Wage War Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Fearless Records

Wage War announced its latest tour schedule this week.

The band’s tour, which is in support of its 2021 album, Manic and its follow-up companion record, The Stripped Sessions, is scheduled to launch April 11 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and to run through May 20 in Atlanta, GA. The tour features stops in Portland, OR; Minneapolis, MN and Silver Springs, MD along the way.

Nothing, Nowhere and Spite will serve as support for the tour. Tickets are available here. The tour’s schedule is noted below:

WAGE WAR ON TOUR:
WITH NOTHING,NOWHERE. + SPITE:

4/11 — Ft. Lauderdale — Revolution Live
4/12 — St. Petersburg, FL — Jannus Live
4/14 — Houston, TX — House of Blues
4/15 — Dallas, TX — Echo Lounge & Music Hall
4/16 — Oklahoma City, OK — Diamond Ballroom
4/18 — Tempe, AZ — The Marquee
4/20 — Anaheim, CA — House of Blues
4/21 — San Diego, CA — The Observatory
4/22 — Los Angeles, CA — The Belasco
4/23 — Sacramento, CA — Ace of Spades
4/25 — Portland, OR — Roseland Theater
4/26 — Seattle, WA — The Showbox Sodo
4/28 — Salt Lake City, UT — The Complex
4/29 — Denver, CO — Summit
4/30 — Kansas City, MO — The Truman
5/2 — Green Bay, WI — Epic Event Center
5/3 — Minneapolis, MN — The Fillmore
5/5 — Chicago, IL — Concord Music Hall
5/6 — Detroit, MI — The Fillmore
5/7 — Toronto, ON — The Danforth Music Hall
5/9 — Cincinnati, OH — Bogart’s
5/10 — Pittsburgh, PA — Roxian Theatre
5/12 — Worcester. MA — The Palladium
5/13 — Sayreville, NJ — Starland Ballroom
5/14 — Huntington, NY — The Paramount
5/16 — Silver Springs, MD — The Fillmore
5/17 — Philadelphia, PA — The Fillmore
5/19 — Nashville, TN — Marathon Music Works
5/20 — Atlanta, GA — The Masquerade Heaven

More information on Wage War’s new tour is available now along with all of the band’s latest tour dates, news and more at:

Websitehttps://wagewarband.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/wagewar

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/wagewar

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.

‘Star Trek Discovery’ Takes Another Step In The Right Direction In Its Fourth Season

Courtesy: CBS DVD/Paramount

If it’s not one thing, it’s always another. Such has been the case for the crew of the Federation starship U.S.S. Discovery over the course of its current four season run. Early next year, audiences will find out just what the crew of the Discovery will get into once again when Star Trek Discovery returns for its fifth season. Reports of Season Five’s story line are few and far between, and the season’s premiere date is still unknown, too. So until Season Five premieres, audiences who have yet to see Season Four can now take in the series’ latest installment on DVD and Blu-ray thanks to Paramount and CBS DVD. Season Four proves to be another step in the right direction for this series, which started out on a rough point in its first two seasons. That is due in part to its story, which will be discussed shortly. While the story is another step in the right direction for the series, this season is not perfect. The scene transitions are somewhat problematic. This will be discussed a little later. The cast’s work on camera works with the story to make for its own share of engagement and entertainment, too and will also be examined a little later. When it is considered along with the general writing and even with the issue, the whole results in a presentation that is surprisingly among the best of this year’s new DVD and BD box sets for grown ups.

Star Trek Discovery: Season 4 is a surprisingly, mostly successful new entry to the series. It is another step in the right direction for a show that started off on very rocky ground in its first two seasons but finally started getting righted in its third season. The success that this season enjoys comes in large part through its featured story. This season’s story finds the Discovery’s crew investigating an anomaly that is threatening life in not just the Milky Way but the very universe. Not to give away too much for the sake of those who have yet to see Season Four, but the anomaly turns out to be a gravitational wave. The thing is that the wave in question turns out to be anything but natural. The ultimate revelation as to who created it and how will be left for audiences to discover for themselves. Suffice it to say, the show’s writers took a page from Steven Spielberg’s timeless 1977 science fiction flick, Close Encounters of the Third Kind in the final revelation. It is a little bit laughable, considering just how close the scenarios in the two play out, but still interesting in its own right.

