‘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

 

 

 

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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.

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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

 

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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

 

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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

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‘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

 

 

 

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Monster Energy Aftershock Festival Lineup Announced; Tickets On Sale Now

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is coming back to California this year.

The annual festival is scheduled to be held October 13 and 14 at Sacramento’s Discovery Park.  Now in its seventh year, the festival will be headlined this year by System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones.  This year marks the first time that System of a Down has performed at the festival.

Along with being the band’s first year at the festival, System of a Down’s performance at the Aftershock Festival will also be the band’s first announced U.S. appearance in three years.  It is also part of the band’s 20th anniversary celebration of its landmark self-titled album’s release.

While System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones are the two-day festival’s planned headliners, they are not the only bands on the bill.  Also scheduled for the performance are Godsmack (which is currently touring in support of its brand new album When Legends Rise), Incubus, Seether, Jonathan Davis (whose latest solo album Black Labyrinth is scheduled for release May 25), At The Drive-In and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (who are currently working on their latest album) as well as Bullet For my Valentine (whose new album Gravity is scheduled to be released June 29), Sevendust (whose album All I See Is War is out now) and many more.  The full lineup for this year’s festival is noted below.

The current band lineup for Monster Energy Aftershock is as follows: System Of A Down, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Godsmack, Shinedown, 311, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, At The Drive-In, Seether, Jonathan Davis, Bullet For My Valentine, Underoath, Black Veil Brides, Hellyeah, Asking Alexandria, Sevendust, Everlast, GWAR, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, Dance Gavin Dance, Monster Magnet, Red Sun Rising, Bad Wolves, The Fever 333, Dorothy, Wage War, Plague Vendor, Hyro The Hero, Amigo The Devil, All Them Witches, Slothrust, The Dose, Viza, The Jacks and more to be announced.

Providing food for this year’s festival will be a variety of vendors including: Southern Hospitality Concessions LLC, Danny Wimmer Presents’ affiliate concessionaire.  Food trucks will also be on hand, providing savory and sweet treats from: Angry Bird Grill, Bacon Mania, Barrett’s Burgers, Barrett’s Sliders, Big Joe’s BBQ, Bubba’s BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, Dippin Dots Ice Cream, Dogtown, Drewski’s Hot Rod Sandwiches, Florez Bar & Grill, La Mex Taqueria, Mac Attack, Mount Olympus, Sausage King, Smokin’ Hot Pizza, Spicy Pie and Xochimilco Mexican Restaurant.

Beverages will be available from a variety of vendors, including vendors for festival-goers 21 and older.  Those vendors include: Caduceus Vellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden (owned by Tool/A Perfect Circle/ Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan) and the Belching Beaver Bar (featuring drafts from the Vista, CA brewer including the Phantom Bride IPA, a collaboration with the Defones).  Mrkt N Jolt will also be on site, offering hot coffee, cold brew and other items.

As if the music, food and drink isn’t enough for festival-goers, this year’s festival will also offer lots of entertainment options.  Those options include the Monster Energy Experience, which gives audiences the chance to meet and greet the bands while also sampling the festival’s various offered drinks, The Music Experience, which is an interactive exhibit and music instrument retailer.  Non-profit animal rescue organization Take Me Home will also be on-site along with Dyin 2 Live/FXck Cancer, a wish-granting organization.  Fans can buy music from the festival’s bands on site at the f.y.e. Fan Experience.

Festival-goers can win prizes and check out the latest products from Zippo Lighters at Zippo Encore and charge their phones at SWFTCharge.

Tickets and VIP packages for this year’s festival are on-sale now.  Prices are listed below.  Service fees on all ticket purchases include a $0.50 charity fee for the T.J. Martell Foundation, a foundation aimed at researching and fighting cancer.  Active military personnel get discounts on their tickets through GovX.

Initial ticket prices will be as follows:

  • 2-Day Weekend General Admission: starting at $149.50 + fees
  • 2-Day Weekend VIP: starting at $299.50 + fees
  • Single Day General Admission: starting at $89.50 + fees
  • Single Day VIP: starting at $179.50 + fees

VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes to the venue, shaded VIP hang area with seating for dining, a VIP-only viewing area of main stage, video screens featuring a live feed of main stage inside the VIP hang area, upgraded food and drink selections, dedicated VIP restrooms and commemorative VIP Monster Energy Aftershock laminate.

A park & ride shuttle is being offered again for this year’s festival as parking at Discovery park is very limited.  Every ticket includes parking at Sleep Train Arena and non-stop shuttle directly to the festival site.

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and fueled by Monster Energy.  It is sponsored by f.y.e., Coors Light, Jack Daniels, Zippo Encore, The Music Experience, SWFTCharge, Fxck Cancer, Ace of Spades, Take Me Home and Belching Beaver.  More sponsors will be announced later.

More information on this year’s Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.AftershockFestival.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AftershockSac

 

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.