Skies In Motion – Life Lessons

It is probably fair to say that there are a couple of metal bred flavours we are finding ourselves uninspired by at The RR right now, metalcore being one. There are plenty of good and enjoyable bands emerging within the genre but few which truly break from the familiar and creatively routine. UK outfit Skies In Motion is one which defies that thought especially with their new debut album Life Lessons now leading their persuasion.  It is a ferocious magnetic collection of songs as irritable and aggressive as they are creatively and melodically captivating. Certainly plenty of its appeal is down to striking potential but equally there is an imagination and enterprise at play which only excites.

Hailing from Derby, Skies In Motion stepped forward in 2012 and has increased their reputation year on year  with their live presence alone which has seen them share stages with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, While She Sleeps, Unearth, Slaves , Skindred, Don Broco, Our Hollow Our Home, Gnarwolves and many more. Their initial sound was more hardcore driven though still embracing melodic strains. Life Lessons merges those flavours with its metalcore instincts, resulting in an assault which at times maybe embraces familiar essences but is a relentlessly fresh and intriguing proposition.

The press release for the album suggests bands such as While She Sleeps and Architects are good comparisons and it is not too hard going along with that as opener Architect bites. It initial melodic invitation is a deceit giving no suggestion of the creative carnage to follow though it is not long before an invasion of riffs and rhythms accompany enticing throat raw vocals. Intrigue is quickly gripped and fed as the track evolves into successor Cascades where djent spice predation is followed by hardcore causticity and metal antagonism, vocalist Adam Connor tenaciously riding the tempest. It is a stirring mix which welcomingly infests ears and appetite, the rhythms of bassist Dan Wheeler and drummer Sam Gaines continuing the predatory invasion as guitarists Dave Stewart and Andy Shaw weave a carnal tempest of craft and temptation. Connor is as striking as the sounds around him, the diversity of his attack thoroughly enjoyable and as potently backed by those around him.  There is also infectiousness to the track which borders on poppy, a catchiness which never undermines the ferocity.

The following Realizationship is similarly woven if even more irritable and too a web of seduction and sonic violence which never stops twisting and turning within its storm. The song lacks the final striking essences of its predecessor yet with teasing grooves and fury loaded flames of melody it masterfully hits the spot and an imagination already submissive to the inventively evolving landscapes the band shares within songs.

Another plateau is breached by next up Happy Families, its stabbing riffs and wiry tendrils an instant trap to fall into which only tightens as steely grooves and rabid riffs join rapacious rhythms and a virulence of contagious antics. Connor impressively leads into and drives the chorus of vocal spirit, sound relaxing a touch to embrace the infectious roar though that moment of unity is surrounded by a compelling net of discord and unpredictability. The track is superb and another reason to suggest Skies in Motion is a real force in the making.

Learn The Hard Way is next, its grooved body a fiery cauldron of sound and emotion with some of the most delicious melodic and harmonic lures heard in a fair time while the following Ugly lives up to its name in tone though it too has a swing and exhaustive rigour which simultaneously incites and devours the body. Both songs reveal more of the bands craft in writing and performance, the latter simply a beast of cyclonic contagion to become increasingly greedy for even before Finding Myself Lost has the chance to stamp its intense authority over the senses. It is fair to say that some tracks, like this one, needs time to truly appreciate; to explore and discover its deep qualities beneath a surface which pleasures if not overwhelms though truthfully every song has a wealth of adventure ready to share with increasing listens.

Both the carnivorous Sword Swallower and the emotively conjured Gonvena provide a mercurial adventure of sound and imagination, the first a savage turbulence which flows into an emotionally acute oasis of calm while the second goes from poetic beauty and melodic reflection to blistering intensity. The second is especially bewitching, Connor further impressing with his melodic prowess and the band with its fluidity through extremely contrasting climates.

When Home Feels Distant (And Distance Feels Like Home) lacks some of the captivation and adventure of the previous two but still has ears gripped and pleasure lit with its Avenged Sevenfold spiced tapestry, next up Five Years finding the same success with its own heart bred tempest of sound and raw aggression. It too misses some of the keen ingredients of earlier encounters but leaves satisfaction full and a want for more, hungrier.

