Ashes To Omens Debuts ‘War Cry’ Lyric Video

Independent hard rock band Ashes to Omens debuted the video for its latest single over the weekend.

The band debuted the lyric video for its single ‘War Cry’ Friday. The video places the song’s lyrics over footage of military combat and military veterans on the battlefield and back in non-combat settings. The veterans hold signs that remind listeners they could have become another statistic.

The whole of the video’s visuals is meant to illustrate the song’s message, which according to the band focuses on military veterans’ attempts to return to “normal life” after combat.

“‘War Cry’ is about bringing awareness to depression, PTSD, anxiety, mental illness and suicide prevention,” the band said in a prepared statement about the song. “It’s about staying strong when you can’t be and knowing that you’re not alone and that you don’t have to suffer in silence.”

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

The musical arrangement featured in the song exhibits comparisons to works from Creed at some points and to other much heavier melodic rock acts at other points. The juxtaposition of those influences makes the song just as interesting musically as it is lyrically.

‘War Cry’ is available to download and stream here.

The debut of Ashes To Omens’ new single comes six months after the band debuted its then latest single, a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Another Brick in the Wall.’

More information on Ashes to Omens’ new single and video is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.ashestoomens.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/AshestoOmens

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.

Artilley Debuts New Single, ‘The Last Journey,’; Metallica Cover Accompanies Single

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Artillery is paying tribute to one of its own with its latest single.

The band kicked off the weekend Friday by debuting its new single, ‘The Last Journey.’ The song is a tribute to late Artillery member Morten Stutzer, who died in October 2019. The band announced last month that it was going to release the single, which features guest vocals from the band’s former front men, Flemming Ronsdorf and Soren Adamsen.

The band’s new single is an interesting new offering in part because of its musical arrangement. The arrangement takes a noticeably different turn from the band’s existing body of work. Instead of the heavy, guitar driven arrangements for which it has come to be known, this work instead takes elements of power metal and 80s hair metal to form its musical foundation.

On the surface, the combined elements again make for quite the intriguing presentation. Of course, considering that the song is a musical eulogy of sorts, it makes more sense that it would take a different approach from its existing works.

The song opens, stating, “I am looking at you for the last time/And I know you can’t stay/You are moving to a better place/So far away…Memories are strong/I never lose them/They can steal away your life forever/But they can’t steal your dreams/A dark cloud’s on my heaven/So far from me/Alone with you near me/The son runs deep/In my bones/Through the pain/I know you’re gone/But I will carry on.” Some of the lyrics here are slightly difficult to understand due to the manner in which the vocals are delivered, but the message is clear. The song’s second verse adds to the statement, with comments about “the loss of you” and more. Again, some of the lyrics are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference. Even with that in mind, enough is still understood along with the knowledge of the song’s lyrical theme, that the impact of the lyrical and musical content together is not lost.

‘The Last Journey’ is accompanied by a B-side, a cover of Metallica’s ‘Trapped Under Ice.’ This song is more along the lines of what audiences have come to expect from Artillery, stylistically speaking. Artillery’s take on the song stays true to its source material while also giving the composition a new kickstart with the more intense vocals and production.

The songs are available on vinyl in Europe and everywhere else digitally. The vinyl is available in three pressings, noted below.

–Black vinyl (300 copies)
–Blue vinyl (200 copies)
–Yellow vinyl (100 copies)

Both songs were produced and recorded by Soren Andersen at Medley Studio. 

More information on Artillery’s forthcoming single is available online now along with all of Artillery’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.artillery.dk

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ARTILLERY.DK

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/artillerymetal

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.

Sick Of It All Debuts ‘Paper Tiger’ Quarantine Performance Video

Veteran punk band Sick Of It All continued its live quarantine sessions series this week.

The band debuted its quarantine performance of its song ‘Paper Tiger‘ Tuesday. The performance is the third from the band, following the premiere of its performances of its songs ‘The Bland Within‘ and ‘Alone.’ ‘Paper Tiger’ was originally featured in the band’s 2003 album Life on the Ropes.

Sick Of It All drummer Armand Majidi talked about the album and song in a prepared statement.

“Going back to a much overlooked 2003 album which has a type of cult appeal to a lot of our fans, we resurrect “Paper Tiger” for the third release in our series of Quarantine Jams,” he said. “We’re convinced it’ll remind you that it’s a caustic punk anthem about all the phonies who only flirt with this music just for fashion. We’re not letting this go – we’re calling em out,”

Courtesy: Century Media Records

In other news, the series’ launch late last month came less than a month after the band published its new book The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All’s Koller Brothers.  The book, published through Post Hill Press, is available through Barnes & Noble BooksellersBooks-A-Million, and Amazon.

More information on Sick of it All’s new quarantine sessions series and book is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://sickofitall.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/sickofitallny

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SOIANYC

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.

Jessie Wagner’s New Album Is One Of The Best Musical Surprises Of 2020

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Jessie Wagner’s newly released album Shoes Droppin’ is a record that is going to have a lot of jaws droppin’.  Yes, that awful pun was intended, but it is true.  For those like this critic who might be new to Wagner’s work, it proves to be quite the pleasant surprise.  That has already been more than proven through the three singles that it has already produced.  Released today through Wicked Cool Records, the 11-song record is the very definition of the term “diamond in the rough.”  That is proven through the record’s diverse musical arrangements and its accessible lyrical content.  All three of the singles that the album has already produced – ‘My Darlin, My Dear,’ ‘What You Get is What You See,’ and ‘End of Time’ — more than serve to support that statement.  They are just some of the ways in which the record proves itself such a pleasant surprise, too.  ‘Great One,’ which comes early in the album’s 40-minute run, is another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content makes it such an impressive offering.  ‘Passin’ Me By’ is another way in which the record’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it such an enjoyable offering.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Caretaker,’ which  comes late in the album’s run, is one more way in which the noted content collectively makes the album so powerful.  When it is considered with the other songs noted here, the noted singles, and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole becomes unquestionably one of this year’s top new albums.

Jessie Wagner’s new album Shoes Droppin’ is one of the most pleasant surprises of 2020 so far.  That statement is not made lightly either.  This record offers something for everyone, both musically and lyrically.  As already noted, the trio of singles that the record has already produced proves that without question in its own right.  They are but a snapshot of what makes this hidden musical gem so appealing.  ‘Great One,’ which comes early in the album’s run is one more way in which the album shows its strength.  That is due in part to its gentle, flowing musical arrangement.  The minimalist approach of Wagner’s vocals, a piano and a guitar makes this song so richly engaging and moving.  On one hand, there is a touch of country music influence here.  On another hand, it could also be likened to so many adult contemporary compositions.  It all comes together to prove the old adage that sometimes, a song can be heavy without being heavy.  The emotional heaviness of the musical arrangement works well with the lyrical content to enrich the song even more.

The song’s lyrical theme sends a message to listeners that they should realize their potential, rather than wallow in self pity.  That this message is delivered in such a gentle way will touch listeners in the best way possible.  The noted message is sent clearly in the song’s lead verse in which Wagner sings, “Can you rise above the rest/Think you’re really that blessed/As you wallow in your mediocrity/Is that all you’ll ever be/Someone once said that you were good/Why’s that so hard to believe/Can’t listen to what they say/Over the demons in your head/Do you even try/Do you even dare to be a great one/To find the how and why/That leads you to become one of the great ones.”  The message is continued in the song’s second verse, in which she sings, “Each time you share some of yourself/Hope it won’t lead you to break/though I can see how fragile you are/But how little you can take/You set your bar way too high/On that unreachable star/You should just give up and be happy/Never thought you would get his far/Do you even try/Do you even dare to be a great one/To find the how and why/that leads you to become one of the great ones.”  The song’s third verse adds even more impact as Wagner sings, “Everyone must dream/but some dreams fail/Who are you to think yours isn’t the same…won’t you stop your dreaming/And lead the way/How many chances do you take/How many goals do you give/Before you realize…”  The last of the lyrics is a little difficult to decipher sans lyrics sheet to reference.  Even despite that, the message remains clear.  Again, this is a message encouraging listeners to wade through the rough waters and to believe in themselves; to make the best lives for themselves.  That it is delivered so clearly, is delivered in such a gentle fashion and couples with an equally gentle musical arrangement makes the song that much more memorable.  It is just one of the additional ways in which Wagner’s new album proves itself so endearing.  ‘Passin’ Me By’ is yet another way in which the album’s musical and lyrical content comes together to make it such a strong new effort from the up-and-coming artist.

‘Passin’ Me By’ is the polar opposite of ‘Great One’ in its musical and lyrical content.  This song boasts an upbeat musical arrangement that exhibits a varied range of influences.  The use of the horns, vocals, and drums gives the song a bit of a vintage R&B sensibility.  At the same time the guitar arrangement within the song is something of a bluesy/southern rock work.  The elements all come together to make this arrangement such a fun, infectious composition and yet another way in which the record’s musical content proves so pivotal to its presentation.  When that content is coupled with the easily accessible lyrical content, the song becomes that much more enjoyable.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Passin’ Me By’ offers a message of hope, reminding listeners again, not to let themselves get down even when things get tough.  This is inferred right from the song’s outset as Wagner sings, “Dark owls in the sky/Don’t seem to bother me/I just keep looking for that silver lining…Though the rains may fall/I know that they’ll be passing me by.”  The noted message is inferred just as much as she continues in the song’s second verse, “Every once in a while/People try to get down/But I just ell myself to keep my head up and move along/Well I can’t/let them decide/How I should feel/Or when I shine.”  Not all of the lyrics are understandable in this case.  When Wagner hits those low notes, her voice blends in so much with the instrumentation, that is becomes somewhat difficult to decipher her lyrics.  Even despite that, enough is understandable that the intended message is clear.  Keeping that in mind along with the positive impact of the song’s upbeat musical arrangement, the whole succeeds in its mission to uplift and entertain listeners.  To that end, it proves easily what makes it yet another important addition to Wagner’s new album.  It is not the last of the record’s most notable songs, either.  ‘Caretaker’ also serves to enhance Shoes Droppin’.

‘Caretaker’ comes late in the overall sequence of Shoes Droppin’.  Its musical arrangement is just as much unlike the other songs noted here (and the rest of the album’s works) as they are from one another.  This song is more of a pure R&B composition.  There are no other songs in this record that sound like this one.  It is just one more way in which the album’s musical variety keeps listeners engaged and entertained.  When it is considered along with the song’s lyrical content, the song gains even more traction. 

Wagner sings in the song’s lead verse, “No one said ‘I’d be there for you, baby.’/It doesn’t mean I have to…be a caretaker/Deal breaker…So the bottom dropped out/And our lives got flipped/turned inside out/Now the whole world sits up on my shoulders/Can I keep it balanced until further notice/I’m so used to getting by/With a smile/And the wink of an eye…this was not in the plan/Get a job/Get a man/Live happy ever after…”  Some of this is, again, tough to decipher, but enough can be understood that it cane be interpreted as a song about empowerment.  The refrain about not having to give up on one’s needs and become a caretaker for another is a statement of independence.  What’s interesting here is that if in fact this really is the case, then the song’s arrangement certainly does not match the message.  It is not one of those fiery, “I am woman, hear me roar” type works.  Rather, it is a controlled yet still confident sense along with the lyrical content.  It makes the song that much more certain to resonate with Wagner’s female audiences.  Keeping that in mind, it proves itself another important addition to Shoes Droppin’.  When it is considered along with the other content addressed here and the rest of the record’s works, the album in whole becomes so much richer, engaging and entertaining.  All things considered, the collective musical and lyrical content featured in this recording makes it unquestionably one of the year’s top new independent albums and albums overall.

Jessie Wagner’s new album Shoes Droppin’ is a successful offering from the up-and-coming singer-songwriter from beginning to end.  That is proven throughout in the record’s diverse musical arrangements.  The arrangements will appeal to a truly wide range of listeners.  The lyrical content that accompanies that wide range of music is well-thought-out but still accessible considering the topics featured in each song.  All three of the songs examined here prove that without a doubt.  The same can be said of the record’s singles.  When all of that is considered along with the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole becomes a true musical diamond in the rough that shines so brightly in its own right.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

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.

Ice Nine Kills Debuts “Stabbing In The Dark’ Live Clip

Ice Nine Kills debuted a live clip of ‘Stabbing in the Dark‘ this week.

The live performance clip is featured in the band’s forthcoming live recording I Heard They Kill Live, which is scheduled for release Oct. 30 through Fearless Records on separate CD and vinyl platforms. The performance was recorded at the band’s hometown show in Worcester, MA on Nov. 19, 2019.

Front man Spencer Charnas talked about the performance during a recent interview.

“The Worcester Palladium holds a very special place in the heart of INK’s history,” he said. “On September 22nd, 2000, I attended a Goldfinger/Mest concert there that changed the course of my life. I knew after that incredibly high-energy show that I wanted to dedicate my life to writing and performing my own music. One year later, INK’s first show would take place on the very same stage at a battle of the bands that we did not win. The concert is pictured in this album insert. 18 years later we sold out the very same 3,000 capacity venue and recorded this live album there—a full circle moment that I will never forget. This album is dedicated to the INK psychos who allow us to make murder and mayhem an actual career.”

‘Stabbing in the Dark’ is just one of the songs that is featured in the recording. The presentation features a total of 19 songs from across the band’s catalog, such as ‘Communion of the Cursed, ‘The Nature of the Beast,’ and ‘Me, Myself & Hyde.’ The recording’s set list is noted below.

ICE NINE KILLS

I HEARD THEY KILL LIVE!!

TRACK LISTING

1. Thank God It’s Friday

2. The Jig Is Up

3. SAVAGES

4. The Nature Of The Beast

5. The World In My Hands

6. Communion Of The Cursed

7. A Grave Mistake

8. Your Number’s Up

9. Rocking The Boat

10. Merry Axe-Mas

11. Thriller

12. Hell In The Hallways

13. Stabbing In The Dark

14. The Fastest Way To A Girl’s Heart Is Through Her Ribcage

15. Love Bites

16. Tess-Timony

17. Me, Myself and Hyde

18. The American Nightmare

19. IT Is The End

Audiences will get an early presentation of I Heard They Kill Live Oct. 29 on Serious XM Octane. The ticketed event will run starting at noon ET. It will re-air at 7 p.m. and midnight ET.

In other news, INK recently launched a new fan community Friday called the “Psychos Only Club.”  The app-based fanclub gives its members access to exclusives, such as band member social feeds, updates about the band, merchandise, and videos.

Charnas said in a recent interview, he believes the band’s fans will appreciate the new INK fan community outlet.

“This is going to add a killer new dimension to the INK fandom universe!,” he said.  “Complete with exclusive never before see content, this will allow our audience to break down the barrier between band and fan and see what really happens behind the screams.”

Along with everything noted, the new fan community will allow fans to take part in giveaways, watch parties, and even trivia with the band, and members-only merchandise, ticket & VIP packages for live shows.

In even more news, INK will release a new double-sided vinyl on Record Store Day, Oct. 24. The six-song vinyl collects tracks from the band’s latest album The Silver Scream: The Final Cut for presentation. Its track listing is noted below.

The Silver Scream: Killer Cuts

Record Store Day Exclusive 10″ Vinyl

SIDE A

Savages

Your Number’s Up

Thriller

SIDE B

Stabbing In The Dark (Acoustic) feat. Matt Heafy

Savages (Acoustic)

Thank God It’s Friday (Acoustic) feat. Ari Lehman

More information on Ice Nine Kills’ new fan community is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://iceninekills.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/IceNineKills

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/iceninekills

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.

Greta Van Fleet Debuts ‘My Way, Soon’ Video

Courtesy: Lava/Republic

Greta Van Fleet returned this week with its first new music in more than a year.

