Established Acts, Up-And-Comers Alike Offered Hard Rock, Metal Fans So Much To Enjoy In 2021

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

And then there were two.  Phil’s Picks is officially down to two year-ender lists on the music side as the countdown to the year’s end itself continues.  The first of this year’s last two music year-ender lists comes today in the form of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. 

This year’s list is packed with content from so many established and new acts.  From up-and-coming hard rock act Antisaint to veteran thrash band Exodus to guitar virtuosos Gus G. and John 5 and more, this year has seen so many great hard rock and metal records.  Suffice it to say there has been so much great hard rock and metal this year that it has been extremely difficult to compile this list, but it was created. 

As with every list from Phil’s Picks, this collection features the year’s top 10 new releases and five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15.  Those honorable mention titles are just as deserving of applause as the other featured works.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2021 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums list.


1. Accept – Too Mean To Die

2. Atreyu – Baptize

3. Exodus – Persona Non Grata

4. Michael Schenker Group – Immortal

5. U.D.O. – Game Over

6. Artillery – X

7. Gus G. – Quantum Leap

8. John 5 – Sinner

  1. The Three Tremors – Guardians of the Void
  1. Antisaint – Vaticinate
  1. Bullet For My Valentine – Bullet For My Valentine
  1. A Killer’s Confession – Remember
  1. The CEO – Redemption
  1. Tremonti – Marching in Time
  1. Skarlett Riot – Invicta

That’s it for this year’s hard rock and metal albums.  While even the hard rock and metal community has wrapped things for this year, things are already gearing up for 2022, with new releases already coming from the likes of up-and-coming hard rock act Bloodywood, veteran acts Hammerfall and Annihilator, and even from Saxon and Stabbing Westward.  That’s all just in the first quarter of 2022, too. 

In other words, the first half of the new year is already gearing up to be very exciting for all the hard rock and metal fans out there.  Until then though, there’s still one more music year-ender list from Phil’s Picks this year before the attention turns over to the best of this year’s new TV and movie releases.  Stay tuned!

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BFMV Is Sure To Shake Up Many Hard Rock/Metal Critics’ Year-End Charts With Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records/Search & Destroy Records

Bullet For My Valentine returned this weekend with its latest album.  The self-titled 10-song album was released Friday through Spinefarm Records/Search & Destroy Records.  It came `more than three years after the release of the band’s then latest album, Gravity, which the band has openly said played its own part in the development of this latest offering.  The band stated that BFMV is a hybrid of that record and its predecessor, 2015’s Venom.  That is an interesting comparison because in listening through the record from beginning to end, its musical arrangements are more along the lines of the content featured in Venom than Gravity.  This will be discussed shortly.  The record’s lyrical themes meanwhile, will appeal to fans of that album, but of all of the band’s albums.  This will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production brings everything together and rounds out the album’s most important items.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of Bullet For My Valentine.  All things considered, they make the album a powerful new offering from this veteran metal outfit.

Bullet For My Valentine’s brand new self-titled album, released Friday, is among the band’s best work to date, hands down.  The record’s success is due in no small part to its featured musical arrangements.  As already noted, the band has been cited as saying that the record’s musical arrangements are a blend of the sounds from the band’s two past records.  Interestingly enough though, the heaviness that runs through the album’s musical arrangements seem (at least to this critic) more in line with the musical content featured in Venom than Gravity.  That is evidenced throughout the record’s 49 minute run time.  One of the most notable works featured in this record comes late in the record’s run in ‘Rainbow Veins.’  Where the majority of the arrangements featured in the record are so intense and high-energy, this brooding opus is more of a doom metal style work.  At the same time, there is a certain quality in the sound from the guitars (thanks to the production) that really makes that part of the arrangement comparable to certain works from the likes of Killswitch Engage.  It sounds like an odd comparison/combination, but those influences are there.  The gloomy, brooding approach works especially well here when it is considered along with the song’s lyrical theme, which will be discussed a little later.  As the song progresses, it turns more in a heavy, metalcore sound similar to that of the likes of Atreyu and Of Mice & Men.