Over the course of the season’s 13 total episodes, the writers do make another valiant effort to keep moving away from the full on serialized approach of the series’ first two seasons, as was the case in Season Three. The episodes actually manage (and well) to develop their own stories within the bigger story of the crew’s investigation into the anomaly. From the story of Zora’s growing artificial intelligence and the concerns that it causes (and its relation to the gradual rebuilding of the Federation) to the story of Tilly’s personal growth (which is really a surprisingly entertaining story) to that of Michael and Cleveland’s growing relationship, the stories that interweave into the bigger picture this season help offset the otherwise serialized approach of the season. They give audiences a little something more from one episode to the next. That is a big help, especially in the case of Michael and Cleveland’s relationship. It would have been so easy for the writers to allow that overly sappy story overpower the bigger story, but instead they found a way to directly weave it into that story. It even circles back — to a point — to Zora’s discussion about her love of the ship’s crew and that she would never put them in harm’s way. It all comes together so well that the overall writing makes for a solid foundation for this season.

While the writing presented in this season of Star Trek Discovery does much to make it surprisingly engaging and entertaining, this season is far from perfect. In watching each episode, audiences will note that the writers also had a horrible tendency to leave the scene transitions imbalanced. More specifically, audiences will find themselves having to keep their remotes in hand so as to turn the volume up and down from scene to scene. That is because from one scene to the next, the episodes tend to go back and forth between loud, action packed moments (that are honestly often over the top and so cliche in their approach) and calmer moments. The action packed moments have so much going on that audiences are forced to reduce the volume considerably. However, when those moments end, audiences are left to turn the volume back up again in the scenes that follow. While this constant back and forth is not overly constant, it does happen enough that it can and does get frustrating having to monitor the volume that steadily. Keeping that in mind, this issue is problematic, no doubt. At the same time, it is still not enough to doom this season of Star Trek Discovery.

Knowing that the issue of the constant variance in the episodes’ volume there is still one more positive to note in this season. That positive is the cast’s work on camera. Lead Sonequa Martin-Green’s work is just one example of what makes the cast’s work worth applauding. Audiences have watched her go from a nonstop teary-eyed young woman to a confident captain, leading her crew. Her growth is on display in those moments when she publicly goes toe to toe with the Federation’s president and even as she thinks Cleveland has died. It would have been so easy for Martin-Green to over emote in those and so many other moments, but instead, she shows so much control It makes for plenty of interesting moments because of her personal growth on screen.

On another note, Mary Wiseman (Lt. Sylvia Tilly) offers her own enjoyable performances throughout the course of Season Four. As the season progresses, she does so well exhibiting Tilly’s personal growth, coming out of her shell and her comfort zone. That moment when she leads the cadets on a training mission and is thrust out of her comfort zone was a powerful, moving moment. Not to give away too much but that life-changing moment results in her eventually getting a surprise opportunity that leads to another surprise moment in the season’s overall story. That moment in question is certain to move audiences who have come to know Tilly throughout the show’s run so far. It is just one more example of the importance of the cast’s work to the show.

One more performance deserving of praise this season comes from none other than Doug Jones, who returns once again to the role of Saru. Saru ends up coming out of his own comfort zone this season as he starts to battle his own insecurities and uncertainties after leaving his home world to rejoin the Discovery crew. His admission to President T’Rina (played by Tara Rosling — Happy Place, Impulse, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three) about his feelings and even his growing feelings for her brings so much depth to his character thanks to Jones’ performance. Again, this is more character development than had been seen in the series’ first three seasons, so it was nice to see this increased change through Jones’ work. Between Jones’ work, that of Wiseman, Martin-Green and the rest of the cast, what audiences get this season in the acting is its own full positive that audiences will enjoy. When the cast’s work is considered alongside the writers’ work (and even those responsible for the costuming, makeup, and general cinematography) the whole makes the overall presentation this season another step in the right direction for what has been perhaps the most polarizing Star Trek series to date.

Star Trek Discovery: Season Four is a surprisingly engaging and entertaining new entry in the series’ run so far. Its success comes in part through its writing. The writing once again creates a serialized story that spans the season’s 13 episodes. Throughout those episodes, the writing incorporates several secondary stories that do well on their own as part of the whole. While the writing this season does plenty to make the show worth watching, the scene transitions are somewhat problematic. That is because they force audiences to constantly control the volume from scene to scene because the volume so consistently rise and fall in each episode. It really becomes an issue very quickly. The cast’s work joins with the work of the writers (and that of others behind the scenes) to make for even more engagement and entertainment. That is because of the depth that the cast brings to the characters this time out. Each item examined is important in its own way to the whole of the season’s set. All things considered they make the fourth season of Star Trek Discovery truly one more step in the right direction for the show.

Star Trek Discovery: Season Four is available onw on DVD and Blu-ray. More information on the series is available online now at:

Websitehttps://cbs.com/shows/star-trek-discovery

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/StarTrekCBS

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/cbs

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.

‘Pawns & Kings’ Continues Cementing Alter Bridge’s Place In The Hard Rock, Metal Communities

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Three is apparently a lucky number for hard rock band Alter Bridge. Ever since the release of the band’s debut album, One Day Remains in 2004, the band has allowed no more than three years to pass between each of its albums. This even as its members have kept themselves busy not only with the band but their many side projects. Front man Myles Kennedy has released a handful of albums alongside famed guitarist Slash and the Conspirators while guitarist Mark Tremonti has released five albums under his namesake solo project. Drummer Scott Phillips has even kept himself busy on the side with hard rock super group Projected, crafting three albums with band mates John Connolly and Vince Hornsby (both of Sevendust) and Eric Friedman (Tremonti touring band). Each album that Alter Bridge has released up to this point has proven quite the success even with that three year window passing between each album and each band member’s busy side schedule, too, showing that level of luck. Pawns & Kings, Alter Bridge’s seventh album, is no exception to that rule, either. The nearly hour-long album (it runs 55 minutes to be precise) succeeds equally through its musical and lyrical content thanks to its overwhelming heaviness.

For all of the heaviness, there is some more emotional content featured in the 10-song record’s body worth noting here, too. It comes halfway through the album in the form of ‘Stay.’ This song will be discussed shortly. ‘Season of Promise,’ which comes even later in the album’s run, is just as uplifting while being heavy and melodic in its own right. It will be examined a little later. For those looking for Alter Bridge’s heavier, more fiery side get plenty of that here, too along with equally accessible lyrical content in the form of ‘Silver Tongue,’ which comes early in the album’s run. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here they and the rest of the album’s entries make Pawns & Kings overall one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Pawns & Kings, the latest album from Alter Bridge, is another fine new offering from the hard rock outfit, which formed years ago from the ashes of Creed. The album’s success comes both through its musical and lyrical content. There is plenty of heaviness throughout the album’s musical content and just as much in the lyrical themes, too. There is also at least one softer moment that is heavy through its softness midway through the album in the form of ‘Stay.’ The song’s musical arrangement immediately lends itself to comparison to works that the former Creed band mates — Tremonti, Phillips, and bassist Brian Marshall — composed as members of Creed. In the same breath, listeners can also compare the almost power ballad-esque work to songs the musicians composed in Alter Bridge’s early days. The schmaltzy rock opus makes for a good breakpoint for the album, too, switching things up if only slightly so as to keep the album’s overall musical picture interesting.

Thanks to that radio ready power ballad sound and approach in the musical arrangement, the song’s uplifting lyrical theme about looking past life’s down times and keeping as positive an outlook as possible becomes all the more impacting. The theme is delivered clearly and simply as Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Hold your hands up high and throw them in the air/Show that you care too much to feel this way again/Things that cause you pain/Just throw them to the wind/Don’t turn away again/For I am always at your side/As I take another look around me/As I’m trying to be all I can be/Try to make me something more/And/Don’t wait/It won’t last forever/And allow your heart to heal/Just begin to heal.” This is that clear encouragement for people to push on through life’s difficult times because those bad times are only temporary. He continues the message in the song’s second verse, singing, “Make just one last wish/And shout it to the sky/The time/It is right to love/To feel/To light a fire/We’ll never know just when we’ll have the chance again/To see it to the end/So do your part and make it last.” Here again is that message furthered, encouraging people to make the most of each day and to take advantage of every chance to make life better. That overall positive message, paired with the song’s equally accessible musical arrangement makes it one of the album’s most notable entries and just one example of what makes Pawns & Kings stand out.

‘Season of Promise’ is another positive, notable addition to the album that shows the ability of its musical and lyrical themes to connect with audiences. That is due in part to its musical arrangement. The opening bars of its verses, with their steady guitar riffs, are comparable to works from Foo Fighters. As the verses progress though, the comparison to the more melodic works from Alter Bridge’s early days and even from the band members’ Creed catalog become more evident once again. That duality makes the overall arrangement quite the unique presentation in its own right that is another welcome change of pace from all of the heaviness that is spread across Pawns & Kings.

The foundation that the musical arrangement forms in ‘Season of Promise’ is strengthened through the lyrical theme that accompanies said content. In the case of this song, the lyrical theme is somewhat existential. Kennedy said in an interview with Apple Music, that the song’s theme is meant to deliver a message of appreciating the knowledge that each generation’s predecessor offers, because it is invaluable to the human race from one generation to the next. This is made clear as Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “We gather to foster all the knowledge we have found/Passed down from a generation/Long forgotten now/Like dust from the stars/Scattered from afar/We wait for the harvest/In the season of promise/That was sown through the ages/That brings us to see/Everything that was started/By the dearly departed/May it live on forever/For the future to be/To bring about our destiny.” It leaves the interpretation to be that the “season of promise” would be the now, the current era; the season of what is possible in other words. He is saying that we are waiting for that knowledge to be passed on. It is an interesting poetic fashion to deliver that message which, honestly, is rare for any rock band to tackle in the best way possible. He furthers that message in the song’s second verse as he sings, “The wisdom of all we are/And all we’re meant to see/A truth that can get us by/If only we believe/It’s never that far.” Once again here is that message that the knowledge in question is closer than we think, and it is up to us to recognize it. This is a message that so many people need to hear, if not everyone. To that end, it and the song’s musical arrangement make it such a powerful addition to Pawns & Kings in its own right.

For those who want something heavier, musically, along with equally heavy lyrical content, that is presented here, too, in the form of ‘Silver Tongue,’ which comes early in the album’s run. The album’s third entry, it is a rich, fiery composition that is everything that fans of Alter Bridge’s heavier side have come to expect from the band. The richness of the overall instrumentation alongside Kennedy’s vocals will keep listeners fully engaged and entertained.

The lyrical theme that accompanies that musical heaviness is indeed heavy in its own right. Kennedy said of the song’s theme that it is about those people who have only the worst intentions in mind, getting people to do what they want with no concern about the fallout for themselves because they know they will not get in any trouble for their vile actions and words. If that sounds familiar, it should, considered a certain political and celebrity figure *coughs, Donald Trump* perfectly fits that bill, along with certain other well-known figures. The theme is delivered clearly as Kennedy sings in the song’s lead verse and chorus, “Sitting in my ivory tower/Invincible to fall/Some would say my final hour/As you scale the wall/Step inside/I dare you all/And breathe the lies/And heed the call/When this is all said and done/I will have my way/And you will take the blame/You’re over the line/Under the gun/I am the reason for what you’ve done/Tooth of a crime you can’t outrun/Under the spell of my silver tongue.” This, again, so perfectly fits the vile actions and words of Donald Trump even if Trump was not the direct target here. The message continues just as starkly in the song’s second verse as Kennedy sings, “I swear to God/I’ll find a way/To prove I still belong/I’d rather watch it burn away/Than say that I was wrong.” This is such a fully accessible theme that will resonate so easily in today’s world. The fire in the song’s arrangement does so well to help illustrate the dark sense in that person’s mind. The whole makes ‘Silver Tongue’ yet another important addition to Pawns & Kings. When it and the other songs examined here are considered together and along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes Pans & Kings one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Pawns & Kings, the seventh album from Alter Bridge is another example of what makes this band one of the top names in the current age of hard rock and metal. This is proven through its musical and lyrical content alike, as has been evidenced here. When those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes this album another powerful new offering from Alter Bridge that is also among the best of this year’s top new hard rock and metal metal albums.

Pawns & Kings is available now through Napalm Records. More information on the album is available along with all of Alter Bridge’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://www.alterbridge.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/alterbridge

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/alterbridge

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.

Sabaton Announces ‘The War To End All Wars’ Movie

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records/Yarnhub Animation

Veteran power metal band Sabaton will release a new movie based on its latest album, The War to End All Wars next month.

The band, which released the album (its 10th) March 4 through Nuclear Blast Records, will release the new companion movie, which bears the album’s name, next year. The band is working with Yarnhub Animation to create the movie. It will be just the latest video presentation that the band will have presented in partner with Yarnhub Animation. The band also worked with the company to create videos for its singles, ‘Night Witches,’ ‘No Bullets Fly,’ ‘Christmas Truce‘ and ‘Red Baron.’

David Webb, Yarnhub Animation CEO/Founder, said making the movie was a lot of hard work and that it was worth it.

“When Sabaton asked us to go beyond anything we had produced before and jointly create a film for their new album, we were filled with excitement and trepidation,” Webb said. “It was a massive undertaking that required new people, technology, and skills. But we couldn’t miss the opportunity.

“We often say our mission is to harvest goosebumps, and our work with Sabaton has always been the most successful in that regard. It’s been two years in the making, but after spending many late nights and weekends in meetings with the band, the end result is something unique. A new way to listen to the album; a deeper understanding that helps the viewer experience the bravery and tragedy that was the inspiration for Sabaton’s latest masterwork.”

The War to End All Wars: The Movie is currently in post production. An official release date is under consideration.

Par Sundstrom, Sabaton bassist and founding member, said he was was pleased at early reaction that the movie has received.

“We premiered an early version of this movie to journalists during a preview session for our latest album, ‘The War To End All Wars,’ at the Royal Military Museum in Brussels,” Sundstrom said. “Witnessing their reaction to it was priceless – they were speechless – so we decided to take it to the next level and push the boundaries even further for a global audience.”

In anticipation of the movie’s release next year, the band has released a brief trailer that is streaming here.

Sabaton followed up the release of The War to End All Wars with the release of an orchestral companion record in May titled, The Symphony To End All Wars.

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

In other news, Sabaton is in the midst of a tour in support of The War to End All Wars. The tour’s current schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

SEPTEMBER

27  The Complex, Salt Lake City, UT 

28  Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO 

30  South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

OCTOBER

1   Bayou Music Center, Houston, TX 

3   Ryman Auditorium, Nashville, TN 

4   Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA 

6   The Fillmore Silver Spring, Silver Spring, MD 

8   The Andrew J Brady Music Center, Cincinnati, OH 

10 The Fillmore, Detroit, MI 

11 GLC Live at 20 Monroe, Grand Rapids, MI 

13 The Fillmore, Minneapolis, MN 

15 Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL 

17 Stage AE, Pittsburgh, PA 

18 The Fillmore, Philadelphia, PA 

21 MGM Music Hall at Fenway, Boston, MA 

22 Place Bell, Montreal, QC 

23 Hammerstein Ballroom, New York, NY

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

Websitehttps://www.sabaton.net

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sabaton

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sabaton

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

Standards Debuts New Single, ‘Smile’, Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Wax Bodega

Independent rock duo Standards premiered its latest single and video this week.

The duo — Marcos Mena and Cam Mitchell — unveiled its new instrumental single, ‘Smile‘ and its video Friday. It is not yet known if the song will feature in the band’s forthcoming album, Fruit Town, which is scheduled for release July 22 through Wax Bodega.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Smile’ is certain to put a smile on listeners’ faces. That is due to its light, bouncy pop rock style approach and sound. The audio effects used within the song add even more to its impact in a positive fashion. Audiences could go so far as to argue that there is a subtle comparison to works from Owl City.

The song’s video features Mena and Mitchell performing their new single in an apartment setting. Various camera angles and effects are used to help heighten the energy in the song’s arrangement and make for even more engagement and entertainment.

Mena said of the video that the treatment was meant to reflect “the energy of a live show with the minimalistic aesthetic that Standards has come to be known for.”

Courtesy: Wax Bodega

In other news, Standards has announced a tour in support of its new album. The tour is scheduled to launch July 21 in San Diego, CA and to run through Aug. 24 in Los Angeles, CA. The tour also features stops in cities, such as Houston, TX; New Orleans, LA and New Haven, CT.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

Tour Dates

Direct support from Glacier Veins

07/21/2022 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar

07/22/2022 – San Francisco, CA @ The Knockout

07/24/2022 – Phoenix, AZ @ Rebel Lounge

07/26/2022 – Austin, TX @ The Ballroom

07/27/2022 – Houston, TX @ Eighteen Ten Ojeman

07/28/2022 – New Orleans, LA @ Gasa Gasa

07/31/2022 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade

08/01/2022 – Nashville, TN @ The End

08/03/2022 – Washington, DC @ DC9

08/04/2022 – Philadelphia, PA @ Milkboy

08/05/2022 – Brooklyn, NY @ Kingsland

08/06/2022 – New Haven, CT @ The State House

08/08/2022 – Toronto, ON @ Sneaky Dee’s

08/09/2022 – Columbus, OH @ Big Room Bar

08/10/2022 – Detroit, MI @ Sanctuary

08/11/2022 – Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen

08/12/2022 – Milwaukee, WI @ X-Ray Arcade

08/13/2022 – St. Paul, MN @ The Treasury

08/15/2022 – Fort Collins, CO @ The Coast

08/16/2022 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Loading Dock

08/18/2022 – Seattle, WA @ Vera Project

08/19/2022 – Portland, OR @ Holocene

08/21/2022 – Sacramento, CA @ Goldfield

08/24/2022 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Cid

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

Website: https://www.standards-band.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wearestandards

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.

The Veer Union Debuts New Album’s Lead Single, Video

Courtesy: Rock Shop Records

Audiences got their first preview of The Veer Union’s new album this week.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Standing My Ground‘ and its companion video Friday. The song and its video are the first from the band’s forthcoming album, The Butterfly Effect. The album is scheduled for release this year with an exact release date under consideration.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Standing My Ground’ is some of the heaviest work to date that the band has composed. The familiar Sevendust style melodic hard rock sound and approach that the band has used in much of its existing catalog is present here. The heavy, intense screams from front man Crispin Earl and the down tuned guitar gives the song something of a metalcore sound and style, too. The contrast of the two styles works surprisingly well here.

The lyrical theme featured alongside the song’s musical arrangement is just as accessible as the song’s musical arrangement, as the band pointed out in a prepared statement.

“When you’re knocked down to the lowest point in your life you really have two choices; you can roll over and die or you can face your demons head on,” the statement reads. “Sometimes you have to dig the deepest you ever have to find the strength to get up, to keep fighting and to push the hardest you ever have to get your life, dreams and/or your sanity back on the trajectory required to find the happiness and sense of accomplishment we all seek. ‘Standing my Ground’ is the heaviest track we’ve every released. It’s an anthem for those who are about to, or have almost lost everything. It serves a reminder that no matter what, no matter how huge the adversity may be, keep going.”

The video for ‘Standing My Ground’ is a powerful presentation in its simplicity. It presents the band performing its single on a sound stage against a plain white backdrop. The simple presentation allows for more focus on the song’s content, thus ensuring audiences’ engagement and entertainment even more.

More information on The Veer Union’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.theveerunion.com

Website: https://www.facebook.com/theveerunion

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/theveerunion

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.

Helion Prime’s ‘Question Everything’ Re-Issue Builds On The Success Of Its Predecessor

Courtesy: Sailboat Reigns

A little more than a year after the release of its album, Question Everything, Helion Prime has re-visited that album with a re-issue of the record.  Released Oct. 8, the album’s re-issue is highlighted by its bonus content.  The album’s bonus content consists of seven songs that did not make the final cut for the album’s original 2020 release.  One of the most notable of the previously released originals is the single, ‘Wash Away.’  It will be discussed shortly.  Also of note is the band’s cover of Children of Bodom’s ‘Angels Don’t Kill.’  It will be discussed a little later.  The band’s re-worked version of its original song, ‘The Human Condition’ is yet another example of what makes the album’s bonus content stand out.  When it is considered along with the other bonus songs examined here and with the rest of the bonus tracks, the whole of the bonus content lives up to its title and makes Question Everything’s re-issue another successful offering from Helion Prime.

Helion Prime’s recently release re-issue of Question Everything takes the success of that album and builds on it even more.  That is due to its bonus content.  One of the most notable bonus tracks featured in the album’s re-issue comes in the form of ‘Wash Away.’  The song’s musical arrangement fits well with so much of the content featured in the album’s original body.  The big, over the top guitar solo in the bridge, the richness in the drums and bass, the operatic vocals of front woman Mary Zimmer and the general guitar line gives the arrangement the sound of those vintage power metal ballads that were made so popular way back in the late 80s and early 90s.  No, this song is not a power ballad, but it has that stylistic approach but thankfully avoids the cheese of those songs.  It has more of the confidence of Helion Prime’s own works and those of the band’s fellow power metal counterparts, Unleash The Archers.

Making the song stand out even more is its lyrical theme.  The lyrical theme featured in this song follows those of the songs featured in the album in its original release.  It pays tribute to so many well-known scientists and great minds in general across history.  In the case of this song, it pays homage to Ignaz Sammelweis, who discovered the health benefits of hand-washing in 1847.  Considering everything going on in the world today, this is a fitting inclusion in the album’s re-issue.  Even more important to note is that at no point does the band try to get preachy about it, trying to connect the song to the COVID-19 pandemic.  If anything, it just comes across as being connected to the album’s overall theme of celebrating those noted great minds.  This makes the song all the more appealing and just one example of what makes this re-issue successful.  Also of note among the bonus tracks is the band’s cover of Children of Bodom’s ‘Angels Don’t Kill.’

Helion Prime’s cover of ‘Angels Don’t Kill’ The band’s take on this song stays true to its source material.  There is no doubt about that.  At the same time though, the band puts its own touch to the song with its power metal approach.  The use of the keyboards alongside the guitars actually works surprisingly well throughout.  On the other hand though, Simmer’s vocals just do not sound good here.  She comes across as sounding like she was straining way too hard with the screams.  It sadly does not match up to the vocals of the late great Alexi Laiho.  That is not to say that her vocals were a failure, but it just sounds like she was trying too hard to deliver the same style vocals as Laiho.  Odds are she has talent with more guttural vocals, but it just simply did not work here.  That aside, the song still mostly works, and is a still positive addition to the re-issue’s bonus content.  It is just one more of the notable bonus tracks featured in the re-issue, too.  The re-worked take of the band’s original, ‘The Human Condition’ is yet another notable entry in the re-issue’s bonus content.

Helion Prime’s re-worked take of ‘The Human Condition’ stands out because of its production.  Originally featured in the band’s 2018 album, Terror of the Cybernetic Space Monster, the re-recorded (IE remastered) take on the song stays fully true to the original work.  Nothing was added to or taken from the original.other than the vocals.  Songwriter Jason Ashcraft and former vocalist Sozos Michael handled vocal duties on the original song.  Zimmer and Ashcraft pair up in the new rendition, which also sounds fuller through the remastering.  The impact is just as powerful here as in the original composition.  When this song is considered along with the other remastered songs featured in the record, the covers and the one previously unreleased new song, the whole of the bonus content more than makes the re-issue successful.  They make the presentation one that audiences will enjoy just as much as the album’s original presentation if not more so.

Helion Prime’s recently released re-issue of its 2020 album, Question Everything is a positive new presentation that audiences across the board will enjoy.  The record’s success is due primarily to its bonus content.  From a previously unreleased original to a series of remastered originals from a past album, to a pair of covers, the bonus content featured here does well to build on the success of the album from its original release.  All things considered, that blend of content – as evidenced through the examination presented here – makes the re-issue of Question Everything just as enjoyable as the original work if not more so.

Helion Prime’s re-issue of Question Everything is available now. More information on the band’s Question Everything re-issue is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://helionprimemetal.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/helionprimemetal

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.wodpress.com.

Symphony X Announces 25th Anniversary Tour Schedule

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records/InsideOut Music

Symphony X will celebrate its 25th anniversary as a band next spring.

The band made the announcement through a news release distributed Monday. The band is scheduled to embark on a tour to mark the occasion starting May 10 in New York, NY. The tour, which will feature Haken as a special guest, is scheduled to run through June 12 in Montclair, NJ. The tour also features performances scheduled in cities nationwide, such as Cleveland, OH; Mesa, AZ and Carrboro, NC.

Guitarist Michael Romeo talked about the upcoming tour during a recent interview.

“After the past year and a half of tours and festivals being canceled, it looks like things are finally moving along and getting back rolling,” he said. “We are SO looking forward to the upcoming tour and getting back out there playing again! We can’t wait and we’ll see you all soon!”

Front man Russell Allen echoed his band mate’s sentiments.

“The wait is over! We are really looking forward to getting back on the road and sharing the live music experience with all of you. See you on the road my friends!”

The members of Haken spoke highly of Symphony X in a prepared statement, additionally expressing their anticipation for getting out on the road together.

“We are so excited to get out on the road again at all, but having the honour to do it alongside Symphony X will make it that much more special,” the statement reads. “We have nothing but the utmost respect for them as progressive metal pioneers and when we were starting out, Symphony X was one of the bands who inspired us to practice our instruments and strive to be better musicians – and still do! We’ve really missed the USA and the fans over there so much over the lockdown period. Getting back over there to see some familiar faces as well as meeting new friends will be an emotional ride. We can’t wait for this Odyssey to begin!”

The schedule for the upcoming tour is noted below. Tickets are scheduled to go on sale at 10 a.m. local time Friday.

Confirmed dates for the SYMPHONY X25th Anniversary North American Tour” with HAKEN and TROPE are:
May 10 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza
May 11 – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre
May 12 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
May 13 – Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell
May 14 – Montreal, QC – Corona Theatre
May 15 – Toronto, ON – The Danforth Music Hall
May 17 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
May 18 – Detroit, MI – Majestic Theatre
May 19 – Chicago, IL – Park West
May 20 – St. Louis, MO – Red Flag
May 21 – Minneapolis, MN – Varsity Theater
May 23 – Denver, CO – The Oriental Theater
May 24 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
May 26 – Seattle, WA – The Showbox
May 27 – Vancouver, BC – The Rickshaw Theatre
May 28 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theatre
May 29 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
May 31 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Jun 1 – Los Angeles, CA – The Belasco Theater
Jun 2 – Mesa, AZ – Nile Theater
Jun 4 – Austin, TX – Empire Garage
Jun 5 – Dallas, TX – Amplified Live
Jun 7 – Atlanta, GA – Heaven At The Masquerade
Jun 8 – Orlando, FL – The Plaza Live
Jun 10 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
Jun 11 – Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Jun 12 – Montclair, NJ – The Wellmont Theater

More information on Symphony X’s upcoming tour is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://symphonyx.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/symphonyx

More information on Haken’s tour with Symphony X is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://www.hakenmusic.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Haken_Official

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.

ESPN Carrying Three Games To Celebrate Opening Night Of NHL’s 2021-22 Season

Courtesy: ESPN

The National Hockey League opens its 2021-22 season tonight and ESPN will be along for the ride.

The ESPN networks will carry three games to celebrate the season’s start. Two of the games will air as part of a double header on ESPN. Up first in the double header schedule is a matchup of the defending NHL Champion Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:30 p.m. ET. The expansion Seattle Kraken and the Las Vegas Golden Knights follow at 10:15 p.m.

The Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild are also scheduled to play tonight. That game’s start time is scheduled for 10:15 p.m. ET. It will stream online through ESPN+

Sean McDonough will have the call for the Lightning-Penguins game. Analyst Ray Ferraro will join him for additional commentary while reporter Emily Kaplan will have all of the latest in-game news and interviews.

John Buccigross will anchor coverage of the Kraken-Golden Knights game. Brian Boucher will provide additional commentary while reporter A.J. Mlezcko will have the game’s latest news and interviews.

Over on ESPN+, Leah Hextall will anchor the streaming coverage of the Ducks and Wild. Boucher will join her in the analyst role while Linda Cohn will have all of that game’s latest news and interviews.

Arda Ocal, Ryan Callahan, and John Tortorella will provide mid-game discussion and analysis during intermissions.

More information on the ESPN networks’ NHL coverage is available along with all of the latest NHL headlines at https://www.espn.com/nhl.

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

ESPN Returning To University Of Georgia Again For Key SEC Matchup Preview

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN will focus on a key SEC conference matchup on this weekend’s edition of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot.

Saturday’s edition of College GameDay Built by The Home Depot will air live from Athens, GA. The broadcast will showcase the showdown between undefeated SEC foes Georgia and Kentucky. The broadcast is in partner with SEC Nation Presented by Johnsonville.

Saturday’s broadcast is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. ET in the Myers Quad on the University of Georgia campus and to run through noon on ESPN. SEC Nation meanwhile, is scheduled to air from 10 a.m. – noon ET on SEC Network.

Saturday’s showcase of the Wildcats and Bulldogs (both of which are 6-0) will mark the second time in three weeks that ESPN has visited Athens for its weekly flagship college football program. It is the show’s seventh time overall that it has visited the university for a broadcast. The most recent broadcast took place earlier in the season ahead of the Bulldogs’ Top 10 matchup against Arkansas.

Rece Davis will anchor Saturday’s broadcast. Analysts Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and David Pollack (a former All-American from the University of Georgia) will also be on hand for additionally commentary. Joining them will be research producer and sports betting analyst Chris “The Bear” Fallica and reporters Jen Lada and Gene Wojciechowski.

Laura Rutledge will anchor SEC Network’s SEC Nation broadcast. Paul Finebaum, Roman Harper, Jordan Rodgers and Tim Tebow will join Rutledge for the broadcast.

Additionally, Marty Smith and Ryan McGee will be live from 9-10 a.m. Saturday on their weekly show, Marty & McGee Presented by Old Trapper, previewing Saturday’s key SEC matchup.

More information on Saturday’s broadcast is available along with all of the latest college football headlines at:

Websitehttps://www.espn.com/college-football

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/CFBonESPN

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/espncfb

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