Lord’s New Record Is A Covers Compilation That Is Actually Worth Hearing

Courtesy: Dominus Records

Independent rock band Lord released its latest record this week.  Its new covers compilation, Undercovers Vol. 1 released Friday through Dominus Records.  The 23-song (yes, 23 songs) comes less than a year after the trio released its then latest EP, Chaos Raining, and approximately two years after the release of its then latest new album, Fallen Idols.  This latest compilation stands out from so many other compilations already released this year in part because of its featured songs.  This will be discussed shortly.  The band’s take on the songs makes for its own share of interest and will be discussed a little later.  The songs’ sequencing puts the finishing touch to the record’s presentation.  When this element is considered along with the other noted items, the record in whole proves that while it is largely a space filler between albums, is still a positive addition to Lord’s catalog.

Lord’s new covers compilation, Undercovers Vol. 1 is a positive new presentation from the longtime independent hard rock band.  The record’s appeal comes in large part through its songs.  The songs are important to note in that they are not just a bunch of songs that the band recorded specially for this compilation.  Rather, they are mostly covers that the band has recorded throughout its life and has only now made available together.  Simply put, they were brought together as a way to entertain the band’s fans in lieu of a live recording and even new live dates while promoters and venue heads decide their next steps for live music.  They are not just some random space-filler used to appease contractual obligations.

Bassist Andy Dowling explained the songs’ collection during a recent interview.

“Covers have been a big love of ours since the early days of Dungeon right up to and including now,” said Dowling. “Over the years in Lord these tracks have ended up on limited edition releases, bonus tracks in isolated parts of the world and other weird and wonderful places. These songs have been scattered over so many different places that even we struggle ourselves to remember where on earth all of these songs can be found.” 

“While bands around the world continue to navigate these uncertain times, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to release this collection of cover songs, as well as new recordings, to keep the LORD machine moving while we continue to write new music,” he added. 

Additionally, Dowling pointed out that two of the songs featured in the compilation —  Savage Garden’s ‘To the Moon and Back’ and Judas Priest’s ‘Reckless’ – were the only songs specially recorded for the compilation.  Those two songs are only a small portion of the 23 (yes, 23) total songs featured in this recording, and are important because they are a highlight of the diversity in the collection.  The band also took on The Police (‘Message in a Bottle’) here, as well as songs from Bon Jovi, Helloween, Metallica, and Little River Band just to name a handful of other acts featured in the compilation.  The short and simple is that the bands covered here come from a wide range of genres.  From hard rock –Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Anthrax – to classic rock – Little River Band – to 80s hair rock – Bon Jovi – to prog – Queensryche, Symphony X – to mainstream pop and rock – The Police, Savage Garden – Lord takes on music from so many influences.  That diversity in the bands and music featured here helps to build the band’s reputation and at the same time, perhaps even introduce audiences to music to which they might not have otherwise listened.  If for no other reason, that diversity in the bands and songs will keep audiences engaged and entertained.  It is of course just one of the elements that make this recording so interesting.  The band’s performance of said songs adds to the record’s interest.

Lord’s take on The Police’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ is just one example of the importance of the band’s performances.  Lord’s take on the classic song is interesting in that while it stays largely true to its source material, it essentially amps up that original in a sort of 80s power metal style work.  That updated take — complete with machine gun-fast bass drum work, melodic guitar lines, and operatic vocals – shows that the song strangely enough works just as well in this case as in the original presentation.  It is not one of those woks that hits listeners in its first listen, either.  Rather, it will grow on listeners with each listening, highlighting its longevity.

The band’s take on a-ha’s ‘The Sun Always Shines on TV’ is yet another example of the band’s performances here.  In the case of this performance, the band has opted more for an 80s hair metal style performance that makes for quite the contrast against a-ha’s keyboard-driven original composition.  There is the slightest touch of a power ballad early on in the original composition, what with the string arrangement, but that soon gives way to the band’s more familiar new wave approach, which is more present throughout the song.  Lord’s take on the song, as noted, is more of an 80s hair power ballad type work.  It gives a-ha’s original quite the unique new identity in this case with its amped up take on the song.  Where it ends up standing with listeners will be left for those audiences to decide.  That aside, it definitely makes for its own interest. 

