AVENGED SEVENFOLD – LIFE IS BUT A DREAM… – ALBUM REVIEW
New Avenged Sevenfold albums are becoming rarer entities these days (it’s seven years since ‘The Stage’!), but it’s becoming tradition for them be polarising on release and subsequently embraced.
2013’s ‘Hail to the King’ was too mainstream, ‘The Stage’ was too progressive, and now many will write off new album, ‘Life is But a Dream’ as too weird and “out there”! Ultimately though, many look back fondly on those last two albums, and that will likely be the case once again here, but that may take some time.
The band have always been ambitious in their songwriting and been willing to push boundaries. This album certainly does that from the System of a Down-esque thunderous opening to ‘Game Over’ through various other influences both heavy and light.
In many ways it feels like the band have thrown paint on a wall and seen what it looks like once dry. The reality though is the opposite, clearly the band have spent considerable time (some would argue too much) working in all their ideas.
One thing for sure is that this is an album that warrants repeated listens. There is so much depth here that it’s impossible to take everything in first time around. By design it’s also an album that is greater than the sum of its parts. Songs that individually may feel too quirky like pre-release singles, ‘Nobody’ and ‘We Love You’, take on new life as part of the collective.
Often certain music is described as ‘marmite’ – you either love it or hate it. With ‘Life Is But A Dream’, Avenged Sevenfold have perhaps given the best example yet for that statement. Fans are either going really hate this, or they will really, truly love it. There will be no in-between!
Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts unveil new live dates
The last tour announcement in our News Report this week comes from Ricky Warwick & The Fighting Hearts, who have unveiled a handful of July live dates.
Warwick says: “After the fantastic shows we played last year, I’m thrilled to get back out with my band The Fighting Hearts once again. I’m looking forward to playing songs from all aspects of my musical journey!!”.
This week also saw Asking Alexandria reveal the video for their new single, ‘Dark Void’, which you can check out above.
The track is the first taste of their as-yet-titled new album set for release this autumn.
“With the world seemingly getting darker and darker, it’s easy to see why so many of us struggle with anxiety, depression, loneliness” relays guitarist Ben Bruce. “This song is about fighting those demons that live in your head and trying your hardest to be your own savior. Finding that inner strength to pull yourself out of the darkness.”
“This theme is explored throughout the entirety of our upcoming album. We all have our own struggles and hurdles. We are all on our own journeys that present unique challenges and difficulties, but we all have our own inner strength to fall back on. There is always light at the end of the tunnel. I feel that there can be comfort in knowing that we aren’t alone. We all feel a little down from time to time. We all feel a little lost from time to time, but somehow, in some way, we are all in this together and hopefully our new album can help people through some of their toughest times.”
DevilDriver this week shared their latest single from new album, ‘Dealing With Demons, Vol. II’.
You can check out the video for, ‘This Relationship, Broken’, above!
DevilDriver frontman Dez Fafara says about ‘This Relationship, Broken’: “‘This Relationship, Broken’ explores the severance that happens between two long time partners when they leave each other after years of turmoil.”
Duff McKagan this week shared new single ‘This Is The Song’, which you can check out above. The track features on a new EP honouring Mental Health Awareness Week.
“’This is the Song’ was written in the middle of a panic attack” Duff McKagan says in a personal statement about the EP. “I couldn’t breathe and couldn’t see straight, and lately, I have thankfully found my acoustic guitar as a refuge. If I just hold on to that guitar, play chords, and hum melodies, I can start to climb my way out of that hole. For those of you who have never experienced something like this, count yourselves blessed. To those of you who recognize what I am talking about: YOU ARE NOT ALONE!”
Next up in our News Report are Caskets, who this week debuted their new single ‘More Than Misery’, featuring Telle Smith (The Word Alive).
You can check out the track above which features on newly announced album, ‘Reflections’, which is out August 11th.
Speaking of the track, frontman Matt Flood says, “More Than Misery is written around the conflict of being hypnotically entranced by someone or something that in the end, you know will only lead to toxic habits or bad intentions. Everyone has felt this and been in this situation in one way or another throughout their life. It’s about not wanting to be in this situation and feeling the struggle of bearing the weight of pressure it puts on your shoulders. How it can affect every other thing around you, from your mental health to the relationships you build around you.”
”There is light at the end of the tunnel though,” he states. “To even acknowledge the situation and build a foundation of support around you to come face to face with what it is that’s holding you back. If you just take a step into the unknown, you’ll see your life is more than just misery’
Ayron Jones is next up in our News Report with his latest single, ‘The Title’, which you can check out above!
The track comes ahead of new album, ‘Chronicles of the Kid’, which comes out on June 23rd.
“For a lot of people, the world is a dark place. It feels like a dark room with no windows, no doors, and no way out,” Jones explains. “When we’re faced with uncertainty, our instincts tell us to either take flight or stay and fight. ‘The Title’ is dedicated to those of us who choose to fight. It’s about this seemingly foolish idea of holding on to a sliver of hope that drives our obsession to be great, even when faced with fear of defeat. It’s about winning because you don’t know how to fail.”
Closing out this section of our News Report this week is Conquer Divide who have shared their new single, ‘welcome2paradise’, which you can check out above!
The band have also revealed that their new album, ‘Slow Burn’, will arrive on September 8th.
“This song is special to all of us for a lot of reasons” says guitarist Kristen Sturgis. “We really wanted to stretch our musical muscles and play around with time signatures. We recorded some of the production ourselves, including drilling sounds you’ll hear sprinkled throughout the song. Artistically, we really stepped out of our comfort zone, and we ended up with something really special.”
The song also takes a close look at a very important topical issue.
“It’s sad that humans don’t care about our environment” Sturgis continues. “I was especially inspired by a situation close to my heart. I live on the Great Lakes, which contain 20% of the earth’s freshwater. There is a 70-year-old pipeline called Line 5 that is in very rough shape and runs through the water where Lake Huron and Lake Michigan meet. The current is especially turbulent there. The pipeline keeps getting hit by boat anchors.
I am not here to preach anti-fossil fuels, as electric vehicles come with their own environmental tolls, and touring bands have to drive gas-guzzling vehicles to play for our fans. But if a spill happened in that spot, it’s in the worst possible place, due to the strong currents.
A Great Lakes spill could affect major cities like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Windsor, Toronto, and Rochester, NY. Tourism, fishing industries, and boating would all be affected. And with all of the droughts happening around the U.S., it’s going to be everyone’s problem soon.
Right now, there’s just one small local organization trying to draw attention to it, but If I can do anything with this song release, it would be to shine a spotlight on something I care so much about.”
From the Black Country, Midlands, BIG SPECIAL share new single ‘SHITHOUSE’.
“’SHITHOUSE’ is about a rough time. The societal depression we are going through and its personal effects on people. It’s about looking at it from the outside and living it from the inside. Seemingly, no matter the moves we make, it all ends up a shithouse and sometimes all we can do is shout about it.” says singer Joe Hicklin.
Ålesund – ‘Rode Off Into the Sun’
Alt-pop outfit Ålesund reveal their new single ‘Rode Off Into The Sun’.
“I was so impressed by a friend who had been dealt a rough hand and instead of wallowing and seeing the glass as half empty, she just dusted herself off and charged on with making the best out of her life. It was inspiring to witness and became the main theme of the song”, says vocalist and lyricist Alba Torriset.
Butterfly Hurricane – ‘BARRICADE’
Alternative Rock artist Butterfly Hurricane has shared his debut single ‘BARRICADE’.
“A lot of my lyrics come from my battles with crohn’s disease and how it has affected my personal life and the lives of others. This song in is essentially me venting my frustrations on how I wish I could be someone else and just have a day not having to plan my life around this disease. It’s not all doom and gloom though, the struggle is part of the beauty. It’s helped me grow and realise what’s important in life”. –Butterfly Hurricane
Welcome everyone to another edition of our weekly music News Report!
This week we begin with the best new releases from the past week and up first are the returning metal icons Avenged Sevenfold.
In a big news week, the group revealed that their new studio album, ‘Life Is But A Dream’, will be released on June 2nd. That release is preceded by their lead single, ‘Nobody’, which you can check out above.
The band stated, “We’re thrilled to announce our new album, Life Is But A Dream… available June 2, 2023. Written and recorded over the span of four years, the album was inspired by the writing and philosophy of Albert Camus. Our good friend and brilliant artist, Wes Lang, encapsulated our theme of existentialism through visual art for the album packaging.”
British metallers Bury Tomorrow have shared the latest taste of their upcoming album, ‘The Seventh Sun’. You can listen to new single, ‘Begin Again’, above now ahead of the album release date of March 31st.
Speaking on ‘Begin Again’, guitarist Kristan Dawson says the track is “representative of the change we have all faced in the past few years. It represents an element of renewal and appreciation of where we have been as a band and where we are yet to go. Musically, it serves as a contrast to the heaviness we have presented in the first three singles, but packs a punch in a more positive way.”
Australian punk rockers Trophy Eyes are back with new single, ‘Blue Eyed Boy’, a track particularly close to home.
Trophy Eyes’ John Floreani says the song “was written about a trip I took back to my hometown. One friend in particular, maybe my best friend, had recently moved back and regressed into their old ways. I’d mourned the death of this friend long ago, as did the rest of us in our small social circle. To see him again brought me great childhood joy yet simultaneously an overwhelming sense of dread.
I was reminded of something my mother told me as a young boy when my grandmother died; “if you see her now, like this, it’s the only way you’ll remember her. Best hold on to the good times, you’ll always have those.”
Far From Saints, the new project featuring Stereophonics frontman Kelly Jones, have shared their latest single, ‘Take It Through The Night’, which you can listen to above.
The group also this week revealed the news that their self-titled debut album will be released on June 16th.
The members had the following to say:
“It took nine days to record and four years to get it to you! Your record collection will love it!” – Kelly
“It’s a labor of love to make a record these days, because you never know what’s going to happen with it frankly, and the outpouring of good vibes and comments, so far, has been really cool to watch.” – Dwight
“This is kind of the first time I’m anticipating not feeling somewhat sad around an album release. I’m comfortable with who I am now as a person, as an artist, and I hang my hat not on the praise I receive, but on the work itself. I’m proud of this record, and its part in the greater cycle of creativity and inspiration. I’m grateful to be part of that.” – Patty
‘Blackout’, the new album from From Ashes To New, is out on July 28th. This week though saw the band share the latest single from the album, ‘Hate Me Too’, which you can check out above.
“So many of us fall victim to the classic toxic relationship,” says vocalist Matt Brandyberry. “Feeling like you can’t live without someone but knowing you’d be better off if you could. Oftentimes these feelings are mutual, but neither of you can see it. Sometimes we just need an anthem to remind us that being stuck isn’t always the only option and violence never.”
Next in our News Report is ‘Blood In The Water’, the latest single from Ayron Jones, which you can check out above.
Jones announced this week that his second album, ‘Chronicles of the Kid’, will be released on June 23rd.
“As a child, I vividly remember sitting in church and hearing the preacher speak about generational curses,” Jones explains. “For me, the concept of the weight of trauma traveling through time and space, affecting many generations until treated is an idea I take seriously. ‘Blood in the Water’ is my way of actively choosing to heal and transform this trauma by creating new stories and identities for not only myself, but also my family’s future generations. I understand that energy can never be destroyed nor created anew; it can only be shifted. Therefore, while I cannot choose the life I have been given, I can strive forward and choose to take control of the future– to break these curses now and forevermore.”
“It was the height of the pandemic and like everyone else, I was stuck inside watching the world pass by while having no idea what the future held,” Jones remembers. “Then it happened, the phone rang and I got the call telling me my song went No. 1. Just like that, I’d become one of the biggest names in rock and roll, but I couldn’t leave my couch. I had no idea how much my life had changed until August of ’21, when I went on tour for the first time since signing my first major record deal. That’s when it all hit me. ‘Chronicles of The Kid’ is the story of the truth – my truth. With my voice as my pen and my guitar as the page, the album is an audio journal of self-discovery told through tales of, temptations, triumphs, failures, sacrifice and the price of fame.”
MAN WITH A MISSION are next up in our News Report as the group reveal a brand new tour including three stops in the UK this June.
Regarding the tour MAN WITH A MISSION’s Jean-Ken Johnny (guitar / vocals / rap) says, “We are so excited to announce our WOLVES ON PARADE TOUR is coming to the UK, Europe and North America in May & June! It’s been years since we last toured internationally and we’ve missed playing for you all so much! Can’t wait to catch up with you all!”
Brighton based Electronic Post-Hardcore duo fakeyourdeath have dropped their sophomore single ‘consume’.
“consume explores the idea of materialistic greed and how, as a society, we are fed this idea that without things we cannot be happy. but ultimately that’s a lie. it’s a narrative spun by the powers that be and consume was written to see the truth and challenge that way of thinking. consume depicts our disgust at a materialistic culture we all hate and yet want to be a part of.” – Vocalist, Candi Underwood
Northern Captives – ‘Anxiety Dreams’
UK Alternative Rock outfit Northern Captives release their brand-new single titled ‘Anxiety Dreams’.
“It’s written as an internal monologue battling anxiety by accepting its existence and not allowing it to direct your decisions or impact what you do day to day. We often speak to ourselves in ways we’d never dream of talking to anyone else. It’s important to check in with yourself and make sure your internal dialogue is positive.” – Vocalist, Sam Cook.
JACKALS – ‘DIG IN’
Northern noise hounds JACKALS have unveiled their new single ‘DIG IN’.
“Dig in is based on the idea of drug addiction but narrated by the drug itself, the song personifies the drug and its direct effects on a person. When you let drugs into your life they can sort of take on a whole persona unto themselves and we wanted to shine a light on that and show how destructive these can be. Like that one toxic friend you’ve had that keeps trying to worm their way back into your life.” –JACKALS