Ring of Scars
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, shemales of all ages, THIS is another edition of THE BANDERVIEW!
It’s a little different, though, because I didn’t go to a live show for this one (which is sorta less fun for me, but, hey, these are the sacrifices I make to be cool). However, it was an honor and a pleasure, because I got a special sneak peak at the 3 brand new songs from Orlando metal heavyweights, RING OF SCARS!
Ring of Scars was going incredibly strong into 2009, but things happen, and a brand new line up was needed. After months of picking up new musicians, Damien Evil, the current lead vocalist and guitarist, has the line up ready to go, and soon, VERY soon, we shall see the return of Ring of Scars, and yes little ones, your face will be smashed into oblivion by the intensity.
But let’s talk about the three songs. Before we go into a more detailed review, let me tell you what you can expect. Though the demos are not complete, it’s clear that the former brooding atmosphere of the old Ring of Scars is being replaced with a sheer intensity and drive. Gone are the days (so it seems) of songs like Set Me Low, which focused on slow, crunchy riffs and beats to set a more brooding, dark atmosphere. These days, the band seems to be moving faster and non-stop, but they have not lost the intensely catchy beats and riffs that was really helping Ring of Scars move along before.
So, to sum that up, Ring of Scars has become faster and heavier. I never thought I’d be able to say this, but the new Ring of Scars punches you in the face even HARDER than it did before.
IN A GOOD WAY!
Let’s start off with the song t/Rust. The song is about the slow decay of relationships. Essentially, you can’t make trust without rust. This song captures that idea perfectly, moving quickly and with great rage in the opening, which signifies the fights that all decaying relationships are prone to. Towards the middle of the song, we see a more brooding, lamenting line. The clean singing seems to lament the loss of the good in the relationship and wishes that things could return to the way they were before, but this isn’t a hopeful song, as the vibe never seems to lose the idea that the relationship is rusting. The end of the song is controlled chaos, the ending of a relationship, which merges the previous two emotions of the song (rage and sadness) into one hurricane of fury and intensity (perfect for circle pitting).
Moving on to Savior, the guitar line that opens this song is epic. I LOVE IT! Once the guitar line stops, though, the song doesn’t seem to stop. It just moves, beating its way through your brain, each beat of the drum threatening to bash your eyes out, and each riff from the guitar threatening to tear your ear drums out! The vocals and lyrics speak of a person you are trying to help, to save, and how they won’t save themselves. I have to throw out a bit of criticism, as at times, the lyrics seem a bit off on this one, but the sheer non-stop intensity of the song easily makes up for that. This will be the sing along song at concerts, though, as the chorus is easy to pick up and fun to sing along with. “You will see salvation in my eyes! You will find salvation in my mind!” Learn that and we can do up gang vocals on this one!
Now we go on to my personal favorite, 12/21/2012. This one isn’t exactly about the end of the world, but rather, at the end of the day, or even the world, what kind of life will you have led for yourself? The clean vocals in the chorus send chills down my spine and give this song an epic feel about it that is certainly fitting for the end of the world. By the way, OH MY GOD SICK BREAKDOWN! No deathcore flailing around arms breakdown, either, but the kind of breakdown where walls of death and circle pits are prevalent. Like I said, this one is my favorite, and if ANYONE is going to write a song about something as brutal and epic as the end of the world, it should be Ring of Scars.
To give you a little more perspective on the new direction of the band and everything, I had a few questions for Damien.
Eric: Ring of Scars was really going places before the line-up change. Now that the band is almost entirely new, will you still have the previous endorsements and such, or have you completely started from scratch?
D.Evil: Well man, most endorsements are a sort of cross promotional idea, where you expose a product to your fan base, and hopefully you are exposed to a more broad group of listeners from the products users… So in this case, the only thing that will change will be the Halo guitar endorsement. I think they make decent guitars, but I don’t care for the way they handled some business with us at NAMM last year, so it would take a lot to try and work with them again. The two guys that did use them are no longer involved, so I think that deal is pretty much done.
Eric: A lot of people are claiming the new sound direction is much heavier than before. How do you explain this?
D.Evil: I’ve heard that from just about everyone that’s commented. I know that for a long time I was really wanting to move more in that direction- I really felt that way since about late 2004 or so. I love incorporating synth and industrial bits as well, but I really felt strongly that the project needed to focus more on the “metal” side of things. More guitar work, more rage- you know, just really let the aggression come through in the music more. I felt that area was one of our shortcomings in the past, and I decided it was time for a change.
Eric: Referring back to the first question, are you starting from scratch in music as well, or will some of the old Ring of Scars tunes be available?
