Sandness – Higher & Higher

We cannot say that seventies/eighties metal and hard rock are flavours which light our fires too often but it is fair to say that Higher & Higher, the new album from Italian outfit Sandness ticked many boxes of enjoyment whilst embracing exactly those styles. It is a release which initially struggled to spark the imagination but song by song, listen by listen, grew to be a thoroughly engaging and pleasurable affair; not without flaws but inciting an appetite to hear more from and follow the band as they realise the open potential within the release ahead.

Hailing from Rovereto in southern Trento, Sandness started out in 2008; formed by teenage friends, bassist/vocalist Mark Denkley and drummer/vocalist Metyou ToMeatyou. Inspired by the likes of Mötley Crüe, Crashdiet, Poison, Hanoi Rocks, W.A.S.P., The Ramones, Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and the likes, the band soon honed its eighties toned sound. A few line-up changes ensued before the current line-up was secured with the addition of guitarist/vocalist Robby Luckets in 2009. Subsequent years has seen the trio support the likes of Adam Bomb, L.A. Guns, and Tygers Of Pan Tang, play across their homeland as well as undertake several European tours and take the stage at the renowned Glam Fest in France. Two demos, Return To Decadence in 2010 and especially Life Without Control the following year, lured strong attention though it was debut album Like An Addiction in 2013 which really sparked a more global awareness of their sound. Now Higher & Higher, released as its predecessor by Sleaszy Rider Records, is stoking up a new wave of fans and though we might not be leading the surge, reasons are readily apparent as to why its fresh success in persuasion .

The album opens with You Gotta Lose, a track which failed to tempt the first time and still labours trying to convince. Opening with a blast of group vocals and predictable eighties riffery, the song soon reveals a snarl which grabs attention but one as quickly tempered by the again familiar harmonic wash of voices.  It is hard to pin down exactly what is lacking within the track other than it just does not appeal to personal tastes but it is a decent start swiftly left sounding pale as the album takes off starting with next up Street Animals. The second song similarly offers a recognisable melodic welcome but is soon spinning its own web of hooks and twists; some unique some familiar but a great fusion creating flavoursome rock ‘n’ roll. Without reading the influences on Sandness, they are easy to guess from this song alone and as suggested eagerly employed by the band in their blossoming character of sound.

The individual prowess of each member is just as open in the track and equally next up Hollywood. Prowling ears initially, it soon whips out some Billy Idol spiced hooks and other moments which are vaguely System Of A Down like in nature. As the album, it is a song which grows and seduces more and more with every listen, its increasingly imaginative nature richly engaging before the melodic croon of Promises in turn captivates. With an increasing fire in its belly inciting a great bass grumble, the song quickly establishes itself as a major highlight of the release, musically and vocally hitting a high.

Through the vocally unstable but ultimately enjoyable Sunny Again and the boisterous hard rock of One Life there is little not too like even if neither can live up to their predecessor while the short poetic instrumental of Light In The Dark captivates before Heat lives up to its name with some quite irresistible fiery grooves against another great grouchy mix of bass and drums, the former the persistent provider of potent bait across the whole of Higher & Higher. With its blues scented flames, the song is another peak in the album as too the power pop rock romp of its successor Perfect Machine. There are no major surprises but a stream of hooks and flirtatious tempting which has body and voice quickly involved and enjoying every second.

The album is at its best by this point, Monster Inside Me backing up the previous two with its own tenacious glam/heavy metal stomp and mix of imaginative features and matched in potency by the groove woven Play With Fire, its prime lures striking as the band revels in its eighties inspirations once again.

Closing with the hearty and increasingly volatile balladry of Will You Ever, a song like the opener it was hard to connect with personally, Higher & Higher provides an increasingly compelling proposition easy to suggest fans of eighties metal and rock especially take a close look at. Sandness is never going to be the first thought when choosing the soundtrack for our day but with Higher & Higher they are going to be considered more than many others bands, for others they will be a long term involvement.

Higher & Higher is available now through Sleaszy Rider Records @ http://www.sandnessofficial.com/shop/ and other online stores.

http://www.sandnessofficial.com/    https://www.facebook.com/Sandnessband

Pete RingMaster 19/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Contemplating Leaving Eden

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It is quite simple. Leaving Eden is a band which demands attention with a sound and creative flair that persistently captures the imagination drawing an ever growing following simultaneously. Their ear catching and thought provoking music has help lead the band to sharing stages with hundreds of the biggest national bands in the world and tours across numerous countries. We managed to grab some time with Eric from the band to learn more about Leaving Eden and what makes them tick…

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

Can you first introduce the band?