W.A.S.P. is another of the bands whose work is covered in this compilation.  In this case, Lord took on the band’s hit song ‘Wild Child.’  In this case, the stylistic approach taken by Lord is largely the same as that of W.A.S.P.  The difference is that Lord’s cover is actually an improvement on the original.  It would seem here that is more due to the production.  The production makes the song sound so much fuller and richer here than the original.  It makes the song sound more modern with a throwback feel.  To that end, it is yet another example of the impact of the band’s performances here, and the importance thereof.  When it is considered along with the other performances noted here and the rest of the record’s featured performances, the whole of those performances makes for even more engagement and entertainment.  It is just one more example of what makes this compilation worth hearing.  The sequencing of the songs featured in this compilation rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing of Undercovers Vol. 1 is important to examine because of its role in the record’s general effect.  The record starts in contemplative fashion with its cover of Savage Garden’s ‘To the Moon and Back’ but very quickly after, it picks up with its take of Iron Maiden’s ‘Judas Be My Guide.’  It is not even until the record reaches its midpoint in its take of Cutting Crew’s ‘(I Just) Died In Your Arms’ that the album’s energy even remotely pulls back.  From that point on, the compilation’s energy remains relatively high, even as the band takes on what are some otherwise reserved songs.  Even in those cases, the band manages to amp up those songs, including their energies.  So overall, the sequencing ensures that the album’s energy remains relatively high throughout its 100-minute (one hour, 40 minute) run time.  That the record’s energy remains relatively high, and even gives a break point roughly halfway through ensures that the record will run fluidly throughout, ensuring even more, listeners’ engagement and entertainment.  When that certain engagement and entertainment is considered with the impact of the band’s unique performances and the variety of songs featured here, that whole makes the compilation overall, its own standout presentation.  Add in the fact that this compilation marks the first time that the band has ever united the previously recorded covers in one setting, and the compilation gains even more appeal.  It shows that this was not just some randomly recorded presentation used to appease contractual obligations.  Between this and everything else noted, the record in whole proves to be a covers collection that is actually worth hearing.

Lord’s new covers compilation Undercovers Vol. 1 is an interesting presentation that rockers and even pop music fans alike will find worth hearing at least once.  That is due in part to the songs featured in the recording.  The band does not just take on a bunch of hard rock and metal songs here, though there are a lot of those songs featured here.  The band also takes on songs from pop and pop rock acts, such as Savage Garden, The Police,  a-ha, and even Kylie Minogue.  That variety in itself makes for reason enough to hear this presentation.  That only two of the songs featured here were specially recorded for the compilation shows that this was not just some randomly thrown together presentation that was made to appease any contractual obligations for the band.  Rather, it was a way for the band to bring together so many of the covers that it has recorded over the course of its life.  That makes the presentation more special in itself.  The band’s performance of the featured covers makes for its own appeal.  That is because they give those originals their own unique identities from one to the next.  The songs’ sequencing rounds out the most important of the compilation’s elements.  That is because it ensures the record’s pacing remains stable throughout while also constantly giving listeners something interesting rather than redundant.  Each item noted here is unquestionably important in its own way to the whole of the compilation’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the record a work that despite being a covers compilation, still a presentation that is worth hearing, and at least once at that. Undercovers Vol. 1 is available now through Dominus Records.

More information on Undercovers Vol. 1 is available along with all of Lord’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttps://www.lord.net.au

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/lordofficial

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/lordofficial

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Charlie Benante Announces New LP Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante will release his new album this spring.

Silver Linings is scheduled for release May 14 through Megaforce Records. While the record sees Benante as the primary figure in its presentation, he stressed during a recent interview, that the album is not a solo record.

“This isn’t a solo album,” Charlie said, “This is a record of my favorite songs done with some of my friends during a very dark time.  We found a shining light and this is the result of that light.  I was really happy that my musician friends came on board and helped make this record what it is.  I appreciate all of them, and they all did such a fantastic job.  Despite all of the darkness we’ve experienced this past year, there are ‘silver linings,’ that’s why I chose that title for the album.”

He added, the album’s creation came about through the advice of someone close to himself.

“Back in February of last year, with COVID and all the other B.S. that was going on, I was glued to the 24-hour news cycle on the TV and my phone, and I started to get really depressed,” he said.  My girlfriend said I needed to turn off the news and suggested I do something creative, whether it was art or drumming or writing new songs, and she was right.”

