Black Veil Brides’ New EP Will Leave Audiences Anything But “Mourning”

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Late last month, Black Veil Brides released its new EP, The Mourning through Sumerian Records.  The four-song record’s release came Oct. 21, roughly a year after the release of the band’s then latest album, The Phantom Tomorrow, which was a musical and stylistic turning point for the band.  The band continued that change with this, its ninth studio recording and third EP.  The band is currently on the road with Ice Nine Kills and Motionless in White as part of the Trinity of Terror tour in support of the record, whose musical and lyrical content clearly shows that continued change of sound and style.  ‘Better Angels,’ which closes the EP, is one of the most notable of the record’s entries.  It will be discussed shortly.  On the exact other end of the record is its opener, ‘Devil,’ which will be examined a little later.  ‘Saviour II’ is yet another standout addition to the EP and will also be examined later.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and with the EP’s one remaining song, ‘The Revival,’ the whole makes The Mourning easily one of the year’s top new EPs.

The Mourning, the third new EP from Black Veil Brides (and the band’s ninth new studio recording), is a strong new offering from the band. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The record’s finale, ‘Better Angels’ is just one of the songs that makes that clear.  The melodic hard rock approach that the band takes in the song’s musical arrangement makes the song just as accessible as works from so many other similar bands, mainstream and independent.  Comparisons can be made to works from the likes of Awake At Last, Saint Asonia, and Bullet for my Valentine.  This is not to say that BVB has not composed some melodic hard rock songs throughout its history, but comparing much of its early catalog to a work, such as this song, the difference is clear, and it makes the song here just as accessible as works from the noted bands and so many others.

The arrangement featured here actually works well with the song’s lyrical theme.  That is because the song’s theme seems to come from the vantage overcoming one’s mental health struggles, to a point.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state collectively, “I feel the hope turn into comfort/Like the death of my nerves/Your heart is stinging from the hatred/As humanity burns/So let me find the words just to say it/Your mind is a villain/Go back to hell with all your demons/Leave me alone/To find the pieces inside my mind/They came in to control my life/And all the devils devour/Your better angels devour.  The song’s second verse adds even more to that thought pattern as it states, “Our fear is all we have to suffer/In the violent new world/These scars and vanity can’t save us/Now it’s time for the storm.”  This seeming theme is certain to resonate with audiences, especially being that it seems to present a message of overcoming those negative thoughts and feelings that would otherwise control a person, not just thoughts of depression and self-hatred, either.  When this seeming message pairs with the song’s powerful musical arrangement, the whole makes ‘Better Angels’ a clear example of what makes The Mourning worth hearing.

‘Better Angels’ is just one of the most notable additions to The Mourning.  The EP’s opener, ‘Devil’ is notable in its own right.  That is due in part because of its musical arrangement.  Instead of the pure melodic hard rock approach used in ‘Better Angels,’ the band opts for a more metalcore style composition in this song’s verses while incorporating the melodic hard rock approach in the choruses.  The cutting guitars, and machine-gun style rapidity of the metalcore style verses make the song immediately comparable to works from the likes of Killswitch Engage, The Black Dahlia Murder, and to a lesser extent, early As I Lay Dying.  The vocals especially add to that comparison to works from KsE, as they are so comparable to that band’s former front man Howard Jones.  The melodic hard rock side of the song is more comparable to works from the likes of Sevendust.  The juxtaposition of those comparisons makes the overall arrangement so interesting and well worth hearing in its own right.

The energy and richness in the song’s arrangement does just as well to pair with its lyrical theme.  That is because of the clear frustration exhibited in what comes across quite as a social commentary.  The commentary opens with front man Andy Biersack sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “How the f*** is one so evil left to just proceed/All the luck and how deceitful that idle minds can be/Farewell to vanished fraud/So here comes the fall/Your blood has all been washed away/You left with a crawl/The end was worth the wasted days/The devil lies alone.”  The commentary continues in the song’s second verse, “Come sell me useless greed/And swindle, lie and cheat/’Cause nothing matters when only truth is obsolete.”  That last line about truth being obsolete leads to an inference that maybe the commentary centers on what has happened in the world with truth taking a back seat to people’s false realities.  This is just this critic’s interpretation. The early note of wondering how one so evil could just progress, to that end, would seemingly be a commentary wondering how people like Donald Trump and his cult members could be left to go on doing what they do.  Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere close to being right.  Either way, the seeming message and the way in which it is delivered certainly makes for plenty of thought and discussion.  To that end, the song shows even more why it stands out in The Mourning.

