Born Of Osiris, For The Fallen Dreams Added To 2016 Dirt Fest Lineup


Courtesy:  Omega/101 WRIF-FM

Courtesy: Omega/101 WRIF-FM

More names have been added to this year’s edition of the Dirt Fest.

Organizers with the annual festival announced this week that Born of Osiris and For The Fallen Dreams have both been added to this year’s lineup.  They join the likes of: Sea of Treachery, I Set My Friends on Fire, and The Alpha Complex, who were also just recently added to the festival’s lineup.  The Alpha Complex features former Motograte

r front man Michael Woodruff on vocals.  Matt Dalton is one of the festival’s promoters.  He discussed the addition of Born of Osiris and For The Fallen Dreams in a recent interview.  “I’m thrilled to have my friends in Born of Osiris and For The Fallen Dreams join our event,” he said.  This will bee the first time FTFD has played in their home state of Michigan in over two years and their first time back to Dirt Fest since 2006.  With Chad (Ruhlig) back fronting the band the timing couldn’t be better.”

This is not the first time that the annual festival, which is held every year in Michigan, has given bands from “The Great Lakes State” time in the limelight.  In 2012 Chiodos reunited after having taken some time apart previously.  And the band’s first show back was at Dirt Fest.  The performance featured original front man Craig Owens back at the helm.  Dirt Fest has also developed quite the reputation for itself for having launched the careers of other major metal acts such as: Battlecross, Wilson, and See You Next Tuesday.  Dalton discussed the festival’s reputation along with the new additions to this year’s festival in his interview.  “Our priority has always been Michigan bands and this year is no exception,” he said of the festival’s reputation.  “In addition to Walls of Jericho, Wilson, Saint Riley, and of course For The Fallen Dreams, dozens of up-and-coming Michigan bands like It Lies Within and Heartsick will have a chance to perform alongside the big guys.  You never know who the next break out artist will be.”

2016 marks the 19th year for the Dirt Fest.  Along with the bands already noted, this year’s festival lineup also features some of the biggest names in the metal community today including: Hatebreed, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, Soil, Asking Alexandria, Attila, Bury Your Dead, and many others.  It will be held at the Crofoot Festival Grounds in downtown Pontiac Michigan on Saturday, August 13th.  Tickets for the festival can be purchased online now here.  More information on Dirt Fest is available online now at:








To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Slayer Reclaims The Metal Throne In 2015

There’s only a week and a half left in 2015 after this week. That means that the days are finally really ticking away. And as they pass by so do the year-ender lists from all of the critics. That includes this critic. So far this month, Phil’s Picks has revealed its top new EPs, World Music albums, County, etc. albums, Rap and Hip-Hop albums, Children’s albums, and Rock albums. There have even been lists for the year’s best new live CD recording and album re-issues. Now we come down to the last two lists of the music universe for this year. Today the first of those lists will be revealed. That list is the list of the year’s best new Hard Rock and Heavy Metal albums. The second and final music list of the year is the year’s best overall albums. That list will come alongside the list of the year’s top new movies later on. So for now, today brings the last of the music year-enders. And it’s quite a doozy. It was anything but easy to assemble. Slayer grabbed the top spot with its new album Repentless. Saxon is there, too as is Annihilator, Gloomball, Between The Buried and Me, and many others. As with every previous list, the Top 10 albums make up the main body of the list. The bottom five are each honorable mention as they simply could not be ignored. That brings the total list to fifteen albums. SO without further ado, here for your reading pleasure, dear readers, are the Phil’s Picks 2015 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Heavy Metal Albums.

































To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Battlecross Announces New Tour Dates

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records/Century Media Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records/Century Media Records

Battlecross is heading back on the road again this fall and winter.

Battlecross announced this week that it will headline the 2015 edition of the Winter Warriors Tour. The tour, which is in support of its latest full-length studio recording Rise To Power, kicks off Friday, December 11th in Pittsburgh, PA. The six-date tour runs through December 18th in Flint, MI. The band has teamed up with the Veterans Ticket Foundation again in order to offer free admission to the tour for the nation’s military veterans. Vets wanting to attend one of the upcoming shows can sign up for that free admission online at beginning next Tuesday, November 17th. As an added means of honoring America’s veterans, the band is donating a portion of sales from its shirts to VetTix so that veterans and their families can attend the band’s shows and other events in their respective areas for free. The band will also spend all day November 11th honoring America’s veterans via its official Twitter page at http://twitter.combattlecross. Those military families that want their veterans to get a shout out from the band tomorrow can submit said person(s) name(s) online at

Battlecross won’t be alone when it hits the road. Havok, Nekrogoblikin, and Black Fast will serve as support acts for the length of the tour. General public tickets for the Winter Warriors tour go on sale this Friday, November 13th. Those that purchase tickets in advance will be entered for a chance at a free guitar.

Battlecross is currently touring alongside its label mates in Gwar. The bands will be at the NorVa November 11th in Norfolk, VA. From there they will head up the East Coast before heading south again for a performance at The Orange Peel in Asheville, NC on November 17th. The bands will also perform live at Tremont Music Hall in Charlotte, NC on November 24th. These are just some of the bands’ upcoming live dates. Battlecross’ tour schedule with Gwar and its upcoming schedule on the Winter Warriors Tour is noted below.

Battlecross tour dates – “Winter Warriors 2015”
w/ Havok, Nekrogoblikon, Black Fast

Dec. 11 – Cattivo – Pittsburgh, PA
Dec. 12 – Bada Brew – Crest Hill, IL *Battlecross and Black Fast only
Dec. 13 – Rockstar Pro Arena – Dayton, OH
Dec. 14 – Montage Music Hall – Rochester, NY
Dec. 17 – The Garrison – Toronto, ON
Dec. 18 – The Machine Shop – Flint, MI *3rd Annual BattleChristmas

Remaining Battlecross tour dates
w/ GWAR:

Nov. 11 – The NorVa – Norfolk, VA
Nov. 12 – Electric Factory – Philadelphia, PA
Nov. 13 – Toad’s Place – New Haven, CT
Nov. 14 – The Palladium – Worcester, MA
Nov. 15 – Webster Hall – New York, NY
Nov. 17 – The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC
Nov. 18 – Exit / In – Nashville, TN
Nov. 19 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA
Nov. 20 – Gas Monkey Live – Dallas, TX
Nov. 21 – EaDo Party Park – Houston, TX
Nov. 22 – Scoot Inn – Austin, TX
Nov. 24 – Tremont Music Hall – Charlotte, NC
Nov. 25 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA
Nov. 27 – Revolution – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Nov. 28 – Venue 578 – Orlando, FL

More information on Battlecross’ upcoming tour dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:






To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Fifteen Years Removed, Crowbar’s Equilibrium Still Hits As Hard As Ever

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Fifteen years ago Crowbar released what has since gone on to be one of the band’s most pivotal albums when it released Equilibrium. The album, which was released originally via Spitfire Records, was officially re-issued late las tmonth via Entertainment One in all of it’s heavy glory. For anyone that is perhaps unfamiliar to Crowbar’s body of work, Equilibrium proves to be a good starting point with its heavy southern sludge/doomcore sound and thought provoking lyrics. It does so right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and again in the equally pummeling ‘Command of Myself.’ These two tracks are but a couple examples of why Equilibrium remains such an important part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The more punk oriented sound of ‘Uncovering’ and its associated lyrical content is one more example of why audiences new and old alike will enjoy this record should either one not already own it. By themselves, each of the songs noted here show three different reasons that Equilibrium remains one of Crowbar’s most pivotal albums to date. Collectively and alongside the albums other seven songs, the whole of Equilibrium proves to be just as enjoyable for Crowbar’s fans today as it was fifteen years ago in its original release.

Crowbar’s 2000 full length release Equilibrium is one of the most important albums that the band has released to date among its now ten total albums. The main reason for this is the way in which the album mixes together the sound of its older albums with the occasional more punk vibes. Those punk vibes were present in the band’s previous albums. But even in those albums they were not so evident. They are much clearer here. And the band’s heavier side seems even heavier here, too. That heavier side grabs listeners right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ Listening to this song, one coul almost make a comparison to legendary thrash metal band Pantera thanks to the work of guitarist Sammy Pierre Duet, drummer Sid Montz and then bassist Todd Strange. Front man Kirk Windstein’s vocal delivery remains as much of a powerhouse as ever as he screams, “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learned to take my time/You may not understand/The things that burn my mind/Before I’m gone/Conquer it all/Hope still not gone/Conquer it.” Windstein’s powerhouse delivery partner with the song’s defiant yet hopeful lyrics to paint a vivid picturefor listeners. Add in the song’s title and listeners get the image of someone that has faced great odds but refuses to give up no matter what. The line “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learne to take my time” could easily be interpreted as Windstein saying he stands atop all that mankind has made miserable, or simply all that man has in fact ruine or destroyed rather than letting himself become part of those ruins. It is really a positive message despite its forceful delivery. The forceful delivery actually adds to the song’s “oomph” for lack of better wording. The delivery of the lyrics presents a feeling of determination. And that sense of determination coupled with the song’s powerhouse music makes the song in whole that much more powerful and that much wiser a way to open this record.

‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ proves, in considering Equilibrium’s body in whole, to be the right choice for this album’s opener. That is because of the song’s pummeling southern sludge/doom sound and its equally powerful yet positive lyrics. ‘Command of Myself’ presents much the same mix of heaviness and heavy yet positive lyrics. While it has that same heaviness as the album’s opener, audiences will especially appreciate that it still boasts a sound different from that of ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ The band’s trademark southern sludge metal sound takes on a new life here. Its slower pace matches its lyrics, too as Windstein sings, “I’ve been pushing so hard/I’ve been pushing so many years/Still that fire will always burn/Count on me until I die.” Windstein continues on in the same positive direction with the rest of the song’s lyrical content. The song’s closing line sees Windstein screaming, “To myself I’m always true/My reflection I see with pride.” The positive message presented in these words are made even more impactful when set against the song’s slower, yet still pounding musical side. When both elements are set against the rest of Equilibrium’s songs, they show even more why ‘Command of Myself’ is such an important addition to this record. In turn the song, when partnered with the album’s opener, shows even more the importance of Equilibrium as part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The songs together are fleeting moments of light among some very emotionally deep opuses. They show that even in the face of so many emotionally difficult situations, it is possible to be optimistic. Speaking of those emotionally difficult situations, one of the most interesting of the most interesting of those emotionally difficult scenarios presented across Equilibrium is the punk-influenced ‘Uncovering.’

‘Uncovering’ is one of the most intriguing of the album’s deeply emotional moments. It stands out among Equilibrium’s other deeply emotional songs because much like the album’s opener, it presents the subject overcoming a very tough emotional situation. As Windstein writes here, “Left me all alone/Pushed me until I explode/I’ve got to find a way/Thought I could count on you/My faith will pull me through again.” The overall message that is presente here is positive. Windstein is saying there has to be a way, and reminds himself that he will get through it. He goes on to write, “Feel myself burning inside/Finally realized no more compromise/Now I can break away.” He is saying again that he is not going to let himself be held down. The song’s heavy, punk-influenced sound set alongside such determined lyrics, makes it yet another key example of what makes Equilibrium a record that any Crowbar fan should have in their collection.

‘Uncovering’ proves in its own way why Crowbar’s newly re-issued album Equilibrium is one that any Crowbar fan should add to their library if they don’t already have this record in their collection. It’s only one of the songs that make this argument, too. Both the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and ‘Command of Myself’ add to that argument, too. The same could be said of the album’s other tracks not noted here. All things considered, the whole of Equilibrium proves in its new re-issue that fifteen years after its original release, it is an album that any of this stalwart band’s fans will appreciate whether they are fans new or old. Equilibrium is available now in stores and online. Crowbar will hit the road beginning next month in support of Equilibrium alongside Battlecross and Lord Dying. The tour kicks off May 28th in Shreveport, LA. The band’s full tour schedule is available online along with the latest news from the band at To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Crowbar To Hit The Road Next Month For “Summer Of Doom Tour”

Courtesy:  Entertainment 1

Courtesy: Entertainment 1

Crowbar will hit the road again this summer.

Officials with Entertainment 1 and the members of Crowbar announced today that the band will hit the road next month for the “Summer Of Doom Tour.” The late spring/summer tour is in support of Crowbar’s newly re-issued 2000 album Equilibrium. The 33-date tour kicks off on Thursday, May 28th in Shreveport, Louisiana and comes full circle, ending Friday, July 3rd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The band will spend the first half of June making its way through the southwest and the west coast before making its way into western Canada. The band kicks off the second half of June by heading back across the border into the midwest and up into eastern Canada before making its way to the northeast to round out the month. To round out its tour, Crowbar will head into Columbia, South Carolina on Wednesday, July 1st, Atlanta, Georgia the next day and Baton Rouge on the last day of the tour. The complete “Summer of Doom Tour” schedule is listed below:

Summer Of Doom Tour 2015

5/28/2015 – Shreveport, LA – Riverside Warehouse

5/29/2015 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey

5/30/2015 – Austin, TX – Dirty Dog

5/31/2015 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar

6/2/2015 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

6/3/2015 – Tempe, AZ – Club Red

6/4/2015 – San Diego, CA – Til Two

6/5/2015 – Long Beach, CA – DiPiazzas

6/6/2015 – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go

6/8/2015 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater

6/9/2015 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon

6/10/2015 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater

6/12/2015 – Calgary, AB – Republik

6/13/2015 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite

6/14/2015 – Saskatoon, SK – Obrians

6/16/2015 – Winnipeg, MB – The Zoo

6/17/2015 – Minneapolis, MN – Amsterdam

6/18/2015 – Cudahy, WI – The Metal Grill

6/19/2015 – Detroit, MI – Shelter

6/20/2015 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s

6/21/2015 – Columbus, OH – Alrosa Villa

6/22/2015 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom

6/23/2015 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club

6/24/2015 – Ottawa, ON – Mavericks

6/25/2015 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa

6/26/2015 – Worcester, MA – Palladium

6/27/2015 – Albany, NY – Trickshot Billiards

6/28/2015 – Philadelphia, PA – Voltage

6/29/2015 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus

6/30/2015 – Frederick, MD – Cafe 611

7/1/2015 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern

7/2/2015 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade

7/3/2015 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theater

Crowbar will be supported by Battlecross and Lord Dying for its upcoming tour. Battlecross is currently working on the follow-up to its 2013 album War of Will (Metal Blade) while it tours. Lord Dying is currently promoting its latest single, ‘Poisoned Altars,’ which is also the title track from its latest full-length studio effort. All of the latest updates on Crowbar’s upcoming tour are available online along with all of the latest news from the band via Facebook at To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Battlecross Announces Tour With Machine Head, Children Of Bodom, Epica

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The members of Battlecross announced Monday that the band will embark on a North American tour this fall in support of its latest album War of Will.

Battlecross will join Machine Head, Epica, and Children of Bodom beginning Saturday, October 4th in Denver, Colorado. Tickets for the band’s joint tour will go on sale this Friday morning at 10am ET. Battlecross guitarist Tony Asta discussed in a recent interview, his thoughts on touring alongside Children of Bodom and Machine Head once again and with Epica for the first time ever. “What an honor to be on this tour!,” he said. “We’re really stoked to reunite with Machine Head and Children of Bodom, both legendary bands and friends from last summer’s Mayhem Fest, and to see what Epica is all about. This is a tour with something for every metal head and we can’t wait to be bring it brutal throughout the USA & Canada, banging heads and melting faces from coast-to-coast.See you in the pit!”

Before Battlecross makes its way across America this fall, the band will join Black Label Society in Mexico City before performing a trip of dates with Killswitch Engage and Memphis May Fire in Brazil. Hiran Deraniyalaga, who also plays guitar for Battlecross, commented on the upcoming performances. “What a year this has been for us so far,” he said. “We’ve been to Europe twice and now we’re going to Mexico and South America! We’re so honored to be invited to play with Black Label Society in Mexico City. We have so many loyal rabid fans there and we finally get to play for them! After that we fly to Brazil for three dates with our good friends Killswitch Engage, who we can’t thank enough for always inviting us out for awesome opportunities like this one. Get ready to rage my friends! This will be one for the books!”

The schedule for Battlecross’ upcoming tour with Machine Head, Children of Bodom, and Epica is listed below.

Tour w/ Machine Head, Children of Bodom, Epica
10/04 Denver, CO @ The Summit Music Hall
10/06 Dallas, TX @ House of Blues Dallas
10/07 Houston, TX @ House of Blues Houston
10/09 Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
10/10 Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade
10/12 Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
10/14 Toronto, ON @ Sound Academy
10/15 Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
10/16 New York, NY @ Terminal 5
10/17 Worcester, MA @ The Palladium – Rock and Shock festival
10/18 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre
10/20 Chicago, IL @ Concord Music Hall
10/21 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave II
10/22 Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre
10/23 Winnipeg, MB @ Pyramid Cabaret
10/24 Saskatoon, SK @ O’Brians Event Centre
10/25 Calgary, AB @ The Republik
10/26 Edmonton, AB @ Shaw Conference Centre
10/28 Vancouver, BC @ Vogue Theater
10/29 Seattle, WA @ Showbox SODO
10/30 Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
10/31 Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
11/01 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
11/02 San Diego, CA @ House of Blues

Summer Headline Tour w/ IKILLYA
07/30 Reading, PA @ Reverb
07/31 Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
08/01 Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
08/02 Albany, NY @ Bogies
08/03 Ottawa, ON*** @ Mavericks
08/04 Quebec City***, QC @ L’Agitee
08/05 London, ON*** @ Rum Runners
08/06 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
08/07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
End tour
08/08 Louisville, KY** @ Expo 5
08/09 Birch Run, MI @ DIRT Fest
08/10 Libertyville, IL** @ Austin’s
** w/ Killswitch Engage
***w/ Crimson Shadows & IKILLYA
South American tour dates
w/ Black Label Society
08/20 Mexico City*** @ Jose Cuervo Salon

w/ Killswitch Engage & Memphis May Fire
08/22 Curitiba, Brazil @ Music Hall
08/23 Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Carioca Club
08/24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil @ Circo Voador

All of the latest news and tour updates from Battlecross is available online at,, and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Battlecross Announces New Tour Dates, Starts Working On New Album

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

The members of Battlecross have confirmed that the band will hit the road this summer for a headlining tour.

The band will kick off its upcoming headlining summer tour on Thursday, July 24th at The Basement in Columbus, Ohio. A pair of dates in North Carolina is also planned as part of the band’s tour. That pair of dates will see the band perform at the Greene Street Club in Greensboro, North Carolina on Friday, July 25th and The Casbah at Tremont Music Hall on Sunday, July 27th. The band will be joined by Crimson Shadows at both performances. Crimson Shadows, from Canada, was the winner of the most recent Wacken Metal Battle. New York-based band IKILLYA will also be on hand for support.

The first leg of the band’s summer tour runs through Thursday August 7th. Battlecross will join Killswitch Engage on Friday, August 8th and Sunday, August 10th at Expo 5 in Louisville, KY and at Austin’s in Libertyville, IL respectively. The band also has a performance scheduled for Saturday, August 9th at the DIRT Fest in Birch Run, MI. After finishing its U.S. run, Battlecross will head south for the South American leg of its tour. That leg of the band’s tour currently runs from Friday, August 22nd to Sunday, August 24th. Also on board for that leg of the tour will be Memphis May Fire and Killswitch Engage. Currently, the band is on tour in Europe in support of its latest release, War of Wills. The band is touring alongside Huntress and will be in Milano today. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

BATTLECROSS Summer 2014 European tour dates:
19/06/14 IT – Milano – Club Legend w/ Huntress
20/06/14 SI – Ljubljana – Orto Bar w/ Huntress
21/06/14 HR – Zagreb – Mochvara Club w/ Huntress
27/06/14 BE – Dessel – Graspop Festival

Tour w/ Crimson Shadows
Thu/Jul-24 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
Fri/Jul-25 Greensboro, NC @ Greene Street Club
Sat/Jul-26 Elizabethton, TN @ The Bonnie Kate
Sun/Jul-27 Charlotte, NC @ The Casbah at Tremont Music Hall
Mon/Jul-28 Jacksonville, FL @ 1904 Music Hall
Wed/Jul-30 Reading, PA @ Reverb
Thu/Jul-31 Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room
Fri/Aug-01 Hartford, CT @ Webster Underground
Sat/Aug-02 Albany, NY @ Bogies
Sun/Aug-03 Ottawa, ON @ Mavericks
Mon/Aug-04 Quebec City, QC @ L’Agitee
Tue/Aug-05 London, ON @ Rum Runners*
Wed/Aug-06 Syracuse, NY @ Lost Horizon
Thu/Aug-07 Pittsburgh, PA @ Smiling Moose
End tour
Fri/Aug-08 Louisville, KY** @ Expo 5
Sat/Aug-09 Birch Run, MI @ DIRT Fest
Sun/Aug-10 Libertyville, IL** @Austin’s
*co-headline w/ Macabre
** w/ Killswitch Engage

BATTLECROSS South American tour dates
w/ Killswitch Engage, Memphis May Fire
Fri/Aug-22 Curitiba, Brazil @ Music Hall
Sat/Aug-23 Sao Paulo, Brazil @ Carioca Club
Sun/Aug-24 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil @ Circo Voador

Along with its upcoming tour dates, the members of Battlecross have also announced that the band has started work on its third full length album. Guitarist Hiran Deraniyagala shared his thoughts regarding the connection between the short headlining tour and the album. He said of the band’s expectations for both, “We’re excited to announce our first headline run in quite a while. It’s short but sweet, and this gives us time to write the new record this summer.” Fellow guitarist Tony Asta added his thoughts, too. “The past year has been very inspiring for the band and our attitude towards the writing process this time around is more confident and driven,” he said. “I expect our next album to kick you in the ass harder than the last. Album #3 will be a serious contender in 2015 and a defining Battlecross record.”

More information on Battlecross’ upcoming tour, album and more is available online now at,, and To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Battlecross’ War Of Wills One Of Metal’s “Big Guns” In 2013

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records

Metal.  Pure, unmitigated thrash metal.  There is little other way to describe the latest album from Metal Blade Records’ own Battlecross.  War of Will, the band’s sophomore release, is one of those records that any thrash metal purist will openly embrace.  As tight as this album is, it’s incredible to think that the album was completed in only a month.  Typically, one would think that a record completed in roughly a month would have just been haphazardly thrown together.  But this record proves quite the opposite, musically speaking.  Much the same can be said of the album’s lyrical content, too.  Lyrically speaking, this album is even more fuel in the fight against those that would stereotype metal as being one thing or another.  It proves much like so many other metal bands that metal can be heavy and uplifting.  And it’s that combined with the album’s solid sound that makes it deserving of at least once listen.

One of the best examples of what makes War of Will such an impressive record is the song, ‘Never Coming Back.’  The title sounds ominous, yes.  And being that it’s from a metal band, it sounds even more ominous.  But one look through the song’s lyrics will prove otherwise.  Vocalist Kyle Gunther wrote in this song of the type of person that would much rather blame everyone else for his or her own problems, instead of taking the blame for his or her own problems.  He wrote, “As you stand there/Holding the shattered pieces of your life/Chiding everyone/For not protecting you/Believe that you’re the martyr/And drowned in your own lies/What we had is never coming back/Never coming back.”  These words are entirely relatable.  That is because everybody has encountered someone like that at one point or another in their own life.  Some listeners may be dealing with such a person right now in their own daily life.  This critic will openly say that he is in fact dealing with one of those people right now.  So it goes without saying that this is a powerful addition to War of Will.  The power that fills the song musically adds even more depth to the song.  It serves alongside the lyrics to highlight the anger and frustration felt by those affected by the “blamer” type.  The dual guitar attack of Tony Asta and Hiran Deraniyagala is crushing.  It will take audiences back to the heyday of metal, harkening back to the likes of Iron Maiden, only amped up to a factor of ten.  It is just one of the many moments that any metal head will appreciate and enjoy on this record.

‘Never Coming Back’ is a powerful song to say the least on War of Will.  Right along the same vein as that song is the album’s fifth track, ‘Get Over It.’  This song has just as much power as the aforementioned song.  It’s another song whose lyrics echo the album’s theme of self-empowerment and personal strength.  The same energy and power carried throughout ‘Never Coming Back’ is here both lyrically speaking and musically.  Gunther powers his way through this song, screaming, “I will not play your petty games/It’s only in your head/Your lies become true/It’s only in your head/That these accusations make sense.”  He’s noting how a given figure has let personal doubt about given situations fester in his or her own mind and turned into paranoia that he or she is then driven to believe.  Again, this is an entirely relatable situation.  Whether it’s a situation of a person relationship or of something similar to said situation, it’s one in which everybody has been at one time or another.  Yet again, the song’s musical side does quite the job of illustrating the powerful emotions that are brought up in such situations.  That musical and lyrical power together, are certain to have quite the impact on the band’s listeners.

Listeners should be able to tell at this point that Battlecross has quite the album on its hands as do its listeners.  One could go on and on about each one of the songs on this record.  One more example would not be enough.  The self-empowering songs keep coming through the record as is exemplified in both the defiant ‘The Will to Overcome’ and the album’s title track.  Nowhere is that message more clear than in the defiant ‘the Will to Overcome’ and the album’s title track.  Both songs send the message of standing tall and proud, flipping the proverbial middle finger at the world.  Both are right up there with the likes of certain songs from Machine Head and Hatebreed.  Fans can hear these songs and all of the others from War of Will now as the album is available in stores and online.  Fans can also hear the band play songs from the album live during its current tour.  The band will be in Lakewood, Ohio tonight alongside 3 Inches of Blood, Revocation and Diamond Plate.  Fans can get the most current tour dates and more from the band online at and  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at

5FDP, KsE, Battlecross, more kick off Trespass America tour

The Trespass America tour has officially hit the road.  The tour features some of the metal world’s biggest names, including:  Five Finger Death Punch, Killswitch Engage, Trivium, and God Forbid.  Also along for the ride are some up and coming hard rock and metal acts in the likes of Pop Evil, Emmure, and Battlecross.  Being the road dogs that they are, Five Figner Death Punch will be headlining the tour. 

The tour will be making its way all across America straight into September.  Fans in North Carolina will have the chance to check out the bands live, as the tour will be making a stop in Charlotte next month.  The metal fest will play Charlotte’s Time Warner Cable Pavilion Uptown on Tuesday, August 21st. 

Fans can get a ful listing of tour dates online at  And while fans wait for the tour to hit their city, fans can get the latest news and more from the bands on tour online at,,,,,, and

To keep up with all the latest entertainment news and reviews, go to and “Like” it or its companion page,  fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Metal Hammer Trespass America band reps hold press conference

HOLLYWOOD, CA–2012’s newest metal festival, Trespass America, is gearing up for its inaugural tour.  In anticipation of the tour, festival organizers organized a full on press conference to make the official announcement. 

Now fans can see the press conference in its entirety, complete with armed and uniformed military guard.  Fans who want to see the press conference can paste the links below for the entire press conference and the amended press conference. — Fans who want to see the full press conference from members of the band’s being escorted in in hoods and handcuffs (don’t worry fans, it’s all part of the act), and then introduced to the full press conference. — Fans who don’t have a lot of time, and just want the meat and potatoes of the press conference can check out this link.

This year’s festival kicks off July 13th in Broomfield, IL, and will span a total of 31 dates, ending August 28th in Los Angeles, CA.