Hi, great chatting with you also.

Eve: Lead Vocals

Ryan: Manning Drums

Johhny V: Bass

I’m Eric Gynan: Guitarist, vocals, Keys.

Have you been involved in other bands before? If so has that had any impact on what you are doing now?

Yes we’ve all been in various bands along the way and learning from the past always gives you a jump on the future.

What inspired the band name?

Leaving Eden came to be simply that this planet is like the Garden of Eden right, with all of its corruption; wouldn’t it be nice to take off and go somewhere else to visit? Lol.

Was there any specific idea behind the forming of the band and also in what you wanted it to offer and does that intent still drive the band or has it evolved over time?

Definitely we have evolved. I think you have to in order to change with the times so long as it’s better. It’s important though to maintain your individuality. For us we set out to be different. Quick story here, we went to this huge studio once where bands like Seven Dust, The Rolling Stones and Boston recorded. The person there brought out a white board in the conference room and drew a box. They said you are here, pointing outside the box and you need to be here, pointing inside the box. I immediately said wait, are you telling us we need to be in that box?  They said well yes I guess I am. I said thank you very much and got up and walked out. I get it, if you wanna ride a wave and be like everyone else on that moment of time, they can easily slip you into a genre. For us though it’s hard to just slip us in to any particular genre. We won the best Hardcore act in New England and I thought that was funny because they couldn’t find the appropriate Genre for us. We stay true no matter what the times may change to our roots, Rock Music.

Since your early days, how would you say your sound has evolved and has that been an organic movement or you guys deliberately heading in certain directions?

I think being a recording artist, endlessly recording and working with some incredible recording engineers like Johnny K (Disturbed, Pop Evil) you learn what it really takes. When they say they will go through your music with a fine tooth comb, they mean that literally that down to the 64th beat your music will be scrutinized for perfection. Ya know good bad or indifferent, when you listen to the radio, you may not like the band you’re listening to but aside from that, you will NEVER hear something that’s not polished. It’s gotta be perfect or you’ll never make it to the radio. With this on mind, you take this knowledge of being tight to the live performance and it makes all the difference in the world. This is why some bands may record a great album but when you see them live, it’s just not the same. We try and stay true to our recordings.  We also evolve in that area after the recording we may change it up live where we may think we’ve built upon that foundation.

art_RingMasterReviewPresumably across the band there is a wide range of inspirations; are there any in particular which have impacted not only on the band’s music but your personal approach and ideas to creating and playing music?

I think all of us are inspired by what we like as far as taste in other bands music. For us what greatly inspires us is that organic sound that manifests itself in a way that is kind of like connecting the dots. We feel that Leaving Eden learns from the past, encompasses the present and forges the future. Any band that has been in the gutters not in the limelight, they’re the ones whom always forged the future. This is why we named our last album Pinnacle…Because it’s at that pinnacle where trends will be forged.

Is there a particular process to the band’s songwriting?

Sure. For me I connect with the Universe in a way that opens my mind to listening. I use my fingers as kind of line antennas to pick up the frequencies, as strange as that sounds, if you listen, you can hear the music that lyrics, melodies and harmonies completely produced. Just gotta transfer that info to the recording. Then the rest of the band puts their stamp on it and presto, there’s a new song. I’ve even felt the influence of dead poets coming through. Sometimes I feel like I really can’t even take credit for the songs as they’ve come from somewhere else. It’s a deep meditative state of mind that brings these ideas into fruition.

Where do you, more often than not, draw the inspirations to the lyrical side of your songs?

Great question… Our songs speak from experience, life’s experiences…Sometimes good but mostly bad lol. Bad in the way of getting screwed, for instance our song Tied and Bound comes from the frustration of the music industry; “We’ve been screwed overcharged underpaid and abused, exploited avoided and falsely accused, we’ve been cut down let down fucked around tied and bound, but nothing can take the music away”

Are you a band which goes into the studio with songs pretty much in their final state or prefer to develop them as you record?

Pinnacle released by Rock Avenue Records USA, was completely written before we got to the studio. We like to do pre-production first, be prepared so to speak, so that we aren’t wasting valuable time and money. Pinnacle is really an eclectic array of song themes and music. We tried to keep it again organic so you won’t hear all these extra vocal harmonies for instance that we could never do live. Yes there is harmony, but it can be done live.

Tell us about the live side to the band, presumably the favourite aspect of the band?

