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.

Wage War Premieres ‘Manic’ Video

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Wage War’s new album, Manic is now available.

In celebration of the album’s release, the band premiered the video for the album’s title track, Friday. The song is the album’s fourth single, behind ‘Teeth,’ ‘High Horse,’ and ‘Circle the Drain.’

The video features vocalist Briton Bond in an apartment, singing his part to the song as he fights everything going on in his head. The whole thing is visually dark, including a shadow figure of sorts that is meant to personify the dark thoughts in the subject’s mind. This all happens as the song plays over the visualization.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Manic’ is so much unlike that of the rest of the album’s entries.  In this case, the use of the electronics alongside the rapping and metal immediately lends itself to comparison to works from Hed (p.e.).  Guitarist Cody Quistad was even cited as saying the song is “my favorite Wage War song ever…It lends itself to a manic headspace, summing up the album.”  Quistad is right.  The energy and stylistic approach here is manic in its own right, and it does just as well to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme.  The theme in question in fact does take on the topic of what a person going through so many emotions feels. 

The noted, familiar theme is expressed well here right from the song’s lead verse, which states, “Fear hits like a drug in the veins/Hard to stop like a runaway train/Look around but there’s nobody to blame/Oh, what a shame/Spent nights just staring at the wall/Pay no mind to the demons in the hall/Yeah I’m numb/I don’t feel nothing at all/Braced for the fall/Try to calm myself down/But I feel the panic/Is it all up in my head/Am I going manic?”  Again, some of the lyrics are tough to decipher sans lyrics to reference, but enough can be understood to the end that the noted message is clear.  The song’s second verse builds on the message, stating, “It’s a war/But I’m never on attack/Holding on, but I’m slipping through the crack/Don’t wanna be another body on the stack/I’m never coming back/Spending nights just staring at the wall/Pay no mind to the demons in the hall”  Again here we have that theme of mental health, which deserves the fullest seriousness.  That is especially in the current era as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The statement later in the song that, “I don’t wanna die” shows just how serious someone going through mania (or any major mental health concern) feels and thinks.  Hopefully this familiar and fully accessible presentation will help anyone who is battling a mental health concern fight that battle and win every day.  Such lyrical and musical content collectively shows once more, the power of Wage War’s latest album.  That is even more the case when the song is considered with the other songs examined here, the album’s current singles, and the rest of the record’s songs.  The whole comes together to make the album in whole a powerful new offering from Wage War that is among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

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

Websitehttps://wagewarband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/wagewar

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wagewar

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.

Wage War’s Latest LP Continues To Cement The Band’s Place In the Metalcore, Metal, And Hard Rock Communities

Courtesy: Fearless Records

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  Everybody knows that old adage about making the best of a bad situation.  It is an adage that the members of Wage War followed (like so many other musical acts) last year when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the band off the road.  The band made the most of the situation and crafted its latest album (its fourth), Manic.  Scheduled for release Friday through Fearless Records, the 57-minute album is a powerful presentation from beginning to end.  That is thanks to its musical and lyrical content alike, as its current singles – Teeth,’ ‘Circle The Drain,’ and ‘High Horse’ – have shown.  They are just a sampling of what makes the album successful.  Also of note in this record is the late entry, ‘Never Said Goodbye.’  This song will be examined shortly.  ‘Death Roll,’ another track that comes in the record’s second half, is also of note.  It will be examined a little later.  ‘Manic,’ the album’s title track, is yet another interesting addition to the presentation and will also be discussed later.  All three songs do just as much as the album’s current singles to show why Manic is such a strong new offering from Wage War.  When all of these songs are considered along with the album’s other songs, the overall presentation makes Manic one more of the best of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Wage War’s forthcoming album, Manic, is another strong new offering from the metalcore band, which continues to cement its place within that community and the bigger hard rock and metal community.  The album proves successful through its combined musical and lyrical content.  Its current singles have done well to support the noted statements, and they are just a snapshot of what makes the record engaging and entertaining.  ‘Never Said Goodbye’ is another song that shows the album’s strength.  The song is the album’s only reserved composition in terms of its musical arrangement.  The subdued, contemplative stylistic approach and sound in the song’s verses alongside the more fiery choruses makes for a juxtaposition and contrast that stands out starkly from the rest of the record’s works.  That is not a bad thing, either.  Though, in the bigger picture of the record’s sequencing, it might have done better if it had been made the record’s midpoint, so as to break up the record’s overall mood.  That is a matter for another time, though.  The control in the vocals and instrumentation, and the production therein gives this arrangement a distinct emocore type presentation that still manages to immerse listeners in its body and keep them engaged.

The musical side of ‘Never Said Goodbye’ goes a long way to ward making the song stand out in the album’s bigger picture.  When it pairs with the song’s lyrical theme its own strength increases even more.  That is because of the matter addressed in the lyrical content here.  The lyrical content in question focuses on someone mourning an individual who is close to him/her.  This is made relatively clear right from the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state, “Nothing could prepare me for that call/Dropped to my knees/Threw my phone against the wall/Said you were gone/And I didn’t believe it/This isn’t real/I just gotta be dreaming/It’s never fair/You were taken away too soon/Feels like a knife in the heart/An open wound/Won’t ever heal/’Cause I’m tryin’ to…/I’m in a world where you’re not in existence/I know you/I know we never know it’s time/But I don’t understand what’s on the other side/I know you/I know it’s just part of life/But I’m still askin’ why/Why I never say what I meant to/All those things I wanted to tell you/I know you’re home now/In a better place/But I’m still searching for the words to say/Iwsh it wasn’t the last time/’Cause I never said goodbye.”  The eulogy of sorts continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “Hard to think that you’re never coming home/Now you rest in a field beneath this stone/I find peace in the silence around me/And in the calm I can feel you surround me/I don’t think that I’ll ever understand/One day we’re here/Then we fall like grains of sand/Do we wade in the pain that we live in/Or make the most of the time that we’re given?”  This is a pretty clear statement.  It is not necessarily anything new to the musical universe.  Lots of songs such as this have been crafted through the modern history of music, but it is still just as welcome in this case as any other.  Whether this is something autobiographical from any of the band members, the fact stands that this is still a song that will prove therapeutic for so many listeners just as much for the lyrical content as for the musical arrangement.  The whole of that content makes the song overall such a unique addition to the album and just one example of what makes the record successful.  ‘Death Roll,’ another entry in the album’s second half, is another example of the album’s strength.

‘Death Roll’ is the polar opposite of ‘Never Said Goodbye’ in terms of its musical arrangement.  This three-minute-plus song’s arrangement is more akin to works from Slipknot (just like ‘High Horse’) than maybe more emotional emocore bands.  At the same time that it can be compared to works from Slipknot, it can also be compared to works from the likes of Unearth.  The intensity in its sound and stylistic approach is enough in itself to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  What’s more, the screams of vocalist Briton Bond here are just as powerful in this case as those of Corey Taylor and any other similar vocalist.  His work and that of his band mates makes the overall arrangement that much stronger.  The fire in the song’s musical arrangement pairs with the song’s equally intense lyrical content to make the overall song even more powerful.

The lyrical content featured in this song comes across as a defiant stand against those who seem to live just to make others miserable.  This is inferred as Bond screams in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Terrified/In darkness/Another victim in its sight/So cold/So heartless/A hunger never satisfied/Eyes of death/Mouth of hell/This wretched swamp/The hate that we hide/Comes up from the depths/We gave you an inch/But you went for the neck/Take what you want/Prey on the weak/We are the broken/We are the beast/Hunters of all/Swallow you whole/Taking you down in a death roll.”  Some of the lyrics here are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference.  The song’s second verse adds even more to the noted inference as Bond screams, “Condemned from birth/Underneath the dying sun/There can be no future here/When your instinct’s eat the young/Hand in hand through the wasteland/We wave our final goodbye/Kill ’em all til there’s nothing left/Cold blooded ‘til the last breath.”  From there the band returns to the chorus, which makes the statement about taking down that not so good person.  Considering the anger and fire in these lyrics, they will connect with listeners in their own way.  When these lyrics are considered in whole, the overall message and fire in the song’s musical energy collectively makes this song stand out even more as another important addition to the album.  It is just one more of the most notable of the album’s entries, too.  ‘Manic,’ the album’s title track, is another notable addition to the album.

