‘God Bless The Renegades’ Is A Solid Solo Debut For Clint Lowery

Courtesy: Rise Records

Sevendust co-founder and guitarist Clint Lowery has spent the past two decades plus making quite the name for himself as a member of the Grammy® nominated hard rock band.  After spending so much time with the Atlanta, GA-based hard rock band, Lowery has struck out on his own for the first time this year with his debut album God Bless The Renegades.  Released an. 31 through Rise Records, the LP is a strong new effort from Lowery.  That is thanks to familiar and new musical arrangements that exhibit Lowery’s growth as an artist.  It is also thanks to lyrical content which will engage and entertain listeners just as much as the record’s musical content.  The album’s opener and title track is just one example of how the record’s collective musical and lyrical content plays into its appeal.  It will be addressed shortly.  ‘Kings,’ which comes early in the album’s run, is another way in which the album proves itself a strong solo debut from Lowery.  The album’s finale, ‘Do We Fear God’ is one more way in which the record proves itself so important to the album’s presentation.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of the record proves to be another early candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Clint Lowery’s solo debut record God Bless The Renegades is a positive offering from the longtime Sevendust guitarist and co-founder.  That is thanks to the record’s musical and lyrical content.  The album’s opener and title track is just one of the entries that support that statement.  The song’s musical arrangement instantly lends itself to comparisons to works that Lowery has composed as a member of Sevendust.  More specifically speaking, the heavy, crunching sound and the tempo lends itself to comparisons to works from the band’s sophomore album Home (1999).  It is instantly infectious and will certainly be a fan favorite.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, too.  Its companion lyrical content adds to its impact.

Lowery sings in the song’s lead verse, “What’s the meaning behind the broken heart/Watch your feelings/Try not to fall apart/I think we’re dying to play the victim card/You taste like chemicals/You are the one they want/What makes you feel good at the moment/What breaks you down/What makes you whole/Oh you know/You said it’s all the rage/Love dies and we relate/I hope you’re entertained/God bless the renegades/Let’s watch the superstars run from the cannibals/They think they’re gonna be saved/God bless the renegades.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “What’s the reason for the guilty one’s love/Go wash that blood off your hands/Oh, you won’t believe this/No matter what you are/We live like animals/And the cowards die alone/We die alone.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “So tell me how do we change/We give ourselves away/No words can take the place/Beautiful lies we chase/Entirely erased.”  Lowery talked about the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview from the debut of the song’s lyric video.  He explained of the song, “I wanted to give thanks and praise to the people who step away from the ‘sheep’ mentality,” he said.  “The forward-thinkers and dreamers who create real change and evolution – the ones who don’t fear being different.”  Simply put, this song presents the tried and true topic of promoting individuality, which is a staple in rock music.  The fashion in which Lowery has approached the topic here lyrically is unique.  When it is coupled with the song’s familiar musical styling, the whole of the elements makes the song a strong start for Lowery’s new LP and an equally strong example of what make the album a positive solo debut from an already very accomplished musician.

‘God Bless The Renegades’ is just one of the songs that serves to show what makes Lowery’s solo debut such an engaging and enjoyable offering.  ‘Kings,’ which also comes early in the album’s 41-minute run, is another key example of what makes this record stand out.  The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Kings’ shows a slight hint of his work with Sevendust, but in larger part, there is more of a distinct, straight forward, mainstream rock sound.  That is evidenced in the song’s vocal harmonies and the general instrumentation.  It can be compared to works from so many bands out there, such as Finger Eleven, Default and Three Days Grace.  What is interesting in considering the song’s musical arrangement is that while the song’s mid-tempo arrangement is infectious in its own right, it doesn’t entirely match the song’s proudly defiant lyrical content, which focuses on overcoming diversity.  Typically such songs present much more fiery arrangements, but even despite that, this arrangement still works in its own right.

The message of the proud defiance is delivered in the song’s lead verse, during which Lowery sings, “I’m coming out breathing fire/You gotta love the thieves and liars/They’re hanging on every word/We’re tearing down the walls inside/We’re working up with dirt-filled eyes/And everyone knows it/Goes on and on and on again/Break it/Break it to see you can take it/Take it from me, you can make it/’Cause I’ll be right by your side/I’ve been through hell just for this/I’ve had my say/I found my way/Even though I came down for it/We’re dying at the bottom/But we lived like kings.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m fighting off the angry hearts/They tear apart the things we love/I know you want blood/You can’t hide it/The worst part/We needed/The darkness, we feed it/The scars that you see/You know that it’s better to bleed.”  Again, here is that message of overcoming diversity and rising above, making the best of life regardless of the negatives.  This is a positive message that will resonate with audiences just as much as the song’s musical arrangement.  Both items together make the song in whole its own powerful presentation that once again, shows what makes God Bless The Renegades stand out.  It is just one more example of what God Bless The Renegades a positive debut from Lowery.  The album’s finale, ‘Do We Fear God’ is yet another example of the album’s strength.

‘Do We Fear God’ features an almost emo style arrangement at its core.  That is something that could not be farther from what Lowery has crafted as a member of Sevendust throughout his career.  It is a full on, melodic work that is the most stark departure possible from his signature style.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, either.  It shows his ability to handle more than just hard rock, and to do so successfully.  It meets with the song’s lyrical content quite well in its own way, too.

Lowery sings in the song’s lead verse, “The seconds taste like falling rain/It’s almost chemical/The dreams we chase/A nightmare race/We deem so critical/And I believe we’re all just scared/I see so much of me in them/The more we say, the less we grow/We use our words to close the doors/We’re in and out/We live and die/We breach the walls to save our souls/Do we fear God”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Would you ask my name/If my weathered face/Was less than beautiful/In this shallow place/We become the slaves/On a selfish pedestal/And I believe we’re all just scared/It takes so much from you to give/The less we say the more we hold.”  He adds in the song’s third and final verse, “We whisper something cruel/About everything and everyone/Am I the only one/I’m the only one/I’m not the only one.”  This is a relatively straight forward message.  Lowery is making a social commentary of sorts here, but in a more eloquent fashion than many other songs of its ilk.  It is addressing how selfish, self-centered and shallow we as a people have become.  When he notes that “the dreams we chase/A nightmare race/We deem so critical,” he is noting that we are chasing something inconsequential, adding “the more we say, the less we grow.”  That added note of asking if someone would talk to another person based solely on looks, that makes us the “slaves on a selfish pedestal.”  Again, Lowery has, here, presented another familiar lyrical topic that many groups and acts have crafted, yet he has done so in a unique fashion that stands out among its counterparts. When it is considered alongside its moving, companion musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes one of the album’s most powerful works if not its most powerful in its subtlety.  When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album shows Lowery has a bright future ahead of him whether it be with Sevendust, on his own or both.

Clint Lowery’s debut solo LP God Bless The Renegades is a positive new offering from the longtime Sevendust guitarist and co-founder.  That is due in part to its musical arrangements, which throw back to his work with Sevendust and show his own personal growth as a musician.  The album’s lyrical content is certain to keep audiences just as engaged as its companion musical content.  That is proven in part through all three of the songs featured here.  When they are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the album in whole becomes a solid solo debut for Lowery and a sign that his future as a solo artist is just as positive as it is with his band mates in Sevendust.  God Bless The Renegades is available now.  More information on the album is available online now along with all of Lowery’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.clintlowery.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/clintlowery.net

Twitter: http://twitter.com/clintlowerynet

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Retaliation’ Is A Strong New Musical “Strike” From Hyvmine

Courtesy: Seek & Strike Records

Hard rock band Hyvmine has made quite the impact on the music community since it released its debut album Earthquake in 2017. In the short time since its release, the band – Al Joseph (guitar, vocals), Bill Gerrity (drums), Alon Mei-Tal (guitar) and Chris Joseph (bass) – has continued to carve out its own place within the music community (and more specifically the hard rock community).  The band’s upcoming third full-length studio recording Retaliation serves to continue that impact through its heavy riffs and thought-provoking lyrical themes.  This is proven in part early on in the form of ‘Life in Fire.’  This addition to the album will be addressed shortly.  ‘Imitator,’ shows in its own way why Retaliation maintains Hyvmine’s success, and will be discussed a little later.  ‘Assassins’ is one more example of how Retaliation continues to show the collective talents of Hyvmine’s members.  When they are considered along with the remainder of the album’s entries, the end result is a record that proves in whole once again, that Hyvmine is one of the leading names in the next generation of hard rock.

