Walking With Giants’ Debut LP Is Set To Become Well-Known In The Rock World

Courtesy: PFA Media/Walking With Giants, LLC

Courtesy: PFA Media/Walking With Giants, LLC

“It’s about thinking in ways you haven’t thought prior. “Instead of succumbing to the constant influence of negativity, you look inside yourself, find a solution you’ve never tried before, and end up in a new place you’ve never been. It’s about finding a different perspective.” Those are the words of Walking with Giants founder and front man Gary Noon in discussing the title of the debut album from his new project Walking With Giants and the content contained within the record’s eleven tracks. The album, Worlds Unknown, will be released in stores and online tomorrow, January 15th via Walking With Giants, LLC. The record’s musical content might not necessarily take listeners to a place that they’ve never been. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It boasts a familiar 90s rock influence throughout, courtesy of some very well-known names—Morgan Rose and Clint Lowery of Sevendust, and Brian Marshall of Creed/Alter Bridge. While the album’s musical content might not necessarily leave listeners in a different place, the album’s lyrical content just might. As Noon explains about the album’s lyrical content that “I want people to walk away from the record feeling something different. “Maybe they can relate and want to apply it to their lives and situations and find some inspiration.” Whether or not listeners feeling something different after listening to this record, they will come out of it knowing that they have heard a record that easily holds its own against the current crop of offerings in the rock world today.

Walking With Giants’ debut LP Worlds Unknown is not exactly unknown to audiences in terms of its musical or lyrical content. However in listening through the whole of its eleven song, thirty-seven-minute run time listeners will agree that despite this it still proves to be a record that easily holds its own against the current crop of offerings in the rock world today. Any of the songs featured in this record could be cited to support that argument. One of the most notable of the songs that could be cited is the Clint Lowery-crafted opus ‘Heavy Hand.’ The song’s melodic rock sound fits easily alongside that of Sevendust, Theory of a Deadman, and other current major-name acts of that realm. Noon and Lowery’s dual guitar attack sets against Rose’s work behind the kit and Marshall’s solid bass line to make a solid foundation for the song. The song’s lyrical content builds on that foundation with a concept that Noon explains, “Lyrically, it’s a guy who’s having an argument with himself like, ‘What the hell kind of a person am I? One day, I feel strong. The next day, I feel totally inadequate.’ It’s the struggle of figuring out who you are.” He sings here, “Another day here/Lost without a voice/Invisible, expendable/We drop off one by one/What am I/The useless/What are you/The judge/Someday I’ll prove my worth/But you’re holding on to find a dream/The time has come for the world to see/The world to see/To find that place where I can be/Trust it’s not the end of me.” He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Chasin’ the praises that fill the void/Too logical/Regrettable/You’ve set out to destroy/What if this is useless/Then who am I at all/I am here for what it’s worth/Trying hard to find that dream.” The inner battle that the song’s main figure is fighting is clear in these lines. And when that inner emotional battle is set against the power of the song’s musical content, the whole of the creation is a song that becomes one of the album’s brightest. It is just one of the featured songs that makes this record stand out. ‘Guilty One’ also serves as a good example of what makes this album stand out.

‘Heavy Hand’ is a key example of what makes Worlds Unknown standout from its counterparts so far this year. It is a solid, heavy piece that will also have listeners thinking in hearing its lyrical content. It is just one example of what makes this record stand out, however. ‘Guilty One’ is another song that can easily be cited as one of the album’s high points. Right off the bat, the song conjures thoughts of Staind and Breaking Benjamin with its semi-gloomcore sound. Noon even sounds like eerily like Staind front man Aaron Lewis in this piece. The similarity is so close that in all honesty if a person heard this song and Noon’s vocals without knowing it wasn’t Lewis singing, one would actually think that one was hearing Staind. That is especially the case considering the song’s lyrical content. Noon sings in this song, “The ice runs through my veins/The cold it separates us/The chaos you create takes over/The more I see the less I’m giving up.” There’s no denying the stylistic similarity between these line and those presented in songs from the likes of Staind, Breaking Benjamin, and others of that ilk. That is proven just as much as Noon sings in the song’s second verse, “The choices that we’ve made/Your consequences follow/The safety net you bring helps no one/But the more I see the less I’m giving up.” Noon seems to be setting up a scenario of someone that has created a rather negative situation for himself/herself and others because of the mindset of said individual. The mood of the song’s subject is illustrated quite well through Noon’s vocal talents and those of his fellow musicians. The end result of both elements together here is yet another song that shows clearly why WWG’s debut release stands (and walks) tall among 2016’s early crop of new rock releases.

