Lamb Of God Takes No Prisoners As It Storms This Year’s Hard Rock And Metal Field

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

It’s official. Lamb of God is back. The veteran metal band, which was once tapped as part of the so-called New Wave of American Heavy Metal, released its latest full-length studio effort on July 24th. The album, the band’s seventh, is one that almost didn’t happen. That is because of front man Randy Blythe’s 2012 court case stemming from the death of one of the band’s fans in 2010 at one of the band’s live shows in Prague. Blythe faced the possibility of spending quite a bit of time behind bars as a result of the fan’s death as he was implicated in sad fan’s death. Thankfully that didn’t happen. And because it didn’t fans now have an album in VII: Sturm Und Drang that is both one of the band’s best albums to date and that is one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal albums. The record is anchored by the trademark musical and lyrical intensity that the band’s fans have come to know so well over the years as is evident in ‘#512’ and ‘Engage The Fear Machine.’ Though, for its familiar sound and feel, the band does throw a proverbial wrench in the works, branching out slightly in regards to its musical content in ‘Overlord.’ All three songs show in their own way that Lamb of God is indeed back. They are hardly the only songs that could be cited in making that argument. The standard edition features seven other songs that could just as easily be used for that argument. The deluxe extended edition no fewer than nine other tracks as fodder for that argument as it includes a pair of bonus recordings. All things considered, VII: Sturm Und Drang (storm and penetrated, roughly translated) proves both in its standard and deluxe editions to be an album that is, again, one of Lamb of God’s best recordings yet and one of this year’s best new hard rock and metal recordings.

Lamb of God’s latest full-length album VII: Sturm Und Drang is one of the band’s best recordings to date and one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. It is an especially welcome recording from one of the members of the so-called New Wave of American Heavy Metal considering that it almost didn’t happen. From beginning to end, fans will note the band’s trademark musical and lyrical intensity in every song including one of its highest moments, ‘#512.’ Considering the song’s lyrical content, one can’t help but think that it must be one of the two songs included in this record that were centered on the case in question. He writes in the song, “Six bars laid across the sky/Four empty walls to fill the time/One careless word, you lose your life/A grave new world awaits inside.” He goes on to write in the song’s chorus, “My hands are painted red/My future’s painted black/I can’t recognize myself/I’ve become someone else/My hands are painted red” The content contained in the song’s second and third verse strengthens the argument even more that this song is referencing the events of Blythe’s case. Both verses, when coupled with the intensity of the song’s musical content, illustrates the emotion that Blythe must have felt when he originally wrote this song. That is, again, if the song is indeed making reference to the case.

Regardless of whether or not #512 is indeed making reference to Randy Blythe’s case stemming from the death of one of LOG’s fans some five years ago, it is still one of the best moments of this already outstanding return for one of metal’s top acts. It is hardly the only positive that can be taken from the band’s new album. ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ is yet another positive from this outstanding work. Coming from a musical vantage point, ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ shows another familiar sound. The band’s technical expertise in this death metal style song. Drummer Chris Adler’s time keeping is without flaw. Mark Morton and Will Adler are just as tight together in the song’s dual-part approach to the songs. And the fire in Blythe’s voice as he screams will remind long-time fans just as much of the band’s previous works. Speaking in terms of the song’s lyrical content, the song hits just as hard as Blythe comments on the steady stream of fear, death, and destruction being fed to Americans from the media and other sources. He screams, “Here we go again/The world is coming to an end/Engage the fear machine and collect the dividends/That’s it, you filthy monkeys/Keep your eyes on the bright and shiny/Just for you/A brand new-and-improved catastrophe/Pure-bred Pavlov/Prime time apocalypse/Hit the panic button and reap the bloody benefits.” This is made even clearer as he screams in the song’s closing verse, “Stream the latest threat from the limelight economists/Fabricated peri from contagion to communists/Fear delivered to your door by racketeers and strategists/Another advertisement war sold by the media terrorists.” If there was any doubt before, then that doubt is completely eliminated here. The fear machine is the media. It is politicians. It is everybody in any sense of power that willingly drives people into submission through the use of fear. That reminder to not give in to the fear machine set alongside the song’s familiar powerhouse musical content makes even clearer why this song is one of the best of the band’s new album. While it is another of the album’s best moments, it is not the last of said moments. ‘Overlord’ is one of the album’s representative singles and justifiably so. It is yet another of the album’s most notable works.

