Shout! Factory Kicking Off Kovacs Celebration Early

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

Shout! Factory is getting a head start on the celebration of Ernie Kovacs’ upcoming birthday.

January 23, 2019 will be the 100th birthday of the late, great entertainer, and in honor of the occasion, Shout! Factory is releasing a new box set this week featuring Kovacs’ most memorable moments in Ernie KovacsThe Centennial Edition.  The nine-disc collection is scheduled to be released Nov. 13.

The in-depth retrospective 22 hours of Kovacs’ comedy culled from his many moments on television, including, but not limited to, his his local and national morning shows, his prime-time TV work, his ABC specials and the rare color version of his silent show Eugene 3.  Also included in the set are highlights from his hit series Take A Good LookA Pony For Chris and the pilot for the series Medicine Man, which co-starred Buster Keaton.

Along with the primary content, the collection also features an extensive list of bonuses, which are listed below.

ERNIE KOVACS: THE CENTENNIAL EDITION Bonus Programming:
  • 1987 ATAS Hall Of Fame Induction
  • Andy McKay 8mm Home Movies
  • Audio Lost
  • Baseball Film
  • Charlie Clod In Brazil
  • Dutch Masters Commercials
  • Ernie’s Opening Monologue
  • Home Movies: Golf With Edie And Ernie
  • Howard, The World’s Strongest Ant on “A Hot Date” and “Howard’s Campground”
  • Interview: Algernon Gerard, Archaeologist
  • Interview: The World At Your Doorstep
  • Introducing Coloratura Mimi Cosnowski
  • Irving Wong: Tin Pan Alley Songwriter
  • J. Burlington Gearshift
  • Making Of “Baseball Film”
  • Martin Krutch, Public Eye
  • Matzoh Hepplewhite
  • Miklos Molnar’s Glue
  • Muriel Cigars Commercials Featuring Edie Adams
  • Original Theatrical Trailers: “Wake Me When It’s Over” And “Five Golden Hours”
  • Our Man In Havana” Behind-The-Scenes Footage
  • Percy Dovetonsils : “Ode To A Housefly”, “Ode To Electricity” and “Ode To Stanley’s Pussycat”
  • Remembering Ernie With George Schlatter And Jolene Brand
  • Rock Mississippi In “Fingers Under Weskit”
  • Silents Please
  • Skodney Silsky, Hollywood Reporter
  • Strangely Believe It: Writers To Blame
  • Superclod Test
  • Surprise Audience Member
  • Take A Good Look: “Clues” and “Sales Film”
  • The Kapusta Kid In Outer Space Meets Olivia Scilloscope
  • The Mysterious Knockwurst
  • Trailer For “Operation Mad Ball” – “It Happened To Ernie” 

Limited Edition sets of never-Before-Available-Or-Seen lithographs are also available in celebration of Kovacs’ career starting at $250 for the unframed pictures.  Professionally-framed lithos start at $1,000.

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

 

Courtesy: Shout! Factory

More information on this and other titles from Shout! Factory is available online now at:

Website: http://www.shoutfactory.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/shoutfactoryofficial

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShoutFactory

 

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‘Prehysteria’ Re-issue Is An Enjoyable Offering For The Whole Family

Courtesy: Moonbeam Entertainment/Full Moon Features/MVD Entertainment Group

Dinosaurs are big business for Hollywood.  From the Jurassic Park franchise to Disney Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur to Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age franchise and more, dinosaurs have brought in big bucks for Hollywood throughout the years.  Now thanks to MVD Distribution, a slightly lesser-known dino-centric flick has been brought back to light in the form of Prehysteria for audiences to enjoy again for the first time.  Originally released as a direct-to-VHS flick more than 25 years ago from Moon Beam Pictures – an imprint of Full Moon Features – it was re-issued on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack Oct. 9 via Full Moon Features, and is a welcome offering for most families even today.  That is proven in part through the nearly 90-minute movie’s story.  The story will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s bonus material adds to the movie’s presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  Its average price point rounds out its most important elements.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Prehysteria.  All things considered, Prehysteria proves to be a work that while maybe not as well-known as other dino-centric flicks, is still a fun family flick.