‘Rainbow Veins’ is just one example of the power of the album’s musical content.  ‘No Happy Ever After’ is another way in which the album’s musical side shows its importance.  In the case of this song, there is a certain vintage thrash influence in the guitars alongside front man Matthew Tuck’s screams that makes for quite the interesting juxtaposition.  It is an approach and sound that is completely unlike that featured in ‘Rainbow Veins’ and the rest of the album’s works, too.  Drummer Jason Bowld’s solid time keeping and the richness in the drums’ sound (again thanks to the production) adds its own impact to the arrangement.  The whole, along with the work of bassist Jamie Mathias, makes ‘No Happy Ever After’ yet another strong, notable addition to the record’s overall musical body.  It is just another way in which the record’s musical arrangements show their importance.  ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’ is yet another example of the importance and role of the album’s musical arrangements.

The album’s closer, ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts’ stands out through its musical arrangements because of its own blend of influences.  The familiar metalcore influences of Venom are there once again.  There is no question about that.  At the same time, there are some moments in the song that show a subtle influence from Slipknot.  At the same time, the clean vocals and heavy melodic moments make for their own interesting contrast to the noted mix.  All things considered here, the song is its own unique, heavy addition to the song and yet another example of what makes Bullet For My Valentine’s musical arrangements so important to the record’s whole.  They are diverse throughout and even within themselves from one to the next.  Keeping that in mind, the musical arrangements featured in this album are just a part of what makes the record successful.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical content add to the album’s success in their own right.

The lyrical themes that are featured in Bullet For My Valentine are important to note because of their own diversity and their accessibility.  From one to the next, the album’s lyrical themes are those of determination, desperation, and defiance.  The theme and the manner in which it is delivered changes from one song to the next.  The most notable of the themes of desperation comes, as already noted, through ‘Rainbow Veins.’  The desperation in this case comes as the result of what would seem to be drug addition.  This is inferred as Tuck sings in the song’s lead verse, “Flying high/I’m still drowning in the chemicals/And now/I just can’t come down/Diving headfirst into a black hole/Becoming unstable mentally/I’m trying hard to ride these tidal waves/Of unfiltered ecstacy.”  The declaration in the song’s chorus that, “Another day/But I don’t wanna face it/And I Don’t wanna feel it now/Another day/But I don’t wanna face it” furthers that inference.  The theme of the dangers of drug use and addiction is nothing new to the rock realm.  It is just as powerful here as in the case of any other song past and present.  The sense of desperation that is exhibited through that powerful wording and the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement does so well to move audiences.  To that end, it is just one of the songs that serves to show the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  The theme of determination is well exhibited in the song’s predecessor, ‘Bastards.’

‘Bastards’ is certain to become a live favorite among the band’s fans.  That is proven through its powerful, anthemic arrangement and its equally proud, fist-pumping lyrical content.  Tuck delivers a defiant, protest statement against the powers that be here as he sings/half-raps, “Stand with me/We can be an army of minorities/Just believe/Taking on the world with no apologies/Will bring them to their knees/Lies, denial, corruption, criminals/Don’t repeat/See the puppets marching to the beat/No retreat/Fight until the death/In order to proceed/We won’t accept defeat/Waitin’ for our call to arms/F*** ‘em all.”  The chorus’ final statement of “Don’t ever put your future in the hands of the devil/Or you’re history” is just as telling.  It furthers the message of defiance and determination strong and proud.  It is a message of determination and defiance against those in power who would otherwise abuse those below them, especially in the halls of power.  It is certain to connect with audiences as it continues to show the noted diversity in the themes and how they are delivered in its own unique way.  The themes of defiance and determination comes in ye another unique way in the album’s finale, ‘Death By A Thousand Cuts.’

The noted theme comes as Tuck sings in the song’s chorus, “When hope is all but gone/There’s nothing more to give/Look deep inside yourself/And carry on.”  One could argue that this short, simple statement is in fact its own message of hope even despite the mention of hope potentially lacking in a person.  The contrast in that brief but powerful statement to the sense of misery and hopelessness strengthen Tuck’s reminder to listeners to not lose hope and to keep on keeping on even when one feels so much negativity is powerful and unique in its own presentation while again, presenting one of the noted theme.  When it is considered along with the themes presented in the other examined songs and how those themes are presented – as well as with those of the album’s other songs – the whole leaves no doubt as to the overall importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When the musical and lyrical content is considered together, the whole gives audiences more than enough reason to hear the album.  It is only a part of what makes the album successful, too.  The record’s production rounds out its most important items.

