Fozzy Reaches Its Peak With ‘Judas’

Courtesy: Century Media Century Media Records

Veteran hard rock band Fozzy launched the latest leg of its “Judas Rising” tour on Friday.  The tour, which currently runs through September 29 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, includes performances in Charlotte and Jacksonville, North Carolina on September 19 and 20 respectively.  The tour’s launch also follows the release of the band’s latest single, ‘Burn Me Out,’ which is taken from the band’s most recent album, Judas (2017).  Judas is an interesting change of pace for Fozzy at least stylistically speaking.  That is not a bad thing, either.  In fact, the change in the band’s sound exhibited in this record is a big part of what makes the record such an interesting new offering.  ‘Painless,’ which comes a little early in the record’s run, is just one example of that welcome change.  It will be discussed shortly.  ‘Elevator,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another example of the change exhibited in the record this time out, and another of the most notable of those examples, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The full-throttle ‘Wolves at Bay,’ which closes out the album is one more example of the change that is evident in this record that makes it another interesting new effort.  Of course it is not the last of the songs that shows the change from the band this time out.  Keeping that in mind, there are also some more familiar works early on in the record.  When those songs are considered along with the songs noted here and those not noted, the whole of Judas proves to be a record that presents Fozzy at the top of its game.

Veteran hard rock band Fozzy’s most recent full-length studio recording, 2017’s Judas is one of the best albums that this band has released to date.  Simply put, it presents Fozzy at the top of its game.  That is thanks to the growth and change exhibited by the band throughout the album.  The first real sign of that change comes early in the album’s run in the form of ‘Painless.’  Musically speaking, this song is one of the most radio friendly songs that the band has composed to date.  At the same time, it doesn’t sacrifice the hard rock edge for which the band has come to be known in its previous albums in order to achieve that accessibility.  It shows similarities to works from the likes of Breaking Benjamin, Five Finger Death Punch and other similar hard rock acts, showing again, that accessibility.

The song’s lyrical content shows a certain growth, too, as it presents a subject in a distinctly difficult place emotionally and psychologically.  What’s interesting here is that it doesn’t just come right out and give away the situation, perhaps intentionally leaving interpretation to apply to any difficult situation.  This is inferred as front man Chris Jericho sings in the song’s lead verse, “My life trapped in between/A whisper and a scream/A suicide machine of my own making/You medicate my brain/Like needles in my veins/Consumed in your embrace/There’s no escaping/My fix I the misery/Won’t stop till the end of me/I can’t feel anything.”  This alone comes across as perhaps someone dealing with the impacts of drug abuse.  That is just this critic’s own take on this verse, though.  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Killing me one breath at a time/Caught in your web/I’m paralyzed/So go on and lay me down to rest/You make it painless, painless.”  What’s even more interesting is that later in the song’s third verse, Jericho switches things up even more, singing, “Do you know what it’s like/To be hollow inside my life, my grave/Do you love me enough to finish me off/Don’t leave me here this way?” before reprising the song’s chorus.  At this point, it’s as if Jericho is hinting at a relationship issue making things even more difficult.  Simply put, this song is just as deep lyrically as it is musically.  Keeping that in mind along with the song’s musical arrangement, the song in whole shows quite a bit of positive and welcome growth and change from the band.  That growth makes this song just one example of what makes Judas another strong effort from Fozzy.  It is of course just one of the songs that serves to show that welcome change.  ‘Elevator,’ which comes later in the record’s run, is another example of the change that makes Judas an interesting new offering from the band.

The growth exhibited in ‘Elevator’ comes instantly in its musical arrangement, as it opens with the driving guitar and keyboard lines that open the song.  That combination, which runs through the course of the song, gives the song a little bit of an industrial sound.  It’s a sound that Fozzy has used very rarely, if at all in its past records.  The expert balance of the elements along with the solid time keeping (and Jericho’s vocal delivery) makes for an overall musical arrangement that itself shows even more the change in the band’s musical direction this time out.  When that change is coupled with the song’s lyrical content, the two elements make the song in whole another notable addition to Judas.

Where ‘Painless’ presented someone in a very low place, ‘Elevator’ is the polar opposite so to speak.  Jericho sings here, “Step in/We’re gonna take a ride/To the promised land/Heaven is in our hands/We’ve all been down/There’s only one way out/’Cause when you’re feeling low/There’s only one way to go/I’m your elevator.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “We crawl through dirt/You know we’ve been hurt/Put your faith in me/’Cause I’ve got the golden key/So wave goodbye/I’m gonna get you high/High above the crowd/Nothing can stop us now/I’m your elevator.”  It goes without saying that unlike ‘Painless,’ this song is quite the uplifting piece.  Now whether the song was intentionally supposed to be religious in its wording or if that was purely metaphorical language is left for the band to explain.  That aside, the positive, uplifting message here, coupled with the song’s equally empowering musical arrangement shows even more the change in Fozzy in this record.  That exhibited change shows even more why the record in whole is some of the band’s best work to date.  It still is not the last of the songs to show that noted change and how that change is a positive for the album in whole.  ‘Wolves at Bay,’ the album’s closer, is one more strong example of that change and its positive impact on the album.

