Fozzy Shows Real Growth On Its Latest P

Courtesy:  Century Media

Courtesy: Century Media

Guitarist Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo) and pro wrestler Chris Jericho have been friends for many years.  The pair’s friendship goes back to the days of Jericho’s tenure on the now defunct WCW.  So it came as not too big of a surprise that the pair’s friendship would eventually lead to the creation of Fozzy in the late 90s.  What has come as a surprise is the success that the band has enjoyed since the release of its self-titled debut back in 2000.  That album was pure covers.  And the use of faux names for the band members made Fozzy appear as little more than a one-off Spinal Tap style project put together by the two friends.  Little would anybody know that almost fourteen years after the release of that album, Fozzy would go on to release four more albums each one separating the band even more from its semi-satirical cover band roots.  Now in 2014, the band has released its fifth full length studio album titled Do You Wanna Start A War.  And it is everything that audiences have come to expect from the band and then some.  Whereas the band’s previous albums were full on hard rock opuses, this album maintains more of a balance between that hard rock sound and a more mainstream feel.  It’s almost as if the members of Fozzy have finally found that “happy, familiar place” on this record.  The end result is a record that offers plenty for audiences in both the rock and hard rock realms of the music industry.  On the hard rock side, audiences have already been offered up a solid slab of hard rock in the form of the album’s lead single, ‘One Crazed Anarchist.’  This song is sure to impress fans of both Fozzy and Ward’s other primary project, Stuck Mojo.  On the more mainstream, radio ready side of things, the band offers a heavy yet uplifting piece in the form of ‘Unstoppable.’  And in the completely radio ready realm, the band offers up the up-tempo yet happy-go-lucky style ‘Tonight.’  These are just a few examples of why Fozzy remains a fan favorite nearly fourteen years after its debut record’s release.  Each of the album’s remaining nine songs plays its own role in the overall enjoyment of this record.  And together with the trio of songs noted here, all twelve tracks on this record collectively make it an album that is sure to impress Fozzy’s fans new and old alike.

Fozzy first built the hype over its new album early this spring with the release of ‘One Crazed Anarchist,’ the lead single from its new album.  There is quite a bit to note concerning this song that makes it work.  Musically speaking, audiences that are familiar with the work of Rich Ward and fellow Stuck Mojo band mate Frank Fontsere will instantly hear the influence of the pair’s work with that band in this song.  Front man Chris Jericho’s vocals are just as powerful as he sings about quite a disturbed individual, singing, “One crazed anarchist/He’s ready to blow/Grenade in his pocket and he’s ready to blow/Finger on the trigger/And he’s waiting to pull/It’s time to deliver and his docket is full.”  The song’s chorus seems to hint at how said individual became what he become as Jericho sings, “How did my love just fade away/Faith and hope/Have gone astray/I can’t run away from the beast/Rip the scab/And set it free/It’s the killer in me.”  Of course, he’s speaking metaphorically about “running from the beast.”  It almost hints at someone that has become an extremist of sorts as a result of having lost everything both physically and emotionally.  Keeping that in mind, it makes the song an even harder hitting piece coming at it from a lyrical angle.  Add in the songs steady crunching guitar line underneath Ward’s primary guitar part and an even deeper emotional impact is created.  One should take into account, too Jericho’s own vocal delivery.  He does quite the job of interpreting the subject’s seeming emotional and psychological state as he sings about the unnamed man.  This serves to make ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ one of the best examples of how much Fozzy has grown over the course of its life.  Audiences can check out the songs video now online via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9aKjbRIJ_k.  Just as much of an example of the band’s growth, is the still heavy yet uplifting song ‘Unstoppable.’

‘Unstoppable’ is another example of the growth on Do You Wanna Start A War because while it is a rather heavy song in its own right, it also presents a positive message.  That message is one of self-determination.  The band brought in guest singer Christie Cook for this song.  Her vocals are just as powerful as Jericho’s.  But there’s something that just makes it all perfectly fit here as she sings in the song’s chorus, “You’ll never break me/I’m unstoppable/You’ll never shake me/I’m unstoppable.”  Perhaps it is that certain grittiness in her voice that makes it work.  It’s almost a mix of Lita Ford and Joan Jett, if one can envision such a hybrid sound.  And just as ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ bears its own similarity to Stuck Mojo’s sound, so does this song bear a certain similarity to Stuck Mojo’s ‘Invincble.’  That song in question comes from Stuck Mojo’s most recent release, 2009’s The Great Revival.  One can almost see her on stage with the band, pumping her fist in time with the audience as she sings, “I do just what I want to/Because I know it’s right/Don’t tell me I can’t make it/Won’t down without a fight/Away from my past/Because in my eyes/I can do anything/Now watch me rise.”  This is such an anthemic song.  It is the kind of piece that could easily inspire people in so many situations.  That ability to so easily inspire audiences combined with such a heavy sound make this song one more of this album’s examples of how much Fozzy has grown throughout the years.

