Slayer Confirms New Album Complete, Coming This Year; Announces Tour Dates

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

Photo Credit: Andrew Stuart

It has been four long years since the members of Slayer last released any new material. But that long wait is about to come to an end.

Four years after the release of its Grammy-nominated record World Painted Blood and two years removed from the passing of Jeff Hanneman, the current members of Slayer–Tom Araya (bass, vocals), Kerry King (guitar), and Paul Bostaph (drums)–have announced that the band will release its twelfth full-length studio release later this year via the band’s own label through Nuclear Blast Records. No title or official release date have yet been confirmed for the album. However, it is known that famed producer Terry Date (Miss May I, Smashing Pumpkins, Pantera) manned the boards for the record. And guitarist Gary Holt (Exodus) will handle guitar duties alongside King. The record marks the first time that Date has ever worked with the band. It is also the first time since the release of the band’s 2001 album God Hates Us All that Bostaph has recorded with his band mates. Audiences will be just as interested to note that there is at least one song penned by Hanneman included on the band’s upcoming record.

Nuclear Blast America General Manager Gerardo Martinez had nothing but good things to say of the upcoming album, saying essentially that it is some of the band’s best work to date. “Tom’s vocals are probably the best I’ve heard in two decades, and Kerry, Paul and Gary are playing their asses of with powerful, intense performances and riffs and beats that are absolutely lethal,” he said. Fans have already gotten to sneak peeks of Slayer’s upcoming album, the most recent being the Record Store Day release of the song ‘When The Stillness Comes.’ That song was released in a very limited quantity of only 500 copies s worldwide. It was released on a special seven-inch vinyl picture disc exclusively for Record Store Day but can be heard online now via Rolling Stone at http://www.rollingstone.com/music/premieres/hear-slayers-eerie-new-crusher-when-the-stillness-comes-20150416. The other sneak peek came in the form of the song ‘Implode.’ ‘Implode’ was offered as a free download last year following Slayer’s studio sessions last March. Audiences can hear the song now for free online via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0gVs_UcxKY.

In anticipation of its new album, the members of Slayer have also announced that the band will embark on an extensive tour including dates on a number of major summer festival tours and its own “An Evening With…” Slayer-only dates. The band’s current confirmed tour schedule is listed below. It all begins this Friday in Birmingham, Alabama.

Confirmed Slayer tour dates:

APRIL
24 Iron City, Birmingham, AL*
25 Monter Energy Welcome to Rockfille, Metropolitian Park, Jacksonville, FL
26 Civic Theatre, New Orleans, LA*

MAY
1 Lunatic Luau, Farm Bureau Live, Virginia Beach, VA
3 Carolina Rebellion, Charlotte, NC
22 Rocklahoma, Pryor, OK
23 Socorro Casino, El Paso, TX*

JUNE
13 Bonnaroo, Manchester, TN
16 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
17 Paramount, Huntington, Long Island NY*
19 State Theatre, Portland, ME
20 Amnesia Rock, Montebello, Montreal

(Mayhem headline dates):
26 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, San Diego, CA
27 San Manual Amphitheatre, San Bernardino, CA
28 Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, CA
30 White River Amphitheatre, Seattle, WA

JULY
1 Idaho Center Amphitheatre, Boise, ID
3 Ak-Chin Amphitheatre, Phoenix, AZ
4 Isleta Amphitheatre, Albuquerque, NM
5 Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Denver, CO
7 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Council Bluffs, IA
8 Eagles Ballroom, Milwaukee, WI
10 Kilpsch Amphitheatre, Indianapolis, IN
11 DTE Energy Amphitheatre, Detroit, MI
12 First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre, Chicago, IL
15 Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, Toronto, ON CANADA
17 Susquehanna Bank Arts Center, Camden, NJ
18 First Niagara Pavilion, Pittsburgh, PA
19 Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, CT
21 PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ
22 Meadowbrook (Bank of NH Pavilion), Gilford, NH
24 Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA
25 Xfinity Center, Boston, MA
26 Nikon at Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY
29 Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood, Atlanta, GA
31 Whitewater Amphitheatre, San Antonio, TX

AUGUST
1 Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston, TX
2 Gexa Energy Amphitheatre, Dallas, TX

* “An Evening with…” headline dates

More dates are likely to be announced. When those dates are announced, they will be posted online along with all of the latest news on the band’s album at:

Website: http://www.slayer.net

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

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 http://philispicks.wordpress.com.

