‘Prophets Of Rage’ Is A Solid Effort For RATM 2.0

Courtesy: Fantasy Records

Rage Against The Machine is back again…sort of.  Tom Morello, Tim Cummerford and Brad Wilk joined forces with longtime friends B-Real (Cypress Hill) and Chuck D (Public Enemy) some time ago following the dissolution of Audioslave to form the super group Prophets of Rage, which is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0.  The only real difference between this “new” group and RATM—as is clear in listening to the group’s brand new self-titled debut album, is the fact that Morello, Wilk and Cummerford are joined this time out by the aforementioned superstar hip-hop front men.  Musically and lyrically speaking, the fruits of the group’s efforts make this 12-song album everything that Rage Against The Machine fans have come to expect from that band.  Even with that in mind, that return to musical and lyrical form makes this record a welcome effort from the second coming of Rage Against The Machine.

Prophets of Rage’s brand new self-titled debut album is a welcome effort from what is for all intents and purposes the second coming of Rage Against The Machine.  That is due in part to the musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the album’s 12-song, 39-minute run time.  From start to finish, listeners get here 12 arrangements that are a full return to form for Morello and his RATM band mates—Brad Wilk (drums) and Brad Cummerford (bass).  Morello’s heavy riffs and guitar-based special sound effects lift from all three of RATM’s full-length studio efforts and even from the trio’s work under the Audioslave moniker.  That balance of sounds throughout this record makes it enjoyable enough even despite the arrangements not exactly being anything groundbreaking.  Keeping this in mind, the album’s collective arrangements are collectively just one of the album’s elements to examine.  Its lyrical content is just as important to note here as those arrangements.

The lyrical content presented throughout Prophets of Rage is important to note here because it is just as familiar to RATM fans as the album’s musical arrangements.  What is important to note here is that while being as socially conscious as the lyrics in RATM’s previous albums, the topics tackled here are timely.  They do not just rehash the topics taken on in those records.  Case in point is the album’s opener ‘Radical Eyes.’  This song clearly takes on the misconception that just because someone might read one religious book or another that said person has become radicalized.  It is a response, basically, to the close mindedness that so many people have primarily against the Muslim community in this nation.  Its follow-up, ‘Unf*** the World’ stays on a similar mindset as it takes on the issue of racism that is still so alive in America.  The group also takes on the issue of poverty in America and the struggle to fight the issue due to politicians who seemingly don’t care to fight that battle in ‘Living on the 110.’  The group even takes on the issue of personal privacy invasion of sorts in ‘Take Me Higher,’ which addresses law enforcement’s use (and possible misuse) of drones in their daily duties.  The group even goes so far as to address the tensions between police and the people that have risen in recent years over allegations of police brutality in ‘Hands Up.’  This is all just a glance at the way in which Prophets of Rage manages lyrically to impress listeners with its timely lyrical content.  The other songs not noted here all present lyrical content that is just as timely as the material noted here.  Keeping all of this in mind, the lyrical content presented throughout this record proves to be POR’s cornerstone.  It is just one more of the album’s most important elements, too.  The album’s sequencing puts the final touch to its overall presentation.

Plenty of time and thought was obviously put into Prophets of Rage’s sequencing.  From start to finish, the album never lets its fire burn out.  Even as the group gets a bit funky in ‘Take Me Higher,’ it still doesn’t let up in its energy.  The up-tempo arrangement is instantly infectious thanks to all involved, ensuring listeners’ engagement just as much as the album’s much heavier arrangements.  Much the same can be said of ‘Counteroffensive,’ the 38-second interlude which lifts more from Public Enemy and Cypress Hill than RATM.  Even as short as it is and stylistically separate from its counterparts, its arrangement still is entertaining.  Its placement almost halfway through the record is just as smart, as it gives listeners a short break and some variance to the record in whole.  Considering this, the energies exhibited in each song and the fact that no one song directly repeats the other (in regards to their arrangements), it becomes even clearer why the album’s sequencing is so important to the album’s whole.  The energies never vary even as the familiar arrangements do vary.  When this is considered along with the arrangements themselves and the album’s timely lyrical content, the end result is an album that proves to be a solid first effort from Prophets of Rage and an equally solid new effort from what is for all intents and purposes Rage Against The Machine 2.0.  More information on Prophets of Rage is available now along with Prophets of Rage’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://prophetsofrage.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/prophetsofrage

 

 

 

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Eagle Rock Releases Second Video From RATM’s Upcoming Concert Recording

Courtesy:  Eagle Rock Entertainment

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Eagle Rock Entertainment is giving audiences yet another look at Rage Against The Machine’s upcoming live archived concert recording Live at Finsbury Park. That is because the leader in live recordings released the video this week for another of the songs included in the band’s upcoming recording.

Officials with Eagle Rock Entertainment released the video of the band performing ‘Bulls on Parade’ this week. The performance can be seen online now via Eagle Rock Entertainment’s official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46ubFgAwKlU&feature=youtu.be. It follows the previously released video of the band performing another of its hits ‘Killing in the Name.’

Live at Finsbury Park will be available in stores and online Friday, October 16th. It will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, and digital formats. The DVD will retail for MSRP of $14.98 and the Blu-ray for $19.98. Prices for its digital presentation will be announced at a later date. Fans can now pre-order the recording via iTunes at http://smarturl.it/RageFinsburyDigital. The twelve-song set features some of RATM’s biggest hits including: ‘Killing in the Name,’ ‘Bulls on Parade,’ ‘People of the Sun,’ ‘Guerilla Radio,’ ‘Bullet in the Head,’ ‘Bombtrack,’ ‘Sleep Now In The Fire,’ ‘and even a cover of The Clash’s hit single ‘White Riot.” Front man Zach de la Rocha even offers an interesting backstory on the song and the band’s choice to perform the song. If the extensive career-spanning set list isn’t enough for audiences, Eagle Rock Entertainment also has included a “Behind The Scenes” featurette that includes an in-depth interview with Jon and Tracy Morter in which the pair discusses the campaign that led to the band’s performance and more. The track listing for Live at Finsbury Park is noted below.

TRACK LISTING
1) Testify
2) Bombtrack
3) People Of The Sun
4) Know Your Enemy
5) Bulls On Parade
6) Township Rebellion
7) Bullet In The Head
8) White Riot
9) Guerrilla Radio
10) Sleep Now In The Fire
11) Freedom
12) Killing In The Name

More information on this and other titles from Eagle Rock Entertainment is available online now at:

Website: http://www.eagle-rock.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/EagleRockNews

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Black Sabbath Members To Make Special Appearance At Grammy Museum

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

Black Sabbath founding members Ozzy Osbourne and Geezer Butler are set to make a special appearance at the Los Angeles’ Grammy Museum next month.  The special appearance is part of a promotional tour supporting the release of the band’s new live DVD, Black Sabbath Live…Gathered In Their Masses

Ozzy and Geezer will take part in a Q&A session and special early screening of the band’s new live DVD during its appearance.  The whole thing will be held at the museum’s Clive Davis Theater.  During the Q&A session, Ozzy and Geezer will share with fans their thoughts on the band’s reunion, a #1 album in 13 and the band’s hugely successful world tour among other topics.  More information on the event is available online at http://www.grammymuseum.org.

Black Sabbath Live…Gathered In Their Masses will be available on Tuesday, November 25th.  It will be available on DVD, Blu-ray, combo pack, and deluxe box set.  The concert presented in the upcoming release was recorded April 29th and May 1st in Melbourne, Australia as the band kicked off its world tour in support of 13.  The band is currently on the road, touring across South America and Mexico.  Once that leg is done, the band will head overseas to tour Europe in November and December.  A full listing of the band’s current tour dates and more is available online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, and http://twitter.com/OfficialSabbath.    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.

Black Sabbath Announces Title, Release Date For New Live DVD

Courtesy:  Vertigo/Republic Records

Courtesy: Vertigo/Republic Records

Black Sabbath has officially announced that it will release a brand new live DVD this Fall.  The band, which just finished off the American leg of its worldwide tour, will release its new live DVD, titled Black Sabbath: LiveGathered in their Masses on November 26th,.  It will be released via Vertigo/Republic Records.  The performance contained on the new live DVD was recorded between April 29th and May 1st, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia.

Having wrapped up the American leg of its tour, Black Sabbath is set to make its way to South American next.  The South American and Mexican leg of the band’s tour kicks off Friday, October 4th in Santiago, Chile.  After wrapping its South American and Mexican tour, the band is expected to make its way across Europe through November and December.  A full listing of the band’s upcoming tour dates is available online at http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://www.blacksabbath.com, and http://twitter.comOfficialSabbath.

The band’s new release, 13, debuted at #1 in thirteen countries.  That includes the United States.  The album’s #1 debut marks the very first #1 in the U.S.

