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

Courtesy: C Squared PR

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/Bloodywood2

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

As Within, So Without’s New Album Is A Positive Addition To 2022’s Field Of New Hard Rock, Metal Albums

Courtesy: CowlgirlZen Entertainment

Independent metalcore band As Within, So Without released its new album, Salvation Wednesday.  The 11-song record is a presentation that will appeal equally to the band’s established audience base and to casual metalcore fans.  That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The roughly 26-minute record’s lyrical content works with its musical arrangements to make for even more interest and will be examined a little later.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Salvation’s presentation.  All things considered, they make Salvation a work that the noted audiences will find worth hearing at least once.

As Within, So Without’s new album, Salvation, is a record that the band’s established audiences and casual metalcore fans alike will find interesting.  That is due in large part to the record’s musical arrangements.  From beginning to end, the record presents a nonstop display of metalcore.  The heavy, crunching guitars, the dual approach of the screams and clean vocals, and the equally heavy, rich bass and drums makes each song so engaging and entertaining for the noted audiences.  The arrangements easily lend themselves to comparison to works from the likes of Ice Nine Kills, As I Lay Dying, and Killswitch Engage, just to name a few similar acts.  A casual listen through the record makes each arrangement sound the same.  However, audiences who actively listen to each work will catch the subtle changes that make each song different from one another.  Case in point is the album’s opener, ‘Ch. III: The Undefined.’  This song’s full one assault is a face melting work that even though it barely tops the two minute mark, absolutely pounds listeners’ ears.  That approach and sound makes it comparable to works from the likes of Unearth and Whitechapel.  By comparison, a song, such as ‘Frostbite,’ with its machine gun precise guitar riffs and equally tight drumming and screams make it so similar to works from Killswitch Engage.  The intensity exuded through the song is so much different from that of ‘Ch. III: The Undefined’ and the rest of the album’s entries.  ‘Salvation,’ which closes out the album, changes things up even more with its deep screams and heavy instrumentation.  The minor chords used in the guitar line and the punch from the drums and bass pair with the guitar and vocals to give that song a sound that is more comparable to KsE and to As I Lay Dying.  That is especially the case considering the contrast of the heavier verses and the more melodic choruses.  It is just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements prove so important to the album’s presentation.  Again, the changes from one song to the next are subtle, but those who actively immerse themselves in the album will catch those subtleties and in turn agree that the record’s musical arrangements are so critical to the album.

It goes without saying that the musical content featured in Salvation is important to the album’s presentation.  Yes, the record’s musical content is largely metalcore in its approach, but the band presents influences from so many of its more well-known counterparts in the metalcore community from beginning to end, changing things from one song to the next and ensuring the songs maintain their own identity in the process.  They are just one part of what makes the record worth hearing, too.  The record’s lyrical content is just as important to its presentation as its musical arrangements.  The lyrical content in question follows an overarching theme so to speak.  According to comments from the band, the album is a concept record that follows a man who is on a personal and spiritual journey of healing.  Not having lyrics to reference, the content that can be deciphered leads listeners to hear that story, beginning with the story’s subject at a point of total anger over events of the past.  From broken relationships with a certain person or people early on to anger over an absent parent in ‘Like The Wind’ to the subject’s seeming eventual realization that there was no point in holding in so much anger, the story will connect with a wide range of audiences.  What’s more, the very fact that a metal act opted to take on a concept record to begin with is of its own note.  Generally, concept records are saved for the prog-metal community (E.g. bands, such as Dream Theater, Fates Warning, Between The Buried and Me).  So to have a pure metal band, such as this taking on a concept record is in itself unique in terms of lyrical content.  To that end, that and the story itself together make the album’s overall lyrical content even more reason for audiences to give this album a chance.  It is just one more item that audiences will appreciate about the album, too.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into Salvation is important to address because of its role in the album’s general effect.  Going back to the note of the intensity of each of the album’s arrangements, they are exactly that.  There is a lot going on in each arrangement between the instrumentations and the vocals.  Even in the case of the vocals themselves, the production that went into balancing the screams and clean vocals played its own role.  The end result of all of that work from one song to the next is that each arrangement is professionally balanced.  No one band member overpowers his band mates at any point.  The slightest nuances, such as keyboard lines even play their own important part and add their own layer of engagement and entertainment to the songs.  That is again, thanks to the time and effort put in to balancing those lines with everything else in each song.  All things considered, the production that went into Salvation gives the album a fully positive general effect.  Keeping that in mind along with the role of the album’s musical arrangements in general and with the role of the album’s lyrical content, and the whole makes the album overall a work that AWSW’s established audiences will find just as appealing as more casual metalcore fans.

