Figures – Chronos

Barely giving the acclaim laden dust time to settle after the release of their self-titled debut EP this past February, Australian outfit Figures have just unleashed its predecessor in the similarly striking and fiercely enjoyable shape of Chronos. Offering five more slices of the Melbourne quintet’s alternative rock/melodic metal blend, the EP also has a new fresh breath and seeming richer maturity which defies the mere four months between releases. Obviously we cannot say when the songs of either release were written but the step is maybe surprising but greedily taken as Chronos eclipses the equally outstanding first offering from the band.

Formed as 2013 turned into its successor, Figures has risen up the ranks of attention with notably increasing success in recent times due to that critically acclaimed first EP and a dynamic live presence which has already seen the band  share stages with the likes of Caligula’s Horse, Twelve Foot Ninja, and Superheist. Broader focus and support for the band has without doubt been aroused these past handful of months and is sure to escalate again as Chronos is discovered by more and more. Instantly it has ears and attention in the palms of its creative hands as opener Recoil raggedly simmers into view and proceeds to uncage a gnarly groove as primal as it is magnetic. The guitar continues to growl and tempt as the lively rhythms of drummer Josh Sforzin and Jen Fletcher’s moody bassline join the blossoming affair; vocalist Mark Tronson soon in the mix with his agitated roar. Predatory and magnetic, the track needs mere seconds to entrap the senses and imagination, sealing the deal as Tronson’s melodic prowess unites with his rawer tones as steely metal and melodic rock textures equally collude.

The stunning start is matched by the equally dramatic and even bolder exploits of Alpha. Guitarists Paul Callow and Simon Edgell spring a lure of wiry riffs and sonic temptation around the harmonic delivery of Tronson, though as the music he allows harsher textures to escape his throat to keeps things unpredictable. Virulently infectious and persistently imaginative, the song is pure captivation; its heart earnest and body a tapestry of melodic and sonic intrigue with just the right richness of volatility to keep things intensely fascinating.

Tied Around follows, winding brooding grooves around ears as Fletcher’s bass groans with matching seduction while again Tronson enthrals with his impressive vocals. There is an agitation in the riffs and beats of Sforzin which is transferred to the steely grooves but tempered by the elegant beauty of melodies and harmonies floating across the song’s inner oasis. As with the first pair, creative magnetism is at play sparking an elevated greed which Point of Doubt feeds with its cosmopolitan almost shamanic nature. Sultrily exotic melodies align with anthemic rhythms within the song’s fiery blaze, its riveting landscape tempestuously sharing warm and irritable climates.

The EP concludes with Crying Door, a mellow melancholy lined croon shaped by keys and voice and their suggestive beauty, Tronson again a magnet in its midst. Darker hues walk the song’s edge, bassy shadows lurking as skittish beats court a more portentous edge. It is an entrancing close to a second seriously striking encounter with Figures. Musically the band has been compared to the likes of Incubus, Deftones, and Karnivool, all justified but add a touch of Voyager and possibly even Porcupine Tree and you get a fuller impression of what, to be honest, is a sound distinct to one truly exciting proposition.

Chronos is out now @ https://figuresbandofficial.bandcamp.com/album/chronos and other online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 21/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Slug Comparison – IIa

photo by Peter Wiholm

As the world and age wears down the ability to be truly surprised and equally finding many things to be   especially excited by, there is one thing which does get the juices flowing and that is something new from Slug Comparison. That kind of anticipation springs from being enthralled by its first single Bringer of Doom and subsequently hooked on a following self-titled debut album back in 2014 and has now been seriously rewarded with new EP IIa.

For those yet to discover the glory of Slug Comparison, it is the solo project of Doug Harrison, the vocalist/guitarist of the similarly tempting Canadian progressive rock outfit Fen, they not to be confused with the British black metallers of the same name. Harrison’s sound has already proved to be is an instinctively bold and imaginative embracing of various rock bred styles and textures while involving ears and thoughts with an intimacy which maybe can only emerge within a solo endeavour. It has been a quiet time on the Slug Comparison front recently with Harrison being afflicted by tendinitis last year which brought his work on new tracks to a temporary halt; being unable to play and compose as is his process on the guitar. He is back now though and returns with the first in a series of EPs, a trio of songs produced by Doug Fury with Harrison which simply ignites the senses and imagination like never before.