‘Saviour II,’ the EP’s second track and lead single, is yet another notable addition to the record.  The song’s musical arrangement is continues the melodic hard rock approach taken by the band in the EP.  The different here is that in this case, it is actually more of a throwback to some of the melodic hard rock compositions that the band had produced in its past records while also being just as radio ready as any of the other songs featured in this record.  From Breaking Benjamin to Default to so many others, the arrangement here is just as accessible as their works and so many other of the band’s fellow mainstream bands.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement makes for even more interest.  The theme here comes across as something as a contemplative piece focusing on moving past experiences in life.  This is inferred as Biersack sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I never knew how to live alone/Holding my fear in the unknown/And if we only speak in tongues/How can we be heard/Are there songs to guard your heart/Let this be the one you use to start your own/And every word that came from you/Has carried me/So I’m trying my hardest to be what you made/Like a court jester/My smile won’t fade/Giving it all/Rising to fall to my grave/Answer the call/Living in thrall/You’re the one born to save.”  That mention of trying to be what someone made, keeping the smile, it seems like the song’s subject is addressing having to live a lie, hiding so many thoughts and emotions behind that smile.  It would certainly seem to point at the noted inferred theme.  The inference continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “I grew this heart in a motor car/I wear a mask to be a star/All of the heat and anxiety that still lines the road/It is all I ever thought I’d live for/Now I know I’m more than all of my scars.”  That mention of being more than one’s scars points to the song’s subject overcoming the emotional and mental damage caused by the past, moving on with life.  It is a powerful seeming statement that even further hints at the noted theme.  Keeping such a seeming theme (and one that is all too familiar with any rock fan) in mind, the contemplative nature of the theme and the equally contemplative nature of the song’s arrangement makes the song in whole all the more interesting.  When the whole is considered overall, it makes ‘Saviour II’ clearly another important part of The Mourning.  When the song is considered alongside the other two songs examined here and with the EP’s one remaining song, the whole makes The Mourning a complete success.

The Mourning, the latest studio recording from Black Veil Brides, is an impressive new offering from the veteran hard rock act.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The songs examined here make that clear.  When the songs examined are considered along with the record’s one remaining track, the whole makes The Mourning a welcome addition to this year’s field of new EPs.

The Mourning is available now through Sumerian Records.  More information on the EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://blackveilbrides.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Blackveilbrides

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/blackveilbrides

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.  

Animals As Leaders Debuts New Single, ‘Gordian Naught’

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

As the release of Animals As Leaders’ new album, Parrhesia, gets ever closer, the band has offered audiences another preview of the record.

The band premiered the album’s new single, ‘Gordian Naught‘ Wednesday. The song is the album’s third single behind ‘The Problem of Other Minds‘ and ‘Monomyth.’ The album is scheduled for release March 25 through Sumerian Records.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Gordian Naught’ is everything that audiences have come to expect from Animals As Leaders. The prog/math metal style approach and sound is just as present as ever. It makes the song easily comparable to works from the likes of TesseracT. The grittier, heavier riffs in the song’s closing bars however, lend themselves to comparison to songs from Between The Buried and Me and Periphery.

Front man Tosin Abasi explained the concept behind the song.

“This song attempts to put a soundtrack to the metaphor of “untying an impossibly tangled knot; A sonic commentary on the seemingly sustained problems facing the world currently,” he said.

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

In other news, Animals As Leaders is scheduled to launch a tour in support of its new album this spring. The band is scheduled to launch its “Parrhesia Tour” March 30 in Denver, CO. The tour runs less than a month.

The tour is scheduled to run through April 22 in Los Angeles, CA and features scheduled performances in cities, such as Detroit, MI; Cincinnati, OH and Atlanta, GA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

ANIMALS AS LEADERS ‘PARRHESIA TOUR’

W/ Special Guests TBA

Mar 30 – Denver, CO @ Summit Music Hall

Apr 1 – Kansas City, MO @ Truman Theater*

Apr 2 – Omaha, NE @philspicks Slowdown*

Apr 3 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater

Apr 4 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues

Apr 5 – Cincinnati, OH @ Bogarts

Apr 6 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall

Apr 8 – Hampton Beach, NH @ Wally’s*

Apr 9 – Lititz, PA @ Mickey’s Black Box*

Apr 10 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza

Apr 11 – Philadelphia, PA @ Brooklyn Bowl

Apr 12 – Boston, MA @ Big Night Live

Apr 13 – Baltimore, MD @ Baltimore Soundstage

Apr 15 – Atlanta, GA @ Buckhead Theatre

Apr 16 – Orlando, FL @ House of Blues

Apr 18 – Dallas, TX @ House of Blues

Apr 19 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s

Apr 21 – Phoenix, AZ @ Marquee Theater*

Apr 22 – Los Angeles, CA @ Theater At The Ace Hotel

*Not a Live Nation Date

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

Websitehttps://www.animalsasleaders.org

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/animalsasleaders

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AnimalsAsLeaders

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.

Animals As Leaders Announces New Album Details; Premieres Album’s Second Single, Video

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Animals As Leaders will tentatively release its new album next spring.