‘#512’ and ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ are both key additions to Lamb of God’s new album. Both songs harken back to the band’s previous albums with their musical content. The songs’ lyrical content will impress just as much with their hard-hitting and thought-provoking lyrical content. While both songs show in their own way to be key additions to VII: Sturm Und Drang they are just a small collective glimpse into what makes this record such a welcome return for Lamb of God. The album’s latest single ‘Overlord’ is one more example of what makes this record a welcome return. It is perhaps the single most notable of the album’s songs because it is such a drastic departure for the band. The band’s signature speed and ferocity are both there. However, listeners are treated to more than just that familiar sound. The song starts out with a much slower hybrid Crowbar/Alice in Chains sort of sound that runs nearly three and a half minutes into the song’s six and a half-minute run time. Throughout that initial run, audiences actually get to hear for themselves that the band’s members can in fact do more than just play really fast and really loud. All five men show that they can play in a slow, controlled fashion just as much as they can fast and loud. Even Blythe’s vocals have a different sound in that run. It’s an interesting change of pace overall. It is just part of what makes this song such an interesting addition to the record, too. The song’s lyrical content, written by Blythe add even more interest. Blythe noted in an interview that lyrically speaking, the song is a commentary about how the world’s people have become completely self-obsessed and that the end result of that obsession can only be bad. He notes of the song that, “I wrote the song about the dangers of self-obsession in our distressingly myopic and increasingly entitled “me-now/now-me” culture; just like the couple in the video, many people can’t seem to look past their own relatively small problems to see the bigger picture: the world is in serious trouble. Having a bad day at work, or a fight with your significant other, or getting a crappy haircut or table service does not in any way shape or form constitute an emergency. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to deal with it. People who only see their own problems eventually wind up alone because no one wants to hear their crap anymore- we all know someone like that, always whining and complaining about some inconsequential setback as if it were the apocalypse. This song is for those people.” That statement is made clear as he screams, “A new time of declaration of distress/Strife, misery, and the pursuit of unhappiness/Endless complaining/No accountability/No reek of privilege and weightless tragedy.” It is made even clearer as he screams later in the song, “All the world’s a stage/But you are the only player/A black hole in the center of the universe/A dark cloud of despair/Caught in an endless rut/A Crisis without solution/Someone should stitch your mouth shut/And solve your f***ing problem.” This is a rather sharp indictment of those people. But again, everybody knows someone like the individual(s) noted here. That being the case, the fire in these words along with Blythe’s delivery style and the musical approach of his band mates combine to make ‘Overlord’ one of the album’s strongest songs if not the single strongest songs. Audiences can check out the song for themselves now along with its companion video via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNRsvFsY9qk. Together with the likes of ‘#512’ and ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ all three songs show together clearly why VII: Sturm Und Drang is a welcome return for Lamb of God. Those songs combined with the remaining tracks not noted here result in an album that is justifiably one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal crop.

VII: Sturm Und Drang shows from beginning to end to be a welcome return for Lamb of God. Audiences will agree that regardless of whether they pick up the deluxe twelve-track edition or the standard ten-track record, it proves to be one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. This is thanks both to the musical talent displayed time and again throughout the body of the record and the commentary contained within each of the album’s songs. Whether for one of the tracks noted here or for any of the many others that could just as easily be noted, fans will agree that this applies in every one of the album’s songs. VII: Sturm Und Drang is available now in stores and online. The band is currently touring in support of the new record. It will be in Boston, MA tomorrow, August 4th and then in Holmdel, New Jersey on Wednesday. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR:

LAMB OF GOD W/ Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine & Motionless In White

8/4 – Boston, MA @ XFINITY Center

8/5 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

8/6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion

8/8 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

8/9 – Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean-Drapeau – Heavy Montreal

8/11 – Washington, DC @ Jiffy Lube Live

8/12 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

8/14 – Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center

8/15 – Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

8/16 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

8/19 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

8/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre

8/22 – Garden City, ID @ Revolution Center – NO SLIPKNOT *New Show*

8/23 – Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater

8/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena

8/26 – Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion

8/28 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Resort Festival Grounds

8/29 – Phoenix, AZ @ AK-Chin Pavilion

8/30 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater

9/2 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater

9/4 – Houston, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

9/5 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion

More information on Lamb of God’s tour is available online along with all of the latest updates on its new album and all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.lamb-of-god.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lambofgod

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.

Reel Big Fish Announce New Summer Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Rock Ridge Music

Courtesy: Rock Ridge Music

Veteran ska band Reel Big Fish has announced that it will hit the road this summer.

Reel Big Fish will tour this summer in support of its latest release Candy Coated Fury. The band—Aaron Barrett (vocals/guitar), Billy Kottage (trombone), John Christianson (trumpet), Ryland Steen (drums), Derek Gibbs (bass), Matt Appleton (saxophone/vocals)– will kick off its tour Thursday, June 5th in Oklahoma City Oklahoma. Also along for the ride on the band’s tour will be the New Jersey-based band Survay Says!

Along with its primary tour dates, Reel Big Fish has been announced as one of the bands to perform at this year’s Amnesia Rockfest in Quebec. Also on the bill for the festival are: Blink 182, Weezer, Alice in Chains and more. The band’s latest schedule of tour dates is listed below. More dates will be announced at later dates.

Upcoming Tour Dates:

Summer Tour with Survay Says! More Dates WILL be added SOON!

6/5/14: Oklahoma City, OK – Bricktown Music Hall

6/9/14: Sioux Falls, SD – The District

6/10/14: Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights

6/11/14: Iowa City, IA – Blue Moose

6/12/14: Kalamazoo, MI – District Square

6/13/14: Lansing, MI – The Loft

6/14/14: Toronto, ON – Opera House

6/15/14: London, ON – London Music Hall

6/21/14: Montebello, QC – Montebello Marina: Amnesia Rockfest

http://www.amnesiarockfest.com/

6/22/14: Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall

6/23/14: Northampton, MA – Pearl Street

6/26/14: Little Rock, AR – Juanita’s

6/27/14; Dallas, TX – Trees

6/29/14: Houston, TX – House of Blues Houston

————————————————————–

July 6th – Sonisphere – Knebworth Park Stevenage, UK

July 9th – Wedgewood Rooms – Portsmouth, UK

July 10th – Guildhall – Gloucester, UK

July 11th – Boileroom – Guildford, UK

July 12th – Princess Pavilion – Falmouth, UK

July 13th – Nass Festival – Shepton Mallet – Somerset, UK

July 14th – Komedia – Bath, UK

July 19th – Overdrive Encore – Kapfenberg, Austria

July 26th – Greenville Festival – Berlin, Germany

July 31st – Brooklyn Bowl – London, UK

—————————————————————

August 1st – Y-Not Festival – Matlock, Derbyshire, UK

August 2nd – Academy – Liverpool, UK

August 3rd – Kendal Calling – Lowther Deer Park, Lake District, UK

August 7th – Punk Rock Holiday Festival – Tolmin Slovenia

August 8th – Open Flair Festival – Seebuhne, Germany

August 10th – Boardmasters Festival – Newquay, Cornwall, UK

August 13th – Nass Festival – Shepton Mallet – Somerset,UK

August 15th – Open Air Gampel – Gampel, Switzerland

August 16th – Hevy Fest – Port Lympne, Kent, UK

August 17th – Merthyr Rock 2014 – Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, UK

Audiences can keep up with the latest tour schedule updates, news and more from Reel Big Fish online at http://www.facebook.com/ReelBigFish, http://www.Reel-Big-Fish, http://twitter.com/reelbigfish and http://www.Myspace.com/reelbigfish. 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.

Performance Times Released For Annual Festival

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers of the annual “Welcome To Rockville” Festival presented by Monster Energy have released more information on this year’s festival.  2013 is the festival’s third year being held.  Performance times for bands on each stage have officially been released.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage East” opens with a performance by Pop Evil at 12:40pm.  Pop Evil will be followed by All That Remains, Halestorm, Papa Roach, Stone Sour, and headliners Alice in Chains.  Alice in Chains takes the “Monster Energy Main Stage East” at 9:45pm.  The “Monster Energy Main Stage West” is just one of the many stages from which audiences have to choose during the festival.  A full listing of bands and performance times is available below.