Hard rock outfit Hyvmine is without question one of the leading names in the next generation of hard rock.  The band has already proven that over the course of its past two albums.  Its recently released third album Retaliation supports that statement even more, with its heavy musical arrangements and its equally powerful lyrical themes.  ‘Life in Fire,’ which comes early in the album’s 40-minute run is just one of the songs that serves to support the noted statements.  The song’s musical arrangement almost instantly lends itself to comparisons to the best works of Sevendust.  That is due to its heavy, crunching guitars and equally strong sounds from the drums, and front man Al Joseph’s vocal delivery.  Chris Joseph’s work on bass joins with the other noted elements to make a whole that is easily one of this record’s most notable arrangements.  The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes it notable.  The song’s lyrical content adds its own share of interest to the song’s whole.

Al Joseph sings in the song’s lead verse, “You said something to me about live and learning/Oh, but you chose to take the back way while I was burning/Hey, don’t you see/How I’ve listened to your every word/Oh, and the fire that once consumed me/Has made its turn for the last time now.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I buried my pain beneath distant nightmares/It ain’t about where I’ve been/But how I got there/Oh, don’t you see how I’ve been been forged in your every wake/Oh, endlessly I’m cleaning up for your past mistakes/For the last time now.”  He is joined by his band mates in the song’s chorus, in which the group collectively sings, “A day in the life/You would be looking for nothing/A life in the fire won’t be taken away from me/It’s time to face that fire.”  This collection of lyrics seems (this is only this critic’s own take) to hint at perhaps a story of someone recounting the trials and tribulations that he has faced through his life and realizing that despite the negativity that he has endured, he would not change it.  This is inferred as Joseph notes, “A day in the life/You would be looking for nothing/A life in the fire won’t be taken away from me.”  It almost seems like metaphorical language for the old adage that what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, and what this song’s subject has gone through has made him that much stronger.  That is inferred even more as Al screams right after the song’s break, “Why don’t you know/It’s taken away, but I need to work harder/I’m facing defeat, but I need to work smarter.”  Considering all of this, the song can lyrically be inferred to be a work  that encourages people to not give up, even in life’s most difficult times.  Rather, people should use their negative experiences to become better, overcome and persevere.  When this is considered along with the song’s musical fire (no pun intended), the whole of the song’s musical and lyrical content makes the song in whole a powerful statement from Hyvmine in its latest recording.  It is just one of the album’s most notable entries, too.  ‘Imitator,’ the album’s latest single, is another of its most notable additions.

‘Imitator’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement in that this arrangement boasts more of that previously noted Sevendust influence, but also boasts something else.  One could argue that there’s a bit of a Breaking Benjamin influence evidenced in this song’s arrangement as well as maybe even a light Alice in Chains influence in the stylistic approach to the vocals at times.  At the same time, there is a moment in the song’s bridge that conjures thoughts of Dry Kill Logic.  Yes, it seems like quite the amalgam of influences, but that complexity somehow works here and, in the end, makes this arrangement one more of the album’s most notable compositions.  The song’s composition is, of course only one portion of what makes it stand out.  The song’s lyrical content will appeal to a wide range of listeners, too.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Imitator’ will appeal to a wide range of listeners as it seems to center on the issue of a broken relationship, but in this case perhaps not a romantic, but personal relationship.  This is inferred as Joseph sings in the song’s lead verse, “Fear setting in beneath my skin beneath my skin/This twisted feeling/Caught up in the act again/Betrayed by my blood/My closest friend.”  As he continues in the song’s second song, the song’s subject seems to come to terms with the situation, but will not let the situation hold him down.  That is inferred as he sings, “This chapter ends/Closure begins/I’m taking over/Caught up in the act again/betrayed as another means to an end.”  That sense of determination as the song’s subject sings in the song’s chorus, “What is love without meaning/What is peace without feeling/I’m just getting this feeling you’re imitating/What is life without devotion/What is heart without motion/All these games that you play/I just can’t get it right.”  He continues in the song’s bridge, “Walls are closing down (this is the final act)/Crashing to the ground/How will you live knowing I’m not around/I’m taking control, now where will you go/It’s too late/Now your apologies can hit the f****** wall/Hit the road.”  Simply put, this is someone who has had a lot of wrong done to him, but is through letting it happen.  The song’s musical arrangement, set alongside this seeming concept, makes the song in whole a deeply emotional work that is certain to connect with a wide range of listeners.  That very real impact shows just as much as ‘Life in Fire’ why Retaliation is another strong offering from Hyvmine.  It is definitely not the last of the album’s most notable songs.  The album’s closer, ‘Assassins,’ which is also the album’s latest single, is yet another example of what makes the album stand out so positively.

‘Assassins’ stands out in part – just as the previously discussed songs – because of its musical arrangement.  Once again here, the Sevendust influence is clear and present.  At the same time, there’s a certain agro-rock feel that lends itself to comparisons to works from Staind and other similar acts while also featuring a bridge that resurrects the band’s familiar progressive metal roots.  One might not think that such a combination of genres would work together, but once again, the band managed here to make it work.  When it is coupled with the song’s lyrical content, the song in whole proves even more appealing.

The lyrical content exhibited in ‘Assassins’ is certain to generate just as much discussion among listeners as the song’s musical arrangement, if not more so.  That is because of its deeply metaphorical nature.  Joseph sings in the song’s lead verse, “Welcome to the sanctuary/Come honor all that fell before/We’ve sharpened the blades we carry/We’re washed up on these bloody shores/Hold steady in place/the order that I give/We’re ready/We’re taking back the way we live.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Welcome to the mortuary/You’ve never seen this place before/legend as they speak/Be wary/Will shake you right down to the core.”  Joseph’s band mates join him in the song’s chorus, singing, “I’ve never wanted the blood you shed/I only wanted to chase the dead/I’m cutting you down for my sake/I’m spilling the blood as you wake/Forget all the prayers that you make/I’m sure you’ve heard I’m your assassin.”  Again, this is some very deep metaphorical language that even this critic cannot immediately decipher.  Keeping that depth in mind, it in itself is certain to generate plenty of discussion among listeners.  When the discussions generated by the song’s lyrical content is coupled with the enjoyment and discussion that the song’s musical arrangement will generate, the whole of the song proves even more clearly why it is one more of Retaliation’s most important songs.  When it is considered along with the other songs addressed here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of Retaliation proves to be a strong new musical strike from Hyvmine.

Hyvmine’s third full-length studio recording Retaliation is another strong offering from the up-and-coming hard/progressive rock band.  It is a work that shows this band is definitely one of the next big names of the next generation of rock in general.  That is evidenced through 11 songs that show a definitive stylistic change of pace for the band.  The three songs discussed here are just a small example of that change.  The lyrical content featured throughout the album is just as certain to generate some interest among listeners.  The album in whole proves to be a step in a strong, positive direction for the band that is a strong new musical strike from Hyvmine.  The album is available now.  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

 

 

 

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.

Sevendust, Skillet Announce Co-Headlining Tour

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

Skillet and Sevendust will embark on a co-headlining tour this summer.

The bands will launch the “Victorious War” tour Aug. 11 in Memphis, TN.  The tour, which runs almost one month in length, features performances in cities, such as Spokane, WA; Cincinnati, OH and Tulsa, OK.

Pop Evil and Devour The Day will serve as support for the tour on select dates. The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SKILLET + SEVENDUST ON TOUR:
WITH POP EVIL + DEVOUR THE DAY:

8/11 — Memphis, TN — Minglewood Hall
8/13 — Richmond, VA — Virginia Credit Union Live!
8/14 — Lancaster, PA — Freedom Hall
8/16 — Cincinnati, OH — PNC Pavilion at Riverbend
8/17 — Indianapolis, IN — The Lawn
8/18 — Peoria, IL — Peoria Riverfront
8/20 — Clear Lake, IA — Surf Ballroom
8/21 — Springfield, MO — Complex
8/24 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
8/25 — Boise, ID — Revolution Center*
8/27 — Spokane, WA — Knitting Factory*
8/28 — Seattle, WA — Showbox Sodo
8/30 — Reno, NV — Grand Sierra Resort
8/31 — Las Vegas, NV — House of Blues
9/1 — Los Angeles, CA — Wiltern
9/2 — Phoenix, AZ — Marquee
9/4 — Tucson, AZ — Rialto Theater
9/6 — Houston, TX — Warehouse Live Ballroom
9/7 — Tulsa, OK — Brady Theater**
*No Pop Evil
**No Sevendust

Tickets for the tour go on sale at 10 a.m. local time Friday.  Pre-sale tickets are available here.