Concluding with Hopebringer, another track which needs time to blossom into a fascinating and invasive fury of sound and potential, Life Lessons needs no help in luring ears and attention back again and indeed again. It is a debut which more than suggests, actually declares Skies In Motion as a band able to bring a fresh breath to the hardcore/metalcore scene. Whether they can live up to its potential time will tell but we would not bet against it.

Life Lessons is out now @ http://skiesinmotionuk.bigcartel.com/product/pre-order-life-lessons-albumu

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Pete RingMaster 14/09/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Moments – Outlast EP

With potential as vocal and uncompromising as their snarl, Belgian outfit Moments release their new EP this month. Containing five hungry and irritable tracks, Outlast is a ferocious attack of hardcore and metal which manages to be a swiftly striking incitement of impressed pleasure and a slow burning cauldron of even richer promise.

Hailing from Tessenderlo, the quintet emerged in 2011 and has increasingly forged and earned a potent reputation and following at home and more recently across Europe with their live presence. They have shared stages with the likes of Bury Tomorrow, While She Sleeps, Our Last Night, and Stick To Your Guns as well as played numerous festivals such as Groezrock, True Spirit Festival, Summerblast, Cerberbrus and Rock Herk to great success. Now they are ready to poke at bigger attention with Outlast, a release declaring the possibility of a new potent force in hardcore town.

The EP makes an instant impact with its outstanding opener What If. As a busy street scene surrounds ears, the sonic trespass of guitars brews, swiftly taking over the landscape with wiry grooves and rapacious riffs. Dries Monsieurs’ vocals are just as quickly invasive and impressing, his ire coated roar supported by equally caustic tones and sounds from across the band. A raw yet infectious scent reminding of The Ghost of a Thousand carries appetite and imagination off into the irritable heart of the track, the hooks and grooves of guitarists Jeffrey Beutels and Kristof Fransen addictive as the imposing swings of drummer Benjamin Hendrickx simply bite upon the senses. It is a stunning start which is never quite matched again within Outlast but tenaciously and enjoyably supported by the likes of next up All It Takes.

The second song harries ears with an initial scrub of riffs, drums throbbing upon impact to match the resonating tone of Gert-Jan Vandervoort’s bass. If the first song it was a lingering threat, in its successor a predatory declaration is made yet with a catchy grooving as enticing as anything conjured by voice and guitar elsewhere. Harmonic backing to the throat scraping attack of Monsieurs is a great contrast to the antagonistic charge driving the song as too the citric melodic enterprise aligning with the sonic trespass abrasing the senses.

As the EP, the song simply grows in strength and enjoyment with each listen, a quality shared by all and indeed next up Crossroads which maybe did not quite hit the mark as fully the first few times around but blossomed to be another definite pleasure. It does not quite have the individual traits of its companions but employs more recognisable hardcore bred threads in a bold and heated metalcore spiced union of harsh and melodic craft.

Our Faults, Our Failures is a bracing tempest of emotion and sound straight after, it’s scalding sonic web as intensive as the rhythmic harassing and vocal animus of raw emotion and displeasure. It too is a grower reaching loftier heights with time whilst revealing open potential of bigger and bolder things with Moments. The band has been suggested for fans of artists like The Ghost Inside and Hatebreed, this track gives all the reasons why whilst still creating its own highly agreeable character again adding to that promise.

Outlast closes as it began, with a track which commands a quick appetite and hunger for its punk and metal quarrel. Riffs and hooks collide with the senses, sonic tenacity further searing the damage as rhythms create fresh bruises with every attack. It is addictive stuff, vocals almost cursing listener and world in tone alone, the bass showing a mutual discontent in its texture and grumble.

Moments is a band on the rise, Outlast a release which leaves a lingering scar and together a pair creating another reason to anticipate hardcore nurtured noise becoming especially exciting sometime soon.

Outlast is released May 26th.

