Art Is War Labelmates Combichrist, King 810 Announce Tour Schedule; King 810 To Also Tour With AIW Labelmates Skinlab

Courtesy: Art Is War Management/O’Donnell Media Group

Combichrist and King 810 will tour together this spring.

The Art Is War Management labelmates will hit the road beginning April 3 in Winter Park, FL.  The nearly month-long tour is scheduled to run through April 26 in Atlanta, GA.  It will feature performances in cities, such as Hobart, IN; Abilene, TX and Louisville, KY.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

 

Combichrist/ KING 810 Tour Dates:

April 3 – Orlando, FL – Soundbar
April 4 – Tampa, FL – Pegasus Lounge
April 5 – West Palm Beach, FL – Respectable Street
April 8 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar
April 9 – Fort Worth, TX – The Rail Club
April 10 – Abilene, TX @ Homer’s
April 11 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live
April 12 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street
April 14 – Lincoln, NE – The Royal Grove
April 15 – Iowa City, IA – Wildwood Saloon
April 16 – Joliet, IL – The Forge
April 17 – Hobart, IN – The Art Theater
April 18 – Mansfield, OH – The Electric Co. (no AKC)
April 19 – Reading, PA – Reverb
April 21 – Louisville, KY – Diamond Pub
April 22 – St. Louis, MO – Red Flag
April 23 – Madison, WI – The Annex
April 24 – Cincinnati, OH – Riverfront Live
April 25 – Spartanburg, SC – Ground Zero
April 26 – Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade (Hell)

Combichrist’s upcoming live dates are in support of its most recent album One Fire (2019).  The album spawned the single ‘Understand.’

 

Courtesy: Art Is War Management/O’Donnell Media Group

Along with its tour alongside Combichrist, King 810 also has planned a tour with fellow Art Is War labelmates Skinlab.  That run is scheduled for Feb. 11 – 17.

More information on Combichrist’s upcoming live dates is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.combichrist.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/combichistarmy

 

More information on King 810’s upcoming live dates is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://king810.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KING810FLINT

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KING810FLINT

 

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Bleed The Sky Debuts ‘Serpent’ Video; Announces Tour With Skinlab

Courtesy: Art Is War Records

Bleed The Sky will release its latest full-length studio album later this month.

The album, This Way Lies Madness, is scheduled for release Jan. 17 through Art is War Records.  In anticipation of the album’s release, the band debuted the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Serpent,’ Monday.  The band debuted the video through Brave Words.  The track listing for This Way Lies Madness is noted below.

Tracklisting:

“Tongue Louse”
“Carnage (Join Me In The Fire)”
“Serpent”
“Quiet Here”
“Membrane”
“Ghost”
“Age Of The Basilisk” (feat. Aaron Korstjens)
“Carrion Bather” (feat. Steve Tinnon)
“This Way Lies Madness”

‘Serpent’ is Bleed The Sky’s first new music in more than 10 years. Prior to its release, the band released the album Murder The Dance in 2008.  It was preceded by Paradigm In Entropy in 2005.  Both noted records were released through Nuclear Blast Records.

 

Courtesy: Art Is War Records

Bleed The Sky will promote its new album with a tour alongside label mates Skinlab starting Jan. 23 in Sacramento, CA.  The tour is scheduled to run through Feb. 9 in Columbus, OH, and to feature performances in cities, such as El Paso, TX; Waterloo, IA and Oklahoma City, OK.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Tour dates:

January
23 – Sacramento, CA – Holy Diver
24 – Santa Ana, CA – Malone’s
25 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick
26 – West Hollywood, CA – Whisky A Go Go
27 – Tucson, AZ – Club Encore
29 – El Paso, TX – Rockhouse
30 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live
31 – Fort Worth, TX – The Rail Club

February
1 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street
2 – Tyler, TX – TBA
4 – St. Louis, MO – Fubar
5 – Peoria, IL – Monarch Music Hall
6 – Waterloo, IA- TBA
7 – Joliet, IL – The Forge
8 – Battle Creek, MI – TBA
9 – Columbus, OH – Big Room Bar

More information on Bleed The Sky’s upcoming tour, album and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.bleedtheskymetal.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pg/BleedTheSkyband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/bleed_official

 

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Devin Townsend’s ‘Empath’ Gives The Best Feeling For Audiences In This Year’s New Hard Rock/Metal Field

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

This year is one of the strongest in recent memory for metal masses around the world.  This year saw new releases — powerful new releases at that — from some of the most well-known and respected names in the metal community.  Slipknot’s new album We Are Not Your Kind is just one of those important new releases that the metal masses received this year.  Amon Amarth’s new album Berserker gave the masses just as much to appreciate, as did new albums from Dragonforce, Killswitch Engage and The Offering.

Between those records and so many others, it goes without saying that developing a list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums was anything but easy.  That’s especially the case considering the release early this year, of Devin Townsend’s new album Empath, Hyvmine’s new LP Retaliation and up-and-comers Alien Weaponry’s debut album Tu.  This critic took a long time trying to assemble this list.  It was not a chore taken lightly.  As with other lists from this critic, it features the Top 10 New Hard Rock/Metal albums as well as five honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  Without any further ado, here for your consideration is Phil’s Picks’ 2019 Top 10 New Hard Rock/Metal Albums.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2019 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK/METAL ALBUMS

  1. Devin Townsend — Empath
  2. Slipknot — We Are Not Your Kind
  3. Amon Amarth — Berserker
  4. Overkill — The Wings of War
  5. The Offering — Home
  6. Bad Blood — Bad Blood
  7. Whitechapel — The Valley
  8. Hyvmine — Retaliation
  9. Dragonforce — Extreme Power Metal
  10. Of Mice & Men — EARTHANDSKY
  11. Dream Theater — Distance Over Time
  12. Killswitch Engage — Atonement
  13. Awake At Last — The Change
  14. Corroded — Bitter
  15. Alien Weaponry — Tu

 

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Skinlab’s ‘Venomous’ Proves You Can’t Keep A Good Band Down

Courtesy: Art Is War Records

Skinlab is back.  Late last month, the band released its first new album in a decade when it released its new album Venomous.  Released through Art is War Records, the 10-song record was produced by Ulrich Wild (Deftones, Static-X, White Zombie).  It features original member Steev Esquivel (vocals, bass) joined by fellow familiar Skinlab member Snake on guitar, Fabian Vestod on drums and Marcos Medina on guitar.  This new offering from one of the underground metal outfit is an interesting return for the band, as is evidenced through the album’s title track.  This will be discussed shortly.  Just as notable as that song is the far slower, more contemplative ‘Demons,’ which will be addressed a little later. Also very notable in this record is the very Static-X-esque ‘Eyes Of Your Enemy.’  It will also be addressed later.  When these songs are considered alongside the likes of  ‘For The Fallen’ and the clearly sociopolitical ‘Amerikill (The Trigger),’ the whole of those songs and the album’s four remaining songs becomes a positive new effort from Skinlab and a welcome return from the veteran underground metal outfit.

Skinlab’s first new album in ten years is a fierce, fiery return for the band.  It is a record that the band’s most devoted fan base will appreciate just as much as the new generation of metal fans.  That is proven in pat through the album’s title track.  The song’s arrangement is a mid-tempo work whose guitars, drums and bass come together to form its foundation.  Esquivel’s cookie monster growls works alongside those instrumental portions of the song to make the whole of the song a steady, solid slab of metal from beginning to end.  Wild’s experience working with nu-metal acts is obvious in the song, too, as the song does have a bit of a nu-metal/aggro-rock feel at times.  That aside, the song still stands out as one of the album’s most notable works at least for its musical arrangement.  The song’s lyrical content makes it just as notable.

Deciphering the song sans lyrics sheet is slightly difficult, but enough of the song’s lyrics can be understood here that one can make an educated inference about the lyrical content.  Esquivel sings in the song’s lead verse, “So many people die living the dream/With the blind man leading the blind.”  He adds here, “Never conform to conformity/With all this hatred deep inside/We’re not gonna live/’Cause we’re all gonna die.”  This comes across as a very charged social commentary, with Esquivel seeming to make a statement about people needing to do their own thing.  There is that mention of the blind leading the blind, and that causing people to die living the dream.  People give in to certain standards from those who don’t know anything, and we need to just live our own lives.  That is of course just this critic’s own interpretation of these lyrics.  Esquivel even mentions at one point, ‘you never know when your time may come.”  That strengthens the noted interpretation even more.  That being the case, this is a seeming message that listeners everywhere will benefit from receiving. That is because while it may not be the first time that any musical act has put out a message of living one’s own life, it is a message that is always pertinent.  To that end, this seeming message is critical, and when considered along with the song’s heavy, pounding musical arrangement, makes clear why this song is one of the album’s most notable works.  It is just one of the album’s most notable works.  The far more contemplative ‘Demons’ is notable in its own right.

Whereas ‘Venomous’ presents a heavy, plodding musical arrangement and strong seeming reminder of living one’s own life, ‘Demons’ presents a decidedly different picture.  This song’s arrangement is far more reserved than almost anything else in the record.  The only other song that can rightly be compared to ‘Demons’ in terms of musical arrangements is the album’s closer, ‘The Family.’  The arrangement at the center of ‘Demons’ can be argued to be a bit of a blues-infused work due to its bass and drums, which form its foundation.  That is not to say that it boasts a blues-rock sound, though the guitars do add a bit of a bluesy touch.  That aside, it still very much presents a rock sound, just with a distinct blues sort of tinge.  That in itself makes the song stand out clearly among its counterparts on this record.  The song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its thought-provoking lyrical content adds its own share of interest for listeners.

