Helldown – In Deaths Hands

The release of their self-titled debut EP in 2016 suggested that Welsh thrashers Helldown had all the attributes to ascend the UK metal ranks, a thought accentuated by their subsequent acclaimed single The Watchers a year later. Now that proposal is about to be made a declaration with the release of new EP, In Deaths Hands, a collection of tracks which whilst suggesting that there is plenty more yet to come from the Swansea outfit, that ascent is well under way.

Formed in 2013 and consisting of blood brothers in vocalist/bassist Ben and rhythm guitarist Matthew Evans alongside drummer Ross Thomas and lead guitarist Lewis Larkman, Helldown have forged a sound bred on thrash, groove, and heavy metal. As the new release shows it is a potent trespass with thrash metal its instinctive fuel, one still enjoyably raw in its voice and tone to provide an edge and bite numerous like-minded bands have let escape in their growth. True uniqueness may still be absent in the band’s voracious sound but as In Deaths Hands proves it can be comfortably overlooked in the fresh trespass on offer.

The EP opens with The Unnamed, a track instantly entangling ears in ripe grooves and preying rhythms before launching into a predacious assault. The sonic invasion and enticement of both guitars make for a keen tempting, Ben’s vocals as the sound earthy yet magnetic within the harassment of riffs and rhythmic aggression. The subsequent twists and melodic endeavour that emerges revels in the prowess of their creators, the track a persistent hungry nagging endowed with that bright enterprise.

The EP’s best track is followed by Mortal Shell, another swiftly revealing intent and character with rapacious urgency. If at first paling against its predecessor, the track only grew in stature and appeal as its ravening riffs and grooves joined bitter beats and the heavy dark resonance of the bass to forge another thickly satisfying proposal.

There is a definite surface familiarity between the songs within In Deaths Hands, the beginning of next up Heretic highlighting the thought yet again it is a track which develops its own presence and enterprise with strength and imagination, the bass of Ben a riveting ingredient in the prowl of the ear grabbing encounter.

Flames of Heresy bring things to a close, its spirals of grooves waspish in their sting and barbarous in the subsequent harassment they inspire from across the band. The gang hollers that break out only emphasize the anthemic air and roar of the track, even as it prowls and stalks the senses between raucous eruptions.

It is a fine end to a release which only left us wanting to hear more from the band and reinforced the thought that Helldown has a very healthy future within the British metal scene.

In Deaths Hands is released January 17th

https://www.facebook.com/HelldownOfficial/   https://twitter.com/helldown_uk   https://www.instagram.com/helldownofficial/

Pete RingMaster 14/01/2020

Copyright RingMasterReview: MyFreeCopyright

Dead Shed Jokers – All The Seasons

Across two acclaimed albums Welsh outfit Dead Shed Jokers has already established their sound and songs as something out of the ordinary, openly distinct to most, and perpetually compelling. Add their instinctive nature to push further into their imaginations and you have something which lures keen attention. They are all traits in their music which have collectively escalated in their new album, All The Seasons, an encounter which not only warrants that attention but demands it whilst offering the quintet’s most unique and enthralling moment yet.

Hailing from Aberdare/Merthyr, Dead Shed Jokers first hit our ears and broadly offered praise though debut album Peyote Smile of 2011. After the equally captivating Peculiar Pastimes EP confirmed their potent emergence upon the UK rock scene, the band’s self-titled second album showed even bolder adventure and character in songwriting, sound, and the diversity within both which All The Seasons has managed to not only push on further but open up new avenues of imagination and temptation through.

The Dead Shed Jokers sound is generally described as rock/alternative, an understandably easy option in front of its multi-flavoured and variable tapestry. All The Seasons makes it no easier to define which only adds to the fascination and pleasure of a release immediately unleashing a momentous moment with opener Phantom Pains. Easily the best song to these ears from the band so far, it makes a relatively subdued start but one rich in suggestion and intrigue. Vocal lures add to the track’s quickly growing introduction, each element pure seduction before the swift incitement of Sean Mahoney’s beats sparks a wave of heat courtesy of guitar shimmers alongside a prowling bass. A momentary breath sparks the track’s swinging stroll, the guitars and bass of Nicky Bryant, Kristian Evans and Christopher Metters, all versatile on each across the album, a united flame as Hywel Davies’ ever magnetic tones and delivery open up. As catchy as it is dramatic, the song effortlessly tied up ears and imagination in its thickly flavoured persistently animated rock ‘n’ roll.

All The Seasons never quite reaches those heights again for these ears yet that is only down to the majesty of the first track and no deficits in its successors which proceed with the bluesy holler of Feel Some More. Progressive and indie hues add to its enterprising body, keeping expectations guessing just as the variety in its energy, urgency and emotion. As with its predecessor, there is a theatrical lining in its character and tone, the song like a play for ears and thoughts; a similar essence adding to the prowess of the whole album and next up Dreams of North Korea.  A calm start soon erupts in agitation, the cycle repeated with greater drama and intensity as emotional dissonance rises in its heart and roar as another fully loaded weave of flavour catches aflame across its equally varied gait.

