‘Kids Against The Monsters’ Proves It Was Mostly Worth The Wait

Courtesy: Better Noise Music

A little more than a year ago, Hyro The Hero announced to the world that he was working on a new project dubbed Kids Against The Monsters. The record was originally scheduled for release last year, but that obviously did not happen. Why that is the case is anyone’s guess. That is beside the point. The announcement came as part of a bigger announcement that he had released a new single titled ‘Legendary.’ Fast forward to this weekend. The long-awaited project (originally called a “mixtape,” now being marketed as an EP) was finally released Friday. The four-song record is an enjoyable albeit imperfect presentation from the up-and-coming rap-rock star. To its positive, it features three songs that the rap-rock star (a.k.a. Hyron Louis Fenton, Jr.) crafted in 2021. On the opposite side, it is lacking other songs that he crafted last year. This will be examined a little later. One last item to note is the record’s sequencing, which will also be examined later. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Kids Against The Monsters. All things considered, they make a record that although imperfect, gives hope for Hyro The Hero’s next record.

Kids Against The Monsters, the long-awaited “mixtape” project from Hyro The Hero, is a mostly welcome filler between his then latest album, 2019’s Flagged Channel, and his next studio recording. Hopefully that new record will come sooner rather than later, but that is entirely up to him. The record works in part because of the songs that it features. Four songs make up the EP’s body. They include the EP’s title song, which features a guest appearance by Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor, and three singles that he released last year, ‘FU2 (ft. AJ Channer),’ ‘We Believe (ft. David Draiman)’ and ‘Fight (ft. Chad Grey).’ All four songs are impressive in their own right, because each offers audiences something different from its counterparts. The EP’s opener, for example, is a heavily blues-tinged rocker that conjures thoughts of songs from Imagine Dragons and others of that ilk. Taylor’s vocals are almost indiscernible to be honest. The subtle use of the turntables and the beats makes for such a great hip-hop vibe. The whole here makes the song so enjoyable in its own right.

‘FU2 (ft. AJ Channer)’ takes audiences in a completely different direction with its high energy approach and its socially conscious lyrical theme. Fenton points the finger at what the world has become in the song’s lyrical theme. That and the energy in the intense nu-metal approach is certain to keep audiences engaged and entertained. Again, it is the polar opposite of the EP’s opener, and that is a very good thing.

‘We Believe (ft. David Draiman)’ takes Fenton’s modern rap leanings and pairs it with a melodic hard rock approach to make the song enjoyable right from the get go. The heavy bass used in the verses clearly exhibit those hip-hop leanings. Draiman’s vocals make for a positive counterpoint to those of Fenton here, making for even more engagement and entertainment. The whole becomes a song that holds its own identity separate from the record’s first two songs, again showing the importance of the record’s featured songs.

‘Fight (ft. Chad Gray)’ is yet another change of pace sure to keep audiences engaged and entertained. That is because it takes audiences back to the sounds and stylistic approaches that made Flagged Channel so enjoyable. The addition of Gray’s vocals to the song makes for another welcome contrast to those of Fenton, in turn adding even more to the song’s appeal. The song’s lyrical theme, which is yet another socially conscious message, adds even more to the song’s appeal.

For all of the enjoyment that the songs featured in this record guarantees, there could have been more music included in the EP. That is because it does not feature all of the songs that Fenton crafted last year. He also released another single, titled ‘Retaliation Generation’ alongside Ice Nine Kills front man Spencer Charnas. That song and ‘Legendary’ are each enjoyable in their own right because of their own musical and lyrical content. Why Fenton decided not to included the songs in this record is also anyone’s guess. It would have brought the record’s total song count to six, and in turn made the record even more enjoyable. That is because they are just as unlike one another as they are from the songs featured in the EP and as they are from one another. So to that end, not including these two songs in the EP is obviously not enough to make the EP a failure, but it certainly would have made the EP’s presentation so much more positive.

Keeping this in mind, there is still one more item to examine. That item is the record’s sequencing. There are, again, only four songs featured in the EP, but their sequencing ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment just as much as the songs themselves. That is because from beginning to end, it ensures the record’s energy remains stable even as the song styles and sounds change. The whole thing opens with the noted bluesy hip-hop opus before really picking things up in ‘FU2’. The energy keeps flowing in ‘We Believe’ and continues in ‘Fight’. In other words, from start to end, the EP’s sequencing sees the record interesting because of its role in the general effect, doing even more to keep things interesting for listeners. When this is considered along with the songs themselves, the record proves even more worth hearing.

Kids Against The Monsters, the newly released EP from Hyro The Hero, is a welcome addition to this year’s field of new EPs. That is due in part to its featured songs. The songs featured in the record are singles that he released last year. Each is different from one another in its sound and style while their lyrical themes will resonate easily with any listener in their own way. From the socially conscious to the more personal, each theme has something worthwhile to offer. While the songs featured in the record do plenty to make the EP appealing, the lack of two other songs that he released last year detracts from the record’s presentation. It is not enough to make the EP a failure, but the record would certainly have benefited from their inclusion. That aside, the EP is still mostly successful. Its sequencing ensures that in its own right. That is because it makes sure the record’s energy stays stable even as the sounds, styles and themes change from one song to the next. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the EP one more of the best of its field so far this year.