That is where one should shine right?  I feel it is our live sound which is one of our trade marks. It’s so hard in the studio to capture that live performance primarily because it’s a one sided energy exchange. When you have a crowd, that’s where the sharing of the energy happens, therefore it really helps to put you on top of your game. You can’t see the band for instance when listening to an album, so that performance is so necessary.  Can the band reproduce that sound live? With Eve in front, she is clearly universal and really takes control of the room or festival, really just connecting with the crowd.

It is not easy for any new band to make an impact regionally let alone nationally and further afield. How have you found it your neck of the woods?14195978_1274693589207580_3294288122701219788_o

Correct. We’ve been fortunate, lucky, graced, whatever you’d like to call it. Our motto has always been that we will play anywhere, anytime, any way we can so long as we can. This philosophy has led us to share the stage with some of the biggest bands in the world with;  Lacuna Coil, In This Moment, Black Sabbath (Heaven & Hell), Ronnie James Dio,  Rob Zombie, 5 Finger DeathPunch, Disturbed, Marylyn Manson, Alice Cooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZTop, Puddle of Mudd, Korn, Killswitch Engage, BuckCherry (Jefferson Starship, Big Brother and The Holding Company, Country Joe, 10 Years After, 40th Anniversary Woodstock) Shinedown, Dropkick Murphy’s,  Alice in Chains, Papa Roach, Bret Micheals, Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Avenged Sevenfold, Seether, Hell Yeah, Trapt, Dope, Soil, Fuel,  Queensryche, Saving Abel, Hinder, Damage Plan, 7Dust, Sebastian Bach, SoulFly, Days of the New, NonPoint, DrowningPool, The Misfits, The Butcher Babies, Collective Soul, MushroomHead, Mudvayne, Chevelle, Godsmack, Powerman 5000, 10Years, Taproot, Gin Blossoms, Michael Schenker (UFO, MSG & The Scorpions) Herman Rarebell (The Scorpions), Nicko McBrain (Iron Maiden), Kittie, One eyed doll, Uncle Kracker, Tremonti (Creed/Alterbridge) Lamb of god, Slayer, Stone Sour, Motorhead, Blackstone Cherry, HOOKERS & BLOW Featuring GUNS N’ ROSES, QUIET RIOT, W.A.S.P. Members, Steven Tyler, Ted Nugent, Lita Ford, LA Guns, Trixter, Warrant, Apocalyptic Review (featuring members of Godsmack) and many more..  This has led us to Winning The New England Music Awards & The Pulse Magazine Worcester MA Music Awards and Touring The USA, UK & Canada. If we didn’t get out there we would have never found these opportunities. There’s usually someone there that can help move you forward.

Are there the opportunities to make a mark if the drive is there for new bands?

Absolutely…In fact I believe bands who haven’t “made it” have more of an opportunity. Let’s take a band that has made it whether it was one song or many. As time passes, for whatever reason, they stopped making hits. It’s very rare for them to have another hit song or even get on the radio. It’s very strange but true. As a new artist you have more of a chance because again you’re at the pinnacle forging ahead.

How has the internet and social media impacted on the band to date?

I find this very interesting. In a moment you can be heard all over the world. It’s absolutely amazing. Back in the day I feel bad for the artists before the internet that never had that chance. Shit, back then you couldn’t even stay connected with different states via phone. It was too expensive to make a phone call so you were quite limited as far as how far you could reach. Now, our music is flying through the airways, our unreleased song Out of the ashes says; digging deeper underground faster than the speed of sound

I can see the light of day, darkness fades away”. This just says as a band that’s not superstars, they are basically underground in the gutters spreading like swill in the harbor of slime lol. God some of the venues we’ve played have been the scum of the earth. Shit when we went to UK, there was a dirt floor. But in order to really appreciate where you may end up you’ve got to crawl through the slime in the gutters. If I for instance just started a band, had lots of money, related to someone big in the industry, getting signed immediately and becoming famous overnight, how then could I appreciate where I came from? When you come from the bottom of the barrel and make your way to the top, you never forget where you came from.

