Voyager – Ghost Mile

There is no denying the eager grin which broke upon faces here when the new Voyager album was sent through, having been seriously tempted by the band since their second album uniVers in 2007 and lustfully hooked through their fourth and fifth in the acclaimed shapes of The Meaning of I and V. The later in 2014 set a plateau it was easy to wonder if the Australian band could eclipse thereon in. Hopes and a quiet confidence have just been realised with the release of Ghost Mile, an album which brings a truly fresh breath to progressive metal as instinctively catchy and virulent as it is technically and inventively imaginative.

The success of the Perth quintet’s last album saw the band invited to perform at major festivals such as ProgPower USA, Euroblast Festival in Germany, and the ProgPower Europe Festival in The Netherlands as well as sharing stages with the likes of Deftones, Opeth, Leprous, Protest The Hero, Nightwish, Epica, Oceans of Slumber, and Coheed and Cambria. Voyager ended last year touring Australia with Deftones and Karnivool and being further invitations to play Euroblast and Progpower EU this year, the latter as headliners. Now with Ghost Mile driving things, it is hard to imagine 2017 being anything other than a really busy adventure, one no doubt littered with praise lured by their stunning new album alone.

Mixed by Matthew Templeman and mastered by Simon Strutters, Ghost Mile opens up with Ascension. A golden melody kisses ears first with the warmth and intrigue of a dawn sun, its suggestive air tempting the imagination before bolder rhythms add their bait. Djent teased enterprise is soon joining the blossoming affair, their steely tenacity paving the way for another caress of elegance around the radiant tones of Danny Estrin. As magnetic as ever, his presence is swiftly joined by sturdier textures whilst being the ringleader to an irresistible infectiousness soon fuelling the chorus and body of the evolving encounter. With the suggestive heat of his keytar matched in craft and magnetism by the guitars of Scott Kay and Simone Dow, the song is pure captivation, only increasing its potency as breaks of predacious intent and aggression escape.

The quite stunning start is quickly continued by the equally outstanding Misery Is Only Company. From the off, it has a harder core to its presence, a latent but open intensity which lines jagged riffs and the brooding air of Alex Canion’s bass. There is no containing the instinctive catchiness within songwriting and imagination though, the swinging beats of Ashley Doodkorte inciting similar boisterousness in the resourceful and technical enterprise across the band. Deftones’ Chino Moreno recently likened Estrin’s voice to Duran Duran’s Simon LeBon, something at times easy to agree with and indeed at times the song has something of the British outfit to its pop sensibilities, infectiousness aligning with more predatory essences to masterful effect.

Next up Lifeline initially lays another sunny shimmer on the senses, its progressive aptitude soon courting metallic rapacity though as melodies radiate and vocals warmly croon. Relaxing into a gentle stroll, there is still a constant snarl to the guitars and bass which breeds alluring unpredictability and waiting volatility, the latter never truly having its moment but keeping the calm honest whilst giving the progressive/ pop rock adventuring a threat. As with its predecessors, physically involving the listener is a quick given and with increasingly lust.

The provocative nature of Fragile Serene seduces next, its climate a mix of melancholy and joy with one addictive hook at the heart of a fusion of rich temptations which almost swarm over the senses into the imagination before To The Riverside carries the same fantasy off in its evocative piano led flight towards the waiting more capricious embrace of the album’s title track. From the first second, Ghost Mile has an agitated eagerness which infects body and spirit, the carnivorously laced bass growling beautifully within the fiery but composed roar of the track. Like sonic and melodic alchemy, the song turns four minutes or so into a cauldron of heavy and light, dark and luminous adventure; contrasts uniting rather than battling for the album’s pinnacle.

