IMMORTAL SYNN: Machine Men

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This five piece metal band from Denver, CO has shared the stage with: Lynch Mob, Wildside, Loudness, Great White, Warrant, Winger, L.A. Guns, Firehouse, Hammerfall, Delain, BulletBoys, Ratt, and The Relapse Symphony in the past. The band consists of Chase McClellan (lead vocals), Tony Z (founder, rhythm/lead guitar, vocals), Miguel Ruíz (lead guitar, backup vocals), Andrew Cope (bass, vocals), Axel Berrios (official drummer, but is currently attending school in Mexico and is set to return by the end of 2017), Ryan Alexander Bloom (fill-in drummer during Axel’s absence).

The band has a mix of traditional metal blended with a touch of thrash and hard rock and does a pretty good job of it. You get eleven songs full of power and raw emotion that you just have to hit the replay after it’s over just to get that rush that occurred on first listen. The songs are pure metal, no alternative, no gloss, just a kick in the groin and a punch in the head of killer riffs, and choruses that will have you shouting along to. The guitar playing is fantastic with solos and riffs bouncing around your ears non-stop, the pounding drums and bass form a perfect union, and the vocals switch from being gruff to up in the higher reaches and make for a noise that’s filled with aggression, but not bland lyrics, these guys are a lot more thoughtful than the average metal band. As I listened to the album, I just got drawn into it deeper and deeper, enjoying it more than I thought I would. The band did a great job with the production and the song length, being not too long and making you want to hear more from them.

I put this on thinking that I might enjoy some of it, but came away loving it and now they have a fan in me. The band proves that hard work, talent and the right mix of people can become a juggernaut.

Also posted at: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/08/immortal-synn-machine-men.html

https://www.facebook.com/immortalsynnmusic

https://immortalsynn.bandcamp.com/album/machine-men

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TRINE: Somewhere Under The Rainbow

Trine, a trio from Austin, TX consisting of Deuce Waner (drums), Jon Yodan Jr. (guitar), and Ryan Hegefeld (vocals/bass), has released their debut album and what a whopper it is……..sixteen tracks! This alternative metal band has gone beyond what most groups do and given the fans something to think about as well as rock out to.

