Twingiant – Devil Down

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There is smog like quality to the sound of US band Twingiant which invades every pore and corner of the senses with voracious appetite; within that thick immersion though the band infuses a searing melodic veining and smouldering enterprise to leave the imagination keen and appetite even hungrier. They describe their sound as simply loud and heavy, but as shown by new EP Devil Down, it is also bracingly flavoursome and rigorously compelling.

Devil Down is also uncompromising in its touch and intensity, Twingiant blending fiery stoner and heavy rock with imposing sludge richness for an inflammatory and predatory cauldron of sound. Formed in 2010, the Phoenix, Arizona based quartet drew keen attention with debut album Mass Driver two years later and last year’s Sin Nombre EP. Their success only backed and reinforced the band’s live stature which has seen them persistently impress and inflame audiences whilst sharing stages with the likes of Windhand, Pallbearer, Weedeater, Intronaut, Metal Church, Satan’s Satyrs, Guttermouth, Black Tusk and numerous more. Now with their self-released and produced Devil Down EP, the band look poised to awaken a more momentous spotlight upon themselves. May be it is not a release to ignite a explosive blaze within thunderous rock ‘n’ roll climes but it Devil Down is certainly a fierce proposition to firmly thrust Twingiant upon a broader landscape of attention.

The striking presence of the release begins with the instrumental Old Hag. Starting from a restrained and elegant flame of immediately enthralling enterprise and craft, the track grows within the ears as its melodic acidity and sultry charm creates a spark for the imagination to run with and explore. There is also a sinister edge to the invention and sonic beauty fuelling the track, the guitars of Tony Gallegos and Nikos Mixas providing a highly suggestive soundscape and narrative courted by raw shadows provided by the gripping rhythms of drummer Jeff Ramon and bass predation from Jarrod Le Blanc. It is a transfixing proposition which as it reaches its finale, digs into a new texture of aggressive tenacity and attitude.

The impressive start is followed by Dead To Rights, a track striding forcibly with a combative swagger from its first second. Loaded with just as magnetically swinging grooves it soon adds theDD Front Cover (1) coarse texture of Le Blanc’s vocals to the mix, his tones strong without blowing anyone away but with their generally minimalistic presence in the context of songs, they make the perfect incitement to the blistering tempests of around him. A brawling eruption of skilled endeavour and resourceful voracity, the song makes way for the carnivorously toned Daisy Cutter. From its first breath the bass growl is carnally bestial and soon matched by the thickly gravelled vocals. Heavy metal seeded grooves entwine the intensive weight and prowl of the song, at times taking over with their engaging flames and mouth-watering beauty, though the scuzzy hostility of the bass is a constant prowling intimidation ensuring every twist comes with its share of menace.

Through The Motions is another enslaving instrumental and with no slight on Le Blanc’s vocals, these are the tracks where the listener can really play and immerse into the creative emprise of engagements and release. They are a canvas for the imagination and emotions to dance freely, and this track a virulent persuasion weaving sizzling strands of sonic and melodic temptation with inventively rabid rhythms for a fascinating evocation, a tapestry for thoughts to cast adventures with.

Tiger Lily suffers a little being sandwiched between its predecessor and the next up instrumental, but still provides a feisty and aggressive enterprise of heavy footed riffs and spicy grooves to persistently enjoy. There is something missing though, a spark which evades even the enticing twists and shifting textures within the song, and whilst it is a potent companion it does not linger around as other tracks on the album, and especially like Under A Blood Moon. The third instrumental is the best, a sultry twang to guitars an immediate seduction which only grows as melodies and grooves embrace the flavouring for their own infectious web of wonderfully unpolished and organic temptation. Once more it is a piece which simply ignites ears and imagination into eager life, every diverse flavour and note seemingly a seed to expanding adventures, especially the dark beauty of strings at its conclusion.

Devil Down ends with its title track, a bruising prowl of heavy metal and sludge rapacity aligned to groove and noise rock causticity. It is a predator, an emotionally blackened stalking which lumbers and crawls with the varied creativity of the guitars its light and merciless rhythms its teeth. The song is an immense end to an outstanding release, where even though for personal tastes the instrumentals steal the show, every track is an almost primal incitement to want plenty more from Twingiant, a band whose stock and presence surely from this point will be infesting the world’s full awareness.

The self-released Devil Down is available on vinyl from 2 December @ http://twingiant.bandcamp.com/album/devil-down

A cassette version of Devil Down will be released via Medusa Crush Records on February 7th.

http://twingiant.com/

RingMaster 02/12/2104

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Windhand – Soma

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Pic Tony Lynch

    Soma is undoubtedly not for the faint hearted; not that the new album from Windhand is vicious or openly destructive, but with a scintillating oppressive craft and an impossibly heavy intensity the six track, seventy plus minute leviathan of doom clad sludge pervasion is one of the most exhausting demanding presences heard this year. As extensively consuming as it is expansively involving, the debut release with Relapse Records from the Richmond, Virginia quintet is sheer downtuned, rock gaited drama and despite its merciless lumbering ravishing of the senses is as captivating and magnetic as it is thrilling suffocating.

