OMRÅDE – Nåde

2015 saw the release of an album which deserved far more attention than it got and warranted every syllable of praise offered its “visual and aural telescope.” Edari was the invention of French duo OMRÅDE who now return with its equally startling successor Nåde. That first full-length made ears and imagination pay attention, the second simply demands it and repays with what will surely be classed as one of the major adventures of the year.

OMRÅDE consists of vocalist/guitarist Bargnatt Xix, known elsewhere as Christophe Denhez of Nerv and previously Mur and In The Guise Of Men, and drummer/keyboardist/programmer Arsenic, christened Jean-Philippe Ouamer and the skin hitter of Idensity and formerly of Nerv. Together they weave a collection of avant-garde soundscapes nurtured from everything around the ambience hued climates of post rock, industrial, electronica, and avant-garde metal, and that is simplifying their fascinating explorations of sound and emotion. It is a mix which created a compelling proposal in the cinematic adventure of Edari and now the even more aurally haunting and stirring Nåde.

Whereas the first album felt like looking across a broad canvas of universes there is much stronger intimacy fuelling Nåde, like ears and thoughts are peering in on the tempestuous fortunes and emotions of a single soul representing the surroundings and lives within a noir lit and suffocating climate. That is not to say it does not venture through worldly landscapes too, just they all feel cored by the same instinctive melancholy and depressive clad spirit. Influences upon the project include the likes of Ulver, Manes, and God Is An Astronaut, essences certainly seeping across the new album along with an equal infusion of Nine Inch Nails/Palms scented shadows and suggestiveness.

Nåde opens up with Malum and swiftly has electronic beats and guitar coaxing ears as Denhez’ vocals share the song’s heart and beleaguered emotions. Pretty much haunting thoughts and psyche from its first breath, its inner psychosis is just as swift in stirring the imagination as vocals hint at a soul trapped yet seemingly revelling in the inevitability of inescapable turmoil. Strings and brass soon after bring their seductive shadows and flames respectively to the blossoming atmosphere and body of the song, a cinematic wash in tow yet that personal dispute continues to voice things. It is a stunning piece of music and vocal insight, instantly surpassing anything on that impressive first album and just the start of a uniquely stirring journey.

The following XII has a gentler touch, its hazy atmosphere jazzy and sombre yet with a warm glow which only attracts like a night’s final brandy. Keys tease as Leo Sors’ guesting sax woozily blows with suggestive prowess, each flame embracing reflective vocals and in turn a hotly simmering funk shuffle. With Bernard-Yves Querel adding his guitar, the track at times is something akin to 6:33 certainly with the emerging depths and mercurial intensity of the track; ears and imagination enthralled and sucked into its unpredictable enterprise and dark instrumental theatre. Whereas the first was physically provocative, the second is emotionally inciting with just as rich results before the outstanding Enter beckons the listener into its melodically woven, progressively shaped, and increasingly virulent proposal. With a snarling brooding within the guitars and an unstoppable catchiness lining its brewing rapacity, the song is a lively cauldron of infectiousness and trespassing anxiety, each conflicting with and accentuating the other.

Hänelle is pure heart ruptured melancholy, another track which builds in intensity and intimate drama on every level from an initial smoulder nurtured as much by Jonathan Maronnier ‘s clarinet as emotional shadows while Styrking Leið is a haunted croon; a siren like lure of vocals and keys and if slower to tempt as its predecessors simply growing into another lingering highlight especially with its increasing visual potency and emotional desperation. The song sees Edgard Chevallier guesting on guitar while next up The Same For The Worst features additional vocals from L. Chuck D in its jazzy intoxication with Julien Gebenholtz’s bass a captivating pleasure all on its own. Becoming more fevered and intense with emotion as sounds share a volatile almost bedlamic restlessness, the track has ears and thoughts gripped. Certainly it is not the easiest listen within Nåde but boy is it one of the most rewarding and impacting.

The final pair of tracks ensure captivation and pleasure is as burning as ever. Baldar Jainko is as similarly intensive as the previous track, its heart and scenery a sharing and conflict of peace and faith with emotions and suggestiveness working on personal and worldly levels. Closing track, Falaich, is almost apocalyptic in tone and touch; an epilogue or portent of our emotional and physical destructions and apathy to it which is seriously gripping from start to finish and only increasing the vice as it provokes the darkest thoughts and richest enjoyment.