Salvation is a positive new offering from As Within So Without.  That is due in large part to its featured musical arrangements.  The arrangements are important to the album’s presentation because they take audiences into so many sub realms (of sorts) of the metalcore community.  The changes from song to song are subtle, and listeners who actively take in the album will catch those subtle changes.  The lyrical themes that accompany the album’s musical arrangements are just as important to its presentation as the album’s musical content.  That is because of their accessibility and the very fact that they play into a bigger concept for the album.  That a metal band decided to take on a concept for a record is itself rare, making for even more reason for audiences to hear the album.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  It gives the album a strong general effect through the balance that it insures in the album’s instrumentation and vocals.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Salvation a positive addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums and independent albums.

Salvation is available now.  More information on As Within, So Without’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.awswband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AsWithinSoWithoutCTNY

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AWSWband

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.

As Within, So Without Debuts New Album’s Title Track, Video; New Album Available Now

Courtesy: CowgirlZen Entertainment

Independent hard rock band As Within, So Without debuted its latest single and companion video this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Salvation’ and its video Wednesday. The single is available to stream and download through Spotify and Apple Music. It is the title track to the band’s new album, which released Wednesday, too.

The premiere of ‘Salvation’ and its video comes more than a month after the band premiered the album’s then latest single,  ‘Like The Wind‘ and its companion video. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘My Revelation‘ and its companion video in October.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Salvation’ is a heavy, crunching work. The richness and heaviness in the combination of the instrumentation and vocals immediately likens the arrangement to works from the likes of Unearth, As I Lay Dying, and Killswitch Engage.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme in the news release announcing the premiere of the new single and video. The lyrics provided with the video hint at a theme of overcoming life’s adversity and obstacles.

The video that accompanies ‘Salvation’ features the band performing its new single in a semi-forested setting. Meanwhile, an anonymous figure stands in the ocean waves, letting them crash around his feet. The band’s song plays over the visualization as all of this happens.

More information on As Within, So Without’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.awswband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AsWithinSoWithoutCTNY

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/AWSWband

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

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

Courtesy: Noble Demon

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

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

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

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

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

The track listing for Volume 1Reborn is noted below.

Tracklist reads as follows:

01. All The Misery

02. Reborn (feat. Corey Beaulieu of TRIVIUM)

03. Down In The Water

04. No Innocence

05. This Is Hell

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

Websitehttps://www.repentanceband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/WeAreRepentance

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/WeAreRepentance

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

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.

Shadows Fall Announces Reunion Show Details

Courtesy: Atom Splitter PR

Shadows Fall is getting back together again.

More than six years after its most recent live show, Shadows Fall will reunite this fall for a new, one-off show. The concert is scheduled to take place Dec. 18 at the Palladium in Worcester, MA.

Tickets are available here. VIP packages go on sale Wednesday. A local pre-sale for VIP packages launches at 10 a.m. Thursday. Audiences can use the promo code “WEEEE” to get access to the VIP packages during the local pre-sale. The local regular sale launches at 10 a.m. loacl time Friday.

Front man Brian Fair said in a prepared statement, he is looking forward to the concert.

“As the wise prophet D.L.R. once said, ‘I HEARD YA MISSED US, WE’RE BACK,'” said Fair. “I couldn’t be more excited to be getting back onstage with my brothers in Shadows Fall and there is no room I would rather do it in than The Palladium in Worcester. It has been six years since we last played a show and we are ready to unleash the fury like Yngwie.”

Added Fair, “We have been trying to find a way to jam together and play live for a little while now and the planets have finally aligned, schedules worked out, and with the help of a ton of our good friends, we were able to pull it off. This is the only show we have planned so shine up your dancing shoes, stretch out your neck, crack a brew, and get your ass to Massachusetts!”

Fair concluded, “[Guitarists] Matt [Bachand] and Jon [Donais] started this band 25 years ago and it still amazes me that the music we made allowed us to travel the world, share the stage with legends, and put out a ton of records that I will always be proud of. This show is a way for us to celebrate the music and thank all of the people that supported us through the years and helped us live the dream. I can’t wait to rage through songs from our entire catalog with a bunch of metalhead Massholes maniacs! I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again — there ain’t no party like a Shadows Fall party.”

A trailer for the upcoming live show is streaming here.

Shadows Fall was one of the leaders in the New Wave of American Heavy Metal movement which gained popularity during the early 2000s. The band was founded in 1996. It released its debut album Somber Eyes to the Sky in 1997 through Lifeless Records. Six more albums followed before the group eventually announcing it was “going on hiatus” in 2014.

More information on Shadows Falls’ upcoming reunion show is available along with all of the band’s latest news at https://www.facebook.com/shadowsfall.

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.

Of Mice & Men Continues Its Success In The Second Of Its Three Planned New EPs

Courtesy: Sharptone Records

Veteran metalcore band Of Mice & Men returns this week with the second of its three planned new EPs for this year. 

Bloom is scheduled for release Friday through Sharptone Records.  The three-song EP picks up right where its predecessor, Timeless left off both musically and lyrically.  Speaking of that musical and lyrical content, each does its own part to make this latest offering from Of Mice & Men engaging and entertaining.  They will each receive their own attention here.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.  Each item noted does its own part to make this latest offering another positive offering from Of Mice & Men.  All things considered, they make Bloom a strong follow-up to Timeless that the band’s established audiences will enjoy just as much as metalcore fans in general.

Of Mice & Men has succeeded for the second time this year with its new EP, Bloom.  The second of the band’s three planned new EPs for this year, it stands out in part because of its musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question seem to show the band…well…blooming and growing.  Case in point is the musical arrangement featured in ‘Levee,’ the record’s opener.  The song exhibits the band’s familiar heaviness.  At the same time though, the stylistic approach in this case also lends itself to comparisons to work from the likes of Unearth (which ironically is more metal than metalcore), Atreyu, and Slipknot (which is also more metal than metalcore).  The full, wall of sound approach taken here shows the band as a unit willing to take that chance and grow more in another direction than just continuing on the same path yet again.  The risk paid off, too.  It ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment throughout its nearly five minute run time.   ‘Pulling Teeth,’ which closes out the EP, is another example of the importance of the EP’s musical content.  It exhibits the band’s familiar classic metalcore elements even more here alongside a more metal leaning.  The djent style added to the mix adds so much to the mix.  The whole here makes this song just as solid a closer for the EP as ‘Levee’ is an opener.  Much the same can be said of the arrangement featured in the EP’s title track.  The more melodic moments, balanced against the heavier choruses makes for another solid musical presentation that will keep listeners engaged and entertained.  All three arrangements collectively give listeners more than enough reason to take in this record.  It is only a portion of what makes the EP successful.  The record’s lyrical themes add their own touch to the EP’s presentation.

The lyrical themes featured in Bloom are notable because of the range of themes featured in the songs.  That is even considering that the EP features only three songs.  The band takes on the familiar theme of mental health in ‘Levee.’  Front man Aaron Pauley makes that clear as he sings in the song’s chorus, “It’s cold, cloudy, windy and wet/I see the sun inside my head/It’s warmer/And I need the warmth/More than ever.”  He adds in the chorus’ refrain, “It keeps raining/Down, down, down/It touches everything we love.” Eventually Pauley screams, “It can only rain for so long/Before it washes us away/The levee’s gonna break before long/I can only swing for so long/So maybe it’s our time to drown.”  The song’s verses are difficult to decipher sans lyrics to reference, but the choruses are clear enough that it is easy to make an inference about the topic here.  This is a song that takes on the familiar topic of mental health.  It is presented in a unique fashion here that will definitely resonate with listeners. 