Both ‘Heavy Hand’ and ‘Guilty One’ are key examples of what makes WWG’s debut album stand out early in 2016’s fied of new rock offerings. As important as they are to the overall presentation of Worlds Unknown they are not the album’s only high points. ‘Solid Ground’ is the album’s final full song (as in complete with music and lyrics). it is both another of the album’s overall high points and an equally good way to close out the album. That is because it exhibits more recent influences (I.E. Alter Bridge) in its musical content. That should come as no surprise considering that Creed/Alter Bridge bassist Brian Marshall worked on the album and fellow Creed/Alter Bridge band mate Scott “Flip” Phillips worked on WWG’s debut EP only a couple of years ago. There is also a hint of Sevendust here in the song’s melodic rock sound. Again it should come as no surprise to audiences. Considering the influences of both bands in this song’s creation the song’s musical content shows in the end to be plenty of reason for listeners to hear this song. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical content. Lyrically speaking, this song completely exhibits everything that Noon noted of the album attempting to get people to thinking ways that they never had. That is clear in the song’s lead verse and chorus in which Noon sings, “Don’t you know/You’re about to step off the edge of the life you know/You know/Long way down/You can try not to fall but you’re losing ground/You know/It’s a life you chose/Now I put my feet on solid ground/I found a reason that I’m living for/That I’m living for. he comes across as saying here that what happens to a person is the result of his or her choices and he is confident in his choices. He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Don’t they say/That you’ve gotta get out and start seizing the day/You know/Time to go/Deep inside/Take a look at the person/The one you can’t hide/You know/It’s the way that you grow/It’s the life that you chose.” From there he and his band mates reprise the song’s chorus before hitting the song’s bridge and returning to the chorus one more time. What Noon comes across as saying in the second verse is that people need to stop and really take a good look at themselves and realize, again, that people make their own paths in life as a result of their choices. The urgency in the song’s up-tempo musical content serves quite well to drive home the importance of that message. The two elements come together to make a song that is the perfect closing statement from Noon and company and one more standout example of what makes Worlds Unknown a record that every rock fan–not just fans of Alter Bridge, Creed, and Sevendust–should know.

Walking With Giants’ debut album Worlds Unknown is an album that rock fans across the board should know. That is because its eleven songs (technically nine full songs) present influences from some very familiar names within the rock *ahem* world. The lyrical content presented within each of the record’s featured songs strengthens the record even more. The combination of both elements throughout makes Worlds Unknown a record that is set to become very well-known throughout the rock world. It will be available Friday, January 15th. More information on Worlds Unknown is available online along with all of Walking With Giants’ latest news at:

Website: http://www.wwgiants.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/wwgofficial

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Slayer Reclaims The Metal Throne In 2015

There’s only a week and a half left in 2015 after this week. That means that the days are finally really ticking away. And as they pass by so do the year-ender lists from all of the critics. That includes this critic. So far this month, Phil’s Picks has revealed its top new EPs, World Music albums, County, etc. albums, Rap and Hip-Hop albums, Children’s albums, and Rock albums. There have even been lists for the year’s best new live CD recording and album re-issues. Now we come down to the last two lists of the music universe for this year. Today the first of those lists will be revealed. That list is the list of the year’s best new Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums. The second and final music list of the year is the year’s best overall albums. That list will come alongside the list of the year’s top new movies later on. So for now, today brings the last of the music year-enders. And it’s quite a doozy. It was anything but easy to assemble. Slayer grabbed the top spot with its new album Repentless. Saxon is there, too as is Annihilator, Gloomball, Between The Buried and Me, and many others. As with every previous list, the Top 10 albums make up the main body of the list. The bottom five are each honorable mention as they simply could not be ignored. That brings the total list to fifteen albums. SO without further ado, here for your reading pleasure, dear readers, are the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

  1. SLAYERREPENTLESS

 

  1. TESSERACT – POLARIS

 

  1. SCALE THE SUMMIT – V

 

  1. BETWEEN THE BURIED AND ME – COMA ECLIPTIC

 

  1. SEVENDUST – KILL THE FLAW

 

  1. GLOOMBALL – THE QUIET MONSTER

 

  1. ARMORED SAINT – WIN HANDS DOWN

 

  1. SAXON – BATTERING RAM

 

  1. LAMB OF GOD – VII: STURM UND DRANG

 

  1. MOTORHEAD – BAD MAGIC

 

  1. ANNIHILATOR – SUICIDE SOCIETY

 

  1. ATREYU – LONG LIVE

 

  1. ACT OF DEFIANCE – BIRTH AND THE BURIAL

 

  1. BATTLECROSS – RISE TO POWER

 

  1. HAMMERCULT – BUILT FOR WAR

 

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Sevendust Shows Again On Its Eleventh Album Why It Is One Of Rock’s Elite Acts

Courtesy: 7Bros. Records

Courtesy: 7Bros. Records

The end of the year is nearly here. That means one thing. Okay, that means lots of things. But for those in the entertainment world (this critic included), it means one thing. That one thing is establishing those annual year-ender lists. Needles to say most of this critic’s lists are done and revealed soon. However, there are some lists that are not yet done. The list for the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums is one of those few left that has yet to be completed. But that is only because there are so many albums from which to choose . There are more great albums than spaces, plain and simple. And just recently yet another of that mass of options was released when veteran hard rock band Sevendust released its latest album Kill The Flaw. From beginning to end, this album proves to be one of the band’s best albums to date. It boasts the band’s trademark meloddic hard rock sound without compromising quality at any given point. That is evident in the album’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You.’ This song was a great choice with which to open KTF (as it will henceforth be called here) both on record and as the album’s lead single. The full reason will be discussed at more length shortly. It is just one example of what makes this latest album (the band’s eleventh full-length studio recording) such a solid return for the veteran Atlanta, Georgia-based band. ‘Silly Beast,’ comes late in the album’s near fifty-minute run time. It is another example of the album’s strength. Its musical content takes listeners back to the band’s 1997 self-titled debut to a point while the lyrics prove to be just as searing as those in this album’s opener. This song is one of the album’s most interesting moments thanks to the mix of its musical and lyrical content. Its musical content harkens back to the days of Animosity while its lyrical content presents its own introspective, thought-provoking message. Last but hardly least of note in this album’s high points is the single ‘Not Today.’ This song is another work that pulls directly from the band’s previous releases at least musically. With its heavy guitars and powerhouse vocal delivery from front man Lajon Witherspoon, it proves to be yet another of the album’s high points. All three songs show in their own way just what makes KTF a solid return for Sevendust. And together with the remaining eight tracks not noted here, all eleven tracks show in whole why this album is in whole one more of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

Sevendust’s eleventh full length studio recording is one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. That is clear right from the searing first moments of the album’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You.’ Thanks to the mix of its solid musical content and its indictment of an unnamed figure that has made someone else’s life miserable, it proves to b a song to which every listener will be able to relate. Front man Lajon Witherspoon sings of said individual, “You are the beginning and end to all of this.” He goes on to say to this same individual in the song’s chorus sarcastically, “Thanks for coming around/And pushing my head back to the ground/Thank you for slowing me down/I need to fall back and start it over.” He comes across as saying to said person that he/she has done nothing good for the song’s subject, but ironically has also in turn served as the driving force behind that person striving for something better. That can be argued as Witherspoon sings, “Been holding on so long/Denying what I’ve done/I destroyed myself but I wish you well/The beginning and end to all of this.” Again, there seems to be something of a sense of sarcasm and irony in his delivery. That argument is illustrated even more thanks to the song’s musical content. The tone of the song’s musical content just seems to echo its musical content with its power and the tone. Both elements considered together, they make ‘Thank You’ a song that will have listeners saying thank you to the band for including it in its new album. That is because that mix of musical and lyrical content is sure to provide some emotional strength to any listener that has ever dealt with a situation (or person) such as that depicted here. With all of its power, it is just one example of what makes KTF a welcome, solid return for Sevendust. ‘Silly Beast’ comes later in the album’s run. It is yet another example of the album’s strength.

KTF’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You’ makes clear through the combination of its musical content and searing lyrical content to be a solid opener and first impression from the band in its new album. It is just one example of what makes KTF such a solid return for the band. Later in the album’s run another song is presented that exhibits that strength just as much as ‘Thank You.’ The song in question is ‘Silly Beast.’ Musically speaking, it takes long-time listeners back to the days of the band’s 1997 self-titled debut album thanks in large part to the heavy, crunching, dual guitar attack of Clint Lowery and John Connolly. Drummer Morgan Rose adds even more to that feeling with his work behind the drum kit. While the song’s musical content will definitely put a smile on listeners’ faces, the song’s deep, introspective lyrical content is just as certain to impress listeners and generate its own share of discussions. As Witherspoon sings here, “For all the seasons you have lost/You beg for time/You waste the words (Just let it go)/And on your dying you hold the line/Forget the world/You’re on your own.” The picture painted here comes across at least to this critic as an indictment of a self-defeatist sort of individual. This can be argued just as much as Witherspoon goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Beneath this wonderful lie you mastered/You find a dark place/To throw away all the light like a coward/Your miracle’s a lie to us all.” Witherspoon comes across here as saying to the unnamed figure, that everything people see of said figure is a lie. In reality, said figure is just a self-hating type that wants to bring the world down with him/her. The frustration exuded through these lyrics (and Witherspoon’s delivery of said lyrical content) is heightened even more through the song’s musical content. Both elements considered together, they make clear why ‘Silly Beast’ is one more of KTF’s highest points. It is another one of those works to which so many audiences can relate as everyone has dealt with someone such as the figure depicted in this song. Even with that ability to relate to listeners and entertain them at the same time, it is not the only remaining example of this record’s strength.

