Type O Negative’s ‘Dead Again’ Gets Little New Life In Its Latest Re-Issue

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

When Type O Negative first released its seventh album Dead Again in 2007 through Steamhammer, the album proved the be the best performing record of the band’s career, debuting at No. 27 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. Ironically, the album would also end up being the band’s last, as former front man Peter Steele passed away three years later in 2010. The album’s success was likely due to the fact that the album saw such a noticeable change in the album’s arrangements, leaning in more directions throughout its body.
A year after its initial release, Steamhammer re-issued the album with a bonus DVD front loaded with bonus live content, interviews and music videos. Now 14 years after that re-issue’s release, Nuclear Blast Records is scheduled to re-issue the album again in a new anniversary presentation with much of the bonus live content featured in the 2008 re-issue. That bonus content being at the center of the album’s latest re-issue, it will be the focus of this review. The content itself is a positive and will be discussed shortly. The presentation of that content however, is somewhat problematic. This will be discussed a little later. The band’s performances of the songs is, together with the songs themselves a positive worth noting, too. It will be examined a little later, too. Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of the album. All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Dead Again leaving audiences honestly wanting for a little more.

Nuclear Blast Records’ forthcoming re-issue of Type O Negative’s 2007 album Dead Again is sadly, a celebration of an impressive album that does not do the record full justice in its new release. That is not to say that the record is a total loss. The bonus live content featured with the record is the primary reason that it survives. Totaling 10 tracks in all spread across more than an hour and 10 minutes, the bonus live performances featured here were largely carried over from the album’s 2008 re-issue from Steamhammer. The songs pull from almost all of the band’s albums up to that point, save for its 1991 debut album, Slow, Deep and Hard. In other words, the songs present a relatively clear cross section of Type O Negative’s catalog up to that point. The only difference between the content in that 2008 re-issue and this re-issue is that that Wacken content featured in that release was on DVD while it is strictly on CD in this case. So in short what audiences get in the bonus content is largely the same content featured in that 2008 re-issue. It means that audiences who did not get their hands on the 2008 re-issue will not be losing out, nor will those who did get the re-issue.

Now while the bonus content featured in this re-issue is a direct carry over from the 2008 re-issue of Dead Again, the presentation of the content is problematic. Maybe it is just this critic’s own audio equipment, but the audio mix of this content is a concern. Far too many times in each performance, it seems like Steele’s vocals are being washed out by the instrumentation. This happens both in the 2007 Wacken Festival performances and the other live performances. As a side note, it should be pointed out that there is no indication anywhere in the liner notes about where and when the other live performances were recorded, so that is another problem in itself. Getting back to the audio mix and production, the sound, again, is a concern. It leaves one wondering if the audio was already such an issue in the album’s 2008 re-issue. If it was and nothing was done, then someone definitely should be held accountable. If not, then someone should be held just as accountable for allowing it to be so muddied. It is enough to make a person want to skip through the songs just to see if the next song is any less messy.

As problematic as the sound issue is with the live content’s re-issue, it is not enough to doom the re-issue. To that end, there is still at least one more positive to note. That positive is the band’s performance of the live content. One thing that is indisputable from one live performance to the next is the dedication that the band put into each song. The band members give each song their fullest attention, ensuring audiences are fully engaged and entertained. What’s more, Steele’s playful banter with the audiences show just how laid back he was. It exemplifies why so many people respected him as a front man and person. The result of those positive performances is a general effect that together with the songs themselves, makes them worth hearing at least once. To that end, audiences who already own either the original 2007 release or its 2008 re-issue would be well advised to just hold onto those releases.

Nuclear Blast Records’ forthcoming 25th Anniversary re-issue of Type O Negative’s Dead Again is an interesting presentation. That is due entirely to its featured bonus live content. The bonus live content featured here is a direct carry over from the album’s 2008 re-issue. The only difference between the re-issues is that the Wacken 2007 performances were on DVD in the album’s 2008 re-issue and on CD in this re-issue. The fact that the same material was carried over ensures that no audience is left out regardless of whether they own the 2008 re-issue. The audio mix of the live content is problematic to say the very least. Far too often throughout the 10 total live performances, it seems like Peter Steele’s vocals were washed out by his band mates. That is not a stab at them by any means. Rather it is a concern on the side of those charged with ensuring the best possible audio quality in each performance. The band’s actual performances in each song works with the songs to make for at least a little more engagement and entertainment. The band’s performances themselves ensure audiences engagement and entertainment even despite the issue of the audio. That makes the bonus content at least somewhat appealing. However, it still does not eliminate the concern caused by the audio mix. To that end, this bonus content that accompanies Dead Again‘s latest re-issue does a little at best to fully celebrate what was and is one of the most important of Type O Negative’s albums if not its most important.

Dead Again is scheduled to be re-issued Friday through Nuclear Blast Records. More information on the album’s re-issue is available along with all of Type O Negative’s latest news at:

Website: https://typeonegative.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/typeonegative

Twitter: https://twitter.com/typeonegative

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Sony Music, Experience Hendrix LLC Release Another Essential Jimi Hendrix Experience Live Recording in ‘Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969’

Courtesy: Sony Music, Experience Hendrix LLC

Some music acts out there are better on their studio recordings than their live shows.  For others, the exact opposite is the case.  And then there are still others that amazingly are just as good on their albums as on stage.  The Jimi Hendrix Experience is in the latter category. While the trio was only together for a short time ­– only a few years – the band’s records and concerts remain some of the greatest in the modern history of music.  The band’s brand new live recording, Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969 is no exception to that rule.  Set for release Friday through Sony Music, Experience Hendrix, LLC, the 11-song concert is just as much an essential for any Hendrix fan’s collection as its most recent live predecessor, Live in Maui (2020).  That is due in large part to the featured set list and the trio’s performance thereof.  This will be discussed shortly.  The companion booklet that accompanies the recording building on the foundation formed by the concert and makes this recording even more enjoyable.  That is because of the liner notes therein.  This will be examined a little later.  The recording’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation and brings everything full circle.  It will also be examined later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969.  All things considered they make this recording easily one of the best new live CDs released so far this year.

Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969, the latest archived Jimi Hendrix Experience live show to see the light of day, is yet another essential addition to the library of any Hendrix fan.  That is due in no small part to its featured set list and the trio’s performance thereof.  The concert’s set list spans 11 songs and 79 minutes (one hour, 19 minutes) and features a hand full of songs which audiences had come to know at that time (and that are still beloved to this day) while also including some lesser-performed songs, such as ‘Spanish Castle Magic,’ ‘I Don’t Live Today’ and ‘Tax Free,’ which opens the concert.  Yes, Hendrix and his fellow musicians – drummer Mitch Mitchell and bassist Noel Redding – played ‘Tax Free’ many times, but few of the group’s live recordings feature performances of the song.  To that end, it is correct to say that the song is lesser performed.  What’s more, the overall set list featured in this concert was, as noted in music journalist Randy Lewis in the recording’s second set of liner notes (this will be discussed a little later), an example of Hendrix being more concerned simply with a set list, not which songs from the trio were popular and charting at the time.  It really is an example that few bands today follow when they tour.  To that end, this set list is such a joy in its own right, giving audiences something familiar and lesser so.

Staying on the topic of the concert itself, the collective performance put on by Hendrix and company makes the show even more enjoyable.  That is because it proves to be so natural and “organic.”  Jimi seems to relaxed as he tries to get the audience at the famed forum to not rush the stage, actually noting at one point that the band couldn’t perform until the crowd settled down.  The trio’s performance of ‘Tax Free’ lasts more than 15 minutes (15 minutes, 34 seconds to be exact), with much of it being a jam session.  The band takes the same style approach through each song that follows, simply enjoying being in the moment and bringing the audience into the moment.  The result is a general effect between the songs and performances thereof that makes for so much engagement and entertainment for audiences.

The content featured in this recording is itself more than reason enough for audiences to own the concert.  It is just one part of what makes the recording so deserving of applause, too.  The companion booklet that accompanies the recording builds on the foundation formed by the concert and makes for even more enjoyment and engagement.  That is because it features not just one but two separate sets of liner notes.  The first set of liner notes was crafted by ZZ Top front man/bassist/founder Billy F. Gibbons and the second by Lewis.  As already noted, Lewis points out in his writing, that the concert featured in this recording was an example of Hendrix caring less about which of the band’s songs were performing well on the charts and simply being more in the moment and making the concert enjoyable for everyone.  The jam sessions that grow out of each song make that completely clear.  Lewis also points out in his notes, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s performance at the Forum was important because prior to its presentation the only rock acts that had preceded the group’s came from Deep Purple, Cream, and The Doors.  Prior to those concerts (and that of The Jimi Hendrix Experience), the Forum’s concerts were much more in another direction in terms of genre.  Audiences will be left to find out more about that topic for themselves when they buy this recording. 

Gibbons’ liner notes meanwhile offer their own engagement and entertainment.  Gibbons reminisces at one point in his comments, about having actually been there at the Forum for the band’s show.  He writes in his liner notes that Hendrix actually came back stage after the concert and asked Gibbons what he thought of the show.  Gibbons’ response in his recollection is humble and in its simplicity, shows the respect that even someone of Gibbons’ status had and has even today for Hendrix as a person and musician.  Gibbons also points out his amazement at and respect for Hendrix’s talents on the guitar, writing, “What unfolded thereafter was firsthand evidence of how Jimmy Hendrix had figured out how to do things on a Fender Stratocaster that had obviously never been imagined by its designers.”  That is a strong statement of pure respect from one now famous musician to one who remains among the most influential in the music community in whole.  It is just one more of so many insights shared by Gibbons that make his comments just as entertaining and engaging as those crafted by Lewis.  Gibbons even shares a brief anecdote about Hendrix requiring a record player in any hotel room where he stayed.  That is one more story that audiences will be left to enjoy for themselves when they buy this recording and even more example of the importance of the recording’s liner notes.  When the comments shared by Gibbons and Lewis are considered collectively, they make the overall liner notes even more reason for Hendrix fans to own this recording.

The production that went into this concert recording rounds out its most important elements.  That is because it surprisingly immerses audiences in the experience, making listeners really feel like they are right there.  The production isn’t some spit-shined presentation.  It is raw and organic.  Audiences can hear the audience noise “in the distance” while the band’s performance sounds so natural.  There is a certain richness and warmth to the sound quality in its approach.  It is a tribute to those who were charged with bringing the master tapes back to life for this presentation.  The result of the overall audio production is a positive general effect here, too.  Keeping that in mind, the effect of the production pairs with the effect of the band’s performance and the set list itself to make the whole a complete presentation that every Jimi Hendrix fan and rock fan will find enjoyable.

Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969, the brand new live recording from The Jimi Hendrix Experience, is another thoroughly enjoyable presentation from the band, even with the band no longer being around.  It is a presentation that will appeal to a wide range of audiences.  That is due in no small part to its featured set list and the band’s performance thereof.  The set list features plenty of familiar songs and some that are less common place on live Jimi Hendrix Experience recordings that have already been released.  The band’s performance of said set list feels so natural that it makes for its own enjoyment.  The liner notes featured in the recording’s companion booklet make for even more entertainment and engagement.  That is because of the background that they offer from both Gibbons and Lewis.  The recording’s production creates a sound quality that is organic and natural in its own right that makes for its own immersion in the experience.  Each item examined is important in its own right to the whole of this recording.  All things considered they make Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969 one more of the best of this year’s new live CDs if not the best so far.

Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969 is scheduled for release Friday through Sony Music and Experience Hendrix, LLC. More information on Los Angeles Forum April 26, 1969 and other Jimi Hendrix releases is available online at:

Websitehttp://www.jimihendrix.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/JimiHendrix

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/JimiHendrix

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Black Veil Brides’ New EP Will Leave Audiences Anything But “Mourning”

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Late last month, Black Veil Brides released its new EP, The Mourning through Sumerian Records.  The four-song record’s release came Oct. 21, roughly a year after the release of the band’s then latest album, The Phantom Tomorrow, which was a musical and stylistic turning point for the band.  The band continued that change with this, its ninth studio recording and third EP.  The band is currently on the road with Ice Nine Kills and Motionless in White as part of the Trinity of Terror tour in support of the record, whose musical and lyrical content clearly shows that continued change of sound and style.  ‘Better Angels,’ which closes the EP, is one of the most notable of the record’s entries.  It will be discussed shortly.  On the exact other end of the record is its opener, ‘Devil,’ which will be examined a little later.  ‘Saviour II’ is yet another standout addition to the EP and will also be examined later.  When it is considered alongside the other songs noted here and with the EP’s one remaining song, ‘The Revival,’ the whole makes The Mourning easily one of the year’s top new EPs.

The Mourning, the third new EP from Black Veil Brides (and the band’s ninth new studio recording), is a strong new offering from the band. That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The record’s finale, ‘Better Angels’ is just one of the songs that makes that clear.  The melodic hard rock approach that the band takes in the song’s musical arrangement makes the song just as accessible as works from so many other similar bands, mainstream and independent.  Comparisons can be made to works from the likes of Awake At Last, Saint Asonia, and Bullet for my Valentine.  This is not to say that BVB has not composed some melodic hard rock songs throughout its history, but comparing much of its early catalog to a work, such as this song, the difference is clear, and it makes the song here just as accessible as works from the noted bands and so many others.

The arrangement featured here actually works well with the song’s lyrical theme.  That is because the song’s theme seems to come from the vantage overcoming one’s mental health struggles, to a point.  This is inferred in the song’s lead verse and chorus, which state collectively, “I feel the hope turn into comfort/Like the death of my nerves/Your heart is stinging from the hatred/As humanity burns/So let me find the words just to say it/Your mind is a villain/Go back to hell with all your demons/Leave me alone/To find the pieces inside my mind/They came in to control my life/And all the devils devour/Your better angels devour.  The song’s second verse adds even more to that thought pattern as it states, “Our fear is all we have to suffer/In the violent new world/These scars and vanity can’t save us/Now it’s time for the storm.”  This seeming theme is certain to resonate with audiences, especially being that it seems to present a message of overcoming those negative thoughts and feelings that would otherwise control a person, not just thoughts of depression and self-hatred, either.  When this seeming message pairs with the song’s powerful musical arrangement, the whole makes ‘Better Angels’ a clear example of what makes The Mourning worth hearing.

‘Better Angels’ is just one of the most notable additions to The Mourning.  The EP’s opener, ‘Devil’ is notable in its own right.  That is due in part because of its musical arrangement.  Instead of the pure melodic hard rock approach used in ‘Better Angels,’ the band opts for a more metalcore style composition in this song’s verses while incorporating the melodic hard rock approach in the choruses.  The cutting guitars, and machine-gun style rapidity of the metalcore style verses make the song immediately comparable to works from the likes of Killswitch Engage, The Black Dahlia Murder, and to a lesser extent, early As I Lay Dying.  The vocals especially add to that comparison to works from KsE, as they are so comparable to that band’s former front man Howard Jones.  The melodic hard rock side of the song is more comparable to works from the likes of Sevendust.  The juxtaposition of those comparisons makes the overall arrangement so interesting and well worth hearing in its own right.

The energy and richness in the song’s arrangement does just as well to pair with its lyrical theme.  That is because of the clear frustration exhibited in what comes across quite as a social commentary.  The commentary opens with front man Andy Biersack sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “How the f*** is one so evil left to just proceed/All the luck and how deceitful that idle minds can be/Farewell to vanished fraud/So here comes the fall/Your blood has all been washed away/You left with a crawl/The end was worth the wasted days/The devil lies alone.”  The commentary continues in the song’s second verse, “Come sell me useless greed/And swindle, lie and cheat/’Cause nothing matters when only truth is obsolete.”  That last line about truth being obsolete leads to an inference that maybe the commentary centers on what has happened in the world with truth taking a back seat to people’s false realities.  This is just this critic’s interpretation. The early note of wondering how one so evil could just progress, to that end, would seemingly be a commentary wondering how people like Donald Trump and his cult members could be left to go on doing what they do.  Again, this is just this critic’s interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere close to being right.  Either way, the seeming message and the way in which it is delivered certainly makes for plenty of thought and discussion.  To that end, the song shows even more why it stands out in The Mourning.

‘Saviour II,’ the EP’s second track and lead single, is yet another notable addition to the record.  The song’s musical arrangement is continues the melodic hard rock approach taken by the band in the EP.  The different here is that in this case, it is actually more of a throwback to some of the melodic hard rock compositions that the band had produced in its past records while also being just as radio ready as any of the other songs featured in this record.  From Breaking Benjamin to Default to so many others, the arrangement here is just as accessible as their works and so many other of the band’s fellow mainstream bands.

The lyrical theme that accompanies the song’s musical arrangement makes for even more interest.  The theme here comes across as something as a contemplative piece focusing on moving past experiences in life.  This is inferred as Biersack sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “I never knew how to live alone/Holding my fear in the unknown/And if we only speak in tongues/How can we be heard/Are there songs to guard your heart/Let this be the one you use to start your own/And every word that came from you/Has carried me/So I’m trying my hardest to be what you made/Like a court jester/My smile won’t fade/Giving it all/Rising to fall to my grave/Answer the call/Living in thrall/You’re the one born to save.”  That mention of trying to be what someone made, keeping the smile, it seems like the song’s subject is addressing having to live a lie, hiding so many thoughts and emotions behind that smile.  It would certainly seem to point at the noted inferred theme.  The inference continues in the song’s second verse, which states, “I grew this heart in a motor car/I wear a mask to be a star/All of the heat and anxiety that still lines the road/It is all I ever thought I’d live for/Now I know I’m more than all of my scars.”  That mention of being more than one’s scars points to the song’s subject overcoming the emotional and mental damage caused by the past, moving on with life.  It is a powerful seeming statement that even further hints at the noted theme.  Keeping such a seeming theme (and one that is all too familiar with any rock fan) in mind, the contemplative nature of the theme and the equally contemplative nature of the song’s arrangement makes the song in whole all the more interesting.  When the whole is considered overall, it makes ‘Saviour II’ clearly another important part of The Mourning.  When the song is considered alongside the other two songs examined here and with the EP’s one remaining song, the whole makes The Mourning a complete success.

The Mourning, the latest studio recording from Black Veil Brides, is an impressive new offering from the veteran hard rock act.  That is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The songs examined here make that clear.  When the songs examined are considered along with the record’s one remaining track, the whole makes The Mourning a welcome addition to this year’s field of new EPs.

The Mourning is available now through Sumerian Records.  More information on the EP is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://blackveilbrides.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Blackveilbrides

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/blackveilbrides

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Keith Jarrett’s ‘Bordeaux Concert’ Is A Unique Addition To 2022’s Field Of New Live Recordings

Courtesy: ECM Records

This past Friday, pianist Keith Jarrett released his new live recording, Bordeaux Concert through ECM Records.  The 13-song recording is an intriguing presentation that audiences will agree is worth hearing at least once.  That is due in large part to its featured set list, which will be discussed shortly.  While the set list makes the recording worth hearing at least once, the lack of any liner notes detracts from the recording’s appeal to a point.  This will be addressed a little later.  The recording’s production works with its set list to make for slightly more interest.  It will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bordeaux Concert.  All things considered they make the overall presentation a peculiar work that the most devoted of Jarrett’s established audiences will find appealing.

Bordeaux Concert, the new live recording from pianist Keith Jarrett, is a unique addition to this year’s field of new live recordings that will appeal to the most devoted of Jarrett’s established audiences.  That is due in large part to the recording’s featured set list.  The term set list used very loosely here.  That is because they 13 songs that make up the concert’s body are in fact apparently part of one whole work that Jarrett performs here.  The first half of the concert’s songs are very energetic, modernist type compositions that find Jarrett making his way up and down the piano’s keyboard, playing in very staccato style notes that just feel and sound like a complete cacophony.  The concert’s set half is the exact opposite, with more thoughtful compositions that sound like they belong on the soundtrack of some romantic drama.  The songs allegedly were, at the time, all new and improvised works, according to information provided about the recording.  Sadly, that information and more was not provided in the recording’s booklet.  This will be addressed shortly.  Getting back on the subject at hand, that the concert’s body was seemingly all original makes for its own interest.  It meant that Jarrett did not want to just rehash works with which audiences were already familiar.  If that truly is the case, the songs were all improvised and new, then that in itself makes them worth hearing.

As noted already, the booklet that accompanies Jarrett’s new live recording does not include any background on the concert.  The information was provided to the media in news releases distributed to media outlets only.  The information outlines that the concert featured herein was Jarrett’s last concert in France.  It was performed in 2016 at the Auditorium de l’Opera National de Bordeaux on July 6, 2016.  That information, the date and location of the concert is actually printed on the back of the recording’s exterior case.  Other than that, there is no background information at all about the concert featured herein.  This is important because there are audiences out there who may be less familiar with Jarrett and his work than others.  Those fans who are less familiar with Jarrett and his work are in turn left to have to do so much research into him before even considering whether to buy this presentation.  So again, not having any of that information available makes for a notable negative to the overall presentation.  It is not enough to doom the recording but is still important to address.

Knowing that the lack of any background information on Bordeaux Concert is not enough to doom the recording, there is still one more item to address.  That item is the record’s production, but also circles back around to the importance of having liner notes.  The information provided to the media notes that more than 100 people were in attendance for the concert featured herein.  Even with that many people there, one would not know that the concert was in fact that until the audience’s applause is heard at the end of the first performance.  The sound is that rich from beginning to end.  If not for that applause, the sound otherwise comes across as sharply as a studio recording.  That is a true testament to the work of those responsible for the recording’s production.  It makes for a mostly positive general effect for the recording.  When that positive general effect is considered alongside the recording’s content, the two items collectively make Bordeaux Concert worth hearing at least once.

Bordeaux Concert, the latest live recording from pianist Keith Jarrett, is an intriguing presentation that will appeal primarily to the most devoted of Jarrett’s audiences.  That is due in large part to the material that makes up the concert’s body.  That material is, seemingly new content that apparently is improvised from the concert’s beginning to its end.  Even more interesting is that it seems to be clearly divided up into two distinct halves.  The first half of the concert is composed of very peculiar, modernist compositions while the second half is far more widely accessible by comparison.  While the recording’s “set list” makes for reason enough to hear the presentation at least once, the lack of any background on the concert in the recording’s booklet detracts notably from the whole.  The recording’s production works with the content to make for at least some more reason to hear the whole.  That is because of the clarity of sound that results from the production.  When it and the concert’s primary content are considered together, they make Bordeaux Concert worth hearing at least once.

Bordeaux Concert is available through ECM Records. More information on this and other titles from ECM Records is available at:

Websitehttps://ecmrecords.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ecmrecords

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.  

Saxon Announces New Live Dates; Premieres New Single, Video

Courtesy: Silver Linings Music

Saxon is gearing up to hit the road next month for a trip across Europe.

The band recently announced it will launch the European leg of its “Seize The Day World Tour” Sunday in Paris, France. The tour is scheduled to run through Nov. 26 in London, England, and is in support of Saxon’s latest album, Carpe Diem, which was released in February through Silver Linings Music.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets for the tour’s EU dates are available here. Tickets for the UK leg are available here.

SEIZE THE DAY WORLD TOUR:

EUROPE:

2 October – FRANCE – Paris, Trianon
3 October – NETHERLANDS – Tilburg, 013
4 October – GERMANY – Hannover, Capitol
6 October – GERMANY – Berlin, Admiralspalast
7 October – GERMANY – Munich, Muffathalle
8 October – GERMANY – Offenbach, Capitol
10 October – ITALY – Milan, Alcatraz
11 October – SWITZERLAND – Pratteln Z7
12 October – BELGIUM – Antwerp, Trix
13 October – NETHERLANDS – Haarlem, Patronaat
15 October – DENMARK – Aarhus, Train
17 October – SWEDEN – Gothenburg, Pustervik
18 October – NORWAY – Oslo, Rockefeller
19 October – DENMARK – Copenhagen, Amager Bio
21 October – NETHERLANDS – Zwolle, Hedon
22 October – FRANCE – Metz, La Bam
23 October – SWITZERLAND – Lausanne, Les Docks

UK:

11 November – Ipswich, Regent Theatre
12 November – Southampton O2 Guildhall
13 November – Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion
14 November – Cardiff, St. David’s Hall
15 November – Bath, Forum
16 November – Cambridge, Corn Exchange
18 November – Newcastle, O2 City Hall

19 November – Blackburn, King George’s Hall
20 November – Aberdeen, Music Hall
21 November – Glasgow, Barrowland
22 November – Hull, City Hall
23 November – York, Barbican
25 November – Leicester, De Montfort Hall
26 November – London, Roundhouse

In related news, Saxon debuted the video for its latest single from Carpe Diem, ‘Black is the Night’ Sept. 21. Its debut follows that of the video for another single from the album, ‘Remember The Fallen.’ That video and single premiered Jan. 11.

The video for ‘Black is the Night’ blends footage of the band performing its new single with the story of a man in a forest, having to fend for himself against the elements. The musical arrangement in the song blends elements of the band’s power metal leanings with a bluesy guitar solo to make the whole a powerful presentation in its own right.

No information was provided about the song’s lyrical theme.

 More information on Saxon’s new tour schedule, its new video, single, and album is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://www.saxon747.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/saxon

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/SaxonOfficial

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

‘Of Kingdom And Crown’ Is One Of Machine Head’s Best Albums To Date

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Machine Head is back.  More than four years after the release of the band’s then latest album, Catharsis, the band released its 10th album, Of Kingdom and Crown Friday through Nuclear Blast Records.  The 13-song album is a solid return to form for front man and founder Robb Flynn, who is now the band’s only original member.  Over the course of the record’s 39-minute run time, its arrangements lift from all of the best of the band’s catalog, musically speaking, while also offering lyrical content that is engaging in its own right.  Flynn and his new band mates – Waclaw Kieltkya (guitar, vocals), Jared MacEachern (bass, vocals), and Matt Alston (drums) – released roughly half of the album’s body in the months leading up to the record’s release, with a total of six of its song debuting between November 2020 and June of this year.  One of the most powerful of those singles is ‘My Hands Are Empty.’  This song will be discussed shortly.   ‘Rotten,’ which comes late in the album, is another notable addition to the record and will be discussed a little later.  ‘Choke On The Ashes Of Your Hate,’ which comes early in the record’s run, is yet another notable addition to the album and will also be examined later.  All three songs noted are key in their own way to the whole of this album’s presentation.  When they are considered along with the album’s other entries, the whole makes this record one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums and potentially one of the year’s top new albums.

Of Kingdom and Crown, the latest album from Machine Head, is easily among the best of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.  There is no question about that.  That is made clear from the record’s beginning to its end in its musical and lyrical content alike.  One of the songs that does so well to make that clear is ‘My Hands Are Empty.’  While not recently considered the album’s lead single, it was, in hindsight, the first of the new songs that would end up on the album in its release way back in November 2020.  It should be noted here that while Matt Alston is currently handling drumming duties for the band, the drums in this song’s arrangement were handled by Navene Koperweis (Animals As Leaders, Whitechapel, Entheos).  The arrangement overall features a sound and stylistic approach that, as Flynn noted at the time of the single’s release, is comparable to works from the band’s 2003 album, Through The Ashes of Empires.  That is evidenced through Flynn’s distinct growling vocals and the richness created through the pairing of the guitar and bass alongside those pummeling drums.  The addition of the choral effect to the mix adds even more to that sense.

Lyrically speaking, Flynn explained that the song tackles the issue of opioid abuse.

“I have some family members who have beaten their opioid addiction, and have some still in the throes of addition,” Flynn said. “it is painful to watch, and I deal with it with great difficulty.  It is a song of sadness, but there is hope as well.  I have beaten my own drug addictions and we can fight through this together and share our pain with the world.”  The mention in the song’s chorus that “My hands are empty/Lies so pretty/Kill me gently” points directly to the emotional struggle.  It is an allusion to someone feeling left with nothing as a result of so many struggles.  In this case the struggles are with addiction, being at the bottom of that proverbial barrel.  The mention of powders and pills in the song’s second verse, along with watching someone slowly die is that direct reference to watching people Flynn knows struggling with addiction.  Seeing them “Disintegrate/You/Right before my eyes” and the emptiness haunting him makes that painful picture all the fuller.  That overall lyrical picture, along with the power and emotion in the song’s musical arrangement makes fully clear why this song stands out among the album’s singles.

‘My Hands Are Empty’ is just one of the songs that stands out in Machine Head’s new album.  ‘Rotten’ is another notable addition to the record.  Its musical arrangement immediately takes audiences back to the band’s debut 1994 album, Burn My Eyes.  The crunch of the guitars, and the pairing of the bass and drums really leads even more to that comparison.  Flynn himself is even quoted through Apple Music as saying the arrangement came about during the band’s recent tour in celebration of Burn My Eyes’ 25th anniversary while also making his own comparison to works from Exodus’ 1989 album, Fabulous Disaster.

Considering the fire in the song’s arrangement, it makes the song’s lyrical content all the more interesting.  That is because Flynn left interpretation of the song’s lyrical content to audiences.  The mention of sitting, holding the “gun in hand/Barrel to the temple” leads to the sense that this song is lyrically taking on the blend of anger and desperation that comes with such suicidal thoughts.  The anger comes as Flynn screams, “Everything is rotten to the core” in the song’s chorus.  His further mention of feeling such anxiety, “heart racing/My throat’s constricting” even more seems to hint at those mixed feelings.  If in fact, this is the picture that Flynn is trying to paint here, that of someone sitting there, feeling so much anger and sadness, anxiety and confusion all at once, then he has done quite well.  That is because mental health is such a prevalent matter, and that constantly deserves attention.  To that end, the overall picture painted through the song’s musical and lyrical content makes the whole here stand out just as much as ‘Empty Hands’ and the rest of the album’s offerings.

As much as ‘Rotten’ does to make Of Kingdom and Crown a powerful new offering from Machine Head, it is hardly the last of the record’s most notable works.  ‘Choke on the Ashes of Your Hate’ is yet another example of how much this record has to offer.  The musical arrangement featured in this song is, again, influenced by Exodus according to Flynn.  He compared the intensity of the song’s arrangement to that of works from Exodus’ debut 1985 album, Bonded by Blood.  Interestingly enough, that album’s title track (and much of the album) actually sounds more akin to early Metallica than Machine Head.  To that end one could argue that this song is just as much akin to early Metallica as early Exodus.  That is meant in the most complimentary fashion, too.

Lyrically, this song goes in a completely different direction from those of the other songs examined here.  Flynn said in an interview about the song, that it was influenced by the Japanese anime series, Attack on Titan.  He said the song is part of what is apparently a bigger semi-conceptual approach to this album that is based on that series and that the lead song focuses on two characters who both start out good but turn bad because of the bad things that happened personally to them.  It is an interesting concept of there really being that there is no real “good” or “bad” guy in stories or in life.  That concept, together with the song’s powerful musical arrangement, makes it stand on its own unique merits.  When it is considered along with the other songs examined here and with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album overall an unforgettable new offering from Machine Head that is among the best of the band’s albums to date.

Of Kingdom and Crown, the latest album from Machine Head, is an impressive return for the band, considering the stark departure that the band took on its predecessor, 2018’s Catharsis.  The album is a full-on return to form for Flynn and his current band mates.  That is evidenced through its musical and lyrical content alike.  The songs examined here each make that clear.  When they are considered along with the album’s other songs, the entirety of that body makes Of Kingdom and Crown one of Machine Head’s best albums to date and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Of Kingdom and Crown is available now through Nuclear Blast Records. The band is scheduled to join Amon Amarth on the road this fall in Europe, with each band promoting its own new album.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SEPTEMBER
Thursday 8 – NOTTINGHAM, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 9 – CARDIFF, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 10 – LONDON, UK, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Monday 12 – MANCHESTER, Uk AO Arena
Tuesday 13 – DUBLIN, Ireland, 3Arena
Friday 16 – ZURICH, Switzerland, Hallenstadion
Saturday 17 – VIENNA, Austria, Stadthalle
Sunday 18 – KRAKOW, Poland, Tauron Arena
Tuesday 20 – TALLINN, Estonia, Saku Arena
Wednesday 21 – HELSINKI, Finland, Ice Hall
Friday 23 – OSLO, Norway, Spektrum
Saturday 24 – STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Hovet
Monday 26 – COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Forum Black Box
Tuesday 27 – HAMBURG, Germany, Barclays Arena
Wednesday 28 – FRANKFURT, Germany, Festhalle
Friday 30 – OBERHAUSEN, Germany, König Pilsener Arena

OCTOBER
Saturday 01 – BERLIN, Germany Velodrome
Sunday 02 – AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Afas Live
Tuesday 04 – MILAN, Italy, Lorenzini District
Thursday 06 – BARCELONA, Spain, Sant Jordi
Friday 07 – MADRID, Spain, Vistalegre
Saturday 08 – LA CORUNA, Spain, Coliseum
Sunday 09 – LISBON, Portugal, Campo Pequeno
Wednesday 12 – PARIS, France, Zenith
Friday 14 – MUNICH, Germany, Olympiahalle
Saturday 15 – LEIPZIG, Germany, Arena
Sunday 16 – PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Tipsport Arena
Tuesday 18 – BUDAPEST, Hungary, Barba Negra
Thursday 20 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE, Luxembourg, Rockhal
Friday 21 – BRUSSELS, Belgium, Forest National
Saturday 22 – STUTTGART, Germant, Schleyerhalle

More information on Machine Head’s new album and tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.machinehead1.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MachineHead

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/MfnH

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Planet D Nonet’s New Live Recording Is A Fitting Tribute To Buddy Johnson

Courtesy: Eastlawn Records

Jazz pianist and band leader Buddy Johnson (a.k.a. Woodrow Wilson Johnson) is not one of the first names that comes to most people’s minds when they think of famous jazz figures.  That is likely because most of his biggest hits were considered R&B and pop works.  For all of the popularity and success that he achieved through those works, Johnson also had plenty of jazz hits, though none of them ever put him in the upper echelons of the jazz community.  This past May, the jazz collective known as Planet D Nonet brought renewed attention to Johnson and his work with its new live recording, Tribute to Buddy Johnson: Live at the Scarab Club.  Released May 22 through Eastlawn Records, the 16-song set was recorded May 20, 2018 at the noted jazz club in Detroit, MI.  The show’s set list forms the recording’s foundation and will be discussed shortly.  The concert’s production adds its own welcome touch to the whole and will be addressed a little later.  The recording’s packaging rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined later.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered they make this presentation one more of this year’s top new live CDs.

Tribute to Buddy Johnson: Live at the Scarab Club, the new live recording from Planet D Nonet, is a successful new offering from the group that properly honors Johnson’s legacy.  That is due in large part to the recording’s 16-song set list.  The set list pulls extensively from Johnson’s early career, featuring singles that he released during his time with Decca Records and Mercury Records.  It reaches all the way back to 1945 with his single, ‘Since I Fell For You’ and up to 1954 through his single, ‘Mush Mouth.’  That song was a b-side to his single, ‘One More Time.’  Speaking of b-sides, many of the songs that make up the set list are in fact b-sides to his primary singles, making them even more special.  That is because b-sides have always received less attention than a-sides across the musical universe.  So for all intents and purposes what audiences get here is really a collection of rarities performed by Planet D Nonet, from an artist who is himself a lesser-known jazz artist and composer.  The only song featured in the set list that was not composed by Johnson was the set’s penultimate entry, ‘Walk That Chalk Line.’  The song was composed by Lorenzo Pack.  Some of the early singles featured in the set list – ‘It’s Obdacious,’ ‘I’m Just Your Fool,’ ‘Lil Dog’ and ‘Crazy ‘Bout a Saxophone’ would go on to be included in the albums that Johnson would eventually go on to release as his career progressed.  So really, what audiences get here is a set list that is rather interesting in its representation of Johnson’s career.  It isn’t just the typical, run-of-the-mill body of work, but a more unique collection that still pays tribute to Johnson and his work in positive fashion.  To that end, the set list featured here forms a solid foundation for the recording.

The production that went into the recording strengthens that foundation even more.  This concert was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic impacted America, so the group actually had a live audience to enjoy the concert.  That audience noise is just as audible throughout the concert as the instrumental and vocal performances by the band. It is so well-balanced with the music and vocals in each song and even between the songs.  In turn it creates a certain sense of joy for audiences, just hearing that live effect. That is especially the case considering how long audiences and musical acts alike went without live music once the pandemic made its way across the country starting in 2019.  Even those occasional moments when some of the vocals sound slightly distant, that effect was intended.  It adds even more to that sense of being right there, thus immersing audiences even more in the concert.  In other words, the production that went into this recording proves just as positive as the recording’s set list.  It makes the recording all the more enjoyable. 

While the content featured in Planet D Nonet’s new live recording and its production are considered together, the two items go a long way toward making the recording so enjoyable.  They are just part of what makes the recording successful, too.  The packaging rounds out its most important elements.  More specifically, the liner notes therein are really what makes the packaging important.  The liner notes, penned by blues musician Duke Robillard, remind audiences right from the opening paragraph that the work of Johnson and his orchestra have sadly been nearly forgotten in the annals of American musical history.  That is true.  Again, as noted early here, Johnson and his work are not the first to come to mind when one thinks of great jazz names and works.  Robillard also highlight’s Johnson’s signature “walking rhythm” as he writes about the band’s performance of ‘Walk The Chalk Line’.  From there, Robillard points out other high points throughout the concert in terms of specific song performances, setting the figurative stage for audiences before they even play the recording.  It is a great way to introduce audiences to the concert.  When the general effect of the liner notes is considered along with the equally positive impact of the set list itself and the concert’s recording, the whole makes this recording a wonderful tribute to Johnson and hopefully just the start in a renewed focus on him and his work.

Tribute to Buddy Johnson: Live at the Scarab Club, the new live recording from Planet D Nonet, is a thoroughly enjoyable presentation from the jazz collective.  That is due in large part to its featured set list.  The set list pulls extensively from Johnson’s early catalog of singles.  In other words, it focuses on what were essentially his formative years.  What’s more, many of the songs featured herein are b-sides to his singles rather than a-sides.  That makes them even rarer to a point.  This makes the set list all the more enjoyable and special.  The recording’s production expertly balances the audio throughout the show, making for even more enjoyment as it fully immerses audiences in the recording.  The liner notes that accompany the recording in its packaging round out the recording’s most important elements.  That is because they set the stage for the presentation featured on the disc.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered they make Tribute to Buddy Johnson: Live at the Scarab Club one more of this year’s top new live CDs.

Tribute to Buddy Johnson: Live at the Scarab Club is available now through Eastlawn Records.  More information on the record is available at https://eastlawnrecords.com

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Amon Amarth Impresses Once Again On Its 12th Album, ‘The Great Heathen Army’

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Veteran Viking metal outfit Amon Amarth is set to release its latest album, The Great Heathen Army very in less than a week through its longtime label home Metal Blade Records.  Scheduled for release Aug. 5, the 9-song record will come more than three years after the release of the band’s then latest album, Berserker.  The 43-minute presentation is everything that Amon Amarth fans have come to expect from the band both musically and lyrically.  At the same time, the record’s musical content actually shows some growth from the band this time out.  The record’s musical and lyrical content will each receive their own examinations here.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements and will also be examined here.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the album’s presentation.  All things considered they make The Great Heathen Army one more of the greatest of this year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

The Great Heathen Army, the 12th new album from Amon Amarth, is another largely successful offering from the veteran metal outfit that has made a career of making songs about Vikings.  The record’s appeal comes in part through its featured musical arrangements.  The very first thing that the band’s established audiences will note through the record’s nine total arrangements is that they are not all the same semi-symphonic/death metal approach that the band has taken in so many of its albums.  Right from the record’s outset, its lead single, ‘Get in the Ring,’ the band takes more of a modern hard rock/metal approach.  It is a notable change of sound and style for the band considering the compositions that the band has crafted over its decades-long career.  It is just one of the songs that shows that branching out, too.  Late in the record in ‘Saxons and Vikings,’ the band goes in a vintage hard rock style approach, even bringing in famed Accept/U.D.O. front man Udo Dirkschneider to add to the mix.  Just as interesting is that the band does make sure to include some of its more familiar death metal riffs to mix things up a little bit along the way.  The pairing of those leanings together, complete with a powerhouse solo, makes this song’s arrangement yet another standout addition to the record that continues to show the band’s musical growth this time out.  The band offers up a little more of that vintage hard rock leaning in the record’s closer, ‘The Serpent’s Trail.’  The way in which the guitars are used here almost mimics some string arrangements, and the classical guitar approach here along the way just adds that much more to the record.  It is just one more way in which the musical arrangements feature in this record show their value to the album’s presentation.  When these arrangements are considered along with the works that lean more in the band’s familiar sounds and styles, the whole makes The Great Heathen Army a presentation that succeeds if only through its musical content.

The musical content that is featured in The Great Heathen Army is just part of what makes the album worth hearing.  The lyrical content that accompanies that musical content makes for its own appeal.  That is because it is far more familiar to those noted established audiences.  From ‘Oden Owns You All’ to Saxons and Vikings’ to ‘The Serpent’s Trail’ and more, the themes featured in the record’s lyrics all center on the familiar topics of all things Norse and Vikings.  Now there are a couple of sings – ‘Get In The Ring’ and ‘Find A Way Or Make One’ – that do break that mold.  ‘Find A Way Or Make One’ delivers an all too familiar but always welcome message of pushing through life’s difficulties.  This is clear as front man Johan Hegg sings here, “Stand tall/And fight/The world will quake/Stand tall/And fight/I will never break.”  Some of the lyrics are a little difficult cult decipher fully sans lyrics, but he also makes note here of fighting the battle when all hope is lost and gone.  This is, again, a powerful and familiar message, especially as he adds that he will not kneel, no matter what the odds.  Yet again, here is more proof of the song’s message of personal strength.  The battles and situations do not necessarily have to be warfare, but just personal battles.  To that end, again, this familiar message is just as welcome from the band here as from any other band.  What’s more, that it is set here alongside so much other more familiar content shows growth, lyrically from the band. 

‘Get In The Ring’ meanwhile is actually a song for one of the rising stars of All Elite Wrestling (AEW).  It is fitting that it was crafted for a pro wrestler, as its lyrical theme is in fact a fight song.  It is an anthem that could and will get anyone pumped up who has ever been done wrong by someone.  It is that challenge to those people who would stand in our way metaphorically or lyrically.  To that end, it is another familiar lyrical theme in general that shows in its own way, why the lyrical themes in record are just as appealing as the album’s musical content.  All things considered the record’s lyrical content pairs with its companion musical content to make the album’s overall content a strong foundation for the presentation.  It is just one part of what makes the album so appealing.  The record’s production rounds out its most important elements.

The production that went into The Great Heathen Army is important to its presentation because of its role in the record’s general effect.  Every song in this record is loud and heavy.  Each work is so rich because of the pairing of the instrumentations and vocals.  Thanks to the time and effort that went into the production, no one part overpowers the others (including the vocals) at any one point in the album.  That is, again, due to the production.  Every part of each song is so powerful, leading each work to be fully immersive.  The result is that the album proves just as successful in its aesthetic presentation as in its content.  When all of this is considered together, the whole of The Great Heathen Army becomes one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

The Great Heathen Army, the 12th new album from veteran metal outfit Amon Amarth, is another strong new offering from the band that will entertain the band’s established audiences just as much as metal fans in general.  That is evidenced in part through the record’s musical content.  The arrangements featured throughout the album are familiar, but also show a certain level of growth.  The band tries its hand at some vintage hard rock and metal styles as well as some more mainstream sounding heavy rock at points throughout the record.  That diversity offers audiences something “old” and something “new” which along the way makes for plenty of engagement and entertainment.  The lyrical themes featured alongside the album’s musical content is just as important to its presentation.  That is because of its overall familiarity, too.  There are plenty of Viking themes once again, along with some themes of overcoming diversity, which the band has handled less, but is still familiar in the rock and metal communities.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to the presentation, ensuring that the best of each song is brought out from one work to another.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the record.  All things considered they make the album overall another welcome offering from Amon Amarth that belongs among the best of the year’s new hard rock and metal albums.

The Great Heathen Army is scheduled for release Friday through Metal Blade Records. Amon Amarth will hit the road this fall in support of its new, forthcoming album. The band will launch the “The Great Heathen Tour” November 11 in Las Vegas, NV in support of the record.

 The tour features support from Carcass, Obituary, and Cattle Decapitation, and is expected to run through Dec. 17 in Los Angeles, CA and also features scheduled performances in cities, such as Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati, OH and Seattle, WA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Amon Amarth
THE GREAT HEATHEN TOUR
US HEADLINE RUN W/ CARCASS, OBITUARY AND CATTLE DECAPITATION
Friday, November 11 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl*
Saturday, November 12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Federal Theater
Monday, November 14 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
Tuesday, November 15 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Wednesday, November 16 – Dallas, TX @ Southside Ballroom
Friday, November 18 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Saturday, November 19 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
Sunday, November 20 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
Tuesday, November 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, November 23 – Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall at Fenway
Friday, November 25 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
Saturday, November 26 – Chicago, IL @ The Aragon Ballroom
Sunday, November 27 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady Music Center
Wednesday, November 30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE**
Thursday, Dec 01 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Friday, Dec 02 – Toronto, ON @ History
Saturday, Dec 03 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
Monday, Dec 05 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee
Tuesday, Dec 06 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, Dec 07- Kansas City, MO @ Uptown
Friday, Dec 09 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
Saturday, Dec 10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Monday, Dec 12 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
Tuesday, Dec 13 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Thursday, Dec 15 – Wheatland, CA @ Hard Rock Live
Friday, Dec 16 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
Saturday, Dec 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Kia Forum

*No Carcass
** Non-Live Nation date

The new fall U.S. dates will follow a European run with Machine Head, that is scheduled to run from Sept. 8 in Nottingham, UK to Oct. 22 in Stuttgart, Germany. The Halo Effect is also scheduled to take part in the tour, dubbed the “Vikings and Lionhearts Tour 2022.”

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SEPTEMBER
Thursday 8 – NOTTINGHAM, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 9 – CARDIFF, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 10 – LONDON, UK, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Monday 12 – MANCHESTER, Uk AO Arena
Tuesday 13 – DUBLIN, Ireland, 3Arena
Friday 16 – ZURICH, Switzerland, Hallenstadion
Saturday 17 – VIENNA, Austria, Stadthalle
Sunday 18 – KRAKOW, Poland, Tauron Arena
Tuesday 20 – TALLINN, Estonia, Saku Arena
Wednesday 21 – HELSINKI, Finland, Ice Hall
Friday 23 – OSLO, Norway, Spektrum
Saturday 24 – STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Hovet
Monday 26 – COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Forum Black Box
Tuesday 27 – HAMBURG, Germany, Barclays Arena
Wednesday 28 – FRANKFURT, Germany, Festhalle
Friday 30 – OBERHAUSEN, Germany, König Pilsener Arena

OCTOBER
Saturday 01 – BERLIN, Germany Velodrome
Sunday 02 – AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Afas Live
Tuesday 04 – MILAN, Italy, Lorenzini District
Thursday 06 – BARCELONA, Spain, Sant Jordi
Friday 07 – MADRID, Spain, Vistalegre
Saturday 08 – LA CORUNA, Spain, Coliseum
Sunday 09 – LISBON, Portugal, Campo Pequeno
Wednesday 12 – PARIS, France, Zenith
Friday 14 – MUNICH, Germany, Olympiahalle
Saturday 15 – LEIPZIG, Germany, Arena
Sunday 16 – PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Tipsport Arena
Tuesday 18 – BUDAPEST, Hungary, Barba Negra
Thursday 20 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE, Luxembourg, Rockhal
Friday 21 – BRUSSELS, Belgium, Forest National
Saturday 22 – STUTTGART, Germant, Schleyerhalle

More information on Amon Amarth’s new album and tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/amonamarth

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/amonamarthband

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

Amon Amarth Announces New Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth will hit the road this fall in support of its new, forthcoming album, The Great Heathen Army.

The band announced Tuesday, it will launch the “The Great Heathen Tour” November 11 in Las Vegas, NV in support of the record, which is scheduled for release Aug. 5 through Metal Blade Records. The tour features support from Carcass, Obituary, and Cattle Decapitation, and is expected to run through Dec. 17 in Los Angeles, CA and also features scheduled performances in cities, such as Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati, OH and Seattle, WA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Amon Amarth
THE GREAT HEATHEN TOUR
US HEADLINE RUN W/ CARCASS, OBITUARY AND CATTLE DECAPITATION
Friday, November 11 – Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl*
Saturday, November 12 – Phoenix, AZ @ Arizona Federal Theater
Monday, November 14 – San Antonio, TX @ Aztec Theater
Tuesday, November 15 – Houston, TX @ Bayou Music Center
Wednesday, November 16 – Dallas, TX @ Southside Ballroom
Friday, November 18 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
Saturday, November 19 – Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
Sunday, November 20 – Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
Tuesday, November 22 – Philadelphia, PA @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, November 23 – Boston, MA @ MGM Music Hall at Fenway
Friday, November 25 – Detroit, MI @ The Fillmore
Saturday, November 26 – Chicago, IL @ The Aragon Ballroom
Sunday, November 27 – Cincinnati, OH @ The Andrew J Brady Music Center
Wednesday, November 30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE**
Thursday, Dec 01 – New York, NY @ Hammerstein Ballroom
Friday, Dec 02 – Toronto, ON @ History
Saturday, Dec 03 – Laval, QC @ Place Bell
Monday, Dec 05 – Madison, WI @ The Sylvee
Tuesday, Dec 06 – Minneapolis, MN @ The Fillmore
Wednesday, Dec 07- Kansas City, MO @ Uptown
Friday, Dec 09 – Denver, CO @ The Fillmore
Saturday, Dec 10 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex
Monday, Dec 12 – Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
Tuesday, Dec 13 – Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
Thursday, Dec 15 – Wheatland, CA @ Hard Rock Live
Friday, Dec 16 – San Diego, CA @ SOMA
Saturday, Dec 17 – Los Angeles, CA @ Kia Forum

*No Carcass
** Non-Live Nation date

The new fall U.S. dates will follow a European run with Machine Head, that is scheduled to run from Sept. 8 in Nottingham, UK to Oct. 22 in Stuttgart, Germany. The Halo Effect is also scheduled to take part in the tour, dubbed the “Vikings and Lionhearts Tour 2022.”

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

SEPTEMBER
Thursday 8 – NOTTINGHAM, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Friday 9 – CARDIFF, UK, Motorpoint Arena
Saturday 10 – LONDON, UK, The SSE Arena, Wembley
Monday 12 – MANCHESTER, Uk AO Arena
Tuesday 13 – DUBLIN, Ireland, 3Arena
Friday 16 – ZURICH, Switzerland, Hallenstadion
Saturday 17 – VIENNA, Austria, Stadthalle
Sunday 18 – KRAKOW, Poland, Tauron Arena
Tuesday 20 – TALLINN, Estonia, Saku Arena
Wednesday 21 – HELSINKI, Finland, Ice Hall
Friday 23 – OSLO, Norway, Spektrum
Saturday 24 – STOCKHOLM, Sweden, Hovet
Monday 26 – COPENHAGEN, Denmark, Forum Black Box
Tuesday 27 – HAMBURG, Germany, Barclays Arena
Wednesday 28 – FRANKFURT, Germany, Festhalle
Friday 30 – OBERHAUSEN, Germany, König Pilsener Arena

OCTOBER
Saturday 01 – BERLIN, Germany Velodrome
Sunday 02 – AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands, Afas Live
Tuesday 04 – MILAN, Italy, Lorenzini District
Thursday 06 – BARCELONA, Spain, Sant Jordi
Friday 07 – MADRID, Spain, Vistalegre
Saturday 08 – LA CORUNA, Spain, Coliseum
Sunday 09 – LISBON, Portugal, Campo Pequeno
Wednesday 12 – PARIS, France, Zenith
Friday 14 – MUNICH, Germany, Olympiahalle
Saturday 15 – LEIPZIG, Germany, Arena
Sunday 16 – PRAGUE, Czech Republic, Tipsport Arena
Tuesday 18 – BUDAPEST, Hungary, Barba Negra
Thursday 20 – ESCH SUR ALZETTE, Luxembourg, Rockhal
Friday 21 – BRUSSELS, Belgium, Forest National
Saturday 22 – STUTTGART, Germant, Schleyerhalle

The announcement of Amon Amarth’s new tour came less than a week after the band debuted the second single from its new album, which is also the album’s title track. The band debuted the song and its video July 7. The band debuted the album’s lead single, ‘Get In The Ring‘ and its companion video June 2.

The track listing for The Great Heathen Army is noted below.

AMON AMARTH
The Great Heathen Army
Track Listing
1. Get In the Ring
2. The Great Heathen Army
3. Heidrun
4. Oden Owns You All
5. Find a Way or Make One
6. Dawn of Norsemen
7. Saxons and Vikings
8. Skagul Rides With Me
9. The Serpent’s Trail

More information on Amon Amarth’s new tour, single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/amonamarth

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/amonamarthband

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

‘Anthrax XL’ Is A Welcome Addition To 2022’s Field Of New Live Recordings

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit America over the past couple of years or so, everyone knows what the impact was on the live music business.  Even as recent as last year, it caused so much live music to be paused and even cancelled.  Thankfully, many acts out there found a workaround in the form of livestream concerts, including Anthrax, which recorded a livestream concert almost a year ago to the day on July 15 and 16, 2021.  The concert was held as part of the band’s 40th Anniversary tour, which was sidelined as a result of the pandemic.  Now on Friday, that livestream concert will be available on Blu-ray in the form of Anthrax XL through Megaforce Records, which ironically was the very first label to sign the band four decades ago.  It is only fitting that the new recording will come through that label as part of the celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary.  Part of what audiences will appreciate about the semi-live show is its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  The band’s performance of that set list adds its own level of enjoyment to the recording and will be examined a little later.  The bonus content that accompanies the recording’s main feature puts the finishing touch to the whole, completing the presentation.  It will also be examined later.  Each item noted is key in its own way to the whole of Anthrax XL.  All things considered they make the recording one more of the year’s top new live Blu-rays and DVDs.

Anthrax XL, the new live recording from veteran hard rock band Anthrax, is a strong new offering from the band.  It is a presentation that will find wipe appeal among the band’s fans.  That is due in part to its featured set list.  The 22-song set (though the track listing lists 21 tracks, the opening number is a medley of two songs, so the total is in fact 22) pulls from half of the band’s 12 albums, and even reaches into the band’s 1991 compilation record, Attack of the Killer Bs.  It reaches all the way back to the band’s sophomore album, Spreading The Disease (1985) and all the way up to its most recent album, 2016’s For All Kings.  Given, the set list completely omits any songs from The Sound of White Noise (1993) all the way up to We’ve Come For You All (2013), which makes for quite a bit of interest and certainly discussion.  That’s because all of those albums were released, one after the other, so why would the band ignore those albums in its concert?  Only the band knows.  That aside, the set list pulls from a relatively healthy section of the band’s catalog, which is certain to appeal to plenty of audiences.

The band’s performance of the set list is just as notable as the set list itself.  From beginning to end, the band keeps the energy flowing in every song.  Front man Joey Belladonna presents so much energy as guitarist and founding member Scott Ian works through each driving riff.  Drummer Charlie Benante and bassist Frank Bello add their own energy to the concert.  Even being a livestream concert with no audience in front of the band, the group in whole still gives its all from one song to the next, knowing audiences were still watching albeit online.  To that end, the band’s performance of each song is just as engaging and entertaining as if the band was performing in a full live setting.  Keeping that in mind, the band’s performance of the set list makes for just as much for audiences to appreciate as the set list itself.

While the set list and the band’s performance thereof do plenty to keep audiences engaged and entertained, they are just a part of what makes the recording worth hearing.  The bonus content that accompanies the recording adds another layer of enjoyment to the presentation.  The first half of the bonus content comes in the form of a handful of extra performances, including that of ‘Aftershock,‘ yet another song featured in the band’s 1985 album, Spreading The Disease.  In all, audiences get nearly 15 minutes of bonus performance from the band, making for so much more enjoyment in its own right.  The second half of the bonus content features the band’s rehearsals for its livestream show as well as a tour of the places that have been key in Anthrax’s history, including Megaforce Records, Times Square, Electric Ladyland Studios, and even a pizzeria (of all places).  The tour is guided by Ian and features him talking about the importance of each location to the band’s history.    Audiences will be interested to learn from Ian at one point, about his love for the comic book, Judge Dredd.  That is certain to connect even more audiences with the band.  Between the extra live content, the tour and rehearsals, audiences get so much to appreciate in the bonus content, each part of the bonus content lives up to that title as it puts the finishing touch to the recording’s presentation.  When it is collectively considered along with the rest of the recording’s content and the band’s performance thereof, the whole makes Anthrax XL a welcome presentation for any Anthrax fan.

Anthrax XL, the new live recording from Anthrax, is a welcome new offering from the veteran hard rock band.  It is a fitting celebration of the band’s 40th anniversary, even being in a semi-live setting.  The recording’s success comes in large part through its featured set list.  The 22-song set list pulls from half of the band’s records.  The band’s performance of said set list makes for its own enjoyment, as every band member brings his own energy to the whole.  The bonus content that accompanies the main presentation adds even more performances to the set, making for yet more enjoyment.  Guitarist Scott Ian’s tour of spots that have helped make Anthrax the band that it is today makes for its own unique addition to the bonus content that takes audiences even deeper into the band’s history.  Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of this recording.  All things considered they make Anthrax XL another welcome addition to this year’s field of top new live recordings.

Anthrax XL is scheduled for release Friday through Megaforce Records. More information on the recording is available along with all of Anthrax’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://anthrax.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/anthrax

In other news, Anthrax, Black Label Society and Hatebreed will hit the road together this summer.

The bands will launch a five-week tour July 26 in Phoenix, AZ. The tour is scheduled to run through Aug. 28 in Philadelphia, PA and will feature performances in cities nationwide, such as Charlotte, NC; Cincinnati, OH and Toronto, ON.

Anthrax’s upcoming tour is part of its ongoing 40th Anniversary celebration. For Hatebreed, the tour is a continued celebration of the 20th anniversary of the release of the band’s album, Perseverance. The band is in the midst of a tour with Parkway Drive, The Black Dahlia Murder, and Stick To Your Guns in support of the album’s release anniversary. The tour is scheduled to wrap June 5 in San Francisco, CA.

Black Label Society’s upcoming run with Anthrax and Hatebreed is in support of its latest album, Doom Crew, Inc., which was released last year through eOne. Front man Zakk Wylde spoke warmly of Anthrax and Hatebreed as he talked about the upcoming tour.

“ANTHRAX is one of The BESTEST LEGENDARY METAL/THRASH BANDS of ALL TIME – I have been buds with SCOTTY, CHARLIE, FRANKIE & JOEY for over 3O years & they are some of the BESTEST people you will meet,” he said. “JON is The BESTEST new addition ANTHRAX could ask for – HATEBREED are The BESTEST HARDCORE/EXTREME METAL band & BESTEST friends w/ANTHRAX & BLACK LABEL SOCIETY. The ANTHRAX + BLACK LABEL SOCIETY & HATEBREED TOUR is going to be one of the BESTEST TOURS EVER!!”

Hatebreed front man Jamey Jasta was also upbeat as he talked about the bands’ upcoming live run.

“Listen up! It’s gonna be a hot summer!” said Jasta.  “Anthrax, BLS & Hatebreed will be on your case, in your face & ready to kick you and your father back in place!  See you in the pit.”

Public ticket sale for the upcoming tour opens at 10 a.m. local time Friday. The tour’s schedule is noted below along with the full schedule for the various ticket sales open times.

Dates for the tour are as follows:

JULY

26  The Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ

28  Brooklyn Bowl, Las Vegas, NV

29  The Palladium, Los Angeles, CA

30  Heart Health Park, Sacramento, CA

AUGUST

  1  Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO

  2  Midland Theater, Kansas City, MO

  4  Hard Rock Live Northern Indiana, Gary, IN

  5  Oshkosh Arena, Oshkosh, WI

  6  The Fillmore, Minneapolis, MN

  8  Southside Ballroom, Dallas, TX**

  9  Stubbs Waller Creek Amphitheater, Austin, TX

11  The Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA

12  House of Blues, Orlando, FL

13  The Fillmore, Charlotte, NC

15  The Andrew J Brady Music Center, Cincinnati, OH

16  Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN

18  The Fillmore, Silver Spring, MD

19  Main Street Armory, Rochester, NY

20  The Fillmore, Detroit, MI**

22  StageAE Outside, Pittsburgh, PA

23  History, Toronto, ON  CANADA

24  Amphitheatre Cogeco, Trois Riviere/Montreal, QC

26  Coney Island Amphitheater, Brooklyn, NY

28  The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA**

** Hatebreed will not appear on these dates.

TICKET PRESALE DETAILS:

Citi Presale: Monday, April 18, 2022, 12:00 PM Eastern Time 

Live Nation Presale: Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 10:00 AM Local Time 

Spotify Presale: Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 2:00 PM EST 

Ticketmaster Presale: Wednesday, April 20, 10:00 AM Eastern Time 

Blabbermouth Presale: Wednesday, April 20, 10:00 AM Eastern Time 

Knotfest Presale: Wednesday, April 20, 10:00 AM Eastern Time 

Nederlander Presale:  Thursday, April 21, 2022, 10:00 AM Pacific Time

Venue Presales: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 10:00 AM Local Time

All Presale end: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 10:00 PM Local Time 

More information on Black Label Society’s upcoming run with Anthrax and Hatebreed is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://blacklabelsociety.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/blacklabelsociety

More information on Hatebreed’s run with Anthrax and Black Label Society is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.hatebreed.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/hatebreed

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/hatebreed

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.