Skillet front man John Cooper talked about the tour in a recent interview.

“We’re thrilled to be touring with Sevendust,” Cooper said.  “The lineup is incredible and I think the fans will be very happy.  We can’t wait to play our new songs on the tour and connect with the Panheads out on the road.

The new songs to which Cooper referred are songs from the band’s as  yet untitled new record.  A full announcement on the record is scheduled for May 7.

Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon shared Cooper’s enthusiasm for the tour in a separate interview.

“We are looking so forward to touring with Skillet,” Witherspoon said.  “What an amazing band — these shows are going to be amazing.  We can’t wait to share the stages with them.”

Sevendust’s new tour schedule announcement as the band wraps its current Australian tour.  That tour ends April 30 in Pert, Australia.  After a few days to rest and recharge, the band will head back to the U.S. for an almost three-week tour that launches May 5 in Atlanta, GA.  That run runs through May 24 and features performances in cities, such as Council Bluffs, IA; Silver Springs, MO and Louisville, KY.

Skillet is currently wrapping its own European tour schedule.  That tour winds down Sunday in Rostov-Na-Donu, Russian Federation.  the band will head back to the U.S. starting May 4 at the Welcome to Rockville Festival in Jacksonville, Fla.

Pop Evil is currently in the midst of its own North American tour while this summer’s tour will be just the latest for Devour The Day.  Pop Evil’s current tour schedule also features a string of dates with Disturbed in July before the band joins Devour The Day, Sevendust and Skillet for the “Victorious War” tour.

Sevendust will be touring in support of its most recent album, All I See Is War (2018). Skillet’s performances are in support of its 2017 album Unleashed.

Pop Evil’s performances are in support of its 2018 self-titled album.  Devour The Day joins the tour in support of its 2018 album Signals.

More information about Sevendust’s upcoming dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.sevendust.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sevendust

 

More information on Skillet’s tour schedule is available online along with all of the band’s news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.skillet.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/skilletmusic

 

More information on Pop Evil’s run with Sevedust is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.PopEvil.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/popevil

 

More information on Devour The Day’s upcoming dates is available online along with the band’s latest news at http://www.facebook.com/devourtheday.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

 

 

Gears Premieres ‘Tango Yankee’ Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Hard rock band Gears recently released the video for its new single.

The band debuted the video for ‘Tango Yankee’ on April 6 at tattoo.com.  The song features guest vocals from Sevendust front man Lajon Witherspoon. Witherspoon also took time to appear in the song’s companion video.

Gears drummer Jimmy Wooten said in a recent interview that the song is effectively a tribute to America’s military and emergency service personnel.

“With ‘Tango Yankee,’ we just really wanted to write something dedicated to several members of our families that have served in the military, law enforcement and first response,” Wooten said.  “We really wanted this to be special, so getting one of our favorite vocalists from one of our favorite bands was very exciting and made this track just that — special.  Lajon came in and absolutely crushed the track vocally.  I really love the way it turned out.  Trip [Six] — Gears front man — and LJ complimented each other so well. Put that together with Clint’s epic solo, and of course Corey [Lowery] at the helm, this really turned out something spectacular.  I believe that the thought behind the song is something that most Americans can relate to, as many of of have or have had loved ones who serve.  Maybe even a little something that can get us all past all of our political disagreements unify, recognize the sacrifice and just say a simple ‘Thank You’ to all those who fight for our freedom, protect us and keep us safe.”

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

 

Website: http://www.gearsofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/officialgears1

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

Lullwater Touring With Sevendust; Debuts New Video

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Lullwater debuted its latest music video this month

The independent Georgia-based band debuted the video for its latest single ‘Empty Chamber‘ on Feb. 8.  The video, which originally debuted at Consequence of Sound, features the band performing its new single in the studio and crosses that with footage of the band at work on both sides of the glass in-between.

In regards to its musical arrangement, the song will appeal to fans of bands, such as Buckcherry, Stone Temple Pilots and Small Town Titans.  The song’s lyrical content focuses on a familiar topic, according to front man John Strickland.