In the case of ‘Manic,’ it stands out in part because its musical arrangement is so much unlike that of the rest of the album’s entries.  In this case, the use of the electronics alongside the rapping and metal immediately lends itself to comparison to works from Hed (p.e.).  Guitarist Cody Quistad was even cited as saying the song is “my favorite Wage War song ever…It lends itself to a manic headspace, summing up the album.”  Quistad is right.  The energy and stylistic approach here is manic in its own right, and it does just as well to help translate the emotion in the song’s lyrical theme.  The theme in question in fact does take on the topic of what a person going through so many emotions feels. 

The noted, familiar theme is expressed well here right from the song’s lead verse, which states, “Fear hits like a drug in the veins/Hard to stop like a runaway train/Look around but there’s nobody to blame/Oh, what a shame/Spent nights just staring at the wall/Pay no mind to the demons in the hall/Yeah I’m numb/I don’t feel nothing at all/Braced for the fall/Try to calm myself down/But I feel the panic/Is it all up in my head/Am I going manic?”  Again, some of the lyrics are tough to decipher sans lyrics to reference, but enough can be understood to the end that the noted message is clear.  The song’s second verse builds on the message, stating, “It’s a war/But I’m never on attack/Holding on, but I’m slipping through the crack/Don’t wanna be another body on the stack/I’m never coming back/Spending nights just staring at the wall/Pay no mind to the demons in the hall”  Again here we have that theme of mental health, which deserves the fullest seriousness.  That is especially in the current era as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  The statement later in the song that, “I don’t wanna die” shows just how serious someone going through mania (or any major mental health concern) feels and thinks.  Hopefully this familiar and fully accessible presentation will help anyone who is battling a mental health concern fight that battle and win every day.  Such lyrical and musical content collectively shows once more, the power of Wage War’s latest album.  That is even more the case when the song is considered with the other songs examined here, the album’s current singles, and the rest of the record’s songs.  The whole comes together to make the album in whole a powerful new offering from Wage War that is among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

Wage War’s forthcoming album, Manic, is a successful new offering from the metalcore band.  It continues to cement the band’s place in the metal core and bigger metal and hard rock communities.  That is proven through the album’s musical and lyrical content.  The musical content shows a certain range of diversity.  That alone is sure to engage and entertain audiences.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements is just as accessible as the musical arrangements.  All three of the songs examined here make that clear, as do the singles that the album has already produced.  When all of this content is considered along with the rest of the album’s songs, the whole makes Manic one of the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums. 

Manic is scheduled for release Friday through Fearless Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://wagewarband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/wagewar

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wagewar

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.

Of Mice & Men Releases Latest Single To All Digital Outlets

Photo Credit: Derek Hess

Of Mice & Men has officially released its latest single, ‘Mosaic,’ to all digital outlets.

The announcement was made in a news release distributed Wednesday. The announcement comes just days after the band premiered the single’s visualizer.

The single is the latest release from the band since the debut of its new EP, Bloom, which was released in May. Its release was preceded by that of the band’s EP, Timeless, which was released in February.

The musical arrangement featured in this song is a stark departure stylistically from the band. Instead of the normal metalcore sound for which the band has come to be known, it opted instead for a distinct Slipknot-esque style approach and sound. That is evidenced through the intense approach taken to the instrumentation. Meanwhile, front man Aaron Pauley’s familiar screams pair well in their own right against the heavy instrumentation.

According to a statement from Pauley, the song’s lyrical theme is somewhat existential and philosophical.

“‘Mosaic’ is about questioning whether or not we, as human beings, can overcome our seemingly primal need for combativeness, because it’s more prevalent than ever in our lives these days,” he said.

More information on Of Mice and Men’s new single is available now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.ofmiceandmenofficial

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ofmice

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OMandM

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.

Riot Fest 2021 Lineup Finalized

Courtesy: Western Publicity

The official lineup for this year’s Riot Fest has been finalized.

The 2021 Riot Fest is scheduled to take place Sept. 16-19 at Douglass Park in Chicaco, IL. The whole thing kicks off the evening of Sept. 16 with performances by the likes of Alkaline Trio, Patti Smith and her Band, and Morrissey.

Sept. 17 is the first, full, official date of music for this year’s festival. It features performances from a wide range of acts, such as Smashing Pumpkins, NOFX, and Anti-Flag.

Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, and Living Colour join the likes of Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Run The Jewels, and Gwar for the second day of this year’s Riot Fest lineup.

Sunday will see just as many and varied acts taking the stage. Among the most notable of the performances planned to close out this year’s festival are those from the likes of Slipknot, Simple Plan, and Body Count. The Flaming Lips will take the place of Pixies following that band’s recent announcement that it was halting its tour plans due to concerns about the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The full lineup for this year’s Riot Fest is noted below.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 16
MORRISSEY, ALKALINE TRIO, PATTI SMITH AND HER BAND, JOYCE MANOR (performing S/T), WDRL, KRISTEEN YOUNG

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17
THE SMASHING PUMPKINS, COHEED AND CAMBRIA, LUPE FIASCO (performing The Cool), NOFX, DIRTY HEADS, SUBLIME WITH ROME, CIRCLE JERKS, DINOSAUR JR., MOTION CITY SOUNDTRACK, THRICE, CIRCA SURVIVE, MEG MYERS, THE LAWRENCE ARMS, BEACH BUNNY, ANTI-FLAG, LIVING COLOUR, FISHBONE, ENVY ON THE COAST, THE SOUNDS, AMIGO THE DEVIL, EYEDRESS, BEACH GOONS, MEET ME @ THE ALTAR, SERATONES, RADKEY, KISSISSIPPI, JACKIE HAYES, OXYMORRONS, GIRLPUPPY, SEŃOR KINO

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
RUN THE JEWELS, FAITH NO MORE, DROPKICK MURPHYS, RANCID, TAKING BACK
SUNDAY, VIC MENSA, GOGOL BORDELLO, MAYDAY PARADE, BAYSIDE, STATE CHAMPS, THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES, ANDREW W.K., BEST COAST, BIG FREEDIA, GWAR, HEPCAT, LES SAVY FAV, THE BRONX, FOUR YEAR STRONG, CITIZEN, FUCKED UP, JOYWAVE, NIGHT MOVES, MAN ON MAN, THE BOLLWEEVILS, ACTION/ADVENTURE, GANSER, JUST FRIENDS, THE ORPHAN THE POET, BEARINGS, SPIDER, DEVON KAY & THE SOLUTIONS

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 19
SLIPKNOT, MACHINE GUN KELLY, THE FLAMING LIPS, DEVO, MR. BUNGLE, NEW FOUND GLORY, SIMPLE PLAN, THE GHOST INSIDE, BODY COUNT, THURSDAY, K.FLAY, KNUCKLE PUCK, HEALTH, THE BLED, MOTHER MOTHER, 3OH!3, ALEX G, FEVER 333, KENNYHOOPLA, BLEACHED, THE GORIES, FACS, RATBOYS, BLACKSTARKIDS, THE CLOCKWORKS, PET SYMMETRY, MELKBELLY, GYMSHORTS, THE WEAK DAYS, AIRSTREAM FUTURES

Tickets for Riot Fest 2021 are available here.

More information on this year’s Riot Fest is available along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: https://www,riotfest.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RiotFest1

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.

Rocklahoma Performance Times Announced

Courtesy: A12 Entertainment

The 2021 Rocklahoma Festival will go on for now.

Performance times for the festival were announced Wednesday through a news release distributed to the media. The festival’s unofficial start is scheduled to take place at 7 p.m. ET Thursday with a performance by Devium IV on the Deb Concerts Stage.

Thursday night’s kickoff continues at 8:05 p.m. with a performance by Dead Metal Society. The Iron Maidens follow at 9:30 p.m. Stephen Pearcy, the voice of RATT will headline the evening’s events at 10:50 p.m.

FRIDAY

Friday’s official launch opens at 11 a.m. on the Deb Concerts Stage with a performance by Straight Six. Lovesick Radio, Outlaw Devils, Travis Bond & The Rebel Souls, and Color of Chaos keep things moving from 11:50 a.m. through 2 p.m.

