Destrage Staying Busy This Fall And Winter

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Destrage will hit the road next Friday, November 14th in support of its latest full length studio effort Are You Kidding Me? No.  The fifteen-date tour will take the band across Europe and winds up Saturday, December 13th.  The band’s members announced that they will document their travels and performances as the tour progresses.  The band has partnered with Bode Music Gear to produce the tour videos, which will run on the company’s YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/bodesrl.  The band’s videos will feature the band taking part in various fun and pointless challenges including: who can put the most of something in their mouth, who can do the most push-ups, who can do the most shots, jumping over cars, who can break the most guitar strings, and more.  Destrage will joined by Protest The Hero, The Faceless, and The Contortionist for its upcoming tour.  The complete schedule for the bands’ tour is listed below.

DESTRAGE

Tour w/ Protest The Hero, The Faceless, The Contortionist

11/14 Leipzig, DE Conne Island

11/15 Pilsen, CZ Pod Lampou

11/16 Berlin, DE Bi Nuu

11/21 Enschede, NL Atak

11/22 Köln, DE Essigfabrik

11/24 Antwerpen, BE Trix

12/04 Paris, FR Trabendo

12/05 Karlsruhe, DE Substage

12/06 Milano, IT Live Forum

12/07 Rome, IT Traffic Club

12/08 München, DE Backstage

12/09 Wien, AT Arena

12/10 Geneve, CH L’Usine

12/12 Winterthur, CH Gaswerk

12/13 Lyon, FR Warmaudio

Along with the upcoming tour videos, Destrage has also announced the release of its new guitar transcription book Are You Kidding Me? No: The Complete Guitar Transcription.  The book is expected to be released this month while the band is touring.  The book will be released in partnership with Sheet Happens Publishing.  Fans can pick up the book at the band’s merchandise booth at its live shows and online via the Sheet Happens Publishing website at http://www.sheethappenspublishing.com.  Those wanting the physical book can order it online at http://www.sheethappenspublishing.com/product-499/destrage-are-you-kidding-me?-no-%7C-printed-guitarbook.

If the band’s new guitar transcription book isn’t enough for fans, guitarists Matteo Di Gioia and Ralph Salati have released a brand new in-depth guitar tutorial for the song ‘My Green Neighbor,’ which is taken from the band’s Metal Blade Records’ debut record.  The tutorial is available online now at YouTube.  The official video for the song is also available now on YouTube.

Audiences can keep track of the band’s tour and keep up with all of the latest updates from the band online at:

Website: http://www.destrage.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/destrage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/destrage

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Wovenwar Announces New Slate Of Live Dates

Courtesy;  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy; Metal Blade Records

Wovenwar will return to the road in 2015.

Metal Blade Records and the members of Wovenwar announced this week that the band will kick off 2015 alongside Nothing More and Thank You Scientists! on the Juggernaut tour. The bands will serve as support acts for headlining act Periphery. The tour kicks off Saturday, January 10th and will run for five weeks, ending February 14th in Philadelphia, PA. Tickets for the tour go on sale tomorrow, Friday, November 7th.   VIP packages will be available online via Soundrink.com.

Wovenwar is currently wrapping up the European leg of its tour in support of its self-titled debut record. That record is available now in stores and online. The last date for the European leg of the band’s tour will be this Saturday, November 8th in Goteborg, Sweden. After that, the band will take some much needed time off for the holidays, recharging and getting ready for the upcoming Juggernaut Tour. The complete schedule for the Juggernaut Tour is listed below.

WOVENWAR
Tour w/ Periphery, Nothing More, Thank You Scientist
January 10 Carrboro, NC Cat’s Cradle
January 11 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore
January 12 Atlanta, GA Masquerade
January 13 Tampa, FL Orpheum
January 14 Ft. Lauderdale, FL Revolution Live
January 16 New Orleans, LA House of Blues
January 17 Houston, TX House of Blues
January 18 Dallas, TX House of Blues
January 20 Albuquerque, NM Sunshine Theatre
January 21 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
January 22 Los Angeles, CA House of Blues
January 23 Anaheim, CA Yost Theater
January 26 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore
January 27 Portland, OR Hawthorne Theater
January 28 Seattle, WA El Corazon
January 31 Denver, CO Summit Music Hall
February 2 Minneapolis, MN Varsity Theater
February 3 Chicago, IL House of Blues
February 4 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
February 6 Toronto, ON Opera House
February 7 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre
February 8 Albany, NY Upstate Concert Hall
February 9 Rochester, NY Water Street Music Hall
February 11 Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
February 12 New York, NY Irving Plaza
February 13 Silver Spring, MD The Fillmore
February 14 Philadelphia, PA District N9ne