“We all have experienced and been in a moment of excruciating emotional pain, and ‘Empty Chamber’ was written during one of those moments,’Strickland said.  “The song has an upbeat tempo and happy melodic vibe, but the lyrics are depressing and filled with anxiety.  Sometimes everything in life can be going great, but you still struggle with emotional pan and confusion.  I feel ‘Empty Chamber’ embodies that emotion.”

‘Empty Chamber’ is taken from Lullwater’s most recent album Voodoo, which was released Feb. 1.  The record is the band’s third full-length studio recording and fourth overall recording. Its track listing is noted below.

Track List:
1. Curtain Call
2. Dark Divided
3. Empty Chamber
4. Similar Skin
5. This Life
6. Godlike
7. Buzzards
8. Fight Of Your Life
9. Into The Sun
10. Yellow Bird
11. Suffer Not

The band released its self-titled debut album in 2012.  It was followed up by the LP Revival in 2015 and the band’s debut EP The Seattle Sessions in 2017.  That EP was a live recording from the band.

Lullwater is currently promoting Voodoo as it supports Sevendust on its headlining tour in support of its latest album All I See Is War (2018).  Cane Hill, Tremonti and Kirra are also serving as support on the tour.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

02/16 @ Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ
02/18 @ Toads Place – New Haven, CT
02/19 @ The Chance Theater – Poughkeepsie, NY
02/20 @ The Rapids Theater, Niagara Falls, U.S.A. – Buffalo, NY
02/22 @ The Machine Shop – Flint, MI
02/25 @ Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
02/26 @ House of Blues Chicago – Chicago, IL
02/27 @ The Blue Note – Columbia, MO
03/01 @ The Cotillion – Wichita, KS
03/02 @ Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
03/03 @ VIBES Event Center – San Antonio, TX

Tickets are available here.

More information on Lullwater’s tour, music and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.lullwatermusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lullwatermusic

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

 

TesseracT Claims Top Honors In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums List

Courtesy: Kscope records

This year has been a truly productive time for the metal community.  Veteran acts, up-and-comers and even the underground have produced offerings that have given the metal masses more than enough reason to put their horns in the air all year long.  The most notable acts who have released standout albums this year include, and are not limited to  from All Hail The Yeti, Judas Priest and Artillery just to name a few bands.

Keeping this in mind, rock and metal critics the world over will have to agree that developing a list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings was a monumental task.  That was especially the case for this critic.  This critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums features new albums from bands from both sides of the Atlantic and from the mainstream and the underground.

Taking the top spot in this year’s list from Phil’s Picks is none other than the British prog-metal outfit TesseracT, Sonder.  The band’s latest offering is both musically and lyrically a truly in-depth offering that holds its own in the metal community and the prog community.

Second place this year goes to Florida’s own Nonpoint.  The band’s aptly-titled is a powerhouse offering from the veteran hard rock band that shows Nonpoint as a band at the top of its game both musically and lyrically.

Judas Priest takes the bronze this year with its new album Firepower.  This one was not an easy choice to make, as Nonpoint, Judas Priest and TesseracT are all outstanding bands in their own right.  Firepower harkens back to some of Judas Priest’s best work from days long gone, and is such a welcome album.  With lyrics that pay tribute to the military, that make a bold statement of standing up for one’s self and more, it is that much stronger, so it was not with ease that the album ended up in third.

Also featured in this year’s list are new albums from Artillery, All Hail The Yeti and Soulfly just to name a few more. As always, the top 10 albums are the main list while the five that follow are all honorable mention titles.  With all of this in mind, here is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

  1. TesseracT — Sonder
  2. Nonpoint — X
  3. Judas Priest — Firepower
  4. Between The Buried and Me — Automata
  5. Soulfly — Ritual
  6. Sevendust — All I See Is War
  7. All Hail The Yeti — Highway Crosses
  8. Exmortus — The Sound of Steel
  9. Artillery — The Face of Fear
  10. The Amsterdam Red Light District — Sapere Aude
  11. Ice Nine Kills — The Silver Scream
  12. Black Label Society — Grimmest Hits
  13. Unearth — Extinction(s)
  14. Atreyu — In Our Wake
  15. Zardonic — Become

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.

