Kingdom Collapse premiered its latest single and video this week.
The band debuted its new single, ‘Anything‘ and its video Friday. The single features a guest appearance by Disturbed bassist John Moyer for the song, whose musical arrangement is a rich, heavy melodic hard rock composition. The song is an easy fit for any active rock radio programmer’s play list thanks to that sound and approach. It is comparable to so many of the acts that fill said stations’ airwaves today.
No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme and no lyrics were provided with the video, which finds the band performing for a pair of record executives in a sort of parody of how the record industry works.
From what can be inferred through the lyrics, the theme seems to center on the familiar topic of a broken relationship and someone who is trying to get over the relationship’s end. That is just this critic’s interpretation.
More information on Kingdom Collapse’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
A little more than a year ago, Hyro The Hero announced to the world that he was working on a new project dubbed Kids Against The Monsters. The record was originally scheduled for release last year, but that obviously did not happen. Why that is the case is anyone’s guess. That is beside the point. The announcement came as part of a bigger announcement that he had released a new single titled ‘Legendary.’ Fast forward to this weekend. The long-awaited project (originally called a “mixtape,” now being marketed as an EP) was finally released Friday. The four-song record is an enjoyable albeit imperfect presentation from the up-and-coming rap-rock star. To its positive, it features three songs that the rap-rock star (a.k.a. Hyron Louis Fenton, Jr.) crafted in 2021. On the opposite side, it is lacking other songs that he crafted last year. This will be examined a little later. One last item to note is the record’s sequencing, which will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Kids Against The Monsters. All things considered, they make a record that although imperfect, gives hope for Hyro The Hero’s next record.
Kids Against The Monsters, the long-awaited “mixtape” project from Hyro The Hero, is a mostly welcome filler between his then latest album, 2019’s Flagged Channel, and his next studio recording. Hopefully that new record will come sooner rather than later, but that is entirely up to him. The record works in part because of the songs that it features. Four songs make up the EP’s body. They include the EP’s title song, which features a guest appearance by Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor, and three singles that he released last year, ‘FU2 (ft. AJ Channer),’ ‘We Believe (ft. David Draiman)’ and ‘Fight (ft. Chad Grey).’ All four songs are impressive in their own right, because each offers audiences something different from its counterparts. The EP’s opener, for example, is a heavily blues-tinged rocker that conjures thoughts of songs from Imagine Dragons and others of that ilk. Taylor’s vocals are almost indiscernible to be honest. The subtle use of the turntables and the beats makes for such a great hip-hop vibe. The whole here makes the song so enjoyable in its own right.
‘FU2 (ft. AJ Channer)’ takes audiences in a completely different direction with its high energy approach and its socially conscious lyrical theme. Fenton points the finger at what the world has become in the song’s lyrical theme. That and the energy in the intense nu-metal approach is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained. Again, it is the polar opposite of the EP’s opener, and that is a very good thing.
‘We Believe (ft. David Draiman)’ takes Fenton’s modern rap leanings and pairs it with a melodic hard rock approach to make the song enjoyable right from the get go. The heavy bass used in the verses clearly exhibit those hip-hop leanings. Draiman’s vocals make for a positive counterpoint to those of Fenton here, making for even more engagement and entertainment. The whole becomes a song that holds its own identity separate from the record’s first two songs, again showing the importance of the record’s featured songs.
‘Fight (ft. Chad Gray)’ is yet another change of pace sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained. That is because it takes audiences back to the sounds and stylistic approaches that made Flagged Channel so enjoyable. The addition of Gray’s vocals to the song makes for another welcome contrast to those of Fenton, in turn adding even more to the song’s appeal. The song’s lyrical theme, which is yet another socially conscious message, adds even more to the song’s appeal.
For all of the enjoyment that the songs featured in this record guarantees, there could have been more music included in the EP. That is because it does not feature all of the songs that Fenton crafted last year. He also released another single, titled ‘Retaliation Generation’ alongside Ice Nine Kills front man Spencer Charnas. That song and ‘Legendary’ are each enjoyable in their own right because of their own musical and lyrical content. Why Fenton decided not to included the songs in this record is also anyone’s guess. It would have brought the record’s total song count to six, and in turn made the record even more enjoyable. That is because they are just as unlike one another as they are from the songs featured in the EP and as they are from one another. So to that end, not including these two songs in the EP is obviously not enough to make the EP a failure, but it certainly would have made the EP’s presentation so much more positive.
Keeping this in mind, there is still one more item to examine. That item is the record’s sequencing. There are, again, only four songs featured in the EP, but their sequencing ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the songs themselves. That is because from beginning to end, it ensures the record’s energy remains stable even as the song styles and sounds change. The whole thing opens with the noted bluesy hip-hop opus before really picking things up in ‘FU2’. The energy keeps flowing in ‘We Believe’ and continues in ‘Fight’. In other words, from start to end, the EP’s sequencing sees the record interesting because of its role in the general effect, doing even more to keep things interesting for listeners. When this is considered along with the songs themselves, the record proves even more worth hearing.
Kids Against The Monsters, the newly released EP from Hyro The Hero, is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new EPs. That is due in part to its featured songs. The songs featured in the record are singles that he released last year. Each is different from one another in its sound and style while their lyrical themes will resonate easily with any listener in their own way. From the socially conscious to the more personal, each theme has something worthwhile to offer. While the songs featured in the record do plenty to make the EP appealing, the lack of two other songs that he released last year detracts from the record’s presentation. It is not enough to make the EP a failure, but the record would certainly have benefited from their inclusion. That aside, the EP is still mostly successful. Its sequencing ensures that in its own right. That is because it makes sure the record’s energy stays stable even as the sounds, styles and themes change from one song to the next. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the EP one more of the best of its field so far this year.
Kids Against The Monsters is available now. More information on Hyro The Hero’s new EP is available online now along with all of Hyro The Hero’s latest news and more at:
Satirist “Weird” Al Yankovic has, for ages, been known as the king of comedy in the music community. His spoofs of songs from the likes of Coolio, Michael Jackson, and even Nirvana (as well as Miley Cyrus and others) have made him a household name among audiences across the musical universe. After so many years leading the way in the musical comedy ranks, Yankovic may well have some competition, at least in the metal community from the up-and-coming band, The Violent Inzident. The sextet’s new album, This Is Nu Metal!, which was released April 1, makes that clear. The 11-song record is the lighthearted shot in the arm that the metal community has needed for years thanks to its musical and lyrical content alike. Each item will be discussed in its own right here. Just as notable is the record’s production, which will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the record’s presentation. All things considered, they make This Is Nu Metal! a successful record that while it will ultimately be dated in the long run, is still entertaining from beginning to end.
This Is Nu Metal!, the new album from up-and-coming satirical rock band The Violent Inzident, is a welcome offering that reminds the metal masses that reminds hard rock and metal masses that it is possible to be musically heavy without always being emotionally heavy. The record’s musical arrangements make that clear. From one song to the next, the record’s musical arrangements pay homage to the nu-metal sounds that have been so popular since the late 1990s. Those songs include works from the likes of Disturbed, Powerman 5000, Slipknot, Soulfly, Sepultura, Korn, and even System of a Down. The band even pokes fun at Limp Bizkit, showing that no one is off limits to this band, at least in terms of musical content. The arrangements spoof the noted bands’ songs while still making the arrangements their own along the way, making for even more enjoyment. Simply put, the musical content featured in this record more than makes for its own share of engagement and entertainment. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements adds even more to that engagement and entertainment.
The lyrical content is so important to the record because it spoofs the bands and their songs just as much. It also pokes fun at society. Case in point is the band’s single, ‘Triggered (The Snowflake Anthem).’ This song is a fully tongue-in-cheek stab at how overly PC society has become in the 21st century. On another note, the band goes right after Limp Bizkit in ‘The Violent Inzident, even mentioning the year 1999, which is really when Limp Bizkit broke out. The band even goes so far as to poke fun at the nonsense lyrics that Limp Bizkit has come up with for its songs here. As if all of this is not enough, The Violent Inzident even takes a direct stab at Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor in ‘D.a.R.E. to Keep Kids on Drugs’ as the question is asked whether people actually give any credit to anything he says. the song in this case pokes fun at all of the songs that glorify drug use and people who abuse them and try to get off of them. It’s really a social commentary in itself, but done in such a satirical fashion. Between that content, the other content examined here and the rest of the record’s lyrical themes, the whole makes clear just how important the album’s lyrical content is to this presentation. That content, together with the album’s musical content, makes this record overall such a surprisingly enjoyable presentation. It is just part of what makes the record worth hearing, too. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.
The production that went into the creation of This Is Nu Metal! is important because of its role in the album’s general effect. From one song to the next, the album’s production ensures that the heaviness of the nu-metal compositions is fully on display. The down-tuned, crunching guitars, the rough vocals, the thick bass lines and drums are all there. Each gets its own attention in each varying nu-metal composition, too. The end result of the production is that each arrangement proves itself just as worth listening as the others. Even the vocals are clear in each song, getting just as much attention in the production as the instrumentations. Taking into account the impact of the record’s production alongside the impact of the overall content, the whole makes This Is Nu Metal! a surprisingly entertaining presentation that nu-metal fans and metal fans alike will find entertaining.
This Is Nu Metal!, the new album from The Violent Inzident, is a surprisingly engaging and entertaining presentation. That is due equally to its musical and lyrical content. The record’s musical and lyrical content each playfully poke fun at some of the biggest names in the nu-metal movement, from Korn, to Disturbed, to Powerman 500, to Slipknot and others, the content overall takes a satirical approach, making for plenty of laughs. The lyrical content does not just stick to poking fun at said bands, either. It also takes on societal issue, making for even more enjoyment. The record’s production adds its own enjoyment to the mix. That is because of its impact on the album’s general effect. It is just as worthy of praise as the album’s content. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album well worth hearing at least once.
This Is Nu Metal! is available now. More information on The Violent Inzident’s new album and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:
The event’s organizers announced the lineup and performance times for the festival Tuesday through a news release. The event, now in its sixth year, has expanded to four days from three — Sept. 23-26 — and will feature performances from approximately 70 acts. Single-day and weekend tickets/passes are available here.
Metallica is one of the most notable acts for this year’s festival. The band is scheduled to perform two separate acts on two of the festival’s nights. Also scheduled to take one of the festival’s four stages at this year’s event are acts, such as Another Day Dawns, Disturbed, Korn, Mudvayne, Cypress Hill, and Pennywise.
Along with lots of music, this year’s festival will also feature lots of food and drunk. The Kroger Big Bourbon Bar is the most notable of the features of this year’s food and drink options. It will have more than a dozen hand-selected bourbons from top distilleries nationwide.
Food and drink from a variety and local and regional restaurants (all of which are noted below) will also be available for festival attendees.
Independent rapper Hyro The Hero debuted his latest single this week.
The rapper (a.k.a. Hyron Louis Fenton, Jr.) debuted his new single, ‘Legendary‘ Friday. The song features a guest appearance by Atreyu co-front man Brandon Saller. The composition comes more than two months after Fenton premiered his then latest single, ‘Retaliation Generation,’ which itself featured a guest appearance by Ice Nine Kills front man Spencer Charnas.
‘Legend’ is a departure of sorts, stylistically, for Fenton, even in comparison to ‘Retaliation Generation’ and his other recent singles, ‘Fight‘ (which featured Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray on guest vocals) and ‘We Believe‘ (which features Disturbed front man David Draiman on guest vocals). The song is heavy and Fenton’s flow is as solid as ever here. Though the addition of the more subdued momentary vocals provided by Saller in the choruses makes for a softer, more melodic approach. It gives this song its own unique identity separate from that presented in ‘Fight’ and ‘We Believe.’
‘Legendary’ was co-written by Fenton, Saller, Matt Good, Dan Jacobs, and Travis Miguel. Good additionally produced the song.
According to Fenton, the song’s lyrical theme is a contemplative presentation.
“‘Legendary’ is a look into the life and feeling of a champion,” he said. “I wanted to express how it would feel in my mind to make such an impact on the world that you are considered a legend.”
Additionally, Fenton spoke warmly of Saller and his band mates’ participation in the new song.
“I’m so happy that Atreyu was able to be a part of this song and that Brandon Saller lent his amazing vocals,” added Fenton. “They have been in the game for years and bring an actual legendary power and life to it. This is such an epic track and my goal is that it will inspire others to lean into their greatness.”
Saller returned Fenton’s sentiments about collaborating.
“Hyro first got put on my radar maybe seven years ago by a good friend, Fred Archambault,” said Saller. “Since then I’ve had my eye on what he was doing. Last summer, we did the Disrupt Festival with him, and he blew me away at every show. His energy was amazing and we immediately hit it off. When the opportunity came to be on a track with him, I had no hesitations. This song has such a vibe to it and has so much power. I’m stoked to be a part of it.”
‘Legendary’ is the first song from a new “mixtape” presentation that Fenton announced. The project is dubbed Kids Against The Monsters. Fenton presented a statement about the project early this week through Knotfest. Knotfest will feature a series of interviews with Fenton in the coming weeks to look deeper into his new project. Charnas and Gray are among the guests scheduled to appear in the noted interviews, hinting that ‘Fight,’ ‘Retaliation Generation,’ and ‘We Believe’ might end up inthe mixtape project, too.
Kids Against Monsters is scheduled for release later this year. Its exact release date is under consideration.
More information on Hyro The Hero’s new single, video, and livestreatm is available online now along with all of Hyro The Hero’s latest news and more at:
Independent hard rock band Awaken released its latest studio recording late last month. The record – Monsters & Machines – is a presentation that the genre’s fans will find worth hearing at least once. That is proven through the musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of the 12-song record. The musical arrangements hold their own against works from a variety of the band’s more well-known counterparts, such as Spineshank, Breaking Benjamin and Disturbed. Even with those influences, the record’s musical arrangements boast their own unique identities, giving audiences reason enough to hear the album. The record’s lyrical themes are themselves accessible, making for even more engagement and entertainment. ‘Behemoth’ and ‘The Veil’ are just two of the examples of how that musical and lyrical content comes together to make the record work. They will be addressed momentarily. ‘Graveyards,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another key example of what makes the album successful. When it and the other noted songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the record in whole shows itself as a work that audiences will agree is worth hearing at least once.
Awaken’s latest record Monsters & Machines – the band’s fourth album – is a presentation that audiences will find worth hearing at least once. Its collective musical and lyrical content supports that statement easily. One of the songs that serves to show the impact of the record’s collective content comes early in its sequence in the form of ‘Behemoth.’ The song’s musical arrangement is a heavy work that incorporates electronics and heavy guitars, drums and bass for a sound that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Spineshank, 10 years, and Chevelle. The fire in the song’s arrangement pairs well with the work’s lyrical theme.
The lyrical theme in question hints at someone who sees how the world is dealing with its inner demons. As the song’s subject is seeing this reality, he/she is also seemingly reaching out himself/herself, asking for help, which is what people need to do any time they are dealing with their own inner struggles. That will make the song even more accessible for audiences. The inference can be made right from the song’s outset as the lead verse and chorus state, “It feels like a monster growing inside/Trying to claw its way out/It seems like somewhere we’ve lost our minds/Fighting through the webs of our doubts/By ourselves we’ll crash, burn, and sever/But you are there to put our ashes back together/Reach in me/I can feel it caving in/Breathe in me/I can feel a fade within/Grab hold of me/It keeps pulling underneath /God, help me/Rise within my own defeat.” The song’s second verse continues that inference as it states, “It feels like temptation magnetized/Keeping hearts from finding ways around/It seems like any time we try to take flight/The gravity keeps forcing to the ground.” The song’s third and final verse certifies the statement even more as it states, “Confused on where my thoughts align
/I know you’re there to cauterize the thriving of the beast inside.” The overall message will resonate loudly with listeners. When it is considered along with the power in the song’s musical arrangement, the lyrical content’s impact increases even more, making the whole song that much more accessible. It is just one of the songs that shows the album’s strength. ‘The Veil,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another example of how much the record has to offer.
‘The Veil’ presents a musical arrangement that crosses the band’s familiar electronic leanings with a more melodic hard rock sound to make its whole a unique work in its own right. The subtle string arrangement that opens the song makes for a notable juxtaposition to again, the very Spineshank/Breaking Benjamin style approach that follows soon after. The steady time keeping and low-end work with the keyboards and guitars to make the song’s musical arrangement solid throughout its four-minute run time. The energy in the song’s arrangement does well to help heighten the impact of the song’s lyrical theme.
According to a statement released by the band, the lyrical theme featured in ‘The Veil’ is a song about the facades put on by our society, our leaders, and sometimes even ourselves. How people can go about on a daily basis keeping people in the dark of their true intentions. It’s like putting your hand over other people’s eyes while creating a cover story to buy time, knowing that it won’t last forever. The light will eventually turn on and the truth will be revealed.”‘ That statement is illustrated well in the song’s lead verse, which states, “There is a shield that keeps us from seeing what’s around us/Like a veil that covers over our eyes/So we start to lose our way/We’ve pursued conflictions and got caught in life’s deceptions/Casting shadows on our face that guides our vision astray/I know there’s more to life than this/Now we can open the door/To find out what our eyes have missed/While we were blinded before.” The statement continues in the song’s second verse as the song’s subject notes, “We keep flowing in this pattern of blocking out the sun/In contradiction to the path we want walk on/How is it we manage to hide what’s truly felt?/There’s so much more to what we are inside these dying shells.” The final accent is put on the statement in the song’s third and final verse, which states, “Why is it so hard for us to share what we feel?/Why is it so hard for us to find something real?/Nothing can ever take your sight from what you know as truth/A vision’s value can be too precious to turn away the view.” Noting the simple way in which the message was delivered, even in its metaphorical language, the theme is still relatively easily understood. To that end the lyrical theme shows even more why the album’s lyrical theme is important to its presentation. When it is paired with the song’s radio ready musical arrangement, the two elements collectively show even more why the album deserves its own share of attention. It is just one more of the album’s most notable entries. ‘Graveyards,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content stand out.
‘Graveyards’ is just as radio ready as the other songs addressed here. That is exhibited inn part through its heavy, melodic hard rock stylistic approach and sound. Once again, the comparison is easily made to Breaking Benjamin through the combination of the vocals, bass, guitar, and drums. That is a tribute to the album’s production. That infectious, heavy arrangement works with the song’s lyrical theme to make for even more interest.
The lyrical theme featured in ‘Graveyards’ comes across as a statement about humans’ obsession with the past and our struggle to move past our own pasts. That is inferred especially through the song’s chorus, which states, “Is nothing what it seems?/We keep repeating history/In reverence we dance in vain on the graves of our mistakes/In severance we separate from the pasts we can’t remain.” The chorus adds in its refrain, “In remembrance we keep building walls from all our shattered dreams/In deliverance we build this bridge for all the lives to redeem.” So while the song warns listeners about our tendency to hold on to the past, it reminds us that we can learn from our pasts and move past them. The song’s verses add even more to the theme here, what with its notes of having “broken from the chains/But we can’t seem to open up this cage” and how “We change the picture in this frame/But get lost in the cycles of the same.” It is a strong starting point on a topic that is accessible. When it is considered along with the song’s equally impressive musical arrangement, that whole makes even clearer why audiences will find the album appealing. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of that content makes the album overall a presentation that does deserve to be heard at least once.
Awaken’s latest album, Monsters & Machines is a presentation from the established hard rock act that is deserving of as much attention as works from the band’s more well-known counterparts. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike. The songs examined here serve to support the noted statements. When they and the rest of the album’s works are considered together, they make the recording its own successful offering that is worth hearing at least once. The album is available now. More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/awakenofficial.
Independent hard rock outfit Zero Theorem is one of those acts whose members do not rest easy on its laurels. The up-and-coming band released its new EP The Killing II last month. The follow-up to the band’s 2020 EP The KillingI, its release last month was not unexpected. It was announced last year that the band hoped to release this new record around this time. The band’s latest studio recording continues the success of its predecessor. This is evidenced in the EP’s musical and lyrical content while also showing some growth from the band. The growth in question comes from the 16-minute EP’s closer, ‘Waiting.’ It will be discussed shortly. While ‘Waiting’ shows some growth from Zero Theorem, the band’s new record also offers plenty of familiarity for listeners in terms of its musical and lyrical content. That is evidenced in ‘Translucent,’ the EP’s opener. It will be discussed a little later. ‘The Future’ gives listeners something familiar and some growth all in one setting. It will be discussed later, too. Each song addressed here plays into the success of The Killing II in its own way. When they are considered alongside the EP’s two remaining songs, the whole of the record proves to be a solid follow-up to The Killing.
Zero Theorem’s new EP The Killing II is a presentation that takes the success of The Killing and ensures even more, the continued rise in the band’s popularity within the hard rock community. That is the case because the band’s new EP offers audiences something familiar both musically and lyrically while also showing some growth from the quintet in terms of the record’s musical content. ‘Waiting,’ which closes out the EP, is the clearest example of that musical growth. Whereas most of the band’s catalog presents musical arrangements that are comparable to works from the likes of Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin, this song’s arrangement takes listeners in a different direction. In this case, the musical arrangement is more comparable to works from Sevendust and The Veer Union than Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin. That’s even the case in front man “Caesar’s” vocal delivery style. To be more specific, the arrangement here is especially comparable to Sevendust’s more recent works, what with the addition of the electronics and minor chords. That whole approach is such that it will appeal to a wide range of listeners. The lyrical content that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement adds even more to that appeal.
The lyrical content featured in ‘Waiting’ comes across as a sort of statement about simply living life and making the most of it while we are here. That is inferred most clearly in the song’s chorus, which states, “I am no longer waiting/For you to carry me away/If it’s my time now/Then there is nothing you can say/I am no longer waiting/For you to show me everything/If it’s my life/now/Then tell me who else/Who else will lead the way?”
The statement is furthered later in the song as Caesar sings, “Now is when/I will join with the wind/Moving out and in/To places that I’ve never been. It is another line that declares the determination to make the most of life, not let himself be controlled before asking in the song’s finale, “Who else will lead the way?” That final statement is strong. It puts the period…er….question mark to the song’s overarching statement about determination and drive, not just letting life pass one by. This and the song’s musical arrangement pair to leave no doubt as to its place in the EP. They join to make this song just one example of what makes The Killing II such a successful new offering from Zero Theorum. ‘Translucent,’ the EP’s opener is another example of what makes the record successful.
‘Translucent,’ the opener for The Killing II gives the band’s established fan base something familiar in regards to its musical and lyrical content. Examining first, the song’s musical arrangement, its heavy, crunching, controlled guitars pair with the vocal delivery of “Caesar” to immediately lend itself to comparisons to works from Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin. Even with that comparison in mind, the song still boasts its own unique identity separate from their songs. Additionally, while the song is stylistically similar to the work on The Killing I, the overall sound is just as unique. To that end, audiences again get something familiar here from Zero Theorem while also getting a new musical arrangement overall. The musical arrangement, paired with the song’s lyrical content makes for even more engagement and entertainment here.
Zero Theorum debuted ‘Translucent’ last year ahead of the EP’s release. “Caesar” discussed the song’s lyrical theme at the time, saying of that content, “‘Translucent’ represents the act of seeing through one’s outward or public persona to identify the authentic self within. As with other songs throughout The Killing recordings, ‘Translucent’ depicts a scathing character portrait while questioning the validity and usefulness of the artificial trappings of our daily lives.” In other words, the song’s lyrical theme focuses on the topic of self-realization. That is the short and simple of the song’s lyrical theme. The commentary is delivered with “Caesar” stating in the song’s lead verse, “You paint yourself inside a white picket fence/You’re sliding in and out of walls/Waiting until the moment is tense/You step away from your existence/You don’t like to answer a broken call.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “A sound of anger that takes violence to create/Missteps have slammed another door/Consequence is not your concern/You have endless time to burn/To you we’re only another chore.” The commentary concludes with the third verse’s statement, which notes, “Translucent eyes/They cannot hide/The parasite that lives inside/It’s feeding on your/wicked mind/The parasite that lives inside.” That final stinging line leaves no doubt about the commentary’s statement about the song’s theme. Together with the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements make this song another strong example of what makes The Killing II a positive return for Zero Theorem. ‘The Future’ is yet another key addition to the EP.
‘The Future’ features a musical arrangement that shows growth from the band as well as something familiar from the group. The influence of Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin is just as prevalent here as much as in certain other songs in this record. The use of the added keyboards and electronics give the song a bit of a symphonic metal style influence. That added element and Caesar’s screams collectively lend themselves to comparisons to music from Amaranthe. When the energy in the song’s musical arrangement joins with the theme in the song’s lyrical content, the song gains even more traction.
The lyrical content featured in ‘The Future’ comes across as a statement of the direction in which the human race is headed. It is not the first time that any band has ever taken on such a topic. Even with that in mind, the manner in which the seeming theme is presented here still ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment. The song opens with the statement, “We keep on spiraling all the way down/No chance to reconcile/Pestilence multiplies/On machines we rely/The vain and senseless shaping what we perceive/Of right.” This lead verse statement leaves little doubt as to what it is saying. It is saying that the human race is headed in a bad direction. The song’s chorus adds to the warning, stating, “Now/This is the future/We’re on the other side/We are the ones under blackened sky/Now/We’re in the future/We’ve burned the past alive/Just trying to prove we’re not/dead inside.” Building on the song’s lyrical warning is its second verse, which states, “We keep on burrowing all the way down/Hastening our demise/The roots replaced with wires/Our truth beset by liars/It’s all to advocate the cyber cult/Of right.” Of course for all of the nihilism that is on display here, the whole of the song does in fact end with some hope. That glimmer of hope comes in the song’s third and final verse, which notes, “Watch us come alive/Right now/This is the future.” This is a brief statement but speaks volumes. It is the masses saying, “We have seen the light and we are changing. We must change.” It is a powerful statement, especially when considered with the warning that makes up so much of the song. It reminds listeners that for all of the bad that is happening, it is not too late to change things. When this whole is considered along with the song’s musical content, that overall content makes clear why this song will appeal so much to audiences, and why the EP is a success. When this collective is considered along with the other songs examined here and the record’s two remaining songs, the whole becomes a presentation that more than earns its place among this year’s best new EPs.
Zero Theorem’s recently released new EP The Killing II is a strong follow-up to the band’s 2020 EP The Killing. It offers audiences plenty of familiar musical and lyrical content while also exhibiting some growth in regards to its musical arrangements. Each of the songs examined here serve to support the noted statements. When they are considered with the EP’s two remaining songs, including the EP’s latest single ‘Joke,’ the whole becomes a record that is unquestionably one of this year’s best new EPs. It is available now.
More information on Zero Theorem’s new EP is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:
You can do anything that you put your mind to. Everybody knows that old adage, and independent hard rock band Saul is proof that the noted words of wisdom are in fact true. While the band got its start during the high school years of its founding members, brothers Blake and Zach Bedsaul, the band wasted little time chasing its dream, eventually hitting the road and releasing its debut studio recording Aeons last March. Now less than two years after its release, the band released its debut album, Rise as Equals. The 14-song record is a positive second studio offering and equally strong full-length debut for the band. That is proven in part early on in the song ‘Brother.’ It will be discussed shortly. ‘Rise as Equals,’ the album’s title track is another example of what the album has to offer audiences. It will be addressed a little later. ‘Sticks and Stones’ is yet another example of what makes Saul’s new album stand out. It will be addressed later, too. All three songs noted here do their own part to make this record worth hearing. When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes a work that is the beginning of Saul’s rise to equal fame with the band’s more well-known counterparts.
Saul’s debut full-length studio recording Rise as Equals is the beginning of this band’s rise to fame equal to that of its contemporaries. That is proven in part early on in the album’s run in the form of the song ‘Brother.’ The band’s members waste no time launching into the nearly four-and-a-half-minute song’s musical arrangement, taking off right from the song’s outset. The crunching guitars, bass and drums couple with front man Blake Bedsaul’s vocal delivery to instantly conjure thoughts of Hellyeah, Disturbed andBreaking Benjamin. It doesn’t let up until late in the song’s run, either. That moment when the song’s energy pulls back is well-placed, too. That is because it helps to heighten the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme right at that moment.
Speaking of the song’s lyrical content, Bedsaul explained in an interview about the song’s topic. “Lyrically, this song defines what I should have said to my brother in his last moments,” Bedsaul said in the interview. “This song cuts deep for me, and it’s a constant reminder that life is fleeting. Tell the people in your life that you love them.” This message is delivered clearly as Bedsaul sings in the lead verse, “I write this letter/It’s a letter I’ll never send/Words I’d never say/Would you read it anyway/Tell me brother, what’s my fate/Did you see the sunrise/Did you see the rain/We’ve come so far/Penniless in pain/This is my fate/The world awaits/Hold my hands and tell me that it’s alright/Are you proud of everything I’ve done in my life.” From here, Bedsaul goes on to sing in the song’s chorus asking pleadingly to his brother “Are you still proud of me after everything that I’ve done?” Bedsaul continues in similar fashion in the song’s second verse. Ultimately what this comes across as (at least to this critic) is a person who is dealing with a lot of personal guilty and heavy feelings in general. Those thoughts and feelings are translated very well. When it is considered alongside the companion that is the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole becomes a work that easily holds its own against its more well-known noted counterparts, and proves easily that it could just as easily be played on any mainstream/active rock station along with songs from those bands. It is just one of the songs featured in this EP that makes the record appealing for its noted audiences. ‘Rise as Equals,’ the album’s title track is another example of its strength.
Much as with ‘Brother,’ the musical arrangement featured in ‘Rise as Equals’ is a very industrial/melodic metal style composition. What audiences will appreciate that despite having a very similar stylistic approach to that of ‘Brother’ and the album’s other works, it still boasts its own unique, heavy sound that also boasts its own share of melody, too. The heaviness and the sincerity in the melody serves well to help deliver the message of unity featured in the song’s lyrical content.
The noted message of unity is made clear right from the song’s lead verse, which states, “You are my equals/We bleed when we’re cut/We weep when we’re torn/We love and we lose/We scar and we bruise/From the day that we’re born/We fall and we fight/We’re all damaged inside/Under our skin/We all want to win/We see eye to eye/I will be there for you/You will be there for me.” It is made just as clear, if not more so, in the song’s second verse, which states, “There is no above/There is no below/We’re willing to bleed for what we believe/We all reap what we sow/I will be there for you/You will be there for me/RISE.” The song’s chorus adds even more impact, stating, “This is my tribe/These are my people/Sisters and brothers/You are my equals/Live till we die/Together we’re lethal/Sisters and brothers/You are my equals/I won’t let you go/You are my equals/I won’t let you go.” Once again, audiences get a proud statement of unity even despite the world’s situation. Together with the song’s noted equally powerful musical arrangement, the two elements jointly make this song its own impacting work and just one more notable addition to Rise as Equals. ‘Sticks and Stones,’ which comes late in the record’s run, is another of the album’s strongest entries.
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Sticks and Stones’ is another industrial style song that also adds in some very distinct hardcore influences a la Hatebreed, Terror, etc. That is evidenced through the pairing of the heavy, crunching guitars and screaming vocal delivery style. What makes the arrangement even more interesting is the pairing of the more melodic elements alongside that heavier side. The contrast is noticeable in the two sounds, yet the band still manages to make the pairing work, and work well at that. It pairs well with the song’s equally powerful lyrical theme, which focuses on a toxic personality who has caused an otherwise good, controlled person to lose their cool.
The noted theme is inferred right from the song’s outset, as it states, “Sticks and stones won’t break our bones/Close knit failing scene/Watch me live your broken dreams/I said I’d never get low I’d never get petty/You’ve broken the dam and opened the levee/Sticks and stones won’t break our bones/Crooked smiles I’m not your martyr/Want to be me you better try harder.” The song’s second verse hints even more at the noted theme, as it states, “Always doubted me/They stand in disbelief/I knew I’d be the king at the top of the pile/When you see me I’ll be nothing but smiles/Sticks and stones won’t break our bones/Can’t take what you never earned/Can’t fake what you never learned.” The song goes on to outright call the person in question “Two-faced.” That speaks volumes when considered alongside the rest of the song’s noted lyrical content. Taking all of this into account, the heaviness and fire in the song’s musical arrangement becomes even more impacting, especially when coupled with this no nonsense message. When the song in whole is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s works, the album, in its entirety, proves to be the point at which Saul really starts its rise to fame equal to that of its fellow metal and hard rock acts.
Saul’s debut album Rise as Equals is a record that proves it will not take long before this band is equal to its more well-known counterparts in the hard rock and metal community. That is evidenced in the record’s musical and lyrical content, as pointed out here. When the three songs examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the record in whole leaves no doubt, that Saul’s star is on the rise.
More information on Rise as Equals is available now along with all of Saul’s current live dates and more at:
Independent hard rock band Awaken debuted the video for its latest single this month.
The band debuted the video for its latest single ‘Stained Glass‘ Oct. 8 through Sofa King Cool Magazine. The video’s debut comes five months after the band debuted its then latest single, ‘Behemoth.’ Both songs tentatively scheduled for inclusion in the band’s long-awaited new album Monsters & Machines which is expected or release in 2021 through INgrooves and The Label Group.
The ‘Stained Glass’ video features the band in what is meant to reflect a live setting, what with its lights and brick wall backdrop. That footage is coupled with imagery of people walking past a homeless person on the street who is holding a sign that states, “Please help.” The video presents a somewhat surprise ending, which will be left for audiences to see for themselves.
The imagery used in the video is meant to help illustrate the message delivered through the song’s lyrical content, which the band addressed in a prepared statement.
‘”Stained Glass” is a song for the overlooked,” the statement reads. “It’s a song that speaks for those who have been prejudged, counted out, or taken for granted without their situations being understood. It’s about how people can look at another through a stained glass lens and never really see who they are. This was actually one of the first songs written for the record, musically and lyrically. It’s always been one that stood out to us throughout the recording process.”‘
The musical arrangement featured in ‘Stained Glass’ is a heavy melodic metal composition. Its instrumentation and vocal delivery style join to make the song an appealing work for fans of bands, such as Disturbed and Breaking Benjamin.
‘Stained Glass’ is available to stream and download here.
Independent singer-songwriter Mick Blankenship debuted the video for his latest single this week.
Blankenship debuted the video for his song ‘Rule The World‘ Monday. The video places Blankenship and his fellow musicians in the backdrop of a vacant warehouse as they perform the song.
There are specific scenes in which Blankenship stands in front of a hole-filled wall through which beams of light shine as he sings. While it might not be the same set, that scene is very similar to scenes from the video for Korn’s classic song ‘Freak on a Leash.’
The musical arrangement featured in Blankenship’s new single is a heavy, guitar-driven work that will appeal to fans of Disturbed. Its lyrical content takes on the familiar topics of media and social media influence on the world, according to Blankenship.
“’Rule the World’ is a cold, hard, unapologetic perspective that many people (especially our youth) are being manipulated and controlled by the media,” he said. “We now live in a time where we blindly sacrifice our dignity and who we are for social media views. Sadly, many people find their “self worth” in the amount of post likes that they get. We have become so addicted to social media that we are willing to do almost anything to become what they call [famous].”
More information on Mick Blankenship’s new single and video is available along with all of his latest news at: