Ventruss Releases Its New EP, ‘Serpent’; Debuts EP’s Latest Single

Courtesy: MVK Music Group

Never say never. That should be Ventruss’ motto.

That is because more than five months after debuting what its members said at the time was the last single from its new EP, Serpent, Ventruss has debuted another single from the 2021 release. The band premiered its new single, ‘Spirit of The Chosen‘ and its video Friday. The song is the fourth single from the six-song record.

The band premiered the EP’s title track and its companion video Oct. 29. The EP has also produced the singles, ‘Sentiment,‘ ‘Talladega.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Spirit of the Chosen’ is a driving, upbeat composition that is grounded in its solid time keeping and its equally cutting guitar riffs and enveloping vocals. The low end from the bass rounds out the composition with its own touch, too. The whole immediately lends the work to those of bands, such as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, and others of that ilk.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announce the song’s premiere. The lyrics provided with the song’s video makes relatively clear that the song deals with someone coping with the loss of a loved one. This is inferred directly through the lines, “Sent to the sky/Seen through your eyes/With the wings you’re given to fly/And soar through the sky/Why did you die?”

Serpent was released Friday through MVK Music Group.

More information on Ventruss’ new single and video is available along with all of Ventruss’ latest news at:




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Miss May I Unveils First New Music In Five Years; Joins All That Remains Live

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

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.

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

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:




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Sleep Signals Joining All That Remains For Upcoming Tour Dates

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Sleep Signals will join All That Remains on the road later this month.

The band will serve as support for All That Remains’ upcoming North American tour.  ATR’s tour is in support of its latest full-length studio recording, Victim of the New Disease, which was released Nov. 9 via Razor & Tie.

Sleep Signals’ live dates are in support of its latest recording, its 2017 EP, At The End of the World.  At The End of the World produced the hit single ‘Edge of My Sanity.’  The video is streaming at the band’s official Facebook page.

The upcoming tour is scheduled to launch Feb. 28 in Reading, PA and to run through Apr. 6 in Destin, FL.  It features performances in cities, such as Des Moines, IA; Mesa, AZ and Syracuse, NY.  Atilla will share headline duties while Escape The Fate will share support duties with Sleep Signals.

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Dates with All That Remains, Attila, and Escape the Fate

2.28 Reading, PA | Reverb
3.01 Halethorpe, MD | Fish Head Cantina
3.02 Worcester, MA | The Palladium
3.03 Hartford, CT | Webster Theater
3.05 Clifton Park, | NY Upstate Concert Hall
3.06 Syracuse, NY | Westcott Theater
3.07 Toledo, OH | Civic Music Hall ^
3.08 Indianapolis, IN | The Citadel
3.09 Ringle, WI | Q&Z Expo Center
3.10 Belvidere, IL | Apollo Theatre
3.12 Minneapolis, MN | The Cabooze
3.13 Milwaukee, WI | The Rave
3.14 Des Moines, IA | Wooly’s
3.15 St Louis, MO | Delmar Hall
3.16 Merriam, KS | Aftershock ^
3.17 Lincoln, NE | Bourbon Theatre
3.19 Denver, CO | Oriental Theater
3.20 Salt Lake City, UT | The Depot
3.21 Billings, MT | Pub Station
3.22 Spokane, WA | The Knitting Factory
3.23 Boise, ID | Revolution Music Hall
3.24 Portland, OR | Crystal Ballroom
3.26 Sacramento, CA | Ace of Spades
3.27 Santa Ana, CA | Observatory
3.28 Ventura, CA | Ventura Theatre
3.29 Mesa, AZ | Club Red
3.30 Albuquerque, NM | El Rey Theatre
4.01 Austin, TX | Come & Take It Live
4.02 Dallas, TX | Gas Monkey Live
4.03 Oklahoma City, OK | Diamond Ballroom
4.05 Lafayette, LA | The District
4.06 Destin, FL | Club L.A.
4.07 Orlando, FL | Hard Rock Live ^^

^ No All That Remains

^^ No Attila

More information on Sleep Signals’ upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:






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Wovenwar’s Second Album Is A Solid Sophomore Effort

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The end of the old year and the start of the New Year are traditionally the slowest times of the year in terms of new music releases.  While some new albums are released over the holiday season and the early part of the New Year, the real first push for new albums generally doesn’t start until early March.  Even as slow as the end of the old year and start of the New Year are, new albums are released.  However, they are few.  That gives audiences time to catch up on some of the previous year’s big albums.  It goes without saying that 2016 saw more than its share of big albums.  Wovenwar’s sophomore album Honor Is Dead is one of those big albums released this year.  The album, released Oct. 21, is a big step up for the band. The band took the melodic hard rock and metalcore elements presented in its 2014 self-titled debut here and stepped them up in a big way on this record.  The stepped up arrangements are sure to keep listeners fully engaged from beginning to end.  The same can be said of the lyrical themes presented throughout the record, and when those themes are set alongside the songs’ musical arrangements, the end result is a record that as this critic already noted, is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Wovenwar’s sophomore album Honor Is Dead is only the band’s second full-length studio album, but it can be said that it is the band’s best work so far.  It is a big step up from the band’s 2014 self-titled debut.  The record’s powerhouse opener ‘Confession’ serves clearly to support that statement. The song’s guitar-driven arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Killswitch Engage, Memphis May Fire, All That Remains and others of that ilk.  That is the case even in the song’s more flowing chorus.  The power in that arrangement is a good fit for the song’s equally powerful lyrical content, which seems to center on someone fighting alcoholism.  It can be inferred that the song’s lyrical theme focuses on said subject as front man Shane Blay sings in the song’s lead verse, “I call it a phase, I call it a phase/But bottoms of bottles are killing the pain/I call it a phase, I call it a phase/When no one’s looking I take in all I can/I kiss the bottle until I can’t stand/And wake up grieving/And by noon I won’t care/I’ll count the minutes til’ I start again.”  The song’s subject asks himself in pained fashion in the song’s chorus, “What have I become/Have I come undone?”  This illustrates even more that the song seems to be addressing someone battle addiction.

If the song’s simple but powerful chorus and lead verse aren’t enough to convince one of the song’s subject, one line in particular in the song’s second verse will most certainly convince listeners.  Blay sings in said verse, “You cannot hurt when you cannot feel a thing/The past has taught me I won’t remember a thing/I’ll trade a night cap for some apathy/And wake up grieving, and by noon I won’t care/I count the minutes til’ I start again.”  This is a powerful statement; one that is just as powerful as that in the song’s lead verse.  When the two are coupled with the song’s equally impacting musical arrangement, the end result is a work that is a solid opener for the record and a song that shows clearly what makes this album so impressive.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that is so powerful, too.  ‘Lines in the Sand’ is another of the album’s most standout songs.

‘Confession,’ Honor Is Dead’s opening composition is a solid opener for Wovenwar’s new album.  It is also a solid example of what makes this record so impressive. That is due both to its musical and lyrical content.  It is just one of the songs that stands out in this record’s overall body.  ‘Lines in the Sand’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession.’  That is due to its musical arrangement and lyrical theme, too.  The song’s musical arrangement is powerful in its own right thanks to the work of guitarist Nick Hipa, bassist Josh Gilbert and drummer Jordan Mancino.  Instead of the full on shredding assault presented in ‘Confession,’ the musicians have crafted here an arrangement that is more akin to arrangements crafted by the members of Sevendust, Shinedown, and others of that ilk.  Such a contrast shows the musicians’ reach even more and is just one part of what makes this song – and record – stand out.  The song’s lyrical content stands out just as much as its musical arrangement.

In the case of the song’s lyrical content, front man Shane Blay comes across as presenting commentary on the nation’s division and the damage that said division is doing to the country.  The song’s first two verses are proof of that. Blay sings in the song’s lead verse, “Some men are born to reap the harvest/Some men are born to sow the seed/the lines between them are all drawn in/The lie between them is belief.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Does anyone know why we’re fighting/Does anyone know the other side/the lines between us are all drawn by/the lies that we choose to believe.”  These verses make a powerful statement; a statement of how easily people allow themselves to be divided because they don’t question. In the song’s chorus, Blay strengthens that statement even more as he sings, “If only we had eyes to see the lines blurring/Fall in line if you’re willing/Defend these shores to the bitter end/Everyone’s got a reason/to name the victims and the villains/But who drew the lines in the sand?”  He is saying people need to think for themselves rather than just let themselves be divided.  Again, it is a powerful message, and one that is as relevant today as in any era.  When that powerful message is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the pair’s partnering exhibits fully why this song stands out in the bigger picture of HID.  They also serve to show even more why the album in whole is so impressive, too.  While the song serves to show in its own right what makes HID so impressive, it is just one more example of what makes this record work so well.  The record’s closer, ‘130’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession’ and ‘Lines in the Sand.’

‘Confession’ and ‘Lines in the Sand’ are both powerhouse pieces included in HID that show what makes this record so impressive.  That is due to the songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  The songs’ arrangements and lyrical themes stand out clearly from one another and from the album’s other compositions, too.  As important as those two songs are to the album’s overall presentation, they are only two of the songs that show what makes HID so impressive.  ‘130,’ the record’s closer, is one more example of what makes the album so impressive.  The song’s arrangement is a full-throttle work that conjures thoughts of Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium and other similar acts thanks to the combination of Blay’s vocals, Hipa’s guitar work, Mancino’s work on the drums and Gilbert’s low end.  The arrangement’s furious energy expertly catches the terror and fear that must have been felt at the November 2015 Paris attacks.  What’s more the guitar-driven composition captures just as well the anger that was felt by people around the world following those horrific acts.  The song’s lyrical content captures those emotions just as well as Blay sings, “Explosions shake the city/I thought it was part of the show/A craven is screaming prayers/In a tongue that I don’t know/Paris lights are winking out/I can hear the city scream/While the faithful are rejoicing in the sound of tragedy.”  The fire in Blay’s vocal delivery captures just as well the mix of emotions that must have been felt by those who were there.  That emotion is just as powerfully evident as Blay sings in the song’s chorus, “Find me one reason worth this hate/One reason worth this endless violence/Find me one more reason worth this hate/Because I have 130 reasons to change.”  The 130 reasons in question are the 130 people who were killed in the November 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris.  Blay goes on to directly address the attack at the Bataclan Theatre as he mentions the stage should be a safe place that brings everyone together “yet we one divided/Waging war over beliefs.” He is not making any indictment of the people there, but the people who committed the attacks at the club because of their beliefs.  It is a hard-hitting statement that when joined with the song’s musical arrangement, shows once more why ‘130’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession,’ ‘Lines in the Sand’ and the rest of the songs featured in this album.  Each song, with its arrangement and lyrical theme is important in its own right to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Wovenwar’s sophomore effort a solid second effort.  They give great hope for another album from the band in the not too distant future.

Honor Is Dead is a solid new offering from Wovenwar.  The band’s sophomore record presents arrangements throughout its eleven songs that present sounds similar to so many of its current counterparts including Shinedown, Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, and so many others.  In other words, the record’s musical arrangements don’t stick to just one style of hard rock and metal or another.  They clearly cross those lines from beginning to end, giving listeners plenty of diversity.  That in turn ensures listeners’ engagement in itself.  The lyrical themes presented in each of the album’s songs are just as diverse as the musical arrangements presented in each song.  From a subject battling addiction to an equally powerful statement of people’s blind divisions to an emotional composition about the 2015 attacks on Paris and so much more, the lyrical themes presented in this record give listeners just as much reason to take in this record as its musical arrangements.  Each element is clearly important in its own way to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, the album’s combined musical and lyrical content makes this record, once more, a solid new effort from Wovenwar.  They also give hope that it won’t be the band’s last album, either.  Honor Is Dead is available now in stores and online.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Wovenwar’s latest news and more at:










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All That Remains Announces Release Date For New Album

Photo Credit:  Justin Borucki

Photo Credit: Justin Borucki

All That Remains don’t have long to wait for the band’s new album.

The band recently announced that The Order of Things, its seventh full-length studio recording, will be released February 24th via Razor & Tie Records. Audiences can get a hint of what’s to come right now as the band has leaked one of the album’s songs online already. Fans can check out ‘No Knock’ online now via the band’s official website. The band has tapped Josh Wilbur to man the boards for this record. Having Wilbur on board to produce the record means that most of the recording process will take place in Massachusetts, while the fine tuning will be done in Los Angeles. Wilbur’s credits include albums from the likes of Lamb of God, Gojira, and Hatebreed.

ATR’s most recent album was 2012’s A War You Cannot Win. The album debuted at #13 on the Billboard Top 200. It garnered two hit singles–‘Stand Up’ and ‘What If I Was Nothing.’ ‘Stand Up’ made its way to the #1 spot on the Active Rock radio chart. That was a first for the band. ‘What If I Was Nothing’ was close behind, making its way all the way to the #2 spot on the same chart.

Pre-orders for The Order of Things will be available soon as will announcements regarding tour dates and more new music from the album. Audiences can keep up with all of that online at:




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Nonpoint Signs New Deal With Metal Blade Records

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Officials with Metal Blade Records announced today the addition of Florida-based hard rock band Nonpoint to its artist roster. The deal between Nonpoint and Metal Blade will see Metal Blade release Nonpoint’s upcoming eighth full-length album internationally. Front man Elias Soriano spoke with reporters on the announcement, expressing his happiness over the new deal. “This is a dream situation for us,” he said. “We’ve always needed a team behind us outside of the U.S. It’s a great feeling knowing you now have the best team possible.”

