Discrepancies’ New Album Is An Aptly Titled Record

Courtesy: InVogue Records/Alan Ashcraft

Independent rock band Discrepancies is quite the interesting act.  The up-and-coming quartet has only been in existence since 2013.  In the short time since its formation, this little band that could has proven itself one of the next big names in the rock community. That is evidenced through the facts that since its formation, the quartet has played some of the nation’s biggest concert festivals, garnered thousands of streams for its singles and videos, and even released two successful studio recordings – an EP and an album.  Now this Friday, the band will look to continue its meteoric climb with the release of its aptly titled second album (and third overall studio recording) The Rise.  The 10-song record has already produced five singles, each of which has done its part to prove the band’s place in the rap-rock community.  They are just a part of what makes this 33-minute presentation such an entertaining and engaging record.  That is because they only show one side of the record, so to speak.  ‘Put ‘Em Up (Dub Flow)’ shows another side to the album.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Blame Me,’ the album’s penultimate entry, is another notable addition to the record.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Left To Drift,’ which comes early in the record’s run, is one more important addition to the album.  It shows yet more depth to the record and will be discussed later, too.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here, the album’s singles and its remaining two songs, the record in whole becomes a presentation that proves Discrepancies’ star truly is on the rise.

Up-and-coming rock band Discrepancies is unquestionably one of the next big names in the rock community to watch for 2020 and beyond.  The five singles that the record has already produced have shown that the band can easily hold its own within the rap-rock and nu-metal communities.  They are not all that the album has to offer, though.  There’s also a touch of some more pure rap alongside the band’s rock influences in ‘Put ‘Em Up (Dub Flow).’  Yes, the rock element is present here through the guitar and drums, but that aspect plays more of a supporting role alongside front man ATG Metcalf and guest rapper Dub Flow’s rhymes, and their pairing with the song’s bass and keyboards.  The rhymes that the pair spits are collectively a message of self confidence.

The noted lyrical theme is inferred right from the song’s outset as the lead verse states, “Corny a** rappers/Gettin’ hyped up by mascots/Claimin’ that they have guac/I call them have nots/Put ‘em in a super soldier, figure four/Until they give me mad props/Things get intense and the caps lock/Lately I feel a bit offline/But I gotta get at it/It’s all mine/Now hundred percent ground…These critics are drillin’ me/I’m not the enemy/I’m just a victim of hard times/Our message is vivid/It might take a minute/’Cause we gotta fit it in small minds/I try to keep it classy/’Cause I’m not into fashion…They don’t like the way we mix it up/They want to send me packin’…”  Some of the lyrics here are tough to catch, considering the speed at which the lyrics are delivered at some points.  However, enough is decipherable that it can be inferred here that this is someone who is fighting plenty of odds, but is still standing strong.  It’s a familiar topic in the rap and hip-hop world, and is no less engaging here than in any other song.  The inferred theme is made even clearer in the song’s second verse, which states, “I you’re ready to feel the rush/That’s what’s up/Feel the adrenaline building up/Hit the clutch/even if you think everything sucks/Put ‘em up/’Cause if you don’t give a damn/We don’t give/a/f***.”  The song continues in similar fashion from there, giving the musical middle finger to all of the naysayers out there while also continuing to remind listeners to not give up.  It collectively makes for a strong statement that will resonate with listeners long after the song ends.  When this familiar lyrical theme is considered along with its companion musical content, the whole of the song becomes even more notable.  Collectively, they make the song just one of the album’s most standout songs.  ‘Blame Me’ is as notable as ‘Put ‘Em Up (Drub Flow).’

‘Blame Me’ stands out in that its musical arrangement is not the standard rap rock style presentation that has been so prevalent in most of the album’s singles.  Rather, this song boasts more of an aggro-rock style complete with not just Metcalf’s rapping, but also more clean singing vocals from guitarist Addison Bracher.  The combination of the two elements joins with the subtle keyboards and the drums to lend the arrangement to a comparison to works from the likes of Nonpoint, Stuck Mojo and Linkin Park.  When the aggression in the song’s musical theme couples with its lyrical counterpart, the whole of the song becomes even more engaging and entertaining for listeners.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Blame Me’ is certain to resonate with listeners in its own way as it takes on those people who live to make everyone around them miserable.  That is inferred clearly in the song’s lead verse, which states, “I’ve watched you/Interrupt nonsense/Set it on fire/Creating your own problems/Complain that it burns/But still refuse to drop it/If you want to leave my day in ruin/Well, mission accomplished/Offer you the blueprint/All you do is knock it/Allergic to the solution/Addicted to the conflict/Drop it/Listen to something I can’t rock with/I love you to death/but your attitude’s toxic/Stop it/Why you gotta wreck my day/Save all that negative energy and step away/Why you searching for the sympathy I guess you crave…”  The last line in this verse is tough to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference, but that is beside the point.  Enough of the lyrics are understandable at this point to make clear the noted theme.  The song’s second verse follows in similar fashion, noting, “I promise if you let it/I swear this world will drown you/let go of the drama/You really seem to be bouncin’/Listen/Doesn’t always have to come down to bringin’ yourself down and everybody around you.”  Again, here is that noted message as clear as day.  The song’s subject then goes on to state, “I need to cut you out.”  This is important in that it puts out there that this is someone who is at that breaking point with someone in a highly toxic relationship.  It doesn’t have to be a romantic relationship.  It could just be a general plutonic relationship.  Lots of people out there have been in the noted scenario.  It is certain to make the song that much more accessible for listeners.  In turn, it proves even more why not just the song, but the album, too, is so hard hitting.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable works, too.  ‘Left To Drift’ adds even more depth to the album.

‘Left To Drift’ stands out perhaps more than any other arrangement in Discrepancies’ new album in that it presents a distinct progressive metal sound.  The heavy, guitar-driven work immediately lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of TesseracT, Periphery, and Meshuggah.  What’s really interesting here is the juxtaposition of that sound against the clean vocals.  It makes for such a powerful impact.  In relation, the song’s lyrical content makes for its own powerful impact. 

Right from its outset, the song’s lyrical theme hints directly at the familiar topic of a broken relationship as Bracher sings, “Oh what a beautiful lie/To give a heart with no trust left inside/They say…the truth it sets and feels like I’m dead inside/Let the waves wash over my skin/Let the tide pull me in.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Oh what a colorless lie/to trust a love that left you torn inside/You feel you’ll never be worthy/Do you/You fear there’s no room for you left in their hearts.”  This again comes across as someone addressing another who is dealing with some heavy thoughts and emotions as a result of very negative interactions in the past.  The lines that follow add to that statement even more.  All things considered, the heaviness in the song’s lyrical content couples with the heaviness in the song’s musical arrangement to make the song in whole its own unique presentation that makes the album even more engaging and entertaining.  When the song is considered along with the other songs noted here, the album’s singles and its two remaining tracks, the record in whole cements Discrepancies’ place as one of the next big names in the hard rock and metal community.

Discrepancies’ sophomore album The Rise is an impressive return for the band.  It is a presentation that certifies the band’s place among the next generation of hard rock and metal acts.  That is proven not only through the rap-rock style singles that the album has already produced, but also through the songs noted here as well as the album’s other two singles.  They collectively present The Rise as a record that is quite diverse in its content.  That diversity and the accessibility of the record’s lyrical content comes together to make this record a solid success from beginning to end.  They make the record a sign that this band’s fame is in fact on the rise. 

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




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TesseracT Debuts New Single, Video; Launches New Live Schedule

Tesseract is back.

The U.K.-based progressive metal outfit unveiled its new single ‘Smile’ and its companion lyric video this week.  The previously unreleased song was recorded at 4D Studios in Brighton and Celestial Sound Studios in Notts, UK, and produed by Acle Kahney early this spring.

Tesseract Smile Video Grab

The band described the new song as “its most collaborative track in recent years,” with its vocals playing an integral part in bringing it to life. The band’s members added the song’s bass line strengthened the song even more by serving as the backbone for its chorus.

Vocalist Daniel Tompkins explained the lyrical concept behind the song is somewhat metaphysical.

“Lyrically, ‘Smile’ carries a strong and forward sense of irony as we explore the darkest side of the human condition,” Tompkins said.  “The song will witness the manifestation of an ‘entity.’ Consciousness survives through constant manipulation only to propagate pessimism and hopelessness.  Our entity observes, consumes and evolves, bearing witness to human existence, mimicking our presence in colossal form.”

Bassist Amos Williams expanded on Tompkins’ thoughts, saying the song, in its current form, is just one example of what audiences can expect from the band’s next, in-the-works album.

“We chose this track as although it is part of a greater theme, and is in fact toward the end of a story arc, it stands alone very well,” Williams said.  “We have a solid idea of where we would like to take this track on the next album as it is no way finished.  It is merely one step in a journey.”

Williams went on to discuss his own part in the song’s creation, saying a lot of time and thought was put into the bass’ line as it worked with the rest of the song.

“The verses and choruses stand very far apart from each other,” Williams said.  “There is a tension we wished to build through a minimalist approach, with small phrases that repeat against accompanying parts of different lengths.  These undulate, seemingly getting lost against the non-conventional phrasing of the drums.  All this is nothing new to TesseracT fans, but this time we have really looked to align the lyrical and musical messages.”

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

The band’s release this week of ‘Smile’ and its companion video was intentionally timed, as the band has hit the road on a new string of live dates with Megadeth and Meshuggah.  The bands’ tour launched June 23 in Big Flats, NY, and currently runs through July 11 in Pittsburg, PA.  TesseracT also has its own string of headlining dates lined up from July 1 to July 13.  TesseracT’s current live schedule is noted below.

6/23 Big Flats, NY – Tags Summerstage
6/25 Boston, MA – House Of Blues
6/27 Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
6/28 Portsmouth, VA – Portsmouth Pavillion
6/29 Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
6/30 Columbus, OH – Express Live
7/07 Saint Charles, MO – Family Arena
7/08 Oklahoma City, OK – The Zoo Amphitheatre
7/09 Houston, TX – Revention Music Centre
7/11 Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AEHEADLINE:
7/01/17 – Indianapolis IN – The Emerson Theater
7/05/17 – Nashville, TN – Exit / In
7/06/17 – Memphis, TN – Hi Tone
7/12/17 – Buffalo, NY – The Waiting Room

7/13/17 – Amityville, NY – Revolution Bar & Grill

‘Smile’ can be purchased or streamed online now here.  More information on ‘Smile’ is available online now along with all of TesseracT’s latest news and more at:




Website: http://www.tesseractband.co.uk

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/tesseractband




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STS Creates Another Musical Masterpiece In Its Fifth Full-Length Album

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Veteran prog-rock outfit Scale The Summit released its latest album last Friday. The album, simply (and aptly) titled V is the band’s fifth full-length studio effort since its formation roughly ten years ago in Houston, Texas and its fifth in the eight years since the release of its 2007 debut album Monument. That is impressive considering that it is nearly double what most bands manage to churn out in that amount of time. Most bands typically can get out three albums over ten years if they’re lucky considering touring schedules for each album. STS has proven over the course of its eleven years together to obviously be anything but one of those bands having released a new album every two years since the release of its 2007 debut. That’s not the only way in which the band has proven to be anything but standard. It has also shown that in regards to the overall content of each of its previous recordings. None of the band’s previous four albums have sounded like the other. And even within themselves, none of said records have stuck to just one style of rock, either. They encompass both the prog-rock realm and that of prog-metal. There are even some modern jazz influences in each of the band’s compositions as well as other influences. That is just as much the case in V as in the band’s previous records. That variety will keep listeners just as engaged throughout the course of this record as its previous offerings. And for those that might be less familiar with the band’s body of work it is just as effective as a first impression. Keeping all of this in mind, V shows in full to be yet another impressive effort from STS as well as yet another candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new rock record and one of the year’s best new hard/rock albums. Such success means it is also just as easy of a candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s best new albums overall.

Scale The Summit has proven time and again to be one of the best bands in the prog-rock and prog-metal community over the course of its now eleven years together. That is because it has made a concerted effort to be different from both others within the world of progressive music and music in whole. That effort has paid off yet again on the band’s fifth full-length studio recording. Simply (and aptly) titled V the album boasts ten more instrumental tracks that longtime fans will enjoy just as much as those that might be new to the band’s body of work. That is made clear right from the album’s opener ‘The Winged Bull.’ This four minute-plus opus is one more example of why STS has so often been compared to the likes of Dream Theater and other well-known names within the prog-rock and prog-metal community. The dual-guitar attack of Chris Letchford and Travis Levrier coupled with Mark Mitchell’s work on the bass creates a sense of controlled chaos–counterpoint if one will. As much is going on just between the trio it is obvious that quite a bit of thought went into each part. That is especially obvious as Mitchell complements both drummer J.C. Bryant and his fellow guitarists. Speaking of Bryant, his ability to keep time while handling the rather difficult polyrhythmic patterns throughout is just as impressive here. The end result of all four musicians’ talents together is a song that comes across as one part Dream Theater and one part Meshuggah. It is a song that was definitely the perfect choice to open this album and easily one of the album’s best moments. That says plenty considering just how much there is to say to the positive of all ten of this album’s impressive compositions.