It is easy to suggest that if Edari impressed and impacted on you previously, Nåde will blow you away and for newcomers to OMRÅDE, the moment when music might just become much more than ear pleasing.

Nåde  is released May 26th via My Kingdom Music.

https://www.facebook.com/Omradetheband    http://omradetheband.wix.com/omrade

Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Erudite Stoner – Self Titled

Erudite Stoner_RingMasterReview

There has been quite a few ear seducing instrumental albums over the past year or so but it is hard to remember any as charming yet emotively striking as the self-titled debut album from Erudite Stoner. A one man acoustic based project from Brazil, the band creates music which simply immerses the imagination in beauty and suggestive intrigue. Nothing is imposing and no elements forced, but sound and album provide the paint for a myriad of mental pictures and emotive explorations.

Erudite Stoner is the creation of Matheus Novaes, a guitarist leaning on inspirations from the like of Alcest, Agalloch, Gustavo Santaolalla, and Ulver for his first album. Weaving the potent scents of post-rock, shoegaze, doom, and classical guitar into his sound, the Erudite Stoner freely and so often sublimely caresses ears and strokes the imagination across nine tracks of aural majesty. The pieces of music are the perfect length, never too long and over pushing their persuasive limits but equally never too short and leaving the conjuring of imagery adrift. Together tracks create a seduction hard to get enough of and easy to drift away with time and time again.

The release opens with Spiritual Deliverance, a piece of music initially wrapped in nature’s lonely hug whilst sharing melodic melancholy. A warmth and escape from that harsher climate subsequently surrounds ears, the embrace of acoustic and electric guitar as gentle and descriptive as it is at times dramatically tenacious. It is a bewitching start to the album which continues in the similarly melancholic Alienist. Darker hues line the track’s scenic tempting of melody and tone though, essences flirting with thoughts like shadows in the shade of a lonely yet mesmeric day.

art_RingMasterReviewThrough the emotive fascination of Ride to Nowhere with its sultrily melodic calm and the elegant theatre of Far Away From City Walls, imaginative interpretation and pleasure only increases. The second provokes thoughts of innocent smiling children within depressing and oppressing landscapes; a superb merger of contrasting shades of sound and emotion skilfully woven before the riveting majesty of There is No Home sends the listener into new and quaint but equally cosmopolitan lands.

The song, as with the craft and skill of Novaes, easily inspires praise, their tempting and composing creating the most inspiring and engrossing moment yet within the release though it still gets eclipse by emerging favourite Waiting For the Storm. Listening to the track is like its title’s suggestion with a melodic peace initially romancing ears and attention while around it slightly darker essences are glimpsed and eventfully felt in a dynamic and deliciously intensive finale. The piece is simply irresistible, a rousing companion for ears and thoughts.

The pair of Sand Path and Roads to Somewhere continues to keep both those aspects busy, each providing their own individual and tempting palette of melody and emotive expressive for the listener to wrap themselves in before the brief and folkishly intimate Left Behind brings the thoroughly enjoyable and bewitching adventure to a close.

Erudite Stoner, band and album, is a proposition of sheer beauty which it is hard to imagine anyone failing to be easily touched and seduced by. Go treat yourselves is our sole recommendation.

The Erudite Stoner album is out now @ https://eruditestoner.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/Erudite-Stoner-784870508325321/?fref=ts

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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In Progress – North Atlantic Echoes

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Bracing, seductive, and thoroughly captivating, the sound of US progressive/experimental rock band In Progress is an absorbing evocation which works on the imagination just as potently as ears and emotions. It is a proposition impossible to pin down but easy to embrace as proven by the band’s sophomore album North Atlantic Echoes. Consisting of seven tracks which combine cinematic adventures with emotively driven moods and sultry climactic landscapes, the band’s new release leads senses and thoughts into evocative embraces, enveloping them in atmospheric caresses and imposing yet welcoming ambiences. The closest comparison which comes to mind is Scottish band North Atlantic Oscillation, an encounter the title of the album points at whether intentionally or by coincidence, though ultimately In progress crafts a presence which is distinct to them.

