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.

Trioscapes Announces Release Date For Sophomore LP

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today that Trioscapes will release its sophomore album this summer.

Trioscapes will release its second full length studio effort Digital Dream Sequence Tuesday, August 19th. Tenor Saxophonist/flutist Walter Fancourt and bassist Dan Briggs explained the difference between the band’s upcoming release and its debut record. Fancourt noted of the band’s debut, “after hearing the debut album, that was the first time I felt like I knew what we sounded like.” Briggs expanded on Fancourt’s thoughts adding, “For the first record, the three of us came together just to write music for that album, not even really knowing we were writing for an album.” He added, “After two years of touring, playing together, and casually working on new music, we really gelled and established more of a sound.”

Audiences can get a glimpse of what to expect on the band’s new album with the album’s lead single, ‘Stab Wounds’ now online in its entirety. It can be viewed via Metal Blade Records’ official Trioscapes page at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes/. More updates on the upcoming album, and all of the latest news from Trioscapes is available online now at http://www.metalblade.com/trioscapes and http://www.facebook.com/trioscapes. 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.

Virgin Mobile Recruits Exmortus For New Ad Campaign

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records/Virgin Mobile

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records/Virgin Mobile

Prosthetic Records’ own Exmortus is starring in a new ad campaign for Virgin Mobile.

The new TV spot is a fully tongue-in-cheek piece that sees the L.A.-based four-piece applying its own brand of metal to espouse the benefits of Virgin Mobile. It was directed by Paul B. Cummings (Conan, The Colbert Report). It can be viewed online now at http://www.ispot.tv/ad/7yMf/virgin-mobile-galaxy-s5-metal-band. Drummer Mario Moreno shared his thoughts on the shoot, saying that “We had a great time shooting with Paul and it was an awesome experience, especially breaking all the gear at the end!”

Exmortus will be back on the road again this summer in support of its latest album Slave to the Sword.” It will tour alongside veteran metal band Flotsam and Jetsam on that band’s tour. The current tour itinerary is listed below.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES
7/9     West Hollywood, CA – Whisky A Go Go #
7/10   San Francisco, CA – Slim’s #
7/11   Sacramento, CA – The Boardwalk #
7/12   Portland, OR – Tonic Lounge #
7/13   Seattle, WA – Studio Seven #
7/15   Spokane, WA – Club 412 #
7/16   Boise, ID – The Shredder #
7/17   Salt Lake City, UT – LoFi Cafe #
7/18   Las Vegas, NV – LVCS #
7/19   Mesa, AZ – Club Red #
8/2     Los Angeles, CA – Black Castle (w/ Morbid Saint)
8/22   Santa Ana, CA – Malone’s (w/ Gypsyhawk)
# with Flotsam & Jetsam

More information on Exmortus, its upcoming tour, its new album and more is available online now at http://www.facebook.com/exmortusofficial. 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.

Battlecross Announces New Tour Dates, Starts Working On New Album

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The members of Battlecross have confirmed that the band will hit the road this summer for a headlining tour.

The band will kick off its upcoming headlining summer tour on Thursday, July 24th at The Basement in Columbus, Ohio. A pair of dates in North Carolina is also planned as part of the band’s tour. That pair of dates will see the band perform at the Greene Street Club in Greensboro, North Carolina on Friday, July 25th and The Casbah at Tremont Music Hall on Sunday, July 27th. The band will be joined by Crimson Shadows at both performances. Crimson Shadows, from Canada, was the winner of the most recent Wacken Metal Battle. New York-based band IKILLYA will also be on hand for support.

The first leg of the band’s summer tour runs through Thursday August 7th. Battlecross will join Killswitch Engage on Friday, August 8th and Sunday, August 10th at Expo 5 in Louisville, KY and at Austin’s in Libertyville, IL respectively. The band also has a performance scheduled for Saturday, August 9th at the DIRT Fest in Birch Run, MI. After finishing its U.S. run, Battlecross will head south for the South American leg of its tour. That leg of the band’s tour currently runs from Friday, August 22nd to Sunday, August 24th. Also on board for that leg of the tour will be Memphis May Fire and Killswitch Engage. Currently, the band is on tour in Europe in support of its latest release, War of Wills. The band is touring alongside Huntress and will be in Milano today. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

BATTLECROSS Summer 2014 European tour dates:
19/06/14 IT – Milano – Club Legend w/ Huntress
20/06/14 SI – Ljubljana – Orto Bar w/ Huntress
21/06/14 HR – Zagreb – Mochvara Club w/ Huntress
27/06/14 BE – Dessel – Graspop Festival

BATTLECROSS
Tour w/ Crimson Shadows
Thu/Jul-24 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
Fri/Jul-25 Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street Club
Sat/Jul-26 Elizabethton, TN @ The Bonnie Kate
Sun/Jul-27 Charlotte, NC @ The Casbah at Tremont Music Hall
Mon/Jul-28 Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
Wed/Jul-30 Reading, PA @ Reverb
Thu/Jul-31 Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
Fri/Aug-01 Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
Sat/Aug-02 Albany, NY @ Bogies
Sun/Aug-03 Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
Mon/Aug-04 Quebec City, QC @ L’Agitee
Tue/Aug-05 London, ON @ Rum Runners*
Wed/Aug-06 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
Thu/Aug-07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
End tour
Fri/Aug-08 Louisville, KY** @ Expo 5
Sat/Aug-09 Birch Run, MI @ DIRT Fest
Sun/Aug-10 Libertyville, IL** @Austin’s
*co-headline w/ Macabre
** w/ Killswitch Engage

BATTLECROSS South American tour dates
w/ Killswitch Engage, Memphis May Fire
Fri/Aug-22 Curitiba, Brazil @ Music Hall
Sat/Aug-23 Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Carioca Club
Sun/Aug-24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil @ Circo Voador

Along with its upcoming tour dates, the members of Battlecross have also announced that the band has started work on its third full length album. Guitarist Hiran Deraniyagala shared his thoughts regarding the connection between the short headlining tour and the album. He said of the band’s expectations for both, “We’re excited to announce our first headline run in quite a while. It’s short but sweet, and this gives us time to write the new record this summer.” Fellow guitarist Tony Asta added his thoughts, too. “The past year has been very inspiring for the band and our attitude towards the writing process this time around is more confident and driven,” he said. “I expect our next album to kick you in the ass harder than the last. Album #3 will be a serious contender in 2015 and a defining Battlecross record.”

More information on Battlecross’ upcoming tour, album and more is available online now at http://battlecrossmetal.com, http://www.facebook.com/battlecrossmetal, and http://twitter.com/battlecross. 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.