Drummer Robb Rivera echoed Soriano’s sentiments in his comments. “We are excited to get not only THE worldwide label of labels to release our album outside of the US, but to be part of a family now that has pretty much set the bar for metal releases for 30 plus years,” he said. “Needless to say , extremely excited to be able to get our music to the fans outside of the US through the team that helped launch Metallica.”

Nonpoint’s next album is currently slated to drop this Fall. Metal Blade Records rep Brian Slagel hinted at what fans can expect from the new album, stating, “The bit of new material I heard sounds great!” He was just as pleased with the announcement of the new deal between Nonpoint and Metal Blade Records. He said of the announcement, “All of us at Metal Blade are happy to welcome Nonpoint to the Metal Blade family. We are excited to work with them.”

Nonpoint will perform live at the Central Florida Fairgrounds at the WJRR Earthday Birthday festival. Also slated for the festival are: Alter Bridge, Everclear, All That Remains, Cypress Hill, Alien Ant Farm, Pepper, Fuel, Filter, Saving Abel, Saigon Kick, Lacuna Coil, Tantric, and many other bands. Nonpoint is also scheduled to perform at Rock The Yard in Kernersville, North Carolina on June 22nd alongside Another Lost Year. More information on the band’s current tour schedule, its upcoming eighth full-length studio release and more is available online now at,, and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Him Debuts Video For Latest Single, Announces Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Razor & Tie Records

Courtesy: Razor & Tie Records

Finnish rock band HIM has released the video for the latest single from its most recent full length album, Tears on Tape.  The video for the song ‘Into The Night’ can be viewed online now at  The video incorporates footage of the band performing edited in with shots of people in hooded robes bringing bricks to a spot in a forest that would eventually form the band’s well known “Heartagram” logo at the song’s end.  The song itself is quite the upbeat tune.  The album as a whole is available to be downloaded now online at

HIM’s legions of fans can catch the band as it tours in support of Tears On Tape.  The band is currently making its way across America on the annual “Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Tour” alongside All That Remains, Volbeat, and Airbourne.  The bands will make a stop in North Carolina on Monday, September 23rd at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex as part of their tour.  Tickets can be purchased for the concert at  Fans of HIM can keep up with all of the latest tour updates and more on HIM’s official Facebook page, and its official website,

The most current list of HIM’s tour dates is available below.

Sep 04 Las Vegas, NV @ The Joint
Sep 08 Abbotsford, BC @ Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Center**
Sep 09 Calgary, AB @ Big 4 Building
Sep 10 Edmonton, AB @ Rexall Place**
Sep 15 Sacramento, CA @ Aftershock Music Festival
Sep 16 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
Sep 18 Grand Prairie, TX @ Verizon Theatre**
Sep 19 Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Sep 21 Gulfport, MS @ Jones Park CPR Fest**
Sep 22 Atlanta, GA @ Tabernacle**
Sep 23 Greensboro, NC @ Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center
Sep 25 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom**
Sep 26 Philadelphia, PA @ Skyline Stage @ The Mann
Sep 27 Lowell, MA @ Tsongas Center**
Sep 28 Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Waterfront

European Tour Dates
with Caspian

Oct 06 Hamburg, Germany @ Grosse Freiheit
Oct 07 Berlin, Germany @ Huxley’s Neue Welt
Oct 08 Wiesbaden, Germany @ Schlachthof
Oct 09 Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Paradiso
Oct 11 Leipzig, Germany @ Haus Auensee
Oct 12 Prague, Czech Republic @ Lucerna
Oct 13 Vienna, Austria @ Gasometer
Oct 15 Milan, Italy @ Alcatraz
Oct 16 Zurich, Switzerland @ Komplex 457
Oct 17 Munchen, Germany @ Kesselhaus
Oct 18 Koln, Germany @ E-Werk
Oct 19 Paris, France @ Le Bataclan
Oct 21 Wolverhampton, UK @ Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Oct 22 Newcastle, UK @ O2 Academy
Oct 23 Glasgow, UK @ Barrowland
Oct 24 Manchester, UK @ Manchester Academy
Oct 26 Nottingham, UK @ Rock City
Oct 27 Blackweir, UK @ Great Hall
Oct 28 Southampton, UK @ Guildhall
Oct 29 Norwich, UK @ UEA
Oct 31 London, UK @ KOKO (SOLD OUT)
Nov 01 London, UK @ KOKO

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