Butcher Babies Complete Work On Second Album, Announce Upcoming Tour Dates

Butcher Babies is preparing to hit the road once again.

The band announced today that it will embark on an extensive spring/summer tour in support of its as-yet untitled upcoming sophomore album this week. The album was produced by former Machine Head bassist Logan Mader. The band’s new album is currently slated for release this fall via Century Media Records.

The first slate of tour dates on the band’s current schedule sees the band hitting the road alongside Upon A Burning Body beginning this Thursday, April 9th in Scottsdale, AZ and winding down next Friday, April 17th in Poughkeepsie, NY. It also includes stops in Colorado, New Mexico, Illinois, and Iowa. The complete schedule is listed below:

Butcher Babies Spring Tour Poster 1

Courtesy: Street Smart Marketing/Century Media Records

BUTCHER BABIES w/Upon A Burning Body

April 9th, 2015 – Scottsdale, AZ @ Pub Rock Live

April 10th, 2015 – Albuquerque, NM @ Launchpad

April 11th, 2015 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre

April 13th, 2015 – Sauget, IL @ Pop’s (No UABB)

April 14th, 2015 – Des Moines, IA @ Wooly’s

April 15th, 2015 – Bloomington, IL @ The Castle Theatre

April 17th, 2015 – Poughkeepsie, NY @ The Loft (No UABB)

Butcher Babies will waste no time after finishing up its tour with UABB finishes up next week. Beginning next Saturday, April 18th, both bands will join The Nearly Deads and headliners In This Moment for the “Black Widow Tour.” The tour is in support ITM’s upcoming hits compilation Rise of the Blood Legion: Greatest Hits (Chapter 1). That collection will be released May 5th via Century Media Records. The twenty-one date tour runs through May 26th and includes a stop at North Carolina’s annual hard rock festival the Carolina Rebellion Festival. Butcher Babies vocalist Heidi Shepherd discussed the band’s inclusion on the “Black Widow tour,” noting the band’s outlook at getting out on the road with the tour’s other bands saying, “This upcoming tour is really special to us. Not only do we get to see so many of our friends that we have accumulated around the country through our music, but it’s also our first chance to play some songs off of the new album. Our fans have been so patient waiting for new music. In true Butcher Babies fashion we never do anything half-assed, so it took a little while. Playing these songs on this tour will be a little treat for our dedicated fan base. Also, to be back out with In This Moment is a huge honor. They have been so supportive of us and they put on an incredible live show.”

She went on noting the band’s excitement at getting to see all of its fans at each show’s post-show meet-and-greet, stating, “To all the BUTCHER BABIES fans old and new, you’ve inspired us so much throughout the years. After every show, we do a free meet and greet at our merch booth. Be sure to come stop by and say hello. We would be honored to meet you.”

Guitarist Henry Flury shared Shepherd’s thoughts on getting to see the band’s fan base saying, Every time we pass through a city we see more and more faces screaming along to the lyrics to our songs. You guys have no idea how that makes us feel. Now we have a few new face melting surprises in store for you guys and we can’t wait to see you sweat it out with us in the pit!”

Co-vocalist Carla Hardy added her thoughts on the tour saying, “It is crazy to think that this will be our ninth big national tour since our first big tour in mid 2012. We feel like old road dogs now as we recognize all the truck stop showers and coffee shops all across the states. However, the best thing about touring is seeing all the familiar faces in the crowd. Our fans have become dear friends over the last few years and every night feels like a family reunion at our after show merch booth meet and greets.”

The complete “Black Widow Tour” schedule is listed below.

