Metal Blade Sharp As Ever With New BTBAM, Fates Warning Live Recordings

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records has two new live recordings out today, and they are recordings that both deserve a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.  The recordings in question are Between The Buried and Me’s Coma Ecliptic Live and Fates Warning’s Awaken The Guardian Live. Both deserve one of those critical spots in part due to their set lists.  This will be discussed shortly.  The respective performances in each recording are just as important to note as the set lists.  The recordings’ production values round out the recordings’ most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right to the recordings’ presentations.  All things considered, both recordings prove to be offerings that fans of each band will appreciate and that, again, deserve a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.

Coma Ecliptic Live and Awaken The Guardian Live are both recordings that are deserving of a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.  That is due in no small part to the set lists featured in the recordings.  The set lists stand out because they are not just collections of songs.  Instead, each is a full album from its respective band.  For Between the Buried and Me, the album in question is the band’s latest album Coma Ecliptic.  For Fates Warning, the album is the classic album Awaken The Guardian. Both concerts were very recently recorded.  The prior was recorded during BTBAM’s October 4, 2016 concert at The Observatory North Park in San Diego, CA while the latter was recorded in 2016, too.  Regardless of whether one chooses the concerts’ 2 CD/DVD combo pack, Blu-ray, or deluxe edition, audiences will get both concerts on each platform.  BTBAM’s concert is also available in multiple formats, giving audiences just as much chance to enjoy that concert in various ways, too.  Having noted all this, it should be clear why the set lists featured in both bands’ new recordings are so important.  Sure, they are not the only bands to ever perform an album in whole at a concert.  How many bands or acts in general have ever released those performances for their fans?  Some have, yes.  But such recordings are not overly prevalent regardless of genre.  To that end, the set lists presented in these recordings gain even more importance in the recordings’ presentations.  Of course the set lists are only part of what makes each recording stand out.  The bands’ performances are just as important to note as the shows’ set lists.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The set lists featured in Fates Warning and BTBAM’s new live recordings are clearly important parts of each recording’s whole.  They are however, not the recordings’ only important elements.  The bands’ performances in each recording are just as important to note as the shows’ set lists.  In regards to BTBAM’s performance of Coma Ecliptic Live, the band takes little, if any, time between songs.  Rather, the band proceeds smoothly from one track to the next, keeping the album’s story moving from one song to the next.  The result is that even home audiences are pulled completely into the show, fully ensuring their engagement from beginning to end.  That is a powerful statement even for the concert’s audio-only presentation.  The performances put on by Fates Warning are just as impressive. The reunion of the band’s original lineup created an energy in its performance that is difficult to top from any similar act.  Original front man Jon Arch’s vocals soar while guitarist Jim Matheos and drummer Steve Zimmerman collectively pack their own musical punch throughout the shows.  The same can be said of bassist Joe DiBiase.  What’s more, the band wastes just as little time between songs in its performances, too, opting instead to let their performances do the talking for them.  That element of the performance, just as with BTBAM’s new live recording, keeps this band’s fans just as engaged as those of BTBAM or any other band.  Keeping that in mind it becomes fully clear why the performances put on by both bands are so critical to each act’s recording.  The performances are not the last of the recordings’ most important elements.  Their production values round out their most important elements.

The set lists and performances presented in both BTBAM’s new live recording and that of Fates Warning are both key to said recordings’ presentations.  That is evident in the fact that the set lists are made of one full album each rather than being random collections of songs.  The performances take audiences straight through said albums with little to no downtime between songs. Considering this, it is clear why each element is so important.  The noted elements are not the recordings’ only key elements.  Their production values are just as critical in their presentations as the aforementioned elements.  That is because it is those values that determine how well (or not) the recordings translate to home audiences.  Luckily for each band, the recordings’ production values stand out for the most positive reasons.  In the case of Coma Ecliptic Live, audiences are treated to expertly mixed audio, camera angles that take audiences up close and personal with the band and editing that just as expertly captures the energy and emotion of every song.  Much the same can be said of Awaken The Guardian Live.  Even in the case of the recordings’ audio-only platforms, the sound mixing is so well handled that audiences are pulled just as much into the concerts.  Between the expertly handled audio, the camera work and the recordings’ editing, the whole of the recordings’ production values form the foundation for each recording, a foundation on which the previously discussed set lists and performances rest easily.  All things considered, each recording proves to be enjoyable for the bands’ respective audiences.  They prove to be among the year’s top new live recordings.

Come Ecliptic Live and Awaken The Guardian Live are among this year’s top new live recordings.  They are presentations that fans of Between The Buried and Me and Fates Warning will all enjoy.  That is due to set lists that give audiences full album experiences and performances of said albums that will keep home audiences just as engaged as the audiences who attended the events in person.  The concerts’ production values across their varied platforms put the finishing touch on each recording’s presentation.  That is because they wholly pull audiences into the concerts regardless of platform.  Each element, as has been discussed already, plays its own integral part in the recordings’ presentations.  All things considered, they make each recording presentations that are memorable concerts; concerts that fans of each band will enjoy, leaving them agreeing each one deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new live recordings.  Each recording is available in stores and online now.  More information on each recording is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.metalblade.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MetalBlade

 

 

 

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Dragonforce Releases New Single, Live Video From Upcoming LP

Courtesy Metal Blade Records

Dragonforce gave audiences their first taste of the band’s new album this week.

The band released ‘Judgement Day’ this week.  The song is the lead single from the band’s upcoming album Reaching Into Infinity.  The song is streaming online now here.

While there, audiences can pre-order the album and check out a live video of the band’s classic song ‘Ground and Pound,’ which was released this week, too.  The performance was taken from the band’s Jan. 5, 2016 concert at Woodstock Poland.  That concert will be included in Reaching Into Infinity’s special extended CD/DVD platform.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Along with its standard and expanded edition, Reaching Into Infinity will also be available on a limited edition 2 LP gatefold platform.  Sides A&B are translucent purple while Sides C & D are fluorescent green.

The album will also be available on digital platforms. Exclusive physical bundles will be available with Dragonforce T-Shirt.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

 

Reaching Into Infinity’s track listing is noted below.

Reaching Into Infinity special CD/DVD edition track-listing:
Disc 1 – CD
1. Reaching into Infinity
2. Ashes of the Dawn
3. Judgement Day
4. Astral Empire
5. Curse of Darkness
6. Silence
7. Midnight Madness
8. WAR!
9. Land of Shattered Dreams
10. The Edge of the World
11. Our Final Stand
Bonus Tracks
12. Hatred and Revenge
13. Evil Dead
Disc 2 – Bonus DVD: “DragonForce Live at Woodstock Festival Poland 2016″
1. Holding On
2. Heroes of Our Time
3. Operation Ground and Pound
4. Holding On (Multi-angles)
5. Heroes of Our Time (Multi-Angles)
6. Operation Ground and Pound (Multi-Angles)

The band will hit the road this summer in support of Reaching Into Infinity beginning July 7 in San Francisco, CA.  The band’s current tour schedule runs through July 29 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla and also includes dates in Texas, New York, and Canada among other locations.  The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

DragonForce tour dates:
July 7 – San Francisco, CA – Slims
July 8 – Los Angeles, CA – The Roxy
July 9 – Mesa, AZ – Club Red
July 11 – San Antonio, TX – The Rock Box
July 12 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey
July 14 – St Louis, MO – Fubar
July 15 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Open Air
July 17 – Detroit, MI – El Club
July 18 – Washington DC – Rock & Roll Hotel
July 20 – New York, NY – Highline Ballroom
July 21 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall
July 22 – Bangor, ME – Rise Above Festival
July 23 – Montreal, QC – Corona
July 24 – Toronto, ON – Opera House
July 26 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade (“Heaven”)
July 27 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham
July 28 – Tampa, FL – Orpheum
July 29 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Culture Room

More information on Dragonforce’s new single, album, tour and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dragonforce.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DragonForce

 

 

 

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‘Morsefest 2015’ Release Date, Specs Announced

Courtesy: Radiant Records/Metal Blade Records/SONY

Courtesy: Radiant Records/Metal Blade Records/SONY

The Neal Morse Band will release its latest live recording next month.

Morsefest 2015 will be released on Friday, March 24, 2017.  The extensive concert recording will be released on separate 2 Blu-ray and 2 DVD + 4 CD sets and on digital platforms including iTunes.  Both will be released via Radiant Records via Metal Blade Records/SONY.

Pre-orders are available online now here.  A trailer for the upcoming release is available here. The concert was recorded over the course of two nights in 2015 and spans more than five hours.  It features from some 38 musicians including drummer Mike Portnoy.

The show includes complete performances of Sola Scriptura and Question, songs from Morse’s time with Spock’s Beard (featuring vocal performances from Nick D’Virgillio) and Transatlantic and more.

Morsefest 2015 includes as bonus material an hour-long documentary.  It features candid footage from the band, crew and other musicians

More information on Morsefest 2015 is available online now along with all of Neal Morse’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.nealmorse.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/nealmorse

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Dragonforce To Release New LP This Spring

Courtesy Metal Blade Records

Courtesy Metal Blade Records

Dragonforce has a new album on the way.

The band announced on Wednesday that it will release its next full-length studio recording this spring.  Reaching Into Infinity will be released in the U.S. on Friday, May 19.  The album will be released via Metal Blade Records.

Many of the songs included in the upcoming record were composed during the band’s recent tour in support of its 2016 hits collection Killer Elite.  The band used studios on both sides of the Atlantic to record the record, as bassist Frederic Leclercq explained.

“We were flying out, playing a festival, then back into the studio then back out again,” Leclercq said.  “It was very intense and very tiring.  I obviously played bass, but also a lot of rhythm guitar, electric and acoustic, and lost my temper a few times – I think we all did at some point, because we wanted to deliver nothing but the best.”

LeClercq, who wrote the majority of the new record’s songs, said the album attempts to show the band going in a direction in which it has never gone in its past six albums.

“I think we have proven that playing fast is something that we are good at, so this time I wanted to bring even more diversity into our music,” Leclercq said.  “It’s great to challenge ourselves instead of staying in a comfort zone, and I really wanted to experiment with Marc’s [Hudson] vocals.  I think people are going to be surprised at his brutality.”

He added the album’s title is meant to be a reflection of music even in the world’s current state.

“The title of the album explains pretty much what we are trying to do with our music,” Leclercq said.  “Today’s world is really crazy – There is fear of the future, uncertainty.  But the power of music is infinite, and it can give strength and hope to people.”

Drummer Gee Anzalone makes his drumming debut with the band on the upcoming record.  Guitarists Herman Li and Sam Totman are still on board in this presentation, too.

Fans will get their first taste of Reaching Into Infinity when the band takes the stage at the 2017 Chicago Open Air Festival on July 15 at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, IL.  More information on the Chicago Open Air Festival is available here.

More information on Reaching Into Infinity is available online now along with all of Dragonforce’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.dragonforce.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DragonForce

 

 

 

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Nova Collective Unveils ‘Dancing Machines’ Video

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The Nova Collective unveiled this week, the video for the lead single from its upcoming debut album The Further Side, which will be released March 10 via Metal Blade Records.

The band—comprised of members of Between The Buried and Me, Haken, Trioscapes and Cynic—unveiled an in-studio video featuring a performance of the album’s lead single ‘Dancing Machines.’ The video can be viewed online now here.

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The song’s arrangement is a composition that will appeal to fans of Scale The Summit, Liquid Tension Experiment, Trioscapes and others of that ilk.

The Further Side will be available on CD, black 180-gram vinyl, and limited edition clear-red marble LP as well as via digital outlets.  The record’s clear-red marble pressing is being limited to only 200 copies, so supplies of that pressing are very limited.  Audiences can pre-order The Further Side online now here.

Nova Collective was born in 2014 when bassist Dan Briggs (Between the Buried and Me, Trioscapes) and guitarist Richard Henshall (Haken) starting discussing music via e-mail.  The pair fleshed out some demos not long after discussions started. Drummer Matt Lynch (Trioscapes, Cynic) and keyboardist Pete Jones (ex-Haken) came on board not too much later, helping to finish the album.

The band was written and composed on both sides of the Atlantic.  Session files were shared between the band’s members until it was possible for them to rehearse and record the music together.

Those joint sessions began in early 2015 with engineer Jamie King (Between the Buried and Me, The Contortionist) at the helm.  Rich Mouser (Transatlantic, Spock’s Beard, Neal Morse Band) mixed the record.

More information on The Nova Collective’s new video is available online along with all of the latest updates on its upcoming album and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.metalblade.com/novacollective

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

 

 

 

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Armored Saint Fans Will Want To Get Their Hands On ‘Carpe Noctum’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records had quite a year in 2016, putting out impressive new recordings from Amon Amarth, Wovenwar, Artillery and a number of others.  One of the leading labels in the metal community, Metal Blade has wasted little time in 2017 getting things going.  It will open the new year late next month with the release of Armored Saint’s new live recording Carpe Noctum.  The eight-song, 38-minute recording isn’t necessarily a career-defining collection of songs, but is still impressive in its own right.  It is just one of the elements to note in examining the recording’s overall presentation.  The band’s stage presence is just as important to note in examining the recording’s presentation as its set list.  Considering that the recording will seemingly only be released on CD, its audio mix rounds out its most important elements.  Each element is important in its own right.  All things considered, Carpe Noctum proves to be a recording that Armored Saint fans new and old alike will appreciate.

Armored Saint’s latest live recording Carpe Noctum is a collection of live performances that fans new and old alike will appreciate.  The eight-song, 38-minute recording will be released in stores and online Feb. 24 via Metal Blade Records.  The main element to be examined in this recording is its set list.  The set list takes audiences all the way back to the band’s 1984 debut full-length album March of the Saint and all the way up to the band’s most recent album Win Hands Down (2015).  Along the way, three more of the band’s nine total albums are represented here.  The albums in question are its 1985 sophomore record Delirious Nomad, its 1991 album Symbol of Salvation and its 2010 record La Raza.  According to Metal Blade Records’ summary description of the set list, it appears the set list was pulled from Armored Saint’s set at the 2015 Wacken Open Air Festival and its headlining show at Aschaffenburg, Germany.  In other words, the set list presented here is not one complete concert, but seemingly a collection of performances from two separate concerts.  That would likely account for why the recording features such a limited number of songs in its defense.  This is a good thing in its own right, too.  That is because it provides audiences a more diverse representation of the band’s live show.  Again, fans new and old alike will appreciate this aspect of the recording.

Carpe Noctum’s 8-song, 38-minute set list is an important piece of the recording’s overall presentation.  That is because while not necessarily career-defining, it does at least present some highlights from the band’s extensive span of records.  It also provides audiences a relatively diverse representation of the band’s live show.  That is because it allegedly pulls from not one but two of the band’s live shows.  While the recording’s set list is clearly an important piece of its whole, it is only one of the pieces of the recording that should be considered in examining the recording’s overall presentation.  The band’s performance of said songs is just as important to note as the songs themselves.  Audiences will note in taking in these performances that the band’s members largely let their performances do the talking for them.  Since this recording is only available on CD, it is difficult to know if the songs presented here were presented in the same order as in the original performances.  There could have been some interaction with the audience between songs at those performances.  Again, that can’t be determined here.  That aside, the band members’ performances do plenty to keep listeners’ engaged.  Front man John Bush commands the stage with each performance, his pipes in prime condition.  Drummer Gonzo Sandoval keeps the band moving in each song with his solid time keeping.  The dual guitar approach of Phil Sandoval and Jeff Duncan adds even more depth to the band’s stage presence.  Of course one would be remiss to ignore bassist Joey Vera’s work on the low end.  Each band member’s performance in itself plays its own critical part to the whole of the performances. They cut through solidly throughout the recording, too.  Altogether, the band members’ performances prove to be just as enjoyable here as the concert’s set list itself.  One can’t help but hope Metal Blade Records will release the concert on DVD and/or Blu-ray, though.  One would be safe assuming those performances would hold even more significance when able to be seen and heard, and not just heard.  Even with that in mind, the band’s overall performances throughout the recording still proves to be just as important to the recording’s presentation as the sets’ featured songs.  While the band members’ performances prove to be just as important to the recording’s presentation as the recording’s featured set list, neither element would be worth discussing without mention of the concert’s audio mix.

The set list at the center of Armored Saint’s new live recording and the band’s performance thereof are both key pieces of the recording’s overall presentation.  That has already been discussed.  They are only a pair of the recording’s most important elements.  Its audio mix forms the recording’s foundation, especially considering that the recording is currently available only on CD.  Those responsible for the recording’s audio mix are to be given their due credit here.  That is because they expertly handled the situation presented in each setting.  The Wacken performances were open, outdoor performances.  This critic can’t say for certain if the band’s other featured performance was outdoor, too.  That aside, those behind the recording’s audio engineering expertly balanced each musician’s part.  No one part overpowered the others at any point throughout the recording.  What’s more, inside or out, audiences aren’t left feeling like they’re listening to a bootleg recording, either.  Believe it or not, there are some “professional” live recordings out there that do in fact sound more like bootlegs than professional recordings.  This recording is not in that category.  To that end, the balance of that element and the balance of the musicians’ own parts in each song proves the importance of the recording’s audio mix to its whole, too.  When that element is set alongside the concert’s set list and the band members’ equally entertaining performances, the whole of the recording proves to be a collection of live performances that Armored Saint fans old and new alike will appreciate.

Armored Saint’s upcoming live recording Carpe Noctum is a collection of live performances that fans new and old alike will appreciate.  That is due in part to its 8-song, 38-minute set list.  The set list isn’t necessarily a career-defining collection of performances.  It only pulls from five of the band’s nine total full-length studio recordings.  However, it does go all the way back to the band’s 1984 debut record and up to the band’s most recent album, 2015’s Win Hands Down.  The set list also allegedly pulls from not one but two of the band’s recent live shows.  The band’s performance of the featured songs is just as enjoyable as the songs themselves.  The audio engineering presented in the recording forms its foundation.  It balances each of the band members’ parts and handles the settings in which the performances were held just as expertly.  Each element is important to note in its own right, as has been noted.  All things considered, they show, once again, that this latest live recording from Armored Saint is a collection of live performances that Armed Saint fans old and new alike will appreciate.  It will be released Feb. 24 in stores and online via Metal Blade Records.  More information on Carpe Noctum is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.armoredsaint.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thearmoredsaint

 

 

 

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.

Wovenwar’s Second Album Is A Solid Sophomore Effort

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The end of the old year and the start of the New Year are traditionally the slowest times of the year in terms of new music releases.  While some new albums are released over the holiday season and the early part of the New Year, the real first push for new albums generally doesn’t start until early March.  Even as slow as the end of the old year and start of the New Year are, new albums are released.  However, they are few.  That gives audiences time to catch up on some of the previous year’s big albums.  It goes without saying that 2016 saw more than its share of big albums.  Wovenwar’s sophomore album Honor Is Dead is one of those big albums released this year.  The album, released Oct. 21, is a big step up for the band. The band took the melodic hard rock and metalcore elements presented in its 2014 self-titled debut here and stepped them up in a big way on this record.  The stepped up arrangements are sure to keep listeners fully engaged from beginning to end.  The same can be said of the lyrical themes presented throughout the record, and when those themes are set alongside the songs’ musical arrangements, the end result is a record that as this critic already noted, is one of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Wovenwar’s sophomore album Honor Is Dead is only the band’s second full-length studio album, but it can be said that it is the band’s best work so far.  It is a big step up from the band’s 2014 self-titled debut.  The record’s powerhouse opener ‘Confession’ serves clearly to support that statement. The song’s guitar-driven arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Killswitch Engage, Memphis May Fire, All That Remains and others of that ilk.  That is the case even in the song’s more flowing chorus.  The power in that arrangement is a good fit for the song’s equally powerful lyrical content, which seems to center on someone fighting alcoholism.  It can be inferred that the song’s lyrical theme focuses on said subject as front man Shane Blay sings in the song’s lead verse, “I call it a phase, I call it a phase/But bottoms of bottles are killing the pain/I call it a phase, I call it a phase/When no one’s looking I take in all I can/I kiss the bottle until I can’t stand/And wake up grieving/And by noon I won’t care/I’ll count the minutes til’ I start again.”  The song’s subject asks himself in pained fashion in the song’s chorus, “What have I become/Have I come undone?”  This illustrates even more that the song seems to be addressing someone battle addiction.

If the song’s simple but powerful chorus and lead verse aren’t enough to convince one of the song’s subject, one line in particular in the song’s second verse will most certainly convince listeners.  Blay sings in said verse, “You cannot hurt when you cannot feel a thing/The past has taught me I won’t remember a thing/I’ll trade a night cap for some apathy/And wake up grieving, and by noon I won’t care/I count the minutes til’ I start again.”  This is a powerful statement; one that is just as powerful as that in the song’s lead verse.  When the two are coupled with the song’s equally impacting musical arrangement, the end result is a work that is a solid opener for the record and a song that shows clearly what makes this album so impressive.  It is just one of the songs included in this record that is so powerful, too.  ‘Lines in the Sand’ is another of the album’s most standout songs.

‘Confession,’ Honor Is Dead’s opening composition is a solid opener for Wovenwar’s new album.  It is also a solid example of what makes this record so impressive. That is due both to its musical and lyrical content.  It is just one of the songs that stands out in this record’s overall body.  ‘Lines in the Sand’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession.’  That is due to its musical arrangement and lyrical theme, too.  The song’s musical arrangement is powerful in its own right thanks to the work of guitarist Nick Hipa, bassist Josh Gilbert and drummer Jordan Mancino.  Instead of the full on shredding assault presented in ‘Confession,’ the musicians have crafted here an arrangement that is more akin to arrangements crafted by the members of Sevendust, Shinedown, and others of that ilk.  Such a contrast shows the musicians’ reach even more and is just one part of what makes this song – and record – stand out.  The song’s lyrical content stands out just as much as its musical arrangement.

In the case of the song’s lyrical content, front man Shane Blay comes across as presenting commentary on the nation’s division and the damage that said division is doing to the country.  The song’s first two verses are proof of that. Blay sings in the song’s lead verse, “Some men are born to reap the harvest/Some men are born to sow the seed/the lines between them are all drawn in/The lie between them is belief.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Does anyone know why we’re fighting/Does anyone know the other side/the lines between us are all drawn by/the lies that we choose to believe.”  These verses make a powerful statement; a statement of how easily people allow themselves to be divided because they don’t question. In the song’s chorus, Blay strengthens that statement even more as he sings, “If only we had eyes to see the lines blurring/Fall in line if you’re willing/Defend these shores to the bitter end/Everyone’s got a reason/to name the victims and the villains/But who drew the lines in the sand?”  He is saying people need to think for themselves rather than just let themselves be divided.  Again, it is a powerful message, and one that is as relevant today as in any era.  When that powerful message is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the pair’s partnering exhibits fully why this song stands out in the bigger picture of HID.  They also serve to show even more why the album in whole is so impressive, too.  While the song serves to show in its own right what makes HID so impressive, it is just one more example of what makes this record work so well.  The record’s closer, ‘130’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession’ and ‘Lines in the Sand.’

