A Fitting Revenge Announces New Album Release Date, Details

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent hard rock band A Fitting Revenge will tentatively release its new album next month.

The band is scheduled to release its new album, Omnipresence July 1. The record is composed of 12-songs, including a three-part song that makes up the record’s last three tracks. The album’s track listing is noted below.

Track List:
1. The Performance
2. The Infinite
3. The Inquisition
4. The Collapse
5. The Kingmachine
6. The Wheel
7. The Reprieve
8. The Freeze
9. The Overthrow
10. The Monarchy Pt. 1
11. The Monarchy Pt. 2
12. The Monarchy Pt. 3

In anticipation of the album’s release, A Fitting Revenge premiered the video for the album’s lead single, ‘The Overthrow‘ in December. The song’s arrangement is a heavy math metal type composition that at times shows influence from Meshuggah.

The song’s video is a simple presentation that finds the band performing the song on a sound stage. Various video effects are used to heighten the viewing experience and add to the song’s energy.

More information on A Fitting Revenge’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://afittingrevenge.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/afrtheban

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.

Louder Than Life Festival Lineup Announced

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The Louder Than Life Festival will return to Louisville, KY this year with an expansive lineup of acts.

The festival, scheduled to take place Sept. 22-25 at the Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center in Louisville, KY, will be headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, and KISS. The four-day festival will also feature performances from bands, such as Bloodywood, Anti-Flag, and Superbloom. The KY Expo Center is located at 937 Phillips Ln. in Louisville, KY.

The festival’s full lineup is noted below. Tickets are available here. Weekend general admission passes start at $249.50 plus fees. Weekend VIP passes start at $629.50 plus fees. A limited number of Weekend Top Shelf VIP passes is still available for $1,329.50 plus fees.

General admission single day passes start at $99.50 plus fees. Single day VIP passes start at $295.50 plus fees. Layaway options are available through March 31 for $10, with payments made through July.

A trailer for the forthcoming annual festival is streaming.

The current Louder Than Life lineup is as follows (subject to change):

Thursday, September 22: Nine Inch Nails, Bring Me The Horizon, Evanescence, Halestorm, Tenacious D, Yungblud, Highly Suspect, Ministry, Nothing More, Baroness, Spiritbox, Apocalyptica, Dorothy, Don Broco, New Years Day, Plush, Lilith Czar, Maggie Lindemann, Taipei Houston, The Dead Deads, Mothica, Superbloom, Eva Under Fire, Oxymorrons

Friday, September 23: Slipknot, Shinedown, Lamb Of God, Mastodon, In This Moment, Meshuggah, Clutch, Jinjer, GWAR, In Flames, Helmet, POORSTACY, Crown The Empire, DED, All Good Things, Amigo The Devil, Vended, Mike’s Dead, If I Die First, Orbit Culture, The Luka State, Ego Kill Talent, The Native Howl, Archetypes Collide

Saturday, September 24: KISS, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Chevelle, Ghostemane, Jerry Cantrell, Dance Gavin Dance, Theory of a Deadman, Body Count, Sevendust, Mammoth WVH, We Came As Romans, Airbourne, Cherry Bombs, Ill Niño, Tetrarch, Nita Strauss, Against The Current, Wargasm, Trash Boat, Shaman’s Harvest, Solence, Dropout Kings, Bloodywood

Sunday, September 25: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Papa Roach, The Pretty Reckless, Architects, Bad Religion, Action Bronson, The Struts, Jelly Roll, Dirty Honey, Anti-Flag, The Joy Formidable, Bayside, The Warning, Royal & The Serpent, caroles daughter, Radkey, The Mysterines, Crown Lands, AEIR, The Alive, As You Were

The Louder Than Life Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents. The festival debuted in 2014 and expanded to four days in 2021.

More information on the 2022 Louder Than Life Festival is available along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.LouderThanLifeFestival.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ltlfest

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.

Meshuggah Debuts ‘The Abysmal Eye’ Video

Courtesy: Atomic Fire Records

Meshuggah unveiled the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its new single, ‘The Abysmal Eye’ Thursday. The song is featured in the band’s forthcoming album, Immutable, which is scheduled for release April 1 through Atomic Fire Records.

The video for ‘The Abysmal Eye’ is an intense cinematic presentation. It is a unique science fiction/horror story that finds a group of unidentified, hooded figures apparently resurrecting a being as people make their way to the pit where the the resurrection is happening. The video’s end involves a sequence similar to what happened at the end of Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, not to give away too much. The band’s new single plays over the presentation.

The musical arrangement featured in Meshuggah’s new single is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band. The richness and heaviness of the instrumentation and vocals is on full display once again. What’s more, the technical death metal style that the band has come to be known for is just as present while still ensuring the song maintains its own identity separate from the band’s existing body of work.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the video’s premiere. The lyrics provided with the video make for their own share of engagement and discussion among audiences. It comes across as very existential and philosophical, which is also unsurprising from this band.

The track listing for Immutable is noted below.

Immutable Track Listing:

1. Broken Cog

2. The Abysmal Eye

3. Light The Shortening Fuse

4. Phantoms

5. Ligature Marks

6. God He Sees In Mirrors

7. They Move Below

8. Kaleidoscope

9. Black Cathedral

10. I Am That Thirst

11. The Faultless

12. Armies Of The Preposterous

13. Past Tense

More information on Meshuggah’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.meshuggah.net

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/meshuggah

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.

Exist Immortal’s New EP Is An Impressive Addition To 2021’s Field Of New Prog-Metal Records

Courtesy: Seek & Strike

Independent progressive metal outfit Exist Immortal has been making its own course in the metal community since the release of its 2014 album, Dream Sequence.  In the time since the album’s release, the band has gone on to release two more albums, one EP, and a handful of singles largely on its own.  Now Friday, the band takes another step forward in its life with the release of its second EP (the band’s fifth studio recording), Act II:  Gold.  The record has already produced one single, ‘Come Alive.’  Its video has received more than 6,600 views since its premiere last month. The EP’s latest single, its title track, is set to debut Wednesday through knotfest.com.  The second release in the band’s EP trilogy, Act IIGold continues the band’s musical exploration of navigating internal struggles, which was started in 2020 with Gold’s predecessor, Rebirth.  That is according to front man Meyrick de la Fuente.  The path taken in this record is itself sure to engage and entertain audiences.  This will be discussed shortly.  The musical arrangements that accompany the record’s lyrical theme do their own part to make the record appealing, and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important way to the whole of Act IIGold.  All things considered, they make the record a work that any prog-metal fan will find worth hearing.

Exist Imortal will take a big step forward in its life Friday when it releases its new EP, Act IIGold through Seek & Strike Records.  While the label is technically an independent label, the release of the EP with a label’s backing means the band is moving in the right direction.  Of course it is just one sign of the band’s positive growth.  The overarching lyrical theme of the band’s new EP is its own assurance of the growth of the band’s popularity. Front man Meyrich de la Fuente pointed out in a recent interview that the album’s lyrical theme continues the overall theme of dealing with inner struggles once a person has gotten through the initial stage of going through those emotional obstacles.

Act OneRebirth is about coming to terms with missed opportunities and letting the past go,” he said.  “Act TwoGold is about assessing what needs to be done in moments of clarity while coming through difficult times.”

His statement is proven through the record’s overall lyrical content.  As the EP opens in the song ‘Atmosphere,’ de la Fuente sings in its chorus, “They’ll be waiting with their daggers out/To see if I am denied/It’s terrifying I might prove them right/I have to live my life/That’s why I need to find a place I can unwind/When it’s over/When I feel it sinking in.”  This is clearly the beginning of that moment of clarity.  

The positive vibe of which de la Fuente noted is even more as the EP continues in ‘Come Alive.’  He sings in the song’s lead verse, “I wanna get away/So tired of being this afraid/I feel it/I feel it/I can’t be down/I hate it/I hate it/I always drown/I won’t be your ghost/Holding on again/How can I be there/When something always takes me in the end.”  The sense of determination continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “I’m still tryna find a way/While hoping for a better day/I feel it/I feel it/You must know why/We are one/So just take it away/It won’t be the same/Inside the echo of our/Heart is a game/The world is insane/It’s all a lie/Hard to see/Just where we meet inside these lines (It won’t be the same).”

As the EP enters its title track, the song seems to hint at letting go of the past as we reach that point of clarity.  That is inferred as the speaker makes note of being so eager to let someone from the past back into one’s life even though we know the likely repercussions of such actions.  The song’s subject responds, noting, that “I won’t back down/I can’t back down for anyone.”  In other words, this is that self-assuredness coming through in that moment of clarity.  That assurance is echoed in the chorus in the song’s finale, ‘The Cure.’  The song’s subject sings in the song’s chorus, “I’m waking up from all the chaos inside/I won’t give up/I’m strong enough.”  The rest of the song’s lyrical content is just as confident.  When it is considered along with the clear emotional journey on which the subject travels from the record’s opening, that overarching lyrical theme of which de la Fuente noted becomes fully clear.  It in itself forms a strong foundation for the EP’s presentation. 

The overall lyrical concept presented in this EP is itself reason enough for audiences to hear the record.  It is just one of the positives to which audiences have to anticipate.  The EP’s overall musical approach adds even more to its appeal.  The musical arrangements featured in Act II: Gold will reach a wide range of metal and hard rock fans.  The 16-minute presentation opens with a solid prog-metal work whose rich heaviness and djent style immediately lends itself to comparisons in part to works from Devin Townsend and in part to works from TesseracT.  That hybrid approach makes the song a strong opener for the record.  The band changes things up slightly in ‘Atmosphere’ with an almost metalcore style approach paired with its prog-metal roots.  It makes for yet another interesting presentation in itself.  ‘Gold’ is perhaps the most radio-ready of the EP’s works with its pure prog-metal approach, complete with soaring vocals.  The TesseracT comparison is definitely present here, too.  Though, the band still manages to give the song its own identity.  The band goes even heavier in ‘The Cure,’ which closes out the album.  Along with the continued TesseracT comparison, there is also a minor touch of a Meshuggah influence in the guitar arrangement.  That added to the song’s overall melodic prog-metal arrangement makes for even more engagement and entertainment.  When it is considered along with the rest of the record’s musical content, that whole enhances the EP’s appeal even more.  It still is not the last of the EP’s most notable elements.  The production of that content puts the finishing touch to the record.

The production that went into Act IIGold is important to examine because of how much is going on in this record’s arrangements.  The songs are busy to say the least, combining the rich, heavy guitars, the equally rich bass line, drums and vocal harmonies.  Considering how much each instrument “has to say” within the bigger picture of each song, a lot of attention had to be paid to each song so as to ensure everything was balanced within each work.  Thankfully that attention paid off each time.  de la Fuente’s vocals, which possess their own wonderful power pair so well with the intensity of the instrumentation in each song.  At no point do any of the lines overpower one another.  Everything is so well balanced, to the result that the record’s production leads listeners to be fully immersed in the record.  To that end, there is no doubt about the importance of the EP’s production.  When it is considered along with the record’s featured arrangements and lyrical content, that whole makes Act IIGold a record that every prog-metal purist will agree is worth hearing at least once.

Exist Immortal’s forthcoming EP Act IIGold is a presentation that any prog-metal fan will find interesting.  That is due in part to its featured lyrical theme.  The theme in question follows the theme established in the record’s predecessor, Act IRebirth.  The continuation of the “story” featured in that record is certain to engage listeners in its own right.  The musical arrangements that accompany the EP’s lyrical content makes for its own appeal — especially again — for prog-metal purists.  They are unique compositions that still exhibit influences from the band’s more well-known counterparts, such as TesseracT.  The production of those arrangements puts the finishing touch to the record.  It ensures every composition within the record is balanced to the utmost extent, and succeeds in so doing.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this record.  All things considered, they make the EP a presentation that prog-metal purists will find worth hearing at least once.  Act IIGold is scheduled for release Friday through Seek & Strike Records.  More information on the EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:



Twitter:  https://twitter.com/existimmortal

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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:




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.

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

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