Courtesy:  Street Smart Marketing/Century Media Records

Courtesy: Street Smart Marketing/Century Media Records

BUTCHER BABIES w/In This Moment, Upon A Burning Body, The Nearly Deads

April 18th, 2015 – Montclair, NJ @ Wellmont Theatre

April 19th, 2015 – Rochester, NY @ Water Street Music Hall

April 21st, 2015 – Worcester, MA @ The Palladium

April 22nd, 2015 – Stroudsburg, PA @ Sherman Theater

April 23rd, 2015 – Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live

April 25th, 2015 – Fort Myers, FL @ Fort Rock

April 26th, 2015 – Jacksonville, FL @ Welcome To Rockville

April 28th, 2015 – Knoxville, TN @ The International

April 29th, 2015 – Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29

May 2nd, 2015 – Nashville, TN @ Cannery Ballroom

May 3rd, 2015 – Charlotte, NC @ Carolina Rebellion

May 5th, 2015 – Atlanta, GA @ Center Stage

May 7th, 2015 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE

May 9th, 2015 – Bangor, ME @ Rise Above Fest

May 12th, 2015 – Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

May 14th, 2015 – Huntington, NY @ The Paramount

May 15th, 2015 – Niagara Falls, NY @ Rapids Theatre

May 16th, 2015 – Reading, PA @ Reverb

May 22nd, 2015 – Pryor, OK @ Rocklahoma

May 23rd, 2015 – Tyler, TX @ Click’s

May 26th, 2015 – Lubbock, TX @ Lonestar Amphitheater

Following the end of the “Black Widow Tour” Butcher Babies will take some well-deserved and much-needed time off before heading overseas for a handful of summer festivals beginning with the annual Download Festival on June 14th. The band’s summer festival schedule is listed below:

European Festivals

June 14th Download – UK

June 19th Graspop – Belgium

June 20th Hellfest – France

July 20th Metaldays – Slovenia

July 31st Wacken – Germany

More information on Butcher Babies’ upcoming tour is available online now along with all of the latest daily updates from the band at:

Website: http://www.ButcherBabiesOfficial.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ButcherBabies

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.

Fozzy Announces New Tour, Single, Album, Book

Fozzy will return with a new album this Summer. In celebration, the band has announced that it will hit the road in support of its upcoming album this Spring and Summer beginning with a performance at the annual 98 Rockfest in Tampa, Florida. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

FOZZY – 2014 SPRING TOUR

98 ROCKFEST (with AVENGED SEVENFOLD, VOLBEAT, LACUNA COIL and more) 
APRIL
25: Tampa, FL – Tampa Bay Times Forum

WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE (with AX7, THE CULT, VOLBEAT and more)
APRIL
26: Jacksonville, FL – Metropolitan Park

CAROLINA REBELLION (with A7X, ROB ZOMBIE, VOLBEAT, SEETHER and more)
MAY
03: Charlotte, NC – Charlotte Motor Speedway

MAY
05: Springfield, VA – Empire

06: Pittsburgh, PA – Altar *

07: Lancaster, PA – Chameleon Club **

08: Rochester, NY – Main Street Armory *

09: Poughkeepsie, NY – The Loft at the Chance ***

10: Hampton Beach, NH – Hampton Beach Casino *

15: Arlington Heights, IL – Home Bar ****

16: Pontiac, IL – Freakster’s Roadhouse

* with BUCKCHERRY
** with REV THEORY, GEMINI SYNDROME & EYES SET TO KILL
*** with KYNG
**** with HEAVEN’S BASEMENT

ROCK ON THE RANGE (with A7X, SLAYER, CHEVELLE, FUEL and more) 
MAY
17: Columbus, OH – Columbus Crew Stadium

More dates to be announced soon…

 

Also in anticipation of the band’s new as-yet untitled album, Fozzy—Chris Jericho (vocals), Rich Ward (guitar), Billy Grey (guitar), Paul DiLeo (bass), and Frank Fontsere (drums)—will release ‘Lights Out’, the album’s lead single April 29th.

Courtesy:  Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Jericho discussed ‘Lights Out’ in a recent interview, noting that it “represents a brand new color in the FOZZY spectrum.” He went on to say of the song that it is “Dark, sexy, sleek, dirty, heavy and catchy as f*ck, this song turns a whole new page in hard rock history – it doesn’t matter if you dance to it in a club or mosh to it in a pit, ‘Lights Out’ will make you move!”

Along with the debut of the band’s new single and album, it has also been announced that Chris Jericho’s latest autobiography, The Best In The World: At What I Have No Idea will be released this fall. The sequel to his New York Times best sellers A Lion’s Tale and Undisputed, his latest book is scheduled to be released October 13th, 2014. It can be pre-ordered now via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Best-World-What-Have-Idea/dp/1592407528/ref=la_B001JSHII4_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396335691&sr=1-1.

If all of this isn’t enough, fans also have Jericho’s podcast, “Talk is Jericho.” His podcast airs every Wednesday and Friday. Jericho interviews guests from across the entertainment world. Those that have already appeared on “Talk is Jericho” are: Howie Mondel (America’s Got Talent, Deal or No Deal, Bobby’s World), ghost hunter Jeff Belanger, Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Ace Frehley (KISS), and M.Shadows (Avenged Sevenfold). “Talk is Jericho” has already reached the top spot in seven nations around the world and is one of PodcastOne Network’s leading programs. Audiences can listen to his show and download episodes at http://podcastone.com/Talk-Is-Jericho.

Fans can follow the latest developments on Fozzy’s upcoming record, its tour, and more online at http://www.facebook.com/FozzyRock, http://www.fozzyrock.com, http://myspace.com/fozzytour, and https://twitter.com/FOZZYROCK. 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.

Details Announced For Second Annual Fort Rock Festival

Courtesy:  Ashton-Magnuson Media

Courtesy: Ashton-Magnuson Media

Organizers of the Fort Rock Festival have announced the details for the annual hard rock music festival.  This year’s festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 26th.  It will be held at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, Florida.  The list of this year’s performers includes: Seether, Theory of a Deadman, Black Stone Cherry, Sick Puppies, Trivium, Skindred, The Pretty Reckless, KYNG, Nothing More, Twelve Foot Ninja, and a bunch more.  Veteran hard rock act Korn will share headlining duties at this year’s festival with Five Finger Death Punch.

When asked about performing at this year’s festival (its second) 5FDP drummer Jeremy Spencer spoke on behalf of the band. He expressed the band’s excitement in being invited to headline the show and what it means to play along with some of 5FDP’s favorite bands, and for its fans in Florida.  “5FDP is incredibly excited to be part of the kickoff of the World’s Loudest Month,” he said.  “Having already ‘rocked’ Rockville, this will be our first time bringing it to Fort Myers. We are blessed to have so many fans in Florida that made it possible for the band to step up as a festival headliner standing beside giants like Korn and Rob Zombie! Thank you, Florida. See you all soon!”  Festival co-producer Clay Bush of Danny Wimmer Presents shared the excitement of all of the bands in speaking about the festival celebrating its second year.  “After a great first year, we couldn’t be more excited to return to JetBlue Park with an amazing band lineup and fantastic partners,” Bush said.

Photo Credit: Chad Martel Photography

Photo Credit: Chad Martel Photography

Organizers are offering audiences a special limited time discounted ticket pre-sale from Tuesday, January 28th – Thursday, January 30th.  During this short sale, a limited number of discounted general admission tickets will be available for purchase.  Each day’s prices are listed below (plus fees). Passwords can be obtained for the pre-sale online at http://www.RevolverMag.com and http://www.FloridaWeekly.com.

Tuesday, January 28: $29.50

Wednesday, January 29: $39.50

Thursday, January 30: $45.50

Regularly priced General Admission tickets will go on sale Friday, January 31st at 10a.m.ET at http://www.FortRockFestival.com and via all Ticketmaster outlets.  General Admission tickets start at $49.50 and VIP tickets start at $99.50 each.  Prices increase February 10th. Tickets can also be purchased at all Pita Pit locations for $50, with no service fees.  A limited number of discounted General Admission tickets for the military will be available for just $29.  They can be purchased online at http://www.govx.com.

The Fort Rock Festival is the opening concert of a series of concert festivals produced by Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live.  Also among that list of concerts presented by Danny Wimmer Presents and AEG Live is are: Rock on the Range and Carolina Rebellion.  It is also part of the kickoff of the World’s Loudest Month and the Florida kickoff along with Monster Energy’s Welcome to Rockville.  It is sponsored by Monster Energy, Jack Daniels, Jagermeister, and f.y.e.  More information on the Fort Rock Festival is available online at http://www.FortRockFestival and http://www.facebook.com/fortrockfestival.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Draiman, Device Far From Being Disturbed

Courtesy:  Warner Brothers Records

Courtesy: Warner Brothers Records

David Draiman is one of the most well known vocalists in the rock community today.  His animalistic sounding growls and seemingly Maynard James Keenan inspired vocal style make his a voice that is instantly noticeable when listeners hear it.  The problem is that just as Keenan’s side project, A Perfect Circle, was instantly compared to Tool because of Keenan’s iconic vocal style, so has Draiman’s new side project, Device, been compared to Disturbed.  While the first pair of tracks on Device’s self-titled debut do bear some semblance to material recorded by Disturbed, that similarity begins to fade early on.  The album’s third song, ‘Vilify’ has more of a pure rock sound.  Right from its opening verse, it impresses just as much lyrically as musically.  Draiman sings defiantly as the song opens, “As you vilify/Every single move that I make/And try to bind me/In your insanity/You’ll come to know/That you never had control/from the onset/Go find another lapdog, f***er.”  The defiance doesn’t stop here.  The verbal assault against those who would run their mouths seemingly just to run their mouths runs nonstop through the song with full on intensity that is sure to get the blood and body flowing.