The album’s title track is next, its melancholic croon mesmeric in the arms of expressive melodies and Davies’ riveting presence and delivery, the intimacy of words and emotions soaking the ballad inescapable. Much of the album is said to be borne of personal experiences and issues, and no more powerfully and absorbingly than within this and another major highlight of the release.

Aesopica#15 is a engorged sonic shimmer, a slice of wiry, seared rock ‘n’ roll which wraps around the senses with as much mystery as it does seduction before Feel Today shares its mercurial body of drama and energy, it all veined by fiercely heated melodies and hungry enterprise. Yet there are moments it simply sighs with calm resignation to just as firmly grip. The song is a journey for band and listener, one with, as offered by the album for similar focus, greater rewards by the listen.

The broken hearted reflection of 764 provides a less volatile proposal but one which again draws full curiosity through its craft and heart while You’re a Thief brings a boisterous and striking landscape of daring bordering on audacious enterprise with a palette of sounds and flavours to match. The track is superb, another which almost alone makes the price of admission the biggest bargain.

The album concludes with Spanner in the Works and Enough is as Good as a Feast, two songs featuring the synth prowess of album producer Tim Hamill with the second also welcoming the guest cornett of Victoria Davies. The first embraces the most feral yet skilfully composed moment of the album, the band creating sounds with nostrils flared and casting a tempestuous rock adventure which twists and turns like a frantic fiery kaleidoscope. The final track is its own rotation and reflection of intensity and emotion, sonic and melodic gravity cast with compelling emotion and drama within another canvas of multi-influenced sound; one awash with some familiar hues but embraced and turned into something wholly unique to Dead Shed Jokers.

There are moments of the album which leapt from the speakers but just as many that teased, almost taunted attentiveness with the result the same, an eager and increasingly greedy concentration finding, as mentioned earlier, bigger and greater rewards and pleasure.

All The Seasons Is out now via Pity My Brain Records; available @ https://deadshedjokers.bandcamp.com/?fbclid=IwAR0Skx4dkHPz5tPIEyWT707Iu1ZyXro25mLVk9gcHysW95RkxH2cQQf6YSs

or http://deadshedjokers.bigcartel.com/      

http://facebook.com/DeadShedJokers   

Pete RingMaster 090/09/2019

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Starling Radicals – Promisedland Vol 1

It is probably fair to say that last year was a disruptive one in the emergence of Welsh band The Starling Radicals, the band having to deal with “several sequential departures of recently-joined members” though it did give their fans the well-received Wasteland EP. They have come through that turbulence though with a new stable line-up and now a new encounter in the shape of Promisedland Vol 1 which as good as demands keen attention.

Formed in 2012, The Starling Radicals has built a strong and loyal following with their alternative rock bred sound nurtured with the inspiration of bands such as Nirvana, Stereophonics, and the Manic Street Preachers. Two years after stepping forward, the band released debut album Saintland, the potent first step in their rise within the UK rock scene. Promisedland Vol 1 is another leap forward and with its quartet of hook rich and rousing slices of tenacious rock ‘n’ roll, quite easy to see pushing the band and reputation a few more rungs up the ladder.

With George Toulouse offering instinctively bold vocals and guitar, Gareth Bain the dark hues of magnetic bass, and Joe Steele the lively swings of his beats, The Starling Radicals quickly get down to business with EP opener I’m With Her. Straight away an enticing wiry hook escapes the strings of Toulouse, rapacious rhythms quickly adding to the almost carnival-esque initial prowl of the song carrying just a hint of The Shanklin Freak Show to it. It is a compelling and thrilling start which maybe loses its edge a touch as warm melodies and Toulouse’s instantly striking vocals step forward. Their presence though brings a new wave of Police meets Manic Street Preachers infectiousness which in turn entangles with that earlier temptation, the song revelling in its variety and creative dexterity as it firmly grabs ears and imagination.

The band quickly show that opening a song in fine style was no flash in the pan in the first as the following You Make A Mess Of Me uncages its own delicious hook built groove to get things underway; the guitar again the instigator soon aided by controlled but bold rhythms and Toulouse’s rich tones. Its swing never allows a moments rest even when the song simmers though it is always ready to bubble over again within its melodic rock ‘n’ roll. As with the first track there is something familiar at play but an essence only adding to the enjoyment of its infectious and enterprising proposal.

The Scottish Play has a dirtier air and snarl in its blues scented rock ‘n’ roll as well as a more classic rock scenting though ultimately it is their fellow Welsh men in the Manics which comes to mind as the track hits the spot just as potently as its predecessors.

The release ends with Heart This City, a song which did not make the same kind of impact as those before it at first but it is fair to say with Toulouse vocally as alluring as ever and rhythms an anthemic undercurrent, it grew in persuasion and temptation listen by listen. It makes a fine finale to a release which maybe is not as unique as it might be but pushes the sound, reputation, and stature of The Starling Radicals to new heights and indeed the pleasure of their company.

Promisedland Vol 1 is out now.

http://www.thestarlingradicals.com/    http://www.facebook.com/TheStarlingRadicals/    https://twitter.com/thestarlingrads    https://www.instagram.com/officialstarling/

Pete RingMaster 29/11/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright