‘Dealing With Demons I’ Is Some Of Devildriver’s Best Work To Date

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Album art by Johnny Jones at COMA

Metalcore band Devildriver is scheduled to release its latest album this week.  The band’s ninth album and eighth album of original content – its 2018 record Outlaws ‘Til The End Volume 1 is a covers compilation – Dealing With Demons I is a powerful new offering from the band.  The four singles that the album has already produced are their own clear examples of that strength.  They are just some of the examples of its strength.  ‘You Give Me A Reason To Drink’ is another key way in which this album shows its strength.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Vengeance is Clear’ is another notable addition to the album that builds its presentation even more.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Scars Me Forever,’ which closes out the album, is one more example of what makes Dealing With Demons I another strong new offering from the veteran metalcore band.  When this trio of songs is considered along with the album’s singles and its other works, the whole of the album will make it that much more difficult for critics to choose the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Dealing With Demons I, Devildriver’s first new record of new material in more than four years, is a fiery return for the band.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content.  The four singles that the record has produced have already more than proven that.  They are not the only songs that show what makes this record such a strong presentation.  ‘You Give Me A Reason To Drink’ is another way in which the album shows its strength.  The song stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  The arrangement is very much unlike most of the album’s other arrangements in that it takes a more sludge/doom style approach instead of the faster, shredders that fill out the album.  Even being a slower work in terms of its tempo, this arrangement is still heavy and intense in its own right.  What is interesting is that even being slower, the approach taken here still manages to translate the frustration expressed through the song’s lyrical content.  The band could have made this arrangement something more intense and up-tempo and it would have worked, too.  But choosing the slower, heavier work still works just as well.  It paints the picture of someone whose frustration is boiling just under the surface and ready to explode.  That frustration is translated just as well through the song’s lyrical content.

Front man Dez Fafara addresses those frustrations clearly in the song’s lead verse, noting, “Don’t need your validation/Just keep your approval/Don’t need your invite/It’s all right by me!/Abusing/Confusing/I’m only refusing to let this effect ME anyhow!/Nobody gets me here/I’m a loner…/Always choosing to be out of place.”  That frustration is just as clear in the song’s second verse, which finds Fafara singing, “Don’t send your condolence/Just keep your opinion/Don’t need your so sorry/It’s all fine by me!/It’s Abusing/So confusing/I’m refusing/To let this define me anyhow!/Nobody gets me here/I’m a loner… Always choosing to be out of place.”  The song’s third and final voice puts that proverbial nail in the coffin as Fafara sings, “Hanging cold corpses off the holy highway/Leaving dead bodies in life’s wake!/So drained from seeking sympathy/From a dead hearted society/That could care less about humanity anyway!”  This is someone who is just sick and tired of trying to please others and be what others want.  It is someone who is fed up with the holier than thou attitudes of so many, and is making that frustration clear.  The fire in the song’s lyrics couples with the noted powerhouse musical arrangement to translate that emotion and those thoughts that much better.  All things considered, they make ‘You Give Me A Reason To Drink’ another unquestionable example of why Dealing With Demons I such an impressive new offering from Devildriver.  It is hardly the last of the ways in which the album proves its strength.  ‘Vengeance is Clear’ is another way in which the record exhibits its strength.

Where ‘You Give Me A Reason to Drink’ succeeds through its slower, plodding sludge metal approach, ‘Vengeance is Clear’ takes the exact opposite approach.  This driving opus is an intense composition whose guitar, bass and drums equally share the spotlight.  When Fafara’s vocals are added to the mix, the result is an arrangement that will appeal just as much to the band’s longtime fans and metal fans in general.  The whole does its own impressive part in translating the equally intense emotions in the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Vengeance is Clear’ come across as a very introspective thought from Fafara.  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I feel so trapped in my own head/I replay everything that you’ve said/I can’t escape this desperate feeling/Overwhelmed by my consuming dread/I’m looking in the mirror/Eyes full of doubt and fear/No time to settle scores/So no more/Thy will is done, no explanation, no rhyme or reason, no more.”  The song’s second verse adds its own share of interest as Fafara sings, “A f***ing nod to the guilty/Undone by their woes/Don’t torture yourself by the seeds they sew/It’s an end to the story/A chapter to be closed/I’m locked up in a vault/I’m loyal to a fault/All this life I’ve waited through the rain/Never to feel this weight again/I swore to the thunder, I summoned the rain/I prayed down in the dirt/Never to fall again/Under the skin we’re all just blood and bone/I’ve hit the walls so many times/Can’t remember them all.”  These words express a very intense and serious emotion and some very heavy thoughts.  The statement in the song’s chorus, which finds Fafara screaming, “Do or die/What’s done is done/Do or die/Vengeance is clear” intensifies the song’s statement even more.  It’s as if there is a certain resolute feeling here that counters the thoughts and feelings expressed in the verses.  It’s like the subject is saying here that for all of the negative thoughts and feelings he is having, he will persevere.  This is all this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Regardless, the lyrical content definitely will resonate with listeners and together with its companion musical content, will generate even more discussion and engagement among listeners.  Keeping all of this in mind, this song is just one more way in which Dealing with Demons I puts its strength on display.  ‘Scars Me Forever’ is one more example of how much the album has to offer.

‘Scars Me Forever’ crosses the band’s fierce guitar approach with the sludge/doom approach of ‘You Give Me A Reason to Drink’ to make the arrangement in whole a powerful finale for the album and another unique addition to the record.  The heaviness in the drums, guitar and bass is so powerful.  The addition of Fafara’s screams to the composition deepens the song’s impact even more.  When it is joined with the song’s lyrical content, the two elements together make the song (and album) that much more unforgettable.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Scars Me Forever’ comes across as someone confronting a familiar topic, that of a broken relationship and its impact on the subject.  That is made relatively clear in the song’s lead verse and chorus, in which Fafara sings, “You smile and it scars me forever, you live life like a wild god. You said these ties would never sever! You said never never. Sit in my room and I think of the future, sit in my room and I think of the past. Going down the rabbit hole, try to hold on, but I’m sliding down fast. Fast! When everything is not what it seems to be/I got to pack up my days and nights/Walk away and leave.”  Again, this is a familiar topic and situation for any listener, making it easily accessible in its own right.  The song becomes even more accessible and relatable as Fafara sings in the song’s second verse, “All good must now just come to an end/I’m so sick of your scene and your friends/Intuition makes it so easy to call it quits and set this free/Sit in my room and I think of the future/Sit in my room and I think of the past/Going down rabbit hole, I try to hold on, but I’m sliding down fast/Fast!”  The song’s third and final verse puts the accent to the noted statement as Fafara sings, “Would it be so easy for you to watch me go?/So walk out that door forever/We said never, never!/Never!/You laugh and it scars me forever/Don’t leave so easily/You said these ties would never sever/You said never/Never!”  This relatively straight forward discussion will connect with so many listeners.  Together with the intensity in the song’s musical arrangement, the song becomes that much more powerful.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here, the album’s current singles and the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole becomes undeniably, a candidate for its own spot on what are sure to be some very crowded lists of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Devildriver’s latest album Dealing with Demons I is a record with which any hard rock and metal fan will want to deal.  That is proven time and again throughout the record in its musical and lyrical content.  Each of the songs noted here, its singles and other songs show that with the fullest clarity.  The musical arrangements are so heavy and rich, and the lyrics accessible in their own right.  All things considered, they make this record some of Devildriver’s best work to date.

More information on Dealing With Demons 1 is available along with all of Devildriver’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.devildriver.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/devildriver

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

Devildriver Debuts ‘Wishing’ Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Album art by Johnny Jones at COMA

Devildriver debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Wishing‘ Friday.  The song is the fourth from the band’s new album Dealing With Demons I, which is scheduled for release Friday through Napalm Records.  It follows the debut of the songs ‘Nest of Vipers,’ ‘Iona,’ and ‘Stay Away From Me.’

The video for ‘Wishing’ features front man Dez Fafara in a secluded, dimly lit setting, almost like a cave of some sort as he sings.  That footage is coupled with footage of anonymous cloaked figures in a forested setting, which is presented in black and white.

According to information provided about the video, the visuals are meant to illustrate the song’s lyrical message about a person wishing a deceased loved one was not gone.  The noted information states of the visualization that it places each of the band’s members “in a nightmarish state, trying to physically reach their loved ones just to have them disappear once they’ve nearly grasped them.”

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Wishing’ will appeal to fans of Devildriver’s metalcore counterpart Killswitch Engage, with its flowing, heavy, and melodic guitar arrangement coupled with Fafara’s screams.  The drums and bass work with those noted elements to make the song even more engaging.

Pre-orders are open now for Dealing With Demons I on a variety of platforms.  All pre-order pre-orders enter fans into a giveaway for a Dealing With Demons 1 banner.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

Dealing With Demons I Tracklist:
1. Keep Away From Me
2. Vengeance Is Clear
3. Nest Of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me A Reason To Drink (feat. Simon Blade Fafara)
7. Witches
8. Dealing With Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever

The 10-song record was co-produced by [Devildriver guitarist Mike] Spreitzer and Steve Evetts.  It is also the first Devildriver record to feature a song co-written by Fafara and another individual — ‘Nest Of Vipers.’  The song was co-written by Fafara and Tiemann.

More information on Dealing With Demons 1 is available along with all of Devildriver’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.devildriver.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/devildriver

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

 

Devildriver Debuts ‘Nest Of Vipers’ Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Album art by Johnny Jones at COMA

Devildriver debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Nest of Vipers‘ Thursday.  The song and its companion video are the third from the band’s forthcoming album Dealing with Demons 1, which is scheduled for release Oct. 9 through Napalm Records.

Its premiere comes more than a month after the band debuted the album’s second single ‘Iona‘ and its video, and more than two months after the band debuted the album’s lead single ‘Stay Away From Me‘ and its companion video.

The video for ‘Nest of Vipers’ — directed by Vicente Corder (Industrialism Films) — centers on a man who has gone to visit a psychic.  The psychic uses a deck of tarot cards to tell the man of visions she is having about what is to come.  The visions that the psychic presents are anything but positive.  The whole thing ends with a surprise twist.

The musical arrangement at the center of Nest of Vipers harkens back to Devildriver’s early works while its lyrical content is a social commentary.

Front man Dez Fafara talked about the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview.

“This is my first co-written lyric on any Devildriver track with another band member, penned with our guitarist Neal Tiemann. Working with Neal is a good time. We always want what’s best for the song.

Lyrically, the chorus says it all –“the kings sworn men make perfect liars,” added Fafara. “This is the cold, hard truth, as people’s loyalties are often bought and sold. The lyric “she sleeps with bones beside her” refers to another theme touched upon in this track – a woman laying in misery next to her “bones” of contention, harboring guilt as her loyalties are also bought and sold… It’s all a sad state of affairs once you get into that bought and sold mentality, whether it’s with your work or friendships.”

Pre-orders are open now for Dealing With Demons I on a variety of platforms.  All pre-order pre-orders enter fans into a giveaway for a Dealing With Demons 1 banner.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

Dealing With Demons I Tracklist:
1. Keep Away From Me
2. Vengeance Is Clear
3. Nest Of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me A Reason To Drink (feat. Simon Blade Fafara)
7. Witches
8. Dealing With Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever

The 10-song record was co-produced by [Devildriver guitarist Mike] Spreitzer and Steve Evetts.  It is also the first Devildriver record to feature a song co-written by Fafara and another individual — ‘Nest Of Vipers.’  The song was co-written by Fafara and Tiemann.

More information on Dealing With Demons 1 is available along with all of Devildriver’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.devildriver.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/devildriver

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

 

Devildriver Debuts ‘Iona’ Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Album art by Johnny Jones at COMA

Devildriver debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted its hybrid video/lyric video for its new single ‘Iona‘ Wednesday.  The song is both a music video and an a lyric video in one.  The video features the story of a man who is traveling through a countryside setting and is being “hunted” by the spirit of a soul-stealing woman named Iona.  The story is set up by a brief explanation of the story at the video’s opening.

The video’s black and white effect, coupled with the acting of its two cast members and the setting will keep audiences engaged and entertained, as well the story.  The song itself does just as much to maintain that attention.  That is because its musical arrangement is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band throughout the years.

Front man Dez Fafara talked about the video and song in a recent interview.

“Iona is unlike any other Devildriver song we’ve put out,” he said. “From the frantic verses to the haunting chorus, this song is another move forward to push our sound and the listener’s ears into the fray! The chorus, “she carries a black rose, effigy from a story closed”, tells the story of the long dead ghost of Iona and her obsession with death represented by the black roses in her hands – each one the soul of someone she’s taken from this life on a lonely dark road, assimilating their souls into black roses, which she carries for eternity.  This theme relates to myself and “Dealing With Demons” in that, often times, we as people have a hard time “letting go” of things. This can be applied to relationships, death, and so on. Iona carrying the black roses symbolizes her inability to move on – always seeking revenge. The past is exactly that – the past – it’s important to let go and not be stuck in a perpetual loop of living in it.”

‘Iona’ is the second single from Devildriver’s forthcoming album Dealing With Demons.  The band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Keep Away From Me‘ in May.

Fafara discussed the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“I’ve been social distancing since I was born,” he said. “I’ve learned to try and embrace my Agoraphobia all my life. This is what the lyrics are about as we are all sheltered in place. They seem very clear. Now is not the time bands should shy away from the obvious by trying to push the narrative through their art as if everything is alright with the world and ‘it’s metal video visual as usual time’, as it is clearly NOT that time.”

“We as artists should speak up, inspire and change lives, or paint a picture – a time capsule if you will – by the narrative we push in uncertain times,” he added. “This video is one such art piece as my band and thousands of others are forced into quarantine – cannot rehearse, take photos, or perform – to make a music video for the very people that have supported us for years. It’s trying times for the world and my outlook through this video is simply this: ‘here’s what we are going through as a family on this planet and as we embrace what is yet to come… please Stand Together’.”