According to information provided about the 14-song record, it will feature an all-star cast of guest musicians and performers, such as guitarist John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson), Alex Skolnick (Testament), and Corey Taylor (Slipknot).

Also featured on the new record are Run DMC member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Rob Caggiano (Volbeat), and Ra Diaz (Suicidal Tendencies). The group recorded the song “Run-DMC Medley,’ which is one the songs featured in the album. The group premiered the song’s quarantine video in June 2020.

The whole of Silver Linings‘ track listing is noted below:

* “City of Blinding Lights”/U2 – Frank Bello, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante

* “Chloe Dancer / Crown of Horns”/Mother Love Bone – Mark Menghi, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante

* “Teardrop”/Massive Attack – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Run DMC”/Run DMC – DMC, Rob Caggiano, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Rhiannon”/Fleetwood Mac – Mark Menghi, Jennifer Cella, Randy McStine, Charlie Benante

* “Yer So Bad”/Tom Petty – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Transylvania”/Iron Maiden – Snake Sabo, Frank Bello, Jon Donias, Charlie Benante

* “Presto Vivace”/U.K. – Ra Diaz, Alex Skolnick, Jordan Rudess, Charlie Benante

* “Bad Guy”/Billie Eilish – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Jimmy James”/The Beastie Boys – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “All The Way”/KISS – PJ Farley, Joe McGinness, John 5, Charlie Benante

* “Mr Speed”/KISS – Joe McGinness, PJ Farley, Charlie Benante

* “Public Image”/Public Image – Hank Von Hell, Dave Brownsound, Jason “Cone” McCaslin, Charlie Benante

* “Funny Vibe”/Living Color – Ra Diaz, Corey Glover, Henry Flury, Charlie Benante

More information on Charlie Benante’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Website: https://charliebenante.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/skisum

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Kings Of Quarantine Debuts ‘Mountain Song’ Cover, Companion Video

Rock super group Kings of Quarantine debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band — Jason Rockman (Slaves on Dope), Kevin Jardine (Slaves on Dope), and Bill Kelliher (Mastodon) — debuted the video for its cover of the hit Janes Addiction song ‘Mountain Song‘ Tuesday. The band was joined by an all-star cast of musicians for the video and the song, consisting of: Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit), Tanner Wayne (In Flames), P-Nut (311), Louise Post (Veruca Salt), Richard Patrick (Filter), and Bert McCracken (The Used).

Kings of Quarantine’s take on ‘Mountain Song’ stays largely true to its source material. What it does extra is gives the song an added punch with its multiple vocal takes and even heavier, amped up guitars.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

One hundred percent of sales from the single’s release will go to benefit Roadie Relief, an effort that serves to assist roadies who were negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rockman talked about that attempt to help concert staff through the song’s sales in a prepared statement.

“We hope to not only put a smile on people’s faces, but also help the touring staff that have been severely affected by the pandemic”, said Rockman.

Kings of Quarantine’s latest single and video are the second from the group. The trio covered Faith No More’s 1987 hit song ‘We Care A Lot‘ last year. The group was joined by members of Anthrax, Korn, Filter, Run DMC, Refused, and Men Without Hats for that recoding and its video.

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Anthrax Debuts Limited Edition Watch Line

Photo Credit: David Campo Cardenas, NEZUMI Studios

Anthrax fans have a new way to celebrate their favorite band.

The band has partnered with watch Nezumi Studios to create the limited edition “Persistance of Time” watch. The watch is limited to a quantity of only 50. It celebrates the 30th anniversary of the release of the band’s 1990 album by the same name.

Each limited edition watch, made 100 percent by Nezumi Studios, is individually numbered and features a DLC satin black coated case, a Japanese mechanical movement, Swiss luminova on the dial and hands, and premium vegetable-tanned leather strap. Orders for the watch are open.

Nesumi Studios founder David Campo talked about the partnership in a recent interview.

“I got to know Charlie through David Ellefson of Megadeth, and the stars aligned.  Charlie asked if I would want to design a watch for the Persistence of Time 30th anniversary,” he said. “I thought that album’s title and hit song ‘Got The Time’ made the limited edition watch a perfect fit, and, being a fan since the late 80s, it’s been an honor to take part in this.”

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante expanded on Campo’s comments.

“We connected with NEZUMI and David Campo through our mutual friend David Ellefson (Megadeth),” said Benante.  “David sent us photos of watches he had made and they were all just beautiful, we were blown away.  I sent him the album’s cover artwork, but as there’s only so much you can fit on the face of a watch, he came up with a tremendous design.  These watches are awesome, we all love them, and think our fans will really love them as well.”

Front man Joey Belladonna also shared his thoughts on the new watch line.

“With the ‘Persistence of Time’ album being focused on the concept of ‘time,’ partnering up with NEZUMI to produce this watch was a great idea,” said Belladonna.  “The watch is beautiful, and would make a great holiday gift for someone special, and I know I’m looking forward to getting mine.” 

A video promoting the watch line’s debut is streaming here.

The debut of Anthrax’s new limited edition watch brand comes a month after the band launched its new limited edition whiskey lines, “Evil Twin I” and “Evil Twin II.” Both of Anthrax’s new drinks were produced by Hillrock Estate Distillery. The distillery is located in the Hudson Valley Highlands in New York state.

More information on Anthrax’s new watch line and whiskey lines is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://anthrax.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/anthrax

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Anthrax Announces Release Of Two New Whiskey Lines

Anthrax is releasing two new lines of signature whiskey.

The band has launched two new drinks, “Evil Twin I” and “Evil Twin II.” The limited edition drinks are being made available in special numbered bottles. Only 238 bottles of “Evil Twin I” are expected to be poured while exact number of bottles of “Evil Twin II” is under consideration. “Evil Twin I” will be 120.1 proof in its alcohol content.

Bottles of “Evil Twin I” that are ordered by Friday can be expected to arrive by Halloween. Orders are open through Mash & Grape.

Both of Anthrax’s new drinks were produced by Hillrock Estate Distillery. The distillery is located in the Hudson Valley Highlands in New York state.

Courtesy: Anthrax

According to information made available about the drinks, “Evil Twin I” contains espresso, caramel, vanilla and spice. “Evil Twin II” features maple, cinnamon, clove, and black pepper.

Hillrock Estate Distillery Co-owners Cathy Franklin and Jeffrey Baker talked about working with Anthrax on the new drinks during a recent interview.

“We’re so happy to be working again with Anthrax,” said Franklin and Baker.  “We had a lot of fun with the whole band on ‘The Healer’ bourbon earlier this year, and were impressed by their appreciation for delicious spirits during those tastings.  With ‘Evil I and II,’ it was great that Scott was able to come up to Hillrock and be really involved in finding the perfect blends for ‘Evil I’ and ‘Evil II.’  We’re sure Anthrax fans will enjoy both.”

Anthrax worked with Hillrock Estate Distillery in June when it released another signature drink, its signature bourbon, “The Healer.”

Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian had the following to say of the noted partnership and the two sides’ current partnership.

“We decided to release another whiskey because it seemed like people were very happy with ‘The Healer,” he said.  “Where ‘The Healer’ bourbon was extremely approachable and smooth, ‘the ‘Evil Twins’ are spicier, sweeter, richer, stronger, and bolder.  So, when we say ‘Evil Twin,’ we mean it in a great way.”

Along with “The Healer,” Anthrax has also released two other adult beverages, “Indians” in 2014 and “The Devil You Know” in 2015.

More information on Anthrax’s new whiskey lines is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

Websitehttp://anthrax.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/anthrax

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/anthrax

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.

Wreck-Defy Debuts ‘Freedomless Speech’ Lyric Video

Courtesy: SubLevel Records

Wreck-Defy debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band debuted the lyric video for its new single ‘Freedomless Speech‘ Thursday.  The song and its companion video are the second from the band’s forthcoming album Powers That Be, which is scheduled for release Oct. 9 through SubLevel Records.  The band debuted the album’s lead single ‘Skin‘ and its companion video last month.

The video places the song’s lyrics over a television screen in which images of items, such as a law enforcement K-9, pointing fingers, and a person with a mouth covered in tape flash.  The visuals are meant to help deliver the song’s lyrical message about the corrosion of free speech worldwide.

The song’s lyrical content is timely and will resonate with any listener.  The song’s musical arrangement will connect with any thrash metal fan.  Its fierce shredding and precision time keeping couples with its vocals and bass to make it a work that will appeal to fans of bands, such as Megadeth, Testament, and Anthrax.  That should come as no surprise, as the band is composed of former members of Testament, Annihilator, and Malevolent Creation, which are counterparts to Megadeth and Anthrax.

