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

Courtesy: Fearless Records

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

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

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


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

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

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

Websitehttps://iceninekills.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/IceNineKills

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/iceninekills

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

‘Kin’ Is An Exceptional New Album From Whitechapel

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached America in late 2019, it clearly did a lot of bad things to this nation on so many levels.  At the same time, it apparently did some good, too.  The mixed blessing of the pandemic is that it led to so many musical acts spending their forced downtime making new music.  This has been pointed out multiple times this year by this critic.  Now Friday, another name can be added to the list of acts that crafted new material during the pandemic in the form of Whitechapel.  The band is scheduled to release its new album, Kin, which was crafted in 2020 – during the pandemic’s height – Friday through Metal Blade Records.  Coming more than a year after the release of its then latest album, The Valley, the 11-song record is a solid follow-up to that presentation.  That is due in part to its lyrical content, which will be examined shortly.  The musical content that accompanies the album’s lyrical presentation builds on the noted content to make the album even more engaging and entertaining.  It will be discussed a little later.  The production that went into Kin rounds out the album’s most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is key in its own right to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make Kin a powerful new offering from Whitechapel that deserves its own spot among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

Whitechapel’s forthcoming album, Kin, is a powerful new offering from the band that its established audiences will enjoy just as much as any metal purist.  That is due in large part to its lyrical content.  The lyrical side of this record is important to note because of the approach taken to the songs in whole.  Front man Phil Bozeman noted in an interview promoting Kin, the record is essentially a semi-concept record of sorts.  This is proven as he stated, “Early in the writing, there was some discussion of the album being like The Valley Part II, not literally called that, but in how the songs sound and flow through it.  It’s very much a storytelling type record like The Valley was…lyrically, the idea of continuing from the story of The Valley was always the goal.”  He added that the song’s tell a specific story, noting, “It’s a fictional representation of a non-fictional story…This is all about what I could have been had I decided to take the dark road.”  From there Bozeman expanded on the discussion by explaining how the album’s first three songs play into the overall “story.”  Being a semi-conceptual record in its approach is in itself reason enough for audiences to hear Kin.  In listening closely, audiences can understand the concept of Bozeman’s “other self” and how it plays into the bigger story.  The whole will completely immerse audiences and in turn, keep them completely engaged and entertained.  It is reason enough in itself for audiences to hear the record and certainly not the only reason.  The musical arrangements that accompany the album’s rich lyrical content plays its own important part to the whole of the album’s presentation.

The musical arrangements that are featured in Kin are of note because they continue to show the ongoing growth and development of the band’s members.  Where Valley showed change in the band with more clean vocals and more subtle arrangements, this record furthers that display, right from the album’s outset.  ‘I Will Find You’ opens with a controlled country/western style guitar line.  That intro so smoothly transitions into the band’s more familiar death metal approach and sound that is just as heavy and intense as ever, complete with Bozeman’s equally intense screams.  From there, the arrangement even moves into some subtle territory a la in The Valley before gradually transitioning back into the song’s heavier side in its final section for a complete ABC format here.  The final moments in this song throw back to the great guitar solos of the late 80s and early-mid 90s.  The whole is such a unique presentation that again shows that noted growth and development.

In another case, such as in ‘To The Wolves,’ there is a breakdown early in the arrangement that is a full-on thrash style performance a la vintage Anthrax.  That alongside the band’s – again – more familiar death metal approach makes the song in whole unique in its own right from its counterparts in the album.  It is another way in which the album’s musical side proves just as engaging and entertaining as its lyrical side. 

In yet another case – that of the album’s title track/closer – the song opens in such a deep, contemplative fashion.  What is really interesting here is that the quality of Bozeman’s vocals and their delivery lends itself to comparison to that of Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor in his more subdued performances.  The subtleties in the arrangement’s instrumentation build even more on that comparison, too. As the arrangement builds into its second half, even that is controlled, even in its heaviness.  It is so much unlike the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s works, and more proof that despite Bozeman’s attestations, is proof that there are radio ready songs in this record.