The production that went into Bullet For My Valentine is important to note because of the overall impact that it has one the record’s general effect.  As noted already at points here, the production gives a richness and fullness to the sound of the instruments from point to point within the songs and from song to song.  At the same time, it ensures that the instruments never overpower one another or even the vocals.  Considering how heavy this record is from start to end, that is extremely important.  Clearly, plenty of time and effort went into balancing the instrumentation of each arrangement.  As a result, each song ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment in its own way.  When the impact of that work is considered along with that of the content itself, the whole leaves the album that much more successful.  All things considered, Bullet For My Valentine proves to be among the band’s best works to date.

Bullet For My Valentine’s brand new self-titled album is a powerful new offering from the band.  It is a successful presentation from start to end.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important to note because of their subtle diversity and their heaviness.  The lyrical themes that accompanies the album’s musical arrangements are important to its whole, too.  That is because of their own diversity and accessibility.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  That is because of its impact on the album’s general effect.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Bullet For My Valentine one of the band’s best albums to date.

Bullet For My Valentine is available now through Spinefarm Records/Search & Destroy Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Bullet For My Valentine Announces New Album Details; Premieres Album’s Lead Single, Video

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records/Search & Destroy

Bullet For My Valentine kicked off the weekend with some good news.

The band announced through a news release distributed Friday, it is scheduled to release its next album Oct. 22 through Spinefarm Records/Search & Destroy. Pre-orders are open now. In anticipation of the self-titled album’s release, the band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Shatter‘ and its companion video Friday.

The musical arrangement will appeal to the band’s established fan base as well as newer listeners. The heavy, crunching guitars and the blend of clean vocals and screams go back to the sound that made the band a fan favorite early in its life. Those less familiar with the band and its catalog will find the song appealing because of the clear influence from and comparison to works from bands, such as Machine Head, Wage War, and Of Mice & Men.

The lyrical theme featured alongside the single’s heavy, infectious musical arrangement comes across as a familiar matter of dealing with so many heavy, internal thoughts and feelings. That is inferred through the lyrics provided with the video, as no information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the debut of the song and its video.

The ‘Shatter’ video is one part video and one part lyric video. The song’s lyrics are presented over the visualization of front man Matt Tuck sings through a variety of camera angles and effects.

More information on Bullet For My Valentine’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Monster Energy Aftershock Festival Lineup Announced; Tickets On Sale Now

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is coming back to California this year.

The annual festival is scheduled to be held October 13 and 14 at Sacramento’s Discovery Park.  Now in its seventh year, the festival will be headlined this year by System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones.  This year marks the first time that System of a Down has performed at the festival.

Along with being the band’s first year at the festival, System of a Down’s performance at the Aftershock Festival will also be the band’s first announced U.S. appearance in three years.  It is also part of the band’s 20th anniversary celebration of its landmark self-titled album’s release.

While System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones are the two-day festival’s planned headliners, they are not the only bands on the bill.  Also scheduled for the performance are Godsmack (which is currently touring in support of its brand new album When Legends Rise), Incubus, Seether, Jonathan Davis (whose latest solo album Black Labyrinth is scheduled for release May 25), At The Drive-In and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (who are currently working on their latest album) as well as Bullet For my Valentine (whose new album Gravity is scheduled to be released June 29), Sevendust (whose album All I See Is War is out now) and many more.  The full lineup for this year’s festival is noted below.

The current band lineup for Monster Energy Aftershock is as follows: System Of A Down, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Godsmack, Shinedown, 311, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, At The Drive-In, Seether, Jonathan Davis, Bullet For My Valentine, Underoath, Black Veil Brides, Hellyeah, Asking Alexandria, Sevendust, Everlast, GWAR, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, Dance Gavin Dance, Monster Magnet, Red Sun Rising, Bad Wolves, The Fever 333, Dorothy, Wage War, Plague Vendor, Hyro The Hero, Amigo The Devil, All Them Witches, Slothrust, The Dose, Viza, The Jacks and more to be announced.

Providing food for this year’s festival will be a variety of vendors including: Southern Hospitality Concessions LLC, Danny Wimmer Presents’ affiliate concessionaire.  Food trucks will also be on hand, providing savory and sweet treats from: Angry Bird Grill, Bacon Mania, Barrett’s Burgers, Barrett’s Sliders, Big Joe’s BBQ, Bubba’s BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, Dippin Dots Ice Cream, Dogtown, Drewski’s Hot Rod Sandwiches, Florez Bar & Grill, La Mex Taqueria, Mac Attack, Mount Olympus, Sausage King, Smokin’ Hot Pizza, Spicy Pie and Xochimilco Mexican Restaurant.

