Independent hard rock band Lockjaw debuted the video for its latest single this month.
The band premiered the video for its new single, ‘Breaking Point‘ June 3. The song’s premiere follows that of the band’s then latest single, ‘Living In My Head‘ and is distinct in its sound and style from that song.
Where ‘Living In My Head’ presents a clear metalcore sound and style in the vein of Killswitch Engage, ‘Breaking Point’ is more of a melodic hard rock style song a la Stone Sour. Interestingly enough, front man Joe Ortiz’ vocals are close in sound and style to those of Stone Sour/Slipknot front man Corey Taylor at some points in the song. At others still, one cannot ignore just as much of a similarity to the vocal sound and style of Chad Gray (Hellyeah, Mudvayne). That is just this critic’s interpretation.
The video for ‘Breaking Point’ features the band in what is meant to reflect a live setting, complete with fans surrounding the band as it performs its new single.
No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the video’s premiere. The lyrics provided with the video make for an inference about someone who simply has had enough of someone else’s verbal, emotional and psychological abuse. Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation.
More information on Lockjaw’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Rock band Woyote debuted its new single and video over the weekend.
The band — Mikey Doling (Snot, Soulfly, Channel Zero), Aaron Nordstrom (Gemini Syndrome), Jari De Roover, Quentin Cornet, and Sebastiaan Verhoeven — debuted its new single, ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ Friday along with the song’s companion lyric video. The band premiered the video through Metal Injection.
The song’s musical arrangement is a stark contrast from the music that Doling and Nordstrom have crafted with their respective bands. Rather the arrangement here is more of a mainstream style pure rock composition.
According to information provided about the song in a press release, the song’s lyrical theme is a social commentary about the state of the world.
In other news, Woyote has a trio of live dates planned for this year and early next year. The dates are noted below.
The first leg of “The Bay Strikes Back Tour” is well underway, and this fall, the tour will continue with even more dates.
The dates for the tour’s second leg were announced Friday. The second leg of the tour, which features Testament, Exodus, and Death Angel, is scheduled to launch Sept. 20 in Phoenix, AZ and to run through Oct. 15 in San Jose, CA. The schedule includes stops in cities, such as Hartford, CT; Fort Wayne, IN and Reno, NV.
The full schedule for the second leg of “The Bay Strikes Back Tour” is noted below.
Saturday, 10/8/2022 – Calgary, AB – Palace Theatre
Monday, 10/10/2022 – Vancouver, BC – Commodore
Wednesday, 10/12/2022 – Ventura, CA – Majestic Ventura Theater
Thursday, 10/13/2022 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern
Friday, 10/14/2022 – Reno, NV – Cargo
Saturday, 10/15/2022 – San Jose, CA – San Jose Civic
The first leg of the tour is underway. It is scheduled to stop off in Baltimore, MD tonight. The current schedule for the first leg of the tour is noted below.
5/1/2022 – Baltimore, MD – Soundstage 5/2/2022 – Boston, MA – House of Blues 5/3/2022 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts 5/5/2022 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount 5/6/2022 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom 5/7/2022 – Cincinnati, OH – Madison Theater 5/9/2022 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE 5/10/2022 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora 5/11/2022 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall 5/12/2022 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre 5/14/2022 – Joliet, IL – The Forge 5/15/2022 – Joliet, IL – The Forge 5/17/2022 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre 5/19/2022 – Denver, CO – Summit 5/20/2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot *More dates to be added
More information on the new tour announcement is available along with all of Testament’s latest news and more at:
Metalcore band Miss May I debuted its new single, ‘Unconquered’ and its video Wednesday.
The single and its video are the first from the band in five years. The song’s musical arrangement is pure metalcore and will appeal to the band’s established fan base, as well as that of Wage War, and Miss May I’s label mate, We Came As Romans.
The song’s lyrical theme addresses the emotional and mental struggles that everyone battled because of the pandemic, said front man Levi Benton.
“We as well as everyone else went through the ringer the last couple of years,” said Benton. “Some of us worse than others and even more of us finding ourselves in the darkest places we never thought we’d end up. After that experience and making it out – it felt as if a battle had been won. That’s what ‘Unconquered’ is all about.”
