Appeal For Accept’s New LP Won’t “Die” Anytime Soon

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Veteran hard rock/metal band Accept released its brand new album Too Mean to Die Friday.  The 11-song record – the band’s 16th — is the first great entry in this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.  It is yet another display of why this band remains today, one of the most respected and beloved acts in the hard rock and metal community as is evidenced through the song’s combined musical arrangements and lyrical themes.  From start to end, this record offers audiences so much to appreciate in terms of both items.  That is evidenced in part late in the album in the track, ‘Symphony of Pain.’  This song will be discussed shortly.  ‘No One’s Master,’ which comes early in the 52-minute record’s run, shows in its own way, how the album’s overall content plays into its success.  It will be addressed a little later.  Much the same can be said of ‘Not My Problem.’  It will also be addressed later.  When it is considered with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole makes the album in whole, a presentation that is certain to end up on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Accept’s new album Too Mean to Die is a record whose appeal certainly will not die anytime soon.  It is a presentation that from start to end, will appeal to any hard rock and metal fan with its musical and lyrical content.  That is proven in part late in the album’s run in the form of ‘Symphony of Pain.’  The song’s lyrical content actually focuses on none other than composer Ludwig Van Beethoven.   Guitarist Wolf Hoffman noted in an interview with Apple Music that is exactly what the song centers on, lyrically.  Yes, there are bands out there that have classical influences in their metal performances, but few actually go so far as to craft a song about a classical composer.  The only bad that comes to this critic’s mind in regards to that, is Trans Siberian Orchestra, which in fact crafted a whole album about Beethoven.  Mark Tornillo even sings in the song’s chorus, “Trapped in silence/How I loathe this sanctity/Imprisoned by this irony/Darkened elusion/Seeking only to embed/Melodies held hostage in my head.”  This is a direct reference to Beethoven dealing with being deaf and how he must have felt having to cope with the disability.  Tornillo conjures Beethoven even more as he continues in the chorus, calling the situation, “A silent prison/This symphony of pain.”  That is pretty much straight forward.  It is a concept that is sure to entertain so many listeners in itself.  Together with the song’s musical arrangement, the song gains even more traction.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Symphony Of Pain’ adds to the song’s presentation, as it incorporates Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony’ into its overall power metal approach.  Hoffman and new guitarist Philip Shouse join with current member Uwe Lulis to make the song’s arrangement a solid, driving old school metal work that, as already noted, will appeal to fans of acts, such as Judas Priest, Saxon, and others of that ilk.  As an added note, while Trans Siberian Orchestra is one of the only acts out there to actually take on the topic of a classical composer for one of its songs, the arrangement sounds nothing like anything that TSO has ever crafted.  So audiences can rest easy knowing this.  The manner in which Hoffman weaved the noted classical composition into the whole was seamless and it makes the song even more appealing.  All things considered here, the song in whole makes itself a clear example of what makes Too Mean to Die such a strong new offering from Accept.  It is just one of the songs that makes this record stand out.  ‘No One’s Master’ is another key addition to the album.

‘No One’s Master’ is another work whose musical arrangement takes listeners back to the golden age of hard rock and metal.  It is yet another work that right off the bat, lends itself to thoughts of Judas Priest what with its guitars, bass, and drums.  Interestingly enough, Tornillo’s vocal delivery conjures thoughts of Motorhead’s late, great front man Lemmy Kilmister.  The comparison is not a mirror image, but is so close that it cannot be denied.  That combination of influences and sounds makes the song’s musical arrangement more than enough reason for audiences to hear this work.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out, too.  The bombastic ending to the song makes it come across like a live song, ensuring that whenever live music does return, it likely will become part of the band’s live shows.  The lyrical content that features alongside the song’s high-energy composition makes the work in whole even more impacting.

The lyrical content featured in the song comes across as a statement that celebrates individuality and thinking for one’s own self.  This is implied as Tornillo sings in the song’s lead verse, “The media’s controlling the masses/Stoking our anger and fear/Further dividing the classes/Serving the richest careers/heir mantra is lies and deception/When honesty’s all that I crave/I decline and there’ll be no exceptions/I am no one’s master/No one’s slave/No one’ s slave.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “Living in fear ain’t worth living/Wasting your life is the crime/The reaper will be unforgiving/Wake up while you’re still in your prime/The guide of my  life is my conscience/My way is the path that I pave/I treat,  how I want to be treated/I am no one’s master/No one’s slave.”  The real harsh statement comes as he sings in the song’s chorus, “I won’t rule/I won’t bow/I won’t sink my eyes to the ground/I won’t steal/I won’t kneel/I won’t bend my  knee to the crowned/I pledge an oath to myself and to life/I’m not afraid of the sword or the knife.”  That bold statement that, while familiar is still presented in its own unique fashion, couples with the song’s musical arrangement to make the song in whole, another powerful example of what makes Accept’s new album such a strong new record.  It is just one more example of what makes the album stand out.  ‘Not My Problem’ is another entry in this album that makes it so successful.

‘Not My Problem’ gives listeners another notable musical work that is one part Motorhead and one part just pure guitar rock.  The blues-based composition is another  driving, high-energy composition that together with – again  — Tornillo’s Lemmy style vocal delivery makes for yet another powerful addition to the album.

The musical arrangement that is featured in ‘Not My Problem is certain to make the song another fan favorite from Too Mean to Die.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The social commentary contained in the song adds even more appeal.  In the case of this song, the song’s lyrical content comments on those people who would rather point the finger at everyone else for their problems than take responsibility, much like in another of the album’s songs, ‘Sucks to be You.’  In this case, Tornillo sings,  “Dug your hole/Don’t bear your soul and sin all over me/made your bed/Now lay your head/You don’t get no sympathy/Hear that sound/It’s coming down/The hammer’s got to fall/Hit the lights/You’re in the sights/Up against the wall/Don’t blame your misfortunes on me/You’ve done this all on your own/So many others are too blind to see/Well, let me throw the first stone/It’s not my problem/Keep it to yourself.”  He continues just as sharply in the song’s second verse, “Realize how many times I’ve bailed you out/I bought your charms/With open arms/Now I close the door/You’ve done the crime/Now do the time/Go bitch to someone else/Take a stand/And play your hand/You’ve brought this on yourself.”  This overall statement is such that it will echo with any listener.  Everybody has been in this situation at least once in life if not more times.  We have all dealt with that person who just wants to blame everyone else for his or her misery and have just reached the breaking point.  This song will help anyone get through those times, especially when these lyrics are paired with the vim and energy in the song’s musical arrangement.  It is certain to be overall, yet another fan favorite.  When it is considered with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s songs, that whole makes Too Mean to Die a record whose appeal will not die anytime soon.

Accept’s latest album Too Mean to Die is another positive new offering from the veteran metal act.  It is a work whose musical and lyrical content is certain to appeal to the band’s established fan base, and metal and hard fans in general.  That is proven through each of the songs examined here.  When those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s entries, the whole becomes unquestionably this year’s first great new hard rock and metal album.  It is available now. 

More information on Accept’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://acceptworldwide.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/accepttheband

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/accepttheband

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.

Accept Addresses Humans’ Tech Addiction In New Single, Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Veteran metal band Accept debuted the latest single from its new album this week.

The band kicked off the weekend by debuting its new single, ‘Zombie Apocalypse‘ and its companion video Friday. The song is the third single from the band’s album Too Mean To Die. Its debut follows that of the album’s singles ‘Too Mean To Die‘ and ‘The Undertaker.’

While the song’s title presents a scary title, the imagery used in the song’s video tells a horror story of a different sort. It tells a story of how the internet has turned humans into one giant race of zombies. It is used to illustrate that very message presented in the song’s lyrical content, which front man Mark Tornillo explained in a prepared statement.

“They’re everywhere, they can’t put them (mobile phones) down,” he said. “They can’t keep them charged; they can’t take their eyes off the screen! It’s a zombie apocalypse!” 

The musical arrangement that accompanies the song’s lyrical content is everything that audiences have come to expect from Accept. Its driving guitars and solid time keeping work with Tornillo’s vocals and the bass line to make the song in whole a fully engaging and entertaining power metal work very much in the vein of Judas Priest and other contemporaries of Accept.

Too Mean To Die is scheduled for release Jan. 29 through Nuclear Blast Records. More information on Accept’s new single, video, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://acceptworldwide.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/accepttheband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/accepttheband

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

Accept Debuts ‘The Undertaker’ Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Veteran metal band Accept debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the video for its new single ‘The Undertaker‘ Friday. The song and its video are the first from the band’s forthcoming album Too Mean To Die, which is scheduled for release Jan. 15, 2021 though Nuclear Blast Records.