Beverages will be available from a variety of vendors, including vendors for festival-goers 21 and older.  Those vendors include: Caduceus Vellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden (owned by Tool/A Perfect Circle/ Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan) and the Belching Beaver Bar (featuring drafts from the Vista, CA brewer including the Phantom Bride IPA, a collaboration with the Defones).  Mrkt N Jolt will also be on site, offering hot coffee, cold brew and other items.

As if the music, food and drink isn’t enough for festival-goers, this year’s festival will also offer lots of entertainment options.  Those options include the Monster Energy Experience, which gives audiences the chance to meet and greet the bands while also sampling the festival’s various offered drinks, The Music Experience, which is an interactive exhibit and music instrument retailer.  Non-profit animal rescue organization Take Me Home will also be on-site along with Dyin 2 Live/FXck Cancer, a wish-granting organization.  Fans can buy music from the festival’s bands on site at the f.y.e. Fan Experience.

Festival-goers can win prizes and check out the latest products from Zippo Lighters at Zippo Encore and charge their phones at SWFTCharge.

Tickets and VIP packages for this year’s festival are on-sale now.  Prices are listed below.  Service fees on all ticket purchases include a $0.50 charity fee for the T.J. Martell Foundation, a foundation aimed at researching and fighting cancer.  Active military personnel get discounts on their tickets through GovX.

Initial ticket prices will be as follows:

  • 2-Day Weekend General Admission: starting at $149.50 + fees
  • 2-Day Weekend VIP: starting at $299.50 + fees
  • Single Day General Admission: starting at $89.50 + fees
  • Single Day VIP: starting at $179.50 + fees

VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes to the venue, shaded VIP hang area with seating for dining, a VIP-only viewing area of main stage, video screens featuring a live feed of main stage inside the VIP hang area, upgraded food and drink selections, dedicated VIP restrooms and commemorative VIP Monster Energy Aftershock laminate.

A park & ride shuttle is being offered again for this year’s festival as parking at Discovery park is very limited.  Every ticket includes parking at Sleep Train Arena and non-stop shuttle directly to the festival site.

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and fueled by Monster Energy.  It is sponsored by f.y.e., Coors Light, Jack Daniels, Zippo Encore, The Music Experience, SWFTCharge, Fxck Cancer, Ace of Spades, Take Me Home and Belching Beaver.  More sponsors will be announced later.

More information on this year’s Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is available online now 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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Performance Times Released For Annual Festival

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers of the annual “Welcome To Rockville” Festival presented by Monster Energy have released more information on this year’s festival.  2013 is the festival’s third year being held.  Performance times for bands on each stage have officially been released.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage East” opens with a performance by Pop Evil at 12:40pm.  Pop Evil will be followed by All That Remains, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Stone Sour, and headliners Alice in Chains.  Alice in Chains takes the “Monster Energy Main Stage East” at 9:45pm.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage West” is just one of the many stages from which audiences have to choose during the festival.  A full listing of bands and performance times is available below.

Saturday, April 27

Monster Energy Main Stage East

12:40 PM         Pop Evil

2:05 PM           All That Remains

3:35 PM           Halestorm

5:25 PM           Papa Roach

7:25 PM           Stone Sour

9:45 PM           Alice In Chains


Monster Energy Main Stage West

12:05 PM         Young Guns

1:20 PM           In This Moment

2:50 PM           Asking Alexandria

4:30 PM           Bullet For My Valentine

6:20 PM           Three Days Grace

8:30 PM           Limp Bizkit


Emerging Artist Stage

Noon                Rockville Rumble Winner

1:00 PM           Hell Or Highwater

2:10 PM           Gemini Syndrome

3:20 PM           Whitechapel

4:45 PM           Otherwise

6:20 PM           Escape The Fate


Jax Live Stage

11:30 AM         Rockville Rumble Winner

12:30 PM         Edens Fill       

1:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

2:50 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:05 PM           Stars In Stereo

