The End Is Coming…For Black Sabbath

Courtesy:  Republic Records/Live Nation

Courtesy: Republic Records/Live Nation

The end is near. No, not armageddon. Legendary hard rock act Black Sabbath made the announcement today that Black Sabbath will embark on its farewell tour next year.
Black Sabbath–Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, and Tony Iommi–announced today that it will hit the road next January for its final tour. Audiences can see the announcement for themselves online now via Youtube at

Courtesy:  Republic Records/Live Nation

Courtesy: Republic Records/Live Nation

The band’s current schedule sees it opening its tour on January 20th in Omaha, Nebraska and running through February 25th at New York’s famed Madison Square Gardens. From there the band will take some time off to recharge before hitting the road again down under beginning April 15th in Perth, Australia. The band’s current slate of dates is listed below. It is only the current schedule. More dates will be announced next month.

Photo Credit: Mark Weiss

Photo Credit: Mark Weiss

North American Tour Dates
1/20 Omaha, NE CenturyLink Center
1/22 Chicago, IL United Center
1/25 Minneapolis, MN Target Center
1/28 Saskatoon, SK Sasktel Centre
1/30 Edmonton, AB Rexall Centre
2/1 Calgary, ON Scotiabank Saddledome
2/3 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena
2/6 Tacoma, WA Tacoma Dome
2/9 San Jose, CA SAP Center
2/11 Los Angeles, CA The Forum
2/13 Las Vegas, NV Mandalay Bay Events Center
2/15 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
2/17 Kansas City, MO Sprint Center
2/19 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
2/21 Hamilton, ON FirstOntario Centre
2/23 Montreal, QB Bell Centre
2/25 New York City, NY Madison Square Garden
Australia/New Zealand Tour Dates

Perth Arena
Entertainment Centre
Rod Laver Arena
Allphones Arena
Entertainment Centre
Vector Arena
Forsyth Barr Stadium

Fans can get information on tickets, VIP packages, and more for the North American leg of the upcoming tour online now via Live Nation’s official website at More information on Black Sabbath’s tour is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:




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Rock Super Group’s 2014 Debut Getting Proper U.S. Release This Spring

Courtesy:  MVD Entertainment Group

Courtesy: MVD Entertainment Group

It may only be January. But rock collective The Bullhounds is officially giving American audiences good reason to think warm. That is because the band will release its debut album Protector this spring via MVD Entertainment Group.

The members of The Bullhounds are no strangers to the music business. Guitarist Peter Stroud has performed and recorded with both Sheryl Crow and Pete Droge & The Sinners. Drummer Mauro Magellan and guitarist Rick Richards both spent time with the famed Southern rock band Georgia Satellites. Richards also spent time alongside Guns N’ Roses founding member Izzy Stradlin in his own solo career. Magellan also joined bassist Keith Christopher as part of Keith & The Satellites. Singer Erling Daell rounds out the band’s lineup.

Protector was originally released overseas in May 2014. The album’s U.S. release can be pre-ordered online from MVD Entertainment Group’s website at And while audiences wait for the album’s U.S. release date, they can check out the video for the album’s lead single ‘Make It’ online now via YouTube at to get a feel for what the band has to offer audiences. More information on The Bullhounds is available online along with any tour schedule updates at:



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Adrenaline Mob To Release New Compilation Record Next Month

Courtesy:  Century Media/Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media/Century Media Records

Adrenaline Mob will release a new collection of covers and rarities next month.
Officials with Century Media Records along with the members of Adrenaline Mob announced today that the band will release a new collection of covers and rarities next month titled Dearly Departed. It is currently scheduled to be released Tuesday, February 10th via Century Media. Its track listing consists of four cover songs, a previously unreleased track from the sessions for the band’s 2014 album Men of Honor, three total acoustic takes from Omerta and Men of Honor and an edit of ‘Dearly Departed,’ which was included originally on Men of Honor. Audiences can get an instant gratification download of that re-edit via:



Google Play:

Dearly Departed was co-produced by Adrenaline Mob front man Russell Allen and guitarist Mike Orlando. Its complete track list is noted below.

