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

Courtesy: Project 86/TAG Publicity

For those about to rock, we salute you!

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

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

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

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

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

2018 is already shaping up to be an interesting year in its own right, with new material from Ministry on the way alongside new albums from Judas Priest, Saxon, Machine Head, Corrosion of Conformity, Tool, Clutch and lots more.  Stay tuned for all of that in the new year.  To keep up with all of the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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Ellefson Partners With Pro Tone Pedals To Release New Pedal

Courtesy: Pro Tone Pedals

Courtesy: Pro Tone Pedals

Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson does not rest easily on his laurels.

The musician turned entrepreneur announced this week a new partnership with Pro Tone Pedals to create a new guitar pedal.  The pedal, dubbed the “Dawn Patrol Chorus,” came to being after Pro Tone Pedals representatives approached Ellefson and proposed the idea.

Ellefson stressed the new, signature pedal will be a welcome addition to any bassist’s resources, adding he already used the company’s “Chorus” pedals when the organization’s representatives came to him with the idea.

“When Pro Tone approached me with the idea of making some signature pedals,as a bass player, Chorus is one of my go-to effects live, an ace weapon in my arsenal, and in many regards, helped me transition to my signature tone from studio to live on classics like ‘Dawn Patrol,’ Ellefson said.  “So the idea of developing a great chorus pedal was really a no brainer.  Dennis and the Pro Tone team are technical wizards and developed the Dawn Patrol to my exact specifications, and together we’ve developed a high quality, hand-built stompbox pedal that I’m positive will find a special place in any bassist’s rig.”

Ellefson’s new partnership with Pro Tone Pedals makes him just the latest name to make the company live up to its name.  Animals as Leaders bassist Tosin Abasi and Reeves Gabrels use the company’s signature pedals.  Jeff Loomis, Fear Factory, Alice in Chains, Prong, Deftones, Living Colour, Overkill, 30 Seconds to Mars and many others also use the company’s products.

Pro Tone Pedals was founded in 2004.  The company, now based in Charleston, South Carolina, has developed its reputation from making custom designed pedals.  Its employees’ dedication to customer service has garnered it affiliations with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne, Arch Enemy, Whitechapel, the Cure, Fear Factory, Ministry, Prong, Overkill and others.

The Dawn Patrol Chorus will be available at an introductory price of $189.99.  More information on the new pedal is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.protonepedals.com/ellefson

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

 

 

 

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Arch Enemy Unveils ‘War Eternal’ Live Video

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Arch Enemy debuted this week a new live video in anticipation of its upcoming live recording As The Stages Burn, which will be released aroudn the world on Friday, March 31 via Century Media Records.

The band released the video for its performance of ‘War Eternal,’ which was recorded at its performance at the Wacken 2016 Open Air Festival.  The blistering performance captures the energy that makes the band just as much a fan favorite live as in the studio.  That is thanks to the expert work of those behind the cameras and the sound board, and those who handled the recording’s post production.  Audiences can check out the video online now here.

The band’s performance of ‘War Eternal’ is just one of a number of other songs included in the band’s set from the 2016 Wacken Open Air Festival. The concert also includes performances of ‘Nemesis,’ ‘You Will Know My Name,’ ‘We Will Rise’ and a number of other songs.

The recording also includes extensive bonus material to enhance fans’ viewing experience.  That bonus material includes music videos, bonus live performances from the band’s 2015 Tokyo performance, and extra behind the scenes material.

The recording will be available as a Limited Edition Deluxe CD/DVD/BD box set in the European Union.  It will be available as a Limited Edition CD/DVD combo pack, gatefold 2 LP/DVD combo pack and on digital platforms everywhere else.

Fans can pre-order the CD/DVD combo and 2 LP/DVD combo pack now here.  Anyone who pre-orders the recording via iTunes and Amazon now will receive ‘War Eternal’ immediately.

Arch Enemy will tour live in Europe in support of As The Stages Burn this spring.  The band will be Bochum, Germany on March 30.  The band will join The Haunted and Lacuna Coil on its upcoming spring European tour.  The tour runs through April 9 in Ludwigsburg, Germany.

The band also has a handful of festival performances scheduled for this summer.  Those dates and the band’s upcoming European dates are all noted below.

ARCH ENEMY “As The Stages Burn” Shows w/Lacuna Coil & The Haunted

March 30th, 2017 – Bochum (Germany), Zeche*
March 31st, 2017 – Leipzig (Germany), Hellraiser*
April 1st, 2017 – Colmar (France), Rock in Hell*
April 2nd, 2017 – Edinburgh (UK), Heavy Scotland
April 4th, 2017 – Langen (Germany), Neue Stadthalle**
April 5th, 2017 – München (Germany), Backstage Werk**
April 6th, 2017 – Saarbrücken (Germany), Garage**
April 7th, 2017 – Durbuy (Belgium), Durbuy Rock Festival**
April 8th, 2017 – Cambrai (France), Betiz Fest*
April 9th, 2017 – Ludwigsburg (Germany), Rockfabrik**

* with The Haunted
** with The Haunted and Lacuna Coil
German shows presented by Metal Hammer and EMP

ARCH ENEMY Festivals 2017
February 2nd, 2017 – 70000 Tons Of Metal – Miami, FL
July 6th, 2017 – Rock Harz Festival, Ballenstedt, Germany
July 14th, 2017 – Gefle Metal Festival , Gävle, Sweden
August 5th, 2017 – Ostrava v Plamenech, Ostrava, Czech Republic
August 10th, 2017 – Leyendas Del Rock, Villena, Spain
August 11th, 2017 – Vagos Metal Fest, Vagos, Portugal
August 12th, 2017 – Into The Grave, Leeuwarden, Netherlands

More information on Arch Enemy’s upcoming live dates, its upcoming live recording and all of its latest news is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.archenemy.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/archenemymetal

 

 

 

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Verbeuren Named Megadeth’s New Permanent Drummer

Courtesy: Soilwork/Nuclear Blast Records/Adrenaline PR

Courtesy: Soilwork/Nuclear Blast Records/Adrenaline PR

It looks like the Megadeth drummer carouse has finally stopped spinning.

The band has announced that Dirk Verbeuren is the band’s new full-time drummer.  In taking on the new position Verbeuren has stepped down as a member of Soilwork.  In his place drummer Bastian Thusgaard has been tapped to take over drumming duties for the band.  Verbeuren has been performing with Megadeth in recent months, taking the place of Chris Adler (Lamb of God), who had originally filled in after Megadeth’s previous full-time drummer Shawn Drover left the band alongside guitarist Chris Broderick in 2014.  The pair went on to form Act of Defiance with vocalist Henry Derek and bassist Matt Bachand.

Soilwork front man Bjorn “Speed” Strid shared his thoughts on Verbeuren’s departure in a statement released to the press.  He was completely supportive of the decision both on the part of Megadeth and Verbeuren.  “In regards to the statement Megadeth released yesterday, confirming that Dirk will join them as their full-time drummer, I just want to take the time to wish Dirk good luck on this new venture and thank him for 12 great years together,” he said.  “Together we have created a beast of a band and have pushed the limits musically further than we ever could have imagined.”  Strid also made mention of Thusgaard’s new appointment with the band in his statement, noting “Meanwhile, I’m sure many of you have seen us at a festival in Europe this summer with our friend, Bastian Thusgaard filling in on drums and I’m sure we can all agree on what a monster he is. Thank you Bastian, you are absolutely killing it. Check out the remaining festival dates and come see us. We’ll be there. Thank you.”

Verbeuren was just as warm in his thoughts on his time with his now former band mates in his own statement.  He also offered up his thanks to his new band mates, and fellow musicians in making his transition.  “They say the biggest decisions in life are the hardest to make,” he said.  This decision falls under that category. As a drummer I’ve always enjoyed the evolution of my path. The past twelve years with Soilwork have been incredible, a portion of my life I honor with pride. When I was approached to join Megadeth- a childhood dream come true and something I never anticipated. I was beyond excited to even consider the realm of possibility. But truth be told, I couldn’t have rightfully made this step without the support and blessing of my Soilwork family. For that I owe a huge thank you to Bjorn, Sven, David, Sylvain and Markus. You have allowed me to see what lies ahead, and you’re my brothers in metal. Chris Adler, thank you for introducing me to Megadeth and for your encouragement and support. Dave, David and Kiko, I’m thankful for your warm welcome and thrilled to perform and create badass music with you guys. To the fans, this is a new chapter for us; I hope we can enjoy this ride together!”

In regards to what fans have to expect from Soilwork and its sound as it moves ahead Strid had the following to say:   “In the recent years Soilwork have found new ways of expressing ourselves and as much as of a cliché it is, I strongly believe that this is very much of a new era for us and that we still have so much left to say, whether it being with or without Dirk. This band has grown to be quite a metal collective and an institution that paves the way creatively and we hope that you, the fans, can feel the presence and the heart in our music still to this day. Believe me, it’s there. I can assure that you will forever get 100% Soilwork, as long as we release albums. We aim to surprise ourselves and the listeners by constantly developing our sound and songwriting, something I believe we have succeeded in doing and yet remained true to our roots. That is something to be proud of and we are. We appreciate all our loyal fans and are excited that so many of you share our musical vision.”

Soilwork has a string of festival dates currently scheduled for August.  Those live dates will be followed up soon after by a short string of UK dates with Arch Enemy.  It will have one headlining date on that schedule, too.  After that stretch the band will take some time off before launching a South American tour on September 9th in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  The tour is currently scheduled to run through September 20th in Guadalupe Inn, Mexico.  The band will take off the rest of the year after wrapping that tour and will then go back out on the road for a European tour with Kreator, Sepultura, and Aborted beginning February 1st in Metz, France.  That tour is currently scheduled to run through March 4th in Essen, Germany.  The band’s current live schedule is noted in full below.

 

SOILWORK 2016 International Festivals and Headliners:
8.14.2016 Rasnov, Romania – Rockstadt Extreme Fest
8.19.2016 Dinkelsbuhl, Germany – SummerBreeze Open Air
8.20.2016 Saint-Nolff, France – Motocultor Festival
 
SOILWORK August 2016 UK Tour with ARCH ENEMY:
Tickets available from seetickets.com
 
8.21.2016 Norwich, UK -Waterfront w/ ARCH ENEMY
8.22.2016 Sheffield, UK – Corporation w/ ARCH ENEMY

8.23.2016 Cardiff, UK -Tramshed w/ ARCH ENEMY
8.24.2016 Southampton, UK – Engine Rooms w/ ARCH ENEMY
8.25.2016London, UK – The Underworld (tickets) (headline – NO ARCH ENEMY)
 
SOILWORK in South America:
9.9.2016 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Treato Odisseia
9.10.2016 Sao Paulo, Brazil – Clash Club
9.11.2016 Curitiba, Brazil – Music Hall
9.13.2016 Buenos Aires, Argentina – Uniclub
9.14.2016 Montevideo, Uruguay – MM Box
9.16.2016 Santiago, Chile – Blondie
9.17.2016 Lima, Peru – The Blood
9.18.2016 Bogota, Columbia – Auditorio Lumiere
9.20.2016 Guadalupe Inn, Mexico – Lunario
 
KREATOR, SEPULTURA, SOILWORK, ABORTED European Tour:
Presented by: EMP, ESP, Meinl, Metal.de, Metal Hammer, Metal + Wine, Metalnews.de, Musix, Nuclear Blast, Peta, Piranha, RTN-Touring, Tätowiermagazin, Visions.
 
2.1.2017 Metz, France – B.A.M.
2.2.2017 Tilburg, Netherlands – 013
2.3.2017 Munich, Germany – Tonhalle
2.4.2017 Hamburg, Germany – Mehr! Theater
2.6.2017 Copenhagen, Denmark – Amager Bio
2.7.2017 Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
2.10.2017 Helsinki, Finland – Black Box
2.11.2017 Tampere, Finland – Pakkahuone
2.12.2017 Tallinn, Estonia – Rock Cafe
2.13.2017 Vilnius, Lithuania – Siemens Arena
2.15.2017 Warsaw, Poland – Progresja
2.16.2017 Wien, Austria – Gasometer
2.17.2017 Wiesbaden, Germany – Schlachthof
2.18.2017 Berlin, Germany – Columbia-Halle
2.19.2017 Pratteln, Switzerland – Z 7
2.21.2017 Trezzo, Italy – Live Club
2.22.2017 Grenoble, France – Summum
2.23.2017 Barcelona, Spain – Razzmatazz
2.24.2017 Madrid, Spain – Riviera
2.25.2017 Toulouse, France – Bikini
2.26.2017 Paris, France – Bataclan
2.28.2017 Manchester, UK – Academy
3.1.2017 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street
3.2.2017 London, Uk – O2 Forum
3.3.2017 Balen, Belgium – Torhout
3.4.2017 Essen, Germany – Grugahalle

Death Resonance, Soilwork’s new compilation record, will be released Friday, August 19th via Nuclear Blast Records.  Audiences can pre-order the record online now here.  Audiences can also order the band’s most recent album The Ride Majestic online on CD, vinyl, and digital formats.  While ordering the band’s new music audiences can also check out the videos for a pair of songs from The Ride Majestic—‘Death in General,’ and ‘Enemies in Fidelity’—online, too.  The album’s title track is streaming online, too via YouTube.

More information on Soilwork’s upcoming tour dates, music, and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.soilwork.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/soilwork

 

 

 

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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Soilwork Announces Upcoming Dates With Arch Enemy

Courtesy:  Nuclear Blast Records

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Soilwork has announced a handful of new live dates for this summer.

Soilwork, currently touring in support of its latest album The Ride Majestic, will open for Arch Enemy on a handful of its upcoming European dates this summer.  The band’s schedule with Arch Enemy runs from Monday, August 21st to Thursday, August 24th.  That stretch is followed by a headlining date by Soilwork on Friday, August 25th in London, England.  As noted by the band’s front man Bjorn “Speed” Strid, the tour marks the first time since Ozzfest 2005 that both bands have shared the stage.  “We are very excited to announce this UK run together with our fellow Swedes in Arch Enemy. For the first time since Ozzfest 2005, we are once again sharing the stage!,” he said.  “It will be one hell of a riff-and shred fest, ladies and gents! We’re also announcing a special one off headline show at the Underworld in London on August 25th. It’s been a long time coming… do not miss out! See you in August!”

Tickets for the upcoming shows go on sale today, April 25th, at 9am.  They can be purchased online at seetickets.com.  The complete schedule for Soilwork’s tour with Arch Enemy is listed below.

 

21st August: (Support to Arch Enemy) Norwich -Waterfront

22nd August (Support to Arch Enemy) Sheffield – Corporation

23rd August (Support to Arch Enemy) Cardiff –Tramshed

24th August (Support to Arch Enemy) Southampton – Engine Rooms

25th August: (HEADLINE) London – The Underworld (tickets)

 

The Ride Majestic is available in stores and online now.  It can be ordered online via Nuclear Blast Records’ online store, and downloaded via iTunes, Amazon, and Nuclear Blast’s digital store.  Audiences can check out the videos for two of the album’s singles—‘Death in General,’ ‘Enemies in Fidelity,’—and the lyric video for the album’s title track via Nuclear Blast’s official YouTube channel.  More information on Soilwork’s upcoming tour, album, music, and more is available online now at:

 

Website: http://www.soilwork.org

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/soilwork

 

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.

Exmortus Is At Its Peak In On Its Latest LP

Courtesy:  Prosthetic Records

Courtesy: Prosthetic Records

Exmortus struck quite the blow for the metal community when it released its album Slave To The Sword back in 2014. The band’s third full-length studio record and first for Prosthetic Records, it can be argued that it was the album that really made Exmortus into one of the metal community’s next big names. Earlier last month Exmortus followed up the success of that album with its latest full-length studio recording Ride Forth. The band’s fourth full-length studio offering this record is a solid follow-up to Slave To The Sword. Its nine track, forty-three-minute body presents a band that doesn’t rest easily on its laurels. From beginning to end the album keeps its energy and intensity both musically and lyrically beginning right at the album’s outset. ‘Speed of the Strike’ is a full-throttle metal opus that comes at listeners with the speed and precision of the sharpest blade. This applies both with its musical and lyrical content. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is just as pummeling in its approach. And the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored either. The band has taken the legendary composer’s original work and paid it full tribute in its take in its performance of the song. It is every bit as intense here as the original composition, which is more commonly performed on piano. It serves to once again exhibit the breadth of the band’s talents and musical knowledge. When set against the other songs noted here, and those not directly noted, it serves as one more example of why Ride Forth is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Ride Forth, Exmortus’ latest full-length studio recording, is without question one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. That is evident from the album’s full-throttle, take no prisoners opener ‘Speed of The Strike’ right to its finale, ‘Fire And Ice.’ From beginning to end this record’s sound (which conjures thoughts of Arch Enemy, Poweglove, TSO, and other similar acts) alongside its equally powerful lyrical content keeps listeners’ ears with ears. Speaking of the album’s opener it is just one example of what makes this album such an outstanding new effort from Exmortus. In regards to the song’s musical content, the band wastes no time coming at listeners. Guitarist David Rivera and front man/guitarist Jadran “Conan” Gonzalez jump right into the song with their dual guitar attack alongside drummer Mario Moreno and bassist Michael Cosio. The song’s no-nonsense musical approach is in itself just one part of what makes it a solid opener for the band on this album. That is just one part of what makes the song’s musical content notable. Even within the song’s musical content audiences that listen closely will note the band’s classical influences throughout the song. The precision in Rivera and Gonzalez’s performance is incredible. The same can be said of Cosio and Moreno as they establish the song’s foundation. Altogether, the quartet’s abilities create a sound here that in itself is more than enough reason for audiences to hear this song. It’s just one important element of this song. The song’s lyrical content is just as intense as its musical content. Gonzalez sings here, “Riding forth through lands forlorn/Upon our steel the oath is sworn/Dare to make your final stand/Nothing can our steel withstand/Fate is sealed/Death by steel/Slaying man and god alike/All shall feel the speed of the strike.” It comes across like something right from the likes of Amon Amarth and other viking metal acts even though Exmortus is anything but. Interestingly enough Exmortus will hit the road this spring alongside Amon Amarth on its upcoming U.S. tour. Gonzalez continues in similar fashion in the song’s chorus as he sings, “Hark! The sound of steel/The mighty roar of clashing swords/Lo! The metal storm/Forthcoming bane/Those who remain/All shall be torn to shreds/Swords stained red/Raze to the ground/We will strike you down.” This and the song’s opening verse alone build a firm bridge back to Slave To The Sword yet also connects that album expertly to this album. Taking all of this into consideration along with the rest of the song’s equally pummeling lyrical content, the song in whole exhibits clearly in itself what makes Ride Forth a musical ride. it is just one example of what makes Exmortus’ new album such an intense and welcome musical ride. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is another example of what makes this album so intense and so welcome among both the band’s fans and the metal community.

‘Speed Of The Strike’ was the perfect choice with which Exmortus opted to open its latest full-length studio recording. The combination of its musical and lyrical content together instantly grabs listeners and holds them firm from start to finish. While the musical and lyrical intensity of this song makes it a solid first impression for the band on its latest offering, it is just one example of what makes this album such an impressive new offering from Exmortus. ‘For The Horde,’ the album’s lead single, is yet another example of what makes the album a solid new effort from the Whittier, California-based band. In regards to its musical content it is just as intense with the chainsaw sharpness of its dual guitar attack and machine gun-fast drumming. Its lyrical content is just as intense as that of ‘Speed of the Strike,’ too. As Gonzalez sings here, “Ride on/Raise your strong and fight strong/All shall face the mighty metal horde/Thunder/We go in and plunder/Bow before the heavy hammer lord/Whiplash/Hackslash/All is burned to ash.” Yet again here listeners get much the same lyrical intensity and theme as in ‘Speed Of The Strike.’ The combination of that lyrical and musical intensity from beginning to end shows clearly why this song is another example of what makes ‘For The Horde’ such a welcome return for the band. Audiences can check out the band’s lyric video for the song online now via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uo35U4PTQ90. It still is not the only remaining example of what makes the album such an impressive return for Exmortus, too. The band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement cannot be ignored as an example what makes this album so impressive either.

Both ‘Speed Of The Strike’ and ‘For The Horde’ are prime examples of what makes Ride Forth a clearly welcome return for Exmortus. They are both prime examples of why it is such a welcome return for the band because of the intensity of both their musical and lyrical content. They are hardly the only songs that could be cited as examples thanks to that intensity, too. ‘Death To Tyrants’ could just as easily be cited with its impassioned call to arms against those that rule the world unjustly and its equally powerful musical content. Audiences can hear that song online via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u40otH-jZZw. ‘Fire and Ice’ and ‘Black Sails’ could also be cited as examples in their own right. Given the amount of material that could be used to exhibit just what makes Ride Forth such an impressive return there is still one more song included in this album that shines bright because of its musical content alone. That song is the band’s cover of Beethoven’s Sonata No. 23 in F Minor Op. 57 ‘Appasionata’ 3rd movement. The song is just one part of a much larger song. The song in whole runs nearly twenty-five minutes in length. So of course the band wasn’t about to try its hand at the entire composition. That would likely wear out even the most experienced musicians. Heck it even wears out professional, classically trained pianists. To that extent the band can be excused. Taking that into consideration the movement that is presented here in this recording is impressive in its own right. Gonzalez and Rivera are spot on handling the song’s main line. And Cosio is just as impressive as he runs the song’s harmony. All three parts together surprisingly mirror the original composition quite well. It would be unfair to ignore drummer Mario Moreno’s work in this presentation. He stays right on time with his band mates as he adds just enough extra flourish to the song. The cymbal crashes are inserted at just the right points. And his rapid fire footwork on the bass drums is right in time with Cosio’s bass line and even the song’s guitar lines. It’s enough to leave one wondering what a full orchestra version of the song would sound like instead of the song’s typical piano presentation. That’s really saying something about the band members’ talent in taking on a piece that is heavy not in the heavy sense but in terms of the intense concentration and talent that it requires to accomplish it successfully. The song is well over two centuries old. But the band gives it a wonderful new twist all while paying tribute to the original composition. That speaks volumes about the band’s take on the song and about the band’s talent in general. It shows once more why this song is yet another prime example of what makes Ride Forth a welcome return for Exmortus and why alongside the rest of the album’s featured works it is in whole one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Audiences can hear the song for themselves via Prosthetic Records’ official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDnNIXpu0nQ.

Exmortus’ fourth full-length studio album is a picture of a band that is currently at the peak of its career and talent. The band mixes precision guitar work and drumming with lyrical content that is just as powerful in its own right. The end result is a nine-song, forty-three minute experience that will impress any purist member of the metal nation worldwide. It is an experience that will leave said metal loyalists agreeing with this and many other critics that this record is one of the best new hard rock and metal offerings of the year even with the year still being so young. Ride Forth is available now in stores and online. Audiences can order it or download it direct via Prosthetic Records’ online store now at http://prostheticrecords.com/?p=8531. Fans can also pick it up now at any of the band’s live dates. Exmortus is currently touring in support of Ride Forth. The band’s current tour schedule is available online now along with all of its latest news and more at:

Website: http://exmortusmusic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/exmortusband

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.

Arch Enemy Debuts Video For ‘Stolen Life’ (2015 Version)

Courtesy:  Century Media

Courtesy: Century Media

Arch Enemy is prepping to make its way across Europe tomorrow in support of its latest release, 2014’s War Eternal. As the band preps to hit the road again, it has released the video for its updated take on the song ‘Stolen Life.’

The new dizzying video and song feature the addition of former Nevermore axe man Jeff Loomis. It was filmed in Chile and both directed and produced by Carlos Toro V. (Abysmo Films). The original take of ‘Stolen Life’ is included on War Eternal. The new updated version featuring Loomis on guitar is available digitally in Europe now. It will be available for purchase in the U.S. on May 18th. Audiences can check out the new video online now via Decibel Magazine’s website at http://decibelmagazine.com/blog/2015/5/3/video-premiere-arch-enemy-stolen-life.

Founding member and guitarist Michael Amott discussed the video as well as Loomis’ addition to the band among other topics in a recent interview with the media saying, “I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we released the ‘War Eternal’ album! Time flies when you’re having fun huh?! We’re just starting up our summer tour here in Europe and there’s still a long way to go – we’re booked up till Christmas! There has been such an amazing reaction to the new music and lineup and it is really keeping us motivated. Having Jeff Loomis out with us on the road is fantastic. A fine player and a true gentleman. I’m super happy that he could throw down a couple of leads on this new exciting version of ‘Stolen Life’, it really adds some new fire to the song. On our recent tour in Latin America we had the opportunity to film a video for our new single. It was a really good experience working with the talented Abysmo team and I’m more than happy with the end result! I look forward to seeing you all out there on the road…”