The band made the announcement through a news release Thursday. The document states the band is scheduled to release its new album, Perrhesia March 25 through Sumerian Records. The album will feature nine new songs, including the record’s latest single, ‘The Problem of Other Minds.’

The band premiered the single, the album’s second song, Thursday along with its companion video. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Monomyth‘ in September along with its video.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘The Problem of Other Minds’ is another rich, distinctive work from the band. It stands apart well from ‘Monomyth’ as it is less percussive and more melodic in its approach and sound than that song. The use of the keyboards here and the production of the whole instrumentation gives the song such a strong, unique identity.

The video for ‘The Problem of Other Minds’ features various footage of a group of women performing their own unique choreographed routines to the music. at times hypnotic and at times chaotic, the routines are powerful visuals in their own right.

No comment was offered by the band in terms of the meaning behind the visualization and the song’s arrangement in the news release announcing all of the noted information.

The track listing for Perrhesia is noted below.

Animals As Leaders

PARRHESIA

Track Listing

1.Conflict Cartography  

2. Monomyth

3. Red Miso

4. Gestaltzerfall

5. Asahi

6.The Problem of Other Minds

7.Thoughts and Prayers

8. Micro-Aggressions

9. Gordian Naught

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

Websitehttps://www.animalsasleaders.org

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/animalsasleaders

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AnimalsAsLeaders

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.

Black Veil Brides Will Impress Its Most Devoted Audiences Again With Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Veteran rock band Black Veil Brides is scheduledto finally release its latest album this week in the form of The Phantom Tomorrow.  The band’s sixth album, it was originally scheduled for release June 4.  Its release was delayed in order to allow the comic book that will accompany the record to get up to speed with the album.  The album stands out in part because of its general presentation, which will be discussed shortly.  The record’s musical presentation works with its general presentation to make for more appeal.  It will be discussed a little later.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the album another work that the band’s most devoted audiences will appreciate.

Black Veil Brides’ forthcoming album, The Phantom Tomorrow, is a presentation that audiences will find well worth hearing at least once.  That is proven in part through the album’s general presentation.  In regards to the general presentation, the album is presented not as just a collection of songs, but rather a concept album.  Now while concept albums are typically reserved for the prog realm, this approach is nothing new for this band.  The band has already released two other concept records in the forms of Wretched and Divine: The Story of the Wild Ones (2013) and its “prequel,” Vale (2018).  In the case of The Phantom Tomorrow, front man Andy Biersack noted in a March 2021 interview with Blabbermouth.net, that the album’s concept centers on essentially the human nature of idolatry.  It just takes a bit of a darker turn in this case.  Biersack is quoted as saying of the concept, “The story is essentially the idea…In our society, especially now, we have this love of building up heroes and obsessing over other people who often don’t give a s*** about you or anybody else and we kind of have these false idols and heroes.  And so the story is about taking this mythological character and the people putting all of this power on to them, and ultimately turning their back on the character because nobody can fulfill the dreams and ideas that you put on somebody else.”  He goes on from here to shorten the summary, pointing out that the story centers on humans’ obsession with those in positions of power and celebrity, and the resultant impact of that obsession.  It is a timeless theme considering that, again, people have that tendency to idolize, and then react a certain way when they react that those they idolize are not who and what they thought.  It makes the story here quite interesting and well worth hearing in itself.  To that end, the general presentation is clearly in itself reason enough for audiences to give The Phantom Tomorrow a chance.  It is just a part of what makes the album worth hearing, too.  The record’s musical presentation builds on the interest and appeal generated through the general presentation to give the album even more reason for being heard.

The musical presentation featured in The Phantom Tomorrow is of note because of its approach.  For the most part, the band takes a distinct metalcore style approach.  The only real deviation comes in the album’s finale, ‘Fall Eternal,’ which comes across more as an emo type composition.  All of this is important to note because the approach taken with the music here clearly shows the band’s continued growth and evolution away from the more glam rock/Motley Crue-esque sounds that made the band famous in its infancy.  It shows that continued willingness to take risks and grow, as noted and is something that will appeal, again, to the band’s most devoted audiences and to more casual audiences.  Keeping that in mind, it is one more way in which the album proves itself worth hearing at least once.  The production of that musical content rounds out the most important of the album’s items and completes its presentation.

The production of The Phantom Tomorrow is important to examine because of how much it plays into the record’s musical content.  As noted, the arrangements featured in this record continue to exhibit the growth and evolution of Black Veil Brides as a band and individually.  While the album, for the most part, presents a distinct metalcore approach, the songs featured here still boast their own unique identity separate from so many other metalcore acts out there.  The record’s production plays into that identity.  It serves to accent the arrangements’ melodies, and the nuances therein, even within the vocals, to really bring out the fullest body of each composition.  At the same time, the production ensures that no one part of each instrumentation overpowers its counterparts from one work to the next.  The overall result of that attention to detail in the production is that the arrangements keep listeners fully engaged and entertained throughout the album.  It puts the final touch to the whole and completes the presentation, showing once more why this record is worth hearing at least once.

