As Within, So Without Debuts New Album’s Title Track, Video; New Album Available Now

Courtesy: CowgirlZen Entertainment

Independent hard rock band As Within, So Without debuted its latest single and companion video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Salvation’ and its video Wednesday. The single is available to stream and download through Spotify and Apple Music. It is the title track to the band’s new album, which released Wednesday, too.

The premiere of ‘Salvation’ and its video comes more than a month after the band premiered the album’s then latest single,  ‘Like The Wind‘ and its companion video. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘My Revelation‘ and its companion video in October.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Salvation’ is a heavy, crunching work. The richness and heaviness in the combination of the instrumentation and vocals immediately likens the arrangement to works from the likes of Unearth, As I Lay Dying, and Killswitch Engage.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the news release announcing the premiere of the new single and video. The lyrics provided with the video hint at a theme of overcoming life’s adversity and obstacles.

The video that accompanies ‘Salvation’ features the band performing its new single in a semi-forested setting. Meanwhile, an anonymous figure stands in the ocean waves, letting them crash around his feet. The band’s song plays over the visualization as all of this happens.

More information on As Within, So Without’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.awswband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AsWithinSoWithoutCTNY

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AWSWband

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

Family Entertainer SaulPaul Takes Top Honors In Phil’s Picks’ List Of 2021’s Top New EPs

Courtesy: Sugar Mountain PR

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

  1. SaulPaul – OK To Be Different
  2. Gabriel & The Apocalypse – Alpha Transcendence
  3. Decent Criminal – Decent Criminal
  4. The Mercy Kills – New Rule
  5. Dirkschneider & The Old Gang – Arising
  6. Repentance – Volume 1Reborn
  7. All Hail The Yeti – Within The Hollow Earth
  8. Kulick – Sitting in a Quiet Coffeehouse
  9. Blue Eyed Christ – World on Fire Remixes
  10. Zero Theorum – The Killing II
  11. Sydney Sherwood – Headspace
  12. Christopher Shayne – Ten High
  13. 20 Watt Tombstone – Year of the Jackalope
  14. Post Death Soundtrack – Pathless Land
  15. 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!

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

Ventruss Premieres New Album’s Final Single, Video

Courtesy: CowgirlZen Entertainment

Independent hard rock band Ventruss gave audiences what its members said is the last preview of its new album late last month.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Serpent’ and its companion video Oct. 29. The title track from the band’s forthcoming EP, which is expected for release in 2022 (its release date is under consideration) and the record’s third single. The EP has also produced the singles, ‘Sentiment‘ and ‘Talladega.’

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Serpent’ is an intense composition. Its heavy guitars, its blend of screams and clean vocals, tight time keeping and thick bass line come together to make the composition comparable to works from the likes of Dry Kill Logic and Trivium.

The song’s lyrical theme is heavy in its own right. The band discussed that topic in a prepared statement.

“Every story has a villain and unfortunately, the way they become the villain is by gaining power,” the statement reads. “The title “Serpent” refers to a snake slithering in the grass searching for prey and once you’re bitten, the wound is hard to heal. They put on an act to disguise their true intentions. And worst of all, they love to watch you suffer. But don’t worry, the quicker they rise, the faster they fall.”

The video for Serpent is its own interesting presentation. It features the band in what looks like an asylum, performing its new single. Front man Ben Jewell is draped in a straight jacket as he performs his part. Various video effects are used throughout the video to add to the overall impact of the song and its visual companion.

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

Websitehttps://ventrussmusic.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Ventruss

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Ventruss_


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

Mark C. Daniel Debuts New Single, ‘Sign Za Life’

Courtesy: CowgirlZen Entertainment

Independent singer-songwriter-musician Mark C. Daniel kicked off the weekend by debuting his latest single.

Daniel debuted his new single, ‘Sign Za Life‘ (pronounced like ‘Signs of Life’) Friday. The song features an up-tempo percussion-driven arrangement. The steady time keeping and drums’ rich sound pairs with the guitar line, vocals, and bass to give the song a vintage rock and roll style and sound a la Jerry Lee Lewis. At the same time, there is also a sort of modern rock touch that exhibits influence of bands, such as The Black Crowes and Led Zeppelin.

The Led Zeppelin comparison is not accidental, either, as Daniel noted in comments about the song’s arrangement.

“This was the last song we recorded in this session and the first take of it,” said Daniel. “Mickey Curry – Drums(the Cult, Bryan Adams, Alice Cooper) felt like adding a few John Bonham-‘esque punches in the Verses. It created an interesting dynamic and added a “Zeppelin Feel.” We are all huge classic rock fans so it felt great. I let the electric energy of the live room take over which is interesting in that I actually wrote this song on an acoustic as a slow-burning Blues song. It felt like we were going to go off the rails a few times but that’s exactly what gives the song its honesty and true to form edgy feel.”

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the song’s premiere. Listening to the song, the lyrics come across as a sort of social commentary. That is of course just this critic’s interpretation.

More information on Mark C. Daniel’s new single is available along with all of his latest news at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markcdanielofficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/markdanielmusic

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

In The A.M. Delivers Message Of Self Confidence In New Single

Courtesy: Cowgirlzen Entertainment/The Label Group

Independent hard rock band In The A.M. wants audiences to take more pride and confidence in themselves.

That is the message delivered in the band’s new single, ‘Save Yourself.’ The band premiered the song and its companion lyric video Friday through v13.net. The song’s musical arrangement is a melodic hard rock composition whose heavy guitars, electronics and occasional rapping easily likens it to works from Linkin Park.

According to vocalist Alex Shimp, the song’s lyrical theme is meant to encourage audiences to not give in to what others think of them.

“This song is about people in your life trying to force you to be whom they think you should be because they think they know better for you than you do for yourself,” said Shimp. “Throughout my life, I’ve had to deal with a lot of b******* people telling me who and what to be. People who lied to me mistreated me, never respected me, and constantly took away from the amazing heart that I had as a kid. People who tried their best to manipulate me into something I didn’t want to be. And this song is me writing some of that pain out on paper and putting it into art through riffs and melodies.”

Added Shimp, “For the kids who may be going through the same experience. For the adults who may be going through a hard time in life. For everyone who gets their therapy through music.”

The song’s lyric video is a simple presentation. It features the song’s lyrics over various background settings, all of which are associated with the design of the single’s artwork.

More information on In The A.M.’s new single is available along with the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.intheamband.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/intheamband

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

Life Renewed Takes On Tough Mental Health Topic In New Single, Video

Courtesy: The Label Group/Cowgirlzen Entertainment

Christian metalcore band Life Renewed debuted its latest single this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Vision/Revision‘ and its companion video Tuesday. The song is the band’s first new music since the premiere of its then latest single, ‘By Faith‘ more than a year ago.

The song’s musical arrangement is a heavy, emotional composition. The screams at times are likened to that of so many death metal vocalist, at others, like the delivery style of Whitechapel front man Phil Bozeman and at others still to that of Hatebreed front man Jamey Jasta. The clean vocals meanwhile create some strong harmonies. The instrumentation against those varied vocal styles make for even more interest with its own heaviness.

The lyrical theme featured in the single takes on the familiar topics of mental health while also encouraging those with suicidal thoughts to not give up or give in. Band founder Rob Volkoff talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“This single/music film is based on a real-life experience of a suicide attempt I had,” he said. “The video is bringing visually, my experience with the same person who was there for me at that moment. This song features Robert Short (Service of Shadows) on Harsh Vocals & Jarrett Booker (Eyes of Eli) on additional harsh vocals & clean vocals. Robert & Jarrett wrote the lyrics with the mindset of the struggles & hardships I have faced that I wanted to address in this song.”

“This song was written remotely without anyone being in the same room but coming together through online conversations to share this message,” added Volkoff. With the current state of the world & the experiences, everyone has had to deal with, there are more people struggling with depression, suicide, mental & physical health, stress, Anxiety, PTSD, being overworked, among others & this song visually & lyrically highlights those issues with a sense of hope I believe we all can achieve. Robert Short & Jarrett Booker both captured the emotion, intensity & meaning of the inspiration I gave them from my experiences to deliver a powerful, emotionally evoking song that we all hope has an impact on others, Just as they had an impact on me.”

The video for ‘Vision/Revision’ fully illustrates the message in the song’s lyrical theme. It does this as it presents a young man going through those debilitating thoughts of suicide, only to be saved by himself and his friend who cared enough to take the man’s words seriously.

‘Vision/Revision’ and ‘By Faith’ are both expected for inclusion in the band’s forthcoming EP, Launching From Ground Zero. The record’s official release date is under consideration.

More information on Life Renewed is available along with all of the group’s news at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LifeRenewedBand

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/LifeRenewedBand

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

Magg Dylan Debuts New Single, ‘Pawns,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Cowgirlzen Entertainment/Eclipse Records

Independent metal band Magg Dylan debuted its new single and its companion video this week.

The band debuted its new single, ‘Pawns‘ Tuesday, along with the song’s companion video. The band premiered the song and its video through Eclipse Records, with which Mushroomhead was once aligned early in its life.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Pawns’ presents a sound and stylistic approach that is very much in the Euro-metal vine. That is evidenced through the combined use of the keyboards, the down-tuned guitars, thick and heavy bass and drums, and vocals.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Pawns’ touches on a topic that will resonate with many listeners according to front woman Suzanne De lulio.

“‘Pawns’ is about feeling controlled,” she said. “It’s about more than what the lyrics appear. I was really nervous about the honesty in our lyrics for ‘Pawns.’ We just felt so defeated. [Guitarist] Brucifer [Jordan] and I were sitting on the beach in the Outer Banks after some 2020 events thinking we still have the sun and our stories to tell. The funniest part was when we did the bridge. Brucifer looked at me and said “Really? That’s what you want to say there? You’re an intelligent evolving woman and that’s what you want to say?” I responded, “That’s how I feel and it’s honest frustration. That’s what is coming out.”‘  

The video for the band’s new single was shot in a junkyard. The visuals are meant to represent the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emotions that have stemmed among many as a result of the devastation.

More information on Magg Dylan’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.maggdylan.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maggdylan

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maggdylan

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