Allman Brothers Band Celebrates 45th Anniversary With Live Shows, New Live Releases

MSO PR

MSO PR

2014 marks a major milestone for the Allman Brothers Band.  This year marks the forty-fifth anniversary of the band’s formation.  In celebration of the anniversary, the band will release new live CD and DVD recordings for its fans.  It also has announced the schedule for its annual stint at the Beacon Theater.  It all begins next month with the release of the new two-CD set, Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 and the new live DVD, Live at Great Woods.  This recording was originally recorded in 1991.  The band will also release via its own label, Allman Brothers Band Recording Company, another live DVD titled Boston Common 8/17/71.  Topping it all off, the band is set to return to its original home base of Florida this Spring for the annual Wanee Festival.

Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 presents the band’s first time ever performing such an extended run at the famed theatre.  The band performed ten shows at the Beacon Theatre in 1992.  Only two of those ten shows were ever taped.  Very little material from those recordings has ever been made publicly available for fans up until now.  The double-discset will be released via Epic/Legacy Recordings on Tuesday, February 18th.  Epic/Legacy Recordings is a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

The upcoming double-CD live release is just half of the band’s celebratory releases.  The band will release alongside Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992 a new live DVD titled Live at Great Woods.  The recording, which was originally filmed in September 1991, presents the band performing in front of nearly twenty-thousand fans at the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts in Massachusetts.  The new re-issue of the concert recording marks the first time that it has ever been released on DVD.  It features for fans the band’s original long-form video version of the performance.  There are no interviews spliced into the recording here.  It will also be released via Epic/Legacy Recordings.

Finishing of the band’s list of celebratory live recordings will be the release of Boston Common 8/17/71.  John Lynskey—publisher of the ABB’s magazine, Hittin’ The Note—explains the recording and the band’s relationship with the people of Boston in the recording’s liner notes.  Boston Common 8/17/71 is also scheduled for a February release.  No official date has been confirmed yet.

“1971 was a watershed year for the Allman Brothers Band – they recorded their seminal live album, At Fillmore East, in March, and continued to tour relentlessly. By this point, their performances had reached a level of musicianship and intensity that other groups could only dream of. At Fillmore East was released in July to massive critical acclaim, and a month later, they rolled back into Boston to once again jam in the Common, playing two shows on August 17th. Boston Common 8/17/71 manages to capture the loose and engaging early set, with the band clearly enjoying themselves – Berry [Oakley]’s stage banter is particularly engaging as he comments on the group’s relationship with Boston and their friendship with the J. Geils Band. As for the music, Duane’s slide guitar is blistering on ‘Statesboro Blues’ and ‘Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’’; his interplay with Dickey [Betts] on ‘You Don’t Love Me’ is a complex masterpiece, and their dual melody line on ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed’ is flawless. Gregg’s vocal work is stellar throughout, and his growl on ‘Trouble No More’ clearly justifies his reputation as one of the best blues singers of all time. Berry, Butch and Jaimoe lay down a rhythm foundation that is a mile wide – the thumping bass line and syncopated drum patterns turn the ‘Whipping Post’ finale into a musical maelstrom.”

Following the release of its upcoming live CD and DVDs, the band will continue celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary with its annual stay at the famed Beacon Theatre and a return engagement at the annual Wanee Festival in Live Oaks, Florida.  2014 marks the tenth anniversary of the Wanee Festival.  The band’s performances at the Beacon Theatre mark its only live performances in the metro NYC region this year.  The complete schedule of performances dates is listed below.

DATE

CITY

VENUE

Fri

3/7

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/8

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Tue

3/11

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Wed

3/12

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

3/14

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/15

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Tue

3/18

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Wed

3/19

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

3/21

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Sat

3/22

New York, NY

Beacon Theatre

Fri

4/11

Live Oak, FL

Wanee Music Festival

Sat

4/12

Live Oak, FL

Wanee Music Festival

 

Tickets for the band’s Beacon Theatre shows go on sale this Friday, January 10th at 10am. They can be purchased online via the official Ticketmaster website, http://www.ticketmaster.com and the official Beacon Theatre website, http://www.beacontheatre.com.  They can also be purchased via phone at 1-800-745-3000.  Any unsold tickets will be sold at the venue box office beginning this Sunday, January 12th at the Beacon Theatre box office.  Tickets for American Express card holders are available now and can be purchased through this Thursday, January 9th at 10pm.

