2021’s Best EP’s of the Year!

The year 2021 saw a myriad of different exciting things happen in the music world. We saw the return of live music in the form of concerts and festivals, artists making their debuts, and many artists making returns. We were gifted plenty of amazing music that is changing the scene as we know it. There are so many highlightable releases that came this past year and today, we are narrowing down those to what I believe to be the best of the best when it comes to the EP’s released in 2021. We’ve narrowed down our EP’s of the year list to ten that we believe to be the best releases of this category from the past year.

10. Tawny by Drug Church

Retrieved from: drugchurch.bandcamp.com/

The group of nihilists from Albany released a short but impactful EP that hits hard from beginning to end both musically and mentally. Drug Church is slowly making their way through the ranks as a powerhouse in music and with a label like Pure Noise Records behind them, there is no telling where they will slow down.

9. Everything Nice by Arm’s Length

Arm's Length: Everything Nice EP Album Review | Pitchfork
Retrieved from: pitchfork.com

This EP in my humble opinion is a self-released masterpiece, this record came from really young musicians that seem to have already figured it out. From start to finish, the mixture of old school emo and pop punk is present and it blended so well. The last track, “Garamond” is an excellent finish but, it could have kept playing for hours and it would have been fantastic.

8. Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures by Boston Manor

EP REVIEW: Desperate Times, Desperate Pleasures - Boston Manor - Distorted  Sound Magazine
Retrieved from: distortedsoundmag.com

Blackpool’s finest came out into 2021 swinging, they were frustrated with how the previous year went after tour cancellations and the world changing entirely. After the release of their last album, “GLUE” they were not able to support the album on tour, so they said they were moving into a new era of Boston Manor.

7. Hellbent by Impending Doom

Jesusfreakhideout.com: Impending Doom, "Hellbent - EP" Review
Retrieved from: jesusfreakhideout.com

A surprise release for all listeners of the Christian-Deathcore icons, after being announced that this EP would not be coming until 2022, they released it on a whim. It had been quite a while since we heard new sounds come from the voracious vocal cords of frontman, Brook Reeves. From the get go, each song has something unique about it that will make you want to grimace in disgust, heavy breakdowns with that sickest snare you will hear. Impending Doom is back with a serious message to send.

6. EAT by Poppy

Eat (NXT Soundtrack) - Wikipedia
Retrieved from: en.wikipedia.org

Poppy is a bit of a different character, in her realm of post-genre music, the world is her oyster. Releasing this record for WWE’s NXT brand, Poppy has been associated with this organization for quite a while now and has made an appearance or two on pay per views. The tracks all have that unmistakable Poppy sound, it is technical, industrial, and very heavy. Her music has always been and always will be interesting to the ear and fun to try and understand.

5. An Unexpected Reality by Gatecreeper

An Unexpected Reality | Gatecreeper
Retrieved from: gatecreeper.bandcamp.com

When I think of the new era of Death Metal, two bands come to mind, the first being 200 Stab Wounds and the second being Arizona’s Gatecreeper. Having the opportunity to see Gatecreeper open for Knocked Loose and play some of these songs live was quite a delight. This record is on the long side of what an EP typically is but no one is complaining over here. Death Metal is making a come back and it is due to releases like this.

4. Blame Game by Beach Bunny

Blame Game | Beach Bunny
retrieved from: bandcamp.beachbunny.com

Beach Bunny from the Chicago area is an indie-dreampop-basement sounding band that has gained a TON of popularity over the past couple of years. I have been patiently awaiting new music since their last album release, “Honeymoon” in 2020. Blame Game came at a perfect time and really has shown all of the developments this group has made since their early days. Announcing tours, selling them out fast, and announcing other tours before current tours are even over. Beach Bunny has serious heat behind every song and they prove it with every release.

3. …And I Return to Nothingness by Lorna Shore

And I Return To Nothingness - EP

After many what I would call tough times for Lorna Shore, they have made the biggest splash a deathcore band has made in well over a decade. With new vocalist Will Ramos at the helm, they released one of the most mind blowing deathcore songs in existence (To The Hellfire). There is no turning back now for these musicians, supporting already with a few shows featuring the likes of, The Last Ten Seconds of Life and Left To Suffer. Their latest claim to fame is getting announced as the opener for A Day To Remember and Bring Me The Horizon over in the UK and Europe.

2. ZII by The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada – ZII (EP Review) – Wall Of Sound

I would not say that TDWP was ever in a slump, but for a few years after the release of the highly praised “Zombie EP” their fans just never seemed to be satisfied with the changes made to the bands sound. With this EP named ZII or Zombie 2, the masses just ran back into the fold of TDWP, reminiscing on those awesome sounds of years prior. This go around with a little bit more of polished overall sound to the mix. It was a perfect creation that combined their classic aggression and bite from the year 2010 with all the different things they love about metal music today.

