This Is Your Life Is Not Just Another Throw-Away Tribute Album

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen. So many tribute albums are released each year that one can’t help but feel that the labels that release them care more about their bottom line than about actually celebrating said artists being given tribute. That being the case, one can’t help but wonder why This Is Your Life, the new tribute album to iconic rock front man Ronnie James Dio, would be any different from those records. The answer to that is not a simple one. One reason that this tribute album stands out is the list of performers and bands that recorded songs for the compilation. It’s a who’s who of hard rock from the past, present, and even future of the genre. Another reason that this compilation stands out is its track listing. This record boasts some of the most beloved songs of RJD’s career. And last but definitely not least important to consider in this record is the fact that it isn’t just a means for the label distributing it to make money. It actually doubles as a fundraiser for RJD’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. So it’s actually a record crafted to essentially help give back. How many bands, artists, groups, etc. can say that they have crafted an entire album simply to raise funds for charity? That–along with the list of songs and performers, bands, etc. on this album–makes This Is Your Life an album that stands well above the rest of the otherwise throw-away albums claiming to be tribute albums.

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

The primary aspect of This Is Your Life that makes it stand out against all of the other tribute albums out there is the list of performers drafted to record songs for the record. The list of performers drafted for this record is a who’s who of hard rock’s past, present, and even future. It wasn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists and groups tossed together. Everybody tapped to record for this tribute record is either a counterpart to RJD or someone that grew up idolizing him and his talents. Veterans such as Anthrax, Motorhead, Scorpions, Biff Byford, and Rob Halford perform alongside younger acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Killswitch Engage, and Halestorm over the course of the record’s fourteen total tracks. That collection of bands and artists singing Dio’s hits is in itself a musical history lesson. It introduces younger audiences that might be more familiar with the latter grouping of bands and artists to the veterans and to the music of Dio. To that extent, This Is Your Life quickly earns major points. Even more points come from the sampling of Dio’s music in question chosen for this compilation.

The list of bands, artists, and groups tapped to record RJD’s music for This Is Your Life is in itself a major boon for the record. As noted, it isn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists, and groups. It is a collection of bands, group, and artists that played alongside Dio during his career, and those that have come since, growing up with the music of Ronnie James Dio. In short, it’s a collection of individuals that have the utmost respect for Dio and his music. Speaking of that music, the songs chosen to be included on this record are another part of the whole that makes it so enjoyable for listeners. Every song on this record is a classic in its own way. From the more well-known pieces such as ‘The Mob Rules’, ‘Neon Knights’ and ‘Holy Diver’ to slightly lesser known songs such as ‘Straight Through The Heart’, Egypt (The Chains Are On’, and ‘Temple of the King’ This Is Your Life does quite the job of chronicling the career of a man that was and is still even in death, one of the greatest vocalists and performers in the history of hard rock.

The music and performers chosen for This Is Your Life are both key components of the success of the album. As important as they are to the success of the record, there is still one central aspect of the recording that makes it so worth picking up. That aspect is the fact that a certain portion of the sales of the album will go to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was established by Dio’s wife Wendy Dio. Bands, groups and artists go out on tour every year or they take part in fundraising concerts. How many artists can say they were part of a recording project that was also meant as a way to pay tribute to one of their own, too? It’s just like bringing home a hard rock festival without having to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, souvenirs, sodas and more. And at the same time, audiences that purchase the album will actually be helping to fund an organization that works to research and promote awareness of cancer, as well as educate people about early detection in hopes of one day stopping it.

This Is Your Life is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Ronnie-James-Dio-This-Your/dp/B00IACUO8S/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396440364&sr=1-1&keywords=dio+this+is+your+life and can be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ronnie-james-dio-this-is-your/id829325064.

More information on Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life and other RJD releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio and http://www.ronniejamesdio.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Gus G. Debuts EPK Ahead Of New Single, Album Release

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Ozzy Osbourne guitarist and Firewind front man Gus G. will release his debut solo album this Spring.  I Am The Fire is scheduled to be released March 18th in the United States.  It will be released March 17th in Europe.  It will be released worldwide via Century Media Records.  Before he releases his debut, Gus G. has released a brand new EPK that offers audiences a look inside the making of the album.  Fans can check out the new EPK online now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zJd38EoTLkA&feature=youtu.be.