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Black Sabbath Celebrate New Release With Special Online Event

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

Black Sabbath’s decades in the making album, 13 will finally see the light of day tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11th.  In celebration, the band—Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Tony Iommi—will hold a special live Town Hall via Google+ Hangout.  It will be streamed live on Google+ and YouTube.  The Town Hall will also be broadcast live on Ozzy’s Boneyard on SiriusXM at 7:00pm EDT.  The band will be joined by both Ozzy’s son Jack (who directed the clips to launch 13) and Rage Against The Machine drummer Brad Wilk (who covered the drums on the album) for the event.  Osbourne and Butler will appear live at the Angel Orensanz Foundation for Contemporary Art while Tony Iommi will appear live from Birmingham, England.  Jack Obsourne and Brad Wilk will be on hand live from Los Angeles for the presentation.  Comedian Jim Norton will host the show.  Norton is a co-host of the Opie and Anthony Show on SiriusXM, and is also a host on Ozzy’s Boneyard.

Viewers can tune in to the special event live on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/officialsabbath.  Fans that have SiriusXM can tune in to the even on Ozzy’s Boneyard on channel 38 and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio app for smart phones and other connected devices.  Audiences can also watch the event online at http://www.siriusxm.com

Black Sabbath fans can keep up with all of the latest from the band online at http://www.blacksabbath.com, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, http://twitter.com/OfficialBlackSabbath, http://instagram.com/officialblacksabbath, and http://google.com/+blacksabbath

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Sabbath’s “13” Well Worth The Wait

 

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

It goes without saying after having listened to it that Black Sabbath’s 13 is one of the best hard rock/metal albums of 2013.  This record has been decades in the making.  And the wait was well worth it, even with someone other than Bill Ward on drums.  Ozzy’s vocals and Tony Iommi’s guitar work are at their peak throughout this record.  So many rock bands have tried hard to emulate Sabbath’s sound since its breakup so long ago.  But few if any have managed to come close since then.  So it is nice to have one of rock’s elite back (even if one member isn’t present) to reclaim its proper place in rock’s upper echelons.

Right from the opening moments of the album’s opener, ‘End of the Beginning’, listeners know they are in for something special on this record.  Geezer’s bass and Tony’s guitar work are pummeling along with Brad Wilk (Rage Against The Machine) on drums in the song’s opening moments before laying back to let Ozzy’s haunting vocals take the spotlight.  Rick Rubin actually made the right choice bringing in Wilk to cover the drums in place of Bill Ward for this record.  When the rest of the band comes back in, the combined wound will take audiences back to Black Sabbath’s glory days.  Ozzy, Tony, and Geezer show that they are still the originators and have not lost a single step along the way.  It’s like old times.  As Ozzy sings here, “Don’t look back/Live for today/Tomorrow is too late.”  It couldn’t have been better said considering this band’s history.

13 offers listeners plenty of heaviness.  For all the heavy moments, worthy of raising the horns high, it also has a more subdued moment in the song, ‘Zeitgeist.’  This is such an interesting song in that it is a full-on acoustic opus.  In lieu of drums, Wilk has opted instead for perhaps a pair of bongos.  And Tony and Geezer have both gone acoustic, too.  There is something about this combination (along with Ozzy’s vocals) that makes for a work that could easily be compared to the likes Pink Floyd, believe it or not.  It is also the album’s shortest track.  It clocks in at just over four and a half minutes long.  In that short time, it makes for one of the album’s most interesting moments.

If any one song on this new album stands out more than the others, it is ‘Live Forever.’  This is the second shortest song on the record.  It comes in at just under five minutes long.  It’s also one of the album’s heaviest numbers.  Yet again, it’s more proof that Ozzy and company haven’t lost any steam in the three decades plus since the band’s last album.  Of course, having mega-producer Rick Rubin manning the boards doesn’t hurt, either.  Rubin really brought out the best of the band on this track.  Tony’s guitar solos are incredible to say the least.  They are the sort of solos that will have young guitarists around the world trying to emulate him, putting their own takes on his work on YouTube.  And yet again, Brad Wilk is just as impressive behind the kit.  He shows here, and throughout the record just how versatile he is as a drummer, pounding out some impressive polyrhythmic patters without missing a second.  And Ozzy sounds more in control of his vocals here than anywhere else on the album.  That isn’t to say that he sounds bad anywhere else.  The way that Ozzy laments in this song, “I don’t mind dying/Cause I’m already dead/Pray not for the living/I live in your head/Dying is easy/It’s living that’s hard/I’m losing the battle/Between Satan and God” could so easily be interpreted in direct relation to everything that Ozzy has gone through in recent years.  Considering recent reports concerning his admission to having been addicted to certain substances over recent years, instead of staying clean, it sounds like a personal statement that he perhaps felt during that time.  If so, it’s a powerful statement, especially with the song’s musical backing.  Though interestingly enough, the rest of the song sounds like a tongue in cheek stab at the religious establishment, considering Ozzy is actually anything but the “Prince of Darkness” that he has been made out to be.