‘Thank You’ and ‘Silly Beast’ are both clear examples of KTF’s strength. Of course they are hardly the only songs featured in this album that exemplify its strength. ‘Not Today’ is another of the album’s highest points. The song’s heavy guitars set against Witherspoon’s equally powerhouse vocal delivery make the song’s musical content more than enough reason to check out this song. The song’s lyrical content makes even more reason for listeners to hear this song, which is another of the album’s singles. Witherspoon sings here, “This is the thing that swallows you whole/Don’t give away what you wanted so long/There’s no more words/No more reasons/Not one more lie you can feed us/Oh you know all the things we loathe/We become it/I defeated it/We will become this.” He goes on to sing, “Resist/You bite your tongue and stay asleep/That’s all the dirt that we need/The guilty pleasure you came for fed your disease/It don’t stick/The lines/are blurred and grey/Go on and try to kill love/And that’s your last mistake/Is that the thanks we get/Yeah, that’s the thanks we get.” It is only this critic’s interpretation, but these lines come across as Witherspoon saying to an unnamed figure that the very thing that said figure tries to pretend doesn’t exist and it is destroying said person. This could very well be completely off the path. But again it is only the interpretation of this critic. Regardless of right or wrong, the very fact that the song’s lyrical content could generate its own share of interest and discussion proves even more why this song is one of KTF’s most notable works. Together with the likes of ‘Thank You’ and ‘Silly Beast’ all three songs show together just how solid and strong KTF is. That is not to ignore any of the album’s other unnoted compositions. The fact of the matter is that all eleven tracks considered together, they make KTF one more of this year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.

Kill The Flaw is one of Sevendust’s best albums to date. It is also one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. That is made evident through three of its highest points in the album’s opener/lead single ‘Thank You.’ ‘Silly Beast,’ another of those high points is another example of what makes this record so strong. ‘Not Today’ shows to be such an interesting point in this record because the combination of its musical and lyrical content will definitely have listeners talking, regardless of listeners’ familiarity with the band’s body of work. Together with the album’s remaining unnoted songs, all eleven songs featured in this record make it in whole a solid record that deserves a spot on any critic’s year-ender list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums. It is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online direct via Sevendust’s official website at http://www.sevendust.com. More information on Kill The Flaw is available online now along with all of Sevendust’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.sevendust.com

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

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.

A.D.D. Rocks As Hard As Any Of Its More Well-Known Counterparts On Its Sophomore LP

Courtesy:  Pavement Entertainment

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Chicago-based hard rock band A.D.D. (Analog Digital Disorder) recently signed a new deal with independent record label Pavement Entertainment that will see the band release its second full-length record through the label. Core will be released next Tuesday, March 24th. And for anyone that is a fan of Godsmack, Sevendust, and others of that ilk, this twelve-track album is right up said listeners’ alley. Speaking of Sevendust, the band’s cover of Sevendust’s ‘Black’ anchors this latest release. It is a near spot on take on what remains today one of the favorites of Sevendust’s fans. The album’s seemingly semi-80s influenced ‘Was My Life’ is another of the album’s high points. Stylistically speaking, it’s a classic big hair ballad type of song. Lyrically though, it doesn’t exhibit any of the trademarks of those overblown songs. Rather it is presents a relatively positive message. The album’s opener ‘I Regret’ offers its own thought-provoking lyrics and hard-hitting aggro-rock sound. It is just one more song out of the album’s twelve total that makes this record worth at least one listen by hard rock aficionados.

A.D.D. may not be one of the most well-known hard rock bands out there today. But the band’s credits speak for themselves. Having toured with hard rock heavyweights such as Korn, Halestorm, Alterbridge, and Sevendust among others has helped the band build an ever-growing fan base across the country. Considering that A.D.D. has performed alongside the likes of Sevendust, it comes as no surprise that the band included what is one of Sevendust’s most beloved songs in the form of ‘Black’ on its latest release. That song, which is also one of Sevendust’s earliest singles, is the anchor to Core. The band’s take on the song is a near spot-on cover with vocalist Margaret Young even sounding almost like Lajon Witherspoon as she sings, “Voices call/They call out my name, name/Well they say I’m different/Well I’m not the same, same/You say you want to, ah, be like me/Well, boy let me tell ya/You don’t know what I’ve seen/They say a devil lives in my soul/I promise not to let him take control/I’m mindin’ my own business/I ain’t doin’ nothin’ wrong.” The production work involved in the song makes it all the more interesting an addition to the album. That is because at points it actually sounds like Young is actually singing right alongside Witherspoon. And if she in fact isn’t, then it just goes to show her vocal prowess. And the dual guitar attack of Jeremy Sparta and Dave Adams makes the song even harder-hitting. Much the same can be said of the talents of drummer Jason Delismon. The end result is a song that despite being a cover is an impressive addition to A.D.D.’s new album. It proves to be one of a handful of songs on this record that shows why Core is an album worth at least one listen by any hard rock fan.

A.D.D.’s cover of Sevendust’s ‘Black’ is a solid work and an equally solid part of the whole that is Core. It is just one part of the record that makes it worth the listen. Just as interesting an addition to Core is the band’s own original song ‘Was My Life.’ Stylistically speaking, the song boasts a sound that is quite similar to that of the major ballads from the era of big hair and big riffs. Lyrically though, it is anything but another one of those songs. Rather it boasts quite the positive message. As the lyrics state, “I see you all/Wish I could reach out and touch you/Never known when this could all just end/I didn’t get your name but your face I will remember/So until we meet again/We’ll keep chasing these dreams/Even in the darkest times it’s not as bad as it seems/Through all the ups and downs/You still hung around…” And that’s just the first verse. The song takes a similar lyrical stance throughout the remainder of its near three-and-a-half minute run time. The overall message of the song is one of not giving up on one’s relationship no matter how difficult things get. Whether the relationship in question is a romantic relationship or one of friendship is a moot point. That is because this song could really apply in either situation. That being the case, it makes ‘Was My Life’ all the more impressive an addition to Core and one more song that makes Core worth at least one listen.

Both the band’s cover of ‘Black’ and its original, seemingly 80s-influenced ‘Was My Way’ are in their own right positive additions to the whole of Core. They are only part of the reason that any hard rock fan should hear this record at least once. The album’s opener ‘I Regret’ is yet another reason for listeners to hear this album even if just once. Musically speaking, ‘I Regret’ is a solid modern rock song that boasts an obvious Godsmack influence. Even Young’s vocal style here is closely similar to that of Godsmack front man Sully Erna. Lyrically speaking, ‘I Regret’ comes across in a somewhat introspective manner with Young singing in the song’s chorus, “So far/I’ve been hanging by a self-made rope of hate/Climbing out of a hole…..I regret I am me.” That is at least the interpretation on the part of this critic. Hopefully these lyrics prove right. If they do indeed prove right, then they paint a powerful picture. They seem to paint a picture of someone caught in the depths of depression, feeling those pained feelings mixed with a certain amount of anger. It’s an emotional situation that so many have and still do feel to this day. Those that have been there and who are today will find the strength to persevere having the ability to relate to such lyrics. Such power in the mix of musical and lyrical content contained here shows why ‘I Regret’ is itself one more positive addition to Core. And together with the likes of ‘Was My Way’ and the cover of Sevendust’s ‘Black’, all three songs make a strong argument in favor of listening to Core at least once. The album’s other nine tracks not noted here each offer their own value to the whole of Core. Listeners will agree with that when they hear the album for themselves. In turn, said listeners will also agree that hearing all twelve tracks on this album, it is indeed a work worth at least one listen and that holds its own easily against its more well-known counterparts in the hard rock realm.

Core will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, March 24th. It will also be available at the band’s next live show at the Rock Fest on July 17th. All of the latest updates on the upcoming release of Core and all of the latest updates to the band’s live schedule is available online now at:

Website: http://www.pavementmusic.com/artistspartnerships/a-d-d/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Analog.Digital.Disorder

Twitter: http://twitter.com/addloud

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Time Travelers & Bonfires Boasts Some Of Sevendust’s Best Music To Date

Courtesy:  7Bros Records/Asylum

Courtesy: 7Bros Records/Asylum/In De Goot Entertainment/Alternative Distribution Alliance

Veteran hard rock band Sevendust is one of the most highly revered bands in the world of rock and hard rock. That is because every one of its now ten full length studio albums has exhibited the band’s growth while maintaining a certain familiar heavy vibe throughout each record. The band’s latest album Time Travelers & Bonfires is no exception to that rule. Even being a largely acoustic release (there are some non-acoustic elements spaced throughout the record), the band has somehow managed to maintain that familiar heaviness that is a trademark for Sevendust’s albums. That is evident right from the album’s opener, ‘Come Down.’ It’s just as evident late in the album with the band’s re-worked acoustic take on ‘Denial.’ This re-worked classic is especially interesting as it presents a whole new emotional vibe in its acoustic state. It makes the song even heavier in an emotional manner of speaking. And then there is the album’s closer, ‘Black,’ which is also the band’s first major hit. This song is just as heavy in its acoustic form as it is in its original take. What’s more it’s just as heavy as the other acoustic re-works that populate this album. Together with the other noted songs (and those not noted for reasons of space), it completes an album that any diehard Sevendust fan will enjoy no less with each listen.

The members of Sevendust have managed to make each of the band’s now ten albums sound different from the previous release all while maintaining a certain heaviness throughout each record. The band’s latest release is no different in that aspect. Even on an album that is mostly acoustic, the band has managed to maintain that heaviness while creating something different, both on its new songs and those that have been re-worked. This is evident right from the album’s opener, ‘Come Down.’ This piece could have fit on any of the band’s previous albums comfortably. Lyrically, it’s such a bold statement. Front man Lajon Witherspoon sings defiantly in the song’s opening verse, “I guess for now/I’m gonna up and run away/My mind’s made up/I’m not the flaw/I’m not gonna fall in the grave/Just to prove you wrong.” The verse here is pretty cut and dry. It’s stating that some things just aren’t worth the fight and all the trouble. That’s made even more clear in the song’s chorus, as Witherspoon sings “You know you’re wrong/So come down/You must be out of your mind/We’re staying here forever, yeah/Until we’re all done throwing life away.” It’s such a bold statement. Yet, the balance of power and gentility in both Witherspoon’s vocals and the song’s musical side make it such a heavy song in its own right. Yet again it shows the band’s continued ability to make a song that has its own identity from previous works yet still has that familiar musical and lyrical heaviness; This, even though it’s not one of the band’s full-on pieces.

‘Come Down’ is one of six new tracks included on Time Travelers & Bonfires. Audiences will find that just as with ‘Come Down’, the other five new tracks included on this record also manage in their own way to build a different sound while maintaining Sevendust’s trademark heavy vibe. ‘Under It All’, the second of the new tracks proves that as it starts off with a short, but foreboding piano riff that conjures thoughts of Nine Inch Nails circa 1994. It’s just one more example of how the album’s new tracks each continue to exhibit the creativity and talent of Sevendust as a whole. Of course the band’s re-worked classics do their own part in making this album enjoyable, too. One prime example of that is the re-worked acoustic take on ‘Denial.’ The song, which was originally part of the band’s 1999 album Home, takes on a whole new life in its acoustic format here. The song’s original take is heavy and defiant. This take on the song is totally different. The mix of the acoustic guitars and Witherspoon’s vocals maintain the song’s anger. But there’s a certain increased emotional depth to the song with that mix. It gives the image of a man feeling anger and sadness all at the same time as he sings, “You never say what you mean/All I hear is scream/Never say that to me/Never say that to me/Wipe that s&*% off your face/Let’s not stop till we bleed/The more you spit out your mouth/The less I believe/Denial seems it had to come/Relied on me to say it all/Denial has left you all alone.” The song really does develop its own identity separate from its original take in this format. It could almost be considered a whole new song because of that wholly different emotion exhibited here. Once more, it shows the creativity and talent of the band. It is definitely one more of this album’s highest of points. It’s not the last of the album’s high points, either.

Sevendust exhibits so much creativity and talent throughout the course of the songs that make up Time Travelers & Bonfires. That has been shown already in the band’s re-worked acoustic take on ‘Denial’ and its new song ‘Come Down.’ Fittingly, Sevendust closes out its new album with the song that started it all in a re-worked acoustic take on ‘Black.’ There was no better final touch to this album than the band’s first hit. Whereas ‘Denial’ and other re-worked songs included on Time Travelers & Bonfires develop a whole new identity in their acoustic versions, this song is much the same in its acoustic take as in its original heavier take. That’s actually a good thing in the case of this song. One can’t help but wonder if it could in fact be better than the original take. It has just as much ferocity as the song’s original take. But there’s a certain different punch about it that puts it over the top in this setting. That punch makes it the perfect last impression for this record. It leaves the album feeling complete in every sense of the word. And in turn, listeners will feel after having heard this last dose of acoustic heaviness just why Time Travelers & Bonfires is one of Sevendust’s best albums to date.