Liliac closes out the performances on the Deb Concerts Stage at 5 p.m., but before that, Plush will take the stage at 4 p.m. on the Renegade Stage. Half an hour later at 3:30, From Ashes To New will open the action on the Renegade Stage.

Performances from the likes of Tremonti, Candlebox, and Sevendust are also scheduled for Friday. Rob Zombie is scheduled to headline Friday’s events at 10:45 p.m. on the Freedom Stage.

SATURDAY

Slipknot is scheduled to headline Saturday’s events at 10:45 p.m. on the Freedom Stage. Prior to its performance, other bands, such as John 5 and the Creatures, Zero 9:36, and Pop Evil are also scheduled to perform.

Also scheduled to perform Saturday are the likes of Butcher Babies, School of Rock, and Falling in Reverse.

SUNDAY

Sunday will see its own wide array of acts scheduled to perform. Among those scheduled to perform Sunday are The Hu, Puddle of Mudd, and Philip H. Anselmo and the Illegals.

The full rundown of performance times for this weekend’s festival is noted below.

Thursday, September 2

DEB CONCERTS STAGE

10:50 PM – Stephen Pearcy The Voice Of Ratt

9:20 PM – The Iron Maidens

8:05 PM – Dead Metal Society

7:00 PM – Devium IV

Friday, September 3

FREEDOM STAGE

10:45 PM – Rob Zombie

8:45 PM – Chevelle

6:55 PM – Sevendust

5:40 PM – Candlebox

4:30 PM – Ayron Jones

3:30 PM – From Ashes To New

RENEGADE STAGE

9:55 PM – Grandson

8:05 PM – Tremonti

6:20 PM – Austin Meade

4:00 PM – Diamante

3:00 PM – Plush

DEB CONCERTS STAGE

5:00 PM – Liliac

2:20 PM – Color Of Chaos

1:30 PM – Travis Bond & The Rebel Souls

12:40 PM – Outlaw Devils

11:50 AM – Love Sick Radio

11:00 AM – Straight Six

Saturday, September 4

FREEDOM STAGE

10:45 PM – Slipknot

8:45 PM – Anthrax

6:55 PM – Pop Evil

5:40 PM – Badflower

4:30 PM – Bones UK

3:30 PM – Butcher Babies

RENEGADE STAGE

9:55 PM – Falling in Reverse

8:05 PM – Jelly Roll

6:20 PM – Zero 9:36

4:00 PM – All Good Things

3:00 PM – School Of Rock

DEB CONCERTS STAGE

5:00 PM – John 5 And The Creatures

2:20 PM – Rocket Science

1:30 PM – Fist Of Rage

12:40 PM – 90LB Wrench

11:50 AM – Mind Of Fury

11:00 AM – The Rumours

Sunday, September 5

FREEDOM STAGE

8:45 PM – Halestorm

6:55 PM – Philip H. Anselmo & The Illegals

5:40 PM – Motionless In White

4:30 PM – Steel Panther

3:30 PM – Stellar Ascent

RENEGADE STAGE

9:55 PM – The Hu

8:05 PM – Andrew W.K.

6:20 PM – Knocked Loose

4:00 PM – Cory Marks

3:00 PM – Jeris Johnson

DEB CONCERTS STAGE

5:00 PM – Puddle Of Mudd

2:20 PM – Budderside

1:30 PM – Paralandra

12:40 PM – Severmind

11:50 AM – Jessikill

11:00 AM – Chaotic Resemblance

A three-day pass is required to attend the Roadhouse Pre-Party on Sept. Thursday. Doors for the Roadhouse Pre-Party open at 11 a.m. Festival grounds open for the festival daily at 2 p.m.

Rocklahoma is presented by AEG Presents.

More information on Rocklahoma is available along with all of the festival’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.Rocklahoma.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rocklahoma

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.

Wage War Announces New Album Details; Premieres Album’s New Single; Band’s Tour Is Underway

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Wage War will release its next album this fall.

The band made the announcement through a news release distributed Wednesday. The document states the album, titled Manic, is scheduled for release Oct.1 through Fearless Records. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘High Horse‘ and its video Aug. 6.