‘All I See Is War’ Is A Welcome Return To Form For Sevendust

Courtesy: Rise Records

Veteran hard rock band Sevendust officially returned this summer with its 12th full-length studio recording All I See Is War.  Having been released May 11 via Rise Records, its release came almost three years since the release of the band’s 11th album, 2015’s Kill The Flaw.  The 12-song album, also the band’s debut for Rise Records, can be said easily, to be one of the Atlanta, Georgia-based band’s best works to date as it takes audiences back to the band’s early days while also adding in a more up-to-date sound in its arrangements.  The addition of the songs’ equally interesting lyrical themes to those arrangements makes the album that much more interesting.  This is evidenced early on in the album’s run in the form of ‘God Bites His Tongue.’  ‘Risen,’ which comes later in the album’s run, also serves to show what makes this record so interesting.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘The Truth,’ which closes out the album is one more example of what makes All I See Is War such an interesting new offering from a group that is one of the hard rock community’s most respected acts, but is certainly not the last of the songs that proves the album’s interest.  ‘Medicated,’ another early entry to the album, ‘Cheers,’ the album’s midpoint, and ‘Moments,’ which boasts a similarity to the band’s more recent records, all show in their own way what makes this record stand out in Sevendust’s extensive catalog.  Between these songs, the pieces more directly noted and those not noted here, the whole of this 45-minute album proves to be a solid portrait of Sevendust’s past, present and future.  Keeping that in mind, it proves to be not only one of Sevendust’s best works to date, but also one of the year’s best new hard rock albums, too.

Sevendust’s latest full-length studio recording All I See Is War is one of the veteran hard rock band’s best albums to date and also one of the year’s best new hard rock albums.  That is because its musical and lyrical content overall takes listeners from the band’s early days right through to its present and future.  What’s more it does this in convincing fashion throughout the course of the album’s dozen total songs, too.  This is evidenced early on in the form of the album’s second song, ‘God Bites His Tongue.’  Musically speaking, this song’s arrangement takes listeners back to the band’s sophomore 1999 album Home, with its heavy, crunching guitars, equally heavy low-end from bassist Vince Hornsby, front man Lajon Witherspoon’s familiar powerhouse melodic vocals and drummer Morgan Rose’s time keeping and familiar backing screams.  What is really interesting here is that while the song’s musical arrangement echoes the songs included in Home, it doesn’t try to just re-hash them, but rather show that the band’s members haven’t lost the edge presented in that album.  While the song’s arrangement builds a strong foundation for itself, the music alone only takes the song so far.  Its lyrical theme strengthens that foundation even more with its deeply philosophical nature.  Witherspoon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Face down/Feeding into you/Find the weakness/Holding it down till we kill it/Every once in a while, I get caught in the silver lining/No one ever lives it (what’s the meaning? What’s the meaning?)/Somewhere, we all lost the spirit (Lost it all)/So save us/Just so we know/That the bitter taste/We need it/And we forgive ourselves and leave it all.”  He goes on later to sing, “We forgive ourselves in the space that’s between right and wrong/The better days deceived us/And we let ourselves believe it all/And God just bites his tongue.”  It’s almost as if the song’s lyrical theme centers somewhat on mankind’s attempts to make himself feel superior while God meanwhile simply observes, letting humankind take its own course, consequences or not.  This is, of course, just this critic’s own interpretation of these words.  It could easily be wholly off the mark.  Hopefully it is at least somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  Right or wrong, it is obvious in listening to the song’s lyrical content, that this song is quite the contemplative work.  When the depth in the song’s lyrical theme are coupled with the strength of the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song clearly shows by itself why All I See Is War is another standout offering from Sevendust.  It is of course just one of the songs included in the album that serves to prove the album’s strength.  ‘Risen’ which comes later in the album’s 45-minute run, serves just as much to show the album’s strength.

