The Amity Affliction Announce New Album “This Could Be Heartbreak”

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The Amity Affliction have announced a new album titled This Could Be Heartbreak available August 12 on Roadrunner Records. Accompanying the announcement is a brand new single titled “I Bring the Weather with Me”. The track features the signature metalcore grind of The Amity Affliction with a few new programming elements thrown into the mix. Take a listen to “I Bring the Weather with Me” below:

Like what you hear? You can preorder This Could Be Heartbreak at the band’s webstore.

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Posted by Kiel Hauck

Warped Tour 2015: Searching for Hope in a Wounded Scene

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Make no mistake – the conversation around Warped Tour is no longer framed as a discussion about the summer’s best music. That ship has sailed, and time will tell if the problems that plague this scene find resolution and if an answer is found to rectify the steady stream of sexual misconduct that continues to rear its ugly head. Until those answers come, it’s hard to care about much else.

At the same time, It’s All Dead was created with a purpose of finding light in the dark, spotlighting the music that makes our hearts full and our minds contemplative. Amidst the frustration surrounding this summer’s tour, we want to take a moment to highlight some of the good things – bands playing with passion and speaking life in a wounded scene.

Below is a collection of bands that we feel encapsulate that idea. Take a look at a few of our favorites from the tour’s recent stop in Noblesville, Indiana.

Palisades

Palisades want you to move. The band’s unique blend of danceable electronics and crunchy hardcore riffs are the perfect pairing for hot summer days on Warped Tour. Vocalists Louis Miceli and Brandon Sidney combine cool melodies with spastic screams for a light/dark combination that adds an array of emotion to their tracks. Holding down the Kevin Says stage, Palisades appear to be gaining followers by the day.

Palisades

Palisades

This Wild Life

Just one year ago, acoustic duo This Wild Life were one of the biggest buzz bands on Warped Tour. This year, they’re holding down the main stage like scene veterans. Kevin Jordan and Anthony Del Grosso’s calm, unflappable presence on stage matches the peaceful journey through pain found on their debut, Clouded. The band even finds time to slip in a quick cover of blink-182’s “First Date” for good measure.

This Wild Life

This Wild Life

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction’s last run on Warped Tour in 2013 found lead vocalist Joel Birch hospitalized and near the end of his rope. This year, the band appears re-energized, fresh off of the release of Let the Ocean Take Me. Birch roars with confidence while Ahren Stringer provides clean vocals that soothe against the band’s pounding sonic background. A substantial crowd sings along passionately as the band rocks the Monster Energy stage, emphasis on the “energy.”

The Amity Affliction

The Amity Affliction

PVRIS

Another buzz band turned breakout, PVRIS are riding high on White Noise, their smash debut album. Lynn Gunn has become a staple in this scene behind the microphone in less than a year, belting out powerful anthems like “My House”, while also being capable of crooning softly on more mellow numbers like “Holy”. When the band opens with “Fire” on the Unicorn stage, the crowd jumps to the beat, becoming a welcome backup choir for Gunn.

PVRIS

PVRIS

The Wonder Years

If you can’t wait for the upcoming release of No Closer to Heaven, you’re not alone. The Wonder Years have already claimed the pop punk crown, but they’re not taking their foot of the gas pedal. Dan Campbell is as lively as ever, singing his heart out to new single “Cardinals” as the crowd shouts along. It’s a fast-paced set, but every minute is filled with poppy guitar riffs, passionate vocals and pumping fists.

The Wonder Years

The Wonder Years

Pierce the Veil

It’s been three long years since Pierce the Veil released Collide with the Sky, an album that propelled the band to new heights. Now, the post-hardcore act is back on Warped Tour with a new song, “The Divine Zero”, and a massive set filled with powerful tracks like “Caraphernalia” and “Hell Above”. Vic Fuentes sounds as good as ever, and it’s hard not to get excited about the band’s forthcoming album, whenever it arrives.

Pierce the Veil

Pierce the Veil

As It Is

As It Is are making the most of their first run on Warped Tour. The British pop punk group made their mark earlier this year with their debut album Never Happy, Ever After. Their songs are full of melody and spunk and lead vocalist Patty Walters is chaotic on the stage as he sings his heart out. Walters may be a blur, but he’s still able to hit the notes with ease. After starting their set with “Speak Soft”, the band never takes their foot off of the gas pedal.

As It Is

As It Is

blessthefall

Metalcore vets blessthefall are Warped Tour pros at this point. Holding down the final set of the day on the Shark Stage, a large turnout sticks around to watch Beau Bokan and company rage through a collection of songs. New track “Up in Flames” sounds like the band at their best, combining crushing breakdowns with melodic passages that mesh with ease. Eric Lambert shreds through each song as Bokan runs from side to side, belting out his notes. It’s hard not to appreciate the work ethic of this band, especially when they show no signs of slowing down.

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blessthefall

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.

The Weigh Down: The Role of Music in My Depression

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I have depression. And it sucks. It affects my life on a daily basis, straining my relationships, sapping my energy, limiting my productivity, and collapsing my sense of self worth. It is an illness and it is chronic.

I’ve battled depression in some form or another for a good portion of my life. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed back in 2010 that it really sunk in. There was no more denying it – everybody doesn’t feel this way and it’s not normal. That didn’t make it all better, but acceptance is a good start.

On my best days, I don’t feel all that much. It’s a lot like treading fairly calm water. Sometimes I’m bracing for the wave to hit. On my worst days, I feel trapped in a concrete box that has sunk to the depths. It can be hard to breathe, let alone get out of bed or face the world.

On those days, I almost always revert to verbal beratement and mental anguish, which can then lead to self-harm and horrifically detailed thoughts of suicide. The worst part is the unrelenting feeling of being alone. I’m fortunate to have some incredible people in my life that support me through thick and thin, but on those bad days, the concrete box is impenetrable and the loneliness is darker than I could ever express.

This website, and to a much deeper extent, my sanity, exist because of the role music plays in my ongoing struggle with depression. It’s not an antidote, but it soothes the sting of hopelessness that washes over me. It allows me for the briefest of moments to feel as if I’m not alone in this world or this battle.

It’s certainly true that there are albums with uplifting themes that can pull me ever so slightly away from the darkness. Saosin’s self-titled, MMHMM by Relient K and The Wonder Years’ The Upsides are all examples of records that impact me by looking to the bright.

However, I’m most often deeply moved by the records and songs that sit with me in my pain and feel what I feel, even if hearing the words brings a wince. When Underoath vocalist Spencer Chamberlain unleashes the brutal opening shrieks of, “This door has been shut for days / And it’s all too familiar / Can’t I just crack a window? / Can’t I just shake it off?” on “I Don’t Feel Very Receptive Today”, it resonates through every fiber of my being. It asks my questions and it understands my unreasonable mind.

This is important, because these thoughts aren’t rational to those around us. How can you explain your despair when there’s no explanation? On their song “The Road to Hell is Paved with Good Intentions”, In Fear and Faith tackle this concept head on, with back and forth dual vocals from inside the mind of someone contemplating suicide. “Just hold on / Go ahead let go / It’s not your time / Your time is up / There is so much more / You should end it here / You’ve got your whole life in front of you”.

Their overlapping vocals mirror the deep mental battle of depression and draw attention to the loud, manic fight that many of us face. Hearing those words is difficult because of their blunt familiarity, but there is also peace in hearing voices that understand the fight. Near the end of the song, empathy and peace clash against the hysteria, as they sing, “When you know that the feeling is gone / You’ll see this through my eyes and feel alive again”.

Very recently, I heard the music of The Amity Affliction for the first time. There was an immediate connection and I knew I’d found a new favorite band. It wasn’t long before I learned of lead singer Joel Birch’s struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s not a shocking revelation – his battle seeps from every word and every note.

The band’s latest album, Let the Ocean Take Me, isn’t a game changer in terms of musical composition, but it is a tour de force through the psyche of someone fighting through their depression. There are moments of defeat and moments of resolve littered throughout. Birch’s screams and cries contrast clean singer Ahren Stringer’s softer delivery.

On opener “Pittsburgh”, Birch recounts a near death experience and lays his anguish on the table. When Stringer sings, “It’s like there’s fire in my skin / And I’m drowning from within / I can’t take another breath / Please tell me I am not undone”, it’s crushingly on point. On “The Weigh Down” he sings, ” On the way down I need someone to take my hand / It feels like I can’t breathe / And I might drown on the way down / I’m sick of all the come-downs / Don’t tell me that there’s nothing wrong / I’m weighed down, way down”.

As dark as these lyrics can be, they’re also deeply therapeutic to those of us that wrestle with these same thoughts. Someone understands. Someone is right there with us, searching for hope and desperate for a reason. I’m not alone. It’s these momentary connections that make it so much more powerful when, in a moment of strength on “Death’s Hand”, that Birch is able to shout, “Hey death, get fucked!”

Music has a beautiful way of speaking to us. While I’m not about to endorse music as the cure over therapy, counseling or medication, I can claim it as a supplement. It’s been a dear friend during many of my darkest hours and I pray that its power to speak to me never leaves.

It’s All Dead is a tongue-in-cheek statement that the power of music is not gone – music is still changing lives. It’s still fostering communities, still speaking to our hearts, and still comforting us. Music is still aiding me in my battle with depression, and I know it’s still doing the same for many of you.

If you’re like me in this struggle, get the help you need and keep letting the music mourn with you in your deepest pain and rejoice with you when you triumph. Keep searching for new music that meets you where you are. Play those songs loud and play them often. Most importantly, know that you are not alone.

by Kiel Hauck

kiel_hauckKiel Hauck is the editor in chief at It’s All Dead. Over the past decade, he has been a contributor for multiple online and print publications and was most recently an editor at PopMatters. Kiel currently resides in Indianapolis, IN with his wife and their imaginary pet, Hand Dog. You can follow him on Twitter.