The band followed up the debut of that song and its video with the release of the album’s second single, ‘Circle The Drain‘ Wednesday.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Circle The Drain’ is a stark contrast to that of ‘High Horse.’ Where ‘High Horse’ is an intense, high-energy composition that is comparable to works from the likes of Slipknot, Lamb of God, and even Whitechapel, the arrangement featured in ‘Circle The Drain’ is a more deeply emotional style composition. There is a certain heaviness in the arrangement as the song reaches its breakdown/bridge section, but overall, this arrangement comes across more as an emocore type presentation.

The emotional approach to the song’s musical arrangement works well with the song’s lyrical theme, which the band talked about in a prepared statement.

“‘Circle the Drain’ is a song about learning from past mistakes and accepting responsibility in a world that needs change,” the statement reads. “It starts with us deciding to be a part of the solution.”

In other news, Wage War launched its tour in support of Manic Aug. 14. Beartooth and Dragged Under are serving as support. The tour is scheduled to run through Sept. 25 in Gran Rapids, MI. The tour additionally features performances in cities nationwide, such as Denver, CO; Seattle, WA and New Haven, CT.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

WAGE WAR ON TOUR:
WITH BEARTOOTH + DRAGGED UNDER:
     
8/26 — Fargo, ND —  Fargo Brewing Company 
8/27 — Minneapolis, MN —  Fillmore 
8/28 — Kansas City, MO —  Truman 
8/29 — Denver, CO  —  Summit 
8/31 — Oklahoma City, OK —  Diamond Ballroom
9/1 — Dallas, TX —  House of Blues 
9/3 — San Antonio, TX —  Vibes Event Center 
9/4 — Houston, TX —  House of Blues 
9/7 — Fort Lauderdale, FL —  Revolution 
9/8 — St. Petersburg, FL —  Jannus Landing 
9/9 — Atlanta, GA —  Masquerade
9/11 — Appomattox, VA —  Blue Ridge Rock Festival 
9/12 — Mansfield, OH —  Inkcarceration Festival 
9/13 — Philadelphia, PA —  Fillmore
9/15 — New York, NY —  Terminal 5
9/17 — Worcester, MA —  Palladium 
9/18 — Baltimore, MD —  Sound Stage
9/19 — New Haven, CT —  Toad’s Place
9/20 — Pittsburgh, PA —  Stage AE
9/22 — Chicago, IL —  House of Blues 
9/24 — Detroit, MI —  St. Andrews Hall
9/25 — Grand Rapids, MI  —  20 Monroe Live

More information on Wage War’s new single, video, and tour is available now along with all of Wage War’s latest tour dates, news and more at:

Websitehttps://wagewarband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/wagewar

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wagewar

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.

Knotfest Chile, Brazil Details Announced

Courtesy: Cosa Nostra PR

Slipknot has announced the details for its 2022 Knotfest events in Chile and Brazil.

The announcement was made through a news release distributed Tuesday. The document states the festivals will take place only days apart from one another next December. Knotfest Chile is scheduled to take place Dec. 11, 2022 at the Estadio Monumental in Santiago Chile. Knotfest Brazil will follow Dec. 18, 2022 at the Sambodromo Do Anhembi in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Slipknot will headline each concert. Bring Me The Horizon, Mr. Bungle, Trivium, Sepultura, and Vended are scheduled to take part in Knotfest Chile. They will be joined by Motionless in White, Project 46, and Armored Dawn for Knotfest Brazil. Organizers will announce additional acts in the coming days.

Tickets and VIP packages will go on sale for the events at 10 a.m. local time Aug. 19 at KnotfestChile.com and KnotfestBrasil.com respectively.

The announcement of the details for Knotfest Chile and Knotfest Brazil comes less than a month after details were announced for Knotfest Los Angeles. The concert festival is scheduled to take place Nov. 5 at Bank of America Stadium in Los Angeles, CA.

Slipknot will headline that festival, too. Also scheduled for that event are: Bring Me The Horizon, Killswitch Engage, Fever 333, Vended, and Cherry Bombs. A trailer for the festival is streaming here. Tickets for the event are available now.

More information on Slipknot’s upcoming Knotfest L.A. event is available along with all of Slipknot’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://slipknot1.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/slipknot

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/slipknot

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.