Where ‘God Bit His Tongue’ lends itself to comparisons to Sevendust’s early works, ‘Risen,’ musically speaking, is more akin to the band’s more recent works.  More specifically, the heavy, crunching arrangement in this song is more akin to works from Alpha and Next than the melodic hard rock sounds of, say Home, Animosity and Seasons.  The song’s musical arrangement gains even more importance and strength and importance as Witherspoon sings here seemingly about someone’s personal relationship with another, and the issues that come with that troubled relationship.  That subject is inferred as he sings, “Turn round/Come down/Been stealing feeling from me/Burned down/No sound/Been killing the life within me/Step down/Last round/Live hating/Loving memory/Break down/We drown/To turn around is everything/It all comes down to what it takes to love/If I fall, would you pick me up/Or kick me down again (Would you stand there with me)/If I tell you my deepest thoughts/Would you hear me out And help me rise again?”  This leaves a little room for interpretation, but also less room than the room left in ‘God Bites His Tongue.’  It comes across as someone who has been anything but that supportive friend.  This is inferred even more in the second verse as Witherspoon sings, “Not long, so gone/We shame your useless pity/You failed us all/Keep spewing the s*** you tell me/Fall down/So proud/Love hating, living memory/Erase you now.”  Again, the song’s subject asks this figure, “If I fall/Would you pick me up/Or kick me down again (Would you stand there with me)/If I tell you my deepest thoughts/Would you hear me out/And help me rise again?”  Once again, this hints at the matter of a person dealing with someone who isn’t necessarily entirely supportive of others.  The frustration in having to deal with that sort of subject is illustrated powerfully in that aforementioned powerhouse musical arrangement.  When the two elements are set alongside one another, they make the song in whole yet another example of what makes this record one of Sevendust’s best albums to date.  Also as noted previously, it is not the last of the songs that can be cited in supporting that statement.  ‘The Truth’ is one more song that shows the album’s strength.

‘The Truth’ shows All I See Is War’s strength in part through its musical arrangement, which — as with ‘Risen’ – can be likened easily to songs from Alpha and Next.  That is proven through its heavy, upbeat, guitar-driven arrangement.  It is a fitting finale for the album that shows once more, that while the band might have had some missteps in the forms of Chapter VII: Hope & Sorrow, Cold Day Memory and Black out The Sun, this album is Sevendust back on track and running at full steam.  The heavy, driving musical arrangement at the center of the song is just part of what helps its overall presentation.  Its equally scathing lyrical content adds to its power.  There is a lot of fire in this song’s energy – fire that plays once again into the album’s central theme of war in different ways as has been discussed by the band upon the album’s release.  Right from the song’s opening, that fire burns bright with Witherspoon singing so forcefully, “No more time for saving/What the hell did you give/What the hell did you do/Just more numb to waste it/You will men nothing/You will be nothing/One more tragic instant/Lost/Right underneath while you dream/We stay asleep now.”  From there, he asks, “Why does it always rain when I wanna see the sunshine/How come you never wanna play the game/Why does it always seem to fade when I wanna be defined/How come you never wanna try to say my name?”  The tension expressed in the chorus follows again from there, again leaving — while some room for interpretation – not too much room.  This song comes across lyrically as another type of war. A war between two people, one of whom has absolutely caused nothing but anger and frustration for the other, thus the song’s tense musical arrangement.  When the tension in that arrangement joins that in the song’s lyrical content, the whole is a song that is one of the album’s strongest and most notable entries, showing once more why this album is among the band’s best work.  When it is joined with the previously discussed songs and others not directly noted here, the end result is an album that is certain to impress Sevendust fans across the board.

Sevendust’s 12th full-length studio recording All I See Is War is a welcome return to form for the veteran hard rock band from Atlanta, Georgia.  After the release of Chapter VII, Cold Day Memory and Black Out The Sun, this record proves to be a welcome breath of fresh, heavy air from the band for fans.  As has been discussed here, that is proven in part through the seeming commentary of ‘God Bites His Tongue.’  It is a work that musically speaking, takes listeners back to Sevendust’s earlier records while its contemplative lyrical content is certain to generate plenty of discussion among listeners.  ‘Risen’ and ‘The Truth’ are more akin to more recent albums such as Alpha and Next.  Their lyrical content, which seems centered on personal “wars” between people adds even more to the record’s foundation.  The inclusion of ‘Medicated,’ Moments’ and ‘Cheers’ to the album strengthens that foundation even more.  Between that trio of compositions, the songs more directly noted here and those not discussed, the whole of All I See Is War is the Sevendust album for which so many fans (this critic included) have waited; An album that is easily one of the year’s top new hard rock albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on All I See Is War is available online now along with all of Sevendust’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://sevendust.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sevendust

 

 

 

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.