AHTY’s New Album Will Leave Listeners “Screaming” For More

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

Bow down, metal nation.  All Hail The Yeti has returned.  And it has done so in grand fashion with its long-awaited sophomore album Screams From a Black Wilderness.  The thirteen-song record is a musical offering that proves to be a solid follow-up to the band’s self-titled 2012 debut from beginning to end.  That is thanks both to the song’s powerful musical arrangements and equally engaging campfire horror stories.  Both elements combine within the course of each song to make Screams From a Black Wilderness a record that every metal purist should hear at least once if not more now that it is available.  The album’s opener and lead single ‘Before The Flames’ is a good example of how that mix of music and lyrics makes this record such a solid return for All Hail The Yeti.  ‘Witch Is Dead,’ the album’s midway point, is another piece that exemplifies the power of this record’s musical and lyrical material.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more example of that power.  All three songs, when set against one another, paint a clear picture of the power of the album’s musical and lyrical content.  Together with the rest of the album’s offerings, all thirteen songs make this fifty-nine minute record a collection of songs that is one more of 2016’s top new hard rock and metal records.

Four years removed from the release of its self-titled debut album All Hail The Yeti has returned with a new offering that actually bests that record.  That is proven time and again throughout the course of the album’s thirteen songs and fifty-nine minute run time.  Its opener and lead single ‘Before The Flames’ is proof of that in itself.  This is thanks both to its musical arrangement and its lyrical content.  In regards to the song’s musical content it is a piece that any fan of Hellyeah, Dry Kill Logic, Motionless in White and other acts of that ilk.  The arrangement in question is a mid-tempo composition that is driven largely by its guitar line and drums.  Front man Connor Garritty conjures thoughts of Hellyeah/Mudvayne front man Chad Gray with his vocal delivery.  That adds even more punch to the song’s musical arrangement.  It’s just one part of what makes this song proof of the album’s overall strength.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to the song as its musical makeup.  Garritty noted in a recent interview that the album’s songs are lyrically based on well-known campfire horror stories.  And the story behind this song is horror, needless to say.  It centers on the story of an orphanage that caught fire and killed all of the children inside.  It would be interesting to discover the roots of the story.  Though, the story of Vermillion’s Gore Orphanage in Ohio seems to line up pretty well with this story.  One part of the story even has the spirits of the children running through the woods, allegedly still on fire, screaming “Help Me” much as Garritty screams “Help Us” Save Us/Fire and flame are surrounding us.”  The little girl telling her parents in a letter (that obviously never made it to them) of how the fire started makes the story even more painful to hear.  That is not to say that there is any truth to the Ohio legend.  But the two stories definitely do sound similar.  Regardless of whether or not a relationship exists between that story and the story behind this song, it can still be said that the combination of the song’s story and its musical arrangement makes this song one of the album’s best and just one example of what makes Screams From a Black Wilderness a solid sophomore effort from All Hail The Yeti and a record that was well worth the wait.

‘Before The Flames’ is a good example of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s long-awaited sophomore album Screams From a Black Wilderness a solid sophomore effort from the Los Angeles, CA-based band.  It shows just as much why the album was well worth the wait.  While it is a good example of both, it is not the only good example of each.  The album’s midpoint, ‘Witch Is Dead,’ is another example of what makes this record stand out.  In terms of its musical content the influences of Dry Kill Logic and Hellyeah are clear and present throughout.  That is especially the case in the song’s chorus in which Garritty and company chant, “Hey, hey the witch is dead/Which old witch/The wicked witch/Hey, hey the wicked witch is dead/Wake up/Your blood runs red/As it drips off of your head/Wake up/The f****** b**** is dead” against the song’s pounding drums and guitars.  The chorus isn’t the only place in which those influences show themselves.  They are just as evident throughout the song’s verses, too.  Speaking of the song’s verses their content sounds pretty violent to say the least.  However one must keep in mind here that ‘Witch Is Dead’, like the album’s other songs, is based on a classic campfire horror story.  Considering this one can only wonder which story was the influence behind the song.  That is because in today’s era it sadly sounds like way too many real life murder stories.  Garrity sings here of a man who has perhaps murdered a woman.  That is inferred as he screams, “It seems like lately there’s no more you and I/Will not take this anymore/I come to judge you f****** w****/I bet you die alone/There is no chance in this life you’re making/All alone/So stop breathing/You sucked up enough.”  That’s just the song’s lead verse, too.  Things don’t’ lighten up any in the song’s second verse.  Garritty’s character screams here, “And now you’re mine/Your hands are tied and you’re squealin’ like a swine/It makes me smile/When I realize that I/Have you where I want you/I always knew it would end like this.”  It gets even harsher in the song’s closing verse.  That verse will be left for audiences to discover for themselves.  But it goes without saying that whichever classic campfire story is the basis for this song, it definitely is a scary one.  And that fear factor, when set against the song’s musical content, makes the song in whole a work that is just as nightmare-inducing as it is entertaining (thanks to its musical content).  As crazy as it might seem, the mix of that fear factor and entertainment factor shows why the song in whole is another good example of what makes Screams From a Black Wilderness such a solid and welcome new return from All Hail The Yeti.  It still is not the album’s only other example, either.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more example of what makes this record such a solid and welcome return for the band.