More information on the Allman Brothers Band, its releases, concerts and more is available online at http://www.allmanbrothersband.com, http://www.hittinthenote.com, http://www.waneefestival.com, and http://www.facebook.com/allmanbrothersband.  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.

Satriani Proves He’s Still Got Plenty Of “Momentum” On New LP

Courtesy:  Epic Records/RED Distribution

Courtesy: Epic Records/RED Distribution

Joe Satriani’s latest release, Unstoppable Momentum is the famed guitarist’s best release since his 2006 album, Super Colossal.  This new record is the album that fans have waited for since the release of Super Colossal.  It is just as bombastic as Super Colossal and more at some points.  It’s also just as gentle as SC, too at different points.  Perhaps a big reason for the success of this record is the Satch opted for a different backing group than he typically uses on his records.  Many of Satriani’s past records were recorded with Jeff Campitelli on drums and Allen Whitman on bass.  This time out, Satch opted instead to have drummer Vinnie Colaiuta man the kit and Chris Chaney add the low end on bass.  Another change to the lineup that could have created such a difference on this record from his other works was the inclusion of Mike Frasier behind the glass once again.  The two are quite familiar with one another, having worked together on no less than six of Satch’s previous records, including his most recent album, Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards (2010) and Super Colossal.  He also helped with the creation of both of Chickenfoot’s current releases on which Joe played guitar.  That familiarity and friendship between the pair—and the inclusion of new musicians–obviously played a role in the record’s sound as it has proven to be not just his best record since Super Colossal, but one of his finest records to date.

Right from the opening number of Unstoppable Momentum, long-time fans of Satriani’s work know they are in for quite a ride.  The album opens fittingly with its title track.  Simply listening to the song, one can’t help but hear that perhaps Satriani is making a statement early on that even fourteen albums in, he still has a lot left to offer audiences.  He still has that “unstoppable momentum.”  The song’s seeming ABA structure starts off easy before really kicking things up in the middle section.  Joe shows without a doubt that he’s still got plenty left in the tank with his “solos” in this section while drummer Vinnie Colaiuta gives an added intensity with his musicianship behind the kit.  He proves to be just as solid as [Jeff] Campitelli, if not more so.  His ability to handle polyrhythmic patters without missing a single beat is impressive to say the least, both here and throughout the record.  This is just one example of what makes this such a solid record.

Another good example of what makes Unstoppable Momentum a success is the almost Beatles-esque, ‘I’ll Put a Stone on Your Cabin.’  The song’s “A” sections have something of a Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club influence.  Somehow, Satriani and his band mates manage to tie in a sound that is quite the counterpoint to this vibe, making the song into a piece unlike anything that Satriani has ever recorded throughout his career.  It is one of those songs that simply must be heard to be appreciated and understood.      

There is at least one more example of what makes this new record one that fans will enjoy.  And it is the album’s absolutely shortest, but most touching piece.  That song is the one minute and forty-three minute long, ‘I’ll Put a Stone on Your Cairn.’  For those that don’t know, one of the traditional uses of a cairn is as a monument to one who has passed on.  Its use roots all the way back to prehistoric Eurasia.  So placing a stone on one’s cairn would be an act of tribute and remembrance to the deceased.  Keeping all of this in mind, the gentle, dulcet tones of this short opus are sure to create thoughts in the minds of listeners of perhaps those that they have lost.  It offers some of the album’s deepest emotions and is sure to generate among listeners some of the deepest emotions, as well.  Without a doubt, this song may end up being a favorite for fans, even as short as it is.  And it is just one more among so many that listeners will enjoy throughout the course of the album’s eleven total tracks.  The album is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered online via Joe’s website, http://www.satriani.com, where he has links to iTunes, Amazon, and through his own website.  Fans can also order the new album and all sorts of Joe Satriani gear through his official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/joesatriani.  Fans can keep up with the latest tour updates and news from Joe on his Facebook page, too.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks.  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.

Satriani Releases First Round Of Dates For New Tour

Courtesy:Sony Music/Epic Records

Courtesy: Sony Music/Epic Records

Guitarist Joe Satriani is set to release his latest album, Unstoppable Momentum.  In celebration and support of the album, Satriani has announced the first slate of dates on his supporting tour.  The first group of tour dates includes thirteen dates, beginning in San Diego, CA on Thursday, August 29th.  The Steve Morse Band will serve as supporting act on the tour.  Satriani will spend the majority of the first thirteen dates on his tour on the West coast and Southwest.  The current slate of performance dates is available below.

August 29             Balboa Theatre                                                                   San Diego, CA

August 30             Pearl Concert Theater at Palms Casino Resort          Las Vegas, NV

August 31             Orpheum Theatre                                                              Los Angeles, CA

September 1        Talking Stick Resort Ballroom                                         Scottsdale, AZ

September 2        Kiva Auditorium                                                                  Albuquerque, NM

September 4        Historic Paramount Theatre                                           Denver, CO

September 5        Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center                          Midland, TX

September 6        Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie                                   Grand Prairie, TX

September 7        House of Blues                                                                    Houston, TX

September 26      Beacon Theatre                                                                  New York, NY

September 27      Orpheum Theatre                                                              Boston, MA

September 28      Tower Theatre                                                                    Upper Darby, PA

October 26           Fox Theater                                                                          Oakland, CA *

*Steve Morse not supporting this date.

Unstoppable Momentum will be available in stores and online Tuesday, May 7th.  Fans that pre-order the album now through Sony Music’s Epic Records store at http://www.myplaydirect.com/joe-satriani will have the chance to bundle new signed copies of the album with exclusive t-shirts and guitar straps.  Fans that pre-order the new album via Satriani’s own website, http://www.satriani.com, will receive a never before released book of artwork and doodles drawn by Satriani himself throughout the course of his career.  He explained in a recent interview, his reason for releasing the exclusive book.  “This book represents my first effort to finally compile my oddly drawn friends into one place, a wildly colorful portfolio of sorts. A collection of drawings meant to inspire and entertain,” he said.  As he also notes, “Some of my drawings have made their way on to guitars, straps and picks, LP and CD booklets, t-shirts, hats, keychains, etc and even my live stage productions.”

All the latest tour dates and news from Joe Satriani is available online at the official Joe Satriani website, http://www.satriani.com and Joe’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/joesatriani.

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Satriani Announces New Album, Tour

Courtesy:  Epic Records/MAD Ink PR

Courtesy: Epic Records/MAD Ink PR

Veteran guitarist Joe Satriani is set to release his fourteenth full length studio release next month.  The album titled, Unstoppable Momentum is currently scheduled to be released May 7th via Epic Records.  A tour in support of the new album is already in the works, and scheduled to begin in August.  Before all of that happens though, fans can check out the video for the first single off of Satch’s new album via rollingstone.com.  The video for ‘A Door Into Summer’ can be viewed at Rolling Stone magazine’s website now at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/videos/joe-satriani-prepares-for-the-heat-in-a-door-into-summer-premiere-20130418.

As Rolling Stone writer RJ Cubarrubia notes in the video’s description, the video shows Satriani packing the van and heading to Skywalker Studios where the new album was recorded.  The vintage feel of the video mixed with more modern day feel combine to make a song that despite the other part of the song’s description, leads to thoughts of where Joe has been musically, and where he is now.

Audiences can pre-order Unstoppable Momentum now online through the Epic Records online store at http://www.myplaydirect.com/joe-satrianiUnstoppable Momentum can also be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/unstoppable-momentum/id632120065.

Fans that pre-order the album online will also get the chance to bundle signed copies of the album with exclusive t-shirts and guitar straps.  Fans will even get the chance to receive an exclusive, never before seen art book full of drawings, doodles, and more that Joe has drawn throughout his career.  “Some of my drawings have made their way on to guitars, straps and picks, LP and CD booklets, t-shirts, hats, keychains, etc and even my live stage productions,” he said.  “This book represents my first effort to finally compile my oddly drawn friends into one place, a wildly colorful portfolio of sorts. A collection of drawings meant to inspire and entertain.”

Fans can keep up with the latest tour dates and news as it is announced through Joe’s official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/joesatriani and his official website, http://www.satriani.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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

RATM’s Anniversary Box Set A Great Gift To Band’s Fans

Courtesy:  Epic Records/Legacy Recordings

Courtesy: Epic Records/Legacy Recordings

Twenty years ago, one of the biggest bands in modern music history first broke through with its self-titled debut release.  That debut album completely changed the face of music at the time.  The band in question was none other than Rage Against The Machine.  While RATM may not have been the originators of the rap/rock genre, its musical styling wasn’t what made it such an influential band.  It was the fire lit under an entire generation by the band’s sound mixed with its unapologetic political stance.  The band united a generation, telling in no uncertain terms, to “take the power back.”  And the masses began to do just that in listening to the band’s debut.  The band’s message still resonates true with that generation today and even a whole new generation.  In celebration of that continued impact, Epic Records and Legacy Recordings have released the band’s debut album in a box set complete with the band’s original demo, and a handful of extra live performances never before released and other bonuses.

When fans first open the new Rage Against The Machine XX Deluxe Box set, they are greeted with a large picture book featuring pictures from the band’s career.  It opens with an introduction by fellow music veteran and Public Enemy front man Chuck D.  Chuck notes of the band in his intro, “Over the past 20 years, I’ve often called them the greatest band on Earth because of their ability to stand out musically, lyrically, and philosophically.  Nobody comes close to sounding like THEM.  Their lethal combination of many things considered NON-rock makes them the best rock band period.  Sonically distinct, a cocktail bomb sum of its parts.”  That’s a pretty bold statement coming from one of music’s other biggest and equally most controversial individuals.  And it’s an entirely grounded statement, too.  When RATM first broke through in 1992 with its self-titled debut, the music industry had just broken away from the hair metal movement of the 80’s, and was just opening the era of the Seattle “grunge” sound.  The world of pop music was moving away from 80’s nu-wave and into the more bubble-gum sound that is so prevalent today.  Enter Rage Against The Machine.  As Chuck D. notes, there was nothing like this California based quartet out there at the time.  And as he notes late in his intro, music hasn’t been the same since.

The additional liner notes by Chuck D. in this new box set’s mega picture booklet are just one piece of the whole that makes it a nice idea for any long-time fan of RATM.  After going through the liner notes and photos included in the booklet, fans get to really get into the box set.  First off after the booklet is a rather large double-sided fold out poster with two images of the band.  If a person were to want, one could easily put the poster under double glass and perhaps hang it in a way that would show both sides.  Otherwise, it still makes for a nice bonus to the entire set. 

Moving the poster aside, audiences finally get into the real heart of the set.  The real heart of this set comes in two smaller boxes inside the larger.  The first of those two boxes is one containing a pair of CD’s and a pair of DVD’s.  The first of the two CD’s is the band’s original 1992 debut album.  Whether fans already own the original album or not, this re-issue offers listeners a few bonuses in the form of a trio of bonus live tracks.  The first of the bonus live tracks is a live track taken from the band’s original single release of ‘Bombtrack.’  This piece opens with an introduction by front man Zack de la Rocha.  He explains the basis of the song being centered on AIM member Leonard Peltier.  Long time fans will recognize his name as his ongoing case is also the center of the video for the band’s equally well known song, ‘Freedom.’  ‘Bombtrack’ is followed with a live take of another of the band’s megahits, ‘Bullet in the Head.’  No introduction here.  The band simply launches right into the song.  A live, extended take of ‘Take The Power Back’ closes out this new re-issue of the band’s debut.  It’s a fitting closer, too as it reminds audiences of exactly what RATM stood for then and the impact that it still has on audiences today, despite having only released three albums in its time together.  If the bonus live tracks on the new re-issue aren’t enough for fans, then the inclusion of a full, double-sided 180g vinyl copy of the album might be.  It doesn’t have the bonus tracks.  But for anyone that is nostalgic for vinyl, this inclusion makes for yet another bonus to the set.

The second CD included in the band’s new anniversary set is a full run of the band’s original demo tape.  The tape was originally recorded in 1991.  Before its inclusion in this set, the only way that audiences could get their hands on it was at the band’s live shows.  Now fans can hear early takes on the songs that would make RATM the band that it is today.  Audiences will note that while some of the songs on the demo were included on the eventual full length debut, others weren’t so lucky.  But at least one of the songs on this release managed to find its way onto the soundtrack of the 1994 Brand Lee breakout movie, The Crow.  That song is ‘Darkness of Greed.’  Along with that song, fans are also treated to the rare gems: ‘The Narrows’, ‘Auto Logic’, and ‘Mindset’s a Threat.’

Fans get a load of treats from the band’s original demo tape now on CD.  As an added bonus fans will also get to not only hear them, but also see them as the band’s first ever live recording is also included on DVD.  That performance was its performance on October 23rd, 1991 on the campus of Cal State Northridge. The video is somewhat rough.  But that’s because it was obviously originally recorded via VHS.  Nonetheless, having this added live experience makes this set all the more worth it for any true RATM fan.  It’s a real added bonus in that in comparison to where the band started, it’s amazing that the band would go so quickly from a college campus to playing major venues the world over.  Those massive venues included the likes of: Pink Pop, Rock Am, Reading Festival and its now iconic 2010 performance at Finsbury Park in London, England.  The performance was a thank you to fans who had helped the band’s single, ‘Killing in the Name’ reach number one over the winner of the U.K.’s X-factor the year before.  The turnout is absolutely incredible.  And the recorded performance is just as amazing.  Both the video and audio mix are above par.  Both help to translate the energy of both the audience and band to home viewers.  Yet again, it’s one more incredible piece that makes this set so much more powerful.   

A lot of thought and work went into assembling the final product that is RATM’s twentieth anniversary deluxe box set.  It includes the band’s original album both on CD and vinyl.  It also includes the band’s original demo tape that would lead to its landmark debut, as well as loads of live material on CD and DVD.  And let fans not forget about the included oversized photo book and double sided poster.  By the time fans have gone through this set, one of two things will happen.  It will leave fans hoping for the day that RATM returns in force with a brand new album or it will leave fans feeling fully satisfied at having a rather large piece of the band’s legacy.  Both reactions are great reactions to have as this deluxe box set is equally great for any of the band’s legions.  It’s available now in stores and online and makes for a very good gift for the RATM fan in anyone’s house.  It can be ordered online direct from the band’s official website, http://www.ratm.com/rage20/.  Fans can also get all the latest info from the band on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.comRATM.

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.

“Satchurated: Live in Montreal” one of 2012′s top 3 live releases

Courtesy: Epic Records/cine musica

Summer is here.  And that means that the annual tours are making their way across the country fast and furious.  The problem is that with all the tours out there, who has the money or the means to even try to make them all?  For that matter, what are fans to do when their favorite band and/or artist doesn’t make a stop in their city?  This is where the importance of live recordings comes in to play.  Anyone out there who is like this reviewer has seen their favorite act(s) shun their city in favor of other markets time and again.  So live recordings become that much more important to being able to experience given acts live.  And one of the best of this year’s live recordings is Joe Satriani’s recently released live blu-ray “Satchurated:  Live in Montreal.”

“Satchurated:  Live in Montreal” is not Joe Satriani’s first live recording.  But it is one of his best yet, if not his best yet.  This live show is as close as fans will come to a career retrospective from Satriani.  The show clocks in at just under two and a half hours long.  And it lifts from nearly every one of the fourteen albums that this guitar legend has released in the twenty plus years that he has been making music.  That includes more than half of the songs from his most recent album, “Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards.”  The whole show kicks off with the hit, ‘Ice 9′ from his album, “Surfing With The Alien.”  All the hits are there, including:  ‘Satch Boogie’, ‘Summer Song’, ‘Crowd Chant’, ‘The Mystical Potato Head Groove Thing’ and so many more.

The mega set list on this performance is just one part of the whole that makes “Satchurated:  Live in Montreal” the standout live recording that it is.  The songs are great.  And thanks to Mike Fraser (Aerosmith, AC/DC, Sliipknot, etc.) and everyone behind the scenes of the show, the finished product came out just as impressive as the set list itself.  The audio mix is spot on even for those who might not have a surround sound home theater system.  Though as impressive as the audio mix was, it’s enough to make a person want to buy a home theater system if only for the one show.  It should come as no surprise that the final mix was so impressive.  This show wasn’t the first time that Satriani and Fraser have worked together.  They also teamed up for Satriani’s albums, “Crystal Planet” and “Super Colossal.” 

The finished video presentation was just as impressive as the audio mix.  Even those who don’t have a 3-D TV get stunning clarity with the concert’s blu-ray presentation.  On top of that, the general shooting, helmed by the brothers Lamoureux–Pierre and Francois–will make audiences feel as if they’re right there in Montreal with the rest of the audience.  The brothers took the emotion of every one of Satch’s songs, and somehow adapted that energy to the filming, giving shots at just the right pacing to keep audiences hooked.  Combine the filming with the show’s setlist, and audiences will be pulled right into the show.  they won’t even realize that nearly two and a half hours have passed until the show is over.  That is the sign of a truly impressive live recording.

Joe Satriani has been making music for over two decades.  He has released fourteen albums, and earned numerous honors as a result of those albums.  Now, he can add one more honor to that already long list with the release of “Satchurated:  Live in Montreal.”  That honor is of having one of the top live recordings of 2012.  From the superior audio mix and video presentation to the career spanning set list, Joe Satriani has never looked or sounded better.

To keep up with all the latest entertainment reviews and news, go to http://www.facebook.com/PhilsPicks and “Like” it or its companion page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can also get the latest reviews and news when they follow the PhilsPicks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Prong “carves” out another of 2012′s best metal records

“Carved Into Stone” is a fitting title for Prong’s newst record.  That’s because even though this band has never had major mainstream its reputation has already been, well, carved into stone.  Its reputation was cemented long ago.  This new album is just one more feather in Tommy Victor’s cap.  It’s one more bonus for long time fans of Prong, too.  “Carved Into Stone” is such a standout album in that it takes the best of its previous albums, “Cleansing”, “Rude Awakening” and “Prove You Wrong” and fine tunes them.  The end result is an album that both fans of Prong and metal fans in general will love. 

“Carved Into Stone” is a no nonsense full throttle metal album.  It’s an album made by metalheadsfor metalheads.  Its blistering Nothingface-esque opener, ‘Eternal Heat’ hits listeners right in the face, with no mercy.  [Tommy] Victor shreds through this song as sharply as any  guitarist half his age.  That combined with drummer Alexei Rodriguez’s thousand mile per hour drumming makes ‘Eternal Heat’ a perfect opener here.  Ted Parsons was a good fit for the band during his stint behind the kit.  But Alexei Rodriguez is the best fit that the band has ever had. 

The energy doesn’t let up one bit after ‘Eternal Heat.’  If anything, the band keeps the adrenaline flowing straight through the rest of the album.  Along the way, fans even get a hint of the band’s older albums with the likes of, ‘Revenge..Best Served Cold’, ‘Put Myself to Sleep’, and the album’s closer, ‘Reinvestigate.’

‘Revenge..Best served Cold’ is one of the album’s most familiar songs.  It pays direct homage to the band’s hit song, ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’ from the album, “Cleansing.’  As amazing as that song still is today, ‘Revenge…Best Served Cold’ is one of those that actually improves upon the original.  It’s even more intense than the original.  What’s more, its just as much an arena anthem style piece that it makes for a perfect radio single.  Of course, it’s just one song of many that makes for wonderful representation of this album. 

‘Put Myself to Sleep’  is another example of the growth of Prong over the course of its existence.  This is another of the album’s songs that harkens back to the band’s past while  looking forward at the same time.  ‘Put Myself to Sleep’ sounds like it would have been a perfect fit on the band’s 1996 album “Rude Awakening.”  And as with ‘Revenge…Best Served Cold’, it actually improves on the original.  It reminds listeners of where the band has been, and where Tommy Victor seems to want the band to go.

‘Reinvestigate’ is another of this album’s tracks that hint back to the days of “Rude Awakening.”  It has that similar feel throughout, without actually ripping off said material.  It shows that while the band has good material in its back catalogue, Tommy Victor seems to have every intention of taking Prong and keeping it rolling hard into the twenty-first century.  And having had the motivation and backing of producer Steve Evetts (Dillinger Escape Plan, Suicide Silence, etc.), this time out, this album may well lead Prong to many more albums before Tommy Victor finally calls it a career.  Hopefully that day won’t be any time soon as “Carved Into Stone” hints that Prong has much more to offer its fans.  However, when and if that day comes, there will definitely be no doubt that Tommy Victor and Prong will have “carved” the band’s place in music history deep into stone.

The band is currently making its way across Europe in support of the new album right now.  Though U.S. fans haven’t been forgotten.  The band will return stateside this Summer to spread the intensity of its new album, beginning in July.  Even fans in North Carolina will get to see the band, when it makes a stop at Amos’ Southend in Charlotte, July 20th.  The band will be joined by Clutch at that show.  For more information on Prong and to follow the latest from the band, go online to http://www.prongmusic.com, http://www.facebook.com/prongmusic, and http://twitter.com/prongmusic.