1.A Tear In the Fabric of Life by Knocked Loose

A Tear In The Fabric Of Life | Knocked Loose | Pure Noise Records

Well, of course this had to go into the number one spot. A concept album??? From a hardcore band??? I was all over this the second it came out. The visuals that came along side the record were the cherry on the top. The concept follows the story of a loving couple in which one of the partners passes away in a car accident while the other one continues to live but alone. It dives deep into the emotions that come with the grieving of a lost loved one and how one lives after a tragedy like that. Who would have that something as brutal as hardcore could make you shed a tear. Knocked Loose is going to be one of the bands that goes down as a legend of this generation of metal music, mark my words.

After it is all said and done, there you have it, these are the top 10 EP’s released in 2021. An excellent list and every single spot was well deserved and deserves listens from all of you! Let’s hope for an end of 2022 list just as good as this!


Pure Noise Tour Review!

Pure Noise Records is one of the coolest record labels out there today. They have such a wide variety of bands under their label name that seem to produce nothing but bangers release after release. One thing that has happened quite a few times in previous years is the label basically showcasing their artists but doing a label exclusive tour. They seem to switch every tour with it being hardcore/metalcore driven or pop-punk driven. This year was a pop-punk driven tour.

State Champs announce headlining 2021 Pure Noise Tour | NextMosh
Retrieved from: nextmosh.com

The real pop-punk artists on the bill consist of Bearings, Real Friends, and State Champs. Just Friends and Four Year Strong are apart of what I would call pop-punk adjacent genres. I bought presale for this show as soon as I could, not only did I know every band on the bill, I enjoy all of their music respectively, and I had seen all of them besides Four Year Strong. I had the pleasure of going with two friends who I had not been to a show with in quite awhile. We attended the Tempe, AZ date at one of my favorite venues The Marquee Theatre. For it being my first club show back, I was stoked for it to be State Champs headlining who have always put on a great performance all three times I have seen them.

We sat in line for awhile before we saw Cody from Real Friends and said hello to him. He came and talked to us for few minutes which was really cool, we’re big fans of his, he was a very nice guy and great performer. Once we got in, we scoped out the merch tables to see if anything piqued our interests and then we headed towards the stage. Bearings was up first and much to my chagrin there were not too many people in the crowd. I love these guys and think they should be playing front of thousands, one day these crowds will learn. After their set, Just Friends went on stage and made sure to get the moods up and required everyone to groove with them. The instrumentalists in that group are amazing, they just get it and it seemed effortless to them the whole time. They are always a seriously fun band to watch. Real Friends mad their long awaited return to live shows just before this tour with their new vocalist Cody Muraro formerly of Youth Fountain. Real Friends played old songs and new ones that called for entering the circle pit even though I had no plans to at the start. I love this band a ton, so it was great to have them back doing what they do best.

After an exhausting set from Real Friends, we grabbed some fresh air and watched Four Year Strong towards the back for a break from the action. I am not the biggest easy-core guy but, I am happy to say I got to see Four Year Strong, they definitely are one of the more underrated bands in the genre and put on a good live show. Now that we had some energy saved for State Champs, we knew we could go all in for the duration of their set. We pushed our way towards the front where we knew it was gonna get busy and everyone would be moving. Hundreds of crowd surfers, awesome push pits, and plenty of energy the whole time. They stacked their setlist with all their best songs that left us going home with no voice and zero energy. Oh yeah, and in need of a shower desperately.

Overall, it was a great first club show to be back at. There is nothing quite like the energy at a pop-punk show, especially after such a long time with shows. Every band has not missed a step over this break we had without them which gave me comfort and excited me for all the rest of the shows after.

Inkcarceration Festival 2021 Experience!

Under new management this year, Inkcarceration Festival has made quite the splash in the world of rock and metal. The haunted prison based festival has been around for a few years, just on a smaller scale. When Danny Wimmer took this project under his umbrella this year, there definitely were going to be major additions and improvements made to the festival as well as keeping a lot of the original aspects of the festival the same. I had the privilege of attending this year with weekend VIP passes. As a first festival back for many people it was sure to be a hell of a weekend and provide many stories to tell…

Retrieved from: dannywimmerpresents.com

For starters, this festival was sold out for the entire weekend which was music to our ears. I flew in for the fest the night before it began, landed at 6:30 am and then headed to the festival with three friends that I went with. I made sure to load up on caffeine because I knew that day one was going to be like running a marathon. Going into it, we had a list and schedule of who we wanted to see, what stage, what time, and whether or not we can sacrifice skipping their sets. We got their fairly early and were able to have almost front row parking which at the time seemed awesome, we will get into those details later… My friend Jake and I headed to will call to snag our wristbands for the weekend, and low and behold while he was getting the wristbands I noticed none other than Danny Wimmer himself…in the flesh…in his element…just standing there being unbothered by anything. Naturally, like the fangirl I am, I went to go bother him and speak with him. We spoke for a minute or two and Jake introduced himself as well. As we decided to go back to the line, Mr. Wimmer pulled us toward the gate by the security checkpoint of the festival and let us in to SKIP the never-ending line.

Map of festival grounds retrieved from: dannywimmerpresents.com

Arriving that first day, we were just so happy to be back at a festival, let alone one of this magnitude. We made sure to familiarize ourselves with the festival grounds and see where everything that was interesting to us was located at. For Jake and I, the VIP only restrooms were a highlight for us. Our daily schedule had us stationed at the main stage all day. We started our day off with THE heaviest band of the weekend, Spite. These guys are some of the dopest deathcore musicians out there today. Darius Tehrani is one of the most energetic front men I have ever witnessed, with titanium vocal cords to say the least. After a monster set like that, we all grabbed a bite to eat and watched New Years Day put on a good performance, Ash Costello sounded spot on like recording which was great to hear. Badflower vocalist Josh came out before the set started and announced that he had laryngitis and could not sing but the band played their whole set and let the crowd of thousands sing all the words instead which made for quite an interesting energy. Ice Nine Kills came out after them and just destroyed, top 5 performances of the weekend for sure. They packed their set full of new songs that the radio has been riddled with as well as older stuff for the fans who have been around for a minute. Steel Panther provided some serious comic relief along with some nostalgic sounding hair metal songs. Although they joke around and make fun, these guys can play and perform so well. Killswitch Engage plays a ton of festivals and for good reason, they have been around for more than 20 years so they have a huge catalog that is filled with familiar metal anthems. Every time I have seen them I have sat their banging my head screaming all the words. Mastodon was a band that I only really knew one song well, the set they put on hurt my puny musician brain. The time changes, tempo changes, and key changes flooded the air and did a number on me. I sort of sat there jaw dropped, awestruck really. These were some of the tightest musicians I had ever seen. Then after what felt like an eternity, the curtain dropped and there stood Slipknot. The metal band of my generation, years of waiting to see them paid off and I could not be happier with their performance. The only complaint I had from that day was that there was no one to direct the literal thousands of cars in the parking lot afterwards. Danny Hayes had that issue fixed the very next morning.

Saturday was our light day so we took the chance at the beginning of the day to take a tour of the prison and check out where all of our favorite scenes from The Shawshank Redemption were filmed. Spent a little too much money at the merch tent and on a few *cough* beverages in the VIP lounge. The first band we checked out was Bad Omens, who I expected to be good but were very impressive. They ended their set with the brutal song Dethrone that made the crowd kick up a sinful amount of dirt. Crown The Empire crushed it after them, I often would forget that they were on the bill. Not because I did not think much of it but, my mind was stuck on so many other things. Andy’s vocals and energy blew me away. My only complaint was that they did not play Red Pills but, I guess that just means I have to go see them again. After quite a break of resting while bands played in the back, we were excited for Asking Alexandria until we found out they were not playing because their tour bus broke down. We pushed forward after Pop Evil so we could be close for Chevelle who were awesome, I had seen them before and was not too impressed but I think that was because of the venue. Now, the performance of the weekend came from none other than A Day To Remember, they’re a band who I had been meaning to see for a long time and I was completely blown away with the show they put on. There was streamers, rolls of toilet paper being thrown, confetti, as many mosh pits as I have ever seen, and people crowd surfing on top of other people crowd surfing. Their energy, tightness, and setlist variety was perfect. Easily, the best set of the entire weekend. Mudvayne played their first show in over ten years which was exciting to be a part of. They came out in full makeup which was to be expected, aside from the general excitement of them being there, not much about their performance was too impressive. Ryan Martinie is one of the best bass players of all time which was awesome to see but, Chad’s voice has not held up too well. Their other performance a month later at Aftershock was much better from what I heard and saw.

Sunday, our last day at the first festival back. Bittersweet, but it was a great way to end the weekend. Our two friends that accompanied us the first two days did not buy Sunday passes so, it was just Jake and myself. We started our day off watching Stitched Up Heart who has been making their presence known more and more with every release. They were impressive, even watching from the VIP stands off to the side. Then we same out to watch a couple songs from The Devil Wears Prada which was cool, definitely veterans in the Ohio metalcore world. Then Wage War was up next for us. We had watched them before, two years earlier and enjoyed it. This time around, we knew mostly every song they played and were up close. They were fantastic, they did their Wage War thing which consisted of hurting our necks from headbanging, melting faces with riffs, and making us scream our lungs out. Now, my little stretch of Heaven began with Wage War because after them was Motionless In White. They were one of the best live bands I have ever seen in both a club setting and festival scene. Crowd surfers were nonstop which was fine with me and basically everyone else. I stayed out of the mosh pit so I could save my energy for Ohio’s pride and joy, BEARTOOTH. My favorite band of all time, I have Caleb’s lyrics tattooed on me if that does not show you support for an artist, I don’t know what does. One of the most wild sets of the weekend, at least for me. The pits were insane, after leaving the pit, I stumbled my way to Jake, spitting out mud, blood falling out of my face, and out lungs full of dust. We were pretty beat up and tired by the end of their set so, we made the executive decision to pass on seeing Halestorm and Rob Zombie and headed home early.

After everything was said and done, Inkcarceration has taken the top spot on my festival tower. I am already planning to buy my passes for this coming July’s festival in the next few days. DWP taking over this festival as one of their own was a great move for DWP themselves and all those involved with Inkcarceration. This move is going to draw larger crowds, bigger artists, and more luxuries due to the increased levels of funds. DWP continues to amaze myself and thousands of others every single time that they announce lineups, put out new events, and they involve themselves with their supporters and communities.

Tour Talks: The Hella Mega Tour

Introducing something new this week; as much as we love sitting and listening to music, writing, and talking about it, we love going to concerts just as much, maybe even more. These ‘Tour Talks’ are essentially going to be discussing the overall lineup for the tour, setlist lengths, venues, and if we attend the shows, our opinions and experiences at the shows, and any other information we deem important to mention. With this first edition we are going to be discussing The Hella Mega Tour which features, The Interrupters, Weezer, Fall Out Boy, and being headlined by Green Day.

Tour Poster

Originally set to take place in 2020, but obviously postponed back a year. The whole basis of this tour was for the bands to prove that rock and roll is still alive within young people. With a lineup this huge, the shows would have no chance at being anything besides stadiums, upwards of 25,000 attendees at each show can be expected. The venues are ranging from open fields, baseball stadiums, and soccer stadiums. Tickets are available for GA standing, GA Seated, and pit tickets for the die hard fans. The stage is set up differently for each band that shows off the unique qualities each brand brings to the table. It really makes it seem like you are going to three different headliner shows.

The Interrupters play a cool 30 minute set of rock infused ska jams that you are only going to get from the West Coast. Their set contained high energy and catchy songs, though none of the other bands on the bill were playing ska music, I feel that the choice to bring this band on tour was perfect. Even if you had never heard their music before, their sound is going to draw you in and you will listen.

To really amp up the excitement, Weezer plays an hour long set of just under 20 songs. A ton of new material which to some people is cool and others not so much, but with as many songs as they played there was plenty of room to play all of their big hits. A stage covered with pastels, cool outfits, and Rivers Cuomo sporting the coolest mustache and sweatband around the head. The set ends with their iconic song, “Buddy Holly” where at the tail end they shoot load of confetti to the roaring crowd.

Fall Out Boy continued after a brief intermission to change the stage setup, another hour set but this time with an almost totally different vibe. A set full of hits, dancing, and the crowd singing almost louder than Patrick Stump. The performance itself was fantastic, tightness on all instruments, beautiful vocals that sound exactly like recording, oh and fire. A lot of fire, shooting from the stage and even the bass of Pete Wentz. The Chicago natives spread out their setlist evenly with a perfect mix of new and old songs. Finishing their set with the signature track of theirs entitled, “Saturday”. They played the perfect set to get everyone ready for Green Day.

Clocking in at just under two hours, the headliners and punk rock legends Green Day. Kicking off with ‘American Idiot’ the crowd is instantly pulled in and forced to jump around whether they like it or not. Billie Joe Armstrong made sure that the crowd got involved, he screamed at us, made us sing, dance, cry, and laugh for two hours. Not much new material was played by the guys besides their latest single ‘Pollyanna’. Other songs like, “Boulevard Of Broken Dreams”, “Basket Case”, “Longview”, and “Good Riddance” made appearances to the delight of all the fans in attendance. Several times throughout the show there are blasts of fire that those in the stands can feel, sparks falling on the stage, confetti, and a large firework show at the end of the night.

As a first concert back for many concert goers I do not know that I could have asked for a much better show to go to. My voice was completely gone by the end of the night. It felt great to be back and being in a place that makes me feel right at home, the people, the sounds, the smells, and the energy. There are a few dates left on the tour so if you have the chance and the cash, grab a couple tickets, it is definitely all worth it.

Full Force Festival 2022 Lineup Analysis

June 24th through the 26th, Ferropolis, Germany is hosting the growingly popular Full Force Festival. Germany is one country that does not take rock and metal music and festivals lightly. Full Force is one festival that is slowly staking their claim as a big dog festival in Europe. In the past, bands like Slayer, Judas Priest, Parkway Drive, Limp Bizkit, Arch Enemy, and Motorhead have headlined the weekend long metal camp. Like all other German metal festivals, Full Force spares no expense for lights, stage setups, and intense imagery that will instinctually make someone throw some horns in the air with breakdowns happening on stage. This years lineup is very exciting to see, with a lot of familiar names showing up on stage. There is a wide variety of acts too, ranging from pop punk all the way to super heavy deathcore.

Festival Poster

Though the poster does not show very many names at the moment, there are plenty more names to be added still within the next year. Looking from the bottom of the list to the top, we see that this festival is just stacked already with more to come later. Initially, Stick To Your Guns is the name that caught my attention, veterans of big metal festivals and alumni of this particular festival. STYG is one of the most consistent bands I have ever seen, the vocals are spot on and the energy given out is unmatched by any other band. Fusing elements from hardcore, metalcore, and speed punk, there is nothing quite like a set from these Orange County vets. Another big name that has been around the block a few times is Canadian easy-core band, Silverstein. This band was one of the first bands out there to do the “one vocalist does all” game plan, clean and unclean vocals coming from the same person. Many years of playing shows are under their belts, but they still play every set like they are in their twenties.

A somewhat surprising name that pops up on this lineup is Neck Deep, as popular as they are, it does not seem to me like they are going to be a crowd favorite, their music is great but at a festival generally focusing on much heavier sounds? I am not too sure, I hope they are received well as they are very talented. Now, remember how I said this festival focuses on the heavier side of music? Exhibit A, from Oldham County, Kentucky is Knocked Loose. One of the few bands out there today with the actual potential to make hardcore mainstream, which would be both a blessing and a curse for the genre. Their stage presence is a ten, sound quality is a ten, crowd interaction is a ten, and their overall image is a ten. These guys scream hardcore (literally and figuratively). One of the bigger bands on the bill that is not a “headliner” is Killswitch Engage, I have always given this band a lot of praise as I see them to be one of the founding fathers of metalcore and one of the first breakout bands of the new American heavy metal scene from the early 2000’s. Unbelievable live performances and hilarious crowd interaction, these guys are a smash hit every stage they play.

The last few of the really notable names on the undercard are, Creeper the goth rock band from the UK who can be seen at so many different types of festivals, all the from events like Download to an event like Coachella where I would not be surprised to see them. Counterparts from Canada are almost globally known as one of the best metalcore bands out there today, their music is instantly recognizable due to the powerful vocals of Brendan Murphy. Finally, alt-rockers from the UK Boston Manor are an energetic group, with catchy choruses and hooks for days. I have seen this group more than a few times and each set is better than the last, these guys do put on great festival slot performances but they are made for the clubs.

Our headliners thus far, The Ghost Inside will finally be making their triumphant return to live music and touring circuits, across the board one of the most consistent bands from recording to on the stage. Riffs that always raise eyebrows and some of the heaviest breakdowns to date. The hometown heroes of this festival most likely will end the weekend, German extreme metal group, Heaven Shall Burn. They are known for their diverse metal stylings and their lyrical content that ranges from anti-racist, anti-facist to oppression and resistance.

KNOTFEST Los Angeles: Lineup Analysis

An additional to the multitude of Knotfest shows that Slipknot is venturing on this year is taking place at the Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles. The lineup is essentially the lineup for the Roadshow along with a couple extras. Opening the day we have The Cherry Bombs and Vended. The other surprise artist we will see that day is Bring Me The Horizon who is going on directly before Slipknot. The United States has not had the chance to see BMTH perform since the Fall of 2019. This will be the icing on the cake to top off an awesome Knotfest Roadshow tour in the US.

The venue is the stadium for soccer team, Los Angeles FC. The capacity for the stadium is 22,000 without standing room, you can tack another eight to ten thousand on top of that. It is going to be a once and a lifetime experience, a lot of these bands may never share a stage this size together again. With more and more shows and tours being announced every single week, fans are going to be eager to get back to them and be back in those communities that helped shape and mold them into who they are. Tickets are on sale now and range from $80-$750. There are options for GA seats and GA standing as well as varying tiers for VIP. Some of the VIP features include, meet and greets, VIP only areas, a history of Slipknot museum walk through experience, and even a opportunity to have a polaroid photo taken of you by none other than Shawn ‘Clown’ Crahan

This is one of the largest shows that Slipknot will headline on their own. This will also be our first chance at seeing Bring Me The Horizon share a stage with Slipknot. To some, that combo sounds unbelievable and others would rather see some of the older metal bands get out there to play with Slipknot. Exciting things from each artist is sure to take place, Code Orange and Fever 333 are super high energy to keep everyone warm for the later sets. Killswitch Engage will bring the heat with shredding riffs and solos, melodic jams, and easily recognizable choruses. Bring Me The Horizon will be playing a lot of new stuff from last years double EP release, ‘POST HUMAN: SURVIVAL HORROR’. If we’re lucky we may get a new tune from Slipknot who have been teasing their new album recently.

You can purchase tickets and VIP passes now at:


All questions and information can be found there as well.