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Pete RingMaster 26/05/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Bear – ///

As the list of essential 2017 releases already looks like it has the potential of being a substantial one establishing itself at the head is the third album from Belgian metallers Bear. Primarily tagged as math/technical metal, the Antwerp based quartet swiftly show within their new intrusive roar that their sound is a kaleidoscope of imposing flavours. Within the release hefty strains of everything from progressive and heavy metal to nu-metal , hardcore, and metalcore accost the imagination It is a ravenous web aligned to more voracious grooves than found within most lifetimes of similar genre participants and one hellacious treat of a trespass for ears, senses, and pleasure.

Formed in 2010, Bear awoke attention with their self-released 5 track EP Abstractions; its initial success continued through a digital release with Conspiracy Records and a full re-release via Let It Burn Records who followed that up by uncaging debut album Doradus in 2011. At the same time, the band was invading the UK with their raw sound, touring there with While She Sleeps while headlining their local festivals while the year after the album’s release they went on to support the likes of Periphery and entice major plaudits with appearances at  festivals such as Euroblast and Groezrock. Signing with Basick Records in 2013 brought second album Noumenon into greater acclaim whilst live a trio of UK tours with The Colour Line, Black Dogs and Carcer City and further festival triumphs only helped to firmly establish the outfit within the European metal scene.

The biggest spotlight is now sure to be tempted with the release of ///, from its claw slashed title to its ursine assault of sound, the album is an inescapable beast of character, aggression, and invention mauling the listener from its first breath with opener Blackpool. Its first gasp brings a senses eroding surge of guitar and Maarten Albrechts’ furious vocals, a colossal onslaught weighted further by the lethal swings of drummer Serch Carriere and the grievous tone of Dries Verhaert’s bass. As the corrosive tide continues scything riffs and squalling grooves escape the already impressing exploits of guitarist Leander Tsjakalov, his creative weave in turn sparking greater variety in the vocal roar of Albrechts and band. Like a blend of Meshuggah, Slipknot, and Society 1, the song bullies and seduces, opening up more unpredictable twists and compelling exploits with every passing wave of imagination.

The tremendous start continues with Hounds, its primal and rhythmically dynamic entrance enough alone to grip ears, the subsequent net of grooves and technical espionage as well as continuing vocal variety an ever tightening vice of creative temptation. With lighter but just as dirty heavy rock hues adding to the raw infectiousness, the track snarls and ferociously dances with the senses; bruising and teasing them before the band’s latest single Masks emerges from its own dusty smog with a Rob Zombie-esque stomp soon sharing invasive grooves amidst a dissonant cauldron of technical and off-kilter ingenuity. Whereas its predecessors pretty much tore at the senses, Masks taunts and flirts, if with instinctive rapacity and ruthless persistence. Every second is a tempest of intrigue and adventure, each moment a ravishment of ears leaving sheer greed for more in its wake.

It is a hunger swiftly fed and further provoked by Childbreaker, the song initially a blaze of intensity with waspish grooves buzzing around brawly rhythms but soon exploding into an invasive tempest of attitude and barbarous sound though still a storm bound in a virulent infectiousness as devious as the ferocity around it. Predatory in every aspect, the track devours with every breath, a quality no less forceful within next up Knives Are Easy and its maelstrom of technical and instinctively quarrelsome enterprise. The combined creative voracity of Tsjakalov and Verhaert is seemingly encouraged by the irritable jabs of Carriere and Albrechts’ grizzly tones and just as intrusive when the charge turns into a prowling examination of the listener. It is a stalking which cannot sustain its lust for long, the song ending on the same assertive thrust it began with.

The Oath entangles the senses in its own agitated and kinetic almost gladiatorial frenzy next, harmonies and melodic seduction enticing from within the cyclonic ambush and having their own moment of inescapable persuasion like a warm oasis at the eye of an increasingly psychotic storm. With every element combined, it is a fearsome bewitchment with the animalistic growl of bass irresistible, delicious bait continuing as 7 strolls into view carrying a maze of meandering anxious grooves and sonic psychosis. Becoming more brutal and intense with each passing moment, it equally breeds a captivation of harmonic and melodic seduction, the union of extremes as catchy as it is wanton. The song is a helter-skelter of invention and craft, fiercely glorious leaving exhausted ears in bliss and easy prey for the slow menacing prowl of instrumental Klank before Raw has them consumed in another eddy of feverish craft and unbridled discord abound with swirling contrasts and volatile textures all woven into one mouth-watering dispute.

The album is completed by the just as argumentative and creatively pugnacious Construct.Constrict and finally the physically and emotionally subversive Adjust.Adapt. As distinct in nature and body as they are united in bristling attitude and laying a sanguinary touch upon the senses, the pair stretch and open up new realms in the Bear sound; the closing song especially charming in its harmonious siren-esque heart within another truculent body.

There is simply no weak spot within ///, not even a moment when the album slips a foot let alone falls from of very early established pedestal. Quite simply the album and indeed Bear for newcomers is a must!!

/// is out now through Basick Records across most online stores.

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Pete RingMaster 12/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Royal – Seven

Photo by: DeanX Photography

The final breath of March saw Dutch metallers The Royal release their sophomore album via Longbranch/SPV, an emotional and technical cauldron of melodic metalcore which is simply hard to ignore. The Eindhoven hailing quintet is being talked of with big expectations for their future and through their second full-length, Seven it is easy to see why.

Formed in 2012, The Royal has proceeded to breed and earn a potent reputation at home and further afield year by year. Their first year saw the release of the Origins EP with the well-received single Blind Eye coming a year later. Debut album Dreamcatchers further pushed the band into broader attention with its unveiling in 2014 whilst live the five-piece has drawn plaudits, the band going on to support the likes of Architects and Breakdown Of Sanity and play events such as Jera On Air and the Impericon Festival. Seven though just might be the wake-up call to bigger and greater opportunities; certainly its eventful and resourceful exploits deserves a moment with the metal world’s attention.

The album opens up with Thunder, a track living up to its title. Stormy clouds gather as the track settles into place, riffs respectfully but menacingly harrying the senses before wiry grooves erupt and vein its increasingly tempestuous climate. Soon the song hits its virulent stride, rhythms an imposing trespassing on the senses as the guitars snarl and weave their creative textures within the ebb and flow of the assault. All the while vocalist Semuel Pisarahu boils with emotional ire and open antipathy, a scowling hue equally striking in the web of enterprise, melodic suggestiveness, and raw aggression getting the album off to a mighty start.

Its mix of flavours is another potent aspect to the song and matched within the following Feeding Wolves. Its first touch is a melodic gentleness though soon joined by the low key but open grumble of Loet Brinkmans’ bass and the meaty jab and roll of Tom Van Ekerschot’s beats. As Pisarahu growls, the track erupts into another hellacious yet inviting tempest speared by a predacious swing and spicy grooves. As in the first song, guitarists JD Liefting and Pim Wesselink reveal themselves as comfortable seducing ears with warm melodies as they are ravaging them with bracing and abrasive hostility, their imagination and craft adding to the inventive unpredictability of the song and indeed album.

The mercurial character of the second track similarly grabs the imagination; a quality all songs have in varying degrees. Next up Wildmind is less changeable, more a persistent blaze of irritable jaundice but also flowing through creative twists and turns. Though not quite matching up to the first pair in igniting the passions, it leaves satisfaction full and appetite hungry for the proposals offered next by Creeds And The Vultures and Counterculture. The first has a mean-spirited air to its attitude and touch but one tempered by the maze of winding grooves and captivating melodies wrapping the vocal tension whilst its successor and the band’s new single rocks with relish while also creating a web of melodic enticement and vitriol lit dynamics, rhythmically and sonically. There is a toxic and intoxicating depth to its body, keys a hug of beauty, guitars a kaleidoscope of intent and endeavour as Pisarahu leads the raw vocal roar.

From the melancholy drenched atmospheric instrumental Interlude, the album’s title track has ears and imagination entwined, instantly too as its opening guitar twang flirts with instincts before they are infested by a glorious net of rapacious grooves. Another song which is rock ‘n’ roll at heart and carnivorous in persona, it crawls into the psyche; colouring its realms with fluttering melodies and animalistic textures. Middle Eastern spices only add to its majesty, the track emerging as quite simply aural captivation.

Life Breaker unleashes its ravenous sinews and creative rancor next, though again beauty is as prevalent in its physical nature as emotional discord while Thalassa is an invasive animus of sound and emotion which, without skimping on sonic light, is a darker, more vindictive enmity. Both tracks hit the spot, the former dead centre, before Draining Veins gives its melody woven volcano a friction of vocal and rhythmic tension which boils to inhospitable crescendos across its ever shifting and provocative soundscape.

The album closes with Viridian, a song epitomising the fluid ability of the band to tap into and blend contrasting emotions and textures whilst simultaneously challenging and stirring the listener. It is also a mighty collusion of sonic flirtation and predacious alienation bringing the album to an impressive end.

There are times when, on the surface, tracks share similar essences and personalities to other songs but attention and time defuses any apparent sameness. What emerges, is a creatively immense and thoroughly enjoyable proposition which, for appetites of bands like August Burns Red, While She Sleeps, and Northlane, of metalcore which wants to push itself, is a definite must check out.

Seven is out now via Longbranch/SPV. All links available @ https://theroyal.lnk.to/Seven

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Pete RingMaster 05/04/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Hometruths – Open Your Eyes

As the world persistently sails towards greater degeneration in respect and real equality for all, British metallers Hometruths send a ferocious shot across its bow with their debut EP. The Manchester band is a tempest of rage and defiance; one socially, politically, and sonically antagonistic to the inequalities, intolerances, and lack of compassion now seemingly the main fuel of the modern world. The Open Your Eyes EP is their reaction; one that is part reflection, part call to arms, and an advocate of hope all rolled up into an impressive scourge of raging sound and emotion.

Coming forward in the early throes of 2016, Hometruths merge groove honed metal hostility with raw passion driven hardcore. It is a fierce roar with a freshness defusing any recognisable traits, a sound matching virulent infectiousness to its senses trespassing incitement of sound and anger. They pull no punches lyrically and musically and indeed emotionally, every syllable and note incendiary. Familiar essences are part of the mix, hues which are suggested compare to the likes of While She Sleeps, Stray From The Path, and Madball, but also there are the early seeds and rich potential of uniqueness, all striking traits within Open Your Eyes.

The EP opens up with Embers, a minute of rising sonic discord and vocal ire creating a climate of raw discontent in a wake-up call triggering the just as unruly tempest of Feral. With sound and emotion living up to its title in moments, the track imposes on ears with agitated rhythms and caustic riffs, the similarly natured birth of grooves and fury laden vocals involved before it all twists into a seriously catchy incitement. As vocalist Gaz Davies spews frustration and contempt, grooves get instinctively funky, winding venomously around viciously swung beats from Alex Mac and a great grumbling bassline from Dan Hancox with his vocal potency backing up and aligning with the cantankerous prowess of Davies. It is irresistible stuff, the song just growing in strength and persuasion with every corrupted second.

Barely a breath is taken between the outstanding encounter and the equally impressive Divide, a twitch of ears and you miss the moment but not the fresh character of craft and intent quickly confronting ears. The track, even with its own unchained ferociousness and emotion, is more is a predator than its predecessor, sizing up and lunging at the jugular time and time again. Again steely grooves enslave and incite body and appetite, Antony Costello and Jack Day creating a senses eroding web of enterprise and infection while the diversity of spiteful vocals more than fully satisfy.

Successor Vigilante looms out of the dissipating mist of the song, its atmosphere claustrophobic but bearing rousing rhythmic bait from Mac swiftly courted by toxic grooves and intrusive voice. Riffs and rhythms snarl and bruise even as the track shares its own addictive swing in its imagination bred adventure and rancor. Again it is impossible to evade being hooked in by the tenacious landscape of the song though arguably it does not quite go far enough, at times seeming to hold back as things appear poised to detonate to greater creative heights and friction.