Black Veil Brides’ new, forthcoming album, The Phantom Tomorrow, is a presentation that the band’s most devoted audiences will agree is another positive addition to the band’s catalog.  Its success comes in part through its general presentation.  In this case, the general presentation is that of a concept record, something to which the band is no stranger.  The concept here will resonate with listeners, too, because of its accessibility.  The album’s musical presentation adds to its appeal because it continues to show the band’s development and growth.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation, bringing everything full circle and bringing out the best in each song.  Each item examined here is important in its own way to the album.  All things considered, they make The Phantom Tomorrow a record that will have plenty of tomorrows in audiences’ libraries.

The Phantom Tomorrow is scheduled for release Friday through Sumerian Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Black Veil Brides’ news at:

Website: https://blackveilbrides.net

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/blackveilbrides

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.  

Animals As Leaders Gets Metaphysical In New Single, Video; Re-Signs With Sumerian Records

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Animals As Leaders premiered its first new music in five years this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Monomyth‘ and its companion video Thursday. The band’s new four-minute-plus single is a full-on instrumental track. Its musical arrangement presents its own trademark experimental math/prog metal approach while also lending comparison to works from the likes of TesseracT.

Band founder/guitarist Tosin Abasi, ina prepared statement, talked about the song and translated the message in the video’s presentation to the song’s message.

‘Monomyth’ is part fever dream, part ritual,” said Abasi. “Its imagery represents man’s ceaseless attempts to translate transcendent ideas into movement. The conflation of struggle with meaning. Pain with significance. The ultimate failure of distilling perceived patterns in the world into knowledge.”

The video translates the noted message in the song by having a group of men, bodies painted white, dance to the music. The dancers’ presentation can be considered to be interpretive in nature.

In other news, Animals As Leaders announced Thursday, it has re-signed with Sumerian Records. Details about the deal were not revealed, nor was information about the band’s next album.

More information on Animals As Leaders’ new single, video, and record deal is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.animalsasleaders.org

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnimalsAsLeaders

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.

BTBAM Debuts ‘Fix The Error’ Video

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Between The Buried and Me debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the animated video for its song, ‘Fix The Error‘ Wednesday. The video’s premiere comes less than a month after the band debuted the song by itself. The song is the lead single from the band’s forthcoming album, Colors II , which is scheduled for release Aug. 20 through Sumerian Records. Pre-orders are open.

The track listing for Colors II is noted below.

Between The Buried And Me

Colors II

1. Monochrome

2. The Double Helix of Extinction

3. Revolution In Limbo

4. Fix The Error

5. Never Seen/Future Shock

6. Stare Into The Abyss

7. Prehistory

8. Bad Habits

9. The Future Is Behind Us

10. Turbulent

11. Sfumato

12. Human Is Hell (Another One With Love)

The video for ‘Fix The Error’ is, stylistically, a good match for the song. That is because just as the arrangement sounds more akin to something one might expect from Devin Townsend, so is the video. It features a figure making its way through a society following the toppling of the powers that be. The story’s end is a bit shocking, and will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.

Additionally, the video features footage of Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, The Winery Dogs, Transatlantic, ex-Dream Theater), who provided his talents to the song.

Front man Tommy Rogers discussed the video treatment during a recent interview.

“We have finally taken our first steps into the world of animation, and it’s a sight to see!,” said Rogers. “As children of the 80’s and 90’s we wanted to encapsulate that feeling we had growing up watching the wacky world of cartoons in that era. It’s uneasy, unsettling, and somehow very fun! Let’s celebrate!”

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

In other news, Between The Buried and Me has announced a new tour in support of its new album. The tour is scheduled to launch Aug. 3 in Atlanta, GA and to run through Sept. 17 in Charlotte, NC. It features performances in cities, such as Denver, CO; Hartford, CT and Las Vegas, NV.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets and VIP Packages are available now.

Aug 3 Atlanta, Ga At Masquerade

Aug 4 Richmond, Va At Canal Club

Aug 5 Philadelphia, Pa At Tla

Aug 6 Washington, Dc At Black Cat

Aug 8 Nyc, Ny At Gramercy

Aug 9 Nyc, Ny At Gramercy

Aug 10 Worcester, Ma At Palladium

Aug 11 Hartford, Ct At Webster Theater

Aug 13 Poughkeepsie, Ny At The Chance

Aug 14 Rochester, Ny At Anthology

Aug 15 Pittsburgh, Pa At Mr. Smalls

Aug 16 Cleveland, Oh At Beachland Ballroom

Aug 17 Detroit, Mi At Magic Stick

Aug 19 St. Louis, Mo At Old Rock House

Aug 20 Chicago, Il At House Of Blues

Aug 21 Minneapolis, Mn At Lyric Theater

Aug 22 Lawrence, Ks At Granada

Aug 23 Denver, Co At Summit

Aug 25 Salt Lake City, Ut At The Complex

Aug 26 Boise, Id At Knitting Factory

Aug 28 Seattle, Wa At El Corazon

Aug 29 Portland, Or At Bossanova Ballroom

Aug 31 Sacramento, Ca At Ace Of Spades

Sep 1 Garden Grove, Ca At Garden Grove Amp.

Sep 2 Los Angeles, Ca At Teragram

Sep 3 Las Vegas, Nv At Fremont Country Club

Sep 4 Phoenix, Az At Crescent

Sep 6 Dallas, Tx At Trees

Sep 7 San Antonio, Tx At Rock Box

Sep 8 Houston, Tx At Rise

Sep 10 Pensacola, Fl At Vinyl

Sep 11 Tampa, Fl At Orpheum

Sep 12 Fort Lauderdale, Fl At The Culture Room

Sep 15 Nashville, Tn At Marathon Music Works

Sep 16 Charlotte, Nc At Underground

Sep 17 Charlotte, Nc At Underground

More information on Between The Buried and Me’s new album, single, and tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/btbamofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Between The Buried And Me Announces New Album Release Date, Specs; New Live Dates Planned

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Between The Buried and Me will release its next album this summer.

The band is scheduled to release its new album Colors II Aug. 20 through Sumerian Records. It will come more than three years after the release of the band’s then most recent albums, Automata I and Automata II. Those albums were also release through Sumerian Records.

Colors II is the follow-up to the band’s 2007 album, Colors. Pre-orders are open now.

Guitarist Paul Waggoner said the decision to make Colors II a “sequel” to Colors was intentional on the part of the band.

Colors was very much our attempt at a do-or-die statement,” he said. “We had to establish our identity and be who we really wanted to be in order to have a career. This time around, our industry was shutdown for a year. Once tours were cancelled due to the pandemic, we were like, ‘We’ve got to write a record, and it’s got to be good’. We had to do something next level.”

Front man Tommy Rogers echoed Waggoner’s comments in his own statements.

“Especially with 2020, we really wanted to give it all we could and show the world we’re still here,” said Rogers. “That’s part of the reason we named it Colors II. We were in a similar spot when we did the first Colors. Back then, we had just gotten done with Ozzfest. We were wondering, ‘Where do we belong in this music scene?’ We still struggle with that. At both of these moments in our career, we decided to just be ourselves and write the best album we can. We came out guns blazing, and I feel like it’s some of our most creative material in a long time.”

In anticipation of the release of Colors II, BTBAM premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Fix The Error‘ Friday. The single is a unique presentation that is completely unlike anything else that the band has ever crafted. Instead of the heavy, progressive/death metal hybrid sound for which it has come to be known over the years, the band instead opted for something in this arrangement more akin to works from Devin Townsend. That is evidenced in the use of the keyboards vintage shredding alongside Rogers’ more familiar guttural screams. At points, there is a hint of some progressive metal in the guitars, but it is nowhere near as pronounced as in the band’s existing works.

As an added bonus, Mike Portnoy (Sons of Apollo, Transatlantic, Winery Dogs, ex-Dream Theater) makes a guest appearance on the band’s new single.

No information on the song’s lyrical content was provided in the information provided to the press.

The track listing for Colors II is noted below.

Between The Buried And Me

Colors II

1. Monochrome

2. The Double Helix of Extinction

3. Revolution In Limbo

4. Fix The Error

5. Never Seen/Future Shock

6. Stare Into The Abyss

7. Prehistory

8. Bad Habits

9. The Future Is Behind Us

10. Turbulent

11. Sfumato

12. Human Is Hell (Another One With Love)

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

In other news, Between The Buried and Me has announced a new tour in support of its new album. The tour is scheduled to launch Aug. 3 in Atlanta, GA and to run through Sept. 17 in Charlotte, NC. It features performances in cities, such as Denver, CO; Hartford, CT and Las Vegas, NV.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets and VIP Packages are available now.