More information on Wovenwar, its new album and all of the latest updates from the band is available online at:

Website: http://www.wovenwar.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wovenwar

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wovenwar

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

BTBAM’s New Live Release Deserves A Spot On Any Critic’s List Of 2014′s Best New Live Recordings

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Between the Buried and Me’s 2012 concept album The Parallax IIFuture Sequence is one of the band’s best albums to date.  The follow-up to the band’s 2011 album The ParallaxHypersleep Dialogues, it proved to also be one of the best new metal and hard rock albums of that year.  Earlier this year, the members of BTBAM went into a studio in the band’s home state of North Carolina to record a live in-studio performance of The Parallax IIFuture Sequence.  The end result was the band’s new live recording Future SequenceLive at the FidelitoriumFuture SequenceLive at the Fidelitorium is not the first live recording from BTBAM.  Regardless, it is still a great addition to the collection of any fan of this band.  The central reason for the success of this new release is the very fact that it is a live recording that is live without actually being live in the traditional sense.  Another reason for its success is the recording’s audio and video mix.  It doesn’t leave audiences feel like they are just watching a band record in a studio space.  And last but most definitely not least of all worth noting is the very fact that Metal Blade Records has presented this recording as a bundle pack with both Blu-ray disc and an audio portion only on separate CD.  Of course that isn’t to take away from the recording’s bonus interviews with the band and the “Behind-the-Scenes feature.  The interviews show just how much thought and planning went into the process of recording the presentation here.  The Behind-the-Scenes featurette that accompanies the bonus interviews lets audiences follow the process of recording the performance, from the initial planning process to the final rehearsals before the actual recording began.  These bonuses round out the whole thing, showing why this recording is a dark horse candidate for any critic’s year-end list of the year’s best new live recordings.

Future SequenceLive at the Fidelitorium is, as noted, a dark horse candidate for a spot on any critic’s year-end list of the best new live recordings.  The main reason for that is that the members of BTBAM have crafted in this recording a presentation that is live without being live in the traditional sense of the term.  It is a live in-studio recording rather than being a live recording in front of thousands of fans.  Bassist and founding member Dan Briggs explains in the bonus interview segments that the band consciously made the decision to take this route instead of the traditional live route as it would give a different feel.  He could not be more correct in that evaluation.  BTBAM isn’t the first band to ever record a live recording in studio verses at an actual live venue.  However, the number of music acts that put out releases in this format is not as large as some might think.  Keeping that in mind, it makes this performance all the more enjoyable.  Adding even more enjoyment to the performance is that fact that it also isn’t just some run-of-the-mill making of the album presentation.  It’s better than those all too often used featurettes used to sell records.  What audiences get in this recording is the band in studio performing its hit album in its entirety.  It is like seeing the band record the album without all of the constant stop-start process and useless banter.  Keeping that in mind, the recording itself is made that much more wonderful of an experience for viewers.  It shows even more why this recording stands out in this year’s crop of live recordings as a must see.

The performance recorded by BTBAM in Future SequenceLive at the Fidelitorium is central to the success of the recording’s presentation overall.  It isn’t just some run-of-the-mill in studio piece that documents the making of a band’s album.  It is actually a full performance of the band’s album The Parallax II.  The performance just happens to be held in a studio space rather than a live venue.  Being that the performance was recorded in a studio space, the initial thought pattern among audiences might be that the audio will be hollow and that the video might be recorded in somewhat guerilla style.  The reason for that is that so many in-studio documentaries end up presenting exactly such audio and video.  Luckily for viewers the audio and video mix in this recording are collectively and completely unlike those more raw presentations.  The audio in this recording sounds just as good as that of the originally released album.  And the quality of the recording’s video is just as laudable.  What’s really interesting about the recording’s video is that while presented on Blu-ray, it presents a certain grainy quality.   It’s obvious that said effect was used intentionally.  It adds a certain depth of emotion to the presentation especially when taken into consideration with the music itself.  That wise use of video effects and equally impressive audio mix works in combination with the rather creative format of the recording to make Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium even more enjoyable for the band’s fans.

