Roadrunner Records Announces Trio Of Releases For Record Store Day

Roadrunner Records has announced a group of special releases for Record Store Day.

Courtesy:  Roadrunner Records

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records

Roadrunner Records will re-issue Slipknot’s Vol. 3 The Subliminal Verses tomorrow as part of the annual Record Store Day across the country. The album will be released on double clear vinyl in limited quantities.

Courtesy:  Roadrunner Records

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records

Courtesy:  Roadrunner Records

Courtesy: Roadrunner Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also scheduled for release tomorrow from Roadrunner Records specially for Record Store Day are; Opeth’s Watershed (2008) and a twelve-inch picture disc single for Dream Theater’s ‘Illumination Theory.’ Watershed will be re-issued on double green vinyl. ‘Illumination Theory’ comes from Dream Theater’s latest self-titled full length release. More information on Roadrunner Records’ Record Store Day releases is available online at http://www.recordstoreday.com, http://www.roadrunnerrecords.com, http://www.facebook.com/roadrunnerrecords, and http://twitter.com/rrusa. 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.

This Is Your Life Is Not Just Another Throw-Away Tribute Album

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen. So many tribute albums are released each year that one can’t help but feel that the labels that release them care more about their bottom line than about actually celebrating said artists being given tribute. That being the case, one can’t help but wonder why This Is Your Life, the new tribute album to iconic rock front man Ronnie James Dio, would be any different from those records. The answer to that is not a simple one. One reason that this tribute album stands out is the list of performers and bands that recorded songs for the compilation. It’s a who’s who of hard rock from the past, present, and even future of the genre. Another reason that this compilation stands out is its track listing. This record boasts some of the most beloved songs of RJD’s career. And last but definitely not least important to consider in this record is the fact that it isn’t just a means for the label distributing it to make money. It actually doubles as a fundraiser for RJD’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. So it’s actually a record crafted to essentially help give back. How many bands, artists, groups, etc. can say that they have crafted an entire album simply to raise funds for charity? That–along with the list of songs and performers, bands, etc. on this album–makes This Is Your Life an album that stands well above the rest of the otherwise throw-away albums claiming to be tribute albums.

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

The primary aspect of This Is Your Life that makes it stand out against all of the other tribute albums out there is the list of performers drafted to record songs for the record. The list of performers drafted for this record is a who’s who of hard rock’s past, present, and even future. It wasn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists and groups tossed together. Everybody tapped to record for this tribute record is either a counterpart to RJD or someone that grew up idolizing him and his talents. Veterans such as Anthrax, Motorhead, Scorpions, Biff Byford, and Rob Halford perform alongside younger acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Killswitch Engage, and Halestorm over the course of the record’s fourteen total tracks. That collection of bands and artists singing Dio’s hits is in itself a musical history lesson. It introduces younger audiences that might be more familiar with the latter grouping of bands and artists to the veterans and to the music of Dio. To that extent, This Is Your Life quickly earns major points. Even more points come from the sampling of Dio’s music in question chosen for this compilation.

The list of bands, artists, and groups tapped to record RJD’s music for This Is Your Life is in itself a major boon for the record. As noted, it isn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists, and groups. It is a collection of bands, group, and artists that played alongside Dio during his career, and those that have come since, growing up with the music of Ronnie James Dio. In short, it’s a collection of individuals that have the utmost respect for Dio and his music. Speaking of that music, the songs chosen to be included on this record are another part of the whole that makes it so enjoyable for listeners. Every song on this record is a classic in its own way. From the more well-known pieces such as ‘The Mob Rules’, ‘Neon Knights’ and ‘Holy Diver’ to slightly lesser known songs such as ‘Straight Through The Heart’, Egypt (The Chains Are On’, and ‘Temple of the King’ This Is Your Life does quite the job of chronicling the career of a man that was and is still even in death, one of the greatest vocalists and performers in the history of hard rock.