The EP’s title track offers its own deep topic.  According to Pauley, the song focuses on the loss of a loved one.  “It’s about understanding, through that loss, that grief is not only love in its most visceral and wildest form, but that it’s also the ultimate price we pay to experience such love,” said Pauley in a prepared statement about the song. “To know profound grief is to have known profound love. Nothing and no one lasts forever. Love isn’t a bouquet of plastic flowers; it’s watching the petals fall.”  This is a powerful statement both from him and from its delivery within the song.  Yes, it is familiar, but is always welcome since loss is something we all have to experience.  To that end, the theme here shows even more the diversity in the EP’s lyrical content and the importance thereof.

The lyrical theme featured in ‘Pulling Teeth’ is difficult to decipher sans lyrics.  However, Pauley’s statement in the song’s closing bars that “I thought I was prepared/That I was up to the task/I said I’ll be okay/But my world collapsed/Piece by piece by piece/Like slowly pulling teeth” infers the matter of dealing with a serious matter.  He notes in the song’s opening, “Time stops for no man/The end awaits us all…I tried to fight off/The belly of the beast” builds on the overall statement.  Even with this and what little can be deciphered in the chorus, the theme is still somewhat up in the air.  It certainly comes across as being somewhat existential.  The discussions that will come about from what this song may or may not be about shows in its own unique way, the importance of the EP’s lyrical content.  When this is considered along with the impact of the EP’s musical arrangements, the two sides join to make for even more appeal here.  Even with that in mind, there is still one more item to address.  It comes in the form of the EP’s production.


The production of Bloom is important to discuss because of how much is going on in each song.  From the sound of the falling rain in the opening bars of ‘Levee’ and the transition into the much heavier body, there is a lot going on here.  The subtlety in the falling rain serves well to set the initial mood of depression.  That depression transitions into a much more intense mixture of anger and frustration along with that depression throughout the rest of the song.  That combination serves well to translate the wide range of emotion in the speaker’s mind.  The fact that those two distinctly different moods are so well balanced along with the full instrumentation here is a prime example of the result of the work that went into the production.  Even as heavy as the song is, each musician’s part is well-balanced with the others, and with the vocals and added effects.  The overall impact is a song that fully immerses the listener in the song.  ‘Bloom’ and ‘Pulling Teeth’ obviously required just as much attention as ‘Levee’ in terms of the songs’ production.  ‘Pulling Teeth’ is so heavy and plodding. It is heavier perhaps than anything that Of Mice and Men has ever crafted.  Luckily, the painstaking efforts to balance the heavy, crunching guitars, bass, and drums paid off here with each part complimenting the others in its own way.  The result is a song that will prove to be a fan favorite if only for this aspect.  All things considered, the production of this record required lots of attention in terms of production, and that attention paid off throughout.  When the positive impact of the record’s production is considered with the role and importance of the musical and lyrical content, the whole makes Bloom a solid follow-up to Timeless and gives great hope for Of Mice and Men’s third and final EP of the year.

The second of three new EP’s planned for release this year from Of Mice & Men is a strong new offering from the veteran metalcore outfit.  That is due in part to the EP’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements exhibit just enough of the band’s familiar metalcore leanings while also delving into more pure metal influences than on Timeless.  That growth is such that any audience will find it appealing in all three songs featured here.  The lyrical themes featured in this record do their own part to show the EP’s strength.  That is because where the themes featured in Timeless were all clearly existential, they are more diverse in this case.  From dealing with the loss of a loved one, to taking on the equally familiar topic of mental health, to something else, the band opted this time to “bloom” and expand on its lyrical content.  The production of the songs rounds out the EP’s most important elements.  It shows that even with so much going on in each song, the best of each song is brought out through the attention to every detail in each song.  The result is that the EP proves appealing just as much for its sound as for its content.  Considering this, the EP overall proves to be just as successful as Timeless and gives hope for the next EP from Of Mice & Men.  Bloom is scheduled for release Friday through Sharptone Records.