Arch Enemy’s current European tour schedule kicks off tomorrow, May 5th in Lille, France and runs through December 19th in London, UK. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below:

ARCH ENEMY live:
05.05.2015 – Le Splendid – Lille, France*
06.05.2015 – L’Empreinte – Savigny-Le-Temple, France*
07.05.2015 – Le Fil – St Etienne, France*
08.05.2015 – Le Moloco – Audincourt, France*
09.05.2015 – JUZ Live Club – Andernach, Germany
10.05.2015 – ZAK – Uelsen, Germany*
11.05.2015 – Komplex 457 – Zurich, Switzerland*
14.05.2015 – Les Docks – Lausanne, Switzerland*
15.05.2015 – Audiodrome – Torino, Italy*
16.05.2015 – Rock Planet – Pinarella di Cervia (RA), Italy*
17.05.2015 – La Paloma – Nimes, France*
18.05.2015 – La Krakatoa – Bordeaux, France*
21.05.2015 – Paradise Garage – Lisbon, Portugal*
22.05.2015 – Hardclub – Porto, Portugal*
23.05.2015 – Capitol – Santiago de Compostela*
31.05.2015 – Komma – Wörgl, Austria (support by DRONE)
02.06.2015 – Barba Negra Track – Budapest, Hungary (support by DRONE)
03.06.2015 – Orpheum – Graz, Austria*
(*=supported by UNEARTH and DRONE)

04.06.2015 – Out & Loud Festival – Geiselwind, Germany
05.06.2015 – Metalfest Open Air – Pilsen, Czech Republic
06.06.2015 – Plein Air de Rock Festival – Jarny, France
19.06.2015 – Nummirock Metal Festival – Nummijarvi, Finland
20.06.2015 – Graspop Metal Meeting – Dessel, Belgium
21.06.2015 – Hellfest – Clisson, France
25.06.2015 – Bravalla Festival – Norrköping, Sweden
26.06.2015 – TopFest – Piestany, Slovakia
03.07.2015 – Pfeffelbach Open Air – Pfeffelbach, Germany
05.07.2015 – With Full Force Festival – Roitzschjora, Germany
17.07.2015 – Metal Collision Festival – Frankfurt, Germany
18.07.2015 – Dynamo Metal Fest – Eindhoven, Netherlands
19.07.2015 – Two Days A Week Festival – Wiesen, Austria
23.07.2015 – Metaldays – Tolmin, Slovenia
24.07.2015 – Lanzenanger Festival – Burglengenfeld, Germany

NIGHTWISH, ARCH ENEMY, AMORPHIS “Endless Forms Most Beautiful” European tour 2015
16.11.2015 – Falconer – Copenhagen, Denmark
18.11. 2015 – O2 World – Hamburg, Germany
19.11. 2015 – Heineken Music Hall – Amsterdam, Netherlands
20.11. 2015 – Heineken Music Hall – Amsterdam, Netherlands
21.11. 2015 – König-Pilsener-Arena – Oberhausen, Germany
23.11. 2015 – Hall Tony Garnier – Lyon, France
25.11. 2015 – POPB-Bercy – Paris, France
26.11. 2015 – Le Zénith – Toulouse, France
28.11. 2015 – St. Jakobshalle – Basel, Switzerland
29.11. 2015 – Unipol Arena – Bologna, Italy
01.12. 2015 – Zenith – Munich, Germany
03.12. 2015 – Schleyerhalle – Stuttgart, Germany
04.12. 2015 – Jahrhunderthalle – Frankfurt, Germany
05.12. 2015 – Arena – Nürnberg, Germany
07.12. 2015 – Tip Sport Arena Prague – Prague, Czech Republic
10.12. 2015 – Polivalenta Hall – Bucharest, Romania
14.12. 2015 – Arena – Leipzig, Germany
15.12. 2015 – Max – Schmeling-Halle – Berlin, Germany
16.12. 2015 – Rockhal – Luxembourg, Luxembourg
17.12. 2015 – Lotto Arena – Antwerp, Belgium
19.12. 2015 – Wembley Arena – London, UK
For ticket buy links, please visit: www.archenemy.net

All of the latest updates on Arch Enemy’s tour is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.archenemy.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/archenemyofficial

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