‘Wolves at Bay’ stands out – as with the previously discussed songs – in part because of its musical arrangement.  Its opening bars present a thrash metal style approach before switching over to the band’s more familiar melodic hard rock sound a la Sevendust, etc. in the verses.  That thrash metal approach, which again the band has rarely if ever, used returns in the chorus.  The driving energy in the song’s musical arrangement is echoed in its equally powerful and aggressive lyrics.  Jericho sings here, “You like to hunt/Your game is fear/I was the one, your souvenir/This is a fight/The one that you’ve been fighting for/You did incite the call for us to go to war.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s chorus, “Pushing and pushing/Giving me no choice/Humiliate/Intimidate/Until I hit the breaking point/Back to the wall/Keeping the wolves at bay/Fight my way out/’Cause it’s the only way.”  The song continues on lyrically in similar fashion from here.  Simply put, there’s a certain level of aggression and confidence here.  This is someone saying, “back off, you’ve caused me to be this way, and I won’t hesitate to attack if I have to,”  It’s a strong song and an interesting contrast to the album’s opener.  Those powerful lyrics and the song’s equally powerful musical arrangement shows again the change evident from the band in this album.  That welcome change also again shows what makes Judas such a strong new offering from Fozzy.  When it is considered along with the previously discussed songs and the rest of this record, the whole of the album proves to be not just a strong new album, but some of the band’s best work to date.

Fozzy’s new album Judas is some of the band’s best work to date.  That’s because while it does present some familiarity to listeners, it also exhibits continued positive growth and change from the band.  That is exhibited in the song’s discussed here clearly.  When they are considered along with the songs not discussed here, that change becomes even more evident and appreciated.  When it is considered in whole, the result is a record that every Fozzy fan will enjoy.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on Judas, Fozzy’s new tour, its latest news and more is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.fozzyrock.com

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

Twitter: http://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 reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

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Hyro The Hero’s Sophomore LP Is Certain To Be “Flagged” For All The Right Reasons

Courtesy: Century Media

Independent rapper Hyro The hero (nee Hyro da Hero) has made quite the name for himself since he released his debut album Birth, School, Work, Death back in 2011.  In the years since its release, the up-and-coming artist has made quite the name for himself, earning a nomination as Best International Newcomer by Kerrang! in 2011, performing with Wu-Tang Clan the same year, joining the lineups for the Soundwave Festival and Warped Tour in 2012, and more.  This Friday, June 29, Fenton will take the next step in building his name and reputation when he releases his sophomore album Flagged Channel.  The 12-song, 41-minute record is sure to accomplish those goals, too.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements, which will be discussed later.  Its lyrical content is certain to play into those goals being attained, too.  They will be discussed later.  The record’s overall sequencing works hand-in-hand with its songs and their lyrical themes to prove once more that the record is certain to achieve its goals.  Each element is important in its own way, and that will be proven here.  All things considered, the noted elements make Flagged Channel a record that is certain to be flagged by rock and metal fans, but only for the best reasons.

Hyro The Hero’s sophomore album Flagged Channel is a strong new effort from the up-and-coming rap/rock artist.  It is a work that is certain to build even more on the reputation and name that he has already built for himself since the release of his debut album Birth, School, Work, Death back in 2011.  That is proven in part through the album’s musical arrangements.  At times, more than living up to the old adage about imitation and flattery and at others, establishing his own musical identity, the album’s musical arrangements build a strong foundation for its presentation.  The adage about imitation and flattery comes into play a number of times throughout the album including early on in the blatantly Rage Against The Machine-esque song ‘We Ain’t Afraid.’  More specifically, it bears a very striking similarity to that band’s hit song ‘Bombtrack.’  That is obvious from the song’s beats to its guitar riffs and even Hero’s own vocal delivery style.  While Hero’s (a.k.a Hyron Fenton) arrangement here is not a mirror image of RATM’s song, the similarities are so close that the comparison can’t be denied.  It’s not the only song included in this album that can be likened to songs from RATM.  ‘Let The Snake Show,’ the album’s closer can easily be compared to another huge RATM him in the form of ‘Freedom,’  Again, the comparison is not precise, but it is close enough that one cannot deny the closeness of the songs’ arrangements.  Is this good or is it bad?  That’s left for listeners to determine, though it must be said the comparisons are so close that Hero definitely walks a fine legal line in these two arrangements.  ‘Sick Of It All’ could easily be compared, stylistically, to early works from the likes of Biohazard, more recent works from Body Count and other similar acts.  The comparisons are a little looser here, but still just enough to make the comparison obvious.  ‘Do Or Die,’ which comes late in the album’s run, can easily be compared to compositions from Flipsyde, Linkin Park and Fort Minor.  ‘Closed Casket’ is another of the album’s entries that can be compared to works from Rage Against The Machine while the agro-rock of ‘Killas Are Coming’ boasts influences of Hed Pe and Body Count as well as RATM.  Considering all of these comparisons, it can be said in short that Hyro The Hero’s influences in this record are varied.  That diversity of influences in itself shows why the album’s musical arrangements help to make this album a work that will help develop Fenton’s name and reputation.  They are, collectively, not the only element that serves that purpose.  Its lyrical themes also serve to show why this album is another positive effort from Fenton.