5:35 PM           MonstrO

7:25 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner


Sunday, April 28

Monster Energy Main Stage East

11:45 AM         Red

12:55 PM         Saving Abel

2:30 PM           Filter

4:10 PM           Skillet

6:05 PM           3 Doors Down

8:35 PM           Lynyrd Skynyrd


Monster Energy Main Stage West

11:15 AM         Farewell 2 Fear

12:20 PM         Nonpoint

1:40 PM           Steel Panther

3:20 PM           Hollywood Undead

5:05 PM           Buckcherry

7:15 PM           Shinedown


Emerging Artist Stage

11:20 AM         Nebraska Bricks

12:20 PM         Soulswitch

1:25 PM           Girl On Fire

2:35 PM           Saliva

3:45 PM           Motionless In White

5:10 PM           Device

6:50 PM           Nothing More


Jax Live Stage

11:50 AM         (N)ception

12:55 PM         The Apprehended

2:05 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

3:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

6:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner


The whole party will be preceded by the “Rockville Downtown Experience presented by Corona Light” pre-party on Friday, April 26th.  Two post-show parties will be held Saturday, April 27th.  Admission to these parties is FREE.  Friday’s show will feature Saliva, Evergreen Terrace, and Victr as entertainment.  The bands will perform live at the Underbelly in Jacksonville, FL.  More information on this party is available online at  Saturday’s after-parties will feature performances by DJ Monk and Robert Goodman at 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL (, and Icey at the Underbelly.

Fans that attend the festival will have plenty of opportunities to get their CDs, shirts, and more signed by their favorite band(s) at the f.y.e. tent and other onsite locations.  There will also be interactive experiences such as a gaming area and Dave’s Crazy Music Experience.  This experience lets fans find out for themselves what it’s like to make music in a studio environment.  It includes actual guitars, drums, basses, and all the gear used by today’s top acts.

Tickets are still available for this year’s festival.  Prices are listed below.

Single Day General Admission – $59.50 plus fees

Single Day VIP – $134.50 plus fees
2-Day General Admission – $107 plus fees
2-Day VIP – $219 plus fees
2-Day Party Pack (4 weekend tickets) – $357 plus fees

Along with the listed ticket prices, “no service fee tickets” are available at specific Metro PCS locations.  More information on this is available online at  A limited number of VIP tickets and hotel packages are still available.  They can be purchased online at  VIP tickets include entrance to all concerts through a VIP entrance, access to VIP lounge featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service, viewing of the Monster Main Stage (both seated and standing areas), a seated area with shade for dining, private bathrooms and laminated VIP guest pass.    

More information on the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival is available online at,, and on Twitter at @RockvilleFest.

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

Rocklahoma Performance Lineup Announced



Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media


Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” music festival have announced the official performance lineup for this year’s festival.  The festival kicks off Thursday, May 23rd and runs through Sunday, May 26th.  Tickets for the four day festival go on sale next Wednesday, April 17th at 11AM/10Am CT.  They can be purchased online at the official Rocklahoma website,  The official performance lineup is listed below:

Thursday, May 23 (AXiS Campground Stage):

Triple 7, Bruce Flea, Searching for Sanity, Sleepwalking Home, Motortrain, Baron, Von Swagger, Rocker Lips, Drek, Kingshifter

Friday, May 24:

Guns N’ Roses, Bush, Papa Roach, Device, Ratt, All That Remains, Clutch, Escape The Fate, The Sword, Otherwise, Zero Crossing, Down & Dirty, The Last Vegas, Hessler, Bai Bang, Ruff Justice, London’s Dungeon, Fist of Rage, The Summit, Wanton Looks, Kicktree, Shotgun Rebels, The Kul, Mine Enemies Fall

Saturday, May 25:

Alice In Chains, Bullet For My Valentine, Skillet, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Big Wreck, Young Guns, We As Humans, O’Brother, Mindset Evolution, Gypsy Pistoleros, Rhyme, Sunset Riot, Wildstreet, London, Black Tora, Big Trouble, Sister’s Doll, Emerald City, Strikes at One, Well Hung Heart, Vilifi, For the Broken, EchoFuzz, The Chimpz, Memory of a Melody

Sunday, May 26:

Korn, Cheap Trick, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Dokken, Motionless In White, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, American Fangs, Scorpion Child, The Glitter Boys, Nasty Habit, Mystery, Lynam, Switchblade Scarlet, Firstryke, Station, Ragdoll, Wicked, New Dawn Day, Unwritten Rulz, Framing the Red, Meganaut, The Bourgeois

Single-day tickets will be available beginning next Wednesday, April 17 for $69 (plus fees).  Three-day passes are available now for $125 plus fees and will increase to $150 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Weekend VIP ticket packages are available now for $350 plus fees.  They will increase to a cost of $380 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Quantities for these packages are limited.  There are still limited quantities of Weekend Four-packs and Groupie packages.  Active Military duty personnel can purchase discounted general admission tickets at any time.  More information on ticket packages and more is available on the Rocklahoma website,  Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping office at 866-310-2288 or by e-mailing  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will be open through Tuesday, May 28th

Rocklahoma is sponsored by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Monster Energy, Jagermeister, Love Bottling, Retrospect Records, Route 66 RVs, and AXiS Entertainment.

