Boonie Mayfield – “While Black (Red Light, Blue Light, E’s and R’s)” – sentiments nurtured by a history of prejudice

Solomon Vaughn aka Boonie Mayfield has always traded dazzlingly intricate verses, intellectual thoughts and propulsive rhymes, over inventive, nonlinear productions, and his latest release “While Black (Red Light, Blue Light, E’s and R’s)” re-proposes that peerless aesthetic, while adding an ulterior dose of consciousness, and reinforcing his hard-won authenticity. “This song is a 2-part storyteller based on some of my personal experiences with racism; from getting racially profiled by police, dealing with stereotypes while dating and the ugly side of interacting on social media,” explained Boonie. “I was inspired to display some of the scenarios I’ve gone through on a

Sassy Vee – “In My Dreams” has a fantastic chill dance rhythm running its course

Longing, hope, and a need to believe in reality, pour out of “In My Dreams”, the new singer by singer-songwriter Sassy Vee. It’s a clear, accomplished cry from the heart, exorcising its illusions by declaring them bluntly. “In my dreams we’re together. Holding hands and making plans forever. I wish it were true, but I cannot be with you. You have another.” The song introduces Sassy’s strengths: a voice with sultry intensity, songwriting that goes directly to the point and a production that is well aware of both EDM and Pop. The song’s arrangement is lucid and uncluttered, placing all

Adrian Davis Releases Brand New Single: ‘We Can Do It’

July 2020 – This year has not been the easiest by a long shot, with lock-down rules keeping people indoor and breaking havoc on our lifestyles. In addition to that, we are all experiencing social and political tension, casting even more uncertainty on these hard times. Having said that, there is still hope: We Can Do It! Such is the positive message behind Adrian Davis’ brand new single release, and its inspiring title. His music is a great example of what happens when there is a special synergy in a production. Everything feels absolutely balanced, with a stark attention to

Max M continues to expand his musical catalog with his new track ‘Imaginary Problems’

The emerging legacy of artist, deejay, and producer Max M has captured the attention of music lovers from around the world. Max M’s passion for DJing and music production began during his teen years. He would later begin a successful career in Computer Science and gain renown as an IT expert before returning to the music world a few months ago. Max M’s heralded return was marked by the release of two singles Under Water and Never Wanna Leave, which were ranked first and fifth on the American DJ site Digital DJ Pool. Max M continues to expand his musical

Shari Rowe Releases Inspiring New Single, “The Heavy”

Country artist Shari Rowe delivers a message of conviction in her newest single, “The Heavy,” a song of awakening meant to encourage listeners to be a helping hand to those who need it most. “We wrote ‘The Heavy’ to inspire,” says Shari Rowe. “We can all relate. Getting that news, feeling that pain, losing sleep over the things we see in the world, grieving the loss of loved ones. ’The Heavy’ comes into our lives in many ways, and we have the power to lighten the load for each other. We all have opportunities, big or small, to be the

Maki – “Atlas Hacked” is as substantial as it metaphysical, in its approach

It’s sometimes hard to find the words that accurately bring justice to avant-garde electronic works. With an artist like Maki you almost only have to mention his name for fans of the underground independent scene, to understand the potential for a great album of music. Maki should be an instantly recognizable global name within the mainstream electronic world of sound. His latest release, “Atlas Hacked”, is a classic album in the making. And I do not say this lightly. There is a growing body of research that has examined the impact on adolescents and adults of internet and social media

KERRIA Takes Powerful Stand to Encourage People to Speak Up with “No More”

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TRIG – “SILENCE” – engaging songwriting, and smooth resonating vocals

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Prodi Lemaj & Skuhd Taylor – “PRESSURE” – a combination of aggressive deliveries mixed with a cool demeanor

Since its beginnings, hip-hop’s most explosive moments have often been its collaborations. When two rappers team up unexpectedly, the results can be compelling. However, when two artists work together frequently they develop a kind of alchemy—everything they’re on together becomes more than the sum of its parts—which is why when you see, see Prodi Lemaj & Skuhd Taylor next to each other on a track-list, you know it’s going to result in something special. It’s those connections—the rappers who keep working on each other—that make rap such a dynamic, versatile genre. Prodi Lemaj & Skuhd Taylor are a duo of

“Days of Summer” – Will Diehl’s voice is made for story and verse

What is remarkable about Will Diehl is not simply that he’s one of the finest, thoughtful underground singer-songwriters around, but the fact that over the course of his career, he has staying true to his essential folk-rock and Americana core while, incredibly, continuing to break new ground. Now on his latest album, “Days of Summer”, we get to hear the most celestial and melodious vocals he’s ever committed to record. The songs themselves blend elements of pop, folk and even jazz and psychedelic rock, to produce an otherworldly, yet intimate set. As always the lyrics, focused and penetrating, deft, emblematic

Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins – pummeling power chords, lilting arpeggios, and soaring solos

The aural acrobatics of Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins features some of the best examples of daring riffing and acrobatic melody the metal genre has had to offer since the 80’s; even what you may consider the album’s weakest track, thrusts, dodges, lunges, and parries with proud cunning. Every composition on this self-titled album as a whole could not have been written in any other way. Mike LePond, the bassist for Symphony X set out to make a metal record that captured the sounds he was nurtured on while growing up. With Silent Assassins, he has not only succeeded, but totally exceeded all expectations in recreating what classic metal was all about in the 80s.

The album cover

The album cover

We’re not talking about just any album here. We’re talking about a ‘tour de force’, a ‘magnum opus’ or any other cliche that denotes sheer perfection. The core Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins sound finds its influence in a diverse blend of rock idioms, from the expertly performed classic metal circles to the edgy and incisive sounds of progressive metal rebellion. Blend in a pinch of theatrical power metal and the listener has transcended the run of the mill, stagnant musical forms that occupy a good deal of current playlists. Yet Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins manages to defy the conveniences of category, presenting an arsenal of sounds and moods that frankly put many of their contemporaries to shame.

The vocals of Alan Tecchio (Hades / Watchtower / Seven Witches) are inspired and sincere, unlocking the deepest emotional meaning in the passionate lyrics. Tecchio employs his stunningly melodic vocal gift to inspire the fiery insurgency on each track. Tecchio’s limitless vocal range has the keen ability to locate the melodic heart of a lyric. Suffice it to say that Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins features brilliance not only in the vocals, but also in the guitarists extraordinaire Michael Romeo (Symphony X) and “Metal” Mike Chlasciak (Halford / Testament / Sebastian Bach).

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

Virtuosos Romeo and Chlasciak unleash pummeling power chords, lilting arpeggios, and soaring solos as if their very lives depended on it, forging a sound that grips the listener and fits like a silken hand inside the velvet glove of Tecchio’s vocals. The fullness and clarity of the sound and the mastering reveals the excellent rhythm guitar tracks that form the bedrock for technically and melodically gifted solos. A sound legendary eighties metal bands could only dream about.

The depth of the layers of melody here are cemented by a persistently rumbling bass courtesy of none other than the man himself, Mike LePond (brilliantly exemplified across the album’s nine tracks), an ever-audible bass that adds more than just a rhythmic foundation to the symphony of guitars – how many 80’s metal albums do you remember being marred by a nearly invisible bass? Today, Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins turns that theme right around. Rounding out the rhythm section is the drumming, featuring cymbal crashes and fiery snare work, a combined assault that not only provides a rhythmic pulse but also a melodic compliment with a fine employment of the ride and hi-hat cymbals.

Countless metal trends have come and gone, but art in its most sincere form is able to defy the fickle tastes of those who listen merely for the latest fashion trend shrewdly marketed through the vehicle of a musical group. Mike LePond worked on this album for two years, while on tour with Symphony X, setting lyrics to music, for which he did all the writing. The result is a cohesive work that delights on many levels of lyrical, melodic, technical and emotional resonance.

Mike LePond

Mike LePond

And its brilliance is immediately apparent from the opening track, “Apocalypse Rider” which lets you know that you are going to be in for one of the most emotional, energizing and eye-opening metal experiences you’ve ever had. Now slot in “The Quest” with its nuanced acoustic guitar and string intro and wait until all hell breaks loose, then move onto “The Outsider” and the power ballad “Masada”. The final 3 tracks, “Ragnarok”, “The Progeney” and “Oath of Honor” are probably the pick of the bunch for me.

If you pride yourself as being one who appreciates good music regardless of its airtime or popularity, this is the album to get. To truly recognize the magnitude of Mike LePond’s Silent Assassins, you must examine the current state of metal music. This entirely blows everything else around it out of the water. Musically, it can’t get much better than this!


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