‘Before The Flames’ and ‘Witch Is Dead’ are both key examples of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s new album a solid and welcome return for the band.  They are just a couple of examples of what makes it so solid and welcome.  ‘Let The Night Roar’ is one more of the album’s strong points.  The song’s musical arrangement sets its foundation.  Its musical arrangement boasts a familiar heavy, chugging sound that is more akin to the likes of Crowbar, Down, and others of that ilk.  In regards to its lyrical content it is obvious right from the song’s opening verse that the song is centered on the Jonestown Massacre.  That is because Garritty screams right in the opening lines, “They were told to line up/And drink the glass of Flavor-Aid…would send them to an early grave.”  He even makes light of Jones having a hurried, agitated sense about him when he told his followers to drink the juice and commit suicide, as soldiers were coming.”  This depiction is spot on according to the story of what happened at Jonestown.  What’s really scary here is that the band even gives voice to Jones’ followers as they tell Jones that they drink to make him happy.  The way in which Garritty and company sing those lines makes the story so sad.  That is because of the knowledge that they had been completely brainwashed by that madman.  It also incorporates what can only be assumed to be audio of Jones talking to his followers in the course of the song in order to heighten the song’s impact.  It does just that, too.  That heightened impact, when set against the song’s heavy, chugging musical arrangement, once again shows why this composition is one of the album’s strongest points.  When set alongside the likes of ‘Witch Is Dead’ and ‘Before The Flames’ all three songs join together to paint a very scary picture in the best way possible.  They paint a picture of an album that will entertain listeners once more just as much as it will scare them with each of its songs’ stories.  This applies just as much with the album’s remaining songs not noted here.  All things considered the musical and lyrical material that makes up the body of this record shows it in whole to be a record that is a solid, welcome return from All Hail The Yeti and also one of the best new hard rock and metal albums of the year.

All Hail The Yeti’s new album Screams From a Black Wilderness is a solid, welcome return from the Los Angeles, CA-based metal outfit.  It is also one of this year’s top new hard rock and metal records.  That is thanks to stories that real or imagined are the stuff of nightmares.  The musical foundation set by the song’s arrangements adds even more impact to the album.  This applies not only to the songs noted in this review but to every one of the album’s featured offerings.  All things considered Scenes From a Black Wilderness proves to be a solid, welcome return for All Hail The Yeti and one of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.  It is a record that will leave audiences and other bands bowing to the band as one of the metal community’s next big names.  It is available now and can be downloaded direct online via iTunes and Amazon.  More information on Screams From a Black Wilderness is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

 

 

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AHTY’s Debut Re-Issue Is A Welcome Re-Introduction For The Band

Courtesy:  Minus Head Records

Courtesy: Minus Head Records

A little more than three years ago, All Hail The Yeti rose from the wilds of Los Angeles and released its debut self-titled album. The album, released via AFM Records, boasted eleven tracks that completely defied any solid categorization. It is likely because of the inability of critics and audiences to classify the band into one specific sub-genre of the rock world or another that the band has remained just under the mainstream hard rock and metal radar since then. It is a sound that boasts influences from across the rock and metal world including but not limited to: Alice in Chains, Devildriver, Down, Crowbar, and a number of others. Now thanks to Minus Head Records, the band has gotten a new birth and the chance at achieving even more fame. That is because Minus Head Records re-issued All Hail The Yeti this past December. As an added bonus to the eleven songs featured in the original album, Minus Head Records has included three bonus demo tracks in the album’s new re-issue. The combination of those bonuses and the album’s original songs make All Hail The Yeti’s new re-issue an enjoyable re-introduction to the rock realm for the band and an equally solid recording for audiences while they wait for the band’s highly anticipated sophomore album due out this year also via Minus Head Records.

Minus Head Records’ new re-issue of All Hail The Yeti’s 2012 debut self-titled album is an enjoyable re-introduction for the band into the rock realm. It an equally solid recording for audiences to take in while they wait for the band’s highly anticipated sophomore album, which is due out this year via Minus Head Records. This is evident through the album’s mix of musical and lyrical content that cannot be classified into one of the rock realm’s subgenres or another. And that is obvious early on in the album’s run in the song ‘When The Sky Falls.’ In regards to its musical content, this song clearly exhibits influences from the previously noted rock and metal acts that have come before. They do so through the song’s heavy, crunching sludge metal sound. Even in that distinct sound, front man Connor Garrity’s spoken word verses and thundering vocals come together to make a vocal style that is unlike that of most metal front men past or present. The general effect of that standout delivery, when set against the song’s pummeling musical content, is a song that will have every head banging. The song’s musical content is a whole different story. The song’s lyrical content comes across as being from the mind of a rather disturbed individual. Garrity’s subject speaks here saying, “This day will forever change my life/I was lost deep inside my sorrow/Thinking this part of me was gone forever/So much of my heart given only to be taken/I built a shield/To protect what was left/And no one deserved what I have to give.” He goes on to say, “Then one evening/Was it summer or was it fall/Both seasons crashing like waves/Sea sick would not come on this day/No sea sick would not come on this day.” From here, Garrity’s subject goes on to tell the story of having met a woman and basically desiring her quite a bit. The thing is that the things that this subject says leads one to paint a picture of him as being of quite the criminal mind. That mindset is alluded to as Garrity writes, “I wanna take you/Take your soul/There will be no ransom note/Abduct this angel from heaven/Will that send me straight to hell/then burn my body down…I want your lips/And your kiss/I need your skin/And your touch/I crave your smell/And your taste/I will have your heart/And your f***.” It is definitely an interesting picture, needless to say. If it is indeed meant to be a bit shocking, then Garrity has accomplished his goal. Given, it’s not the only shock rock piece ever crafted (if indeed it is a shock rock piece so to speak). Sting’s ‘Every Breath You Take’ was sung from the vantage point of a stalker. But even with this in mind, it still is a piece that will get listeners’ attention. One could even argue that it takes ‘Every Breath You Take’ and take it to a whole new disturbing level. That and the song’s musical content make it a clear example of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s debut self-titled album stand out. It is just one example of what makes this record stand out, too. ‘After The Great Fire’ is another example of what makes All Hail The Yet’s debut self-titled album stand out in today’s metal community.

‘When The Sky Falls’ is a prime example of what makes All Hail The Yeti’s self-titled debut album stand out in today’s metal community. The song’s pummeling musical content set against its rather intriguing lyrical content makes it a song that in itself will definitely leave listeners thinking and talking. It isn’t the only piece that makes an impact in this record. ‘After The Great Fire’ is similar stylistically speaking to ‘When The Sky Falls.’ In terms of its lyrical content, though, it definitely stands out just as much. It is just as dark of a song in regards to its lyrical content as ‘When The Sky Falls’ just in a completely different manner. This song focuses on a fire that took a number of innocent lives. It hints at a fire at a hospital or some building that housed a medical structure. Garrity doesn’t directly note if the story presented in the song was in reference to an actual fire or structure. But its dark lyrical content will definitely make audiences take note. Garrity writes in this song, “Pure evil inside asbestos walls/This great fire raged one hundred feet tall/Taking forty children cradled in its flames/And two dozen women who were said to be blamed.” He goes on to write a rather vivid description of what happened, noting, “There was a surgical stench in the air/It reeked of flesh and burning hair/You hear the cries behind every door/With screams of pain and festered sores.” He notes in the song’s chorus something that comes across as being a supernatural reference, writing, “I hear the spirits come after the great fire/When the children call after the great fire/Inside the smoke they’re born after the great fire/When the children burn after the great fire.” It is a disturbing image. That goes without saying. And it is just as disturbing of a story, especially considering the song’s verses. Even as dark as it is lyrically, one cannot deny Garrity’s ability to really capture listeners’ attention with his writing. Once again, the song’s lyrical content not only stands on its own proverbial feet but it also paints a picture that makes envisioning the story rather easy, even if audiences don’t want to envision said picture. To that extent it proves in its own right what makes All Hail The Yeti’s debut self-titled album stand out in whole. It is not the last piece that serves that argument. ‘Ruby Ridge (Every Knee Shall Bow)’ is one more example of what makes this record stand out.

Both ‘When The Sky Falls’ and ‘After The Great Fire’ are key examples of what makes All hail The Yeti’s debut self-titled album stand out. Their heavy, pummeling musical content coupled with their equally vivid lyrical content make both songs compositions that while being somewhat similar to other metal songs, are just as unlike said offerings. They are just a couple of pieces featured in this record that make it stand out. ‘Ruby Ridge (Every Knee Shall Bow)’ comes later in the album’s run. It is one more example of what makes AHTY stand out. In terms of its musical content, the song is just as pummeling as the songs that come before it. This includes not just ‘When The Sky Falls’ and ‘After The Great Fire’ but each of the other songs not noted here. In regards to its lyrical content, it is wholly about the Ruby Ridge standoff of 1992, going all the way in-depth even noting that the whole thing stemmed from a land dispute between neighbors Randy Weaver and Terry Kinnison. There is also direct note of the outrage at the government agencies involved and the outcome of their actions. Garrity notes in the song that the agencies shut down the whole mountain on which the family lived (which for all intents and purposes is what happened) in order to conduct their operations. The whole thing opens with a taped quote from Randy Weaver recorded after his arrest in which he notes what he expected to happen. That and the story presented in the song make the song yet again a rather vivid story, and one that is true, too. The very fact that few if any other acts out there past or present have ever crafted songs about this infamous even makes the song stand out even more. And because of that it serves to make AHTY stand out in whole even more. Together with ‘When The Sky Falls,’ ‘After The Great Fire,’ and the rest of the album’s songs, the presentation in whole a record that is, once more, a welcome re-introduction for the band into the metal community and an equally solid offering for the metal community as it awaits the All Hail The Yeti’s highly anticipated sophomore album.

Minus Head Records’ re-issue of All Hail The Yeti’s debut self-titled album is a welcome re-introduction for the band into the metal community. It is an equally solid offering for the metal community as it awaits the band’s highly anticipated sophomore album, which is due out sometime this year via Minus Head Records. It is such a surprising recording thanks in large part to its musical content. It mixes elements of sludge metal, metalcore, and pure hard rock for a record that holds its own from beginning to end. The album’s lyrical content is just as important to note. While rather dark, the songs that were penned for the album are rather vivid in their presentations. They paint pictures that even as disturbing as they might be at times, are also quite easy to see. To that extent, the songs’ lyrical content proves to be just as important to this album as its musical content. The combination of both elements makes it an album that will keep listeners engaged from beginning to end. It also makes the album, again, a record that is both a welcome re-introduction for the band and a piece that will keep audiences’ ears as they await the band’s highly anticipated sophomore album later this year. AHTY can be pre-ordered online via the band’s official bandcamp page now at https://ahty.bandcamp.com/album/all-hail-the-yeti-re-issue. More information on All Hail The Yeti’s debut self-titled album is available now online along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: http://www.allhailtheyeti.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/allhailtheyeti

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Audiences Actually Saw Some Real Worthwhile Music Re-Issues In 2015

In the world of the music business there are few releases that are more ardently frowned upon than the annual crop of album re-issues. From one genre to the next every genre sees its own share of re-issues released each year totalling some years close to a hundred if not more. That is counting re-issues from every genre of the mainstream and independent music industry. The reason that re-issues are so oft frowned upon is that nine times out of ten they are little more than contractually obligated space fillers that acts churn out between new albums in order to appease their bosses at their respective record labels. The result is that few re-issues (regardless of genre) ever really offer any real value to audiences. BUt then there are some that actually do bear at least some value. In fact some are surprisingly well worth the listen and even the purchase. This year, Judas Priest’s classic album Defenders of the Faith has proven to be one of those re-issues that actually stands out. Fates Warning’s classic album A Pleasant Shade of Gray is another one of those worthwhile re-issues at least for rock audiences. The same can be said of Anthrax’s re-issue of Spreading the Disease. The rock realm isn’t the only one that saw some worthwhile new re-issues this year. The R&B industry saw a worthwhile re-issue from British R&B star Rainy Milo in her album This Thing of Ours. Even the World Music realm saw at least one worthwhile re-issue in the form of Flavia Coelho’s Mundo Meu. These are just some of the rare worthwhile re-issues to be released this year. There are others, too. And they are all here on the Phil’s Picks list of 2015’s Top New Re-issues. Once again, fifteen total albums have been noted with the top ten being the best and the bottom five still being enjoyable enough to deserve honorable mention. All things considered 2015 saw some rather interesting and enjoyable re-issues. And they are listed here. For your consideration, dear readers, are 2015’s Best New Music Re-Issues.

PHIL’S PICKS 2015 BEST NEW MUSIC RE-ISSUES

1. FATES WARNING — A PLEASANT SHADE OF GRAY

2. JUDAS PRIEST — DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH

3. ANTHRAX — SPREADING THE DISEASE

4. THE ROLLING STONES — STICKY FINGERS

5. KELAKOS — UNCORKED: RARE TRACKS FROM A 70S BAND

6. EUROPE — WAR OF KINGS

7. SAXON — HEAVY METAL THUNDER

8. SAXON — THE SAXON CHRONICLES

9. MEMPHIS MAY FIRE — UNCONDITIONAL

10. RAINY MILO — THIS THING OF OURS

11. FLAVIA COELO — MUNDO MEU

12. RED LINE CHEMISTRY — CHEMICAL HIGH AND A HAND GRENADE

13. FREEDOM CALL — 666 WEEKS BEYOND ETERNITY

14. NIRVANA — NIRVANA

15. CROWBAR — EQUILIBRIUM

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Confess’ New Single Presents An Intense And Intensely Positive Message

Courtesy:  Opposite Records

Courtesy: Opposite Records

Generally when one thinks of Iran, one’s thoughts instantly lean towards all of the latest major news headlines–the nation’s deal to curb its nuclear output, terrorism, etc. So it goes without saying that when a band rises from what is said to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world and takes a stand against all of the negativity surrounding its home nation, it is a band well worth hearing. Enter Confess. The Tehran, Iran-based band has just released its latest single ‘See You Other Side.’ And in hearing the song, It is a powerful new statement from the band.

According to its official Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ConfessBand, it takes its influences from the realms of metalcore, NWOAHM, and Thrash. Each of those influences is clear in the band’s new single, which can be heard online now via SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/confess1. Right from the opening bars of the nearly five-minute opus, the band launches into a full on assault that hints at the likes of Hatebreed, The Haunted, Overkill, and a number of others. That is especially thanks to the work of front man and founding member Nikan Khosravi. According to the band’s official Facebook page, Khosravi handles lead vocal duties as well as guitars and bass. If that is indeed him on guitars in this song, then he is to be highly applauded as his work instantly grabs listeners and refuses to let go. It throws back to the great thrash numbers of the late 80s that once made thrash such a great subgenre of the rock world. Khosravi’s vocals are just as intense, conjuring thoughts of the one and only Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Superjoint Ritual) and to a slightly lesser extent, Crowbar frontman Kirk Windstein among others. DJ/sampler/engineer Arash “Chemical” Ilkhani plays his own important role along with the band’s recording drummer Samir “Outsider” Malikoglou. While Ilkhani’s role is not as large in this song as Confess’ other work, it still is important in its own right regardless. All parts combined here, ‘See You Other Side’ proves in regards to its musical content to be a piece that any hardcore fan will appreciate. It shows that great hardcore and great rock in general can come from any part of the world; even the most war-torn corners of the world.

Having noted the impressive nature of ‘See You Other Side’s musical content, the next logical step is to examine the song’s lyrical content. Khosravi noted of the song’s lyrical content that it is meant to be a response to all of the negativity surrounding the communities of the Middle East. They are meant not to be negative but to serve as a starting point to give listeners hope amidst all of the bleakness surrounding them. That is made clear right from the song’s opening verse as Khosravi screams, “Destruction of underestimation/Hope and dreams are weapons of the war/Rejection of conclusion/Wash away your eyes from the tears.” That verse alone speaks volumes. It comes across as saying that amid all of the strife and suffering, hope and dreams can be used to fight all of that negativity. Rejection of conclusion/Wash away your eyes from the tears is just as clear. He comes across as telling listeners to not give in to the sense of hopelessness and desperation brought on by everything going on. The irony here is that while these lyrics may be in response largely to the situation in the Middle East, they could apply just as much to any other part of the world.

The opening verse of ‘See You Other Side’ offers a clear understanding of the message being conveyed by Confess in its latest single. While its lyrics paint a picture that is clear enough, the song’s closing verse makes that message even more obvious as Khosravi screams, “Hating me for being someone’s loved one?/You never know what it feels like when your duty’s done/The negative thirteen/Plus the positive thoughts/My tongue is a trigger/And my brain is a gun/You’d better run/That’s right.” The line in which Khosravi notes a person not knowing “what it feels like” when his or her “duty is done” seems to verbally attack the suicide bombers and their twisted mentalities. His continued thoughts concerning the power of positive thoughts both emotionally and mentally in the verse’s closing line presents a message that is just as optimistic for listeners. That is especially obvious as he writes in the song’s previous verse, “My scars are bleeding out too fast/They are deep/Deep as my last breath/My mind’s bruised/I’ll start first global war of wrath/We feel the same as you/Try to send it back at last.” One can only assume that these lines make reference to the brainwashing that so many younger people in the Middle East go through by those extremist groups. That being assumed, it can be inferred that these lines set against the more optimistic vibe of the song’s closing lines that Khosravi is telling his listeners that they don’t have to listen to that brainwashing; that there is hope out there and better things than what the extremists are trying to get them to do. It is a good final message for fans in this song. Together with the song’s intense musical content, the song’s collective lyrical content makes the song a work that proves that even from the worst situations, great things can rise. It is a message that he entire Middle East needs just as much as other nations of the world. Given the chance, it will spread and it will rise, making itself and the band in whole the push that the world needs to win the war on terror once and for all.

‘See You Other Side’ is a powerful new work from Iran’s Confess. The intensity of the song’s musical content will make any metal purist proud; especially those purists that are fans of the thrash and hardcore realms. The song’s lyrical content gives the song even more punch. Both elements assembled together, they make ‘See You Other Side’ a message that given the chance could inspire listeners both in the band’s home country and in countries around the world and in turn begin to help turn the tide in the war on terror just as much as entertain. Audiences can, again, hear ‘See You Other Side’ now online via SoundCloud at http://www.soundcloud.com/confess1. More information on the band’s new single is available online now along with all of the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/ConfessBand. 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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Lamb Of God Takes No Prisoners As It Storms This Year’s Hard Rock And Metal Field

Courtesy:  Epic Records

Courtesy: Epic Records

It’s official. Lamb of God is back. The veteran metal band, which was once tapped as part of the so-called New Wave of American Heavy Metal, released its latest full-length studio effort on July 24th. The album, the band’s seventh, is one that almost didn’t happen. That is because of front man Randy Blythe’s 2012 court case stemming from the death of one of the band’s fans in 2010 at one of the band’s live shows in Prague. Blythe faced the possibility of spending quite a bit of time behind bars as a result of the fan’s death as he was implicated in sad fan’s death. Thankfully that didn’t happen. And because it didn’t fans now have an album in VII: Sturm Und Drang that is both one of the band’s best albums to date and that is one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal albums. The record is anchored by the trademark musical and lyrical intensity that the band’s fans have come to know so well over the years as is evident in ‘#512’ and ‘Engage The Fear Machine.’ Though, for its familiar sound and feel, the band does throw a proverbial wrench in the works, branching out slightly in regards to its musical content in ‘Overlord.’ All three songs show in their own way that Lamb of God is indeed back. They are hardly the only songs that could be cited in making that argument. The standard edition features seven other songs that could just as easily be used for that argument. The deluxe extended edition no fewer than nine other tracks as fodder for that argument as it includes a pair of bonus recordings. All things considered, VII: Sturm Und Drang (storm and penetrated, roughly translated) proves both in its standard and deluxe editions to be an album that is, again, one of Lamb of God’s best recordings yet and one of this year’s best new hard rock and metal recordings.

Lamb of God’s latest full-length album VII: Sturm Und Drang is one of the band’s best recordings to date and one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. It is an especially welcome recording from one of the members of the so-called New Wave of American Heavy Metal considering that it almost didn’t happen. From beginning to end, fans will note the band’s trademark musical and lyrical intensity in every song including one of its highest moments, ‘#512.’ Considering the song’s lyrical content, one can’t help but think that it must be one of the two songs included in this record that were centered on the case in question. He writes in the song, “Six bars laid across the sky/Four empty walls to fill the time/One careless word, you lose your life/A grave new world awaits inside.” He goes on to write in the song’s chorus, “My hands are painted red/My future’s painted black/I can’t recognize myself/I’ve become someone else/My hands are painted red” The content contained in the song’s second and third verse strengthens the argument even more that this song is referencing the events of Blythe’s case. Both verses, when coupled with the intensity of the song’s musical content, illustrates the emotion that Blythe must have felt when he originally wrote this song. That is, again, if the song is indeed making reference to the case.