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

Rocklahoma Organizers Announce Festival Details

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” concert festival have released the initial slate of performers and information for this year’s three day-long festival.  This year’s festival is the final event of the 2013 “World’s Loudest Month.”  It will take place on Memorial Day weekend from May 24th – 26th.  It will be headlined by Guns ‘N Roses, Alice In Chains, and Korn.  It will be held at the “Catch The Fever” festival grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma and will be presented by Bud Light.  It is sponsored by Bud Light, Hard Rock, Jagermeister, and Monster Energy.

The current lineup of performers reads like a who’s who of rocks’ past, present, and future.  Performers set for the festival’s main stage include: Guns ‘N Roses, Alice in Chains, Korn, Bush, Cheap Trick, Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Skillet, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Asking Alexandria, Ratt, Halestorm, Device (With David Draiman), All That Remains, Escape The Fate, Dokken, Clutch, Motionless in White, Big Wreck, The Sword, Young Guns, Thousand Foot Krutch, Otherwise, Red Line Chemistry, Mindset Evolution, Heaven’s Basement, We As Humans, American Fangs, O’Brother and many more. 

The festival’s main stage is loaded with some major names.  It’s just one part of the weekend long festival.  Fans can head over to the Retrospect Records Stage for even more bands including: The Last Vegas, London, Wildstreet, Mad Max, Bai Bang, Lynam, De La Cruz, The Glitter Boyz, Black Tora, Sunset Riot, Firstryke, Ragdoll, Hessler, Switchblade Scarlett, Nasty Habit, Sister’s Doll, London’s Dungeon, Rhyme, Emerald City, Wicked, Down n Dirty, Station, Ruff Justice, Mystery and Fist of Rage.

While it has not yet been finalized, news on the lineup for the AXiS Campground Tent is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

General admission tickets for Rocklahoma go on sale next Friday, February 22nd at 11am/10am CST.  An internet pre-sale will be held next Wednesday, February 20th online at  The pre-sale will go on at 11am/10 CST.  Audiences can also go to the Rocklahoma website to order tickets once they go on full sale and to sign up for the Rocklahoma newsletter.  The earlier fans purchase tickets the better as ticket prices will increase in the coming weeks. 

Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping Office at (866) 310-2288 or by e-mailing  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will remain open until Tuesday, May 28th

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

Carolina Rebellion Festival Expands In Its Third Year

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The Carolina Rebellion Festival is coming back this Spring.  The annual festival returns to the Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday may 4th and 5th.  The Charlotte Motor Speedway is in Concord, just outside of Charlotte.  Now in its third year, this year’s festival marks the first time that it will fill a full weekend.  There will be three stages for this year’s festival:  The Monster Energy ‘Carolina Stage, the Monster Energy ‘Rebellion Stage, and the Jagermeister Stage.  This year’s band lineup is going to be big one.  It’s all set to kick off with performance on Saturday by:  Alice in Chains, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet for my Valentine, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Sick Puppies, In This Moment, Device (with David Draiman), Young Guns, Otherwise, Aranda, Tracer, and Monstro.

Things won’t let up much on Sunday, May 5th.  The current lineup slated for the festival’s second day includes:  Soundgarden, Rise Against, Bush, 3 Doors Down, Buckcherry, Volbeat, Hollywood Undead, All That Remains, Steel Panther, Pop Evil, Escape The Fate, Nonpoint, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, and American Fangs.

Full weekend general admission tickets and single day general admission tickets for the Carolina Rebellion Festival go on sale Friday, February 8th at 10amEST.  Full weekend tickets start at $99/person plus fees.  Single day admission tickets start at $59.50 plus fees.  Parking cost is included with all tickets.  For more information on tickets and the festival, audiences can go online to and  Anyone that signs up for the Carolina Rebellion Newsletter can pre-order full weekend tickets for a discounted price of $89 plus fees.  This applies only during the pre-sale period, which runs from Wednesday February 6th to Thursday, February 7th.

Fans can also go online to http://www.CarolinaRebellion to get information on camping, hotel and VIP packages as well as military discounts, which will also be available for all active duty military personnel.

To get the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it or its companion page,  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at