Album Review: Sleeps Society by While She Sleeps

The fifth studio album, Sleeps Society by British metalcore outfit, While She Sleeps was released April 16th, 2021 under the band’s self-made label, Sleeps Brothers. It was written by the band and was co-produced by Sean Long and Carl Brown. While She Sleeps has a loyal fanbase that supports them in all their endeavors, naturally this album came with a lot of great expectations and support. WSS shares a relationship with their fanbase like no other band has today, they need each other and they use this album to make it known their need for each other and their mutual love. This record is a love letter, a note of gratitude, and a message of thankfulness. As sweet as that sounds, the record itself is still a metalcore record, it lacks nothing heavy and is very WSS.

Album Cover by: Eurobroid, Ruby Sanderson, Mat Welsh, and Adam “Sav” Savage.

We see throughout the album a variety of different song styles, compositions, and lyrical content. WSS called in for reinforcements to feature on some tracks such as, No Defeat For The Brave which features, Deryck Whibley of Sum 41, the song Nervous features, Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro, and the most meaningful feature appears on the song, Call Of The Void which calls for vocal appearances by members of the Sleeps Society (While She Sleeps fanbase). Some other notable tracks are, Enlightment (?), Sleeps Society, and DN3 3HT. DN3 3HT is the very last track on the album and is just a hair over seven minutes, the send off to the album is recordings of vocal messages by each member of the band thanking the fans for supporting them over the years, expressing their gratitude for the lives they have been given, and encouraging those to not give up on their dreams.

Overall, the record came with generally positive responses from fans and casual listeners. It is built around nasty riffs, and has been flavored with ever-present, catchy hooks. More attention has been made for electronic and synth sounds to play major roles in the songs throughout the album. This album is a good addition to the already impressive catalog that they have built up over the years, it does not quite reach the level that their previous album, So What? is at, but nevertheless this is a good record and deserves a listen for fans of the newer era of metalcore.

Rating: 7.5/10


Inkcarceration 2021 Festival Lineup Analysis

After many months of pushing things back and waiting, festival goers have been blessed with the lineup for this years Inkcarceration Festival taking place at Ohio State Reformatory. Having been taken over this year by DWP, Ink is being taken to the next level by the festival deities, Danny Wimmer and Danny Hayes. The weekend at the clink is taking place right before the other big rock and metal festival in September, Blue Ridge Rock. The lineup we received this year is unlike any lineup Inkcarceration has seen before. Naturally, this is not a surprise, after way too long with no shows or festivals, every band is trying to get on every festival bill they can.

Every single day has a a few sets for everyone that is going to be in attendance. Each day is varied with metal artists, rock artists, and everything in between. The venue will feature two stages each day which means most people will not have to sacrifice missing any bands. The headliners are each night are going to be perfect ways to end the days. Slipknot is one of the most consistently great performing bands in metal today, Mudvayne is back and are ready to bring the nu-metal back to the public, and Rob Zombie fits the venue perfectly and will be a nice way to close the weekend.

Friday is riddled with some seriously heavy acts like, Spite, Currents, Ice Nine Kills, and Killswitch Engage. Of course, the purpose of these bands is to warm up the anxious crowd for Slipknot who is the perfect act to end night one of Ink. Saturday has consistently great acts playing all day. Some of the Saturday acts that have potential to steal the day are, Bad Omens, Crown The Empire, and A Day To Remember. Other notable acts for Saturday are, Saul, August Burns Red, and Asking Alexandria. Sunday is the last day of the weekend is a great send off to the festival goers and the weekend overall will be a good welcome back for festival goers who missed live music. Sunday will feature four of the most consistently tight performing bands today in, Fever 333, Motionless In White, Beartooth, and Halestorm. Bands like, Attila, The Devil Wears Prada, and Wage War are bringing some seriously heavy, metal-core power. The night is going to be capped off with everyone’s favorite theatrically spooky man, Rob Zombie.

Weekend general and VIP passes are on sale now and are going to be bought up fast. All of the tattoo artists have been announced and are available to make appointments for the festival now. It is gonna be a killer weekend and is a new era for Inkcarceration.

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Sunday Spotlight: Motionless In White

Our spotlight is on the Scranton, Pennsylvania metal-core outfit, Motionless In White. Formed in 2005, this band is one of the most well known metal-core bands today, with all their album releases coming with great reviews. The band currently consists of vocalist Chris “Motionless” Cerulli, lead guitarist Ryan Sitkowski, rhythm guitarist Ricky “Horror” Olson, bassist Justin Morrow, and drummer Vinny Mauro. They have released five full-length albums since 2010 with their most recent album Disguise, coming from Roadrunner Records in 2019. Their debut album, Creatures just hit the ten year anniversary mark and they released a single performed in the style of the album to celebrate the ten year mark. Motionless In White has a loyal fanbase that is ever growing with each release and tour they participate on.

From left to right: Justin Morrow, Ryan Sitkowski, Chris Motionless, Ricky Horror, and Vinny Mauro.

Having been a band since 2005, they have spent many months on the road supporting other artists and themselves. They have played some insane shows where the venues are filled to the brim and the pits are massive. Some amazing bands they have shared a stage with include, Beartooth, Ice Nine Kills, Avatar, Asking Alexandria, Alice Cooper, Halestorm, Breaking Benjamin, Korn, Falling In Reverse, Lamb of God, and Slipknot. These bands mentioned are all huge in the rock and metal scene, so these tours were always packed and wild. They have hit some huge festival bills like, Warped Tour, Epicenter, Skate and Surf Festival, Rebel Rock, iMatter Fest, Mayhem Festival, Download, Aftershock, Inkcarceration, and many other big name festivals both in the US and all over the world. They are one of the tightest bands out there today and can easily get a crowd off their feet. They have such a diverse discography that they have an infinite amount of setlists they can put together that will make the crowd lose their minds.

Interviews with Chris Motionless have revealed that the band is working on a new album and he said it has some of their heaviest songs to date on it. This of course is exciting to all Motionless fans, there is nothing quite like the aggressively distinct screams and clean vocals. This band has been around the block a few times and will keep going around until they no longer can, expanding their fanbase every single album cycle. They figured out the code to being unique and impressive in the metal-core scene today.

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Sunday Spotlight: Beartooth

This Sunday our spotlight is on Columbus rock/metal group Beartooth. Vocalist Caleb Shomo began writing songs for Beartooth while he was fronting his previous band, Attack Attack! and after his departure from the band in 2012, he decided to record the music he had written and in June of 2013, they signed with Red Bull Records and released their debut EP, Sick less than a month later. They have now released three full length records and have a fourth on the way set to release sometime in the upcoming months. The bands lineup currently consists of vocalist, Caleb Shomo, drummer Connor Denis, bassist and backup vocalist Oshie Bichar, rhythm guitarist Will Deely, and lead guitarist Zach Huston. There has been a few lineup changes over the years as most bands do but, this current lineup seems very fluid and it meshes well together, these guys are tight and rock harder than the rest every single time they take the stage.

From left to right: Will Deely, Connor Denis, Caleb Shomo, Oshie Bichar, and Zach Huston

Having risen at an accelerated pace to be one of the biggest names in modern rock and metal today, Beartooth has shared stages on tour with some very big names as support and headlining. Some of these bands include, Of Mice & Men, Knocked Loose, Motionless In White, Architects, Slipknot, A Day To Remember, Bring Me The Horizon, I Prevail, Pierce The Veil, and Underøath. Along with all these killer artists, they have been on festival stages such as, Warped Tour, Sonic Temple/Rock on the Range, Aftershock, Louder Than Life, iMatter, Download, Las Rageous, Reading/Leeds, Epicenter, and Slam Dunk. The setlists these guys put together for both club shows and festivals slots is no doubt going to get people sweating. The heavy breakdown style of metalcore mixed with hardcore punk that you can hear on debut LP, Disgusting will give anyone the desire to jump in the pit, while on the opposite end of the spectrum they have less fast and heavy songs that hit just as hard on their albums, Aggressive and Disease.

Beartooth is one of the bands keeping rock alive today. Caleb Shomo’s impactful and real lyrical writing style give this band an edge over many other bands today. Their new album while may be concerning to some is exciting for others like myself. Their is always something new these guy are working on, they hit the road a lot and they hit it hard, wanting to play a ton of shows all the time. They care deeply about their fans and are some of the nicest guys I have met in the scene. It seems like they have no signs of stopping anytime soon and us fans can only hope that is the case.