If there was still any question of comparison to Disturbed even in ‘Vilify’, then those comparisons will be erased even more in the album’s very next song, ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’ Some might cringe at this, but it almost comes across as a ballad style piece, especially with the addition of vocalist Lzzy Hale (Halestorm) give it even more of that sense.  And if that’s not proof enough, one need only look at the song’s lyrical content as argument for that comparison.  Lyrically speaking, it comes across as a song of lost love.  Draiman and Hale sing here, “I know I’ve been so hard to you/I know I’ve told you lies/If I could have just one more wish/I’d wipe the cobwebs from my eyes.”  This one song isn’t reason for anyone to worry, as it’s the only time through the course of the album’s ten tracks that the album’s intensity drops off. 

The intensity built early on in Device’s self-titled debut picks back up not long after ‘Close My Eyes Forever.’  What’s more, as the intensity rebuilds through the album’s second half so does the separation of Device from Disturbed.  It all starts on ‘Out of Line.’  This socio-political piece offers a solid mix of electronics and heavy, foot-stomping, head banging guitar breaks that would make any metal purist proud.  And the inclusion of Serj Tankian’s (System of a Down) equally distinct vocal style adds even more musical flavor to this song.  One can’t ignore the addition of Geezer Butler (Black Sabbath) on this track, either.  The mix of music, star power, and lyrical heaviness makes it just one more of so many tracks from which listeners will be able to choose as a favorite.  The intensity and separation from the band members’ primary bands builds even more in ‘Opinion.’  The guest guitar work of Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) is surprisingly unlike what Morello has recorded with his other side projects.  And it definitely helps to maintain this song’s identity from anything even remotely related to Disturbed.  It is one of those pieces that has to be heard to fully understand this.

If the guest appearances from Tom Morello, Geezer Butler, and Serj Tankian aren’t enough to convince listeners as to the identity of Device, then perhaps ‘War of Lies’ and the album’s closer, ‘Through It All’ will do the job.  The heavy bass and vocals from Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple) mixed with Draiman’s vocals make this one of the album’s more surprisingly interesting songs.  That’s because of the fact that the song starts off very slow and deliberate.  But a little more than halfway through the song, it picks up, and carries the listener up to the song’s final fading moments.  Those moments are just subtle enough to allow listeners to catch their breath after the musical rollercoaster on which they have just taken a ride.  And having caught their breath, any listener that went into this album thinking it would be just another Disturbed record will have seen that that belief was in fact completely wrong.  While it might have started out with some similarity to Disturbed, that similarity is soon erased, and a new band with a sound that bears only the slightest closeness to the prior arises.  It definitely turns out to be a record that any fan of Disturbed and any hard rock fan in general will want to check out at least once.   

Device is currently touring in support of its self-titled debut.  Among some of its more notable scheduled concert dates are performances at the “Welcome to Rockville” Festival on April 28th in Jacksonville Florida, the Carolina Rebellion Festival in Rockingham, North Carolina on May 4th, and the famed Rock on the Range Festival in Columbus, Ohio on May 19th.  The band has even more dates that audiences can find out about when they “Like” Device on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Devicetheband.  Audiences will also find a link to download the band’s album via iTunes on the Facebook page.  That link is http://smarturl.it/deviceitunes for those that may not be able to get to the band’s FB page.

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.

Carolina Rebellion Festival announces performance times

The performance times for next weekend’s second annual Carolina Rebellion rock festival have officially been announced.

The festival will kick off next Friday, May 4th at 7:30pm with a performance by Otherwise.  The evening’s festivities will be headlined by Foxy Shazam at 10:10pm.  Saturday’s events start off at 11am.  Ghosts of August will start everything off at the Jagermeister Stage at 11am.  Weaving The fate follows at 11:20 on the Rebellion Stage.  paper Tongues follows just before noon on the Carolina Stage.  Concerts will run throughout the day with bands including:  Halestorm, Red, Slash, Chevelle, Five Finger Death Punch and plenty more performing. 

The weekend’s festivities will wind down as P.O.D. headlines the Jagermeister Stage at 6:30pm.  Korn follows at 9:25pm on the Rebellion Stage.  Shinedown finishes off everything with a performance on the Carolina Stage at 10:45pm.

Campgrounds for the festival will open May 4th at 10am and close at noon, Sunday, May 6th.  The festival box ofice will open May 5th at 7:00am.  To get a full listing of set times and more information, go online to http://www.carolinarebellion.com/info and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/carolinarebellion.