The Hu To Re-Issue Sophomore Album; Debuts Re-Worked Version Of ‘Black Thunder’

Courtesy: Better Noise Music

The Hu is set to re-issue its sophomore album, Rumble of Thunder this summer.

The band is scheduled to re-issue the album June 30 through Better Noise Music. Pre-orders are open here.

In anticipation of the record’s re-issue, the band debuted a re-worked version of one of its songs, ‘Black Thunder‘ Friday, along with the song’s video. The updated take of the song features guest appearances from Bad Wolves front man Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz and System of a Down front man Serj Tankian. Laskiewicz takes more prominence in the updated take than Tankian, as he really provides the lead vocals while the members of The Hu perform the instrumentation.

Tankian comes in late in the song’s five-minute-plus run time in more of a brief, supporting role as part of the whole.

Laskiewicz said in a prepared statement, he enjoyed taking part in the song’s update.

“Working on this version of The HU’s ‘Black Thunder’ was so much fun and so different from what I normally get to do,” Laskiewicz said. “Their vision, their voices…they’re special. This is more than music, it’s a movement, it’s culture, and I’m honored that I was presented with the opportunity to be part of it.” 

The video for the band’s new updated song, directed by Micheal Lombardi, tells the story of Mongolian warriors preparing to go off to battle. Meanwhile the members of The Hu perform their new single as the story unfolds around the musicians. Laskiewicz appears in a separate portion on a sound stage.

Tankian shared Laskiewicz’s sentiment as he talked more in depth about taking part in the update.

“I had discovered the Hu’s music from a YouTube video that a friend sent me and was instantly struck by their powerful and delightful merging of Mongolian folk and metal,” Tankian said. “A few years back I had scored a film called Furious where we also used the legendary Tuva singing and heavy guitars. So, when they reached out to collaborate, I was intrigued.

Tankian added, “I appreciate the pride with which they represent their culture through music. It led me down a historical rabbit hole of Mongolians and Armenia. Genghis Khan conquered Armenia along with the rest of Europe, but the Mongols also later teamed up with Armenia to fight the Turkish hordes. Happy I had the chance to collaborate with the Hu and learn all of this in the process.”

In other news, The Hu is scheduled to make its way across Europe this summer beginning June 1 at the Nova Rock Festival in Nickelsdorf, Austria. The tour is scheduled to run through July 22 at the Malakoff Festival in Nordfjordeid, NO. A pair of North American festival shows Sept. 23 in Louisville, KY and Oct. 6 in Sacramento, CA respectively will follow.

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


6/7     Nickelsdorf, AT – Nova Rock

6/8     Interlaken, CH -Greenfield Festival

6/10   Southampton, UK – Southampton Guildhall

6/11   Donington, UK – Download Festival

6/13   Liverpool, UK – O2 Academy Liverpool

6/14   Bristol, UK – O2 Academy Bristol

6/16   Landgraaf, NL – Pinkpop 2023

6/17   Clisson, FR – Hellfest

6/20   Lille, FR – L’Aeronef

6/21   Norwich, UK – University of East Anglia

6/22   Glasgow, UK – O2 Academy Glasgow

6/23   Newcastle, UK – NX Newcastle

6/24   Somerset, UK – Glastonbury Festival

6/27   Frankfurt, DE – Batschkapp

6/28   Strasbourg, FR – La Laiterie Artefact

6/30   Werchter, BE – Rock Werchter 2023

7/2     Heslinki, FI – Festival Helsinki

7/4     Hamburg, DE – Grosse Freiheit 26

7/5     Luxembourg, LU – Rockhal

7/6     Aix-les-bains, FR – Musilack 2023

7/8     Madrid, ES – Mad Cool Festival 2023

7/10   Marseille, FR – Espace Julien

7/12   Munich, DE – Backstage Werk

7/13   Dresden, DE – Alter Schlachtohf

7/15   Wroclaw, PL – Center Concert A2

7/16   Vizovice, CZ – Masters of Rock

7/17   Budapest, HU – Budapest Park

7/20   Bontida, RO – Electric Castle Festival

7/22   Nordfjordeid, NO – Malakoff Festival

9/23   Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival

10/6   Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival 

More informtion on the upcoming re-issue of The Hu’s new album and the band’s tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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The Violent Inzident’s New LP Is A Surprisingly Entertaining Musical Satire Presentation

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Satirist “Weird” Al Yankovic has, for ages, been known as the king of comedy in the music community. His spoofs of songs from the likes of Coolio, Michael Jackson, and even Nirvana (as well as Miley Cyrus and others) have made him a household name among audiences across the musical universe. After so many years leading the way in the musical comedy ranks, Yankovic may well have some competition, at least in the metal community from the up-and-coming band, The Violent Inzident. The sextet’s new album, This Is Nu Metal!, which was released April 1, makes that clear. The 11-song record is the lighthearted shot in the arm that the metal community has needed for years thanks to its musical and lyrical content alike. Each item will be discussed in its own right here. Just as notable is the record’s production, which will also be discussed later. Each item noted is important in its own right to the whole of the record’s presentation. All things considered, they make This Is Nu Metal! a successful record that while it will ultimately be dated in the long run, is still entertaining from beginning to end.

