Cage9 Set To Enlighten Audiences With Its New Album, ‘Illuminator’

Cage9 has officially been released.

One of the latest additions to Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label Group, the band released its new album Illuminator this past Friday, June 3rd.  The album was released via eOne in the United States and Triple Vision Entertainment in Japan.  It is schedule for release later this year in Europe via SPV.  The band unveiled the video for the album’s lead single ‘Everything You Love Will Someday Die’ earlier this spring.  The video is streaming online now via YouTube.  It features footage of the band’s members and fans singing the song.

 

Courtesy:  EMP Label Group

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

 

Front man Evan Rodaniche discussed the video in a recent interview.  He noted the song’s family roots in the interview and the video’s recording process.  “This song is dedicated to my father, who passed away about a month ago after a two year battle with cancer,” he said.  “But even when I first wrote these lyrics at the onset of his terminal diagnosis as a sort of comforting mantra, in the back of my mind I believed my dad was indestructible.  I never thought I’d be adding an “in loving memory” dedication at the end of this video.  But then he was gone.  And that’s what this is all about.  We spend our modern lives wrapped up in our first world problems, completely disconnected with the natural cycles of the planet around us.”

In discussing the video’s production, Rodaniche noted the cameras that were used and the band’s general approach to making the clip.  We shot the video DIY with a couple Canon DSLR cameras, a black sheet in our rehearsal room and about forty non-actor friends, fans, and family who showed up one sunny Los Angeles afternoon in 2015 to mouth the lyrics to a song they’d never heard.  We aimed to bring home the message that no matter who you are we’re all in this together.”  He went on to not the song’s roots and sound in his discussion, too noting, “As for the song itself, it’s a little bit of old school thrash mixed with something more melodic and a little piano and acoustic guitar wankery to push it over the 6 minute epic-metal-song mark. (Yes, there’s a radio edit.)  He linked this in to a discussion on [Dave] Ellefson discovering Cage 9 through ‘Everything You Love Will Someday Die.’  I was the 14 year old kid running around with a worn out cassette of Peace Sells in his Walkman, he said.  “So having the dude that brought us pretty much THE most recognizable bass riff of my (and half the planet over 30’s) youth dig our band is a huge honor.”  He went on further noting, “Cage 9 originated in Panama where I grew up playing in a band yet having pretty much never experienced famous bands performing live to learn from, not to mention any of our idols like Megadeth or Metallica.  This definitely makes this chance to work with Dave in a mentor/label situation that much more amazing.  Very excited to be releasing our new album Illuminator with EMP this summer.”

Ellefson shared his thoughts on the band and its song in a discussion of his own even echoing the Megadeth/Metallica influence in the band’s new single noted by Rodaniche.  “Cage9 is definitely the real deal,” he said.  When I first heard ‘Everything You Love Will One Day Die,’ it instantly struck me as the closest I’ve heard to a song with a true Metallica/Megadeth core, with the radio accessibility to really connect with a modern rock audience.  And with the band’s history, and everything they’ve accomplished, they were a perfect fit for what we were doing at EMP.”

Since moving to Los Angeles the band has released a total of six albums and more than one hundred songs.  One of those albums was completely in Spanish.  The band has sold 25,000 copies of its albums worldwide in that time and played over 50 dates across America just last year.  It has also toured Japan and Central America as direct opener for Ozzy Osbourne, Bad Religion, Seether, and In This Moment.  The band has also shared stage time with the likes of Sevendust, Hellyeah, Karnivool, and others.  Even Rodaniche himself spent some time in the past as a member of Powerman 5000.  He also helped to co-write, record, and mix some of PM5K’s most recent albums.  That isn’t Rodaniche’s only production credit.  He also worked on ex-Flyleaf singer Lacey Sturm’s new album and work from Boy Hits Car, and others.  As if all of this isn’t enough credit to Cage9, the band has also received glowing reviews from its much more well-known counterparts including: Pop Evil, Korn, Saving Abel, Asking Alexandria, Devil You Know, and 9Electric just to name a handful of acts.

More information on Cage9’s new album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.cage9.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Cage9

Twitter: http://twitter.com/cage9

 

 

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Houston Open Air Festival Lineup Announced

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media/Danny Wimmer Presents

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media/Danny Wimmer Presents

The lineup for the 2016 Houston Open Air Festival has officially been announced.

Organizers with the Houston Open Air Festival have revealed the lineup for the 2016 Houston Open Air Festival.  The lineup will feature 35 bands over two days.  That list includes: Deftones, Slayer,Chevelle, The Cult, Ministry, Alter Bridge, Ghost, Anthrax, Pierce The Veil, Of Mice & Men, Sevendust, Baroness, Hellyeah, Chevy Metal, Buckcherry, Nothing More, The Amity Affliction, Max & Iggor Cavalera: Return To Roots, Avatar, letlive., Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, Texas Hippie Coalition, Young Guns, Starset, Sick Puppies, Skindred, Neck Deep, Sons Of Texas, KYNG, Twelve Foot Ninja, Gemini Syndrome, The Word Alive, Dinosaur Pile Up, September Mourning, and more.  Avenged Sevenfold and Alice in Chains have been named as the festival’s headliners.

A rolling discounted Early Bird pre-sale for Weekend General Admission tickets begins this Tuesday, May 17th at 12pm CDT/1pm EDT.  A very limited quantity of tickets will be available during this pre-sale.  They can be purchased online at http://www.HoustonOpenAir.com and will only be available while supplies last.  Their prices are noted below.

 

Early Bird #1: $89.50

Early Bird #2: $99.50

 

VIP weekend tickets will also be available at a cost of $234.50.

Public on-sale tickets will go on sale Friday, May 20th at 12pm CDT/1pm EDT.  They will also be available for purchase online at http://www.HoustonOpenAir.com.  Their prices are listed below.

 

 

Weekend GA: $109.50

Single-day GA: $69.50

Single-day VIP: $129.50

VIP Weekend: $234.50

 

 

VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes into venue, access to VIP-only area featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food options (for additional purchase), VIP-only viewing area of Main Stage, dedicated restroom facilities, and a VIP-only commemorative laminate.

A portion of all proceeds from ticket sales for the festival will go toward aiding the Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund.  The Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund was established by Houston’s mayor Sylvester Turner in order to accept donations for flood relief in the Houston community.  This includes aiding victims of the flooding that stemmed from recent storms that hit the region.  More information on The Greater Houston Storm Relief Fund is available online at http://www.houstonrecovers.org.  Danny Hayes, CEO of Danny Wimmer Presents, spoke with the media recently.  He discussed the timing of the festival’s announcement in relation to the city’s recovery from said storms as well as the motivation for teaming with Mayor Turner in his recovery efforts.  “Houston Open Air has been in the works for almost a year now,” he said.  It’s awkward to announce a major music festival in a city that has experienced such recent hardship and, in fact, we delayed our announcements out of respect for what Houston has endured. But at the same time, our festivals are about highlighting the strengths (or sometimes the needs) of our host city. There’s no more important way to do that right now than to support Mayor Turner’s efforts to help Houston recover from this spring’s flooding and we will be incorporating this message throughout our launch campaign.”

Danny Wimmer is the founder of Danny Wimmer Presents.  He shared his thoughts on the logistics of the concert’s location, its lineup, and more in his discussion with the press.  “Houston is one of the country’s biggest rock markets and, when combined with the impressive food scene happening here, it’s a natural location for a DWP festival,” he said.  “We’re thrilled to have such a diverse first-year lineup that includes Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains and Chevelle. With the inclusion of an incredible food experience and the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Row, we are kicking off a powerhouse experience that will live in the market for many years to come!”

The Houston Open Air Festival’s band lineup is just part of what audiences have to look forward to this year.  There will also be a special food and drink experience for fans who attend.  This includes the Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Whiskey Row and a massive Gourmet Man Food Experience  The brands featured in the Jack Daniel’s Old No. 7 Whiskey Row include: Jack Daniel’s Black Label, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Old Forester, and Woodford Reserve.  The complete lineup and menus for the Gourmet Man Food experience will be announced soon.

Houston Open Air is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, producer of: Louder Than Life, Chicago Open Air, Monster Energy Welcome To Rockville, Monster Energy Fort Rock, Monster Energy Aftershock, Monster Energy Carolina Rebellion, Northern Invasion, Monster Energy Rock Allegiance, Rock on the Range, and more.  It is sponsored by: Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, El Jimador, Fxck Cancer’s Dyin2Live, NRG Park, and SoHo Concessions, and more to be announced soon.

NRG Park is the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans and the annual Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  It is located at One NRG Park in Houston, TX.

More information on the Houston Open Air Festival is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://www.HoustonOpenAir.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/HouOpenAir

 

 

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

Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival Returning For Its Second Year

Courtesy:  Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

There’s big concert news coming out of Pennsylvania  today.

The Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival is returning to Pennsylvania this summer.  It will take place Saturday, September 17th and Sunday, September 18th at Talen Energy Stadium (formerly PPL Park), home of Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union, in Chester, PA, which is just outside of Philadelphia.  It will feature a lineup of more than 35 bands.  That lineup includes but is not limited to: Avenged Sevenfold, Alice In Chains, Slayer, The Offspring, Breaking Benjamin, Volbeat, Chevelle, The Cult, The Pretty Reckless, Pierce The Veil, Of Mice & Men, Ghost, Anthrax, Killswitch Engage, Chevy Metal, Baroness, Hellyeah, Sevendust, Motionless In White, Buckcherry, Trivium, Avatar, Max & Iggor Cavalera Return To Roots, Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy, Sick Puppies, The Amity Affliction, letlive., Neck Deep, Skindred, KYNG, Young Guns, Crobot, Devour The Day, Twelve Foot Ninja, Dinosaur Pile Up, Death Angel and Hundredth.

A rolling discounted Early Bird on-sale for weekend General Admission tickets and VIP passes starts this Tuesday, May 10th at 12pm EDT and runs through Friday, May 13th at 10am EDT.  Early Bird tickets and VIP passes will be available in a very limited quantity.  The prices for each is noted below.

 

Early Bird #1: $79 GA Weekend Stands, $99 GA Weekend Floor, $219 VIP Weekend

Early Bird #2: $89 GA Weekend Stands, $109 GA Weekend Floor, $239 VIP Weekend

Early Bird #3: $99 GA Weekend Stands, $129 GA Weekend Floor, $259 VIP Weekend

 

Zippo 2-packs will also be available at a price of $550.  They include 2-VIP weekend passes and 2 commemorative Zippos.  Single-day admission and general weekend packages will go on full sale along with VIP packages beginning May 13th at 10am EDT.  Prices will increase in the weeks leading up to the festival.  Current prices are listed below.

 

GA Weekend: $129 floor, $99 stands

GA 4-Packs: $308

VIP Weekend: $219

VIP 2-Packs: $550

Single Day GA (stands): $44.50

Single Day VIP: $119.50

 

VIP packages for the festival include: Stadium-level VIP main stage viewing, floor-level VIP viewing area for the west main stage, dedicated entrance lanes into the festival, VIP area with shade and picnic tables, VIP restrooms, special food and beverage offerings (for additional purchase), and a commemorative VIP laminate.

The music is just one part of the experience that audiences will be able to enjoy at this year’s festival.  Along with lots of great music there will also be loads of great food and drink, too.  There will loads of dishes offered by some of Philadelphia’s eateries in the Gourmet Man Food experience.  There will also be plenty of brews offered by breweries from across America.  The culinary lineup for the Gourmet Man Food Experience currently features: Braz-B-Q, Chickie & Pete’s, The Cow & The Curd, Dos Hermanos, Dump ’n’ Roll, M.A.T.T.’s Gourmet Sliders, Mama’s Meatballs, Seoulfull Philly, Sum Pig and The Tot Cart.  The breweries that will be at the festival include: Evolution Craft Brewing Co (Salisbury, MD), Fordham & Dominion Brewing Company (Dover, DE), New Belgium Brewing (Fort Collins, CO), Starr Hill Brewery (Crozet, VA), Tröegs Independent Brewing (Hershey, PA) and Victory Brewing Company (Downington, PA).

Danny Wimmer, head of Danny Wimmer Presents, recently discussed the festival’s return with the media.  He discussed not only the festival’s return but its expansion to two days this year and expectations in general for this year’s event.  “When we came to Philadelphia last year, we knew there was a demand for this kind of festival in the market, but the response exceeded our expectations,” he said.  Growing to two days in our second year was an obvious decision, and we’re looking forward to giving fans an even better experience in 2016.”

Geoff Gordon is President of Live Nation Philadelphia.  He echoed Wimmer’s sentiments in his thoughts on the festival’s return.  “Last year’s Monster Energy Rock Allegiance was a huge success on so many levels,” he said.  “We were proud to bring this venue their first ever concert; a record-setting, sold out smash hit. The audience had such a great time enjoying a unique experience of music and lifestyle — we knew in 2016 we could turn it up a notch!”

The Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival is presented by Danny Wimmer Presents, Live Nation, and Spectra at Talen Energy Stadium.  It is sponsored by: Jack Daniel’s, Zippo Encore, The Music Experience, Take Me Home, and Fxck Cancer/Dyin2Live, with more to be announced.  More information on the 2016 Monster Energy Rock Allegiance Festival is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.RockAllegiance.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rockallegiance

 

More information on all of the latest events at Talen Energy Stadium is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.philadelphiaunion.com/stadium

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/talenenergystdm

 

Audiences can also get advance notice about all of the latest events at Talen Energy Stadium by joining the free Talen Energy Stadium CyberClub here.

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

AHTY’s New Album Will Leave Listeners “Screaming” For More

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

Bow down, metal nation.  All Hail The Yeti has returned.  And it has done so in grand fashion with its long-awaited sophomore album Screams From a Black Wilderness.  The thirteen-song record is a musical offering that proves to be a solid follow-up to the band’s self-titled 2012 debut from beginning to end.  That is thanks both to the song’s powerful musical arrangements and equally engaging campfire horror stories.  Both elements combine within the course of each song to make Screams From a Black Wilderness a record that every metal purist should hear at least once if not more now that it is available.  The album’s opener and lead single ‘Before The Flames’ is a good example of how that mix of music and lyrics makes this record such a solid return for All Hail The Yeti.  ‘Witch Is Dead,’ the album’s midway point, is another piece that exemplifies the power of this record’s musical and lyrical material.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more example of that power.  All three songs, when set against one another, paint a clear picture of the power of the album’s musical and lyrical content.  Together with the rest of the album’s offerings, all thirteen songs make this fifty-nine minute record a collection of songs that is one more of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal records.

Four years removed from the release of its self-titled debut album All Hail The Yeti has returned with a new offering that actually bests that record.  That is proven time and again throughout the course of the album’s thirteen songs and fifty-nine minute run time.  Its opener and lead single ‘Before The Flames’ is proof of that in itself.  This is thanks both to its musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  In regards to the song’s musical content it is a piece that any fan of Hellyeah, Dry Kill Logic, Motionless in White and other acts of that ilk.  The arrangement in question is a mid-tempo composition that is driven largely by its guitar line and drums.  Front man Connor Garritty conjures thoughts of Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray with his vocal delivery.  That adds even more punch to the song’s musical arrangement.  It’s just one part of what makes this song proof of the album’s overall strength.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to the song as its musical makeup.  Garritty noted in a recent interview that the album’s songs are lyrically based on well-known campfire horror stories.  And the story behind this song is horror, needless to say.  It centers on the story of an orphanage that caught fire and killed all of the children inside.  It would be interesting to discover the roots of the story.  Though, the story of Vermillion’s Gore Orphanage in Ohio seems to line up pretty well with this story.  One part of the story even has the spirits of the children running through the woods, allegedly still on fire, screaming “Help Me” much as Garritty screams “Help Us” Save Us/Fire and flame are surrounding us.”  The little girl telling her parents in a letter (that obviously never made it to them) of how the fire started makes the story even more painful to hear.  That is not to say that there is any truth to the Ohio legend.  But the two stories definitely do sound similar.  Regardless of whether or not a relationship exists between that story and the story behind this song, it can still be said that the combination of the song’s story and its musical arrangement makes this song one of the album’s best and just one example of what makes Screams From a Black Wilderness a solid sophomore effort from All Hail The Yeti and a record that was well worth the wait.

‘Before The Flames’ is a good example of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s long-awaited sophomore album Screams From a Black Wilderness a solid sophomore effort from the Los Angeles, CA-based band.  It shows just as much why the album was well worth the wait.  While it is a good example of both, it is not the only good example of each.  The album’s midpoint, ‘Witch Is Dead,’ is another example of what makes this record stand out.  In terms of its musical content the influences of Dry Kill Logic and Hellyeah are clear and present throughout.  That is especially the case in the song’s chorus in which Garritty and company chant, “Hey, hey the witch is dead/Which old witch/The wicked witch/Hey, hey the wicked witch is dead/Wake up/Your blood runs red/As it drips off of your head/Wake up/The f****** b**** is dead” against the song’s pounding drums and guitars.  The chorus isn’t the only place in which those influences show themselves.  They are just as evident throughout the song’s verses, too.  Speaking of the song’s verses their content sounds pretty violent to say the least.  However one must keep in mind here that ‘Witch Is Dead’, like the album’s other songs, is based on a classic campfire horror story.  Considering this one can only wonder which story was the influence behind the song.  That is because in today’s era it sadly sounds like way too many real life murder stories.  Garrity sings here of a man who has perhaps murdered a woman.  That is inferred as he screams, “It seems like lately there’s no more you and I/Will not take this anymore/I come to judge you f****** w****/I bet you die alone/There is no chance in this life you’re making/All alone/So stop breathing/You sucked up enough.”  That’s just the song’s lead verse, too.  Things don’t’ lighten up any in the song’s second verse.  Garritty’s character screams here, “And now you’re mine/Your hands are tied and you’re squealin’ like a swine/It makes me smile/When I realize that I/Have you where I want you/I always knew it would end like this.”  It gets even harsher in the song’s closing verse.  That verse will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  But it goes without saying that whichever classic campfire story is the basis for this song, it definitely is a scary one.  And that fear factor, when set against the song’s musical content, makes the song in whole a work that is just as nightmare-inducing as it is entertaining (thanks to its musical content).  As crazy as it might seem, the mix of that fear factor and entertainment factor shows why the song in whole is another good example of what makes Screams From a Black Wilderness such a solid and welcome new return from All Hail The Yeti.  It still is not the album’s only other example, either.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more example of what makes this record such a solid and welcome return for the band.

‘Before The Flames’ and ‘Witch Is Dead’ are both key examples of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s new album a solid and welcome return for the band.  They are just a couple of examples of what makes it so solid and welcome.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more of the album’s strong points.  The song’s musical arrangement sets its foundation.  Its musical arrangement boasts a familiar heavy, chugging sound that is more akin to the likes of Crowbar, Down, and others of that ilk.  In regards to its lyrical content it is obvious right from the song’s opening verse that the song is centered on the Jonestown Massacre.  That is because Garritty screams right in the opening lines, “They were told to line up/And drink the glass of Flavor-Aid…would send them to an early grave.”  He even makes light of Jones having a hurried, agitated sense about him when he told his followers to drink the juice and commit suicide, as soldiers were coming.”  This depiction is spot on according to the story of what happened at Jonestown.  What’s really scary here is that the band even gives voice to Jones’ followers as they tell Jones that they drink to make him happy.  The way in which Garritty and company sing those lines makes the story so sad.  That is because of the knowledge that they had been completely brainwashed by that madman.  It also incorporates what can only be assumed to be audio of Jones talking to his followers in the course of the song in order to heighten the song’s impact.  It does just that, too.  That heightened impact, when set against the song’s heavy, chugging musical arrangement, once again shows why this composition is one of the album’s strongest points.  When set alongside the likes of ‘Witch Is Dead’ and ‘Before The Flames’ all three songs join together to paint a very scary picture in the best way possible.  They paint a picture of an album that will entertain listeners once more just as much as it will scare them with each of its songs’ stories.  This applies just as much with the album’s remaining songs not noted here.  All things considered the musical and lyrical material that makes up the body of this record shows it in whole to be a record that is a solid, welcome return from All Hail The Yeti and also one of the best new hard rock and metal albums of the year.

All Hail The Yeti’s new album Screams From a Black Wilderness is a solid, welcome return from the Los Angeles, CA-based metal outfit.  It is also one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal records.  That is thanks to stories that real or imagined are the stuff of nightmares.  The musical foundation set by the song’s arrangements adds even more impact to the album.  This applies not only to the songs noted in this review but to every one of the album’s featured offerings.  All things considered Scenes From a Black Wilderness proves to be a solid, welcome return for All Hail The Yeti and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  It is a record that will leave audiences and other bands bowing to the band as one of the metal community’s next big names.  It is available now and can be downloaded direct online via iTunes and Amazon.  More information on Screams From a Black Wilderness is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

 

 

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.

Rock On The Range Sells Out For Fourth Straight Year

Rock-on-the-Range-logo

Courtesy: AEG Live/Danny Wimmer Presents/Ashton-Magnuson Media

The annual Rock on the Range festival has done it again.

For the fourth consecutive year the Rock on the Range festival has officially sold out. This year’s mark is especially important for the festival as it marks the festival’s 10th anniversary. Last year 120,000 people from all across America and the world bought every last ticket to the three-day festival. This year’s festival will be another three-day event, running from May 20th – 22nd. It will take place at the MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The lineup for this year’s festival includes: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Disturbed, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch, Bring Me The Horizon, A Day To Remember, Megadeth, At The Drive-In, Lamb Of God, Sixx:A.M., Hellyeah, and Pennywise, as well as a number of up-and-coming acts.

Along with some of the rock and metal community’s biggest names and biggest names of their next generation, the Rock on the Range Festival will also feature some of the most well-known and respected comedians out there today. They include: Big Jay Oakerson, Nate Bargatze, Craig Gass, Bethany Dwyer, Madison Malloy and Grammy®–nominated comedian Jay Mohr in the Rock on the Range Rolling Rock Comedy Tent. There will even be a craft beer village featuring the top breweries from the region, new art installations, and activities special to the festival among so much more. ROTR co-executive producer Danny Wimmer discussed the sellout and what it says not only of the festival but of rock and metal as well in a recent interview. “Anyone who says, ‘Rock is Dead,’ hasn’t paid attention to Rock On The Range,” he said. “This festival has grown in each one of its 10 years, selling out in record time this year. Rock On The Range’s strength stands as a testament that rock fans are not only alive and well, they are flourishing.”

Whether or not audiences will be headed to the annual festival they can still get all of the latest information on the festival including performance times and more via its new mobile app. The app is free and can be downloaded via iTunes and Google Play.

Rock on the Range is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents, AEG Live, and MAPFRE Stadium. It is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jack Daniel’s, Zippo, The Music Experience, and Bud Light. More information on the Rock on the Range festival is available online along with all of its latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.RockOnTheRange.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rockontherange

 

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

…And So It Begins Is A Good Start For NoMara

Courtesy: Round 2 Records

Courtesy: Round 2 Records

…And So It Begins, the debut EP from NoMara is a fittingly titled first effort from the independent five-piece hard rock act. That is because the band exhibits over the course of its record that it has quite the potential. Speaking in terms of both its musical and lyrical content, it is a good fit with any of the acts currently being played across the country’s major mainstream rock radio stations. The record’s closer ‘Tesla’ is a clear example of that. With its mix of classic hair metal musical content and direct homage to the bands that made the era of big riffs and even bigger hair so…well…big, it proves to be the EP’s anchor. And ‘Cheap Talk’ with its hard rock riffs and lyrics that seem centered on the standard subject of broken relationships, it is an even more radio ready work. The modern hard-rock ballad that is ‘Broken’ could just as easily be used by any radio programmer across the country with its introspective lyrical content and flowing melodies. All three songs could each easily be used to represent the band on any mainstream rock radio station, regardless of said station’s reach. That is not to discount the remaining pair of songs that make up …And So It Begins–‘Sell Out’ and ‘Use Your Love.’ Both of those songs could be used just as easily by the band and by said stations. Regardless of which track(s) are used, it can be said that in whole …And So It Begins is in fact just the beginning for NoMara.

…And So It Begins is just the beginning for NoMara. The debut EP from this independent five-piece hard rock act proves that from its outset to its end. Every one of the five songs that make up the record’s nineteen-minute run time is as radio ready as the others. However in listening through this record, it can easily be said that ‘Tesla,’ the record’s closer is also its anchor. The four and a half-minute song is a musical love letter to the bands that made the age of big hair and even bigger riffs so…well…big. The song’s musical content makes that clear as it throws back to the sound generated by so many of that era’s biggest names including the likes of Motley Crue, Poison, and of course Tesla, thus the name of the song. The song’s lyrical content adds to the homage as front man Kelly Burdge sings in the song’s lead verse, “Didn’t have to be there/See it to believe it/It was one hell of a show/Big city nights/Arena nights/Exploding pyro/Stand in line for days/Gotta find a way I can get front row/Hooked on tasty licks/Catchin’ guitar picks/No matter where there’s room/Best get out of my way/I thank God rock rock ‘n roll every day.” The picture painted by Burdge’s lyrical talents paints such a vivid picture. It will put a smile on the face of anyone that grew up in that era when concerts were just as much about the show as they were about the band. Interestingly enough, Burdge’s own vocal delivery style makes him sound so much like so many of that veteran vocalists that he obviously grew up idolizing. That adds even more punch to the song. And it is just one more part of what makes this song such a strong, solid anchor. The song’s equally bombastic chorus in which Burdge’s band mates–John LeCompt (guitar, vocals), Thad Ables (bass), Josh Grissom (guitar), and Jack Larson (drums)–join in singing, “Just give me one for the money/Two for the show/Three for Tesla/On my radio/I got Poison in my pocket/Woman on my mind/Motley Crue-sin on the wild side/Life ain’t got to rock/Stil livin’ the crazy nights/Won’t get left behind/One for the money/Two for the show/Come on, come on/Who loves rock and roll” adds even more enjoyment to the song. And it doesn’t stop there, either as listeners will note in hearing the rest of the song. All things considered here, ‘Tesla’ proves in whole that it is a solid anchor for NoMara’s new EP and an equally solid choice for a single should radio programmers give the band a chance.

‘Tesla’ shows through its combination of musical and lyrical content that it is a solid anchor for the band’s new EP …And So It Begins, and that it is just as equally solid a choice for a single should radio programmers give the band a chance. It is just one of the radio ready songs on this record that make it in whole a recording that is just the beginning for the band. ‘Cheap Talk’ is another radio ready piece that would serve as a solid representative of the band members’ talents. That is thanks in large part to its musical content, which exhibits hard rock riffs equivalent to songs churned out by the likes of Black Stone Cherry, Hellyeah, and even to a slightly lesser extent, Pop Evil just to name a few. Again, this is in reference mainly to the song’s musical content. Such comparisons are not bad for the band either. It shows even more the band’s ability to hold its own against such bands and other more well-known acts. In regards to the song’s lyrical content, its lead verse along leads one to believe that the song would fit in just as easily with those acts as it paints the picture of being another song rooted in the standard theme of broken relationships. That picture is painted as Burdge sings, “I get the feeling/I’m being lied to/Right from the start I saw the signs/I should have listened/To intuition/Instead I fell face first.” He goes on to sing later, “You tell me you are staying/When you know you aren’t…your talk is cheap and I’m just not sold.” At one point, Burdge’s subject goes so far as to tell his unnamed target to pack up his or her stuff and leave. So considering all of this, it can be inferred that the song is in fact lyrically based in the standard topic of a broken relationship. While it is seemingly standard fare lyrically speaking, the song’s musical approach coupled with Burdge’s lyrical approach makes the song solid. It isn’t one of those oh-woe-is-me style songs that are so prevalent across the musical universe. Rather, the two elements combined paint a picture of someone going through that stage of realization of how much time and effort was wasted being with someone that didn’t care. That frustration is made so clear here. And it makes the song a work to which any listener will be able to relate. It makes clear, once more, why the song is another good addition to the band’s new EP. It is of course still not the only example of how much the band has to offer in its new EP either. ‘Broken’ is one more example of what makes …And So It Begins an interesting listen.

‘Tesla’ and ‘Cheap Talk’ are both good examples of what makes NoMara’s debut EP a good start for the band. They are just a couple of examples of what makes …And So It Begins a good beginning. ‘Broken’ is one more example of what makes it such an interesting listen. It is another good addition to …And So It Begins because it shows the band’s softer side so to speak. It opens with a beautiful, flowing arrangement featuring flowing strings and piano set against Burdge’s equally gentle vocal delivery style and work on acoustic guitar. This lasts perhaps for about ten bars or so before the band really launches into the song’s full hard rock ballad sound. That is just part of what makes the song a guaranteed hit for the band. The song’s lyrical approach adds more to the song’s interest. In regards to its lyrical content, it is that emotional breakup song. But it still is not that standard oh-woe-is-me composition. As Burdge sings in the song’s opening verse, “Daylight has faded/On you and me/Long before our time/As far as I can see/Tell me what to say to you/To bring back yesterday/Cause I’m tired of holding on/When you always walk away.” It becomes clearer that this is another song centered on a broken relationship as Burdge sings in the song’s second verse, “The only thing I have to hold onto/Is a shred of the past/Knowing how to bring you back/And how to make you laugh.” It is pretty obvious here what is being said. This could be someone speaking directly to another in a breakup, or even looking at a picture, thinking these things as he or she prepares to say them to that other person. It could even come as part of the fallout of a breakup. Regardless of before, during, or after, the emotional punch of that combination of music and lyrics throughout makes ‘Broken’ a song that will be both a favorite and a guilty pleasure among listeners and more proof of what makes not only the song but …And So It Begins in whole an interesting listen and a good start for the band.

…And So It Begins is a good start for NoMara. That is evident through both the musical and lyrical content that makes up the body of the record. That is exhibited through the old school hair metal homage that is ‘Tesla,’ the more modern rock sound of ‘Cheap Talk’ and the more emotional makeup of ‘Broken.’ All three songs are clearly radio ready material that could effectively represent the band at any mainstream rock radio station across America. That is not to discount the EP’s remaining songs–‘Sellout’ and ‘Use Your Love.’ Those songs could both be used as singles, too. Regardless of which song(s) is/are chosen it can be said of …And So It Begins in whole that this record is indeed a good start for NoMara. …And So It Begins is available now. It can be ordered online direct from the band’s official website at http://www.nomaramusic.com. The band is currently touring in support of …And So It Begins. The band’s current tour schedule includes a pair of stops in North Carolina October 22nd and 23rd in Murfreesboro and Hickory respectively. The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.nomaramusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NoMara-62336572326/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nomaramusic

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Audiotopsy Offers Audiences A Good Effort In Its Debut LP

Courtesy:  Napalm Records

Courtesy: Napalm Records

SRC Vinyl, one of the leading names in the vinyl community, announced last week that it will re-issue Mudvayne’s 2005 full-length studio recording Lost and Found on vinyl next month. The band’s third full-length release, it would be followed up by two more albums over the four years that followed before the band’s split in 2010. Since the band’s breakup, each of its members have gone on to rather successful careers with other acts. Front man Chad Gray went on to front the hard rock favorite Hellyeah alongside Greg Tribbett until Tribbett’s departure from that band in 2014. After his departer from Hellyeah, Tribbett joined up with fellow former Mudvayne member, drummer Matt McDonough, former Skrape front man Billy Keeton, and bassist Perry Stern and formed another band that goes by the name of Audiotopsy. The band released its debut album Natural Causes last week. The album, released via Napalm Records, is a solid slab of hard rock that fans of Mudvayne, Hellyeah, and other acts of their ilk will enjoy from beginning to end. There are hints of both noted bands throughout the course of the record’s dozen total songs. Lyrically, it is just as interesting with a number of topics being covered. The combination of that intriguing musical and lyrical content makes for a forty-nine minute ride that any hard rock fan will enjoy from start to finish.

Audiotopsy’s debut full-length studio recording is a solid start for the hard rock quartet. That is thanks in large part to its mix of familiar musical content and equally interesting musical content. ‘Headshot,’ the album’s opener is a good example of how that mix of musical and lyrical content makes this record a worthwhile listen. Right from the song’s outset the band grabs listeners through Tribbett’s driving guitar riff. McDonough’s equally driving tempo is just as effective in holding listeners’ attention as he keeps time behind the kit. Keeton’s vocal talents are on full display in this song, too as he sings what comes across as an introductory statement of sorts for the band. That message is inferred as Keeton sings, “Now that we’ve rode this far/They know just who we are…Driving this battle cry/Racing with bullets high/Heart pounding/Sweat pouring.” While it and the rest of the song’s lyrics could easily be left to interpretation, those few lines coupled with the knowledge of the band members’ histories with their former bands leaves one thinking that there must be some reference to the band members’ pasts. That’s just this critic’s own interpretation of course. And it’s just one part of what makes this song so interesting for audiences. What’s really interesting here is that if audiences were to hear this song without knowing that it was Audiotopsy, one would almost swear one was hearing Mudvayne. That is because of the similarity between the bands’ musical stylings and just as much for the similarity between Keeton’s vocal style and that of Chad Gray. The two sound so much alike that it is eerie. But in making those connections, the song becomes even more powerful of an intro for this record and an equally good example of what this record has to offer listeners in whole.

‘Headshot’ is a solid first impression for Audiotopsy in its debut album. That is thanks to a sound that listeners will find quite familiar as well as for lyrical content that is certain to leave listeners talking. It’s just one example of what makes this album worth at least once listen by the hard rock legions out there. ‘Lylab,’ Natural Causes’ third offering is another example of just how much this record has to offer all the headbangers out there. It is such a solid example of how much the record has to offer thanks to its mix of musical and lyrical content, just as with the album’s opener. This composition doesn’t have the same adrenaline-fueled feel as the album’s opener. However, that is hardly a loss. The heaviness of the song’s musical content does plenty to impress any hard rock fan. It is such an interesting part of the song’s whole because of the attention paid to its use throughout the song. It is used mainly in the song’s chorus to contrast the emotion exuded by Keeton in the song’s verses. Speaking of his delivery, it is a sort of cynical tone, which is in turn accented as he screams in the song’s chorus, “Loved you like a b**** baby/It’s all the same/Love is so strange/Loved you like a b**** baby/Say my name.” One can almost see as much of a sneer on Keeton’s face as he screams these lines and sings through the song’s verses as he does through the choruses. That image, established through the power of the song’s combination of musical and lyrical content, serves to make completely clear why this song is such a welcome addition to Natural Causes. It is just one more of so many welcome additions to the band’s new album, too.

Both ‘Headshot’ and ‘LYLAB’ are good examples of how much Audiotopsy has to offer listeners in its debut full-length studio recording. They are just two examples of what audiences have to expect from this hard rock super group of sorts in its first full-length studio effort. For all of the heaviness exhibited throughout the course of the band’s debut, it also puts on display at least one song that could actually serve as a fitting match with the country’s mainstream rock radio stations in the form of ‘Burn The Sky.’ It has that mainstream feel both in its musical content and that of its lyrics. It is a solid, heavy song in terms of its musical content. But it isn’t so heavy that it wouldn’t be a good fit for any mainstream rock radio station. Its lyrical content will have audiences talking just as much. Keeton sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’ve seen the stains made/I’ve seen the skies change/In came the turnaround/Back to the blackest town/Lost in the dreamscape…Out comes the blackest moon/Holding the hands of doom.” This sounds like a rather nihilistic line, given. But that darkness is immediately as Keeton offers what comes across as a somewhat more optimistic outlook in the song’s chorus. He sings in the chorus, “Starlight/Light up the sky/Black eyes/Blackout comes down/I got a feeling/Light it up/Out shadows back to the wall/Paper souls watch the sun burn it up/Tear it down/Leave ’em right where they fall/And burn the sky/Burn the sky.” It’s almost as if Keeton is saying for all the darkness, there is always a light and there is always hope. That inference can be made even more through the juxtaposition of the song’s second verse and chorus as it is presented in much the same manner. The end result is a song that both musically and lyrically will leave listeners thinking and talking just as much as ‘Headshot,’ ‘LYLAB’ or any of this album’s other offerings. Speaking of those songs they along with the three pieces noted here make Natural Causes a good first effort from Audiotopsy. Fans of Mudvayne, Hellyeah, and other bands of that ilk will agree with that sentiment when they hear this record for themselves. Those listeners that give the album a chance will agree that it is a record that any hard rock fan will enjoy from start to finish even if they hear it only once.

Natural Causes is a good first effort from Audiotopsy. Throughout the course of its twelve total tracks it offers plenty of familiar sounds that will put a smile on the face of any fan of Mudvayne, Hellyeah, and other band of that ilk. The lyrical content of each song makes for just as much interest as the songs’ musical content. Both elements coupled together make Natural Causes a record that any hard rock fan will enjoy from start to finish even if they hear it just once. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Natural Causes is available online now along with all of Audiotopsy’s latest news at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/audiotopsymusic

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