Starset Debuts ‘Earthrise’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Starset premiered the lyric video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the lyric video for its new single, ‘Earthrise’ Thursday. The song is the third from the band’s forthcoming album, Horizons, which is scheduled for release Oct. 22 through Fearless Records.

The band premiered the lyric video for the album’s second single, ‘Leaving This World Behind’ late last month. Its premiere was preceded by that of the video for the album’s lead single, The Breach’ in early September.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Earthrise’ is similar to that featured in ‘The Breach.’ There is a heavy, but controlled melodic industrial/electronic sense to the arrangement in other words. At some points, audiences can make comparisons to works from the likes of Breaking Benjamin and at others, to works from any number of emocore bands. The song’s industrial elements meanwhile conjure thoughts of Ice Nine Kills and Fear Factory together in one. The whole gives the arrangement a unique identity that will keep audiences engaged and entertained.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the lyric video’s premiere. In reading the lyrics, which are presented in the video’s lower right hand corner (as with the lyric video for the band’s previous single), audiences are left to infer that the song is a heavy ballad of sorts. It sounds like a person declaring his or her love for that other person.

In other news, Starset is scheduled to launch a tour in November in support of Horizons. The tour is scheduled to launch Nov.3 in Asheville, NC and to run through Dec. 18 in Cleveland, OH. Stops in cities nationwide, such as Newport, KY; Dallas, TX and Nashville, TN are also featured in the schedule.

The band’s tour schedule is noted below. Tickets and VIP packages are available here along with the band’s current 2022 European tour schedule.

STARSET DEMONSTRATIONS:
11/3 — Asheville, NC — The Orange Peel
11/4 — Knoxville, TN — The Mill & Mine
11/5 — Atlanta, GA — Buckhead Theatre
11/7 — Ft. Smith, AR — Temple Live
11/8 — Dallas, TX — House of Blues
11/9 — Houston, TX — House of Blues
11/10 — San Antonio, TX — House of Blues
11/13 — Daytona, FL — Welcome to Rockville*
11/14 — N. Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues
11/15 — Harrisburg, PA — HMAC
11/17 — Philadelphia, PA — Theatre of Living Arts
11/19 — Stroudsburg, PA — Sherman Theater
11/20 — Horseheads, NY — The L
11/21 — Portland, ME — Aura
11/23 — Worcester, MA — The Palladium
11/24 — New Haven, CT — Toad’s Place
11/26 — Columbus, OH — Express Live 
11/27 — Newport, KY — Ovation
11/28 — Grand Rapids, MI — Intersection
11/30 — Bloomington, IL — The Castle Theater
12/1 — McKees Rock, PA — Roxian
12/3 — Buffalo, NY — Rapids Theater
12/4 — New York, NY — Irving Plaza
12/5 — Silver Spring, MD — The Fillmore Silver Spring
12/7 — Charlotte, NC — The Fillmore Charlotte
12/8 — Nashville, TN — Brooklyn Bowl
12/10 — St Louis, MO — Delmar Hall
12/11 — Madison, WI — The Sylvee
12/12 — Minneapolis, MN — The Fillmore Minneapolis
12/14 — Des Moines, IA — Wooly’s
12/15 — Chicago, IL — House of Blues
12/17 — Detroit, MI — Majestic Theatre
12/18 — Cleveland, OH — House of Blues
*Festival Date

Horizons‘ track listing is noted below.

HORIZONS TRACK LISTING:
“UNVEILING THE ARCHITECTURE”
“THE BREACH”
“OTHERWORLDLY”
“ICARUS”
“EARTHRISE”
“LEAVING THIS WORLD BEHIND”
“DEVOLUTION”
“ANNIHILATED LOVE”
“ALCHEMY”
“DISAPPEAR”
“ENDLESS ENDEAVOR”
“SYMBIOTIC”
“DREAMCATCHER”
“TUNNELVISION”
“INFECTED”
“SOMETHING WICKED”

More information on Starset’s new album, single, video, and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://starsetonline.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/starsetonline

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/starsetonline

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

Society 1 Tapped As Support For Upcoming Static-X Tour

Courtesy: Carcosa PR

Industrial rock band Society 1 will join Static-X on the road in the new year.

The band has been tapped as one of many well-known bands that will serve as support on Static-X’s upcoming “Rise of the Machine North American Tour 2022.” The announcement was made in a press release distributed Wednesday.

The band’s time on the tour is scheduled to run from the tour’s launch, Feb. 21 in Portland, OR to Feb. 27 in Sacramento, CA. The group’s scheduled run on the tour is noted below.

Tour Dates:

02/21 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
02/22 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox
02/23 – Vancouver, BC @ Rickshaw Theater
02/24 – Spokane, WA @ Knitting Factory
02/25 – Boise, ID @ Revolution Concert Hall
02/26 – Reno, NV @ Virginia Street Brewhouse
02/27 – Sacramento, CA @ Ace Of Spades

Also on the bill for the tour are the likes of Dope, Fear Factory, and Mushroomhead. Twizted is also scheduled to join the tour on specific dates.

The “Rise of the Machine North American Tour 2022” is to mark the 20th anniversary of the release of Static-X’s Gold-certified album, Machine. The band is expected to re-issue that album soon after the tour’s launch as part of that anniversary celebration.

Society 1 front man Matt Zane said in a prepared statement, he is looking forward to joining the tour.

“I’ve known and toured with most of these guys in these amazing bands for 20-plus years,” said Zane. “It’s unreal we’re all getting together in 2022 and still doing it. Really looking forward to getting back out there in support of the new album that [late bassist] DV [Karloff] and I wrote together.”

Speaking of Karloff, he passed in May of this year. He was 48 years old. Karloff joined the band in 2003 and left in 2018, just after the release of Society 1’s then latest album, Rise From The Dead (2017). No cause of death has been announced since that time.

According to comments from Zane, Society 1’s current lineup will pay tribute to Karloff throughout the band’s upcoming tour. It is just part of the way in which the band plans to pay tribute to Karloff, too. The band has released a tribute to Karloff through its official YouTube channel.

The tribute, which runs just over an hour, features interviews with the likes of Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction, Red Hot Chili Peppers), Raymond Herrera (ex-Fear Factory), and Skum Love among many others.

More information on Society 1’s upcoming run on the “Rise of the Machine North American Tour 2022” and the band’s upcoming album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://society1band.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/society1

Twitter: https://twitter.com/society1music

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

Fear Factory’s Latest LP Is A Mostly Successful New Offering

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Fear Factory has been in the news quite a bit this year.  Early last month, it was announced that founding member and guitarist Dino Cazares had joined Soulfly for its latest tour in place of Marc Rizzo.  That announcement was followed up with the release of the new companion piece to the band’s latest album, Aggression Continuum.  The companion piece in question is the isolated instrumental tracks from that album. Why the band would go that route is a headscratcher when audiences can hear the instrumentals just as clearly in the original album.  Speaking of the album, the 10-song record was released June 18 through Nuclear Blast Records.  The 48-minute collection is an interesting addition to the band’s extensive catalog.  That is due in large part to the album’s featured lyrical content, which will be discussed shortly.  The musical arrangements that feature alongside the album’s lyrical content make for more interest and will be discussed a little later.  The production that went into this record rounds out its most important elements.  When it is considered along with the album’s content, the collective items make the album maybe not the band’s best work, but still worth hearing at least once.

Fear Factory’s most recent album, Aggression Continuum, is a mostly successful offering from the band.  Not knowing whether the band will continue now that former front man Burton C. Bell (whose vocals are featured in the record) and founding member Dino Cazares was recently announced as part of Soulfly’s current lineup, it is a positive potential final offering from the band.  The album’s success comes in this record, primarily through its lyrical themes.  The lyrical content in this case is actually quite different from that featured in the band’s existing catalog.  While so much of the band’s catalog focuses largely on the issue of technology taking over the planet, this album seems less focused on that matter.  Right from the album’s opener, ‘Recode,’ the album seems more focused on general defiance and belief in self than on technology’s role in mankind’s fate.  Bell – again he recently parted ways with the band – goes so far as to sing in the song’s chorus, “Why deny life you dream about/Why deny your dream?”  Considering comments that Bell shared in recent interviews about his time with Fear Factory, audiences are left to wonder if these statements are somewhat autobiographical.  The mention of a generation being “left behind” and the encouragement to “open your eyes” serves even more, to bring about that sense of defiance.  It is a statement about taking control of one’s life.  That overarching theme continues through the album’s first few tracks just as clearly, too. 

On a separate note, ‘Manufactured Hope’ takes the band in another direction, though one that is still familiar within the hard rock and metal community.  In this case, Bell seems to take on the issue of religious hypocrisy.  This is inferred he Bell directly sings in the song’s chorus, “I am hypocrisy of faith/I will not believe/My mind will never be enslaved/I will not believe.”  His call of “ignore the facts in front of you/Deny the logic and the truth/Conform to mediocrity/You know it’s manufactured hope” in the song’s second verse serves just as much to infer the noted message.  He goes on to go so far as to note, “Faith is a weapon and a tool/Creating manufactured hope” makes the noted message seem even more the case.  Again, this is slightly new territory for Fear Factory, but not for the hard rock and metal communities.  That Bell and company would again, show that willingness to try something new at least for itself as a group, is welcome even in its larger familiarity.

‘End of Line’ meanwhile takes the band back to more familiar ground while also taking it in a slightly different direction again.  In this case, the song comes across lyrically as a sociopolitical statement about the state of the world today.  This is inferred right from the song’s lead verse and chorus as Bell sings, “Avoid the bloody streets/We’re living in domestic war/Gunmen in uniform/Murdering innocents at your door/This can’t be real/Assault on my senses/Depriving me of sanity/Fractured/Damned images/Praying for the final reckoning/End of life/End of time/End of line.”  The seeming message continues in the song’s second verse in which Bell sings, “Beaten to crush my soul/To silence me in shackled chains/Your lies like gasoline/Living every day in tragedy.”  All of this comes across as a commentary of sorts on police brutality.  That is just this critic’s interpretation.  It is inferred through the mention of armed gunmen at the door.  It conjures thoughts of what law enforcement officers did to Brianna Taylor.  The images being seen are in fact still damning.  It and so much more leaves many praying for the final reckoning.  The matter of being “beaten to crush my soul/To silence me in shackled chains” points even more toward the matter of police brutality, especially considering this year’s headlines.  Again, this is all this critic’s interpretation.  If in fact that is the case, then it is another example of how Fear Factory on this album, really strayed from its own norm and opted instead for something more widely accessible, lyrically speaking.  When it is considered along with the other lyrical themes noted here and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes, the whole makes clear why the album’s lyrical themes are so important to its presentation.  They are just a part of what makes the album interesting.  The musical arrangements that accompany the record’s lyrical themes are more familiar from the band and add to the record’s success.

While the lyrical content featured throughout Fear Factory’s new album finds the band seemingly move into new territory, the record’s musical arrangements keep the band in familiar territory.  From beginning to end, audiences will find that the arrangements pull from various points in the band’s catalog.  Right from the record’s outset, the band take audiences back to the sounds crafted for its 1998 album, Obsolete.  As the album progresses, the arrangements are more akin to works from The Industrialist, Genexus, and Archetype.  Simply put, the arrangements that are featured throughout the album are everything that audiences have come to expect from Fear Factory from one song to the next.  To that end, they will appeal easily to the band’s established audience base, and to more casual fans of the industrial metal realm.  Keeping that appeal in mind along with the interest that the album’s lyrical themes are sure to generate, the collective content goes a long way toward making the album successful.  Even with that in mind, there is still one more item to examine, that last being the record’s production.

The production that went into Aggression Continuum is important to examine because of how much is going on in each song.  The guitars and bass, each of which were recorded by Cazares, are so heavy and rich.  Bell’s vocals are just as powerful here as ever, too, as are the drums, which were handled by current drummer Mike Heller.  Considering the energy in each composition and the richness of each line, it would have been so easy for the songs to get bogged down in themselves, but thankfully that did not happen.  Rather, each line complimented the others.  The result is a record whose presentation succeeds just as much for its aesthetic value as for its content.  To that end, all things considered here make the album overall that much more certain of a success.

Fear Factory’s latest album, Aggression Continuum is a record that is certain to appeal mostly to the band’s established audiences, and just as much to casual industrial metal fans.  That is proven in part through the record’s lyrical themes.  The themes in question find the band seeming to go in a different direction at least for itself, than that for which it has been known.  By contrast, the musical arrangements featured throughout the record are more familiar from one to the next.  That familiarity, paired with the new direction taken in the song’s lyrical content, makes for plenty of interest here.  When the record’s production is taken into consideration, it puts the finishing touch to the presentation, ensuring the noted engagement and entertainment for the mentioned audiences even more.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album a work that regardless of the band’s fate from here, is mostly a success.

Aggression Continuum is available now. More information on Fear Factory’s new record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.fearfactory.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/fearfactory

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/fearfactory

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

Fear Factory Releases Instrumental Tracks From Its Latest Album

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Approximately three months after the release of its latest album, Fear Factory has released a companion piece to that record.

The band released its new record, Aggression Continuum: The Instrumentals Friday through Nuclear Blast Records. The record follows the release of Aggression Continuum, which was released June 18 through Nuclear Blast Records.

Founding member and guitarist Dino Cazares talked about the new record through a video posted Friday to Metal Injection. The record is available to stream and download here.

Aggression Continuum has produced the singles, ‘Disruptor,’ ‘Recode‘ and ‘Fuel Injected Suicide Machine.’

More information on Fear Factory’s new record is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.fearfactory.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fearfactory

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

Rock Super Group The Lucid Announces New Album Details; Premieres Album’s Lead Single

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Members of Sponge, Fear Factory, and an ex-member of Megadeth have joined to make a new super group.

Vinnie Dombroski (Sponge), Mike Heller (Fear Factory) and David Ellefson (ex-Megadeth) have joined with guitarist Drew Fortier (Bango Tango, David Ellefson, Zen From Mars) to form the new rock super group, The Lucid. The group is scheduled to release its self-titled debut album Oct. 15 through SpoilerHead Records.

Ellefson said in a prepared statement, he was looking forward to the album’s release.

“It’s been a real blast making a record with these guys and I must say that it’s refreshing to explore some new musical avenues….to step out a bit from what each of us have done stylistically in our own careers,” he said. “There was an effortless synergy that came with creating these songs together which is always amazing when working with new people. I’m looking forward to everyone checking it out!”

Pre-orders are open now. The album’s track listing is noted below.

The Lucid will feature the following track listing:

1.Maggot Wind
2.Deaths of Despair
3.Spoiler Head
4.Hair
5.Maskronaut
6.Damned
7.Breech Boy
8.Pigs and Sons
9.Parade of Spit

In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered the record’s lead single, ‘Maggot Wind’ Wednesday. The song’s title conjures thoughts of something heavy and intense, but ironically, the song’s musical arrangement is anything but. Rather, it lends itself more to comparison to works from the likes of Alter Bridge. Just as interesting is that even with that in mind, the sound of Dombroski’s voice as he sings is comparable to that of the late great Stone Temple Pilots/Velvet Revolver front man Scott Weiland.

No information was provided about the lyrical theme featured in ‘Maggot Wind’ in the press release announcing the band’s formation, album details, and single debut. However, in looking at the lyrics provided with the song, it would seem that the song’s lyrical theme is a commentary of sorts about the state of the world. That is just this critic’s own interpretation.

In other news, Ellefson and Fortier are scheduled to appear together at a trio of dates this fall to support their new horror film, Dwellers. The movie is scheduled for release on Blu-ray and digital streaming services Oct. 12. It is available to pre-order through various limited edition bundles here.

Ellefson and Fortier’s scheduled appearances are noted below.

Crypticon, Minneapolis, MN – Sept. 10-12
Dead Conventions, Fort Wayne, IN – Oct 15-17
Chiller Theater, Parsippany, NJ – Oct 29-31

More information on The Lucid’s new single and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://thelucidofficial.bandcamp.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheLucid_Band

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

Glass Helix Debuts ‘Control’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent hard rock band Glass Helix is making its view on the state of the world openly known with its latest single.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘Control‘ last month. The video features the band performing its heavy, new single against a video wall that is playing imagery that correlates with the song’s lyrical theme.

The band explained the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“The song “Control” is about encouraging people to think for themselves,” the statement reads. “A lot of times media and politics will distort facts to further their own agenda. Don’t be deceived and seek the truth.”

The musical arrangement featured in the new single is a work that will appeal at times, to fans of Fear Factory and to others of more melodic hard rock bands.

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

‘Control’ is available to stream and download through Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music.

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/glasshelix

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.

Every Hour Kills’ New EP Will Appeal To Any Metal Fan

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent metal band Every Hour Kills is scheduled to release its new EP Re:Awaken Friday.  The band’s eight-song record (its third studio recording and third EP) is a presentation that will appeal just as much to the band’s established fan base as it will to those who are new to the band.  That is proven in part through the 36-minute album’s lyrical content.  This will be addressed shortly.  The musical content featured alongside that lyrical content plays into the album’s appeal, too, and will be addressed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements, bringing the musical and lyrical content together to make the EP in whole, a presentation that will appeal to any metal fan.

Every Hour Kills’ forthcoming EP Re:Awaken is a presentation that metal fans across the board will agree is worth hearing at least once.  That is due in pat to the record’s lyrical content.  More specifically, the overarching conceptual story contained in the EP’s lyrical content plays into the record’s appeal.  The lyrical content spread across the EP’s eight tracks tells the story of an alien race from another world that comes to Earth and offers to save the planet from a pandemic that has ravaged the planet’s population.  There is a catch, though.  In return for providing the cure to the disease that has wiped out so much of the planet’s population.  The songs go on to tell the story of what happens from there.  Whether the band crafted this album in response to everything happening in the world today is unknown to this critic.  If not, then the irony is dramatic to say the very least.  The decision to go the noted route is nothing new for the band.  The group’s sophomore EP Fragile Machine took a Matrix type of approach, telling the story of a giant “server cube” that held the world’s “digitized minds in code.”  The band’s 2015 self-titled debut EP took less of a sci-fi approach, by comparison.  That the record’s central topic is such a reflection of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, coincidence or not, will make this aspect certain to connect with listeners.  The science fiction aspect of the story involving aliens coming to the planet conjures thoughts of the classic Twilight Zone episode “To Serve Man.”  It makes the story that much more engaging for listeners.  Keeping all of this in mind, the overall lyrical content featured in Re: Awaken does its own share to make this record worth hearing.  It is just one part of what makes the EP worth hearing.  The musical portion of the EP strengthens its appeal even more.

The musical arrangements that are featured in Re:Awaken are distintly prog-metal in their approach.  Each work is unique in its own fashion, too.  The band’s cover of Joe Satriani’s ‘Time’ for instance stays true to its source material.  At the same time though, the arrangement adds a certain heaviness through the guitars, drums and bass.  It makes the song such an impacting work.  By comparison, the more symphonic approach to ‘Anthelion’ lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Scar Symmetry, Starset, and Bring Me The Horizon.  The juxtaposition of the ethereal keyboard arrangement and the intense vocals, pummeling guitars and drums here makes for a composition that boasts its own unique identity that is separate from ‘Time’ and the EP’s other two official tracks.  Yes, the record boasts eight songs, but four of those are just instrumentals of the four main tracks.  Interestingly enough, ‘Time’ is featured twice even though the original song is itself instrumental.  That’s just something to think about.  Getting back on the topic at hand, ‘Anthelion’ is just one more way in which the EP’s musical content proves itself so important to the record’s presentation.  ‘Veiled Aura,’ which opens the EP, is yet another way in which the record’s musical content proves so important to its presentation.  The metalcore and melodic metal elements are just as audible as in the record’s other works here.  What sets the arrangement apart from its counterparts is that this arrangement also incorporates more of a mainstream melodic hard rock approach a la Sevendust.  From the guitars to the vocals to the bass, guitar and drums, the influence is undeniable.  The balance of that element and the death/black metal style vocals in other parts of the song, as well as the more industrial elements makes for quite the unique presentation in its own right, too.  When all three of the noted arrangements are considered along with that featured in the EP’s title track, the result is a record that is just as strong for its musical content as for its equally engaging lyrical content. 

For all that Re:Awaken’s musical and lyrical content does for its presentation, they are just a portion of what makes the EP such an engaging and entertaining work.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  As noted already, a song such as ‘Veiled Aura’ sees a lot going on musically.  There are melodic metal elements set alongside some death/black metal influences.  Those influences are joined by some distinct industrial influences.  The band did its own impressive job of balancing those elements.  At the same time, considering all the stylistic changes within the song and all the dynamic changes and performance styles, a lot of work had to take place in order to make the final product work.  Those responsible for the record’s production are to be commended here for that effort.  It paid off, needless to say.  The way in which the guitar arrangement was layered and balanced in ‘Time’ is another example of how well the record’s production was handled.  That is especially the case when one takes into account the subtlety in the ghost notes on the snare and the overall drumming against all of the guitar work.  The addition of the bass line to the mix adds even more richness to the work.  It all comes together to give this song – even being a cover – such powerful aesthetic impact.  Again, this is credit to those responsible for the record’s production.  The balance of the screams and clean vocals in ‘Anthelion’ and their very balance against the almost Fear Factory style guitar, bass, and drums is yet another way in which the production shines in this EP.  The keyboards really serve to form the song’s foundation.  The way in which the guitars, bass, and vocals build on that foundation.  They whole results in an arrangement that is just as impacting as the EP’s other compositions.  When the production put into Re:Awaken is considered along with the EP’s overall content, the whole of the noted elements makes the record a work that any metal aficionado will agree is worth hearing at least once if not more.

Every Hour Kills’ forthcoming EP Re:Awaken is not the first time that the band has ever taken the route that it did both in terms of its musical and lyrical content.  Even with that in mind, the band has crafted in this new EP, a presentation that holds its own against the band’s past works and those of the aforementioned similar acts.  Again, that is noted through the record’s overarching sci-fi story.  The story is a mirror image of everything happening in the world today, save for the aliens.  The musical content exhibits elements of so many of the metal world’s subgenres.  The production put into the record brought out the record brings out each of those subgenres’ presence expertly throughout.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the whole of the EP.  All things considered, they make Re:Awaken a work that every metal fan will agree is worth hearing at least once if not more.

More information on Every Hour Kills’ new EP is available along with all of its latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://everyhourkills.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/EveryHourKills

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/everyhourkills

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.

Static-X Opens 2020’s Second Half With One More Of The Year’s Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums

Courtesy: Otsego Entertainment Group, LLC/TAG Publicity

More than 11 years have passed since industrial metal band Static-X released its last album, Cult of Static.  Fans’ wait for new material from the band will come to its end Friday with the release of Static-X’s new album Project Regeneration Volume 1.  The 12-song record takes previously unused vocals from the band’s late front man Wayne Static and crosses them with new musical arrangements from the band’s original lineup of Tony Campos (bass), Ken Jay (drums) and Koichi Fukuda (guitar) to make the final product.

That mix of new musical arrangements and unused lyrical content combines for a record that is sure to appeal to longtime fans and those less familiar with the band’s catalog alike.  Each item will be discussed here.  Also of note is the sequencing of those arrangements and lyrical themes.  This will also be discussed as part of this examination of Project Regeneration Volume 1.  When it is considered along with the album’s overall content, the whole of the record becomes a presentation that is without argument, a work that kicks off the second half of 2020 on a high note for the hard rock and metal community.

With the countdown to the end of 2020 officially on, it did not take long for the year’s first great heard rock and metal album to see the light of day.  That album comes from veteran industrial metal band Static-X.  The album – Project Regeneration Volume 1 — is a strong new offering from the original Static-X lineup of Tony Campos, Ken Jay, and Koichi Fukuda.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question do show some links back to Static-X’s early days, but also shows a certain amount of creative growth from the band in whole.  The most prominent point at which the album reaches back to its early days comes early in the album’s 39-minute run time in the form of its lead single ‘Hollow.’  That song’s overall stylistic approach, with its steady bass drum beat, guitars and percussive vocal delivery style from enigmatic front man “Xero” immediately lends itself to comparison to Static-X’s breakout hit single ‘Push It,’ featured in the band’s 1999 debut album Wisconsin Death Trip.  ‘Terminator Oscillator,’ which comes shortly after ‘Hollow,’ but still early in the album’s sequence, is an example of the latter statement.  It shows that noted growth from the band, as it relies more on keyboards and electronics than much of what the band has offered audiences in its past albums.  It and a number of other songs featured in the album, rely more on keyboards and electronics than works from the band’s past albums.  The noted songs lend themselves to comparisons to works from other industrial and electronic acts, such as Frontline Assembly, Ministry, and Juno Reactor.  That is just as evident late in the album’s run in ‘Otsego Placebo’ and in ‘My Destruction’ as anywhere else in the album.  The sampling is there right alongside the keyboards and the band’s more familiar metal guitar riffs.  Now given, the band did go through multiple lineup changes over its initial run, so naturally stylistic changes were to be expected.  This record on the other hand takes much of the stylistic approach used in Wisconsin Death Trip and builds on said approach.  Musically speaking, that approach makes Project Regeneration Volume 1 Static-X’s best album to date.  Of course the album’s musical content is just one part of what makes it so engaging.  The record’s lyrical themes add their own share of interest to its presentation, too.

The lyrical themes presented throughout Project Regeneration Volume I are important to discuss because of the amount of ground that they cover.  From the personal to the peculiar (in a good way), audiences are offered quite a bit that will keep them engaged throughout.  One of the most notable of the album’s more personal lyrical themes comes late in the album’s run in ‘Bring You Down.’  The song comes across as being rather introspective as Wayne Static addresses a relationship that had apparently gone bad.  What situation is being addressed through the song’s lyrics is anyone’s guess.  That is especially considering how long Static’s vocals had been sitting unused.  That aside, it is a deeply personal work that will engage listeners.  Static sings in the song’s lead verse, “You were the one to be true/To be down/I was/Out of the black/You brought me/Into the light now/Now take your little pills/Headlong to overkill/Resent me/’Cause I represent what you hate/Don’t wait.”   He continues in the song’s second verse, “Bring me up until you bring me down/Take me to hell/Bring me back/I can’t tell/In the black and bring it back/I don’t wanna wait/So I’m gonna say this right now/I feel my mind is going/My discontent showing/And now I know, I know/I’ve got to bring you down.”  Obviously that last line, “I know/I’ve got to bring you down” is not Static saying he has to bring someone down, but rather, he is speaking sarcastically in a manner of speaking.  Everyone who knows about Static-X’s history can’t help but wonder if this had any relation to the band’s breakup or to something else.  Again, regardless, this content is certain to engage listeners and generate its own share of discussion among listeners.  It is just one example of what makes the lyrical content featured in Project Regeneration Volume 1 noteworthy.

‘Terminator Oscillator’ is another example of the key examples of the importance of this album’s lyrical content.  This song’s lyrics were penned by current front man Xero instead of Wayne Static.  While the song’s musical arrangement would be a good fit on Fear Factory’s 1997 remix album Remanufacture, the song’s lyrics are unique and quite intense.  The song’s lead verse states, “I am the senseless/The vicious/The wicked/Annihilate/Calculate/Devastate/Terminate/Obliterate/Incinerate/I am the vicious/Exterminate/Violate/Devastate/Decapitate/Assassinate/Exhilarate/I am the wicked.”  Its second verse, reads, “Suffocate/Desecrate/Devastate/Terminate/Obliterate/Disintegrate/I am the vicious/Exterminate/Violate/Devastate/Decapitate/Assassinate/Accelerate/I am the wicked.”  The song adds in its finale, “I want it/I need it/I’m gonna hunt you down/I am the senseless/The vicious/The wicked.”  Knowing that an oscillator is something that swings back and forth in a set pattern, and that a terminator is something that ends the operation of something, maybe this has something to do in the bigger picture, then, with maybe someone who apparently who has two distinct mindsets that are one.  Of course that likely is not precisely on point.  Being that this is such metaphorical (and intense) lyrical content, it is just as certain to generate its own share of interest among audiences, showing even more why the album’s lyrical content is so important to the whole of its presentation.  It is just one more example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important.  ‘Something of my Own’ is one more example of what make the album’s lyrical content so important.

‘Something of My Own’ comes across as another personal commentary from Wayne Static, and is sure to keep listeners just as engaged as any of the album’s other songs.  Static, through his archived performance, sings in the song’s lead verse, “All my life a new beginning/All my life not understanding/All my life it’s you and me/And all my life we disagree/See through the dark/See through the light/See through the black and see through the white/And all night long/See through these shadows/All night long/You’re all that matters.”  He continues in the song’s chorus, “Leave me to burn/Out in the cold/Leave me to learn/Things on my own/I’ve been searching/Searching my soul/Looking for something of my own.”  He closes out the song in its second verse, singing, “Three years ago/I didn’t know her/Now she’s gone/I sit and wonder/What went wrong and couldn’t tell/And now I sit here/In my hell.”  It would seem that this has something to do with another relationship matter.  What’s interesting here is the power in the song’s musical arrangement.  The lyrics alone seem rather brooding, but the song’s musical arrangement makes the emotion anything but brooding.  Rather, it comes across as someone who is angry at one’s self for allowing a situation to reach the point at which it did.  It’s another interesting matter that will connect with a wide range of listeners even with its seemingly personal nature.  When it is considered along with the other noted lyrical themes and the rest of the album’s lyrical themes, audiences learn even more why the album’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical content.  Music and lyrics taken into consideration together, they make for plenty of reason for audiences to take in this record.  They are just a portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

Project Regeneration Volume 1’s sequencing is important to note because of the aesthetic impact that it has on the album’s presentation.  From start to end of this record, the sequencing ensures that its energy remains at its highest point, barely letting up at any point.  The arrangements’ styles change slightly from one to the next, but even as they change, the album’s energy does not let up.  This means audiences will remain just as entertained and engaged through the stability in the album’s energies as through its arrangements and lyrical content.  To that end, the album wins for its aesthetics as much as for its overall content.  All things considered, the album in whole proves itself a strong return for Static-X and gives plenty of hope for Project Regeneration Volume 2, which is scheduled for release later this year.  Its release date will be announced soon.

Static-X’s new album Project Regeneration Volume 1, is the first great hard rock/metal album from the second half of 2020.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements, which echo some of the hints of the band’s past works but also show a certain amount of evolution from the band members, ¾ of which are the band’s original members.  The album’s lyrical content generates its own engagement and entertainment through its personal and otherwise themes.  Those themes will generate plenty of discussion among listeners as a result of that engagement and entertainment.  The album’s sequencing rounds out the most important of its elements.  It ensures that while the arrangements’ stylistic approaches change slightly from one to the next, the album’s energy never lets up too much.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Project Regeneration Volume 1 not only the first great hard rock/metal album of 2020’s second half, but one of the year’s top new hard rock/metal albums overall.

More information on Static-X’s new album, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.static-x.org

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/staticx

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/OfficialStaticX

 

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Tommy Victor Is In His Prime On His Latest Prong Recording

Courtesy: Steamhammer/SPV Records

Later this month, Prong will release its latest album to the masses, and the record, Zero Days, is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  The record, the 12th full-length studio recording from Tommy Victor and his ever-rotating roster of fellow musicians, is everything that audiences have come to expect from Prong – heavy yet infectious riffs and grooves, and equally hard-hitting lyrical content. That is evidenced early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Divide and Conquer,’ which will be discussed shortly.  The full-on thrash riffs and social commentary of ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ shows just as much as ‘Divide and Conquer’ what makes this record another enjoyable offering from Prong.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ also serves, with its musical arrangement and lyrical content, why this record represents everything that Prong’s fans have come to expect from the band.  It is hardly the last of the songs included in this record that serves that purpose, too.  The record boasts 10 other songs that could just as easily be used to show why Prong has crafted another solid offering in Zero Days and why it is.  The whole of the album’s 13 songs shows the album to be, again, one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Veteran hard rock outfit Prong’s latest album Zero Days is everything that Prong’s fans have come to expect from the band and then some.  The album, Tommy Victor’s 12th album under the Prong moniker, utilizes a solid mix of musical arrangements and hard-hitting lyrical content to make it one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

That is evidenced early on in the driving composition ‘Divide And Conquer.’  The melodic hard rock arrangement at the song’s center harkens back to some of the best songs included in the band’s 1996 album Rude Awakening and its forebear, Cleansing (1994).  That is evidenced through the song’s straight forward guitar arrangement and Victor’s own vocal delivery style.  Drummer Art Cruz’s own work behind the kit adds to that feel even more as does that of bassist Mike Longworth.  The whole of those parts makes this arrangement one of the album’s best musical compositions.  The songs’ lyrical content builds on the foundation created by the arrangement and strengthens the song even more.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Divide and Conquer’ strengthens the foundation created through the song’s musical arrangement because it hits just as hard as the arrangement with its commentary. Victor sings in the song’s lead verse, “There’s no relief/There’s just regret/Want to forget/Just can’t believe/Really don’t want any part of that/Just another bad experience/For what’s positive or negative/Maybe it’s all just relative.”  He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “You can’t go through life without these conditions/Divide and conquer/You can always rely on opposition/Face the sorrow/You can’t go through life without some division/Divide and conquer…”  This comes across as a message about accepting the good and bad in life rather than just the good.  This is of course only this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  That interpretation is made just as much as Victor sings in the song’s second verse, “You only see what you gotta get/You cannot get what you cannot see/Always forced into compromise/Always have to make the sacrifice/Things are not what they seem to be/Living in a false reality.”  From here the song returns to its chorus before making its way to its end, reminding listeners that negative will always come with positive, and that people should expect both sides in life; that only seeing one side is close-minded.  Again, this is only this critic’s own interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the ballpark of being right.  Regardless, it can be agreed by everyone that whatever the message, it definitely is hard-hitting.  When that message is coupled with the song’s driving musical arrangement, the urgency of understanding the message is driven home even more, making this song both musically and lyrically a work that so many people (especially in today’s world) should hear, proving why it is such an important addition to Zero Days.  It is not the album’s only stand out song.  ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ is another of the songs that serves to show why Zero Days is another solid offering from Prong, despite what some critics might have people believe.

‘Divide and Conquer’ is one of the best examples of how much Tommy Victor and company have to offer audiences on its latest album Zero Days.  Its driving musical arrangement and equally hard-hitting lyrical content couple to make the song a work that will entertain audiences while also leaving them thinking quite a bit.  The impact from the song’s musical and lyrical content makes it only one of the album’s best additions.  ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ hits just as hard as ‘Divide and Conquer.’  Just as with the aforementioned work, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which instantly conjures thoughts of Slayer, Hatebreed and others of that ilk.  That speaks for itself.  Considering that, the next step here is to examine the song’s lyrical content, which at least to this critic seems to be a commentary about the bigotry and racism that has become far too prevalent across the nation ever since the rise to power of the nation’s current “leader.”  That is inferred right off the top as Victor sings, “Forced into tolerance of what we disdain/Being irrational is how we exist/Someone goes around and it makes no sense/They are labeled and then disgraced/Caught in the ignorance and try to explain.”  He goes on to bring out the foolishness of the hateful views that are being expressed by singing, “I don’t care if you exist…Don’t f****** tell me it is what it is.”  He goes on in similar fashion from here with the same musical and lyrical fire, indicting those close-minded masses of the nation (and the world possibly) pointing out the dangers of their views, and the foolishness of those views.  It is a powerful statement both musically and lyrically that will be timely as long as such people and views exist in the world.  Considering this, it is clearly evident why this song is so important to the overall presentation of Prong’s new album. It is not the last of the record’s key compositions either.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ is yet another of the album’s most important songs.

‘Divide and Conquer’ and ‘Forced Into Tolerance’ are both key additions to Prong’s 12th full-length studio recording.  That is thanks to the songs’ powerhouse musical arrangements and the equally hard-hitting commentaries contained within each song.  The whole of those elements within each song makes each song a clear example of what makes Zero Days such a strong new effort from Prong.  They are not the album’s only key works, though.  ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ is yet another of the album’s most important works.  As with the previously discussed songs, that is due in part to the song’s musical arrangement, which can easily be compared to works from the likes of Fear Factory, White Chapel and other similar acts with its heavy, crunching, down-tuned guitars, pounding drums and equally heavy bass line.  Keeping this in mind, it is only one part of what makes the song stand out so distinctly from the record’s other tracks.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Self Righteous Indignation’ seems to this critic at least as a commentary about those people who think themselves so much better than everyone else.  That is inferred as Victor sings in the song’s lead verse, “A victim/Of the system/Who gives a damn about your needs/Won’t listen/To criticism/Disgust for everyone who cheats/My heart is cold/I cannot pray/I can’t look way/What may unfold/Your dismay/Just total disdain/Self/Righteous/Indignation.”  That seeming commentary continues in the song’s second verse as Victor sings, “No wisdom/So distant/A great sense of psychic grief/existence/Of symptoms/distaste for everything that’s cheap/It’s always known/All the demands/The helping hands/have no control/What you don’t have/Gets way out of hand.”  Once again, this is all just this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  It only seems to this critic that this song, lyrically, addresses those people who have that unnecessary God complex of sorts.  Sadly, there are far too many people of this sort around the world, and if that is indeed what Victor is addressing here, he does quite the job of addressing the matter.  Keeping that in mind, the song’s musical arrangement expertly couples with the power in the song’s lyrics and Victor’s own powerhouse vocal delivery.  It delivers a message of pure anger aimed at those people in question; a message that, again if that is the intended message, definitely hits home in a big way, showing once more why this song is such a key addition to Zero Days.  It is hardly the last of the songs that could be examined to show what makes Zero Days such a strong new effort from Prong.  Any of the other 10 songs that fill out the rest of the album could be examined just as easily as this work and the previously discussed works.  Considering this, the whole of this record shows Prong at its prime; a work that will definitely impress any of the band’s fans new or old.  They make the record a work that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Prong’s latest full-length studio recording Zero Days shows Tommy Victor at his prime along with the band that he founded so many years ago.  It is a record that shows despite all of the band’s lineup and label changes, is still as relevant and powerful today as it was in its infancy.  That is exhibited from start to finish through the album’s powerhouse musical arrangements and its equally hard-hitting lyrical content.  The two elements together make the album in whole one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It will be available Friday, July 28 via Steamhammer/SPV Records.  More information on Zero Days is available online now along with all of Prong’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.prongmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prongmusic

 

 

 

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Kik Tracee Announces Compilation Release, Live Dates

Courtesy: EMP Label Group/THC Music/Amped/O’Donnell Media Group

90s rock act Kik Tracee will release its new compilation record this summer.

Big Western Sky is currently scheduled to be released Friday, July 17 via THC Music/EMP Label Group/Amped.  The record will feature a collection of B-Sides, Demos and other rarities from the band’s classic No Rules/Field Trip era prior to its break-up in the early 90s.

In discussing the upcoming release of Big Western Sky, Shareaux said its release happened naturally.

“After all these years, why a Kik Tracee release now?  The timing just felt right,” Shareaux said.  We’ve been sitting on these songs for what, 25 years now?  Kinda pulled them out recently and listened to the stuff and thought..you know..let’s package this stuff and put it out there for the diehard fans to relive the glory days, if you will.  Or just get their Kik Tracee on, man.”

Shareaux added discussions with Thom Hazaert and representatives with THC Music led to the compilation’s creation and its upcoming release.

The announcement of the record’s impending release comes fresh on the heels of former front man Stephen Shareaux’s addition to this weekend’s grand opening of Ellefson Coffe Company’s first brick and mortar store in Jackson, MN.  That performance is just one of a handful of live acoustic dates that Shareaux will perform this spring.  His current live schedule is noted below.

Dates are as follows:

4/5 Live Wire – Chicago, IL
4/6 Rock N Roll Land – Green Bay, WI
4/7-4/9 Ellefson Coffee Co – Jackson, MN
4/10 Aster Cafe – Minneapolis, MN

Shareaux will be joined by his one-time band mate, guitarist Drew Fortier for the tour.  Fortier also performs with Shareaux as a member of Zen From Mars, which also features Shareaux on vocals, Chip Z’nuff of E’nuff ‘Z nuff and members of FLIPP and Fear Factory.

Shareaux released his debut solo record Golden independently in 2013.  He is currently in the final stages of recording Zen From Mars’ debut album.  More information on Kik Tracee and Zen From Mars is available online now at:

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

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