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

This was fun. Please excuse my unorthodox replies here and appreciate your time. Leaving Eden will be touring the USA, Canada and Europe. Hopefully South America as well, where our management/touring Co. Alpha Omega/Darkside Entertainment has offices in Europe, USA and South America we feel honored to be part of the family there. We hope to see all of you soon!! For all Leaving Eden Info go to http://www.leavingeden.com

And see us on Facebook Leaving Eden and Peace and Harmony to all!!  I say harmony because this planet, the universe, everything in it works in perfect harmony accept one species, Humans. WTF is that about right? Let’s make it happen.

https://www.facebook.com/bandleavingeden

Pete RingMaster

The Ringmaster Review 01/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

MPG (Mike Paradine Group) – Bayonne, NJ

MPG_RingMaster Review

Having stomped around and downed a brew or three to the debut Mike Paradine Group album, Death in The Family around four years ago, there was no disguising the anticipation waiting to check out its successor Bayonne, NJ after its recent release. Thanks to the man himself, we have got our eager teeth into Mike Paradine’s second solo album, and true to say expectations were not let down in any size or form.

Bayonne bred Paradine is probably better known as drummer and songwriter in New Jersey based metal band ArticFlame, the band he founded after leaving heavy metallers Balistik Kick, where he had been a member for thirteen years, in disillusion at its “negativity and inactivity”. Since emerging, Paradine and ArticFlame have released to date a quartet of increasingly acclaimed albums whilst sharing stages with the likes of W.A.S.P., Manowar, Savatage, Quiet Riot and many others.

Also the author of King of Toys, a highly praised horror/poetry book about a 5 year old boy who is abused by his drug addled parents and after a horrible episode of abuse, sees his broken down toys come to life and avenge the event, Paradine unveiled his debut solo album Death In The Family in 2012. It was built on a collection of personal songs lyrically seeded in themes such as an on-going feud with certain family members, growing up in the late 70’s, early 80’s in Bayonne, 9/11, and his battle with cancer as a 13 year old, as well as more humour fuelled adventures. The album was a heart delivered and felt proposition of rousing emotion and rock ‘n’ roll which its successor emulates with similarly intimate tracks based on experiences, people, and life in the home city where he still resides. Where it Bayonne, NJ differs to the first album is in its sound. Whereas Death In The Family revelled in numerous styles across heavy and hard rock to varied metal exploits, the second full-length sees the band stick solely to the hard rock sound which Paradine started his musical life playing. As the release soon shows though, it does not prevent songs from offering a broad variety of sound and enterprise, or from sparking the same depth of pleasure as the previous encounter.

art_RingMaster ReviewWith Paradine writing the lyrics, melodies and playing the drums across the majority of the album and Allen Carescia writing the music, playing guitar/bass, and producing, Bayonne, NJ quickly grips ears and attention with opener Deadbeat Dad. Straight away there is a grouchy attitude and muscular intent to the song’s rock ‘n’ roll, guitars sharing irritable riffs as rhythms firmly jab behind the growling tones of Paradine. Direct and pulling no punches, the song is a raw and potent slab of confrontational rock ‘n’ roll backed as strongly by the similarly toned Heaven Would Be Hell for Me. Almost predatory in its stroll and sonic belligerence, the song is east to be drawn to but truly comes alive when harmonies and melodic flames dynamically erupt to leave an already keen appetite greedier.

In the first MPG album, a host of vocalists featured across its songs but for Bayonne, NJ Paradine and, as in the third track, fellow ArticFlame Michael Clayton Moore take turns driving tracks. Fair to say there is a different spark and dynamic at play with Clayton Moore’s recognisable tones; tracks given another rich hue to tempt with, a third emerging when both vocalists unite their contrasting styles for an anthemic lure again as here. In tandem with that, Paradine’s rhythms are alone as thick a tempting in the song as too the sultrily spiced guitar adventure brewing within its boisterous persuasion.

Riot at the Public House stirs up body and emotions in similar style and fashion next, the aggressive attitude of the opener returning to line the invitation of hooks and grooves and colour the prowl of the bass. Clayton Moore again leads the excellent rousing of body and spirit, embracing the great contrast between both men’s tones vocals, though as good as it all is, things leap up another gear, vocally and musically, in Unforgotten Highway. The song is spellbinding as melodic caresses and emotive shadows cradle the superb vocals and emotional expression of Clayton Moor. As soon found, it is an provocative incitement which stays with thoughts long after it leaves ears, its melodies alone as lingering as the potency of the vocals and the subtle percussive touch of Paradine.

Bayonne is potently delivered to ears and imagination through Zombietown next, its barren spirit and decaying landscape enjoyably tempered by the honky-tonk piano/keys spawned shuffle uniting with Paradine’s accusing delivery and the agitated nature of the sounds around him. Showing yet one more strain of the varied flavouring to the album, the striking proposal makes way for another in the funk infested rock ‘n’ roll of Dancing Bag of Bones. There is a Cooper-esque feel to the song as it sizzles in sonic endeavour and spicy enticement, flirting and twisting like its protagonist in ears before leaving heftily satisfied emotions in the masterful hands of Little Darling. A superb cover of the Thin Lizzy classic, it quickly revels in Paradine’s undisguised passion for the Irish rockers, an essence enjoyably scenting many songs within the album, whilst showing its own adventurous touches in thrilling tribute to the legends.

Obviously inspired by that aforementioned book of Paradine, King of Toys simmers in and seduces ears soon after, its melodies an emotive suggestiveness within the music of this time Mike Marino. Keys and guitars court each other’s respective elegance and fiery drama as an array of vocal textures bring the tale to the imagination. More of a grower than other tracks, it too leaves a lingering and enjoyable mark before the old school air of Taking on all the World blazes away with an impassioned weave of melodic acidity and blues infested invention. Without quite sparking the same fire as numerous others on the release, it still has ears enthralled and a wish for more vocal before the album closes on the twin treats of Hey Mama, another irresistible cover of this time The Godz track, and finally Daddys Little Girl. Each recorded separately to the rest of the album, the first features Dave Manheimer and Kilroy on guitar with “Ghost” Meehan on bass alongside Paradine whilst the closer is an emotive ballad with drummer Mike Young backing Clayton Moore who wrote the, yes “sappy” but richly enjoyable song.

Increasingly impressive, Bayonne, NJ is a rock ‘n’ roll treat so easy to get unavoidably involved in, and as the first MPG release, a proposition which just makes an appetite for more as lively as the pleasure found within it.

Bayonne, NJ is out now through http://www.mikeparadine.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mpgrocks/

Pete RingMaster 3/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Critical Solution – Sleepwalker

 

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If evil is looking for a new soundtrack it might not be too far from the mark to suggest that Sleepwalker might be in line for adoption. The new album from Norwegian horror thrashers Critical Solution is a glorious slab of visceral rock ‘n’ roll; a blood-letting drama and insatiable anthemic adventure rolled up into one seriously galvanic slab of ravenous metal. The band impressed with their debut full-length two or so years back, but Sleepwalker is a whole new thrilling beast from a band exploring new plateaus of imagination and flavour rich confrontation.

Formed in 2015, it is fair to say that the Helleland hailing quartet began really grabbing attention from 2011 when they, to use their bio’s words, “got serious”. It was at this point the band began working with Andy LaRocque in his Sweden based SonicTrain Studios, especially impressing fans and media with their first album Evil Never Dies in 2013, which followed the Evidence of Things Unseen EP of two years earlier. The encounter was a more thrash heavy proposition fuelled by the kind of horror storylines and sounds that helped shape the gripping presence of The Death Lament EP in 2014 and now their concept album Sleepwalker. The band has also earned a strong reputation for their ferocious stage show honed over the years and alongside bands such as Diamond Head, W.A.S.P, Marduk, and Grave over the years; an intensity and energy equally rampant within the band’s new blood show.

It opens with The Curse, the establishing of the evil coursing through the album’s character and narrative through atmospheric hauntings, intimidating tones, and a bedlamic theatre of sounds. With the imprecation in place the album unleashes its title track, Sleepwalker immediately slamming ears with meaty beats as guitars tantalise, it all the prelude to the insatiable charge of the song to come. As riffs and rhythms bound ruggedly through ears, Christer Slettebø’s guitar sends spicy slithers of bait into their midst before his vocals stir up their own kind of anthemic persuasion. It is a thumping incitement soon revealing its resourcefulness as it twists into seductive prowls and dynamic torrents of inventive tenacity. Like Metallica meets Chainfist initially and more creatively devilish with each passing minute, the track raises the ante in the album’s superb start.

Critical-Solution-Album_RingMaster ReviewWelcome To Your Nightmare ensures things are only more gripping and exhausting next, its Anthrax scented thrash tirade irresistible from the first breath and only increasing its lusty allure as it releases its devil. Driven by the slamming beats of drummer Egil Mydland, the song alternatively stalks and launches itself at the listener across its hellacious contagion. The guitars of Slettebø and Bjørnar Grøsfjell arouse as they abuse whilst the bass of Eimund Grøsfjell is aural predation at its barbarously seductive best.