The format of Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium along with its production values (its audio and video) both play pivotal roles in the success and enjoyment of the recording.  Having examined both of these factors, audiences are left with one more factor to examine in this recording.  That factor is the presentation’s packaging.  The recording is presented to fans both on Blu-ray and CD in one package.  Combining both the audio-only and the AV presentation together in one package presents audiences with a complete musical experience.  As noted previously, the audio portion of the performance is just as solid as that of the original album on which this performance is based.  So listening to the performance on CD whether in the car or at home will leave listeners feel like they are actually listening to the album in question.  The inclusion of the Blu-ray disc is the center of the experience.  It brings everything full circle.  It reminds audiences that they are taking in the album in full and that they are experiencing it in a setting that is rarely used by any musical act when releasing live recordings.  Together with the other previously noted aspects of the performance, it rounds out the recording proving once more just why this recording deserves to be not just a dark horse candidate but a viable candidate for any critic’s year-ender list of the best new live recordings.  It isn’t to discount the bonus material included on the Blu-ray, either.  The bonus interviews show the members of BTBAM as not just another group of metallers, but a group of talented musicians.  The companion bonus “Behind-the-Scenes” featurette  follows the band from pre-planning to final rehearsals before taking on the performance presented in the final product.  It runs just shy of the thirty-minute mark.  Throughout that time, audiences see that preparing for a live in-studio performance takes nearly as much work as prepping for a performance in a traditional live venue.  It makes for even more appreciation of this recording and proves to be the proverbial icing on the cake or the show.  Together with everything else noted, everything noted here collectively makes Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium a must see by any member of the Metal Nation worldwide.

Future Sequence: Live at the Fidelitorium is available now on Blu-ray/CD combo pack in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct online via Metal Blade Records’ website at http://www.metalblade.com/us/releases/between-the-buried-and-me-fidelitorium/.  More information on this and other releases from BTBAM and all of the latest news from the band is available online at:

 

Website: http://betweentheburiedandme

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/btbamofficial

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.   Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Digital Dream Sequence Is A Dream Come True

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Trioscapes’ new album Digital Dream Sequence is—pardon the pun—a dream come true.  This album, the second full length studio release from the band, has also officially taken the top spot on this critic’s list of the year’s top new albums overall.  The band has taken the prog-metal/jazz fusion sound that it established on its breakthrough 2012 debut Separate Realities and stepped it up another notch on this record.  While Digital Dream Sequence is comprised of only five tracks, those five songs collectively comprise an album that will both entertain audiences and leave them thinking.  Audiences should be warned, however.  This album is not one for those with short attention spans.  The shortest track on the record comes in at three minutes and forty seconds.  The album’s longest track clocks in at just over fifteen minutes.  The remaining trio of songs written for the album each tops the five minute mark.  The album’s opener and title track comes in at just over seven-and-a-half minutes.  ‘From The Earth To The Moon’ and ‘Hysteria’ come in at 8:47 and 6:40 respectively for those that might be wondering.  So it goes without saying that this album is not one for those looking for a quick, easy listen.  That having been stated, there is quite a bit to note that makes this album so great.

Trioscapes’ new album is not one for those with short attention spans.  The depth of the songs written for this album and their run times requires a full investment from listeners.  This is evident right off the top in the album’s title track.  ‘Digital Dream Sequence’ can best be described by two words:  controlled chaos.  At times, it sounds like the band—Dan Briggs (bass), Walter Fancourt (tenor sax, flute), and Matt Lynch (drums, electronics)—is all over the place.  But a close listen reveals that there is a method to the madness of these musicians.  As the song’s companion video reveals, all three men are fully focused on their parts even as free flowing as the song sounds.  The song’s foundation is based on Briggs’ own bass work.  Fancourt and Lynch take that foundation and build a song that throughout its two movements.  And it goes without saying that both Fancourt and Lynch exhibit quite a bit of talent.  Lynch’s ability to handle such wild, polyrhythmic patterns all while keeping up with his band mates is a statement in and of itself.  And even Fancourt, with his flourishes, adds his own important touch to the song in whole, especially in its final seconds.  His is the last part that listeners hear on this song.  After all of the wildness of the song, his gentle, flowing performance almost paints a picture of a figure coming out of the “dream.”  It’s a fitting final statement from an equally fitting opener for this album.