Kids Against The Monsters is available now. More information on Hyro The Hero’s new EP is available online now along with all of Hyro The Hero’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.hyrothehero.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/HyroTheHero

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/hyrothehero

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.

The Violent Inzident To Release New Album Friday; Supporting Tour Planned

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Independent rock band The Violent Inzident is scheduled to release its new album, This Is Nu-Metal! Friday.

The band is scheduled to launch a new European tour in support of the record May 25. In anticipation of the record’s release Friday, the band has released three singles from the presentation. They come in the form of ‘Brazil Is Great,’ ‘Triggered! (The Snowflake Anthem)‘ and ‘Nu-Metal!’

The band clearly goes into each of its singles with tongue planted firmly in cheek as the songs playfully poke fun at the likes of Powerman 5000, Limp Bizkit, System Of A Down, Slipknot, and even Soulfly and Sepultura. At the same time, one of the songs even takes a playful jab at the thrash and black metal communities in its arrangement and video while another even pokes fun at the current state of the world, what with its overly offended ranks and another goes after the very culture of nu-metal.

More information on The Violent Inzident’s new album and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theviolentinzident

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ViolentInzident

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

Louder Than Life Festival Lineup Announced

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The Louder Than Life Festival will return to Louisville, KY this year with an expansive lineup of acts.

The festival, scheduled to take place Sept. 22-25 at the Highland Festival Grounds at KY Expo Center in Louisville, KY, will be headlined by Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, and KISS. The four-day festival will also feature performances from bands, such as Bloodywood, Anti-Flag, and Superbloom. The KY Expo Center is located at 937 Phillips Ln. in Louisville, KY.

The festival’s full lineup is noted below. Tickets are available here. Weekend general admission passes start at $249.50 plus fees. Weekend VIP passes start at $629.50 plus fees. A limited number of Weekend Top Shelf VIP passes is still available for $1,329.50 plus fees.

General admission single day passes start at $99.50 plus fees. Single day VIP passes start at $295.50 plus fees. Layaway options are available through March 31 for $10, with payments made through July.

A trailer for the forthcoming annual festival is streaming.

The current Louder Than Life lineup is as follows (subject to change):

Thursday, September 22: Nine Inch Nails, Bring Me The Horizon, Evanescence, Halestorm, Tenacious D, Yungblud, Highly Suspect, Ministry, Nothing More, Baroness, Spiritbox, Apocalyptica, Dorothy, Don Broco, New Years Day, Plush, Lilith Czar, Maggie Lindemann, Taipei Houston, The Dead Deads, Mothica, Superbloom, Eva Under Fire, Oxymorrons

Friday, September 23: Slipknot, Shinedown, Lamb Of God, Mastodon, In This Moment, Meshuggah, Clutch, Jinjer, GWAR, In Flames, Helmet, POORSTACY, Crown The Empire, DED, All Good Things, Amigo The Devil, Vended, Mike’s Dead, If I Die First, Orbit Culture, The Luka State, Ego Kill Talent, The Native Howl, Archetypes Collide

Saturday, September 24: KISS, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Chevelle, Ghostemane, Jerry Cantrell, Dance Gavin Dance, Theory of a Deadman, Body Count, Sevendust, Mammoth WVH, We Came As Romans, Airbourne, Cherry Bombs, Ill Niño, Tetrarch, Nita Strauss, Against The Current, Wargasm, Trash Boat, Shaman’s Harvest, Solence, Dropout Kings, Bloodywood

Sunday, September 25: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Papa Roach, The Pretty Reckless, Architects, Bad Religion, Action Bronson, The Struts, Jelly Roll, Dirty Honey, Anti-Flag, The Joy Formidable, Bayside, The Warning, Royal & The Serpent, caroles daughter, Radkey, The Mysterines, Crown Lands, AEIR, The Alive, As You Were

The Louder Than Life Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents. The festival debuted in 2014 and expanded to four days in 2021.

More information on the 2022 Louder Than Life Festival is available along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.LouderThanLifeFestival.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/louderthanlifefestival

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ltlfest

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

‘Rakshak’ Shows Bloodywood Could Be One Of The Next Big Names In The Hard Rock, Metal Communities

Courtesy: C Squared PR

Almost three years ago, upstart hard rock/metal band Bloodywood first started carving out its place in the hard rock and metal community when it released its single, ‘Ari Ari.’  The song, which blended the band members’ Indian musical background with a more western nu-meatl approach started was jus the beginning of a meteoric rise for the band.  Each song and each video that the band released built its fame and fan base even more, even leading to a performance at one of the world’s most respected live festival shows, the Wacken Open Air Festival, in 2019.  On Feb. 18, the band will take yet another big step forward when it releases its debut album, Rakshak.  The 10-song album joins all but one of the singles that the band has released to date – ‘Ari Ari’ is, ironically the only single not featured in this record – to make an overall presentation that given the right support, will make Bloodywood one of the next big names in the hard rock and metal communities.  That is proven in part through its noted musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical content add even more appeal to the presentation.  They will be discussed a little later.  The sequencing of that content rounds out its most important elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Rakshak a successful debut album for Bloodywood that audiences will agree was well worth the wait.

Rakshak, the debut album from up-and-coming hard rock/metal band Bloodywood, is a successful first outing from the band.  It is a presentation that audiences will agree was well worth the wait.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question blend so many influences from one song to the next.  Case in point is the arrangement in the early entry, ‘Aaj.’  Vocalist Jayant Bhadula’s growls in this song reach the level of death metal growls a la Whitechapel front man Phil Bozeman.  His screams meanwhile pair with the rapping of co-vocalist Raoul Kerr to form the foundation for a sort of metalcore sound and stylistic approach.  That leaning is highlighted even more through the combined performances of guitarist Karan Katiyar and the added bass and drums.  There is so much going on here in terms of the instrumentation and in terms of the influences, yet it is all so well-balanced.  The end result is a work that serves to show Bloodywood is not just another nu-metal band, but a viable hard rock and metal outfit with very real talent and ability.

The infusion of the noted nu-metal and metal influences is displayed just as well much later in the album in the form of ‘BSDK.exe.’  Kerr’s rapping against the keyboards and electronics at points throughout the song is full on nu-metal in every sense.  That sound and stylistic approach is contrasted in the song’s choruses with a much heavier, guitar-driven influence.  Again, Bhadula’s death metal growls are on full display, and so are some sharper screams.  The band’s Indian influence is present here, too, just not as prominently as in some of the album’s other arrangements.  The best comparison that one might be able to make in this case is to works from the likes of Fear Factory and early works from Chimaira.  In other words, it boasts its own identity separate from that of ‘Aaj’ and all of the album’s other songs.  It is just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements show their importance to the record’s presentation.  ‘Dana-Dan,’ the album’s midpoint, is another example of the importance of the album’s musical arrangements.

‘Dana-Dan’ is important in examining Rakshak’s musical arrangements because it also boasts its own identity.  In the case of this song, the arrangement is just as heavy as ever with its down-tuned guitars, its screams, rapping, and its rhythm section.  The nu-metal leanings are just as present as ever here courtesy of Kerr’s rapping.  Bhadula’s vocals, paired with those of Kerr and with the instrumentation helps to take the arrangement in yet another direction.  In the case of this song, his work and that of his fellow musicians gives the song a sound and stylistic approach that is similar to that of Devildriver and Slipknot.  One could even argue a comparison to works from Unearth.  That is the case even with the use of the keyboards and electronics subtly incorporated into the arrangement.  All things considered, this composition is just as heavy as any other song featured in Rakshak and at the same time, still boasts its own identity.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes clear the importance of the album’s musical arrangements.  Of course the musical side of Rakshak is just one part of what makes the album a success.  Its lyrical themes are just as important as its musical arrangements.

The lyrical themes that Rakshak presents are important because they are each so powerful and as diverse as the album’s musical arrangements.  Case in point is the lyrical theme featured in ‘Jee Veerey.’  The theme here is one of determination.  Bhadula encourages listeners in the chorus, to ‘Live, brave one/Fight those internal storms and/Win, brave one/Weather those wounds and/Rise once again/Fly once again”  Kerr builds on that message as he reminds listeners that “We’ve all had to go/To the land down below/Where the sun don’t shine/And the moon don’t glow/Sat back/Trapped in the big bubble, saying/Chuck that man/It ain’t worth the trouble/Sound familiar don’t it/I think we all own it/A mindset that don’t seem to get/We’ve outgrown it/Now I’m sat back/Poking at the big bubble, saying/Talk back/You’re bigger than the trouble/Walk this valley of death/Head high/Say ‘I’ll be back, today I won’t die/’Cause try as we may/We can never deny/We can get back up if we’re still alive.”  Kerr’s straight forward wording is sure to connect and resonate with any listener.  This message of overcoming depression and mental health issues in general is anything but new, but is presented in a fresh way here.  That in itself is impressive.  What’s more, addressing mental health is always important.  To that end, this song’s uplifting lyrical theme is a prime example of the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  The lyrical theme featured in ‘Endurant’ is another example of that importance.

‘Endurant,’ which is one of the songs that helped build Bloodywood’s popularity, delivers a theme of forgiveness. It reminds listeners that while yes, there are people out there who want to make us miserable, we must forgive them.  This is not something easy to do by any means.  It is not within humans’ nature to forgive.  We want to right wrongs done against us.  The theme is made clear early on as Kerr comes right out and says in his rapping, “This goes out to the silent who fight the urge to get violent/This goes out with the love/bound with the power to rise above.”  Bhadula adds, “Suppressed/self-conflicted/A prisoner of silence/Sever the bonds that always made you yield/Become your own shield.”  Bhadula adds in the song’s chorus, “I am endurant/I am not a stray rock/I am the founding stone of a mountain/I am not weak/I am forgiving/Within darkness, I am my own light.”  This is a powerful overall statement.  It is another theme (and content) that will resonate with any listener with its supportive statements.  To that end, it is one more example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  Along with facing one’s own emotions and thoughts, the band also takes on the matter of facing loss in the album’s lyrical content.  That is made clear in the song, ‘Yaad.’  This deeply emotional song encourages listeners to grieve and to move on.  The release and healing happens through holding memories of those loved ones whom we have lost.  The band points this out not only in notes with the song’s video, but just as much through the lyrics.  Kerr raps here, “Your fire burns beneath the frost/An empire built between my thoughts/Crisscrossed across the line that can’t be crossed/A million memories in this melody/Singing to me/Smile/This is the way it’s meant to be.”  He adds, “With every breath/With every smile/With every sound of the beating heart/Your undying fire burns ever brighter.”  So again what audiences get here is a message of knowing the loss has happened, but knowing that loved one will never be forgotten and that no one should ever forget loved ones who have moved on.  At the same time, we cannot relegate ourselves to pining for them forever after they are gone.  It is another familiar theme that is presented in such a unique way, showing even more, the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.  When this uplifting theme is considered along with the other equally uplifting themes in the songs examined here, and with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes this record’s lyrical content so undeniably important.  When the overall lyrical theme is considered along with the overall musical content, the whole of that content makes more than clear why Rakshak is a success.  When the content’s sequencing is considered along with the content itself, it completes the album’s picture and leaves no doubt that this record deserves plenty of attention.

The sequencing of Rakshak’s content is important because it takes the diversity of those items into full account along with the energy in the songs’ energies.  As already noted, the band takes on a diverse range of sounds and styles in its musical arrangements from one song to the next.  The group also takes on a wide range of lyrical themes along the way.  The sequencing ensures that both sides change as much as possible throughout the record’s 47-minute run time.  Along the way, the energy in the songs’ arrangements is expertly balanced.  The presentation starts on a powerful note in the politically charged, ‘Gaddaar’ and keeps that energy moving through to ‘Zanjeero Se.’  The album’s third entry, it balances the band’s heavier and softer side so well within itself, giving audiences the best of both worlds.  From there, the energy picks back up in ‘Machi Bhasad’ and carries through to ‘Jee Veerey.’  Here again is a display of the band’s heavier leanings expertly placed alongside the band’s softer side.  It is presented in a way that is unique from that of ‘Zanjeero Se,’ too.  That makes the listening experience all the better.  As the album progresses through its second half from there, the ups and downs are more pronounced in the contrasting sounds and styles of ‘Endurant’ and ‘Yaad.’  ‘Yaad’ is one part contemplative nu-metal and one part heavy ballad while ‘Endurant’ is much heavier and determined.  The thing is that even with that difference, the energy between the two songs keeps the record’s energy stable in each work, once again proving the importance of the album’s sequencing.  The album’s last two tracks pick audiences back up and get them back into the mosh pit, leaving them breathless by the record’s end.  It shows once again, the time and thought that went into the album’s sequencing.  The end result of that time and thought is that the sequencing gives the album’s presentation a positive aesthetic impact.  When that impact is considered along with the positive impact of the album’s overall content, the whole leaves no doubt that this record is a complete success.

Up-and-coming hard rock/metal band Bloodywood is primed to be one of the next big names in the hard rock and metal communities.  The band’s debut album, Rakshak, makes that clear.  Given the right support, it is certain to keep the band’s meteoric rise to fame going strong.  That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are diverse, offering audiences elements of nu-metal, death metal, and even some aggro-rock and other influences throughout.  Those leanings are well-balanced with the songs, too, making for even more engagement and entertainment.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements are just as diverse in their topics.  From socio-politically charged songs to deeper works about accepting loss, and works in between promoting self-confidence among audiences, the themes touch on so many areas.  They will resonate with audiences along the way because of their familiarity and the way in which they are presented.  The sequencing of that content puts the finishing touch to the album’s presentation.  It takes into account the noted variety in the content and the energies established in each song to make a presentation that is wholly fulfilling for any listener.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Rakshak unquestionably one more of the best of the year’s new hard rock and metal albums so far.

Rakshak is scheduled for release Feb. 18.  The band is scheduled to launch a tour across Europe in support of the record in March.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

  • Sat Mar 05 2022 – Im Wizemann Stuttgart, Germany Tickets
  • Sun Mar 06 2022 – Zoom Frankfurt am Main, Germany Tickets
  • Mon Mar 07 2022 –  Die Kantine Cologne, Germany Tickets
  • Tue Mar 08 2022 –  La Madeleine Brussels, Belgium Tickets
  • Wed Mar 09 2022 –  Melkweg Amsterdam, Netherlands Tickets
  • Fri Mar 11 2022 – Gruenspan Hamburg, Germany Tickets
  • Sat Mar 12 2022 – Pumpehuset Copenhagen, Denmark Tickets
  • Sun Mar 13 2022 – BI NUU Berlin, Germany Tickets
  • Tue Mar 15 2022 – Freiheitshalle München, Germany Tickets
  • Fri Mar 18 2022 – The Factory San Martino Buon Albergo, Italy Tickets
  • Sat Mar 19 2022 – Slaughter Club Paderno Dugnano, Italy Tickets
  • Sun Mar 20 2022 – Z7 Konzertfabrik Pratteln, Switzerland Tickets
  • Tue Mar 22 2022 – LE TRABENDO (Parc de la Villette) Paris, France Tickets
  • Thu Mar 24 2022 – Prince Albert Brighton, United Kingdom Tickets
  • Sat Mar 26 2022 – Cathouse Glasgow, United Kingdom Tickets
  • Wed Mar 30 2022 – O2 Institute 2 Birmingham Birmingham, United Kingdom Tickets
  • Thu Mar 31 2022 – O2 Academy Islington North London, United Kingdom Tickets
  • Thu Aug 11 2022 – Bloodstock Open Air 2022 Walton on Trent, United Kingdom Tickets

More information on Bloodywood’s new album, single, video and tour is available online along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/bloodywood.dehli

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Bloodywood2

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

Braincell Debuts New Single, ‘Defensive Wounds,’ Companion Video

Courtesy: Cowgirlzen Entertainment

Independent metal band Braincell premiered its new single and video this week.

The band debuted its intense new single, ‘Defensive Wounds‘ and its even more powerful video Friday. The song is among the most unique new hard rock and metal singles released so far this year. That is due in part to its featured musical arrangement.

The song’s musical arrangement stands out because it blends elements of so many hard rock and metal genres within its body, and still manages to balance it all. Right from the song’s outset, audiences can hear influences of Slipknot and Devildriver. As the song progresses, Whitechapel’s influence becomes evident alongside touches of Ice Nine Kills, what with the use of the keyboards. These are so many varied influences, but they work so well together here.

The press release announcing the premiere of the song and its video did not mention the song’s lyrical theme. The lyrics provided with the song’s video seem to hint at perhaps a theme of dealing with the most extreme mental health concerns. That is, of course, just this critic’s interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.

The song’s video is just as comparable to works from Ice Nine Kills as some of the song’s musical content. That is because it is presented like a horror story. The band is being chased by a psychotic killer in the forest, being taken down one by one. Meanwhile the band is shown performing its new single in a separate setting.

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

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Braincell434

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Braincell_band

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

Slipknot Announces Knotfest Road Show Schedule

Courtesy: Cosa Nostra PR

Slipknot will take its Knotfest music festival on the road this spring.

The band is scheduled to launch its “Knotfest Roadshow 2022 Tour” March 16. The tour’s first leg is scheduled to run through April 17 and will feature performances from In This Moment and Jinjer. The tour’s second leg is scheduled to launch May 18 and to run through June 18, and will feature performances from Cypress Hill and Ho99o9.

Front man Corey Taylor said the band is looking forward to getting the tour off the ground.

“Even with everything going on in the world right now, we’re still extremely excited to come back out in the states, with 2 different, exciting packages,” he said. “Whether it’s In This Moment and Jinjer, or Cypress and Ho99o9, we pride ourselves in bringing our fans the epicenter of our music and art. Come celebrate with us, and try to stay as safe as we will be.”

Shawn “Clown” Crahan echoed Taylor’s sentiments.

“It feels so good to get back out on the road with our Culture,” said Crahan. “Get ready for a brand new experience. See you soon.”

The schedule for the “Knotfest Roadshow 2022 Tour” is noted below. Tickets re available now.

Knotfest Roadshow 2022

LEG 1

Slipknot w/ In This Moment & Jinjer

Wed Mar 16 Fargo, ND      FARGODOME

Fri Mar 18 Omaha, NE     CHI Health Center

Sat Mar 19 Wichita, KS     INTRUST Bank Arena

Tue Mar 22 Memphis, TN     FedExForum

Wed Mar 23 Tulsa, OK      BOK Center

Fri Mar 25 North Little Rock, AR Simmons Bank Arena

Sat Mar 26 Durant, OK       Choctaw Grand Theater

Tue Mar 29 Birmingham, AL   Legacy Arena at the BJCC

Wed Mar 30 N. Charleston, SC  North Charleston Coliseum

Fri Apr 01  Greensboro, NC   Greensboro Coliseum Complex

Sat Apr 02 Reading, PA      Santander Arena

Mon Apr 04 Cleveland, OH    Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse

Wed Apr 06 Green Bay, WI    Resch Center

Thu Apr 07 Peoria, IL        Peoria Civic Center

Sat Apr 09 Minneapolis, MN  Target Center

Mon Apr 11 Winnipeg, MB    Canada Life Centre

Tue Apr 12 Regina, SK       Brandt Centre

Thu Apr 14 Saskatoon, SK    SaskTel Centre

Fri Apr 15  Edmonton, AB    Rogers Place

Sun Apr 17 Vancouver, BC    Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena

LEG 2

Slipknot w/ Cypress Hill and Ho99o9

Wed May 18   University Park, PA Bryce Jordan Center

Fri May 20 Brooklyn, NY    Barclays Center

Sat May 21 Providence, RI    Dunkin’ Donuts Center

Sun May 22 Manchester, NH   SNHU Arena

Tue May 24 Albany, NY       MVP Arena

Thu May 26 Montreal, QC     Bell Centre

Sat May 28 Québec, QC      Videotron Centre

Sun May 29 Ottawa, ON      Canadian Tire Centre

Mon May 30  Toronto, ON      Budweiser Stage

Wed Jun 01 Cincinnati, OH    Heritage Bank Center

Thu Jun 02 Grand Rapids, MI  Van Andel Arena

Sat Jun 04  East Troy, WI     Alpine Valley Music Theatre

Sun Jun 05 Moline, IL        TaxSlayer Center

Tue Jun 07 Bonner Springs, KS Azura Amphitheater

Thu Jun 09 Colorado Springs, CO The Broadmoor World Arena

Sat Jun 11  Nampa, ID     Ford Idaho Center

Mon Jun 13 Seattle, WA    Climate Pledge Arena

Tue Jun 14 Ridgefield, WA    RV Inn Style Resorts Amphitheater

Fri Jun 17  Las Vegas, NV     MGM Garden Arena

Sat Jun 18  Chula Vista, CA   North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre

More information on the “Knotfest Roadshow Tour 2022” is available along with all of the tour’s latest news at:

Website: https://knotfest.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KNOTFEST

Twitter: https://twitter.com/knotfest

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

Rock Super Group Covers Tool, Slipknot For New Double Single

Courtesy: Pavement Entertainment

Tempest debuted its new double single Jan. 7.

The band — Ron Poisson (Cult of Individuality owner), Will Hunt (Evanescence, Black Label Society, Crossfade), Doc Coyle (ex-God Forbid, Bad Wolves), Chris Cain (ex-Bury Your Dead, Bad Wolves), and Kyle Konkiel (ex-Scar The Martyr, Bad Wolves) — debuted its take of Tool’s ‘Sober’ and Slipknot’s Dead Memories’ Jan. 7.

The covers came as a result of the pandemic, according to information provided about the songs. Poisson and Hunt were having conversations through social media about how to keep busy during lockdowns. The conversations led Hunt to reach out to the other band members, and the rest (as they say) is history).

Tempest’s take of ‘Sober’ largely stays true to its source material. However, there are some subtle differences in the two takes. They come through the guitar solos. The solos in Tempest’s take on the song move more in a subtle hard rock direction. By comparison, the solo in the original maintains the song’s dark prog approach and sound. Audiences can hear Tempest’s take on the song here.

Tempest’s take on Slipknot’s ‘Dead Memories’ came about as a tribute to the late Joey Jordison,’ who played drums with the band from its formation in 1995 until his departure from the band in 2013. The single stays largely true to its source material. The most notable difference between the original and Tempest’s take on the song is in the vocals. Poisson’s vocals are clearly different from those of Corey Taylor. Where Taylor’s vocals are grittier and darker, Poisson’s delivery style is more melodic.

More information on Tempest’s new double single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.pavementmusic.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Pavementent

Twitter: https://twitter.com/pavementcorp

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

Repentance Debuts New EP’s Second Single, ‘No Innocence’

Courtesy: Noble Demon

Repentance opened the weekend with another preview of its new record.

The band debuted its new single, ‘No Innocence‘ Friday. The song is the second single from the band’s forthcoming EP, Volume 1Reborn, which is scheduled for release Nov. 26 through Noble Demon. The band premiered the record’s lead single, ‘Reborn’ and its companion lyric video Sept. 6.

Much as with ‘Reborn,’ the musical arrangement featured in ‘No Innocence’ is an intense composition that is pure on anger, fire, and frustration. The song’s instrumentation and intensity immediately lends itself to comparison to the best works of Dry Kill Logic, Unearth, and Hatebreed, just to name a few similar sounding acts.

According to front man Adam Gilley, the song’s lyrical theme matches the fire in the work’s musical arrangement.

“‘No Innocence’ is about being betrayed by someone you thought you can trust,” he said. “When enough is enough and you just can’t hold back anymore.”

The track listing for Volume 1Reborn is noted below.

Tracklist reads as follows:

01. All The Misery

02. Reborn (feat. Corey Beaulieu of TRIVIUM)

03. Down In The Water

04. No Innocence

05. This Is Hell

More information on Repentance’s new single and album is available along with the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.repentanceband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WeAreRepentance

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WeAreRepentance

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

Ice Nine Kills’ Latest LP Is A Scary Good New Record

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Halloween is almost over, but horror, like evil, will never die.  Metalcore band Ice Nine Kills is an act that seems to live by that mantra, having released so many albums based on horror novels and movies throughout its life.  The band continued to prove that Oct. 15 when it released its long-awaited new album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood.  The wait for this record was well worth it, as this critic and any of the band’s fans will agree.  That is proven in part through the musical arrangements featured in this record.  They will be discussed shortly.  The movies represented in the new album add to the record’s appeal in their own way and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted does its own part to make INK’s new album successful.  All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from the band that is not just a great musical Halloween treat this year, but a great addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.

Ice Nine Kills’ latest album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome To Horrorwood is another successful new offering from the band that the band’s fans new and established alike will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important to the record’s success because of the mix of familiar and new sounds and styles that they exhibit.  Right from the album’s outset in the album’s title track, audiences get the band’s familiar melodic metalcore approach, complete with front man Spencer Charnas’ solid mix of clean vocals and screams and the band’s familiar choral element that has become such a trademark of the band’s songs.  From there though, the band changes things up in ‘A Rash Decision.’  The ominous piano line that opens the arrangement is familiar, but as the arrangement progresses, it very quickly turns to a decidedly Slipknot-esque composition with its heavy, driving guitars, screams, and pounding, solid time keeping.  This is an approach that the band has dabbled with in the past, but never to this extent.  ‘Assault & Batteries’ meanwhile takes audiences back to the sounds so familiar in The Silver Scream and even all the way back to the band’s even earlier hit song, ‘Communion of the Cursed.’   Listeners get even more of the noted Slipknot influence in ‘Funeral Derangements,’ which is one of the album’s many singles.  Perhaps the most notable of the album’s arrangements comes in the form of ‘Rainy Day’ (yes another of the album’s singles).  The incorporation of the electronics into the song conjure thoughts of songs from the likes of Gravity Kills and Spineshank.  That newer sound pairs with the arrangement’s more familiar metalcore elements to make it one of the album’s most notable musical works.  Audiences who want even more new approaches and sounds get that in the distinctly death metal style ‘Take Your Pick.’  Considering that this song features a guest appearance by Cannibal Corpse front man Corpsgrinder, the comparison there is immediate.  To a slightly lesser degree, audiences can also make a comparison to works from the likes of Whitechapel.  From there on out, audiences get plenty of familiar sounds and styles in every song that follows.  At the same time, the songs still boast their own identities, even with that familiarity noted.  Keeping all of this in mind, the mix of new and familiar from one arrangement to the next and even within certain songs makes for reason enough for audiences to hear this record.  Of course, the musical arrangements featured in INK’s new album are collectively just one part of what makes this album worth hearing.  The movies that are represented throughout the record make for their own interest.

The movies that INK chose to represent in its latest album are important to note because unlike so many cinematic sequels, they are not just re-hashings of the material from the original.  From the singles already released so far, audiences know that classic movies, such as Pet Sematary, American Psycho, Child’s Play and Resident Evil are represented here.  Also represented are seemingly the likes of Cabin in the Woods (‘A Rash Decision’), The Fly (‘F.L.Y.’), and even Psycho (‘The Shower Scene’) among others.  Hellraiser is seemingly represented here in ‘The Box’ as is The Evil Dead in ‘Ex-Mortis.’  Simply put, between the movies listed here and the others featured here, INK has opted to not just re-visit the movies visited in the songs from The Silver Scream and its initial sequel/spinoff, The Silver Scream: The Final Cut.  What’s more, the band also made sure to pick movies from across the horror spectrum and history.  Not only does this serve as respect for those movies, but it could very well serve as a starting point for a lifelong love for (and potentially obsession with) those movies for new horror fans.  To that end, that and everything else noted here shows why the movies chosen for this record are important to the album’s success.  Even with this in mind, there is still one more item to address here.  That item is the record’s sequencing.


The sequencing of The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood is important because it ensures the album’s energy remains just right from start to end.  The album starts off in ominous fashion, but doesn’t wait long before it really picks up.  From there, the energy barely shifts at any point.  When it does, it is subtle at best.  The result is that it does just as much to keep listeners engaged and entertained throughout the album as its content and the very cinematic history presented through the featured movies.  Keeping all of this in mind, there is no doubt that the sequencing of INK’s new album is just as important to note as the album’s content.  It all comes together to make the album its own welcome musical love letter to Hollywood’s horror history just as much as its predecessors.

Ice Nine Kills’ recently released album, The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrrorwood is another successful offering from the band.  It is a work that the band’s established and newer audiences alike will enjoy.  That is due in no small part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements offer listeners a solid blend of familiar sounds and styles, and newer approaches.  The whole there makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The movies that are represented throughout the album are of their own importance.  That is because they are not just repeats of the movies represented in the band’s most recent records.  They continue to show the band’s love for Hollywood’s rich history of horror while also continuing to potentially introduce audiences to that rich history.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.  That is because it ensures that the record’s energy remains solid from start to end.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the album another successful offering from Ice Nine Kills and one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

The Silver Scream 2: Welcome to Horrorwood is available now through Fearless Records. More information on Ice Nine Kills’ new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://iceninekills.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/IceNineKills

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/iceninekills

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

‘Trivium Has Crafted One Of Its Best Albums And One Of The Year’s Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums In ‘In The Court Of The Dragon’

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records

Veteran metal act Trivium is a band whose members clearly do not let a lot of grass grow under their feet.  A little more than a year after the band released its then most recent album, What The Dead Men Say, the band released another album, this time in the form of In The Court of the Dragon.  Its release Oct. 8 came on the heels of an extensive tour with Lamb of God, Megadeth, and Hatebreed, and leading into upcoming shows on Slipknot’s annual Knotfest.  One would think that with that tour and everything going on with the COVID-19 pandemic, the band would not have turned out this impressive record so soon, but somehow it managed to do just that.  The album is a strong new return from the band, too.  That is evidenced through its musical arrangements and lyrical themes alike.  ‘Like a Sword Over Damocles,’ one of the album’s early entries, does well to prove that true.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘The Shadow of the Abattior’ is another example of how this record’s musical and lyrical content make the album so interesting.  It will be examined a little later.  ‘The Phalanx,’ the album’s latest single and its finale, is one more way in which the album’s overall content shows the record’s strength.  It will also be examined later.  When this song and all of the others featured in this 52-minute record are considered together, they make In The Court of the Dragon one of the best of Trivium’s albums to date.