Time Travelers & Bonfires is available now in stores and online. Audiences can even purchase the band’s new album at its live shows. Fans might even get to hear these acoustic recordings live as Sevendust makes its way across the country in support of its new album. The band is scheduled to perform live May 24th in El Paso, Texas. It wraps up May with dates in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana before to Council Bluffs, Iowa to start off the month of June. The band’s most current tour schedule is available online now at http://www.facebook.com/sevendustofficial and http://www.sevendust.com. All of the latest news and more from the band is available on both websites. 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 Announces Details For New Album, Tour

Courtesy:  ABC Promotions

Courtesy: ABC Promotions

The long wait for Sevendust’s new album is almost over.  The band—Lajon Witherspoon (vocals), Vince Hornsby (bass), Clint Lowery (guitar/vocals), Morgan Rose (drums/vocals), and John Connolly (guitar/vocals)—has announced that it will release its fan-funded acoustic album Time Travelers & Bonfires will be released nationwide in April.  The upcoming all-acoustic compilation will feature a collection of new songs mixed in with re-worked versions of songs such as: ‘Black’, ‘Gone’, ‘Denial’, ‘Karma’, ‘Trust’ and ‘Crucified’ just to name a handful of songs.  Time Travelers& Bonfires isn’t the first time that Sevendust’s members have delved into the acoustic side of their songs.  The band released the highly acclaimed live acoustic recording Southside Double-wide in 2004.  One writer with All Music Guide wrote of that recording, “Fans should invest readily in Southside Double-Wide…Sevendust’s famously confrontational sound smolders, and damn it if their sensitive side isn’t just as fiery.” The complete listing for Time Travelers & Bonfires is available below.

Time Travelers & Bonfires Track Listing

1. Come Down

2. Under It All

3. The Wait

4. Upbeat Sugar

5. One Life

6. Bonfire

7. Gone

8. Denial

9. Trust

10. Crucified

11. Karma

12. Black

In conjunction with the album’s release, the band has also announced a supporting tour beginning April 1st in its hometown of Atlanta, GA.  The band’s “An Acoustic Evening with Sevendust” tour spans twenty-eight dates.  The current tour schedule sees the band making its way from the south to the West Coast (including the Pacific Northwest) before swinging back through the nation’s heartland and back around to the Northeast.  The most current tour schedule is listed below.