The lyrical themes presented throughout the course of Flagged Channel are familiar territory not only for Fenton (and his fellow musicians) but also for rock and metal fans.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in its opener/lead single ‘Bullet.’  This song comes across lyrically as a statement about the rather tense relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community in recent years.  This is inferred as Fenton makes not of a judge’s decision contradicting what was “the truth” and that decision leading to protests.  It is inferred just as much in the song’s lead verse, in which he notes, “They keep f****** with the innocent/Treat us different even though we citizens/Fight back now/They trynna call us militant when we just voice our opinion/Time to set fire to the flame they ignited/Either we get justice or you get a riot/We tried to be peaceful but all you know is violence/Any way it goes, we won’t be silent.”  He goes on later to offer up a call to action saying, “Wake up my people/Against the forces of evil/The collapse of the eagle.”  The eagle, one must assume is representative of America.  As noted, this is not unfamiliar territory for Fenton or for most rock and metal fans.  The fact that he doesn’t beat around the bush, but rather just outs it right out there is nice, too.  It leaves little to no room for misinterpretation.  This social commentary is not the only commentary included in this album.  He also addresses the obsession with social media by today’s generation in his new, latest single, ‘Live Your F****** Life.’  He addresses here, the problem that exists through this generation’s obsession with social media, and the consequences therein.  He writes in the song’s lead verse, “The whole generation needin’ instant gratification/Dopamine fiends addicted to the sensation/Short attention span/Needin’ addies for concentration/Overly dramatic and f*****’ impatient/Wastin’ our time postin’ highlights of our lives/Imperfections we constantly put on disguise/We lie to ourselves/This s*** ain’t good for our health/Chasin’ half the world to show everyone else we want and then bought it for ourselves/Live your f*****’ life!”  He goes on to write in the song’s second verse, “Addicted/Head down, stuck in that position/Alternate reality/They livin’ through a screen/Reckless/Zombie-like/No sense of direction/Duck and hide/Run for protection/They comin’ by the millions/Some are even children/That have been turned into dopamine fiends/Lookin’ for the next victim/They dangerous/Sound the alarm for the invasion of the zombie generation/Live your f*****’ Life!”  Again, there’s no doubt as to the commentary here.  He then encourages those who haven’t been turned into the proverbial “zombie” to “RUN” – in other words, don’t let yourself become one of them.  It’s a powerful and much-needed statement especially in this day and age.  To that end, Fenton deserves his fair share of applause here.  It is an issue that needed to be addressed and needs to continue to be addressed with the current generation of tech addiction, self-centered people.  While Fenton address very powerfully plenty of hot button issues throughout this record – as has been evidenced in the noted songs – he also offers listeners some personal motivation through the powerhouse single ‘Never Back Down.’  Rather than going after the establishment or addressing social issues, he instead uses this song to tell listeners to stay the path so to speak and be proud of themselves.  He writes here, “Confessions of a loose canon/Feel the flame from this giant a** dragon/Got a couple screws lose that’s danglin’/I’m just tryin’ to keep my head from hangin’/’Cause I gotta keep my head up…I will never ever let up…Never compromise/Can’t give up, give up.”  He adds in the chorus, “Never back down/Never back down/’Cause one thing, I’ve never been afraid.”  He goes on to write in the song’s second verse, “Okay/I’m reloaded/I want the whole world to take notice/I want everyone to stay focused/And hear the words that’s spoken/I’ve never been the one to be afraid to stir it up/Took my enemies and put ‘em in the dust/Tickin’ time bomb, and I’ve been ready to erupt/And I’m lookin’ for a reason to show ‘em what I’m made of.”  That equally strong statement is complimented again by a reprise of the song’s chorus, stressing again, “Never back down…I’ve never been afraid.”  On the surface, this song seems like it’s more about Fenton than anything else, but in reality, it’s a song that uses his own feelings to show listeners that they can be just as strong, emotionally and psychologically.  With that in mind, it becomes another welcome addition to this album and yet more proof of the importance of the album’s lyrical content to its overall presentation.  It most definitely is not the last example of that importance, either.  ‘We Ain’t Afraid’ takes a familiar lyrical path as it addresses all of the problems caused by the powers that be, telling those groups that the masses “ain’t afraid” when “they come together with their fists raised.”  Those same corrupt leaders are addressed in ‘Killas Are Coming’ as Fenton says of them, “Better beware ‘cause the killers are coming…blood on they hands from the greed and corruption/Your life is worthless to them/It means nothing.”  ‘Get The F*** Up’ ‘Do Or Die’ is another powerful entry, serving as a vessel for Fenton to express some deep personal thoughts and feelings about himself and how he feels about the world’s situation.  It is really one of the album’s most surprisingly moving moments that shows once again the importance of the album’s lyrical content.  When all of this is considered alongside the album’s musical content, both elements go a long way toward making the album well worth hearing.  They are still not its only key elements.  The album’s overall sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

