Louder Than Life Lineup Finalized

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

The 2021 Louder Than Life festival will go on.

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.

502 Café, Angry Bird Grill, Bangarang Bahn Mi, Barrett’s BBQ, Barrett’s Burgers, Bistro Italiano, Blackbeard Espresso, Bru Bros Coffee, Burger Factory, Cheese Louise, Dank Nugs, Ehrler’s Ice Cream, Eli’s BBQ, Gary’s Philly Cheesesteaks, Gelato Gilberto, Hole Mole Tacos, Island Noodles, Jammin Concessions, Longshot Lobsta, Mac Attack, Merle’s Whiskey Kitchen, Mike’s Kentucky Kitchen, My Olympus Greek Food, Overloaded, Phat Daddy’s Creole, Pie Baby Wood Fired Pizza, Pizza Lupo, Potato Tornado, Ramiro’s Cantina, Shady Grove Wraps, Spicy Pie, Strawberry Field, The Cookie Lady, Tica’s Tacos, Tickle Pickle, and Tumbleweed.

Additional bourbon, food & beverage, and other experiences available onsite include:

·       Caduceus Wine Garden

·       The Blackened Bar

·       Jack Daniel’s No. 7 Sports Bar, where guests can enjoy NFL and college football games

·       Heavy Tiki Bar presented by Jim Beam

·       Budweiser Beer Garden

·       Jim Beam Garden

·       The Well– IV hydration, juice bar and overall wellness lounge to recharge all weekend long

·       Silver Dollar Hunter’s Club- featuring vintage bourbons dating as far back as the 1930s, as well as contemporary selections

·       Mortus Viventi – Live Tarot Card Readings

·       Jack’s Char Housepresented by Jack Daniel’s

·       Milagro Cantina Bar

·       Larceny Trailer Lounge

·       Tito’s Handmade Vodka VIP Airstream

·       The Speakeasy

·       Fxck Cancer / Dyin 2 Live Dreams Program

·       Pegasus Experiences Louisville’s Finest Distillery Experiences

·       Take Me Home

·       The Music Experience

Louder Than Life is put on by Danny Wimmer Presents. The festival’s partners are noted below:

Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer, Kroger, Marriott, Crowne Plaza, Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam, Elijah Craig, Bulleit Bourbon, Angel’s Envy, Larceny, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Evan Williams, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry, Pegasus, ESP, Mortus Viventi, The Music Experience, Louisville Tourism, Kentucky Venues, Ehrler’s Ice Cream, The Well, TickPick, Fxck Cancer, Revolver, Inked, Blackcraft, Fanatics, Headcount, TWOLA and Take Me Home.

Hyro The Hero Debuts New Single, ‘Legendary’; Plans New “Mixtape” Project

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

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:

Websitehttps://www.hyrothehero.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/HyroTheHero

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/hyrothehero

More information on Atreyu is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.atreyofficial.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/atreyu

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/atreyuofficial

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

‘Monsters & Machines’ Could Help Make Audiences More Aware Of Awaken, With The Right Support

Courtesy: The Label Group

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.  

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

Zero Theorem Continues Its Success On Its New EP

Courtesy: Shim Sham, LLC

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 Killing I, 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:

Websitehttp://zerotheoremband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/zerotheoremband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ztheoremband

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

Saul’s New LP Shows This Band’s Star Is On The “Rise”

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

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 and Breaking 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:

Websitehttp://saulofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/saulbandofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/saulband

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.

Awaken Debuts ‘Stained Glass’ Video

Courtesy: INgrooves/The Label Group

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.

More information on Awaken’s latest single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at http://www.facebook.com/awakenofficial.

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.

Mick Blankenship Debuts New Single, ‘Rule The World,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

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:

Website: http://www.mickblankenship.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MickBlankenship

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.

Saul Announces Release Date, Specs For Debut Album; Debuts LP’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Hard rock band Saul will release its debut album next month.

The band is scheduled to release Rise as Equals Oct. 23 through Spinefarm Records.  The album’s release will come more than a year after the band debuted its EP Aeons.  The band signed with Spinefarm Records in April.

The track listing for Rise as Equals is noted below.

RISE AS EQUALS TRACK LISTING:
“Trial By Fire”
“Looking to Fight”
“Brother”
“King of Misery”
“Get It Right”
“Rise As Equals”
“Inside”
“Don’t Close Your Eyes”
“Levee”
“Here and Now”
“The Toll”
“Things Change”
“Sticks and Stones”
“Welcome to the Machine”

Front man Blake Bedsaul talked in a recent interview, about the lyrical themes presented throughout the album’s presentation.

Rise As Equals is the full embodiment of all the trials and tribulations we face as a band, fathers, sons, brothers, and humans,” he said. “We write about everything from our biggest fears in songs like ‘Looking to Fight’ and ‘Don’t Close Your Eyes,’ while the title track is an ode to the wonderful men and women that make up our amazing fan base known as ‘The Equals.'”

In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted its lead single ‘King of Misery‘ over the weekend.  The song, which was co-written by Disturbed front man David Draiman, presents a musical arrangement will appeal to fans of Disturbed, as well as bands, such as Breaking Benjamin and The Veer Union.  That is evident in the combination of the stylistic approach and sound in the guitars and vocals, just as much as in the production of the drums and bass.

The lyrical theme featured in Saul’s new single is that of introspection and facing life’s problems, according to front man Blake.

“‘King of Misery’ is a track that we hope all people can relate to at some point in their lives,” he said. “It’s about being aware that your life is spiraling out of control and warning everyone around you that if they stay, you’ll only drag them down with you. We are the rulers of our own domain but there are certain life lessons that you can only learn in the struggle. At that point, we all become the ‘King of Misery.'”

Guitarist Zach Bedsaul added to his brother’s comments as he talked about creating the song with Draiman.

“It was a very unique experience being able to write a song with someone as influential as David Draiman,” said Zach. “His humble and down-to-earth nature made it such a comfortable experience. It wasn’t ideal having writing sessions over ZOOM. But we definitely made it work. We knew we wanted to write a song that once you heard it, it would give you an emotional concussion.”

“‘King of Misery’ is a blast into reality that most people don’t want to face and spend years running from,” added Zach.”

Draiman offered his own comments about the song and working with the members of Saul on the composition.

“These guys were a pleasure to work with, as they are talented, dedicated, diligent, and already armed with an arsenal of hooks,” he said. “I was honored to be able to contribute.”

More information on Rise as Equals is available now along with all of Saul’s current live dates and more at:

 

Websitehttp://saulofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/saulbandofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/saulband

 

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.

 

Silvertung Debuts ‘You’re Fine’ Video

Courtesy: Thermal Entertainment, LLC

Hard rock band Silvertung debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘You’re Fine‘ Friday.  The song is the third single from the band’s album But, At What Cost, and follows the debut of the record’s second single ‘World Gone Mad,’ which debuted more than two months ago and its lead single ‘Done My Best,’ which premiered Jan. 24, 2019.

The video presents the band performing its single in a wooded backdrop and combines that with footage of people dealing with their own emotional difficulties.  The song’s musical arrangement is a heavy, guitar-driven work whose bass and percussion flesh out its sound even more.  The whole of that alongside the vocal delivery makes the song a work that will appeal to fans of Disturbed.

The song’s lyrical content is meant to address the heavy emotions and thoughts that people are dealing with as they navigate the flooded waters of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement from the band.

“We wrote this song for you because we see the effects that mental illness has in life,” the statement reads. “But more importantly the strengths you have, you may not even know.”

In related news, a re-worked version of ‘You’re Fine’ is available to stream and download now here.

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

 

Website: http://www.silvertung.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/silvertung1

 

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.

Madame Mayhem Debuts ‘Breaking Down’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: FM Music/The Fuel Music

Independent rock artist Madame Mayhem debuted the video for her latest single this week.

Madame Mayhem (a.k.a. Natalie Ann Cohen) debuted the lyric video for her new single ‘Breaking Down‘ Friday.  The song features a melodic hard rock arrangement that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Breaking Benjamin, The Veer Union and other similar acts.

The song’s lyrical content comes across as a message about someone who has gone through much difficulty in life, but ultimately refuses to give up despite experiencing those trials.  This is inferred late in the song as she sings, “I am not breaking down this time.”  The energy in her vocal delivery emphasizes that resolve, adding to its impact.

According to information provided about the new song, Cohen co-wrote the song with Brian Vodihn (10 Years) and enlisted Grammy-nominated producer Johnny K (Finger Eleven, Disturbed, Megadeth) to produce the song.  He is just one more of the big names who played a part in the song’s creation.

The information provided about the new single states Billy Sheehan (The Winery Dogs, Mr. Big), Jason “J Bomb” Harrison and keith Wallen (Breaking Benjamin) also took part in the song’s creation.

‘Breaking Down’ is available to stream and download through Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon.

More information on Madame Mayhem’s new single and video is available along with all of her latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.madamemayhem.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MayhemOfficial

 

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.