‘Curse Of Existence’ Is A Musically, Lyrically Powerful New Offering From Miss May I

Courtesy: SharpTone Records

Early this month, veteran metalcore band Miss May I unveiled its latest album through SharpTone Records.  The band’s seventh album, Curse of Existence is an interesting new presentation from the band that is likely to find the majority of its appeal among the band’s most devoted audiences.  That is proven in part through its musical content, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content will also appeal to that targeted audience.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production puts the final touch to its presentation and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  Collectively, they make Curse of Existence a record that metalcore fans and Miss May I’s established audiences will agree is worth hearing at least once.

Curse of Existence, the latest album from Miss May I, is a presentation that will appeal largely to the most devoted metalcore masses and of the band’s established audiences.   That targeted appeal comes in part through the album’s featured musical content.  The content in question is the band’s familiar blend of metalcore and death metal influences is just as present here as in the band’s existing albums.  From one song to the next, audiences can clearly once again make comparisons to works from the likes of As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, and to a slightly lesser degree, the band’s label mates, Of Mice & Men.  The heavy, crunching down-tuned guitars that rip through each song with the sharpness of a chainsaw pair with the equally tight drums and low-end from the bass to make each song powerful in its own right.  Given, the overall musical content does not necessarily break any new ground for the band, but it is still such that it will appeal to said audiences what with its wall of sound effect from one song to the next.  The addition of front man Levi Benton’s powerhouse screams makes that even clearer.  To that end, the record’s musical arrangements are, again, a safe choice for the band this time out but still play well into the album’s overall presentation.

The musical arrangements featured throughout the course of Curse of Existence are collectively, just one part of what makes Curse of Existence worth hearing at least once.  The record’s overall lyrical body does its own share to make the album engaging.  That is because said content largely presents themes of facing and overcoming adversity in life.  That includes facing it internally and externally. 

As Benton stated in an interview about the album, “Curse of Existence is exactly what it reads, the curse we have in our existence. This doesn’t mean anything strictly negative, but it covers all existence that is the good and the bad, the highs and the lows; the sorrow and the joy. Everything that comes with life comes with a lesson and a price that is what we have put into this album.”

Those highs and lows are present throughout the album’s lyrical content.  The album’s single, ‘Unconquered’ is a prime example of this.  Benton sings/screams in this song of that personal/inner strength.  He states right from the song’s introductory lines, “If it’s us versus the world/Then I will remain/The last man standing/SO bring on the pain” before continuing in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I walk alone through a crowd of eyes/I see a vision of red/terrified/It goes from bad to worse/If every blessing is a curse/Then how will I survive/The walls are closing in/What’s on the other side/It’s been so long/Since I’ve felt alive/Maybe I’m the only one who can save me/From the monster I’ve become lately/All these ghosts still chase me/And there’s nowhere left to run.”  This is that message of realization of one’s self, that realization that a person is at a certain breaking point and it is up to that person to change himself/herself.  Again, it centers on that inner strength to overcome that personal adversity.  The message continues in the chorus tied to the second verse, which states, “So heavy/The world around me/Can’t let it crush me…The only way out is through/And the sun that stops the flood is still inside you.”  He is saying that said inner strength is there and that people must remember they have that power to stop the bad.  It is a message that is certain to resonate with so many audiences.

‘A Smile That Does Not Exist,’ the album’s opener, is another song that is certain to resonate with audiences, what with what comes across as a message of overcoming one’s own mental health struggles.  This is inferred as Benton screams in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “The world has kept the chosen ones free/Safe from the storms that rain down on me/The coming winds of catastrophe/Face the beast or find no peace/Descend into madness/Shattering glass into fragments/Locked eyes watch me writhe across the floor/Pick up the pieces/Come back for more/In the mirror/A blank stare/No one’s there/No one cares/I pretend that we share/A smile that does not exist/My obsession with the darkness in my reflections/I always see the worst in me/Breathe in, Breathe out/Drown in self-doubt/It’s always in your head/But it’s only in your head.”  That final statement that “It’s only in your head” is so important.  It is a reminder that all of those negative thoughts that so many of us fight daily are just that.  They are in our head.  That self-doubt is there, but it can be overcome.  This reminder is so simple, but so important. Benton adds a statement in the song’s second verse of memories fading away, “devouring brighter days.”  Again, this is that emotional darkness that countless millions the world over feel every day.   The reminder that follows once again, that it is all in one’s head is sure to motivate so many listeners.  Once again, it shows the importance of the lyrical content featured in this album. 

‘Bleed Together’ is yet another example of that importance.  In the case of this song, it comes across as a commentary about someone coming to terms with a troubled childhood.  This is inferred most clearly in the song’s second verse, which states, “I only sang a silent lullaby/You let a part of me die/A broken God through a child’s eyes/I’ve walked these hells before/But now I’m re-writing history/Please let the apple fall far from the tree.”  That mention of the apple falling far from the tree is typically used to talk about connections between children and their parents, so to that end, this really does point toward some emotional conflict and disconnect between a child and parent.  Later in the song, he adds, “I will not stand in the shadow of your demons/No/Bury the past in the dirt/I refuse to relive the hurt/There’s only one thing in this short life/I won’t give to you, my dear/The key to all the pain I’ve locked inside.”  Again, this comes across as a discussion from someone facing a past that involved a troubled childhood relationship with a parent.  If in fact this is the case, then it is certain to resonate with audiences in its own right, too.  That is because there are so many people who had those stormy relationships with their parents.  It is another topic that is all too familiar in the rock realm, but one that is still just as relevant today as it has ever been.  To that end, it is yet another clear example of the importance of this album’s lyrical content.  When it and the other themes addressed here are considered alongside the rest of the album’s lyrical themes and with the album’s musical content, the whole creates a solid foundation for the album.

As much as the content featured in Curse of Existence does to make the album worth hearing, there is still one more item to address here.  That item is the album’s production.  The production is important because of its role in the album’s general effect.  Each song featured in this record is so intense, musically.  Thanks to the attention paid to each musician’s part in each song results in each work having so much impact.  No one part overpowers its counterparts at any point in the record.  The result is that the album’s general effect is positive in its own right, too.  Keeping that in mind, the production that went into this record does just as much to make the album worth hearing as the album’s content.  The whole makes Curse of Existence worth hearing at least once.

Curse of Existence, the latest album from veteran metalcore outfit Miss May I, is another work that the most devoted of the band’s audiences and the most devoted metalcore fans will find engaging and entertaining.  This is proven in part through the record’s musical content, which is fully familiar to those audiences.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements is important, too.  That is because of its accessibility.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, creating a positive general effect that does its own share to keep audiences engaged.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make Curse of Existence anything but a cursed record.

Curse of Existence is available now through SharpTone Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Miss May I’s latest news at:

Website: https://missmayimusic.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/missmayiband

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

Killswitch Engage Debuts ‘As Sure As The Sun Will Rise’ Live Clip

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Killswitch Engage released its new live recording, Live at the Palladium Friday, and with it, another live clip taken from the recording.

The band premiered the live clip of its performance of ‘As Sure As The Sun Will Rise‘ Friday. The clips is the third from the new recording behind clips of ‘Know Your Enemy‘ and ‘Vide Infra.’

The song is a heavy composition that has all of the trademarks of the band’s works throughout its life. The fire in its arrangement is enough reason for audiences to take in the song. The balance of the screams and clean vocals add even more to the presentation.

Front man Jesse Leach talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“This song was an uplifting song for me as soon as I heard the demo,” Leach said. It’s about spiritual redemption and hope amidst this troubled world. It’s a call to arms for those who seek a just and righteous path in this life. The message is fight through the darkness and perils to overcome the war of spirit and flesh.”

Live at the Palladium is available to order and stream here. More information on the recording is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.illswitchengage.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.

‘Live At The Palladium’ Is A Successful New Offering from Killswitch Engage

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Live music is finally back in full swing as it seems like the COVID-19 pandemic is finally nearing its end.  Festivals are planned and happening, as are live shows in general.  A year ago this time though, things were still a little bit in the air.  Because of that, a lot of acts out there were still tentative about playing live, leading them to still hold some livestream performances instead of live stage shows.  Killswitch Engage was one of those many acts that took to the virtual stage instead of a full live setting.  The band performed a full two-album set Aug. 6 at the Palladium Theater in the band’s hometown of Worcester, MA.  This Friday, the band will release that performance on separate 2 CD/BD, 2 LP, and digital platforms in the form of Live at the Palladium.  While it is not necessarily a full, true live recording in the purest sense of the term, the recording is still a presentation that will appeal to any of the band’s most devoted fans and those of the metalcore genre.  That is due in no small part to the show’s set list.  This item will be addressed shortly.  The band’s performance of the extensive set list is just as notable as the set list itself and will be examined a little later.  The show’s production round out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered they make Live at the Palladium a successful new live offering from Killswitch Engage.

Live at the Palladium, Killswitch Engage’s forthcoming “live” recording, is a mostly successful offering from the band.  That is the case even though it is not necessarily a full live show in the purest sense of the term.  The recording’s success comes in large part through its featured set list.  The set list, composed of 20 songs, covers two of the band’s albums – the band’s self-titled 2000 debut album, and its 2019 album, Atonement.  Bands performing full performances of one album is increasingly commonplace.  To that end, it makes the set list seem less impacting.  The thing is, again though, the band takes on not just one of its albums, but two of its works.  Those works offer audiences a look at the band’s early days and its more recent era.  Given, Atonement was followed up in 2020 with the EP, Atonement II, but Atonement is in fact the band’s most recent album.  To that end, the band presents here, a look at its past and present in these two albums.  Keeping that in mind, the set list gives audiences not just two full albums but two albums that display the band’s past and present together in one setting.  That in itself forms a strong foundation for the record.  It is just part of what makes the record worth experiencing.  The band’s performance of the extensive set list adds its own share of engagement and entertainment to the mix.

The band’s performance of its set list is powerful to say the least.  Even being in a semi-live environment, is engaging and entertaining in its own right.  The band gives its all, using the situation just as if it was a full live performance, even though the audiences were digital instead of in person.  Front man Jesse Leach is just as imposing as he makes his way back and forth across the stage, half screaming, half singing. His vocals are as powerful as ever.  Meanwhile his band mates each perform their respective parts just as impressively.  Justin Foley is so intense as he provides the rhythm to each song along with bassist Mike D’Antonio.  Meanwhile the duel guitar approach of Adam Dutkiewicz and Joel Stroetzel adds its own share of power throughout.  Even being only a semi-live setting, the collective treats each song as if it was in front of a live audience, making the experience all the more engaging and entertaining.  When the group’s performance is considered collectively from one song to the next, it makes the record all the more memorable.  Together with the set list, the two elements make the overall presentation all the more engaging and entertaining, too.  They are just part of what makes the recording worth experiencing.  The concert’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the concert is important because again, even being semi-live, the sound and video are fully immersive.  The crowd noise is not there to work through, but the band’s own performance is still there. The acoustics of the venue still have to be taken into account in their own right since there is no crowd there to absorb the sound.  The work that went into balancing all of the sound paid off, as every performance sounds so rich.  No one part overpowers the others at any point throughout the concert.  The end result is that the recording proves fully immersive, and in turn engaging and entertaining.  When this aspect of Live at the Palladium is considered along with the show’s set list and the band’s performance thereof, the whole makes the performance one more of the year’s top new live recordings.

Killswitch Engage’s new live recording, Live at the Palladium, is a strong new offering from the veteran metalcore band.  It will impress the band’s established audience base as well as casual metalcore fans alike.  That is due in part to its featured set list.  The set list is composed of not one but two full albums, the band’s 2000 self-titled debut record and the band’s latest album, Atonement.  The presentation is that of the band’s past and present in one.  The band’s performance of the set list makes for its own appeal.  That is because the band in whole takes the entire concert as seriously as if it was a full live performance.  The recording’s production rounds out its most important elements, ensuring that the best is brough out of each song’s performance.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record’s presentation.  All things considered they make the recording one of the year’s top new live recordings overall.

Live at the Palladium is scheduled for release Friday through Metal Blade Records.  More information on the recording is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.illswitchengage.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 Debuts ‘Vide Infra’ Clip

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Killswitch gave audiences another preview of its forthcoming live recording this week.

The preview came Thursday in the form of the live clip of the song, ‘Vide Infra.’ It is the second clip from the band’s forthcoming live recording, Live at the Palladium, which is scheduled for release June 3 through Metal Blade Records. The band premiered the clip for the recording’s lead single, ‘Know Your Enemy‘ April 6.

Live at the Palladium will release separately on 2LP and 2CD/Blu-ray. Pre-orders are open. The recording features a full performance of the band’s 2019 album, Atonement, and its 2000 self-titled debut.

Front man Jesse Leach talked about ‘Vide Infra’ in a prepared statement.

“This song has stood the test of time for me, sonically and lyrically,” Leach said. “Sonically, it shows our hardcore roots and the blend of metal. Lyrically, it has words I still stand by and hold close to my beliefs. It’s one of my favorites from our early material!”

Live at the Palladium was recorded Aug. 6, 2021 as a livestream concert.

The track listing for KsE’s new live recording is noted below.

LIVE AT THE PALLADIUM TRACK LISTING:
“Unleashed”
“The Signal Fire”
“Us Against the World”
“The Crownless King”
“I Am Broken Too”
“As Sure as the Sun Will Rise”
“Know Your Enemy”
“Take Control”
“Ravenous”
“I Can’t Be the Only One”
“Bite the Hand that Feeds” 
“Temple From the Within”
“Vide Infra”
“Irreversal”
“Rusted Embrace”
“Prelude”
“Soilborn”
“Numb Sickened Eyes”
“In the Unblind”
“Just Barely Breathing”

More information on Killswitch Engage’s new live recording is available online now along with all of the band’s tour information at:

Websitehttp://www.illswitchengage.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.

Lybica Premieres Double Single, ‘Palatial/Ferment’; Announces Upcoming Live Performance

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Hard rock collective Lybica, which features Killswitch Engage drummer Justin Foley on guitar, debuted a new double single this week.

The band premiered its double single, ‘Palatial/Ferment‘ Thursday. The songs are expected for inclusion in the band’s as yet untitled album, whose release date and other information is also under consideration.

Foley had the following to say of the songs.

“These tunes were two early ones that came together when we first started jamming, so it’s fitting that they’re the first songs we’re sharing with everyone. “I think they sum up what we’re all about, blending loud with soft, heavy with hooks.”

Both songs are full instrumental compositions. The ambient nature of the arrangements and their heaviness present elements of both post rock and post metal. At the same time, there is the most subtle element of melodic metalcore in ‘Palatial.’ The whole of the songs immediately lends them to comparison to early works from A Perfect Circle at the very least.

Lybica actually premiered the video for ‘Ferment’ Sept. 30. It features each of the band members — Joey Johson (guitar), Doug French (bass), Chris Lane (drums), and Foley on guitar — recording their parts to the song separately. One has to assume that is because the COVID-19 pandemic forced the song to be recorded as such at the time.

The video for ‘Palatial,’ which premiered Thursday,’ features the band together on a sound stage, performing its new single. That footage is blended with the visual of a skull being overwhelmed by red smoke.

In other news, Lybica is scheduled to perform live May 7 in Winter Park, FL.

More information on Lybica’s new double single, album, and concert is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/lybicaband.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ventruss Releases Its New EP, ‘Serpent’; Debuts EP’s Latest Single

Courtesy: MVK Music Group

Never say never. That should be Ventruss’ motto.

That is because more than five months after debuting what its members said at the time was the last single from its new EP, Serpent, Ventruss has debuted another single from the 2021 release. The band premiered its new single, ‘Spirit of The Chosen‘ and its video Friday. The song is the fourth single from the six-song record.

The band premiered the EP’s title track and its companion video Oct. 29. The EP has also produced the singles, ‘Sentiment,‘ ‘Talladega.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Spirit of the Chosen’ is a driving, upbeat composition that is grounded in its solid time keeping and its equally cutting guitar riffs and enveloping vocals. The low end from the bass rounds out the composition with its own touch, too. The whole immediately lends the work to those of bands, such as Killswitch Engage, All That Remains, and others of that ilk.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announce the song’s premiere. The lyrics provided with the song’s video makes relatively clear that the song deals with someone coping with the loss of a loved one. This is inferred directly through the lines, “Sent to the sky/Seen through your eyes/With the wings you’re given to fly/And soar through the sky/Why did you die?”

Serpent was released Friday through MVK Music Group.

More information on Ventruss’ new single and video is available along with all of Ventruss’ latest news at:

Websitehttps://ventrussmusic.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Ventruss

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/Ventruss_


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

The Veer Union Offers A Big Success In Its Small New Album

Courtesy: Rock Shop Records

There is an old adage that big things can, and often do, come in small packages. It is an adage that proves especially true for The Veer Union’s newly released album, Manifestations. Released April 8, the record is composed of only seven songs that run just over 21 minutes. Even being such a brief presentation, the record offers plenty for audiences to appreciate, both in its musical arrangements and its lyrical themes. Each topic will be addressed in its own right here. They are just a part of what makes the album successful. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later. All things considered, they make Manifestations one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums in a field that is quickly becoming very crowded.

Manifestations, the eighth new album from hard rock band The Veer Union, is another successful new offering from the group. Its success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements that make up part of the record’s body are of note because of their familiarity and exhibited growth. The familiarity comes in the melodic hard rock sounds and approaches taken to each composition. It once again makes the songs easily comparable to works from the likes of Sevendust. At the same time, the breakdowns/bridges exhibit a certain growth from the band. Case in point is the bridge in the record’s opener, ‘From The Fire In You.’ The band goes full death metal in the very brief breakdown, as is evidenced in the heavy, crunching guitars and the equally heavy screams from front man Crispin Earl. This is an approach that the band has rarely taken in its existing catalog and works quite well here. In another example, the bridge featured in ‘Fade Into The Future’ takes audiences into more of a metalcore direction a la Killswitch Engage while also still incorporating a little death metal influence at the same time. That blend of influences makes this moment another notable addition to the record that continues to show the importance of the album’s musical content. On a completely different note, the album’s penultimate entry, ‘ABCDEFU’ stands out not just because of its breakdown, but its overall approach. The whole of the song takes the band in an almost emocore direction while continuing to blend in the noted metalcore leanings for a unique overall approach that is certain to resonate with audiences, especially considering the song’s lyrical theme.

Speaking of lyrical content, the overall lyrical content featured alongside Manifestations‘ musical arrangements adds its own layer of appeal to the album’s presentation. That is because it will resonate just as much with audiences. In the case of ‘ABCDEFU’ is that familiar theme of a broken relationship. In this case, it finds the song’s subject flipping that proverbial middle finger to someone who simply made that relationship absolutely miserable. The song’s subject is going all out against that person, singing, “You said you just needed space/And so I gave it/When I had nothing to say/You couldn’t take it/You told everyone I’m a d***/So I became it/Always had to put yourself above me.” Again, here is that situation of a toxic relationship. It is that familiar to audiences, and still hits so hard.

On an opposite, more uplifting note, Earl and company offer messages of hope and determination in ‘From The Fire In You’ and ‘Standing My Ground.’ Each song reminds listeners to not give up even in the most difficult situations. Right from its outset, ‘From The Fire In You’ makes that clear in the no-nonsense line, “You’re stronger than a hurricane/When you face the world with your eyes wide open/Buried underneath of your skin/Is a fire now awoken.” From there, Earl tells listeners, “Don’t let yourself drown deep in the dark/Don’t let your scars now rip you apart/Time to dig yourself out of the divide/Give it one last try now/It’s do or die.” Again, this is a positive message that any listener should and will welcome. That is especially the case when it is considered alongside the song’s massively heavy musical arrangement.

‘Standing My Ground’ delivers a similar message that the band talked about when the band released the single back in January. The band said of the song’s theme in a prepared statement, “When you’re knocked down to the lowest point in your life you really have two choices; you can roll over and die or you can face your demons head on. Sometimes you have to dig the deepest you ever have to find the strength to get up, to keep fighting and to push the hardest you ever have to get your life, dreams and/or your sanity back on the trajectory required to find the happiness and sense of accomplishment we all seek. ‘Standing my Ground’ is the heaviest track we’ve ever released. It’s an anthem for those who are about to, or have almost lost everything. It serves a reminder that no matter what, no matter how huge the adversity may be, keep going.” Once again, it is a message that will certainly resonate with any listener.

On yet another note, ‘Karma’s Coming For You’ also shows the importance of the album’s lyrical content. In the case of this song, it is difficult to know if it is referencing a broken romantic or platonic relationship. Either way, it is clear that it is referencing a situation that has gone south especially for someone who is not showing his/her true self to others, especially the song’s protagonist. The protagonist here is telling the antagonist that (as the title references) karma is coming for that person. Earl sings of the topic in the song’s chorus, “All you bring is your dishonor/Now, I can see your truth come crashing down/In the words of my father: Your karma is coming for your crown/Hiding all your lies gets harder/Now, your demons reaching out for you to drown/In the words of my father: Your karma is coming for your crown.” Everybody knows at least one person like this song’s antagonist. It is that person who tries so hard to be fake and to hide being fake. The lies will and always do, catch up to that person, and karma with them. To that end, this song’s lyrical theme will help any listener deal with that person and those people. It is just one more way in which the lyrical themes featured in this record prove so important to the album’s presentation. When it is considered with the other themes examined here and with the rest of the record’s themes, the whole makes the lyrical content in whole clearly important in its own right to the record.

While the overall content featured in Manifestations is undeniably important to the record’s presentation, it is just part of what makes the album successful. The record’s production rounds out its most important items. The production is important to the record’s presentation because it ensures that the instrumentation in each song is so well-balanced. Each instrument gets its own attention, ensuring that the wall of sound in each composition evokes the fullest emotional impact among audiences. At the same time, the instrumentation in each song is just as well balanced with the vocals, ensuring even more, the fullest impact in each song. It means that audiences can relatively easily understand the message delivered in each song, thus completing each song’s presentation. When the positive result of the album’s production is considered along with the impact of the record’s content, the whole makes Manifestations an overall success that The Veer Union’s established audiences will enjoy just as much as any casual hard rock and metal fan.

Manifestations, the latest album from The Veer Album, is another successful offering from the band that has spent the better part of its life flying just under the mainstream radar. Its success comes in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements stand out because they exhibit a blend of familiar melodic hard rock main bodies and newer, metalcore and death metal approaches at various points. The whole there makes the arrangements fully engaging and entertaining. The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements are of note because of their accessibility. The record’s production rounds out its most important elements, ensuring a positive general effect. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album one more of the album’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Manifestations is available now through the band’s own label, Rock Shop Records. More information on The Veer Union’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.theveerunion.com

Websitehttps://www.facebook.com/theveerunion

Twitterhttps://mobile.twitter.com/theveerunion

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

Machine Head Announces New Album Details; Debuts Album’s fifth Single, Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records/Imperium Recordings

Machine Head will release its latest album this summer.

The band announced Tuesday, it is scheduled to release its new album, Of Kingdom and Crown Aug. 26 through Nuclear Blast Records/Imperium Recordings. In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered what is technically the album’s fifth single, ‘Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate‘ Tuesday, along with its companion video.

The song is technically the album’s fifth single as the 13-song record also features the songs, ‘Arrows In Words From The Sky,’ Rotten,’ and ‘Become The Firestorm,’ which the band premiered last June in a three-song digital exclusive single, and the song, ‘My Hands Are Empty,’ which the band premiered in November 2020. Both songs are part of the album’s overall 13-song body, which makes up what front man/founder Robb Flynn said is a concept story.

“Thanks to my 2 teenage boys my family has become obsessed with this awesome Japanese anime series called “Attack On Titan,” he said. “The album’s concept was loosely inspired by the series in the sense that in the storyline, there is no “good” or “bad” guy, both characters believe they’re doing the right thing as it applies to their being, but make no mistake, both are committing acts of pure atrocity and evil. The opening track “SLAUGHTER THE MARTYR” is basically our character #1’s origin story.”

Flynn’s statement also outlines the lyrical theme in the album’s new single. He said of the two men:

Character #1 Ares: (pronounced Aries), our main, who loses the love of his life (Amethyst) and goes on a murderous rampage against the vile sect responsible for her murder.

Character #2 Eros: (pronounced Arrows) the perpetrator, who loses his mother to a drug overdose and becomes radicalized in the aftermath. Eros goes off the deep end manifesting his own killing spree. 

The video for ‘Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate’ is a familiar style presentation. The black and white presentation features the band performing its new single on a sound stage as the song plays over. Various video effects and edits are used to heighten the song’s emotion.

Of Kingdom and Crown will release on 16 separate vinyl pressings, deluxe vinyl box set, CD, cassette, and digital formats. The album’s track listing is noted below.

ØF KINGDØM AND CRØWN

MACHINE HEAD

Track Listing:

1. SLAUGHTER THE MARTYR

2. CHØKE ØN THE ASHES ØF YØUR HATE

3. BECØME THE FIRESTØRM

4. ØVERDØSE

5. MY HANDS ARE EMPTY

6. UNHALLØWED

7. ASSIMILATE

8. KILL THY ENEMIES

9. NØ GØDS, NØ MASTERS

10. BLØØDSHØT

11. RØTTEN

12. TERMINUS

13. ARRØWS IN WØRDS FRØM THE SKY

The five singles released for Machine Head’s new album are just some of the songs that the band has released. The band also released the standalone singles, ‘Bulletproof,’ Stop The Bleeding (ft. Jesse Leach), ‘Circling The Drain‘ and its acoustic take in 2020.

More information on Machine Head’s new music is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.machinehead1.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MachineHead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MfnH

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

Killswitch Engage Announces New Live Recording Details; Premieres ‘Know Your Enemy’ Live Clip From Concert

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records/Atom Splitter PR

Killswitch Engage will release its 2021 live stream concert held at the Palladium in Worcester, CT on physical formats this spring.

The band will release the concert, which featured full performances of its 2019 album, Atonement, and its 2000 self-titled debut June 3 separately on 2LP and 2CD/Blu-ray. Pre-orders are open.

In anticipation of the live recording’s release, the band premiered the video of its performance of its song, ‘Know Your Enemy,’ Wednesday. The song is part of the extensive set list featured in the concert.

Front man Jesse Leach talked about the song in a prepared statement.

“This song speaks volumes about the state of the world, not only when I wrote the lyrics, but today, as well,” he said. “It shines a light on the various protest songs we’ve written over the years. To me, the message is equally important as the music, and this song is no exception. And regardless of who we have become as a band, we still have our roots firmly planted in hardcore music.”

The track listing for KsE’s new live recording is noted below.

LIVE AT THE PALLADIUM TRACK LISTING:
“Unleashed”
“The Signal Fire”
“Us Against the World”
“The Crownless King”
“I Am Broken Too”
“As Sure as the Sun Will Rise”
“Know Your Enemy”
“Take Control”
“Ravenous”
“I Can’t Be the Only One”
“Bite the Hand that Feeds” 
“Temple From the Within”
“Vide Infra”
“Irreversal”
“Rusted Embrace”
“Prelude”
“Soilborn”
“Numb Sickened Eyes”
“In the Unblind”
“Just Barely Breathing”

More information on Killswitch Engage’s new live recording is available online now along with all of the band’s tour information at:

Websitehttp://www.illswitchengage.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.

As Within, So Without’s New Album Is A Positive Addition To 2022’s Field Of New Hard Rock, Metal Albums

Courtesy: CowlgirlZen Entertainment

Independent metalcore band As Within, So Without released its new album, Salvation Wednesday.  The 11-song record is a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s established audience base and to casual metalcore fans.  That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The roughly 26-minute record’s lyrical content works with its musical arrangements to make for even more interest and will be examined a little later.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Salvation’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Salvation a work that the noted audiences will find worth hearing at least once.

As Within, So Without’s new album, Salvation, is a record that the band’s established audiences and casual metalcore fans alike will find interesting.  That is due in large part to the record’s musical arrangements.  From beginning to end, the record presents a nonstop display of metalcore.  The heavy, crunching guitars, the dual approach of the screams and clean vocals, and the equally heavy, rich bass and drums makes each song so engaging and entertaining for the noted audiences.  The arrangements easily lend themselves to comparison to works from the likes of Ice Nine Kills, As I Lay Dying, and Killswitch Engage, just to name a few similar acts.  A casual listen through the record makes each arrangement sound the same.  However, audiences who actively listen to each work will catch the subtle changes that make each song different from one another.  Case in point is the album’s opener, ‘Ch. III: The Undefined.’  This song’s full one assault is a face melting work that even though it barely tops the two minute mark, absolutely pounds listeners’ ears.  That approach and sound makes it comparable to works from the likes of Unearth and Whitechapel.  By comparison, a song, such as ‘Frostbite,’ with its machine gun precise guitar riffs and equally tight drumming and screams make it so similar to works from Killswitch Engage.  The intensity exuded through the song is so much different from that of ‘Ch. III: The Undefined’ and the rest of the album’s entries.  ‘Salvation,’ which closes out the album, changes things up even more with its deep screams and heavy instrumentation.  The minor chords used in the guitar line and the punch from the drums and bass pair with the guitar and vocals to give that song a sound that is more comparable to KsE and to As I Lay Dying.  That is especially the case considering the contrast of the heavier verses and the more melodic choruses.  It is just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements prove so important to the album’s presentation.  Again, the changes from one song to the next are subtle, but those who actively immerse themselves in the album will catch those subtleties and in turn agree that the record’s musical arrangements are so critical to the album.

It goes without saying that the musical content featured in Salvation is important to the album’s presentation.  Yes, the record’s musical content is largely metalcore in its approach, but the band presents influences from so many of its more well-known counterparts in the metalcore community from beginning to end, changing things from one song to the next and ensuring the songs maintain their own identity in the process.  They are just one part of what makes the record worth hearing, too.  The record’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements.  The lyrical content in question follows an overarching theme so to speak.  According to comments from the band, the album is a concept record that follows a man who is on a personal and spiritual journey of healing.  Not having lyrics to reference, the content that can be deciphered leads listeners to hear that story, beginning with the story’s subject at a point of total anger over events of the past.  From broken relationships with a certain person or people early on to anger over an absent parent in ‘Like The Wind’ to the subject’s seeming eventual realization that there was no point in holding in so much anger, the story will connect with a wide range of audiences.  What’s more, the very fact that a metal act opted to take on a concept record to begin with is of its own note.  Generally, concept records are saved for the prog-metal community (E.g. bands, such as Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Between The Buried and Me).  So to have a pure metal band, such as this taking on a concept record is in itself unique in terms of lyrical content.  To that end, that and the story itself together make the album’s overall lyrical content even more reason for audiences to give this album a chance.  It is just one more item that audiences will appreciate about the album, too.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into Salvation is important to address because of its role in the album’s general effect.  Going back to the note of the intensity of each of the album’s arrangements, they are exactly that.  There is a lot going on in each arrangement between the instrumentations and the vocals.  Even in the case of the vocals themselves, the production that went into balancing the screams and clean vocals played its own role.  The end result of all of that work from one song to the next is that each arrangement is professionally balanced.  No one band member overpowers his band mates at any point.  The slightest nuances, such as keyboard lines even play their own important part and add their own layer of engagement and entertainment to the songs.  That is again, thanks to the time and effort put in to balancing those lines with everything else in each song.  All things considered, the production that went into Salvation gives the album a fully positive general effect.  Keeping that in mind along with the role of the album’s musical arrangements in general and with the role of the album’s lyrical content, and the whole makes the album overall a work that AWSW’s established audiences will find just as appealing as more casual metalcore fans.

Salvation is a positive new offering from As Within So Without.  That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important to the album’s presentation because they take audiences into so many sub realms (of sorts) of the metalcore community.  The changes from song to song are subtle, and listeners who actively take in the album will catch those subtle changes.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements are just as important to its presentation as the album’s musical content.  That is because of their accessibility and the very fact that they play into a bigger concept for the album.  That a metal band decided to take on a concept for a record is itself rare, making for even more reason for audiences to hear the album.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  It gives the album a strong general effect through the balance that it insures in the album’s instrumentation and vocals.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Salvation a positive addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums and independent albums.

Salvation is available now.  More information on As Within, So Without’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.awswband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AsWithinSoWithoutCTNY

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AWSWband

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