‘Digital Dream Sequence’ was the perfect way for Trioscapes to open its second full length album.  The near eight-minute song immediately re-establishes the band, showing that it has definitely evolved from its first album.  That evolution is shown even more in the album’s third track, ‘From The Earth to the Moon.’  This song has a slightly more defined structure about it than the album’s title track.  Yet, that ability of the band to weave together multiple separate lines into one cohesive composition remains.  It’s nice to hear that that hasn’t been lost even through what feels like constantly changing time signatures.   Even more interesting is that within those seemingly constantly changing time signatures, there is one line that remains mostly constant from start to finish.  That line is shared between all three musicians throughout the song on a number of instruments including a marimba.  The inclusion of the marimba adds just one more great touch to the song that along with Fancourt’s musicianship on the flute and Lynch’s drumming puts this song over the top and guarantees it to be one of the best of the album’s opuses.

Briggs, Fancourt, and Lynch close out their new album fittingly with the album’s longest piece in the form of ‘The Jungle.’  This song comes in at a little more than fifteen minutes long.  And despite its extended run time, the trio paints a picture with the song that mirrors its title quite well.  It opens gently with what sounds like a table set against Briggs’ bass and then Lynch’s drumming and eventually Fancourt’s work on the sax.  The fast paced sixteenth note runs played by Lynch on the snare alongside Fancourt’s urgent sax line gives an image of a busy jungle scene.  It creates thoughts of birds flying around in the jungle canopy and perhaps a big cat or two on the hunt, chasing its prey through the jungle in question.  Other listeners might get something entirely different from this standout song.   And that is perfectly fine.  This is merely one critic’s personal interpretation of the song.  The energy exuded by the band early in the song never lets up at any point throughout its fifteen minute, ten second run time.  The band keeps that energy flowing right to the very last second, leaving listeners breathless and blown away by the musical journey on which they embarked at the song’s beginning.  Taking into consideration the effect of this song and those that built up to it, the musical journey undertaken in whole on this record proves to be one that is well worth taking by any truly open-minded music lover and any musician looking for musical enlightenment.  The end product proves to be an album that more than deserves the title of the year’s best new record overall.

Audiences can hear all of the tracks noted here and the remaining pair not noted now as Digital Dream Sequence is available now in stores and online.  While the band currently has no tour dates planned, audiences can keep up with the trio’s latest tour schedule updates and news online at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes, http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes, and http://twitter.com/MetalBlade.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Wovenwar Impressive In Its First Week

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Good news for Wovenwar.

Wovenwar’s self-titled debut for Metal Blade Records has debuted at #36 on Billboard’s Top 200. The news is just as good for the album’s debut online and overseas. It peaked online in the #2 spot on iTunes’ rock chart and the top spot on the online music service’s metal chart in the album’s first week of release. Overseas, Wovenwar debuted at #41 on the German Top 100 Media Control album charts. These numbers come on the heels of the debut of the video for the band’s new single ‘All Rise.’ That video can be viewed now online at Wovenwar’s Metal Blade Records website, http://www.metalblade.com/wovenwar.

Wovenwar is currently in the midst of a European tour in support of its debut record. The band will be at the Pukkelpop Festival in Hasselt, Belgium this Friday. That show will be followed by a performance at the ELB Riot in Hamburg, DE Saturday and the X Rockfest in Herford, DE Sunday. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

WOVENWAR on tour:
European Tour
08/15 Hasselt, BE Pukkelpop Festival
08/16 Hamburg, DE ELB Riot
08/17 Herford, DE X RockFest
08/19 Berlin, DE Lido w/ Of Mice & Men
08/21 London, UK Barfly headliner
08/23 Reading, UK Reading Festival
08/24 Leeds, UK Leeds Festival
Tour w/ In Flames, and While She Sleeps
09/27 Krakow, PL Studio Club
09/28 Budapest, HU Barba Negra
09/29 Prague, CZ The Roxy
09/30 Hamburg, DE Grosse Freiheit
10/01 Esch-sur-Alzette, LU Rockhall
10/02 Milano, IT Live Club
10/03 Zürich, CH Komplex
10/04 Lausanne, CH Les Docks
10/05 Trezzo Sull’Adda, IT Live Club
10/07 Madrid, ES LA Rivierea
10/08 Barcelona, ES Sala Razzamatazz
10/09 Zaragoza, ES Zaragoza
10/10 Cenon, FR Le Rocher de Palmer
10/11 Clermont-Ferrand, FR La Cooperative De Mai
10/12 Paris, FR Le Bataclan
10/14 Strasbourg, FR La Laiterie
10/15 Brussels, BE AB H all
10/16 Manchester, UK The Ritz
10/17 Glasgow, UK 02 ABC
10/18 London, UK O2 Shepherds Bush Empire
10/20 Tilburg, NL 013
10/24 Frankfurt, DE Jahrhunderthalle
10/25 Kempten, DE Bix Box
10/26 Leipzig, DE Haus Auensee
10/27 Wien, AT Gasometer
10/29 Berlin, DE Columbiahalle
10/30 Ludwigsburg, DE Arena
10/31 Köln, DE Palladium
11/01 Bochum, DE Ruhr Congress
11/02 Copenhagen, DK Store Vega
11/04 Helsinki, FI Helsingin Jäähalli
11/06 Stockholm, SE Hovet
11/07 Oslo, NO Spektrum Arena Ans
11/08 Gothenburg, SE Scandinavium

