“Pressure” by Wage War out NOW!

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One of many bands in the metal-core scene who has continued to evolve their sound is Ocala, Florida based Wage War, from their debut “Blueprints,” which showcases the heaviest aspects of the band’s sound to their sophomore effort “Deadweight,” which incorporated some more melodic elements into their metalcore and post-hardcore influenced sound. However, the band’s third LP, “Pressure,” seems to show the evolution of Wage War’s sound the most, as they include elements from past material while also trying out some new styles.

Wage War really experimented with their sound on this record, with quite a few of these songs showing influences of rock and post-hardcore. “Grave” and “Take The Fight” show off Briton Bond’s singing skills through some very raw and passionate performances, “The Line” brings a lot of energy and a bit of aggression through the instrumentals accompanying a mostly melodic vocal performance, and the closing track “Will We Ever Learn” brings some dynamic instrumentals and powerful vocals through both heavier and more melodic performances.

Although the band did experiment quite a bit with this record, there are still quite a few moments on here that are reminiscent of their older material. “Low” is easily the heaviest out of all the singles, “Ghost” brings a ton of energy through the instrumentation and one of the heaviest breakdowns on the record, and “Fury” is one of the most aggressive songs all around, from the vocals to the instrumentals. Two of the singles (and two of my favorites on the album), “Who I Am” and “Prison,” both show off the band’s post-hardcore and metalcore influences with the balance of heavier and more melodic sections. A few of these songs take influence from the more melodic elements found on the band’s previous record, “Deadweight.” “Me Against Myself” has extremely catchy melodies from start to finish and is one of the most memorable songs on the record, “Forget My Name” is just as memorable and even shows some slight alternative rock and pop punk influences in the equally as catchy guitar work, and “Hurt” is a lot slower compared to a lot of these other songs and is a very raw, emotional ballad with a huge chorus.

While Wage War’s album is certainly a little bit different from their previous two LPs, I enjoyed the amount of variety and experimentation on it, and really like the different sounds and styles they experimented with. It not only shows new sides to the band’s sound, but also shows what they are capable of.

Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

Dean Lewis’ A Place We Knew Tour ft Scott Helman

I love discovering new music, and one way I’ve been doing so in recent months is through the radio. One of my favorite artists I’ve discovered through doing this is Dean Lewis, an Australian musician who’s gotten a lot of recognition over here in America not just from the frequent radio play of his smash hit singles “Be Alright” and “Stay Awake,” but also from the album that both of these songs are on, called “A Place We Knew.” The album dropped during the spring of this year, and in support of it, Dean headed out on a worldwide headlining tour, which I attended the Denver date of.

Opening up the night was Scott Helman, a pop musician from Canada that I’ve also become pretty familiar with recently, especially with his latest release, his EP “Hang Ups,” which was released in late 2018. He opened with the title track off of that, and continued to play a variety of songs from throughout his discography, such as “Ripple Effect,” “PDA,” and “Gaslight” from his 2017 debut LP “Hôtel De Ville,” and fan favorite “Bungalow” from his 2014 EP “Augusta.” Throughout his entire set, which was just his voice and an acoustic guitar, Scott showed the talent he has as a musician and performer.

About twenty minutes after Scott finished, Dean Lewis took the stage in front of 1,100 fans who were ecstatic to see him perform. He opened his set with the opening track off of “A Place We Knew,” called “Hold Of Me,” followed by an older song, “Need You Now,” and the title track off of “A Place We Knew.” His setlist was primarily focused on songs from that record, including hits like “7 Minutes,” “Waves,” “Stay Awake” and “Be Alright,” as well as others, such as “Straight Back Down” (one of my personal favorites off the record), “Time To Go,” and “Half A Man.” Dean puts a lot of emotion into the performances in his songs, and the same thing goes for his live set as well. I loved the emotion he put into every song and think that might have been my favorite part about his entire live performance.

Both of the acts on the A Place We Knew Tour put on very impressive and captivating performances, making the show a great one overall.

Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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Miss May I & The Word Alive celebrate 10 Year Anniversary of “Monument” & “Deceiver” ft Afterlife, Rozu, & Thousand Below | Photos + Review

In the summer of 2010, two of some of the biggest bands in the metalcore and post-hardcore scene released what could arguably be some of the most important albums in their careers. Miss May I released their sophomore record “Monument” on August 16th, and exactly two weeks later, The Word Alive dropped their debut album “Deciever.” With the ten-year anniversary of both of these albums almost right around the corner, both bands embarked on a co-headlining North American tour to celebrate the occasion, bringing along Afterlife and Thousand Below to support them, as well as having some up-and-coming bands from certain areas open up their local date of the tour. 

Opening up the night was Denver-based metalcore band Rozu. Though their set was only twenty minutes, they put everything into their performance and put on a really good show. They played the four singles that they have out currently (“Dissolve,” “Divide,” “Faceless,” and “Anchor”), as well as an unreleased track called “Rue.”. The band’s metalcore sound showed through the energy and aggression found throughout their live set, and their performance overall really impressed me. 

Next up was Florida-based band Afterlife. The band dropped their debut LP “Breaking Point” back in January of this year, and primarily included songs from that in their setlist: “PSA,” “Throat,” “Broken Home,” “New Rage,” and “Giving Back The Pain.” However, they still made room in their set for an older track, which was “Vicious Cycle,” the title track from their debut EP of the same name. The band mixes elements from various types of rock, and particularly alternative rock and nu-metal, and that blend of influences showed really well through their set and the songs they chose for it. 

The third band on the bill was Thousand Below. The band opened the set with their latest single “Chemical,” which is one of the most melodic (and in my personal opinion, one of the catchiest) tracks that they’ve released so far. They followed that up with two more of my favorite songs of theirs, debut single “Sinking Me” and “The Love You Let Too Close,” the title track from their debut album that came out last year. The remainder of the set was filled with a few more songs from that album: “Vein,” which is one of the band’s most aggressive tracks and one that really got the crowd moving, “No Place Like You” and “Tradition.” The band has always stood out to me in the post-hardcore genre and their live performance was further proof of that. 

Second to last was The Word Alive, who began the set by playing their album “Deceiver” from start to finish in honor of the anniversary. This album in particular is one of their much more aggressive records, but also has plenty of powerful and memorable choruses and some meaningful lyrics, so as much as their set had the crowd moshing and surfing, it had them singing along for the hour long set. After those ten songs were finished, the band played some of their more recent tracks – “Trapped,” the lead single off of their 2016 album “Dark Matter,” “Misery,” a single that was released on its own awhile after the album dropped, and “Why Am I Like This?,” which is a song from their latest album “Violent Noise” and one of my personal favorites of theirs. 

Closing out the night was Miss May I, who played not only all the songs found on Monument when it first dropped, but also the tracks found on the deluxe reissue. After that, they concluded their set with three different songs that spanned from their entire discography: “Hey Mister” from “At Heart,” “Forgive and Forget” and “Shadows Inside,” the title track from their most recent release. They easily played one of the heaviest sets of the night, with people moshing and crowd surfing almost instantly, and put so much energy into their performance as well. 

This tour was my first time seeing all of these bands, and I loved it. Everyone on the lineup put on a great performance, and this tour was a great way to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of two important albums for this genre of music.

7/30/2019 – Photos + Review courtesy of Megan Langley | Instagram

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