Vokonis’ Latest LP Offers Listeners An Enjoyable Musical Odyssey

Courtesy: The Sign Records

Prog-metal outfit Vokonis has quietly made quite the name for itself in the past few years or so with its existing trio of records.  That name will grow in notoriety Friday when it releases its fourth album, Odyssey.  The six song record is a work that definitely holds its own against its metal and prog-metal counterparts, both more well-known and lesser.  That is due in part to its featured musical arrangements, which will be discussed shortly.  The lyrical themes that accompany the record’s musical arrangements adds to the record’s success.  It will be discussed a little later.  The record’s production puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each item noted is important in its own way to the whole of the recording.  All things considered, they make the 40-minute album a must hear for any metal purist.

Vokonis’ forthcoming fourth album Odyssey is a unique addition to this year’s crop of new independent and hard rock/metal albums.  It is a record that provided the proper support, is certain to continue building the band’s name within the noted genres.  That is proven in part through the album’s featured musical arrangements.  Throughout the course of the album’s 40-minute run time, it incorporates a variety of influences in each arrangement to make its whole.  ‘Rebellion,’ the album’s opener for instance, opens with a guitar riff that would fit easily into any active rock radio programmer’s playlist.  As the vocals come into play, the guttural screams from front man Simon Ohlsson lend themselves to comparison to those of Crowbar front man Kirk Windstein.  The more melodic, clean vocals from Ohlsson’s band mates – Jonte Johansson (bass, vocals), Peter Ottosson (drums, percussion), and Per Wiberg (keyboards) – make for more of a Tool-esque sound.  The two stylistic approaches are vastly different, but used against one another, somehow manage to work.  The full-on wall of sound approach that the band uses here is also comparable to that of Crowbar.  It all sounds very raucous, but at the same time controlled in its chaotic approach.  It is just one example of how the album’s musical content plays into its appeal.

On a completely different note, the musical arrangement that is presented in the late entry ‘Hollow Waters’ lends itself to comparison to works from the likes of Leprous, as well as to those of Crowbar.  The Leprous comparison comes in the choruses with their full yet somewhat ethereal sound.  It makes for a welcome change of pace to ensure listeners’ maintained engagement and entertainment.  As with ‘Rebellion,’ this song’s arrangement is just one more example of what make the album’s musical content so noteworthy.  ‘Blackened Wings,’ the album’s lead single, is yet another example of how the power and variety in the album’s musical content makes it successful.

‘Blackened Wings’ is just as busy and loud as any of the album’s other arrangements.  Yet even in that controlled chaos, there is something so engaging.  The guttural death/black metal style screams set alongside the song’s death metal guitars lend themselves to comparisons to works from Between the Buried and Me.  The contrast of that sound to the cleaner, heavy, sludge metal style approach to the rest of the song makes for even more interest here.  The expert balance of those distinctly differing styles speaks highly of the production that went into the album.  This aspect will be discussed later.  Staying on the topic at hand, this song’s arrangement does just as much as those already examined and the rest of the album’s works, to show why the diverse influences and power in the arrangements make them so important to the album.  The whole of the album’s musical arrangements, including the clear Dream Theater influence exhibited in ‘Azure,’ creates a solid foundation for Odyssey.  Building on that foundation is the lyrical content that accompanies the album’s intense musical content.

The lyrical themes that are presented throughout Odyssey will make for just as much engagement as the musical arrangements that they join.  Case in point is the lyrical content featured in ‘Hollow Waters.’  The song’s lyrical content seems rather nihilistic on the surface, what with the mentions of the “Circle of sorrow/Closing in on you” and everything bad going on in the world.”  However, the song’s lyrical theme ultimately is one of hope.  This is pointed out in the song’s second verse, which states, “Cities will fall/Empires crumble/Hope can prevail/We will follow/Forests will burn/Under the scourge/Lead us again through these faraway lands.”  The message of hope is raised again in the song’s third verse, which finds Ohlsson singing, “Wrath of the scorned/Born of fire/Tainted fury leads to nothing/Let it all pass/Open yourself/Lead us away  through  these faraway lands.”  That positive message is delivered once more in the song’s final verse, stating, “The everlasting light/Is the flame of eternity.”  These notes and the rest of the song’s lyrical content join to form a unique approach to a welcome theme.  When that theme joins with the song’s already noted equally unique musical arrangement, it shows in whole why the album in whole is so powerful.

The lyrical content featured in the album’s title track is another example of what makes it such a strong new offering from Vokonis.  This song’s lyrical content seems (at least in the ears and mind of this critic) to deliver a message of living life and facing life’s challenges.  Again, this is only this critic’s interpretation.  The inference is made as Ohlsson sings about overcoming “the final step” and the “Beacon of tranquility” shining “upon us all/Light of serenity/Essence of the divine.”  It’s one more unique lyrical presentation from Vokonis on its latest outing that is certain to keep any listener engaged.  When this original presentation is considered along with the other content examined here and the rest of the album’s lyrical content, that whole leaves no doubt as to the importance of said content.  When the album’s collective lyrical content pairs with the record’s equally powerful musical arrangements, that body makes for even more engagement and entertainment.  Even with that in mind, it is only a portion of what make the album such a surprisingly engaging and entertaining work.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.

As was noted earlier, the songs featured throughout Odyssey each utilize a powerful wall of sound style approach, as well as other elements and influences.  Considering how much goes on throughout the album, those behind the glass had to pay exceptional attention to every minute detail.  Luckily, that painstaking attention to detail paid off from beginning to end.  The result is a record that even being so active and full, completely engages and entertains.  Keeping all of this in mind, the album proves to be a surprisingly impressive addition to this year’s field of new hard rock and metal albums.

Vokonis’ forthcoming album Odyssey is a strong new presentation from the already established prog-metal outfit from Sweden.  It is a work that serves as a strong starting point for those audiences who are less familiar with the band and its catalog and an equally new offering for the band’s established fan base.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  The arrangements exhibit a wide range of influences, not just prog-metal.  That applies within each song and from one to the next.  The lyrical content featured throughout the album adds to its interest.  It is presented in truly unique fashion even as it touches on what seem to be some familiar topics.  The album’s production rounds out its most important elements.  It ensures that even as busy as each song is, the record’s arrangements do not become muddied and worn down in   themselves.  The result of the work put in through the album’s production is an album that will appeal aesthetically just as much as for its content.  It all makes the album a musical odyssey that any metal purist will be glad he or she took.  More information on Odyssey is available along with all of Vokonis’ latest news at:

Website: https://vokonis.bandcamp.com  

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

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TesseracT To Re-Issue ‘Altered State’ On Vinyl

Courtesy: Century Media Records

TesseracT will re-issue its 2013 album Altered State this fall.

The band is scheduled to re-issue the album Nov. 6 on a 4LP/2CD set through Century Media Records.  The set features the band’s original album along with the album’s instrumental tracks, which have never been released by themselves on vinyl.  Paul Waggoner (Between The Buried and Me) makes a guest appearance on the ‘Nocturne‘ instrumental.

The album takes up two of the four LPs while the instrumentals are featured on the other two LPs.  Four individual lyrics sheets and inserts accompany the LPs and CDs.  Pre-orders for the deluxe edition, which will release in exclusive silver & clear pressings, are open.

Pre-orders for the set in standard black, and white & transparent turquoise are also open.  Those pressings will release in Europe.

The band talked about the forthcoming re-issue in a prepared statement.

“For the band, we always felt like we hit a perfect balance with the presentation on Altered State,” the statement reads. “And that the concept was made even more striking in a gatefold vinyl package. There’s just something very tactile and real about that iteration. We’re all really looking forward to it being available in that format again.”

Altered State is the only of TesseracT’s albums to feature now former front man Ashe O’Hara.  The album was nominated for Best Album at the 2013 Progressive Music Awards, following the band’s win in the Best New Band category.

Most recently, TesseracT released the album Sonder in 2018 with original vocalist Daniel Tomkins.  The band performed a livestream concert May 14.  The concert is streaming here.

More information on TesseracT’s forthcoming Altered State re-issue is available online now along with all of TesseracT’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.tesseractband.co.uk

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/tesseractband

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/tesseractband

 

 

 

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The Reticent Streaming New Album, ‘The Oubliette’

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Independent prog-metal band The Reticent is streaming its new album for free.

The North Carolina-based act, which is the brainchild of Chris Hathcock, is streaming the album, The Oubliette through The Prog Space.  The band is scheduled to release its new album Sept. 25 through Heaven & Hell Records.  Produced by Jamie King (Between The Buried & Me, The Contortionist, Scale The Summit), is a concept record that addresses the topic of Alzheimers Disease.

The track listing for The Oubliette is noted below.

Track Listing:
1. Stage 1 – His Name Is Henry (9:46)
2. Stage 2 – The Captive (6:00)
3. Stage 3 – The Palliative Breath (7:13)
4. Stage 4 – The Dream (11:47)
5. Stage 5 – The Nightmare (12:14)
6. Stage 6 – The Oubliette (10:38)
7. Stage 7 – ________ (6:10)
Album Length: 1:03:50

The Reticent debuted the video for the album’s lead single ‘Stage 2: The Captive‘ last month.

The album’s will release next month will come more than four years after the release of its most recent album, 2016’s On The Eve of a Goodbye.  That record chronicled the day before, of, and after the suicide of Hathcock’s friend Eve.

The musical content featured in The Oubliette exhibits influences from Tool and fellow North Carolina-based band Between The Buried and Me.

Hathcock discussed the album’s lyrical theme in a recent interview.

“As with my previous album, I hope that ‘The Oubliette’ will provide listeners with a rich and emotionally challenging audio experience,” he said. “This is undoubtedly the most ambitious record The Reticent has attempted to date.  The hope is that listeners will be personally affected by the music on a deep level and that it may draw some attention to a disease that is frighteningly prominent but frequently poorly understood.  There will be moments that are soothing and there will be moments that are overwhelming.  The story I have to tell is not a happy one but it is an important one – and it is often through the pain that we find the most profound reflection and calls to action.”

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

 

Website: http://thereticent.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thereticentband

 

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.

 

Between The Buried And Me Continues Its 20th Anniversary Celebration With Another LP Re-Issue

Courtesy: Craft Recordings

Between the Buried and Me will re-issue another of its albums next month.

The band is scheduled to release its 2005 album Alaska Sept. 25 though Craft Recordings. The re-issue is part of the band’s ongoing 20th anniversary celebration of its founding.

Alaska‘s re-issue will come on a 2LP vinyl set.  Its release will come more than two months after Craft Recordings re-issued the band’s sophomore album The Silent Circus and more than four months after the label re-issued the band’s 2002 debut self-titled album.

Front man Tommy Rogers discussed the album’s re-issue in a recent interview.

“The new mix has really reconfirmed how much I enjoy this album,” he said. “The Alaska era was a huge turning point for the band, and I think this album now sounds how we originally intended it to. Hopefully, our fans will reconnect with the album in a new way like I have. Regardless, I’m extremely excited for the world to hear these songs!”

Bassist Dan Briggs also commented on the album’s re-issue.

“This record was written while three of us were under 21 and only one of us was old enough to rent a car in any of the 50 states,” said Briggs. “We wrote it in [drummer] Blake’s [Richardson] old bedroom in his parents’ basement and recorded it in [producer] Jamie King’s parents’ basement. Now it has been remixed in Jamie’s current basement and we are old and still playing in Blake’s parents’ basement.”

Richardson said in his own comments, that he was also looking forward to the album’s re-issue.

“I’m really excited for everyone to hear this record with a drum tone that doesn’t sound like the bottom snare mic was blasted to 500 percent,” he said.

Pre-orders are open now for Craft Records’ forthcoming re-issue of Alaska.  The album’s track listing is noted below.

 

Alaska Tracklist:

 

Side A

  1. All Bodies
  2. Alaska
  3. Croakies And Boatshoes

 

Side B

  1. Selkies: The Endless Obsession
  2. Breathe In, Breathe Out
  3. Roboturner

 

Side C

  1. Backwards Marathon
  2. Medicine Wheel

 

Side D

  1. The Primer
  2. Autodidact
  3. Laser Speed

 

More information on the upcoming re-issue of Alaska is available along with all of BTBAM’s latest news and more at:

 

Websitehttp://betweentheburiedandme.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/BTBAMofficial

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/btbamofficial

 

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.

Lamb of God Launches New Coffee Line

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Lamb of God is launching a new coffee line.

The band has partnered with Charlotte, NC-based Nightflyer Roastworks to create its new “Memento Mori” coffee line.  The blend’s name is taken from a song featured in the band’s recently released self-titled album.

Nightflyer Roastworks is owned by Between The Buried and Me guitarist Paul Waggoner.

More information on Lamb of God’s new album, its new album, single, news and more is available online now at:

 

Websitehttp://www.lamb-of-god.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/lambofgod

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/lambofgod

 

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.

 

BTBAM, Craft Recordings Partner To Re-Issue Band’s Sophomore Album

Courtesy: Craft Recordings

Craft Recordings will re-issue Between The Buried and Me’s sophomore album The Silent Circus next month.

The company, which specializes in vinyl releases, will re-issue the album, which was originally released in 2003 through Victory Records, is scheduled for release on a 2LP vinyl set through Craft Recordings.  Pre-orders are open now.  The album’s re-issue is part of the band’s celebration of its 20th anniversary together.

While the band’s longtime collaborator Jamie King did not have a hand in the album’s creation, the record’s forthcoming re-issue on vinyl will feature audio that was re-mixed and re-mastered by King, who has worked with the band on each of its other albums.

The album’s track listing is noted below.

 

The Silent Circus vinyl tracklist:

 

Side A:

  1. Lost Perfection a) Coulrophobia
  2. b) Anablephobia
  3. Camilla Rhodes

 

Side B:

  1. Mordecai
  2. Reaction
  3. Shevanel Take 2

 

Side C:

  1. Ad A Dglgmut
  2. Destructo Spin

 

Side D:

  1. Aesthetic
  2. The Need For Repetition

 

 

More information on the upcoming re-issue of Silent Circus is available along with all of BTBAM’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://betweentheburiedandme.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/btbamofficial

 

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.

TesseracT Claims Top Honors In Phil’s Picks’ 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock & Metal Albums List

Courtesy: Kscope records

This year has been a truly productive time for the metal community.  Veteran acts, up-and-comers and even the underground have produced offerings that have given the metal masses more than enough reason to put their horns in the air all year long.  The most notable acts who have released standout albums this year include, and are not limited to  from All Hail The Yeti, Judas Priest and Artillery just to name a few bands.

Keeping this in mind, rock and metal critics the world over will have to agree that developing a list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings was a monumental task.  That was especially the case for this critic.  This critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums features new albums from bands from both sides of the Atlantic and from the mainstream and the underground.

Taking the top spot in this year’s list from Phil’s Picks is none other than the British prog-metal outfit TesseracT, Sonder.  The band’s latest offering is both musically and lyrically a truly in-depth offering that holds its own in the metal community and the prog community.

Second place this year goes to Florida’s own Nonpoint.  The band’s aptly-titled is a powerhouse offering from the veteran hard rock band that shows Nonpoint as a band at the top of its game both musically and lyrically.

Judas Priest takes the bronze this year with its new album Firepower.  This one was not an easy choice to make, as Nonpoint, Judas Priest and TesseracT are all outstanding bands in their own right.  Firepower harkens back to some of Judas Priest’s best work from days long gone, and is such a welcome album.  With lyrics that pay tribute to the military, that make a bold statement of standing up for one’s self and more, it is that much stronger, so it was not with ease that the album ended up in third.

Also featured in this year’s list are new albums from Artillery, All Hail The Yeti and Soulfly just to name a few more. As always, the top 10 albums are the main list while the five that follow are all honorable mention titles.  With all of this in mind, here is Phil’s Picks 2018 Top 10 New Hard Rock and Metal Albums.

PHIL’S PICKS 2018 TOP 10 NEW HARD ROCK & METAL ALBUMS

  1. TesseracT — Sonder
  2. Nonpoint — X
  3. Judas Priest — Firepower
  4. Between The Buried and Me — Automata
  5. Soulfly — Ritual
  6. Sevendust — All I See Is War
  7. All Hail The Yeti — Highway Crosses
  8. Exmortus — The Sound of Steel
  9. Artillery — The Face of Fear
  10. The Amsterdam Red Light District — Sapere Aude
  11. Ice Nine Kills — The Silver Scream
  12. Black Label Society — Grimmest Hits
  13. Unearth — Extinction(s)
  14. Atreyu — In Our Wake
  15. Zardonic — Become

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‘Automata I,’ Is A Solid Start For BTBAM’s ‘Automata’

Courtesy: Sumerian Records

Progressive metal outfit Between The Buried and Me has, over the course of almost two decades, entertained audiences the world over with its unique brand of music, building its fan base along the way largely on its own terms and without major mainstream support. Given, the band was signed most recently to Metal Blade Records, which has become a major label in its own right, but only for hard rock and metal. To that end it can be argued, again, that BTBAM has largely built its success while staying just under that mainstream radar. That success continues this year with the band’s latest album, Automata I, released March 9 via independent label Sumerian Records. This record, the band’s ninth, can be said to be a success in part because of its concept. This will be discussed shortly. The songs used to tell the record’s story also play into its success. They will be discussed later. The record’s production values round out its most important elements. Each piece of the whole is important in its own way. All things considered, they make Automata I another welcome return for BTBAM and one more of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Automata I, the first half of BTBAM’s new double album Automata, is one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal albums. That is due in no small part to the concept at the center of the album. The concept here contemplates what would happen if one’s dreams could be broadcast to the world for the sake of entertainment. It’s not such an out there concept considering all the people creating their own YouTube channels that they use to broadcast their personal feelings to the world, a world of strangers both good and — sadly — bad. Of course that seemingly was not what the band intended to convey here. Rather the band was examining what would happen if one’s literal dreams, those thoughts that rise in our sleep, could be broadcast for entertainment. This in itself is the starting point for plenty of discussions, not the least of which is why would anyone want to delve so deeply into someone’s personal life? Has mankind really become that desperate for drama, conflict and attention that one would even consider finding a way to do that? What would be the ramifications of going such a route? Simply put, this is a deep concept, and an original one at that, especially for a concept album. If for no reason other than for taking in this concept, audiences will want to hear this record. This is not the first concept album from BTBAM, and definitely not the least of those albums, either. As a matter of fact, it’s a concept that is just as interesting as those presented in the band’s previous concept efforts — The Parallax II: Future Sequence (2012), Coma Ecliptic (2015) — and is certain to keep listeners well engaged in its own right. Of course as much depth as this concept adds to the record’s overall presentation, it is only one part of what makes Automata I another interesting new effort from BTBAM. The songs that make up the body of the record do their own part to make the album worth the listen.

Automata I is made up of only six songs. Again, this is nothing new for this North Carolina-based prog metal outfit. The songs’ musical and lyrical content combine expertly to make this record all the deeper. In regards to the musical aspect of the songs, the band — Tommy Giles Rogers, Jr. (vocals,keyboards), Paul Waggoner (lead a& rhythm guitar), Dustie Waring (lead & rhythm guitar), Blake Richardson (drums) and Dan Briggs (bass, keyboards) — has once again evolved from its previous records, giving audiences something new yet again. Case in point, the album’s opener, ‘Condemned to the Gallows.’ This song starts off very softly, but gradually builds on itself as it progresses, going from that softness to a solid wall of sound about forty-six seconds in. The addition of Rogers’ vocals and Richardson’s blast beats almost two minutes into the song builds up the song’s arrangement even more. The arrangement closes out ominously in order to build into the album’s second song, ‘House Organ,’ which displays just as much diversity as anything that the band has ever created. It does so without just rehashing any of its previous works, too. It has those heavy moments, and also has some more somewhat contemplative, keyboard-driven moments that, when coupled with Rogers’ vocal delivery, conjure thoughts of Dream Theater. The musical interest doesn’t stop there. The band reaches into a variety of realms in the arrangement of ‘Yellow Eyes’ all while Rogers’ black metal style vocal delivery sits atop the whole thing. As if all of that isn’t enough, ‘Millions’ boasts an arrangement that seems to cross 80s hair metal with, again, a seeming Dream Theater influence circa Awake. ‘Gold Distance,’ the record’s penultimate track conjures thoughts of the soundtrack to Disney’s Tron: Legacy, and at barely more than a minute, it is a nice momentary break for listeners. ‘Blot,’ which closes out the album takes listeners on just as incredible of a sonic ride as its predecessors. That ride is a solid finishing point, musically, to this half of Automata. Needless to say it definitely leaves listeners anxious to hear what the second half of the album will sound like this June when it is released. Of course, the album’s musical arrangements are only one part of what makes the songs so important to the album’s presentation. Their lyrical content is just as important as their musical content.

The lyrical content presented throughout the course of Automata I is just as deep as that of any of the band’s previous records (both concept and standard). As Rogers noted in a recent interview, “Lyrically, I wanted to write something that I treated as a puzzle until it comes together at the end. For as deep and dark as it is, there’s a positive outcome, which we’ve never had.” He goes on to explain the story centering on a man whose dreams are being used as entertainment for the masses and the album’s central figure thinking everything happening is real, when it isn’t. The journey does in fact start very dark in ‘Condemned to the Gallows,’ with the song’s subject in…well…a very dark situation. He sings here, “Gripping the brightest grid/A surgical drive to increase the noise/ice cold realization of the silent wind/slowly drags me up into a splintered reason/Emptiness engulf me.” He goes on to sing, “Align the love inside me/let misery awake me/Search low/Abandoned/The creaking floors cry out below/A limping glimpse of next steps/The fog showers the last light of day.” The story’s main character sees his descent continue from here, with his emotional and psychological state seeming to get worse with each song. That is especially obvious by the time the album reaches its closer, ‘Blot.’ The subject sings here, “All my pockets are full and my mind is lost/Circulate/The rear view keeps shifting as I stare at the sun…this is the beginning of my new life/I hope you enjoy the show/It’s for you, ya know?/To watch you from across the room/To hear you through the tangled lines/It completes me/I’ve been waiting.” It is a dark but so powerful moment in this story, and one more example of why the album’s lyrical content is just as important as its musical content, and why both of those elements are just as important as the story itself to this record. The album’s songs, as important as they are to its whole, are not the last of its most important elements. Its production is important, too.

The production work put in on BTBAM’s new album is key to its presentation because of how much is going on within each song. The album’s opener is proof of that importance. The way in which the song builds from its soft opening to the controlled chaos of its main body keeps everything in full balance. That says a lot considering how easy it would have been for the song to get bogged down in itself musically with so much going on. Much the same could be said of ‘House Organ.’ it starts out in full, controlled death metal chaos before eventually calming into a more Spock’s Beard-esque prog-rock sound as it progresses. All the way on to the album’s end, the attention put into each line brings out the album’s best, with the result being a fully immersive listening experience that will keep every listener engaged. Keeping this in mind, the expert production work on this album is its finishing touch. When it is joined with the depth of the songs that make up the record and the story itself, the whole of the album becomes a work that will appeal to every BTBAM fan just as much as it will to prog metal(and even metal) fan — a record that is in itself one of this year’s top new albums and that likely with its forthcoming companion, one of the year’s top new albums overall.

Automata I, the first half of BTBAM’s new album Automata, is in itself another solid new entry from the veteran progressive metal outfit. That is made obvious first and foremost through the story presented in this half of the album. The story presented here follows its subject as he descends into sleep and starts his dreaming. The songs used to tell that portion of the story do plenty to keep listeners engaged. The production at the center of those songs allows each member of the band to be highlighted, keeping any song from getting muddied down in themselves. Each element is important in its own right to the whole of Automata I. All things considered, they make this first half of Automata an entry that the band’s longtime fans will appreciate just as much as prog metal (and metal) fans. It is available now in stores and online. The band is currently touring in support of Auotmata I. It will be in Pittsburgh, PA tomorrow, Mach 30 to kick off the weekend before moving on to Philadelphia on Saturday and then to Albany, New York on Monday. More tour dates are listed online along with all of the band’s latest news and more information on Automata at:

Website: http://www.betweentheburiedandme.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/btbamofficial

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.

Leprous Joins The Dear Hunter As Support For BTBAM Headlining Tour

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Leprous is joining Between The Buried and Me and The Dear Hunter on the road this spring.

The band, alongside The Dear Hunter, will serve as support for Between The Buried and Me on its upcoming North American headlining tour.  The tour is currently scheduled to start today, March 2, in Chicago, IL and run through April 7 in Mount Clemens, MI.  It will include performances in Asheville, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Cleveland, OH and a handful of other cities.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Between The Buried And Me, The Dear Hunter & LEPROUS – North American Tour:
Fri. 03.02.2018 Chicago, IL (USA) – House of Blues (Sould out!)
Sat. 03.03.2018 Minneapolis, MN (USA) – First Avenue
Mon. 03.05.2018 Denver, CO (USA) – Ogden Theatre
Tue. 03.06.2018 Salt Lake City, UT (USA) – The Complex
Thu. 03.08.2018 Seattle, WA (USA) – Showbox
Fri. 03.09.2018 Portland, OR (USA) – Wonder Ballroom
Sat. 03.10.2018 San Francisco, CA (USA) – The Regency Ballroom
Sun. 03.11.2018 Anaheim, CA (USA) – House of Blues
Tue. 03.13.2018 Los Angeles, CA (USA) – Belasco Theater
Thu. 03.15.2018 Las Vegas, NV (USA) – House of Blues
Fri. 03.16.2018 Phoenix, AZ (USA) – Marquee
Sat. 03.17.2018 Albuquerque, NM (USA) – Sunshine Theater
Mon. 03.19.2018 Austin, TX (USA) – Come and Take it Live
Tue. 03.20.2018 Dallas, TX (USA) – Canton Hall
Wed. 03.21.2018 Houston, TX (USA) – Warehouse Ballroom
Fri. 03.23.2018 Orlando, FL (USA) – The Beacham Theatre
Sat. 03.24.2018 Ft. Lauderdale, FL (USA) – Revolution
Mon. 03.26.2018 Atlanta, GA (USA) – Masquerade
Tue. 03.27.2018 Nashville, TN (USA) – Cannery Ballroom
Wed. 03.28.2018 Asheville, NC (USA) – Orange Peel
Fri. 03.30.2018 Pittsburgh, PA (USA) – Mr. Smalls
Sat. 03.31.2018 Philadelphia, PA (USA) – Electric Factory
Mon. 04.02.2018 Albany, NY (USA) – Upstate Concert Hall
Tue. 04.03.2018 Boston, MA (USA) – Royale
Wed. 04.04.2018 New York City, NY (USA) – Playstation Theater
Thu. 04.05.2018 Silver Spring, MD (USA) – Fillmore Silver Spring
Fri. 04.06.2018 Cleveland, OH (USA) – Agora Theatre
Sat. 04.07.2018 Mount Clemens, MI (USA) – Emerald Theatre

Leprous’ members said March 2 in a collective statement that they were looking forward to their time with BTBAM and TDH.

“It’s exciting times ahead for Leprous,” the band said.  “Five weeks of touring with Between the Buried and Me and The Dear Hunter are starting today, and there’s several great festival shows ahead as well as more live shows in the planning for the fall.  new material has also slowly but surely started its process!”

The festival shows that the band noted are European shows scheduled for the summer.  Leprous’ upcoming European festival schedule is noted below.

LEPROUS – Festivals appearances:
Sat. 05.12.2018 Kopervik (Norway) – Karmoygeddon Metal Festival *
06.29.- 07.01.2018 Helsinki (Finland) – Tuska Open Air *
Fri. 07.13.2018 Viveiro (Spain) – Resurrection Fest
Sat. 07.14.2018 Eindhoven (The Netherlands) – Dynamo Metal Fest
Sat. 07.28.2018 Sibiu (Romania) – ARTmania Festival
Sat. 08.18.2018 Warsaw (Poland) – Prog In Park
More dates to be announced soon…

Leprous’ current live dates are in support of its most recent full-length studio recording, which spawned the singles ‘From The Flame,’ ‘Stuck‘ and ‘Illuminate.’

More information on Leprous’ live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.leprous.net

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

 

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.

Leprous Joins The Dear Hunter As Support For BTBAM Headlining Tour

Courtesy: InsideOut Music

Leprous has announced a new slate of live dates in support of its latest album Malina.

The band will join The Dear Hunter for a five-week headlining run by Between The Buried and Me across America.  Leprous’ performances are in support of Malina which was released last year via InsideOut Music while BTBAM’s dates are in support of its upcoming album Automata 1, which will be released March 9 via Sumerian Records.

The tour launches March 2 in Chicago, Illinois and runs through April 7 in Mount Clemens, Michigan.  It also includes performances in Houston, Texas; Pittsburgh, PA; Seattle, WA and a number of other cities.  The tour’s current schedule is noted below.

Tour Dates

3.2 – Chicago, IL – House of Blues
3.3 – Minneapolis, MN – First Ave
3.5 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
3.6 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Complex
3.8 – Seattle, WA – Showbox
3.9 – Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
3.10 – San Francisco, CA – The Regency Ballroom
3.11 – Anaheim, CA – House of Blues
3.13 – Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater
3.15 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues
3.16 – Phoenix, AZ – Marquee
3.17 – Albuquerque, NM – Sunshine Theater
3.19 – Austin, TX – Come and Take It Live
3.20 – Dallas, TX – Canton Hall
3.21 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Ballroom
3.23 – Orlando, FL – The Beacham Theater
3.24 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
3.27 – Nashville, TN – Cannery Ballroom
3.28 – Asheville, NC – Orange Peel
3.30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Mr. Smalls
3.31 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
4.2 – Albany, NY – Upstate Concert Hall
4.3 – Boston, MA – Royale
4.4 – New York City, NY – Playstation Theater
4.5 – Silver Spring, MD – Fillmore Silver Spring
4.6 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Theatre
4.7 – Mount Clemens, MI – Emerald Theatre

Pre-sales for tickets are open now. General ticket sales open at 10 a.m. Friday.

More information on Leprous’ upcoming live dates is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

Website: http://www.leprous.net

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/InsideOutUSA

 

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.