From the album’s start to its finale the sequencing does just as much as the music and lyrics to keep listeners engaged and entertained.  That is evident in the fiery energy exhibited throughout the record both in its music and lyrics.  Even with their quick brooding entrances, the album’s first four entries waste little time getting in motion.  That energy is carried right through to the album’s midpoint right to that more moving entry that is ‘Do Or Die.’  What’s really interesting here is that while ‘Do Or Die’ may not be the full-throttle work that its counterparts are, it still boasts its own power through Fenton’s lyrics about his personal battle with himself.  That power is accented through an arrangement that certainly will move listeners in its own surprising fashion.  Of course, the reservation brought through ‘Do Or Die’ doesn’t last long, as the album’s energy comes right back in ‘Closed Casket,’ which seems to address the problem of gun violence in America.  That energy carries on right to the album’s RATM-esque finale that is ‘Let The Snake Show,’ which again addresses all of the social and political problems plaguing America.  When it’s all said and done, the record’s sequencing shows that it indeed keeps the album’s 41-minute run time move by with ease.  That constant energy and movement joins with the record’s musical and lyrical content to make the album in whole a record that listeners will agree has plenty to offer audiences.  In turn, it gives plenty of reason to be “flagged” for all the right reasons in this year’s crop of new rock and metal albums.

Hyro The Hero’s sophomore album Flagged Channel is a record that, when compared to all of its counterparts out there this year, is certain to be “flagged” for all of the right reasons.  From musical arrangements and lyrical content that is certain to keep listeners engaged and entertained to sequencing that does just as much to maintain that engagement, it offers plenty of positives.  To that end, it is a successful second effort from  a rap/rock artist who definitely deserves to be heard.  It will be available this Friday, June 29 via Century Media.  More information on Flagged Channel is available online now along with all of Hyro The Hero’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.hyrothehero.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/hyrothehero

 

 

 

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.

Megadeth Partners With Century Media For ‘Killing Is My Business…’ Re-Issue

Courtesy: Century Media/ Century Media Label Group/Century Media Records

Megadeth is going back in time…sort of.

The band announced Friday that it will re-issue its 1985 debut album Killing is My Business…and Business Is Good! this summer.  The album is scheduled to be released June 8 via Century Media.

Killing Is My Business…and Business Is GoodThe Final Kill is just the latest re-issue for the album.  It was most recently re-issued in 2015 via Sony/Legacy.  This new re-issue Remixed by veteran mixer Mark Lewis (Trivium, Death Angel, Devildriver, Whiechapel) and remastered by Ted Jensen (Alice in Chains, Hatebreed, Machine Head), includes previously unheard bits and pieces throughout (E.g. a previously unheard drum drum performance found during the mixing sessions).  It also features the original album in its entirety coupled with seven live performances transferred to CD from VHS tapes found in Megadeth frontman and founder Dave Mustaine’s attic.

The extra live tracks are not this re-issue’s only bonuses.  It also includes the band’s 1984 3-track demo as part of its body alongside a previously removed cover of Lee Hazelwood’s ‘These Boots’ and new cover art for the album.  The re-issue’s full track listing is noted below.

“Killing Is My Business…and Business Is Good – The Final Kill”
1. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (Remastered)
2. Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! (Remastered)
3. The Skull Beneath the Skin (Remastered)
4. Rattlehead (Remastered)
5. Chosen Ones (Remastered)
6. Looking Down the Cross (Remastered)
7. Mechanix (Remastered)
8. These Boots (Remastered)
9. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (live) (1987 London, UK)
10. Killing Is My Business…And Business Is Good! (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
11. The Skull Beneath the Skin (live) (1990 London, UK)
12. Rattlehead (live) (1987 Bochum, Germany)
13. Chosen Ones (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
14. Looking Down the Cross (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
15. Mechanix (live) (1986 Denver, CO)
16. Last Rites / Loved to Deth (demo) (Remastered)
17. The Skull Beneath the Skin (demo) (Remastered)
18. Mechanix (demo) (Remastered)

In looking at all that this re-issue offers, Mustaine was excited.

