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The Grizzly Awards Set to be the Industry’s First All-Rock Awards

The Grizzly Awards is preparing for a 2019 launch as the Christian music industry’s first all-rock awards. The Grizzly Awards are being produced by a partnership of professionals with wide range of industry experience, all passionate about covering the longstanding gap left by heavy music’s exclusion from most major awards.

The Grizzly Awards seeks to celebrate the innovation, excellence, and spiritual impact of rock and metal community members at every level of the creative process: on the stage, in the studio, and behind the scenes. In the true spirit of rock and roll, we recognize talent and purpose-driven hearts wherever they are found— not just within the approved delineations of major label rosters and radio airplay.

Beyond simply awarding the few, The Grizzly Awards exists to unify the Christian rock community as a whole, fostering connection, community, and the pursuit of excellence. This means inviting listeners into the process at every level, extending the opportunity to be a part of investing in a movement to strengthen a genre that has often been overlooked and under-resourced.

The Grizzly Awards commits to operating at all levels with a foundational commitment to the Gospel, adhering to an unwavering belief that Jesus Christ changes and saves lives. This belief is the ultimate impetus for building an event supporting songs that are a unique tool for communicating that message of redemption.

Join the movement. Find us for more news as it develops on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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Symphonic Masterpiece: ‘Castaway’ by Mirratal

Earlier this year, we introduced you to Mirratal, a symphonic metal band from The Ukraine. Their lead single, “Abyss of Lunacy,” left us all wanting to hear more from the rockers.

The wait is over as Mirratal released their debut full length album on January 30th. Castaway is a polished musical adventure that will sweep you away on a mystical journey, searching for hope and purpose.

After kicking things off in a big way with “Abyss of Lunacy,” the sound gets even bigger and fuller with “Poison.” As a brass musician, I have profound appreciation for a well-balanced mix that is thick and heavy in the bass and percussion and blends to the upper ranges. Castaway does not lack in echoing percussion reminiscent of something heard attending The Philharmonic Symphony in New York.

“Timeless Sea” is a song of reflection, opening with Andril Pavlenko on the keyboard with what sounds much like an oboe playing a mysterious but lovely tune. After a spoken word completes the introduction softly, this rocker explodes into a full-on shred fest in the chorus, featuring lead singer Igor Roshenets demonstrating his rangy vocal chops. The title track features a majestic instrumental that would fill a concert hall, while continuing to fire on all cylinders with driving guitars and synthetic keys.

Not only is the music magnificent, but the message is equally powerful throughout this collection of 10 tracks filled with themes of hope and freedom. “Find Your Name” plays like a metalcore track featuring Katrina Kapshuk opening the song with powerful vocals before being joined for a duet on the bridge and chorus by Roshenets. This song is about overcoming depression and believing in hope.

“After years of darkness, rising sun will shine upon your back”

As the album continues, it seems to get heavier and more dissonant. “Distinguished Phrases” is a frenetic headbanger featuring drummer Sergiy Ivanov skillfully tending to his craft, pushing the pace with plenty of snare drum. “Mystery” invokes sensations of sitting in a rock opera on Broadway, as it tells a story of searching high and low for answers.

“With emptiness inside your soul
You’ll go around the world
To find a mystery”

“Run” immediately brought back memories of watching the entrance of former WWE wrestler The Undertaker. Cue the pyrotechnics as the band sings about the competing concepts of doomsday and hope. The onset of minor chords seem to fit the feeling of unsettledness looming over this song.

“Sounds” is a triumphant song ultimately leading into an impressive instrumental bonus track, “The Wind,” which I would challenge any marching band to take on next fall.

With their full length debut, Mirratal does not disappoint fans of powerful and skillful musicianship while telling stories of hope, love and seeking. Castaway is a masterful collection of songs that will deliver for expectant listeners.

Find Castaway on Spotify and iTunes.

Related Artists: Trans Siberian Orchestra, RED, The Philharmonic Orchestra

Skillet Debuts Two New Songs on Breaking Benjamin Tour

Last night Breaking Benjamin, Skillet, Underoath and Fight the Fury kicked off one of the biggest rock tours of the year in Michigan, and Skillet took the opportunity to debut two brand new songs live.

Early reports list the two songs as being titled “Dead Man Walking” and “Rise Up.” Skillet performed the two songs with the aid of Lacey Sturm (vocals) and Jarob Bramlett (drums) as Jen Ledger is still wrapping up Winter Jam tour with her solo band. You can watch fan videos of the two songs below.

The two songs are part of Skillet’s upcoming full length album, due out later this year. The tracks ramp up the momentum on a year in the “Skilletverse” that promises to hold a full length solo album from Ledger, the band’s first graphic novel and the previously mentioned 10th studio album.

For tour dates and more information on Skillet’s upcoming schedule, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Gandhi’s Gun Releases New Single ‘We Are the Stars’

Gandhi’s Gun, a rock band based in San Antonio, Texas, has dropped their first single of 2019, a song called “We Are the Stars.”

The song was released alongside an official live video filmed at L.A.’s famed Whiskey a Go Go venue. You can watch the video below.

This track follows up 2018’s stand-out single “Through it All.” Gandhi’s Gun has crafted a sound that pairs staple hard rock sounds with an electronic edge, tied together by messages centered on hope.

If you like what you hear, you can keep up with Gandhi’s Gun’s future releases by finding them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The Protest Drummer Jarob Bramlett to Fill In On Select Skillet Dates

Skillet drummer Jen Ledger is currently wrapping up Winter Jam 2019 with her new band, with the megatour overlapping with a few dates on the upcoming Skillet tour with Breaking Benjamin. That tour, which starts this week, led to the previous announcement that former Flyleaf vocalist Lacey Sturm will fill in for Ledger on vocals, but until today no drummer had been installed.

That all changed earlier as The Protest and Skillet announced that Jarob Bramlett will be filling in on drums on select dates of the Skillet tour with Breaking Benjamin. “We are truly honored to announce that our drummer Jarob will be filling in for SKILLET on their upcoming tour,” The Protest said in a social media post. “Catch him with SKILLET on March 15th, 21st, 23rd, 29th, and 31st!”

Blaise Rojas of Seventh Day Slumber and Amongst The Giants will fill in for The Protest on The City Rockfest Tour while Jarob is out with Skillet.

For more on The Protest, follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or visit their website.

August Burns Red Announces Constellations Tour With Silent Planet

Pennsylvania native hard rock outfit August Burns Red (ABR) announced today that they will be heading out on a 10 year anniversary tour commemorating their third album, Constellations, which was released in 2009.

Joining them on tour will be heavy metal band Silent Planet and Canadian rockers Silverstein.

Silent Planet shared the tour dates in a post on social media, saying “Stoked to let you know that we are going to be ripping some gigs alongside August Burns Red.”

The 10 Years of Constellations tour will kick off in Lancaster, PA, the hometown of ABR, on June 20 and will crisscross the United States and Canada while hitting over 40 cities before ending in the Big Apple of New York City on August 11.

Silent Planet, perhaps best known for their story telling depth and thematic projects, recently released When The End Began, their third full length project.

For tour information and to see a complete list of dates and cities, visit the official website of August Burns Red.  Keep up with Silent Planet by visiting them at silentplanetmerch.com. Learn more about Silverstein, named after the famous children’s author Shel Silverstein, by visiting their website.

Ignescent To Release ‘Into The Night’ On March 29

Chicago based rock group Ignescent unveiled the cover artwork and a release date for their upcoming single, their first new music since releasing a 3-song single called Fearless last June.

“Into The Night” will be added for streams at Spotify and iTunes on Friday, March 29, with pre-sales for the single beginning on Monday the 25th at a “special price,” according to a post on social media.

“Here is the cover work for our upcoming song,” the band says in the announcement. “Thank you to Rob Walden for doing such an amazing job on the artwork!”

Since forming in 2008, the band has seen increasing visibility and success. Their 2011 single, “Calling Out To You,” will be featured in an upcoming film called Worthy. The band has performed alongside major acts like Stryper, Lacey Sturm and P.O.D.  In December, Ignescent opened for The Protest and Skillet side project Fight The Fury.

Keep up with Ignescent by visiting their website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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