According to information available about the very goth-style video, the building shots were filmed at a mansion in Poland and the cemetery shots were recorded at a cemetery in Nashville, TN. The video’s eponymous character is dressed in a vintage style outfit and donning makeup that makes him look like a cross between The Crow and The Joker. The information provided did not name the actor who portrayed the undertaker.

In related news, the band announced through the noted information, it will reveal the album artwork for Too Mean To Die when ‘The Undertaker’ reaches 500,000 streams on Spotify. Additionally, fans who stream the new single can also earn a chance to have a one-on-one zoom meeting with the members of Accept.

‘The Undertaker’ is available to stream and download here. Additionally, it is available on limited edition 7″ vinyl pressings in Europe and the United States. The European pressing is in gold/marble and the American pressing is in red.

Too Mean To Die was mixed by Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Fozzy, Megadeth).

Front man Wolf Hoffmann talked about the album’s title in a recent interview.

“We wanted to approach the Corona situation with a twist,” he said. “Accept are the “Metal Soldiers” – we march on and on. We are ‘too mean to die'”.

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

Website: http://acceptworldwide.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/accepttheband

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

U.D.O.’s Latest LP Will Unite Music Lovers Around The World

Courtesy: AFM Records

Veteran rock band U.D.O. returns Friday with its 17th full-length studio recording.  Titled We Are 1, the 15-song record features the band performing its new compositions with the Concert Band of the German Armed Forces.  While rock bands performing and recording with non-rock organizations is anything but out of the ordinary nowadays, the fact that the entire record is composed of new songs is itself interesting.  The arrangements that make up the album’s body offer audiences plenty to appreciate, as do the lyrical themes that accompany that musical content.  Each item will be addressed in itself here.  When they are considered with the record’s sequencing, all three elements make the album in whole a truly unique presentation that rock and metal fans alike will appreciate.

U.D.O.’s latest album We Are 1 is an impressive new entry from the veteran rock band.  There is no doubt in listening through the 75-minute record, that it will resonate with rock and metal fans alike.  That is due in part to the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements in question are full-on rock meets classical compositions that bear their own unique identity separate from the works that acts, such as Metallica and KISS have crafted.  These new, original works are such unique orchestrations.  One actually could argue that they are stylistically more similar to works from Devin Townsend’s latest album Empath (2019).  That comparison stems from the use of the choral element, the strings, the brass and woodwinds together.  Each arrangement sounds so epic even in a more reserved moment, such as in ‘Blindfold (The Last Defender).’  Now not having liner notes to reference, it is not known who the female vocalist is in this song, but her vocals, along with the bells, drums and harp make this song feel cinematic in its own right, especially with all of the attention to the dynamic changes throughout the song.  ‘Blackout’ — which immediately follows ‘Blindfold (The Last Defender)’ — is another example of how powerful the arrangements are in this record.  This nearly three-minute song’s brass and percussion come together to make the song sound like something that would be a perfect fit in the soundtrack for some military movie from the 80s and 90s.  That huge opening that leads into the immediate softer, more contemplative sound, is so powerful especially as that noted softer sound crescendos back into something more constant throughout the rest of the song.  On yet another hand, the use of the bagpipes, tympani, snare drum and standard rock elements come together in ‘Beyond Gravity’ to make this song yet another notable addition to the album that shows in its own right, why these arrangements are so important to examine.  There’s no attempt here to rip off AC/DC or any other band that uses bagpipes.  There’s not even any attempt to copy any other act.  It is its own unique presentation that is certain to become a favorite on record and in a live setting when and if music can ever go live again.  It’s just one more way in which the album’s musical arrangements prove so important to its general presentation.  When it and the rest of the album’s arrangements are considered together, the album’s diverse musical styles and elements collectively build a strong foundation for the LP’s presentation.  In themselves, they make a clear argument as to why this record is one of the year’s top new rock albums.  It might not even be a stretch to call it potentially one of the year’s top new overall albums if only for its musical aspect.  Of course the musical aspect is just one reason to take in this record.  The album’s lyrical content adds to its appeal.

The lyrical content featured in We Are 1 runs through one general topic, that topic being concerns about the state of the world.  Band founder and namesake Udo Dirkschneider talked about that overarching theme in a recent interview.  He said of the album’s general theme, “We all live on this planet.  No matter who we are or what we do, we all just have this one planet.  There is no planet B.  When I see the pictures of all the plastic in our oceans and when I hear about the next climate catastrophe in the news, I really start wondering how respectless and irresponsible we sometimes are.  It’s not just about us.  It’s also about all the others and last but not least, about our children!”  That concern that he voiced in the noted comments is shown throughout this record in a variety of fashions.  ‘Here We Go Again,’ for instance takes on concerns over how the Trump administration has handled the issue of immigration.  Dirkschneider notes in this blues rock based song’s lyrical side, “Who has got the right to decide/Who’s gonna live and who’s gonna die/People on the street and people on the sea/Always on the run/Trying to be free/People on the left/People on the right/Everywhere you look/Uptight/Living in a cell/Living in a cage/Fairy tale is over…Everybody’s…longing for a new way/Everybody’s got the right/turning darkness into light/here we go again…Time to show again.”  From here, the song makes mention of corrupt elections and trump’s cries of “fake news” every time that legitimate news agencies call BS on his lies in the song’s second verse.  Given, this is hardly the first time that any musical act has taken on the corruption of the Trump administration and Trump himself, but it is still approached in a unique fashion here that is certain to keep listeners engaged.  It is just one of the ways in which the album’s lyrical themes prove pivotal in their own right to the album.  The album’s title track, which comes early in its run, is clearly another way in which the record’s lyrics show their importance.

‘We Are One’ is a call for unity.  Again, referencing Dirkschneider’s noted statements, the song’s lyrical theme makes crystal clear sense.  He, his band mates and the choir that joins them sings in the song’s chorus, “What are we waiting for/Before we lose control/We are one/We are free/And we need a place to be/We are one/We will rise/Gonna be no compromise/We are one/We are free/And we need a place to be/We are one/We will rise/Never be a compromise.”  This comes after Dirkschneider makes note in the song’s lead verse, of people dealing with all the negativity that is on television nowadays and the impact thereof.  He continues the commentary in similar fashion in the song’s second verse, asking “Do you enjoy watching people die?” before reminding listeners again that “We are one.”  It’s that call to unity and action that is just as needed and welcome today as ever, and just one more way in which the album’s lyrical themes prove so pivotal to this album.  ‘Rebel Town’ is yet another example of the importance of the album’s lyrical themes.

The lyrical theme at the center of ‘Rebel Town’ is a celebration of the 30th anniversary of East and West Germany’s unification.  The song makes mention here of revolution and people sacrificing, and indirectly of people tearing down the Berlin Wall.  Dirkschneider even goes so far as to state at one point, “Chase away the leaders/Let them rot in hell/Believe in what you’re fighting for/Let them hear the rebel yell.”  This is that call again, this time about people coming together to remove the barrier between the two Germanies “in this little town.”  The use of the horns and overall orchestral elements here really paints such a vivid picture of that key moment in history.  This is unique if not original in terms of songs’ lyrical themes from one to the next.  This critic in particular is hard-pressed to find another band that has ever written a song about the fall of the Berlin Wall and the unification of Germany.  Keeping that in mind, the song is yet another example of what makes the album’s lyrical content so important to its whole.  When it is considered along with the other noted themes and those in the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album’s lyrical content works with the album’s musical content to make the LP’s body overall such that it will guarantee listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  Even with all of this in mind, there is still one more item to note in examining the album’s presentation – its sequencing.

The sequencing of We Are 1 is important to note because it displays the time and thought that went into maintaining the album’s energy throughout.  Seventy-five minutes is a long span.  Given it isn’t the length of a full concert, but it is still a long run time for a standard studio recording.  To that end, the sequencing plays a key part in ensuring listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  The album opens just as strongly as it closes and vice versa.  In-between, the energy rises and falls at all of the right points from one to the next and even within each of the songs.  Some of the songs start, stay and end strong while others, such as ‘Love and Sin’ and ‘Children of the World’ open with a semi-mysterious tone before launching into a full-on cinematic approach that is a fit for any epic blockbuster’s soundtrack.  ‘Blindfold (The Last Defender)’ and ‘Blackout’ serve as solid break points for the album’s sequence, giving listeners something soft, and then fully orchestra in the vein of movie soundtrack composer Hans Zimmer before the album returns to its initial approach.  ‘Natural Forces,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another good break point, giving listeners more of the Hans Zimmer style presentation.  From here on out, the album’s energy switches direction, rises and falls at all of the right moments, ensuring just as much as ever, listeners’ engagement and entertainment right to the album’s end.  When all of this is considered along with the impact of We Are 1’s musical and lyrical content overall, all three elements come together to make this album a truly outstanding offering from U.D.O. that will appeal not only to rock and metal aficionados but to music lovers in general.

