Ovtlier Takes On The Establishment In New Single

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

Ovtlier premiered its latest single over the weekend.

The band premiered its new single, ‘Bulletproof‘ Friday. The song’s premiere came more than seven months after the band debuted the lyric video for its then latest single, ‘Who We Are.’ The band premiered the single’s official video three months prior to that.

The musical arrangement featured in ‘Bulletproof’ immediately lends itself to comparison to works from Dry Kill Logic. That is evidenced through the heavy, aggro-rock/metal style approach and sound to the song. The balance of the screams and clean vocals add to that comparison just as much. At the same time, there is a certain element to the song that also lends it to comparison to certain works from Mushroomhead.

According to a statement from front man Joey Arena, the song’s lyrical theme is a sociopolitical commentary about the current state of the world.

“We live in an age where everything has become politicized; from image to virus,” he said. “I have watched both bands and people label and segregate one another solely based on a difference of not character but opinion. We are force-fed so much false information by the media, although many are aware, we still have lost some humanity. I have grown impatient with the amount of ignorance and hypocrisy that spews from the puppets of this world. Anger would be an understatement. I look forward to the day people can look to grey area and realize there’s more to it all.”

Added Arenas, “‘Bulletproof’ is a call to my fellow man to remove the veils and look into the grey. These corrupt politicians are playing you. I don’t care what side you stand on or what bias feelings you hold to your “party”. I’m not left or right, up or down. I look at character and could care less about the empty promises and b******* they are selling to your emotions only to gain a vote. I refuse to be a pawn in their game.”

Arenas concluded, “We will never divide our audience based on age, sex, identity or politics, for our goal is to bring love and light together. Our “leaders” don’t want unity for that becomes a threat to agenda. I’m fed up. I want the old model to fall so we can build within its stead. It’s time for change and that starts with us.”

Courtesy: O’Donnell Media Group

In other news, Ovtlier will serve as support for Gemini Syndrome’s upcoming headlining tour this summer. The tour, which runs more than a month, is scheduled to launch July 9 in Salt Lake City, UT and to run through Aug. 15 in Albuquerque, NM. It features performances in cities, such as Joliet, IL; Nashville, TN and Akron, OH.

The tour’s schedule is noted below. A Killer’s Confession, and Pushing Veronica will also serve as support for the tour. Additionally, Fozzy will join the tour for one date in place of Pushing Veronica. Eva Under Fire will take Ovtlier’s place on at least two dates.

Jul 09 | Salt Lake City, UT – Royal Bar
Jul 10 | Grand Junction, CO – Mesa Theatre
Jul 11 | Colorado Springs, CO – Sunshine Studios
Jul 13 | Lincoln, NE – Royal Grove
Jul 14 | Iowa City, IA – Wildwood Saloon †
Jul 16 | Grand Rapids, MI – Upheaval Festival ‡
Jul 17 | Cadott, WI – Rock Fest ‡
Jul 18 | Belividere, IL – Apollo Theatre
Jul 20 | Des Moines, IA – Leftys
Jul 21 | Joliet, IL – The Forge
Jul 23 | Westland, MI – Token Lounge
Jul 24 | Marietta, OH – Adelphia Music Hall
Jul 25 | Rochester, NY – Montage Music Hall
Jul 27 | Clifton, NJ – Dingbatz #
Jul 28 | Pittsburgh, PA – Crafthouse #
Jul 30 | Stroudsburg, PA – Sherman Theatre
Jul 31 | Harrisburg, PA – Stage On Herr
Aug 01 | Baltimore, MD – Baltimore Soundstage
Aug 03 | Ft Wayne, IN – Ft. Wayne Entertainment Center
Aug 05 | Columbus, OH – King Of Clubs
Aug 06 | Akron, OH – Empire Concert Club
Aug 07 | Louisville, KY – Diamond Ballroom
Aug 08 | Nashville, TN – Basement East
Aug 10 | Tusla, OK – The Shrine
Aug 11 | Oklahoma City, OK – 89th Street Collective
Aug 12 | Lawrence, KS – Bottleneck
Aug 14 | Denver, CO – Oriental Theater
Aug 15 | Albuquerque, NM – Launchpad

w/ Fozzy (No Pushing Veronica) †
Rock Fest + Upheaval Feativals (No Supporting Bands) ‡
w/ Eva Under Fire *direct support (No Ovtlier) #

More information on the band’s new single and tour dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/ovtlier

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/OvtlierBand

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Charlie Benante Announces New LP Release Date, Specs

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante will release his new album this spring.

Silver Linings is scheduled for release May 14 through Megaforce Records. While the record sees Benante as the primary figure in its presentation, he stressed during a recent interview, that the album is not a solo record.

“This isn’t a solo album,” Charlie said, “This is a record of my favorite songs done with some of my friends during a very dark time.  We found a shining light and this is the result of that light.  I was really happy that my musician friends came on board and helped make this record what it is.  I appreciate all of them, and they all did such a fantastic job.  Despite all of the darkness we’ve experienced this past year, there are ‘silver linings,’ that’s why I chose that title for the album.”

He added, the album’s creation came about through the advice of someone close to himself.

“Back in February of last year, with COVID and all the other B.S. that was going on, I was glued to the 24-hour news cycle on the TV and my phone, and I started to get really depressed,” he said.  My girlfriend said I needed to turn off the news and suggested I do something creative, whether it was art or drumming or writing new songs, and she was right.”

According to information provided about the 14-song record, it will feature an all-star cast of guest musicians and performers, such as guitarist John 5 (Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson), Alex Skolnick (Testament), and Corey Taylor (Slipknot).

Also featured on the new record are Run DMC member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Rob Caggiano (Volbeat), and Ra Diaz (Suicidal Tendencies). The group recorded the song “Run-DMC Medley,’ which is one the songs featured in the album. The group premiered the song’s quarantine video in June 2020.

The whole of Silver Linings‘ track listing is noted below:

* “City of Blinding Lights”/U2 – Frank Bello, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante

* “Chloe Dancer / Crown of Horns”/Mother Love Bone – Mark Menghi, Mark Osegueda, Charlie Benante

* “Teardrop”/Massive Attack – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Run DMC”/Run DMC – DMC, Rob Caggiano, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Rhiannon”/Fleetwood Mac – Mark Menghi, Jennifer Cella, Randy McStine, Charlie Benante

* “Yer So Bad”/Tom Petty – Carla Harvey, Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Transylvania”/Iron Maiden – Snake Sabo, Frank Bello, Jon Donias, Charlie Benante

* “Presto Vivace”/U.K. – Ra Diaz, Alex Skolnick, Jordan Rudess, Charlie Benante

* “Bad Guy”/Billie Eilish – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “Jimmy James”/The Beastie Boys – Ra Diaz, Charlie Benante

* “All The Way”/KISS – PJ Farley, Joe McGinness, John 5, Charlie Benante

* “Mr Speed”/KISS – Joe McGinness, PJ Farley, Charlie Benante

* “Public Image”/Public Image – Hank Von Hell, Dave Brownsound, Jason “Cone” McCaslin, Charlie Benante

* “Funny Vibe”/Living Color – Ra Diaz, Corey Glover, Henry Flury, Charlie Benante

More information on Charlie Benante’s new album is available along with all of his latest news at:

Website: https://charliebenante.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CharlieBenanteOfficial

Twitter: https://twitter.com/skisum

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to https://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Rig Time! Takes On Dry Kill Logic’s ‘Pain’

Independent hard rock band Rig Time! is paying tribute to Dry Kill Logic.

Rig Time! debuted its cover of DKL’s classic song ‘Pain‘ Sept. 17.  The cover stays largely true to its source material from beginning to end.  For those less familiar with Dry Kill Logic, the song’s musical arrangement will appeal to fans of bands, such as Nothingface and Machine Head.

Courtesy: TAG Publicity

Rig Time! drummer/vocalist Bryan W. Fleming talked about the act’s cover in a recent interview.

“Our cover of ‘Pain’ originated from being approached about contributing a nu metal cover song for an upcoming compilation,” he said. “We tossed around a few ideas and decided on Dry Kill Logic. When I think of bands from the early “Nu metal days”, DKL always comes to mind with the utmost admiration. They were a band that had that killer “nu” groove but always felt like a more of a hardcore & 90’s metalcore vibe. We’ve always been known for being groove oriented and very heavy, so this song fit well. We stuck to the original formula but still made it ours. A little more dirty, grimy and noisy. Since we’re all in a moment where touring isn’t an option, this was a fun way to stay active as we prepare for our next original release to come out.”

Rig Time!’s cover of ‘Pain’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Rig Time!’s cover of Dry Kill Logic’s ‘Pain’ is available along wih all of Rig Time!’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://rig-time.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/rigtimeband

 

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Dry Kill Logic Debuts New Single, ‘Don’t See Ghosts’

Courtesy: Psychodrama Records

Dry Kill Logic debuted its new single this week.

The band debuted its new single ‘Don’t See Ghosts‘ Thursday through Revolver Magazine.  The song is the band’s first new music since the release of its single ‘Vices‘ last year.

The video is a very simple presentation.  A man sits in a chair, wearing a suit and tie, but his head is covered by a bear head.  The camera zooms in slowly over the course of the song’s nearly five-minute run time.  As the camera zooms in, images of protests and civil unrest flash very quickly over the serenity of the main scene.  The contrast of the imagery is meant to illustrate the song’s lyrical content, which front man Cliff Rigano discussed with the Revolver magazine staff.

“We’ve always tried to write songs that come from a personal place, but frame them in a way that can be interpreted to mean something different and unique to each listener,” said Rigano. “Don’t See Ghosts” was recorded last year, right after we put out “Vices”, but we were unsure of when to release it. After looking at the lyrics recently, the song actually started to mean something different to us as well, and we realized that this was the right time to put it out.”

The song’s featured musical arrangement is everything that fans have come to expect from the band, what with its heavy melodic metal approach.  At the same time, there are moments in this song that lend themselves to comparisons to works from Hatebreed, too.  That combination of sounds and styles makes the song’s arrangement in whole its own powerful reason for audiences to hear this song.

‘Don’t See Ghosts’ was produced by Dry Kill Logic guitarist Jason Bozzi and mixed by Greg Thomas (Misery Signals, Shai Hulud).  The song was recorded at Intension Studios in Astoria, NY and at Silver Bullet Studios in Burlington, CT.

More singles are expected from Dry Kill Logic through its own label, Psychodrama Records in partnership with eOne Music.  ‘Don’t See Ghosts’ is available to stream and download here.

More information on Dry Kill Logic’s new single is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Website: http://drykilllogic.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/drykilllogic

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Junkowl’s Debut LP Is One Of This Year’s Most Unique New Hard Rock & Metal Albums

Courtesy: Asher Media Relations

Up-and-coming hard rock band Junkowl has made quite the name for itself since its formation in 2017.  Only two years after it got its start, the band won a competition earning itself a spot on the lineup for the 2019 Heavy Montreal Festival.  The annual two-day festival is Canada’s most renowned heavy music events.  This year, it was set to feature performances from the likes of Sepultura, Rammstein, and Deftones, just to name a few of the big names on the bill.  Thanks to COVID-19 the festival was postponed until next summer.  In past years, the festival has welcomed other major name acts, such as Slipknot, Overkill, and Rob Zombie.  Getting back on the subject, that Junkowl has been invited to perform at the renowned festival speaks volumes about its own reputation and talent.  Late last month, the band set out to keep its name growing when it released its debut album Making Out With My Death.  The 10-song record is a strong debut for the band.  That is due in part to its musical arrangements, which will be addressed shortly.  The album’s lyrical content also plays into its presentation, and will be discussed a little later.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements and will also be discussed later.  When it is considered along with the album’s overall content, all three elements join to make the record a very powerful debut from Junkowl that hard rock and metal fans will agree is worth hearing at least once.

Junkow’s debut album Making Out With My Death is a powerful new offering from the independent hard rock band.  That is due in part to the record’s musical arrangements.  The album’s overall musical content exhibits a variety of influences throughout the course of its 34-minute run time.  Right from the album’s outset, audiences get a hint of a Tool influence in ‘Snakecharmer.’  Roughly a minute into the song, that influence gives way to something much heavier yet still very melodic in its own right in the vein of Dry Kill Logic, 36 Crazyfists, and All Hail The Yeti.  The fire in the song’s arrangement plays directly into the song’s lyrical arrangement, which is just as powerful in its own right and will be addressed a little later.  Front man Jesse Frechette’s screams work with each of his band mates – Dom Labrie (drums), Marco Larosa (guitar), and Samuel Matte (bass) – to make this arrangement a massively impacting first impression from the band and an equally impacting way to introduce audiences to the band.

The album’s sound changes distinctly in its second offering, ‘Quarantine Us All.’  This song’s arrangement is sort of a hybrid metal/punk approach that while it exhibits the noted influences in its own right, it also presents a stylistic approach that can be compared somewhat to Motorhead and various sludge metal bands.  That sounds like quite the odd combination of styles mixed into one, but the hybrid works surprisingly well here.  It will keep listeners engaged just as much as the album’s opener.  As the album makes its way into its third song, ‘Shake Me,’ it moves more into an aggro-rock style approach, showing once again, the variety of stylistic approaches taken in the album’s musical arrangements.  The sludge metal sound is even more prominent in the album’s fourth song, ‘Dead Hooker,’ while the Tool influence returns in the album’s midpoint, ‘Little Scum.’  Larosa’s guitar line and Labrie’s work behind the kit is reminiscent of the arrangement at the center of Tool’s song ‘Lateralus.’  Now it should be stressed that even with the similarity there, Junkowl’s arrangement is not entirely identical.  It holds its own identity.  So the band is to be commended for that.  What’s more, the Tool influence is only temporary once again in this case.  It eventually gives way to something much heavier roughly a minute into the song.  The duality of that approach, along with Frechette’s distinct vocal delivery style, makes this song just as unique as the rest of the album’s arrangements.  It’s just one more way in which the album’s musical content proves so important.

As the album enters its second half, the band opts for a more Depeche Mode-influenced work in ‘Crawling Up My Feet.’  What’s interesting here is that the manner in which the arrangement builds up conjures thoughts more of Marilyn Manson’s take on the song than Depeche Mode’s original composition.  The heaviness carries listeners on through the rest of the album from this point, letting up little if any, even in the album’s closer.  By the time the record ends, listeners will know they have experienced a unique overall hard rock presentation that will leave them wholly fulfilled even though the record’s run time comes in at just over half an hour.  It leaves listeners feeling like they have gotten the fullest offering from the band, at least musically speaking.  To that end, there is no doubt as to the importance of this album’s musical content.  The whole of the album’s musical content shows without doubt, its importance to the album’s overall presentation.  It is just one reason that hard rock and metal fans will want to hear this album at least once.  Its lyrical content plays its own part into its presentation, too.

The lyrical content that is featured throughout Making Out With My Death is just as heavy as its musical counterpart.  The album’s overall lyrical content is so heavy because it delves into some topics and possible topics that many acts (regardless of genre) are afraid to touch.  Case in point is the content featured in ‘Relapse.’  The song seemingly addresses someone trying to get over drug addiction, and does so in a very unafraid fashion.  This is inferred as Frechette screams in the song’s lead verse, I can’t come down/No, I can’t come down/I can’t come down/No, I can’t come down/*** damn, I’m finally free/Not too much left in me/Scrap of integrity/Too blurry, I can’t see/Breathe still, let go/Broken, I know/Think I might last/Hold tight, relapse/The bottle hits my lip/How easy I forget/Cocaine and cigarettes/Making out with my death.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “No, I can’t come down/Aching to break away/Oh, I am nothing but a stain/A lump of coal in your veins/I’ll only bring you pain/Breathe still, let go/Broken, I know/Think I might last Hold tight, relapse.”  The song’s chorus finds its subject screaming, almost painfully, “I can’t seem to come down.”  The pain that the subject is dealing with emotionally and physically is translated so well through this simple statement and its pairing with the song’s musical arrangement.  All thing considered here, no doubt is left as to the song’s lyrical topic.  What’s more the way in which the topic was approached adds to its strength.  It is just one way in which the album’s lyrical content proves so important to the record’s overall presentation.  The lyrical content (and its presentation) in the album’s opener, ‘ Snakecharmer’ is another key example of what makes the album’s lyrical content stand out.

‘Snakecharmer’ comes across as a song that addresses a situation involving domestic abuse and possibly that as a result of some mental disease that ends very badly.  The song opens with the subject stating, ‘Yeah/She’s sleeping in my bed/She knows every word that I’ve ever said/I breathe her in/She spits me out/Death echoes silent inside her mouth/Tell me this/Is your love worth bleeding, darling?/Or are you just another succubus?/Either way, I’m not sorry.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I swear I tried one thousand times to rip this demon from my mind/No matter how hard I scream/I still see her in my dreams/Tell me this, Is your love worth bleeding, darling?/Or are you just another succubus?/Either way, I’m not sorry/Kill, Fuck Blow your brains out/ Blow my brains out.”  As already noted, this story does not have a happy ending.  That mention of “I tried one thousand times to rip this demon from my mind” could allude to the subject dealing with the issue of fighting his own inner concerns, whether brought on by drugs or just mental instability.  That battle ultimately did not end well, as the song hints.  Again, this is a very difficult issue that while more acts are tackling, few are handling it in the fashion in which Junkowl did.  Keeping that in mind, it is another key point in addressing the album’s lyrical content, and not the last of the album’s most notable lyrical entries, too.  ‘Sickness Lives’ is another notable lyrical presentation to address.

‘Sickness Lives’ stands out lyrically because it, too, seems to take on the issue of addiction and dependency, too.  This is inferred as Frechette notes in the song’s lead verse, ““I’m sick of living dead in this prison/Wake up, fuck the system/Laughing alone in madness/Drinking away the sadness/Living dead in this prison/Wake up, fuck the system/Strung out on medication/What an abomination/I feel it growing inside/Petrified, paralyzed/It’s eating me alive.”  He continues in the song’s second verse, “I don’t want to be sober/Every day I’m growing colder/My heart’s become so heavy/Where is the end? Will someone tell me?/Screaming to block out the sound/This place is a fucking letdown/If I die before I wake, I pray with me this world I’ll take/I feel it growing inside Petrified, paralyzed/It’s eating me alive, down to the bone.”  Once again, here audiences are presented with what come across as a song that has to do with addiction.  The very mention of “Strung out on medication/What an abomination/I feel it growing inside” points to someone dealing with perhaps becoming addicted to certain medications, and the result thereof.  It is a powerful line that along with the rest of the song’s content, makes for its own very heavy statement that is sure to leave a lasting impact on listeners.  Keeping that in mind along with the other noted lyrical content and that lyrical content not noted (and the impact of each song), the whole leaves no doubt that this record’s lyrical content is just as powerful as its musical arrangements.  While the album’s overall content does a lot to make it appealing to audiences, it is just a portion of what makes the album worth hearing.  The record’s sequencing rounds out its most important elements.

The sequencing used in the presentation of Making Out With My Death is just as important as its content to examine in looking at the album in whole.  The record’s sequencing keeps its energy stable and solid from start to end.  It has already been pointed out that the album opens with a very foreboding, Tool-esque sound that quickly gives way to something completely different and fiery.  As the album progresses, that fire never burns out, either.  It smolders at some points, but wastes little time burning bright again, keeping the album’s intensity at its height throughout.  By the time the record ends, listeners will know they have experienced something that is one of the most unique hard rock and metal (and independent) albums of the year.

Junkowl’s debut album Making Out With My Death is a powerful first offering from the independent hard rock band.  Its musical arrangements join influences from a variety of bands that make the songs in themselves and from one to the next, powerful just from this aspect.  The record’s lyrical themes are just as heavy as its musical content, as noted.  Its sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation.  Each noted item is important in its own way.  All things considered, they make the album a work that bodes well for Junkowl’s future.  Making Out With My Death is available now.

More information on Junkowl’s new album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

 

Websitehttp://www.junkowlmtl.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/junkowlband

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Dry Kill Logic Debuts New Single

Courtesy: Adrenaline PR

Eat your hearts out, Tool.

You aren’t the only band to go 13 years without releasing new music.  Dry Kill Logic returned this week with its first new music in as many years.  The New York-based metal outfit debuted its new single ‘Vices’ on iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play and Spotify.

‘Vices’ is the title track from the band’s forthcoming fourth full-length studio recording.  The album’s official release date has not been announced.

While Vices will be the band’s fourth album under the DKL moniker, it is not the band’s first recording.  It released two EPs — ‘Cause Moshing Is Good Fun and Elemental Evil in 1997 and 1999 respectively — under the moniker of Hinge. Copyright issues with the name eventually led the band to change its name to Dry Kill Logic.

The band’s debut album under the DKL name, The Darker Side of Nonsense was released in 2001 through Roadrunner Records.  It was followed up with the release of The Dead and Dreaming in 2004 through its own label, Psychodrama Records and with Of Vengeance in Violence in 2006.  That record was also released through Psychodrama Records.

The EPs Rot and The Megellan Complex were released in 2002 and 2006 respectively under the DKL name.

DKL front man Cliff Rigano said in a recent interview that he was excited about the release of the band’s new single.

“After 13 years, we couldn’t be more excited to be releasing music again and ‘Vices’ is the perfect reintroduction,” he said.

More information on Dry Kill Logic’s new single and forthcoming album is available online at:

 

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DryKillLogic

 

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.

 

Corroded Will Leave Listeners Feeling Anything But Bitter On Its Latest LP

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Hard rock outfit Corroded released its latest full-length studio recording this week, and the album, Bitter, is another strong new offering from the veteran Swedish band.  Front man Jens Westlin explained the album’s title “comes from observing how the social climate is around the world right now…Everyone’s so dissatisfied and thinks that everyone else’s life is so much better than theirs, and if something goes wrong, it’s always someone else’s fault.  As a result of this, all power hungry leaders in this world thrive on the dissatisfaction of the people and gain power that way.”  He added that these views are what inspired the band’s new album both musically, and lyrically.  The band’s reaction to that situation is on full display early on in the form of the song ‘Cross,’ which will be discussed shortly.  ‘Scream,’ which comes later in the album’s run is another standout addition to Bitter, that shows quite well, the band’s response to everything going on.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Drown,’ which comes even later in the album’s run is another notable addition to the album’s overall statement about the world’s current social and political climate.  It will also be discussed later.  Each of the three songs noted here are key in their own way to the whole of Bitter.  When considered along with the other nine songs featured in the album not directly noted here, the end result is a powerful new offering from Corroded that will light a new fire within listeners and leave them feeling anything but bitter.

Corroded’s fifth full-length studio recording Bitter is another strong new offering from the Swedish hard rock outfit.  The new, 12-song record, which is the band’s second for Sweden-based Despotz Records, shows from start to finish, that the quartet can easily hold its own against its more well-known hard rock and metal counterparts.  This is proven early on in the form of ‘Cross.’  The song’s up-tempo, guitar-driven musical arrangement helps to support that statement.  The arrangement conjures thoughts of Five Finger Death Punch, Soil, Dry Kill Logic and other similar acts.  The fiery energy exuded through the arrangement, coupled with Westlin’s growling vocals does a commendable job of illustrating the anger and frustration that Westlin attempts to present in the song’s lyrical content.

That seeming mix of strong emotions is inferred as he sings, “Our mistakes…they have never ever been this clear/All the pain/And the misery/Every word that was said out of fear/Every thorn/In the side/The suffering we had to endure/We never stopped/It isn’t easy/There will never ever be a cure/Every breath that we take/Is a waste of the air we possess/All the s*** that we give….I won’t be nailed upon your cross/I will not take the pain for you/It’s time to own your mistakes/It’s time for you to fall.”  Westlin’s fire hardly dies in the song’s second verse as he sings of having to carry someone else’s agony and misery, and refusing to do so any longer before returning to the chorus’ powerful message pointing the finger back at the proverbial stone casters and finger pointers.  Guitarist Thomas Andersson, bassist Bjarne Elvsgard and drummer Per Solang are to be commended in their own right for their work throughout the song, and especially in its bridge as they work together to help illustrate that feeling of emotional strain that one goes through when one is blamed for something that happened to someone else.  Instead of being the fiery work that is exhibited through the rest of the song, it presents a certain vibe of someone trying to get over those feelings of self-guilt and realizing people cause their own problems in many cases.  It is a brief moment in the bigger picture of the song, but powerful in its own right.  When it considered along with Westlin’s unapologetic lyrical content and the rest of the song’s unflinching arrangement, the whole proves to be an unquestionably forceful response to that bitterness of which Westlin spoke, which led to much of the album’s creation.  It is just one of the album’s most standout entries.  ‘Scream,’ which comes later in the album’s run, is another notable addition to the album.

In regards to its musical arrangement, ‘Scream’ is a work that is certain to appeal to thrash metal purists out there.  Again, the similarities to Dry Kill Logic are front and center here.  At the same time, one can also argue influences from the likes of Overkill, Exodus, Anthrax and other similar acts, thanks again to the collective work of Andersson, Elvsgard and Solang.

The energy exuded through this thrash-style work does its own commendable job of illustrating the urgency in the song’s lyrics; an urgency that seems to center on the issue of self-determination and not letting the currently bitter state of the world bring one down.  This is inferred as Westlin sings with his band mates in the song’s chorus, “Scream/Until your lungs give out/Don’t roll over and die/Shout/Until everything is said/Don’t give up…”  This positive message is coupled with an equally positive vibe in the song’s verses.  Westlin sings in the song’s lead verse, “Inhale/Let everything around go down/Find a moment of peace/React/The perfect storm is here right now/You are the center of its eye.”  Westlin’s message is relatively clear in this verse, especially considering the song’s chorus.  He is saying that we create the storm that surrounds us, and the way to survive that storm is to find our inner peace, to jet let everything out, not hold it in.  he even comes right out in the song’s second verse and states, “Exhale/Let matters fall right into place/Find a calm inside yourself.”  He goes on to say, “you are the center of the mass.”  Yet again, here we have a relatively clear statement of how we are the source and solution to all of our problems.  This is a positive message, from which plenty of listeners can and hopefully will take some enlightenment.  When it is coupled with that previously discussed musical arrangement, the whole is a song that is therapeutic in the best way possible, and yet another wonderful response to the negativity that is polluting the world right now.  It is far from the last example of the album’s clear ability to respond to the world’s current climate.  ‘Drown’ is yet another example of how well the band has responded to everything going on around the globe.

‘Drown’ is the penultimate addition to Bitter.  Musically, this song is another interesting composition.  The verses are once again up-tempo, guitar-drive, adrenaline-fueled sections.  The choruses however, are far more melodic.  What is interesting is that the song does not lose any of its energy in the choruses.  It just changes style, in turn, keeping the work moving forward.  The song’s bridge hints at some 80s influences through Andersson’s guitar work, which is not an entirely bad thing.  Of course, the song’s musical arrangement is just one part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content leads it to stand out just as much as its musical content.

Westlin sings in the song’s lead verse, “Wish I could break the spell that binds us here/You know to each his own…Just go and do/As you please…It must be done my way/It must be done your way.  Some of his wording is difficult to decipher without a lyrics sheet to reference, but the seeming message becomes partially clear.  Later in the song’s nearly five-minute song, he goes on to sing, of looking back on a chain that has been broken and will not leave any marks.  This is just this critic’s own take, but it would seem that Westlin is speaking metaphorically here to address social control, with the chain being that control, broken.  That would explain Westlin’s earlier statement of “It must be done my way/It must be done your way.”  There is that problem of everyone wanting things in life their way, but we as a people do not have to let it be one person’s way or another, but rather our own way, regardless of what everyone else says.  We can respect others’ ways, but we do not have to live by those ways.  That goes back to the initial statement of “Wish I could break that spell that binds us here/You know to each his own.” It all seems to come together in a statement of not giving in to what everyone says one should do and be.  Again, this should not be taken as the only interpretation, but merely that of this critic.  Hopefully this critic is at least somewhere in the ballpark with that interpretation, as it would seem to be another response to the world’s negativity, as addressed by Westlin about the album’s overall theme.  When it is considered along with the seeming messages presented in ‘Scream,’ Cross’ and the rest of the album’s offerings, the whole of Bitter becomes a work in whole that will leave listeners anything but bitter.

Corroded’s latest full-length studio recording Bitter is a record that is certain to leave listeners feeling anything but bitter about the world after they listen from start to finish, to the 12-song record.  That is because of the messages presented in the songs, which come across as various responses to the world’s bitterness – responses that are in fact not overly bitter themselves.  That is evidenced early on in ‘Cross,’ which points the finger back at the finger pointers, and again later in the album’s run in ‘Scream,’ which seems to encourage people to get their negativity out (of course in a positive way), and even later seems to encourage people to embrace their personal identity, rather than give in to social control in ‘Drown.’  These are just some of the songs featured in this record that clearly address everything going on in the world.  The Type O Negative-esque ‘Black’ seems to address’ people’s self-imposed misery while the In Flames-styled ‘Breathing’ comes across as sending a message of not giving up even in the most dire situations.  The old-school metal style work that is ‘Testament’ is a defiant anthem that comes across as encouraging people to stand up for themselves against all odds.  Again, this is all this critic’s own interpretation.  Hopefully it is somewhere in the ballpark in each case, including that of the songs more directly discussed.  If indeed this critic’s interpretations are right, then again, this record proves that much more to be quite the successful offering from Corroded, and easily one of the year’s first great hard rock/metal records.  It is available now.  More information on Bitter is available online now along with all of Corroded’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://despotz.se

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/corrodedsweden

 

 

 

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Corroded’s New LP Is Set To Put The Rock Community On “Alert”

Courtesy: Despotz Records

Late this past April, hard rock outfit Corroded released its latest album Defcon Zero.  The  band’s first new album in five years and its fourth full-length studio recording, it is a recording that could very possibly put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it presents a combination of music and lyrics throughout its 11-song, 50-minute run time that challenges even the best of the big names.  The record’s opener, ‘Carry Me My Bones’ clearly supports that statement.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the record’s run, also supports that statement in its own way, too.  It will be discussed later.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is yet another example of what makes Corroded’s latest effort a work that is anything but corroded itself.  Rather, it is another example of what makes the record a solid, strong new offering from one of hard rock’s best kept secrets.  It joins with the previously noted songs and the rest of the album’s offerings to make the record in whole an offering that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a strong and solid return for Corroded. That is especially considering the fact that it is the first record in five years from the Swedish hard rock outfit.  From start to finish, the band presents in this new offering a record that is certain to put the hard rock community in whole on alert.  That statement is supported in part in the album’s opener ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  The song’s musical arrangement instantly conjures thoughts of Dry Kill Logic’s best works.  That is evident as the song starts with a brooding, acoustic arrangement before gradually building into a full-on, guitar-driven assault.  What is really interesting is the heavy buildup to that assault conjures in itself, thoughts of some of Slayer’s best works.  The combination of front man Jens Westin’s vocal delivery and the song’s musical elements throughout the rest of the song maintain that previously noted comparison to Dry Kill Logic.  The whole of that arrangement is only one part of what makes this song stand as an example of Defcon Zero’s impressive nature.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as the song’s musical arrangement in examining what makes it stand out.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones’ is in itself a key part of what makes this song stand out as an example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out. That is because it easily challenges hard rock’s top names from start to finish. Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement in examining its whole.  Westin said in an interview about the album’s lyrics “When it comes to the lyrics, I want everyone to make up their own opinion to what the songs are about.” He went on to compare interpreting the album’s lyrics to comparing a book to its cinematic counterpart.  Keeping that in mind, the lyrical content at the center of this song definitely proves to be interesting.  Westin sings here, “I’ve been awake/For days/On my way to hell/I’m not going to lay down and die before I get there…What you believe is more than you know/Carry me my tired bones/Far away/So far away from secrets/A million miles away/Carry me my tired bones.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “I was stuck/In-between/No place and nowhere….” before he and his band mates—Tomas Andersson (guitar), Bjarne Elvsgard (bass) and Per Solang (drums)—reprise the song’s chorus time to finish off the song.  Noting again that Westin leaves the lyrics’ interpretation to listeners’ own thoughts, this critic’s take on the song’s lyrical content is that it comes across as an introspective rumination of someone working through a very difficult time.  That is inferred in the song’s lead verse.  The hell in question is clearly metaphorical.  The subject’s mind has been racing, but that subject is still determined not to give up in whatever difficult situation is presented.  As Westin’s subject sings “carry me my tired bones,” one can interpret that perhaps the song’s subject is saying he or she wants to get away from everything; all of the negatives surrounding him or her.  The song’s second verse continues to infer that same message in this critic’s own interpretation.  It would be interesting to learn the true message in the song’s lyrical content.  That aside, the combination of that seeming message couples quite well with the song’s musical arrangement to make for a song that is a powerful first impression for the band this time out.  It is just the start, too.  ‘A Note To Me,’ which comes late in the album’s run, is another solid addition to the album’s whole.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ is a strong first impression from Corroded on its latest new album.  That is due to the combination of its musical and lyrical content.  The two elements together make the song a clear example of what makes Defcon Zero stand out in whole.  It is just one of the songs that shows what makes the album stand out, too.  ‘A Note To Me’ is another example of what makes the record in whole stand out.  As with the album’s opener, that is due at least in part to its musical arrangement.  The musical arrangement here is a stark contrast to that of ‘Carry Me My Bones.’  It is a deeply emotional, guitar-driven composition that (and some audiences will call this musical heresy) conjures thoughts of Theory of a Deadman and Nickelback.  Yes, it seems damning.  But the reality is that when one compares this composition to that at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it is actually a good thing that such a comparison can be made.  That is because it shows in its own right the reach of the band’s talent, sounds and influences.  Westin’s vocal delivery throughout even conjures thoughts of Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger through his delivery.  Again, some might see such a comparison as musical heresy of sorts.  The reality once more though, is that it shows the band’s ability to reach into any rock and hard rock sub-genre.  That is a compliment of the highest caliber to the band.  Of course the song’s musical arrangement is only part of what makes it stand out.  Its lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The musical arrangement at the center of ‘A Note To Me’ is in itself a key component of its overall presentation.  When set against the composition at the center of ‘Carry Me My Bones,’ it shows even more why Defcon Zero stands out among this year’s field of new rock and hard rock records.  The song’s musical arrangement is only one part of what makes the song stand out.  Its lyrical content, which is just as brooding as its musical arrangement is just as important to discuss as that musical content.  Westin sings here in the song’s lead verse, “This bitter pill I got/It turns out to be hard to swallow/I’d make my head whole/But everything inside feels hollow/I am the haunting of the day that never came/Yeah, what a shame.”  He goes on to sing in the song’s second verse, “The truth hurts that I know/And now it’s out for everyone to see/I’m just a coward/Who hates everything about me/Everything I’ve done was a lie/It’s harder to cry.”  This comes across as someone who is confessing a major hidden truth to someone else.  As the song progresses through its chorus, it can be inferred that the someone in question is obviously someone close to the subject.  What is interesting is that Westin doesn’t point out if that person is male, female, young or old.  That in itself is a really powerful statement.  When one really thinks deeply about this matter, the confession could work in any of those situations.  That is especially the case as Westin sings in the song’s final moments, “My only hope is that you will forgive/And that some day/Some day you will forget.”  Regardless of whether the situation presented here is between friends, family or some other close person, the confession by the song’s subject is powerful.  It is the kind of statement made in similar songs by the aforementioned mainstream friendly acts; the kind of statement that, when coupled with the song’s musical arrangement, is made even more powerful.  The combination of those two elements makes the song in whole a truly powerful work that once again can rival songs from the bands already noted.  Keeping that in mind, it is one more work included in this record that shows why this record stands out among its counterparts both mainstream and independent.  It still is not the last of the songs that serves to show what makes Defcon Zero stand out.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ is one more example of what makes this record one that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

‘Carry Me My Bones’ and ‘A Note To Me’ are both solid examples of what makes Defcon Zero a strong new effort from Corroded.  That is because they show the wide reach of the album’s sound, proving its appeal to metal purists and mainstream rock fans alike.  The songs’ lyrical content adds just as much depth to their whole.  While both songs’ musical and lyrical content serves to make them clear examples of the album’s strength, they are only two examples of that strength.  ‘Fall of a Nation’ just as clearly proves to be another example of said strength.  That is evident first through its adrenaline-fueled, guitar and drum-driven musical arrangement, which mixes elements of Hellyeah, Soil and other similar acts for a whole that will instantly have listeners’ horns in the air.  Its lyrical content will keep listeners just as engaged as Westin seemingly comments on…well…the downfall of a nation.  Being that there is so much turmoil the world over and that Westin and company don’t necessarily point out which nation is being addressed, the commentary could, in reality, apply to the United States, any Middle Eastern Nation or other nation.  There is mention of “seeing the  flames rising,” “bones grinding,” “ashes in the air” and other rather interesting visuals.  This could be a commentary of what could come to any nation if said nation(s) don’t get things in check and soon.  The added mention of “we are the ones who are watching everything from high up above/We are the ones who idle standing by as things burn” adds to the power of that message.  It is almost as if the song’s subject is saying, “we’re going to stand by and let the world destroy itself and this is what we see happening.”  It is a powerful, possible statement.  The power in the song’s musical arrangement expertly captures the energy in that supposed statement, too.  Keeping that in mind, the whole of that musical and lyrical content makes this song clearly one more example of what makes Defcon Zero such a powerful new offering from Corroded.  It is hardly the last song that serves to exemplify what makes this album stand out.  ‘Gun and a Bullet,’ ‘Burn It To The Ground,’ and ‘Vessels of Hate’ each do their own part to show what makes this record stand out, too.  All things considered, the songs noted and not prove Defcon Zero a record that will put the rock community in whole on alert.