Moon Beam Pictures’ newly re-issued indie dino flick Prehysteria is a welcome, fun family flick.  It is an underrated and underappreciated addition to Hollywood’s much hyped prehistoric realm (and yes, that awful pun was intended).  That is proven in part through the story at the center of the movie.  The story centers on the Taylor family — Jerry (Austin O’Brien — The Last Action HeroMy Girl 2The Lawnmower Man), his sister Monica (Samantha Mills — Step By StepCalifornia Dreams, The Family Man) and their father Frank (Brett Cullen — Ghost RiderThe Dark Knight RisesPerson of Interest) as they deal with a group of newborn dinosaurs brought home by their family dog, Ruby, who is clearly mourning the loss of her puppies.  As is explained through the movie, Frank gave away Ruby’s last litter of puppies, so she takes on the pigmy dinos as her own.  Plenty of hilarity ensues in the Taylor household after the dinosaurs — named after the family’s favorite musicians – are born.  From the little dinos making a mess of the Taylor family’s kitchen, to the adorable little creatures finding the beat as Elvis plays just outside their room and more, the smiles and “awwwws” are plentiful.  Meanwhile, an evil museum curator named Rico Sarno (Stephen Lee — War GamesThe NegotiatorBurlesque) is out to get the tiny dinos back, leading to even more laughs, and some action in the process.  What’s interesting here is that plot point involving Sarno trying to get the little dinosaurs is somewhat similar to one of the plot points of Jurassic Park, which actually came out after this movie.  So to that end, it makes that plot point even more interesting when added to the whole of the story.  Of course, the whole thing has a happy ending, though the ending is left somewhat up in the air.  Not too much will be given away here, but the story is left rather open-ended in its very last scene.  The result is that audiences will be left feeling uncomfortable because it does not leave viewers with that full sense of closure that a finale needs.  Director Charles Band and star Austin O’Brien talk about this and much more in the bonus audio commentary, which, as one of the movie’s bonus features, adds its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

Getting back to the movie’s story, there are some plot holes, not the least of which being the issue of how the dinos survived in the Taylor’s house for such a long time if they in fact needed a very hot, humid climate in order to survive – according to Vicki (Colleen Morris) late in the movie.  In retrospect, it leaves one scratching one’s head even more.  Even with that and other plot issues in mind, the movie is still a fun flick that the whole family will enjoy taking in every now and then.

While the story, even with its plot holes and other issues, does plenty to make this little-known family flick well worth at least one watch, it is only part of the movie’s success in its recent re-issue.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new home release adds even more interest to the presentation.  The bonus commentary, noted above, offers just as much entertainment as the story at the movie’s center.  Throughout the movie, director Charles Band and lead star Austin O’Brien share plenty of insight and entertainment.  O’Brien reveals that one of the scenes involving the family truck was so hot that ice had to be put into the truck bed for “Ruby” to sit on so that the dog could stay cool.  That was because the movie was shot largely in Los Angeles.  Another interesting tidbit to learn is that the very first appearance of the dinosaurs was shot on a stage placed five feet above the ground.  That was so as to allow all of the puppeteers to do their jobs controlling the dinosaurs from below.  Staying on that same note, Band also reveals during that noted sequence that he is – even in August, 2018 – against studios’ use of CG.  This is a rare view from film makers today, even despite the cost.  As noted above, the duo also takes on the movie’s rather odd, uncomfortable ending, actually pointing out how bad that final scene was.  Again, that final scene won’t be revealed here, but it really does ruin the otherwise happy closure offered just before that scene.  It’s just one more interesting note shared throughout the course of the movie’s 83-minute run time.  There is also a note from O’Brien himself that prior to the movie, he himself was unfamiliar with Elvis and Elvis’ career, so he had to do a lot of cramming in order to get familiar with Elvis for the movie.  Band also notes, surprisingly, that prior to watching the movie with O’Brien back in August of this year for the commentary, that he had not actually watched Prehysteria in full since its debut.  That is kind of odd, considering the movie’s cult following.  One would have thought he would have had more pride in the movie.  That aside, that revelation, the others noted here and so much more offers plenty for audiences to appreciate.  Keeping this in mind, the audio commentary is just one of the bonuses worth discussing here.  The bonus “Videozone” featurette offers its own interest to the movie’s presentation.

The “Videozone” featurette included in the movie’s re-issue is important to discuss because it is, for all intents and purposes, a “making of” featuerette.  Audiences get in this featurette a vintage look back in time at the original cast interviews that are in themselves eye-opening.  There are notes about which cast members did and did not have that much fun making the movie.  Band also offers his own thoughts in the vintage interviews alongside his father and Prehysteria co-director Albert Band that gives even more insight into the movie’s creation.  As if these interviews are not enough, audiences are also treated to a companion feature that shows how the dinosaurs were created, using wires and special modeling clay.  The whole of the features here shows even more, the importance of the movie’s bonus material.  Between everything offered throughout the “Videozone” featurette and the bonus feature-length commentary, the bonus material included in this re-issue makes the movie so much more entertaining and in turn worth the money spent.  Speaking of money, the movie’s average price point rounds out its most important elements.

The average price point for Prehysteria’s re-issue is $27.15.  That price is determined using prices from Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy, Target, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million and MVD Entertainment’s online store.  MVD is included as it is the company handling the movie’s distribution.  On the surface, some might say that this price is a little high.  However, taking into consideration everything noted in this review, and that the bonus commentary and “Videozone” featurette are included not just on Blu-ray, but also on DVD, that price actually becomes quite affordable.  It is actually on par with prices for movies that are far more well-known and released in their own BD/DVD combo packs.  In other words, audiences will not break the bank at such a cost.  Keeping this in mind, along with the entertainment and insight offered through the movie and its bonus material, and that dual availability through the packaging, this presentation proves to be one that proves well worth the money and being added to any family’s movie library.

Full Moon Features/Moon Beam Pictures’ recent re-issue of Prehysteria is an enjoyable presentation for families seeing it for the first time and for those seeing it for the first time again.  As has been discussed here, that is due in part to a story that even despite its plot holes, is still fun and endearing.  In turn, it is sure to keep the whole family entertained from start to finish.  The bonus material included in the movie’s new re-issue adds to that enjoyment.  When the main feature and secondary material is taken collectively into consideration, they make the average price point of just under $30 well-spent.  Keeping that in mind, the package in whole proves to be a positive presentation that the whole family will enjoy.  It is available now.  More information on this and other titles being distributed via MVD Entertainment Group is available online now at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://mvdentertainment.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/MVDEntertainmentGroup

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/mvdentgroup

 

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Eagle Rock’s New Joni Mitchell Concert/Doc Is An Engaging New Profile Of The Veteran Singer-Songwriter

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Famed singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell marked a major milestone this week as she marked her 75th birthday, and she celebrated in style with a star-studded event to mark the occasion.  Thanks to Eagle Rock Entertainment, fans of the veteran singer-songwriter can celebrate Mitchell and her legacy in their own way with a recently released live recording.  Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is a memorable presentation that Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate.  That is due in part to the recording’s set list.  This will be discussed shortly.  The documentary film that is woven into the concert adds just as much interest for audiences as the set list.  It will be discussed a little bit later.  The recording’s average price point rounds out is most important elements, and will also be discussed later.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970.  All things considered, they make this recording a piece that will appeal largely to the most devout fans of Mitchell and her work.

Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is an interesting presentation from Eagle Rock Entertainment and veteran singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.  That is because the recording, released Sept. 14 via Eagle Rock Entertainment, presents a very interesting portrait of the then very young and still up-and-coming performer.  At the time of her performance, Mitchell had only released four full-length studio recordings – Song to a Seagull (1968), Clouds (1969), Ladies of the Canyon (1970) and Blue (1971) – making her still a very young performer, despite her experience.  Her 11-song set list featured in this performance lifts liberally from the latter trio of albums.  Clouds gets four nods while Ladies of the Canyon and Blue each get three nods.  ‘Hunter,’ which apparently was a b-side from Blue that never made the album’s final cut, is also included in here.  Interestingly enough, her 1968 debut record Song to a Seagull is nowhere to be seen in this set list.  Either way, audiences at the time still got a relatively well-balanced representation of her catalog at that point due to that clear focus that was put on the set list.  What’s more, a whole new generation of audiences now get a glimpse into who Joni Mitchell was at that time thanks to this new recording.  To that end, the set list proves itself to be a critical part of the recording’s whole.  It is just one of the important pieces of the presentation’s whole.  The documentary that is interwoven into the concert adds even more interest to the recording’s overall presentation.

The documentary that is coupled with Mitchell’s performance is important to note because it is really a dual story line of sorts.  On one side, the story shows Mitchell growing both as a person and as an artist, as she is forced to face a crowd that was not expecting her so early; a crowd that was likely expecting a more lively act than her.  Over the course of her rescheduled performance, audiences see the crowd slowly turn and accept her, almost making her an underdog figure of sorts.  Mitchell’s interviews, originally recorded in 2003, add their own depth to this story, making her even more of an endearing figure.

The other story included in the documentary is that of the unrest throughout the festival.  Audiences are introduced to a group of people within the audience that was protesting the festival and its managers.  That is because they were not being allowed inside the venue.  That led to some unexpected moments in which some of those protestors actually made their way on stage to make their protests heard loud and clear.  Simply put, the protestors were people who were a little bit too enthusiastic about the festival. Interestingly enough, this ties back into Mitchell’s story because it was her performance and her music that seemed to help quell the problems with the protestors.  That ability to calm the crowd – and win over the audience in the process – helped her overcome the nerves that she noted having in her 2003 interview segments.  The result is a performance that audiences will agree improved with each song.  Keeping all of this in mind, the combined performance and documentary presentation of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 makes for a work that Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate just as much as those perhaps less familiar with her and her work.  Staying on that note, the Blu-ray offers audiences the choice to watch the concert by itself and to watch it coupled with the doc.  This critic’s own interpretation is to watch the two presentations as one.  It makes for a much richer experience than watching the concert by itself.  Having noted all of this, the content that makes up the whole of Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight gives audiences plenty to appreciate here.  Even with that in mind, there is still one more item for audiences to appreciate.  That item is the Blu-ray’s average price point.

Using prices listed at Amazon, Best Buy and Barnes & Noble, the set’s average price point comes to $18.79.  Research on the set finds that it is not listed at the websites of Walmart, Target or at Books-A-Million.  Considering the depth of the recording’s overall presentation and the pacing of the more than two-hour program (the exact run time is listed at two hours, 12 minutes), that average price of less than $20 is relatively affordable and money well-spent.  When this is all considered together, it makes Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 another positive offering from Eagle Rock Entertainment, and one that any of Joni Mitchell’s fans will appreciate.

Both Sides Now:  Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is a good addition to the collections of Joni Mitchell’s most devoted fans.  It is also a welcome watch for today’s younger audiences who might be getting their first taste of the veteran singer-songwriter.  As noted above, that is due in part to the recording’s set list.  It shows Mitchell at a point in which she was growing in popularity, but still young enough that she was showing her personal and artistic development.  The documentary that is tied into the doc adds to that story while also presenting an equally interesting story about the festival itself.  The Blu-ray’s average price point is relatively affordable.  When it is considered along with the recording’s overall content, it proves the Blu-ray to be money well-spent, and a recording that, again, Mitchell’s most devoted audiences will appreciate as much as a whole new generation of audiences.  Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is available now.  More information on this recording is available online along with all of Joni Mitchell’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://jonimitchell.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jonimitchellcom

Twitter: http://twitter.com/JoniMitchellcom

 

 

 

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EagleRockEnt

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

 

 

 

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.

Accept Releases ‘Breaker’ Clip From Its Upcoming Live Recording

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Accept has released a new live clip from its forthcoming live recording Symphonic Terror, which us currently scheduled to be released Nov. 23 via Nuclear Blast Records.

The band debuted the clip of its performance of its classic 1981 hit single ‘Breaker‘ early last month.  The performance is one of 21 total songs performed by the band at Wacken Open Air Festival 2017, where the band’s performance for this recording was captured.

Pre-orders for Symphonic Terror are open now.  Audiences who pre-order the recording now via iTunes will receive ‘Breaker’ as an instant grat download along with instant grat downloads of the band’s performances of ‘Balls to the Wall’ and ‘Symphony No. 40,’ both of which are also included in the band’s extensive set.

Speaking of ‘Balls to the Wall‘ and ‘Symphony No. 40,’ the band previously released clips of its performance of those songs, too, in anticipation of Symphonic Terror‘s upcoming release.

‘Balls To The Wall’ is also available now in a limited edition 10-inch vinyl pressing.  The band’s performance of ‘Symphony No. 40’ serves as the vinyl’s b-side.  The vinyl pressing can be ordered both physically and digitally now.

Symphonic Terror will be available in a variety of platforms, which are listed below.

Symphonic Terror – Live at Wacken 2017 will be available in the following formats:

  • BluRay+2 CD-DIGI
  • DVD+2 CD-DIGI
  • 2 CD-DIGI
  • 3 LP Box (black) incl. booklet, poster
  • 3 LP Box (gold) incl. booklet, poster // NB Mailorder exclusive
  • BluRay+DVD+2 CD-Earbook
  • BluRay+DVD+2 CD-Earbook + photo card (signed) // NB Mailorder exclusive

The full track listing for Symphonic Terror is noted below.

The track list reads as follows:
DVD/Blu-Ray
Part 1: Accept
01. Die By The Sword
02. Restless And Wild
03. Koolaid
04. Pandemic
05. Final Journey
Part 2: Headbanger’s Symphony
06. Night On Bald Mountain
07. Scherzo
08. Romeo And Juliet
09. Pathétique
10. Double Cello Concerto in G Minor
11. Symphony No. 40 in G Minor
Part 3: Accept with Orchestra
12. Princess Of The Dawn
13. Stalingrad
14. Dark Side Of My Heart
15. Breaker
16. Shadow Soldiers
17. Dying Breed
18. Fast As A Shark
19. Metal Heart
20. Teutonic Terror
21. Balls To The Wall
Bonus:
22. Making Of: Wacken
23. Making Of: Headbanger’s Symphony

More information on Accept’s latest live clip, Symphonic Terror and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.acceptworldwide.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/accepttheband

Twitter: http://twitter.com/accepttheband

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Opeth Debuts ‘Ghost of Perdition’ Live Clip

Courtesy: Moderbolaget Records/Nuclear Blast Records

The wait is finally over for Opeth’s new live recording, and in celebration, the band has debuted another live clip from the recording.

Opeth officially released its new live recording Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks Amphiteater on Friday.  In celebration of the recording’s release, the band debuted one more live clip from the presentation in conjunction with the album’s release.  The clip features a full performance of the band’s single ‘Ghost of Perdition.’  

The band has also released a special limited edition 10-inch vinyl pressing of the live performance as an additional bonus for its most devoted fans.  The band’s performance of ‘Sorceress,’ which is also included in the band’s new live recording, serves as the record’s b-side.

The record is available now in four different color pressings, which are listed below.  It can be ordered via Nuclear Blast America’s online store and at Opeth’s own store.

— 10″ pink sparkle in sleeve (limited to 700)
— 10″ violet sparkle in sleeve (NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 300)
— 10″ toffee in sleeve (US NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 250)
— 10″ summer bronze in sleeve (US NB mailorder exclusive, limited to 250)

‘Ghost of Perdition’ is the third live clip that Opeth has released from Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks.  The band has also released clips featuring full performances of ‘Sorceress,’ and ‘Demon of the Fall.’

Three separate trailers for the recording have also premiered leading up to the recording’s release. They are listed below.

Trailer 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhbDDBdvgpl

Trailer 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul648fFDvRw

Trailer 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhtE-bcCXk8

More information on Opeth’s new live recording, video and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.opeth.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/opeth

Twitter: http://twitter.com/officialopeth

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Amon Amarth Releases New Live Clip From ‘The Pursuit of Vikings’ Package

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Amon Amarth has released a new live clip from its forthcoming documentary/live recording package.

The band debuted the video of its performance of ‘Raise Your Horns’ Nov. 2 via its official YouTube channel.  The song is taken from the live portion of the band’s upcoming doc/live package, The Pursuit if Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm.  The performance was recorded at the band’s performance at Germany’s Summer Breeze 2017 Festival.

The live portion of the package was directed by Phil Wallis, and produced Alexander Milas.

The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records.  The collection will feature a double-live recording and a full-length documentary.

The documentary takes audiences through the band’s rich history both in studio and on the road, and includes a wealth of interviews with the band through that time.  The double-live recording features two sets from the band, performed at the 2017 Summer Breeze Festival in Dinkelsbuhl, Germany.

Guitarist Olavi Mikkonen said the band was glad to have both performances together in one setting.

“For the first night, we wanted to write a set that the fans would enjoy by wholly diving into our back catalog, but also keeping it interesting,” Mikkonen said.  “Putting the two shows together also made us realize that we had a lot of songs to choose from!”

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Pre-orders are open now along with a trailer for the collection here.  The collection will be available on CD/2DVD digipack, Blu-ray, special edition hardcover book with six discs (3DVD/2CD/1 Blu-ray) and vinyl.

The vinyl pressings will be in transparent orange, clear black with splatter and transparent yellow with orange marble vinyl.  The transparent orange pressing will be limited to 500 copies; the clear black with splatter 250 copies and yellow with orange marble 250 copies.

The collection’s full track listing is noted below.

CD track-listing (Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017):
1. The Pursuit of Vikings
2. As Loke Falls
3. First Kill
4. The Way of Vikings
5. At Dawn’s First Light
6. Cry of the Black Birds
7. Deceiver of the Gods
8. Destroyer of the Universe
9. Death in Fire
10. Father of the Wolf
11. Runes to My Memory
12. War of the Gods
13. Raise Your Horns
14. A Dream That Cannot Be
15. Guardians of Asgaard
16. Twilight of the Thunder God

DVD Digipak and Blu-ray track-listings:
Documentary
T-Stage Show: August 16th, 2017
1. Twilight of the Thunder God
2. Free Will Sacrifice
3. With Oden on Our Side
4. The Last with Pagan Blood
5. For the Stabwounds in Our Backs
6. Thousand Years of Oppression
7. Gods of War Arise
8. Versus the World
9. Asator
10. Under the Northern Star
11. Fate of Norns
12. Varyags of Miklagaard
13. Live for the Kill
14. Victorious March
Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017
1. The Pursuit of Vikings
2. As Loke Falls
3. First Kill
4. The Way of Vikings
5. At Dawn’s First Light
6. Cry of the Black Birds
7. Deceiver of the Gods
8. Destroyer of the Universe
9. Death in Fire
10. Father of the Wolf
11. Runes to My Memory
12. War of the Gods
13. Raise Your Horns
14. A Dream That Cannot Be
15. Guardians of Asgaard
16. Twilight of the Thunder God

**Note: special edition hardcover book contains all of the above, plus audio from T-Stage Show: August 16th, 2017**

Vinyl track-listing (Main Stage Show: August 17th, 2017):
SIDE A
1. The Pursuit of Vikings
2. As Loke Falls
3. First Kill
4. The Way of Vikings
SIDE B
5. At Dawn’s First Light
6. Cry of the Black Birds
7. Deceiver of the Gods
8. Destroyer of the Universe
9. Death in Fire
SIDE C
10. Father of the Wolf
11. Runes to My Memory
12. War of the Gods
13. Raise Your Horns
SIDE D
14. A Dream That Cannot Be
15. Guardians of Asgaard
16. Twilight of the Thunder God

More information on The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available online now along with all of Amon Amarth’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://www.amonamarth.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/OfficialAmonAmarth

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/amonamarthband

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Amon Amarth Fans New And Old Will Want To “Pursue” The Band’s New Doc/Live Package

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Over the course of the past 25 years, veteran metal band Amon Amarth has become one of the most respected and unique bands in the metal community.  That is because of its music and its live performances.  From its debut 1996 EP Sorrow Throughout The Nine Worlds to its most recent full-length studio recording, 2016’s Jomsviking, the band has stuck to what it knows, writing songs about Vikings.  It’s not the only band that rose to fame in taking this path, but has become even more famous than its contemporaries in taking that path.  The band’s live shows have been just as key in making the band so well-known and respected, as they have included the standard Viking ship on stage, and at times, even Viking battle re-enactments.  Of course while the band has become one of the metal community preeminent acts today, its road to worldwide stardom was not the easiest.  That story is presented in the documentary included in the band’s forthcoming documentary/live recording package, The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm, and it is a story that is certain to create a new appreciation for the band.  It is just one part of what the package – set for release Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records – that makes it a worthwhile addition to any Amon Amarth fan’s collection.  The live material included in the package is just as important to note as the documentary.  It will be discussed a little later.  Its pricing rounds out its most important elements, and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm.  All things considered, they make the recording a collection that, again, will appeal especially to the band’s most devoted fan base.

Amon Amarth’s forthcoming documentary/live bundle The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a strong new offering from the veteran metal outfit.  It is a work that is certain to appeal to the band’s most devout fan base, and even to new audiences who might be less familiar to the band.  That is due in no small part to the documentary included in the bundle.  The doc, which clocks in sans end credits at a little more than 90 minutes (1 hour, 39 minutes to be exact), serves as an interesting introduction to the band for those noted new audiences, and an equally welcome re-introduction to the band’s more seasoned fans.  It takes audiences from the band’s earliest days, struggling to balance their blue-collar lives with trying to make it in the music business to its current state atop the metal community.  That back story in itself is a sort of rags to riches story, so to speak because it presents the band as a group that worked its way to the top.  It was not given the world.  It had to work to earn it.  The band’s fron man, Johan Hegg, discusses that work ethic at one point late in the documentary, explaining the clear role that it has played in the band’s success.  Along with that, some audiences might be surprised to learn that there was a chance early on in the band’s career that it might not even have been around if not for the success of one record.  That story will be saved for those who have not yet had the pleasure of taking in this retrospective.  It is another one of those anecdotes that adds to the appreciation that the doc presents.  As if everything noted here is not enough, audiences will be just as interested to take in the discussions on the band’s decision to go forward with focusing so much on Viking mythology in its albums despite the apparent belief of some that it has to certain groups.  There is an equally interesting discussion that goes along with that talk, in which the band talks frankly about steering away from the standard death metal fare, and why it opted not to go that route.  That discussion is one of the most powerful, as brief as it might be.  It joins with everything else presented over the course of the documentary’s run to make this story one that is certain to make audiences new and old see Amon Amarth in a whole new and certainly positive light.  To that end, the documentary featured in this new presentation is a strong addition to the whole of the presentation, and is not the only positive to the set.  The live material included in the set adds even more enjoyment to the package.

The live material featured in The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is so important because of everything that goes into that presentation, from the set lists to the band’s performance thereof and the production values.  The two set lists – taken from the band’s Aug. 16 & 17 Summer Breeze Festival performance – pull songs from nine of the band’s current 10 albums.  In other words, it is safe to say that this is a career-spanning two-night performance.  The only album not represented in the recording is the band’s 2001 album The Crusher.  The band’s debut 1996 EP Sorrow Through The Nine Worlds also is not included in the set list, but the band can easily be forgiven for that.  Over the course of the 30-song set, the band pulls most liberally from its 2006 album With Oden on Our Side and its follow-up, 2008’s Twilight of the Thunder God, with each album getting six nods.  Jomsviking is next with five songs, and then Versus The World (2002) with four, Deceiver of the Gods (2013) with three, Surtur Rising (2011) and Fate of Norns (2014) with two each and then The Avenger (1999) and Once Sent From The Golden Hall (1998) each with just one song representing them respectively.  To say that the set list is extensive would be an understatement.  As with the documentary, such an extensive set list serves as a solid representation of Amon Amarth’s career to this point.  Simply put, this makes the set list another excellent introduction to the band for fans less familiar with the band’s work and an equally welcome presentation for those more seasoned audiences.

The extensive set list featured in the band’s Summer Breeze 2017 performance is just part of what makes that performance welcome.  The band’s performance thereof adds even more of a positive touch to the recording.  From start to finish, the band gives its all for its audiences on both nights of the festival, letting the music do the majority of the talking.  It serves to display that work ethic that Hegg talked about in the documentary, making for even more appreciation for the band.  The same can be said of Hegg’s interactions with the audience between songs.  From the casual discussion about the band donating its now famous on-stage Viking boat to Hegg’s encouragement of the audience to do its own “Viking row” to the general mid-performance banter, Hegg proves to be an entertaining front man.  His band mates meanwhile do just as much to entertain audiences throughout each song, that they are giving 110 percent and more.  It’s just one more way in which the live material stands out so strongly here.

The recording’s production values are just as worth noting in examining the recording as the band’s performance and the recording’s set list.  The work that went into balancing the sound and capturing the concert both during and in post production paid off, giving audiences at home the best seat in the house.  The sound is everything that a home viewer should expect from audio mixing while the camera work offers its own entertainment.  Audiences are taken on stage, into the crowd and high above throughout.  What’s interesting to note here is that the shooting actually at times has a little bit of a guerilla look.  Luckily that feeling is not overpowering at any given moment.  Rather, it is just enough that when coupled with the more spit-shined shots, the combination of those clearer and more raw shots makes for its own interesting experience.  The end result of the attention paid to every detail makes this performance just as enjoyable for its production work as for the set list and the band’s performance.  In other words, everyone behind the boards and cameras is fully deserving of praise for their work.  That effort and time was well worth it.  Now keeping all of this in mind, the last important element of this set to note is its pricing.

Looking through the nation’s biggest retailers – Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Walmart —  finding this new recording was a bit of a craps shoot. That is both because The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available on so many platforms and because right now, some of the retailers do not have it listed.  Target has the vinyl presentation listed while Best Buy has three of its separate platforms listed at coordinated prices.  The problem is that Best Buy’s listings do not specify which price is with which platform.  Walmart does not even list the recording, and Amazon lists the pricing for the CD/2 DVD and Blu-ray platforms.  Of course, Metal Blade lists each of the platforms and their respective prices.  Keeping all of this in mind, and that most people will likely buy either the Blu-ray or CD/2DVD set, finding an average price point at the time of this posting is next to impossible.  However, comparing Amazon’s current pricing to that of Metal Blade, it can be said that even with shipping, fans will find it less expensive to purchase the Blu-ray and the CD/2DVD set direct from Metal Blade’s official store.  That is always open to change, of course, but for now Metal Blade’s official store is offering a more affordable price for each platform, even with shipping & handling.  When this is considered along with everything else noted here, it goes without saying that The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a relatively affordable presentation that audiences new and old alike will happily welcome in their own music libraries.

Amon Amarth’s forthcoming documentary/live recording bundle The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a strong new offering from the veteran Swedish metal band.  It is a presentation that is certain to appeal to the band’s most seasoned fans just as much as it will to those less familiar with the band and its body of work.  That is proven in part through the extensive documentary that takes audiences through the band’s story from its earliest days pre-Amon Amarth up to its current point.  It paints a rich picture of the band’s past, present and future.  The equally extensive 30-song set does just as much to illustrate the band’s history.  The whole thing proves relatively affordable especially considering the amount and type of content presented in the Blu-ray platform.  Keeping all of this in mind, it can be said with ease that The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is a work whose appeal is far-reaching, and in turn proves to be one of this year’s top new live Blu-rays and DVDs.  It will be available Nov. 16 via Metal Blade Records, and can be pre-ordered now via Metal Blade’s online store.  More information on The Pursuit of Vikings: 25 Years in the Eye of the Storm is available now online along with all of Amon Amarth’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.amonamarth.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amonamarth

Twitter: http://twitter.com/amonamarthband

 

 

 

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