The album’s title track is impacting radio now.  It is currently playing on Sirius RadioXM Octane.  It will be added to mainstream radio stations’ playlists beginning next Tuesday, February 18th.  It features the members of hard rock band Devour The Day as special guests.  It will go on sale digitally via iTunes February 25th.  The track listing for I Am The Fire is listed below.

        ‘I AM THE FIRE’ TRACK LISTING:

  1. My Will Be Done (feat. Mats Levén)
  2. Blame It On Me (feat. Mats Levén)
  3. I Am The Fire (feat. Devour The Day)
  4. Vengeance (feat. David Ellefson)
  5. Long Way Down (feat. Alexia Rodriguez)
  6. Just Can’t Let Go (feat. Jacob Bunton)
  7. Terrified (feat. Billy Sheehan)
  8. Eyes Wide Open (feat. Mats Levén)
  9. Redemption (feat. Michael Starr)
  10. Summer Days (feat. Jeff Scott Soto)
  11. Dreamkeeper (feat. Tom S. Englund)
  12. End Of The Line (feat. Mats Levén)

Gus G. handled all guitar, bass, and keyboard parts on his solo debut.  Brought along for the record were drummers Jeff Friedl (A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Devo) and, Daniel Erlandsson (Arch Enemy) bassists David Ellefson (Megadeth), Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth), and Marty O’Brien (Tommy Lee, We Are The Fallen), and vocalists Mats Leven (Candlemass, ex-Yngwie Malmstein/Therion), Blake Allison (Devour The Day), Michael Starr (Steel Panther), Alexia Rodriguez (Eyes Set To Kill),Tom S. Englund (Evergrey), Jacob Bunton (Adler) and Jeff Scott Soto (Trans-Siberian Orchestra, ex-Journey).  The album was produced by Jay Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax, Steel Panther).

More information on Gus G., his new album, tour news and more is available online at http://www.gusgofficial.com, http://www.facebook.com/officialgusg, and http://twitter.com/gusgofficial.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Holy Grail Releases Video For New Single

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Prosthetic Records’ Holy Grail released earlier this year an album that stands nearly halfway through 2013 as the best new metal record of the year.  The band also recently finished up a tour stint with Anthrax on the band’s “Metal Alliance” tour.  Now, the band has released the video for the latest single from its new album.  The band’s latest single is the title track from said album, Ride The Void.  The video for the new single can be viewed now on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzXtHJcC5I0&feature=youtube_gdata_player.  It’s fitting that this new single has been released fresh on the heels of one tour and in the midst of another.  The video for the single presents to viewers what a live Holy Grail set looks like.  It was directed by Will Knapp.

Holy Grail is touring alongside Exodus right now, making its way to the West Coast.  It will be in Billings, MT tonight and at L.A.’s famed Viper Room on May 15th.  That show will be without Exodus.

Fans can find out about all the band’s latest tour dates and news when they “Like” the band on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/holygrailofficial.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Slash, Chuck D. Join Anthrax On Stage At Metal Alliance Show

 

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Cabral

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

 

Metal Alliance Tour headliners Anthrax had a couple very special guests last night at the tour’s sold out stop in Hollywood, CA.  The tour made a stop at the Hollywood, CA House of Blues last night.  Much to the surprise of audiences in attendance, Anthrax was joined on stage during its set by none other than Public Enemy front man Chuck D. and guitarist Slash.  Slash joined the band on-stage for its performance of AC/DC’s hit, ‘T.N.T.’ Slash covered lead guitar duties for this performance.  Later in the night’s performance, Chuck D. surprised everyone when he came on stage and performed ‘Bring The Noise’ with the band.  The band originally recorded this song with Public Enemy in 1991.

Photo Credit:  Stephanie Cabral

Photo Credit: Stephanie Cabral

Slash and Chuck D. were just a couple of the celebrities in house for last night’s stop on the Metal Alliance Tour.  Kerry King (Slayer), John Tempesta (The Cult, Rob Zombie), Justin Chendellor (Tool), Brendon Small (Dethklok) and actor/musician Brian Posehn were also on hand for last night’s show.

The Metal Alliance Tour runs through late April.  It was in San Francisco, CA tonight.  Friday, the tour—also featuring Municipal Waste, Exodus, High on Fire, and Holy Grail—will be at the Roseland Ballroom in Portland, Oregon.  Fans in North Carolina will get the chance to see the band live when it makes a stop at the Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte.  And right now, fans can get the chance to see Anthrax for Free when the tour comes to Charlotte next month.  The Phil’s Picks Facebook page and the Tremont Music Hall together are giving away a pair of tickets to see the band free.  Along with the tickets, one lucky fan will also win a copy of the band’s new EP, Anthems.  Fans need just go to the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Once that’s done, fans need only send a message or write on the Phil’s Picks timeline indicating that they want in on the contest.  One lucky person’s name will be drawn Friday morning at 9am.  The tickets to the show will be at Will Call at the Tremont Music Hall.  The winner can either pick up the CD in person or have it mailed to them.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, reviews and contests, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and giveaways in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anthrax EP One Of 2013′s Best Rock Records

Anthrax has proven once again with its new EP, Anthems, why it is still one of rock’s elite bands.  This veteran rock act has crafted in its new release a work that is perfect in every way.  From the sequencing to the sound to the very packaging, everything that could have been done right was done right.  Sure, it probably is essentially a space filler between albums, but even if that is the case, it is one heck of a space filler.  It’s a musical history lesson for rockers of all ages.  Here, audiences get a band that by comparison to the bands it covers is relatively young.  Yet it shows that it knows the classics through some expert renditions of said classics.

Anthems opens with a cover of Rush’s ‘Anthem.’  This song originally appeared on Rush’s album, Fly By Night.  That Anthrax would cover Rush is a mind blower in and of itself.  Considering the style of music for which Anthrax is known, one would not instantly consider such a polar opposite sound to be any kind of influence on the band.  So that in itself is an eye opener.  That the band so expertly covered the song is even more of an eye opener.  The band paid homage to Rush and the song with its cover, but still added its own touch to the song, too.  Front man Joey Belladonna makes the song even more solid of an opener when he sings the line, “Welcome to the world.”  When Geddy Lee first sang those words, they obviously had their own meaning.  But having Belladonna sing those same words, they somehow take on a whole new meaning.  Since this is the EP’s opener, it could be argued that those words take on an introductory fashion for new listeners and a whole new introduction even for those more seasoned audiences.  Given, that probably wasn’t the intended function of that line.  But it does seem to have that impact.

The band’s new EP only gets better from the opening cover.  The EP’s second track is a cover of another legendary band’s song.  The band’s cover of AC/DC’s ‘TNT’ is without a doubt, one of this disc’s major high points.  One can’t help but focus yet again on front man Joey Belladonna. Maybe it is just this critic’s own take on the song, but Belladonna sounds eerily like the late great Bon Scott in every sense in this song.  Had one not known it was him, one might actually have thought it was the original song.  This is also thanks in part to guitarist Rob Caggiano, who earlier this year announced his departure from the band.  His take on Angus Young’s guitar work on this rock classic pays Young full honor.  And drummer Charlie Benante’s drumming is just as solid as that of Phil Rudd.  This is one that one could easily see the band performing live as it tours the country on the Metal Alliance Tour this Spring.

If Anthrax’s covers of ‘TNT’ and ‘Anthem’ aren’t enough for fans, then the cover of Boston’s ‘Smokin’’ will impress audiences.  This is yet another spot on cover that keeps the energy flowing from the EP’s first two tracks.  Older, more experienced rockers will love how the band handles this track.  And that such a young band by comparison could so expertly handle this classic will make older audiences smile, too.  Younger audiences will love it too simply because the band shines here even more.  It’s as if the band just keeps getting better and better on every track.  This is the case with the remaining trio of covers included here, too.  Those covers lead into the inclusion of two more bonuses in the form of ‘Crawl’ and its remix of sorts.