“I am just as much amazed at the music we made as I am at the pure fact that we survived at all!,” Mustaine said.

Killing is My Business…and Business Is Good!The Final Kill are open now.  It will be available in stores and online in North American on CD and in four different vinyl pressings.  Details on those releases are noted below.

North America:
CD Digipak (In stores & Online)
Gatefold Red 2LP – Limited to 1500 copies (In stores & Online)
Gatefold Black 2LP (In stores & Online)
Gatefold White 2LP –  Limited to 500 copies (FYE Exclusive)
Gatefold Silver 2LP – Limited to 500 copies (Band Exclusive available on www.megadeth.com)

It will be available on CD and two separate vinyl pressings in Europe.  Information on those releases is noted below.

Europe:
CD Digipak
Gatefold Clear 2LP – Limited to 400 copies
Gatefold Black 2LP

It will be released June 6 in Japan via Sony Japan on BluSpecCD.

Copies can be reserved now at the links noted below.

Reserve your copy today!
Band Exclusive Silver 2LP & More Megadeth Merchandise available at:
Red or Black 2LP & CD Digipak available at Century Media’s US Store:
Clear 2LP & CD digipak:
Digital Pre-orders & Streaming:
Signed Limited Copies Red or Black 2LP & CD Digipak available at Pledge Music:
http://megadeth.pmstores.co

More information on the upcoming re-issue of Killing Is My Business…and Business Is Good! is available online along with all of Megadeth’s latest news and more at:

Website: http://www.megadeth.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Megadeth

 

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.

 

ESTK’s New Self-Titled LP Was Well Worth The Wait

Courtesy: Century Media/Century Media Records

Eyes Set To Kill has finally returned. The band released its sixth full-length studio recording late last month. The band’s second album for Century Media Records, this 13-song, 41-minute self-titled record is a solid new effort from the veteran independent Phoenix, Arizona-based band. That is made evident right from its outset in the pummeling opener ‘Die Trying.’ This song, which is certain to be a fan favorite if it isn’t already so, is just one of the examples of what makes this record a welcome return for the band and will be discussed shortly. ‘Never Forget,’ which throws out the old adage of forgive and forget out the window, adds even more to the album’s staying power. ‘Voices,’ which shows the band’s ability to be heavy without being heavy,’ also benefits the album’s presentation. It is not the last of the album’s key additions of course. When it is set alongside the other noted songs and the rest of the album’s body, the whole of Eyes Set To Kill proves to be a return from ESTK that was worth the wait.

Eyes Set To Kill’s recently released self-titled album, its sixth overall and second for Century Media Records, is a welcome return for the band, considering that almost five years have passed since the release of the band’s fifth album, 2013’s Masks (its first for Century Media Records). That statement is supported right from this record’s outset in the form of the powerhouse fist pumping anthem ‘Die Trying.’ This song, with it’s blatantly nu-metal musical arrangement and self-confident lyrical theme, is a solid start for the album and the band in its return. Vocalist Alexia Rodriguez sings with full confidence here, “Everyday, these voices make me question myself/Should I be somebody else/My demons are awake in me/I won’t let the pressure take over me/Ready to make my own way or die trying/I’m gonna break through the chains/Ready to make my own way or die trying/Wipe the blood off my face/I keep my head in the game or die trying/I’m gonna put up a fight/Gonna risk my own life or die trying.” She goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “Every day’s the same/I’m getting bored of this life/Of getting by.” She goes on to follow up that statement with a reprise of the previous chorus, adding even more punch to the proud defiance of those negative thoughts and emotions. That clarity and simplicity in the song’s lyrical content leaves no doubt as to said message. It is a message of hope and personal emotional and psychological strength. When this is coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, which no doubt will have listeners proudly pumping their fists proudly as they sing along, it makes the song in whole not just a strong start for the record, but an instant hit for fans and the band. It makes the song just one clear example of why ESTK was worth the near five-year wait. ‘Never Forget’ serves just as much to show why this record is a welcome return for Eyes Set To Kill.