Fozzy’s new record shows so much growth from the band. That’s already been evidenced in both the album’s lead single ‘One Crazed Anarchist’ and the driving, uplifting ‘Unstoppable.’ There is at least one more example on this record of just how much Fozzy has come since its earliest days. That example is a song that is perhaps the album’s most mainstream song of all—‘Tonight.’ If ever there was a song that could be used as a radio single it is this song. Jericho and his band mates sing in this arena anthem, “This is our last chance/To show the world/Jus what we’re made of/We’ll bring this town to its knees/And then/We’ll take our chance to shine/Take our chance to fly(and stage our battlecry)/Take our chance to shine/Take our chance to fly (it’s time).” That positive vibe runs throughout the course of the song. It offers that same sort of inspiration as ‘Unstoppable’ that is sure to uplift audiences and entertain them at the same time. It is one more example, as audiences will hear, of how much this band has grown from little more than a novelty cover band to a serious musical group. And as audiences will hear from the album’s other songs, those songs along with the pieces noted here exhibit that growth even more.

Do You Wanna Start A War is available now in stores. Audiences can currently pick it up at Best Buy and get a free Fozzy bandana with purchase. Fans can also pick up the album at any of the band’s live shows. The band is currently touring alongside Theory of a Deadman in support of its new album and will be in Syracuse, NY next Friday, August 2nd at the Chevrolet Court. The band also has a performance scheduled at the famed Fillmore in Charlotte, North Carolina on Wednesday, September 24th. The band’s current tour schedule and all of the latest news and updates from the band is available online at http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock and http://www.fozzyrock.com. 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

The Dagger Debuts Video For Latest Single

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Swedish modern classic rock band The Dagger debuted the video for its new single ‘1978’ this week. The video can be viewed online now at http://www.teamrock.com/news/2014-07-10/premiere-the-dagger-1978. The video features footage of the band performing its single inside a mansion mixed with footage of front man Jani Kataja singing his part as he drives a classic muscle car along an unnamed road. If the band’s new video and single aren’t enough for fans, the videos for ‘Ahead of You’ and ‘Skygazer’ can both be streamed online now via YouTube and Soundcloud respectively at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLFKpWMjVec&feature=youtu.be and https://soundcloud.com/centurymedia/the-dagger-skygazer. A demo take of the song ‘Dark Cloud’ can also be streamed online now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imbk-v_1myE.

The Dagger’s self-titled Century Media Records debut will be available in stores and online Tuesday, July 22nd. It can be pre-ordered now with both the CD by itself and with a souvenir t-shirt online now at http://www.cmdistro.com/Artist/The_Dagger/96644. The album’s track listing is noted below.

The Dagger track-listing:
1. Ahead Of You All
2. Call Of 9
3. Ballad Of An Old Man
4. Skygazer
5. Electric Dawn
6. 1978
7. Dogs Of Warning
8. Nocturnal Triumph
9. Inside The Monolithic Dome
10. Dark Cloud
11. Mainline Riders (CD-only bonus track)

The Dagger is currently scheduled to perform live at the Close-Up Baten Festival Thursday and Friday, September 1th and 19th. More information on that festival is available online at http://www.closeupmagazine.net/sept.php. 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.

Otherwise Debuts Lead Single From Upcoming LP

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Otherwise has officially debuted its new single.

‘Darker Side of the Moon’ is the lead single from the Las Vegas, NV-based band’s upcoming album Peace at All Costs. The band debuted the new single online via RevolverMag.com. It is accompanied by a lyric video, which can be viewed online now at http://www.revolvermag.com/news/otherwise-premiere-new-song-darker-side-of-the-moon.html. The single is available now for download via iTunes and Amazon.

Front man Adrian Patrick explained the meaning behind the song in a recent interview, noting that it is part of a whole in Peace at All Costs that will end up having a positive effect on listeners. “Darker Side of the Moon is just the beginning of the journey that we plan to take with everyone,” he said. “The Moon is a heavenly body that we’ve come to cherish and worship throughout our meager lives… but there is another side to it that most of us know nothing about. We hope that our album PEACE AT ALL COSTS will help the world navigate the depths of its own darkness and break through into the Light on the other side.”