Album Review: Below by Beartooth

In the year 2021 we have seen a lot of changes, new people in power, life slowly making its’ way back to normal, and shows are coming back. The one thing that has not changed is the undefeated, unrivaled, and undeniable songwriting that comes from the mind of one, Caleb Shomo. This album is charting new waters and new territory for Beartooth, this album is heightening the already stacked discography that got them to where they are today.

Album Artwork

You like heavy metal? This album gives you heavy metal, while also giving you emotional and catchy choruses that everyone can and will enjoy. One of the first lines that we hear in the album is, “I feel the rage, something’s starting to grow, Six hundred sixty six feet in my hell below”. We can hear plenty of elements of influence from bands like, Black Sabbath, Power Trip, Slipknot, and AC/DC. Blast beats, breakdowns, rock-downs, screams, intoxicating singing, and silence are all experiences that are presented throughout this record.

The writing process of this album took place both before and during the pandemic, naturally we can expect a shift in the writing process and headspace of Caleb Shomo. Shades of the early days of Beartooth are heard in songs such as Skin and No Return, they recount the troubled and depressed mindset Caleb was trapped in before starting Beartooth and for awhile after. These two songs are chronicles of everyday life, with the constant pain in the back of your head, nagging you and making sure that you have some anxiety to deal with when you wake up.

While Shomo spares no expense at writing heavy songs to release the aggression, he also has no problem with writing songs that are going to empower and encourage everyone. He wants people to know that they are strong and have made it this far, no reason to turn back or give up. This idea is very evident on songs, I Won’t Give Up and The Past Is Dead. These two are going to be radio favorites for a long time.

The closer of the album, The Last Riff paints a picture of Caleb Shomo standing, staring, and expressionless as he looks out at a crowd full of die hard fans after a set, letting them know that they just put it all out there. They are not finished and they will not be for a very long time. Get used to hearing their name, they are gong to be the headliners one day, they are going to be the band that people tell their grandkids about.

Say what you will about rock and metal but there is nothing like it, there’s no more emotional music to put on display for the world to hear. Nothing unites like hard rock and heavy metal with powerful messages. Below is an early front runner for album of the year, every song on the track list has some seriously great and unique qualities. Some songs are better than others, but there is not a song on the record that is bad. The production quality is new, it sounds fresh, clean while also being nasty, and opens eyes.

Rating: 9/10

Music Videos:

Check out the album and new merch:


Blue Ridge Rock Festival Lineup Analysis

The time has finally come, after months of announcing bands and artists one by one, the festival worlds newest heavyweight has released a full lineup minus three special guests who have yet to be revealed to the public. Even without those three being announced quite yet, this festival is likely to be the best rock/metal festival of the year. With four whole days of rock, there is not a rocker in the world that will not be able to find something that they love there. Here is the official lineup from Blue Ridge Rock:

Right off the bat, we can see that they spent their budget on more popular names for the undercard of each day and not so much headliners which I believe is a smart move, younger bands that are going to be the future upper-card and headliners. Huge name headliners often require a lot of money for performance and this is a fan driven experience so it can be less expensive for passes as well.

Thursday: A very strong start to the weekend, we see really impressive names early on such as, Slaves (post-hardcore) and Chelsea Grin (deathcore). These two artists will bring their respective genres to the stage for attention from thousands and thousands of concert deprived rockers. My sleeper pick for best band of Thursday is easily, Spiritbox. These somewhat new comers from Canada are taking metalcore in a new direction that is beautifully haunting due to the vocals of Courtney LaPlante. Hardcore legends Hatebreed are going to bring a beatdown style of empowering hardcore to the festival, an excellent choice for a day filled with such variety. Skillet begins the top line of performances which will be a somewhat decent performance, nothing new from them in awhile so, there should be plenty of classics to be played. Halestorm is a consist at almost every rock festival these days and for good reason, they kill it every set they play. The Ghost Inside having made their return to the stage just about a year ago, are ready to bring their present metalcore sound to make the mosh pits huge. A Day To Remember is well on their way to be the future headliners of festivals, rightfully so, no one does music quite like these guys do. Breaking Benjamin ends the night, playing their only festival of the year. One of the better live bands out there in the rock world today, a perfect choice to end Thursday.

Friday: Taking the stage in the first half of the day, Tallah shows the festival the latest genre fusion, Nu-metalcore. D.R.U.G.S, Crown The Empire, and Knocked Loose are the three most exciting names on the second line from the bottom for Friday, D.R.U.G.S (Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows) made their triumphant return or at least tried to last year, so they will be welcomed with open arms. Atreyu is fresh off an album release which will bring new songs to their setlist, Motionless In White is looking to get some new material released this year, and they are going all out for live performances lately. I Prevail is playing their only show of the entire year at Blue Ridge, they will be as impressive as they always are, likely to be a crowd favorite for the weekend. Rise Against, Limp Bizkit, and Rob Zombie all have the ability and popularity to be headliners for that night, so Friday will be a treat for everyone. Rob Zombie is definitely the safe headliner choice, but the other two are perfect to go on right before him.