U.D.O.’s latest full-length studio recording We Are 1 is one of the most pleasant musical surprises of 2020 so far.  While it features a rock band working with an orchestra, it can’t be compared to those rock-meets-classical records from the likes of Metallica and KISS by any means or any other band that has taken this approach.  This collection of new songs really is its own, unique presentation that shows more similarities to works from Devin Townsend, composer Hans Zimmer, Epica, Judas Priest and even Joe Satriani (yes, that seems like an odd mix, but it works) than to the noted other acts’ works.  What’s more, the socially conscious lyrical themes that accompany the musical arrangements solidify the album’s presentation even more.  The record’s  sequencing puts the final touch to the album’s presentation.  Each noted item is important in its own way to the LP’s presentation.  All things considered, they make this record not only one of the year’s best new rock and hard rock albums, but potentially one of the year’s best new overall albums.  We Are 1 is scheduled for release Friday through AFM Records.  More information on the album is available along with all of U.D.O.’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.udo-online.de

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

 

 

 

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

Viking Metallers Amon Amarth Are Victorious In Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Live DVDs & Blu-rays List

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

As the final few days of 2018 wind down, there is still some work to be done by critics putting in their year-ender lists.  That includes this critic.

This critic’s most recent year-ender focused on the year’s top new live CDs.  In a gradual transition to movies and television, there is still one more music list to present — the year’s top new live DVDs/BDs.  As has been noted previously, there are some live recordings that translate in  relatively acceptable fashion, but there are also others that can and should only be experienced with the full audio-visual experience.

Keeping this in mind, it is only fair to examine the year’s best new live DVDs and Blu-rays.  Topping this year’s list is Amon Amarth’s The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm.  There is nothing negative to say about this presentation.  The extensive documentary outlines the band’s career from the band’s own mouths, showing the group as a hard-working, blue-collar outfit that has earned its place in the metal and music communities.  The equally expansive two-night, 30-song set pulls from almost every one of the band’s albums.  The performance is great, as are the production values.

Second Place in this year’s list of the year’s best new live DVDs/BDs goes to Devin Townsend Project’s Ocean Machine Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv.  This performance features Townsend performing Ocean Machine live in its entirety along with an equally extensive by-request set.  That combination makes for a great set list.  As with Amon Amarth’s live recording, the group’s performance ensures audiences’ maintained engagement and entertainment, even at home.  The same can be said of the production values.  The whole makes the recording yet another that is best experienced with the full audio-visual presentation versus just the audio alone.

Third Place in this year’s list of the top new live DVDs and Blu-rays goes to The Rolling Stones’ San Jose, California ’99 show from Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The recording is everything that audiences have come to expect from one of the elite of the elite acts in the music industry today.  The extensive 20-song set list doesn’t play it safe, instead giving audiences material that is less common in the band’s previous live recordings from Eagle Rock Entertainment.  The group’s performance (including that of the touring musicians) couples with the production values to make the performance yet another must have for any true fan of The Rolling Stones.

Also featured in this year’s list are the new live recordings from Anthrax, The Robert Glasper Experiment and Opeth, just to name a few more acts.  As always, the first 10 titles in the last are the best, while the next five are honorable mention titles.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Live DVDs & Blu-rays.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW LIVE DVDS & BLU-RAYS

  1. Amon Amarth — The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
  2. Devin Townsend Project — Ocean Machine Live at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
  3. The Rolling Stones — No Security: San Jose ’99
  4. The Rolling Stones — Voodoo Lounge Uncut
  5. Accept — Symphonic Terror
  6. Opeth — Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks
  7. Anthrax — Kings Among Scotland
  8. The Sound of Music Live
  9. Steven Wilson — Home Invasion Live at the Royal Albert Theatre
  10. Norah Jones — Live at Ronnie Scott’s
  11. Tommy Shaw & The Contemporary Youth Orchestra — Sing For The Day!
  12. The Moody Blues — Days of Future Passed Live
  13. Overkill — Live in Overhausen
  14. Robet Glasper Experiment — Live
  15. Lacuna Coil — The 119 Show Live in London

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.