In reference to that statement, Bozeman is saying in an interview about the album’s marketability, “It’s still very much a metal album.  I don’t think you would hear any of the songs on mainstream radio, but there are elements of the record that have more of a rock and open vibe.”  He was right in making light of the rock and open vibe of many songs, such as the record’s title track.  At the same time, he is selling the album and band short in saying that he did not think any of the album’s songs would make their way to mainstream rock radio.  There are plenty of songs in this record that are radio ready, including the noted title track and others.  That wide availability of the radio ready songs is tied directly into the noted growth and development from the band members individually and collectively that is exhibited throughout the album.  Keeping all of this in mind, the album’s musical content proves that it plays a part just as important to the album as its lyrical counterpart.

At this point, it should be clear that the musical and lyrical content featured in Kin does plenty to make the album engaging and entertaining.  That collective content is just one part of what makes Kin successful.  The record’s production brings everything together and rounds out the record’s presentation. The production fully ensures the noted growth is expertly exhibited throughout the album’s 47-minute run time.  The more subtle moments are well-balanced with the more intense moments.  The powerful, familiar death metal influences compliment the more subdued, Tool-esque moments.  Even other new approaches that the band took this time are well-balanced with more familiar influences, too.  The whole is impressive from start to end with not one part overpowering the others or countering the others too much.  It all works that well together.  The end result is an aesthetic from the album that is just as powerful as the album’s content.  When that content is considered along with the production, the whole makes Kin unquestionably one of the most powerful of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

Whitechapel’s new, forthcoming album, Kin, is a strong offering from the band.  Due out Friday through Metal Blade Records, the album offers audiences much to appreciate, not the least of which is its lyrical content.  The album’s lyrical content is important because for all intents and purposes, it makes Kin a semi-conceptual album as well as a sequel of sorts to The Valley.  The story of sorts that it presents is moving.  The musical arrangements that accompany the album’s lyrical content is also of note because it shows a continued growth and development from the band’s members individually and collectively.  The album’s production rounds out the most important of its elements.  That is because it brings the arrangements together and ensures that the noted growth and development is exhibited clearly.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album.  All things considered, they make the album a work that Whitechapel’s established audiences will welcome just as much as any hard rock and metal purist. 

Kin is scheduled for release Friday through Metal Blade Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of Whitechapel’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.whitechapelband.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/whitechapelband

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.

Whitechapel Debuts NSFW Video For New Single, ‘A Bloodsoaked Symphony’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Whitechapel debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its new single, ‘A Bloodsoaked Symphony’ Wednesday. The song is the second single from the band’s forthcoming album, Kin, which is scheduled for release Oct. 29 through Metal Blade Records. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘Lost Boy,’ last month.

The NSFW video features front man Phil Bozeman taking what are supposed to be the corpses of his dead parents to a cave where he conducts an incantation to bring them back to life. This as blood drips from the cave’s ceiling, and as he drinks what is supposed to be blood as part of the incantation.

This is not meant to promote anything anti-Christian. The visualization, directed by David Brodsky, is meant to show the desperation that Bozeman feels at having lost his parents. This even though in the band’s most recent album, The Valley, at least one of the record’s songs seemed to pain his parents as dysfunctional, ironically. It leads one to wonder why Bozeman would feel any mournfulness at their passing.

The musical arrangement featured in Whitechapel’s new song is just as heavy as anything that the band has ever crafted. Bozeman’s gutteral screams pair with the heavy, crunching guitars, and the equally heavy bass and drums to fully immerse listeners in the song.

Kin will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below along with the album’s track listing.