Saturday: Consistently strong throughout the whole day, the day starts off with two severely underrated deathcore bands in Spite and Brand Of Sacrifice, nothing better to start off a festival day then with disgusting gutteral vocals and head-pounding breakdowns that will leave you trying to catch your breath. Punk/metal fusion pioneers, Corrosion Of Conformity are making an appearance, that set will definitely be one to check out if the opportunity arises. Badflower, Avatar, and Wage War are all growing into fan favorites and draw much attention when on festival stages, each band has something very unique about them that makes their live shows very memorable and enjoyable. The only truly notable names on the line right before the top are Beartooth, Trivium, and Body Count. Beartooth and Trivium bringing to different styles of metal and rock that is almost universally enjoyed and Body Count is of course, the metal band from LA formed by Ice-T. Lamb Of God and Megadeth making another stop in their co-headliner tour, of course going on one after another. Ending the night in a disappointing way with Five Finger Death Punch, that is all there really is to say about that.

Sunday: Today is the go home day, have to make sure it is a good one. To start, we have Currents and Fit For A King who are metalcore powerhouses that will for sure wake up everyone who is tired. More metalcore bands to highlight on the line above are August Burns Red and Ice Nine Kills, both bands having been around the block a few times are getting very popular in recent months. One of the coolest acts to watch all weekend is without a doubt, Rev Run of Run-DMC. We then have a mystery artist after The HU, Underøath, Killswitch Engage, Mastodon, and Gojira all coming on one after the other is a ton of very heavy music which is not a bad thing. Again, it is the last day, have to give these people their moneys worth. Papa Roach is performing the entirety of their album ‘Infest‘ along with other hits, we have after that a special guest headliner that is filling in for a band that pulled, whoever that is will be an exciting choice. To send everyone home. Shinedown is going to finish the weekend off in a more rock driven choice rather than metal which is a good move, still plenty of songs to bang your head to but maybe not opening up too many mosh pits.

This festival is for the people, they can expect so many different things to be attracted to besides the stages, food, fun, and even a club experience that will feature, Ludacris, Lil Jon, and another guest yet to be announced. On top of that, the entire weekend is being hosted by none other than your friendly neighborhood psychopath Steve-O from Jackass. Hopefully, he’ll bring some friends and do some crazy stunts for the crowd.

More information and what little passes are left can be found here:https://blueridgerockfest.com/

KNOTFEST Iowa 2021 Lineup Analysis

Slipknot is making their return home Iowa and they are bringing some friends along with them, KnotFest is doing a one off from the Roadshow to play for their family and friends. The initial look at this lineup is impressive with some surprises that tilts heads but also makes sense in a way. We will see the festival take place in Indianola, Iowa at the National Balloon Classic Field which is just south of Des Moines. We can expect to see a lot of people to make their way to this festival as it will be one of the first and only festivals happening this year.

Megadeth Knotfest Iowa

Right off the bat, Griffin Taylor’s (son of Corey Taylor) band Vended will open the day to get things moving. Gatecreeper is bringing some death metal from Arizona to the fest. After those two bands open the day, business really starts to pick up with Turnstile the melodic hardcore group from Baltimore. If there was one band on the lineup that is a must see, it’s Knocked Loose, leading the charge for hardcore to become more popular from Oldham County, Kentucky, these guys do not know how to miss, they are seriously heavy hitters that put on fantastic live performances. Fever 333 is this generations Rage Against The Machine, they have all the energy in their pockets like lightning in a bottle.

With our first real substantial switch in genre of this festival, legendary chopper rapper, Tech N9ne. He is a big name in both the rap and rock world and will have plenty of fans in attendance for his set. Trivium is up after him and is a heavyweight in metalcore, a consistently impressive band when it comes to releases and live performances, they are also set to open on the road for the Megadeth and Lamb Of God (who also appear at the festival) co-headliner this summer. Gojira is hot off their album release and have a thirst for touring to promote the album, we can expect to hear new songs from the ever growingly popular French metal band.

Getting into the second half of the festival, the name that really caught my eye on first glance is $uicideboy$, this New Orleans rap duo is a household name in the rap world but most likely not in the rock and metal communities. In an odd way, it almost makes sense for these two to have a set at KnotFest, they have a darker sound, their songs are guaranteed to get people hyped, and these guys love the scene. Going on after them is the previously mentioned, Lamb Of God and Megadeth, both sets will be rowdy, both sets will draw lots of attention, and will bring plenty of familiar tunes to the crowds. These two bands have years and years of experience playing in front of tons of people and it shows, both of their live performances are very impressive.

