that sound fair?

It sounds fair so far because we’re really happy with the result of the EP. But after writing new songs, which are not always as straight as the first ones we will try to work more with effects and stuff to let the album kick your ass even more!!

How did the shows with U.D.O. last November come about?

After we were done with the recordings we gave the songs to U.D.O. and in the late summer when we were on our holidays on Ibiza Udo told us that we can support them on three shows.

Are there new recordings in the pipeline?

As we said we wrote enough songs for a whole album now we just need to get the material into the studio.

How have the songs you are now writing changed from not only those early days but Road Trip?

In our opinion with every song we write we think there is still a progress going on.

What is next for .damaged?

We have a few gigs coming up in July! One is the opening slot on the “Out Loud Festival” at the arena in Trier, Germany.  In August we’ll have a little break, but after that we’re still on the hunt for more gigs until the end of the year!

Any chance the UK will get to see you guys live in the foreseeable future?

We hope so!! We will try anything to get to the UK as soon as possible!!!

Many thanks for chatting with us, have you any final words for sure to be future fans of the band?

Many thanks for the invitation to the interview.

And to all you rockers out there: visit us on our homepage or on our Facebook page; listen to our songs on Youtube!!! Hope to see you somewhere on stage!!!  Rock on!!!

Find out more about .damagedhttps://www.facebook.com/damagedmusic



Read the Road Trip EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/damaged-road-trip-ep/

The Ringmaster Review 03/07/2012

Copyright RingMaster:MyFreeCopyright

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.damaged: Road Trip EP

If you are looking for some unfussy straight forward strong rock sounds then you should go checking out the new EP from German band .damaged. Consisting of five tracks that rumble through the ear to party with your senses, the Road Trip EP is a satisfying and more than decent slab of rock music as it should always be, pure, highly charged, and honest.

      .damaged had its beginnings in 2008 formed by guitarist Alex Staschko, bassist Florian Schmitz, and drummer Sven Dirkschneider, the son of metal legend Udo Dirkschneider (Accept, U.D.O.). With the line-up soon completed by second guitarist Christian Meinke and vocalist Phil Werbelow, the band set to work on writing original songs with a punk flavouring. Finished, self recorded and produced these became the first offering from the band though by the dying embers of 2009 the band decided they were not up to their evolving standard and re-recorded them. Success and good progress in the Emergenza Contest 2010, plus a continual series of gigs including supporting David Reece followed before the band sat down to work on new material. What emerged were songs that had naturally removed themselves from the punk genre into a defined rock fuelled area. Redefining their whole set and direction the band then approached U.D.O. guitarist and producer Stefan Kaufmann, with whom they recorded the Road Trip EP in the Summer of 2011.

Road Trip is an accomplished and fulfilling release that gives strong pleasure but also lays down great promise for the band ahead. It comes without frills or indulgences to simply rock out with each and every new friend who comes across it. The EP plays like a mate, a buddy that you know well and without trying have a strong affection for. It does not make one work through startlingly new ideas and sounds to get to know it but instead feeds from familiar rock elements to make a companion that one can enjoy life with and sink beers alongside easily.

The first two songs on the release are the strongest and has one recruited instantly to the band and their sound. Liquor & Poker is a smoky whiskey soaked slice of rock n roll. With rhythms that poke and incite alongside a bass that growls wonderfully the song unveils dirty riffs and suggestive melodies. Vocalist Werbelow has a great gritty delivery that compliments the sounds around him. The song does not explode preferring to saunter through the ear with a calm presence whilst holding a sense of menace suggesting get it riled up and watch out.

The title song is the best thing on the release, a track that bristles and cruises with high octane energy and muscular power. By the first chorus it has all joining in as if we have known it for years, fists clenched and emotions flying in its wake. As mentioned the release does not venture down new detours but what is given as proven here is accomplished and very digestible rock music. As the song plays the guitars whip up feelings and the pulse rate whilst the rhythms lead one in energetic enthusiasm, the combination irresistible.