‘Never Forget’ is a strong addition to ESTK in part to its musical arrangement. Again, audiences get here, a decidedly nu-metal style arrangement that is certain to appeal to fans of Halestorm, Lacuna Coil, Evanescence and other similar acts. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to note here as its musical arrangement. It is literally an unforgiving message being almost screamed at another person about past wrongdoings committed by said person. As Rodriguez songs here, “After all that you put me through/You’ve got what’s coming for you/What goes around comes right back again/So have a taste of your own medicine/What goes around comes right back again.Now that the table’s turned/You’ll get what you deserve/Try and take back your words/But I will never forget/Your bridges have been burned/Another lesson learned/Try and take back your words/But I will never forget.” She goes on to sing in the song’s second verse to admit she was “blind” to the events of the past in the past, but that she has grown since then and seen the reality of those situations as she reprises the song’s powerhouse chorus, reminding that subject that “what goes around comes right back again.” Some might argue against such a statement, but let’s be honest, who has never been in this subject’s shoes? This is someone who has been hurt in one way or another by someone else, and is finally seeing that person get what he or she deserved all along for said wrong doing. To that end, expressing such emotions here is truly cathartic in its ability to connect with listeners of any age and gender. Keeping this in mind, it becomes another strong addition to the album, showing even more why ESTK is a welcome return for the band and still not the last. ‘Voices’ also stands out on this record.

‘Voices’ stands out because it is so starkly different from ‘Never Forget,’ ‘Die Trying’ and so many of this record’s other offerings. Stylistically, its electronic, keyboard driven arrangement takes listeners into a deep, emotional place. There are no drums, guitars or other extraneous elements here. Rather, the drums and other elements are fully electronic. Those elements, coupled with Rodriguez’s pained vocal delivery illustrate the mixed emotions felt by someone dealing with those “voices” previously discussed in the album’s opener. It is an interesting counterpoint to that song as it shows perhaps the early stages of dealing with those voices. Considering this, its placement as the album’s penultimate track makes it even more powerful in that musical and lyrical presentation. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of the album proves to be a record that while maybe not the band’s best work to date, still a record that is a welcome return that was worth the wait.

Eyes Set To Kill’s new self-titled full-length studio album is a work that proves over the course of its 13-song, 41-minute run time to be a work that was worth the nearly five-year wait. That is because it shows stylistic and conceptual changes in the band’s content from its previous efforts; changes that are welcome by and large. That is exhibited in the songs noted here and those not directly discussed. Considering those changes, the album in whole proves to be an album that while maybe not the band’s best, is still a strong return for the band, and in turn one that was worth the wait. It is available now in stores and online. More information on ESTK is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/eyessettokill

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.

Century Media Announces Release Date, Specs For Nevermore Box Set, Re-Issues

 

Courtesy: Century Media Records

This Friday, March 9, is going to be a big day for fans of Nevermore.

Century Media Records on Friday will release a new Nevermore retrospective box set NevermoreThe Complete Collection.  The 12-disc box set will include all of the band’s full-length studio recordings, its Year of the Voyager live recording and a disc of rarities.

Only 2,000 copies of the box set will be available.  Each box set will come complete with numbered collector’s plate, 80-page booklet with lyrics, liner notes, and pictures as well as poster flag featuring the band’s lineup from its 2005 album This Godless Endeavor.  Nevermore guitarist and drummer Jeff Loomis and Van Williams started working on this new project in 2017.  Williams created the box set’s art.

The box set’s full track listing is noted below.

NEVERMORE “The Complete Collection” Track Listing 
Disc 1Nevermore (1995)
1. What Tomorrow Knows
2. C.B.F.
3. The Sanity Assassin
4. Garden Of Gray
5. Sea Of Possibilities
6. The Hurting Words
7. Timothy Leary
8. Godmoney
– Bonus tracks –
9. The System’s Failing
10. The Dreaming Mind (Demo 1992)
11. World Unborn (Demo 1992)
12. Chances Three (Demo 1992)
13. Utopia (Demo 1992)

Disc 2In Memory (1996)
1. Optimist Or Pessimist
2. Matricide
3. In Memory
4. Silent Hedges/Double Dare (Bauhaus cover)
5. The Sorrowed Man
– Bonus tracks –
6. The Tiananmen Man (Demo 1996)
7. The Seven Tongues of God (Demo 1996)
8. Passenger (Demo 1996)
9. This Sacrament (Demo 1996)
10. 42147 (Instrumental Demo 1996)

Disc 3The Politics Of Ecstasy (1996)
1. The Seven Tongues Of God
2. This Sacrament
3. Next In Line
4. Passenger
5. The Politics Of Ecstasy
6. Lost
7. The Tiananmen Man
8. Precognition
9. 42147
10. The Learning

Disc 4Dreaming Neon Black (1999)
1. Ophidian
2. Beyond Within
3. The Death of Passion
4. I Am the Dog
5. Dreaming Neon Black
6. Deconstruction
7. The Fault of the Flesh
8. The Lotus Eaters
9. Poison Godmachine
10. All Play Dead
11. Cenotaph
12. No More Will
13. Forever

Disc 5Dead Heart In A Dead World (2000)
1. Narcosynthesis
2. We Disintegrate
3. Inside Four Walls
4. Evolution 169
5. The River Dragon Has Come
6. The Heart Collector
7. Engines Of Hate
8. The Sound Of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
9. Insignificant
10. Believe In Nothing
11. Dead Heart In A Dead World