‘Crawl’ was taken from the band’s 2011 album, Worship Music.  Including both this track and its remix was actually quite smart.  Whereas so many bands in a case such as this would only include the redone track or live track, Anthrax and Megaforce Records have included both tracks, thus offering audiences the chance to compare and decide for themselves which version of the song they like better.  Regardless of which song becomes one fan’s favorite or another’s these last two tracks help the EP close just as solidly as it opened.  It goes without saying that if any one negative that could be said about Anthems, it is that the band chose to make this an EP, instead of a full length album.  Here’s to hoping one day, fans will see that happen.  Until then, fans can listen to his EP to their hearts’ content as the EP is available now both in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct from the official Anthrax website here:  http://anthrax.com/2013/03/19/anthems-is-here/Worship Music can be ordered directly via the band’s official website also at  http://shop.anthrax.com/shop.cfm/pk/category/ac/detail/cid/409267/prodid/412162.

Fans can get a chance to win a copy of Anthems for free right now and the chance to see the band live at its stop in Charlotte, North Carolina next month from the Phil’s Picks blog and Facebook page when they “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  Just “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page and say you want to be entered for the chance to win an EP and to see the band live.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Giveaways, Giveaways, And More Giveaways!

The Phil’s Picks blog keeps rolling in 2013 with lots more giveaways.  I’m proud to announce that I have LOADS of new giveaways this coming week.  First up, I’ve got three (3) copies of Anthony Hopkins’ new movie, Hitchcock on Blu-ray/DVD/Digital combo pack to give away.  I’ll give away these copies Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday March 25th, 26th, and 27th.  The first person to get five (5) people to “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page each day will win their own copy of this brand new release.  Each person that “likes” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page has to either message me or post on the Phil’s Picks Facebook page timeline letting me know who sent them so that I can keep track of each person’s entries.

The second of the week’s contests will be drawings for copies of the brand new Digimon Adventure: Volume 2.  I’ll draw three lucky winners’ names Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Just “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page to get your name in for this drawing.  On Friday, one lucky person will win a copy of Digimon: The Complete Season 2 for themselves.  Again, this is a straight up drawing.  You can enter simply by posting on the Phil’s Picks FB page’s timeline or messaging me via the Phil’s Picks FB page.

I have a third contest for all the parents next week.  One lucky parent will win Scholastic’s brand new triple disc set, Scholastic Storybook Treasures Spring Collection.  I also be giving away that box set on Thursday, March 28th.  The process is the same as above.  Simply either message me or post on my timeline letting me know that you want in on this drawing.

And last, to cap off this coming busy week, I’ve got one more HUGE giveaway for my brothers and sisters in the Metal Nation worldwide.  On Thursday, March 28th, I’ll be giving away a copy of Anthrax’s new EP, Anthems.  One person will take home this disc.  And then finally on Friday, March 29th, I’ll draw the name of one person who will win not just the new Anthrax EP, but also a pair of tickets to see Anthrax when the band headlines the Metal Alliance Tour at its stop in Charlotte, North Carolina on the Metal Alliance tour.  Again it’s a drawing, nothing more.  So make sure that you start getting your name in ASAP if you want to have the chance to win.

If any of this confuses you, just message me and let me know via the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  You can’t enter unless you “Like” the Phil’s Picks Facebook page first.  So get out there, get the word out, and get your name in!

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, reviews, and giveaways, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, reviews, and giveaways in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

See A Movie, Concert On Phil’s Picks

Courtesy:  20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox/20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

The Phil’s Picks blog and Facebook Page is hosting two brand new giveaways during the week of March 18th – 22nd.  The first half of the week will see giveaways of 20th Century Fox’s award winning movie, Life of Pi.  The adaptation of the book by Yann Martel is available now on Blu-ray/DVD/Vudu combo pack.  Next Monday – Wednesday, I’ll be giving away one copy each day on the Phil’s Picks Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  But I’m not just going to do any drawing.  Those of you who have already “Liked” my FB page have to recruit more people to “Like” it in order to win.  It will start Monday, March 18th.   Here’s how it’ll go down.  The first person to get just five (5) people to “Like” my page each day will win that day’s copy of “Life of Pi” on Blu-ray/DVD/Vudu.  The people that you get to “Like” my page have to post to my timeline noting that you got them to “Like” my page.  That way I can count each person’s recruits under your name.  Make sense?  Let me know if it doesn’t and I’ll try to explain it in simpler terms.  I’ll announce the winner of each copy each afternoon at 4pm.  Again, that’s the first person Monday – Wednesday to get 5 people to “Like” my page.  And it doesn’t start until Monday.  So that means that you need to get out there and spread the word about the Phil’s Picks FB page if you really want to win!  I’m going to run the contest for these copies of “Hitchcock” the same way the following week

And if you’re not one of the people to enter or win, you can pick up your copy in store or online now.  It can be ordered online at http://www.foxconnect.com.

