AX7 Makes Its Case For One Of 2013’s Best With Hail To The King

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Avenged Sevenfold has officially made its case for its place on the list of this year’s best new hard rock and metal albums with the release of its sixth full length release, Hail to the King.  The album is ten tracks of pure hard rock that will most certainly impress the band’s fans new and old alike.  The main reason for this success is the fact that this is very much a guitar driven record.  Front man M. Shadows’ vocals are as strong as they have ever been.  And the guitar work of Synyster Gates and Zacky Vengeance is equally impressive.  Whether in their solos or their primary duties, the pair exhibits its talent from one song to the next throughout the record.  Listeners should not forget new drummer Arin Ilejay more than holds his own, having taken over from the band’s former drummer Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan.  The unit as a whole has crafted an album that shows even in the face of its previous tragedy has overcome that tragedy to successfully reclaim its place in the hard rock community once more.

One of the very first things that listeners will appreciate from this album is its obvious old school influences.  From the album’s hard rocking opener, ‘Shepherd of Fire’ to its final number, ‘Acid Rain’, the entire album exhibits hints of influences from the likes of Metallica, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and even Motley Crue to a lesser degree.  The driving guitars throughout the songs and the equally soaring solos from Synyster Gates and Vengeance show such a certain respect and reverence for their influences.  Listeners can hear obvious Metallica influences in ‘This Means War’ and ‘Shepherd of Fire.’  And the album’s lead single and title track is just one of a number that boasts influences from the likes of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest.  And fans of Motley Crue will appreciate the band’s seeming influence on the hard driving, semi-socially conscious, ‘Doing Time.’  Should audiences listen closely enough, they might even hear what sounds like the one and only Axel Rose guesting on the song.  It might not in fact be him.  But even if it isn’t him, it certainly sounds like him.  Regardless of whether or not it was him, the discussion that speculation would generate is enough to make this one more positive for the album’s overall effect.

The members of AX7 pay due respects to the bands that have come before them throughout all ten songs on its sixth new full length release.  Those influences are just one part of what makes this record so impressive whether this album is one’s first time being exposed to Avenged Sevenfold or one’s fiftieth.  It’s not all that audiences will appreciate from this album.  Along with the old school influences, audiences will also appreciate the lush orchestra arrangements included in a number of the album’s songs.  The album’s opening number boasts a solid horn arrangement alongside some very dark sounding church bells.  The effect of these elements combined with the rest of the song’s musical side makes it a solid and impressive re-introduction for the band.  Other songs tout some very moving string arrangements that make said songs so much more moving, even in the album’s less hard rocking moments.  The balance of these musical elements makes every song on Hail to the King worth the listen.  And in the long run, it’s that balance of musical elements and influences that makes this album one of AX7’s best yet.  It also makes this album an easy contender for a slot on the list of the year’s best new hard rock and metal records.

Avenged Sevenfold is currently touring in support of its upcoming album.  It will perform Monday in Los Angeles, California’s Hollywood Palladium.  It will follow up that performance with a performance next Friday, August 30th in Albuquerque, NM at the Isleta Amphitheatre.  It will join Korn, Device, and Halestorm for the show there.  A full list of the band’s current tour dates is available online now, along with all of the latest updates from the band at http://www.facebook.com/AvengedSevenFold and http://avengedsevenfold.com.

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Device Announce New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

Device, the new hard rock act featuring Disturbed front man David Draiman, will hit the road for a new series of U.S. tour dates.  The band will kick of a new tour beginning April 10th in Mobile, Alabama.  The band’s tour includes stops at a number of big name Spring festivals.  Nonpoint and Gemini Syndrome will be along as supporting acts on select dates.

Device’s upcoming tour is in support of its upcoming self-titled debut album.  The album is expected to be released April 9th, 2013 on Warner Brothers Records.  Draiman is the front man of this latest hard rock super group.  He is joined by Evanescence drummer Will Hunt and Virus (guitarist of Dope and Rock of Ages).  The trio worked with former Filter member Geno Lenardo.  The band has already earned some big honors even before its debut album drops.  It has earned a Gold God nomination for “Best New Talent” from Revolver magazine.  And Artist Direct said of the band’s sound, “Welcome to the 22nd Century of rock.”  The band has already released the first single from its album.  That song is titled, ‘Vilify.’  The video for that single is available online now at YouTube.  It can be viewed now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-K1q1pw04Bs.  The album can be pre-ordered online through iTunes at http://smarturl.it/deviceitunes.

Device features guest appearances from Serj Tankian (System of a Down), Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine, Audioslave), Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath), Glenn Huges (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion), M. Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold), and Lizzy Hale  (Halestorm).

For a full rundown of tour dates and to get all the latest news from Device, go online to http://www.facebook.com/devicetheband and http://twitter.com/devicetheband

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Sin & Bones One Of 2012’s Best Hard Rock And Metal Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Fozzy is one of the biggest names in rock music today.  The brainchild of guitarist Rich Ward (Stuck Mojo) and WWE Superstar Chris Jericho, the band started out as a Spinal Tap style novelty act in 2000 when it released its self titled debut.  That album and the one to follow were largely collections of cover songs that the band had recorded.  But then in 2005, the band started to show that it meant to be taken more seriously with the release of “All That Remains.”  That was the band’s first full length album of its own material.  Needless to say it was a little bit of a bumpy ride.  But with the release of “Chasing The Grail” five years later, the band showed just how much it had matured as a serious hard rock act.  And now, two years after the release of “Chasing The Grail”, Fozzy has shown on its third full length album of original material why its members are collectively living up to the reputation of being huge rock stars.

“Sin & Bones” opens with the song, ‘Spider in My Mouth.’  It starts out with a really spooky sounding take on the kids’ song about the spider and the waterspout before blasting into an all out assault from the whole band.  That assault leads into a more melodic chorus section that’s a direct opposite to the verses.  That balance of the heavy and soft makes for a solid re-introduction to the world of Fozzy on this album.  The band keeps the adrenaline flowing after ‘Spider in My Mouth’, giving audiences just enough time to collect themselves before launching into the album’s lead single, ‘Sandpaper.’  ‘Sandpaper’ comes across as a metaphorical statement about facing adversity and rough “sandpaper” style situations.  Jericho sings about facing things that might otherwise scare a person.  He notes, “Something happens when you scare all the monsters away.”  That line alone is a telling statement.  Add in Jericho’s powerhouse vocals, and listeners understand why this was the chosen lead single for “Sin & Bones.”

‘Spider in My Mouth’ and ‘Sandpaper’ are an excellent start to “Sin & Bones.”  They’re just part of the total package that makes this album a great metal record.  The album’s third track, ‘Blood Happens’ is destined to become a fan favorite.  This is a song that will have every true blooded hard rocking, heavy metal head banger putting his or her horns in the air.  The crushing guitar and drums of Rich Ward and Frank Fontsere mixed with the vocal tag teaming of Jericho and Ward make it one more of the album’s best moments.

“Sin & Bones” has plenty more high energy moments that any Fozzy fan will love such as in the almost Warrant style ‘She’s My Addiction’, the edgier ‘Dark Passenger’, and ‘Shine Forever.’  The album also has a softer moment in ‘Inside My Head.’  They all combine to give fans more than their fair share of great songs from which to choose.  All combined, the songs on “Sin & Bones” make this record one of the best hard rock and metal records of 2012.  Fozzy is officially out on tour now on the Rockstar Uproar Festival in support of its new album.  Fans in North Carolina will get to see the band live Tuesday, September 11th at the Time Warner cable Pavilion.  For all other tour dates and the latest news from Fozzy, fans can go online to http://www.fozzyrock.com, http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock, http://www.myspace.com/fozzytour, http://www.chrisjericho.com, http://www.thedukeofmetal.com, and http://www.centurymedia.com.

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Fozzy’s new single available now; “Evolution of Fozzy” video posted

Courtesy: Century Media

The lead single off of Fozzy’s new album, “Sin and Bones” is now available for download.  fans can purchase ‘Sandpaper’ now on iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.  Also, to build anticipation for next month’s release of “Sin and Bones” the band has posted a video titled, “Evolution of Fozzy” on Youtube.  It can be viewed here:  http://youtu.be/-LWWW10x1uA .  Fans can also stream ‘Sandpaper’ for free on Youtube at http://youtu.be/G1ltJ60u-w0.  ‘Sandpaper features guest vocals from Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows. 

The band will be touring this Summer to support its new album.  It will be part of this year’s annual Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival.  The tour kicks off Friday, August 17th in Kansas City, Missouri at the Capitol Federal Park at sandstone.   Fozzy’s North Carolina fans will get to see the band perform when the tour makes a stop in Raleigh on Tuesday, September 11th.  The festival will be at the Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion at Walnut Creek.  Fans can get a full tour schedule and more online at http://www.fozzyrock.com, http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock, http://twitter.com/FozzyRock, and http://www.centurymedia.com.

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Fozzy announces track listing for “Sin and Bones”

Courtesy: Century Media

Fozzy has officially announced the track listing for its upcoming fifth album, “Sin and Bones.”  The album opens with the song, ‘Spider in My Mouth.’  It’s followed up by the album’s lead single, ‘Sandpaper’, which can be heard for free now at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1ltJ60u-w0&feature=youtu.be.  The band is joined by Avenged Sevenfold vocalist M. Shadows on this track.  ‘Sandpaper’ is followed up by the songs, ‘Blood Happens’, ‘Inside My Head’ and the album’s title track.  The second half of the album is filled out by ‘A Passed Life’, ‘She’s My Addiction’, ‘Shine Forever’, ‘Dark Passenger’ and ‘Storm The Beaches.’ 

“Sin and Bones” will be released August 14th through Century Media Records.  It can be pre-ordered and purchased online at http:// http://www.cmdistro.com/Search/fozzy.  The band will tour this Summer in support of the album on the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem Festival, beginning at the Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone in Kansas City, Missouri.  That show will be Friday, August 17th.  The band will be on the road, supporting the new album through the end of September.  Fans who want to know if the tour will make a stop in their town can go online to http://www.fozzyrock.com, http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock, http://twitter.com/FozzyRock, and http://www.centurymedia.com.

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, 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 always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.