– digipak-CD
– deluxe box set (hardcover box includes: exclusive gold vinyl, gold 7-inch single, 72-page photo book)
– 180g white vinyl (EU exclusive)
– clear sky blue marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
– clear ash grey marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– midnight blue marbled vinyl (Eyesore exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– milky clear w/ blue and white splattered blob vinyl (Kings Road exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– gold / black split vinyl (Impericon exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– cool grey marbled vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– gold / black dust vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– opaque cyan (sides A/B) black (sides C/D) vinyl (US exclusive)
– black w/ white edge splatter vinyl (US exclusive)
– royal blue / black color in color vinyl (Newbury exclusive)
– electric blue w/ aqua blue splatter vinyl (Revolver exclusive)
– cyan w/ black splatter vinyl (US exclusive)
– white / cyan melt vinyl (US exclusive)

Kin track-listing
1. I Will Find You
2. Lost Boy
3. A Bloodsoaked Symphony
4. Anticure
5. The Ones That Made Us
6. History Is Silent
7. To the Wolves
8. Orphan
9. Without You
10. Without Us
11. Kin

Kin was tracked at the home of the band’s guitarist Zach Householder. Ted Jensen (Alice in Chains, Green Day, James Taylor) mastered the record while David Castillo mastered the album. The record’s cover art was designed by Jillian Savage.

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

Websitehttps://www.whitechapelband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/whitechapelband

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.

Whitechapel Announces New Album Details; Premieres Album’s Lead Single

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Whitechapel will release its latest album this fall.

The band is scheduled to release its latest album, Kin, Oct. 29 through Metal Blade Records. The album’s release will come more than two years after the release of the band’s then latest album, The Valley (2019), which the band also released through Metal Blade Records.

Front man Phil Bozeman talked about Kin in comparison to The Valley in a recent interview.

“I feel with every album, we learn what worked best on the last one and try to utilize that in our writing,” said Bozeman. Early in the writing, there was some discussion of the album being like The Valley Part II, not literally called that, but in how the songs sound and flow through it. It’s very much a storytelling type record like The Valley was. Musically, we just want to create what we vibe with at the given moment. We write music with how we feel and not what is expected of us, while lyrically the idea of continuing from the story of The Valley was always the goal.”

In anticipation of the album’s release, the band premiered the record’s lead single, ‘Lost Boy.’ The song’s musical arrangement is much like that of songs from The Valley. It expertly balances Bozeman’s guttural screams and softer, Maynard James Keena-esque singing for an air that itself creates lots of interest. The balance in the instrumentation and that with the song’s vocals adds even more to the song’s engagement and entertainment.

No information was provided as to the meaning of the song’s lyrical theme in the press release announcing the band’s new album and single. However information noting that the songs touch on “emotional territory” would seem to hint at least somewhat to some information.

Kin will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below along with the album’s track listing.

– digipak-CD
– deluxe box set (hardcover box includes: exclusive gold vinyl, gold 7-inch single, 72-page photo book)
– 180g white vinyl (EU exclusive)
– clear sky blue marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 500 copies)
– clear ash grey marbled vinyl (EU exclusive – limited to 300 copies)
– midnight blue marbled vinyl (Eyesore exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– milky clear w/ blue and white splattered blob vinyl (Kings Road exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– gold / black split vinyl (Impericon exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– cool grey marbled vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– gold / black dust vinyl (EMP exclusive – limited to 200 copies)
– opaque cyan (sides A/B) black (sides C/D) vinyl (US exclusive)
– black w/ white edge splatter vinyl (US exclusive)
– royal blue / black color in color vinyl (Newbury exclusive)
– electric blue w/ aqua blue splatter vinyl (Revolver exclusive)
– cyan w/ black splatter vinyl (US exclusive)
– white / cyan melt vinyl (US exclusive)

Kin track-listing
1. I Will Find You
2. Lost Boy
3. A Bloodsoaked Symphony
4. Anticure
5. The Ones That Made Us
6. History Is Silent
7. To the Wolves
8. Orphan
9. Without You
10. Without Us
11. Kin

Kin was tracked at the home of the band’s guitarist Zach Householder. Ted Jensen (Alice in Chains, Green Day, James Taylor) mastered the record while David Castillo mastered the album. The record’s cover art was designed by Jillian Savage.

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

Websitehttps://www.whitechapelband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/whitechapelmetal

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/whitechapelband

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.

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

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Wage War will release its next album this fall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

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

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

Websitehttps://wagewarband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/wagewar

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wagewar

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

Wage War Premieres New Single, Video

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Wage War made its official return this weekend.

The band debuted its new single, ‘High Horse‘ and its companion video Friday. The song and its video are the band’s first new content since the release of its third album, Pressure in 2019.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘High Horse’ is a high-energy composition that exhibits influences of Lamb of God, Slipknot, and even Whitechapel all in one. While those influences are audible, the song still presents a unique, intense identity.

No information about the song’s lyrical theme was provided in the press release announcing the premiere of the new song and its video. However, in listening to the song, the theme seems relatively straight forward. It comes across as an indictment of those people who think they are so much better than others. It presents a defiant message directed at those people, letting them know that they will eventually get knocked down.

The band was excited as it talked about its new single in a prepared statement.

“Over the last year, we have been working the hardest we ever have on music we couldn’t be more proud of,” the statement reads. “‘High Horse’ is just the first taste.” 

The video for ‘High Horse’ presents its own share of energy. the quick camera shots inside the warehouse setting in which the band is performing its new single heighten the overall listening experience.

In other news, Wage War is scheduled to launch a new tour next week with Beartooth and Dragged Under. The tour is scheduled to launch Aug. 14 in Las Vegas, NV and to run through Sept. 25 in Gran Rapids, MI. The tour additionally features performances in cities nationwide, such as Denver, CO; Seattle, WA and New Haven, CT.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

WAGE WAR ON TOUR:
WITH BEARTOOTH + DRAGGED UNDER:

8/14 — Las Vegas, NV —  House of Blues 
8/15 — San Diego, CA —  Soma
8/16 — Anaheim, CA —  House of Blues 
8/17 — Sacramento, CA —  Ace of Spades
8/19 — Portland, OR —  Crystal 
8/20 — Seattle, WA —  Showbox Sodo
8/21 — Spokane, WA —  Knitting Factory 
8/22 — Boise, ID  —  Revolution 
8/24 — Billings, MT  —  Zoo Montana 
8/26 — Fargo, ND —  Fargo Brewing Company 
8/27 — Minneapolis, MN —  Fillmore 
8/28 — Kansas City, MO —  Truman 
8/29 — Denver, CO  —  Summit 
8/31 — Oklahoma City, OK —  Diamond Ballroom
9/1 — Dallas, TX —  House of Blues 
9/3 — San Antonio, TX —  Vibes Event Center 
9/4 — Houston, TX —  House of Blues 
9/7 — Fort Lauderdale, FL —  Revolution 
9/8 — St. Petersburg, FL —  Jannus Landing 
9/9 — Atlanta, GA —  Masquerade
9/11 — Appomattox, VA —  Blue Ridge Rock Festival 
9/12 — Mansfield, OH —  Inkcarceration Festival 
9/13 — Philadelphia, PA —  Fillmore
9/15 — New York, NY —  Terminal 5
9/17 — Worcester, MA —  Palladium 
9/18 — Baltimore, MD —  Sound Stage
9/19 — New Haven, CT —  Toad’s Place
9/20 — Pittsburgh, PA —  Stage AE
9/22 — Chicago, IL —  House of Blues 
9/24 — Detroit, MI —  St. Andrews Hall
9/25 — Grand Rapids, MI  —  20 Monroe Live

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

Websitehttps://wagewarband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/wagewar

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wagewar

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

Ventruss Brings Mental Health Discussion To The Fore In New Single, Video

Courtesy: Cowgirlzen Entertainment

Independent metal band Ventruss is tackling a familiar topic in its latest single and companion video.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Sentiment‘ and its companion lyric video Friday. The premiere of the song and its video came more than two months after the premiere of the band’s then latest single, ‘Talladega.’

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Sentiment’ takes the band’s heavy sound a step beyond that featured in ‘Talladega.’ It blends elements of sounds from bands, such as Whitechapel, Killswitch Engage, and Upon a Burning Body for its presentation. The heaviness in that sound and stylistic approach works well with the emotion exuded through the song’s lyrical theme.

Front man Ben Jewell talked about the song’s lyrical theme in a prepared statement.

“There’s a lot to take from ‘Sentiment,’ he said.Mental illness is real and can affect relationships with family and friends. It may be hard to understand from the outside and can be easily perceived as a red flag, but internally that person has much more going on and before you know it, they can end their own life.”

Added Jewell, “This happened to me a few years back and once it did, I was having flashbacks of my weakest moments and feeling like I had absolutely no one but in reality, I was the one keeping myself locked in my own mind. This is not only a heavy track musically and lyrically but also a cry for help.” 

The ‘Sentiment’ lyric video features the song’s lyrics placed over a background of images, such as a skull, chains, and a cog. The imagery is used to help translate the message in the song’s lyrical theme and visualize the feelings that people suffering from mental health concerns experience. Interestingly enough, the lyrics are presented in a font that fans of Whitechapel will find familiar.

More information on Ventruss’ new single and video is available along with all of Ventruss’ latest news at:

Website: https://ventrussmusic.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ventruss_


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Letter Of Marque Debuts ‘White Lie’ Video

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Independent hard rock band Letter of Marque is taking on the dangers of drug abuse in its latest single and video.

The band debuted the video for its single ‘White Lie‘ last month. The song is the latest single from the band’s 2019 album Outbreak. The album’s track listing is noted below.

Outbreak Tracklisting:

1.Ayahuasca
2.Alice
3.Self  Defense
4.Vulture
5.White Lie
6.Privateer
7.Pay Attention
8.Amityville
9.Succubus
10.Outbreak

The video features a father and daughter who are both battling heroin addiction. The result for each is not good. Because of the simulated drug use, some viewer discretion is advised.

The song’s musical arrangement features a sound that will appeal to fans of Machine Head, with its heavy, thrash style riffing. The screaming, death metal style vocal delivery of front man Matt Gund meanwhile, is comparable to that of Whitechapel front man Phil Bozeman. The pairing of the two influences makes the musical arrangement even more widely appealing.

Gund talked about the meaning behind the video and lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“Making this video truly helped us emphasize what we want the people to understand,” he said. “One bad decision can last for generations.”

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

Website: http://www.letterofmarqueband.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LetterOfMarque_

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.

Musical Arrangements, Production Save Orbit Culture’s New LP

Courtesy: Seek & Strike

Independent metal band Orbit Culture is working hard to make a name for itself within the bigger metal community.  The band released its new album Nija aug 7 through seek & Strike Records.  The 10-song album is a powerful entry that will appeal to the band’s target audience.  That is due in part to its musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  Its lyrical themes do their own part to make the album appealing to the noted listeners.  The record’s production is just as much of note as its overall content.  When this item is considered along with the album’s content, the album in whole proves to be a presentation that the band’s target audience base will agree is worth hearing at least once.

Orbit Culture’s new album Nija is a strong new effort from the band that the group’s target audience base will appreciate.  That is due in no small part to the record’s collective musical arrangements.  From beginning to end of the 45-minute record, its riffs, seething vocal deliveries, bass and drums will appeal to a wide range of listeners.  Each arrangement exhibits touches of groove metal joined with death metal, thrash, and even a bit of black metal.  At the same time, there is also a hint of melodic metal and hard rock added to the mix for a result that is truly interesting.  The heavier arrangements will appeal to fans of bands, such as Whitechapel, Humanity’s Last Breath, and Gojira.  The album’s more melodic moments, such as in ‘Open Eye’ and ‘See Through Me’ take listeners in a completely different direction.  ‘Open Eye’ conjures thoughts of early Metallica at various points while the whole of ‘See Through Me’ is more of a metalcore presentation.  In the exact same breath, there are plenty of other moments in ‘Open Eye’ that are more akin to the noted heavier acts.  The two elements are very well-balanced here and make for quite the interesting composition.  ‘Sun of All’ is another of those arrangements in this record that balances the noted death and black metal elements with a distinct melodic hard rock sensibility.  It comes later in the record’s run.  The two sides are so well-balanced, too, that one can’t help but listen.  Add in the hypnotizing string arrangement and metalcore elements, and audiences get in this song what is musically, one of the album’s most standout moments.  It’s just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements show their importance.  When it is considered along with the rest of the album’s arrangements (noted and not) the whole of the album’s musical body becomes a presentation that in itself makes the album well worth hearing.  For all that the album’s musical arrangements do for its whole, they are just one of the album’s notable aspects.  Its lyrical content is sure to generate its own share of interest among audiences.

The lyrical content featured throughout Nija is intriguing to say the least.  While the record’s musical arrangements guarantee far-reaching appeal, its lyrical content feels much more targeted with its dark, nihilistic overtones.  Case in point is the lyrical content featured in ‘North Star of Nija.’  The song’s lead verse states, “Combust/The opulence of all the human faults in flames/You’ve killed/But you see yourself for real in here/The serpent/Black god/The north star of Nija.”  The song’s second verse adds in, “Adjust the ornament/To fit the true king of our realm/You bow to a darker power that’s real in here…I’ve lived through some grey days/But I’ve never really given it a thought/How I live/How it’s feasting on me/How it’s taking me.”  The song’s third verse is just as heavy, stating, “I’m the leader of all that’s dead/I’m the crows that you witness next/I’m the leech that steals from the mother’s breast/I’m the serpent in Hell.”  The song goes on in similar fashion from here with the only real seeming glimmer of hope coming later in the line, “You’ll stay here for a long time/You’ll dry your tears from off your face/But you can’t look back now.”  Even that is questionable in its delivery.  It could be positive, but considering the next lines, it is difficult to say.  Ultimately the song ends with the line, “I’ve sent down the crows to Hell/To gather the bones of you/I’ve given the piece of skin/To the gods of the broken man/I am complete.”  So maybe, just maybe this is meant to send a sense of overcoming adversity.  It leaves even this critic bewildered.  Even with all of this in mind, that it has the potential to create so much discussion makes it stand out as just one example of what makes the album’s lyrical content important.  ‘Behold’ is another example of what makes Nija’s lyrical intriguing.

‘Behold’ comes across as a deeply introspective work in its own right.  Front man Niklas Karlsson sings in the song’s lead verse, “In the essence of the fire/I’m realizing that this is life now/I’ve tried so hard to keep this feeling/Of feeling sane/Mind and body/I tried so hard to keep the demons/The fallen society/The downfall of you and me/in the white halls we are searching.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “In the presence of the higher/The mesmerizing colors/I’ve tried so hard to find the healing/Being sane/Tired body/I tried so hard to keep the demons in me.”  At this point, it can be inferred that this is someone facing that age old battle with self.  Things don’t get much brighter from here.  As a mater of fact, the nihilism continues right to the end, with Karlsson stating in the end, “Death is certain/Nothing else more can be/No light in the tunnels of this force spinning wheel/The white robe ideal.”  Simply put, this is not the happiest of songs musically or lyrically.  It will appeal to a very targeted listener base.  Keeping that in mind, it is just one more way in which the record’s lyrical content proves its importance to its whole.  ‘Rebirth’ is just as nihilistic as ‘Behold’ and much of the album’s other songs in its lyrical presentation.

Much like ‘Behold’ and the album’s other songs, this is a work that will appeal to a very targeted audience.  That is because it is just as lyrically heavy as those works.  The song’s lead verse proves that as Karlsson sings, “My sun/It’s time to leave this world/It’s time to leave the daylight stream/It’s time to feel this rain/Through the fire hail/This is all I have to say/This is all that’s left of me/In this shell I’ve lived through Hell/Walking icy plains/I cannot take what this world gave me/I cannot live through this hell/I cannot take this life that I’ve been given/I’ve always sung the words and songs of death.”  Once again, things don’t get much brighter from here.  To that end, there is not a lot of need to go on from here about this song’s lyrical content.  Again, it is a presentation that will only appeal to a very targeted audience.  In other words, it’s one more example of why the lyrics play their own role in the bigger picture of Nija.  Needless to say the album’s lyrics require audiences to be in a very specific mindset in order to be appreciated.  To that end, whether it detracts from or adds to the album’s presentation all depends on the listener.  Regardless of which side one takes in that discussion, one thing on which everyone can agree is that the album’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production of Nijia is important to note because it is that work that made the album sound so good.  As noted already, there is a lot going on throughout this record in terms of its arrangements.  There are moments in which the guitars and vocals roar alongside the bass and drums.  There are also moments throughout the album that are more controlled (for lack of better wording).  There are also moments in which both are incorporated into one song.  Regardless of which song is chosen, it can be said that the utmost attention to detail was taken throughout the album.  Each instrument is expertly coupled with its partners from start to end.  The result is a record that is worth hearing just as much as it is for the depth of the arrangements themselves.  Those two elements together make the album worth hearing even despite the issues raised by the album’s lyrical content.

Orbit Culture’s new album Nija is an intriguing offering from the independent metal outfit.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements, which blend together so many different metal genres from one to the next and even within themselves.  They make the album worth hearing if only for themselves.  The album’s lyrical content poses a bit of a problem for its presentation.  That is because in looking at this aspect, it will appeal to a very targeted audience, unlike the album’s musical content.  Even with that in mind, the lyrical content does not detract so much from the album that it is not worth hearing.  The record’s production partners with the arrangements to make up for the problem posed by the album’s lyrical content.  The production and music work together to make Nija worth hearing at least among the metal masses.  It is available now through Seek & Strike Records.  More information on Nija is available along with all of Orbit Culture’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.orbitculture.com

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

 

 

Twitter: http://twitte.com/orbitculture

 

 

 

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Lost In Static Honors Fallen Friend In New Single, Video

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent metal band Lost in Static debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Jordan‘ Thursday. The song and video are the second from the band’s forthcoming self-titled debut album, which is scheduled for release later this year.  Its release date will be announced later.

Lost in Static debuted the video for the album’s lead single, ‘Feel Alive‘ more than nine months ago.

The video features footage of the aftermath of a motor vehicle collision and crosses that with the song’s lyrics, which according to a statement about the song, are about a friend of the band who died in a wreck.

“Our new single “Jordan” is our second track to be released from our upcoming debut record,” the statement reads. “’Jordan’ was a childhood friend who unfortunately lost his life from drinking and driving. This song was written in his honour. It’s heavy, it’s beautiful and we hope everyone is going to love it as much as we do!”

The story serves as a starting point for discussions on the dangers of drunk driving and in relation, the disease that is alcoholism.

The song’s musical arrangement is a fiery composition that translates well, the emotions felt by the band members when they learned of their friend’s passing.  Its heavy guitars, screaming vocal delivery and pounding drums and  bass will appeal to fans of bands, such as Whitechapel, Periphery, and Born of Osiris.

‘Jordan’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Lost In Static’s new single and video is available along with all of the band’s latest news at http://www.facebook.com/lostinstatic.band.

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.