More information on Wovenwar’s tour and all of the latest news and updates from the band is available online at http://www.wovenwar.com and http://www.facebook.com/wovenwar. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Wovenwar Debuts New Single

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Wovenwar premiered its new single Monday.

Wovenwar premiered its new single, ‘Profane’ yesterday on the official website of Revolver Magazine. Audiences can stream the video now through the magazine’s now at http://www.revolvermag.com/news/wovenwar-premiere-new-song-profane.html. The single comes from the band’s upcoming self-titled debut record. The album will be released worldwide via Metal Blade Records next Tuesday, August 5th. After checking out the band’s new single, fans can also leave their thoughts on the song in the “comments” section of the site. Fans can also check out two other songs from Wovenwar’s upcoming album—‘All Rise’ and ‘The Mason’—and four In Studio videos filmed by the band through the band’s Metal Blade Records website, http://www.metalblade.com/wovenwar. Fans will get to hear the album in its entirety this Friday, August 1st when the album stream goes live ahead of its release in store and online.

Wovenwar is currently touring in support of its upcoming album alongside Black Label Society. That tour wraps next Monday, August 4th. After that, the band will take a couple of days off before playing a trio of album release shows August 7th and 8th. The third show will be at Phil Sgrosso’s new club, Brick By Brick. Fans that come out to that show will have the chance to hang out with the band, celebrate the album’s release, and even have the chance to win prizes provided by Wovenwar, Metal Blade Records, MotorCult, and Dirtbag Clothing. Fans that attend the band’s August 8th show at Soma can use those ticket stubs to get into the show at Brick By Brick for free. Others get in for five dollars. The Brick By Brick show is a 21+ show. The band will also perform Saturday, August 9th at the famed Roxy in Los Angeles, CA. The full schedule of performances is listed below.

08/07 – Anaheim, CA: Chain Reaction Tickets — Here

08/08 – San Diego, CA: SOMA (side) Tickets — Here

08/08 – San Diego, CA: Brick By Brick – **Wovenwar Album Release Party** Tickets — Here.

If fans aren’t able to make it to any of the shows noted above, they can still catch the band live at the famed restaurant Grill ‘Em All in Alhamba, CA. Details on that upcoming show will come soon. Fans will also get plenty of chances to see the band live as it tours in support of its debut album. It is currently wrapping up the North American leg of its tour. It will be in Indianapolis, IN tomorrow. That date will be followed with performances in Texas and new Mexico. It all wraps with the band’s upcoming shows in California. After that, the band will take some time to rest before kicking off the European leg of its tour on August 15th at the Pukkelpop Festival in Hasselt, Germany.

All of the latest tour updates, news and more from Wovenwar is always available online at http://www.wovenwar.com, http://www.facebook.com/wovenwar and http://twitter.com/WOVENWAR. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Wovenwar’s Debut Record Puts AILD To Rest At Last

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The self-titled debut record from Wovenwar is a triumphant return for the now former members of As I Lay Dying. The former band recently disbanded after the arrest of its front man Tim Lambesis for a murder-for-hire plot against his now ex-wife. The fallout from the band’s breakout and Lambesis’ arrest was far reaching for fans of AILD. Now thanks to the upcoming release of Wovenwar audiences will find that AILD is gone and from its ashes is a whole new band with a whole new sound. It is a band and sound that while unlike that of AILD is even better than that of that band. The sound on this record is one that promises a hopeful future ahead for Wovenwar. The melodic hard rock sound churned out right off the top in ‘All Rise’ is a clear indicator of this. The straight forward, driving energy of ‘The Mason’ makes for another wonderful addition to this record with its straight forward, driving energy. And or those hoping that the band that was AILD hadn’t lost its full on metal edge, ‘Matter of Time’ will assure them that they most definitely have not. These songs are but a few examples of what makes Wovenwar a welcome new birth for the members of AILD. And it is even more welcome for audiences that have waited with baited breath for this record.