‘The Winged Bull’ is a solid, impressive opener for STS’ latest full-length studio recording. That is because of the talent exhibited by each of the band’s members by themselves and as a collective unit. The effect of the band’s collective talents is a song that sounds like controlled chaos in the best possible manner and that conjures thoughts of Dream Theater and Meshuggah over the course of its nearly four and a half-minute run time. While it is in its own right an impressive part of the album’s whole, it is of course just one example of what makes the band’s latest offering such an impressive record. ‘Oort Cloud,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is yet another example of what makes V such an impressive effort from a band that is part of the future of prog-rock and prog-metal. That is because it is one of those pieces that puts on display the band’s modern jazz influences, as noted earlier. The song opens with a decidedly difficult riff from bassist Mark Mitchell. It’s not some speed metal riff or anything of that sort. Rather it’s the type of lick that conjures thoughts of legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius. Michell executes that opening with the utmost expertise and continues to hold his own as the song progresses through its roughly five and a half-minute run time, too. His are not the only talents worth noting in this song. Drummer J.C. Bryant joins Mitchell as the song’s other central musician. Bryant shows just as much talent here as at any point throughout the album as it requires far more control being that it is not nearly as intense as those songs.

Both ‘The Winged Bull’ and ‘Oort Cloud’ are in their own right impressive additions to the whole of V. That is because both songs show in their own way the diversity of the band members’ talents and influences. They show once more that despite its label as a prog-metal band, it is obviously so much more than that. They are just two ways in which the band exhibits that diversity and diversity of talent in this record. ‘Kestrel,’ which also comes later in the record’s run, is one more example of the reach of the band members’ talents and in turn the diversity of the record’s sound. It is a heavy song. There is no denying that. However, what is truly interesting here is that for all of its heaviness, it is still is not just one of those adrenaline-fueled, thousand mile-per-hour pieces that allowed the band to just ground and pound for lack of better worked. Rather it is a piece that obviously required a certain amount of attention because of its changing time signatures. It is a piece that built right from its opening bars until its abrupt but solid ending. It requires audiences to really listen to the song in whole to appreciate its depth. In appreciating that depth, listeners will agree that said depth makes clear why ‘Kestrel’ is one more of V’s highest points. Together with ‘The Winged Bull’ and ‘Oort Cloud’ all three songs present in full clarity why V is yet another impressive recording from STS and why it is a triple threat of an offering from one of the leaders of progressive music’s next generation.

Scale The Summit is one of the leading acts in progressive music’s next generation. That has already been made clear through the band’s first four records. Its latest full-length studio effort V strengthens that argument even more. That is because the ten tracks that make up the body of the record stand out from the compositions included in the band’s previous records and from each other within the course of this album. All three of the songs noted here are each prime examples of just how much the record’s songs stand out. That is not to discount any of the album’s other songs either. All ten tracks could be used as examples of the record’s solidity. That taken into consideration V shows itself to be a triple threat of a record. It is a record that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s best new rock records, best new hard rock/metal albums and in turn the year’s best new albums overall. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered direct via STS’ official website at http://www.scalethesummit.com and its official online store at http://www.scalethesummitstore.com. More information on V is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and tour updates at:

Website: http://www.scalethesummit.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/scalethesummit

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.

It Lies Within Has Broken Out Of Its Chrysalis

Courtesy: Luxor Records/Infamous Empire

When one thinks of Michigan, one typically thinks of the University of Michigan Wolverines, the Great Lakes, and Motown.  But if the members of Flint, Michigan have anything to say about it, people may soon be associating Michigan with the metal community, too.  This five-piece has been pounding out its aggressive rhythms since 2008.  In the four years since the band started up, it’s made some big waves in the metal community.  The band has performed on metal festivals such as Rockapalooza, Bledfest, and the Carnival of Chaos.  And now with the release of its new LP, ‘Chrysalis”, It Lies Within is set to become another of the big names in the metal community.

Anyone who is a fan of Dragonforce, Mushroomhead, Crossbreed, As I Lay Dying, or other bands of that ilk will enjoy “Chrysalis.”  Vocalist Zachary Scott does a good job of mixing guttural screams with more melodic sounds throughout the record.  And the use of keyboards mixed in with the guitar work of Matthew Michael and Michael Siva on the likes of ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ and ‘Redefined Identity’ will conjure thoughts of the aforementioned bands.  There seems to even be a touch of Meshuggah in ‘Redefined Identity’ and ‘The Watcher.’  And any fan of Arch Enemy will appreciate ‘Sharp Tongue’, and perhaps ‘Moments and Memories.’  In short, what can be said of It Lies Within on this new release is this.  Whereas so many young up-and-coming bands in the metal community have a tendency to stick to perhaps one influence and try too hard to emulate said band’s sound, It Lies Within shows its versatility with “Chrysalis.”  Consider that the term, “Chrysalis” is a hard outer covering for some living beings.  It’s a fitting title for the band’s new album.  That’s because what this band has shown is that in showing its versatility, ILW has broken out of its chrysalis and is flying free among the young metal masses.  It would be no surprise that with the right coverage and support, this Flint, MI based band may become even more popular as it flies its course.

It Lies Within is currently touring in support of Chrysalis.  The band will be performing a pair of dates in Illinois this weekend and will follow them up with a series of performances across Michigan throughout October.  Fans can get a full tour listing and all the latest from the band online at http://www.itlieswithin.com, http://www.facebook.com/itlieswithin, http://www.myspace.com/itlieswithin, and http://twitter.com/itlieswithin.  The band’s album is available now in stores and online.  It can be downloaded via iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/it-lies-within/id345594889

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

Century Media Announces Newest Addition To Label Lineup

Imagine, Metal Nation, if you were to combine the best elements of Arch Enemy front woman Angela Gossow with Lacuna Coil’s Cristina Scabbia, and then added in elements of Meshuggah to back those powerhouse vocals.  That’s what audiences get in the newest addition to Century Media’s roster, Destiny Potato.  yes that is really the band’s name.  Don’t let the name fool you.  This is a band that the Metal Nation Worldwide may very well be hearing a lot from in the near future.

This Belgrade based group of musicians formed in the Spring of 2011.  The band was formed by David Maxim Micic and vocalist Aleksandra Djelmas.  The pair had been writing music since the age of 16.  they attended the same high school.  And their fathers were both members of one of Serbia’s most popular prog rock bands, YU GRUPA. 

Maxim was first introduced to the world of heavier music during his time at the famed Berklee College of Music.  He explains how his horizons started growing while he attended Berklee, saying, “From there I just started discovering so much more metal music. I decided to do a solo album inspired by these bands as well as Serbian and other Eastern European music though some of the heavier sounds also started to be incorporated into the music Alex and I were working on.”

Maxim explains that in deciding on a band name, he and his band mates wanted a name that people would remember and that was also light hearted.  When asked about the meaning behind the band’s name Maxim said, “I really have no idea what it means or where it actually came from.”

The band is now hard at work on its Century Media debut record, which is currently sltade for release in early 2013.  In the meantime, audiences can get an idea of Destiny Potato’s sound thanks to a rough mix of the band’s song, ‘Dark Side of You.’  The song can be heard at the link here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTq5sIDryEs

For more information on Destiny Potato, go online to http://www.facebook.com/destinypotato.

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

Animals as Leaders are leaders

Animals as Leaders has got to be one of the most bizarre, yet impressive bands of 2011.  There is no band like them out there right now.  The band’s new release, “Weightless” proves that.

One wouldn’t imagine that combining elements of Meshuggah, Nevermore, Dream Theater, Joe Satriani, and so many top name progressive rock acts would turn out too well.  But somehow, Tosin Abasi (founder of Animals as Leaders) has done the unimaginable.  He has crafted an album that crosses the lines of the rock world more than any other artist in the progressive rock world.  And he does it in impressive fashion.

Right from the opening strains of ‘An Infinite Regression’, trained audiences will instantly think of famed bassist Jaco Pastorius.  And while the 8-bit video game sounds may leave some audiences scartching their heads, those who wait will be rewarded with quite the musical adventure.  It kicks into high gear with a very Nevermore-esque sound that doesn’t try to outdo the revered Seattle metallers.  From there, it keeps that same peculiar experimental feel with ‘Odessa’.  ‘Odessa’ starts off with those same 8-bit video game sounds before breaking into something akin to Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci. 

That same Dream Theater feel continues on until ‘Do Not Go Gently’.  This opus starts off with a nice jazz bass intro beofre kicking things way into high gear with a blatantly Meshuggah-esque sound.  And there’s plenty more where that came from.  Now, for those who want something softer, AAL offers that too in the form of:  ‘David’ and ‘Espera’.  Those two pieces are as quiet as this album gets.  The rest of the album is a great aural adventure through the world of progressive metal.  It’s one of those albums that unless it’s bought or downloaded audiences won’t be hearing it on any radio station.  That in mind, not only is “Weightless” one of the best metal albums of 2011, it’s also one of the most underrated.  For any purist metalhead, this one is definitely a must.