“Once In A Lullaby,” is an instrumental introduction to the sound of the album. This is a nice strong beginning, dark, edgy, disturbing, with a sinister laugh and dark forbidding sound. “Takedown” has a similar sound, but the guitar just punches you out as soon as it comes in, and the guitar and bass are the glue that keeps everything together. It’s multi layered with the guitar and bass. It’s not messy or sounding like multiple songs going on, it’s all coherent. The vocals are low at first, and smooth as silk and then it kicks it up to be full-bodied, in your face, not angry but imploring, strong, it pulls off the different tones, and the different pitches flawlessly. In “Heroes Of Tomorrow,” the vocals are the focal point; the vocals stand out as powerful, in your face, not angry but forceful. This song just engulfs the listener like the last one. Still very heavy guitar and bass, but the guitar and bass add that sense of depth and texture that pulls everything together it’s the backbone of Trine’s sound. “Anti Gravity” starts off with the guitar bouncy, and then the drums come in to back up the sound. Dark tones to this track give it an 80’s/90’s feel, but it’s been updated and modernized. Strong vocals are still the focal point of their songs. It’s loud, forceful, surrounds the listener, not so much in your face, but just engulfs you. The guitar did this Spanish style solo and was interesting, unique, unexpected and was beautifully done, it works really well as a bridge from the start to the finish. “A Dream Of You” has a different tone, it’s quieter guitar, is more solemn, with a different feel altogether. There aren’t any vocals on this track, it’s all instrumental. “Elysium” changes, to a more drum based sound, the vocals are slightly drowned out, but not by much. The vocals are giving off a desperate feel which works with the sound. There’s a streamlined sound to the vocals that’s multi pitched, and it works. “The Noose Or The Knife” is a dark, semi industrial, grungey style sounding song. The vocals aren’t as pronounced like before, but not hidden, more like a storyline with a talking style to the vocals. Overall it has an angry feel, but not really angry, it’s more rough around the edges, not gritty, but it has a slight edge and rawness to it. “Enemy” has a more desperate feel, in your face, edgier, heavy-set/tone at the beginning, then the vocals turn smooth, but the sound still reeks of power, with a gives no fucks feel to this track. More of a revenge song/sound. It works, with its dark, deep, textured sound that provokes many emotions. Overall a great song. “Royalty” has vocals that are more hidden, like it’s painful to bare one’s soul but full of hope and a bitter-sweet sound. It’s quiet but guitar based, with vocals that are soft and then become loud to make a point. A nice story of hope. It has a 90’s tv/movie drama feel to it and it evokes so many emotions. A great song. “Fake” gets things back to being disturbing. It’s dark, calm/angry, and it’s like a storm that is brewing. The vocals aren’t hidden, slightly flat, not as powerful, raw or in your face that the music and the tone demands. It’s too soft for the overall feel, but it’s a nice starting point though. It’s another storyline song but the texture is wrong, it’s too smooth and flat for an angry, hate filled vibe song. It’s an angry song, but I’m not getting that feel like from the other tracks. “Futures” is a more fast paced, multi layered, textured song, with vocals that are a little hidden and quiet and smooth, but the energy is high, not the in your face feel, but you know it’s there. “Hercules” has a disturbing sound at first then the vocals hit you in the face. Much better vocals and tone, it has high energy, it’s powerful, multi layered, textured, and it’s a don’t give a fuck song. It’s empowering, and it pulls you into the sound and power. “Terraform” is an unusual track with the different styles. It’s about being lost and finding one’s place, as in transforming something dead into something alive. It has really heavy bass and guitar, the vocals switch from being crystal clear to a muffled gargle. It has a major sci-fi feel to it and it’s very hard to describe, but I liked it.
“Fire” has a very hardcore guitar, fast paced sound with vocals overlapping each other creating an echo effect. The vocals are clear, strong, and full-bodied. The song has different layers all mixed into one; it has power and rawness, not in your face, but you can’t help but pay attention to it. It’s hardcore rock. “Full Circle” is drum heavy and then the guitar backs it up nicely. The vocals are slightly in the background and a little flat for such a powerful song. The music is powerful, rough around the edges, in your face, but the vocals don’t exactly match up, they’re too nice and smooth. “Somewhere Under The Rainbow” is mostly instrumental and slightly dark, with the inclusion of bells and ends off the album.

A very long album that has far more successes than miss-steps and shows so much potential and talent that these guys have. With a bit of editing, and time, this band will be a powerhouse that will be headlining larger and larger venues. A really great first album that will keep your attention and will sound great cranked up loud.

Review by: Amy East

https://www.facebook.com/trineatx/

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HINDER: Harker Heights – All Bottoms Up Bar Concert With Kings Of The Air, Tame Fury, Trine, and Within Reason

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The concert in Harker Heights was at a bar however it was an outside venue and was brutally hot and humid that day. The concert had starting times for either 6 or 6:30 pm depending on the websites you were looking at, so I got there around 6:30 pm. With the uncertainty of the start time, I was hungry and stopped to eat some Mexican food and 99 cent margaritas and missed the first band. It was the down time between the first band The Kings Of The Air which I missed and Tame Fury when I arrived. While waiting for Tame fury to come onto the stage, I walked around to see how the crowd was, it was a small crowd with most of the people there to see Within Reason and main attraction Hinder.

I made my way to the back near the bar so I could have a full view of the crowd and the stage. When it was time for Tame Fury to come onto the stage the crowd was unimpressed by them since they were there for Hinder and Within Reason. Tame Fury came on like being on stage was normal for them. I had only heard their music the day before and I was surprisingly impressed by what I heard online. When the music started to play, I was completely blown away, they had a superb sound that’s like another world between hearing them online and seeing them live. It was high energy, bold, loud, with clear vocals, and a tight sound overall, such amazing talent from a band that just started in 2014. The guys from Tame Fury aren’t flashy, showy, and they don’t need to be, oh no, they had the sound and the lyrics to make up big time for the lack of movement onstage from the heat. While Michael Mcvey was on vocals doing a great job of singing crystal clear and powerfully; drummer Phred Williams was in the background doing his own little show of throwing and spinning his sticks in time with the beats. The sound is rich, full, and engulfs you into a trance of pure bliss. The melody and beats weren’t all over the place or messy and they kept great time and hitting their marks. Erick Villareals, Brandon Williams, Mark Bankston did a wonderful job backing up Michael. The guys did a bunch of tracks, “Leave It All Behind,” “Brainwashed,” “Masquerade,” “Red Carpet,” “Fallen,” “Gift Of Life,” and “Black As The Fire.” Unfortunately, the crowd wasn’t really giving them love so Michael was trying to convince the crowd to give them some love. I did but I was in the back and they couldn’t hear me. Tame Fury is making a name for themselves by bringing a unique sound, image and attitude and presence to a versed crowd, from the older generation to the younger crowd. I cannot make this review solely about them, but they have a new album coming out and I will be able to review that.

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The next band after Tame Fury is another recent band, Trine. Trine is a trio from Austin, Texas. The band members are Deuce Wanier, Ryan Hegefeld, and Jon Yadon Jr. Trine is a very new band so I don’t know too much about them. They had a whole different act than Tame Fury, the energy is different, the sound, everything, perhaps age is a factor. Trine is more alt rock sounding and it’s in your face, bold, bad boy attitude, and slightly raw power comes from it. The sound is rich and full and just engulfs the listener. It was still daylight when Trine hit the stage but the sun was slowly setting so the lights and the smoke from the stage were more visible. The way the lights were flashing just emphases the beat and the overall sound, and unfortunately the mics and the instruments weren’t doing so well in the Texas heat and humidity so I didn’t truly appreciate their sound as much as I could have, but I did notice they had a sound all their own. Their sound is fresh, new, and all ages and generations could easily appreciate their sound and energy.
After Trine had left the stage the sun was setting and shortly after the stage was all lit up and the smoke was really going when Within Reason hit the stage.

Within Reason consists of Chris Dow, David Koone, and Griffin Zarbourgh. The guys did a few songs from their long list of tracks. Unfortunately, the heat was messing with the sound as well for the guys. However, I did get a decent idea of their sound. They did perform some new tracks from their new album, and the vocals were good, smooth, and not as rough around the edges as I had thought since their sound was smooth, not as rough and edgy as their looks, but all in all it’s not bad at all, just a little unexpected. The band has been around since 2005, their style is leaning on the alternative side of rock which works very well for them. The lights and sounds from the stage were very enticing. They were the perfect choice to lead up to Hinder.

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When Hinder hit the stage, the night truly engulfed us all, the stage was fully alive, and the crowd was ready for them. Hinder had a few technical issues due to the heat but that didn’t hold them back from going full force. The band rocked the stage with a mix of old and new songs and the excited crowd ate it up. The relatively new singer Marshal Dutton has grown on me and he did an amazing job of covering the songs from the first and second albums, and he gave the old songs new life and a surreal sound to them. He has a smooth voice that still has plenty of edge and roughness, but it’s not harsh. Marshall covered the tracks that Austin Winkler had originally done nicely. The guys did a few tracks from their As The Smoke Clears album and it was a seamless transition going from the old tracks to the new and back again. Marshall played a duo guitar solo and it was intense hardcore guitar action. All of the guys on the band performed perfectly and with energy and emotion. Marshall even did an acoustic song from their acoustic album. Some of the songs they played were “Intoxicated,” “Up All Night,” “All American Nightmare,” “Lips Of An Angel,” “Better Than Me,” “Two Sides Of Me,” “Hit The Ground,” “Rather Hate Than Hurt,” “Wasted Life,” “See You In Hell,” “Use Me, and “Get Stoned.” They also did a few songs from their new album The Reign. The guys put on a show to remember and all of the bands, not just Hinder were awesome. The strobe lights matched up to each and every song perfectly and seamlessly. It was one hell of a concert and to those who left early and to the ones who didn’t come out, you just don’t know what you missed out on.