The remaining tracks Long Gone Creed, Given Up To Praise, and Never Leaves My Mind, continue the pleasing and very agreeable sounds. The first retains some punk elements though still firmly a rock n roll track with anthemic qualities whilst the second of the three is an instantaneous stomp that engages and gets one again fully involved. By this point on the release it is impossible to ignore the excellent individual contributions, especially bassist Schmitz, his grumbling prowling riffs a constant dark pleasure that gets the juices flowing.

Road Trip is not the most original release to come along but it is one of the most satisfying and easy to become at one with. In future output from the band maybe we will be looking for more distinct and original ideas but right now the EP firmly shows .damaged as a band to follow and keep a close eye on.


RingMaster 24/04/2012

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Iron Fire – Voyage of the Damned


With a trepidation inspired from other power rock albums over the years and their dislike, going into the new album from Danish power metalers Iron Fire was not over appealing but that feeling was swiped fiercely away by the mid-point of the second track, Voyage of the Damned reminding that assumptions are never a great thing.  Admittedly the album will probably still not make the end of year top 10 here but that is down to personal prejudice against the classic rock vocal style employed. Founder and band mastermind Martin Steene is a fine and dramatic vocalist with measured control and expression but despite that his style is not one I enjoy generally, but it has to be said that overall he, the band and the album did nothing less than please with its impressive creative power.

The early days of Iron Fire was an explosive entry into the corridors of rock with much acclaim and promise coning from their 2001 debut album Thunderstorm. From that point things became rocky to simplify it with a completely opposite reaction to follow-up release On the Edge. Though fans were still behind them elsewhere things soured with even their own label appearing disinterested which eventually ended with the band being dropped on the eve of the release of the band’s third album. Under this continued downturn the band found itself containing just Steene as people left. A fighter, Steene  through his disappointment built up his determination accumulating in 2006 with a new Iron Fire album in Revenge. Based upon the fictitious fantastic world of the warrior Cain, a man double crossed and betrayer by his closest friends and allies (wonder what inspired that?), the album now with the support of Napalm Records drew in immense acclaim and positive reaction. The band were back and has since risen to higher stronger heights with their albums Blade of Triumph in 2007, To the Grave of 2009, and the following year Metalmorphosized. During this time shows and tours alongside the likes of Demon, U.D.O., Primal Fear, Saxon, WASP, and Doro added more impact and power to the return of Iron Fire.

Released January 27th again via Napalm, Voyage of the Damned is a powder keg of explosive and at times deeply aggressive riffs and fluid soaring melodies. The release draws on many genres bringing elements of black and death metal, doom, thrash, prog rock, and more, all spicing up their own vibrant and stirring sound. On the album the band is more muscular and threatening than on previous releases without losing its skilled melodic touch, the release hitting hard and with venom whilst enticing and inviting with pleasing melodies and ideas. The quartet of Steene, guitarist Kirk Backarach, bassist Martin Lund, and Fritz Wagner on drums have evolved into an even tighter and mightier band with deep flavours to grab most metal fans.

From the atmospheric doom type opening of ‘The Dark Beyond’, the kind of opening so many bands use now to lead into their releases, the album erupts into the folk metal tinged might of ‘Enter Oblivion OJ-666’. With chunky riffs rapping at the ear within soaring symphonic keys the song is prime metal urgency bringing a heavy dominance upon the senses with fluent breaks into scorching melodies and guitar creativity. The album as it unveils its wares is deeply varied to ensure constant attention. From the further brutal riffage of ‘Taken’ to the industrial veined orchestral grace of ‘Slaughter of Souls’,  and the drama of ‘Leviathan’ to the emotive passion of ballad ‘The Final Odyssey’ the band come from different angles and with consistent effect.

The slightly erratic yet excellent ‘Ten Years In Space’ and the dark energy of ‘Realm of Madness’ stand out on the latter part of the album but as a whole the release is impressive. It is the staggering dangerous intense riffs and varied metal intrusions of multiple sources that lift the album beyond the band’s previous releases. This new heavy intensity suits them and when Steene and the band venture into growls and a less polished rock vocal delivery the songs turn into even stronger beasts. Though personal taste has an impact on one aspect the truth is Voyage of the Damned is a mighty album even these ears will visit often.

RingMaster 17/01/2012

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