A release delayed several times due to label problems, this split EP eventually appeared at the end of 2015. Featuring previously unreleased material from Russia’s Drama and Finland’s Perdition Winds, the three tracks showcase two very different slants upon a black metal theme.
When a band has the balls to plug themselves as having “Muse’s raw power and the cinematic sense of 30 Seconds To Mars, fenced with Pink Floyd’s artistic approach” you’ve kind of got to love their fearlessness, but you know there’s a good chance you know they’ll never live up to their own hype. Press releases are often grand, but when such broad claims are made about a debut four track release, there’s every chance they’re just setting themselves up for a fall…and from a great height at that. London’s Paradigm are armed with a big sound – helped no end by producers Paul Corkett and John Cornfield (studio hands on works by Bjork, Muse, Robert Plant and The Cure, among others) – but aside from a few fleeting similarities to Muse in the guitar department, there’s little else that connects to those comparisons. Luckily, it’s Muse’s guitar crunch that inspires them and not Matt Bellamy’s godawful vocals…
A virtuoso of the acoustic guitar, Stuart Masters creates a sound that’s been likened to Nick Drake and Syd Barrett. It seems odd that so many artistes would be compared to Barrett, given that his rather scant post-Floyd output borders on the disturbing. Aside from just about managing to string a few chords together, Barrett could all too often be heard mumbling through nonsensical lyrics he seems to only barely remember. This fourth release from Masters, the wonderful ‘Mystic Blue & The Black Balloon’, is nothing like Syd. It’s sometimes possible to hear why comparisons have been made to Drake, however, for Stuart is very fond of a finger picked style and almost pastoral moods – but the combination of his dexterous playing, loops and layered approach to most things is sometimes closer in spirit to another guitarist…and one from more recent times. It might be fair to say that fans of Matt Stevens will find an instant kinship with Masters and his complex soundscapes.
This 2009 split release from Riotska Records brings together otherwise unavailable recordings from two Russian bands – The Poseurs and Kung Fu Devils. Five songs from each is enough to give more than a taste, and more than enough to demonstrate that both acts have their strengths while tackling punk-rooted music from different angles.
UK garage blues band Band of Skulls have added five more shows to their Euro tour itinerary. The full list of dates can be seen below.