WMD stomps in next, its tension racked prowl like a fusion of Die Krupps and Prong, picking its spots before unveiling a slightly friendlier canvas of piercing hooks, magnetic vocals, and mercurial energy; and when we say slightly we mean just that. The track still gnaws and pulls at the senses, beats scything across their surface as guitars and bass twist and turn with a vengeance.

Just stealing best track honours it moves over for the closing despite of Genocide. Its heart is more a hardcore bred animus but just as rich in the metallic and grooves woven assets of those before it and though it lacks their final lethal punch makes a stirring end to an excellent and impressing debut.

Open Your Eyes is a formidable and exciting introduction to a band beginning to really kick up a buzz around themselves, a fuss which can only get bigger as Hometruths bring just that in surely even bolder propositions ahead.

Open Your Eyes is out now through CI Records.

https://www.facebook.com/hometruthsu

Pete RingMaster 06/03/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Create To Inspire – Home Is Where My Heart Dies

 

CTI_RingMasterReviewBuilding on the success of their debut EP, British melodic hardcore quintet, Create To Inspire, are poised to release its successor in the rousing shape of Home Is Where My Heart Dies. It is the band’s first offering since signing with Basick Records at the turn of the year; a pungent roar of emotion and imposing sound showing potent depths of invention and imagination beneath its impressing surface.

There are no major ground-breaking moments in the band’s new EP, the release more of a confirmation and expansion on the potential already offered by predecessor Halfway Home, yet predictability is noticeable by its absence while freshness in confrontational textures and accomplished craft is a persistent persuasion. From emerging in 2012, it is fair to say that the Essex hailing band has perpetually and increasingly drawn attention and praise their way; a success, it is easy to expect, set to reach another pinnacle with their latest release.

2014 saw the band win the Red Bull Studios Live At Download competition, subsequently playing alongside the likes of Aerosmith, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, and more, before the Halfway Home EP really stirred up ears and appetites. Since then they have toured alongside While She Sleeps and Giants, they particular highlights of a busy 2015, and following the release of Home Is Where My Heart Dies, Create To Inspire are set to make their debut tour into Europe in support of Skywalker, before returning to again hit the road with While She Sleeps. 2016 is looking another eventful year for the band starting here with Home Is Where My Heart Dies.

art_RingMasterReviewThe EP opens up with History and immediately has ears under a rhythmic cosh with predatory riffs for company. Thereafter the song uncages a tide of hungry riffs amidst the vocal ire of Sean Midson, subsequently expanding and blossoming its catchy rhythms and melodic endeavour with every lyrical snarl and sonic scythe.  The hefty swipes of drummer Luke Taylor continue to punctuate the track whilst inciting ears alongside the similarly intrusive tones of Dan Fuller’s bass. They also make a forceful impact on the senses whereas the imagination is held by Midson’s potent mix of attack and the web of enterprise cast by guitarists Jack Morris and Connor McLeod. The track is a potent start to the release; an ear grabbing proposal lining familiar hues and flavours with the band’s own stirring invention.

Counting Days steps forward next and instantly reveals its punk origins with its hardcore bred opening, a bracing bellow of voice and sound. Forceful as it is, the song also keeps one hand on the reins so melodic endeavour can flow seamlessly from within its brooding tempest. As aggressive and abrasive as it is melodically and harmonically infectious, the track is a striking roar of volatile and emotive intensity, and the EP’s strongest moment.

A gentle melodic caress brings Don’t Let Go into view next, its melancholic charm joined by the rawer expression of Midson’s vocals as beats land with determination. It is a highly suggestive start which is only accentuated by the infectious hooks and swinging energy which follows before the process is repeated with an even more irritable air coating the song’s subsequent energetic expulsion. It is another memorable encounter, maybe the one which lingers most from the EP though it’s title track has plenty of creative and catchy moments to its storm that hang around in thoughts and enjoyment.

