‘Retaliation’ Is A Strong Start For Hyvmine’s Sophomore Album

Courtesy: Seek & Strike

Up-and-coming hard rock band Hyvmine is hard at work in the studio on its sophomore album.  In anticipation of the as-yet-untitled record’s release, the band will release the album’s debut single ‘Retaliation’ next month.  Its planned release comes a little more than four months after the band released its new EP Fight or Flight, and is a positive first preview of the album.  That is due in part to its musical arrangement, which will be discussed shortly.  The song’s lyrical content couples with the arrangement to add even more depth and interest to its presentation.  The song’s production rounds out the most important of its elements.  Each element is crucial in its own way to the whole of the single.  All things considered, they make ‘Retaliation’ a strong new offering from Hyvmine album that definitely succeeds in building anticipation for its new album.

The musical arrangement presented in ‘Retaliation’ is important to note because it is such a stark departure from the more familiar prog-metal sound presented in its 2016 debut Earthquake.  The guitars, electronics and vocals of front man Al Joseph show clear similarities to the best works of Sevendust, Stone Sour and Trivium just to name a few bands.  Just as interesting to note is the guitar riff featured in the song’s bridge.  That riff actually lends itself at least slightly to some of Eddie Van Halen’s best guitar solos.  How’s that for a comparison?  Meanwhile, the secondary guitar line of Alon Mei-Tai and low-end from bassist Chris Joseph fleshes out the arrangement even more alongside the work of the band’s unlisted session drummer. Between all of that and the more modern influences put on display throughout the course of the song’s four-and-a-half-minute run time, audiences get a song here that shows a new direction for Hyvmine; a direction that could help break the band into the mainstream, and make it one of the next big names in the hard rock community.

The power in the arrangement at the center of ‘Retaliation’ in itself gives listeners plenty to appreciate about the song, and it is only one of the song’s important elements.  The song’s lyrical content plays its own important part to the song’s presentation as its musical arrangement.  Joseph sings here, “Your master plan’s a waste of time/I’m right behind/You’re never getting out alive/You’re a fool/You can’t complete with me/Tapped in your blood while you were wasting precious energy/You’ll see your wasted time/I’ve come to take your life.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “You broke the rules/You crossed the sea/You’ve made your own contraption/Well no one else can hear you scream/Don’t ever waste my time/Before I waste your life.”  This is a straight forward message that is driven home even more in the second chorus as Joseph sings, “I got a calling/And I can’t afford to waste my time/So enough with this falling/And I can’t afford to get out of line/Don’t care for your reasons/They never amount to what you’ll find/So shut your mouth/You’d best be still/’Cause I’m built to kill.”  This comes across as someone who has been wronged in some way and is not going to put up with the other person’s behavior any longer.  It is full on, proud defiance from the song’s subject, and displays a strong will.  Considering the number of people who have been in a situation very similar to this, it is certain to reach a wide range of listeners.  When this is considered along with the song’s driving melodic hard rock arrangement, the song becomes in whole, a positive preview of Hyvmine’s upcoming album.  Even with this in mind, the song’s content is only part of what makes it a positive new offering from the band.  The song’s production is just as important to note as its overall content.

The production at the center of ‘Retaliation’ is important to note because it is that work that brings everything together.  It can be said with ease that the song’s production is just as positive as its overall content, too.  The call and response effect used for some of the vocal lines between the verses and choruses supports that statement.  The way in which Joseph’s vocals are layered in order to create that call and response effect is a great effect.  On another level, the distortion added to the guitars adds its own depth to the song, too.  Overall, the balance of the instruments and Joseph’s vocals proves impressive in its own right.  Some might see this as a given, but the fact of the matter is that there are bands whose songs have proven not that great because they were not that well produced.  The vocals are washed out by the instruments or vice versa.  They are rare, but not overly rare.  Thankfully that is not the case with this song.  The production keeps everything very well-balanced throughout the almost five-minute song.  The end result of that attention to detail is a song that is easy on the ears not just because of the music, but because of the work of those behind the glass.  When this is considered along with the fully relatable lyrical content, the whole of the song proves that much more to be a positive start for the band in its new album.  One can only hope that the success of this song will continue with the rest of the album when it is finally released next year.