1- Snortin’ Whiskey (Pat Travers)

2- Dearly Departed (Edited version of Men of Honor track)

3- The Devil Went Down to Georgia (Charlie Daniels Band)

4- Crystal Clear (Acoustic version of Men of Honor track)

5- Sabbath Medley (Black Sabbath)

6- Whatever Gets You Through The Night (Unreleased from Men of Honor sessions)

7- Angel Sky (Acoustic version of Omerta track)

8- All on the Line (Acoustic version of Omerta track)

9- Tie Your Mother Down (Queen)

More information on Adrenaline Mob, its upcoming compilation, and its latest tour updates is available online at:



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The Dagger’s CM Debut Is Pure Rock At Its Finest

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

The self-titled debut record from The Dagger is a solid first effort for the Stockholm, Sweden-based four-piece. The Dagger isn’t the first band to ever take listeners back to rock’s golden era. But it still has done something special on its debut that other bands of its ilk (E.g. Horisont, The Sword, Gypsyhawk) have not done. What it has done on its first full effort for Century Media Records is crafted an album that exhibits one of the widest swaths of influences to date from any band of its kind. That’s one part of what makes this record one that purist metal heads will appreciate about this album. Also noteworthy about the album is its overall production values. That, too will be discussed shortly. And last but far from least are the lyrical themes that run through the album. All three factors together make The Dagger an album that any purist rocker and metal head will enjoy just as much with each listen.

The Dagger’s debut record is a good addition to the library of anyone that is a fan of The Sword, Horisont and Gypsyhawk. Much like those bands, The Dagger takes listeners back to the golden era of rock on its Century Media Records debut. As much as it carries a sound similar to those bands, it actually takes things a step further on its self-titled debut. Instead of focusing primarily on one specific classic rock sound, the members of The Dagger—Jani Kataja (vocals), Fred Estby (drums), David Blomqvist (guitar), and Tobias Cristiansson (bass)—exhibit influences from a rather wide swatch of veteran bands. Those bands include the likes of Judas Priest, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, and even Deep Purple among others. Such a wide array of influences having been exhibited here, it makes the album one of those rare albums that is actually worth listening through without skipping a single song. That’s truly saying something, especially in an era when audiences seem to be increasingly downloading single tracks from the likes of iTunes instead of purchasing entire albums. Taking this into consideration, it shows that The Dagger’s debut record could very well be one that older audiences will appreciate just as much as younger audiences. To that extent, it shows great potential for this record.

The sound crafted by the members of The Dagger on the band’s self-titled debut is the most important factor in the overall enjoyment of this record. The band doesn’t stick to just one influence, even in taking listeners on a trip back in time to the golden age of rock. It exhibits all of its many classic rock influences. Just as important to the album’s success as its sound is the album’s production. The separation that was formed between The Dagger and other “modern classic rock” bands thanks to The Dagger’s extensive background of influences is made even wider thanks to the album’s production values. Painstaking efforts were made to not only bring out the band’s veteran influences, but to make the band’s album sound like it was itself a product of rock’s golden era. From Blomqvist’s powerhouse guitar playing to the almost hollow sound of the drums made popular in the 1960s and 70s to Kataja’s own vocals, and even Cristiansson’s bass work, each part was given special attention. When all four parts came together, those behind the glass exhibited expert talent, crafting an album that sounded like it came right from the era of so many great garage rock style bands. Credit is most definitely to be given in that area. It wonderfully compliments a sound from the band that is already impressive on its own.

The songs that make up The Dagger and the production values that make the album even richer are both integral parts of the album’s success and enjoyment. They are but part of the whole, though. There is still one more factor to consider in the album’s enjoyment. That factor is the variety of lyrical themes that run through the album. As [Fred] Estby noted in an interview with Terrorizer magazine, the influences behind the songs’ lyrical themes come from a number of sources. Those sources include the news, novels, and even lyrics from contemporaries such as Ronnie James Dio, Geezer Butler, and Blue Oyster Cult. That means that unlike so many rock bands out there, The Dagger tries its best to avoid the standard themes of relationships. Rather the themes on this album vary just as widely as the band’s musical influences. It’s a breath of fresh air, considering just how many bands even in today’s world of hard rock and heavy metal base their songs on that standard fare. That factor, alongside the album’s overall sound and production values make this record, once again, one that any purist rocker and metal head will enjoy just as much the fiftieth time around as the fifth.

The Dagger will be available in the U.S. Tuesday, July 22nd and June 30th in Europe.  It will be released both domestically and internationally via Century Media Records. The Dagger is currently scheduled to perform live September 18th and 19th in Stockholm Sweden as part of Close-Up Magazine’s Close-Up Baten Festival. Until then, audiences can keep up with the latest news and more from The Dagger through its official Facebook page 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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at

Eagle Rock Announces Release Date, Track Listing For New Dio Live Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment/Eagle Vision/Eagle Records

Eagle Rock Entertainment has announced the details for its latest release.

Dio: Live in London Hammersmith Apollo 1993 will be available for the first time ever on Tuesday, May 13th. The archived concert will be made available to audiences on DVD, SD Blu-ray, 2CD and digital formats. Audiences can get a sneak peek at what can be expected from this long-awaited release online now via YouTube at

The upcoming release captures the final performance of Dio’s European tour in support of the band’s album Strange Highways. Dio was joined by band mates Vinny Appice (drums), Jeff Pilson (bass), Tracy G (guitar), and Scott Warren (keyboards) for the tour. The show covers Dio’s body of work from his days with Black Sabbath, Rainbow, and even in his own band. Those hits include: ‘Holy Diver’, ‘Rainbow in the Dark’, ‘Strange Highways’, ‘Stand Up An Shout’, ‘Man On The Silver Mountain’, ‘Heaven And Hell’, and ‘We Rock’ among others. The performance is presented in DTS Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 5.1, and Dolby Digital. The full track listing for the recording is listed below.


1) Stand Up And Shout

2) Strange Highways

3) Don’t Talk To Strangers

4) Evilution

5) Pain

6) The Mob Rules

7) Children Of The Sea

8) Holy Diver

9) Heaven And Hell

10) Man On The Silver Mountain

11) Drum Solo

12) Heaven And Hell (reprise)

13) Jesus, Mary & The Holy Ghost

14) Hollywood Black

15) The Last In Line

16) Rainbow In The Dark

17) We Rock

18) Here’s To You


As an added bonus for audiences, the DVD and SD Blu-ray presentations offer a special Behind-The-Scenes feature titled ‘Hangin’ With The Band.’

More information on this and other releases from Eagle Rock Entertainment 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 news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at

This Is Your Life Is Not Just Another Throw-Away Tribute Album

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

Tribute albums are a dime a dozen. So many tribute albums are released each year that one can’t help but feel that the labels that release them care more about their bottom line than about actually celebrating said artists being given tribute. That being the case, one can’t help but wonder why This Is Your Life, the new tribute album to iconic rock front man Ronnie James Dio, would be any different from those records. The answer to that is not a simple one. One reason that this tribute album stands out is the list of performers and bands that recorded songs for the compilation. It’s a who’s who of hard rock from the past, present, and even future of the genre. Another reason that this compilation stands out is its track listing. This record boasts some of the most beloved songs of RJD’s career. And last but definitely not least important to consider in this record is the fact that it isn’t just a means for the label distributing it to make money. It actually doubles as a fundraiser for RJD’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund. So it’s actually a record crafted to essentially help give back. How many bands, artists, groups, etc. can say that they have crafted an entire album simply to raise funds for charity? That–along with the list of songs and performers, bands, etc. on this album–makes This Is Your Life an album that stands well above the rest of the otherwise throw-away albums claiming to be tribute albums.

Courtesy:  Rhino Records

Courtesy: Rhino Records

The primary aspect of This Is Your Life that makes it stand out against all of the other tribute albums out there is the list of performers drafted to record songs for the record. The list of performers drafted for this record is a who’s who of hard rock’s past, present, and even future. It wasn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists and groups tossed together. Everybody tapped to record for this tribute record is either a counterpart to RJD or someone that grew up idolizing him and his talents. Veterans such as Anthrax, Motorhead, Scorpions, Biff Byford, and Rob Halford perform alongside younger acts such as Adrenaline Mob, Killswitch Engage, and Halestorm over the course of the record’s fourteen total tracks. That collection of bands and artists singing Dio’s hits is in itself a musical history lesson. It introduces younger audiences that might be more familiar with the latter grouping of bands and artists to the veterans and to the music of Dio. To that extent, This Is Your Life quickly earns major points. Even more points come from the sampling of Dio’s music in question chosen for this compilation.

The list of bands, artists, and groups tapped to record RJD’s music for This Is Your Life is in itself a major boon for the record. As noted, it isn’t just a mish-mash of bands, artists, and groups. It is a collection of bands, group, and artists that played alongside Dio during his career, and those that have come since, growing up with the music of Ronnie James Dio. In short, it’s a collection of individuals that have the utmost respect for Dio and his music. Speaking of that music, the songs chosen to be included on this record are another part of the whole that makes it so enjoyable for listeners. Every song on this record is a classic in its own way. From the more well-known pieces such as ‘The Mob Rules’, ‘Neon Knights’ and ‘Holy Diver’ to slightly lesser known songs such as ‘Straight Through The Heart’, Egypt (The Chains Are On’, and ‘Temple of the King’ This Is Your Life does quite the job of chronicling the career of a man that was and is still even in death, one of the greatest vocalists and performers in the history of hard rock.

The music and performers chosen for This Is Your Life are both key components of the success of the album. As important as they are to the success of the record, there is still one central aspect of the recording that makes it so worth picking up. That aspect is the fact that a certain portion of the sales of the album will go to benefit Dio’s Stand Up and Shout Cancer Fund, which was established by Dio’s wife Wendy Dio. Bands, groups and artists go out on tour every year or they take part in fundraising concerts. How many artists can say they were part of a recording project that was also meant as a way to pay tribute to one of their own, too? It’s just like bringing home a hard rock festival without having to pay the exorbitant prices for tickets, souvenirs, sodas and more. And at the same time, audiences that purchase the album will actually be helping to fund an organization that works to research and promote awareness of cancer, as well as educate people about early detection in hopes of one day stopping it.

This Is Your Life is available now in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at and can be downloaded via iTunes at

More information on Ronnie James Dio, This Is Your Life and other RJD releases 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

Sahg’s New LP Takes The Early Title Of The Year’s Most Original Rock Album

Courtesy:  Metal Blade Records/Indie Recordings

Courtesy: Metal Blade Records/Indie Recordings

Concept albums are commonly considered among music aficionados to be very much a niche market of sorts.  This is really quite interesting considering that they are to music as serials are to television.  Yet audiences are more apt to pay attention to all of the serials that populate the television spectrum than any concept album ever crafted.  However with the release of its fourth album Delusions of Grandeur, Bergen, Sweden’s Sahg has proven that the concept album is deserving of far more respect than it gets.  As front man Olav Iversen explains of Delusions of Grandeur, “It’s an album about how desire for power and property can distort and destroy who we are.”  He explains in more depth that the album follows a figure that becomes so wrapped up in his own belief of his greatness that it ultimately destroys him.  It goes without saying that taking into account both this explanation and the album’s musical and lyrical side, Delusions of Grandeur is the band’s best work to date.

Right from the album’s outset, the members of Sahg show why this album is its best yet.  Guitarist Thomas Tofthagen’s opening chords and drummer Thomas Lonnheim’s solid work excellently complement Iversen’s vocals in ‘Slip Off The Edge Of The Universe.’  Iversen sets the stage for the band’s story as he sings, “Master of Astropolis/Verging on the black abyss/Conquered all the eye can see/Hunger rages endlessly.”  Iversen seems to be setting the stage for the album’s story here, with the subject in question standing on that proverbial edge, about to fall.  The tone in Iversen’s voice serve’s to add to the emotion established by Tofthagen and Lonnheim.  It is almost a tone of desperation.  That strained tone paints a picture of a man that really is at the breaking point.  One could almost argue that if this is indeed the case, the band has painted a sort of Faulknerian musical story with this setup.  Sure, such story-telling method is used a lot.  But Sahg has shown from this song alone that it has done quite the job of using that story-telling method.  And it doesn’t stop here, either.

The band really steps things up when it reaches ‘Walls of Delusion.’  Yet again, Iversen and company have captured the emotion established by the song’s lyrical side within the context of their own roles in the song.  The bombastic opening followed by the more subdued first verse is almost a musical foreshadowing of sorts.  The song’s chorus proves that true as the band really pours it on.  Iversen screams maniacally, “I own the air you breath/The ground beneath your feet/The things that make you be/They all belong to me.” As the song proceeds, listeners come to realize that this song is the point at which the album’s subject has finally gone mad.  And the band expertly captures that madness.  It proves to be one of the most impactful of moments throughout the course of the album, too.

Delusions of Grandeur proves throughout the course of its eight tracks why it is not just another standard concept album.  The story told through the album’s lyrical side is one that few if any other band has ever told.  And the manner in which it is told is just as original.  The album’s lyrical side is just part of the equation.  Its musical side does just as well in advancing the album’s story.  That has already been noted with the songs noted here.  However, there is one song in particular that holds its own advancing the story solely through musical means.  That song is ‘Odium Delirium.’  The album’s penultimate song, it does an impressive job of setting up the story’s final movement.  Its full throttle energy is a complete contradiction to the more subdued thoughts of the story’s subject in ‘Sleeper’s Gate to the Galaxy.’  The influences of the likes of Opeth and Mastodon are evident in this instrumental piece.  And they are certain to impress fans of those bands just as much as any “chapter” of this concept album.

Audiences can experience the entire story that is Delusions of Grandeur now as it is available in stores and online.  It can be ordered direct from the Metal Blade online store at  It can also be downloaded via iTunes at  Sahg’s fans in Norway will get the chance to experience the band’s new music live as it will perform live in its hometown this Friday.  That performance will be followed by performances in Bo, Norway and Asker, Norway on March 6th and 7th respectively.  More tour dates are likely to be announced in the near future.  To keep up with those tour announcements, fans can follow Sahg 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