Esquivel sings in the song’s lead verse, “Walking alone/I’m so tired and cold…I’ve got nothing to use…how long can I last when I’m living a lie/’Cause it’s only a matter of time when my demons collide.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Jaded and cold/I’m so bitter and old/As my bones are now turning to dust/Wasted and bruised/I’m so tired and confused/Now that my ashes have now turned into rust/How long can you last when you’re living a lie/As we know, it’s a matter of time when our demons collide.”  This comes across as someone who is at a very low point in life.  Esquivel goes so far later as to sing, “I’ve got nothing to lose/When I’m living on borrowed time.”  So again, here is someone who is dealing with some very difficult thoughts and emotions.  Lots of people have been at that point, so to hear someone else expressing those thoughts can actually come as a form of therapy so to speak, knowing that they are not alone in battling those thoughts and emotions.  To that end, it makes the song even more powerful and notable.  It is not the last of the album’s most notable entries, either.  ‘Eyes of Your Enemy’ is another of the album’s most notable songs.

‘Eyes of Your Enemy’ stands out in part because of its musical arrangement.  The arrangement in question lends itself easily to comparisons to works from Static-X with the sound its guitar line, its thrash style drumming and effects in its vocals.  That is especially in the call and response moments.  That is a direct throwback to an effect used in Static-X’s works.  Of course, considering that Producer Ulrich Wild worked with that band, too, that should come as no surprise here.  If for no other reason than its musical arrangement, this composition is well worth the note.  Of course the song’s arrangement is not its only element.  It also presents its own thought provoking lyrical content.

The lyrical content, without a lyrics sheet to reference, is not easy to decipher, but as with other songs on the album, just enough is decipherable that at least some inference can be drawn about said content.  Esquivel makes mention in the song’s chorus of becoming the killer or becoming the prey.  There is also a mention in the song’s lead verse of someone making broken promises.  He even mentions in the chorus of it being “too late to turn away.”  While the interpretation could be wholly wrong, there is enough here to infer at least that the song’s subject is expressing deep-seated feelings of anger towards someone who has done the subject wrong.  Of course, this could be completely incorrect as an interpretation.  Either way, it goes without saying that Esquivel and company give listeners plenty to think and talk about here.  That alone makes the song stand out that much more, with its metaphorical language.  Between that ensured discussion and thought brought through the lyrical content and the engagement and entertainment generated through the song’s musical arrangement, the whole of the song proves to be its own key point in the record’s run.  Keeping that in mind, the song – when considered alongside the other songs discussed here and the rest of the album’s entries – shows even more why Venomous proves to be such a strong new return for Skinlab.

Skinlab’s first new studio recording in a decade is a telling statement about the band and its place in the metal community today.  The 10-song album shows the band as a group that despite poor record sales in the past, lineup changes and more, its members will not let that adversity keep it sidelined.  It is a record whose musical and lyrical content blends well into the metal community today, as is evidenced in the songs discussed here.  Between those songs and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of Venomous proves to be a record whose bite is as strong as its bark.  Yes, that terrible pun was intended.  It is a record that proves it’s hard to keep a good band down.  The band will launch a tour in support of Venomous Jan. 23 in Sacramento, CA.  The band’s tour schedule, news and more is available online at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.skinlabofficial.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/skinlab1

 

 

 

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Skinlab Releases First Album In A Decade; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Art Is War Records

Skinlab is back.

For the first time since 2009, the band has released a new album in the form of Venomous.

Produced by Ulrich Wild (Static-X, White Zombie, Deftones), the 10-song album was released Friday through Art Is War Records.  The band debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Overcome’ in August.

The album features the lineup of Steev Esquivel (vocals, bass), Snake (guitar), Fabian Vestod (drums) and Marcos Medina (guitar).

Skinlab will launch a tour in support of Venomous in January.  The tour is scheduled to launch Jan. 23 in Sacramento, CA and to run through Feb. 9 in Columbus, OH.  It will feature performances in cities, such as Lubbock, TX; St. Louis, MO and Joliet, IL.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

2020 REVIVAL Tour dates w/ Bleed The Sky, Arise In Chaos, So This Is Suffering*

1/23 – Sacramento, CA – Holy Diver*

1/24 – Santa Ana, CA – Malone’s*

1/25 – San Diego, CA – Brick by Brick*

1/26 – West Hollywood, CA – Whisky A Go Go*

1/27 – Tucson, AZ – Club Encore*

1/29 – Lubbock, TX, TBA

1/30 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live*

1/31 – Fort Worth, TX – The Rail Club*

2/1 – Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street*

2/2 – Tyler, TX – TBA

2/4 – St. Louis, MO – Fubar

2/5 – Peoria, IL – Monarch Music Hall

2/6 – Waterloo, IA- TBA

2/7 – Joliet, IL – The Forge

2/8 – Battle Creek, MI – TBA

2/9 – Columbus, OH – Big Room Bar

Bleed The Sky, Arise in Chaos and So This Is Suffering will join Skinlab for the tour.  More information on Skinlab’s new album and tour is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.skinlabofficial

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/skinlab1

 

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.