The music and performers chosen for This Is Your Life are both key components of the success of the album. As important as they are to the success of the record, there is still one central aspect of the recording that makes it so worth picking up. That aspect is the fact that a certain portion of the sales of the album will go to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was established by Dio’s wife Wendy Dio. Bands, groups and artists go out on tour every year or they take part in fundraising concerts. How many artists can say they were part of a recording project that was also meant as a way to pay tribute to one of their own, too? It’s just like bringing home a hard rock festival without having to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, souvenirs, sodas and more. And at the same time, audiences that purchase the album will actually be helping to fund an organization that works to research and promote awareness of cancer, as well as educate people about early detection in hopes of one day stopping it.

This Is Your Life is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Ronnie-James-Dio-This-Your/dp/B00IACUO8S/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1396440364&sr=1-1&keywords=dio+this+is+your+life and can be downloaded via iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/ronnie-james-dio-this-is-your/id829325064.

More information on Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life and other RJD releases is available online at http://www.facebook.com/OfficialRonnieJamesDio and http://www.ronniejamesdio.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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

ROTR Organizers Announce Early Details For 2014 Festival

Rock on the Range 2014 Logo

Courtesy: MSO PR

The 2013 edition of the annual Rock on the Range festival was one of the biggest that organizers of the annual event have ever experienced.  2013 saw the annual event completely sell out.  Seeing the success that the festival had in 2013, festival organizers have announced that the festival will now expand to three full days this year. The festival, which will run from May 16th – May 18th this year, will be headlined by three very big name acts.  Those acts are Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, and Kid Rock.

While the trio of aforementioned bands will headline the once again expanded festival (last year saw the festival expand to three nights) are big names in themselves, they won’t be the only bands to perform at this year’s show.  Also scheduled to perform this year are: Seether, Five Finger Death Punch, Slayer, Staind, Motorhead, Chevelle, Alter Bridge, Mastodon, Black Label Society and Killswitch Engage among many others.  The complete lineup of bands scheduled to perform at this year’s ROTR Festival is listed below.

2014 ROCK ON THE RANGE BAND LINEUP

Guns N’ Roses, Avenged Sevenfold, Kid Rock, Five Finger Death Punch, Slayer, Staind, Motorhead, Seether, Chevelle, Alter Bridge, Mastodon, Black Label Society, Killswitch Engage, Bring Me The Horizon, Theory of a Deadman, Down, Black Stone Cherry, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience, Pop Evil, Of Mice & Men, Adelitas Way, Trivium, Gojira, Suicidal Tendencies, The Pretty Reckless, We Came as Romans, Fuel, Redlight King, Miss May I, Reignwolf, Thousand Foot Krutch, Texas Hippie Coalition, Rev Theory, Skindred, Kyng, Fozzy, Heaven’s Basement, Butcher Babies, Nothing More, Exodus, King 810, Devour the Day, We As Human, We Are Harlot, Kvelertak, Jim Breuer Band, One OK Rock, Twelve Foot Ninja, Avatar, WERM, Monster Truck, Wilson, Crobot and Truckfighters with comedians Jim Breuer, Jim Florentine and more.

Audiences will note that along with the lineup up some of the biggest names in the rock world, this year’s festival also boasts the return of the ROTR Comedy Tent.  Jim Breuer, Jim Florentine, and a number of up-and-coming comedians will perform at the ROTR Comedy Tent.

Weekend passes including Field General Admission, Stadium General Admission, hotel and VIP packages and a stadium four-pack go on sale Friday, January 24th at 10am ET.  More ticket information is available online at http://www.RockOnTheRange.com.  Additional information and updates on this year’s festival is available online at http://www.facebook.com/rockontherange and http://twitter.com/rockontherange.  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.

Tantric Proves It Still Has Plenty Of Life On New Album

Courtesy:  Pavement Music

Courtesy: Pavement Music

Louisville, Kentucky based rock band Tantric has seen the highest of highs and the lowest of lows throughout its life. The band, which rose from the remnants of Days of the New, has seen its records go platinum. It has toured and played to thousands. It has also seen band members leave and label changes. At one point, it seemed like the members of Tantric were ready to call it quits because of everything that it had endured. But this Summer, the band showed that it hasn’t gone anywhere with the release of its fifth full length record. 37 Channels was released this year via indie record label Pavement Entertainment.  It’s an interesting return for the band.  That’s first and foremost because of its sequencing.  There is an obvious split as the album progresses between a harder mainstream rock sound and a softer side.  Audiences will also take note on this album its general lyrical themes.  The themes of the songs on this record range from the standard fodder of relationship issues to fighting inner and external struggles.  Both of these factors together make 37 Channels one more album that the band’s longtime fans will appreciate, and may even bring back fans that had forgotten about the band.

The very first thing that listeners will notice about 37 Channels is a blatant separation between harder edged and softer style songs over the course of the album’s thirteen songs.  The album’s first four songs could easily be used for any mainstream rock radio station.  The first of those songs, ‘Again’ is a solid re-introduction for the band.  After those first four songs, the band starts to slowly pull back as the album progresses.  The album’s remaining nine songs are just as interesting a mix as the album’s first four tracks.  That’s because while they may not have the same intensity as those songs, some of those other tracks have an intensity all their own.  That is evidenced through songs such as ‘Loss For Words’, ‘Rise’, and the piano driven ballad, ‘Fault.’  These are interesting examples because they do such an impressive job of presenting how songs can be intense thanks to the contradiction of their musical and lyrical content.

The distinct separation of musical styles on this record makes it an interesting listen for certain.  The music alone doesn’t make the record, though.  The lyrics play their own role, too.  Case in point: the album’s opener, ‘Again.’  Musically speaking, one wouldn’t recognize it.  But this is one of the album’s song rooted in the standard theme of personal relationships.  That’s because of the song’s heaviness. Front man Hugo Ferreira sings in this song, “In the end I despise everything/I realize/Never ever had to compromise/The shifty eyes/I see in you/Again/I should have known better/Than to let you in again/again/AGAIN!!!”  A lesser songwriter would have taken such lyrics and potentially written another typical tearjerker.  That wasn’t the case for Ferreira.  He instead opted instead for something with more of a sense of determination.  That is noted as he sings, “I’ve shown you all I can/It’s time for you/To want to understand.”  The energy of the song’s music set alongside these words again makes this song just one of so many examples of what makes this album stand out.

Another example of how the combination of music and lyrics drives 37 Channels comes late in the album in the form of the piano-driven ballad ‘Fault.’  The gentility of the song will make fans of the band’s counterparts in Nickelback, Saliva, and other similar bands smile.  It’s another song that lyrically is based in personal relationships.  But Ferreira’s voice exhibits such pain when he sings, “I just want you/Like you were before” will pull at the heartstrings of even the strongest listener.  It’s one more song that will help keep listeners engaged right to the album’s closer not just once but many more times after that.

Tantric’s fans still have plenty of chances to hear music from the band’s album in person as it tours in support of 37 Channels this Fall.  One of its dates will be in North Carolina on Saturday, November 16th.  The band will perform that afternoon at the Greensboro Chili Wing Fling 2013 presented by 100.3 The Buzz.  Pop Evil will join Tantric at the show.  More information on the band’s new album, Fall tour dates and more is available online at http://www.facebook.com/Tantric and http://www.tantricrockband.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.

Queensryche’s Upcoming LP A Welcome Return To Form

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Queensryche is one of the most well known bands in the history of rock.  This Seattle based band survived the hair metal movement and the nu-wave movement of the 80s.  It also survived the grunge movement of the 90s and even the musical gold rush of 2000.  Throughout all of these different phases that the music industry has seen come and go, Queensryche has had its share of highs with iconic albums such as Empire, Operation: Mindcrime, Rage for Order, and to a slightly lesser degree, Hear in the Now Frontier and Promised Land.  While it did survive the musical gold rush of 2000, the release of its 2003 album, Tribe and its predecessor, Q2K (1999) were met with lukewarm reviews at best.  And 2011’s Dedicated to Chaos was perhaps its least warmly received album in its thirty year plus long career.  Things didn’t get much better after the less than pleasant split between the band and its now former front man Geoff Tate.  But it looks like the band is well back on track with a new front man and a self-titled album that takes long-time fans back to the days of Empire, Rage For Order, and even HITNF and Promised Land.

The very first thing that audiences should note with this new release is not much its musical side but its cover art and title.  Most people don’t pay much attention to any album’s title or even the cover art for its liner notes/booklet.  But in the case of Queensryche, both are of equal significance with this new release.  They are so significant because of the recent history between the band and its former front man.  The artwork for the standard edition of the album is simplistic, unlike that of many of the band’s previous releases.  It is simply the band’s logo set against a solid metallic background.  In its own way, one could argue that this is its own statement of the band redeveloping its identity through this fashion.  Just as the artwork is simple, so is the album’s title.  The band’s very first release way back in 1983 was a self-titled release.  Now three decades later, the band has offered fans another self-titled release.  Again, it seems insignificant on a small scale.  But considering everything that has happened with the band since 2012, making the album self-titled is another statement of rebirth for the band.  Just as Tate was delivering a statement with the title and artwork of his Queensryche album, Frequency Unknown, so is this Queensryche’s album title.  And it’s a statement that is as solid as the album’s musical content.

Musically speaking, this album is a rebirth for this Queensryche band in every way.  The ten songs that comprise the record are classic Queensryche, hands down.  Even with new front man Todd LaTorre manning vocal duties, listeners will be taken back.  If one were to listen to this record without knowing about the band’s rather acrimonious split with Geoff Tate, one would swear they were indeed hearing Tate.  That perhaps is the most intriguing fact of all about this record.  Forget the fact that the classic bombastic guitar work of Michael Wilton and the equally impressive drumming of Scott Rockenfield are back.  LaTorre’s vocal style and sound are near mirror images so to speak of that of the band’s previous singer.  It’s incredible how similar the two sound.  And it is because of this and the album’s overall old school sound (not to mention the statement of the album’s artwork and title), that fans that grew up with Queensryche will cheer happily once more.  It is everything that those fans have awaited for so many years.

Queensryche is currently wrapping up the U.S. leg of its tour in support of its new album.  It will kick off the European leg of its tour beginning October 2nd at the O2 Academy Islington.  Fans can get a complete tour listing and all of the latest tour updates and general news from the band on its Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/QueensrycheOfficial and its official website, http://www.queensrycheofficial.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.

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.

Dream Theater Re-Signs With Roadrunner Records

Photo Credit:  Roadrunner Records

Photo Credit: Roadrunner Records

The members of veteran prog-rock band Dream Theater have re-signed with Roadrunner Records.  The announcement comes fresh off the heels of the band’s 2011 release, A Dramatic Turn of Events and supporting world tour—James Labrie (Vocals), Mike Mangini (drums), John Petrucci (guitars), John Myung (Bass) and Jordan Rudess (keyboards).  The band released a statement regarding the re-signing.  “We are all very excited to be re-signing with Roadrunner Records!  Over the past 5 years, from the release of Systematic Chaos to our latest, A Dramatic Turn of Events, we’ve developed strong creative and professional bonds with everyone at Roadrunner as well as many great friendships along the way”, the band collectively noted. 

The band expanded on those relationships with Roadrunner Records, stating, “Roadrunner’s commitment and dedication to Dream Theater has been evident to all of us from the very beginning, and is consistent in all departments and on all levels, right on through to the top.  Roadrunner is a record label that is not only great at what they do but who truly understand what Dream theater is all about as well as the amazing people who support us all around the world whom we proudly call our fans.  They are a record company we relate to as an organization firmly rooted in its ideals and mission, while always pushing the envelope in an effort to keep things moving ever forward.  We’ve reached many career defining milestones while at Roadrunner and are all incredibly pumped in anticipation of our continued future together.”

Having re-signed with Roadrunner, Dream Theater is set to begin recording its new album in 2013.  While the band gets ready to record its new album, fans can follow the latest developments from the band online at http://.www.dreamtheater.net, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Dream-Theater/7677942180, http://twitter.com/DreamTheaterNet, and http://www.myspace.com/dreamtheater

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