Saturday, April 27

Monster Energy Main Stage East

12:40 PM         Pop Evil

2:05 PM           All That Remains

3:35 PM           Halestorm

5:25 PM           Papa Roach

7:25 PM           Stone Sour

9:45 PM           Alice In Chains

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

12:05 PM         Young Guns

1:20 PM           In This Moment

2:50 PM           Asking Alexandria

4:30 PM           Bullet For My Valentine

6:20 PM           Three Days Grace

8:30 PM           Limp Bizkit

 

Emerging Artist Stage

Noon                Rockville Rumble Winner

1:00 PM           Hell Or Highwater

2:10 PM           Gemini Syndrome

3:20 PM           Whitechapel

4:45 PM           Otherwise

6:20 PM           Escape The Fate

 

Jax Live Stage

11:30 AM         Rockville Rumble Winner

12:30 PM         Edens Fill       

1:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

2:50 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:05 PM           Stars In Stereo

5:35 PM           MonstrO

7:25 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

Sunday, April 28

Monster Energy Main Stage East

11:45 AM         Red

12:55 PM         Saving Abel

2:30 PM           Filter

4:10 PM           Skillet

6:05 PM           3 Doors Down

8:35 PM           Lynyrd Skynyrd

 

Monster Energy Main Stage West

11:15 AM         Farewell 2 Fear

12:20 PM         Nonpoint

1:40 PM           Steel Panther

3:20 PM           Hollywood Undead

5:05 PM           Buckcherry

7:15 PM           Shinedown

 

Emerging Artist Stage

11:20 AM         Nebraska Bricks

12:20 PM         Soulswitch

1:25 PM           Girl On Fire

2:35 PM           Saliva

3:45 PM           Motionless In White

5:10 PM           Device

6:50 PM           Nothing More

 

Jax Live Stage

11:50 AM         (N)ception

12:55 PM         The Apprehended

2:05 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

3:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

4:40 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

6:15 PM           Rockville Rumble Winner

 

The whole party will be preceded by the “Rockville Downtown Experience presented by Corona Light” pre-party on Friday, April 26th.  Two post-show parties will be held Saturday, April 27th.  Admission to these parties is FREE.  Friday’s show will feature Saliva, Evergreen Terrace, and Victr as entertainment.  The bands will perform live at the Underbelly in Jacksonville, FL.  More information on this party is available online at http://www.jaxunderbelly.com.  Saturday’s after-parties will feature performances by DJ Monk and Robert Goodman at 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, FL (http://www.facebook.com/1904MusicHall, http://www.1904MusicHall.com) and Icey at the Underbelly.

Fans that attend the festival will have plenty of opportunities to get their CDs, shirts, and more signed by their favorite band(s) at the f.y.e. tent and other onsite locations.  There will also be interactive experiences such as a gaming area and Dave’s Crazy Music Experience.  This experience lets fans find out for themselves what it’s like to make music in a studio environment.  It includes actual guitars, drums, basses, and all the gear used by today’s top acts.

Tickets are still available for this year’s festival.  Prices are listed below.

Single Day General Admission – $59.50 plus fees

Single Day VIP – $134.50 plus fees
2-Day General Admission – $107 plus fees
2-Day VIP – $219 plus fees
2-Day Party Pack (4 weekend tickets) – $357 plus fees

Along with the listed ticket prices, “no service fee tickets” are available at specific Metro PCS locations.  More information on this is available online at http://www.welcometorockvillefestival.com/tickets.html.  A limited number of VIP tickets and hotel packages are still available.  They can be purchased online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com.  VIP tickets include entrance to all concerts through a VIP entrance, access to VIP lounge featuring dedicated bar, beverage and food service, viewing of the Monster Main Stage (both seated and standing areas), a seated area with shade for dining, private bathrooms and laminated VIP guest pass.    

More information on the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival is available online at http://www.WelcomeToRockvilleFestival.com, http://www.facebook.com/welcometorockville, and on Twitter at @RockvilleFest.

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.

Rocklahoma Performance Lineup Announced

 

 

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

 

Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” music festival have announced the official performance lineup for this year’s festival.  The festival kicks off Thursday, May 23rd and runs through Sunday, May 26th.  Tickets for the four day festival go on sale next Wednesday, April 17th at 11AM/10Am CT.  They can be purchased online at the official Rocklahoma website, http://www.rocklahoma.com.  The official performance lineup is listed below:

Thursday, May 23 (AXiS Campground Stage):

Triple 7, Bruce Flea, Searching for Sanity, Sleepwalking Home, Motortrain, Baron, Von Swagger, Rocker Lips, Drek, Kingshifter

Friday, May 24:

Guns N’ Roses, Bush, Papa Roach, Device, Ratt, All That Remains, Clutch, Escape The Fate, The Sword, Otherwise, Zero Crossing, Down & Dirty, The Last Vegas, Hessler, Bai Bang, Ruff Justice, London’s Dungeon, Fist of Rage, The Summit, Wanton Looks, Kicktree, Shotgun Rebels, The Kul, Mine Enemies Fall

Saturday, May 25:

Alice In Chains, Bullet For My Valentine, Skillet, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Big Wreck, Young Guns, We As Humans, O’Brother, Mindset Evolution, Gypsy Pistoleros, Rhyme, Sunset Riot, Wildstreet, London, Black Tora, Big Trouble, Sister’s Doll, Emerald City, Strikes at One, Well Hung Heart, Vilifi, For the Broken, EchoFuzz, The Chimpz, Memory of a Melody

Sunday, May 26:

Korn, Cheap Trick, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Dokken, Motionless In White, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, American Fangs, Scorpion Child, The Glitter Boys, Nasty Habit, Mystery, Lynam, Switchblade Scarlet, Firstryke, Station, Ragdoll, Wicked, New Dawn Day, Unwritten Rulz, Framing the Red, Meganaut, The Bourgeois

Single-day tickets will be available beginning next Wednesday, April 17 for $69 (plus fees).  Three-day passes are available now for $125 plus fees and will increase to $150 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Weekend VIP ticket packages are available now for $350 plus fees.  They will increase to a cost of $380 plus fees beginning next Wednesday.  Quantities for these packages are limited.  There are still limited quantities of Weekend Four-packs and Groupie packages.  Active Military duty personnel can purchase discounted general admission tickets at any time.  More information on ticket packages and more is available on the Rocklahoma website, http://www.rocklahoma.com.  Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping office at 866-310-2288 or by e-mailing info@feverfest.com.  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will be open through Tuesday, May 28th

Rocklahoma is sponsored by Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Monster Energy, Jagermeister, Love Bottling, Retrospect Records, Route 66 RVs, and AXiS Entertainment.

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.

Rocklahoma Organizers Announce Festival Details

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers with the annual “Rocklahoma” concert festival have released the initial slate of performers and information for this year’s three day-long festival.  This year’s festival is the final event of the 2013 “World’s Loudest Month.”  It will take place on Memorial Day weekend from May 24th – 26th.  It will be headlined by Guns ‘N Roses, Alice In Chains, and Korn.  It will be held at the “Catch The Fever” festival grounds in Pryor, Oklahoma and will be presented by Bud Light.  It is sponsored by Bud Light, Hard Rock, Jagermeister, and Monster Energy.

The current lineup of performers reads like a who’s who of rocks’ past, present, and future.  Performers set for the festival’s main stage include: Guns ‘N Roses, Alice in Chains, Korn, Bush, Cheap Trick, Bullet For My Valentine, Papa Roach, Skillet, Hollywood Undead, Steel Panther, Asking Alexandria, Ratt, Halestorm, Device (With David Draiman), All That Remains, Escape The Fate, Dokken, Clutch, Motionless in White, Big Wreck, The Sword, Young Guns, Thousand Foot Krutch, Otherwise, Red Line Chemistry, Mindset Evolution, Heaven’s Basement, We As Humans, American Fangs, O’Brother and many more. 

The festival’s main stage is loaded with some major names.  It’s just one part of the weekend long festival.  Fans can head over to the Retrospect Records Stage for even more bands including: The Last Vegas, London, Wildstreet, Mad Max, Bai Bang, Lynam, De La Cruz, The Glitter Boyz, Black Tora, Sunset Riot, Firstryke, Ragdoll, Hessler, Switchblade Scarlett, Nasty Habit, Sister’s Doll, London’s Dungeon, Rhyme, Emerald City, Wicked, Down n Dirty, Station, Ruff Justice, Mystery and Fist of Rage.

While it has not yet been finalized, news on the lineup for the AXiS Campground Tent is expected to be released in the coming weeks.

General admission tickets for Rocklahoma go on sale next Friday, February 22nd at 11am/10am CST.  An internet pre-sale will be held next Wednesday, February 20th online at http://www.rocklahoma.com.  The pre-sale will go on at 11am/10 CST.  Audiences can also go to the Rocklahoma website to order tickets once they go on full sale and to sign up for the Rocklahoma newsletter.  The earlier fans purchase tickets the better as ticket prices will increase in the coming weeks. 

Camping tickets can be purchased by calling the Rocklahoma Camping Office at (866) 310-2288 or by e-mailing info@feverfest.com.  Campgrounds open Sunday, May 19th and will remain open until Tuesday, May 28th

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.

Carolina Rebellion Festival Expands In Its Third Year

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

The Carolina Rebellion Festival is coming back this Spring.  The annual festival returns to the Rock City Campgrounds at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday may 4th and 5th.  The Charlotte Motor Speedway is in Concord, just outside of Charlotte.  Now in its third year, this year’s festival marks the first time that it will fill a full weekend.  There will be three stages for this year’s festival:  The Monster Energy ‘Carolina Stage, the Monster Energy ‘Rebellion Stage, and the Jagermeister Stage.  This year’s band lineup is going to be big one.  It’s all set to kick off with performance on Saturday by:  Alice in Chains, Limp Bizkit, Deftones, Three Days Grace, Papa Roach, Bullet for my Valentine, Halestorm, Asking Alexandria, Sick Puppies, In This Moment, Device (with David Draiman), Young Guns, Otherwise, Aranda, Tracer, and Monstro.

Things won’t let up much on Sunday, May 5th.  The current lineup slated for the festival’s second day includes:  Soundgarden, Rise Against, Bush, 3 Doors Down, Buckcherry, Volbeat, Hollywood Undead, All That Remains, Steel Panther, Pop Evil, Escape The Fate, Nonpoint, Thousand Foot Krutch, Red Line Chemistry, Heaven’s Basement, and American Fangs.

Full weekend general admission tickets and single day general admission tickets for the Carolina Rebellion Festival go on sale Friday, February 8th at 10amEST.  Full weekend tickets start at $99/person plus fees.  Single day admission tickets start at $59.50 plus fees.  Parking cost is included with all tickets.  For more information on tickets and the festival, audiences can go online to http://www.CarolinaRebellion.com and http://www.facebook.com/CRebellion.  Anyone that signs up for the Carolina Rebellion Newsletter can pre-order full weekend tickets for a discounted price of $89 plus fees.  This applies only during the pre-sale period, which runs from Wednesday February 6th to Thursday, February 7th.

Fans can also go online to http://www.CarolinaRebellion to get information on camping, hotel and VIP packages as well as military discounts, which will also be available for all active duty military personnel.

To get the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Heaven’s Cry Re-Issue Shows Band’s Versatility, Influences

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Canadian Prog-metal act Heaven’s Cry will issue two of its classic albums next Tuesday, January 8th.  The first of the pair is the band’s 2003 album, Primal Power AddictionPrimal Power Addiction opens solidly with a rather Prong style piece in the song, ‘Komma.’  Vocalist/guitarist Pierre St-Jean even sounds eerily like Prong front man Tommy Victor in this song as a result of the song’s mixing.  The song’s somewhat cryptic lyrics aside, what really stands out in this song is the precision of the band’s musicianship.  Drummer Rene Lacharite’s timing is spot on.  His ability to keep time while maintaining such polyrhythmic patterns more than shows his talent.  And the control of the guitars both during the heavier and more subdued sections of the song give it even more flare.

As impressive as ‘Komma’ is, it Primal Power Addiction offers plenty more for fans of Heaven’s Cry.  Fans will also appreciate and enjoy the band’s cover of the classic Midnight Oil tune, ‘Beds are Burning.’  Even turned into a prog-rock style piece, it still holds up to the original.  For that matter, it might even be a little better than Midnight Oil’s take on the song from its 1987 album, Dust and Diesel.  It has the same kick as the original.  But what it does here is it gives the song an extra little spice, updating it for a whole new generation.  For that, Heaven’s Cry should be proud of their cover of this rock classic.  And it makes for a fitting end to the musical journey on which listeners embark with this album.

The band’s cover of ‘Beds are Burning’ is impressive to say the least.  It shows just one of the band’s influences.  It also profiles for a moment, the band’s versatility.  Though by the time listeners get through this re-issue, they will have already seen just how versatile the band is.  Whereas the band started off with a rather Prong style work, other pieces such as ‘One of Twenty-Four’, ‘Divisions’, and ‘Waves’ seem to show influences the likes of Alice in Chains, Dream Theater, and even Nevermore.  St-Jean’s vocals greatly resemble that of Nevermore front man Warrel Dane in both ‘One of twenty-Four’ and ‘Waves.’  And the influences of the aforementioned bands are evident throughout each opus.  They, along with this album’s other tracks make for an album that any fan of the prog-metal genre will enjoy increasingly with each listen.  Primal Power Addiction will be available in stores and online next Tuesday, January 8th.  It can be ordered direct online via the Prosthetic Records store, http://www.indiemerch.com/prostheticrecords/item/17422

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