‘Confession’ and ‘Lines in the Sand’ are both powerhouse pieces included in HID that show what makes this record so impressive.  That is due to the songs’ musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  The songs’ arrangements and lyrical themes stand out clearly from one another and from the album’s other compositions, too.  As important as those two songs are to the album’s overall presentation, they are only two of the songs that show what makes HID so impressive.  ‘130,’ the record’s closer, is one more example of what makes the album so impressive.  The song’s arrangement is a full-throttle work that conjures thoughts of Bullet For My Valentine, Trivium and other similar acts thanks to the combination of Blay’s vocals, Hipa’s guitar work, Mancino’s work on the drums and Gilbert’s low end.  The arrangement’s furious energy expertly catches the terror and fear that must have been felt at the November 2015 Paris attacks.  What’s more the guitar-driven composition captures just as well the anger that was felt by people around the world following those horrific acts.  The song’s lyrical content captures those emotions just as well as Blay sings, “Explosions shake the city/I thought it was part of the show/A craven is screaming prayers/In a tongue that I don’t know/Paris lights are winking out/I can hear the city scream/While the faithful are rejoicing in the sound of tragedy.”  The fire in Blay’s vocal delivery captures just as well the mix of emotions that must have been felt by those who were there.  That emotion is just as powerfully evident as Blay sings in the song’s chorus, “Find me one reason worth this hate/One reason worth this endless violence/Find me one more reason worth this hate/Because I have 130 reasons to change.”  The 130 reasons in question are the 130 people who were killed in the November 2015 terrorist attacks on Paris.  Blay goes on to directly address the attack at the Bataclan Theatre as he mentions the stage should be a safe place that brings everyone together “yet we one divided/Waging war over beliefs.” He is not making any indictment of the people there, but the people who committed the attacks at the club because of their beliefs.  It is a hard-hitting statement that when joined with the song’s musical arrangement, shows once more why ‘130’ stands out just as much as ‘Confession,’ ‘Lines in the Sand’ and the rest of the songs featured in this album.  Each song, with its arrangement and lyrical theme is important in its own right to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Wovenwar’s sophomore effort a solid second effort.  They give great hope for another album from the band in the not too distant future.

Honor Is Dead is a solid new offering from Wovenwar.  The band’s sophomore record presents arrangements throughout its eleven songs that present sounds similar to so many of its current counterparts including Shinedown, Bullet For My Valentine, Killswitch Engage, and so many others.  In other words, the record’s musical arrangements don’t stick to just one style of hard rock and metal or another.  They clearly cross those lines from beginning to end, giving listeners plenty of diversity.  That in turn ensures listeners’ engagement in itself.  The lyrical themes presented in each of the album’s songs are just as diverse as the musical arrangements presented in each song.  From a subject battling addiction to an equally powerful statement of people’s blind divisions to an emotional composition about the 2015 attacks on Paris and so much more, the lyrical themes presented in this record give listeners just as much reason to take in this record as its musical arrangements.  Each element is clearly important in its own way to the album’s presentation.  All things considered, the album’s combined musical and lyrical content makes this record, once more, a solid new effort from Wovenwar.  They also give hope that it won’t be the band’s last album, either.  Honor Is Dead is available now in stores and online.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Wovenwar’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wovenwar.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/WOVENWAR

 

 

 

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