Exodus Addresses Media Sensationalist Tactics In Its New Single, Lyric Video

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Exodus debuted the video for its latest single this week.

The band premiered the lyric video for its new single, ‘Clickbait’ Friday.

The song and its video are the second from the band’s forthcoming album, Persona Non Grata, which is scheduled for release Nov. 19 through Nuclear Blast Records. The band premiered the album’s lead single, ‘The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)‘ last month.

The video for ‘Clickbait’ uses newspapers to incorporate its lyrics. The lyrics in question openly go after the media’s practice of using certain style writing to get people’s attention and how that practice shows the media’s lack of any soul.

The musical arrangement featured alongside that fiery commentary adds to the song’s impact. The shrieking guitars and pounding drums pair with the equally heavy bass and powerhouse vocals to make the song even more impactful.

Persona Non Grata will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below. Pre-saves and pre-orders are open now along with the album’s track listing.

PERSONA NON GRATA will be available in the following formats:

  • CD Jewel + Blu-ray Bonus Disc (Jam Camp!)
  • T-Shirt + CD Jewel + Blu-ray Bonus Disc (Jam Camp!)
  • T-Shirt
  • Cassette – Tinted Red
  • CD Jewel + Blu-ray Bonus Disc (Jam Camp!) Long Box (Decibel Magazine Exclusive)
  • Double LP
    • Black 
    • Red & Mustard Swirl W/ Black Splatter
    • Electric Blue W/ Black & Bone
    • Gold & Bone Swirl W. Black and Mint Green Splatter
    • Green in Mustard W/ Red Splatter
    • Mint Green & Brown W/ Cyan Splatter (EMP Exclusive)
    • Purple & Yellow Swirl W/ Mint Green & Bone Splatter (UK Indie Exclusive)
    • Bone & Beer Swirl W/ Red & Brown Splatter (Revolver Magazine Exclusive)
    • Red & Mustard Swirl W/ Black Splatter (Rebellion Republic Exclusive)
    • Blue Swirl W/ Bone * Black Splatter (U.S. Indie Exclusive)
  • Mail Order Boxset – Limited to 2,000 pieces worldwide
    • Orange, Red Swirl W/ Black Splatter
    • 20 page booklet
    • Slipmat
    • CD + Blu-ray Bonus Disc
    • Patch
    • Flag

Below is the PERSONA NON GRATA tracklist:

  1. Persona Non Grata
  2. R.E.M.F
  3. Slipping Into Madness
  4. Elitist
  5. Prescribing Horror
  6. The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)
  7. The Years Of Death And Dying
  8. Clickbait
  9. Cosa Del Pantano
  10. Lunatic-Liar-Lord
  11. The Fires Of Division
  12. Antiseed

In related news, Exodus is scheduled to join Testament and Death Angel on the road this fall for “The Bay Strikes Back Tour.” The 30-date tour is scheduled to launch Oct. 6 in San Luis Obispo, CA and to run through Nov. 27 in Oakland, CA. The tour also features scheduled performances in cities nationwide, such as Oklahoma City, OK; Baltimore, MD and New Orleans, LA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Confirmed dates for “The Bay Strikes Back Tour” with TESTAMENTEXODUS, and DEATH ANGEL are:
10/06/2021  Fremont Theater – San Luis Obispo, CA
10/07/2021  Aftershock Festival – Sacramento, CA 
10/08/2021  House Of Blues – San Diego, CA
10/10/2021  House Of Blues – Anaheim, CA 
10/11/2021  Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ 
10/12/2021  Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM 
10/14/2021  Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK 
10/15/2021  Gas Monkey Bar & Grill  – Dallas, TX 
10/16/2021  Emo’s – Austin, TX 
10/17/2021  White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX 
10/19/2021  House Of Blues – New Orleans, LA
10/20/2021  Masquerade – Atlanta, GA 
10/21/2021  The Ritz – Raleigh, NC 
10/22/2021  TLA – Philadelphia, PA 
10/23/2021  Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ 
10/24/2021  Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD 
10/26/2021  The Paramount – Huntington, NY 
10/27/2021  House Of Blues – Boston, MA 
10/28/2021  Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY
10/29/2021  Madison Theater – Cincinnati, OH 
10/30/2021  The Agora – Cleveland, OH
11/01/2021  Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA 
11/02/2021  Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
11/04/2021  The Majestic – Detroit, MI 
11/05/2021  The Forge – Joliet, IL *SOLD OUT*
11/06/2021  The Forge – Joliet, IL *SOLD OUT*
11/07/2021  Skyway Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
11/09/2021  Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO 
11/10/2021  The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT 
11/27/2021  The Fox – Oakland, CA 

In other news, Exodus recently partnered with comic book company Incendium to launch a new comic book series titled, Tales of the Damned. The four-issue limited series is scheduled to ship Oct. 31 and is limited to 1,500 copies at a price of $16.66 per copy. It is available to order here.

“The Organist” action figure is available to pre-order for $29.95 as part of the comic book series’ launch, and will ship in the first quarter of 2022.

More information on Exodus’ new album, live dates, comic book and action figure is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://exodusattack.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/exodusattack

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/exodusattack

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.

Details Announced For New Sepultura Retrospective Set

Courtesy: BMG

BMG will revisit a series of Sepultura’s albums this fall.

The company is scheduled to release the new collection dubbed SepulnationThe Studio Albums 1998 – 2009 Oct. 22. The set will release separately on an 8 LP vinyl set and 5 disc CD set.

As an added bonus, the collection will also feature Sepultura’s rare covers EP, Revolusongs digitally. The EP features the band’s take on classic songs from acts, such as Exodus, U2, and Public Enemy. The band premiered the video for its take of Public Enemy’s ‘Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos‘ Thursday.