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Check out their latest single, Devestation right here:

Sunday Spotlight: Knuckle Puck

Our spotlight band this week is, the Chicago based pop-punk outfit, Knuckle Puck. The group formed in 2010 after their beginnings of covering different pop-punk tracks. The group currently consists of, lead vocalist Joe Taylor, lead guitarist Kevin Maida, drummer John Siorek, rhythm guitarist Nick Casasanto, and bassist Ryan Rumchaks. Since their conception, Knuckle Puck has released six EP’s (including a split with Neck Deep) as well as three full-length albums starting with Copacetic (2015), Shapeshifter (2017), and their latest LP release is 20/20 which was released last year. Knuckle Puck has become a mainstay of the unique early 2010’s.

From left to right: Kevin Maida, John Siorek, Joe Taylor, Ryan Rumchaks, and Nick Casasanto.

The Chicago boys have not wasted much of their careers with relaxing at home, they are on the road often, and for long periods of time. They have toured with many different artists that made for some amazing shows such as tours with, Movements, With Confidence, Citizen, Real Friends, State Champs, The Menzingers, Mayday Parade, Modern Baseball, Neck Deep, Sleeping With Sirens, and Good Charlotte. They have also played on stages at festivals like Warped Tour, Slam Dunk, So What?, Snowed In, Unify The Gathering, Four Chord, Never Say Never, Self-Help, and Riot Fest. These guys have done it all on the touring spectrum already in just over a decade of being a band. One of the tightest bands at a festival and will draw hundreds and hundreds to their club shows.

Knuckle Puck is already one of my favorite pop-punk bands not only for their perfect name but their music hits, and it hits deep, songs like No Good, Disdain, and Double Helix are three songs that I would show to anyone interested in Knuckle Puck, these tracks perfectly encapsulate the band as a whole and who they are. I know when touring starts happening again consistently, KP is going to be hitting the road hard to promote the album they released last year as well as just get around to bring smiles to all their fans.

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Sunday Spotlight: Architects

Our spotlight this week is on the metalcore outfit from Brighton, East Sussex, England, Architects. Formed in 2004, the group was started by brothers, Dan and Tom Searle. The band now consists of Dan Searle on drums, Sam Carter on vocals, Alex Dean on bass, and Adam Christianson and Josh Middleton on guitars. The band is currently signed to Epitaph and has been signed there since 2013. The British metal heavyweights have released nine albums since their formation with their most recent album coming out less than a month ago titled, For Those That Wish To Exist. Some of the artists they can attribute their influence to are, Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Hatebreed, Gojira, Slipknot, Thrice, and Deftones.

From left to right: Josh Middleton, Dan Searle, Alex Dean, Sam Carter, and Adam Christianson

Coming up on twenty years as a band, Architects has been everywhere and played with everyone. So many headline tours, tours acting as support, and festival performances all over the world. Some of the bands that Architects have shared the stage with are, Bring Me The Horizon, Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, The Amity Affliction, Beartooth, Northlane, Counterparts, and Polaris. They have been on some huge festival bills like, Jera On Air, Epicenter, Sonic Temple, Warped Tour, Welcome To Rockville, Sonisphere, Aftershock, Download, Reading Leeds, All Points East, and Slam Dunk. These are all fairly big festivals that the group has played later in the day on either main or second stages.

Architects are veterans of modern metalcore and one of the names that comes to everyone’s mind when asked about metalcore bands. They have some amazing songs that are instantly recognizable due to Sam Carter’s distinct vocals that are unrivaled by any vocalist today. They have changed and developed over time but not matter what people think about the changes they make, they will draw and attract. They will forever be one of the most influential and important bands in metal music over the past two decades. Any metalcore music that comes out today has been influenced by Architects whether people want to admit that or not.

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Furnace Fest: Lineup Analysis

Another festival lineup has made its’ way out to the public and it is for the returning rock/metal festival, Furnace Fest. The Alabama festival is making its’ first appearance in almost 20 years. Taking place at Sloss Furnaces on September 24th through the 26th the triumphant return has come with great praise and seems that it could not have come at a better time. Seeing a lineup of this caliber and diversity is bringing quite a smile to the faces of all the sad festival-goers who have not had a lot to go to or be excited about in a long time. Each day has a little something special for every person that will go to the festival.

Festival Poster

Friday has quite a few highlights on the bill that will get the crowds going. We see hardcore bands like, SeeYouSpaceCowboy, END, Defeater, and Converge. Along side those beatdown hardcore acts we see some metalcore and post-hardcore acts such as, Gideon, Erra, Every Time I Die, Cave In, and the first night will be finished off by powerhouse, Underøath. Overall, Friday is a more than acceptable way to start the weekend off. There is a lot of bands that have potential to be the ones that steal the show throughout the weekends many performances.

Saturday seems to be a bit of a lighter day with the theme being centered around emo/pop punk type bands. There are quite a few different genre bands sprinkled in there as well like, Turnstile and The Bled that hold down the heavier side of things throughout the day. Some of the other artists to be mentioned are, Misery Signals, Mayday Parade, Evergreen Terrace, Cartel, Anberlin, and of course the headliner being, Taking Back Sunday. Again, a lighter day that will give most people a little break before the last day of the festival.

Sunday is probably the most stacked day with fairly huge names spread throughout the bill. Metalcore, hardcore, pop-punk, and plenty of other genres seen as well. The most notable names there are, Knocked Loose, Hatebreed, Fit For A King, Counterparts, Comeback Kid, Bad Cop/Bad Cop/ August Burns Red, is headlined by the ever consistent and always popular, Killswitch Engage. People that are fans of new American heavy metal and old school metalcore will be eager to get in a pit on this Sunday. Hatebreed and Killswitch Engage are big names which will draw big crowds and then you have bands like Knocked Loose and Fit For A King that are getting air time on radio stations so they will draw crowds. Counterparts and August Burns Red are two of the best bands in metalcore today as well so, great sets can be expected from them.

Furnace Fest making its’ long awaited return is great news, with a lineup like this, we can expect there to be a ton of people at the festival. Hopefully if all goes well, it will be a festival that sticks around for awhile. It is a way for smaller bands like some on this lineup to get their names out there and have big audiences exposed to their art and their music. If you’re in the south and looking for a festival that packs a punch and will hit you in the gut over and over, look no further. Grab a ticket to this gnarly weekend.

Sunday Spotlight: Knocked Loose

This Sunday we are presenting to you a hardcore band that is on the rise in the United States and across the globe. We are talking about Knocked Loose, of course. Formed in Oldham County, Kentucky in the year, 2013; The bands lineup currently consists of, Bryan Garris on lead vocals, Cole Crutchfield on rhythm guitar and backup vocals, Isaac Hale on lead guitar and back vocals, Kevin Otten on bass, and Kevin Kaine on drums. These heavweights in hardcore have made a serious name for themselves since their signing with California powerhouse label, Pure Noise Records in 2016. They released their debut album, Laugh Tracks that same year which came along with very good reviews. They released their most recent full-length album, A Different Shade of Blue in 2019 under Pure Noise again which much like the last album, came with rave reviews but on a much more extreme level.

From left to right: Kevin Otten, Cole Crutchfield, Bryan Garris, Kevin Kaine, and Isaac Hale

These guys have toured an insane amount, they are rarely taking days off and when they do take days off, they are booking shows. They have shared stages with some legendary names in both the hardcore and metal scene over the years by playing shows with bands like, Parkway Drive, Thy Art Is Murder, August Burns Red, Beartooth, Motionless In White, A Day To Remember, Every Time I Die, and Counterparts to name a few metal bands. They have played shows in the hardcore scene with bands like Terror, Madball, Stick To Your Guns, Jesus Piece, and Year Of The Knife, Harms Way, and Sanction. They have been on some big name festival bills such as, Download, Snowed In, 2000 Trees, Slam Dunk, Aftershock, Sonic Temple, Self Help Fest, Rock Allegiance, and Louder Than Life.

I had the pleasure of seeing Knocked Loose in 2018 on the Disease Tour with Beartooth and Sylar. These guys truly know how to get a crowd going, Bryan’s higher register vocals give their style of hardcore something unique. Then Isaac has these booming lows that he brings in to punch their sound. The riffs are definitely hardcore but you hear influences from metal and death metal. Their breakdowns go insanely hard and the classic, “ARF ARF” we hear on their song, Counting Worms is always a smash hit. These guys are trying their hardest to bring hardcore back into the public eye and show everyone that what they’re doing is rad. I have so many high hopes and expectations for this groups next album, experimentation as well as their classic Oldham County Hardcore sound.

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Sunday Spotlight: Stand Atlantic

This Sunday we are spotlighting an Australian band that is rising rapidly in popularity. This is none other than the pop-punk/alt-rock band, Stand Atlantic. The group formed in Sydney Australia in 2012 and currently consists of vocalist/guitarist Bonnie Fraser, guitarist David Potter, bassist Miki Rich, and drummer Jonno Panichi. In 2017, they signed with Rude Records and released their ever-popular single, Coffee At Midnight. After rave reviews, they released the Sidewinder EP in September of the same year. Flash forward a year later they signed with Hopeless Records and released their debut full length, Skinny Dipping. That album put them on the map and brought them much recognition and as of August, 2020 they have released their second full length album, Pink Elephant on Hopeless Records as well.

From left to right: Jonno Panichi, David Potter, Bonnie Fraser, and Miki Rich

Coming up on ten years as a band, Stand Atlantic has been able to hit the road quite a lot and have played with some amazing acts as support as well as headlining shows. Some of the bands include, The Maine, Waterparks, One Ok Rock, New Found Glory, State Champs, Trophy Eyes, With Confidence, The Faim, and Neck Deep. They have hit festival stages all over the world such as, Inverted Festival, Sad Summer Fest, Galaxy Camp, Unify The Gathering, Slam Dunk Fest, and are on the bill for Download festival. I have seen this band in both a club setting and festival setting, they absolutely crushed it both times they performed. Their songs translate so well and get the crowd moving with Bonnie Fraser’s nonstop energy.

Stand Atlantic has really made a name for themselves with their last album release and have no plans of stopping what they are doing. They have an insanely unique sound that is not comparable to anyone else at the moment. They need to get back on the road as soon as they possibly can to promote these new songs as much as they can. We will be seeing and hearing more from them hopefully soon. These are future headliners in big rooms all over the world. Their performances and love for their fans sets them apart from so many other bands out there.

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Rebel Rock 2021: Lineup Analysis

Rebel Rock Festival is taking place this year in Orlando, Florida at the Central Florida Fairgrounds on September 24th-26th. This years festival is being fueled by none other than rock music’s favorite non-alcoholic beverage, Monster. The festival is a three day long rock fest with the day one being on a Friday but there will also be a Thursday night “Taco Metal Party” that will see performances from some great acts like, Greyhaven, Slaves, Polaris, and P.O.D. There are currently five more acts to be announced for the weekend, with one of them being a sub-headliner on Friday night. The official lineup as of right now can be seen below.

Official Lineup

Friday: This day in my opinion is already the highlight of the weekend even though we do not know who the other headliner is that day. That first day is going to be the ultimate warmup for the festival goers, so many heavy hitters to get the blood pumping and the adrenaline flowing. The highlights for Friday are going to be the bands, Fit For A King, Knocked Loose, Hatebreed, Motionless In White, Skillet, Parkway Drive, and Limp Bizkit. Names like these are going to draw huge crowds full of energy, these pits are going to be massive. Limp Bizkit headlining will be the perfect way to end the first night and will leave the crowds hungry to get back in Saturday morning.

Saturday: This day is filled with a wide and I mean wide variety of acts that will capture the attention of the festival goers throughout the entire day. There are still three acts to be announced for Saturday but some of the most exciting names on the bill for Saturday include: Escape The Fate, Attila, Body Count feat. Ice-T, Killswitch Engage, I Prevail, Legends of Wu-Tang, and Five Finger Death Punch. We have metalcore bands like Escape The Fate, and I Prevail bringing a modern take on metal, Attila holding down that metal/deathcore sound, then Body Count and Wu-Tang bringing some punk and hip-hop to the lineup. Those three mystery I can guarantee will bring even more variety to the already diverse day.

Sunday: The last day of the festival is an important day for many reasons, you have to send the people home happy, they are already tired from two other days of nonstop rock so we should not bring them something too heavy that they cannot keep up. Another diverse lineup that comes out of the gate strong but ends the night on some less intense but still impressive and sought after acts. Bands like Spite, Carnifex, and Suicide Silence are going to be bringing the heavy deathcore earlier in the day to warm those necks up for other acts like Miss May I, Anti-Flag, The Used, and Rise Against to end the weekend on a high note.

Overall this lineup seems very interesting and I believe it will draw in a ton of people down south who are looking for a festival to go to since Spring festivals have been cancelled. The remaining lineup spots will add to the excitement more and naturally will draw in more people especially since one of the empty spots is a headliner. Metal deity Jose Mangin is hosting Rebel Rock just to be the cherry on top, I mean who doesn’t lose Jose? Monster always brings a different element to festivals they work with that somehow makes the entire weekend seem more fun even thought they just sell energy drinks. If you are near Florida this fall and are looking for a good festival to go to, I would highly recommend checking out this festival it should be a blast.