The video for ‘Unconquered’ finds the band performing its new single on what looks like another world, perhaps another planet. The visualization is meant to help illustrate the sense of being in another world throughout the course of the pandemic. Meanwhile an unidentified man battles what seems like addiction to pills, alcohol and smoking. The song plays over the video as it progresses.
In other news, Miss May I is serving as support for All That Remains’ new headlining tour, which launched Saturday. The tour’s schedule is noted below on its poster.
More information on Miss May I’s new single, video, and live schedule is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Max Cavalera and his brother Iggor, founding members of the original Sepultura lineup, announced this week, they will celebrate two of the band’s classic albums with a new tour.
The “Max & Iggor Return Beneath Arise Tour” is scheduled to launch May 22 in Albuquerque, NM and to run through June 25 in Tempe, AZ. The tour will see the brothers performing Sepultura’s classic albums, Beneath The Remains (1989) and Arise (1991).
“After Covid-19 us metal heads need to release our aggression with some Beneath The Remains and Arise!,” said Max Cavalera.
Iggor said, “Can’t wait to perform our “Return Beneath Arise” Tour for our North American fans. See you in the Pit!!!”
The tour’s schedule is noted below complete with links to tickets.
Independent hard rock band Pierced will release its debut album, Cheers To Brutality this spring.
In anticipation of the record’s release, the band premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘You Can’t Play God With Me,’ Monday through BraveWords. The video is a straight forward presentation that features the band performing its new single on a simply lit sound stage.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘You Can’t Play God With Me’ is a composition that thrash metal fans will enjoy. More specifically, the arrangement will appeal to fans of bands, such as Testament, Exodus, and Overkill.
The lyrical theme featured in the band’s new song delivers a familiar sociopolitical message, said front man Rob Middleton.
“’You Can’t Play God with Me’ basically describes your modern day power trippers, the people who seek control over the majority of us, whether it’s corporations, so-called experts or our own government, telling us what they think is best for us,” he said. “They use the fear machine to force conformity which for a guy like me, immediately triggers resistance.”
Cheers To Brutality was produced by Mike Orlando (Adrenaline Mob, Her Chariot Awaits, Stereo Satellite).
More information on Pierced’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
Independent rock band Roadkiller debuted the video for its latest single this week.
The act, which is the brainchild of Phillipa Tank, premiered the video for its new single, ‘Slicker Than Oil’ Monday through Metal Injection. The song is the second single from Roadkiller’s forthcoming record, Pick of the Litter. Its release date and other information is under consideration.
Tank, who is known as a member of the Motorhead tribute band, Motorbabe, said the single features a guest appearance by drummer Dave Witte (Municipal Waste, Melt Banana, Discordance Axis). In addition, she said Witte is just one of the well-known drummers who will appear on the record.
Witte said he enjoyed working with Tank on the new song and video.
“Phillipa Tank’s Roadkiller songs are rocking and full of energy,” she said. “It was really fun to play the tune and film a cool video to boot! Also to be included among a really great group of drummers playing on the record is equally as exciting.”
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Slicker Than Oil’ immediately shows Tank’s Motorhead leanings with its bluesy punk/metal hybrid sound. At the same time, the guitar solos present more of a vintage thrash metal style approach. The duality in that combination makes the overall arrangement an engaging and entertaining composition.
The press release announcing the song and video’s debut did not provide information about the song’s lyrical theme. No lyrics were provided with the video, either. The lyrics are difficult to decipher without a reference point, but from what little can be understood sans lyrics, the song’s lyrical content comes across as a sort of defiant statement.
The video for ‘Slicker Than Oil’ is a relatively simple presentation. It features Witte and Tank performing their new new single on an island that has a defunct rail bridge. Drone footage is edited into the video as part of its overall presentation. The colorful graffiti on the bridge’s posts and the bright, blue sky add to the impact of the video’s general effect, too.
More information on Roadkiller’s new single and video is available along with all of the project’s latest news at:
Testament has parted ways with drummer Gene Hoglan.
The band released a statement on the lineup change in a prepared statement released Friday. The comment is noted below.