The albums featured in SepulnationThe Studio Albums 1998 – 2009Against (1998), Nation (2001), Roorback (2003), DanteXXI (2006), and A-Lex (2009) — reach back to current front man Derrick Green’s beginnings with the band after taking over from now former front man Max Cavalera and reach up to the noted point. From that point, the band, with Green, has released four more albums, Kairos (2011), The Mediator Between Head and Hands Must Be The Heart (2013), Machine Messiah (2017) and Quadra (2020).

In related news, Sepultura released its new quarantine record, Sepulquarta Aug. 13 through Nuclear Blast Records. The semi-live recording culls performances that the band recorded during its “SepulQuarta” video podcast throughout the pandemic. The performances were by famous figures, such as Phil Campbell, Devin Townsend, and Alex Skolnick.

The full track listing for SepulQuarta is noted below.

This is the full tracklist featuring all international guest musicians:

01. Territory (feat. David Ellefson)
02. Cut-Throat (feat. Scott Ian)
03. Sepulnation (feat. Danko Jones)
04. Inner Self (feat. Phil Rind)
05. Hatred Aside (feat. Angélica Burns, Mayara Puertas & Fernanda Lira)
06. Mask (feat. Devin Townsend)
07. Fear, Pain, Chaos, Suffering (feat. Emmily Barreto)
08. Vandals Nest (feat. Alex Skolnick)
09. Slave New World (feat. Matthew K. Heafy)
10. Ratamahatta (feat. Joao Barone & Charles Gavin)
11. Apes Of God (feat. Rob Cavestany)
12. Phantom Self (feat. Mark Holcomb)
13. Slaves Of Pain (feat. Fred Leclercq & Marcello Pompeu)
14. Kaiowas (feat. Rafael Bittencourt)
15. Orgasmatron (feat. Phil Campbell)

The limited edition, marbled pressing of the recording is already sold out, but black vinyl pressings are still available along with CD pressings. Additionally, the album is available digitally.

In other news, the band announced last month, it hopes to finally launch its “Quadra Tour” next spring. The band has scheduled the tour’s launch for March 4 in Sacramento, CA.

The tour was originally scheduled to take place in spring 2020, and was initially postponed until this year as a result of the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 tour was then postponed because of the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

The month-long tour, which is in support of the band’s most recent album, Quadra, is scheduled to run through March 9 in Berkeley, CA. It features performances in cities nationwide, such as Atlanta, GA; Minneapolis, MN and Greensboro, NC. Sacred Reich will serve as support for the tour, along with Crowbar and Art of Shock.

The upcoming tour’s schedule is noted below. Tickets are available here.

Confirmed dates for SEPULTURA‘s “North American Quadra” 2022 tour with SACRED REICHCROWBAR, and ART OF SHOCK are:
3/04/2022  Ace Of Spades – Sacramento, CA 
3/05/2022  The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT*
3/06/2022 Oriental Theater – Denver, CO*
3/08/2022 Wildwood – Iowa City, IA
3/09/2022 Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN
3/10/2022 The Rave – Milwaukee, WI
3/11/2022   Harpo’s – Detroit, MI 
3/12/2022  The Forge – Joliet, IL*
3/13/2022  Thunderbird Music Hall – Pittsburgh, PA*
3/15/2022  Irving Plaza – New York, NY
3/16/2022  Opera House – Toronto, ON CANADA
3/17/2022  Corona Theater – Montreal, QC CANADA
3/18/2022  Big Night Live – Boston, MA 
3/19/2022  Theatre Of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
3/20/2022  Soundstage – Baltimore, MD 
3/21/2022  House of Blues – Cleveland, OH 
3/23/2022  Blind Tiger – Greensboro, NC*
3/24/2022  Masquerade – Atlanta, GA 
3/25/2022  Culture Room – Ft Lauderdale, FL 
3/26/2022  The Orpheum – Tampa, FL* 
3/28/2022  Southport Music Hall – New Orleans, LA*
3/29/2022  Come and Take It Live – Austin, TX*
3/31/2022  Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK
4/01/2022  Warehouse Live – Houston, TX
4/02/2022  GMBG – Dallas, TX*
4/03/2022  Rockhouse – El Paso, TX 
4/05/2022  The Nile Theater – Phoenix, AZ* 
4/06/2022  House of Blues – San Diego, CA 
4/08/2022  Belasco Theater – Los Angeles, CA 
4/09/2022  The UC Theatre – Berkeley, CA
* New shows and not rescheduled

More information on SepulQuarta and Sepultura’s planned live dates is available along with all of the band’s latest news and more now at:

Websitehttps://www.sepultura.com/br

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/sepultura

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/sepulturacombr

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.

Exodus Announces New Album Specs; Debuts Album’s Lead Single, Video; Announces New Live Dates

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

Things are picking up in the Exodus camp.

The band announced the first details for its next album Friday. The band’s new album is titled Persona Non Grata. The band is hoping to release the album in November, though the record’s official date is under consideration as drummer Tom Hunting recovers from squamous cell carcinoma.

The album will release on a variety of platforms, all of which are noted below. Pre-saves and pre-orders are open now along with the album’s track listing.

PERSONA NON GRATA will be available in the following formats:

  • CD Jewel + Blu-ray Bonus Disc (Jam Camp!)
  • T-Shirt + CD Jewel + Blu-ray Bonus Disc (Jam Camp!)
  • T-Shirt
  • Cassette – Tinted Red
  • CD Jewel + Blu-ray Bonus Disc (Jam Camp!) Long Box (Decibel Magazine Exclusive)
  • Double LP
    • Black 
    • Red & Mustard Swirl W/ Black Splatter
    • Electric Blue W/ Black & Bone
    • Gold & Bone Swirl W. Black and Mint Green Splatter
    • Green in Mustard W/ Red Splatter
    • Mint Green & Brown W/ Cyan Splatter (EMP Exclusive)
    • Purple & Yellow Swirl W/ Mint Green & Bone Splatter (UK Indie Exclusive)
    • Bone & Beer Swirl W/ Red & Brown Splatter (Revolver Magazine Exclusive)
    • Red & Mustard Swirl W/ Black Splatter (Rebellion Republic Exclusive)
    • Blue Swirl W/ Bone * Black Splatter (U.S. Indie Exclusive)
  • Mail Order Boxset – Limited to 2,000 pieces worldwide
    • Orange, Red Swirl W/ Black Splatter
    • 20 page booklet
    • Slipmat
    • CD + Blu-ray Bonus Disc
    • Patch
    • Flag

Below is the PERSONA NON GRATA tracklist:

  1. Persona Non Grata
  2. R.E.M.F
  3. Slipping Into Madness
  4. Elitist
  5. Prescribing Horror
  6. The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)
  7. The Years Of Death And Dying
  8. Clickbait
  9. Cosa Del Pantano
  10. Lunatic-Liar-Lord
  11. The Fires Of Division
  12. Antiseed

In anticipation of the album’s pending release, the band debuted the album’s lead single, ‘The Beatings Will Continue (Until Morale Improves)’ and its video Friday. The video is extremely violent, featuring a man detained and beaten by armed officers before also being tortured mentally and physically.

The extreme imagery is considered so intense that YouTube requires viewers to sign in to the streaming service in order to confirm their age and view the video. While the imagery used in the video is extreme, it works with the song’s lyrical theme. That theme works with the album’s overall themes of what a press states are those of “societal disgust and degradation.”

Persona Non Grata was produced by Steve Lagudi (Testament, God Forbid, Machine Head) and mixed by Andy Sneap (Fozzy, Skinlab, Arch Enemy). The album’s cover art was crafted by Par Olafsson.

In related news, Exodus is scheduled to join Testament and Death Angel on the road this fall for “The Bay Strikes Back Tour.” The 30-date tour is scheduled to launch Oct. 6 in San Luis Obispo, CA and to run through Nov. 27 in Oakland, CA. The tour also features scheduled performances in cities nationwide, such as Oklahoma City, OK; Baltimore, MD and New Orleans, LA.

The tour’s schedule is noted below.

Confirmed dates for “The Bay Strikes Back Tour” with TESTAMENT, EXODUS, and DEATH ANGEL are:
10/06/2021  Fremont Theater – San Luis Obispo, CA
10/07/2021  Aftershock Festival – Sacramento, CA 
10/08/2021  House Of Blues – San Diego, CA
10/10/2021  House Of Blues – Anaheim, CA 
10/11/2021  Rialto Theatre – Tucson, AZ 
10/12/2021  Sunshine Theater – Albuquerque, NM 
10/14/2021  Diamond Ballroom – Oklahoma City, OK 
10/15/2021  Gas Monkey Bar & Grill  – Dallas, TX 
10/16/2021  Emo’s – Austin, TX 
10/17/2021  White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX 
10/19/2021  House Of Blues – New Orleans, LA
10/20/2021  Masquerade – Atlanta, GA 
10/21/2021  The Ritz – Raleigh, NC 
10/22/2021  TLA – Philadelphia, PA 
10/23/2021  Starland Ballroom – Sayreville, NJ 
10/24/2021  Baltimore Soundstage – Baltimore, MD 
10/26/2021  The Paramount – Huntington, NY 
10/27/2021  House Of Blues – Boston, MA 
10/28/2021  Town Ballroom – Buffalo, NY
10/29/2021  Madison Theater – Cincinnati, OH 
10/30/2021  The Agora – Cleveland, OH
11/01/2021  Stage AE – Pittsburgh, PA 
11/02/2021  Newport Music Hall – Columbus, OH
11/04/2021  The Majestic – Detroit, MI 
11/05/2021  The Forge – Joliet, IL *SOLD OUT*
11/06/2021  The Forge – Joliet, IL *SOLD OUT*
11/07/2021  Skyway Theatre – Minneapolis, MN
11/09/2021  Summit Music Hall – Denver, CO 
11/10/2021  The Depot – Salt Lake City, UT 
11/27/2021  The Fox – Oakland, CA 

In other news, Exodus recently partnered with comic book company Incendium to launch a new comic book series titled, Tales of the Damned. The four-issue limited series is scheduled to ship Oct. 31 and is limited to 1,500 copies at a price of $16.66 per copy. It is available to order here.

“The Organist” action figure is available to pre-order for $29.95 as part of the comic book series’ launch, and will ship in the first quarter of 2022.

More information on Exodus’ new album, live dates, comic book and action figure is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Websitehttps://exodusattack.com

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/exodusattack

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/exodusattack

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.

Exodus Launches New Limited Comic Book, Action Figure Series

Courtesy: Incendium

Exodus is joining a growing number of bands that have delved into the comic book realm.

The band made the announcement Friday in a news release. The document states that the band has partnered with entertainment company Incendium to launch its four-issue limited series, Tales of the Damned under Incendium’s Opus imprint.

The band is just the latest to delve into the comic book realm. Bands, such as Disturbed and Alter Bridge, as well as guitarist Joe Satriani have all journeyed into the comic book world.

Each issue of Tales of the Damned focuses on a specific song from Exodus’ catalog beginning with the title track from the band’s 2004 album, Tempo of the Damned. The lead issue was written by Ian Edgington (Aliens, Predator, 2000AD) with art by Luis Guaragna (John Carpenter’s Tales for a Halloween Night), letters by Jacob Bascle, and cover art by Ryan Christensen.

Front man Gary Holt spoke highly of the band’s new comic book and related action figure line.

“I’m super excited to see this project come to life,” he said. “Exodus and comics go hand in hand, and to see the ‘Organist’ come to life in book form and as an action figure? Totally awesome! I’m looking forward to reading Tales Of The Damned!”

Incendium CEO Llexi Leon shared Holt’s enthusiasm.

“Exodus’Tales Of The Damned is our bloody tribute to the Bay Area legends,” said Leon. “We’re all about Myths, Monsters, and Metal here at Incendium, so this unholy alliance has been a blast!”

Courtesy: Incendium

The story featured in issue #1 centers on a young woman’s search for her missing sister. The younger sister goes missing after hearing “The Wavelength” a mysterious signal coming from an unidentified radio station. The older sister’s search leads her to an uninhabited town where she figures out the mystery of her sister’s disappearance and the music behind the disappearance…The Tempo of the Damned. An action figure of “The Organist” will release alongside the lead issue.

Issue #1 is limited to 1,500 copies at a price of $16.66. It is available to order here. It will ship Oct. 31. “The Organist” action figure is available to pre-order for $29.95 and will ship in the first quarter of 2022.

In other news, the launch of Exodus’ new comic book and action figure line coincides with the forthcoming release of its latest album, Persona Non Grata, which is scheduled for release in November through its own label, Exodus Records and Nuclear Blast Records. An exact release date for the album is under consideration as the band’s drummer, Tom Hunting recovers from squamous cell carcinoma.

More information on Exodus’ new comic book, action figure, and album is available along with all of the band’s latest news at:

Website: https://exodusattack.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/exodusattack

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.

Sublevel Records Announces Release Date, Specs For Exodus Tablature Book

Courtesy: Sublevel Records

Exodus’ classic 1985 album Bonded By Blood is getting renewed attention.

Sublevel Records will publish a book featuring the guitar tabs for each of the record’s songs on Jan. 15. Pre-orders are open. The songs were transcribed by Exodus/Heathen live guitarist Kragen Lum and by Ernie Ball’s Match the Master award winner Evan Bradley.

The 170-page book is presented in two-guitar format. This will allow guitarists to learn the parts of Exodus guitarists Gary Holt and Rick Hunolt.

The book’s tablature is noted below.

Songs Included:

Bonded by Blood
Exodus
And Then There Were None
A Lesson in Violence
Metal Command
Piranha
No Love
Deliver Us to Evil
Strike of the Beast

More information on Exodus’ new tablature book is available along with all of Sublevel Records’ latest news at http://sublevelrecords.bandcamp.com.

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.

Metal Rock Films’ New Thrash Metal Retrospective Will Resonate With Thrash, Metal Aficionados

Courtesy: Metal Rock Films

Throughout their rich histories, the rock and metal communities have seen a lot of “hot spots” develop across America.  Seattle, during the 90s was the hub for the burgeoning “grunge” scene.  Atlanta, for decades has been its own hub for so many kinds of rock  and metal.  Sevendust calls Atlanta home as do the like of Stuck Mojo, The Black Crowes, and Mastodon.  New York City has often been known as one of the key cities (if not the key city) in which the hardcore punk movement started.  The San Francisco Bay area meanwhile is where the thrash metal scene got its start.  The Bay Area and the thrash scene that developed therein are the focus of the recently released independent “rock-umentary” Bay Area Godfathers.  Released Nov. 10 on DVD by Metal Rock Films, the 90 minute retrospective is a presentation that thrash metal fans will find worth watching at least occasionally.  That is proven in part through its central feature, which will be discussed shortly.  The pacing that results from the main feature’s presentation presented plays its own key part to the retrospective’s presentation and will be discussed a little later.  The bonus content that accompanies the main feature adds some appeal to the overall presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Bay Area Godfathers.  All things considered, it is a presentation that serves as a good starting point in an examination of what is just one of metal’s many sub-genres.

Bay Area Godfathers is a presentation that thrash metal fans will find worth watching at least occasionally.  That is proven in part through the 90-minute program’s main feature.  The main feature follows the genre’s growth from its infancy in the early 80s to its growth in popularity in the late 80s.  Audiences learn through the presented history that the genre’s development was apparently somewhat unexpected.  That is because in the lat 70s and early 80s, pop, disco and other genres were still very prominent and popular in the San Francisco Bay area.  Even with those genres still being popular, audiences learn that there was a movement in the underground away from those more popular genres and acts and toward the heavier rock world.  The guerilla style presentation is not the spit-shined work that audiences might expect from say MTV, VH1 or ay of those well-known outlets.  The story is told through first hand accounts and stories of the musicians and bands that rose to popularity in the early days of thrash.  The interviews are captured with ordinary cameras.  There are no wireless microphones to amplify the speakers’ voices.  There is no editing to clean up the look and sound of the interviews.  They are presented wholly in a very distinct DIY fashion.  At the same time, the program is clearly segmented into specific portions (E.g. thrash’s early days, the division of punk and thrash, the growing popularity of thrash on rock radio and magazines).  That clear segmentation helps to keep viewers engaged and entertained throughout the course of the documentary.  Between this and the fact that the story is told mainly by those who were part of the genre’s evolution (in place of lots of third hand narration), and the video that helps tell the stories, this main feature in itself gives audiences quite a bit to appreciate.

While the main feature in Bay Area Godfathers mostly ensures viewers’ appeal, it is not a perfect presentation.  The pacing that results from the in-depth tale does suffer at points throughout the program.  While Bay Area Godfathers’ run time is listed at 90 minutes, there are times when it feels like it runs a little bit longer because of the pacing.  Whether that is due to the lack of that extra narration or maybe just a little bit too much in the way of anecdotes and stories is anyone’s guess.  Maybe it is the result of both of those elements.  Regardless, there are moments in the program that do feel as though they are dragging more so than at others.  Thankfully, that is not the case throughout.  That aside it is still noticeable, so it does detract from the documentary’s presentation at least to a point, just not enough to make the program fail.

Once audiences have made their way through the main feature of Bay Area Godfathers (or even before), they also have some bonus content to watch.  The documentary’s writing/directing/producing team of Bob Nalbandian and John Strednansky discusses favorite memories of the early days of the thrash metal scene in the bay area.  The men also share their thoughts on topics such as the impact of the scene on the overall metal community and why the pair even got started making its “Inside Metal” film series.  The history behind this aspect is interesting as it takes listeners briefly into the bigger history of the rock ad hard rock scene in California.  The discussion on the roots of the metal scene in the Bay Area in the early 80s shows the seriousness of the team’s dedication to the genre.  It is refreshing to hear from the men, that this was not just some pet project, but something that stemmed from their own love for the genre.  On a completely random note, as the men are talking (apparently in a hotel lobby) a figure walks to the elevators behind them in what looks like the outfit of the Kansas Jayhawks mascot outfit.  All that is visible from the camera angle is from the waist down, but it certainly makes for a funny moment as the mascot stands there pacing a little, waiting for the elevator as the men talk.  In discussing the favorite memories, Stradnansky talks about his first “Metal Monday” show, seeing Motley Crue and how that changed his life.  It is its own continued testament about the love that these men had for their project.  There are even discussions about favorite clubs, which adds to the discussions about the clubs featured in the documentary.  This enriches that aspect of the presentation even more.  Between this, so much more in the nearly 10-minute bonus and everything featured in the documentary’s main feature, this presentation proves itself a relatively entertaining and engaging presentation for thrash and metal aficionados in general. 

Metal Rock Films’ recently released thrash metal retrospective Bay Area Godfathers is a presentation that rock and metal aficionados alike will find intriguing.  They will find it as a presentation that is worth watching occasionally.  That is proven in part through its main feature, which takes viewers back through the early history of thrash metal in the San Francisco Bay area.  The rich, in-depth story told in the main feature is presented largely through first hand stories and anecdotes from those who were part of the scene at the time.  Some are well-known names while others are less so, creating a rich starting point in the history of the genre.  For all of the content that the main feature offers audiences, there are some occasional issues with the feature’s pacing.  There are moments throughout the documentary in which the story feels like it slows down.  Thankfully those moments are not enough to derail the program.  The bonus content that accompanies the documentary’s main feature adds a little more enjoyment an engagement to the whole.  Together with everything in the main feature, the two elements join with the better elements of the program’s pacing to make the retrospective/history piece worth at least an occasional watch.  Bay Area Godfathers is available now.

More information on this and other titles from Metal Rock Films is available along with all of the company’s latest news at:

Websitehttp://metalrockfilms.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/InsideLAmetMovieDoc

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/insideLAMetal

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.

Warbringer’s Latest LP Brings Lots Of Musical, Lyrical Firepower For Audiences To Enjoy

Courtesy: Napalm Records

Thrash metal outfit Warbringer is an interesting act.  The band has only been in existence for sixteen years.  Yet in that span, the band has toured the globe with some of the metal community’s biggest names (E.g. Overkill, Soilwork, Exodus), and released six albums, all while going through label and numerous lineup changes.  Most bands can only dream to have done as much as Warbringer in that span of time, what with the average number of albums and associated tours run over that time being three.  Even having done so much in such a short time, the band has not lost its fire.  That is clear in the band’s latest album (it’s sixth), Weapons of Tomorrow.  The 10-song record is a presentation that is everything that audiences have come to expect from Warbringer, both musically and lyrically.  The guitar riffs, vocals, bass work and time keeping come together to make this record just as worthy of applause as any of Warbringer’s past records.  That is evidenced in part early in the record’s 50-minute run in the form of ‘Defiance of Fate.’  This song will be addressed shortly.  ‘Heart of Darkness,’ which comes just past the record’s midpoint, serves as another example of the album’s strength.  It will be discussed a little later.  ‘Glorious End,’ the album’s finale, is one more way in which this album shows its impact.  It is hardly the last of the album’s most notable entries.  ‘Outer Reaches,’ which focuses on the journey into space, ‘Notre Dame (King of Fools),’ which seems to tell the story of Quasi Modo, and ‘Firepower Kills,’ which really comes across as an indictment of the buildup of the military complex, are also important additions to the album.  When they are considered with the songs noted here and the rest of the album’s entries, the whole of the album proves itself to be a powerful new offering from Warbringer that the band’s fans will appreciate just as much as metal fans in general.

Twelve years ago, thrash metal outfit Warbringer first came onto the metal scene with its debut album War Without End.  In the decade-plus since that album’s release, the band has continued to impress audiences with each following album.  The band’s latest album, Weapons of Tomorrow – the band’s sixth album and eighth overall recording, counting its two EPs – is no exception to that rule.  That is proven through the album’s lyrical and musical content, as is evidenced early on in the album’s fourth track, ‘Defiance of Faith.’  The song’s musical arrangement lends itself to comparisons to Metallica’s timeless thrash anthen ‘Sanitarium’ what with its brooding, reserved approach in the work of guitarists Adam Carroll and Chase Becker.  Drummer Carlos Cruz’s work behind the kit adds even more to that comparison with his controlled performance, as does bassist Chase Bryant.  Given, front man John Kevill’s vocal delivery is more akin to something from perhaps Exodus or Overkill, but it still works in its own right, adding its own touch to the whole to make the arrangement its own strong performance.  The subdued nature of the song’s arrangement is important to note because it serves to help illustrate and translate the story presented in the song’s lyrical content, which is about a man trying to decide which path to take in his life, so to speak.

The story of that subject’s decision is told over the course of its seven-minute-plus run time, with the subject first asking himself about his path.  He says to himself in this verse,  “So far away/the night descends o one more day/I call your name/But no reply/Nothing/How to go on/Why wear a smile upon my face/I try to rise in vain/But I can’t defy/I can’t defy my fate.”  He continues his discussion with himself in the song’s second verse, with just as much emotion, “Can’t find a meaning/In a cold, uncaring world/I long for days/Days that once and never were/My hopes begin to fade/For I can’t defy/I can’t defy my fate.”  Eventually the song’s figure reaches an epiphany, realizing his fate is in his own hands.  This comes in the song’s third verse, as the subject states, “But will I lay down as my life passes by?/Or will I raise up my fist to the sky/I will not go silently into the dark/My flame will burn brighter than all of the stars/I will stand tall/I will not go silently/I will be known/My flame will burn bright/So bright/You will know my name/You will hear my voice/My life will have meaning/I have made my choice/Now I stand defiant/I stand in defiance of fate/For all of time/My will and my spirit remain.”  What’s really interesting here is that as the song’s subject gains his emotional and mental footing, so does the energy increase in the song’s arrangement, helping to illustrate the determination and confidence that is rising in the song’s subject.  Keeping all of this in mind, it is clear that a lot of thought was put into the song on both  sides.  Even more important to note here is that while this is just a story, it is a story to which listeners can relate, as it reminds listeners to not give up when they are in those situations in which they are feeling so much doubt.  To that end, the song proves even more important to the whole of Weapons of Tomorrow.  Whether making that connection was manifest from the band is anyone’s guess, but regardless, it is a connection that listeners can relate.  Keeping that in mind, this song is clearly an important addition to the album, and just one of the record’s most notable works.  ‘Heart of Darkness’ is another of the songs featured in Weapons of Tomorrow that makes the record worth hearing.

‘Heart of Darkness’ is notable because it stands out from the rest of the album’s songs just as much musically as it does lyrically.  Where ‘Defiance of Fate’ boasted a very Metallica-esque influence in its arrangement, this song’s arrangement is more of a 21st-century work.  It continues the band’s trend of experimenting with more black metal elements alongside its trademark thrash metal sound.  The two elements are well-balanced here, making the whole a work that is unique within the confines of the album and when compared to works from Warbringer’s thrash counterparts.  That combination makes this arrangement another work that audiences will appreciate just as much as the album’s other entries.  It is just one part of what makes the song stand out.  The foreboding sound presented through the song’s arrangement does well to help evoke the feeling in the song’s lyrical content.

The lyrical content featured in ‘Heart of Darkness’ seems to reference author Joseph Conrad’s timeless novella written by the same name.  The novella took on the themes of imperialism and racism.  At the same time, while the title of that publication is referenced here, the actual lyrical content seems to address more, the history of mankind on one another.  It can just as easily be likened to the influence of the Spanish on certain other societies, Europeans on native cultures in America (and Africa) and even the British on peoples of other nations.  In other words, it is a theme that connects to reality in so many avenues.  To that end, the two topics ironically intertwine with one another seamlessly.  The song states of that history in its lead verse, “Far into the unknown/They find this land/Yet unspoiled by time/Its people quite defenseless/Its riches ripe for the taking/They brought the torch/They brought the sword/To seek their fame/To seek reward/They venture into the jungles and mists/And blinded, they see/Only an infinite darkness.”  The story continues in its second verse with what seems to reference the atrocities of slavery in America, stating, “The crack of whips/The clack of chains/To bring the light/But why such pain/To rule by force and domination/And then to speak of civilization/The ivory face/The eyes so cold/The lust for power/The glimmer of gold/There lies a sickness deep in the soul/One glance in the mirror/Reveals an infinite darkness.”  In hindsight, the mention of “the lust for power/The glimmer of gold” might in fact make this a reference to the mistreatment of Native Americans by white Americans of European descent.  Either way, the picture of that mistreatment by one group to another is clear and powerful.  The song’s powerful story continues in its third verse, as Kevill “sings,” “Stained human soul/Which no one can disguise/What evil lurks in the recesses of the mind/Would you chain another/If you gained from their demise/To peer into this darkness means to face the horror/The horror within us all/Far/So far into the unknown/The hateful seeds that have been sown/The quest for wealth/That grim desire/The severed hands/The homes afire/Through the years, an unending stain/The crack of whips/The clack of chains/And even today, the echo remains/Witness the still-beating heart/Heart of darkness.”  Again, what is being addressed here is imperialism and racism throughout history from one group’s oppression of another to another group’s oppression of others.  It is a very unique way in which this familiar topic has been approached here.  Together with the song’s musical arrangement, the topic is even more impacting.  In turn, the song becomes another clear example of what makes Weapons of Tomorrow worth hearing.  It is just one more of the album’s most notable entries.  The record’s finale, ‘Glorious End’ is one more example of the album’s strength.

‘Glorious End’ stands out because while its musical arrangement does present more of the band’s familiar thrash sound – coupled with more black/death metal influence – the song’s lyrical content presents its own unique tale.  The tale here is that of a young man growing up and going off to war in World War I.  It is a story that will appeal widely to fans not only of Warbringer, but also to fans of Sabaton.  At the same time, it is also an indictment of war and what it causes.  The song’s subject states in the song’s lead verse, “I hear the call to arms/I shall answer at once/My brothers, now we march/Toward the sound of the guns/yes, men will die/But I will not be afraid/I remember the words that my father told me/My son, you must be brave/Your steel must be true/And upon that field of war, my son/You know what you must do.”  The story continues with the song’s subject paying tribute to his father, stating, “My father, my father/Your sons will stand tall/We will return to home/In victory or not at all/For I am no coward/I will laugh at death again/No onward my brothers/To our glorious end/Oh, the banner stands so tall/What glory awaits us all.”  The story continues even more over the course of the song’s nearly seven-minute run time, but does not have a happy ending.  The young soldier eventually dies as a result of a chemical attack. He and his fellow soldiers were gassed.  As the young man dies, he says, “My father, are you proud?/truly a glorious end/Into a silent tomb I fall/What glory awaits us all/Tell me father, have you lied?/this is no way for a soldier to die/Was there a meaning when I fell/Where is the glory/Where is the glory for me?”  Again, this becomes an indictment of war and its effects.  It is a not so veiled statement about those who blindly go off and serve out of their own inflated sense of patriotism and self aggrandizement.  It is a powerful statement that, when considered along with the album’s opening statement about the buildup of the industrial military complex, adds even more impact from the album.  Considered along with the rest of the songs noted here and the rest of the album’s offerings, the record in whole proves itself to be a record that will appeal widely to Warbringer’s fans, those of the thrash realm and of the metal world in general.  Simply put, it makes itself an easy candidate for a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Warbringer’s latest full-length studio recording Weapons of Tomorrow is an engaging and enjoyable new offering from the young thrash metal veterans.  That is proven through the record’s musical and lyrical content, as is evidenced through the songs examined here.  When those songs are considered along with the rest of the album’s offerings, the album in whole becomes another positive offering from Warbringer that boasts plenty of its own musical and lyrical firepower.  The album is available now through Napalm Records.  More information on Weapons of Tomorrow is available along with all of Warbringer’s latest news at:

 

 

 

Websitehttp://www.warbringermusic.com

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/Warbringermusic

Twitterhttp://twitter.com/warbringerband

 

 

 

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news 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

 

 

 

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.

‘The Grinding Wheel’ Shows Overkill Is Still “Grinding” It Out Successfully

Courtesy: Nuclear Blast Records

The countdown to the year’s end is officially on, and that means for the music industry, the push is officially on to start assembling those annual year-end “Best Of” lists.  One of the lists that this critic in particular has seen overflowing with impressive titles is that of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  New releases from the likes of Prong, The Haunted, Dragonforce and so many others have easily proven themselves deserving of a spot on that list by any critic.  No critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums would be complete without the inclusion of Overkill’s latest album the Grinding Wheel.  Released this past February, this 11-song, 64-minute album is an offering that reminds audiences once again why even after more than 30 years, Overkill is still one of the elite acts in the hard rock and metal realms even.  That is even as the band continues to embrace the mantra of if it’s not broken, don’t fix it.  The old school thrash riffs that have made the band a constant fan favorite throughout its life combine with equally interesting lyrical content here to prove why this record is one more of the year’s top new hard rock and metal offerings.

Anytime that Overkill releases a new album, it will find its way onto critics’ lists of the year’s best new hard rock and metal albums.  The New Jersey-based thrash outfit’s 18th (yes, 18th) full-length studio recording The Grinding Wheel is no exception to that rule.  That is proven right from the album’s outset in ‘Mean, Green Killing Machine.’ The song’s arrangement boasts riffs in its verses that easily lend themselves to some of the greatest classic thrash works from fellow thrashers Exodus, Metallica, Megadeth and others of that ilk.  In the same breath, the combination of front man Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth’s vocal delivery with those riffs also conjures thoughts of so many classic Judas Priest songs.  The inclusion of the song’s more blues-based hard rock arrangement in its bridge adds even more interest to the song.  The sudden change between those two wholly separate styles is, needless to say, stark.  Yet at the same time, it still is not enough to ruin the song, musically speaking.  It only makes it that much more interesting.  Keeping that in mind, it is only one part of what makes this song proof of what makes The Grinding Wheel yet another standout record from Overkill.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

Ellsworth sings here, “Somewhere out where no one knows/Rusts a cool revolution fight/Way out there where no one goes/And it’s got to keep moving/Got to keep getting it right/So here’s to the piston charged/Combustible delight/The single-minded supercharged/That’s got to keep moving/Got to keep getting it/A call to arms/A call right through the dream/A call to action/Blow up the in-between/Feed, feed your engine/Feed, feed the wolverine/Feed, feed the tension/Mean green/Killing machine/C’mon, C’mon say what my name is/Mean green killing machine.”  Ellsworth goes on in the song’s further verses to deliver what seems like commentary perhaps about the world’s religious and business leaders, leading to the belief that perhaps while not a politically charged song, it is a lyrical worked aimed at reminding listeners to not just give in to the things being force-fed to them.  That is just this critic’s own take and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Ellsworth could easily have been making a wholly different statement.  That ability of these lyrics to create so much discussion in itself is even more proof of the importance of the song’s lyrical content.  When that content is joined with the song’s rich musical arrangement, the end result is a song that clearly exhibits what makes The Grinding Wheel yet another solid offering from Overkill.  It is hardly the only of the album’s songs to support that statement.  The album’s title track is one more example of what makes The Grinding Wheel another standout album from one of metal’s true elite acts.

‘The Grinding Wheel’ proves just as much as ‘Mean Green Killing Machine’ what makes Overkill’s latest album so enjoyable in part to its musical arrangement.  As with the previously discussed song, this composition also boasts an arrangement that is pure thrash at its finest.  It lends itself just as easily to comparisons to works from Judas Priest as the album’s opener, too.  Considering this, it goes without saying that this song’s musical arrangement is just as solid as those presented in the rest of the album’s songs.  That being the case, the next sensible step here would be to examine the song’s lyrical content.  This song’s lyrical content is just as intriguing as that in the album’s opener and the record’s other songs.  Ellsworth sings here, “A bed of nails/Cold, dark, deep refrigeration/I hear it calling me/A broken rail as he drools over the congregation/I hear it calling me/Now I won’t tell you how to live your life/I never saw the point in thinking twice/I turn the wheel by day, by night/Raise your flag/Here’s to the liberation.”  The song goes on in similar fashion with equally cryptic statements throughout that are just as certain to leave listeners talking and thinking as the song’s lead verse.  Again, that ability to so easily engage listeners, even just through its lyrical content, is another way in which the song proves an important part of the record’s whole.  When it is joined with the song’s musical arrangement, the two elements in whole support that statement even more.  Even considering this, it still is not the last of the songs included in this record that shows what makes the album stand out.  ‘Shine On,’ which comes early in the album’s run is one more example of what makes the record stand out.

‘Shine On’ is another key example of what makes The Grinding Wheel stand out, as with the previously discussed songs, in part due to its arrangement.  The up-tempo, guitar-driven arrangement.  The arrangement presented here is a polished composition that lends itself directly to comparisons to some of Metallica’s greatest thrash style works.  Even as the song turns more doom-sounding bridge, that slower–yet no less heavy–section is a perfect fit that gives listeners just enough time to catch their collective breaths without losing them.  It is only one part of what makes this song another key addition to The Grinding Wheel.  The song’s lyrical content is just as important to discuss as its musical arrangement.

The lyrical content presented in ‘Shine On’ is important to discuss because of its seemingly anthemic nature.  That anthemic nature is inferred, at least to this critic as Ellsworth sings in the song’s chorus, “We got no patience, but we get through/We got no patience, but we got you/All of the paraders shout no fear/All of the hurricaners with their fists up in the air/Someone else gave the order to the band/Someone else ignored us/Left the cat out in the rain/One more fire before I die/One more fire, get me high/Climb on down to the fire/Climb on down to the flame/Leave your battles behind you/Shine on Doomsday/Shine on Doomsday.”  This all comes across as the band paying tribute, lyrically, to its fans, inspiring audiences to never give up on anything in life as they thank their fans for their dedication.  Again, this is only this critic’s own interpretation and should not be taken as the only interpretation.  Either way, this song’s lyrical content comes across as a loud, proud statement from the band.  When that seemingly loud, proud statement is joined with the song’s equally heavy, driving musical arrangement, the whole of the song shows why it is an important addition to the album’s whole.  When the song is joined with the other songs noted here (and those not noted), the album in whole shows clearly why it is another powerhouse offering from Overkill, and an easy candidate for any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.

Overkills’ 18th full-length studio recording The Grinding Wheel is a presentation of a band that more than 30 years into its life is still successfully grinding it out.  Yes, that awful pun was fully intended.  That is due to the solid, heavy musical arrangements presented throughout the course of the album’s 64-minute run time.  The record’s arrangements are everything that the band’s legions of fans have come to expect from its records throughout the years.  What’s interesting about them here is how polished they sound in each case.  The album’s collective lyrical content will have listeners thinking and talking just as much as its musical arrangements. From seeming commentaries (of sorts) to fist-pumping anthems and points in-between, the songs’ lyrical content gives listeners plenty to be happy about, too.  Keeping thin in mind, The album in whole proves to be a work that any Overkill fan will appreciate and agree deserves a spot on any critic’s list of the year’s top new hard rock and metal albums.  It is available now in stores and online.  More information on The Grinding Wheel is available online now along with all of the band’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.wreckingcrew.com

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

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OverkillBand

 

 

 

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.

Fragile Mortals Set To Unleash Its Debut Single

Courtesy: Bumblefoot Records

Courtesy: Bumblefoot Records

Metal super group Fragile Mortals is making quite the “explosive” debut this holiday season.

The band, which consists of metal outfit Generation Kill and veteran rapper Darryl “DMC” McDaniels (Run DMC) and another metal super group of sorts called Generation Kill, is set to release its debut single ‘Fired Up’ Monday, July 4th.  The song comes from the band’s upcoming debut album The Dark Project, which is currently scheduled to be released later this year.  It will be released via Bumblefoot Records, the independent record label of Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Art of Anarchy, ex-Guns N’ Roses).  Audiences can check out a trailer for the song online now here.  About ‘Fired Up,’ DMC explained, “‘Fired Up’ is a foot-stomping, fist-in-your-face anthem, sort of like a MACK truck crashing into a packed football stadium.”  He added about the song, “‘Fired Up’ is a sports-inspired attitude about giving all you got in this “game of life.” And like my verse says, you must do it without cheating!”

The release of ‘Fired Up’ will be followed up immediately the next day with the release of the album’s second single ‘Suicide.’  In discussing the song, DMC noted that the song is the polar opposite of ‘Fired Up.’ “‘Suicide’ is really personal to me because I was fighting depression so I know what individuals, young and old, go through,” he said.  “People will always tell you that you shouldn’t feel the way you feel.  Easier said the done!  I discovered the first step to healing is be truthful to yourself about how you’re feeling, then look at WHO and WHAT circumstances are causing these feelings, then deal with those to remove those from your life.  Me and  [Rob] Dukes (Generation Kill, ex-Exodus) wrote these lyrics no holds barred because that’s how we, and a lot of others, felt.”  ‘Suicide’ will also be featured in the audio version of DMC’s new book Ten Ways Not To Commit Suicide.  It is set to be published worldwide Tuesday, July 5th.

Generation Kill is: Rob Dukes (ex-Exodus) and bassist Rob Moschetti (ex-Pro-Pain, MOD).  Rob Thal also contributed guitar duties on a number of songs featured on Fragile Mortals’ debut album. More information on Fragile Mortals is available online now here.

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.