Dealing with Demons is the first half of a two-part release that will see its second half released later this year.  This first half is scheduled for release Oct. 9.

Pre-orders are open now for Dealing With Demons I on a variety of platforms.  All pre-order pre-orders enter fans into a giveaway for a Dealing With Demons 1 banner.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

Dealing With Demons I Tracklist:
1. Keep Away From Me
2. Vengeance Is Clear
3. Nest Of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me A Reason To Drink (feat. Simon Blade Fafara)
7. Witches
8. Dealing With Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever

The 10-song record was co-produced by Spreitzer and Steve Evetts.  It is also the first Devildriver record to feature a song co-written by Fafara and another individual — ‘Nest Of Vipers.’  The song was co-written by Fafara and Tiemann.

More information on Dealing With Demons 1 is available along with all of Devildriver’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.devildriver.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/devildriver

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

Devildriver Debuts ‘Keep Away From Me’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Napalm Records/Album art by Johnny Jones at COMA

Audiences received their first preview of Devildriver’s next album this week.

The band — Dez Fafara (vocals), Mike Spreitzer (guitar), Neal Tiemann (guitar), Diego Ibarra (bass) and Auston D’amond (drums) — debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Keep Away From Me‘ Thursday.  The song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album Dealing With Demons 1, which is scheduled for release Oct. 9 through Napalm Records.  The album is the first in a two-part release that will see its second half released at a later date.

‘Keep Away From Me’ features a musical arrangement that combines metalcore and death metal elements for a whole that will engage and entertain a wide range of listeners.  The song’s lyrical theme is personal for Fafara and uses his personal connection to relate to listeners as they navigate the waters of everything happening in the world today.

Fafara discussed that theme in a recent interview.

“I’ve been social distancing since I was born,” he said. “I’ve learned to try and embrace my Agoraphobia all my life. This is what the lyrics are about as we are all sheltered in place. They seem very clear. Now is not the time bands should shy away from the obvious by trying to push the narrative through their art as if everything is alright with the world and ‘it’s metal video visual as usual time’, as it is clearly NOT that time.”

We as artists should speak up, inspire and change lives, or paint a picture – a time capsule if you will – by the narrative we push in uncertain times,” he added. “This video is one such art piece as my band and thousands of others are forced into quarantine – cannot rehearse, take photos, or perform – to make a music video for the very people that have supported us for years. It’s trying times for the world and my outlook through this video is simply this: ‘here’s what we are going through as a family on this planet and as we embrace what is yet to come… please Stand Together’.”

Pre-orders are open now for Dealing With Demons I on a variety of platforms.  All pre-order pre-orders enter fans into a giveaway for a Dealing With Demons 1 banner.  the album’s track listing is noted below.

Dealing With Demons I Tracklist:
1. Keep Away From Me
2. Vengeance Is Clear
3. Nest Of Vipers
4. Iona
5. Wishing
6. You Give Me A Reason To Drink (feat. Simon Blade Fafara)
7. Witches
8. Dealing With Demons
9. The Damned Don’t Cry
10. Scars Me Forever

The 10-song record was co-produced by Spreitzer and Steve Evetts.  It is also the first Devildriver record to feature a song co-written by Fafara and another individual — ‘Nest Of Vipers.’  The song was co-written by Fafara and Tiemann.

Fafara expanded on the record’s writing process in the noted interview.

“It’s time to lay it all out, on two records,” he said.  “I’m never gonna revisit these subjects again. I’ve been writing about this sort of human nature, disloyalty and dishonesty, love and loss, since the beginning of my career. I am going in a more lyrically woke direction in the future. A lot of people say my music gives them strength. But what they don’t realize is that these topics haunt me. Over the course of these last few years we fled from wildfires, my wife battled cancer and now we are going through a pandemic… so it is what it is… let’s dump it all on the table and purge. I want to go through different topics in the future, so here we are now. I’ve laid it all out on a double record for all of you to hear.”

Additionally, he commented on the writing process for Dealing with Demons 1‘s forthcoming companion record.

“Volume two will get into some very heavy topics as well,” he said.  “You’ll see the band progress even further musically as we finish this ode to the purge of all things Demonic.”

More information on Dealing With Demons 1 is available along with all of Devildriver’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.devildriver.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitter: http://twitter.com/devildriver

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://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.

Metal ‘Super Group’ Releases New Single, ‘Enter The Gallows’

Fledgling metal band Repentance has released its latest single.

The band — composed of former SOiL and Dirge Within guitarist Shaun Glass, Stuck Mojo front man Robby J. Fonts, lead guitarist Markus Johansson (THEM), drummer Anthony Lien and bassist Mike Sylvester — released its “first official” single ‘Enter The Gallows’ Oct. 18.