More information on Of Mice and Men’s new EP 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.

Life Renewed Debuts New Single, ‘By Faith’

Courtesy: Renewing Music Studios/TLG Entertainment Company

Christian metalcore band Life Renewed debuted its latest single over the weekend.

The Richmond, VA-based band, which got its start in Raleigh, NC, debuted its single ‘By Faith’ Friday.  The song, which is featured in the group’s new forthcoming EP Launching From Ground Zero, debuted Friday through Spotify and the band’s official Youtube channel.

The song’s pummeling musical arrangement, which is founded through its wall of sound style approach, will appeal to fans of other metalcore acts, such as Unearth and fellow Christian metal acts Phineas and Demon Hunter.

Band founder Rob Volkoff discussed the song’s lyrical content in a recent interview.

“This was the first song written in 2014 with the inspiration of roommate and clean vocal feature Nick West,” he said.  “This is song number four of a seven-song EP called Launching From Ground Zero. This EP encompasses the concept of a person who has struggled in life and has formed opinions, thoughts and feelings that have affected the person’s life negatively. This song, along with the concept of the whole EP, is a journey of reflecting throughout all of life’s experiences to discover and bring into fruition some of the lessons on how a person can find and truly possess faith – to grow, evolve and become a person with purpose. “By Faith” was the first completed song off the EP and was the foundation of the whole EP and encompasses all the elements of the EP musically & contextually”‘

BoughtXBlood front man Alvin Triplett provided the screams for ‘By Faith.’

More information on Life Renewed is available along with all of the group’s news at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LifeRenewedBand

 

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.

Unearth Debuts ‘Incinerate’ Video; Announces Fall Tour Schedule

Unearth debuted the video for its latest single Friday.

The video for the band’s new single ‘Incinerate‘ is a familiar stylistic presentation for audiences across the board.  It features live footage of the band coupled with shots of the band’s members in non-live settings, but still performing. The song is taken from the band’s 2018 album Extinction(s).

Produced by KREACT and directed/edited/filmed by Daniel Vandal, the video was recorded during a stint in Canada with Darkest Hour.  Alexandre Charron, Soufiane Benrqiq and Christoph Thivierge provided additional cinematography.

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The debut of the band’s ‘Incinerate’ video comes eight months after the band debuted the lyric video for Extinction(s)‘ lead single ‘Survivalist.’

Unearth will perform ‘Incinerate,’ ‘Survivalist’ and many other songs featured on Extinction(s) across Europe this fall. The band is scheduled to launch its European tour Sept. 17 in Wurzburg, Germany.  The month-long tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 19 in Leipzig, Germany and features performances in cities, such as Milan, Italy; Stockholm, Sweden and Vienna, Austria.  The tour’s schedule is noted below.

UNEARTH will be heading to Europe for a Fall tour with As I Lay Dying and Chelsea Grin in September.

w/As I Lay Dying / Chelsea Grin / Unearth
27.09.19 Würzburg, Germany – Posthalle
28.09.19 Hamburg, Germany – Sporthalle
30.09.19 Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
01.10.19 Stockholm, Sweden – Arenan
02.10.19 Copenhagen, Denmark – Vega
03.10.19 Berlin, Germany – Columbiahalle
04.10.19 Prague, Czech Rep – Forum Karlin
05.10.19 Munich, Germany – Zenith
06.10.19 Vienna, Austria – Gasometer
07.10.19 Budapest. Hungary – Barba Negra
09.10.19 Milan, Italy – Fabrique
10.10.19 Zurich, Switzerland – Volkshaus
11.10.19 Lyon, France – Le Transbordeur
12.10.19 Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
13.10.19 Madrid, Spain – San Miguel
15.10.19 Paris, France – Bataclan
16.10.19 Brussels, Belgium – AB
17.10.19 Tilburg, Netherlands
18.10.19 Cologne, Germany – Palladium
19.10.19 Leipzig, Germany -Haus Auensee

As I Lay Dying and Chelsea Grin will serve as support for the upcoming tour.

More information on Unearth’s new video, tour and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.unearth.tv

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Unearthofficial

 

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.