To all our Testament fans around the world, First off, we are beyond grateful to have had Gene Hoglan behind our drum throne for ten years, several albums and countless tour dates. Unfortunately, our brother Gene’s additional tours and solo endeavors in 2022 conflict insurmountably with Testament’s rescheduled dates after two years of lost time due to the pandemic. Rather than Testament having to reschedule upcoming dates (yet again) or Gene having to cancel his own plans, we have decided to amicably part ways. We understand that this announcement will cause some disappointment but rest assured: There is no drama, only the best of vibes between us. As Gene embarks upon a new chapter, we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for bringing the most powerful drum beats to Testament and heavy metal. We have no doubt he will continue to bring it as only he can. Gene will always be family and we ask all of you to join us in wishing him only the best of luck going forward!
Also rest assure that we will continue to deliver yet another top notch addition to Testament and will reveal soon! We will see you all on tour very soon! – Testament
As Testament works to find a replacement for Hoglan, the band is preparing for its re-scheduled “The Bay Strikes Back Tour.” The tour, originally scheduled to take place last year, was postponed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now scheduled to launch April 9 in San Luis Obispo, CA and to run through May 20 in Salt Lake City, UT.
The tour, which will also feature performances from Exodus and Death Angel, has its schedule noted below.
Bay Strikes Back 2022 dates: 4/9/2022 – San Luis Obispo, CA – Fremont Theater 4/10/2022 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues 4/12/2022 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues 4/13/2022 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues 4/15/2022 – Tucson, AZ – Rialto Theatre 4/16/2022 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater 4/19/2022 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom 4/20/2022 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall 4/21/2022 – Austin, TX – Emo’s 4/22/2022 – Dallas, TX -Amplified Live 4/23/2022 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues 4/26/2022 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade 4/27/2022 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz 4/30/2022 – Sayreville, NJ -Starland Ballroom 5/1/2022 – Baltimore, MD – Soundstage 5/2/2022 – Boston, MA – House of Blues 5/3/2022 – Philadelphia, PA – Theater of Living Arts 5/5/2022 – Huntington, NY – The Paramount 5/6/2022 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom 5/7/2022 – Cincinnati, OH – Madison Theater 5/9/2022 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE 5/10/2022 – Cleveland, OH – The Agora 5/11/2022 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall 5/12/2022 – Detroit, MI – The Majestic Theatre 5/14/2022 – Joliet, IL – The Forge 5/15/2022 – Joliet, IL – The Forge 5/17/2022 – Minneapolis, MN – Skyway Theatre 5/19/2022 – Denver, CO – Summit 5/20/2022 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot *More dates to be added
More information on Testament’s lineup change and tour is available online along with all of Testament’s latest news and more at:
It’s hard to believe but 2021 is officially only four weeks from its big finale. One can only hope that moving forward from here into 2022, that sooner rather than later, we’ll finally be rid of this COVID-19 crap and life can finally go back to what it was. Time will tell. In the meantime, this critic has checked over his calendar for the year’s waning weeks, and surprisingly, there are no more new EPs to go through for the year. That means it is finally time to start in on this year’s “best of” year-ender lists. Of course, as in every year past, the very first of those lists comes in the form of the smallest of the music releases noted.
This year’s list of new EPs features new releases from at least one relatively well-known figure and a number of others who are either up-and-coming or semi-established. They run the gamut from family music to pop to rock and metal to even some southern rock/country. These lists are never easy to finalize because even among the EPs there is so much to appreciate musically and lyrically. That was taken into full consideration with this list, too. Those who have followed this critic’s ramblings for years on end, know how the lists work. For everyone else, they work as such: Instead of just 10 new offerings, this list is composed of 15 titles. The top 10 are the best of the best while the following five are honorable mention titles. This is not a stab at those releases or the acts that released them, either. Far from it. The whole purpose is to give those extras their due credit, too.
So without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks Top 10 New EPs of 2021.
PHIL’S PICKS 2021 TOP 10 NEW EPS
SaulPaul – OK To Be Different
Gabriel & The Apocalypse – Alpha Transcendence
Decent Criminal – Decent Criminal
The Mercy Kills – New Rule
Dirkschneider & The Old Gang – Arising
Repentance – Volume 1 – Reborn
All Hail The Yeti – Within The Hollow Earth
Kulick – Sitting in a Quiet Coffeehouse
Blue Eyed Christ – World on Fire Remixes
Zero Theorum – The Killing II
Sydney Sherwood – Headspace
Christopher Shayne – Ten High
20 Watt Tombstone – Year of the Jackalope
Post Death Soundtrack – Pathless Land
Black TarPoon – The Thad
That’s it for this year’s top new EPs. Thanks goes out to all of the firms that sent out this great music and so much more. No offense is meant to any act left out. For instance Of Mice & Men released a trio of new EPs this year, but they ended up as the new album, Echo, so that album is up for consideration among this critic’s top new hard rock/metal albums of the year. Even more year-enders are on their way as the last days of the year start to wind down, so stay tuned!
L.A.-based hardcore rap-rock band Downset returned to the stage last year after breaking up in 2009. And now only a year after reuniting and hitting the stage again, the band has released its first album in a decade. And it is quite the return for the band. Right off the top, the band proves it is as strong as ever. The album’s opener and title track is a blatant declaration that Downset is back. And it’s not the only powerful statement from the band, either. ‘Champion’ is just as strong of a statement from the band early on in the album. If that isn’t enough for audiences, the social statement that is ‘Who’s Tripp’n’ is a doubly hard-hitting piece both for its musical side and for the statement made through its lyrics. These songs are but a fraction of what Downset offers audiences on its return. There are nine other tracks on this disc from which audiences can choose their favorite(s). Those tracks alongside the pieces noted here make One Blood a solid return for Downset.
Downset makes one heck of a statement right off the bat on its new album. Being that roughly ten years have passed since the band released its last full length studio effort, the band made certain with this album’s title track and opener to let audiences know that it is back with a vengeance. Front man Rey Oropeza writes of the band’s return in the song, “The dream will never fold up/Rebirth of the vision/That awoke us/Uprising side by side again/Building ain’t lost that feeling/Believing the new dawn/True bonds add on/Chain of strength/Tribal solid steel stand strong/Score it like the same team/The same scene/Lock and link deep/You know what I mean?” That declaration set against the song’s pounding musical backing makes for quite the powerful reintroduction for one of the bigger names in the underground hard rock realm.
‘One Blood’ is a powerful reintroduction for Downset after what can supposedly now be called the band’s extended hiatus. It isn’t the album’s only high point, either. The equally hard edged ‘Champion’ is certain to impress the band’s long-time fans. Drummer Chris Hamilton’s drum fill is the driving force behind this song. And the positive message contained in the song’s chorus will have fans screaming along proudly. The band screams in the song’s chorus, “When we reach the corner/We emerge to astonished eyes/If you can’t touch the sky/Then why should I/You wait for the perfect moment/To turn the tide/Break through the pressure and pain…Champion.” It proves to be one of those songs centered on the power of self-determination. Yet again, it serves as more proof of the value of hard rock. Any song that can help to empower a listener to be strong is a positive at least in the eyes on this critic. That being the case, it makes ‘Champion’ one of the highest of highs on this record.
Downset has come back with quite a bit of power and substance on its reintroduction to the world. That has already been evidenced through the songs noted above. There is at least one more example of that power in substance late in the album in the form of the song ‘Who’s Tripp’n.’ The song is a social commentary in which Oropeza writes about the state of certain communities across America. He seems to be writing in this song about what has happened to said communities in terms of the growth of gang populations, racial profiling and more. The song clocks in at just under three and a half minutes in length. But it hardly feels that long when one really takes in the song for both its thought provoking lyrics and equally pounding musical accompaniment. That is meant in the most complimentary of manners. It shows how easily the song engages audiences and keeps their ears and minds throughout the course of the song. Yet again here audiences have proof that Downset means business on its new album. It is one more reason that any of the band’s audiences new and old alike will want to check out this album. And along with the remaining songs not noted here, One Blood proves to be quite the solid listen for both fans of Downset and of the hardcore and rap-rock scenes alike.