‘Darker Side of the Moon’ can be downloaded via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Darker-Side-Moon-Otherwise and via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/darker-side-of-the-moon-single/id892762321?ign-mpt=uo%3D4.

The band will hit the road in support of Peace at All Costs beginning July 17th in Madison, Wisconsin. Its most current tour schedule is listed below.

OTHERWISE TOUR DATES:

July 17 – Madison, WI – Alliant Energy Center

Aug 1 – Las Vegas, NV – Hard Rock Hotel & Casino (w/Buckcherry)

Aug 23 – Central Point, OR – Lithia Motors Amphitheater

Sept 14 – Sacramento, CA – Aftershock Festival

Oct 4 – Louisville, KY – Louder Than Life Festival

 

All of the latest updates on the band’s tour schedule, and all of the latest news from the band is available online now at http://www.weareotherwise.com, http://www.facebook.com/otherwiseofficial, and http://twitter.com/weareotherwise. 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 latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Arch Enemy Impresses Once More With New Album, Vocalist

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Stalwart Swedish metal band Arch Enemy released its ninth full length studio effort last month.  While being the ninth full length release for the band, it is the first for the band with new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz.  Gluz, the former vocalist of The Agonist, replaced now former Arch Enemy vocalist Angela Gossow earlier this year, shocking a number of fans.  After having spent some thirteen years as the band’s vocalist, one might think that such a shakeup might not be such a good thing.  But as this album has evidenced, it might be the proverbial kick in the pants that the band needed.  As audiences will note in listening through the album, the band has taken the speed/death metal sound that made it famous throughout its previous albums and added a thrash element to the mix, making the album even more of interest to audiences. One of the best of this album is its title track and lead single. The social commentary of the song’s lyrical side alongside the pure aggression and power in the music make it clear why it was chosen as the album’s lead. ‘You Will Know my Name’ will catch listeners’ ears just as much with its scathing indictment of those people that would call themselves friends to ones face but talk trash behind one’s back. The song’s musical side along with that indictment will reach so many listeners. And the instrumental ‘Graveyard of Dreams’ is another show of talent from guitarist Michael Amott. These are just a few samples of what Arch Enemy offers audiences on its latest full length effort. Together with the album’s other songs, they are sure to impress any fan new or old.

Arch Enemy leads off its first album with new vocalist Alissa White-Gluz in grand fashion with the absolutely searing ‘War Eternal.’ A better choice for the band’s re-introduction couldn’t have been chosen. Anyone that is familiar with Arch Enemy’s body of work will be just as impressed with this song as those that might be newer to the band’s sound. The song, penned by Amott—Amott wrote the lyrics to each song as an added note—is rife with social commentary. Amott writes in this song, “Friend or foe/There’s no way to know/Through the battlefield of life/It’s ill or be killed/So many times/It’s a matter of degree/From being up on your luck/To down on your knees.” He’s writing about life ingeneral and how it can be tough and easy from one point to another. He goes on to write about those that would make life difficult, writing that “They try to change you/Crush and break you/Try to tell you what to do/They’d like to have control of you.” Whether it be politicians, those within one’s own social circles or otherwise, there is not one person out there to whom this song doesn’t relate. Through all the difficulties, he reminds listeners not to give up, writing, “Search deep inside/Remember who you are.” In the end, it proves to be a song of self-empowerment and inner strength. Again, what better way to introduce the band’s new album?

‘War Eternal’ proves with the combination of its searing musical side and equally powerful lyrical theme of self-empowerment to be the perfect choice to introduce Arch Enemy’s new album. Just as impressive from this new album is the similarly themed ‘You Will Know My Name.’ It doesn’t boast the same buzz saw guitars and machine gum drumming. But the way in which it builds from almost a brooding opening into the driving classic sound which audiences have come to know will impress just as much. That slow boil helps to heighten the song’s lyrical side, in which Amott writes about false friends. He writes of said individuals in this song, “The judging eyes watching me/Is all I’ve ever known/When I try to open up my heart/I am ridiculed and torn apart/You tell jokes I’ll never get to hear/Behind my back at my expense.” He tackles the things that those false friends like to say about others, writing that “There’s something inside me/And I know it’s good/I’m not evil, just misunderstood…Today I break my silence/Strip you of your dignity/Tear down your perfect world/Your perfect lies…No longer invisible/You will know my name.” In its own way, this could be the anthem of those who have been bullied for years on end. And just as the blues helps people in tough situations feel better, so could this song help those who have been bullied by fake friends, and perhaps even prevent them from doing what so many others before have done. To that extent, Amott and his band mates are again to be applauded for this song’s inclusion on this album.

‘War Eternal’ and ‘You Will Know My Name’ are both powerful and important additions to Arch Enemy’s latest full length effort. They both show the band’s technical abilities and its ability to reach fans lyrically as well. Just as much as the band exhibits its continued talents through the aforementioned songs, it shows once again that it can create deep emotion solely with its musical abilities. This is evidenced in the fully instrumental piece, ‘Graveyard of Dreams.’ The song only runs one minute and ten seconds. Even within that short time, it generates quite the emotion thanks to Amott’s guitar work. The very title, ‘Graveyard of Dreams’ creates an image of someone in the depths of depression. And Amott’s guitar work illustrates this image even better. As with ‘You Will Know My Name,’ the depth of emotion expressed in this song could actually serve as music therapy of sorts. That is because of the band’s ability to relate to listeners even just through music. Listeners will hear the music expressing how they might be feeling. In turn, it could serve as a point of strength. Yet again, the members of Arch Enemy are to be applauded here. It is yet one more piece of the whole that makes War Eternal another impressive release from Arch Enemy.

‘War Eternal,’ ‘You Will Know My Name,’ and ‘Graveyard of Dreams’ are each great additions to War Eternal. They are only part of what makes this album a success for the band. The albums’ remaining songs each pose their own argument for the album’s success. And audiences new and old alike will agree to that in hearing the album in its entirety. War Eternal is available now in stores and online. It is available both in standard and Limited Edition Triple-Disc set online via the Century Media Records store at http://www.cmdistro.com/Item/Arch_Enemy_-_War_Eternal_-Ltd._CD_Mediabook_Edit.-/47541?Aff=cus and http://www.cmdistro.com/Item/Arch_Enemy_-_War_Eternal_Ltd._Deluxe_Artbook_-3CD-/47540?Aff=cus. More information on War Eternal, Arch Enemy’s current tour schedule and all the latest from the band is available online at http://www.facebook.com/archenemyofficial and http://www.archenemy.net. 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Anti-Mortem Makes A Solid First Impression On Its Debut LP

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast America

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast America

Anti-Mortem’s debut record New Southern is one of the best new hard rock records of 2014. The band’s debut record, which is available now in stores and online, has taken the best elements of Black Label Society, Hellyeah, and Pantera—just to name a few—and has blended them together to make a record that clearly shows why the band signed with what is one of hard rock’s “big three” labels in Nuclear Blast Records. For those that might be curious, the other pair of labels that comprise that “big three” are Metal Blade Records and Century Media Records. The band grabs listeners right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Words of Wisdom’ and doesn’t let go until the final strains of the album’s closer. Along the way, the band more than makes its argument as to why it deserves to be on any critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock records. Case in point the band’s latest single ‘Truck Stop Special’ and the southern rock sludge of ‘Black Heartbeat.’ These songs are just a few examples of why Anti-Mortem’s New Southern has earned a spot at least on this critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock records. Audiences will agree that any of the songs on this record show why the band deserves such an honor from any critic.

Anti-Mortem proves to audiences why its debut record is one of the year’s best new hard rock records right off the top in the album’s opener ‘Words of Wisdom.’ The comparisons to Black Label Society and Hellyeah are instantaneous thanks to the heavy guitar riffs of Nevada Romo and Zain Smith, and front man Larado Romo’s searing vocals. In an era when it seems that crunching down-tuned guitars and indecipherable cookie monster growls seem to be leading the way in the rock world, this combination of musicianship is a breath of fresh air even in the rock community. Of course the equally pounding drumming of Levi Dickerson and bassist Corey Henderson’s solid low end aren’t to be forgotten, either. They add their own depth to the song’s musical side as Larado Romo sings (Yes, he actually sings to a certain extent unlike so many rock vocalists today), “I was told my whole life/Don’t do this/Don’t do that/Force your opinion on me/Like it was fact/You tried to hypnotize/And teach me to act/the truth is you lied/And there’s no going back.” He and his band mates go on to sing in the song’s chorus, “You wonder/What’s under/What’s underneath my skin/You wonder what is under/Underneath my/I see no reason why/We should lay down and die/No words of wisdom.” There is no cryptic hidden message here. This song is a full-on, horns-high hard rock anthem. And it will have any true fan of the genre singing along with pride. That pride doesn’t lessen at all even after this song ends. That’s evident in another of the album’s highest points, ‘Truck Stop Special.’

‘Truck Stop Special’ is southern sludge rock at its finest. What can be said of this song but it is destined to be just as much a favorite for audiences both on the album and in a live setting. It’s a powerful song both musically and lyrically. Lyrically, Romo comes across as singing about making the most of life. This argument could be made in noting the song’s chorus. Romo sings in the chorus, “You can’t live your life, no/With your head in the sand/You can’t waste your time, son/On a fool’s errand.” That argument is made even stronger as he sings in the song’s second verse, “No money to drown in/No hope to hang/Trouble’s the way I’m living child/When there ain’t no fame/Our education boy/I’ll show you how to be yeah/To never want nothing son/To take all you need.” In the song’s final verse, Romo goes on to note how the last to a given point suffer the possibility of losing everything. He is speaking metaphorically here saying that those that waste their time in life are in danger of negative consequences. Overall, he is saying people shouldn’t waste their lives and let life pass them by. That carpe diem message of sorts next to the song’s solid driving musical makes this song one more of so many of New Southern’s many high points.

The members of Anti-Mortem show time and again throughout the course of New Southern’s twelve tracks and forty-six total minutes just why the band’s debut record is so deserving of being added to any critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock records. ‘Truck Stop Special’ and ‘Words of Wisdom’ are both prime examples of why it deserves to be on that list. There is one more song that could be noted among the many standout tracks on this album proving that argument. The song in question, ‘Black Heartbeat’ comes almost halfway through the album. The song focuses on broken relationship, lyrically. But it doesn’t come across in the typical ‘oh woe is me’ style of so many songs. It really captures the mixed emotions of anger and pain felt by someone that has been on the receiving end of a broken relationship. And Romo makes no bones about the song’s subject matter as he sings, “It’s safe to say/It’s over now/At least until you call/Sometimes I wonder why I care/And loved you at all/Go on and pretend/It’s not your fault/Your cold black heartbeat/Has come to a halt/So use me/Abuse me/To get what you need/Confuse me/Lie to me/Your damage has been done/You can’t take advantage of my love anymore/No trust/Don’t wanna see/Then just walk out the door.” Some out there might not like the comparison, but one could almost compare this piece to Theory of a Deadman’s song ‘Get What You Deserve.’ The two songs are very similar both in terms of their themes and musical sides. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, either. ‘Get What You Deserve’ is rather scathing in its own way just as this song proves to be. And it comes from a similar vantage point. It’s one of those pieces that when one is going through a separation of any kind will most definitely empower listeners and help them to get through such times. Ergo, ‘Black Heartbeat’ will have done its job. And in turn it will have proven once more just why New Southern more than deserves to be considered one of this year’s best new hard rock records.

All three of the songs noted in this review are prime examples of why New Southern deserves a spot on every critic’s list of the year’s best new hard rock records. They are also prime examples of why this album deserves a spot on the CD rack of every purist hard rock and metal fan. They aren’t the only examples of the album’s solidity. Every song on this album could be used for this argument. That’s truly saying something. The album is available now in stores and online. It can also be purchased at any of the upcoming live performances on the band’s current concert schedule. The band will kick off a summer tour at Strummer’s in Fresno, California on Tuesday, July 8th. Audiences can check out the band’s current tour itinerary online now and even buy New Southern at the band’s official website, http://anti-mortem.com. The band’s current tour schedule and updates are also available via Facebook and Twitter at http://www.facebook.com/AntiMortemUSA and http://twitter.com/antimortemusa. 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Monuments Releases Summer Tour Schedule

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The members of Monuments announced Thursday that band will hit the road this summer in support of its latest album.

Amanuensis, the first for the band on Century Media Records, will be released July 8th in North America. The band’s tour in support of its new album kicks off Tuesday, July 15th in Springfield, MA. Also along for the ride will be Scale The Summit, Glasscloud, Erra, and Reflections.

The band’s current tour schedule includes thirty-seven scheduled dates counting its opening date in Springfield, MA. The schedule also includes a performance at the Blind Tiger in Greensboro, North Carolina on Wednesday, August 13th. Tickets for that performance can be ordered online now at http://www.etix.com/ticket/online/homePageSearch.do?method=showPerformanceDetail&performance_id=1816123&search_source=etix. The band’s current list of tour dates is included below.

07/15 @ Empire – Springfield, VA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/ofttvxz
07/16 @ The Barbary – Philadelphia, PA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/owfbym9
07/17 @ Webster Underground – Hartford, CT – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/md2sqg7
07/18 @ Amityville Music Hall – Amityville, NY – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/pfaavxn
07/19 @ Gramercy Theatre – New York, NY – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nt3ymfl
07/20 @ The Palladium – Worcester, MA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/njzv4f4
07/21 @ Bogies – Albany, NY – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/okz3yuz
07/22 @ La Sala Rossa – Montreal, QC – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nbkb764
07/23 @ Hard Luck – Toronto, ON – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/pub4jqv
07/24 @ The Stache – Grand Rapids, MI – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/p93dtle
07/25 @ Reggie’s – Chicago, IL – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/q3v3xlu
07/26 @ The Garage – Burnsville, MN – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/o8qnc8d
07/27 @ West End Cultural Centre – Winnipeg, MB – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/qdjo3ef
07/28 @ The Exchange – Regina, SK – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nsw6xst
07/29 @ The Den, Calgary, AB – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/omstu3a
07/30 @ Kelowna, BC – Rutland Centennial Hall – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/q7xnavh
07/31 @ The Rio Theatre, Vancouver, BC – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nsnb82j
08/01 @ Chop Suey – Seattle, WA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nmtmstp
08/02 @ Hawthorne Theatre – Portland, OR – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/l6ecot8
08/03 @ Oakland Metro – Oakland, CA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/mbgahas
08/04 @ The Lyric – Los Angeles, CA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/kf25ck8
08/05 @ Southern Nevada Sports Centre – Las Vegas, NV -

Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/kxadqb2

08/06 @ The Underground – Mesa, AZ – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/m74l2ce
08/07 @ Launchpad – Albuquerque, NM – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/pa958qv
08/08 @ Bluebird Theater – Denver, CO – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/krzdn94
08/09 @ Jackpot – Lawrence, KS – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/olsfk6w
08/10 @ Fubar – St. Louis, MO – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nfy48he
08/11 @ Park Street Saloon – Columbus, OH – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nk7lr6a
08/12 @ The Concourse – Knoxville, TN – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/nrg93jh
08/13 @ Blind Tiger – Greensboro, NC – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/ouxnc2n
08/14 @ 1904 Music Hall – Jacksonville, FL – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/ppx4azw
08/15 @ Propaganda – Lake Worth, FL – Tickets: TBA
08/16 @ Backbooth – Orlando, FL – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/kwh6ylh
08/17 @ Vinyl At Center Stage – Atlanta, GA – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/lml7qrm
08/19 @ Tomcats – Fort Worth, TX – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/l4gdtzd
08/20 @ Red 7 – Austin, TX – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/mbmn53s
08/21 @ Fitzgerald’s – Houston, TX – Tickets: http://tinyurl.com/mbvhuu5

Audiences can pre-order Amanuensis now online at http://www.cmdistro.com/Search/monuments. And the video for the band’s latest single ‘The Alchemist’ is available for viewing online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTKB5enjIN4&feature=youtu.be. More information on Monuments, its upcoming album, tour and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/thisismonuments and http://twitter.com/thisismonuments. 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.

The Dagger Reveals Cover Art, Track Listing For Debut Album

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Swedish metal act The Dagger recently signed a deal with Century Media Records. The band’s self-titled debut album is slated to be released June 30th in Europe and July 22nd in North America. The album will be released via Century Media Records both overseas and in North America.

In anticipation of the upcoming release, the band has released the cover art for its album as well as the video for its lead single, titled ‘Ahead of You All.’ The song conjures thoughts of Judas Priest and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal during the 1980s. Audiences can hear the song now online via YouTube at YouTube: http://youtu.be/wLFKpWMjVec and via SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/centurymedia/the-dagger-ahead-of-you-all.

The Dagger also included a song titled ‘Dark Cloud’ as the closer for its upcoming self-titled debut. Audiences can hear an early version of that song now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imbk-v_1myE. That early version was originally released on a 7” through High Roller Records. The album’s complete track listing is noted below.

The Dagger track-listing:
1. Ahead Of You All
2. Call Of 9
3. Ballad Of An Old Man
4. Skygazer
5. Electric Dawn
6. 1978
7. Dogs Of Warning
8. Nocturnal Triumph
9. Inside The Monolithic Dome
10. Dark Cloud

The Dagger is currently scheduled to perform live September 18th and 19th in Stockholm Sweden as part of Close-Up Magazine’s Close-Up Baten Festival.

Jani Kataja leads The Dagger on vocals. He is joined by David Blomqvist (guitar), Tobias Cristiansson (bass), and Fred Estby (drums). More information on The Dagger, its upcoming self-titled album and eventual tour news is available online at http://www.facebook.com/daggerofficial. 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.

Queensryche Starts Writing Process For New Album

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The battle between former Queensryche front man Geoff Tate and his former band mates is finally over. A judge recently made the decision that Tate’s former band mates would henceforth be the only ones legally permitted to use the Queensryche name. With that battle finally over, the members of Queensryche have announced that the band has started work on its next album.

Queensryche’s next as yet untitled album is expected to be released early next Summer via Century Media Records. Founding guitarist Michael Wilton discussed the different vibe within the band now that its legal battle is behind it. “The Queensrÿche internal dynamic has certainly changed in terms of musicianship. It’s more of a cohesive team and the chemistry we have now is making what we can do creatively limitless. For Queensrÿche, it was always about being able to write together as a band. We didn’t have that for a long time but now that it’s back, we feel extremely liberated,” he said. “We’ve already begun the writing process for the next album and have a few songs demoed that we feel really good about. We’re taking the songs in the classic Queensrÿche direction but maybe a little more progressive and heavier at times. The thing is, you never know what you really have until it’s complete. We can’t wait for the final outcome. Writing with such a dynamic group of individuals has been nothing short of amazing.”

Queensryche is slated to hit the road later this month for the next leg of its tour. The band’s upcoming tour schedule kicks off Friday, May 23rd in Tucson, AZ at the KLPX Desert Rocks Beach Bash. The complete tour schedule is listed below with more to be announced at later dates.

Confirmed 2014 Tour Dates:

05/23 Tucson, AZ KLPX Desert Rocks Beach Bash

05/24 El Paso, TX Speaking Rock Casino

06/04 Solvesborg, SWE Sweden Rock Festival

06/06 Mt. Pleasant, MI Soaring Eagle Casino

06/07 Salt Lake City, UT Salt Lake City Harley Davidson

06/13 Rothbury, MI JJ Resort

06/21 Idaho Falls, ID Rock The Falls

07/19 Waukesha, WI Waukesha County Fair

08/08 Three Forks, MT Rockin’ The Rivers

08/31 Wauconda, IL Farm Rock 2014

10/11 Las Vegas, NV Eastside Cannery Casino

 

More information on the band’s upcoming album, tour and more is available online now at http://www.queensrycheofficial.com, http://www.facebook.com/queensrycheofficial, and http://twitter.com/queensryche. 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.

No Kidding, Destrage’s New Album Is A Metal Masterpiece

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal Blade Records has never been a label to rest easy on its laurels.  Every year, it proves to be one of the leaders in the world of hard rock and metal.  The only other label that measures up to Metal Blade is its counterpart, Century Media Records.  Metal Blade has consistently released some of the music industry’s best hard rock and metal albums in recent years.  This year is no different.  And that is especially evident with the release of the new album from the Italian experimental metal act Destrage.  Are You Kidding Me? No is the band’s Metal Blade debut.  And it is quite the aptly titled record, too.  That’s because every single track will leave listeners asking those words.  For those that have yet to hear Destrage’s music, the best comparison that can be made is a hybrid of Between The Buried and Me, Slayer, and Mr. Bungle.  Front man Paolo Colavolpe even sounds like Slayer front man Tom Array at more than one point throughout the course of the album’s nine tracks.

Destrage—Paolo Colavolpe (Vocals), Matteo Di Dioia (guitar), Gabriel Pignata (bass), Ralph Salati (guitar), and Federico Paulovich (drums)—exhibits so much creativity right from the album’s opener, ‘Destroy Create Transform Sublimate.’ The only term that can best describe this song is controlled chaos. The song goes from full throttle, shredding guitars to a more jazz-influenced sound a la its Metal Blade label mates Trioscapes to an almost symphonic metal sound complete with a slight dubstep finale. Colavolpe’s vocal style changes from one movement to the next to match each portion of the song, too. He switches between his seemingly Tom Arraya style vocals to something more akin to Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray and back again over the course of the song’s near six-minute run time. Add in the song’s lyrical side and audiences get in this piece an even more complex song. Colavolpe sings and screams through this song, “We are all here to witness the indomitable power of creation/As creative energy spreads like a relentless force/infecting every single atom/Art in all its manifestation conducts us close to God/And the struggle of our thinking/into uncontaminated imagination/Pure imagination.” Yes, this is rather metaphysical thinking. And that’s why it works so well with the songs musical side. Those words are a direct mirror image of what the band presents with the song’s music. And together, the two sides make the song title all the clearer and the song itself all the more enjoyable.

For all of the frenetic energy exuded by the band in the first half of its Metal Blade Records debut, the band actually does slow things down in a manner of speaking at the beginning of the album’s second half. Where The Things Have No Colour,’ is the band’s most radio friendly single. Interestingly enough, as much as this song is pulled back and more radio friendly, the band doesn’t sacrifice too much. That’s evident in the song’s lyrical side. Colavolpe sings in this song, “You won’t take this moment away from me/And make me a silent slave of yours/You won’t put me down on my knees/I will make this time as I always meant it to be.” If properly interpreted, Colavolpe’s words come across as being rather defiant. If they are meant to be interpreted in such fashion, one must admit that it is one of the most original lyrically defiant statements ever made. The guitar work of Matteo Di Dioia and Ralph Salati adds so much more depth to the song. The pair shines and soars alongside drummer Federico Paulovich and bassist Gabriel Pignata to complete what is easily one of this album’s most powerful pieces.

‘Where The Things Have No Colour’ isn’t the only radio ready song that Destrage boasts on its new album. ‘Before, After and All Around’ This song comes across as a song based in the topic of relationships. That interpretation is made through lines such as “Speechless, smileless/Smilesless, hopeless/Haven’t got you yet/Maybe you understand me better than I know/I’ve got this feeling we are going nowhere/Stupid, don’t you see/Why the f&*% do you deny it/I feel wrapped up in pain/Because we are going nowhere.” However, as Colavolpe writes, “At this point/A girl lives in a dream/In a little fairy house/At the following point/She lives surrounded by sweet things/Hers. Mine./At the same point/A few months ahead/she looks forward/She realizes she wanted a man/But was a boy/I should have built a fairy house/In the same time a few miles away/But what would I have missed?” he leaves the song wide open to interpretation. The ability of Colavolpe to generate so much discussion from this song is another sign of the importance of this album. He writes so cryptically and metaphorically that his writing creates discussion without even trying. It makes the song—much like the album’s other works—more than just a song. It makes it a true musical and lyrical work of art. It becomes something to discuss and truly appreciate, again much like the other songs noted here and those not noted here.

All of the songs noted here each play an important part in the overall enjoyment and success of Destrage’s new album. That isn’t to take anything away from those songs not mentioned. The album’s remaining seven songs each play their own part in the album’s success, too. Regardless of which song one chooses, one thing remains true about this album. That one thing is that there is no kidding that this is one of the best hard rock/metal records of 2014.

Destrage will perform live May 10th in Legano, Italy in support of its new album and then in Moncalieri, Italy at the Audiodrome on June 1st. Audiences can find out about Destrage’s upcoming tour dates and general information online now at http://www.facebook.com/Destrage, http://www.destrage.com, and http://twitter.com/destrage. 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 and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Otherwise Starts Recording Process For Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Las Vegas based hard rock band Otherwise has entered the studio to start work on its latest album.

Peace at All Costs will be the band’s second full length release for Century Media Records and third overall full length release. It is being produced by Grammy Award-winning producer David Bottrill (Tool, Flaw, Muse, Stone Sour, Godsmack, Staind, Peter Gabriel) in Las Vegas at Audio Mix House and Vegas View Recording Studios. Front man Adrian Patrick discussed bringing Bottrill on board to man the boards for this record and how much it means to have him on board for the record’s creation. “We’ve always felt different from other bands; not just as performers but as people also,” he said. Being in the studio with an elite producer like David Bottrill, knowing his impressively diverse resume and discerning taste in the artists he chooses to work with, only reinforces our resolve. Our next album, “Peace at All Costs,” will prove what we are capable of.”

The band will take a short break from working on its album next Saturday, April 12th as it is scheduled to take part in Orlando, Florida’s annual Earthday Birthday Festival.

George Cappellini, Sr. (Former VP of Promotion for Geffen Records and VP of Rock Promotion for Elektra Records) co-manages Otherwise. He was very excited in talking to the press about the past, present, and future of Otherwise. “I wanted to work the band to radio after hearing “Soldiers” on Octane,” he said. Fast forward two years later after 200+ shows, two Top 20 Singles, and now being a part of the management team, this band has grown into a powerhouse right before our eyes. You will all hear that on their sophomore album.”

Century Media Records head Robert Kampf has already had a listen to some of the material that fans will get to hear later this year. He put in the simplest terms what he thought of what he heard. He told reporters, After hearing the demos for the new album, OTHERWISE is going to be the future of rock, period.”

All of the latest developments on Peace at All Costs, any new tour dates and more from Otherwise is available online at http://www.weareotherwise.com/home, http://www.facebook.com/otherwiseofficial, and http://twitter.com/weareotherwise. 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.