Battlecross Announces Tour With Machine Head, Children Of Bodom, Epica

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The members of Battlecross announced Monday that the band will embark on a North American tour this fall in support of its latest album War of Will.

Battlecross will join Machine Head, Epica, and Children of Bodom beginning Saturday, October 4th in Denver, Colorado. Tickets for the band’s joint tour will go on sale this Friday morning at 10am ET. Battlecross guitarist Tony Asta discussed in a recent interview, his thoughts on touring alongside Children of Bodom and Machine Head once again and with Epica for the first time ever. “What an honor to be on this tour!,” he said. “We’re really stoked to reunite with Machine Head and Children of Bodom, both legendary bands and friends from last summer’s Mayhem Fest, and to see what Epica is all about. This is a tour with something for every metal head and we can’t wait to be bring it brutal throughout the USA & Canada, banging heads and melting faces from coast-to-coast.See you in the pit!”

Before Battlecross makes its way across America this fall, the band will join Black Label Society in Mexico City before performing a trip of dates with Killswitch Engage and Memphis May Fire in Brazil. Hiran Deraniyalaga, who also plays guitar for Battlecross, commented on the upcoming performances. “What a year this has been for us so far,” he said. “We’ve been to Europe twice and now we’re going to Mexico and South America! We’re so honored to be invited to play with Black Label Society in Mexico City. We have so many loyal rabid fans there and we finally get to play for them! After that we fly to Brazil for three dates with our good friends Killswitch Engage, who we can’t thank enough for always inviting us out for awesome opportunities like this one. Get ready to rage my friends! This will be one for the books!”

The schedule for Battlecross’ upcoming tour with Machine Head, Children of Bodom, and Epica is listed below.

Battlecross
Tour w/ Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica
10/04 Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
10/06 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues Dallas
10/07 Houston, TX @ House of Blues Houston
10/09 Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
10/10 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
10/12 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
10/14 Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
10/15 Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
10/16 New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/17 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium – Rock and Shock festival
10/18 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
10/20 Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
10/21 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave II
10/22 Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre
10/23 Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret
10/24 Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brians Event Centre
10/25 Calgary, AB @ The Republik
10/26 Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Conference Centre
10/28 Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theater
10/29 Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
10/30 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
10/31 Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
11/01 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
11/02 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

Battlecross
Summer Headline Tour w/ IKILLYA
07/30 Reading, PA @ Reverb
07/31 Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
08/01 Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
08/02 Albany, NY @ Bogies
08/03 Ottawa, ON*** @ Mavericks
08/04 Quebec City***, QC @ L’Agitee
08/05 London, ON*** @ Rum Runners
08/06 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
08/07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
End tour
08/08 Louisville, KY** @ Expo 5
08/09 Birch Run, MI @ DIRT Fest
08/10 Libertyville, IL** @ Austin’s
** w/ Killswitch Engage
***w/ Crimson Shadows & IKILLYA
Battlecross
South American tour dates
w/ Black Label Society
08/20 Mexico City*** @ Jose Cuervo Salon

w/ Killswitch Engage & Memphis May Fire
08/22 Curitiba, Brazil @ Music Hall
08/23 Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Carioca Club
08/24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil @ Circo Voador

All of the latest news and tour updates from Battlecross is available online at http://battlecrossmetal.com, http://www.facebook.com/battlecrossmetal, and http://twitter.com/battlecross. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Darkane Releases Video For Latest Single, Preps For European Tour

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Swedish melodic death metal five-piece Darkane has released the video for its latest single, ‘Mechanically Divine.’  The video can be viewed online now via YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zrz5Z-lq7ng.  The video, shot inside what comes across as a warehouse, is reminiscent of the video for Machine Head’s ‘Imperium’ stylistically speaking.

‘Mechanically Divine’ is taken from Darkane’s latest full length studio release, The Sinister Surpemacy, which was released in 2013.  The album is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from Prosthetic Records’ online store at http://www.indiemerch.com/prostheticrecords/item/19692.

Fans can also pick up a copy of Darkane’s new album when the band hits the road again in March in support of The Sinister Supremacy.  It will tour alongside Soilwork and System Divide.  That tour begins March 5th in Madrid, Spain.  Fans can get the band’s latest tour dates and more online at http://www.facebook.com/darkane, http://www.darkane.com and http://twitter.com/darkane. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, 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.

Gojira Albums To Be Reissued On Vinyl

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Officials with Prosthetic Records have announced that the label is set to reissue the two albums that helped to establish the French tech-death metal band in the metal community worldwide.  The label will reissue From Mars to Sirius and The Way of All Flesh in gatefold double vinyl sets in very limited quantities beginning August 27th

gojira1

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Both albums will be reissued to the total number of one thousand copies each.  From Mars to Sirius will be released in three 180-gram variants:  “Eco-green” (600 copies), “Mars Red” (200 copies), and Sea Blue (200 copies).  The Way of All Flesh will be reissued on only two variants: 180-gram Clear (500 copies) and standard-weight blue-white split vinyl (500 copies).  The reissue of The Way of All Flesh marks the first time in three years that the album will be available on vinyl.  The album features a guest spot by Lamb of God front man Randy Blythe and was produced by Logan Mader (Five Finger Death Punch, Devildriver, Fear Factory).  The band toured alongside In Flames and All That Remains in support of this release.  There was even an arena tour with Metallica in support of the album.

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Both The Way of All Flesh and From Mars to Siruis can be pre-ordered now online at http://www.indiemerch.com/prostheticrecords/pre-orders.

To keep up with the latest news from Gojira, fans can follow the band online at http://www.facebook.com/GojiraMusic and http://www.gojira-music.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.

Re-Machined More Than Just A Tribute Record

Courtesy:  Eagle Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Records/Eagle Rock Entertainment

Famed British hard rock band Deep Purple is set to drop its new album next month.  The album, titled Now What?! will be released in the United State Tuesday, April 30th.  While fans wait for the release of this highly anticipated album, they have another recent release to tide them over in the form of the tribute album, Re-Machined: A Tribute to Deep Purple’s Machine Head.  It may be a tribute album, but it is still a great album for both new and long-time fans of Deep Purple.

The new honorary compilation hit stores in late 2012 as part of the 40th anniversary of the landmark album’s original release.  It features all seven tracks from Deep Purple’s original iconic album plus a pair of bonuses.  One of those bonuses comes in the form of Metallica’s cover of ‘When A Blind Man Cries.’  As Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich notes in the compilation’s liner notes, “I have a list of songs in my head that Metallica should play before we either break up or die, and Deep Purple’s ‘When A Blind man Cries’ is one of those songs.”  The song in question is a bonus in that it actually never made the record.  Again, the liner notes shed light on this.  The notes, written by Classic Rock Magazine’s Mark Blake note that the song in question was originally a B-side to the song, ‘Never Before’ but has become a fan favorite throughout the years.  So it only made sense to have it included on this tribute record.  And it’s just one of the pieces that make this album a must not just for any Deep Purple fan but for any hard rocker, period.

‘When A Blind Man Cries’ is just one part of what makes Re-Machined such an impressive album of covers.  Going back to Ulrich, he and Metallica constitute just one of the acts brought together to record this album who openly tout Deep Purple as an influence in their own career as musicians.  Blake writes of Iron Maiden’s front man Bruce Dickinson (whose band also covers a track on the disc) that he [Dickinson] was also a “serious Purple aficionado.”  He quotes Dickinson as saying, “I cut my teeth as a kid on Deep Purple.  It’s what I grew up with.  It’s what got me out of bed in the mornings.”  Now if that isn’t a tribute in itself to the importance of Deep Purple in the music world, it’s anyone’s guess what is.  Dickinson and company ended up recording ‘Space Truckin’’ for the record, which is an absolutely outstanding piece both originally and as a cover here.  The way that it drives (no pun intended), it will have fans pumping their fists and singing along loud and proud. 

If Iron Maiden’s ‘Space Truckin’’ isn’t enough to convince fans of this compilation’s importance, then maybe the album’s opener will.  Carlos Santana (yes, that Carlos Santana) joins Papa Roach front man Jacoby Shaddix for a cover of what is arguably the band’s most famous song of all time, ‘Smoke on the Water.’  What’s really interesting about this cover is that while it is a cover, it doesn’t feel or sound like one.  Far too often, bands and artists try to take classic songs and update them.  That’s not the case here.  Shaddix and Santana have taken the classic and made it their own while still paying homage to the original.  It makes perfect sense as to why the album would open with this cover in hearing Santana’s guitar chops and the solid vocals of Shaddix.  It also serves one more purpose that at a passing glance is missed.  But in really thinking about the generational mix presented here, one sees the purer purpose of using it as the compilation’s opener.

On the surface, having a bunch of bands and artists resurrect one of rock’s most important and iconic albums is a great thing.  Having the album resurrected by a collection of rock’s greatest names past and present is even greater.  What this does is it makes it more than just a tribute album.  It makes the album a music history lesson in and of itself.  As evidenced in the opening number, young audiences will be pulled in by the inclusion of Papa Roach’s Jacoby Shaddix.  Older audiences will be pulled in from both the fact that it’s Deep Purple and that fellow veteran musician Carlos Santana is on the track.  Also because of the inclusion of Santana, those same younger audiences will potentially be introduced to the music of not just one great classic act, but two in both Deep Purple and Carlos Santana, thus preserving both acts’ legacies for a whole new generation.  The same could be said of the inclusion of Chickenfoot’s live cover of ‘Highway Star’ and Black Label Society’s cover of ‘Pictures of Home.’ 

It should be clear by everything noted here that Re-Machined is more than just a tribute to a band.  It’s a tribute, yes.  But it’s also a tribute to everything that was and still is right with rock and roll.  It’s a musical love letter to real rock and an excellent way to get a whole new generation of hard rockers and metal heads into what is without a doubt, one of mainstream rock’s greatest bands.  The album is available now in stores and online.  Audiences can get more information on this album, the band’s upcoming new full length studio release and its tour dates online at http://www.deeppurple2013 and http://www.facebook.com/officialdeeppurple

To keep up with more from Deep Purple and all 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.

Steel Panther’s New Live BD A “Solid” Release For Fans

Courtesy:  DC3/Universal Republic/3 dimensions/AGPS Management

Courtesy: DC3/Universal Republic/3 dimensions/AGPS Management

Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s founding fathers, once said that death and taxes were life’s two constants.  If he were alive today, Franklin would change his tune and say that there are in fact three more constants in the twenty-first century.  Those constants are sex, drugs, and rock & roll.  Many bands have tried to live those constants.  Many have succeeded.  But few have truly lived those constants like the glam rockers of Steel Panther.  This California based band actually started in 2009.  Since that time, its members—Lexxi Foxx, Michael Starr, Satchel, and Stix Zadinia—have become the poster boys for everything that was at one point all that rockers lived for.  The band has already released two albums under its current moniker.  And now thanks to Universal Republic Records, audiences get a new chance to experience all the testosterone fueled, alcohol infused bombacity that is Steel Panther live in its new live release, British Invasion.

British Invasion was recorded live at the famed Brixton Academy during its most recent live tour in support of its most recent album, Balls Out.  Brixton Academy has hosted some of rocks biggest names including both Machine Head and Sepultura.  Now Steel Panther can add its name to the list of huge names that have performed there.  Fans of the aforementioned bands got quite the show with each one.  And Steel Panther’s fans get a show that they’ll enjoy in this new release, too.  Not only do fans get a full set from its performance at Brixton, but there’s also the bonus of five extra songs recorded live at the band’s performance at the Download 2012 Festival.  The audio and video mix on both of the main and bonus performance are quite clear.  And whether one has seen SP live before or not, audiences get a show that has all the over the top antics and music that audiences have come to expect from this band.  To sweeten the deal, the band and its label, Universal Republic Records, have included a booklet complete with lyrics to every song performed in the main set.

The booklet included with the Blu-ray is just part of what viewers will appreciate from this performance.  Audiences get out of this performance, a band that actually interacts with the audience in attendance.  And it’s not just your standard back and forth banter, either.  The entire band gets in on the act.  It’s little things like that that make a performance memorable.  Though of course, the band’s interaction with its audience is just half of what will make the band’s fans enjoy this recording.  There’s also enough T & A to make any college frat boy happy for quite some time.  The band even brings in some “adult entertainers” to help with its show in more than one song.  Add in the impressive audio and visual editing and mixing and fans get in this recorded performance a show that fans of Steel Panther will be watching time and again.  The band’s new DVD and Blu-ray are both available online and in stores now.  Regardless of whether or not fans manage to pick it up, they’ll still have the chance to see the band live as it’s currently touring in support of the new live release now.  Fans can get all the latest tour dates and news from the band now online at http://www.steelpantherrocks.com, http://www.facebook.com/steelpantherkicksass, http://twitter.com/#!/Steel_Panther, and http://www.myspace.com/steelpantherkicksass.

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.

Machine Head’s New Live LP Its Best Live Release Yet

Courtesy:  Roadrunner Records

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records

Machine Head has been a leader in the metal world since the release of its groundbreaking debut album, Burn My Eyes, in 1994.  In the near two decades since the release of that album, this pounding metal “machine” has only gotten better with every release.  Even through an alleged dispute with Roadrunner Records at one point, this band has persevered and improved with every release, proving to the entire metal world that it has and continues to mean business every time out.  That success translates not just to the band’s full length studio releases, but also to its live releases.  With the release of its third overall live release, Machine Head has proven once more why it is not just one of the top metal bands in the world, but also one of the best live metal bands in the world, too.

Machine F**king Head Live is Machine Head’s latest live release.  For those who have never had the opportunity to experience this band live, this release is just like the band’s studio albums.  Experiencing this band live is equivalent to attending a master class on how to put on a successful live show.  The band’s first live release, Hellalive was good.  The band’s live DVD, Elegies was better.  This new release is near the peak, if not the peak, for a live Machine Head release.  Sure the pyro is a great effect.  But it’s the band’s music and stage presence that continues to make it a leader both in the metal world and the live metal community.  It opens fittingly with the audience chanting the phrase that would become the title of this release as the show’s opener, ‘I Am Hell’ slowly built until it absolutely exploded much to the joy of those in attendance.  The energy of this opener was pummeling to say the least.  And the band barely let up from there as it launched right into another more recent song in ‘Be Still And Know.’  All four of the band’s members—Adam Duce (bass) Robb Flynn (guitars/vocals), Phil Demmel (guitar) and Dave McClain (drums)—do their part on this song, keeping both the music and the audience moving.

While this new live release didn’t come with a companion DVD or even Blu-ray, the energy of both the band and the audience translates quite well even purely in audio format.  By the time the band kicks into the anthem that is ‘Imperium’, Machine Head have collectively worked its audience into an absolutely wild frenzy.  One need not even see the show to understand that.  The reaction between front man Robb Flynn and the audience is enough to know that.  Not a moment is wasted from this point on throughout the new double disc live release as the band not only owns the stage with each performance, but completely dominates and destroys it, blowing away audiences over and over.  By the time the final strains of ‘Davidian’ fade away, fans new and old alike will leave this live release completely breathless.  Audiences will have grown to understand by the final moments of this release just why Machine Head is and always will be one of the metal community’s elite both in the studio and on the stage.

Machine F**king Head Live is available now in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct online via the Roadrunner Records store at http://store.roadrunnerrecords.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=Machine+Head.

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.

Knotfest Performance Times Announced

Organizers behind the first annual Knotfest concert festival have announced the performance times for the two day festival.  Slipknot will headline the festival both days.  The band will take the stage at 9:30pm this Friday and play until 11pm.  Saturday night, the band will take to the stage at 10:20 and will play until midnight.  Lamb of God headlines the second stage both nights.  The band, who was previously uncertain for the festival until very recently, will start its performance Friday night at 8:25pm.  It will take the second stage at 9:15pm Saturday night.

Prong and Dillinger Escape Plan will share main stage duties, with Prong opening the main stage Friday afternoon at 3:55pm.  Dillinger Escape Plan opens the main stage Saturday afternoon at 4:30. 

Machine Head, Deftones, Serj Tankian, Gojira, Cannibal Corpse and others will also be on hand.  To get a full rundown of performance times, fans can go online to http://www.knotfest.com.  Fans can also get all the latest from Slipknot online at http://www.slipknot1.com.  Tickets and VIP packages are still available.  They can be purchased online at http://www.ticketmaster.com/KNOTFEST-tickets/artist/1741056 and http://vipnation.com/programs/knotfest-2012.  Hotel accommodations can be made at http://knotfest.com/aug-17.  More information on camping options is available at http://www.tempotickets.com/knotfestcamping.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go 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.