To declare Soma epic is almost whimsical, the mountainous riff rugged terrain going beyond that description to thrust the senses and imagination into an unventilated stuffy swamp of corrosively persuasive intensive sonic fog. The five piece of vocalist Dorthia Cottrell, guitarists Asechiah Bogdan and Garrett Morris, bassist Parker Chandler, and drummer Ryan Wolfe pregnate the senses immediately with an antagonistic slowly pervading riff from the first second of opener Orchard. The lone intrusion is soon joined by further grizzled guitar and barbed rhythms guided by the same intent, the forestry of sonic scenery and immersive atmosphere soon a tight restrictive smog around the ear and thoughts. The almost mystical haunting tones of Cottrell offers light, an escape from the intense ambience though it is a deceptive lure leading the listener into a maze of acidic melodies and guitar enterprise. Evocative and controlling the track is a magnetic call on the passions, a seemingly instinctive response in return embracing its fearsome muscular offering.

The following Woodbine soon engages a melodic and harmonic mist within its persuasive occultist like overwhelming breath, a GD30OB2-N.cdrpsychedelic glow shimmering off of the tar thick energy infiltrating every pore and thought.  Like its predecessor the song seems to go on and on in height and depth, the Sabbath inspired riff tanked absorption of the imagination an ever widening pull through an air sucking, senses flooding tide of fuzz lined malevolence. Its successor Feral Bones is much the same but with an even more predacious labouring rabidity which chews and swallows thoughts and emotions into its terrifying dark underbelly of again drone driven animosity, though once more the vocals of Cottrell offer a line of comfort even if soaked in sinister intrigue.

From distinctly different songs but ones with a mutual surface intent and feel, Evergreen steps forward next to provide ‘an eye of the storm’ moment. Predominantly acoustic guitar walking alongside wonderful vocals and harmonies in a tender ambience, the song is a folk autumn breeze but one which is no stranger to the shadows and darkened air which skirt its beauty from first to last evocative note and syllable.

Cassock soon preys on the calm with a terrific sonically snarling temptation evolving into a leg staggering thunderstorm of electrified sonic scythes and mountainous cascading beats prowled from within by sinew heavy, riveting ferocious riffs. Like being chewed alive by a tsunami of ravenous intensive jaws whilst fallen angels serenade the wounds, the track is a magnetic triumph which impales the passions upon its rhythmic shards and sonic spires.

The closing Boleskine is a thirty minute colossal journey all on its own within the album. An acoustic start deceptively draws in the senses and mind before once fully engaged they succumb to a blood chilling doom soundscape of severe and stressful provocation entwined with seducing melodic mastery and the ever lingering almost ghostly vocal presence of Cottrell. Ever evolving with drone spawned intensity and folk sparked elegance repeating their persuasions amidst ever changing and senses suffering imagination, the track is a long winding fall through aural purgatory and thoroughly absorbing and thrilling, if debatably over long by the time it leaves its Siberian like winter on the ear.

Soma is simply an outstanding confrontation which needs and offers numerous excursions through its edacious depths to explore all of its startling textures and depths. Windhand has created a suffering which may in time go down as an important doom metal release; certainly in the now it will feature on the end of year passions of so many.

https://www.facebook.com/WindhandVA

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/09/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Interview with Jon Rossi of Pilgrim

Bringing forth the essence of “true doom metal”, Rhode Island metalers Pilgrim are about to unleash a brute of an impressive album in the shape of Misery Wizard. A monster of a release it is an intense assault of black dirges, resonating ravenous riffs and blistering caustic melodies that feeds and excites the senses. We had the pleasure of asking Jon Rossi from Pilgrim about the band and Misery Wizard.

Hello and thank you for taking time to talk to The Ringmaster Review.

Hails, and you are very welcome.

Could you please first introduce the band and tell us how you all met and the band started.

We are PILGRIM, a doom metal band from Rhode Island, USA. We all met in high school and bonded over good art and music.

What was the inspiration to start the band and for your music as a whole?

We all loved doom metal and wanted to start a project of our own, something that expressed ourselves uniquely but also paid tribute to our favorite bands. PILGRIM was born fairly quickly.

Your sound is fuelled by and the band’s intent is to ‘resurrect’ true doom metal. Firstly how do you feel about modern doom metal then?

Don’t get us wrong, there are a lot of great ‘doom metal’ bands around now, but we feel like, ESPECIALLY here in the States, ‘doom metal’ has become a blanket term to describe everything from stoner metal to funeral metal. We feel like we have a very good idea of what real doom metal should be and what it sounds like. In that regard, we are very unhappy with the current state of doom.

So is this intention as much down to your unrest and disgust at the way the genre has gone as it is simply music that you enjoy and are inspired by?

Exactly! I couldn’t have said it better, thank you.