AN ACOUSTIC EVENING WITH SEVENDUST TOUR

DATE               CITY                             VENUE

Tue 4/1             Athens, GA                   Georgia Theatre

Wed 4/2            Destin, FL                     Club LA

Fri 4/4               Houston, TX                   Scout Bar

Sat 4/5              Dallas, TX                      Trees

Sun 4/6             Austin, TX                     Emo’s

Tue 4/8             Tempe, AZ                    Marquee

Thu 4/10            El Cajon, CA                 Sycuan Casino

Fri 4/11             Los Angeles, CA            House Of Blues

Sat 4/12            Las Vegas, NV              Vinyl at Hard Rock

Sun 4/13           Reno, NV                      Knitting Factory

Wed 4/16          Sacramento, CA            Ace Of Spades

Fri 4/18             Seattle, WA                  El Corazon

Sat 4/19            Portland, OR                 Hawthorne Theatre

Sun 4/20           Boise, ID                       Knitting Factory

Mon 4/21           Salt Lake City, UT          The Complex

Tue 4/22            Denver, CO                    Gothic Theatre

Fri 4/25             Joliet, IL                        Mojoes

Sat 4/26            Madison, WI                  Orpheum

Mon 4/28           Detroit, MI                     Royal Oak Music Theatre

Tue 4/29            Cincinnati, OH               Bogart’s

Wed 4/30          Louisville, KY                 Mercury Ballroom

Fri 5/2               Baltimore, MD               Sound Stage

Sat 5/3              Washington, DC            The Howard Theatre

Sun 5/4             New York, NY                Highline Ballroom

Tue 5/6             Hartford, CT                   Webster Theatre

Thu 5/8             Patchogue, NY              Emporium

Fri 5/9               Portland, ME                 Asylum

Sat 5/10            Philadelphia, PA            Electric Factory

Before the band hits the road this Spring, it will be part of the annual ShipRocked cruise.  It will be in good company when the cruise leaves port.  Also scheduled to perform on the cruise are: Papa Roach, Five Finger Death Punch, Three Days Grace, In This Moment, Tremonti, Black Stone Cherry, and a slew of others.  The cruise will depart from the Port of Miami this Sunday, January 26th and will return next Thursday, January 30th.  While at sea, the cruise will take audiences to Great Stirrup Cay, a private island in the Bahamas. A small number of staterooms for this year’s cruise is still available.  Vacationers and audiences get info on that limited space online at the official ShipRocked website, http://www.ShipRocked.com.

More information on Sevendust’s upcoming tour, new album, and more is available online at http://www.sevendust.com, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sevendust/25493613958, and http://twitter.com/sevendust.  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.

Atlanta Based Indie Hip-Hop Duo Ready To Break Out On Its Debut LP

Courtesy:  Autumn + Colour

Courtesy: Autumn + Colour

Atlanta, Georgia is home to some of the biggest names in the music industry.  It is home to Sevendust, Collective Soul, Stuck Mojo, and Stuck Mojo just to name a few.  It’s also home to hip-hop duo Outkast, whose members just recently announced that they are heading back on the road together after an extended hiatus to work on their own projects.  For all of the big name acts that call “Hotlanta” home, there are just as many lesser known acts that call that great city home, too.  One of those acts in question is another hip-hop duo that goes by the name of Ante Meridian.  The duo—Rozewood and Mr. Enok—re-issued its debut album this week.  At a time when mainstream hip-hop has become as tried and boring as mainstream rock, Ante Meridian’s debut proves to be a breath of fresh air for purist hip-hop and rap fans.

‘True Friend’ is the perfect kickoff to Sons of Heaven, the duo’s debut record.  Emcee Rozewood ruminates in this song about the loss of a friend to what would seem like gang violence.  He writes on the track, “Today I cried/Lookin’ at your photo/My n****s is gone/Thought about buying a gun and comin’ along/But it’s time for revenge/Return death to death givers/And dump they body in the soon to be red river/Sittin’ in my crib/On the stress mode/Loadin’ the clip…I can’t take it/The beauty of a childhood has been forsaken/Dear God please forgive me/For the acts I will do/The gats I will choose to spray s***…” There’s obviously some deep emotion expressed through this song.  What really makes the song interesting is the control that both Rozewood and Mr.Enok exhibit through the song.  The easy thing to do would have been to craft a battle rap style song.  Instead, the duo crafted a song that presents a figure with what would seem a much more collected thought process.  The song’s almost eerie, underlying piano lick set against Rozewood’s cool, collected rhymes creates a truly powerful first impression for the pair. It’s only the beginning of what fans will appreciate from this record, too.

Sons of Heaven’s second track, ‘N.Y. Thing’ is another impressive track.  The song is quite literally a lyrical love letter to the city that never sleeps.  Rozewood and Mr. Enok pay tribute to New York in this song.  It opens with a short sample with a man stating, “You’re a New Yorker/That will never change/You got New York in your bones/Spend the rest of your life out West/But you’re still a New Yorker.”  From here, the duo goes on to write of their favorite city, “If you’ve ever been to New York/You would understand what feel like to be caught in a wasteland/Trying to survive with a gun on your waistband/No matter where I’m at/I know where I am.”  The tribute goes on from here , bringing up memories of friends from the duo’s past that lived in New York’s five boroughs.  It might be pushing it, but it almost presents a song much in the same vein of Scarface’s ‘My Block’ just with a slightly different attitude.  It’s one more song that given the chance could be the duo’s next single.

The songs mentioned here are just small portions of what listeners have to look forward to from Ante Meridian’s new album.  Just as worth noting from Sons of Heaven are the likes of: ‘Remember My Eyes’, ‘Limitless’, ‘Red Lotus Blossom’ and ‘13th Floor’ with its gentle string backing. That backing set against Rozewood’s talents make this one of the highest of highs on this record.  These songs and all of the rest that make up the album’s seventeen total tracks are available now online on Ante Meridian’s Band Camp website, http://antemeridian.bandcamp.com and via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Sons-Heaven-Explicit-Ante-Meridian/dp/B00GYCIBRC/ref=sr_1_cc_3?s=aps&ie=UTF8&qid=1389905971&sr=1-3-catcorr&keywords=Ante+Meridian.  More information on Ante Meridian’s debut re-issue and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/antemeridianhiphop.  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.