What A Wonderful Day pretty much sums up the feeling during its three minutes plus, its pop nurtured rock ‘n’ roll as contagious, additive, and arresting as anything heard this year so far. Its warm dance though does have predacious overtones lurking in its shadows, their semi-vocal presence more realised in the tenebrous texture of the following Disconnected, though it is never devoid of the light and vibrancy instinctive to the Voyager imagination. With industrial breath seeping into the track’s progressively nurtured and invasive metal challenge, there is nothing to deter a quick and full submission to its rousing and often caustic incitement.

The enchanting fascinating of This Gentle Earth simply beguiles next, the union of piano and vocals alone sheer seduction and only escalated as rhythms probe and drama floods every rising texture and tendril of contagion sharing sound; an infectiousness belying the emotional reflection of disconnection.

The album finishes with the fiercely charismatic As The City Takes The Night, a track growing from an absorbing tango into a blaze of heart and intensity which smoulders, simmers, and boils across its eventful reflection without ever seemingly taking the same route twice. As the album, the song is a fascination giving more and more with every listen, rewards including pure pleasure.

Expectations of Voyager are always high because of previous triumphs but again left short by an album which will take some shifting from being one major contender for this year’s greatest moment.

Ghost Mile is out now via Nova Distribution across most stores.

http://voyager-australia.com/   https://www.facebook.com/voyageraustralia   https://twitter.com/voyagerau

Pete RingMaster 17/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Figures – Self Titled EP

Figures_RingMasterReview

Melbourne is one of those cities persistently producing exciting new musical proposals and another to strongly add to the long list is Figures. Firmly established and acclaimed in the Australian rock scene, the quintet now have their sights on much broader attention with their self-titled debut EP leading the way. Offering four tracks of melodic/alternative metal with numerous other strains of rock involved, the release is a striking and seriously accomplished encounter with a sound very easy to find a healthy appetite for.

Formed in 2014, Figures has shared stages with the likes of Caligula’s Horse, Twelve Foot Ninja, Superheist and many others since then, luring heavy praise along the way. Their first single Filter equally courted acclaim and attention the way of the band, it taking them across to the US to perform at MUSEXPO’s Global Rock Summit in Los Angeles. Taken from the EP it made for an attention poking lead and gets the release off to a mighty start.

The song’s first touch is a gentle melodic caress, Filter coaxing ears as the guitars of Paul Callow and Simon Edgell wind up their energy and enterprise for the subsequent fire of riffs and grooves. Quickly the swiftly impressive vocals of Mark Tronson shine in their midst as the similarly enticing groan of Jen Fletcher’s bass and the swinging prowess of drummer Josh Sforzin add darker depth and texture to the already compelling blaze. The band has been compared to the likes of Incubus and Karnivool and in some ways you can suggest Circles, Voyager, and to a lesser extent Shattered Skies too though Figures quickly establish their own character in song and release.

cover_RingMasterReviewEqually fiercely robust and enticingly elegant, the song is a formidable introduction strongly backed by its companions starting with Desolate. Quickly the second song sounds very familiar though we cannot remember hearing it prior to the EP yet it cannot stop the fiery serenade of the track seducing ears and passions. Its melodies and harmonies caress the senses, its snarling riffs and boisterous rhythms raising the spirit and though it takes a touch longer to tempt as its predecessor, it blossoms into its equal.

Again making initial contact with a warm lure, Vice soon looms over ears with a web of wiry grooves and intrusive hooks as raw riffs and rapacious rhythms court the ever impressing mix of vocals and harmonies. There is aggression fuelled attitude at the heart of the song, giving it great underlying irritability as its mellower textures spread their charm, a blend sublimely igniting all four songs in varying ways with the closing Emoticonic no exception.

It gets straight down to offering growling confrontation though it is quickly interrupted and thereon in interspersed by washes of melodically inflamed imagination. The spiral of metallic tendrils really hits the spot though from start to finish, the whole song only feeds an already hungry appetite bred by the EP for what Figures have on offer right now and anticipation for their continuing growth.

Already 2017 is proving to be an exciting and impressive surge of emerging bands tempting bigger spotlights with Figures right there on the frontline.

The Figures EP is out now and available @ https://figuresbandofficial.bandcamp.com/releases

http://www.figuresband.com/   https://www.facebook.com/figuresbandofficial

Pete RingMaster 01/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Simpletone – Angels’ Share

the-simpletone-band-pic_RingMasterReview

There are some releases which just demand success. Whether they get it in the increasingly fickle attention of the modern music fan is never a given but Angels’ Share, the new album from British rockers The Simpletone, does all the right things to make that commanding statement.

There is little we can share about the 2010 formed band other than its line-up is made up of John Davison, Craig Seymour, Glenn Eastoe, and Tom Cahill, it hails from St Neots in Cambridgshire, and has previously released the albums, Rampenny in 2012 and Dark Matter two years later, both seemingly well-received propositions. A UK tour with New Model Army in 2014 has been one of many live highlights for the band built on their stirring fusion of heavy and melodic rock with grunge, stoner and numerous other essences. It is a mix of flavours making for a striking proposition and imaginative proposal in Angels’ Share and songs which just roar with anthemic majesty and fiery enterprise.

The first of the ten cuts gripping ears and an early appetite for the band’s invigorating rock ‘n’ roll is Outta Control. Instantly a spicy groove winds around ears, leaning in closer as tenacious rhythms and riffs join its opening bait. Effect coated vocals equally lures keen ears as the song swaggers along with steady but rapacious grooves and a suggestive melody. The restraint stopping the track from exploding as it hints it might throughout is an inspired move, the song teasing and almost taunting along its enterprise shaped body. The heavier throb of bass and flames of harmonies only add to the lure of the song with guitar craft similarly as magnetic.

The following Love Street (Modern Mystery) keeps the rich enticement going with its punk folk lined stroll, simple but potent riffs colluding with swinging beats as vocals paint a suggestive picture. Its catchiness is a swift persuasion rapidly backed by the boisterous antics of the guitars as the track carries on the great variety already showing in the band’s sound, diversity more than confirmed by their mighty new single Storm Chaser. At over eleven minutes it is an epic persuasion which serenades the senses with melodic and harmonic caresses initially before building a bolder energy amidst an addictive rhythmic prowess. Weaving strands of space and progressive rock among other textures into its ever evolving adventure, the song is a kaleidoscope of melody heavy rock drawing on an array of decades while creating its own fresh, individual, and ever changing landscape of imagination. Like a mix of Skyscraper (the nineties UK band), Life of Agony, and Voyager, the track barely feels like its length and relentlessly has the listener compelled.

angels-share-cover_RingMasterReviewThe fact that next up Black Box still manages to eclipse it slightly shows the quality of its own exceptional design. A spirit stoking beast from its first touch, the song canters with muscular tenacity and fiery invention bred to virulent proportions as its mix of hard and heavy rock consumes ears and imagination. The track is exceptional, as punk in many ways as it is feisty rock ‘n’ roll with a drama of character and craft that demands attention and involvement.

Fire in the Sky steps up next with a growl in its basslines and a contagious swing in its rhythms, guitars and vocals dancing within their addictive tempting as soulful blues lined grooves bring an incendiary heat to the proposal. Like a seventies inspired union of Therapy? and Reuben, to try and offer a comparison, the song forcibly hits the spot before making way for the slower stoner-esque prowl of Nehemiah, an incitement pulling sludgy textures into its increasingly exotic and suggestive theatre. It is seriously compelling stuff, another song blossoming through an array of twists and flavours as it grows in ears.

The melodic charm of Day by Day is a similarly riveting proposition, the graceful yet sinewy instrumental finding a place between XTC and Tool as it seduces the imagination, setting it up for electrified air and nature of As Above so Below. Courting ears with a rapaciously formidable core in its raw riffs and bold rhythmic, the track wraps it in a melodic spiciness and mellower harmonic seducing which echoes elements of bands like Bush, Alice In Chains, and Sick Puppies yet sounds little like any.

If we tell you that Easy Come lacks the same galvanic sparks of its predecessors do not mistake it for a weak link within Angels’ Share; the song a highly persuasive slice of rock ‘n’ roll with guitar craft which shines like a beacon as the bass uncages a funk inspired personality. The fact the track is outshone by others is down to their might, a strength revelled in again by album closer Hunters. Whether by coincidence or design, there is a Horslips feel to the song certainly early on, and of fellow Brits KingBathmat but as across the album, things are soon woven into an addiction of sound and creative hooks roaring The Simpletone.

It is a glorious end to one treat of a release which deserves all the praise and attention it should and surely will get. Angels’ Share is another rousing encounter to add to our lustful favourites of 2016 list and no keener a recommendation we can offer.

Angels’ Share is out now across most online stores and on iTunes @ https://itunes.apple.com/album/id1169473074?ls=1&app=itunes

http://www.thesimpletone.com/    https://www.facebook.com/thesimpletoneband/

Pete RingMaster 16/11/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Lithium Dawn – Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension

LithiumDawn1_RingMaster Review

Whether people describe Lithium Dawn as progressive rock or progressive metal, the Californian band’s sound somewhere in between, neither suitably describes the sonic kaleidoscope that turns new album Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension into one of the year’s major treats. Creating an emprise of aural imagination built upon a vast array of styles and flavours, band and album fascinate and enthral throughout their second full-length. The album’s canvas is certainly seeded in progressive adventure but from there it blossoms into an evolving adventure sure to excite fans of anyone from Karnivool and Tool to TesseracT and Opeth to Circles and Voyager, and that still barely covers all of the lures laid by the outstanding Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension.

The successor to debut album AION of 2012, Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension is the result of new growth and bolder invention fuelling the Lithium Dawn sound. Formed by multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Ondrej Tvarozek and drummer/programmer Matt Benoit, a pair who first met way back in 2004 on an online message board, the band released their first album to eager praise, it recorded with the help of new member bassist/guitarist Jens Marcelis. It was a potent start from which the band has impressively blossomed further, all the thick evidence there within their stunning new release.

The album opens with the track Tearing Back the Veil and instantly wraps ears in djent inspired predation aligned to flowing and suggestive keys spun by Aaron Gage. There is immediate drama to the start which never abates even as the track’s atmosphere becomes mellower yet cloudier and its air more sultry and exotic around the impressing tones of Tvarozek. That theatre also comes with a classic rock toning, a scent colluding with Porcupine Tree like elegance and Periphery like technical ferocity as the track evolves within the ears.

LD DIGI COVER FULL_RingMaster Review   It is an enthralling and gripping opening to the album matched by the tantalising majesty of Ascension. Emerging straight out of the alluring breath of its predecessor, the song is quickly weaving into its creative agenda reggae spiced melodic and rhythmic temptation with pulsating echoes of dub ingenuity. Potently backed by the voice of Gage, Tvarozek quickly has ears bending the way of his inviting delivery whilst the senses become enveloped by the intimately haunting yet celestial ambience of keys and guitars. The track is an engrossing endeavour with creative snarls making another seriously enticing aspect to the crystalline character of the track.

The individual craft of the band is as stirring and impressive as the sonic poetry they cast and welcoming to additional enterprise like that of guest guitarist Sithu Aye who brings a gripping solo to Point of No Return. The song twists and turns as it seduces ears and imagination, the great volatility of its jagged scenery and imposing attitude perfectly merged with its harmonic heart and melodic tempting. Confrontational and seductively immersive in equal measure, the track is a tapestry of creative imagination and emotive exploration spun in a web of diverse flavours and tones. At times it is jazzy, in other moments an emotive croon, and at times even an aggressively imposing incitement, but from start to finish it simply beguiles.

An already happy appetite for the release is made greedier still by the following Decimator, a primal but majestic involvement of the senses which flows seamlessly through again contrasts in texture and sonic attitude to entice and thrill. Throughout it can be as bestial as a Meshuggah offering and as warmly seductive as an instrumental flight with Heights, and with another guest in Plini providing a potent solo, it powerfully intrigues and pleases before making way for the darker shadows and emotion of Selfcollapse. Immediately a hue of turbulence lines its opening tempting, gaining thicker persuasion as guitars and bass sculpt a tempestuous canvas for vocal flames and the mesmeric lure of keys to share the track’s evocative narrative upon. Again there is the sense of a predator to the nature and tone of the outstanding track, prowling and urging with invasive bait as a melodic haunting permeates thoughts and emotions.

The pair of Synchronicity, with its otherworldly serenade, and the lively lapping of the senses that is Tidal keep ears and pleasure full with their unique natures and imaginative portraits in sound whilst Spires cradles the listener in melodic arms and inviting melancholic strings within another multi-coloured immersion of sound and ethereal temptation. All three absorb and transfix, successes matched by the mazy entangling of contrasting yet fluidly aligning textures and sonic colours that is Labyrinthian and after that by the mystique charged, sonically fiery B’ak’tun, which is set up firstly by the shamanic coaxing of short piece Incantation. As proven here and time and time again across the album, words only give a glimpse of the richness in sound and invention making up the tracks within Tearing Back The Veil I: Ascension, and as shown by B’ak’tun too, just when you think you have it all, another listen unveils a little more to the alchemy conjuring such intensively immersive incitements.

The album is brought to a close by the gentle romance on ears of Horizon and finally the brief atmospheric grumble of Edge of the Earth, confrontation and beauty merged for a closing instrumental exploration. It sums up the whole album, contrasting tones and layers wrapped in evocative expression to spark mind and body into full involvement.

To simplify it all, Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is a gorgeous album; one demanding of your time and concentration but rewarding with one of the year’s biggest triumphs.

Tearing Back the Veil I: Ascension is out now @ http://lithiumdawn.bandcamp.com

https://www.facebook.com/lithiumdawn

Pete RingMaster 09/12/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Unified Past – Shifting The Equilibrium

Unified Past_RingMaster Review

The two years between previous album Spots and its successor Shifting The Equilibrium has taken US progressive rock band Unified Past to a new level. It is fair to say that previous offerings from the band have garnered acclaim and impressed, especially the excellent Spots but the band’s new album is a stirring adventure in songwriting, sound, and imagination which walks a new plateau. The time has also seen the trio of guitarist/keyboardist Steve Speelman, drummer Victor Tassone, and bassist Dave Mickleson expand with the addition of vocalist Phil Naro, another potent new breath to the Unified Past temptation.

Formed in 1984 by Speelman and Tassone, New York hailing Unified Past has increasingly garnered acclaim with their rich mix of sound and live presence. A sextet of albums over the years has earned the band the reputation of being one captivating and fiercely accomplished proposition, each release, as Spots to Shifting The Equilibrium, seeing sound and band grow in craft and invention, not forgetting success. Equally individual experiences has seen original band members working and playing with the likes of Chief Big Way, Belladonna, The Colin Tench Project, Oceans 5, and Reaching Ground Project. Naro too has a spicy pedigree behind him having worked with Peter Criss, Lou Gramm, Carmine Appice, Billy Sheehan, and Brian May amongst many. More impressively though is the creative and musical unity the foursome have developed; Spots impressed but Shifting The Equilibrium comes with a new roar of striking invention.

artwork_RingMaster Review The album begins with Erasure Principle, a flight of melodic exploration across a sinew woven landscape. From its first breath crystalline keys lay an inviting haze within which the guitar spins a web of sonic enticement. Straight away there is scent particular to Unified Past washing the track and the emerging tapestry of sound, a flowing fusion of seventies and eighties rock with a modern progressive imagination. Naro swiftly impresses as a new vibrancy from his voice hits the song and sound, his tones dramatic yet honed to sit perfectly with the music around him. Inspirations to Unified Past include artists such as Dream Theater, Rush, Yes; each open spices to the album but as here, primarily just adding rosy hues to the band’s own distinct endeavour.