Regardless of whether or not #512 is indeed making reference to Randy Blythe’s case stemming from the death of one of LOG’s fans some five years ago, it is still one of the best moments of this already outstanding return for one of metal’s top acts. It is hardly the only positive that can be taken from the band’s new album. ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ is yet another positive from this outstanding work. Coming from a musical vantage point, ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ shows another familiar sound. The band’s technical expertise in this death metal style song. Drummer Chris Adler’s time keeping is without flaw. Mark Morton and Will Adler are just as tight together in the song’s dual-part approach to the songs. And the fire in Blythe’s voice as he screams will remind long-time fans just as much of the band’s previous works. Speaking in terms of the song’s lyrical content, the song hits just as hard as Blythe comments on the steady stream of fear, death, and destruction being fed to Americans from the media and other sources. He screams, “Here we go again/The world is coming to an end/Engage the fear machine and collect the dividends/That’s it, you filthy monkeys/Keep your eyes on the bright and shiny/Just for you/A brand new-and-improved catastrophe/Pure-bred Pavlov/Prime time apocalypse/Hit the panic button and reap the bloody benefits.” This is made even clearer as he screams in the song’s closing verse, “Stream the latest threat from the limelight economists/Fabricated peri from contagion to communists/Fear delivered to your door by racketeers and strategists/Another advertisement war sold by the media terrorists.” If there was any doubt before, then that doubt is completely eliminated here. The fear machine is the media. It is politicians. It is everybody in any sense of power that willingly drives people into submission through the use of fear. That reminder to not give in to the fear machine set alongside the song’s familiar powerhouse musical content makes even clearer why this song is one of the best of the band’s new album. While it is another of the album’s best moments, it is not the last of said moments. ‘Overlord’ is one of the album’s representative singles and justifiably so. It is yet another of the album’s most notable works.

‘#512’ and ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ are both key additions to Lamb of God’s new album. Both songs harken back to the band’s previous albums with their musical content. The songs’ lyrical content will impress just as much with their hard-hitting and thought-provoking lyrical content. While both songs show in their own way to be key additions to VII: Sturm Und Drang they are just a small collective glimpse into what makes this record such a welcome return for Lamb of God. The album’s latest single ‘Overlord’ is one more example of what makes this record a welcome return. It is perhaps the single most notable of the album’s songs because it is such a drastic departure for the band. The band’s signature speed and ferocity are both there. However, listeners are treated to more than just that familiar sound. The song starts out with a much slower hybrid Crowbar/Alice in Chains sort of sound that runs nearly three and a half minutes into the song’s six and a half-minute run time. Throughout that initial run, audiences actually get to hear for themselves that the band’s members can in fact do more than just play really fast and really loud. All five men show that they can play in a slow, controlled fashion just as much as they can fast and loud. Even Blythe’s vocals have a different sound in that run. It’s an interesting change of pace overall. It is just part of what makes this song such an interesting addition to the record, too. The song’s lyrical content, written by Blythe add even more interest. Blythe noted in an interview that lyrically speaking, the song is a commentary about how the world’s people have become completely self-obsessed and that the end result of that obsession can only be bad. He notes of the song that, “I wrote the song about the dangers of self-obsession in our distressingly myopic and increasingly entitled “me-now/now-me” culture; just like the couple in the video, many people can’t seem to look past their own relatively small problems to see the bigger picture: the world is in serious trouble. Having a bad day at work, or a fight with your significant other, or getting a crappy haircut or table service does not in any way shape or form constitute an emergency. Sometimes things just don’t work out the way we want them to deal with it. People who only see their own problems eventually wind up alone because no one wants to hear their crap anymore- we all know someone like that, always whining and complaining about some inconsequential setback as if it were the apocalypse. This song is for those people.” That statement is made clear as he screams, “A new time of declaration of distress/Strife, misery, and the pursuit of unhappiness/Endless complaining/No accountability/No reek of privilege and weightless tragedy.” It is made even clearer as he screams later in the song, “All the world’s a stage/But you are the only player/A black hole in the center of the universe/A dark cloud of despair/Caught in an endless rut/A Crisis without solution/Someone should stitch your mouth shut/And solve your f***ing problem.” This is a rather sharp indictment of those people. But again, everybody knows someone like the individual(s) noted here. That being the case, the fire in these words along with Blythe’s delivery style and the musical approach of his band mates combine to make ‘Overlord’ one of the album’s strongest songs if not the single strongest songs. Audiences can check out the song for themselves now along with its companion video via YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNRsvFsY9qk. Together with the likes of ‘#512’ and ‘Engage The Fear Machine’ all three songs show together clearly why VII: Sturm Und Drang is a welcome return for Lamb of God. Those songs combined with the remaining tracks not noted here result in an album that is justifiably one of the best of this year’s hard rock and metal crop.

VII: Sturm Und Drang shows from beginning to end to be a welcome return for Lamb of God. Audiences will agree that regardless of whether they pick up the deluxe twelve-track edition or the standard ten-track record, it proves to be one of the best of this year’s crop of new hard rock and metal albums. This is thanks both to the musical talent displayed time and again throughout the body of the record and the commentary contained within each of the album’s songs. Whether for one of the tracks noted here or for any of the many others that could just as easily be noted, fans will agree that this applies in every one of the album’s songs. VII: Sturm Und Drang is available now in stores and online. The band is currently touring in support of the new record. It will be in Boston, MA tomorrow, August 4th and then in Holmdel, New Jersey on Wednesday. The band’s current tour schedule is listed below.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR:

LAMB OF GOD W/ Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine & Motionless In White

8/4 – Boston, MA @ XFINITY Center

8/5 – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

8/6 – Pittsburgh, PA @ First Niagara Pavilion

8/8 – Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre

8/9 – Montreal, QC @ Parc Jean-Drapeau – Heavy Montreal

8/11 – Washington, DC @ Jiffy Lube Live

8/12 – Virginia Beach, VA @ Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach

8/14 – Indianapolis, IN @ Klipsch Music Center

8/15 – Chicago, IL @ First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre

8/16 – St. Louis, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

8/19 – Denver, CO @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

8/21 – Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre

8/22 – Garden City, ID @ Revolution Center – NO SLIPKNOT *New Show*

8/23 – Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheater

8/24 – Vancouver, BC @ Rogers Arena

8/26 – Concord, CA @ Concord Pavilion

8/28 – Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Resort Festival Grounds

8/29 – Phoenix, AZ @ AK-Chin Pavilion

8/30 – Albuquerque, NM @ Isleta Amphitheater

9/2 – Austin, TX @ Austin360 Amphitheater

9/4 – Houston, TX @ The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

9/5 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion

More information on Lamb of God’s tour is available online along with all of the latest updates on its new album and all of the latest news from the band at:

Website: http://www.lamb-of-god.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/lambofgod

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.

Fifteen Years Removed, Crowbar’s Equilibrium Still Hits As Hard As Ever

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

Fifteen years ago Crowbar released what has since gone on to be one of the band’s most pivotal albums when it released Equilibrium. The album, which was released originally via Spitfire Records, was officially re-issued late las tmonth via Entertainment One in all of it’s heavy glory. For anyone that is perhaps unfamiliar to Crowbar’s body of work, Equilibrium proves to be a good starting point with its heavy southern sludge/doomcore sound and thought provoking lyrics. It does so right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and again in the equally pummeling ‘Command of Myself.’ These two tracks are but a couple examples of why Equilibrium remains such an important part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The more punk oriented sound of ‘Uncovering’ and its associated lyrical content is one more example of why audiences new and old alike will enjoy this record should either one not already own it. By themselves, each of the songs noted here show three different reasons that Equilibrium remains one of Crowbar’s most pivotal albums to date. Collectively and alongside the albums other seven songs, the whole of Equilibrium proves to be just as enjoyable for Crowbar’s fans today as it was fifteen years ago in its original release.

Crowbar’s 2000 full length release Equilibrium is one of the most important albums that the band has released to date among its now ten total albums. The main reason for this is the way in which the album mixes together the sound of its older albums with the occasional more punk vibes. Those punk vibes were present in the band’s previous albums. But even in those albums they were not so evident. They are much clearer here. And the band’s heavier side seems even heavier here, too. That heavier side grabs listeners right off the top in the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ Listening to this song, one coul almost make a comparison to legendary thrash metal band Pantera thanks to the work of guitarist Sammy Pierre Duet, drummer Sid Montz and then bassist Todd Strange. Front man Kirk Windstein’s vocal delivery remains as much of a powerhouse as ever as he screams, “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learned to take my time/You may not understand/The things that burn my mind/Before I’m gone/Conquer it all/Hope still not gone/Conquer it.” Windstein’s powerhouse delivery partner with the song’s defiant yet hopeful lyrics to paint a vivid picturefor listeners. Add in the song’s title and listeners get the image of someone that has faced great odds but refuses to give up no matter what. The line “Beneath the ruins of man/I’ve learne to take my time” could easily be interpreted as Windstein saying he stands atop all that mankind has made miserable, or simply all that man has in fact ruine or destroyed rather than letting himself become part of those ruins. It is really a positive message despite its forceful delivery. The forceful delivery actually adds to the song’s “oomph” for lack of better wording. The delivery of the lyrics presents a feeling of determination. And that sense of determination coupled with the song’s powerhouse music makes the song in whole that much more powerful and that much wiser a way to open this record.

‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ proves, in considering Equilibrium’s body in whole, to be the right choice for this album’s opener. That is because of the song’s pummeling southern sludge/doom sound and its equally powerful yet positive lyrics. ‘Command of Myself’ presents much the same mix of heaviness and heavy yet positive lyrics. While it has that same heaviness as the album’s opener, audiences will especially appreciate that it still boasts a sound different from that of ‘I Feel The Burning Sun.’ The band’s trademark southern sludge metal sound takes on a new life here. Its slower pace matches its lyrics, too as Windstein sings, “I’ve been pushing so hard/I’ve been pushing so many years/Still that fire will always burn/Count on me until I die.” Windstein continues on in the same positive direction with the rest of the song’s lyrical content. The song’s closing line sees Windstein screaming, “To myself I’m always true/My reflection I see with pride.” The positive message presented in these words are made even more impactful when set against the song’s slower, yet still pounding musical side. When both elements are set against the rest of Equilibrium’s songs, they show even more why ‘Command of Myself’ is such an important addition to this record. In turn the song, when partnered with the album’s opener, shows even more the importance of Equilibrium as part of Crowbar’s body of work in whole. The songs together are fleeting moments of light among some very emotionally deep opuses. They show that even in the face of so many emotionally difficult situations, it is possible to be optimistic. Speaking of those emotionally difficult situations, one of the most interesting of the most interesting of those emotionally difficult scenarios presented across Equilibrium is the punk-influenced ‘Uncovering.’