‘Live Forever’ is one of the best of the best on Black Sabbath’s new album, 13.  It musical side and lyrical side together make it quite the interesting track.  Though, it’s just one of eight total tracks on the band’s new album that any long-time Black Sabbath fan will enjoy.  There are seven other tracks on this disc that any true metal and hard rock purist from which they can choose as their favorite.  The album will be available in stores and online June 11th via Republic Records.  The band will tour in support of the album beginning July 25th in The Woodlands, Texas.  Fans can keep up with the band’s tour dates and more on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath and on its official website, http://www.blacksabbath.com

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.

Black Sabbath Reveals Dates For Full North American Tour Schedule

Courtesy:  Universal Republic Records

Courtesy: Universal Republic Records

The hatchet has largely been buried between the members of veteran hard rock band Black Sabbath.  After over three decades of waiting, fans of this groundbreaking band will finally get to hear new music from the band this Summer.  And in support of the new album, titled 13, Black Sabbath—Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, and Geezer Butler—will hit the road in support of the album with a full North American tour.  Drummer Bill Ward will be replaced on the band’s upcoming tour with a replacement drummer.  Tickets for the band’s upcoming tour will be available Friday, May 3rd.  Fans can get early access to the pre-sale tickets on May 2nd when they RSVP at https://www.facebook.com/events/147056262140133/?context=create or at http://bit.ly/Sabbath_RSVP.

The band’s upcoming North American tour begins Thursday, July 25th at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in Houston, TX.  It spans nineteen dates that will take the band from the East Coast to the West and even into Canada.  The full list of tour dates is available below.

DATE                    CITY                     VENUE

+Thu- Jul 25          Houston, TX          Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

+Sat-Jul 27           Austin, TX             Frank Erwin Center

<Mon-Jul 29          Tampa, FL             Live Nation Amphitheatre

+Wed-Jul 31          W. Palm Beach, FL Cruzan Amphitheatre

~Fri-Aug 02          Bristow, VA           Jiffy Lube Live

*Sun-Aug 04        Holmdel, NJ           PNC Bank Arts Center

+Tue-Aug 06        Detroit, MI            DTE Energy Music Theatre

+Thu-Aug 08        Uncasville, CT        Mohegan Sun Arena

+Sat-Aug 10         Philadelphia, PA     Wells Fargo Center

^Mon-Aug 12        Boston, MA           Comcast Center

*Wed-Aug 14        Toronto, ON          Air Canada Centre

+Fri Aug 16           Tinley Park, IL       First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

+Sun-Aug 18        Indianapolis, IN       Klipsch Music Center

+Thu-Aug 22        Vancouver, BC       Rogers Arena

*Sat-Aug 24        Seattle, WA           Gorge Amphitheatre

+Mon-Aug 26        San Francisco, CA  Shoreline Amphitheatre at Mountain View

+Wed-Aug 28       Irvine, CA              Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

+Fri-Aug 30          Phoenix, AZ           US Airways Center

+Sun-Sep 01        Las Vegas, NV       MGM Grand Garden Arena

*Tue-Sep 03        Los Angeles, CA     Los Angeles Sports Arena

 

*Previously announced date.

^On sale Friday, May 3

+On sale Saturday, May 4

~On sale, Friday May 10

<On sale, Saturday, May 11

>On sale TBD

Before the band hits the road and the album hits stores, fans can get a glimpse of what is to come now.  The band has released 13’s lead single, ‘God is Dead?’, and fans can check it out now on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVfUimq2KeI.

To get more tour information and all of the latest news from Black Sabbath, fans can go online to the band’s official website, http://www.blacksabbath.com, its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/BlackSabbath, and via Twitter and Instagram at http://twitter.com/OfficialSabbath and http://instagram.com/officialsabbath.

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 keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.