Review by Amy East

 

 

 

 

WINTER CALLING: Faces

Formed in Florida in 2013, the band began as a side project between Wayne Hoefle (percussion, piano, and keys), who was composing film scores at the time, and guitarist Ian Medhurst who was touring with national recording artist John Wesley. They soon recruited Texas-bred bassist Tim Gilbreath, and finally to Los Angeles-based vocalist Chris Hodges. They have released two albums and some new videos for their latest album Faces.

This progressive metal band has a powerful sound that I couldn’t get enough of and had to listen to “Not Like You” over and over again. The song is tight, full of emotion and vocals so strong, Superman couldn’t stop them if he tried his best. Chock full of energy and a chorus that got stuck in my head, I listened to the song at least four times before continuing. “Follow Me Down” has more subtle moments in it, a quieter moment here and there, but not wimping out, just not as in your face, and is another amazing track that makes you amazed at the talent in this band and the ability to create such blistering sounds. “A New Me, A Few Me” has whispered vocals mixed in with growling, angry vocals and it adds a sense of menace to the song that carries onto the music which is played both heavy and more subtle in parts. The song has a creepiness to it that is both scary and sends the hairs on your arms on end with the beauty of it. The whole album is great with so many songs that are sure to become favorites, but these are the ones with videos out and ones that you would be able to listen to first and get an idea of the album, which is a treat to listen to.

This band just became one that I will be playing in my car over and over again, especially now that the weather is nice, I will be rolling down the windows and cranking this up loud. I suggest that you grab a copy and do the same.

http://www.wintercalling.com

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HE IS ME – Cleansing

He Is Me is a collaboration between Portland-based songwriter and musician/producer Casey Braunger and Calgary, AB based songwriter/vocalist Steve Moore. Casey and Steve first collaborated on a 2001 track called “Silencer”. Fast forward to 2016, when Casey reached out to Steve about guest vocals on a new song, Steve liked it so much that they decided to form a new project.

This fourth single that they have released is a down tempo, electronic/industrial song that has angst, anger and enough edge to grab you and pull your ears into the swirling morass that they have concocted. The vocals and subtle at times, but then they turn savage and the song goes into a pounding drill into your soul. The guys have come up with a song that takes a little from here and there and makes it into something that you will want to replay over and over again.

This certainly hits the right buttons and makes me anxious to hear what they will come out with in the future. Stop being a tease and get a whole album out already!

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/05/he-is-me-cleansing-single.html

https://www.facebook.com/heismeproject/

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TOKYO BLADE: Knights Of The Blade: 4 Disc Box Set

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Tokyo Blade originally formed in 1982, releasing their self-titled debut in 1983. They formed around guitarist Andy Boulton, he was joined on their debut by Alan Marsh on lead vocals, John Wiggins on guitar, Andy Robbins on bass and Steve Pierce on drums, making a significant impact on the burgeoning NWOBHM scene that had been popularized by Iron Maiden, Saxon, Tygers Of Pan Tang and Def Leppard, as well as finding support in the pages of Kerrang! magazine. This release consists of a four Disc box set of their first three albums, many rare EPs, singles and non-album cuts from the early 1980s, including tracks from “The Cave Sessions”, “Undercover Honeymoon” 12”, “Midnight Rendezvous” EP and “Madame Guillotine” EP. Featuring lengthy and detailed liner notes from note NWOBHM and Tokyo Blade expert John Tucker

Tokyo Blade issued their debut recording in 1983, which was self-titled in the United Kingdom, and titled Midnight Rendezvous everywhere else. The album is classic metal with high-pitched vocals that aren’t too far into the stratosphere like some bands, they are a nice mix of highs and mid-level, the guitar rips throughout the album, the drumming is powerful, and the bass is heavy. The band really sounds like they were having a great time n the studio making this album, with youthful exuberance just dripping from the songs. The songs are catchy and should have been playing out of everyone’s speakers loud. I really liked “Powergame,” “Break The Chains, ” Killer City,” “Liar,” and “Sunrise In Tokyo.” For a first album, you don’t get much better than this.