The band’s members are: Matt Hanchuck, Aaron Dandall (ex-Annihilator), Greg Christian (ex-Testamant), Alex Marquez (ex-Malevolent Creation).

Powers That Be is the third full-length studio recording from Wreck-Defy.  It will come less than a year after the release of the band’s sophomore album, Remnants of Pain.  Pre-orders are open through SubLevel Records’ official Bandcamp page and through Wreck-Defy’s official Bandcamp page.

More information on Wreck-Defy’s new single, video, album and more is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://wreck-defy.bandcamp.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/Underground4560

 

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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Ellefson Debuts New Compilation’s Lead Single; Unveils Initial Track Listing

Courtesy: Combat Records

Audiences got their first preview of Megadeth bassist David Ellefson’s new eponymous rock project this week.

The band — Ellefson (bass), Thom Hazaert (vocals), Andy Martongelli (guitar), Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (guitar), and Paolo Caridi (drums) — released the song ‘Wasted‘ Friday.  The song, a cover of the Def Leppard song, is the lead single from the group’s debut record, No Cover.

Ellefson’s cover of ‘Wasted’ features guest appearances from Frank Hannon (Tesla), Jacob Bunton (Mick Mars, Lynam), and Dave McClain (Ex-Machine Head, Sacred Reich).

The famed names featured on ‘Wasted’ are just some of well-known musicians and performers who make appearances on this record.  Also lending their talents to the album are equally well-known figures, such as Charlie Benante (Anthrax), Al Jourgensen (Ministry) and Gus G. (Firewind).

Along with debuting its lead single, Ellefson has also unveiled the initial track listing for No Cover.  The initial listing opens with a cover of Judas Priest’s timeless hit song ‘Freewheel Burning’ and also features covers of songs such as AC/DC’s ‘Riff Raff,’ Queen’s ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ and Billy Idol’s ‘Rebel Yell.’

The album’s initial track listing is noted below.  Two tracks are still TBA. Pre-orders are open now.

 

Tracklist:
1. Freewheel Burning (Judas Priest) ft. Jason McMaster, Gus G, Andy James, Dave McClain
2. Tear It Loose (Twisted Sister) ft. Eddie Ojeda, Dave McClain
3. Love Me Like A Reptile (Motorhead) ft. Doro Pesch, Greg Handevidt, Chuck Behler
4. Holiday in Cambodia (Dead Kennedys) ft. Charlie Benante
5. Rebel Yell (Billy Idol)
6. Wasted (Def Leppard) ft. Frank Hannon, Jacob Bunton, Dave McClain, Bumblefoot
7. Riff Raff (AC/DC) ft. Jason McMaster, Dave Lombardo
8. Nailed To The Gun (Fight) ft. Andrew Freeman, Russ Parrish, Jimmy DeGrasso
9. Not Fragile (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) ft. John Aquilino
10. Say What You Will (Fastway) ft. Troy Lucketta, Mark Slaughter
11. LOVE Machine (W.A.S.P.) ft. Dirk Verbeuren, Dave Alvin
12. Love Hurts (Nazareth) ft. Brandon Yeagley, Chuck Behler, Tyson Leslie
13. Sheer Heart Attack (Queen) ft. Bumblefoot, Doro Pesch, Charlie Benante
14. Sweet FA (Sweet) ft. Todd Kerns, Bumblefoot, Shani Kimelman
15. TBA
16. TBA
17. Auf Wiedersehen (Cheap Trick) ft. Al Jourgensen, Brandon Yeagley, Charlie Benante

Bonus Tracks
18. Eat The Rich (Krokus) ft. Dead By Wednesday

 

No Cover was co-produced by Ellefson, Hazaert, and Martongelli.  The record was engineered by Alessio Garavello, Matt LaPlant (Nonpoint, Lil Jon, Skindred) and John Aquilino.  Alessio and Garavello mixed the album alongside Randy Burns and others.

Ellefson talked about the record’s genesis in a recent interview.

“Before any of us started writing our own songs, we all began playing cover songs by our heroes during our formative years as musicians,” said Ellefson.  “So, it’s fun to go back in time and revisit those songs which helped us to become the artists we are today, especially when, ironically, many of those artists have now become peers and friends. During the process of recording some covers for B-Sides and bonus tracks for the upcoming Ellefson solo LP, Thom and I just said, “This is a blast, let’s just do a whole album of covers!” Literally, within 2 weeks, we had the songs recorded, and began calling our friends to join us, many of whom we had just performed with on the MEGA-Cruise back in October. From there, the album just fell into place.”

“A lot of our buddies have been playing covers and quarantine jams on the Internet during the pandemic, so this is really just an extension of that, but we took it the next level and actually recorded a full studio album,” he added.” We’ve been working remotely anyway, as we’re all over the Globe, so it was easy to incorporate some guests jumping in with some outstanding performances of their own. It’s been a really fun nod to making great music with our friends, who are kick-ass players, and many legends in their own right, which is the whole reason we got into this in the first place!”

Hazert expanded on Ellefson’s comments with his own thoughts.

“It’s all songs and artists that really mutually influenced both myself and David, especially a lot of early “Metal” and harder Classic Rock,” he said. “Some stuff I picked, some stuff he picked, but for the most part is was all artists that we both loved. What’s funny, as there’s a bit of an age gap, we were sometimes more influenced by different eras of the same bands. But it was really him saying, “Let’s do this song”, and me saying, “Yes!!! And let’s do this song.” And before we knew it, we had over 15 songs. And it’s a lot of album tracks, deep cuts, early tracks, stuff people might not expect, which was what was so fun.”

“It was also great that we were able to work in a lot of nods to David’s [Ellefson] history, getting Chuck Behler to play with us, bringing in original Megadeth guitarist Greg Handevidt to play on “Love Me Like A Reptile”, a song they used to play in cover bands together before they moved to LA (which we wrote about in More Life With Deth), and Randy Burns is going to mix a track or two,” added Hazert.  “As a singer, these are literally bands I’ve listened to, and covered all my life, and for me, getting to play with Eddie Ojeda, the Tesla guys, Charlie Benante, Jason McMaster, Mark Slaughter, etc, and sing these songs that mean so much to me. I mean, literally, the entire record is my bucket list of people I’d love to play with, and some of my favorite bands. So, it’s truly an honor to put together something so fun, and really as effortless as this was. It truly is a love letter to Rock N’ Roll, an homage to what made us, musically, who we are today.”

Ellefson resurrected Combat Records in 2017 as part of the EMP Label Group family.

Combat Records was a seminal punk and thrash record label in the 1980s.  Its doors closed in the mid-2000s after its catalog was absorbed by Sony Music.  Combat Records’ official relaunch took place in 2018.

Ellefson said in an interview in 2017, Combat Records would handle only new music because Sony has control of the label’s back catalog.

“…And to clarify, we do not own any rights to the Combat Records back catalog,” Ellefson stressed. “That is owned and controlled by Sony, and they have done a great job of curating it through other imprints. Combat Records will solely focus on new releases under the Combat banner. As always, thank you for your support and stay tuned for more details!”

More information on Combat Records, along with its latest news, is available online now

at:

Websitehttp://www.combatrecs.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/combatrecordsofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/combatrecs

\

Ellefson is scheduled to release its debut full-length studio recording in spring 2021.  More information on Ellefson is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://davidellefson.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/davidellefson

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/ellefsondavid

 

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.

Jinjer, Judas Priest Added to Knotfest.com Live Streaming Concert Series

Cosa Nostra PR

Knotfest.com is continuing its live streaming concert series this month with two more concerts.

Up first in this month’s schedule of live shows is Jinjer’s March 5, 2020 show held at Max Watts in Melbourne, Australia.  Now audiences will get to see that performance through Knotfest.com at 5 p.m. ET July 9.

The second of this month’s live streaming shows through knotfest.com is Judas Priest’s full concert recording, Battle Cry, which was released on DVD and Blu-ray March 25, 2016 through Epic Records.  The concert featured in the recording was originally recorded on Aug. 1, 2015 at the annual Wacken Open Air Festival.

The set list that is featured in Battle Cry doesn’t just focus on the band’s then most recent album Redeemer of Souls.  Instead the band attempts to cover as much of its expansive body of work as possible over the course of its ninety minute run time.

Judas Priest’s performance is scheduled to stream 3 p.m ET on July 17 through knotfest.com.

Knotfest.com’s ongoing concert series has already featured performances from Slipknot, Lamb of God, Trivium, Behemoth, Amon Amarth, Anthrax, Kreator, King Diamond, Carnifex, Suffocation, Suicide Silence, and In Flames.  The concerts have helped raise money to charities that help with COVID-19 relief efforts.

More information on Knotfet.com’s concert series is available online along with all of the latest Knotfest.com news at:

 

Website: http://Knotfest.com

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

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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

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‘The Face of Fear’ Shows Artillery Still Has Plenty Of Ammunition

Courtesy: Metal Blade Recprds

It’s hard to believe, but in a little more than a month, 2018 will officially over, and 2019 will be here.  It goes without saying that this year has been another impressive one for the metal community, with powerful new releases from acts, such as Soulfly, Tesseract and Nonpoint just to name a few acts.  Though the year is almost over, the year’s stream of new releases is not yet over.  Veteran metal outfit Artillery released its latest album The Face of Fear on Nov. 16, and it will make critics’ decisions on their year-ender lists that much more difficult.  That is because the Danish band’s ninth full-length studio recording’s far-reaching appeal among thrash and metal fans alike.  This is evidenced right from the album’s outset in its opener/lead/title single.  ‘Sworn Utopia’ does just as much as the album’s title track to support that statement, and will be discussed shortly.  Much the same can be said of ‘Preaching To The Converted,’ which will also be discussed later.  Each song shows in its own way, what makes The Face of Fear yet another strong addition to this year’s already outstanding list of new hard rock and metal albums.  When they are considered along with the album’s other songs not noted here, the whole of the record’s 11-song, 45-minute a work that every thrash and metal purist will appreciate.

Artillery’s latest full-length studio recording, The Face of Fear continues what is for the veteran Danish metal outfit, a long-running tradition of success.  It is a work that will appeal to a wide range of thrash and metal purists from the band’s homeland to America and beyond.  That is proven in part through the album’s opener/title track/lead single.  ‘The Face of Fear’ is an important opener and addition to the album considering the state in which the world currently exists.  As the band noted in a discussion on the song’s lyrical content, “the song is about dealing the end of man by himself.  We create our own phobia about the destruction of the world, but remain disrespectful to the globe.”  Front man Michael Bastholm illustrates that message here, singing right off the top, “The world is gonna fall,” adding in the chorus, “Under crimson skies/Our hopes and dreams, they die/This reality/Why can’t we see.”  Additionally, he sings, “No heeding the signs/No wait for tomorrow/Ready between the lines/the face of fear/The scenes will be erased/The trials that we face/Miasma amber mist/the face of fear/It whispers in your ear/It all will end in tears.”  From here, Bastholm reprises the song’s chorus, driving home even more, the song’s blatant warning of what we as a species are doing to the planet.  The song’s official video serves to illustrate Bastholm’s message even more, featuring images of warplanes dropping bombs, missiles being fired, power plants spewing gases into the atmosphere and mushroom clouds, clear-cut forests and mounds of trash piled up in a landfill.  The images, coupled with the song’s intense lyrical message makes The Face of Fear a star wake-up call of what truly is fear-inducing.

The coupling of the song’s straight forward warning in its lyrical content and the visuals, which drive the song’s message home even more does plenty to make ‘The Face of Fear’ an important addition to The Face of Fear.  That is because of the clarity that they create together.  While they are obviously an important part of the song, they are not its only important elements.  The song’s musical arrangement is just as important to discuss as its lyrical theme.  Bastholm’s power metal vocal delivery style set against the song’s old school thrash arrangement creates an interesting dichotomy for which audiences have already shown their appreciation.  One could argue that juxtaposition harkens back to a style made popular by acts, such as Megadeth, Metallica and Anthrax in the early 1980s.  Keeping this in mind, the combination of the song’s musical arrangement, its lyrical content and even its visual content clearly shows why ‘The Face of Fear’ is an important to its namesake album.  It is just one of the examples of what makes the album in whole another successful offering from the band, too.  ‘Sworn Utopia,’ which comes a little later in the album’s run, is another example of the album’s strength.

‘Sworn Utopia’ stands out in its own way in the overall picture of The Face of Fear in part because of its own musical arrangement.  As with the album’s title track (and so many of the album’s other songs), Bastholm’s power metal vocal delivery style couples with the thrash style approach that is so prevalent throughout the album for another powerhouse arrangement.  The song’s bridge conjures clear thoughts of Megadeth while the verses and chorus add a touch of Judas Priest influence.  Again, that collection of musical influences, which throws listeners back to the heyday and thrash (and power) metal cannot be ignored in its importance.  It is only one part of what makes the song, though.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss here as the song’s musical content.