D. Evil: There was a little drama with that actually. I believe I have to re-establish what we had on iTunes and cdbaby.com and a few other outlets, so I don’t think you can get any RoS at this time other than directly from us at www.myspace.com/ringofscars. If you can, we don’t see the money, it’s going elsewhere. We will have the old cd’s and merch at shows until they sell out, so I guess the answer is, yes you can get it. As for starting from scratch, we have about enough new material ready for a live show and we’re very excited about getting out there onstage again to show it off. We may include one of the more aggressive songs from the past, but for the most part we are focused on the future.
Eric: Rumor has it William Murderface of the legendary band “Dethklok” loves your music. Any truth to this, and can we expect any Ring of Scars/Dethklok cross over work?
D.Evil: Heh heh… You heard that rumor too, huh? I don’t know what that’s all about. I do know that I would love to play a cover of “Into The Water” live. But s**t, that would take half our set time!
Eric: What is your unforgiving, brutally honest opinion of the local Orlando scene?
D.Evil: Well, let’s see… I think that there are a ton of bands around here. Some good, a few great, and about 500 that no one will miss. I call it like I see it man, and I’m a pretty honest dude, so I really hope no one takes too much offense. It seems like the bands that really do have something good going don’t market it right, because “it’s all about the music”. I respect that, but if you are gonna put that much time and money and frustration into something, you may as well push it, ya know.
Then you have your guys that really aren’t all that great, and they try way too hard. A lot of them just need some time to improve and congeal into a cohesive unit before they go balls to the wall with shows and promotions and putting out cd’s.
Then you have the bands that are so heavy you just can’t tell what the f**k is going on, so no one has a clue if they have any talent. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have all the answers, and I’m not claiming that we’ve never fallen victim to one of these… as a matter of fact, I think RoS was in a few of these groups at different points in time.
The bands that don’t fit in those categories are either so terrible that you have never and will never hear about them, OR they are one of the few bands that kind of bubble to the surface. Out of those bands that do bubble up, I think there is some true talent. Every couple years you see a band or two rise up for a while, and those are the guys to watch. It’s been too long since central FL has had a band that has hit it big and made us proud. I think there are a few around here that could hold their own with the big dogs if given the chance.
Eric: If you could be endorsed by ANYTHING or ANYONE, what would it be?
D. Evil: I want to be endorsed by the President. I want to be backed by the dollar. F**k that, I want our logo on the dollar bill. You can’t get much more exposure than that. And Obama would have to wear a RoS shirt and talk about our jams. In return, we would write him a theme song, like the cliché metal song for a wrestler. Then when we are watching the State of the Union, he walks in with pyrotechnics and throws his horns high. Well, either that or an endorsement by a porn star. Either way, we’re good.
Ya know it’s like the old “Deroot Nation” idea (props to Mulligan by the way)- Except it’s a nation of individuals who have grown passed weakness that holds them back.
That’s the whole idea of a scar, right? To heal what was once weak. So back to my point, an RoS nation with a Prez and porn stars wearing our logo, and a ton of female fans with our stickers as nipple tape- That’s the life. Oh, and people rockin’ out to our tunes. That would be pretty important to a band.
So to answer your question another way- We want an endorsement from the people. To be truly endorsed by the metal community. And the President.
Eric: Can we expect any new surprises in the live show?
D.Evil: Man, we’ve had 100 ideas, we just haven’t settled on how to go about most of them. We will have a new backdrop with the new logo. I guess one big change is that we are a six piece now. I’ve been wanting that for a while and it’s finally a reality. The look has slowly evolved and that will be a bit more obvious with a new lineup as well… I guess other than that, the only other major change for the live show is that I’ll be putting down the guitar and focusing on vocals and fronting the band.
Eric: What are your last words to the fans before we close this thing down?
D.Evil: Don’t stop believing. No wait, I just had that song stuck in my head. Seriously, I just want to thank fans that have been into the RoS and I hope you all come out and reconnect with us in a whole new way. We’re in the process of wrapping up recording/mixing sessions to get a few new songs out of the studio for everyone to hear, and we’re also going through the final stages of a huge re-haul on our myspace, so everything is very close to being ready. We’re all stoked and I personally can’t wait. This band has taken the form I’ve been wanting to see for a while now.
For fans who may not have been aware previously, I want you to know that we work pretty hard to make sure that there is a lot more going on than just what you hear in the music. There are buried meanings in the graphics and lyrics, and among several other things there is a hidden meaning with our logo… There’s ALWAYS more going on. So always look deeper.
Oh, and if you like t*ts, go to our myspace.(myspace.com/ringofscars)
If you thought that interview wasn’t fun, you don’t know what fun is. BIG thanks to Damien Evil from Ring of Scars for talking to me, and look out folks. Ring of Scars, Orlando’s industrial metal powerhouse is BACK!