Aug 3 Atlanta, Ga At Masquerade

Aug 4 Richmond, Va At Canal Club

Aug 5 Philadelphia, Pa At Tla

Aug 6 Washington, Dc At Black Cat

Aug 8 Nyc, Ny At Gramercy

Aug 9 Nyc, Ny At Gramercy

Aug 10 Worcester, Ma At Palladium

Aug 11 Hartford, Ct At Webster Theater

Aug 13 Poughkeepsie, Ny At The Chance

Aug 14 Rochester, Ny At Anthology

Aug 15 Pittsburgh, Pa At Mr. Smalls

Aug 16 Cleveland, Oh At Beachland Ballroom

Aug 17 Detroit, Mi At Magic Stick

Aug 19 St. Louis, Mo At Old Rock House

Aug 20 Chicago, Il At House Of Blues

Aug 21 Minneapolis, Mn At Lyric Theater

Aug 22 Lawrence, Ks At Granada

Aug 23 Denver, Co At Summit

Aug 25 Salt Lake City, Ut At The Complex

Aug 26 Boise, Id At Knitting Factory

Aug 28 Seattle, Wa At El Corazon

Aug 29 Portland, Or At Bossanova Ballroom

Aug 31 Sacramento, Ca At Ace Of Spades

Sep 1 Garden Grove, Ca At Garden Grove Amp.

Sep 2 Los Angeles, Ca At Teragram

Sep 3 Las Vegas, Nv At Fremont Country Club

Sep 4 Phoenix, Az At Crescent

Sep 6 Dallas, Tx At Trees

Sep 7 San Antonio, Tx At Rock Box

Sep 8 Houston, Tx At Rise

Sep 10 Pensacola, Fl At Vinyl

Sep 11 Tampa, Fl At Orpheum

Sep 12 Fort Lauderdale, Fl At The Culture Room

Sep 15 Nashville, Tn At Marathon Music Works

Sep 16 Charlotte, Nc At Underground

Sep 17 Charlotte, Nc At Underground

More information on Between The Buried and Me’s new album, single, and tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/btbamofficial

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://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.

Animals As Leaders Renew Deal With Sumerian Records; Tobin Abasi, Javier Reyes Featured ‘Bill & Ted 3’ Soundtrack

Animals as Leaders will stay at Sumerian Records for the foreseeable future.

The band announced Thursday that it has renewed its deal with Sumerian Records.  The band released its past two albums — The Madness of Many (2016) and The Joy of Motion (2014) — through Sumerian Records.  The trio released its sophomore album Weightless (2011) and its self-titled debut (2009) through Prosthetic Records.

Sumerian Records CEO Ash Avildan said in a prepared statement, he was happy to have the deal renewed.

“I have known Tosin and Javier longer than anyone else in the music business,” he said. “We came up together as kids in DC figuring it out with the most DIY, take no prisoners approach we could. They have both played big parts in my life and career. I can honestly say my path could have ended up very differently had I not become so close with them when we were rookies. I am honored to continue our relationship on an artist/label level and couldn’t be more proud to have Animals As Leaders on the Sumerian roster. They are one of the most influential groups of our generation in this world of music. As for Matt G, he is a true G. As for his alter ego Dirty D, I am not at liberty to comment.”

Animals as Leaders guitarist Javier Reyes shared Avildan’s optimism.

“We are happy to announce that Animals As Leaders has re-signed to Sumerian Records,” said Reyes. “We have known the folks at Sumerian for years on both a personal and professional level and it honestly feels great to continue our journey together. Sumerian has been an integral part in the growth of Animals As Leaders, even before we ever signed to Sumerian. We look forward to working together with Sumerian for the next few years to continue growing our brands and legacies.”

Front man Tosin Abasi expanded on his band mate’s comments.

“I’ve seen the birth and ascension of Sumerian Records to one of the most important labels in modern metal and beyond,” he said. “Animals as Leaders is stoked to be continuing our journey with them.”

In other news, Abasi and Reyes are among many artists featured in the sound track to the long-awaited new Bill & Ted sequel Bill & Ted Face The Music.  The duo joins with fellow musician Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah to form the fictional band Wyld Stallions and perform the song ‘Face The Music.’

Additionally, Abasi is credited with all of the air guitar sound effects that audiences hear throughout Bill & Ted Face The Music.  Steve Vai previously handled the famed sound effect in the second of the Bill & Ted movies, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey.

Bill & Ted Face The Music Music Supervisor Jonathan Leahy had the following to say about Abasi taking on the franchise’s iconic musical role.

“Getting the right guitarist to handle Bill & Ted’s air shredding was one of my top priorities from the very beginning,” Leahy said. “The director asked me “what does shredding sound like in 2020?” and my answer was “it sounds like Tosin Abasi.” Tosin’s virtuosity is mind-blowing and he leads the vanguard of modern players who push the limits of what’s capable on electric guitar. Everything about his approach, from the compositions to the techniques to the physical instrument itself, seems like it arrived via time machine from the future.”

Bill & Ted Face The Music Director Dean Parisot expanded on Leahy’s comments.

“When Jonathan Leahy suggested Tosin Abasi for Bill and Ted, I have to admit my first response was “Are you kidding? Absolutely! But will he even do it?” Miraculously, he did, and as expected, he blew us all away!,” he said. “Absolutely brilliant virtuosity and musicianship, an artist of the highest caliber, and a very nice man. I still can’t believe he did it, so so grateful he did.”

Abasi was humble and brief as he talked about taking part in the movie’s soundtack.

“I’m thrilled to be part of the Bill & Ted Universe. Most excellent!,” he said.

Bill & Ted Face The Music is scheduled for release Aug. 28.  The movie’s trailer is streaming below.

 

Courtesy: United Artists/Orion Pictures

 

More information on Animals as Leaders’ new record deal is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.animalsasleaders.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/animalsasleaders

 

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.

‘Automata I,’ Is A Solid Start For BTBAM’s ‘Automata’

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Progressive metal outfit Between The Buried and Me has, over the course of almost two decades, entertained audiences the world over with its unique brand of music, building its fan base along the way largely on its own terms and without major mainstream support. Given, the band was signed most recently to Metal Blade Records, which has become a major label in its own right, but only for hard rock and metal. To that end it can be argued, again, that BTBAM has largely built its success while staying just under that mainstream radar. That success continues this year with the band’s latest album, Automata I, released March 9 via independent label Sumerian Records. This record, the band’s ninth, can be said to be a success in part because of its concept. This will be discussed shortly. The songs used to tell the record’s story also play into its success. They will be discussed later. The record’s production values round out its most important elements. Each piece of the whole is important in its own way. All things considered, they make Automata I another welcome return for BTBAM and one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Automata I, the first half of BTBAM’s new double album Automata, is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. That is due in no small part to the concept at the center of the album. The concept here contemplates what would happen if one’s dreams could be broadcast to the world for the sake of entertainment. It’s not such an out there concept considering all the people creating their own YouTube channels that they use to broadcast their personal feelings to the world, a world of strangers both good and — sadly — bad. Of course that seemingly was not what the band intended to convey here. Rather the band was examining what would happen if one’s literal dreams, those thoughts that rise in our sleep, could be broadcast for entertainment. This in itself is the starting point for plenty of discussions, not the least of which is why would anyone want to delve so deeply into someone’s personal life? Has mankind really become that desperate for drama, conflict and attention that one would even consider finding a way to do that? What would be the ramifications of going such a route? Simply put, this is a deep concept, and an original one at that, especially for a concept album. If for no reason other than for taking in this concept, audiences will want to hear this record. This is not the first concept album from BTBAM, and definitely not the least of those albums, either. As a matter of fact, it’s a concept that is just as interesting as those presented in the band’s previous concept efforts — The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012), Coma Ecliptic (2015) — and is certain to keep listeners well engaged in its own right. Of course as much depth as this concept adds to the record’s overall presentation, it is only one part of what makes Automata I another interesting new effort from BTBAM. The songs that make up the body of the record do their own part to make the album worth the listen.

Automata I is made up of only six songs. Again, this is nothing new for this North Carolina-based prog metal outfit. The songs’ musical and lyrical content combine expertly to make this record all the deeper. In regards to the musical aspect of the songs, the band — Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr. (vocals,keyboards), Paul Waggoner (lead a& rhythm guitar), Dustie Waring (lead & rhythm guitar), Blake Richardson (drums) and Dan Briggs (bass, keyboards) — has once again evolved from its previous records, giving audiences something new yet again. Case in point, the album’s opener, ‘Condemned to the Gallows.’ This song starts off very softly, but gradually builds on itself as it progresses, going from that softness to a solid wall of sound about forty-six seconds in. The addition of Rogers’ vocals and Richardson’s blast beats almost two minutes into the song builds up the song’s arrangement even more. The arrangement closes out ominously in order to build into the album’s second song, ‘House Organ,’ which displays just as much diversity as anything that the band has ever created. It does so without just rehashing any of its previous works, too. It has those heavy moments, and also has some more somewhat contemplative, keyboard-driven moments that, when coupled with Rogers’ vocal delivery, conjure thoughts of Dream Theater. The musical interest doesn’t stop there. The band reaches into a variety of realms in the arrangement of ‘Yellow Eyes’ all while Rogers’ black metal style vocal delivery sits atop the whole thing. As if all of that isn’t enough, ‘Millions’ boasts an arrangement that seems to cross 80s hair metal with, again, a seeming Dream Theater influence circa Awake. ‘Gold Distance,’ the record’s penultimate track conjures thoughts of the soundtrack to Disney’s Tron: Legacy, and at barely more than a minute, it is a nice momentary break for listeners. ‘Blot,’ which closes out the album takes listeners on just as incredible of a sonic ride as its predecessors. That ride is a solid finishing point, musically, to this half of Automata. Needless to say it definitely leaves listeners anxious to hear what the second half of the album will sound like this June when it is released. Of course, the album’s musical arrangements are only one part of what makes the songs so important to the album’s presentation. Their lyrical content is just as important as their musical content.

The lyrical content presented throughout the course of Automata I is just as deep as that of any of the band’s previous records (both concept and standard). As Rogers noted in a recent interview, “Lyrically, I wanted to write something that I treated as a puzzle until it comes together at the end. For as deep and dark as it is, there’s a positive outcome, which we’ve never had.” He goes on to explain the story centering on a man whose dreams are being used as entertainment for the masses and the album’s central figure thinking everything happening is real, when it isn’t. The journey does in fact start very dark in ‘Condemned to the Gallows,’ with the song’s subject in…well…a very dark situation. He sings here, “Gripping the brightest grid/A surgical drive to increase the noise/ice cold realization of the silent wind/slowly drags me up into a splintered reason/Emptiness engulf me.” He goes on to sing, “Align the love inside me/let misery awake me/Search low/Abandoned/The creaking floors cry out below/A limping glimpse of next steps/The fog showers the last light of day.” The story’s main character sees his descent continue from here, with his emotional and psychological state seeming to get worse with each song. That is especially obvious by the time the album reaches its closer, ‘Blot.’ The subject sings here, “All my pockets are full and my mind is lost/Circulate/The rear view keeps shifting as I stare at the sun…this is the beginning of my new life/I hope you enjoy the show/It’s for you, ya know?/To watch you from across the room/To hear you through the tangled lines/It completes me/I’ve been waiting.” It is a dark but so powerful moment in this story, and one more example of why the album’s lyrical content is just as important as its musical content, and why both of those elements are just as important as the story itself to this record. The album’s songs, as important as they are to its whole, are not the last of its most important elements. Its production is important, too.

The production work put in on BTBAM’s new album is key to its presentation because of how much is going on within each song. The album’s opener is proof of that importance. The way in which the song builds from its soft opening to the controlled chaos of its main body keeps everything in full balance. That says a lot considering how easy it would have been for the song to get bogged down in itself musically with so much going on. Much the same could be said of ‘House Organ.’ it starts out in full, controlled death metal chaos before eventually calming into a more Spock’s Beard-esque prog-rock sound as it progresses. All the way on to the album’s end, the attention put into each line brings out the album’s best, with the result being a fully immersive listening experience that will keep every listener engaged. Keeping this in mind, the expert production work on this album is its finishing touch. When it is joined with the depth of the songs that make up the record and the story itself, the whole of the album becomes a work that will appeal to every BTBAM fan just as much as it will to prog metal(and even metal) fan — a record that is in itself one of this year’s top new albums and that likely with its forthcoming companion, one of the year’s top new albums overall.

Automata I, the first half of BTBAM’s new album Automata, is in itself another solid new entry from the veteran progressive metal outfit. That is made obvious first and foremost through the story presented in this half of the album. The story presented here follows its subject as he descends into sleep and starts his dreaming. The songs used to tell that portion of the story do plenty to keep listeners engaged. The production at the center of those songs allows each member of the band to be highlighted, keeping any song from getting muddied down in themselves. Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Automata I. All things considered, they make this first half of Automata an entry that the band’s longtime fans will appreciate just as much as prog metal (and metal) fans. It is available now in stores and online. The band is currently touring in support of Auotmata I. It will be in Pittsburgh, PA tomorrow, Mach 30 to kick off the weekend before moving on to Philadelphia on Saturday and then to Albany, New York on Monday. More tour dates are listed online along with all of the band’s latest news and more information on Automata at:

Website: http://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/btbamofficial

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.

Leprous Joins The Dear Hunter As Support For BTBAM Headlining Tour

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Leprous has announced a new slate of live dates in support of its latest album Malina.

The band will join The Dear Hunter for a five-week headlining run by Between The Buried and Me across America.  Leprous’ performances are in support of Malina which was released last year via InsideOut Music while BTBAM’s dates are in support of its upcoming album Automata 1, which will be released March 9 via Sumerian Records.

The tour launches March 2 in Chicago, Illinois and runs through April 7 in Mount Clemens, Michigan.  It also includes performances in Houston, Texas; Pittsburgh, PA; Seattle, WA and a number of other cities.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Tour Dates

3.2 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
3.3 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
3.5 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
3.6 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
3.8 – Seattle, WA – Showbox
3.9 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
3.10 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
3.11 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
3.13 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
3.15 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
3.16 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee
3.17 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
3.19 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live
3.20 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall
3.21 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Ballroom
3.23 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham Theater
3.24 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
3.27 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
3.28 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
3.30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls
3.31 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
4.2 – Albany, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
4.3 – Boston, MA – Royale
4.4 – New York City, NY – Playstation Theater
4.5 – Silver Spring, MD – Fillmore Silver Spring
4.6 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
4.7 – Mount Clemens, MI – Emerald Theatre

Pre-sales for tickets are open now. General ticket sales open at 10 a.m. Friday.

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

 

Website: http://www.leprous.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/InsideOutUSA

 

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