NeverWake Debuts ‘Trapped Inside’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Melodic Revolution Records/O’Donnell Media Group

Independent hard rock band NeverWake debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Trapped Inside‘ Friday.  The video takes audiences on a through a house that serves as the top of a person’s body, its halls serving as the visualization for a person’s mind.  As audiences are taken through those halls and even around the outside of the house, the lyrics continue to be presented.

Front man Johnn DiCarlo discussed the song’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“When dealing with anxiety and depression every single day, there are a lot of thoughts and emotions that keep you circling around and around, trapped in your head,” he said.  “One thought makes you turn to another, which turns to another, etc.  Pretty soon you’re full circle back where you started. It’s hard to break that cycle.  With “Trapped Inside” we show those walls that keep us in place and we tear them the fuck down. The song is a rebellion against everything that keeps one inside their own head. This song stood out to each one of us because it has a lot of power, but it has a melodic way of ensnaring someone. It captures people in a way that they can relate. But when it gets to the bridge, people aren’t simply just relating to the concept, they’re a part of the rebellion.”

Along with crafting the song’s lyrics, DiCarlo also was the creative force behind the song’s lyric video.  He also discussed the video’s creation.

“I don’t like classifying myself as just a musician,” he said. “No one is ever just one thing. I like to have my hands in a lot of different arts; I like to create. That’s why I decided to go full force in creating the art and lyric video for “Trapped Inside.” If creating music is therapeutic to me, creating a 3D world around a song is straight up medicine. I was able to take the concept of the song and push it so much further. In a way I feel like that’s what it may take nowadays. Whether we like it or not, we are getting out of the age of print. Album art only goes as far as what your spotify single picture looks like. To make this 3D world for this song helped me pair artwork back with music in a new way that can be appreciated by everyone in the new world.”

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Trapped Inside’ is a heavy, metalcore style composition that will appeal to fans of bands, such as In Flames, Killswitch  Engage and Avenged Sevenfold with its clean vocals and screaming, and its heavy, melodic guitar lines and pummeling, precise time keeping.

The debut of NeverWake’s new single comes on the heels of a month-long tour with The Veer Union.  The band is working on a new EP.  It is unknown if the as-yet-untitled record will feature the band’s new single.

Audiences can keep up with the latest developments on the band’s EP and all of its latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.neverwakemusic.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.como/neverwakemusic

Twitter: http://twitter.com/neverwakemusic

 

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.

 

Mark Morton Shines Again On His Second Solo Record

Courtesy: Rise Records

When Lamb of God guitarist Mark Morton released his debut solo album Anasthetic last March through Spinefarm Records, he more than showed the expanse of his musical abilities and interests.  The record, which joined Morton with a number of well-known names, such as the late Linkin Park front man Chester Bennington, Alter Bridge front man Myles Kennedy and ex Screaming Trees front man Mark Lanegan, showed Morton as a truly original and creative musician, not just one of the members of Lamb of God.  He followed up that successful offering this past January with his debut solo EP Ether.  The five-song EP, released through Rise Records, will get a second life of sorts June 19 when it is released on vinyl through Rise Records.  Regardless of whether one prefers vinyl, CD or even digital, the fact of the matter remains that Ether is a positive follow-up to Anasthetic.  That is due to the record’s musical and lyrical content.  Its penultimate song ‘Love My Enemy’ is one of the songs that serves to support the noted statement.  It will be addressed shortly.  The EP’s opener ‘All I Had to Lose’ is another way in which Ether shows its strength.  It will be addressed a little later.  Its follow-up ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which Ether shows its strength.  Together with the covers of The Black Crowes’ ‘She Talks To Angels’ and of Pearl Jam’s ‘Black,’ ‘The Fight’ and the other noted songs make Ether a wholly enjoyable follow-up to Anasthetic and one more of this year’s top new EPs.

Mark Morton’s debut EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut 2019 album Anasthetic.  Much with that album, this EP shows once again why he is more than just a member of Lamb of God, but rather a talented, creative musician in his own right.  That is evidenced in part through the EP’s penultimate song, ‘Love My Enemy.’  The song, which features vocals by Howard Jones (Killswitch Engage, Blood Has Been Shed, Light The Torch), presents an interesting musical arrangement.  The verses conjure thoughts of Alice in Chains, what with the layered vocal effect and the subdued guitar and drum lines.  The chorus however, boasts more of an Alter Bridge type of sound as the guitars and vocals step up.  The song’s bass line adds its own touch to the whole to make the work’s composition quite engaging and entertaining in its own right.  What is important to note here is the pairing of that duality in the song’s arrangement and its connection to the emotion and message in the song’s lyrical theme.  The song’s lyrical theme serves to make that reason for that juxtaposition clear.

Jones sings in the song’s lead verse, “Open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart/It’s alright/Eternity can die today/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We can greet the end alone/Sorrow needs an empty home/It’s alright/Years and pain can fade away/It’s alright/It’s okay.”  In the song’s third and final verse, “Jones sings, “There’s no replacing/The time we’re wasting.”  These verses are deeply introspective, needless to say.  That final verse is relatively clear, as it makes a statement about making the most of the time that we have.  The first and second verses meanwhile will generate their own hare of interest.  Maybe the lead statement of “open wounds before the start/This is where we fall apart” is a statement connected to the note of the wasted time.  It’s as if it is making a note about open wounds being a failure from the beginning.  The statement in the second verse years and pain being able to fade away seems to perhaps be a statement of hope, that the past can be just that.  This is of course all this critic’s own interpretation.  The song’s chorus adds even more impact to the song, as it comes across as perhaps someone battling with him/herself.  The chorus states, “I can’t live on memories/I can’ love my enemy/We cannot repair the past/A broken heart is made of glass/No, I can’t live on memories.”  This seems like someone who is torn with trying to overcome the thoughts of the past and look to the future.  It would explain why the song’s musical arrangement is so much more powerful in the chorus than the verses.  It would serve to illustrate the subject’s heightened emotion in this moment.  This leads the song’s more contemplative counter to those heightened emotions to make more sense along with its musical accompaniment.  Again this is all this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as gospel.  Hopefully it is somewhere close to being correct, though.  Keeping all of this in mind, the song’s lyrical content proves just as important as its musical content.  All things considered, the song in whole, with its engaging musical and lyrical content shows well on its own, why Ether is another strong offering from Mark Morton.  It is just one of the songs that serves to exhibit that strength.  ‘All I Had to Lose’ does its own part to keep listeners’ ears and minds.

‘All I Had to Lose’ is important to note because it presents its own unique identity separate from that of ‘Love My Enemy’ and the EP’s other songs.  The song’s fully acoustic arrangement is a radio ready composition that will connect easily to audiences.  The addition of Sons of Texas front man Mark Morales’ vocal delivery adds to that commercial viability for the opus.  The combination of those elements makes the song in whole a work that is comparable to works from so many mainstream rock bands.  The appeal created through the song’s musical arrangement will keep listeners engaged, and in turn, paying attention to the song’s equally engaging lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘All I Had to Lose’ generates its own engagement because of its own contemplative nature.  Morales sings in the song’s lead verse, “We were reckless for a season, now/Restless with a reason/I can’t tell/If we were victims of the vices/Or addicted to the crisis/Lived through hell.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “We laid with it/Dead and dying/Told ‘em all we were just trying/To be alive/Closed our eyes/I know that we could leave/The lies we didn’t want to leave behind.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “Watched the colors fade away/Reached out by the sun/left her for another day/Prayed it would never come.”  The precise concept here is not clear at least to this critic.  It comes across as something of a statement about perhaps someone taking things for granted in life.  Whether that is in relation to a personal relationship or something else is up for discussion.  It would be interesting to learn the exact relation of that seeming message.  That Morales sings in the song’s chorus, “And when you came up for breath/I knew there wasn’t nothing left to do but choose/And everything I lost/Wasn’t much compared to all I had to lose” adds to the argument that the song’s lyrical theme is a personal message about taking for granted what one has in life.  Again, what exactly was being taken for granted – whether it be a personal relationship or something else – is something that is left for interpretation.  Either way, the fact that this seems to be the message makes the song’s musical content couple well with this half of the song’s content.  Taking everything noted here into account, the whole of the song shows even more why Ether will keep listeners engaged from start to end.  It is just one more way in which Ether proves its appeal.  ‘The Fight’ is one more way in which the EP shows its strength.

‘The Fight’ is an interesting addition to Ether.  That is due in part to its overall musical arrangement.  This composition is so starkly opposite of any of the other songs featured in this record.  The verses are distinctly subtle, but not necessarily reserved per say.  There is a certain Sevendust-esque sense to the song from the band’s more recent works, in listening closely to the arrangement.  The chorus meanwhile pack a little bit more of a punch, but it’s not a knockout punch.  Even in this case, there is a certain amount of control.  It makes for a very interesting listen.  It is not necessarily a radio ready work, but still is worth hearing.  That unique arrangement couples well with the song’s equally engaging lyrical theme, which comes across as one of those songs about someone driving along and having enough time to contemplate a lot of life matters.

Moontooth front man John Carbone provides the vocals for this song.  His vocal delivery is comparable to that of Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon as he sings in the song’s lead verse, “Thundering down the cold, dark desert road/It ain’t the miles you’re looking at/Ain’t the pavement you see/But its ghost/And all the trials that lay ahead/Yeah, it becomes your only friend.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Rumbling ground/It shakes from the load/the burden that you live to bear/Deafening sound, it rings in your soul/Make you forget what brought you here/Now the ending ain’t so clear.”  While the song’s musical arrangement doesn’t quite do so, this portion of the song leaves one making comparisons to Bob Seger’s hit song ‘Turn The Page.’  It seems to have that same kind of lyrical approach; someone on the road, lots of thoughts on the mind, etc. etc. etc.  It is an interesting sort of update, although it likely was not intended.  The comparison is strengthened even more as Carbone sings in the song’s chorus, “When you live for the fight for too long/You burn for the bloody way out/But the only hope for a victory/Is to learn to lay it down.”  It’s as if he is saying, even with all the thinking and things on a person’s mind, a person may want a certain outcome, but the outcome we want may not always be the best outcome.  Again, this is all this critic’s interpretation.   Hopefully it is in the proverbial ballpark.  That aside, all of this is sure to generate its own share of discussion among listeners.  Together with its accompanying musical content, the engagement and entertainment ensured through the song’s musical and lyrical content shows once more why Ether succeeds overall.  Together with the two covers that join this work and the EP’s two other originals, the record overall proves itself to be a complete work and a complete success for Morton and company.

Mark Morton’s recently released EP Ether is a strong follow-up to his debut solo album Anasthetic (2019).  That is because it continues to exhibit Morton’s talents as more than just another metal guitarist, but a widely-versed musician and songwriter.  That is evidenced through all three of the record’s original works and its two covers.  The musical and lyrical content in each original as well as the adaptation of the covers do well to support those statements.  All things considered, Ether can be considered in whole, to be one of this year’s top new EPs.

More information on Ether is available online now along with all of Mark Morton’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://markmortonmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/markmortonmusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/MarkDuaneMorton

 

 

 

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Killswitch Engage Gives Audiences Lots Of Reason To Help Others With ‘Atonement II’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Killswitch Engage is stepping up and doing its part to help those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.  The released its new record Atonement IIB-Sides For Charity Friday to all digital platforms.  The widespread release of the six-song record b-sides collection, whose proceeds will go to benefit the Center For Disaster Philanthropy’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, comes a week after the band debuted the collection through its official Bandcamp page.  Considering it is a collection of b-sides and consists of only six songs, it will be considered by this critic to be an EP instead of an LP.  According to front man Jesse Leach, the songs featured in the recording were originally recorded during the sessions for the band’s 2019 album Atonement, but ended up not being included in the album’s final presentation.  The record presents plenty for audiences to appreciate in terms of its musical and lyrical content.  That is proven right from its outset in ‘To The Great Beyond,’ which will be discussed shortly.  ‘Killing of Leviathan’ is another positive addition to the EP since it is composed of only six songs.  That song will be addressed a little later.  ‘I Feel Alive Again’ is one more notable addition to Atonement IIB-Sides For Charity and will also be addressed later.  When it is considered with the other noted songs and the record’s other trio of songs, the whole of the record proves itself to be among this year’s top new EPs.

Killswitch Engage’s new EP Atonement IIB-Sides For Charity is a record that the band’s longtime fans will applaud just as much as metalcore and metal fans in general.  It is a work that, through its musical and lyrical content, proves itself to be one of this year’s top new EPs.  That is proven right from the record’s outset in its opener, ‘To The Great Beyond.’  This song shows real growth from the band in comparison to its past records.  Right from the song’s opening bars, audiences get a sound in the arrangement that is more of a death metal work than the metalcore for which it has come to be known over the course of its life.  The metalcore elements are still there throughout the course of the nearly four-minute work.  However, they are nicely balanced with the more energetic guitar riffs and rapid fire drumming, the steady low end from bassist Mike D’Antonio and vocals from Leach to make the song’s arrangement a powerhouse start for the EP and clear proof in itself why the record’s musical content is so important to its presentation.  The fire in the song’s musical arrangement works well with the equally engaging content in the song’s lyrical theme.

The lyrical theme presented in this song is intriguing in that Leach noted in a recent interview that the songs featured in this record were “written during a very difficult and uncertain time of my life.  They are written with two perspectives: that of a struggling, angry, frustrated man having a crisis of faith, life, and love and a man finding the will and the strength to change perspective, try again, and to fight through it all.”  This song’s lyrical theme would seem to have been written from the second perspective as he seems to be addressing his acceptance of his mortality, just as we all should.  This is a very difficult topic for anyone to address, but he has seemingly done so here, and done well in the process.  Leach sings in the song’s lead verse, “Suicide of the mental/In the mind, transcendental/Cauterized the wounds of a past life/Beckoning from the birth unto the afterlife.”  He adds in the song’s chorus, “I look beyond this mortal encasement/Severed beyond/beyond containment/I am prepared to die/Hear the battle cry/Feel the spirit fly/To the great beyond go I/I am prepared to die/As I testify/To the great beyond go I/Unafraid of my fate/From within burns the will to live.”  Leach adds to the discussion in the song’s second verse, singing, “Cut down this bitter dissension/Killing the path of ascension/We’re holding on to the fear of the next world/This fleeting location amid the many dimensions/I have escaped to death and resurrection/Unafraid of my fate/To the great beyond go I/I look beyond this life/I am prepared to die/Hear the battle cry/Feel the spirit fly/To the great beyond go I.”  This comes across as being quite the deep discussion, and one that could easily motivate and inspire many listeners to have their own change in mentality about such a difficult topic.  To that end, it is just one of the songs included in this record that serves to show the EP’s strengths.  ‘Killing of Leviathan’ is another notable addition to the EP.

‘Killing The Leviathan’ offers listeners another heavy, up-tempo work that shows its own sign of growth from the band.  This song actually boasts more of a thrash metal approach than the pure metalcore sound for which the band has come to be known.  The metalcore elements are there again.  But as noted, the thrash approach is more evident than the metal core elements, even as the two elements are relatively balanced.  That continued exhibition of growth from the band through the song’s musical arrangement is another positive sign for the band and for audiences as they take in the record.  What’s more, the energy in the song’s arrangement works well with the song’s lyrical theme, which comes across as being about overcoming one’s own inner demons.

The seeming theme of the noted internal struggle is inferred as Leach sings in the song’s lead verse, “Leviathan is now approaching/Seeping/Crawling on me/Drawing closer to the center/Anxiety torments me/I know you by name/It’s always the same/Fall from the light consumed within/Deep inside/My hell is closing in.”  The song’s chorus adds to the inference as Leach sings, “Crawl deep under my skin/Screaming/Leviathan, I’ll kill you within/You will not win against me/Leviathan, this is the end/This is the end.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “The voices in my head/This war is fought within/You can’t control me/I will destroy in the end.”  Leach puts the accent on his statement in the song’s third and final verse, singing, “Ever-changing circumstance/Triggering this dark war dance/I’ll fight against you/I will annihilate you/The killing of Leviathan.”  Again, this certainly would seem to be Leach making a statement about battling himself internally, and telling those inner demons, those negative thoughts, that he will succeed.  This is truly another inspirational statement for any listener.  It’s one more way in which this record proves itself so notable.  ‘I Feel Alive Again’ also proves the strength of KsE’s new record in its own way.

‘I Feel Alive’ stands out in part because its arrangement is yet another sign of growth and change from the band.  Instead of the death metal or even thrash elements, this song blends together the band’s familiar metalcore elements with a much more melodic side that could be argued to be more of an emocore sound.  That is evident in the balance of the screaming and clean vocals from Leach and the harmonics in the guitar work.  It is yet another welcome change of pace that the band’s most devoted listeners will appreciate.  It also does well in illustrating the emotions evoked through the song’s positive lyrical content.

The lyrical content in question comes from that less positive perspective that Leach discussed in the noted interview.  That is inferred as Leach sings, “One last caress in a world so desperate/Holding on to a shred of hope only by a thread/Waiting for someone/Someone to be there/To remind us that we can heal our disrepair/Can we not see there is a need/A need to  disconnect this cycle of dismay/This desperation is now deeper than you know/Longing to hear a voice say you’re not alone/So with these words I’m reaching out/To say that I fought through and found my way again.”  This lead verse seems to show someone who is dealing with those difficult thoughts and emotions, but isn’t just ready to give up, which would explain the sound and feeling in the song’s arrangement.  Things seem to get better for him as he sings in the song’s chorus, “This is where it all began/I found the strength to try again/I feel alive again/I fight beyond the pain.”  It would seem that he found that inspiration and managed to fight those feelings and thoughts.  Of course that is proven in the other noted songs, that he won that inner battle.  Leach adds in the song’s second verse, “Looking through the darkness/The nothing/The worthlessness/Looking for the light/Beyond the grey of sorrow’s song/Before the fall is where the last hope is found/Desperate for a release/To give just a glimpse of peace/A fleeting clarity/A sense of things beyond our eyes/We may never be complete/but in this life we seem to feel alive.”  This would seem to be someone who was searching desperately for that help and clearly did find it.  Once again it goes right along with Leach’s noted discussion about the songs in this record reflecting his won personal struggles and his overcoming them.  Because these experiences and thoughts are so relatable, it makes them that much more ability to connect with listeners, and this song proves that just as much as the others featured in the EP.  When all three songs are considered along with these three songs, the record in whole proves itself to be another strong offering from Killswitch Engage that the band’s established fans will enjoy just as much as hard rock and metal fans in general.

Killswitch Engage’s new follow-up to its 2019 album Atonement, Atonement IIB-Sides For Charity is a strong new offering from the band and a work whose musical and lyrical content is certain to engage and entertain a wide range of listeners.  That is proven through the record’s musical arrangements and its lyrical themes.  All three of the songs featured here serve to support those statements.  The same can be said of the record’s other trio of songs.  All things considered, the record proves itself a great purchase for hard rock and metal fans and for KsE’s established fan base, and a great way to help others who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.  It also proves itself to be one of the year’s top new EPs.  The record is available online through all major digital outlets.  More information on the EP is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

Websitehttp://www.killswitchengage.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/killswitchengage

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/kseofficial

 

 

 

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

Killswitch Engage Releases New Record To Raise Funds For COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Killswitch Engage is stepping up and doing its part to help those impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The band released a new collection of songs Friday to help raise money for the Center for Disaster Philanthropy‘s COVID-19 Relief Fund.  The collection, Atonement II BSides For Charity, six songs recorded during the sessions for the band’s 2019 album Atonement.  the songs are available to download now through KsE’s official Bandcamp page for one week beginning May 1, and will be available at all other digital service providers May 8.

KsE front man Jesse Leach talked about the songs featured for the new record in a recent interview.

“These songs didn’t make the final cut for Atonement,” said Leach.  “Choosing which songs make an album remains a tough process for me.  While the songs that made the most sense appear on the album, I’m still very attached to every song I write.  So, when the idea came up to put these B-sides out and donate funds to a charity, I was relieved at the idea and the band unanimously agreed to the cause.  I am proud these songs get to see a release, and to help others in the process is a huge bonus.”

Leach additionally discussed the songs’ background during his interview.

“These songs were written during a very difficult and uncertain time of my life,” he said. They are written with two perspectives: that of a struggling, angry, frustrated man having a crisis of faith, life, and love and a man finding the will and the strength to change perspective, try again, and to fight through it all. Although these songs may not have made the cut for the album, they are deeply meaningful songs that I believe in whole heartedly. Lyrically, they are some of my favorites that I have written. From the very personal ‘Hollow Convictions,’ ‘No Devotion,’ and ‘I Feel Alive Again,’ to the battle cry songs of ‘Killing of Leviathan,’ ‘Prophets of Treason,’ and ‘The Great Beyond,’ it tells the story of my journey and my view of the world around me.”

Along with talking about the songs and the record’s release, Leach also offered gratitude to all involved for its release.

“Big thanks to Metal Blade for partnering up with us on this! Also thank you to Center for Disaster Philanthropy for their amazing work! Lastly, thanks to all of you for purchasing the songs and contributing to helping those who are in desperate need during these uncertain times.”

The track listing for Atonement II BSides For Charity is noted below.

 

 

Atonement II B-Sides For Charity track-listing:
1. To The Great Beyond
2. Hollow Convictions
3. Killing of Leviathan
4. No Devotion
5. I Feel Alive Again
6. Prophets of Treason

 

More information on Killswitch Engages’s new record is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.killswitchengage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kseofficial

 

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.

Seasons Debuts ‘Violence Is A Virtue’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent metal outfit Seasons debuted the video for its latest single last week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘Violence is a Virtue‘ April 21.  The song’s musical arrangement is a heavy work whose foundation is formed through its guitars, vocals and drums.  It crosses metalcore elements with some death metal sounds for a whole that will reach a wide range of metal fans.  The initial comparisons that can be made through the song’s musical arrangement is to works from the likes of Whitechapel, Killswitch Engage and August Burns Red.

The lyrical theme featured in the song will reach its own share of listeners, as it focuses on someone dealing with the difficult thoughts and emotions that lie just beneath the surface.

Front man Ken Stewart explained the song’s lyrical concept in a recent interview.

“This song is about how I feel about myself and the world around me to a degree,” he said.  “The overwhelming nature of the world and repetition of the day in, day out routine is stifling and limits us as creators.”

‘Violence is a Virtue’ is available to stream and download through Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and Google Play.

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

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/SeasonsRVA

 

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.

Devin Townsend’s ‘Empath’ Gives The Best Feeling For Audiences In This Year’s New Hard Rock/Metal Field

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

This year is one of the strongest in recent memory for metal masses around the world.  This year saw new releases — powerful new releases at that — from some of the most well-known and respected names in the metal community.  Slipknot’s new album We Are Not Your Kind is just one of those important new releases that the metal masses received this year.  Amon Amarth’s new album Berserker gave the masses just as much to appreciate, as did new albums from Dragonforce, Killswitch Engage and The Offering.

Between those records and so many others, it goes without saying that developing a list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums was anything but easy.  That’s especially the case considering the release early this year, of Devin Townsend’s new album Empath, Hyvmine’s new LP Retaliation and up-and-comers Alien Weaponry’s debut album Tu.  This critic took a long time trying to assemble this list.  It was not a chore taken lightly.  As with other lists from this critic, it features the Top 10 New Hard Rock/Metal albums as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2019 Top 10 New Hard Rock/Metal Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

  1. Devin Townsend — Empath
  2. Slipknot — We Are Not Your Kind
  3. Amon Amarth — Berserker
  4. Overkill — The Wings of War
  5. The Offering — Home
  6. Bad Blood — Bad Blood
  7. Whitechapel — The Valley
  8. Hyvmine — Retaliation
  9. Dragonforce — Extreme Power Metal
  10. Of Mice & Men — EARTHANDSKY
  11. Dream Theater — Distance Over Time
  12. Killswitch Engage — Atonement
  13. Awake At Last — The Change
  14. Corroded — Bitter
  15. Alien Weaponry — Tu

 

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

Strong Musical, Lyrical Content Makes ‘Atonement’ Appealing For KsE’s Fans, Metalcore Fans Alike

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The members of Killswitch Engage received some positive news this week.  The band received a Grammy® Award nomination for “Best Metal Performance” for its single ‘Unleashed,’ which is featured in the band’s latest full-length studio recording Atonement.  The album, the band’s eighth overall album and first for Metal Blade Records, was released Aug. 16.  The band is in the midst of a tour in support of Atonement, which will see the band perform at the Ritz in Raleigh, NC on March 15. It is just one of the performances included in the band’s current tour schedule, during which audiences will get to hear ‘Unleashed’ and many other songs from the recently released 11-song album.  The nomination for ‘Unleashed’ is justified, as it is just one of the songs that puts the album’s overall strength on display.  ‘Know Your Enemy’ also serves to show the strength of KsE’s latest studio recording.  The same can also be said of ‘The Crownless King,’ which comes early in the album’s 39-minute run time.  Each of the songs noted here plays its own crucial part in exhibiting the overall strength of Atonement.  When they are considered with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album proves the record to be an offering from KsE that holds its own with its fellow metalcore counterparts this year.

Metalcore outfit Killswitch Engage’s latest album Atonement is a record that will easily appeal to fans of the band and the genre in whole.  That is because both musically and lyrically, it is everything that audiences have come to expect from the Boston, MA-based band.  The album’s Grammy® Award-nominated single – and album opener – ‘Unleashed’ is just one of the songs that supports the noted statements.  The song’s musical arrangement plays its own part in showing why the song has proven so worthy of an award.  The fire and the energy in the heavy, guitar and bass-driven work wastes little time grabbing listeners’ attention as it builds quickly in its opening crescendo into its steady, familiar metalcore sound with measured guitars and steady time keeping. That full-on approach in the song’s arrangement couples well with the song’s lyrical content to accent the emotion in said content.

The song’s lyrical content is just as fiery as its musical content, with front man Jesse Leach sings/screams in the song’s lead verse, “Deceive me/Release me/Unleash me/You’ve unleashed the wild within/Welcome to the madness/That dwells inside these eyes/Pushed unto the breaking point/You’re running out of time/This innocent blood is on your hands (Deceive me)/Come face to face with the final stand (Release me)/It’s the part of me you can’t comprehend (Unleash me)/You’ve unleashed the wild within/The wild within.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “You who spoke defiance/You who spoke in jest/The last of all my tolerance/Has left this broken man.” He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “I remind you time and time again/You’ve broken the restraints against your heart/Against the dark/Can you feel the pain of those you’ve betrayed/The promises unmade/Broken hearts that fill with shame/And you’re to blame/Do they call your name?/There’s nothing left to say/Nothing left to say.”  There is little doubt here as to the focus of the song’s lyrical content considering all of this.  This is pure defiance against someone who has brought out the worst in someone else because that antagonist simply would not let up in their wrongdoing.  As Leach notes in the second verse, “The last of all my tolerance/Has left this broken man.”  This is someone who has put up with the noted wrongdoing for far too long and is saying to the antagonist, “no more.”  This is a situation to which so many listeners can relate.  Everyone has been in this point where they want to explode and say the same to certain people in their own lives.  By having this song to which they can relate, the composition will hopefully help listeners who have been or are in that situation so that they can release their own frustrations.  Considering the power in the song’s musical and lyrical content, it is clear why this song earned KsE a Grammy® Award nomination.  It is just one of the songs featured in this record that shows the album’s strength.  ‘Know Your Enemy’ also serves to who what makes the album appealing for audiences.

‘Know Your Enemy’ should not be confused with Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Know Your Enemy.’  The two songs are their own unique works.  KsE did not cover RATM’s work here.  However, it is definitely as defiant as RATM’s work in its lyrical content, which will be addressed momentarily.  The song’s musical arrangement forms its foundation.  This driving, upbeat work boasts its own identity unique from the rest of the album’s compositions, this time featuring a steady, driving guitar line instead of the djent style work of the album’s opener.  Rather, this arrangement boasts more of a melodic metal sort of approach.  That steady, driving arrangement forms a solid foundation for the song, with the noted lyrical content adding even more to the whole.

Leach sings/screams in the song’s lead verse, “Bow down to no one/resist the system/Lost in uncertainty/Divided in our strife/No comprehension of the conflict of our lives/become enslaved in a technological haze/In the crosshairs of a weapon/That dissuades our brains/The target is in site/Mental imprisonment/They’ll take you down from the inside (inside)/Self-destruction on command.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Resist – And fight back/Our minds – Under attack/Destroy – Their authority/And know your enemy/Protest – Demonstrate/We must – Retaliate/Bow down – To no one/An know your enemy.”  The song continues on in the same fashion as it progresses, with Leach even noting late in the song, “It runs much deeper than you think/You’ll never see who pulls the strings/You’ve got to know/Know your enemy/Force fed illusions/in this world of confusion/You have to know/Know your enemy.”  There is no doubt this is a sociopolitical commentary from the band that is urging people to be aware of everything going on and to (pardon the term) take the power back..  It definitely does not and will not fall on deaf ears, either.  It is just one more way in which Atonement proves to be another positive offering from KsE.

‘Unleashed’ and ‘Know Your Enemy’ are both key additions to Atonement.  Each song is distinct from the other both musically and lyrically, giving listeners collectively plenty to appreciate.  While they go a long way to show why Atonement will appeal to the aforementioned audiences, they are just a sample of the album’s positives.  ‘The Crownless King’ is another example of what makes this record another work that will appeal to the band’s fans and to metalcore fans alike.  ‘The Crownless King’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement, which boasts another familiar sound from the band.  There is a certain old school thrash sound coupled with the band’s own metalcore sound and the mix of Leach’s growls and clean vocals to make the whole of the song one of the album’s most notable works.

The song’s musical arrangement goes a long way to make the song stand out among Atonement’s overall body of work.  It is just one important part of the song, though.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important as its musical content.  The song’s lyrical content comes across as another sociopolitical commentary, this time perhaps very intentionally directed.  Leach sings in the song’s lead verse, “Abolition to this illusion/And all the monuments of hypocrisy/Burn them – Burn them to the ground/Destroy them – They’re useless to us now/Tear down the reminders of a crownless king/this imposter claims authority/Indignation is closing in/You choose a war/A war you cannot win/No one – No one can save you now/Cast down – Where no mercy can be found/No willingness to bow to a king without a crown/Where the virtuous can’t be found/Defy you – To the depths you descend/I defy you – To the death we defend/Defy you – Your rule will come to an end/I defy you – You’ve become the crownless king.”  If this is not a song focused on everything going on in Washington, D.C. then it would certainly be interesting to learn of the real focus here.  The song’s second and third verses add even more strength to the argument that this song is focused on the happenings in Washington, D.C., with Leach singing in the song’s second verse, “The penitent pray for the downfall of your/Of your reign/The warrior soul shall break the hold of constraints/In the end you will suffer.”  He adds in verse three, “the storied confusion/Distorted and diluted/Will come undone when the balance shifts/And the framework breaks/The framework breaks.”  Once again, this certainly seems to be addressing the presidency of one Donald trump and what has happened as a result of his false presidency.  If in fact that is truly the focus of the song’s lyrical content, then it has been delivered in a unique fashion.  To that end, the combination of such strong lyrical content and equally strong musical content makes this song yet another important addition to Atonement.  When it is considered alongside the other songs discussed here, the whole of those songs and the rest of the album’s works makes Atonement in whole, yet another work that will appeal tto fans of Killswitch Engage and to fans of the metalcore genre.

Killswitch Engage’s latest full-length studio recording Atonement is another positive offering from the veteran metalcore band.  It is everything that audiences have come to expect from the group both musically and lyrically.  That is evidenced through all three of the songs discussed here and the eight other songs that make up the remainder of the album’s body.  The thoughtful lyrics and pummeling musical content combines from start to end to make the album in whole a work that holds its own in this year’s fild of new hard rock and metal albums.  More information on Atonement is available online now along with all of the band’s tour information at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.illswitchengage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kseofficial

 

 

 

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Killswitch Engage, Clutch To Launch Co-Headlining Summer Tour

Killswitch Engage and Clutch will embark on a dual headliner tour this summer.

The tour schedule is scheduled to launch July 8 in Quebec City, QC and run through Aug. 7 in Las Vegas, NV.  It will feature performances in cities, such as Myrtle Beach, SC; Bangor, ME and Tulsa, OK.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

KILLSWITCH ENGAGE + CLUTCH TOUR DATES:
7/8 — Quebec City, QC — Festival D’ete%
7/11 — London, ON — Rock The Park#
7/12 — Syracuse, NY — SI Hall
7/13 — Inwood, WV — Shiley Acres
7/14 — Myrtle Beach, SC — House of Blues
7/16 — Fort Wayne, IN — The Clyde
7/18 — Sioux City, IA — Hard Rock & Casin
7/19 — Cadott, WI — Cadott Rock Fest#
7/20 — OshKosh, WI — Rock USA#
7/22 — Tulsa, OK — The Brady Theater
7/23 — St. Louis, MO — The Pageant
7/25 — Bethlehem, PA — Sands Event Center
7/26 — Asbury Park, NJ — Stone Pony Outdoors
7/27 — Montreal, QC — Heavy MTL#
7/28 — Bangor, ME — Impact Festival#
7/30 — Huntington, NY — The Paramount
8/2 — Pittsburgh, PA — Stage AE Outdoors
8/3 — Port Chester, NY — Capital Theater
8/4 — Worcester, MA — Palladium Outdoors
8/7 — Las Vegas, NV — Psycho Las Vegas^
#Festival
^Clutch Only
%KsE Only

Cro Mags JM and All that Remains will serve  as support. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

The announcement of KsE and Clutch’s co-headlining tour comes as KsE is wrapping its current tour with Parkway Drive.  The bands’ tour makes its last stop Saturday in Columbus, OH.

Killswitch Engage is touring in support of its most recent album, 2016’s Incarnate.  Clutch is touring in support of its latest album, 2018’s Book of Bad Decisions.

More information on Killswitch Engage is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.killswitchengage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kseofficial

 

More information on Clutch is available online along with all of the band’s news at:

 

Website: http://www.pro-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/clutchofficial

 

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.

KsE, Parkway Drive Announce Spring Co-Headlining Tour

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive are heading out on the road together.

The bands announced Monday that they will embark on the co-headlining “Collapse The World Tour” on April 18 in San Francisco, CA.  According to a news release from Metal Blade Records, KsE’s new label home, the tour is scheduled to run through May 16 in Milwaukee, WI and feature performances in cities, such as Houston, TX; Rockingham, NC and Detroit, MI.

After The Burial will serve as support on various dates.  Revolver magazine is serving as the tour’s title sponsor.

Killswitch Engage front man Jesse Leach said in a recent interview that the band is looking forward to touring with Parkway Drive again.

“After having the pleasure of destroying stages all over Australia with the Parkway guys just over a month ago, we couldn’t be more stoked to share the stage with them once again, this time in the states,” Leach said.  “Parkway Drive puts on an incredible live show, and we are excited to combine forces and bring the energy every night to a town near you.  I am absolutely certain fans of both bands are in for a hell of a time.  This will be one for the memories for sure — let’s rage!”

Parkway Drive front man Winston McCall echoed Leach’s sentiments.

“This co-headlining tour with Killswitch Engage is a landmark for Parkway Drive in North America,” McCall said.  “Having smashed our way across the land for over a decade now, it is a humbling and defining moment to be sharing this slot with true heavy metal icons and personal heroes.  We have always aimed to maintain the highest standard of energy, connection and entertainment at our shows, a standard that has been set and maintained by KsE their entire career.  The concept of how epic this tour will be is mind blowing to me.  Bring on the insanity!”

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Killswitch Engage and Parkway Drive tour dates
w/ After The Burial

Apr. 18 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre*
Apr. 19 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium**
Apr. 20 – Mesa, AZ – 98 KUPD – Ufest***
Apr. 22 – Colorado Springs, CO – City Auditorium**
Apr. 23 – Wichita, KS – Cotillion Ballroom*
Apr. 24 – Oklahoma City, OK – Diamond Ballroom**
Apr. 26 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom*
Apr. 27 – Austin, TX – Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater**
Apr. 28 – Houston, TX – So What?! Music Festival***
Apr. 30 – Kansas City, MO – Uptown Theater**
May 1 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Room at Old National Centre*
May 4 – Atlanta, GA – Tabernacle**
May 5 – Nashville, TN – War Memorial Auditorium*
May 7 – Niagara Falls, NY – The Rapids Theatre**
May 9 – New York, NY – Terminal 5*
May 10 – New Haven, CT – College Street Music Hall*
May 11 – Philadelphia, PA – Franklin Music Hall (Outdoors)**
May 12 – Rockingham, NC – Epicenter^^
May 12 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues^
May 14 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore Silver Spring*
May 15 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit**
May 16 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Club Stage*
May 17-19 – Columbus, OH – Sonic Temple**
*Killswitch Engage closes show
**Parkway Drive closes show
***Festival
^^Festival – KsE Only
^Parkway Drive only

More information on the Collapse The World Tour is available online now along with all of Killswitch Engage’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.killswitchengage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/kseofficial

 

More information on Parkway Drive is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.parkwaydriverock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/parkwayofficial

 

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.

Reality Grey Take Listeners Into ‘The Void’ As It Prepares Its Next Album

Independent metalcore act Reality Grey is getting audiences excited about its next album with the video for the as-yet-untitled album’s latest single.

The band this week the Italian rock act unveiled the video for the single ‘The Void.’  Musically, the song exhibits influences of As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage and other similar metalcore acts.  Guitarist Anto Addabbo explained in a recent interview that the song’s lyrical theme centers on personal growth throughout life.

“‘The Void’ is one of the album’s songs that we feel more emotionally attached to both musically and visually,” Addabbo said.  “It is about the struggle of finding ourselves in the different phases of our life.  We all have been there, and it’s a song that most of the people can easily relate to.”

Audiences can get the song’s full lyrics online via the band’s official bandcamp page.

Reality Grey The Void Vid Grab

Courtesy: High Road Publicity

‘The Void.’ is available for purchase via the band’s website now.  It is the second single to be released so far from the band’s next as-yet-untitled album.  The band unveiled the album’s lead single ‘Daybreakers‘ and its video late last year.

More information on Reality Grey’s latest single and upcoming album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://realitygrey.bandcamp.com

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

 

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.