The song’s musical arrangement will appeal to fans of Lamb of God, Chimaira, Murkocet and other similar acts.  One could even argue that there is a hint of a Slayer and Machine Head influence incorporated into the arrangement.  Musically speaking, the song seems to come across as a sort of social commentary, though no explanation as to the meaning of the song’s lyrics in its news release.

‘Enter The Gallows’ was engineered by Chuck Macack (Born of Osiris, Oceano) and mastered by Chris Collier (Prong, Korn, RiotV) of CMC21 Productions at ElectroWerks Recording in Downers Grove, Illinois.

While the band is calling its new single its “first official” single, it is actually the band’s third single so far.  It follows the release of the band’s debut “demo” ‘Collide‘ on May 14 and its follow-up, ‘Born To Choose‘ only days later on May 20.

 

 

Courtesy: Napalm Records

‘Enter The Gallows” debut comes only days before the band is scheduled to play as a special guest for Devildriver at Route 20 on Nov. 12. The performance is part of Devildriver’s “The Outlaws Til The End Tour,’ which is in support of Devildriver’s new outlaw country covers record Outlaws Til The End Vol. 1.  The record was released July 6 via Napalm Records.  Tickets are available here.

More information on Repentance is available online now at:

 

Website: http://repentanceband.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WeAreRepentance

Twitter: http://twitter.com/WeAreRepentance

 

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

 

Devildriver Announces Album Re-Issue Dates, Specs

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Devildriver is re-issuing a handful of its records this fall.

The veteran metal outfit announced recently that its first five albums will be re-issued September 28 via BMG.  The albums — Devildriver (2003), The Fury of Our Maker’s Hand (2005), The Last Kind Words (2007), Pray For Villains (2009) and Beast (2011) — will initially be released on Gatefold digipack CD.  Vinyl LP pressings will be released October 16.

The upcoming re-issues also mark the first time that each album, with the exception of Beast that each of the albums will have been available on LP.  The vinyl pressings will be available in a limited quantity of 1500 copies in the U.S.

The albums were remastered by Andy Pearce (Black Sabbath, Motorhead, Anthrax, Kreator) and will also include expanded liner notes.  Three of the re-issues — The Fury of our Maker’s HandPray For Villains and Beast — will each include bonus tracks.

More information on the upcoming re-issues is noted below.

DEVILDRIVER – Gatefold digipak CD, Vinyl LP (White, Orange & Gold splatter)
 
Tracklisting:
1)      Nothing’s Wrong
2)      I Could Care Less
3)      Die (And Die Now)
4)      I Dreamed I Died
5)      Cry For Me Sky (Eulogy of The Scorned)
6)      The Mountain
7)      Knee Deep
8)      What Does It Take (To Be A Man)
9)      Swinging The Dead
10)  Revelation Machine
11)  Meet The Wretched
12)  Devil’s Son
 
 
THE FURY OF OUR MAKER’S HAND – Gatefold digipak CD, Gatefold vinyl LP (Blue & Orange splatter)
 
Tracklisting:
1)      The End Of The Line
2)      Driving Down The Darkness
3)      Grinfucked
4)      Hold Back The Day
5)      Sin & Sacrifice
6)      Ripped Apart
7)      Pale Horse Apocalypse
8)      Just Run
9)      Impending Disaster
10)  Bear Witness Unto
11)  Before The Hangman’s Noose
12)  The Fury Of Our Maker’s Hand
 
CD Bonus Tracks
       13) Unlucky 13
       14) Guilty As Sin
       15) Digging Up The Corpses
       16) I Could Care Less (Live)
       17) Hold Back The Day (Live
       18) Ripped Apart (Live)
 
 
 
THE LAST KIND WORDS – Gatefold digipak CD, Vinyl LP (Yellow, beige & green half/half splatter)
 
Tracklisting:
1)      Not All Who Wander Are Lost
2)      Clouds Over California
3)      Bound By The Moon
4)      Horn of Betrayal
5)      These Fighting Words
6)      Head On To Heartache (Let Them Rot)
7)      Burning Sermon
8)      Monsters of the Deep
9)      Tirades Of Truth
10)  When Summoned
11)  The Axe Shall Fall
 
 
 
PRAY FOR VILLAINS – Gatefold digipak CD, Gatefold vinyl LP (White, red & black splatter)
 
Tracklisting;
1)      Pray For Villains
2)      Pure Sincerity
3)      Fate Stepped In
4)      Back With A Vengeance
5)      I’ve Been Sober
6)      Resurrection Blvd
7)      Forgiveness Is A Six Gun
8)      Waiting For November
9)      It’s In The Cards
10)  Another Night In London
11)  Bitter Pill
12)  Teach Me To Whisper
13)  I See Belief
 
CD Bonus Tracks;
       14) Self-Affliction
     15) Dust Be The Destiny
     16) Damning The Heavens
     17) Wasted Years
 
 
BEAST – Gatefold CD Digipak, Gatefold vinyl LP (green & purple swirl)
 
Tracklisting:
1)      Dead To Rights
2)      Bring The Fight
3)      Hardened
4)      Shitlist
5)      Talons Out
6)      You Make Me Sick
7)      Coldblooded
8)      Blur
9)      The Blame Game
10)  Crowns of Creation
11)  Before The Hangman’s Noose
12)  Lend Myself To The Night
 
CD Bonus Tracks
       13) Lost
       14) Fortune Favours The Brave
       15) Grinfucked (Live)

More information on Devildriver’s upcoming re-issues is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.devildriver.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitter: http://twitter.com/devildriver

 

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

Amon Amarth Conquers Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums List

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The hard rock and metal community have collectively become a rather crowded field this year in terms of new albums.  It has made extremely difficult naming the year’s top new hard rock and metal records.  There have been that many outstanding records.  Metallica’s first album in eight years, HardwiredTo SelfDestruct is just one of the albums that has more than proven deserving of being on that list.  The same can be said of Amon Amarth’s latest offering, Jomsviking.  It is a rarity for the band, being a concept record.  The concept behind the record more than works.  And its musical arrangements work just as well.  On another note Prong, with its latest offering X No Absolutes has proven through its overall content (and sales) that it is another success for the band—and more specifically founder Tommy Victor, the band’s only original member.  So no doubt it belongs on the list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums, too as do so many others.  It was not easy for this critic to assemble this year’s list of new hard rock and metal albums considering how many outstanding albums were released in that collective field.  But a decision had to be made.  That decision is presented below.

As a reminder, the list, as with each of Phil’s Picks year-ender lists, presents Phil’s Picks Top 10 picks for the year’s best plus five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 albums.  Honorable mention is not mean in a negative fashion by any means.  They were each deserving of being named to the year’s best.  It was just that tough assembling a list of the year’s best, so the final list ended as presented here.  Without any further ado, here is the Phil’s Picks 2016 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

 

  1. Amon AmarthJomsviking

 

  1. MetallicaHardwiredTo SelfDestruct

 

  1. All Hail The YetiScreams From A Black Wilderness

 

  1. NonpointThe Poison Red

 

  1. SpellcasterNight Hides The World

 

  1. WovenwarHonor is Dead

 

  1. ArtilleryPunishment By Perception

 

  1. ProngXNo Absolutes

 

  1. AnthraxFor All Kings

 

  1. DestrageA Means To No End

 

  1. WhitechapelMark of the Blade

 

  1. DevildriverTrust No One

 

  1. Oni – Ironshore

 

  1. Primal FearRulebreaker

 

  1. HatebreedThe Concrete Confesional

 

 

 

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Fans Can “Trust” Devildriver’s New LP Will Impress

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

This Wednesday, Oct. 26th, veteran New England hardcore outfit Hatebreed will bring its “Concrete Confessional North American Tour 2016” to North Carolina’s “Queen City.”  The band is scheduled to perform live at the Fillmore in support of its new album The Concrete Confessional.  The band won’t be alone when it comes hits the stage.  Also along for the ride will be another well-known metal act that goes by the name of Devildriver.  The band is touring in support of its own new release, Trust No One, which was released early this summer.  It goes without saying in listening to this latest full-length studio recording from Devildriver that it is one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  That is exhibited from start to end in this 10-song (12 for those who have the album’s deluxe edition) record both in the album’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  ‘This Deception’ is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘My Night Sky’ serves to support that statement just as much as ‘This Deception.’  It will be discussed later.  The record’s title track, which comes late in the album’s run also supports that statement.  It is just one more of so many songs included in this record that could (and do) exhibit what makes this record such a strong new entry from Devildriver.  All things considered, Trust No One proves in the end to be a record that listeners can trust is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.

Devildriver’s new album Trust No One is a record that listeners can trust is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  That is proven both through the album’s musical arrangements and its lyrical content.  ‘This Deception,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is just one of the songs that serves to support that statement.  In regards to the song’s musical arrangement, it is one of the album’s strongest compositions.  The song starts off with a slight brooding feel before launching into a full-on assault that harkens back to arrangements presented in the band’s earlier works.  Guitarist Neil Tiemann shows with his work in this work that despite his more mainstream roots, he is a perfect fit for the band.  Drummer Austin D’Amond is just as impressive behind the kit here in his ability to switch instantly between machine-gun fast beats and solid, pounding performance in the less lightning fast bars.  Front man Dez Fafara’s vocal talents cannot be ignored here either.  He roars with the power of a lion throughout the song.  It is that power that really serves to exhibit the emotion in the song’s lyrical content. Speaking of that content, the song’s lyrical content is just as important to note in this song as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘This Deception’ is just as important to note of the song as its musical arrangement. That is because it presents just as much power as the song’s musical arrangement.  That is evident as Fafara screams, “This deception, it cuts so deep/And your perception is cloudy and weak/To the ones departed, blame the ominous skies/Can’t you see the look in my eyes.”  This lead verse speaks volumes in every sense of the phrase.  The verse’s opening lines speak the loudest. This is someone feeling the emotional impact of realizing he or she has been lied to about something in particular for a very long time. This person says to others, “you don’t see what I see.”  That is just this critic’s take on these lines, of course.  The next two lines in the verse are just as intriguing.  He seems to hint at blaming a higher power for people dying.  At the same time, he comes across as asking others to acknowledge what his realization is doing to him.  Again that is just this critic’s take.  That is just part of what makes the song’s lyrical content so powerful.  While this opening verse exhibits its own power, it is the song’s chorus that really packs a punch.  Fafara sings in the song’s chorus, “The sight of your face/It brings me pause/And the sound of your voice/Just because/I thought you were dead/I wished you were dead/Gone to the sound of applause/The promises we keep/While all the others sleep/Vows to the taker/Now who’s nothing but a taker/Life is just another sin/It’s either you want out or in/Say your prayers to the setting sun/And go back to square one.”  This seems to hint that he is addressing someone very specific.  In fact in the chorus’ reprise, Fafara goes so far as to say, “Hear these words/And you’ll know who I’m after.”  It’s an interesting thought.  He goes on later in the song to note people who make “back-handed compliments” and fake smiles.  These are pretty damning statements to say the least.  When one puts the whole thing together, the song’s lyrical picture is one of someone who feels rather betrayed by someone else and is clearly addressing it, or so it would seem.  That would account for the powerful impact of the song’s musical arrangement, too.  Keeping all of this in mind, it becomes clear why ‘This Deception’ is one of TNO’s strongest songs and one of the best examples of why this record is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is not the only song featured in this record that proves to be so strong, either.  ‘My Night Sky’ is another example of why TNO in whole stands out.

‘This Deception’ is one of the strongest offerings featured in Devildriver’s new album.  That is due to the impact of both its musical and lyrical content alone and collectively.  It is not the only song that stands out in this record.  ‘My Night Sky’ stands on its own merits.  It shows just as much as ‘This Deception’ why TNO stands out in this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.  Just as with ‘My Deception,’ this is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The song’s musical arrangement is not the full-on aural assault that is presented in ‘This Deception.’  Rather it presents a certain duality.  The song’s arrangement actually features a some more brooding moments later in its nearly four and a half-minute run time that expertly contrast its more intense bars.  Those brooding moments heighten the intensity of the song’s arrangement even more because they leave listeners wondering what is about to happen.  Something intense does in fact happen, too.  It happens not only musically but lyrically, too.  Speaking of lyrics, the song’s lyrical content plays as much of a part in its intensity as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘My Night Sky’ is important in its own right in showing what makes the song an important addition to TNO.  That is because it serves to expertly highlight the song’s lyrical content.  By connection, the song’s lyrical content is just as important to the song by itself as it is with the song’s powerhouse musical arrangement. That is because of the statement that Fafara seems to make here.  He screams in the song’s chorus, “Born into bondage/Meant to scorch the sky/By any means/F***ing hustle through life/I’ve realized I’m not sorry anymore/You’ve poisoned the wine/And it’s my night sky/I was beat down by a slow drug/Over the embers and through the flood/I’m built for the kill (it’s my night sky).”  This comes across as another very defiant statement being spoken to someone in particular.  He comes across here as saying to that person, “I’m through being nice, I’m determined now.  You ruined so much and now I realize I’m built to get through everything.” Again, this is just this critic’s own take on these lines.  But it would seem to make sense considering that in the song’s lead verse, Fafara screams to that person, “Desperate in your sadness/So wear black cloth/Burning/Like a flame to a moth/We flicker the heart/And silence the sound/Burning/Put all your dreams down.”  One could easily argue, in considering all of this (along with the song’s final verse) that what Fafara has done here is extend that musical middle finger to whomever is being addressed, and done so with no remorse whatsoever.  When all of this is set against the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements join to show again why this song stands out just as much as ‘My Deception.’  They also serve to remind listeners that as impressive as it is, it still is not the last song that could be cited to show what makes TNO stand out.  The album’s title track stands out just as much as ‘My Night Sky’ and ‘This Deception.’

‘This Deception’ and ‘My Night Sky’ are both key compositions included in Devildriver’s new album.  Both songs show through their musical arrangements and their equally powerful lyrical content just why TNO proves to be one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  They are not the only songs included in this record that serve to support that statement, either. The album’s title track shows just as much what makes this record stand out as ‘This Deception’ and ‘My Night Sky.’  Just as with those songs, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement.  The most notable aspect of the song’s arrangement is its thrash elements.  The dual guitar attack of Mike Spreitzer and Neal Tiemann couples with Austin D’Amond’s precision time keeping and bassist Diego Ibarra’s low end for a composition that is pure thrash.  Fafara’s vocal fury puts the finishing touch on the song.  When it is joined with those elements, the composition in whole becomes a work that thrash purists will wholly appreciate.  It is just one element of the song that makes it stand out, too.

The musical arrangement that is presented within ‘Trust No One’ in itself makes this song yet another clear example of what makes the song (and album in whole) stand out.  That is because of its pure thrash approach.  As important as the song’s musical arrangement proves to be to its presentation, it is only part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note in this work as its musical arrangement.  Fafara screams in this song, “If threatened just know/I’ll respond in kind/Say the word/The word is blind/If threatened just know/I’ll respond in kind/Say the word/The word is attack/Say your lamentations/Set sail for hell or damnation/No honest words on your lips/Confronted/Think quick/I’ve used it/I’ve abused it/It’s abused me/It’s confused me/And consumed me/I’ve been destroyed by trust/My heart can’t erase it/Now I’m so f***ing wasted/I can taste it.”  From there he reiterates the statement established in the song’s lead verse, singing, “I’ve been destroyed by trust/Heard you say there’s no need for violence/As you slowly sickeningly walk away/Give my regards to the ones you call your angels.”  There is obviously a certain amount of tension expressed in this song, and it lives up to its title.  Who hasn’t felt like they can’t trust anyone anymore?  Exactly.  Considering that, the frustration voiced by Fafarara here is powerful to say the least.  When the song’s musical arrangement is added to its equally powerful lyrical content, the combination of the two makes this song one of the album’s most impressive works.  It works with ‘This Deception,’ ‘My Night Sky’ and the rest of the album’s songs to make the album in whole one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.

Devildriver’s new album Trust No One is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  That is due to the power exhibited in both the album’s musical arrangements and its equally powerful lyrical content.  ‘This Deception,’ ‘My Night Sky’ and ‘Trust No One’ are all examples of that musical and lyrical power.  Each of the album’s other featured compositions could just as easily be cited in exhibiting what makes Trust No One such a strong hard rock and metal offering.  All things considered this record is another impressive effort from Devildriver and one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Trust No One is available online now along with all of Devildriver’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.devildriver.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/devildriver

Twitter: http://twitter.com/devildriver

 

 

 

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

Suicidal Tendencies Added To Ozzfest Meets Knotfest Lineup

Courtesy:  Adrenaline PR

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Organizers with the 2016 Ozzfest Meets Knotfest have added another band to the mega-festival’s lineup.

Veteran hard rock band Suicidal Tendencies has been added to the lineup for the inaugural Ozzfest Meets Knotfest.  It marks the first time that the band has ever taken the stage at Ozzfest in any capacity.  The band will take the place of Children of Bodom, which was originally scheduled to perform on the first day of the double-header festival. The updated lineup for the festival is noted below. Audiences will note that there is even a stage dedicated to late Motorhead front man Lemmy Kilmister at this year’s festival.

 

OZZFEST Line-up

Saturday, September 24

 

MAIN STAGE:  Black Sabbath, Disturbed, Megadeth, Opeth, Black Label Society, and Rival Sons.

LEMMY STAGE:  Suicidal Tendencies, Hatebreed, DevilDriver, Goatwhore, Huntress, and Dead Cross.

NUCLEAR BLAST STAGE: Municipal Waste, Kataklysm, Nails, The Shrine, and Still Rebel.

KNOTFEST Line-up

Sunday, September 25

 

MAIN STAGE:  Slipknot, Slayer, Amon Amarth, Anthrax, and Trivium.

LEMMY STAGE:  Sabaton, Suicide Silence, Overkill, Emmure, Butcher Babies, and Man with A Mission.

NUCLEAR BLAST STAGE:  Whitechapel, Combichrist, Carnifex, Loathe, SIM, and ONI.

 

Ozzfest Meets Knotfest is currently scheduled to be held Saturday, September 24th and Sunday, September 25th at San Manuel Amphitheater and Festival Grounds in San Bernardino California.  As a special holiday celebration, fans can purchase single 4-day ticket packs for $84.  The limited-time special is going on now and ends July 4th at 11:59pm PT.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.ozzfest.com and http://www.knotfest.com.  More information on the inaugural Ozzfest Meets Knotfest is available online at:

 

 

OZZFEST

 

Website: http://www.Ozzfest.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ozzfestofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theozzfest

 

 

 

KNOTFEST

 

Website: http://www.knotfest.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KNOTFEST

Twitter: http://twitter.com/knotfest

 

 

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