Trivium’s recently released album, In The Court of the Dragon, is among the best of the band’s records to date.  The band’s 10th album, it offers much for audiences to appreciate through its musical and lyrical content alike.  ‘Like A Sword Over Damocles,’ one of the album’s early entries, does well in itself to support the noted statement.  The five-and-a-half minute song’s musical arrangement is a full-on modern metal opus that will appeal to even the most diehard metal purists.  The opening riff and chants conjure thoughts of doom metal before things change and the arrangement turns more decidedly in a radio friendly direction.  That is due in part to the melodic hard rock choruses, which are comparable to the choruses from so many Sevendust songs.  Yes that’s quite a range, but it is definitely there, at least in the ears and mind of this critic.  The whole is a fully immersive composition, complete with raging guitar solo, that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement makes for its own interest.

According to comments from guitarist Corey Beaulieu, the theme here is lifted from the original story of the Sword of Damocles, who traded places with King Donysius II of Syracuse.  Damocles learned a valuable lesson about virtue in the end.  Beaulieu said of his thought that stemmed from his research into the story, “What happens when the person who’s questioning you has your job and responsibility?”  He added that bassist Paolo Gregoletto built on that concept and the pair came up with the final lyrical presentation.  The influence of that story is evident throughout the song’s lyrical presentation.  Just as interesting is that it is a story that even in this format, will resonate with any listener because such situation rises in the real world daily.  Keeping that in mind, the lyrical theme and musical arrangement together make clear why ‘Like A Sword Over Damocles’ is a strong example of the power of this album’s overall content.  It is just one of the ways in which the album’s strength is displayed.  ‘The Shadow of the Abattoir’ does its own share to show why this album shines.

‘The Shadow of the Abattoir’ is, while not the album’s longest song, one of its longest.  It clocks in at seven minutes, 12 seconds.  Over the course of that time, the song takes listeners in a range of directions, opening with a classic metal style sound in its contemplative approach.  Front man Matt Heafy’s vocal delivery is one of the most interesting points of the song’s musical arrangement.  That is because the richness and bass in his voice sits somewhere between Metallica front man James Hetfield and Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor.  Again, yes, it sounds like quite the range, but it is there, and it makes for reason enough to hear this song, too.  When this is all considered against the song’s more fiery verses, the contrast between verse and chorus makes the song even more interesting in its musical side.  It is just part of what makes the song stand out.  The song’s lyrical content adds to the song’s interest, too.

It should be noted at this point that the band openly stated that the album’s lyrical content is based on mythologies that its members developed due to their own interest in literary mythology.  That aside, the songs still manage to relate to audiences.  This song’s lyrical content continues to prove that in its chorus as Heafy sings, “Don’t go searching for the battle/You won’t find any beasts to slay/You’ll rip yourself to pieces/You’ll drive yourself insane/In the shadow of the abattoir.”  An abattoir being a slaughterhouse, one cannot help but wonder which myth led to this kind of content.  That aside, the very message still connects with listeners.  In this case, the message comes across as being that of not going to look for trouble, because when you go looking for it, you will find it, just not in the way you might think.  You might find your own trouble in yourself.  The verses seem to build on that message as each finds the subjects in bad situations because they apparently went looking for those situations so to speak.  From the snow covering a path in the song’s lead verse, to people apparently succumbing to the sun and its heat in the song’s second verse, to a ship singing after going through dark waters in the third verse, these are all situations in which people found themselves in trouble because they put themselves in such situations.  This is all just this critic’s interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the proverbial ballpark.  If so, then it further shows why the album’s overall content makes the record so worth hearing.  It is hardly the last of the record’s most notable songs, too.  ‘The Phalanx,’ which closes out the album, is one more way in which the record’s musical and lyrical content combines to show the LP’s strength.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Phalanx’ opens in a decidedly almost orchestral metal fashion before soon transitioning into a more pure metal approach.  The seven minute, 16 second’s opening movement lends itself to comparisons to works from Megadeth and Avenged Sevenfold what with the guitars and vocal delivery style and sound. As the song progresses, it eventually returns to the more symphonic metal style approach and sound used in the arrangement’s opening bars, leading to something of an ABA pattern here.  The whole of the composition is a powerful presentation that will engage and entertain audiences easily in its own right.  When it is considered along with the song’s lyrical content, the whole becomes even more powerful.

In the case of this song’s lyrical theme, it comes across as a story of a man who sees the fallacy of war.  It would be interesting to know what myth the band came up with for this story and from what myth the band got its inspiration for the song.  Regardless, the way in which the song’s subject makes his revelation clear is moving.  Considering the mood that the song’s arrangement sets, that revelation gains even more power.  The combination makes the song stand out that much more as a key example of how much this album has to offer audiences.  When this song and the others examined here are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole shows that much more why In The Court of the Dragon successful.  All in all the album proves to be, again, one of the band’s best records to date.

Trivium’s recently released 10th album, In The Court of the Dragon is among the best of the band’s albums to date.  Its strength comes through its musical and lyrical content alike.  That is proven through all three of the songs examined here, one of which is among the album’s current singles.  When it is considered along with the album’s other singles, the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s works, the whole makes the album one of the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums. 

In The Court of the Dragon is available now through Roadrunner Records. More information about Trivium’s new single, video and tour schedule is available along with all of Trivium’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.trivium.org

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Trivium

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TriviumOfficial

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