When it was announced that the members of AILD had formed a new band and were hard at work on said band’s debut release, anticipation immediately built for that release. Both the band’s members and audiences alike needed a fresh start what with the black eye brought on by Tim Lambesis’ arrest. Right off the top of the album, the band lives up to all of that anticipation thanks to ‘All Rise.’ This melodic hard rock was the perfect way to open the album. Its pounding drums and shredding guitars are a bridge to what was once AILD while the more melodic vocal style of front man Shane Blay displays the band’s different direction. He sings in this song what may well be a reference to Lambesis’ arrest as he sings, “Who stands the storm and faces/The horrors that darkness breeds/Who will take the life they’re given/And cast light for all to see/Who stands the storm if not the brave/What’s built from cowards that we praise/Who stands the storm if not the brave.” It’s very possible that this could be in reference to comments made by Lambesis regarding his eventually changing views on faith that apparently led to his fate. That argument is made even stronger in the song’s opening verse as Blay sings in the song’s opening verse, “Oh You feel the hunter’s gaze/A shadow even in the dark of night/scheming your early grave/He’s going to leave you dead or dying/Draining all the blood he craves/You never thought you’d be meat for the market/What’d you expect when you sold your name?” One can’t help but wonder if this was directed at Lambesis’ ex-wife considering what is known about their relationship now. It would definitely be interesting to hear the story behind this one. Regardless it makes for a fitting introduction for Wovenwar on its debut album.

‘All Rise’ is a fitting opener for Wovenwar on its debut album. Just as impressive as an example of what audiences can expect from this album is the song ‘The Mason.’ The full on almost speed metal style sound combined with the song’s melodic metal sound makes it stylistically one of the album’s most intriguing moments. Blay shows in this song that he can do more than just sing, too as he screams and sings, “And I/I have caved in/Again but/I’m building from the wreckage.” It’s honestly nice to hear an album that is essentially a metalcore album without so much screaming and growling. Blay is a vocal powerhouse throughout the record. Audiences will agree as they listen to him make his way through the song’s chorus, singing, “We bend, we break, we’re forced to heal/The toll it takes in time revealed/The trial awakes and then creates or tears us down/We bend, we break, we learn to heal/Failings I claim for mason hands to shape/So strike away the grip of past mistakes.” He seems to be saying that things happen, but we have to learn to put the past behind us. As always, that is merely the interpretation of this one critic. It could very well be incorrect. Regardless of wrong or right, one must agree to the depth of these lyrics. That depth and the song’s straight forward, full throttle musical side together make it one more example of just how much Wovenwar has to offer audiences.

‘All Rise’ and ‘The Mason’ are both excellent examples of what audiences have to look forward to on Wovenwar’s upcoming self-titled debut record. They both exhibit both the band’s sound from its previous life as AILD while also exhibiting an obvious musical and lyrical growth at the same time. There is still at least one more example of that growth on the album’s penultimate piece, ‘A Matter of Time.’ This full-throttle piece presents almost a death metal style sound as Blay sings, “We fight to conceal this truth/But it’s all a matter of time/Time/The years wasted/Persuaded to smile/When it feels so wrong inside/How could we let ourselves/Continue this routine/The artificial beat/Of a heart that’s long since ceased.” One can’t help but wonder from what perspective this was written. It comes across as someone suffering from depression and what such person must feel. If that is indeed the case, then it could serve as a starting point for a discussion on such a topic that is all too often swept under the rug. As with the previously noted songs, it would be interesting to learn the story behind its creation. Regardless, it makes for one more great addition to an album that audiences will agree deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

Wovenwar will be available Tuesday, August 5th in stores and online. While fans wait for the album to drop, they can hear these songs and more at all of the band’s current live dates including its show tonight at the Minglewood Hall in Memphis, Tennessee. Its current U.S. tour wraps up August 9th at the famed Roxy in Los Angeles, CA. After that, the band will take some time to rest up before kkicking off the European leg of its tour August 15th at the Pukkelpop Festival in Hasselt, Belgium. Audiences can see the band’s current tour itinerary and keep up with the latest news from the band online now at http://www.facebook.com/wovenwar, http://www.wovenwar.com and http://twitter.com/wovenwar. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.