Disc 6Enemies Of Reality – Original Mix (2003)
1. Enemies Of Reality
2. Ambivalent
3. Never Purify
4. Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday
5. I, Voyager
6. Create The Infinite
7. Who Decides
8. Noumenon
9. Seed Awakening

Disc 7Enemies Of Reality – Remix & Remastered (2005)
1. Enemies Of Reality
2. Ambivalent
3. Never Purify
4. Tomorrow Turned Into Yesterday
5. I, Voyager
6. Create The Infinite
7. Who Decides
8. Noumenon
9. Seed Awakening

Disc 8This Godless Endeavor (2005)
1. Born
2. Final Product
3. My Acid Words
4. Bittersweet Feast
5. Sentient 6
6. Medicated Nation
7. The Holocaust Of Thought
8. Sell My Heart For Stones
9. The Psalm Of Lydia
10. A Future Uncertain
11. This Godless Endeavor

Disc 9The Year Of The Voyager (2008) live album – CD1
1. Final Product
2. My Acid Words
3. What Tomorrow Knows/Garden Of Gray
4. Next In Line
5. Enemies Of Reality
6. I, Voyager
7. The Politics Of Ecstasy
8. The River Dragon Has Come
9. I Am The Dog
10. Dreaming Neon Black

Disc 10The Year Of The Voyager (2008) live album – CD2
1. Matricide
2. Dead Heart In A Dead World
3. Inside Four Walls
4. The Learning
5. Sentient 6
6. Narcosynthesis
7. The Heart Collector
8. Born
9. This Godless Endeavor

Disc 11The Obsidian Conspiracy (2010)
1. The Termination Proclamation
2. Your Poison Throne
3. Moonrise (Through Mirrors of Death)
4. And The Maiden Spoke
5. Emptiness Unobstructed
6. The Blue Marble and the New Soul
7. Without Morals
8. The Day You Built the Wall
9. She Comes in Colors
10. The Obsidian Conspiracy

Disc 12Rarities & Demos
1. Temptation (The Tea Party cover)
2. The Purist’s Drug
3. Crystal Ship (The Doors cover)
Recorded during the “The Obsidian Conspiracy” sessions
4. All The Cowards Hide
Recorded during the “Dreaming Neon Black” sessions
5. Chances Three
Recorded during the “Dead Heart In A Dead World” sessions
6. Love Bites (Judas Priest cover)
Recorded during the “The Politics Of Ecstasy” sessions
7. Termination Proclamation (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
8. Your Poison Throne (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
9. Emptiness Unobstructed (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
10. The Obsidian Conspiracy (Live in London 2010) – previously unreleased
Recorded on May 18th, 2010 at the O2 Academy in London, UK
11. Dead Heart In A Dead World (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
12. We Disintegrate (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
13. Insignificant (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
14. Engines Of Hate (Instrumental Demo 2000) – previously unreleased
15. Acoustic Instrumental (Demo 2000) – previously unreleased

An unboxing video is streaming here now.  EU fans can order the box set online here.

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Along with the upcoming release of its new box set, Century Media is also planning to re-issue two of Nevermore’s classic albums — Enemies of Reality and This Godless Endeavor this spring and summer.  Enemies of Reality is scheduled to be re-issued for the first time ever May 11 on separate black and limited-edition colored gatefold 2LP+CD combo pack.  It will come with a poster.

 

 

This Godless Endeavor is scheduled to be re-issued June 15, and will also be available on separate black and limited-edition colored gatefold 2LP+CD combo pack complete with poster.

 

 

 

 

 

More information on these upcoming releases is available online along with all of the latest Nevermore news at http://www.facebook.com/nevermorefans.  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.

 

Sanctuary Joins Kill Ritual For Iced Earth’s Latest Tour

Courtesy: Century Media Records

Veteran metal outfit Sanctuary hit the road this week for a new string of live dates with label mates Iced Earth, and with the tour’s launch, the band also announced another new addition to its lineup.

The band has brought Joey Concepcion (Armageddon, The Absence) to handle guitar duties for the tour.  Most recently, the band tapped vocalist Joseph Michael (Witherfall) to take the place of Warrel Dane (Nevermore, Sanctuary), who sadly died from a heart attack late last December in Sao Paulo, Brazil while recording his then most recent solo album.

Concepcion said in an interview ahead of the tour’s launch, that he was looking forward to joining Sanctuary for its new tour.

“I’m very stoked to be playing with Sanctuary on their upcoming tour,” Concepcion said.  “I’ve been a fan since I was in high school, listening to ‘Into The Mirror Black.’  I’m looking forward to playing these songs live and honoring the legacy of Warrel Dane.”

The current schedule for Sanctuary’s tour with Iced Earth is noted below.