Sub-headlining the day we have another Nu-metal powerhouse in Faith No More, this band is a fan favorite, a lot of really good and unique songs under their belts that are sure to please the excited crowds. Mike Patton is certainly a character and an enjoyable vocalist to watch take the stage. Finally, to take everyone home, Slipknot playing in front of their home of Maggots. One of their first shows of 2021, they are going to be pulling out all the stops to give Iowa the craziest show they have ever seen. As we see more and more of the metal festivals, “classic” headliners start to hang up their guitars and leather pants, Slipknot has become THE festival headliner for rock and metal festivals because of their consistency and undying love for live music.

General admission and VIP tickets, along with more information about the one-off Iowa festival can be found here:


Welcome To Rockville Lineup Analysis

The latest major festival in the DWP catalog to be announced is Welcome To Rockville, taking place at Daytona Beach, this Florida fest is going to be quite a spectacle. With a long weekend for festival attendees, the overall lineup is quite diverse and is stacked heavily with very impressive and exciting acts that are both new on the scene and have been around the block a few times. The weekend is guaranteed to leave those going wishing that it was more than just a four day event.

Official Lineup

Thursday: To some, Thursday could be the strongest day and to others it could be the weakest day. To highlight some of the names throughout the day, we are presented with some acts on the more unique side of the spectrum such as Brass Against, Jeris Johnson, and grandson. Jeris Johnson and grandson both gaining a lot of popularity in recent months due to their associations and different takes on rock as a genre. Brass Against, this band is just fun to listen to, filled with all brass instruments you could want playing covers of the most notorious rock and metal songs of all time. Spiritbox and Architects are two bands that will be bringing the heaviness to the sound system, encouraging everyone to mosh and hurt each other in the safest way possible. Stone Temple Pilots will bring a more mellow rock sound to give everyone a break before Deftones and Nine Inch Nails finish the night leaving everyone ready for more on Friday.

Friday: The first two names that immediately catch our eyes are, Tallah and Zero 9:36. Two totally unique and different sounding artists, Tallah being a nu-metal infused metalcore band that is bound to have all listeners banging their heads and Zero 9:36 is a rapper that bends the genres of both rap and rock to make something truly fresh and interesting to the ears. Then after those two, Crown The Empire and Ice Nine Kills. These two will be bringing a more metalcore/active rock sound to Rockville which will keep the energy going. The row just before the top on the lineup is stacked to the high heavens, Wage War, Beartooth, Pennywise, and Chevelle. A perfect mix of metalcore, active rock, punk, and alt-rock/metal. Then, some more punk from Social Distortion, old school heavy metal from Rob Zombie, and of course headlined by Metallica. I believe Friday is the strongest day overall from beginning to end.

Saturday: The stronger part of this days’ lineup is in the latter half, but there are still some gems here to check out early on. Bad Omens and Atreyu are names we hear on the radio often, so a lot of people should be familiar with their songs, both bands will have a fairly rowdy set to keep the energy high. Much like Friday, the row before the top on the lineup is jam packed with impressive and exciting acts, Fever 333 brings an energy and performance that you will not see from anyone else. Badflower is another name we hear on the radio, these guys put on good shows with great musicianship, GWAR is GWAR and if you do not know anything about them, look up some photos and that should tell you enough. Asking Alexandria is metalcore turned radio rock that brings catchy hooks and riffs to appease masses. Lamb Of God is going to be dropping the metal bomb on attendees, Stained is going to bring early 2000’s rock anthems to the festival, The Offspring are bringing more anthems under the alternative and pop punk genres, and Disturbed will be a decent choice to close the evening.

Sunday: Another very strong lineup, the name that first caught our eye was Higher Power, this band is not getting enough attention in the United States, they have a cool almost old school sound of hardcore that they have mastered, we are all hoping they get more attention after Rockville. Alien Weaponry is bringing some groovy thrash metal from New Zealand that will be sure to turn heads, Of Mice & Men are playing intense metalcore, Dance Gavin Dance is the most prominent post-hardcore band in music right now, and Code Orange is a groundbreaking metal/hardcore band that has garnered a lot of attention. Falling In Reverse does not do many festivals, so they are one band that is a must see, Ronnie Radke is solidifying himself as rock royalty one song at a time. Mudvayne will be playing one of their first shows for their reunion, Lynard Skynard, this one kinda came out of left field for us but we think will be enjoyable for all. Metallica, playing their second set (completely different setlist from Friday) of the weekend and will no doubt leave attendees happy and smiling as they go on their way.

This festival along with Louder Than Life have become must attend festivals for a lot of people every single year. The lineup we have here has a lot of similar artists as LTL but not enough to drive people away. Definitely would recommend this to rockers and metalheads in the surrounding Florida areas. VIP and General Admission passes, along with camping passes are on sale now.

More information on the festival can be found here: