ESTK’s Latest LP Could Be The Band’s Breakout Record

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Arizona based metalcore band Eyes Set to Kill released its latest full length album back in September.  Masks is not the band’s first album.  But it is the first for the band on its new home, Century Media Records.  And it is more proof of why Century Media has gradually become the rightful leading label in the rock community.  The band’s new album is so impressive because it actually stands out among the far too overcrowded metalcore field.  One listen through Masks reveals Eyes Set To Kill to present a sound that fuses elements of Lacuna Coil, Kittie, and even Evanescence to a lesser degree in terms of its sound.  Lyrically, the songs collected for this album come across as having come from a very personal place.  That mix of personal lyrics and equally powerful music make the band’s latest effort one that every member of the Metal Nation worldwide should hear at least once.

Masks is not the first album from Eyes Set To Kill.  But for those that might be new to this Arizona based band’s music, it is an excellent introduction.  Singer Alexia Rodriguez noted of the title to the band’s new album that it was the result of essentially feeling fake.  She said of dealing with certain people through the band’s history, ”I felt like we were wearing a bunch of masks to impress people. At one point, I had a bit of a revelation. We have gone through so many changes over the years, but it wasn’t about anybody else. It was about us – we’ve really found the band’s face at this point. We aren’t wearing masks anymore.”  She couldn’t be more right.  Her response to those people is made clear on this album’s opener/title track.  The song clocks in at less than two minutes.  In that short time, she throws no punches, singing, “I love the ways they tell us/This is who you should be/We put our faces on/Just like a mask/While they’re trying to make a fool out of me.”  Sadly, this is the case with so many record labels out there even today.  They are controlled by people that are more concerned with the bottom line than actually helping bands and artists develop their talent.  Her response is exactly what so many other bands have felt as far as memory serves.  Making the song even better is the fact that she didn’t just go the classless route and put any one person or label on blast.  She just made a blanket statement that still expressed what she and her band mates felt.  The manner in which the song starts off, eventually building to its peak makes the combination of music and lyrics hit even harder.

As short as it is, the title track from Eyes Set To Kill’s new album is a proper way to open the album.  It’s just one of the songs that listeners will find enjoyable.  Audiences that might be new to the music of Eyes Set To Kill will find that singer Alexis Rodriguez shares vocal duties with fellow band mate Cisko Miranda throughout the band’s new record.  The side-by-side of the two vocalists’ talents is certain to draw comparisons to certain other bands.  Yet the pairing still manages to help make the band’s music stand out at the same time.  One example of how the duo’s vocal pairing stands out comes early on in the album’s third track, ‘Lost and Forgotten.’  Miranda handles the song’s verses while he and Rodriguez share vocal duties in the song’s chorus.  Miranda exhibits quite the power in his vocals as he screams, “We are the scum of the Earth/The voice in the crowd/Of a thousand mouths/The ones who fight on/Because we’ll always fight on/Oh, we’ll never back down.”  That opening verse leaves no room for interpretation.  The song itself is a no nonsense, fist-pumping anthem much along the lines of Slipknot’s ‘Pulse of the Maggots’ or certain songs from Disturbed and other hard rock acts.  That is to say it is similar to those pieces in terms of its defiant lyrics.  It serves to carry on the long-standing tradition of hard rock bands flipping the proverbial bird to those that would look down their noses at the metal minions around the world.  For that fact alone, and for its equally impressive musical side, this song becomes another highlight to ESTK’s new album.

‘Lost and Forgotten’ is easily one of the best of the best from ESTK’s new record.  It should be emphasized here that it’s just one of the album’s highpoints.  There are so many songs from which listeners will find to call their favorite(s).  This critic will provide just one more song as another of that mass of high points offered in this record.  That song is ‘Infected.’  This song lyrically seems to come from a personal place, as with many of the album’s works.  Rodriguez sings on this song, “How does it feel on the outside/Looking inside/Till you feel rejected/I watch you to see what it looks like/On the inside/You’re the one infected.”  She goes on to sing with just as much anger, “Now/Now I feel ambitious/I’m giving away/Giving away your secrets/Just to watch you burn!”  This is a very telling verse.  There were obviously some hurt feelings by someone when these lines were written.  And set against the driving guitars and drums of her band mates, it would be no exaggeration to say that given the proper support, it could easily help to spread Eyes Set To Kill to the mainstream masses.  Those wanting to hear those other songs can do so now.  Masks is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered direct from the Century Media Records store at http://www.cmdistro.com/Item/Eyes_Set_To_Kill_-_Masks_-PRE-ORDER-/46364?Aff=cus.  After ordering or buying the album, fans can find out about the band’s latest tour dates and news online at http://www.facebook.com/eyessettokill.  And to keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sevendust Announces Album Release, Tour Dates

Veteran hard rock band Sevendust is set to release its ninth full length studio album titled, Black Out The Sun.  The Atlanta, GA based band has already released the album’s lead single, ‘Decay’ online at billboard.com.  The full album is currently scheduled to be released in stores and online Tuesday March 26th.  The single will start airing on radio stations across the country very soon.  The band has also allowed fans the chance to pre-order the new album and tickets to shows online.  Fans just have to go online to http://tixx1.artistarena.com/sevendust

 Ahead of the album’s release, the band—Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), Clint Lowery (guitars/vocals), Vince Hornsby (bass/vocals), and John Connolly (guitar/vocals)—will hit the road in support of the new LP.  The band will be joined by Lacuna Coil, the reformed Coal Chamber, and Candlelight Red (which is touring in support of its recently released Morgan Rose produced EP, Demons)  at various stops throughout its tour.  The tour kicks off Saturday, February 2nd at Ziggy’s in Winston Salem, North Carolina.  The band will be performing alongside Lacuna Coil at this show, and those following through February 23rd.  Sevendust’s Eastern Carolina fan base will also get to see the band live as it will make a stop at Hooligan’s in Jacksonville, North Carolina Sunday, February 3rd.  Fans who don’t get to see the band in its first run through North Carolina will get on more chance later in April as the band is set to perform at the Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina on Tuesday, April 23rd. As an added bonus, not only will fans in Charlotte get to see the band perform alongside Lacuna Coil, but they’ll also get to see both Coal Chamber and Candlelight Red at this show.

To get all the latest news from Sevendust on its new album and its tour and to check out the band’s music, fans can go online to http://www.sevendust.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevendust/25493613958, http://twitter.com/Sevendust, and http://www.youtube.com/user/officialsevendust.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Performance times announced for Rock on The Range

Rock on The Range, one of the year’s biggest music festivals, has announced performance times for bands on the bill this year.  The festival runs May 18th  – 20th.  It all kicks off Friday, May 18th with a performance of Hells Bells on the f.y.e. second stage.  The band will perform at 7:00p.m.  Black Tide, Foxy Shazam and Hairball will follow at 7:45pm, 8:30pm and 9:30pm, respectively.

The big show starts Satuday morning with a performance by Emphatic at 11:30am on the f.y.e. Second Stage.  Adelitas Way will open the Monster Main stage at noon.  Also playing this year’s main stage are:  Halestorm, Theory of a Deadman, Chevelle, Slash, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, and Incubus.  Lots of other big names will be playing other stages at this year’s show including:  P.O.D., Cypress Hill, Cavo, and Bobaflex.

Sunday, May 20th will open with shows by Ghosts of August and Aranda at 11:30am on the Jagermeister Stage and f.y.e. Second Stage respectively.  They’ll be joined Sunday by:  Trivium, Attack Attack!, Down, Anthrax, SOil, James Durbin, 12 Stones, and Lacuna Coil.  Rob Zombie closes out the festival Sunday night on the Monster Main Stage.  He takes the stage at 9:45pm.

A small number of weekend and single day tickets are still available.  Rock on The Range is also offering a “4-pack Special” for $199 plus fees.  This pack includes a lower service charge than standard tickets.  For more information on this year’s festival, go online to http://www.RockonTheRange.com, http://www.facebook.com/rockonthernage, or http://twitter.com/rockontherange.