It is a potent start to the release but soon eclipsed by the even more striking Smile (In the Face of Adversity). Keys again bring that colour of nostalgia to the expressive weave of guitar whilst vocals melodically seduce as a quickly bred drama stirs ears and appetite with an epic tone merging intimidation and fiery beauty into the diverse kaleidoscope of sound and craft shaping the outstanding track. Keys wise a whiff of The Stranglers’ Dave Greenfield adds to the perpetually blooming excitement and theatre, but as in all proposals within the album, everywhere you look and turn the quartet is creating an intricately involved, fiercely imaginative, and wholly contagious incitement.

Etched in Stone takes over next with an orchestral air to the creative intimacy of its persuasion, again the band skilled at mixing contrasting layers and depths of sound as Naro reveals the lyrical heart. The bass of Mickleson is seriously compelling, its dark grouchy tone a predacious edge to the captivating maze conjured by Speelman via guitar and keys. The further into its adventure the imagination goes the more cosmopolitan and mystical the song becomes, a middle eastern flavouring joining the endearing bait offered throughout and though it is an eleven minute flight, such its rich and busy invention, the track seems over in a flash.

It is a fascinating quality to all tracks, their meaty lengths more like fleeting moments as busy adventure grips ears from within the whole emprise of Shifting The Equilibrium, the slightly shorter Peace Remains in the World another example as its Tool meets Porcupine Tree meets Pink Floyd like tempestuous calm, hooks and seduces ears and appetite from start to finish. A carnivorous funk tempting from Mickleson especially hits the spot, its creative belligerence matched by the resourceful swings of Tassone as melodies, acidic and warm, entangle around them.

The instrumental majesty of Deviation from a Theme (of Harmonic Origin) transports the listener into an exotic labyrinth of suggestiveness and provocative sound, proving that it is not only the addition of Naro which has been a blossoming aspect to the Unified Past proposal.

The album is completed by the vast soundscape of Today is the Day, a bewitching enticing of melodic scenery and evocative textures in a constantly evolving experience for song and listener. Like a link-up between Yes and Voyager, it is an enthralling and gripping end to a mighty temptation.

It is weird to say after the length of the time that Unified Past has been around and frequently impressing so many, that Shifting The Equilibrium is a coming of age to the band’s sound but in some ways it is though. Bottom-line though is that it is a highly flavoursome and skilfully varied slice of progressive rock hard that even more are going to get a potent kick out of.

Shifting The Equilibrium is out now digitally and on CD via Melodic Revolution Records @ http://melodicrevolutionrecords.com/album/shifting-the-equilibrium

http://www.unifiedpast.com/Unified_Past  https://www.facebook.com/Unifiedpast

Pete RingMaster 24/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

Teramaze – Her Halo

Pic RadioHaloPhotography

Pic RadioHaloPhotography

The beginning of Australian progressive metallers Teramaze go back to the mid to late nineties but it is in the last handful of years that the band has finally sparked rich attention on a broader scale. The Melbourne quartet is giving it another hefty nudge with their new album Her Halo too, a compelling and at times bewitching affair for ears and imagination. Bulging with eight tracks of progressive beauty and technical prowess, the release is a fiery seduction and impassioned tempest; a fascinating flight through a sound consistently evolving whilst weaving in an expansive array of sonic colour and styles. Imagine Circles, Voyager, and Native Construct merged and you get a sense of Her Halo and the invigorating music of Teramaze.

Formed by lead guitarist/producer Dean Wells, it has been since the release of third album Anhedonia in 2012, that the band really began luring potent spotlights their way. The acclaimed release was the first to show an evolution in the foursome’s earlier, apparently more thrash seeded sound; the moment that Teramaze began emerging as the protagonists exciting ears with their latest offering now. That earlier release’s predecessor, Esoteric Symbolism in 2014, continued the shift in invention and direction, its reward equally concentrated acclaim which is now eclipsed on all counts by Her Halo. The new encounter is also their first for Music Theories Recordings/Mascot Label Group and features new vocalist Nathan Peachey, his tones one of the numerous things swiftly impressing in opener An Ordinary Dream.

teramaze-cover_RingMaster ReviewThe fourteen minute track drifts in on a chilled wind and a breeze of sepia hued emotive sound, its evocative coaxing on the turn of a breath soon a melodic caress of guitar with drama fuelled keys in close attention. In a few seconds more, that erupts into a flame of sonic enterprise from Wells matched by the darker rumbles of bass and beats from Luis Eguren and Dean Kennedy respectively. The entrance of Peachey’s outstanding voice and delivery opens the way for even more choice textures and melodic slithers to join the growing tapestry of adventure and temptation; electronic twists, rapacious rhythms, and rising columns of intensity in the spirals of sonic endeavour only adding to the busy but uncluttered web of sound. Across its length, the track moves through similarly evolving landscapes of emotion and creative suggestiveness too, each woven with a new and fresh array of varied sound and ideation.

It is a glorious and transfixing start to Her Halo, and sublimely backed by the darker embrace of To Love, A Tyrant. From its scene setting first tempting, there is a sinister and thick shadowed nature to the song, one which continues to coat the walls and line the eventful theatre of the track. With Wells a potent backing to Peachey, vocals once more flame with rich expression and harmonics whilst the former’s guitar craft is an inescapable net of tenacious and stirring resourcefulness. Fair to say though, that every member and aspect of song and album is a thick incitement for ears and a quickly hungry appetite for the release.

The album’s title track glows and rumbles next, Peachey again outstanding within the matching strength of the dynamics and the provocative textures smouldering and in turn blazing within the lava of captivation. The song is bewitching, with a steely strength to it as riveting and incendiary as the melodic mesmerism fuelling its heart, though it is quickly eclipsed by Out of Subconscious, a rousing Dream Theater-esque fire of emotional reflection and soaring, celestial graced flames. It provides a maelstrom of avant-garde, jazz, and progressive intrigue for the imagination to grab hold of, in turn keeping ears and attention engrossed with once more the band’s skill of unpredictability a seamless roar of pleasure.

   For The Innocent also has a heavy and dark air to its diversely flavoured canvas, upon which the bass prowls, the guitar conjures, and vocals spread a resonating collusion of enterprise held in a gripping rhythmic web spun by Eguren. Admittedly the track does not hit the same sweet spot as the trio of tracks before it but only engages a willing body and soul in its perpetually blossoming depths before Trapeze has the imagination twisting and conjuring with its pungent instrumental theatre of suggestiveness and creative alchemy.

The mesmeric croon of Broken steps forward next, vocals and acoustic sound a warm but melancholic hug which only becomes more provocative and magnetic with every passing minute, time again seeing the band seamlessly flow through contrasting elements sculpted with raw emotion and that constant element of surprise. They are traits every song is seeded in as shown one final time within the lengthy creative saunter of Delusions of Grandeur. As the expansive body of the first song on Her Halo, the ten minutes making up the closing emprise of idea, skill, and emotion never feels a moment too long thanks to its organically evolving imagination of sound which never stands still whether across the whole of the hefty soundscape of invention or simply one of its potent minutes.

The track is a masterful end to a mighty release, one which impresses first time around but really comes into its own over numerous, increasingly exciting plays. Progressive metal has had quite a few rich treats in 2015, this is another and amongst its biggest.

Her Halo is out now via Music Theories Recordings through most stores.