This Is Nu Metal!, the new album from up-and-coming satirical rock band The Violent Inzident, is a welcome offering that reminds the metal masses that reminds hard rock and metal masses that it is possible to be musically heavy without always being emotionally heavy. The record’s musical arrangements make that clear. From one song to the next, the record’s musical arrangements pay homage to the nu-metal sounds that have been so popular since the late 1990s. Those songs include works from the likes of Disturbed, Powerman 5000, Slipknot, Soulfly, Sepultura, Korn, and even System of a Down. The band even pokes fun at Limp Bizkit, showing that no one is off limits to this band, at least in terms of musical content. The arrangements spoof the noted bands’ songs while still making the arrangements their own along the way, making for even more enjoyment. Simply put, the musical content featured in this record more than makes for its own share of engagement and entertainment. The lyrical content that accompanies the record’s musical arrangements adds even more to that engagement and entertainment.

The lyrical content is so important to the record because it spoofs the bands and their songs just as much. It also pokes fun at society. Case in point is the band’s single, ‘Triggered (The Snowflake Anthem).’ This song is a fully tongue-in-cheek stab at how overly PC society has become in the 21st century. On another note, the band goes right after Limp Bizkit in ‘The Violent Inzident, even mentioning the year 1999, which is really when Limp Bizkit broke out. The band even goes so far as to poke fun at the nonsense lyrics that Limp Bizkit has come up with for its songs here. As if all of this is not enough, The Violent Inzident even takes a direct stab at Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor in ‘D.a.R.E. to Keep Kids on Drugs’ as the question is asked whether people actually give any credit to anything he says. the song in this case pokes fun at all of the songs that glorify drug use and people who abuse them and try to get off of them. It’s really a social commentary in itself, but done in such a satirical fashion. Between that content, the other content examined here and the rest of the record’s lyrical themes, the whole makes clear just how important the album’s lyrical content is to this presentation. That content, together with the album’s musical content, makes this record overall such a surprisingly enjoyable presentation. It is just part of what makes the record worth hearing, too. The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into the creation of This Is Nu Metal! is important because of its role in the album’s general effect. From one song to the next, the album’s production ensures that the heaviness of the nu-metal compositions is fully on display. The down-tuned, crunching guitars, the rough vocals, the thick bass lines and drums are all there. Each gets its own attention in each varying nu-metal composition, too. The end result of the production is that each arrangement proves itself just as worth listening as the others. Even the vocals are clear in each song, getting just as much attention in the production as the instrumentations. Taking into account the impact of the record’s production alongside the impact of the overall content, the whole makes This Is Nu Metal! a surprisingly entertaining presentation that nu-metal fans and metal fans alike will find entertaining.

This Is Nu Metal!, the new album from The Violent Inzident, is a surprisingly engaging and entertaining presentation. That is due equally to its musical and lyrical content. The record’s musical and lyrical content each playfully poke fun at some of the biggest names in the nu-metal movement, from Korn, to Disturbed, to Powerman 500, to Slipknot and others, the content overall takes a satirical approach, making for plenty of laughs. The lyrical content does not just stick to poking fun at said bands, either. It also takes on societal issue, making for even more enjoyment. The record’s production adds its own enjoyment to the mix. That is because of its impact on the album’s general effect. It is just as worthy of praise as the album’s content. Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation. All things considered, they make the album well worth hearing at least once.

This Is Nu Metal! is available now. More information on The Violent Inzident’s new album and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:



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

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

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

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

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

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



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Ego Kill Talent Debuts ‘Thousand Nails’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

Independent rock act Ego Kill Talent debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the lyric video for its new single, ‘Thousand Nails’ Thursday through the Space Zebra Twitch channel. The song features a guest appearance by System of a Down’s John Dolmayan. The video features the song’s lyrics placed over images of the single’s art, which is that of a group of hooded figures. The figures in question have faces made up of unique designs rather than faces. Equally interesting symbols adorn the tops of the robes that they wear.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Thousand Nails’ is unique in itself. It blends elements of math metal with some metalcore and some aggro-rock. It is a composition that is difficult to pigeonhole into one specific rock subgenre, which is a very good thing.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement is a commentary about the negative impacts of our own egos, according to a prepared statement that the band released about the song.

“‘Thousand Nails’ is about how much we let ourselves be carried away by our pride — to the point of destroying wonderful works that we built together because we do not consider letting go,” the statement reads.

‘Thousand Nails’ is just the latest single that Ego Kill Talent has released. The band — Jonathan Dörr [vocals], Jean Dolabella [drums, guitar], Raphael Miranda [drums, bass], Niper Boaventura [guitar, bass], and Theo Van Der Loo [bass, guitar] — has also released the singles, ‘Now!,’ ‘The Call,’ ‘Lifeporn,’ and ‘Deliverance.’

Additionally, the band has released three EPs and most recently, its new album, The Dance Between Extremes. The new EP is available here.

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




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Serj Tankian, Tom Morello Team Up For Gang Of Four Cover

Credit: Damien Hirst and Science Ltd.

Tom Morello has partnered with System of a Down front man Serj Tankien for a classic rock cover.

The guitarist, known for his work with Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave, and Prophets of Rage, teamed with Tankian to debut a cover of Gang of Four’s ‘Natural’s Not In It.’ The single, available here, is featured in the forthcoming compilation record The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four, which is scheduled for release in May. Pre-orders for the compilation are open.

Tankian and Morello stay true to the source material with their rendition of the classic tune. The duo just built on the original and gave it more of a punch without letting their own styles and influences overtake the work.

Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer gave her approval to the work in a prepared statement, noting that Gill himself approved of the work prior to his passing last year from complications that stemmed from COVID-19.

“Andy loved what Tom and Serj did with this song, the fierceness of their attack and the jet-engine scream of feedback” said Mayer. “This was a track Andy always enjoyed performing. He said their version brilliantly captured all the explosive, danceable energy ‘Natural’s Not In It’ can create in live performance.”

Morello spoke warmly of Gill and Gang of Four in his own remarks.

“Andy Gill was one of a handful of artists in history who changed the way guitars are played,” said Morello. “His band Gang of Four were just incendiary and completely groundbreaking with Andy’s confrontational, unnerving and sublime playing at the forefront. His jagged plague-disco raptor-attack industrial-funk deconstructed guitar anti-hero sonics and fierce poetic radical intellect were hugely influential to me.”

Tankian added his own statement, speaking just as highly of Gill and of Morello.

“It was a real pleasure to work on this track with Tom and honor the legacy of Andy and Gang of Four at the same time,” said Tankian.

‘Natural’s Not In It’ is featured in Gang of Four’s 1979 debut album Entertainment! Rolling Stone magazine dubbed the album “the fifth best punk album of all time.” It is also featured in the soundtrack to the 2006 movie Marie Antoinette.

Prior to his passing last year, Gill had envisioned the new compilation record as a celebration marking 40 years since the release of Entertainment! Following his death, that changed, and artists instead opted to lay out the compilation’s body with works that represented much more of Gang of Four’s catalog, according to Mayer.

Mayer said in her comments, that Gill approved of the changes.

“Andy was massively excited about this project,” said Mayer. “It wasn’t of course conceived as a tribute album, but it’s comforting to me that he lived to see artists he hugely admired enthusiastically agreeing to participate, signaling that the admiration was mutual.”

The full track listing for The Problem of Leisure: A Celebration of Andy Gill and Gang of Four is expected for reveal on Jan. 14.

More information on the compilation is available along with all of Gang of Four’s latest news at:



More information on Tom Morello is available along with all of his latest news at:




More information on Serj Tankian is available along with his latest news at:




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Monster Energy Aftershock Festival Lineup Announced; Tickets On Sale Now

Courtesy: Danny Wimmer Presents

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is coming back to California this year.

The annual festival is scheduled to be held October 13 and 14 at Sacramento’s Discovery Park.  Now in its seventh year, the festival will be headlined this year by System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones.  This year marks the first time that System of a Down has performed at the festival.

Along with being the band’s first year at the festival, System of a Down’s performance at the Aftershock Festival will also be the band’s first announced U.S. appearance in three years.  It is also part of the band’s 20th anniversary celebration of its landmark self-titled album’s release.

While System of a Down, Alice in Chains and Deftones are the two-day festival’s planned headliners, they are not the only bands on the bill.  Also scheduled for the performance are Godsmack (which is currently touring in support of its brand new album When Legends Rise), Incubus, Seether, Jonathan Davis (whose latest solo album Black Labyrinth is scheduled for release May 25), At The Drive-In and Slash ft. Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators (who are currently working on their latest album) as well as Bullet For my Valentine (whose new album Gravity is scheduled to be released June 29), Sevendust (whose album All I See Is War is out now) and many more.  The full lineup for this year’s festival is noted below.

The current band lineup for Monster Energy Aftershock is as follows: System Of A Down, Deftones, Alice In Chains, Incubus, Godsmack, Shinedown, 311, Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy And The Conspirators, At The Drive-In, Seether, Jonathan Davis, Bullet For My Valentine, Underoath, Black Veil Brides, Hellyeah, Asking Alexandria, Sevendust, Everlast, GWAR, Emmure, Stick To Your Guns, Dance Gavin Dance, Monster Magnet, Red Sun Rising, Bad Wolves, The Fever 333, Dorothy, Wage War, Plague Vendor, Hyro The Hero, Amigo The Devil, All Them Witches, Slothrust, The Dose, Viza, The Jacks and more to be announced.

Providing food for this year’s festival will be a variety of vendors including: Southern Hospitality Concessions LLC, Danny Wimmer Presents’ affiliate concessionaire.  Food trucks will also be on hand, providing savory and sweet treats from: Angry Bird Grill, Bacon Mania, Barrett’s Burgers, Barrett’s Sliders, Big Joe’s BBQ, Bubba’s BBQ, Cousins Maine Lobster, Dippin Dots Ice Cream, Dogtown, Drewski’s Hot Rod Sandwiches, Florez Bar & Grill, La Mex Taqueria, Mac Attack, Mount Olympus, Sausage King, Smokin’ Hot Pizza, Spicy Pie and Xochimilco Mexican Restaurant.

Beverages will be available from a variety of vendors, including vendors for festival-goers 21 and older.  Those vendors include: Caduceus Vellars & Merkin Vineyards Wine Garden (owned by Tool/A Perfect Circle/ Puscifer front man Maynard James Keenan) and the Belching Beaver Bar (featuring drafts from the Vista, CA brewer including the Phantom Bride IPA, a collaboration with the Defones).  Mrkt N Jolt will also be on site, offering hot coffee, cold brew and other items.

As if the music, food and drink isn’t enough for festival-goers, this year’s festival will also offer lots of entertainment options.  Those options include the Monster Energy Experience, which gives audiences the chance to meet and greet the bands while also sampling the festival’s various offered drinks, The Music Experience, which is an interactive exhibit and music instrument retailer.  Non-profit animal rescue organization Take Me Home will also be on-site along with Dyin 2 Live/FXck Cancer, a wish-granting organization.  Fans can buy music from the festival’s bands on site at the f.y.e. Fan Experience.

Festival-goers can win prizes and check out the latest products from Zippo Lighters at Zippo Encore and charge their phones at SWFTCharge.

Tickets and VIP packages for this year’s festival are on-sale now.  Prices are listed below.  Service fees on all ticket purchases include a $0.50 charity fee for the T.J. Martell Foundation, a foundation aimed at researching and fighting cancer.  Active military personnel get discounts on their tickets through GovX.

Initial ticket prices will be as follows:

  • 2-Day Weekend General Admission: starting at $149.50 + fees
  • 2-Day Weekend VIP: starting at $299.50 + fees
  • Single Day General Admission: starting at $89.50 + fees
  • Single Day VIP: starting at $179.50 + fees

VIP tickets include: VIP entrance lanes to the venue, shaded VIP hang area with seating for dining, a VIP-only viewing area of main stage, video screens featuring a live feed of main stage inside the VIP hang area, upgraded food and drink selections, dedicated VIP restrooms and commemorative VIP Monster Energy Aftershock laminate.

A park & ride shuttle is being offered again for this year’s festival as parking at Discovery park is very limited.  Every ticket includes parking at Sleep Train Arena and non-stop shuttle directly to the festival site.

The Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and fueled by Monster Energy.  It is sponsored by f.y.e., Coors Light, Jack Daniels, Zippo Encore, The Music Experience, SWFTCharge, Fxck Cancer, Ace of Spades, Take Me Home and Belching Beaver.  More sponsors will be announced later.

More information on this year’s Monster Energy Aftershock Festival is available online now at:






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No Kidding, Destrage’s New Album Is A Metal Masterpiece

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records has never been a label to rest easy on its laurels.  Every year, it proves to be one of the leaders in the world of hard rock and metal.  The only other label that measures up to Metal Blade is its counterpart, Century Media Records.  Metal Blade has consistently released some of the music industry’s best hard rock and metal albums in recent years.  This year is no different.  And that is especially evident with the release of the new album from the Italian experimental metal act Destrage.  Are You Kidding Me? No is the band’s Metal Blade debut.  And it is quite the aptly titled record, too.  That’s because every single track will leave listeners asking those words.  For those that have yet to hear Destrage’s music, the best comparison that can be made is a hybrid of Between The Buried and Me, Slayer, and Mr. Bungle.  Front man Paolo Colavolpe even sounds like Slayer front man Tom Array at more than one point throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks.

Destrage—Paolo Colavolpe (Vocals), Matteo Di Dioia (guitar), Gabriel Pignata (bass), Ralph Salati (guitar), and Federico Paulovich (drums)—exhibits so much creativity right from the album’s opener, ‘Destroy Create Transform Sublimate.’ The only term that can best describe this song is controlled chaos. The song goes from full throttle, shredding guitars to a more jazz-influenced sound a la its Metal Blade label mates Trioscapes to an almost symphonic metal sound complete with a slight dubstep finale. Colavolpe’s vocal style changes from one movement to the next to match each portion of the song, too. He switches between his seemingly Tom Arraya style vocals to something more akin to Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray and back again over the course of the song’s near six-minute run time. Add in the song’s lyrical side and audiences get in this piece an even more complex song. Colavolpe sings and screams through this song, “We are all here to witness the indomitable power of creation/As creative energy spreads like a relentless force/infecting every single atom/Art in all its manifestation conducts us close to God/And the struggle of our thinking/into uncontaminated imagination/Pure imagination.” Yes, this is rather metaphysical thinking. And that’s why it works so well with the songs musical side. Those words are a direct mirror image of what the band presents with the song’s music. And together, the two sides make the song title all the clearer and the song itself all the more enjoyable.

For all of the frenetic energy exuded by the band in the first half of its Metal Blade Records debut, the band actually does slow things down in a manner of speaking at the beginning of the album’s second half. Where The Things Have No Colour,’ is the band’s most radio friendly single. Interestingly enough, as much as this song is pulled back and more radio friendly, the band doesn’t sacrifice too much. That’s evident in the song’s lyrical side. Colavolpe sings in this song, “You won’t take this moment away from me/And make me a silent slave of yours/You won’t put me down on my knees/I will make this time as I always meant it to be.” If properly interpreted, Colavolpe’s words come across as being rather defiant. If they are meant to be interpreted in such fashion, one must admit that it is one of the most original lyrically defiant statements ever made. The guitar work of Matteo Di Dioia and Ralph Salati adds so much more depth to the song. The pair shines and soars alongside drummer Federico Paulovich and bassist Gabriel Pignata to complete what is easily one of this album’s most powerful pieces.

‘Where The Things Have No Colour’ isn’t the only radio ready song that Destrage boasts on its new album. ‘Before, After and All Around’ This song comes across as a song based in the topic of relationships. That interpretation is made through lines such as “Speechless, smileless/Smilesless, hopeless/Haven’t got you yet/Maybe you understand me better than I know/I’ve got this feeling we are going nowhere/Stupid, don’t you see/Why the f&*% do you deny it/I feel wrapped up in pain/Because we are going nowhere.” However, as Colavolpe writes, “At this point/A girl lives in a dream/In a little fairy house/At the following point/She lives surrounded by sweet things/Hers. Mine./At the same point/A few months ahead/she looks forward/She realizes she wanted a man/But was a boy/I should have built a fairy house/In the same time a few miles away/But what would I have missed?” he leaves the song wide open to interpretation. The ability of Colavolpe to generate so much discussion from this song is another sign of the importance of this album. He writes so cryptically and metaphorically that his writing creates discussion without even trying. It makes the song—much like the album’s other works—more than just a song. It makes it a true musical and lyrical work of art. It becomes something to discuss and truly appreciate, again much like the other songs noted here and those not noted here.

All of the songs noted here each play an important part in the overall enjoyment and success of Destrage’s new album. That isn’t to take anything away from those songs not mentioned. The album’s remaining seven songs each play their own part in the album’s success, too. Regardless of which song one chooses, one thing remains true about this album. That one thing is that there is no kidding that this is one of the best hard rock/metal records of 2014.

Destrage will perform live May 10th in Legano, Italy in support of its new album and then in Moncalieri, Italy at the Audiodrome on June 1st. Audiences can find out about Destrage’s upcoming tour dates and general information online now at,, and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at