‘Uncovering’ is one of the most intriguing of the album’s deeply emotional moments. It stands out among Equilibrium’s other deeply emotional songs because much like the album’s opener, it presents the subject overcoming a very tough emotional situation. As Windstein writes here, “Left me all alone/Pushed me until I explode/I’ve got to find a way/Thought I could count on you/My faith will pull me through again.” The overall message that is presente here is positive. Windstein is saying there has to be a way, and reminds himself that he will get through it. He goes on to write, “Feel myself burning inside/Finally realized no more compromise/Now I can break away.” He is saying again that he is not going to let himself be held down. The song’s heavy, punk-influenced sound set alongside such determined lyrics, makes it yet another key example of what makes Equilibrium a record that any Crowbar fan should have in their collection.

‘Uncovering’ proves in its own way why Crowbar’s newly re-issued album Equilibrium is one that any Crowbar fan should add to their library if they don’t already have this record in their collection. It’s only one of the songs that make this argument, too. Both the album’s opener ‘I Feel The Burning Sun’ and ‘Command of Myself’ add to that argument, too. The same could be said of the album’s other tracks not noted here. All things considered, the whole of Equilibrium proves in its new re-issue that fifteen years after its original release, it is an album that any of this stalwart band’s fans will appreciate whether they are fans new or old. Equilibrium is available now in stores and online. Crowbar will hit the road beginning next month in support of Equilibrium alongside Battlecross and Lord Dying. The tour kicks off May 28th in Shreveport, LA. The band’s full tour schedule is available online along with the latest news from the band at http://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic. 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.

Crowbar To Hit The Road Next Month For “Summer Of Doom Tour”

Courtesy:  Entertainment 1

Courtesy: Entertainment 1

Crowbar will hit the road again this summer.

Officials with Entertainment 1 and the members of Crowbar announced today that the band will hit the road next month for the “Summer Of Doom Tour.” The late spring/summer tour is in support of Crowbar’s newly re-issued 2000 album Equilibrium. The 33-date tour kicks off on Thursday, May 28th in Shreveport, Louisiana and comes full circle, ending Friday, July 3rd in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The band will spend the first half of June making its way through the southwest and the west coast before making its way into western Canada. The band kicks off the second half of June by heading back across the border into the midwest and up into eastern Canada before making its way to the northeast to round out the month. To round out its tour, Crowbar will head into Columbia, South Carolina on Wednesday, July 1st, Atlanta, Georgia the next day and Baton Rouge on the last day of the tour. The complete “Summer of Doom Tour” schedule is listed below:

Summer Of Doom Tour 2015

5/28/2015 – Shreveport, LA – Riverside Warehouse

5/29/2015 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey

5/30/2015 – Austin, TX – Dirty Dog

5/31/2015 – Houston, TX – Scout Bar

6/2/2015 – Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

6/3/2015 – Tempe, AZ – Club Red

6/4/2015 – San Diego, CA – Til Two

6/5/2015 – Long Beach, CA – DiPiazzas

6/6/2015 – Los Angeles, CA – Whisky A Go Go

6/8/2015 – Portland, OR – Hawthorne Theater

6/9/2015 – Seattle, WA – El Corazon

6/10/2015 – Vancouver, BC – Rickshaw Theater

6/12/2015 – Calgary, AB – Republik

6/13/2015 – Edmonton, AB – Starlite

6/14/2015 – Saskatoon, SK – Obrians

6/16/2015 – Winnipeg, MB – The Zoo

6/17/2015 – Minneapolis, MN – Amsterdam

6/18/2015 – Cudahy, WI – The Metal Grill

6/19/2015 – Detroit, MI – Shelter

6/20/2015 – Chicago, IL – Reggie’s

6/21/2015 – Columbus, OH – Alrosa Villa

6/22/2015 – Cleveland, OH – Agora Ballroom

6/23/2015 – Toronto, ON – Mod Club

6/24/2015 – Ottawa, ON – Mavericks

6/25/2015 – Montreal, QC – La Sala Rossa

6/26/2015 – Worcester, MA – Palladium

6/27/2015 – Albany, NY – Trickshot Billiards

6/28/2015 – Philadelphia, PA – Voltage

6/29/2015 – Brooklyn, NY – Saint Vitus

6/30/2015 – Frederick, MD – Cafe 611

7/1/2015 – Columbia, SC – New Brookland Tavern

7/2/2015 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade

7/3/2015 – Baton Rouge, LA – Varsity Theater

Crowbar will be supported by Battlecross and Lord Dying for its upcoming tour. Battlecross is currently working on the follow-up to its 2013 album War of Will (Metal Blade) while it tours. Lord Dying is currently promoting its latest single, ‘Poisoned Altars,’ which is also the title track from its latest full-length studio effort. All of the latest updates on Crowbar’s upcoming tour are available online along with all of the latest news from the band via Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/crowbarmusic. 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.