Melodic and evocative caresses bring Blood Stained Hands into view next, their gentle and reflective tempting the surface to a brewing and gradually building intensity and aggression. Enjoyably even that is caught in the ebb and flow of the song’s energy, being held in check to act as a tease from within the captivating and infectious roar of the song. There is a slight taste of melodic rock aligned to grungy essences at play too, Gruntruck coming to mind in certain moments as the song leaves appetite lustful and ready to devour on the sultry haunting of Murder In The Night. It too cages listeners in a melodic embrace; warm kisses of guitar and their sonic trails of temptation a rapturous suggestiveness encased in a sinister atmosphere. There is danger and menace lurking in the shadows of the track’s slightly portentous air; a waiting incitement which bursts as the floodgates open to fiercely nagging rhythms and predacious riffs within the imagination sparking instrumental.

Ending on a news report harkening darker deeds and threats as events twist and turn, the track masterfully leads to up the barbarous revelry of Evidence Of Things Unseen, its successor swiftly a merciless assailant drenched in hostile intent and virulent persuasion. Again it is hard to escape a Metallica/Megadeth like comparison, though every swinging stick and pulled string breeds a fresh and dramatic strain of enterprise unique to Critical Solution.

The heavy lumbering Sabbath-esque entrance of LT. Elliot soon has ears surrounded and imagination enthralled as its doom soaked theatre gives a bird’s eye view of the last moments of its title victim. Crawling with insidious glee and equipped with expulsions of raw catchiness, the outstanding track is as cinematic as it is murderously compelling and swiftly matched in drama by the epic exploration in length and emotion of Dear Mother. Bringing some respite to the dark turmoil before it, its tortured reflection comes entangled in a volatile landscape of dense shadows and fiery infection loaded revelry. Through every second of its ten minutes, it is masterfully unpredictable and increasingly enthralling, like being locked in the mind and emotions of torment itself as it track spellbinds as powerfully as its predecessor.

The Death Lament just tears into ears with its rapacious horde of riffs and legion of barbarian bred rhythms next, the violation thrash fuelled anthemic metal at its primal explosive best enslaving ears before letting Back From The Grave bring the chain of bloody events to a close. Featuring guests in Michael Denner and Hank Shermann (Mercyful Fate), the final infestation of the senses and body is similarly pure thrash butchery and openly majestic in its crushing, rabid way.

There will no doubt be many voracious metal releases thrilling ears this year but already it feels safe to say few will surpass Sleepwalker and its thrash horror malediction.

Sleepwalker is out now via Punishment 18 Records across most stores.

http://www.facebook.com/CriticalSolution

Pete RingMaster 27/01/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Sapiency – Tomorrow

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Having already been released on CD this past march, Tomorrow the latest album from German metallers Sapiency gets a deserved digital release and distribution through Eclipse Records this month, and thankful we should all be as it is a rather flavoursome and contagious little gem which may have escaped attention otherwise. Not exactly stretching boundaries but having that little indefinable something which sets it apart from the crowd, the eleven track storm of accomplished and passion soaked invention leaves hunger for more and fat satisfaction mutually potent responses to its voracious enterprise and energy.

Hailing from Frankfurt and formed in 2008, Sapiency was soon drawing attention locally and further afield. Their acclaimed debut album Fate’s End in 2010 was just the start of a growing stature and reputation, their own tours as well as support slots to the likes of Sonic Syndicate, W.A.S.P., Dead By April, Tito & Tarantula, Deathstars, Vader, Engel, Onkel Tom (Angelripper), Power Quest, Pathfinder, and many more earning the band greater recognition as has successful performances at festivals such as 70.000 Tons Of Metal 2012 and Metalfest Open Air 2012. It is hard not to develop an eager appetite for the sextet’s sound as shown by second album Tomorrow, and with a wider network for it to spring from you suspect that Sapiency is on a rapid ascendency.

The band is tagged as melodic death metal yet that is only a fraction of the picture, or sound with the band employing a wealth of sapiency_tomorrow_cover_72dpi_rgb_900pixinspirations across the metal spectrum so that within the new album they can bring essences of In Flames or Lamb Of God to bear and at other times Bloodsimple or Livarkahil. It makes for a strikingly resourceful and thrilling encounter which from the opener Prayer For The Pain captures the imagination. From its first breath the track careers through the ear with riffs and grooves carving out their insistent presence whilst the bone splintering rhythms of drummer Kai Voss-Fels cage the tempest raging within their framework. It is a mouth-watering confrontation which never relinquishes its grip on the awoken passions right through to its final strike. The outstanding dual vocal attack of the cleaner grouchy delivery of Lars Bittner and the bestial scowls of Krsto Balic is a forceful magnetism across the whole album and strapped to the carnivorous craft of guitarists René Ritzmann and Holger Wenck, as well as the predacious bass prowl of Sebastian Fix, makes for an exhausting, riveting introduction.