The New York/Los Angeles based band consists of John Dillon (vocals, guitar, bass, programming, and additional keyboards) and Jake Rosenberg (keyboards and additional programming), who take inspirations from artists such as Nine Inch Nails, Tool, Devin Townsend, Faith No More, Thrice, Ulver, Chroma Key, and OSI into their inventive explorations. Their debut album Signal Failure of 2011, which featured drummer Mark Zonder (Warlord, Fates Warning, Slavior), drew good responses from fans and media which with its release a couple of weeks ago, North Atlantic Echoes andits own special guests, most notably keyboardist Kevin Moore (ex-Dream Theater, co-founder of OSI, Chroma Key) and even more experimental and expressive designs has already started emulating.

The warm touch of Tones From a Twisting Verse opens up the immersive embrace of the album, its poetic musical tones immediately caressing senses and thoughts. Keys cast a reflective ambience around the ears, their orchestral grace and smouldering shadows an emotive colour enhanced by the vocal harmonies in flight within. Its scenery unveils within a piano narrative soon joined by the slightly monotone yet warm and melodic delivery of Dillon. The song envelops and leads the imagination into a melancholic and enchanting evocation darkly coloured by the emotional prowess of the duo and their mesmeric sound.

The following Thunderstorms is similarly dark in feel and shadows with a bright bewitching core which glows like a beacon of hope with reflective flames; it a look back to inspirational moments seemingly lost in the drifts of time. As maudlin as its predecessor in many ways, it is also a livelier lucent hug for the imagination; the excellent mellower vocals as transfixing as the inciting words it delivers and the shimmering sounds around them. The song merges dark and light with poise and glorious temptation, becoming a richer potent persuasion with each taking of its provocative account.

The intriguing nintendo-esque rhythmic coaxing of next up Chasing Ghosts, which opens up the track and persists with its kinetic smile throughout, pleasingly leaves expectations lost for words. The track is an evolving drama but an inventively reserved premise for vocals and lyrics to colour with stimulating endeavour. As its predecessors and the album as a whole, the song again grows melancholic seeds into a sonically luminous blossom, its shading and smouldering fire stoked by the additional craft of Moore, the song the first of the trio he joins the band on. Cloudburst straight after is the second. The track has a portentous air to its emergence, epically throated electro expulsions clouding the sky with imposing textures as keys flit through its mass with shards of light and mystery. Dillon is joined vocally by the sirenesque voice of Hwei Ling Ng, their vocal extremes a compelling enticement within an equally captivating climate of sound. With an additional mystique to its melodic waltz and emotional fascination, the track absorbs senses and passions with rhapsodic beauty, its presence urging thoughts at times of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry in their very early synth pop days.

Both North Atlantic and Thorn Yard engulf body and mind in glistering textures and melodic kisses, the first initially glancing across the senses with glimpses of the soon to evolve ambient pop enterprise. It is a firm first touch but feeling more of a caress as the heavier yet and equally celestial embrace of the song takes hold. Graced by the angelic harmonies of Lauren Edwards above and around Dillon and a potent sense of loss which soaks sound and lyrics, this theme common across the release in many personal and easy to relate to guises, the song is another enchantment to drift from reality within. Its climactic build to a somber last hug draws in thoughts and memories ready for its successor whose opening piano and vocal union with a rosy dramatic air to their union sparks thoughts of eighties artists Black, and though its fails to rise to the same heights of earlier songs, the unpredictable flames of effects and fiery crescendos simply enthral.

North Atlantic Echoes is an album which certainly makes a strong suasion in its first encounter but grows into something immensely epic and irresistible over time, final song Graveyard Snowfall with guest touches from again Moore and Edwards, bringing evocative hues to an already spellbinding romance of shadows and lost loves, closing up the tremendous adventure potently. As mentioned the album needs as much time as you can give to reveal the extent of its passions infecting potency but rewards with creative experimentation and emotive emprise which is quite beautiful.

You can stream the album or name your own price for the download at the following link: http://inprogressofficial.bandcamp.com/

 

https://www.facebook.com/inprogressofficial

9/10

RingMaster 03/04/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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