The song starts off with the ringing of church bells before Bastholm and company launch into the song, with Bastholm singing, about altar confessions, priests’ celibacy, altar boys and faith put to the test.  He even goes so far as to directly indict the church (apparently the Catholic church) as he sings, “Your law’s religion/Dramatic and vile/Imprisonment…like a child/You must stay absent from glory and joy.”  Little doubt is left as to the song’s target, considering what can be deciphered from Bastholm’s rapid fire delivery.  If any doubt left at this point, his further statement of “For all I care/Make your peace/But don’t you take/It out on kids.”  At this point, there is no doubt left as to the song’s lyrical topic.  It is a full-on indictment of the Catholic church and the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church.  Given, it’s not the first time that a band ever took on any religious establishment, but considering the reality of the issue and its importance, it is another pressing matter.  To that end, the fashion through which Bastholm addresses the issue here is powerful in its own right.  The addition of the fury in the song’s musical arrangement helps to illustrate the urgency with which the issue must be addressed and the importance of the matter.  When both elements are considered together, they make the song another clear example of The Face of Fear’s strength.  Even with this in mind, ‘Sworn Utopia’ is still not the last example of what makes The Face of Fear another positive offering from Artillery.  ‘Preaching to the Converted’ shows just as much as ‘The Face of Fear’ and ‘Sworn Utopia’ The Face of Fear’s strength.

‘Preaching to the Converted’ is another full-throttle trash opus that fans of the genre will welcome with arms wide open.  Right from the song’s outset, the old school Megadeth and Metallica influences are on full display, as is even a touch of Exodus.  That is evident in the screaming guitar solos and solid time keeping from the drums.  Lyrically, the song comes across as a socio-political commentary of sorts.  This is inferred as Bastholm sings of people being “shackled” by politicians, those in positions of power “feeding lies” to the populous and mind control of sorts created, again, by those in power.  It is an interesting work that is certain to generate plenty of discussion if it has not already done so.  Discussions aside, it can be said with certainty that this is another work that indicts those in power for what they are doing to the masses.  That includes the world’s political leaders and maybe even military leaders.  Again, it is not the first time that a band has taken this road, but it is no less powerful here than in other acts’ presentations.  To that end, that message, coupled with the song’s full force musical presentation makes the song in whole yet another clear example of what makes The Face of Fear another welcome offering from Artillery.  It still is not the last song that can be cited in supporting that statement, either.  One could just as easily cite the seemingly tongue-in-cheek nature of ‘Dr. Evil,’ the direct discussion of what goes around comes around in ‘Crossroads To Conspiracy’ and the warning about the dangers of alcoholism in ‘Pain,’ the album’s strength becomes that much clearer.  The somewhat Dio-esque ‘Thirst For The Worst’ adds even more depth to the album as does the Metallica-esque sound of ‘New Rage’ and its seeming message about someone who has been wronged.  Between all of those songs and the works directly discussed here, the whole of The Face of Fear clearly shows itself to be another welcome offering from Artillery that shows this band still has plenty of ammunition.

Artillery’s ninth new album The Face of Fear is a strong new statement from the veteran metal outfit.  It is a work that from start to end, shows this band can still hold its own with any of today’s up-and-coming metal acts.  This is evidenced right from the album’s outset in the warning to the world about what it is doing to the planet, its equally stark musical arrangement and accompanying video.  ‘Sworn Utopia’ serves to support that statement even more, as it takes on the atrocities committed by so many members of the Catholic Church.  The seeming indictment of the world’s political leaders through ‘Preaching to the Converted’ supports that statement of the album’s strength even more.  When it is considered along with the likes of ‘Crossroads to Conspiracy,’ ‘Thirst For The Worst,’ ‘Pain’ and the rest of the album’s works, the whole of the record shows that artillery still has plenty of ammunition, and can still hold its own against today’s younger, up-and-coming metal acts.  It is available now.  More information on The Face of Fear is available online now along with all of Artillery’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.artillery.dk

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ARTILLERY.DK

Twitter: http://twitter.com/artillerymetal

 

 

 

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