The band debuted its new single ‘My Way Soon‘ and its companion video Thursday. The video’s production is most of note in that its production is meant to make the presentation look like something right from the 1960s and 70s, as if it was shot on an 8mm camera. The effect plays into the continued neo-classic sound that has defined the band since its rise to fame more than three years ago.

Speaking of musical content, the song’s musical arrangement helps the band expand away from the Led Zeppelin comparisons that audiences made early on. While the comparisons between front man Joshua Kiszka and Led Zeppelin front man Robert Plant are unavoidable, the song’s overall sound is less comparable. The song’s arrangement is grounded in the pairing of its guitar and bass line, whose juxtaposition makes for its own memorable impact. The production even gives the drums a fuller, richer vintage sound than the tight, spit shined sound of so much modern music.

The result of the noted elements is that the song’s arrangement boasts its own unique neo-classic rock sound while also exhibiting the band’s growth as a unit.

The lyrical content featured in ‘My Way Soon’ came from a personal point, according to Kiszka.

“This song was inspired by what three years of touring did by opening so many doorways,” he said. “ This is my truth, how I feel about all of our travels, but I know it echoes the experiences and changes of perspectives for Jake, Sam, and Danny as well.”

More information on Greta Van Fleet’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://mywaysoon.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/GretaVanFleet

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.

Architect Within Debuts ‘Dirty Face’ Lyric Video

Architect Within is pushing the video for its latest single.

The duo — Tim Jones and Aaron Davenport — debuted the lyric video for its single ‘Dirty Face‘ last month. The video places the song’s lyrics over a backdrop of visuals, such as money, a bomb exploding, and a woman holding her head and face in her hands.

The visuals serve to help translate the song’s lyrical theme, which according to the band, centers on the trappings of human life.

“This song deals with conviction of sin that is found all in the world we live in, which once it is pointed out to us ,leads to a broken spirit and desire for change, from this worldly “dirty face,” the duo said in a prepared statement.

‘Dirty Face’ is available to stream and download through Spotify,’ Apple Music, and Amazon.

In related news, Architect Within debuted the video for its then latest single, ‘Lost Til You’ through v13.net early this year. The video features the duo performing its new single against a blurred background with various shots of each man performing his respective part.

The song features a melodic rock sound that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Seether, Three Days Grace and Finger Eleven.  The song’s lyrical theme deals with finding and building a relationship with Christ, according to Jones.

Jones talked about that theme during an interview with the staff of v12.net.

“‘Lost, Till You’ is a perfect example of what Architect Within are all about,” Jones said.  “It’s a high-energy track with passionate lyrics meant to make you feel something.  ‘Lost, Till You’ could seem relatively ambiguous as if it were just another relationship song…However for me, the lyrics reflect redemption and a feeling of despair until Christ came into my life, and all the different things that I tried to do to fill the void until he was present in me.  I hope that people find this song encouraging.”

‘Lost, Till You’ is available to stream and download now through SpotifyAmazonApple Music and Google Play.

More information on Architect Within’s new single is available online along with all of the duo’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://architectwithinmusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/ArchitectWithinMusic

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.

Abandoned Souls’ New Single Encourages Listeners To Face Their Own “Darkness”

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations/Fiend Records

Independent hard rock band Abandoned Souls debuted its new single this week.

The band debuted the single ‘Blinding Darkness’ Thursday through v13.net, one day before making the song available worldwide. The song is the band’s first new single since 2017. Its musical arrangement is a heavy, melodic hard rock composition that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Godmsack, Three Days Grace, and Alter Bridge.

The lyrical content featured in the band’s brand new single was written following the death of front man James Todd’s mother. He explained the connection in a recent interview.

“The song is about facing the reality of death or dark times and dealing with it,” he said. “It’s also learning to maneuver through the darkness and finding a way to be more comfortable within that space. To realize that you need to face it head-on sometimes and learn how to live and prosper from the experience of getting through these times.”

Abandoned Souls has released four albums and one EP since its formation in 2006. more information on those records is available along with more information on the band’s new single and all of its latest news at:

Website: http://abandonedsouls.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/abandonedsouls

To keep up with the latest entertainment news, go online to http://www.facebok.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.

Jessie Wagner Debuts ‘My Darlin, My Dear’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Wicked Cool Records

Independent singer-songwriter Jessie Wagner debuted the video for her latest single last week.

Wagner debuted the lyric video for her single ‘My Darlin, My Dear‘ Oct. 2. The song is the third single from Wagner’s forthcoming album Shoes Droppin’. It follows the debut of the album’s singles ‘What You Get Is What You See‘ and ‘End of Time.’

The video places the song’s lyrics over a a subtly changing backdrop that features imagery, such as a heart made of leaves, flowers, and a blue sky filled with heart-shaped balloons. the imagery serves to illustrate the song’s easily accessible lyrical content, which focuses, clearly, on the topic of romance.

Wagner had the following to say specifically about the song’s lyrical theme.

“There’s always that guy that you know is no good for you, but you keep going back anyway,” she said. “This song is an amalgamation of the guys I wished would love me and not just keep me around for convenience.”

The song’s musical arrangement adds its own share of interest. The guitar line and keyboards give the song a soulful, bluesy/gospel type sensibility. The addition of the horns to the mix gives the song something of a vintage R&B sound. Meanwhile, Wagner’s vocal delivery style and sound here lends itself to comparisons to other well-known singers, such as Diana Ross, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige among others.

The arrangement is very much unlike that featured in ‘End of Times,’ which crosses influences of Meghan Trainor and Gladys Knight for its presentation. That old and new school hybrid is certain to appeal to a wide range of listeners in its own right.

‘What You See is What You Get’ meanwhile combines pop and neo-folk influences for a composition that will resonate with an equally wide range of audiences.

More information on Jesse Wagner’s new single, video and album is available along with all of her latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.jessiewagnerofficial.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/jessie.wagner.568

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/jessie_wagner

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.

Helion Prime’s New Album Will Appeal To Any Power Metal Purist

Courtesy: Saibot Reigns

Independent power metal band Helion Prime has apparently had a change of heart in regards to the singles for its new album, Question Everything.  One week ago today, the band debuted what it had alleged was going to be the last single for the album, which released today.  However, the band did an about face on that decision today with the debut of the album’s fifth single ‘Question Everything’ and its companion video.  The musical arrangement featured in the song and the rest of the album’s singles (and its other tracks not turned singles) form the record’s cornerstone.  They will be addressed shortly.  The album’s overarching lyrical theme that accompanies the infectious musical arrangements builds around and on that cornerstone to make the presentation that much more appealing.  The record’s sequencing caps off its most important elements and ensures the album’s success in its own way, which will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Question Everything.  All things considered, they make the record a presentation that will appeal to any power metal fan.

Helion Prime’s brand new album Question Everything is a presentation that easily holds its own against any record from the band’s more well-known counterparts, such as Dragonforce, Unleash The Archers, and Epica.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are pure power metal at its finest.  At the same time though, there are moments that add in a little something extra for audiences to enjoy.  Case in point is the arrangement featured in the album’s opener, ‘The Final Theory.’  The partnering of the guitar and keyboard arrangements lends itself to comparisons to works from In Flames.  At the same time, the similarity to works from Unleash The Archers and Epica is just as evident.  The balance of those influences and sounds makes for an arrangement that makes for a strong start to the album.  It is just one of the moments that offers audiences something extra in this record.  ‘Madame Mercury,’ the record’s second song, is another way in which the album gives audiences something extra in its arrangements.

The musical arrangement featured ‘Madame Mercury’ takes more of a hard rock approach than power metal.  Yes, the power metal approach is just as obvious as here as at any other point in the album, but that more mainstream, hard rock approach is just as audible.  That the band continued to take a new direction here and still manage to make the two distinctly different styles work together so well is worthy of its own applause.  It serves to make the album that much more appealing for audiences and is not the last of the moments that does this, either.  ‘Kong at the Gates/The Forbidden’ is another example of how the album goes beyond the band’s power metal roots to give audiences something extra.

‘Kong at the Gates/The Forbidden’ takes Helion Prime’s familiar power metal approach and adds a touch of symphonic metal a la Symphony X to the mix.  That is evidenced through the string arrangements and the pounding drums that open the song.  Event the vocal delivery of singer Mary Zimmer is noticeably different here from that of any of the album’s other songs.  It isn’t nearly as wide open and operatic as at those points.  Yes, there is a touch of that approach, but there is more of a controlled approach here.  That, coupled with the equally controlled work of the guitars and time keeping makes for an arrangement that stands on its own merits while helping to build the album’s musical foundation in its own right.  When this arrangement is considered along with the other noted arrangements and the rest of the album’s compositions, the whole of the album’s musical content leaves no question about its importance to the record’s whole.  It is just one part of what makes the album so appealing.  The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements builds even more on that foundation.

The lyrical content that is featured throughout the 56-minute album adds its own interest to the presentation because it so unique.  It does something that many other bands do, but also that so few do at the same time.  It takes a similar approach to that of say, Sabaton with its historical focus, making it familiar (and in turn, welcome) to power metal fans.  In the case of Sabaton, the chosen topic is military history.  In the case of this record from Helion Prime, the band crafted songs for this record about famed figures, such as philosopher Socrates, NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson, Raymond Gosling, who took the first picture of DNA, and astronomer Galileo Gallilei.  The noted figures (and those not noted here) were people who questioned everything at their time (thus the album’s title), including gender roles, societal beliefs and even scientific and religious views.  This is an approach that is unlike even the works from Sabaton and so much other power metal music, whose lyrical content tends to focus on wizards and dragons. So again, what audiences get in the album’s lyrical content is a focus on real history, much like what they will get from fellow power metal band Sabaton.  At the same time, it presents its own unique content separate from Sabaton and pretty much most other power metal bands.  To that end, the lyrical content that is featured in this record makes for its own share of appeal.  It still is not the last of the album’s most notable elements.  The album’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

For the most pat, Question Everything maintains a very high energy throughout the course of its body.  It does briefly break things up in the early bars of ‘The Gadfly’ with the old school classical guitar style approach there.  From there, the album’s energy picks right back up until it reaches the last two songs, ‘Reawakening’ and ‘Kong at the Gates/The Forbidden.’  ‘Reawakening’ is really the most reserved that the album’s energy gets, and even that is still a relatively upbeat work.  Though stylistically, it is reserved by comparison to the album’s other works.  The album’s finale is slower in its opening bars, but from there really picks up and becomes a full-on operatic work.  Simply put, Question Everything will appeal to audiences in terms of its sequencing because it keeps the energy flowing from its opening to its end.  Even when it does pull back, that reservation is slight at best.  That steady energy joins with the appeal in the album’s lyrical content and even more familiar style in its musical arrangements to make the whole a positive new presentation for Helion Prime.  It collectively makes the album a presentation that holds its own easily against works from the band’s more well-known power metal counterparts.

Helion Prime’s new album Question Everything does not necessarily question the power metal formula.  That is evident throughout the course of its presentation.  Even despite that (and because of it) it still proves itself a work that will appeal to the most devoted power metal purists.  That is due in part to the record’s largely familiar stylistic approach to the musical arrangements.  They are familiar, but also have some other elements that give audiences a little something extra to enjoy.  The record’s lyrical content takes a familiar route in terms of straying from the mainstream lyrical topics of relationships, religion, and politics.  It takes a unique approach by focusing on historical figures, really as a way to encourage listeners to think for themselves.  That ironically is a familiar topic in the mainstream world.  So really, the lyrical content gives audiences the best of both worlds, mainstream and independent.  The record’s sequencing puts the last touch to its presentation, ensuring its energy never lets up too much, and breaking things up just enough at the right points.  Each noted item is important in its own right to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the album a work that will appeal to any power metal purist.

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

Websitehttp://helionprimemetal.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/helionprimemetal

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