Hungry Again keeps the rapacious intent and rabidity at full throttle whilst interspersing it with a seductive coaxing from the keys and a classic metal orientated temptation from the melodic casting of the guitars. The merger of bordering vindictive riffs and virulent groove metal lures to the expansive melodic adventure is impressively crafted and wholly infectious, leaving ears and emotions basking in demanding and rewarding metal at its best. Arguably there is little strikingly new on show but equally Sapiency present it in a unique and compelling way that it is as fresh and invigorating as you could wish and sets the band apart from most.

Through the likes of Free Within with its electronic tantalising seemingly fuelling an even greater aggressive fervour from band and sound as Avenged Sevenfold like sonic sculpting spears the air, and the enslaving mix of melodic enticing and strenuously robust intensity of the title track, Tomorrow continues to seize the imagination and feisty passions whilst tracks such as the crushing Weight Of The World and the slower smouldering Fight On explore deeper appealing avenues and creative corners within the songwriting and its invention.

To be honest there is not a weak moment upon the album, each track a formidable and impacting persuasion and though occasionally a surface similarity rears its attractive head it is a fleeting wrap soon punctuated and lost with keener focus. Further peaks on Tomorrow are provided by firstly the industrialised irresistible might of Turn The Tide, guitars and vocals once again weaving a rapaciously stalking narrative which is pure addiction, and by the towering presence of Torn Apart. The track is another ferocious antagonist but one just as content to let a melodic acidity and harmonic temper vein its furore.

Completed by the absorbing Dying Illusions, a final raging skilled and esurient assault, Tomorrow is a richly satisfying and exciting confrontation which does not carve out new ventures to contemplate but employs existing invention in its own unique and wholly exhilarating way. Sapiency is a band we are destined to hear much more of ahead and undoubtedly enjoy at even greater heights as the promise also burning brightly across the album suggests.

www.facebook.com/sapiency

8/10

RingMaster 26/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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ToxicRose – Self Titled

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The self-titled debut EP from Swedish rockers ToxicRose may not hold many surprises but it does offer plenty of bruising fun and sleaze soaked enterprise. Combining an energetic blend of hard rock and melodic metal the band unleashes a sound which parties with the essences of Crashdiet, Alice Cooper, W.A.S.P., and Motley Crue to the fore.

Formed in 2010, the Stockholm quartet of vocalist Andy and drummer Michael (both ex- Lipstixx ‘n’ Bulletz), guitarist Tom (ex-Gemini Five), and bassist Goran (ex-Sexydeath), took no time in combining their ‘veteran’ experience to create sounds drenched in eighties hard and glam rock, bringing it all up to date for a full and vibrant encounter.  They have garnered quite a buzz around their presence since which their first release can only enhance and drive forward. Admittedly their chosen genre is not one which excites our hearts here but it is hard not to find enough to be enthused about with the EP and find richly pleasurable.

Released via City Of Lights Records, the EP opens with the powerful and magnetic A Song For The Weak. Big thumping rhythms ToxicRose_cover_12and striking riffs  soon capture attention whilst the whispers of keys brings a warm and gentler caress from within the muscular engagement. The vocals of Andy are aggressive yet welcoming to match the array of guitar skill from Tom, his sinewy riffs and melodic invention impressive and engaging. The band look the part for a glam/hard rock band and as this song proves they sound the part too. There is nothing openly adventurous to discover but it is an infectious riot of accomplished invention and invigorating sound which can only be enjoyed and applauded.

From the strong start the following Set Me Free takes a similar path to its predecessor whilst matching in appeal and quality. The striding rhythms and towering riffs command the ear whilst the melodic wash of the keys and sonic teasing of the guitars leave their contagious mark on the senses. The bass of Goran is a pulsating shadow to the song bringing extra flavoursome to its compelling presence. Arguably the track is too much like the first to reach the same heights but still makes for a satisfying companion which gets the job done.

Follow Me offers a slight symphonic breeze from the keys, the track allowing them a more noticeable place in the energetic storm. It is a pleasing difference and adds something extra to a song which brings diversity to the previous tracks. Again the musicianship and songwriting is spot on ensuring another song of epic melodic stature and heated craft. Whilst not igniting the same depth of pleasure as the first pair its open originality to those same songs makes it probably the more rewarding on the record.