It is another inflamed proposal of sound and emotion which masterfully shows off the vocal variety and sonic resourcefulness of the band , and the rhythmic imagination which steer the songs. As the EP generally, the closing track is not rich in ear catching surprises but has a multitude of alluring sounds and ideas in its equally pleasing body. Home Is Where My Heart Dies as a whole is an impressive continuation of the first Create To Inspire EP and confirmation that this is a band with the potential to make great strides within the UK music scene.

The Home Is Where My Heart Dies is released March 25th via Basick Records.

https://www.facebook.com/createtoinspireuk

Pete RingMaster 23/03/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Black Coast – Crows Of The North

Black Coast_RingMaster Review

Good things are openly being spoken about Black Coast and their metal/hardcore ferocity, praise that is easy to expect continuing as their debut EP, Crows Of The North, hits ears. The five track fury is a potent introduction, a powerful announcement of their arrival on the British metal scene with its melodic prowess within a commanding tempest of aggression and sonic animosity.

Formed in 2015, Black Coast is a band which is still looking for the uniqueness within their sound and it is fair to say that Crows Of The North provides few major surprises, yet it equally offers strong and open potential which certainly draws attention to itself. For a first release, the EP is a noticeably accomplished and carefully honed affair revealing that the Stoke-on-Trent quintet already has a good handle in equipping raging tempests with contagious hooks and suggestive melodies. They are qualities which have lured interest from the likes of Rock Sound and Alex Baker for his Fresh Blood show on Kerrang!, and will soon help the band in stand out within a crowded metalcore/hardcore fuelled scene.

Crows Of The North gets off to a bang with new single and best track on the EP, Violence Reigns. From its first breath, sinew sprung grooves are entwining ears with their enticement backed by heavy beats and the groaning lure of bass. Almost as swiftly, the vocal squalls of Charlie Hewitt unite with the adventurous sonic enterprise cast by guitarists Scott Pinnington and Joe Mayer, his entrance seemingly the spark to a great shift into unpredictable and an evolving landscape of sound and imagination. From vocals to hooks, rhythms to intensity, the track becomes a tapestry of maybe familiar but attention exciting flavours, persistently twisting and turning to incite an early keen appetite.

BLACK COAST CROWS OF THE NORTH FRONT COVER_RingMaster ReviewThe great start is nicely, or should that be grudgingly, backed by the irritable predation and antagonism of Mercenary, a track which blossoms into something between The Ghost of a Thousand and While She Sleeps. Swinging grooves quickly ignite ears whilst the intrusive strikes of drummer Matt Clarke seem to punctuate the turbulent emotion of Hewitt’s caustic vocal enterprise. Courted by a more ‘reserved’ trespass uncaged by Jack Beardsall’s bass and an infestation of swirling grooves and acidic hooks, the song leaves satisfaction ripe. Its pleasing success is then matched by the similarly intensive sonic and emotive inferno of Plagues where again grooves easily infiltrate the imagination whilst the broader melodic climate which comes and goes shows more of the invention and adventure lying within the songwriting and desire to merge sounds and contrasts. It does lack the same incendiary spark as the first pair of tracks though, being fully pleasing without drawing that extra excitement even if it has definite moments where riffs and anthemic rabidity, especially in its finale, hits the spot rather nicely.

Habit is the same, a track which does little wrong but misses the ingredient, even with its excellently crafted animus of emotion and sound, that helps turn a good song into a great proposal. Again though, it has to be said that it reveals creative incidents which only suggest that Black Coast is moving in the right and potent direction to be a notable antagonist in British metal ahead.

The EP’s title track closes Crows Of The North off; its attitude driven concentration of belligerent intensity and sonic tenacity highly captivating especially when bound to searing yet inviting grooves and barbarous rhythmic confrontation. Ultimately breaking into a bruising punk ‘n’ roll stroll clad in metallic ferocity, the track provides a thoroughly satisfying end to a fine first look at Black Coast.

Originality is maybe scarce within Crows Of The North but imagination and the sparks of future individuality make for a promise which time will see realised or not. Finding out should be an enjoyable adventure with Black Coast though just as the EP is now.

The self-released Crows Of The North EP is available from February 26th through iTunes and other stores.

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Pete RingMaster 26/02/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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