Hyvmine’s new single ‘Retaliation’ is a strong start for the band’s as-yet-untitled forthcoming sophomore album.  That is proven in part through a musical arrangement that shows the band has grown from its debut, and done so unapologetically at that.  The song’s lyrical content supports that statement even more.  That is because the situation portrayed in the lyrics is such that listeners will be able to relate.  The song’s production puts the final touch to the song, making it that much easier on the ears.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of ‘Retaliation.’  All things considered, they give listeners reason to be cautiously optimistic about the band’s as-yet-untitled forthcoming sophomore album.  More information on ‘Retaliation’ is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:




Website: http://www.hyvmine.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Hyvmineband




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Fozzy Reaches Its Peak With ‘Judas’

Courtesy: Century Media Century Media Records

Veteran hard rock band Fozzy launched the latest leg of its “Judas Rising” tour on Friday.  The tour, which currently runs through September 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, includes performances in Charlotte and Jacksonville, North Carolina on September 19 and 20 respectively.  The tour’s launch also follows the release of the band’s latest single, ‘Burn Me Out,’ which is taken from the band’s most recent album, Judas (2017).  Judas is an interesting change of pace for Fozzy at least stylistically speaking.  That is not a bad thing, either.  In fact, the change in the band’s sound exhibited in this record is a big part of what makes the record such an interesting new offering.  ‘Painless,’ which comes a little early in the record’s run, is just one example of that welcome change.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Elevator,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of the change exhibited in the record this time out, and another of the most notable of those examples, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The full-throttle ‘Wolves at Bay,’ which closes out the album is one more example of the change that is evident in this record that makes it another interesting new effort.  Of course it is not the last of the songs that shows the change from the band this time out.  Keeping that in mind, there are also some more familiar works early on in the record.  When those songs are considered along with the songs noted here and those not noted, the whole of Judas proves to be a record that presents Fozzy at the top of its game.

Veteran hard rock band Fozzy’s most recent full-length studio recording, 2017’s Judas is one of the best albums that this band has released to date.  Simply put, it presents Fozzy at the top of its game.  That is thanks to the growth and change exhibited by the band throughout the album.  The first real sign of that change comes early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Painless.’  Musically speaking, this song is one of the most radio friendly songs that the band has composed to date.  At the same time, it doesn’t sacrifice the hard rock edge for which the band has come to be known in its previous albums in order to achieve that accessibility.  It shows similarities to works from the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Five Finger Death Punch and other similar hard rock acts, showing again, that accessibility.

The song’s lyrical content shows a certain growth, too, as it presents a subject in a distinctly difficult place emotionally and psychologically.  What’s interesting here is that it doesn’t just come right out and give away the situation, perhaps intentionally leaving interpretation to apply to any difficult situation.  This is inferred as front man Chris Jericho sings in the song’s lead verse, “My life trapped in between/A whisper and a scream/A suicide machine of my own making/You medicate my brain/Like needles in my veins/Consumed in your embrace/There’s no escaping/My fix I the misery/Won’t stop till the end of me/I can’t feel anything.”  This alone comes across as perhaps someone dealing with the impacts of drug abuse.  That is just this critic’s own take on this verse, though.  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Killing me one breath at a time/Caught in your web/I’m paralyzed/So go on and lay me down to rest/You make it painless, painless.”  What’s even more interesting is that later in the song’s third verse, Jericho switches things up even more, singing, “Do you know what it’s like/To be hollow inside my life, my grave/Do you love me enough to finish me off/Don’t leave me here this way?” before reprising the song’s chorus.  At this point, it’s as if Jericho is hinting at a relationship issue making things even more difficult.  Simply put, this song is just as deep lyrically as it is musically.  Keeping that in mind along with the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole shows quite a bit of positive and welcome growth and change from the band.  That growth makes this song just one example of what makes Judas another strong effort from Fozzy.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show that welcome change.  ‘Elevator,’ which comes later in the record’s run, is another example of the change that makes Judas an interesting new offering from the band.

The growth exhibited in ‘Elevator’ comes instantly in its musical arrangement, as it opens with the driving guitar and keyboard lines that open the song.  That combination, which runs through the course of the song, gives the song a little bit of an industrial sound.  It’s a sound that Fozzy has used very rarely, if at all in its past records.  The expert balance of the elements along with the solid time keeping (and Jericho’s vocal delivery) makes for an overall musical arrangement that itself shows even more the change in the band’s musical direction this time out.  When that change is coupled with the song’s lyrical content, the two elements make the song in whole another notable addition to Judas.

Where ‘Painless’ presented someone in a very low place, ‘Elevator’ is the polar opposite so to speak.  Jericho sings here, “Step in/We’re gonna take a ride/To the promised land/Heaven is in our hands/We’ve all been down/There’s only one way out/’Cause when you’re feeling low/There’s only one way to go/I’m your elevator.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “We crawl through dirt/You know we’ve been hurt/Put your faith in me/’Cause I’ve got the golden key/So wave goodbye/I’m gonna get you high/High above the crowd/Nothing can stop us now/I’m your elevator.”  It goes without saying that unlike ‘Painless,’ this song is quite the uplifting piece.  Now whether the song was intentionally supposed to be religious in its wording or if that was purely metaphorical language is left for the band to explain.  That aside, the positive, uplifting message here, coupled with the song’s equally empowering musical arrangement shows even more the change in Fozzy in this record.  That exhibited change shows even more why the record in whole is some of the band’s best work to date.  It still is not the last of the songs to show that noted change and how that change is a positive for the album in whole.  ‘Wolves at Bay,’ the album’s closer, is one more strong example of that change and its positive impact on the album.

‘Wolves at Bay’ stands out – as with the previously discussed songs – in part because of its musical arrangement.  Its opening bars present a thrash metal style approach before switching over to the band’s more familiar melodic hard rock sound a la Sevendust, etc. in the verses.  That thrash metal approach, which again the band has rarely if ever, used returns in the chorus.  The driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement is echoed in its equally powerful and aggressive lyrics.  Jericho sings here, “You like to hunt/Your game is fear/I was the one, your souvenir/This is a fight/The one that you’ve been fighting for/You did incite the call for us to go to war.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Pushing and pushing/Giving me no choice/Humiliate/Intimidate/Until I hit the breaking point/Back to the wall/Keeping the wolves at bay/Fight my way out/’Cause it’s the only way.”  The song continues on lyrically in similar fashion from here.  Simply put, there’s a certain level of aggression and confidence here.  This is someone saying, “back off, you’ve caused me to be this way, and I won’t hesitate to attack if I have to,”  It’s a strong song and an interesting contrast to the album’s opener.  Those powerful lyrics and the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement shows again the change evident from the band in this album.  That welcome change also again shows what makes Judas such a strong new offering from Fozzy.  When it is considered along with the previously discussed songs and the rest of this record, the whole of the album proves to be not just a strong new album, but some of the band’s best work to date.

Fozzy’s new album Judas is some of the band’s best work to date.  That’s because while it does present some familiarity to listeners, it also exhibits continued positive growth and change from the band.  That is exhibited in the song’s discussed here clearly.  When they are considered along with the songs not discussed here, that change becomes even more evident and appreciated.  When it is considered in whole, the result is a record that every Fozzy fan will enjoy.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Judas, Fozzy’s new tour, its latest news and more is available online now at:




Website: http://www.fozzyrock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/fozzyrock




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