Defcon Zero is a powerful return for Corroded.  It is a record that proves audiences’ five-year wait for the band’s next album was well worth it.  What’s more it is a record that is certain to put the rock community in whole on alert.  That is because it is such a strong new effort from start to finish both in regards to its musical arrangements and lyrical content.  All things considered, this record is one that deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock albums.  It is available now.  More information on Defcon Zero is available online now along with all of Corroded’s  latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.corroded.se

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/corrodedsweden

 

 

 

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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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Chile On Hell Is A Hard Rocking Music History Lesson From Anthrax

Courtesy:  Megaforce Records

Courtesy: Megaforce Records

2014 is almost over.  But even as the year’s last months start to wind down, things haven’t cooled down in terms of the year’s new live recordings. As the year’s final months wind by, critics everywhere will begin firming up their annual “Best Of” lists for publication later in December.  Most critics will focus mainly on the year’s best overall movies and music.  And then there will be those critics and writers that will focus on specific lists such as the year’s best new pop albums, rock albums, hard rock albums, etc. It would seem that among all of the lists that are compiled, one category that doesn’t necessarily receive the attention that it deserves is that of the year’s best new live recordings in terms of DVDs and Blu-rays.  This critic’s personal list of the year’s best new live recordings is already firming up quite well.  There are still at least a couple of spots left open on that list, though.  And one of those spots will most definitely be taken up by veteran hard rock/metal band Anthrax’s new live DVD Chile on Hell.  This new live recording is one that any long-time Anthrax fan will appreciate and enjoy first and foremost for its set list.  While this concert is not necessarily what one would call a “career-spanning” show, it is one that both the band’s original fans and its newest fans alike will appreciate.  The next aspect of the DVD that audiences will appreciate is the band’s stage presence.  Some might consider this something minor.  But in reality, it is just as important in keeping audiences at home fully engaged.  And last but most definitely not least of all worth noting is the concert’s collective audio and video mix.  The two together present a certain raw look and sound that are just as impressive as any more spit shined and perfected recordings that are currently available to audiences.    Each of the factors noted here play their own important role in the overall enjoyment of Chile on Hell.  Altogether, they make this DVD a dark horse candidate for a spot on at least this critic’s list of the year’s best new live recordings.

Far too often, the term career-spanning is tossed around when it comes to live recordings.  Sadly, very far too few of those recordings live up to such hype.  That isn’t to say that no recording lives up to that label.  Rather, far too few live recordings live up to said label.  Thankfully, neither Anthrax nor Megaforce Records make any attempt to call Chile on Hell one of that mass of overly hyped recordings.  Rather, they let the recording speak for itself.  And the statement made is loud and crystal clear as audiences will see in the show’s set list.  The nearly two-hour show includes some of the material included on Worship Music and the band’s recently released EP Anthems.  But by and large, the set list presented in Chile on Hell takes audiences back to the band’s earlier days.  To be more exact, the band largely reaches back to its 1985 and 1987 albums Spreading The Disease and Among The Living for this concert.  1990’s Persistence of Time of also represented here courtesy of the song ‘In My World.’  Such a mix of classics and more recent songs will bring in both the band’s original fan base and its newer and possibly younger fan base at the same time.  One could argue that in presenting such a set list, the band is paying respect to its original fan base while teaching a valuable music history lesson to those younger and newer fans.  Even if this was not the original intent on the part of the band or of Megaforce Records, it is one of the results.  It makes the set list even more solid as the DVD’s center.

The set list and the potentially latent function of said list are together a solid starting point in the success and enjoyment of Chile on Hell.  Just as important as the set list and its effects is the band’s stage presence.  It goes without saying that the band’s stage presence in this stage is full-on.  Front man Joey Belladonna and founding guitarist Scott Ian exude so much energy; so much in fact that even audiences at home will find themselves wanting to sing along and head bang with them.  Such a powerful translation even on-screen is quite a statement.  Belladonna’s band mates add their own energy through their performances.  Whether through Charlie Benante’s pounding drumming, the spot on shredding of Shadows Fall guitarist Jonathan Donais (who replaced Rob Caggiano) or even bassist Frank Bello, the band collectively keeps the audience in attendance at the recording fully engaged from start to finish.  And home viewing audiences will feel that energy themselves, leading them to be fully engaged throughout, too.  That the band’s stage presence could translate so well and have such impact even on home viewers is a tribute to the band itself.  And coupled with the show’s set list, the overall effect of the show is made even stronger, thus making the recording in whole all the more enjoyable for all of the band’s legions of fans.

The set list arranged for Anthrax’s show in Chile and the band’s stage presence combine to make Chile on Hell an impressive addition to any Anthrax fan’s personal collection.  The recording’s collective audio and video mix is the final touch to the whole presentation.  The video doesn’t have the spit shined look of so many other live recordings before it.  Rather, it has a grainier, more raw look.  Yet that look actually plays into the overall presentation.  That is because it actually serves to help heighten the energy exuded by both the band and the audience.  Staying on that topic, audiences will enjoy the camera attached to the end of guitarist Scott Ian’s guitar.  That angle and the others used throughout the concert are used at just the right moments to make for a wonderful impact.  And despite being recorded at an indoor venue, the concert’s audio mix turned out impressive in its own right, too.  Balancing audio levels at indoor venues always has and always will present its own challenges.  In the case of this concert, those charged with balancing the concert’s audio levels both at the show and in post-production are to be commended for their efforts.  The end result of their work is a concert recording in which neither the vocals nor the music overpowered the other.  And together with the equally professional work on the concert’s video mix, it proves to be a concert experience that any of Anthrax’s legions of fans will enjoy no less with each watch.

Those charged with handling the audio and video mix for Chile on Hell are to be highly commended for their high quality of work in this concert.  The band and its label are to be commended, too.  The set list serves a dual purpose.  And the band’s stage presence will keep audiences fully engaged from start to finish.  All three of these factors come together to make Chile on Hell a concert that while bare bones, is one that any hard rock fan and any Anthrax fan will appreciate and enjoy.  The DVD will be available Tuesday, September 16th via Megaforce Records.  Fans can find out more about this upcoming live recording and keep up with all of the latest updates from Anthrax online at http://anthrax.com, http://anthraxarmy.com, http://twitter.com/anthrax, and http://www.facebook.com/anthrax.  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.