Your Chance To Die To Release Its Next Album Via EMP Label Group

Courtesy: EMP Label Group

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson’s EMP Label Group is set has added yet another new name to its roster, and that name will release its next album via Ellefson’s label this spring.

Death metal outfit Your Chance To Die will release its latest full-length studio recording Ex Nihilo on Friday, April 21.  The record, the band’s third full-length studio recording, will be released via EMP Label Group’s extreme metal imprint EMP Underground.

Talks between the band, Ellefson, and his EMP Label Group partner Thom Hazaert in late 2016.  The dual vocalist team of Missi Avila and Som Plumijers were upbeat as they discussed the fruits of those talks and about the band’s future.

“Your Chance To Die is honored to be a part of the EMP Label Group Family,” the vocalists said. “We are very excited about our future with EMP, the new record that we have written, and are very thankful for this amazing team we now have behind us.  We have worked very hard on our new songs…to become a new band…with different, new music…and now a great label.  We are very excited to finally have a team that believes in us to release the new album.”

Hazaert shared the pair’s excitement about the things to come for the band and the label through the groups’ new partnership.

“We are beyond thrilled to welcome YCTD into the EMP Label family,” Hazaert said.  “they truly are bringing something new and interesting to the extreme metal, and we’re very excited that we’re able to partner with them to bring it to the world.  Obviously, many in the extreme metal world are familiar with Som’s amazing work in Cerebral Bore, and I am confident soon YCTD will be a household name in that regard as well.”

Your Chance To Die’s previously released albums include Suscitacio Somnus (2011) and The American Dream (2013).  Both records were released via Red Cord Records, so Ex Nihilo will be the band’s first release for EMP Label Group.

More information on Ex Nihilo is available online now along with all of the latest news and more from Your Chance To Die is available online now at:









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A Cold Fire From The One I Loved A Solid First Effort From Dorean Lives

Courtesy:  Red Cord Records

Courtesy: Red Cord Records

Dorean Lives has officially put itself onto this critic’s list of the year’s best new independent releases.  The Birmingham, Alabama based band has proven with its debut record that it can easily hold its own with some of mainstream rock’s biggest names.  A Cold Fire From The One I Loved boasts a dozen tracks that are just as solid as anything released by Chevelle, Breaking Benjamin, and others of that ilk.  Front man and band founder Logan Freeman even sounds like Chevelle’s Pete Loeffler as he and his band mates make their way through the album’s near hour long run time.  If a person were to listen to this album not knowing it wasn’t one of the aforementioned bands, one would actually think it was one of them.  Audiences will be grabbed right from the album’s opener, ‘Shiver Breathe Repeat.’  The song’s musical side will grab listeners and hold them throughout the song.  Lyrically, it’s sure to have listeners thinking.  The song’s lyrics are slightly cryptic.  It could be argued to be based in a relationship issue.  That argument could be made as Freeman sings, “I breathe you in/Shiver/Just Breathe with me/It won’t be long till/This is all you know/And just is/Whether it’s a twitch of the eye/Or a vision that’s not there/Don’t you/Shiver, breathe, repeat.”  The song’s  moody musical side serves as fuel for that argument.

‘Shiver Breathe Repeat’ is a good starting point for Dorean Lives.  It is a solid first impression from the band, especially considering everything that the band’s members faced over the years.  ‘Shores’ is another of the album’s high points.  Anyone that is a fan of Switchfoot will appreciate this mid-tempo rocker.  Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this song is not so much the song’s musical or even lyrical side, but Freeman’s vocal style.  At first Freeman sounded somewhat like Chevelle’s Pete Loeffler.  Somehow, he has managed to make himself sound more like Finger Eleven’s Rick Jackett.  This is especially the case when he hits the high notes, singing, “I’ve got this burnt skin/On my hands/From test faith/It’s true/As I turn my eyes/From the crested waves I’d hoped I’d see/I still hope to see you.”  That vocal talent set alongside the song’s equally solid musical and lyrical sides makes this song even more one to check out.

The members of Dorean Lives exhibit quite a talent for writing and musicianship throughout this record, as one should be able to note by now.  For those that are perhaps not yet convinced of this, a single listen to ‘The Fear That Brought Us’ will perhaps do the tricks.  This seemingly socially conscious song grabs listeners right from its opening seconds with the subtle ringing of bells that suddenly disappear before the band launches full speed into the song.  Freeman sings in this work, “So who among you led the sheep to wolves/So who among you led them to their death/It was you/It was you.”  These short lines are some of the album’s most powerful.  They come across as a social statement of sorts that addresses false leaders.  Now whether those leaders are political or otherwise can only be answered by the band.  But that supposition is made even clearer earlier in the song when Freeman sings, “But who drove you to do this/Sweet deceiver/to lead them along/Tell them their wrongs/To hold their hands/Cause you’re so sure/That’s what faith is.”  It’s even clearer here that Freeman must be singing about false religious leaders, of whom there are quite a number.  If Freeman’s intent was indeed to address said false leaders, then he and his band mates did quite the job of doing so.  It’s sad that there are in fact such individuals out there.  It’s good to see that in this song, a whistleblowing call to arms of sorts.  It’s just one more piece of the whole that audiences will enjoy with each listen.  And audiences can liten any time they want as A Cold Fire From The One I Loved I available now.  It can be ordered online at  More information on the band’s debut record, its tour dates and more is available online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

The World Awaits This City Awaits

Courtesy:  Red Cord Records

Courtesy: Red Cord Records

Texas is one of the biggest hotbeds of music in the entire continental United States.  So many big name acts have come from the Lone Star State.  Stevie Ray Vaughn, Pantera, Waylon Jennings, T. Bone Burnett, and countless other greats have all hailed from Texas.  Now another young band has come along from Texas, wanting to add its name to that long list of historic bands and acts.  That band is the Dallas based three-piece, This City Awaits.

This City Awaits—Phillip Ivey, Darah Hubbard, and Kyle Ross—released its sophomore full length album, Said the Liar earlier this year.  The new album, released via Red Cord Records, boasts a sound similar to that of its 2011 debut, code red: URGENCY.  And much like that album, this latest release is a fit for anyone that is a fan of the likes of Chevelle or Thursday.  Its mix of mainstream rock and emo sensibilities treads a line so fine that given the right support, it could actually become popular with even more audiences.  That is to say that the band could actually gain mainstream popularity with support from mainstream radio programmers, considering its similarities to those bands.

The album’s opener, ‘Nathan’ instantly brings thoughts of Chevelle thanks to the guitars and vocals of Kyle Ross and Phillip Ivey.  If one were listening to this song without knowing it was This City Awaits, they would almost be certain it was in fact Chevelle.  That’s how close the bands’ sounds are.  Lyrically speaking, the song is the standard song about love lost and general relationship issues.  Ivey sings as the song opens, “I write this letter/That I love you/But I regret it/I’m not sure how I feel anymore/You’re always slipping away/Into everything I hate/How could you let it get this far/I should have left you in the dark.”  Ivey makes no bones about the song’s subject matter here.  And the heavy guitars through the verses alongside the more swaying, emotional choruses illustrate the mix of emotions expressed through the song’s lyrics quite well.  It’s just the starting point for this record, too.

The energy established in the album’s opener is carried through right into the second song, ‘This Darkness’ and barely lets up from there.    Though, it does let up somewhat as the album progresses.  The album’s halfway mark, ‘Dead and Gone’ is more on the emo side of things.  It sounds like quite the dark sounding title.  But in terms of the general content, this is actually quite the uplifting song.  Ivey sings in this song about moving on from the past and letting go of those negative memories.  He sings in the chorus, “Those days are dead and gone.”  As with  the album’s opener, the guitars here play a pivotal role in helping illustrate the song’s lyrics.  They serve to make it an even more moving song that will grow with listeners with each listen.  This song and ‘White Ambulance’ are the only fully noticeably emo style songs on this album.  From here on out, the remainder of the album’s songs are more mainstream rock oriented save for the album’s finale, ‘Salutation.’

‘Salutation’ is as well placed as any of the other nine songs on Sad the Liar.  After all of the energy exuded through the nine tracks that precede it, it’s a nice way to gently make one’s way out of the album.  It is a full acoustic song with just Ivey singing and playing guitar through most of the song until drummer Darah Hubbard comes in late in the song to add even more emotion.  The cymbal crashes are perfectly placed to accent Ivey’s vocals.  And while it comes in at nearly five minutes in length, the song doesn’t feel nearly as long.  That’s a tribute to the band.  It’s a mournful song, yes.  But it’s something of a beautifully tragic song that sounds something akin to a tribute to someone close to Ivey or one of his band mates; either that or another song rooted in relationship issues.  Though, the prior seems to be more the case with this song.  If it is indeed the case, then considering the emotional and musical journey on which listeners embark on the album’s opener, it proves to be even more fitting for a final statement from the band.  It’s a final statement that once it’s made, will have listeners starting over again and sharing the record with their friends.  They’ll be letting their friends know that the album is available now.  It can be downloaded on iTunes via the band’s official Facebook page, and via Amazon at  Fans can also “Like” the band’s official Facebook page in order to keep up with all of the latest news and tour information from the band.

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Phinehas’ New EP Good For New Fans And Old

Courtesy:  Red Cord Records

Courtesy: Red Cord Records

Phinehas will release its new EP, The Bridge Between next Tuesday, January 22nd.  The band’s new EP is a collection of songs from two of its previous releases, thegodmachine (2011) and The Phinehas EP (2009).  For fans that are new to this band, the best way to describe it is to imagine taking the best elements of As I Lay Dying, Killswitch Engage, and Shadows Fall, and mixing them together in a giant musical mixing pot.  The band’s vocalist, Sean McCullough is right up there with the likes of Brain Fair (Shadows Fall) and Tim Lambesis (As I Lay Dying).  Guitarist Jason Combs’ chops could easily be compared to the work of guitarists from the aforementioned bands.  And drummer and bassist Lee Humerian and Bryce Kelley respectively hold their own throughout all seven of the tracks compiled for this latest release from the La Mirada, CA based Christian metallers.

What’s most intriguing about this collection of previously released songs is that it shows that just as the band is capable within the realm of the fast, technical metalcore style sound, it is just as capable playing slower, more emotional music, too.  The EP’s first three tracks are a nonstop metal assault, opening solidly with the song, ‘Panhammer.’  The band wastes little time getting its audiences moving here with guitars and drums that instantly kick things into gear.  The way that drummer Lee Humerian and guitarist Jason Combs combine their talents will have audiences on their feet and pumping their fists from the song’s very first seconds.  And they barely let up if at all from there.  Musically, fans will be on their feet without stopping throughout the EP’s first three tracks.  The second half of the EP however, will have the exact opposite impact.  It shows the band’s deeper, more introspective side.  There are even points at which [Sean] McCullough even sounds like Corey Taylor (Stone Sour, Slipknot) in ‘Enkindler.’  And the subtlety of Combs’ guitar underneath McCullough’s vocals adds to the song’s power.  Jeff Darcy at Relic Recording brought that combination of sounds to life.  He shows that he has quite the ear in managing to balance the combination even in an acoustic song.  He is definitely to be commended for that.

There’s no doubt that the songs included on Phinehas’ new EP will impress audiences of both the band and of the “Christian Metal” and metalcore genres.  Longtime fans will largely be getting songs from the band’s previous releases in this new release.  Though the band’s acoustic takes on its previously released songs give an interesting new perspective on the songs.  That being the case, it makes an especially good start for anyone who is new to the music of Phinehas.  The songs noted here are just portions of what the band offers on its new EP.  Audiences will get the chance to hear the entire record for themselves next Tuesday, January 22nd courtesy of Red Cord Records.  Audiences will also have the chance to hear the band live as it will be performing a handful of shows beginning January 20th in Salt Lake City, Utah.  To get a full listing of performance dates, audiences can check out the band online at and  Fans can also follow the band on Twitter at

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