Project 86 “Among” Rock and Metal’s Best On Phil’s Picks 2017 Top New Hard Rock & Metal Albums

Courtesy: Project 86/TAG Publicity

For those about to rock, we salute you!

Yes, everyone knows that phrase from AC/DC’s classic song by the same name.  As popular as it is, it is more than just a song lyric and title.  It is a statement of honor for the acts and audiences who span the rock community.  This year, as with every year prior, there are so many bands to honor as the year nears its end, including hard rock and metal bands.  In case it hasn’t become clear by now, this article focuses on this critic’s choices for the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  As with every list before, compiling it was not an easy task.  New releases from Project 86, Arch Enemy, Iced Earth, and so many others made this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums very crowded.  That is putting it lightly.  Between well-known mainstream acts and their lesser-known independent counterparts, the two sides collectively offered so many impressive new albums.

Topping this critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums is Project 86’s latest album Sheep Among Wolves.  The band’s 10th full-length studio recording in 20 years, this record takes all of the best elements of the band’s past — both musically and lyrically — and uses them to craft a work that is just as memorable and engaging as its predecessors.  Also on this year’s list from Phil’s Picks are new albums from — as already noted — Iced Earth and Arch Enemy — as well as new offerings from Overkill, Act of Defiance, Prong, Adrenaline Mob, Blacktop Mojo and others. As with every list, this list presents this critic’s Top 10 titles plus five additional titles for a total of 15 records.  That being noted, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2017 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2017 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

  1. Project 86 — Sheep Among Wolves
  2. Prong — Zero Days
  3. Act of Defiance — Old Scars, New Wounds
  4. Overkill — The Grinding Wheel
  5. Iced Earth — Incorruptable
  6. Blacktop Mojo — Burn The Ships
  7. Adrenaline Mob — We The People
  8. Marty Friedman — Wall of Sound
  9. Corroded — Defcon Zero
  10. Dragonforce — Reaching Into Infinity
  11. The Haunted — Strength In Numbers
  12. Doyle — As We Die
  13. Demon Hunter — Outlive
  14. 36 Crazyfists — Lanterns
  15. Arch Enemy — Will To Power

That’s all for this list.  Again, it was not an easy list to compile.  Acts the likes of Eve To Eve to Adam, Marty Friedman, Sepultura, Annihilator, Mastodon and so many others all deserve their own share of credit.  With that in mind, it becomes easy to see why no disrespect was meant to any one act or another here.  Every noted act released its own impressive album.  Only so many spaces were available, sadly.

2018 is already shaping up to be an interesting year in its own right, with new material from Ministry on the way alongside new albums from Judas Priest, Saxon, Machine Head, Corrosion of Conformity, Tool, Clutch and lots more.  Stay tuned for all of that in the new year.  To keep up with all of 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.

36 Crazyfists Announces New Album Release, Tour Dates

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

The wait is almost over for 36 Crazyfists’ next new album.

The band will release its new album Lantern Sept. 29 via Spinefarm Records. It is the band’s second record through the label – its first with Spinefarm was 2015’s Time and Trauma–and its eighth album overall.

In anticipation of Lanters’ upcoming release, the band—Brock Lindow (vocals), Steve Holt (guitar), Mick Whitney (bass) and Kyle Baltus (drums)—premiered the album’s lead single ‘Death Eater’ this week via Loudwire.  Lindow explained in a recent interview the song is a very introspective work, lyrically speaking.

“It’s a reflection of self and the dwellings of rock bottom, discovering the tools to dig yourself out, and refusing to let yourself free fall into the abyss of hopelessness,” Lindow said.  “Love, forgive and never give in.”

He added the album’s overall lyrical theme is very much along the same lines as that of ‘Death Eater.’

Lanterns is about the fight within us all…forever refusing to sink,” Lindow said.

Pre-orders for Lanterns are open now. The album’s full track listing is noted below.

LANTERNS TRACK LISTING:
“Death Eater”
“Wars to Walk Away From”
“Better to Burn”
“Damaged Under Sun”
“Sea and Smoke”
“Where Revenge Ends”
“Sleepsick”
“Bandage for Promise”
“Laying Hands”
“Below The Graves”
“Old Gold”
“Dark Corners”

The band will take to the road in support of Lanterns.  It will join Devildriver, Uncured, Tetrarch and Cane Hill for a more than monthlong tour across America for the tour beginning Aug. 18. The tour includes stops in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Washington and a number of other states nationwide.

The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

36 CRAZYFISTS ON TOUR:
With DevilDriver, Uncured, Tetrarch:

8/18: San Jose, CA @ The Ritz – San Jose
8/19: Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theater
8/20: Spokane, WA @ The Pin
8/21: Billings, MT @ Pub Station

With /DevilDriver, Uncured, Tetrarch, +Cane Hill:
8/23: Colorado Springs, CO @ The Black Sheep
8/24: Lincoln, NE @ Bourbon Theatre
8/25: Belvidere, IL @ Apollo Theatre
8/26: Battle Creek, MI @ Leila Arboretum* (Michigan Metal Festival)
8/27: La Crosse, WI @ Cavalier Lounge
8/28: Minneapolis, MN @ Cabooze
8/29: Sioux Falls, SD @ Bigs Bar
8/30: Des Moines, IA @ Val Air Ballroom
8/31: Wichita, KS @ Crown Uptown
9/1: Kansas City, MO @ The Riot Room
9/2: Sauget, IL @ Pop’s
9/5: Fayetteville, AR @ George’s Majestic Lounge
9/7: Louisville, KY @ Trixie’s Entertainment Complex
9/8: Dayton, OH @ Oddbodys
9/9: Clarksville, TN @ The Warehouse – TN
9/13: Knoxville, TN @ The Concourse (at The International)
9/14: Virginia Beach, VA @ Shaka’s
9/15: Jacksonville, NC @ Hooligan’s Music Hall
9/16: Augusta, GA @ Iron Heights
9/20: Houston, TX @ Scout Bar
9/21: Dallas, TX @ Gas Monkey Live
9/22: Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s Backroom
*Festival Date

More information on36 Crazyfists’ new album, tour dates and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/36crazyfists

Twitter: http://twitter.com/36CF

 

 

 

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.

All Hail The Yeti Premieres ‘Mr. Murder’ Video

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

All Hail The Yeti released the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the video for its latest single ‘Mr. Murder’ online this week exclusively through Music Choice. The song is taken from the band’s latest full-length studio recording Scream From a Black Wilderness. Front man Connor Garritty talked about the video, saying that while it gives fans a view of the band’s live show it also pays tribute to one of the band’s close friends, Matthew Berube.

“We are very excited to finally release the video for ‘Mr. Murder,” Garritty said. “This was shot over the last few tours compiled with live footage and tour antics while paying tribute to our brother Matthew Berube, who passed away in 2015.  it also features our dear friend Brock Lindow of 36 Crazyfists who flew out from Alaksa to join us on the Haunted and Damaged Tour to perform live and film the video. This song is very difficult for us to perform live given the subject matter, but it also brings us great happiness to immortalize our best friend. Hope you all enjoy…Hail ‘Mr. Murder’!”

All Hail The Yeti is preparing to join Max and Iggor Cavalera’s “Return to Roots Tour.”   they will join The Black Dahlia Murder, Combichrist, Allegeon, and Oni as support for the tour.  The tour launches this Sunday, Sept. 25.

Along with its dates on the “Return to Roots Tour,” All Hail The Yeti will also perform at a number of off-date shows with Combichrist during its October tour.

Fans can view All Hail The Yeti’s current tour schedule online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

 

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.

All Hail The Yeti Debuts New LP’s Lead Single

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

Next Friday, April 8th, All Hail The Yeti will release its new album Scenes From A Black Wilderness.  The band’s sophomore album, it will be released via Minus Head Records.  In anticipation of the album’s release the band debuted the album’s lead single last week.

All Hail The Yeti debuted the lead single from its upcoming sophomore album Scenes From A Black Wilderness last week.  The band premiered the pummeling three-minute forty-one second opus ‘Mr. Wilderness,’ online via Guitar World magazine’s website.  The song is currently streaming there now at http://www.guitarworld.com/artist-news-interviews/all-hail-yetis-connor-garritty-talks-new-album-screams-black-wilderness/28883.  It features guest vocals from 36 Crazyfists front man Brock Lindow.

Along with the song there is also an in-depth interview with the band by Ridge Briel that audiences can read.  The interview includes photos by Kristin Vah.  Briel discusses the band’s 2012 self-titled debut in his interview with the band as well as the inspiration behind some of the album’s lyrical content, the band’s new lineup and much more.  The video for the song ‘Before The Flames (Part 1)’ included in the article.  The video for ‘Before The Flames’ (Part 2)’ is streaming online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyZr3HRU0aw.  The complete track listing for Scenes From A Black Wilderness is noted below.

Screams From A Black Wilderness tracklising:

  1. Before The Flames
  2. Plague Dance
  3. Let The Night Roar
  4. Mr. Murder (feat. Brock Lindow of36 Crazyfists)
  5. Lady Of The Night
  6. Witch Is Dead
  7. Daughter Of The Morning Star
  8. Sun Will Never Set
  9. Fall Of Core
  10. Breaking On The Wheel
  11. Nemesis Queen
  12. Angels Envy

 

Screams From A Black Wilderness can be pre-ordered online now via Bandcamp, Amazon, and iTunes.  Those that pre-order the album now can get ‘Before The Flames’ for free.  More information on All Hail The Yeti’s new album is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

 

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

 

 

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.

All Hail The Yeti Announces Release Date, Specs For New Album

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

All Hail The Yeti returns this spring with its new full-length album.

All Hail The Yeti will release its new full-length studio album Screams From A Black Wilderness on Friday, April 8th. The band’s second full-length studio offering, it will be released via Minus Head Records, which also just re-issued the band’s 2012 self-titled debut album last Friday, February 5th. The twelve-song record is centered on classic campfire-horror stories.  It was produced by Matt Hyde (Deftones, Slayer, Soulfly). It also features a guest appearance by 36 Crazyfists. Front man Connor Garrity explained in a recent interview the impact that Hyde had in the creative process for the band’s new album, noting Hyde’s understanding of the band’s goals and talents. There was also note of how the band’s lineup played its own integral part in the album’s creative and writing process. “When our guitarist Alan Stokes joined the band, the writing process finally felt natural,” he said. While we knew we wanted to connect it to the self-titled album, Screams From A Black Wilderness was truly conceptualized as it came together in the studio. We knew we wanted to do something different while still keeping our integral sound – this album, to us, is a more developed version of the style you hear on the self-titled release. Working with Matt Hyde was instrumental; he understood what we were doing musically and used that to pull the best out of us.”

While four years have passed since the release of the band’s self-titled album the band wanted to tie in that album to its upcoming album. So it has released a video for the song ‘After The Great Fire,’ which was included in the band’s self-titled album. The video is streaming online now via Metal Injection.

 

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

 

 

Screams From A Black Wilderness can be pre-ordered online now via Bandcamp and Amazon. The album’s full track listing is noted below.

 

Screams From A Black Wilderness tracklising:

  1. Before The Flames
  2. Plague Dance
  3. Let The Night Roar
  4. Mr. Murder (feat. Brock Lindow of 36 Crazyfists)
  5. Lady Of The Night
  6. Witch Is Dead
  7. Daughter Of The Morning Star
  8. Sun Will Never Set
  9. Fall Of Core
  10. Breaking On The Wheel
  11. Nemesis Queen
  12. Angels Envy

 

More information on Screams From A Black Wilderness is available online now along with all of the band’s news and more at:

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

 

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.

Atreyu, 36 Crazyfists Announce December Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Spinefarm Records/Epitaph Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records/Epitaph Records

There’s big news for fans of Atreyu. The band announced today that it will join Falling in Reverse this December for a short series of live dates.

Atreyu will join Falling in Reverse this December for a short run of dates through the Pacific Northwest and West Coast. The tour, which kicks off December 11th in Boulder, Colorado, is a co-headlining tour for the bands. The complete schedule for the bands’ tour is listed below.

TOUR DATES:

12/11: Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater
12/14: Seattle, WA @ Showbox SoDo
12/15: Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater
12/17: San Francisco, CA @ Warfield Theater
12/18: Sacramento, CA @ Ace of Spades
12/19: Las Vegas, NV @ House of Blues
12/20: Fresno, CA @ Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater

Courtesy:  Spinefarm Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

While Atreyu joins Falling in Reverse, Atreyu’s label mates in 36 Crazyfists will the road this December for the band’s own series of West Coast dates. The band will hit the road for a late fall tour that kicks off December 2nd in Seattle, Washington. The headlining tour is the band’s latest set of dates in support of its latest effort and Spinefarm Records debut LP Time and Trauma, which will be released on vinyl for the first time this Friday, October 16th. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

TOUR DATES:

12/2: Seattle, WA @ El Corazon
12/3: Portland, OR @ Ash Street Saloon
12/4: San Francisco, CA @ DNA Lounge
12/5: San Diego, CA @ Brick By Brick
12/6: Fullerton, CA @ Slidebar
12/10: Las Vegas, NV @ Adrenaline Sports Lounge
12/12: Reno, NV @ PB&J’s
12/17: Barranco/Lima, Peru @ Sargento Pimienta de Barranco
12/18: Playa Chinchirro, Arica @ Discotheque Saho
12/19: Santiago, Santiago, @ Teatro Cariola

More information on Atreyu’s upcoming tour is available online along with its latest news at:

Website: http://www.atreyuofficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/atreyuofficial

More information on 36 Crazyfists’ upcoming tour is available online, too along with its latest news at:

Website: http://36crazyfists.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/36crazyfists

Twitter: http://twitter.com/36CF

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.

36 Crazyfists Stands Out Among The Metalcore Crowd On Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Spinefarm Records

Courtesy: Spinefarm Records

Hailing from the wilds of the American Northwest 36 Crazyfists has spent the past twenty years forging its own path in the music industry. The band, which originally consisted of vocalist Brock Lindow, bassist JD Stuart, drummer Thomas Noonan, and guitarists Steve Holt and Ryan Brownell, formed in 1994 in Anchorage, Alaska. The band would eventually relocate to Portland, Oregon and also see some lineup changes along the way with Stuart being replaced on bass and Noonan being replaced behind the kit by Kyle Baltus. Ryan Brownell left the band along the way but the band opted to continue on without him, opting instead to continue on as a four-piece. Now in its twenty-first year, the band has released its seventh full-length studio release. And one listen to the recently released record reveals a band that despite those lineup changes and the wear and tear of time has not lost a single step. That is clear at many points throughout the band’s latest effort Time and Trauma. One point at which the band shows its continued strength on this album is its third entry ‘Sorrow Sings.’ This piece is heavy both musically and lyrically. Much can be said of the album’s midway point ‘Also Am I.’ For all of the fire and energy exhibited throughout the album Lindow and company also show something at least slightly akin to a softer side in the album’s closer ‘Marrow.’ Lyrically, it is just as deep and heavy as the other noted songs. Both elements combined, it is a complete contradiction to the album’s opener yet still will keep listeners’ ears just as much. The songs noted here are each solid representatives of what makes Time and Trauma another solid release from one of the metalcore world’s most underrated bands. Together with the compositions not noted in this review, all twelve tracks that make up the body of Time and Trauma show it to be an album that the band’s fans and metalcore fans alike should hear at least once.

36 Crazyfist’s latest full-length studio effort Time and Trauma is a solid work from the band. Regardless of audiences’ familiarity with the band’s body of work, it proves itself to be a record that the band’s fans and those of the metalcore genre should hear at least once. This is proven early on in the album in the form of its third track ‘Sorrow Sings.’ It is a piece that is heavy both musically and lyrically. That is not to say that it is the happiest of songs in the lyrical department. But it does have what at least seems like a happy ending as Lindow sings, “Sorrow sings/of everything/But survival doesn’t ring/Isolate/Contain your pain/To outlast the taste of misery/I believe the curse/Will swallow its teeth/Show the stars and I can/clear the air and love the end/As hollow as that sounds/I begin to breathe somehow/The curse/Will swallow/Its teeth/The past/Will fall at/Your feet/Sorrow sings/This sorrow.” Those closing words paint something of a more positive picture than that of the song’s opening verse. The addition of the heavy, sludge of the guitars and Lindow’s vocal delivery together with these lyrics make the song all the harder-hitting. The result is that the song in whole proves to be one of the album’s strongest moments and in turn an equally solid representation of why metalcore fans and fans of 36 Crazyfists alike should hear Time and Trauma at least once.

‘Sorrow Sings’ is a solid work within itself. In the grand scheme of Time and Trauma it serves as an equally solid representation of what 36 Crazyfists has to offer listeners on its latest release. The same can be said of the album’s midpoint ‘Also Am I.’ This song is just as heavy both musically and lyrically as ‘Sorrow Sings.’ It also presents a similar message of overcoming so much emotional hardship with Lindow singing, “Looking lost as the night disappears/I hold my breath as I wait out the fear/Swallowing the plagues I own/Draped in hell from head to toe/And I/Design serene/But I/Poison the inside/Avalanche/Crashes down/And I’m to remain calm/If you were looking for someone to save you/Also am I/If you were looking for something to believe/Also am I/Don’t go quietly.” Unless this critic’s interpretation is wrong, the message that Lindow seems to be sending is for listeners to not give up no matter what. The avalanche in question is the proverbial avalanche of tough times and overall negativity that smash into people from time to time. He comes across as saying a person shouldn’t just sit there and take it quietly. A person should stand up against that avalanche. Again, this is just the interpretation of one person. It could very well be wrong. The very fact that once again a song’s lyrical content can generate just as much discussion as its musical content proves why it is one more important part of the album’s whole.

The musical and lyrical depth of ‘Sorrow Sings’ and ‘Also Am I’ show quite clearly just how much 36 Crazyfists has to offer its audiences on its latest effort. It shows just as much depth as it delves into something much deeper in the album’s closer ‘Marrow.’ Lindow sings over the song’s much more reserved sound, “Death called for me tonight/But I’m not answering/Lord pull me down and put me back in place/Storm after storm/Awake and alone/I’ll give you everything I have/Pray it’s enough/Feel it pull like the tide.” This sounds like someone caught in the depths of a deep depression, fighting the feelings that come with it. Guest vocalist Stephanie Plate adds her own depth to the song as she sings in the song’s closing lines, “Hand of the sea subtly drowning me/Watch it turn/Never free/Marks of a cell/Come devour me/Steadily she’ll increase/Descending leaps/She passes over me/Lord pull me down.” It is intimated that the pull of death didn’t win as Plate sings of death passing over the song’s subject even as much as those feelings grow. Once more, it would be interesting to learn the true meaning behind this song should this critic in fact be making an incorrect interpretation of this song. The fact that once again, Lindow and his band mates could generate so much discussion with such lyrical and musical depth proves how much 36 Crazyfists still has to offer even two decades plus into its life. It also proves once more why fans of both 36 Crazyfists and of metalcore in general should hear this record at least once now that it is available.

36 Crazyfists’ new album presents quite the depth both musical and lyrically on its new album. That is evident through all three of the songs noted in this review. That is not to ignore the album’s other songs. Every composition included on this disc proves in its own way just how much the band has to offer audiences. In hearing those songs along with the pieces noted here audiences new and old alike will agree just how much this band still has left in the tank. They will agree that others who have not yet heard Time and Trauma should hear it at least once, too. It is available now in stores and online and at the band’s live performances, of which there is a listing online along with the band’s latest news. Audiences can see both on the band’s website and Facebook page at:

Website: http://36craazyfists.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/36crazyfists

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.