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https://twitter.com/teramazemusic

Pete RingMaster 12/11/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Exxasens – Back To Earth

cover_RingMaster Review

Sheer captivation for ears and imagination, Back To Earth is as much a rich flight of suggestion as it is a sonic portrait. It offers a persistently evolving journey within its walls which leads every single involvement in that spatial adventure breeding new and different explorations within the imagination. The new album is the new offering from Spanish rock band Exxasens who weave a revolving kaleidoscope of post and space rock which equally draws on other potent flavours immersed in ambient majesty. There is an almost exhausting richness and density to the textures and creative hues crafted within the release and it is fair to say everything together leaves ears and imagination basking.

Exxasens was originally the solo project of Barcelona guitarist/programmer Jordi Ruiz (Playmotive, Kyba) who took the inspiration of space and “particularly those that have voyaged heroically into its heart of darkness” as the spark to his compositions and explorations. That theme has continued to be the incitement across each song crafted and proposition released, starting from debut album Polaris, released by ConSouling Sounds in 2008. Its successor Beyond The Universe the following year, again via the same label, awoke greater attention as Ruiz’s predominantly instrumental soundscapes continue to grow and expand as the realm they explored. Eleven Miles came next, released in 2011 on Aloud Music Ltd who also provided the vehicle for the critically acclaimed Satellites to be devoured through two years later. Since then Exxasens has grown to a quartet with bassist Cesc Cespedes, keyboardist Sergio Ledesma, and drummer Oriol Planells linking up with Ruiz, and now unveiling the eight track absorption that is Back To Earth.

From the sultrily alluring charm of Supernova, the album bewitches and involves the listener. The opener casts a smooth yet invigorated adventure through gentle and seductive spatial caresses edged by more volatile rhythmic agitation. Endearing melodies slip from the guitars like ripe fruit from a tree whilst the keys are more mist like with an equal potency on ears and thoughts. Their lures are aligned to dramatic rhythms which just intensify as the song’s atmosphere becomes increasingly fiery. It is a thrilling and enthralling take off for the album which My Hands Are Planets hones into its own energetically ethereal insight. As across most tracks there is a loneliness echoed by the sounds but one which simultaneously welcomes attention with a warm tempting; these reassuring colours and atmospherics portrayed through rousing melodies and evocative synth cast seducing.

Comparisons to the like of Mogwai and 65daysofdstatic have been lent the band previously and indeed towards Back To Earth, easy to understand why with the masterful entwining of sounds and elements within tracks like Hugeness and Oniria’s Interlude, though all tracks certainly spin their own identity with the first of this pair courting a more rugged and rocky scenery of textures and energy where extremes embroil in each other’s beauty, often with whirlpool like tenacity and appetite. Additionally enriched by a melodic choir like array of voices at one point, the track is superb, rousing the energies before its successor calms them back down with its radiant melodies and provocative stringed beauty. Its irresistible charm leads ears and emotions into the exhilarating multi-toned depths of Your Dreams Are My Dreams and another ever changing and compelling emprise of sound and suggestiveness.

Bright Side Of The Moon has a more exotic air as Porcupine Tree like flames incite within an increasingly mercurial atmosphere. It is a tempting which becomes more aggressively arousing and in turn intoxicating with every twisting groove and fiercely expressive sonic enticement before Saturn comes forward with new provocative exploits. With vocals for the only time on the album a prominent and highly agreeable proposal and texture, the track is as fascinating as it is electrifying, its Tool meets Voyager meets God Is An Astronaut an easy immersion.

Completed by its rhythmically galvanic, melodically spellbinding, and sonically searing title track, Back To Earth just takes you to other realms and new climates with fresh awareness of sound and in one’s own thoughts. Quite simply the album is glorious and Exxasens an incitement to real musical adventure all should partake in.

Back To Earth is available now via Aloud Music Ltd in Europe, the Ricco Label in Asia (Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia), and Rock-House in Russia.

Pete RingMaster 08/09/2015

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