Eagle Rock’s Mingus Montreux Show Shines In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top New Live CDs List

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Going to live shows is neither easy nor inexpensive nowadays.  Between the collective cost of tickets — which is itself oftentimes bank-breaking — transportation, food, potential lodging and souvenirs, and of course planning around work and family schedules, getting out to live shows is not easy for anyone.

Those barriers make the availability of live recordings something critical for audiences everywhere, regardless of genre.  To that end, live CDs deserve their own consideration just as much as studio recordings, each year.  Keeping that in mind, Phil’s Picks has developed once again a list of the year’s Top 10 new live CDs.

This year has been an interesting one for live CDs.  Some notable live CDs were featured as part of bigger bundles (E.G. The Rolling Stones’ San Jose ’99 and Voodoo Lounge ’94 shows) while others, such as Alice Cooper’s A Paranormal Night @ The Olympia Paris and Marty Friedman’s One Bad M.F. Live were standalone offerings.

Some were standout offerings for all of the best reasons.  Others had some problems to note.  Keeping all of this in mind, this year’s crop of live CDs deserves just as much attention as the vast sea of studio recordings released throughout the year.

Topping this year’s list is yet another live CD from the people at Eagle Rock Entertainment in the form of Charles Mingus’ classic 1975 Montreux Jazz Festival show.  This recording presents Mingus at one of his finest moments, and why his live performances were — and still are today — such powerful presentations.

Coming in second in this year’s list is the new Jimi Hendrix live CD, Live at the Hollywood Bowl.  This CD was released as part of the bigger Electric Ladyland box set, and stands out so strongly because of its set list, Hendrix and company’s performance and the production values.

Third place in this year’s list of the year’s best new live CDs goes to veteran viking metal outfit Amon Amarth.  The 30-song set list spans two nights and quite an expansive portion of the band’s catalog.  That set list is directly mirrored on its DVD and BD presentation, and sounds just as good.  Though because of the intensity of the show, it is still better appreciated being seen and heard and not just heard.  That’s not to say the CD presentation is bad, but audiences will agree that hearing it makes for far more appreciation for the concerts’ DVD and BD presentations.

Also featured in this year’s list of top new live CDs are those noted new offerings from Marty Friedman, Alice Cooper and The Rolling Stones alongside new offerings from Opeth, Devin Townsend and John 5 to name just a few more titles.  As always, this critic’s list features 10 of the year’s top new offerings plus five honorable mentions, which follow, for a total count of 15.  Without any further ado, here is Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 new Live CDs.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW LIVE CDs

  1. Charles Mingus — Live at Montreux 1975
  2. Jimi Hendrix — Live at the Hollywood BowlAug. 14, 1968
  3. Amon Amarth — The Pursuit of Vikings25 Years in the Eye of the Storm
  4. Devin Townsend Project — Ocean MachineLive at the Ancient Roman Theatre Plovdiv
  5. Opeth — Garden of the TitansLive at Red Rocks Amphitheatre
  6. The Rolling Stones — No SecuritySan Jose ’99
  7. The Rolling Stones — Voodoo Lounge Uncut
  8. John Mclaughlin & The 4th Dimension and Jimmy Herring & The Invisible Whip — Live in San Francisco
  9. Marty Friedman — One Bad M.F. Live
  10. Accept — Symphonic TerrorLive at Wacken 2017
  11. Alice Cooper — A Paranormal Night at The Olympia Paris
  12. Fates Warning — Live Over Europe
  13. Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow — Memories in Rock II
  14. John 5 and The Creatures — It’s Alive
  15. Overkill — Live in Overhausen

Peter Baltes Announces Departure From Accept

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Accept is in search of a new bass player.

Founding member Peter Baltes revealed this week that he has left the band.  He made the announcement in a shortly-worded news release, which offered no explanation for his departure.

“To All Accept fans, I hereby announce my departure as bass player from Accept,” Baltes said.  “I have been with the band from the very beginning.  Many of you were there, as well.  I’d like to thank you for all the great years we shared together.  Keep it real.”

Baltes’ now former band mates offered praise to him in their responses, and also offered no explanation for his departure.  Founding guitarist Wolf Hoffman said in his own prepared statement,he appreciated his years working with Baltes.

“We spent four decades together through thick and thin, ups and downs, and I remember some incredible moments on stage,” Hoffman stated.  “There was a blind understanding between us, personally and musically, which is very rare in this business!  Looking back, I will always cherish the carefree, early years, the countless hours we spent writing songs, goofing around or roaming cities together on tour, just having a good ol’ time! Especially these last 10 years, after the revival of Accept being so much fun and so successful that I thought we would continue forever – maybe until one of us would drop dead on stage, but I guess I was wrong.  It wasn’t meant to be.”

Hoffman added Baltes’ departure is discouraging.

“To see Peter leave Accept now saddens me immensely, but there’s nothing I can do but to wish him well – hoping that this is the right decision for him, and that he will find whatever he is looking for…I will certainly miss my musical brother!  One thing is certain however:  Accept will continue full steam ahead.”

Full steam ahead includes a series of live dates in 2019 in support of the band’s recently released live recording Symphonic Terror.  The recording was released Nov. 23 via Nuclear Blast Records.  The band’s currently announced live dates are noted below.

20.04.19    Wuppertal  –  Stadthalle
21.04.19    Leipzig  –  Haus Auesee
22.04.19    Hamburg  –  Mehr!Theater
23.04.19    Fürth  –  Stadthalle
25.05.19    Saarbrücken – Congresshalle
27.05.19    München – Circus Krone

Pre-orders for tickets to the noted shows are open now.

Accept Drummer Christopher Williams offered his own thoughts on Baltes’ announcement, offering a small explanation behind Batles’ departure from the band.

“I want to wish Peter nothing but the best in his future endeavors,” Williams said.  “Peter simply needed a change in his personal life.  It has been an absolute blast sharing the stage with him over the last four years.  He is one of the most solid rock and roll bass players I’ve had the pleasure of working with, and I’ve worked with many.  One thing is for certain:  I will miss my friend!  Thank you Peter, for the great memories and the great music.  Cheers!”

Additionally, Williams addressed the band’s fans in his statement.

“To the fans:  I’m sure this is a shocking moment for many of you,” Williams said.  “As a diehard fan of many bands myself, I understand that transitions like these are never easy, especially with the legacy someone like Peter has with their band.  From one fan to another, thank you for all your continued support!”

The band in whole, echoed Williams’ and Hoffman’s thoughts, in a collective statement about Baltes’ departure.

“We are all heartbroken!,” the statement reads.  “Peter needed a change in his life an we wish him all the best.  He will always be a part of the Accept family, and to honor his tribute to music history, we should all wish him well.”

More information on Accept is available online now at:

 

Website: http://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.

 

 

Accept Debuts New ‘Symphonic Terror’ Trailer

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Accept has released a new trailer promoting its forthcoming live recording.

The band debuted the trailer for its upcoming live recording Symphonic Terror on Thursday. The recording is scheduled to be released Nov. 23 via Nuclear Blast.  The trailer only runs 36-seconds in length, but gives a new visual and audio preview of the band’s new recording in that time.

Pre-orders for Symphonic Terror are open now. Symphonic Terror will be available on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted 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

Accept guitarist and founding member Wolf Hoffman said in an interview, that the band is proud of its new recording.

“We are so glad we recorded this unique show,” Hoffman said.  “This very special concert at Wacken will always stay in our memories.”

He added that the band has already scheduled a handful of live dates for the new year, and that audiences have a lot to be excited about from the band in its upcoming dates.

“Those who couldn’t be there at Wacken have never seen Accept like this, but it’s definitely worth it.  On our last tour, I personally missed the orchestra in some songs.  What I can already say is this: There will be some visual and musical surprises on the Symphonic Terror tour that you wouldn’t exactly expect from Accept.  2019 will be exciting!”

The dates for the band’s upcoming tour are noted below.

ACCEPT live 2019:

31.01. – 04.02. USA     Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 70000 Tons of Metal

20.04. D – Wuppertal – Stadthalle
21.04. D – Leipzig – Haus Auensee
22.04. D – Hamburg – Mehr!Theater
23.04. D – Fürth – Stadthalle
25.05. D – Saarbrücken – Congresshalle
27.05. D – München – Circus Krone

Accept’s new trailer for Symphonic Terror is just the latest video that the band has released in anticipation of the recording’s release.  The band has also released full live clips of ‘Balls to the Wall,’ ‘Symphony No. 40‘ and ‘Breaker‘ to build anticipation for the recording’s release.

 

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

The band has also released ‘Balls to the Wall’ on a limited edition 10-inch vinyl pressing, with ‘Symphony No. 40’ as the vinyl’s b-side.  It can be purchased now digitally and physically.

More information on Symphonic Terror is available online now along with all of Accept’s latest news and more 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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Pre-Orders Open For ‘Symphonic Terror’

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Nuclear Blast Records has officially opened pre-orders for its new live recording.

Nuclear Blast Records announced Friday that pre-orders for Symphonic Terror have opened.  The album is currently scheduled to be released Nov. 23 via Nuclear Blast Records on seven separate platforms noted below.

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

The two-hour, 23-song performance was originally recorded Aug. 3, 2017 at the Wacken Open Air Festival in front of an audience of 80,000 people.  Thousands more streamed the performance online live.

The concert was separated into three separate sections.  The first featured full on performances of classic songs such as ‘Restless and Wild’ and ‘Pandemic’ and then new songs ‘Die By The Sword’ and ‘Koolaid.’

The second section features a rock/symphonic performance of select songs from Wolf Hoffman’s recent solo album Headbanger’s Symphony.  The songs featured in that record are amped up takes on some of the world’s most beloved classical compositions from famed composers Beethoven, Mozart, Vivaldi and others.

The concert’s third segment features the band performing many of its own hits, such as ‘Princess of the Dawn,’ ‘Breaker,’ ‘Fast as a Shark,’ ‘Metal Heart,’ ‘Stalingrad,’ ‘Shadow Soldiers,’ ‘Teutonic Terror’ and ‘Balls to the Wall’ complete with orchestral backing.

The concert’s full track listing is noted below.

The Tracklist:
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

 

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

In anticipation of Symphonic Terror‘s release, Accept will release a limited edition 10-inch vinyl pressing of ‘Balls to the Wall/Symphony No. 40 in G Minor’ on Oct. 5.  Both performances are taken from Symphonic TerrorDigital and physical Pre-orders for the vinyl are also open now.

Also in anticipation of Symphonic Terror‘s forthcoming release, the band is touring worldwide, including the current U.S. leg of its tour.  The band is scheduled to perform live in St. Charles, IL on Sept. 26.  The U.S. leg of its tour is scheduled to wrap Oct. 4 in Houston, TX.

Once it wraps the U.S. leg of its tour, Accept will move to Central and South America from Oct. 6 to Oct. 25 before back to Europe from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4 for what has been dubbed “The Rise of Chaos Festivals 2018 Tour.”  Orden Ogen, Monuments and Refuge will join Accept for the festival shows.

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

ACCEPT live:
26.09.  USA     St. Charles, IL – Arcada Theatre
28.09.  USA     Agoura Hills, CA – The Canyon
29.09.  USA     Pasadena, CA – The Rose
30.09.  USA     Santa Clarita, CA – The Canyon
02.10.  USA     Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live!
04.10.  USA     Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall

06.10.  MEX    Monterrey – Tecate México Metal Fest
10.10.  BR       Belém – Botequim
12.10.  BR       Fortaleza – Complexo Armazém
14.10.  BR       São Paulo – Carioca Club
16.10.  BR       Belo Horizonte – Mister Rock
18.10.  RA       Buenos Aires – Teatro Flores
19.10.  RA       Chubut – Predio Ferial Comodoro
20.10.  RA       Cipolletti – Kimika Night Club
23.10.  RCH     Santiago – Teatro Coliseo
25.10.  RCH     Puerto Montt – Arena

»Rise Of Chaos Festivals 2018«
w/ ORDEN OGAN, REFUGE, MONUMENT
01.11.  D         Cologne – Live Music Hall
02.11.  D         Weissenhäuser Strand / Ostsee – Metal Hammer Paradise* *SOLD OUT*
03.11.  D         Wiesbaden – Schlachthof
04.11.  D         Regensburg-Obertraubling -Airport-Eventhall
*ACCEPT only

More information on Accept’s upcoming live dates, 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.