Drawing on the craft of Fen guitarist Sam Levin, bassist Mike Young from The Devin Townsend Band, and Randall Stoll of Congenital Fixation to bring his new tracks to life, the latter pair having helped out previously on that first album, Harrison instantly captivates attention with opener Let Some Light. The lure of acoustic guitar hungrily caresses ears initially, it’s tempting soon joined and enhanced by Harrison’s distinctive and ever compelling vocals and the darker hues of bass and beats. Melodies ignite across the infectious canter of the song, opening like suggestive blooms as voice shares emotion and reflection with harmonic and earnest dexterity. Heavier rock strains add to the evolving landscape of the song, essences of blues and classic rock colouring more progressive and folkish essences though it all joins and emerges as something with its own character and style. The track is simply delicious, infectious and emotive while involving body and thought with sublime ease and craft; escalating all attributes with its unpredictability.

The opener also reveals a new organic catchiness in Harrison’s music without defusing the imagination and established individuality of sound exposed within his debut album. That infectiousness is even more virulent in the following Exactly What to Do. If its predecessor is irresistible, the second track is alchemy for the spirit, the track instantly grabbing hips and instincts with its swinging gait and a rock ‘n’ roll hunger soon joined by an addiction inciting chorus. Spicy grooves and grungy rapacity adds to the contagious theatre of the song, every catchy twist and seductive turn a spark to involvement and lusty pleasure. At times there are hints at the likes of Porcupine Tree, Voyager, and Katatonia within the adventure but again no more than scents in its own rich roar.

Becoming completes the EP, a gentle stroll of a song with Harrison and acoustic guitar again an engaging hug welcoming ears into the intimacy and heart of the song. A smouldering persuasion compared to the forceful exploits of the first two tracks, it still needs little time to unite with thoughts and appetite as ears get lost in its melodic wiring and descriptive beauty.

Even with an instinctive connection with the sounds of Slug Comparison because of those earlier temptations, IIa still left a surprise spawned open mouth behind on its first listen and a greed for much more thereon in. Doug Harrison has hit yet another plateau with his own writing and music and indeed for us eclipsed anything from Fen to date too; time the world caught on we say.

The IIa EP is out now and available @ https://slugcomparison.bandcamp.com/album/iia as a name your own price download.

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Pete RingMaster 13/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Zedi Forder – Self Titled

Some bands and artists just click with ears and imagination from their introduction and for us one was definitely UK trio Zedi Forder. Maybe it is more accurate to say the creative force behind the band crafted the connection because previous adventures for the duo of vocalist/drummer/primary songwriter Chris Kerley and guitarist Mark Carstairs have equalled seriously enticed and stoked the passions. They are also the creators of Tricore, An Entire Legion, and Rind Skank; all distinctly individual bands releasing some of the most exciting and imaginative adventures in recent years though each being sadly missed or ignored by a tide of major attention. Zedi Forder is their latest project, with bassist Richard Tomsett alongside, creating a bold and multi-flavoured mix of alternative metal and voracious rock ‘n’ roll which fuels a self-titled debut album that quite simply deserves greed driven recognition.

In some ways because of previous seductions of our passions, Zedi Forder get a head start in a want, or should that be need, to hear its exploits and an assumption of having some level of appetite for what may be on offer. Equally though, it makes expectations much more demanding and triggers the question of can the band create something unique and fresh enough to be truly new from past endeavours as much as those around them. Many bands or musicians struggle in one guise but across a few it is a rare success. The release of an also self-titled EP in 2015 suggested the Woking hailing outfit could and would, their first album now a striking confirmation going well beyond simply bearing out that proposal though understandably it also gives delicious slithers teasing at earlier explorations which adds to rather than defuses the originality.

The Zedi Forder bio says it is a band with a split personality. “One side is driven by the musical aim of being bold and ever hopeful. The other side is fearless and judgmental, with music that reflects this.” The album certainly reflects this suggestion, its songs, sometimes within themselves, twisting from creatively free-swinging and swashbuckling to imaginatively mischievous on to proposals forceful and emotionally edgy and cutting but all crafted with an instinct for rousing sounds, manipulative rhythms, and daring diversity.

The album opens up with Killakarta and instantly consumes ears with rapacious riffs and jabbing beats as a bass growl courts a thick wiry groove. Kerley’s distinctive and ever magnetic vocals are soon in the heart of the mix, steering the song’s muscular stroll with expression and flair. That initial groove, carrying a growl far more vocal in the bass of Tomsett, winds around the imagination; it trespass enjoyably toxic and addictively refreshing. A slip into a mellow climate is just as tempting, accentuating the song’s unpredictability before being overwhelmed by a more primal expulsion of sound and intensity, reclaiming its moment as a great jazzy lilt infests the bass.

Seductive and predatory in equal measure, the track is a glorious start to an emprise of imagination and craft backed by the arguably less mercurial Machines though it is no slouch in raising its temperature and dynamics across a persistently eventful body. Kerley’s beats bite as Carstairs’ melodies spin a web of suggestion; his trap of enterprise further ignited by possibly the most virulent and catchy hook lined groove you will hear this year.

Dark Mook is a kaleidoscope of sound and texture, its opening noisy glaze slipping into a funky pop tinged stroll of melody and harmony before grungier flames escape guitars and bass as Kerley consistently croons with his never wavering melodic dexterity before I’m the one offers its own individual tempting for an already aroused and on the brink of lustful appetite. The fourth track also opens with a bracing surge of raw sound but is soon entangling the listener in a flirtatiously earthy bassline with funk in its genes and as quickly catchy vocals and beats with a sense of devilry in their gait. Carstairs’ weave of melodic teasing is a riveting net to get caught up in, ensnaring the senses before things get dirty and feisty though Kerley is still keeping the instinctive catchiness flowing in touch as the track to re-establishes its unbridled virulence. The song is another early pinnacle; an irresistible treat with a great 12 Stone Toddler meets KingBathmat scent to its revelry.

Darker shadows wrap the melodic beauty and volatile turbulence of next up My Moon, the song drawing on electronic tenacity to colour its variable and perpetually alluring atmosphere above a rugged terrain of invention. Across its roar, thoughts pluck at comparisons to the likes of Sick Puppies, Voyager, and Soundgarden; all slightly inaccurate but potent hints to the great track.

The grin loaded Nachoman comes next, the song a compelling tongue in cheek but earnest tease of social commentary. It has voice and hips hooked within its opening Red Hot Chili Peppers smoked swerve and only proceeds to tighten its vice like grip through heavier spices and inventive condiments of sound while Open Wide grabs attention with a bullish tirade of sound before flirtatiously dancing in ears with its Jane’s Addiction like funk metal meets System Of A Down seeded versatility. Melodies and emotions fluctuate in character and intensity across the song, as too vocals and rhythms with the latter an evolving torrent of enticement and aggression.

They love it more is a cyclone of sound and energy within an oasis of reflection and melody, never truly settling but always in control of its volcanic fusion of rock and metal while successor Smooch is a predator of hips and imagination with its boisterous shuffle courted by barbarous rhythms and emerging sonic hostility again spurned on by the spiky beats of Kerley and the irritable tone of Tomsett’s bass. With an infection loaded and at times psychotic groove sharing lures with an inherent catchiness, the track as its predecessor hits the spot dead centre, burrowing deeper with every listen, as quite simply does the album.

The growling Time after time leaves no stone of temptation unturned, its grunge/metal snarl maybe the most creatively untwisted track on the release but as bold and naturally infectious as any others such as the following On the run, a slab of classic metal and heavy rock with a nod to the likes of Zeppelin and Sabbath in its heart infused with the progressive and melody conjuring imagination of Zedi Forder.

Though not the actual final song, Lonely One closes things off with its melodically haunting, sonically searing, and rhythmically imposing blaze which alone shares all you need to know to hear why its creators warrant unbridled attention.

With a bonus quartet of mesmeric acoustic tracks which alone prove why we rate Kerley as a vocalist so much, each also unveiling a new drama and shade to the original’s aspects, the album is manna for body and soul and a real bargain as it seems it is being released as a name your own price download. Covering their first EP we said “it would be rude not to go off and discover its majesty “, for the album substitute ‘rude’ for ‘stupid’ because you will surely not hear anything more gripping and exciting than what Zedi Forder have in lying wait.

The Zedi Forder album is released June 10th wit pre-ordering available now @ https://tricore.bandcamp.com/album/zedi-forder-the-album-out-10th-june-pre-order-to-get-4-tracks-entire-flame-wiz-album-now

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Pete RingMaster 02/06/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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

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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

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