A full list of dates can be found as follows:
2/25 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Ballroom #
2/26 Minneapolis, MN – Music Hall #
2/27 Omaha, NE – Sokol Underground #
2/28 Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall #
3/2 Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room #
3/3 Calgary, AB – Marquee Beer Market & Stage #
3/4 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater #
3/5 Seattle, WA – El Corazon #
3/7 Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades #
3/8 Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater #
3/9 San Diego, CA – House of Blues #
3/10 Anaheim, CA – Parish @ House of Blues #
3/11 Phoenix, AZ – The Pressroom #
3/13 San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theatre #
3/14 Dallas, TX – House of Blues #
3/15 Houston, TX – House of Blues #
3/16 New Orleans, LA – Parish @ House of Blues #
3/17 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade #
3/18 Charlotte, NC – Underground #
3/19 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage #
3/21 Wilmington, DE – The Queen #
3/22 New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre #
3/23 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall #
3/24 Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell #
3/25 Montreal, QC – Corona Theater #
3/26 Toronto, ON – Phoenix Theater #
3/27 Cleveland, OH – Cambridge Room @ House of Blues #
3/28 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall #
3/29 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge #
# with Iced Earth & Kill Ritual

Tickets are available online here.

More information on Sanctuary’s new tour schedule is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://www.enterthesanctuary.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/sanctuarymetal

 

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.

Iced Earth Unveils ‘Black Flag’ Video

Iced Earth has hit the high seas…sort of…for its latest video.

The band unveiled this week, the video for its latest single, ‘Black Flag,’ which is taken from its latest full-length studio recording Incorruptible. The video places the band in the middle of a high seas battle between English forces and pirates complete with swords and guns. Viewer discretion is advised as some of the violence is explicit, including the video’s final scene, which ironically takes a page from the hit 1995 blockbuster movie Se7en.

Courtesy: Century Media/Century Media Records

While some of the video’s scenes were clearly shot on sound stages, the high seas battles were set against a CG backdrop. Audiences will soon get to hear ‘Black Flag’ and other songs from the band’s latest release live when the band launches the next leg of its tour in support of the album. That leg is currently set to launch Jan. 9 in Saarbrucken, Germany and run through March 29 in Chicago, Illinois.

The band’s current tour schedule is noted below.

                                                       ICED EARTH Live:

1/9   Saarbrucken, DE – Garage &
1/10 Berlin, DE – Festsaal &
1/11 Hannover, DE – Capitol &
1/12 Geiselwind, DE – Musichall &
1/13 Leipzig, DE – Hause Auesee &
1/14 Osnabruck, DE – Hyde Park &
1/16 Hamburg, DE – Markthalle &
1/17 Wiesbaden, DE – Schlachthof &
1/18 Bochum, DE – Zeche &
1/19 Regendsburg, DE – Airport Obertraubling &
1/20 Memmingen, DE – Kaminwerk &
1/21 Pratteln, CH – Z 7 &
1/23 Thessaloniki, GR – Principal Club &
1/24  Athens, GR – Fuzz Club &

2/22 Indianapolis, IN – Deluxe  #

2/23 CIncinnati, OH – Bogarts #
2/24 Louisville, KY – Mercury Ballroom #
2/25 Milwaukee, WI – Turner Ballroom #
2/26 Minneapolis, MN – Music Hall #
2/27 Omaha, NE – Sokol Underground #
2/28 Denver, CO – Summit Music Hall #
3/2 Edmonton, AB – Starlite Room #
3/3 Calgary, AB – Marquee Beer Market & Stage #
3/4 Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater #
3/5 Seattle, WA – El Corazon #
3/7 Sacramento, CA – Ace of Spades #
3/8 Los Angeles, CA – Belasco Theater #
3/9 San Diego, CA – House of Blues #
3/10 Anaheim, CA – Parish @ House of Blues #
3/11 Phoenix, AZ – The Pressroom #
3/13 San Antonio, TX – Aztec Theatre #
3/14 Dallas, TX – House of Blues #
3/15 Houston, TX – House of Blues #
3/16 New Orleans, LA – Parish @ House of Blues #
3/17 Atlanta, GA – The Masquerade #
3/18 Charlotte, NC – Underground #
3/19 Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage #
3/21 Wilmington, DE – The Queen #
3/22 New York, NY – Gramercy Theatre #
3/23 Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall #
3/24 Quebec City, QC – Imperial Bell #
3/25 Montreal, QC – Corona Theater #
3/26 Toronto, ON – Phoenix Theater #
3/27 Cleveland, OH – Cambridge Room @ House of Blues #
3/28 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall #
3/29 Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge #
& with Freedom Call & Metaprism
# with Sanctuary & Kill Ritual

More information on Iced Earth’s upcoming live dates, its latest album and more is available online now at:

Website: http://www.icedearth.com

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

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.