Circle Of Reason – Faith Or Theory

COR_RingMasterReview

On the back of a collection of releases which have taken ears and enjoyment on an adventurous ride, anticipation for the debut album from British alternative rock band Circle Of Reason has been rife and ripe for quite a while. The wait is now almost over and a new creative escapade from the Southampton quartet waiting to be greedily devoured; a reaction hard to see Faith Or Theory missing out on.

Emerging in 2011, Circle Of Reason was soon stirring up their local scene before poking at broader recognition a year later with their excellent debut EP, A Favour For A Stranger. Led by outstanding single Silver Scene, the three-track introduction lit the ears and spirit whilst revealing the potential of bigger and bolder things to come. And so they did with a big leap in the These Hands & This Mind EP of 2013/14. With their music inspired by the likes of Mastodon, Deftones, Biffy Clyro, Muse, and Queens Of The Stone Age, the second EP showed the band developing their own distinct and eventful sound. There was a new imagination fuelled character to it without defusing the already established fire and creative enterprise in their sound and an increasingly renowned live presence seeing Circle Of Reason share stages with bands such as Feed The Rhino, Marmozets, Neck Deep, Inme, Mallory Knox, Heck, Allusondrugs, Freeze The Atlantic, Breed 77, Zico Chain and many more over the years.

The past months has seen a slight line-up change and the creation of Faith Or Theory. It too is an open step on from past triumphs; bringing a bolder maturity and imaginative zeal with its fascinating body that demands attention. Opening with the band’s new upcoming video/single, Never Enough, the album has ears gripped within its first sound bulging seconds. Instantly a barrage of thumping beats and hungry riffs collude to envelop the senses, spicy grooves emerging from the inviting tempest to entice an already eager appetite. Straight away there is something unique to the band’s proposal from the start but also their recognisable hunger and energy to take ears on a new adventure.  As the song expands into a web of melodic enterprise and rhythmic tenacity, the tones of vocalist/guitarist Simon Osman quickly hit the mark, reminding of his already established quality and emotive expression. The same applies throughout the band, in the evocative strains of Gary Slade’s guitar inventive bait and the growly hues of bass from its  newest member, he only going by the name of Rob so far, which add an almost bestial edge to the enjoyably raw air and roar of the track’s fiery escapade.

circle-of-reason_RingMasterReview The great start is soon eclipsed by Questions, it too holding a heavier and enjoyably intimidating essence to its virulent proposal. The versatile swinging beats of Andy Milwain leave no spot unmarked whilst the hooks of Osman and addictive grooves of Slade swiftly get under the skin with their melodic colour and varied flavouring. At times there is a touch of Reuben to the song, other moments of bands like Freeze The Atlantic, and persistently a tapestry of rock and alternative spicing keeping things inventively unpredictable whilst making it easy to be caught up in the contagion.

My Emergency steps up next with a less intrusive and imposing nature yet it too has a tempestuousness to its energy and emotion which intrigues as it whips up another increasingly robust and catchy affair. Backing harmonies court Osman’s ever impressing delivery whilst guitar and bass almost entwine like lovers in their infectious and dramatic endeavours around Milwain’s potently jabbing beats. Leaving body and spirit bouncing, the track makes way for Clarity. It also has a less forceful attitude to its persuasion but a host of ear seizing and imagination sparking twists and turns within its slowly and increasingly anthemic arousing of sound and pleasure cored by a rhythmic spine and nagging riffery which worms into the psyche.

Every song makes an immediate impact but maybe none as striking as In Other Words. It opens on a seductive and slightly melancholic melody with an almost theatrical feel to it; the coaxing continuing to keep ears hooked as the song opens up with voice and additional vines of poetic melodies matched in imagination by the evocative lures of bass. As it builds up in intensity, emotion, and creative fire, there is a definite Muse like quality to the song but only enough to add colour to the band’s own sonic and inventive drama.

The following Tie Up The Sky uncages its enthralling and volatile tempest from the first breath, again rhythms a prowling network of enticement within the sonic and melodic theatre captivating ears and thoughts around Osman’s plaintive and dynamic croon. Circle Of Reason has the great knack of being aggressive, almost fearsome at times, and ridiculously infectious and vibrantly inviting; this compelling offering epitomising that potent quality in rousing style.

Completed by latest video single Colours, a track which climbs over the senses and into the passion with exotically hued grooves and a thick drama of sound and emotional suggestiveness, Faith Or Theory rumbles and blazes with heart bred fervour amidst an invasive quality. It feels like the Circle Of Reason sound has come of age yet something still says there is plenty more yet to come, which can only be very good for the UK rock scene.

Faith Or Theory is released 27th May via Freefall Records.

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Pete RingMaster 09/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Hercules Morse – Edge Of Life

Hercules Morse_RingMaster Review

Creating a great blend of familiarity and predominantly fresh invention distinct to the band, UK alternative rockers Hercules Morse re-unleash their debut EP, Edge Of Life, a repackaged version of their 2014 three track encounter offering a trio of additional new tracks to get enthusiastically greedy over. The band has been compared to bands like the Foo Fighters and Queens Of The Stone Age, understandably so at times, but as Edge Of Life reveals, there is much more in adventurous sound and texture to the band rousing rock ‘n’ roll.

Rising from the demise of their previous guise, The Blue Screen Of Death, the Southampton hailing Hercules Morse emerged in 2014, quickly uncaging the original version of the Edge Of Life EP to potent reactions. In their earlier incarnation, the band had shared stages with bands such as Turbowolf, Band of Skulls, Brant Bjork, Zico Chain, Orange Goblin, and Dinosaur Pile Up; a success and live hunger just as rampant with Hercules Morse as the south of England can testify since the band stepped forward. Now national attention is getting a firm and impressive nudge with the bulkier invigorating return of Edge Of Life.

That creative poke begins with The Education, an incitement throwing thick riffs, biting rhythms, and spicy grooves at ears from its first breath. The equally potent vocal prowess of rhythm guitarist Steve George quickly joins the virulent tempting, his lead tones well supported by those of lead guitarist Harry Gardner. Already those earlier mentioned comparison make a tasty hue to the encounter but spices in a fiery and tenacious romp finding its own identity with every swinging rhythms and sonic hook.

Hercules Morse Cover Artwork_RingMaster Review   The great start is continued and eclipsed by the EP’s excellent title track, it too straight to the point with anthemic beats from drummer Guillaume Redonnet-Brown eagerly rolling in as the guitars cast a web of melodic enterprise around the again highly alluring vocals. There is a mellower air to the track even with its robust rhythmic boisterousness and the great carnivorous tone of Paul Shott’s bass, and a flavouring drawing on the melody rich essences of classic and alternative rock over past decades. For personal tastes it does ultimately lack the bite of its predecessor but more than makes up for it with a contagion of flowing melodies and harmonies tempered by an underlying tempestuousness.

Good Old Days steps up next, uncaging a bluesy groove from its first touch and an increasingly magnetic web of hooks and juicy sonic craft thereon in. Bouncing around with sinews as blatantly bold and insatiable as the melodic catchiness skilfully nurtured, the track offers a thrilling and inescapable Super Happy Fun Club meets Feud meets Squeeze proposal that has body and emotions on board within its first half minute.

That Difford and Tilbrook like essence is an on-going spicing, lighting up the previous pair of songs and again All About Me, if in a subtler way as a more Josh Homme inspired hug of sound wraps ears from within the wiry sonic and punchy rhythmic resourcefulness of the song. More reserved but no less potent in its persuasion and lingering seduction of the imagination and appetite, the song entangles its gentler incitement with fiery blues seeded guitar whilst its grunge heart simply becomes more vocal and engagingly volatile over time.

The EP comes to a close through firstly the pulsating and lively rock ‘n’ roll canter of Nowhere Left To Go and lastly the weighty energy and eventful landscape of How Do You Love Me. They are both songs which spring no major surprises in originality but defy solid comparisons to others as they sculpt more enjoyment to acclaim Hercules Morse for. The second of the two especially grips ears with its inventive twists and surging infectiousness, ensuring the EP ends on a high.

Edge of Life is one of those yet to be discovered friends that instinctively offers new fun crafted from somewhat recognisable exploits. It also reveals a brew of individuality though which comes with the potential of greater uniqueness ahead; reason enough to get involved with the band right now.

The Edge Of Life EP is available through all stores from 4th December and https://herculesmorseuk.bandcamp.com/

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Pete RingMaster 04/12/215

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I.C.O.N – The Blacklist

I.C.O.N_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review

Six years on from their well-received and acclaimed debut album, UK’s I.C.O.N make another noticeable and even more potent imprint on the British metal scene with its successor The Blacklist. It is a brute of an encounter yet jammed with stirring melodies and sonic enterprise to temper and complement its muscular aggression. The album is not one to seriously tear up the metal/heavy rock landscape but in giving it an invigorating stirring, The Blacklist does a massive job.

From the release of their first album New Born Lie in 2009, I.C.O.N has continued to reinforce their potent reputation and increase a loyal fan base through a live presence taking in stage sharing with the likes of Breed 77, Blaze Bayley, Warrior Soul, Diamond Head, Furyon, Zico Chain, Witchfynde, and Voodoo Six amongst many others. Numerous festival appearances have only enhanced their growing stature too, with the release of The Blacklist now carrying the broadest potential to awaken major spotlights. Produced by Pete Troughton, the album is a tapestry of hostile exploits and melodic temptation cast in an array of individual proposals. Some tracks outshine others but from its first atmospheric breath to its final roar, the release provides one rugged, raw, and rousing enjoyment.

The album opens with A Room In Hell, a short instrumental gently and evocatively luring the listener into the heart and turbulence of The Blacklist. Guitars cast an enticing web of expression and craft whilst rhythms rumble like an encroaching storm, their shadows colluding with sonic persuasion in a potent intro to the release and the sinew stretched swagger of Feeding The Negative. Instantly riffs from guitar and bass are a gripping coaxing matched by the increasingly aggressive and agitated assault of beats. The growling tone of Reece Bevan’s bass additionally provides a great accompaniment to the equally gravelly vocals of Mark Sagar and a predatory contrast to the acidic and scorching endeavour of Scott Knowles’s guitar. In full stride and attitude, ground-breaking the song is not but like the album, in prime and inventive metal spawned rock ‘n’ roll, the track is a storming incitement and pleasure.

i-c-o-n-the-blacklist-1400_Reputation Radio/RingMaster Review     The following Grindin’ Wheel, though appearing less confrontational, is a matching beast of provocation. As the keen swipes of Larry Paterson’s drum sticks hit skin and senses, a spicy groove is cast by Knowles, its revelry sparking a similar swing to riffs and subsequent rhythms whilst band vocal calls add an anthemic tempting to around increasingly imposing and impressing tones of Sagar. The song does its big part in the continuing strong and gripping start to The Blacklist and is instantly backed by the thrash seeded I’m The Venom, a song with a hint of bands like Metallica and Testament but flinging those flavours around like a baker with dough to create its own recipe of melodic/heavy rock infused antagonism. There is that familiarity though but it only makes things spicier around the uniqueness fuelling the incendiary solo which breaks free and the bracing vocal/rhythm collusion shaping all tracks.

Both Welcome To My War, with its deliciously barbarous bass insurgence and uncompromising drums swings, and Speak To Your God keep ears and appetite fully fed. The first of the two is just breath-taking at its start, an inescapable consuming of the senses and imagination which then loses its fullest potency once it settles into a more reserved and restrained prowl. The song still impresses and ignites full satisfaction to be fair but such its glorious opening, it feels a little like a missed opportunity unlike its successor which brawls and rages from its first breath. With a hint of a southern twang to its air, the track reveals its whole weight and weaponry straight away, simply increasing its richness with nagging riffs, riveting grooves, and a fiery solo, not forgetting virulent rhythms.

The slower, more controlled Devil’s Blacklist walks through ears with emotional expression and descriptive sonic hues, and though it maybe lacks the spark of its predecessors, it hangs a creative arm around attention to keep it fully involved before Wrong Way Back turns in a heavy and forceful stomp equipped with raw contagion spun by the skilled exploits of each member of the band. There is no avoiding the technical and accomplished craft from I.C.O.N, and how individually and united its members know how to write and deliver a fully rounded and attention grabbing storm of an encounter, no better proof coming than with Man of the North. From a cold and lonely canvas the instrumental builds an evocative landscape of solitude and beauty, its range of minimalistic textures to full blown tempestuous endeavour and ideation a relentless suggestiveness for the imagination.

The outstanding rampage of Deconverted descends on ears and air next, another thickly persuasive bass lead stirring up body and emotions for the song to bruise and ignite further, though it is another which maybe does not realise the potential hinted at throughout. It is still an excellent encounter though leaving the closing and tenacious sonic might of Drowning In Their Screams to bring this thoroughly enjoyable and invigorating album to a close.

For honest and uncluttered, as well as seriously accomplished heavy metal, it will be hard to find anything much better than The Blacklist this year we suggest. It is not flawless and as mentioned it does not fulfil all the promise hinted at, but you can only feel that there is a major classic lurking inside I.C.O.N as they evolve and grown further whilst this release persistently shows itself to be one powerful and seriously tasty encounter all metallers should take time to devour.

The Blacklist is available now via Metalbox Recordings digitally and on CD @ http://www.iconukonline.com/webshop

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RingMaster 16/06/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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LongFallBoots – Wait For The Echo

1-C

Though not exactly psychotic or schizophrenic, Wait For The Echo, the debut album from UK scuzzers LongFallBoots, definitely has a certain deranged edge and tenacity to its sound and character which makes it one of the most fascinating and enjoyable releases to hit 2015 so far. Brewing up a sound from a maelstrom of noise and punk to stoner and psych rock, and that barely covers it all, the Warwickshire band create a fuzzy sonic smog which almost visually ripples with ideas and imagination within its caustic surface. That again is only half the picture as rhythmically, the album is one of the heaviest predatory treats you are likely to come up against in rock music this year. It all makes for an intriguing and thoroughly exciting proposition from a band which manages to actually offer something new.

LongFallBoots is the creation of friends Alex Caithness (KOSS, Cincinnati Bow Tie) and Ben Holdstock (Paralus, Cincinnati Bow Tie), and came about by accident when the rest of the line-up in the pair’s other band failed to turn up for a rehearsal. That moment in time was filled by the duo writing first EP It Was Duke and the birth of LongFallBoots. Since its release in August 2012, the band has released a further six EPs, the first five in a 12 month period whilst the last, Good At Television was written after the new album and recorded before its completion to ‘keep busy’ as the band managed the logistics of scheduling in and recording the full-length with the numerous guests which feature on Wait For The Echo. The album was written by and primarily recorded by Caithness and Ben Holdstock, though with extended contribution from live bassist Chris Childs, who has since left the band, and vocalist Amy Smith, who has subsequently replaced Childs on bass and additional vocals, and recorded the Good At Television EP with the band. Further guests on the album include Andi Chamberlain (Eagles Born Vultures), Claudio Aníbal (Ash Is A Robot), and Marc Shinner (Those Loathsome Fishmen/Devi Ever) amongst many. LongFallBoots like to work fast when it comes to writing and creating songs, a frenetic approach to their recordings which again applies to the album yet does not in any way corrupt the quality and energy of the release, in fact it probably goes some way to make it as intensively dynamic and gripping as it is.

That strength is immediately on show as opener Transmission stirs up ears and senses; the opening scuzz of guitar and slapping rhythms a raw and feisty coaxing catching the imagination with ease, especially as it broadens with rich melodies and mellow vocals. It is a potent mix which from an early strong position becomes a much more instinctive persuasion as the band’s vocals a2819673812_2fiercely roar and bellow from behind the more relaxed delivery of guest Jonathan Martin. The track continues to grip tighter as beats get more agitated in tandem with the general manner of the song, the returning sway of Martin’s gentle caresses seeming to gain extra impetus from this for the magnetic ‘chorus’.

The 2nd Technic offers an instant increased snarl with its riffs and air, employing a post punk chilling around incendiary bursts of noise rock intensity. That alone is a compelling mix but with little flirtations of melodies and harmonic vocal mumbling, the song becomes an irresistible creative raging whose masterful heights are matched by the following False Flag immediately after. It rolls in on a contagious rhythmic enticing, a nibbling guitar adding to the exciting lure. Vocal squalls and tempestuous urgency break through soon after, not quite brawling but certainly bringing greater intimidation and thrilling rapacity to the encounter. Already thoughts of Melvins come to the fore but only as a scent of the raucous creativity being expelled by LongFallBoots.

Thoughts are thrown a curve ball in some ways by Thousand Hands, its fuzz pop breeding a warm and intriguing embrace, especially with the angelic tones of Amy Smith adding to the rosy colour of the song. Of course it is again only part of the picture as the surface of the sounds are woven with bracing fuzziness whilst throughout there is a veining of acidic heavy rock enterprise. The song is pure magnetism but does not quite light the appetite as those just before it, or the next up Loaded Question. Punk infused, the track is a thumping roar in ears with a warped mentality and design to its addictive presence and textures. There is a slight touch of The Zico Chain to it and at times Torche, and for just over a minute it provides another enslaving highlight of the album.

Both the groove bound Displacer with its rhythmic dance and the doomy prowl of Noctavia bring further diversity to the album and new adventure to ears, each in their individual persuasions worming under the skin and deep into the psyche before the riveting and infectious devilment of The Cruel Institution steals their thunder with its sonic winery and sinuous invention. It does not take long to become a firm favourite within Wait For The Echo, though the sultry twang and spicy croon of A Peculiar Hell gives food for thought before the bedlamic By Design hits with its Converge-esque vocal attitude and continually shifting landscape. At times it is a brawl on the senses and in other moments a sweet seduction; a post-hardcore like fury which as all songs is ultimately hard to pin down.

The Sham basks in a heavy rock predation as a Mastodon intensity mixes with a Kyuss like melodic blazing driven again by caustically delivered vocals. It is a slow burner compared to other tracks but has ears and appetite enthralled whilst Simultaneous Man simply has each turning somersaults of pleasure with its voracious and uncompromising punk raging equipped with a deliciously throaty bassline and sinister sonic endeavour.

A final piece of expectations defeating excellence comes with the closing An Apology, the band again slipping into mellower waters with charming melodies and the siren-esque voice of Smith; anticipation is already expecting special things ahead with her voice now a regular feature of the band. The final incitement cannot leave without a trespass of the senses though, guitars and hoarse roars adding to the increasing intensity and inflamed climate of the song as it brings the album to an impressive close.

   Wait For An Echo incites and delights in equal measure. It is an album for all fans of heavy and noise bred rock music to explore a healthy new adventure with, and whilst LongFallBoots is still a secret to a great many right now, the new release could change that privacy as it ignites more and more ears and emotions. And if it falls short, let’s be honest there will probably be another tasty EP or two right around the corner reinforcing its fine temptation and fighting the cause.

Wait For The Echo is available digitally and on CD now via http://longfallboots.bandcamp.com

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RingMaster 24/02/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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King Canute – Drive EP

King Canute Online Promo Shot

When UK rockers Ghost of the Highway came to an end two years ago fans were definitely left with a hole to fill in their enjoyment. Rising from the ashes, band member Johnny Lett (bass/vocals) has alongside Chris Woollams (drums/vocals), easily brought a new provocation to thrill over and bridge that gap in the compelling shape of King Canute. Fusing heavy rock and punk in a much more ferocious and raw yet voraciously imaginative brew than previous exploits, the duo made an immediate impression when emerging last year and its continues in the potent brawl of new EP Drive. Four tracks which roar and incite with unfussy and magnetic tenacity, the release is a storm not exactly setting out into new scenery for UK rock but undoubtedly giving it and fans a compelling adventure to keenly embrace.

Hailing from Guildford and Harlow, since forming King Canute has taken little time in raising support and attention with their at times uncompromising sound. They have lit up stages alongside the likes of Slaves to Gravity, Zico Chain, Idiom, Bad for Lazarus amongst a great many, as well as drawn acclaim with debut EP Cutting Teeth, it receiving equally strong media attention. The release which featured Jamie Lenman (formerly of Reuben), set down a feisty first marker for the band which Drive now pushes deeper with a richer persuasion, the Gavin Monaghan produced EP leaving ears and appetite with a new hunger for the band.

Cocaine Skank is the first encounter on the EP and instantly entwines ears in a mesh of vibrant rhythms and tempting bass, both increasing their coaxing in urgency and persuasion as the song evolves into a punchy incitement. Hooks King Canute Cover Artworkand short grooves add to the appealing and raw texture of the song whilst the vocals offer a potent expression and raw honesty to the proposition. A healthy punk antagonism crowds ears and riffs too whilst there is an alternative rock invention to the twists and turns the song seamlessly strides through.

The title track comes next and takes a more considered gait into its just as swiftly appealing presence. With scythes of chords and sonic temptation sweeping behind the strong vocals of both men, and a thumping rhythmic prowl inviting the fullest engagement, the song is a simmering hostile and openly anthemic enticement. Essences of Queens Of the Stone Age colour the impressive song but it, and the others making up the EP, most of all spark thoughts of nineties British rock band Skyscraper. Its captivating impact is matched by the following Trash Talk. Primarily electro punk but with aggressive abrasing and mildly corrosive melodies, the song is a mix of OurFamous Dead and Hundred Reasons with a touch of Alkaline Trio yet unique King Canute all the same.

An electro coaxing swiftly leads into the caustic arms of bass as Hellmates begins bringing the release to a close, jabbing rhythms and the similarly honest and expressive vocals of the pair soon joining the contagious bait. The song’s swagger is an instantly successful lure whilst the slipping into slower evocative moments, without gripping as potently still leaves thoughts and emotions enthralled. The song is again punk rock at its heart but the electronic veining, which equally pushes the potency of the song, and the exceptional intimidation of bass with its gnarly flavouring, all go to create a fresh and inventive proposition.

Drive confirms and reinforces the impressive emergence of King Canute whilst suggesting of greater things and more dramatic sounds ahead. That may come in the shape of the band’s debut album which they are currently working on for a 2015 release. Time will tell but it is hard not to have a healthy anticipation for its arrival thanks to the richly satisfying Drive EP.

The Drive EP is released 1st September and available through all good digital outlets.

www.KingCanuteOfficial.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 31/08/2014

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KING CANUTE go on a ‘Drive’ from 1st September‏

King Canute Online Promo Shot

EXPLOSIVE DEBUT EP FROM KING CANUTE SET FOR LAUNCH FROM SEPTEMBER.

Irrepressible Brit Rock punkers ‘King Canute’ continue their tempestuous assault on the UK, unveiling their brand new EP ‘Drive’, out on 1st September and available through all good digital outlets.

King Canute were born in the backstreets of Essex and Guildford with Johnny “JC” Lett on bass & vocals and Chris Woollams on drums & vocals. Both members stamp their individual taste all over their craft; Johnny’s background is based in dissident punk music and Chris’s hard-hitting metal influences help to create a truly unique electronic-heavy rock sound.

Ever since 2013, the band have extensively played throughout the country wowing audiences in the process with their highly energetic and explosive live shows. Support shows with Slaves to Gravity, Zico Chain, Idiom, Bad for Lazarus, and many others, have further added to their cause and so too has the release of their debut EP “Cutting Teeth”, which featured Jamie Lenman from Reuben. The record was unleashed last year to huge acclaim and achieved substantial national radio play and magazine coverage, with Big Cheese Magazine declaring that the record is “…an infectious blend of bass driven rock anthems with sing-along hooky choruses” and Raw Ramp Magazine touting that the band have “heavy riffs that blade into your skull like an ice pick”.

The relentless rocksters hit the road again in the Spring of 2014 and once more attacked venues throughout the whole of the country. Word and momentum are now rapidly starting to spread about the dynamic duo, and rightly so. After a hefty live schedule, the two-some decided to go into the studio with esteemed producer Gavin Monaghan to lay down cuts for their next EP. Entitled ‘Drive’, the record perfectly encapsulates the band’s live sound and vigour. From the opening onslaught of ‘Cocaine Skank’, which brims and spits out kinetic energy to the buzzsaw groove of ‘Drive’ and the anthemic ‘Trash Talk’, the record is sure to set the band ahead of the pack. ‘Hellmates’ closes the EP with a pounding piece of upbeat rock that is perfectly offset by the duo’s cunning use of electronics.

With another UK Tour planned for the Autumn, and with an array of live appearances penned for wider plains, including India, along with their debut album scheduled for 2015, the sky is the limit of this inspired rock unit.

King Canute Cover Artwork

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Second Rate Angels – The Lost Days EP

Second Rate Angels Online Promo Shot

It is fair to say that UK metallers Second Rate Angels have bred a rather decent reputation for themselves through their highly flavoursome sound and explosive live performances since forming in late 2011. Now the Hemel Hempstead quartet looks to emulate their success and presence on a nationwide level with debut EP The Lost Days. Consisting of four skilfully contagious and vivaciously inventive tracks which capture the imagination with ease, the release is a striking and potent introduction to a band drenched in rigorous promise and open quality. Their sound on the evidence of the EP is not one to stretch boundaries within melodic metal and heavy rock but certainly it is a fresh and riveting new strain to an established design.

Since forming Second Rate Angels has sculpted an impressive presence on stage, playing with the likes of Breed 77, Beholder, and Zico Chain to name just three along the way. Their appearances at Bloodstock Open Air Festival equally brought a new wealth of attention and support the way of the band and their Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine, and Trivium inspired muscular ideation. The Lost Days EP is the next step of their ascent and you cannot avoid thinking set to be very successful in its intent.

Give It A Name opens up ears and attention with heavyweight rhythms across expansive sways of sonic rapaciousness, its entrance

EP Artwork By Sam Kelm

EP Artwork By Sam Kelm

deliberately predatory yet insatiably compelling, especially with the scythes of guitar sculpted temptation. Once seducing the senses and anticipation fully, the track shifts into a fiery charge of heavy metal riffs punctured by sinew built rhythms, it all driven by the excellent tones of vocalist and bassist Dave Gobran. With a sandy rasp to his impressive voice, Gobran is an immediate lure around which the guitars of Chris Lewis and Matt Clark just as dynamically and impressively entwine their creative exploits. The song itself is a stirring encounter which is unafraid to venture into emotive melodic climates where gait and energy make a gentle canvas for the intensive expression of vocals and sonic hues.

The excellent start is soon reinforced by the following Dragged Out, the new single from the band. A lone guitar coaxes ears first before the pungent beats of drummer Andy Doran strikingly frame and spear the enticement as Gobran again colours the scenery with his voice. Once established the song explores an Avenged Sevenfold like melodic pattern of colour and imagination aligned to heavy rock rapaciousness which is as familiar and inviting as it is individually inventive. It is a less demanding and commanding song than its predecessor but potently catchy alongside being creatively absorbing.

The release is at its strongest over the final two songs, the title track an outstanding suasion which hints at a depth of potential still to be discovered by the band whilst providing an incendiary drama and skilled enterprise which sets them out as a thrilling proposition now and ahead. With great variation to the vocals and the predatory breath of the song, it is a riveting adventure which at times has an essence of John Bush era Anthrax to its hunger and endeavour around thought provoking hooks. The guitars and drums as already expected by this point make for an impressive and expressive incitement whilst the vocals of Gobran flame in passion and expression, and his bass craft is pretty formidable too.

Black Ice is more seeded in classic metal, though again eager to explore and colour itself with varied spices and tenacity of various metallic styles. It is a contagion drenched song which seduces with a chorus that refuses to be ignored or forgotten whilst around the anthemic bait band and song cast a scintillating weave which is as unpredictable and intriguing as it is virulently enslaving. It is an outstanding end to an excellent release which easily suggests that we just might have a new powerful force in British melodic metal in the making. If the thought of The Wildhearts meets Bullet For My Valentine appeals then checking out Second Rate Angels is a must.

The Lost Days EP is available from Monday June 2nd through all digital stores.

http://www.secondrateangels.com/

8.5/10

RingMaster 01/06/2014

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