Are you finding a ready audience for true doom metal or most need reminding of and showing its might first?

It seems like Europeans really love it and understand it and people here in the US are a bit… taken aback? Perhaps they are frightened and insecure about the fact that I am not fucking screaming into the microphone. Or maybe their fragile ears can’t handle a note suspended for more than a few seconds. Most DEFINITELY need reminding. Forgive us for not conforming to an over-popular norm.

Are there any current doom metal bands you would spend time on listening to?

Sure. Good old Pentagram and Saint Vitus are still kicking, touring and releasing new records. We love Electric Wizard and Blood Ceremony. Ramesses are godly as well.

Has doom metal always been the direction you had as musicians even before the band?

Not quite. We always wanted to make heavy, powerful, dark music, but before we found doom metal we really had no direction. My guitar playing and song writing really took off after I discovered bands that I finally could to relate to.

You are Rhode Island based, is there a vibrant metal scene there or do you have to generally travel further afield for gigs etc?

Rhode Island is a joke, generally speaking. Don’t get me wrong, some amazing bands have come from Rhode Island, but currently it’s “music scene” (if you could call it that) is a bit… I can’t quite find the word. Perhaps “boring” is a good choice.

You are about to release your impressive debut album Misery Wizard, what are the emotions on the ‘eve’ of its release?

I can’t wait to hold a copy of the vinyl in my hands. It’s taken so very very long. We are just excited the process is over with and we can continue to look forward to our new projects.

How long has the album been in the making?

It is a collection of our earliest songs, so probably about two years, since the beginning of the band. We weren’t sure what exactly we’d be releasing for the first record, it sort of just fell together on its own.

Is there a particular track or moment on the album that gives you the deepest satisfaction?

Although it is the least “doomy” track on the record, I love the song Adventurer. It’s a fantastical auto-biography of the band and our adventures and creeds. It is just so powerful to me.

Can you give us some insight into the band’s writing process?

I get inspired by a particular idea and I try my best to make a riff that represents the feeling of that thought. It’s like painting with music. Then I bring it to practice and the guys help me make it into a song by giving it backbone. I enjoy the process. They give me feedback and constructive criticism. I value their opinions highly.

The songs within Misery Wizard are epic in length and stature, how much is predetermined and how much is it a songs natural evolution that gives them this grand imposing feel?

You are an observant listener! I always say, the songs aren’t REALLY that ‘long’, on paper they are quite short, it is just the speed and style that make them come out so lengthy. It’s an acquired taste. A lot of old secular music was like this. It didn’t feel long to them, we just think faster today.

Lyrically the songs are diverse, what are the things that inspire and trigger the lyrics?

I am inspired by a lot of fantasy, whether it’s games or movies or books. Some of the lyrics are introspective, but I prefer songs that paint beautifully epic pictures. Sword and sorcery is my favorite domain! I suppose some of it also comes from a love of the occult and magic ritual, but recently we’ve been moving away from this style because of its redundancy in doom metal today.

One imagines live your sound is even more powerful and overwhelming than on the album, how easy was it to get that intensity on the recording and still keep the clarity too?

It was easy! Making the music intense and full of emotion is something that PILGRIM is exceptionally good at. A lot of it has to do with Krolg’s drumming, he is excellent at building walls of feeling and then smashing them down. When we recorded the record, it only took us three days (the first day being mostly drums). We are (usually) very well rehearsed.

Could you tell us about the excellent artwork on the album?

It was done by a wonderful Englishmen named Paul McCarol. We wanted to a parody of a Renascence-style painting using elements and themes from the record. We worked really closely with Paul to come up with that image. A lot of people claim that we are attempting to rip off the Cathedral style artwork. This simply isn’t true. We can clearly see how someone would think this, but it’s pure coincidence. We don’t really listen to very much Cathedral.

Does 2012 have dates and tours ahead to help promote the album etc, and any chance Europe will see Pilgrim this year?

Europe will see PILGRIM this year, we will be playing the “Heavy Days in Doom Town” festival in Copenhagen, Denmark and also a prior show in Oslo, the details of which are a bit hazy as of now.  We will be hitting the road here in the states starting March 1st, hoping to wind up down in Dallas, TX to play the SxSW festival.

What are your plans beyond Misery Wizard?

To go to Japan. We fucking love Japan.

A great many thanks for talking with us, have you any last words or thoughts?

Only Reverend Bizarre is real. Fuck everyone.

And finally can you give recommendations to Doom Metal fans of whom other than Pilgrim they should check out to explore the true doom metal sound?

Reverend Bizarre, Saint Vitus, Pentagram, Revelation, Ramesses, Electric Wizard, The Wizar’d, Black Hole, Witchfinder General, EARLY Cathedral, EARLY Warning, and check out some newer bands Ice Dragon and Windhand.        

Misery Wizard is unleashed via Metal Blade Records on February 14th

Read the Misery Wizard review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/pilgrim-misery-wizard/

Ringmaster 10/02/2012

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