The release is completed by Black Bile and Fear Lingers On, two songs which are less accessible and immediate but with deeper depths and surprisingly more anthemic appeal. It is unclear who provides them but again the keys make a great feature on the pair whilst the heavy and intense rhythmic and melodic aspects of the songs share front spot throughout, the track switching focus between the two attacks seamlessly. The second of the two is the heaviest most formidable song on the EP and for that is our favourite especially with its scorched sonic flaring and ear chewing riffing and hungry energy.

As mentioned glam/hard rock is not the genre to bring great pleasure here but we would be lying if we declared that ToxicRose made the time with their release not enjoyable or unworthy. It may not ever be used in the same sentence as best or favourite by us but the EP will certainly find a happy acceptance whenever it finds itself before our more brutal personal tastes.

For fans of the bands mentioned and the likes of Hardcore Superstar, Crazy Lixx, and Faster Pussycat for sure.

http://www.toxicrose.org

RingMaster 11/01/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hotel Diablo: The Return To Psycho, California

With a deliciously evocative name, Hotel Diablo still had a little work ahead to inspire as much enthusiasm with their music as their style in hard rock is not a flavour which generally lights too many fierce fires of anticipation within our personal preferences. The Californian quartet though had little problem in leaving a satisfied and enthused listener in the wake of their debut album The Return To Psycho, California, a fine release of melodic and muscular rock n roll. As said the band has a sound rooted in hard and melodic rock but there is a strong and impressive metal pulse which results in a meaty and formidable release, even the slower more reserved songs having a steel to capture as much imagination as the well crafted melodic breath. The album admittedly does not wear away existing boundaries to set new parameters or sounds for rock but it certainly brings a fresh and feisty appealing presence to the genre which is impossible not to reap plenty of pleasure from.

The band formed in 2011 when vocalist Rick Stitch and guitarist Alex Grossi returned home from a world tour with Adler’s Appetite, the band of original Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler. Departing the band the pair set about looking for a fresh project to get their teeth into and when they played a one off show with bassist Mike Duda and drummer Mike Dupke (the rhythm section of W.A.S.P.) the unmistakable chemistry and excitement generated led the four to writing songs and the formation of Hotel Diablo. Entering the studio with Gilby Clarke (Guns N’ Roses, Rockstar Supernova) as producer, the band unleashed a collection of dark true stories experienced by the artists, twisting them into compulsive and captivating songs which make up the album. With further production by underground LA producer Matt Starr, The Return To Psycho, California taps into the Hollywood shadows with incisive skill and magnetic energy making for an album to thrill and get the blood pumping faster whilst treating the ear to enterprising rock n roll.

Released via Scarlet Records, the album rampages with mischief from the off with opener Taken. The song grinds at the ear with tight riffs within seconds with hard rapping rhythms forcing the issue further. The growl of the track is constant; continually gnawing away at the senses whilst the great melodic tones of Stitch coaxes deeper attention and the guitar play of Grossi leaves sizzling spires of sonics through the air. The persistent groove of the song is addictive and offers a good bite to the smoother flowing harmonies and energy. It is a catchy yet riotous start which sets the rest of the album up perfectly.

The following All These Years and What You Do To Me are less forceful but still retain an intimidating snarl through the excellent bass of Duda. They are easy on the ear melodic weaves which only impress with the again sharp and slightly acidic melodic play of the guitar and impossible not to admire vocals. Though neither triggers deep passions as the first they only leave one relishing hearing more.

The heart of the album begins with Psycho California, a tasty brew of wicked intent, chopping riffs, and anthemic energies and vocals. From this point things on the album explode with even greater quality and triumph. Twisting one around its teasing grooved finger the song is an infectious surge of acutely styled yet rampant rock music. Bury You goes even better, its slow intense first breath expanding into a stunning wave of passion and shadowed emotive caresses. With more than a whisper of Soundgarden to it, the track is easily the best on the album and one of the best songs heard this year anywhere. The melodies sizzle on the senses whilst the rhythms insistently jab to add extra energy to the drive of the song.  The lead song on the release, it alone will ensure mass attention the way of the album and band.

Songs like the stirring Set It Off and the impassioned Wicked Lines continue the great imagination and sounds leaving one fully engrossed in the release. There is the inclusion of a cover of Wonderwall which we will swiftly skate over, not because the track is poor in any way but just because personally Oasis and that song are like aural lime upon the senses, and no band could make it sound passable for these ears.

Ending with enjoyable alternative versions of What You Do To Me and Bury You, the album is a thoroughly satisfying release to spend plenty of rewarding time with, and Hotel Diablo a band one wants to hear so much more form.

www.thehoteldiablo.com

Ringmaster 24/09/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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