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

The second contest of the week of March 18th – 22nd will be held throughout the week.  It is a contest for a pair of tickets to see Holy Grail on the Metal Alliance Tour.  The band will play at Charlotte’s Tremont Music Hall on Saturday, April 13th alongside Anthrax, Exodus, and Municipal Waste.  The performance is part of the band’s tour in support of Holy Grail’s new album, Ride the Void.   Names will be taken beginning today, March 15th until 8:45a.m. EST March 22nd.  One winner’s name will be drawn next Friday morning at 9am EST.  The contest is courtesy of Prosthetic Records.  You have to be able to attend the show in order to enter. 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Holy Grail Releases 2013′s First Great Metal Record

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

It is official.  The California based quintet that is Holy Grail has released in its second full length album, the very first great metal album of 2013.  The band’s new album bridges the divide of old school metal along the lines of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest with more recent bands the likes of Fozzy,  Avenged Sevenfold, and of course itself.  This album has elements of power metal, death metal, and old school speed metal without losing a single step along the way.  The album starts off with that old school style in the semi-instrumental, ‘Archeus.’  This leads without hesitation instantly into the equally impressive old school style sound of ‘Bestia Triumphans.’  The dual guitar attack of Eli Santana and Alex Lee mixed with the absolutely powerhouse vocals of singer James-Paul Luna make this song a welcome re-introduction for fans who came on board with the band’s 2010 debut, Crisis in Utopia, and an equally impressive first time introduction for fans who are new to the band’s work.  Luna’s vocals are just as brutal as the song hits its final moments and he launches into traditionally guttural growling.

The band barely lets up—if at all—after the album’s first full introduction on this album as it proceeds into the album’s next song, ‘Dark Passenger.’  This song, too leans more in the old school speed metal style.  Both Santana and Lee are expert at their craft alongside drummer Tyler Meahl and bassist Blake Mount.  Meal and Mount work seamlessly together adding a solid backing to the song.  Meal’s chops are some of the best of any modern metal drummer out there today as he shows not just in this song, but throughout the course of the album’s thirteen tracks as does the rest of the band.  That’s especially evident in songs the likes of ‘Too Decayed to Wait’, ‘Great Artifice’ and the equally solid closer that is ‘Rains of Sorrow’ just to name a few more.  To go through every song on this album would take far too long and would be far too wordy.  Needless to say that whether for its old school shots or its more modern material, this album has something for every member of the metal nation regardless of age.  It is simply put a great way for any true metal purist to start the New Year.  It’s available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online direct via the Prosthetic Records online store at http://www.indiemerch.com/prostheticrecords/item/17089

Fans can also check out the band live as it tours in support of its new album across the country.  The band will be in Miami, Florida this Friday.  Fans in North Carolina will also get their chance to see the band when it makes a stop at Charlotte’s Tremont Music Hall along with Exodus, Anthrax, and Municipal Waste.  That tour stop is part of the Metal Alliance Tour.  To get a full rundown of the band’s tour dates and all of the latest news from the band, fans can go online to http://www.facebook.com/holygrailofficial, http://www.holygrailofficial, http://www.myspace.com/holygrailofficial, and http://twitter.com/holygrailband.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anthrax Guitarist Announces Departure From Band

Long-time Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano has left the band.  But he won’t be going very far from the music business.  While Anthrax legions the world over won’t be seeing his name on the band’s albums anymore, they may very well end up seeing his name on their albums, as he has decided to pursue his other love.  That other love is producing.  Proof of his abilities on the boards is a Grammy nod for the song, ‘I’m Alive’ from the band’s most recent full length studio release, Worship Music.  The song garnered the band a Grammy nod for “Best Rock + Metal Performance.”  While it would appear his immediate future is working behind the glass, Caggiano has hinted that he does eventually intend to get back on the road in some form or fashion.

Caggiano released a statement regarding his departure from the band.  The following is what he had to say.  “I’m extremely proud of my time in Anthrax.  Actually, that’s an understatement!  We accomplished so many great things together over the years and I shared some of the best times of my life with these guys.  As a band, we weathered quite a few storms along the way.  It’s been a wild ride (to say the least) from Day One and I wouldn’t change one single thing about the last 12 years.  This is an extremely difficult and emotional decision for me to make but my heart is just steering me in a different direction right now.  I’ve always been one to follow my heart in everything that I do and while this might have been one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make, it feels like the right one for me at this time.  Scott, Charlie, Joey, Frankie (and John Bush) will always be part of my family and this decision doesn’t change the way I feel about that in the slightest.  I would also like to say thank you to all the amazing fans I’ve met and hung out with worldwide over the years.  You guys always were and always will be the reason I make music!  In this day and age, being a musician isn’t always easy–also an understatement—but the fans truly make it worthwhile for me.  I hope to see each and every one of you again really soon.  The fact that Anthrax is at the top of their game right now and totally ‘out for blood’ after all these years is a testament to this band’s longevity and conviction!  I’m truly honored to have been a part of their brilliant legacy!

This isn’t all that Caggiano had to say with his statement.  He went on to discuss his future plans, including the possibility of recording and hitting the road again.  Here is what he had to say:  “I can’t wait to get back in the recording studio again!  Over the years, I’ve been blessed with the privilege of working with a wide range of great bands/artists from Anthrax and Cradle of Filth all the way to Bruce Springsteen, and I look forward to a hopeful continuation of that side of my career while I figure out my next move as an artist.  BTW in case anyone was wondering after reading all of this, I do FULLY intend to get back out there on the road very soon in some way shape or form…it’s in my blood!  Please feel free to follow me on Twitter @RobCaggiano for any and all updates on what I am up to.

“The band has also commented on Rob’s announcement in a statement.  The band responded to this announcement with its own statement saying, “Rob has been an integral part of Anthrax for so many years, as our lead guitarist, in a production capacity, but most of all as our close friend.  His contributions to the band have been enormous.  While we are sad that he is leaving, we wish him nothing but great success going forward, and hope to share the stage with him again sometime down the road.

 

With the Metal Alliance Tour on the horizon, we have been considering several lead guitarist options, and will be making an announcement on that shortly.”

ANTHRAX – Charlie Benante, Scott Ian, Frank Bello, Joey Belladonna

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anthrax Offers Thanks To Fans, Media In Open Letter

Metal Nation members, I’ve got an extra treat for you this morning before I head out for the day.  I just got in a letter from metal titans Anthrax to the band’s fans.  It’s not bad news.  Don’t worry.  If anything, it’s the band’s way of saying thank you to everyone for the success of it’s mos recent album, “Worship Music.”  You can check out the full open letter here!  What follows is right from the band.

To our Fans and everyone who has supported Anthrax and Worship Music:

It was a little more than a year ago – September 13, 2011 – that Worship Music was released, and all of us in Anthrax can’t believe how much has happened since then.

Our friends in the press gave the album great reviews, and so many writers singled it out as one of the best metal albums of the year.  Our label just told us that Worship Music has just passed the 100,000 mark on albums sold.  Since Worship Music‘s release, we’ve played 107 concerts all over the world – in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Japan, Russia, South America, and the U.K. – we’ve gone home to New York to not only play Yankee Stadium as one of The Big Four, but had September 14 named “Anthrax Day” in The Bronx, where Charlie, Frankie and Rob grew up.

We’ve been so lucky as a band, and we know we’re able to do what we do because of you, our fans and all of our supporters in the press, at radio and retail, online, on the road, everywhere.  We’ve had one of the best years of our career, and we share it all with you.  So thank you for making the Anthrax’s “year of Worship Music” the best!  More to come!

Frank, Scott, Charlie, Rob and Joey

Courtesy: Matthew Rodgers

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