Judas Priest Back In A Big Way On Redeemer Of Souls

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Judas Priest’s new album Redeemer of Souls is one of the top new hard rock and metal albums of 2014. As a matter of fact, it is, in this critic’s eyes (and ears) a contender for the top spot on said list. The only other album that can even come close right now to vying for that spot is Black Label Society’s Catacombs of the Black Vatican. What makes Redeemer of Souls such a top notch album despite its slightly touchy production is its mix of music and lyrics. Musically, this album has been likened to previous hit Priest albums including: British Steel, Nostradamus, and Painkiller just to name a few. That it could be compared in such positive light to so many other of the band’s releases is a statement in and of itself. Lyrically, it covers some interesting themes throughout the course of its thirteen tracks and sixty-two minutes. One of those themes is of standing up for what one believes. That topic comes in the album’s fourth track ‘Sword of Damocles.’ Another interesting topic is that of the tribute paid to the fans of sorts in the album’s lead single ‘March of the Damned.’ Late in the album, front man Rob Halford and his band mates cover an interesting topic in ‘’Hell & Back.’ The topic in question is one of the band’s survival through the years. Or it would seem so at least. Regardless, its lyrics and music together make for one more prime example of why Redeemer of Souls is one of this year’s top two new hard rock and metal albums. That argument is made even stronger through the two songs noted before it and through those pieces not noted. Altogether, this album is proof that Judas Priest is still one of the most dominant forces in the world of hard rock today.

Judas Priest has proven without a shadow of a doubt on its new album that it is still one of the most dominant forces in the world of hard rock today. It has done so through an album that is easily one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums in Redeemer of Souls. One example of why this album deserves such recognition comes early on in the album in the form of ‘Sword of Damocles.’ Musically, it is a full on, rocker that comes across as being about false leaders and standing up for one’s own beliefs. As audiences will hear, front man Rob Halford sings here, “When men lead by words that are false as they preach/Fatality waits in the wings/Surrounded by fools behind walls that are breached/Beware of the jester that sings.” Right there, audiences are led to infer that Halford and company are singing about said false leaders. And those leaders don’t necessarily have to include religious leaders, either. They can include political leaders, too. Halford and company go on to sing, “Stand tall/Rise up/Stay strong/Fighting your enemies/Truth will find its reward/If you live and die by the sword/The whispers can’t hide when the tongues are let loose.” Listeners might get from this verse a message of not giving up against certain insurmountable odds. They come across as telling audiences don’t just give in like sheep to the words of those false leaders and to stand up to said leaders and those that would harass an individual for having views other than their own. This could very well be the wrong interpretation. It is merely the interpretation of one single critic. If it is at least somewhere in the ballpark though, it once again serves as solid proof of why this record is one of the year’s top two new hard rock and metal albums.

‘Sword of Damocles’ is just one many examples of what makes Redeemer of Souls one of the top new hard rock and metal albums of 2014. With its mix of adrenaline-fueled music and thought provoking lyrics, this song is an instant hit. The album’s lead single, ‘March of the Damned,’ is just as solid a choice for a single. As guitarist Glenn Tipton explains, this song is simply about the fans that come to the band’s shows. There’s no deep, hidden message for the religious right wingers to hunt for. It is for all intents and purposes a tribute to those fans. Halford sings against the song’s driving guitars and drums, “Can’t stop us/They don’t know why/They try/Can’t hurt us/We’ll never die/We are on the march of the damned…We know what’s at stake/Won’t take your mistakes/Won’t break us/We’ll never fall/That’s all/It’s over/Just watch us crawl.” Referencing Tipton’s statement about the song again, these lyrics illustrate quite well exactly what he was saying. They come across as a collective statement from the band’s fans saying that they don’t care what anyone says. They are fans for life. It is easy to see why this anthem was chosen as the album’s lead single. It’s a powerful statement from an album that could be the last from one of metal’s most legendary bands.

‘March of the Damned’ is a powerful statement from the members of Judas Priest. It puts expertly into words the devotion of the band’s fans regardless of their fans’ ages. It’s especially fitting that there’s no telling whether or not this will be the band’s last album, especially considering that some years ago, Halford and his band mates said they were through touring. Yet once more the band has in fact hit the road in support of another album. Speaking of being on the road, ‘Hell & Back’ will have audiences wondering if perhaps this tour will be the band’s last. Halford ruminates on the band’s past here, singing, “Still in the land of the living/Rocking the home of the brave/Staying alive and still kicking/Ain’t got no need to be saved/Out of the fire and into the black/We’ve been through it all/We’ve been to hell and back.” The song’s musical side is not the high-powered, straight forward piece that the previously noted songs prove to be. But set against the song’s lyrics, one can clearly see the song’s chorus and verses play out clearly in one’s own mind. That clarity will again lead one to wonder about the band’s future after this album and tour. If it proves to be the last for the band on both counts, then this song will have proven to be one more powerful statement from the band. And along with each of the album’s other songs—both noted and not—it is one part of a whole that is easily one of the top two new hard rock and metal albums of the year.

Judas Priest will kick off the U.S. leg of its tour in support of Redeemer of Souls this fall beginning Wednesday, October 1st in Rochester, NY. The band’s current tour schedule is listed online along with all of the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest, http://twitter.com/judaspriest, and http://www.judaspriest.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.

Chevelle’s “Wonder What’s Next” To Be Re-Issued Next Month

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Officials with SRCVinyl have announced that the company will re-issue Chevelle’s 2002 sophomore album Wonder What’s Next this summer.

Wonder What’s Next will be re-issued on a double vinyl set on Tuesday, July 22nd. The album, which was originally released via Epic Records in 2002, gave way to the hit singles ‘The Red’ and ‘Send The Pain Below.’ Its release also led to the band being invited to tour with a number of bands and to perform on the main stage at the 2003 Ozzfest.

The upcoming vinyl will be presented on two 180-gram discs in a gatefold package complete with 11X22 insert. It will also be available in three colors: Red, Black, and Coke Bottle Clear. A deluxe version of the release will also be available with bonus tracks. The complete track listing for the album’s upcoming vinyl re-issue is noted below.

Track Listing

SIDE A

A1 Family System

A2 Comfortable Liar

A3 Send the Pain Below

A4 Closure

SIDE B

B1 The Red

B2 Wonder What’s Next

B3 Don’t Fake This

B4 Forfeit

SIDE C

C1 Grab Thy Hand

C2 An Evening with el Diablo

C3 One Lonely Visitor

SIDE D

D1 Until You’re Reformed

D2 (High) Visibility

D3 Black Boys on Mopeds

D5 It’s No Good

Chevelle most recently released its latest album La Gargola and is currently touring in support of that album. Fans can check out the band’s current tour schedule and get all of the latest news from the band online now at http://www.facebook.com/chevelle, http://getmorechevelle.com, http://www.chevelleinc.com, http://www.myspace.com/chevelle, and http://twitter.com/ChevelleInc. 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.

Judas Priest Debuts Lead Single From Upcoming Album

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Legendary rock band Judas Priest has officially released the lead single from its upcoming album Redeemer of Souls.

The band has released ‘March of the Damned’ to radio stations across the country. It is also available for download via all digital sales providers. And along with the download of the single, fans can pre-order Redeemer of Souls now online via iTunes at http://smarturl.it/redeemerofsouls-albm. Fans can check out the new song in its entirety now along with introduction from Glenn Tipton online via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJhm2vZFj2k&feature=youtu.be.

Redeemer of Souls will be available Tuesday, July 15th via Epic Records. It will be available both in standard format and as a deluxe expanded edition with five bonus tracks. Tipton explains about expectations for the band’s seventeenth (yes, seventeenth) full length studio release stating, “Sometimes in the past we may have come under fire for being too adventurous musically – so we have listened!! From start to finish ‘Redeemer of Souls’ is 13 songs of pure classic Priest metal!!”

More updates on Redeemer of Souls and news from the band is available online now at http://www.judaspriest.com and http://www.facebook.com/OfficialJudasPriest. 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 Releases New Career-Spanning Box Set

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

Joe Satriani released today a brand new box set.

Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings is a 15-disc box set containing each of Satriani’s records to date. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HZ2M5KE/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00HZ2M5KE&linkCode=as2&tag=legacy_recordings-20. It is also available as a collectible limited edition USB drive that can be purchased via Satriani’s official website, http://www.satriani.com. The USB drive is available in a 24-bit/96kHz “High Resolution Audio.” The HRA USB drive audio is as close as fans will ever come to the early ½” analog masters and later high sample rate digital masters. That’s because the HRA has higher bandwidth, wider dynamic range, greater detail, and more depth than a conventional CD.

Satriani will be on The Arsenio Hall Show tonight as part of his promotional tour. He will sit in with Hall’s house band. And tomorrow, April 23rd, he will be the featured guest on Rockline with host Bob Coburn, promoting both his new box set and his new book, Strange Beautiful Music. Audiences can find when and on which station they can catch Satch’s interview at http://www.rocklineradio.com/affiliates.php. Fans can also check out his appearance on the season finale of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show. Fans can check out that episode online now at http://www.vh1.com/video/that-metal-show/full-episodes/joe-satriani/1725085/playlist.jhtml.

Along with his on-air presence, Joe is featured in the “Life” section of today’s edition of USA Today. Fans can check out the article online at http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/music/2014/04/21/joe-satriani-box-set-autobiography/7476617/. He is also featured on the cover of Guitar World magazine alongside fellow guitar god and Black Label Society front man Zakk Wylde. Fans can check that out at http://www.guitarworld.com/may-2014-guitar-world-zakk-wylde-joe-satriani-how-build-pedal-board-john-frusciante-death-angel-tabs-lessons-and-more.

The complete album listing for Satch’s new box set is noted below:

Joe Satriani: The Complete Studio Recordings includes:

1986  Not of This Earth

1987  Surfing with the Alien

1989  Flying in a Blue Dream

1992  The Extremist

1993  Time Machine

1995  Joe Satriani

1998  Crystal Planet

2000  Engines of Creation

2002  Strange Beautiful Music

2004  Is There Love in Space?

2006  Super Colossal

2008  Professor Satchafunkilus and the Musterion of Rock

2010  Black Swans and Wormhole Wizards

2013  Unstoppable Momentum

2014 Additional Creations and Bonus Tracks

More information on Satriani’s new box set, book, tour news and more is available online at http://www.satriani.com and 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 and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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.