The Night Of The Blade album arrived a year later, Andy Wrighton having replaced Robbins while Marsh had also left the band. The band was trying to find a new singer for their tour and got lucky with what was supposed to be the temporary throat of Vicki James Wright, but they decided to keep him as singer for the next album. His vocals were a bit more commercial sounding, but the songs were still hard and heavy. Again, the band played tight and really matured since their first album. Songs “Someone To Love,” “Night Of The Blade,” the killer “Rock Me To The Limit,” “Love Struck,” and the more commercial sounding “Lightning Strikes (Straight Through the Heart),” stand out after all of these years.

Blackhearts & Jaded Spades retains the power and singer from the previous album and sounds a bit more polished, but not wimpy. You could hear the band moving towards the huge American market with the added keyboards and more melody than on previous albums. Who can blame them? The market in America was something that pretty much every band wanted to break in and tour and be played on MTV during this period. The hard and heavy stuff was more on underground radio and bands knew where the money was; playing more melodic, adding a touch of keyboards and making the band more in tune with the big bands at the time like Iron Maiden, and Motley Crue. “Dirty Faced Angels,” “Make It Through The Night,” “Always,” are a trio of killer songs, “Loving You Is An Easy Thing To Do” is a blues based track that has a fantastic groove and should have been huge on the radio, “Undercover Honeymoon” gets things back a little heavier, then you get the power ballad “You Are The Heart,” which I could see being thrown in the mix at a high school dance back then, “Blackhearts And Jaded Spades,” “Tough Guys Tumble” get the hard rocking going again, until you come to another power ballad, “Dancing In Blue Moonlight,” which now starts to be a little much, and happily, they end the album with two blistering songs “Playroom Of Poison Dreams,” and “Monkeys Blood.” Not perfect, but still a great album that has more than enough metal to make you happy.

The fourth CD is a nineteen track collection of the band’s singles and EPs.  All of these songs were previously issued on the band’s various reissues, and it’s great to have them all together on a separate disc. This ably illustrates the musical evolution Tokyo Blade underwent from the start of the career, until their third album. Going from a harder sounding band to a more slick and commercial sound, while still retaining the great songs and playing that made you pick up the first album.

With the great liner notes, replica album sleeves and the fantastic music on the four discs, you really can’t go wrong with this purchase. The band definitely is on fire on these albums and even though they still are putting out albums now, the young, hard-edged sound of their hunger is a treasure to behold.

https://www.facebook.com/TokyoBladeOfficialFanPage/

http://www.tokyoblade.com/

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MATT CHANWAY: Self-titled

Coming from the death metal band Assimilation, Vancouver, BC’s Matt Chanway has his debut self-titled solo record out now that has hints of his day-job band in it. The one major difference between the two projects is that this solo album is all instrumental.

I will be honest, instrumental albums are far from my favorite things to listen to, mostly because I love hearing vocals, something to grab a hold of and keep my interest throughout, but with that said, I did still enjoy this album. This is a bit more in the progressive sound, but still straight up metal, no Pink Floyd noodling here, plus no guitar wankering like Malmsteen. Each track on here ranges from roughly six to eight minutes in length and has enough changes in the songs to keep things sounding fresh and interesting. The added drums (drum machine) and bass really help to keep things flowing and giving the album a depth and thickness. All of the playing is tight and extremely focused with the songs not going on for too long or becoming boring. You can hear the love of playing the guitar that emanates from the fingers of this extremely talented player with song after song of thrills and heavy shredding. I actually liked all the songs the same on this release, mostly because they were tight, heavy, interesting and energetic, and without a vocalist that sometimes can ruin a good album with weak or over-the-top histrionics.

Yes, I did enjoy an instrumental album, luckily the technicality wasn’t overbearing, the songs were engrossing, and the guitar was played with heart and pure talent. This is not an album just for shredders, it’s for anyone who wants an album of great metal that will get your head banging and wear your air guitar out.

Also posted on: http://ripplemusic.blogspot.com/2017/03/matt-chanway-self-titled.html

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http://mattchanwayguitar.com/

https://mattchanway.bandcamp.com/releases